Showing posts with label Expat Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expat Children. Show all posts

Teaching kids to do chores

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Our parents taught us everything we need to know about household chores and I am thankful that they did. I remember hand washing and pressing our clothes, sweeping the ground with broomstick, dusting furniture and removing cobwebs, washing and drying the dishes, making our bed in the morning and night, and even cleaning the fish and cooking the rice when I was young. It was all fun for me, I never thought of it as hard work. I grew up knowing everything about house keeping. I am now married with two kids and I am far from my mom but I am not worried because I know how to take care of my family. Every little things I learned from our parents, I thank them for it, and it is also good to mention that I have another mentor, my moms youngest and only sister taught me a lot of things too. I owe it to them and thank you because you prepared me for my future which is now.

Last weekend, I posted a photo in Facebook of the kids helping out in the kitchen.  My dear darling daughter requested some crispy fish fillet for lunch and she wanted to cook it herself, I was there to guide her. She was satisfied at how her dish tasted. 

We used white frozen fish fillet, thawed, seasoned with salt and pepper and squeezed with half lemon juice


Then dipped in egg, white flour and panko bread crumbs



In a frying pan, I added some olive oil and we fry the fish fillets in batches


Turning it after about 5 minutes or until sides are crispy


Here's Mica transferring the last batch to the serving plate


While me and Mica were busy with cooking, the little guy wanted to join the fun but he can't cook. He pulled a chair and climb to see what we were doing and then he found some dirty dishes on the sink. He wanted to wash them so I let him do it, of course I supervised and guided him to avoid mess and from breaking the plates and glasses



Look at how diligently he is doing it :)

Other than just washing the dishes, Prince also helps me in setting the table, I assigned him to put the fork and spoon after I put the plates on the table. He enjoys it a lot and he is a very helpful and cooperative. I know that it's like all play with him now but giving him a part of the responsibility makes him feel valued and part of the family and I am sure that he will benefit from it in the future as I lay for him the groundwork of good habits.


In the evening, I took them to the nearby park to play, say a reward for a job well done.

I am glad that at a young, the kids become aware of the things they can do to help at home, it teaches them responsibility and it is fun doing it together, our bonding time while our dad is at work.



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Easy Gingerbread House

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I never made a gingerbread house before. It is not part of our holiday traditions while I was growing up and since my kids are growing far from our home country,  they were not able to experience and practice Filipino Christmas traditions but it doesn't mean they have to skip the Christmas cheer! More importantly, as Christians, I make sure they are aware of why we are celebrating this very special occasion.

At home, we made some gingerbread house last Thursday night, on Friday we went to Dubai Mall to see Santa Clause at Hamley's so they can give him their Christmas wish list. I also bought for them some advent calendars to make the countdown more exciting. They are so excited of Christmas, they are looking forward to this day and can't wait to open their gifts, also some of our friends, relatives and my brother will be joining us on Christmas Eve.


This is an easy gingerbread house recipe, I opted to get graham crackers instead of baking the bread, I have no time to bake and I am not sure how it will come out as I have not baked ginger cookies before.

We used 6 graham crackers for each house, a serrated knife, some chewy candies (orange and watermelon) saltine crackers with different shapes, and icing (one or two egg whites mixed with 1 lb confectioners sugar)

They all turn out fine and the kids love it. This one is Mica's design with my help.

Ginger Bread House

This house is more elaborate, it's for Prince and Daddy helped him to put up the chimney over there

Ginger Bread House

This one is for Lance, my nephew. The final product has a chimney but I have no photo of it though.

Ginger Bread House

It wasn't that hard at all and it was such fun making gingerbread houses. I promise next year to bake the bread. It will be more work but it will be awesome.

I wish that the kids would somehow remember us doing this, maybe if we do it every year and then it's going to be part of our family's own Christmas traditions.
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Opening Speech on Sports Day at AIS

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My daughter is in her 4th grade at her school. For this year annual sports day for grades 3 and 4 she was chosen to give the opening speech. She delivered it well and we are so proud of her.

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Kids Got Talent Audition

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Kid number ten's music was playing in the background, my heart's pumping, my knees shaking and my hands are sweating. Nine kids to go and she's  up. My husband was looking so cool watching the other kids perform their piece for Dubai Festival Center Kids Got Talent while I was nervous as hell. How is he doing that?

Moamen Noor - famous Arab artist escorted Lanna on stage. She was all smiles concealing her nervousness. Next to me I heared someone whisper "I suddenly feel nervous, I wasn't a while ago!" my husband said and I was laughing. :) so I am not the only one hahaha

The kiddo was under the weather and voice was exhausted with practice. Audition schedule cannot be re-schedule due to the heavy numbers of registrations received hence we have to show up. She did her best during the audition and received positive feed backs from the judges and the DFC Mall crowd.


We are still waiting for the results of the audition. In the mean time I am sharing with you my daughter's audition vid.

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First day of school and before it

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Mica my daughter was excited to go to school today. It's the first day of school for her since she is an old student of the school. She is in grade four now at 8. (Extended holidays!) :D New and incoming students already started last Sunday.


What do you think an excited student do the week and the day before school starts? Hmmmm

Mica (a week before school starts): Mom I would like to have that corned beef hash with eggs you cooked before for my packed lunch on the first day of school.

Mom: (the night before the first day of school): Cooking what was requested. I keep notes; it's a motivation factor for the kiddo you know. When she saw me preparing it last night, she throw herself to me and gave me a big hug and a big kiss. Thanked me for cooking her favorite. Well, almost everything I cook is Mica's favorite; she even dubbed me as the World’s Best Mom Chef every time I cooked something she likes! :D I got a title now hehehe!

Me (while cooking in the kitchen): peek at the kitchen door because I think I saw someone wandering around the house carrying a heavy backpack, looks like the ninja turtles stop by to say hi. Who else would it be but my school girl. I collected the books and the notebooks from the school earlier and that's what she was carrying around the house in that famous kitty bag. I ask what was she doing, she replied "what? I am trying on my new bag!” I go bonkers!

I wrapped her notebooks in brown paper and her books in clear plastic cover; while I was doing that I told myself, this feels like I am the one going to school again! Sooner or later Mica must learn how to wrap her school books. She helped by cutting scotch tapes. Some are too short and some are too long; it reminds me that she is still a little girl, still trying to perfect her scissors handling skills. I wrapped two dozen books and notebooks and it took me four hours, a run and a re-run of Ice Age 4 on TV and a back pain to finish it. Is that slow? Is there a notebook/book wrapping challenge around here for moms? :)

Mica: Went to bed early (but was awake for an hour after hitting the sheets.) Can't stop thinking how excited she was about school. She missed her classmates, her teachers, keeps on hoping that her classmate and friend Hilary will still be her classmate this year. Sad about Janica moving on to a new school and will not see her everyday anymore.

Mom’s reaction: Please go to sleep and you'll find out all about it tomorrow. You will still have some old classmates and some new ones and you can always make friends with them. I told her it’s really sad but those friends of hers who moved into a new school will be the new kid in the new school; they themselves will have new classmates and will also make new friends. I know it’s difficult for the kids here in Dubai to deal with the fast-phase life of expatriates who keeps coming and going every minute. After that conversation, we were both on our way to dreamland.

Mica woke up early this morning, took the towel and went directly to take a shower. Put on her new school uniform and ate breakfast; brushed her teeth and kissed me goodbye. Rushed at the door too excited.

While I was taking a shower, I go deep in my thoughts. I was amazed at how much she has grown over the years; now independently preparing herself for school. I hope that it's not just the first day. Really!
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Back to school and a few observations

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School is starting next week at my daughter school and I think majority of schools in Dubai and UAE are also up. I guess I will need to say goodbye to the traffic free Dubai-Sharjah  highway by this weekend. It will definitely become packed with everyone hurrying up to get to their destination from Sunday morning and then add up to that all the students heading to school transported by their big yellow buses.

I have two kids but just the eldest is attending school, for now. It's not only the traffic that's going to get congested and so is my schedule. I will not only bid farewell to a traffic free road but also to the fuss free mornings that I enjoy when there is no school.

I was at my daughter's school yesterday to settle her tuition and transport fees, buy new books and uniforms as well. On the queue, another parent was paying the fees of his kids. When the accountant told him the total amount, he took his wallet and emptied it counting thousand dirhams bills. After paying, he checked the receipt and ask where are the school uniform fees? The accountant informed him that school uniforms will be paid separately in another counter. He was disappointed, I cannot blame him you know, we are standing there for about an hour already only to learn that we have to go to another counter for another payment, why not let the parents pay everything at once in just one counter?

I got M her uniforms and paid the books although it is not ready for distribution. We left her school and headed to the mall to buy school necessities. She didn't like to have trolley bag this time, she wanted a back pack just like her friends have. This is rooted from the difficulty carrying trolley bags to the second floor of their school using the stairs since there is no elevator. I am not suspecting any other reason because I have seen this and she's telling the truth which reminded me to mention this during parent-teachers meeting.

I have nothing against my daughters school but it surprise me that I have these strange observations while writing this down. We are almost ready for the new school year and I am bracing myself for it from now.
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Toys for two year olds

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We are amazed at how fast our son learn things, he can now say a lot of words and can even form broken sentences, he can even ask questions and sings/hum whenever he hears a song. The toys that are lying around the house that used to be teether before are now being played with and are now keeping him busy.  The kid size kitchen of his sister is one of his favorites, he also likes to play fencing with spoon and fork and so we bought two foam swords from the toy store for him and his sister to play with.

Everyday, when I reached home, he will come to the door to give me a hug and then directly pull me to his room to play. I can't say no to this even I am tired, it is such a precious moment in my life as a mom to be able to play with my little guy and to be the center of his attention and it's a shame if I won't revert it back.



The shape that is suppose to be for the turtle became tower blocks. Another thing he likes to do is to complete the puzzle of ABC's.



My little guy is very playful, always smiling and hyperactive. I honestly don't know where all his energy is coming from. I was warned that boys are different from girls but I wasn't told how active boys can be and now I am learning from experience. :)
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