Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2 Things I've Learned from Raising our Active Child

When my son started walking at 9months old (he never crawled!), i knew for sure we are going to raise an active child. True enough, now at 6yo, my son will jump into a pool or the sea any chance he gets, has kept up with our pace at a 3K and a 5k marathon, has tried basketball and tennis, loves dancing, has maneuvered everything from twist cars, to scooters, and now has taken a very very keen interest in biking. 

Growing up as a kid I was mostly indoors reading books, drawing and playing with lego, so all of these “activities” with my son are kind of new to me - in fact, I just learned how to ride a bike a month ago - only because I said to myself I will have to learn it so I can enjoy doing it with my son. 

This journey so far has taught us 2 very important things: 

1. Listening to your child’s interests and taking the same interest in those things is invaluable. It’s the best expression of LOVE that they will understand. 
2. There is nothing wrong with buying toys for your kids, but they are not a replacement for your presence. Buying them toys that are aligned with their interest is OK as long as you spend time playing with them too!

My husband and I are guilty of spoiling our son with things that he loves - but we are also very much guilty of spending all of our time (outside of work) doing together with him the things that he enjoys :) 

Disclaimer: We are not perfect parents, and we only try our best, hoping that it works, haha! So don’t take my word for it — just sharing what our experience has been this far :)

Posting link and article below that I read in relation to my post today :)

7 Life Lessons About Parenting I Learned by Teaching My Kid to Ride a Bike
Ok, so I lied in the title: I didn’t actually teach my kid to ride her bike. She basically taught herself, so it seems a little dishonest to take any credit for her accomplishment. Still, I learned a number of lessons leading up to the big moment (pictured here), which I thought I’d share with all the parents of young kids out there.
Leah and I are obviously really into mountain biking (we started Singletracks nearly 10 years before we even had kids). so we assumed our kids would be bike nuts just like us. We bought one of those balance bikes (a wooden one) and after our daughter showed zero interest in it, we thought, maybe it’s just too heavy/tall for her? So we bought a Strider, which was much lighter and lower… and she ignored that bike too.
Not only did she ignore the bike, but she would complain every time we tried to get her onto the thing to practice. Then, a funny thing happened a couple months ago: at 6-years-old, our daughter said she was ready to ride a bike. At this point the only bike we had for her was a 20″ Novara without training wheels, and I was really dreading how difficult it was going to be to teach our “strong-willed” daughter without any real training aids.
I took her to an empty parking lot near our house, and after getting her steady on the bike, I gave a little push, and she was off! The girl literally rode circles around the parking lot while I stared in disbelief, then she proceeded to come to a (mostly) controlled stop and stepped off the bike (video still below). Like I said, I can’t take any credit for this, but it did teach me some valuable lessons about parenting!
1. Forcing young kids to do things they don’t want to do can be a losing battle.
Listen, I’m the last person to tell anyone how to parent their kids and truthfully, there are plenty of things parents already have to force kids to do on a daily basis (like bathing, eating, sleeping, etc.). However, I found bike riding isn’t one of those things, at least for my oldest. It wasn’t until we stopped nagging her to try riding her bike that she finally did it.
Of course, I know this won’t always work as our kids get older. As a high schooler, I probably would have quit running track if my parents hadn’t (essentially) forced me to stick with it. So maybe this lesson is about picking important battles, rather than forcing certain issues. Yes, biking is important… but maybe it’s not the most important thing right now.
2. Let your kids learn and grow by suppressing your instinct to protect.
There have been so many times I’ve wanted to steady my daughter on her bike when she’s starting to wobble or to warn her about turning too sharp in the corners but: a. that just pisses her off, and b. my words aren’t as memorable as the pain of falling off her bike. Yeah, it might sound a little harsh to say that I’m going to allow her to get hurt so she learns, but that’s just part of life.
One of my favorite “lessons” so far came when our daughter fell while waving to some of her teachers as they exited the school. As soon as she stopped focusing on riding, she hit the pavement. In that instant, she learned about focus, pride and humility, and heck, the coefficient of friction on a set of bike tires!
3. Don’t underestimate the resilience of youth.
Our daughter has taken some pretty rough falls (well ok, not that rough–just scrapes), and every time my first reaction is to say, “Are you ok? We can stop practicing now if you want.” And without fail, every time, she embarrasses me for even suggesting quitting by saying, “No, I want to keep going!”
Maybe the freedom of adulthood has made me soft, but I generally stop doing stuff that hurts or isn’t fun anymore. But she seems to understand the bigger picture somehow; that if she keeps trying, she’ll get better, and that it’s worth getting scraped up a little on the way to her goals. I need to remind myself of that more often.
4. Encourage your kids… but don’t fake it or overdo it.
As American parents, we can be accused of handing out too many “participation medals” to our kids and the thing is, most kids can see right through false praise. For a while I kept telling our daughter what a great job she was doing, and it helped initially. But eventually I could tell she just wanted me to shut up so she could enjoy the ride.
5. Every kid is different. One size does not fit all.
As a toddler, our daughter rode with me on a "Tyke Toter."
As a toddler, our daughter rode with me on a “Tyke Toter.”
It’s tough being a parent. Nobody really knows what they’re doing, especially with the first kid, so it’s natural to look to other parents for advice. But the thing is, kids have different needs and abilities, so it’s a constant struggle to find what works for your kid.
I can’t tell you how many people told me that the balance bike is the one and only way to teach kids to ride a bike. But you know what? It didn’t work for my kid. Will it work for your kid? Maybe, I don’t know–there are a lot of ways to skin that cat. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if something entirely different works for our younger son when he’s ready to ride a bike.
6. We should believe in our kids.
When our daughter said she was ready to ride a two-wheeler, frankly I didn’t believe her. I could have dismissed her and told her she wouldn’t be able to do it (which is what I secretly believed), but I decided to give her a chance, really just to prove to myself and to her that she wasn’t ready. Call it an honest skills assessment.
Maybe she wasn’t surprised when she took off on that bike all by herself, but I sure was! That experience taught me that maybe I should listen to my kids more often and cut back on telling them what I think I already know.
7. Buying stuff for kids isn’t a substitute for spending time with them.
I kinda hoped that by having a balance bike sitting in the corner our daughter would just pick it up and start messing around until she learned to ride it. Obviously that didn’t happen. Heck, we bought multiple balance bikes, but that wasn’t the answer.
The Novara bike our daughter would eventually ride isn’t something she can use on her own; we live on a super busy street, so riding bikes requires either walking or driving somewhere. Letting her ride her bike is usually a big hassle but in the end, it’s so worthwhile to be able to spend time together doing something she loves.
At the beginning of this whole process, I thought I was the one teaching my daughter to ride a bike but in the end, I was the one who got schooled. Life is all about learning lessons, no matter how old we are, and I’m really thankful for all biking has taught me as a rider–and now, as a parent.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Apparently, if you leave your blog unattended for quite some time, some Rolex sellers will take over them. Haha.

Thanks to friends who actually check my blog out from time to time, I learned about the weird posts on my blog, and so I already took them down this morning :)

Hopefully, I'll find more time to post more stuff here so that the crazy hackers will stay away.

In the meantime, have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Repost: What Happened When My Son Wore A Pink Headband To Walmart

An article worth reposting, from Huffington Post:

Katie Vyktoriah

What Happened When My Son Wore A Pink Headband To Walmart

Update 8/4/13: For more on this story readers can visit the author's Facebook page. In her most recent post there she says that she has spoken with the local police department about the incident, and writes: "The Polk County Sheriff's Deputy has just left our home, and all information about the original Wal Mart incident and the ongoing harassment has been documented and is being dealt with. I have been advised NOT to say any more about the situation, as the investigation is ongoing, so thank you all for your support, but I am going to be offline for the next while until all of this is resolved."

This is Dexter. He is 2 years old. He loves to be Batman and Superman and Spiderman. He's a real boys' boy. He pretends he is flying, and he captures the baddies who threaten us.

He is the sweetest little troublemaker you'll ever meet.
Some other things you might like to know about Dexter:
He is a fabulous big brother. He was a later bloomer vocabulary-wise. He used to be terribly shy but has recently begun to come out of his shell. He loves new people and enjoys greeting them with a big "HI!" when he meets them.
His favorite color is pink. He loves Dora the Explorer. He has been known to wear my skirt as a dress, and he delights in cuddling with his mama.

Last night, I took my two boys out to pick up a couple of things from Walmart. Mark had to catch up on some work, so I ventured out on my own, which is something I don't do very often. It takes a lot of work to get the kids ready, get them in and out of the car, find a shopping cart, keep them happy while I shop and get them home in one piece. You parents will understand this.
After struggling to get him dressed and get his shoes on, I had to pry an overlarge teddy bear out of Dexter's arms, as he was set on taking him with us. This brought on tears and tantrums, which I somehow managed to calm very quickly. But when I attempted to remove my discarded lace flower headband from his head (which he'd been wearing all day), I saw him getting ready to fight, so I left him to it. Who was he hurting?
We got to the store, and amazingly I managed to get him to sit in the shopping cart with no issues. The fact that he was wearing a cute girly headband made him feel good, and he was charming all the old ladies by waving like a little pageant prince. I snapped his photo after two old birds came up to tell me just how adorable he was.

He rocked that headband.
Soon enough, we were done with our shop and were making our way toward the front. As we passed through the produce section, two teenage girls began giggling and one of them asked, "Is that a boy or a girl?" I smiled and said, "He's a boy." I looked on at him adoringly as they continued to giggle.
Out of nowhere a big booming voice rang out. "THAT'S a BOY?!" The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace-up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.
"Yes," I said simply, still smiling.
With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Dexter's head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart. He then cuffed Dexter around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, "You'll thank me later, little man!"
At the same time as I stepped forward, Dexter grabbed his head where the man had smacked him and threw his other hand forward, stomping his foot and shouting, "NO!" I got between my son and this man and said very firmly, "If you touch my son again, I will cut your damn hands off."
The guy snarled at me, looked at Dexter with disgust and said, "Your son is a f*cking fa***t." He then started sauntering out, but not before he threw over his shoulder, "He'll get shot for it one day."
I stood there, shaking, fists clenched, waiting for the man to disappear out the door, and then I fell apart. I was shaking so hard, holding back tears and comforting Dexter.
Not a single person said or did anything. There were several people who had witnessed the encounter, but not one of them came over to offer support or console me or my son.
Let me repeat to you: Dexter is 2 YEARS OLD.
I was there with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old baby, and my kid had been verbally and physically assaulted by a man. And no one did a thing.
I made my way to the front, still in shock, and I paid for my items and left. I did not report it to the management nor to the authorities, though I am considering doing both. But as I live in a tourist area, I doubt there is anything I can do to find the man -- he could be anyone from anywhere.
It's been almost 24 hours, and I've vented on Facebook and had many supportive comments. I have calmed down. I am able to look at the situation with as much objectivity as I am capable of.
There is so much wrong with what happened that I don't even know where to begin.
This man removed an article of clothing that my son was wearing. It doesn't matter that it was a headband. It is never OK.
This man forcefully touched my child without permission. He thought he was being funny. I did NOT think he was.
He called my son an extremely derogatory word AND suggested that he deserved to die.
How is ANY of this okay?!
THIS is what bigotry looks like.
A grown man who should know better decided it was OK to step in and "teach" my child what it is to be manly. He thought it was OK to judge my child because he was not adhering to HIS idea of what a little boy should be. Clearly, the man was a homophobe, which is bad enough -- but to attribute gay tendencies to a 2-year-old is as RIDICULOUS as attributing STRAIGHT tendencies to a 2-year-old. It just doesn't compute!
A 2-year-old HAS no sexuality.
To think you can "teach" a child to be a certain way is unbelievable. Even if being gay is a lifestyle choice (which I don't believe for a second), it is not a choice that a toddler can ever make. And much like little girls can play baseball or enjoy monster trucks, little boys can and do play dress up with mommy's clothes, accessories, makeup, etc. Everything is new and exciting to a kid, and they learn by trying new things.
Mark and I are both completely supportive of love in all forms. Be you gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual or polygamous, it is YOUR business. I don't judge, and I don't try and change you.
And if one or both of my kids grow up to realize they are any of these things, it will not change a thing about how I feel toward them.
But right now, the fact that homophobia is so rampant, that gay marriage is still seen as dirty because homosexuals are "lesser" somehow and don't deserve to have the same rights as straight folk, that people like that man in Walmart even EXIST makes me fear for my kids and their futures.
While we may accept and support whoever our kids turn out to be, I am scared beyond words at what it would mean for them if they ARE gay. Why should anyone have to live in fear because they fall in love with someone that you or someone else doesn't agree with? Why should mothers and fathers of gay kids have to have an extra layer of terror at night because they know that the world at large is against their child?
Why does it matter? Do you really think your God or your Jesus or your deity of choice would be as judgemental as you seem to be? Even the POPE has come out and said it's OK to be gay.
But all of this aside, whatever stance you take on the debate, it is a complete farce to ever allow your fear or disgust with an ADULT lifestyle color your view of a child!
And it is NEVER EVER OK to touch a kid who isn't yours without permission. ALL people, even children, deserve respect.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our New Baby :)

Wow, its been sooo long since my last post. Needless to say, so much has been going on, and I'm sure all mommies out there can relate :)

Anyhow, I figured this post is important enough for me to take 15minutes off our super hectic schedule, so I can share with you all our newest baby....

But before that, back story first :)

Early this year, my childhood friend Cherry and I saw each other at Toys R'us at Powerplant, while our sons were busy playing with the Hot Wheels and Tomica tracks set up. Apparently, her boys are also fanatics of these toys, like Basti. So we decided to set a playdate for the kids to play with their tracks and their die cast car collections.

So obviously we had a lot of fun during the playdate! :)

And my husband and I thought, it would be such a great activity to have at parties, right? For sure the boys would be so entertained! Even the adults, hahaha. It would be great for Cars or racing themed parties!

How come noone has set up something like this yet? We dont know up to now, but we're sure glad we thought about this first! :)

So here's introducing our new baby... PARTY CIRCUIT! We're here to add vvrooommm to your parties!!! :)

We've put together a full set up of different race tracks that you can rent out for play dates or parties! We're using Hot Wheels and Tomica brands - complete with die cast cars to use, which will be set up on a low table good for at least 3-4 tracks. The entire set up will be on a (2x3m) play mat, and we will include small chairs as well (although kids love to play with these standing up).

Soon we'll also be coming up with a train set up (Thomas & Friends or Tomy) for those who are looking for those themes :)

So if you're planning a play date for your boys, or a cars/racing themed party soon, call us or check out our facebook page!

We're also joining EXPO KID on March 2 at 500 Shaw - check out our booth (#15) so you can preview the set up :)

Til next post <3


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I was feeling tired on the way home last night because of all the urgent requirements at work (its last quarter of the year and its crunch time for the whole world, it seems). I was so looking forward to coming home to Basti's squeals and tight hugs, but when we arrived, Basti greeted us by showing the road rash he got on his arm that he got that afternoon. I suddenly forgot about everything else I was worrying about on the way home and just felt so bad for Basti and his arm abrasions :( I could feel the pain he was feeling, and I was at the same time amazed at how we was holding up, trying to shrug it off and continue playing with his new die-cast cars (of course Paul felt he was compelled to give him the die-cast cars we kept for emergency purposes to cheer Basti up).

God sure knows how to put things in perspective. 

What we feel when we worry about our adult problems like paying bills and issues at work is just equal to what a child feels when they get sick or feel pain from a scraped arm. Before you feel sorry for yourself, always try putting yourself in someone else's shoes. 

The weight of our burden is only based on our own perspective. 

Monday, August 13, 2012


oh my god!!!!! its been ages since my last post!!!!!
i owe so much sharing of our travels and adventures.
hope to catch up soon!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daddy-love :)

‎"Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy." - Anonymous. 

Happy daddy's day to the most hands-on dad ever - Paul :) Thank you for always being Basti's hero, friend and #1 fan! Basti and I love you so very much ♥ ♥ ♥