Remote learning space for kids and a working space for a work at home mother!

Now, I needed to re-arrange my working space to be flexible for kids remote learning space as well.

Yes, since I have two kids having their online school this year. I also have to move my online task after their online schooling. Definitely they needed help during their learning session with their virtual teachers specially when your kids are still in kinder and early grade school. So, I re-arrange my working space mainly for them to use comfortably while I can also easily sit and use the computer after their learning session.

It is very important that your kids ambiance is relaxing by putting their table as much as possible near to open spaces where air can easily get into them and their eyes can see few boundaries.

Here are the tips in making your remote learning space for kids at the same time a working space for work at home mother:

1. Separate the table for each kid.

I have two kids, I separated their tables since I want them not to use headset. Because too much use of headset would not be good for their ears. And I wanted them to develop their hearing skills.

2. Put an extra table.

I put an extra table for writing or where they can easily move their laptop when they needed to write or do some art works.

3. Book stand

My mother did a DIY book stand for them to easily move their eyes from the computer to the books.

3. Foot stand

My mother did a DIY foot stand for their little feet since their tables and chairs are not really designed for their heights. So, they can relax their feet on the foot stand while learning. Keeping them comfortable on their chairs and tables.

4. Organizer

My mother made a DIY organizer for us to put the books, printers and other things which we can easily grab on.

5. Plants

We have a lot of snake plants and Aloe Vera which my mother planted even before the Corona Virus. Perfect! Snake plants boost their mood and reduced stress while Aloe Vera can absorb radiation.

Facing the computer for more than an hour would be too boring and stressful for them. So, I put plants near to the working table. I am planning to add more of these plants!

6. Reminder Board.

I find this very important because I usually forget their activities- for us to be reminded easily of their daily activities. Now my to do board becomes theirs as well.

7. Small baskets.

These small baskets were their toys organizers. Since we already have disposed some of their toys, I use this small baskets to put the things they needed. We can also use unused ice cream containers or biscuits containers. I put all the notebooks they need for Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays! Put them in the place where they can easily grab and return.

Rebooked Ticket because of Corona Virus.

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It’s almost April classes are soon to end. My kids have been counting the days for their father’s coming home. It’s Songkran in Thailand and with these holidays my husband could have a break from work and spend time with us. Either we go to Thailand to visit him or him going home to the Philippines! Kids have been counting the days! Excited for their microscopes and even praying every night for their tatay’s coming home.

Tickets were booked for April and suddenly “Corona Invasion” (my kids usually call it).

My husband and I decided to rebook his ticket instead of risking one’s health to Corona’s threat while traveling.

Before we slept our eldest Siam leads the prayer.

Lord please make corona a small spread Lord. Protect my tatay when he travels Lord- going home Lord and so on..

After the prayer, I told him what if tatay cannot go home in April?

Our youngest son said – I will be sad.

Siam: hmmm my microscope… and crying! Tatay! Tatay!

Me: Explaining about the corona

Siam: I hate Corona! I hate Corona! Tatay, tatay! I want tatay to go home…

And I noticed his tears were not just because of a microscope but he already missed his father and was disappointed because he’s not gonna go home soon.

I then told him that in July he is going home. Siam did not stop crying! It is so dugay, he said. December is longer! my response. I let him cry while my tears just fell on its own until we all fell asleep.

Praying that soon this will end! Corona will vanish and we could all live our normal lives.

Do I worry about my husband? Yes, of course, because he is out there living away from us and away from our country, we do not know until when would Corona fade! With hopes and prayers – the best thing we could do is to be healthy and stay where we are!

I saw how my husband embraces a healthy lifestyle not just for himself but because of us! May God embraces his love and strength to all who are working away from their families and could not go home because of Corona!

2019 Thailand Travel

Aspen Hotel Thailand – Review! April 2019

I do not encourage you to travel this time. Let us Stay at home this time.

Nanay want – flowers?

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After playing outside the house my youngest Philnand got inside the room and said “nanay want some flowers? Here oh..” I was smiling and got it. Sure, thank you nak.

My kids love to give me flowers, they usually get those from the roadside or those flowers falling on the ground. My youngest even loves to see me putting those flowers on my ears.

I have kept some of those flowers they gave me in my journal which has become their journal too, these flowers were a year ago (2019)!

 

My kids’ were seven and four years old, I am enjoying watching them grow. Thank you to the idea of free working space – that I am able to be with them most of the time, while I try to grow and served several clients with their admin tasks.

I am excited to serve more clients this year and onwards because my kids are now learning to do things on their own. I also got some household support and  I work with my home office team. Mae your Back Office Support Team- the Philippines (MyBOSTP) would be very happy to grow with your team as well. We are a team of a dedicated woman, wife and a mother who are passionate in everything we do.

Comment below if you need some support with your overloaded office works!

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How to make kids behave in an online meeting.

DSC05828 (2)When I locked the door they make more noise by knocking at it too hard with a yell ” Nanay, ooo..pen the door! ”

When they see me talking to my client online they wanted to show up and talk to them. So, I ended introducing them to my clients. My problem – they wanted to talk more especially when the client was trying to communicate with them.

There are three kinds of clients:

Client 1: They understand that you are a parent.

Scenario 1: My kids entered the room and were talking, trying to ask who am I talking to. I tried to hiddenly push them away from my camera.

Client 1: It’s ok Mae, I have kids too. You can talk to them and get back to me if you like.

Client 2: Work is work
Scenario: (My kids are calling me to go ) I hear that kids voice. I am not sure if you can do my task. My task is so demanding and you have so many things to do.

Client 3: We can make a bit of friendly talk and let’s proceed to work.
This is the client that my kids really loved. When I am having a meeting they joined with me. They even had a few small talks with my client before we start the proper meeting. My problem – they wanted to talk more especially when the client was trying to communicate with them.

Since these two little buddies of mine were like bubble gum to my tummy and to my breast. It would be very difficult to shoo them away to whatever I do. And the best thing to do is to make them quiet.

Now, my mother thought me an idea to put a note: A note near to my working table and at the door to our room.

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Was this effective? Yes, I think my eldest son understands it, he even opened the door slowly and hide from my computer when he was trying to get the toy. And because the youngest was crying he tried to let his toy be borrowed by his youngest brother and the best thing they went to the playground with their cousin. 🙂 When they get home the meeting was over and I had a new task to do. 🙂

 

 

 

Lazada Thailand Review – Online Shopping!

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It’s almost Christmas and my kids are excited to see their father and of course, they are excited about the gift. My eldest son has been longing for a Beyblade toy.

My husband thought that it was an expensive toy but it just cost from 200Bhat- 700Bhat. Beyblade was on sale 20% up to 50%! He does not need to go around Bangkok to buy toys that my kids exactly wanted to receive. He just sent the photo while we are chatting and kids would just choose which one they like.

 

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Parents looking for a gift for their kids, Lazada Thailand delivers affordable and quality toys. My husband has been buying through this online shop and we got our kid’s toys from gun toys, insect toys and their Beyblade through this online shop. Nevertheless every order he received is of great quality. Visit Lazada here.

 

                                 My  Lazada Thailand online review!!!

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Frozen II Review!

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5 Stars on the Frozen II  movie!

I have not been to the cinema for many years, this time we had three tickets for my two little boys and me. A fundraising program for Christmas organized by the parents’ school teachers organization of my son’s school. At first, I thought my two kids and I would not enjoy because we had not seen Frozen I either and they even laughed when hearing the movie, “they said it’s for girls”. Yes, we watched the Frozen II. There was a flock of kids and families lining up.

The frozen II movie was really amazing from the effects, the character and their personalities plus Elsa and Anna were very pretty! A magical movie that made me think about how did the writers, directors, and others put all together to put life into the movie.  You will be hypnotized by their magical world. It was adventurous and that ice coming out from Elsa’s hands, the way he runs, sway her body and execute her power was really amazing. I want to become Elsa at that moment :-). And owh, her clothes were really nice. Olaf giggles kids in the cinema. Kids were silent when Elsa was fighting alone to find the third power.  Laughing at Olaf and Anna’s boyfriend (when he was trying to propose to Anna), shouting and even clapping at the end of the movie.

The movie was not just all about the luxury of being a princess but finding for the reason of her existence and Elsa’s power – that was to free the tribe coming from their mother and the tribe coming from their father. Frozen II was about the love of the family -especially how the two sisters showed their support for each other through thick and thin. It was touching how Anna did not prioritize his boyfriend yet because of her sister Elsa but when everything goes well. They both learned to let go and live separately according to their mission. It was nice how Anna and Elsa showed their affection, concern, and love for each other.

Frozen II movie is full of values, excitement, and adventure. I recommend families to watch together! Boys and girls would really enjoy the movie just like how my two little kids enjoyed it!

What are the best places to go in Bangkok with Kids?

Me and my two boys used to visit my husband who works as an overseas in Kabinburi, Thailand. Every time we visit amazing Thailand my husband makes an itinerary mainly for kids to enjoy in Bangkok. What are the best places to go in Bangkok with Kids? below is my current lists of the best places to visit while in Bangkok with kids with entrance fee and without. These details I am talking about are for years 2018 and 2019. I will be mentioning the year since we understand that prices and places may grow and innovate with time.

  1.  Safari World

Cost: 810 Bhat/ head includes buffet lunch. Kids below 100cm are free.  

We were able to book a ticket from a friend it cost lesser than booking online. Be there as early as 6:00 am because there is a flock of tourists and of course to enjoy all the shows they have and you may have ample of time to roam around this huge Safari World. The park was opened in 1988 with a total area of 480 acres (190 ha) for its open zoo and 180acres for its bird park.

Not only kids will enjoy this place so much! Parents will have fun too! Kids will be amazed personally by looking at several animal species which they only see on the TV. Kids have mixed emotions siam covers his nose when he saw the Elephant but my Philnand enjoys feeding the elephant. They have an elephant show, orangutan show, dolphins show, sea lion shows, and giraffe feeding as well. Walrus is fun too and many more. Then a huge lunch buffet eat as much as you can then roam again!

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2. Ocean World /Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World.

Cost : 650 Bhat per head. Kids below 100cm are free approximately these are kids from 1-4 years old.

This place is located inside a huge Siam Paragon mall map here

Kids will enjoy the marine animals. This is where my kids saw different kinds of dart-poison frog which they only saw on youtube while watching be brave. Amazing the frog is as mall as a thumb watch here

You may need some guidance on how we get there check out here.  There is no free lunch and you may take your lunch just 1 story above the park. There are several food restaurants lining up from, Thai food, Japanese food, and many others. Overwhelming! Food! food! food! this is one of the reason makes Thailand amazing. It’s affordable and tasty.

3.  Watching 3D cartoon movie at Madame Tussauds Museum Bangkok

Cost : 645 Baht/Head a bit cheaper since we got an early bird ticket.

Map here

Madame Tussauds Museum Bangkok is also known to be a wax museum. Popular celebrities, athletes, politicians, musicians are being replicated using wax. Kids still enjoy the place but they enjoy more in watching 3d cartoon movie. There are also games and many more.

4. Public Parks for free.

Lumpini Park is the first public park in Bangkok. Entrance is free you can bring food or buy food from vendors just outside the park and a store inside. If all you want to to do is breathing fresh air and let your kids play around with the doves, feel the breeze of the wind, watch over the lake this is a perfect place to unwind and relax for free.

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Benchasiri Park is a garden on Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Toei District, Bangkok, Thailand. Built on 11.6 acres next door to the Emporium shopping complex. This park is also very nice if you want to jog around an have a glimpse of the dove and monitor lizard. We went here just for the kids to see real monitor lizard and indeed some monitor lizard will walk along with you. They are hiding near the rivers.

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There are still more places to go in Bangkok, See you in  my next post.

For hotels, my husband is using booking.com to get great deals for accommodation.

Using booking.com makes it easier to book online you can pay online or reserve the accommodation and pay when you arrived. In Thailand, there are many great hotels to stay with and at affordable prices. Go choose where to stay in Booking.com

Tools to release stress: the blue space!

 

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I decided to be a full-time mother when I was pregnant with my first born son Siam. I pave my way through Upwork to get an online job while I am staying at home with my kids. My husband works overseas. I have support like parents and relatives staying in the house but, taking care of kids while the husband is away was not easy. There are just things that a wife could only express to the husband that I couldn’t express to others.  My mind and body need to be strong for my kids. If my husband is around it’s a relief though because he tries to carry all, budgeting and take care of the kids most of his time and I have a pretty relaxing moment thinking only a few things like my online job and some chores in the house. My mind is literally relaxing.

I am trying to understand where my stress coming from. Oh, after two years, I get pregnant, then Siam needs to undergo surgery then after a week I labored my second child Philnand. Again, after two years, my second child needs to undergo surgery of the same disease as my eldest – Hirschsprung’s disease.  Philnand’s recovery from surgery gave me more worries. I worry every day when he couldn’t poop thinking that when the first surgery wasn’t working well, he needed to undergo another surgery. I need to deal with his shouts and cries when during potty time. He felt pain when pooping and he didn’t want to poop!

I felt like giving up! My kids could not live without seeing me even for a day! There was no way of giving up! One day, I tried to sneak outside where my kids couldn’t see me. I was walking and trying to meditate under the heat of the sun. Imagined that the heat of the sun burns my negative thoughts and God’s holy spirit washes away my busy mind. I was walking and I saw Siam’s carpool, so I decided to stay on the road where the carpool usually passes through out of the village, expecting my son could see me. I waited for almost thirty minutes but I did not see my son’s carpool passes through the road. I decided to go home and asked my mother if Siam has already gone to school: she said yes! I cried and got inside the room, scared what was happening to me? Am I becoming crazy? I believe, what my mind saw was not really happening! I talked to my husband and he told me to lie low of my online job so that my mind would only focus on my kids. I could still feed you even if you have no work, he said! For me, my online job was also very important. But, I decided to follow him and tried to rebuild my emotional strength. I decided to bid less work online to concentrate my thoughts to my kids. Less online task causes the drop of being a 100% top rated freelancer to 78%,  I lost my badge. Yet, I know I could still make it up. I just have to put a space of my thoughts of earning more and gave more time to my kids. I started to fetch and dropped Siam in the school (my father does before) with my youngest Philnand. I and my kids sometimes go out, pay the bills and go to playgrounds.

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Although I don’t earn more, I was happy spending more time with my kids. Eventually, kids are learning to be independent. Philnand had fewer tantrums, he was already comfortable walking with me as long as we hold hands while walking. He also does things on his own and we don’t spend much time on breastfeeding any longer. Every time he wanted to poop and cried, I tried to practiced not to personalize it, and not to worry about it so that I won’t get angry. Instead, we made song  (Philnand is pooping a big poop! Nanay and tatay is happy!). My duty as a mother gets lighter as my kids’ grew. I had time to stay long in the toilet, put some lipstick on and look at the mirror noticing that I already had many gray hairs. I was very happy because finally even if I don’t have me time kids don’t need me all the time because they are learning to be independent. As long as they could see me around they are already happy to do things on their own. And now, I am not ready to deal with more people whose values are different from mine, I am just so tired and I want to relax even just for a while. I cried to the deepest hidden thoughts I had, box the bed to the deepest anger I hide. Then my sister just let me cry and speak out! That was the loudest cry I ever had since my motherhood. Because when I am tired I used to just cry it on my own or hide in the ink of my journal or springs of the shower. Then my sister thought tools to release my stress and when I feel depressed.

Here we go! Read through my six helpful tools and tips to release stress or depression! I have been practicing them and really are helpful!

1. Breathing in and Breathing out.

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My youngest son took this photo. 🙂

Seat cross your legs and breath in, breath out! breath out, breath in! Feel the air running through the nose, to the backbone, and into the tummy making it half full. Then, release slowly making your tummy half flattened. This will help clear up your thoughts that cause you to stress accordingly to my sister.

 

2. Look for someone you can talk to.

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Look for someone you can talk to. I just learned the importance of talking to someone is one way of releasing your busy thoughts. My sister explained, if you keep on talking to yourself it’s like you are putting everything back to your own body and senses: worries, stress, loneliness all negative feelings which will accumulate and will stress the mind. Whereas, talking to somebody will help you release thoughts away from your body! Taking away all your worries and releasing each thought which keeps your mind busy.

 

3. Blue Space

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According to blue health, a synthesis found that people living close to blue spaces report higher levels of physical activity and that interaction with blue spaces can have a positive effect on mental health – particularly in terms of stress reduction and perceived wellbeing.”

Yes, it did really work! After going to the beach I went home with a very fresh mind!Felt renewed strength! Since it was summer every time when my sister visited us we often find these blue space! And because the Philippines has many of these blue spaces! Excited to talk about this too in my blogs 🙂

 

4. Learn to say no!

 

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Learn to say no to the things that will cause you stress. No, to the obligations that you cannot cater. Learn to say not ok when it is not ok for you. Because it’s a burden to pretend you are ok but the truth you are not. It takes a lot of courage to say no, but when you are able to do it. It’s a big help in managing your stress. Mayo Clinic has a great article about when to say no as stress relief check here.

5. You cannot please everybody.

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Don’t try to impress everybody,  take it easy and live life not to the expectations of others. Be your own good self without any expectations.

 

6. Exercise

 

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Exercising or jogging with my two boys helps me redirect my positive thoughts and releases negative energy through sweat. While I jog or meditate I also pray. It is my time to connect to our creator and the universe. Feeling the sunset or sunrise then breathing fresh air and looking at the trees and mountains. According to a study published in ncbi “location with the highest level of nature had the greatest effect on reducing levels of stress .  Additionally according to  WebMD when we exercise our body releases chemicals called endorphins which reduces perceptions of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.

 

Kids jumping spiders adventure!

It was a week when I did not let my kids watch tv. At the age of three and six, I noticed that my two kids can go along exploring many things like trying to make a boat out of the plastics and sticks, draw, gardening and insect hunting. And the house gets messy! It’s ok than watching tv most of their time. When they are busy exploring a lot of things this makes our motherhood duty easier :-). When I was a kid I am not fun of insects but these two kids really love insect, reptiles, and birds! I have no choice but to go along with them and support them! A week of no tv? What did they do?

  1. They play together jump and teasing each other or even playing like an insect fighting.

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2. Playing blocks and or trying to draw creatures.

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2. When it’s 4:00 pm I jogged and them insect hunting.

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3. They play with their pets, they have love birds, chicken, fish, and spiders.

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Jumping spiders adventure was very interesting. I just noticed while watching jumping spiders which Siam and Philnand was able to catch nearby our house – that jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes and have sharp vision. Jumping spiders has venom and it’s not fatal to a human. One interesting behavior of jumping spiders: they are called jumping spiders because they jump and uses their web as a safety rope so they may not fall when they jump from one location to another location.

After a week, I let them watch tv but with two conditions:

  • Only watch 1 hour a day.
  • Watch only those that they can learn something like their favorite dr. Jack Be Brave, Wild Kratts and knowledge channel or anything that can help them learn something about animals because this is their interest.

Me and my husband also made a youtube channel of their adventure, to compile those interesting moments they have. Check Siamee&Philoy Toys-Adventure

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Most of the time when they watch youtube we expose them to channels that they can learn something interesting about animals or insect. I believe watching Brave Wilderness influences them very much in getting more information about animals and get started to be connected with animals or insects.

Patience! Patience!Patience! Block toys to teach kids the value of patience!

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Patience! Patience Patience! I need to teach my kids to be patient. This was the phrase I had when I saw my eldest Siam being grumpy because he felt building blocks seemed so difficult. While observing him, I told myself this must be the effect of over tv exposure. They want things to happen right away, just like clicking the button of the remote control and entertain themselves with another youtube channel. Because honestly, they can watch tv for more than two hours a day especially when I am doing my online tasks, but today I find ample time to address this issue.

I realized that these blocks could be my tool to help them understand the value of being patient. But, I thought by just letting them play, is enough. A demonstration could help them better understand that being patient can help them build great things!

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Just this morning while I asked them to go up with me in the room and just play while I am doing my online task. I heard Siam crying, grumpy and about to destroy the blocks that he was building, “this is difficult! I cannot do this”!

I tried to compose myself, “It’s time for me to be patient too! ” . I called him and get his attention to watch what I am going to do. I got some blocks and demonstrated two types of scenarios:

 

1. The Impatient Person.

I acted like an impatient person, copying his reaction disappointed, grumpy and crying because the blocks kept falling and I can’t do it! I destroyed the blocks! (He laughs a bit while watching me. )

 

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After breaking because of disappointment!

 

2. The Patient Person.

I acted like a patient person. Showed him that I was thinking. ” I can do this, hmmm?” I am tired! I will sleep for a while! I acted like sleeping for a while and woke up full of positive energy in pursuing the blocks that I built. (He smiled with hope and excitement!)

He sat beside me and ready to build the blocks. But, I asked him to listen first. I told him. See? what is the difference between an impatient person and patient person? The patient person is already done doing the blocks while the impatient person needs to build the blocks all over again from zero. Now, whom do you choose to be like, the impatient person or the patient person? Then with excitement getting the blocks, ” the patient person”, his response. And that’s a relief for me! 🙂

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Nanay, look I am done! Now he sees the fruit of his labor with his baby brother.

 

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Selfie for a great job!

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See what patience can do? Can clean the room.. (Just Kidding)

I just feel the need of teaching them to be patient, because after all when they grow,  life is a battle of yourself and life challenges. It’s the battle of thoughts and values to be able to persevere and endure its ups and downs! Today, they are not allowed to watch tv whole week I just hope we can persevere despite of my online tasks! See you tomorrow for another journey with these two kids.

Work at Home Nanay tip: Working online too needs patience! Patience to learn new skills, patience to find clients and prove your worth.  Patience gives you hope and hope drives you to do more and make things happen. Because being an online freelancer need much of self-effort to build once profile. Things don’t happen in one go or a year or two it happens when you decide to be patient and persevere until you find great clients that will recognize your learned skills.