UPDATES: 2016 Kids’ Yearly To-Do List

June is over!  We’ve conquered half of the year, so it’s time to provide a mid-year update on the 2016 Yearly To-Do List with the Kids (re-visit the full list here).  So far, we’ve done the following:

#1   hit the beach at least once a year – Done!  We went to Punta Fuego in Batangas with 1-Magala(ng) (30 March 2016; more here).

#6   staycation in ManilaEdsa Shang with Amanda, care of Lolo and Lola (15-17 April 2016; more here); Azumi for my birthday, care of Lolo and Lola again (24-25 June 2016; more here); Edsa Shang again, with 1-Magala(ng) (06-07 August 2016; more here)

#7   try something newGo-karting in Eastwood (12 March 2016; more here), laser tag for Laz for Santi and Yanni’s birthdays (25 April 2016), bowling for Laz and fishing for Alo in Tagaytay Highlands (29 May 2016; more here)

#8   take a class or have lessons in the summerswimming lessons for Laz (March-June 2016; more here), and play group for Alo (May 2016; more here)

Only 5 items out of 12 (from a list of 20 activities) checked off!  Eeek, time to buck up.  (And ideally, we should be doing something from the list every month!  As it is, most of the activities were packed into one summer!!!)





Summer whizzed by!

Laz started Second Grade last week.  It’s been raining every day, or almost every day, since June started.  We had several mall runs to complete most of the back to school preps before the first day of school last Wednesday, and over the weekend, the kids’ father pitched in to wrap and label Laz’s new books.  We’ve given our air-conditioning at home a break as the heat has finally let up.  I’ve been sick for 4 days too because of the change in weather.  Yes, summer is truly over, and we’re slowly but surely getting into the groove for the new school year ahead.

This has been a summer of firsts, especially for Alo, and admittedly an emotional one for me.  The upheaval at home was well and truly felt (raging, in fact) for most of the summer, but fittingly, simmered down as the weather cooled down.  It was a real effort, some days, to push myself to do things with and for the kids, venturing out into this solo parent role for the first time, but I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by really amazing, very supportive family and friends.  Laz and Alo, I hope when you look back on the summer of 2016, you’ll remember not just the changes in our family, but on all the fun we still got to do together, too.  Here’s a look back on our summer!

This summer of 2016 we

… hit the beach with 1-Magala(ng) in Punta Fuego:



Thank you for hosting us, Chua family!

… went on an Easter Egg Hunt in 10 Juliana (thank you Ate Irene!):

… attended classes (swimming lessons for Laz and playgroup for Alo):


Thank you to 1-Magala(ng) co-parent Dennis for organizing this!!!


… went go-karting:

… went on staycation in Edsa Shangri-La, care of Lola Tons and Lolo Jolan:


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11:30 in the morning! Surprisingly, even Manong Laz (brown as a nut from swimming) went down for a morning nap with Alo. | 19 May 2016

I’ve always been a little obsessed with making sure my kids get to try different things, and collect as many wonderful memories as possible.  I had a great childhood with very hands-on and very intentional parents who exposed my siblings and I to J.R.R. Tolkien, trips to Batangas and to see the Mona Lisa, art lessons in Vaalbeek, music lessons, no TV on a weekday rules, picnics in Parks and Wildlife, Archie comic books, and chores at home.

I guess I just want to make sure Laz and Alo can look back and feel secure about their childhoods  too.  That’s why I had all those categories in my old blog – exploring Manila, art attack at home, little field trips.  I know our lives have taken a little detour these days, and it’s a bit jarring to discover your supposed life partner was not as interested in the children or the family as much as you thought.  But life goes on, you know?  My kids are still kids, and I need to go back to planning to try to inject more color into their lives. Aaaand since I am a relentless list-maker, here’s my list of things to do with the kids each year:

EVERY YEAR, WITH THE KIDS (Pick 12 out of the 20 activities below; at least 1 activity per month):

  1. hit the beach at least once a year
  2. watch a play, musical, or show for children
  3. visit a play area or indoor interactive fun/educational park
  4. visit a museum
  5. visit a zoo, an aquarium, a butterfly farm, or any place with animals (including dinosaurs, teehee)
  6. staycation in Manila
  7. try something new with the kids (like go-karting, RC or driving range, bowling, throw a pot)
  8. take a class or have lessons in the summer – not necessarily related to school!
  9. visit a historical or memorial site
  10. attend a sports event
  11. have an outdoors adventure
  12. visit a park or green space in the city
  13. go to an amusement park, carnival or “perya”
  14. go to an art exhibit, art fair, craft fair, or art gallery/museum
  15. explore a new city or town in the Philippines
  16. spring clean and sort their toys and clothes, and personally take their donations to an orphanage or children’s home
  17. travel abroad at least once a year
  18. day trip or overnight at a swimming hole
  19. go to a bazaar
  20. have an “appreciation” day for someone in the family, with the kids preparing everything for this little celebration

I think the list above is more doable than actual weekly field trips, especially since some weekends Laz just really prefers vegging out at home.  I hope the activities above will create a lot of bonding moments with Laz and Alo, but I’ve also been reading up on how to be more intentional (like spending 15 minutes a day at least, focusing solely on 1 kid each time).  I know being intentional is a day-to-day thing, and not a once a month thing, so I hope I can rise to the challenge.  I’d also like to create some traditions, for birthdays, New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, etc.  I mean, who doesn’t love traditions?!

Here are a list of resources I found and liked online, on what to do with your kids, and how to be there for your kids:

There are still Easter, last and first days of school, and Halloween traditions!  We’re going to be busy!

We can do this, my sons! | 16 March 2016 (in Rancho)