My Mom at 69

A woman with a very strong faith in God, strong willed, a mother who has unwavering love for her children, full of patience, optimistic, industrious, and a homebody are the qualities that best describes my Mom.
My Mom

Five years ago, she was diagnosed with a herniated disc in the lumbar 4 and 5 of her spinal column.  The reason why she’s suffering severe lower back pain and can hardly walk at times.  This is the biggest blow that came into our life.  The surgical operation plus the titanium screws needed to reconstruct her lower spine was so expensive, and we need to accumulate the cash needed in the soonest possible time.  Thankfully, due to the concerted effort of our family, my siblings and my mom’s sisters, nieces and nephews, we were able to pull in together the hard cash needed for the procedure she needed to undergo.  Money has not been the only problem at that time, because she’s already old and having a low body resistance is what frightened me so much.  Despite of everything, my Mom is still very much composed and seemed not to be nervous at all.  The operation was very successful! 

My Mom’s love is the fuel that enables us to do the best that we can.  She’s the truest friend I have.  I am very close to her ever since I was small. She helped me grow, prosper, and reach great heights. 
Me and My Mom

January 27, 2011, my Mom celebrated her 69th birthday.  To you Mom, I dedicate this post to let the whole world know how lucky we are to have you!  I am very grateful to have you.  I will always remember and pass on to my children the great wisdoms you have taught me. No words nor material things can fully describe this great love I have for you. 

I love you Mommy!


Lovingly written by Joy












My Sons' Collection

Yahmir is an avid fan of Batman since he was a year old.  He's been watching Batman movies in DVDs every now and then.  I remember when he was 3 years old, I heard him reciting the lines in the movie while watching it, for he already had memorized the lines and sequence of the story (lol).  He had collected numerous Batman action figures and Batman car toys.
Yahmir with Batman when he was in grade 4

Batman Cars

JM and Yahmir are also collecting Lego and Mega Blocks.  They are so focused when playing with these building blocks.  It enhances their skill of creativeness, discovery and exploration.
Lego

Lego and Mega Blocks

JM is a collector of  Zoids toys, a collectible machine.  These Zoids model kits are deemed to be amazing machines taking animal forms with amazing powers.
JM  cleaning his Zoids

Both of them are very much interested in computers, the reason why we put up an ICafe business before, to enhance their computer related skills and JM’s hands-on for his IT (Information Technology) course.  They also have different gadgets from Gameboy to Playstation, Nintendo DS,and PSP.

Video games and computer games are known to improve hand-eye coordination and help players gain many skills. Games induce decision making and tech players to think on their feet. It create team players, hone social skills and teach players problem solving, motivation, and cognitive skills. Most games inspire players to strive and reach more difficult levels presenting challenges at each stage.  However, another house rule is that they can only play these games after they’ve finished their school homeworks and during weekends and holidays only.
Yahmir helping in the ICafe, switching off avrs during closing time

They are also animal lovers, we have these dogs that we dearly love.  Pet dogs gives unconditional love.  A dog will also help reduce stress in your life and they are wonderful companions.
Geri and Tom

At present, they are into collecting Cloud Strife action figures of Final Fantasy and Roxas of Kingdom Hearts.
Sephirot, Cloud Strife and Roxas







Lovingly written by Joy












Living with Teens

It is not easy to cope up with children once they reached the puberty stage, followed by the teenage stage.  A teenager is going through rapid physical and emotional changes and parents and teenagers must both make changes in their relationships to adjust to this new stage.

Teenagers go backwards and forwards between wanting freedom and yet still needing the security of the family. We as parents want our children to grow to happy independence, yet fear for their safety as we watch them try their wings. We have to cope with the fact that the dreams we have had for our children may not come true - for teenagers have their own dreams. Teenagers have to cope with their parents who often don’t let them do the things they so much want to do. A good relationship with our teenager will help us both to weather the ups and downs.

What We (Me and my husband) did?

First, we spend time with our sons.

This is often hard to arrange as young people usually want to spend a lot of time with their friends, so we have to be very flexible in order to make sure it happens.

Here are some suggestions for special times.
  • Mealtimes - my family eats together at dinner, the time of the day where we can share what happened during the day, what’s the latest news, ideas and interests.
  • Drive them when they need to be dropped off. Offering to drive gives us a good opportunity for time together. Teenagers often talk more easily when not looking at you face to face.
  • Bedtime.  A visit to their bedroom for a casual chat worked on us both.
  • Coffee time.  We use a few spare minutes to offer to take them out for a coffee or milkshake or shopping.

It isn’t easy to find special times but if you can manage it’s worth it.

Second, we respect their privacy.
  • We give them some space of their own. Ask their permission to enter their room.
  • Don’t go through their cell phones or drawers in their absence.
  • Don’t pry for information except where it is important for us to know to make sure they are safe. For example, it is okay to ask teenagers to let you know where they will be when they are not at home.

Third, we allow them to invite their friends in the house during occasions and permit them to sleep over if a group school project needs to be done overnight.

Fourth, I take an interest in their interests - and share mine.
  • I try listening to some of their music.
  • I play computer games with them.
  • Watch their sport or activities, trying to be supportive.
  • Watch their favourite TV shows with them sometimes - without being too critical.
  • Try sharing something about my work or my interests as I would with an adult friend.
  • Share something about my own adolescence (without preaching!) and share a laugh with them about how things have changed.
  • Once in a while we take them to a movie that we would both like (or go to one of theirs and talk about it.)

Fifth, We listen to them, having an open communication at all times.
  • Freedom of speech is a house rule, my husband and I let our children say what’s on their mind, we listen to their reasoning whenever they’ve done wrong and from there we will evaluate their logic  if it is right or wrong then explanation follows.

Usually, when young people talk to parents they often get advice, reassurance or a sermon before they have had a chance to really say how they feel. This not only stops communication, it also stops teenagers finding their own ways to deal with problems.

Sixth, we show our love for them.
  • Love needs to be continually shown in order to be felt. We tell our children often that we love them (when the time seems right).
  • As their Mom, I show my love by touching and hugging and preparing the things they need personally. Their Dad shows his love by providing what they need, driving them to school, and at times fetching them from school, spending time with them talking about "boy's talk". 
  • Buy their favourite food sometimes.
  • Buy something on a shopping trip that says “I was thinking about you”.
  • Go out of my way to help them with special projects.
  • Pick them up from outings on the other side of town.

Seventh, We  make special memories. Doing special things together can have lasting effects.
  • Sometimes we take one of their friends on holiday with us.
  • Take the family to a special show we would not usually go to. Like concerts for instance.
  • Create traditions that are special to our family, e.g. a special way that we always celebrate birthdays.
  • We have this collection of photographs of family and friends, over their childhood and growing up years, we hang them on a wall and keep an album of it.

Eighth, we have faith in them
  • We let them know they are special  
  • Ask their advice about something they know a lot about, e.g. how to program the DVD player.
  • We display their photographs and crafts.
  • If they make mistakes, we have faith that they will do better next time. We emphasized that they are responsible for their actions.

I firmly believe in the saying, “you reap what you sow”, everything that happens to you is a result of your own actions.  My eldest son JM posted this in my facebook wall on my birthday last January 4, 2011.  My youngest son Yahmir was well-behaved on that day (lol) and expressed his love by giving me a tight hug while saying “Happy Birthday Mom, I love you”
·        
Jm Mendoza Joy Blanca
Happy Birthday to my bestfriend, the most wonderful MOM in the whole wide world!
Thank you very much for taking good care of us. I LOVE YOU MOM! Happy Cake Day :)
January 4 at 1:37pm · Unlike · Comment · See Friendship


Lovingly written by Joy












Basic Home Computer Maintenance


I am not a computer geek, but being a former ICafe owner I have learned many things in the computer maintenance.  From crimping rj 45 to a cable, hardware diagnosis and replacement, formatting and operating system configurations, virus removal and troubleshooting.  I have learned these things through joining ULOP (Unified Lanshop Owner's Portal), reading, and through a very good friend Bien my Guru, who patiently teaches me how to do computer related problems and to my son JM who is now an IT and other fellow Ulopians who are very unselfish and willing to help. Through trial and error, in the beginning I suffered an electric shock by just simply opening the case of the CPU (Central processing Unit), my finger got wounded in the crimping tool, broke some parts inside the CPU but I just charged it to experience lol.  I believe that practice makes perfect, and the knowledge I acquired saved me a lot of money from paying a computer technician every now and then

What are the actions performed to keep a computer system functioning well? Here are some basic tips that I will share to you:

  •  First and foremost, you must know the specifications of your system. Go to Start > run >  (type) dxdiag > click OK, a prompt box will appear, click Yes, then DirectX Diagnostic Tool box will appear. From there you will see your unit’s specification.
  • Do not throw away driver cds of your motherboard, video card, webcam, printer etc.  You will need it again in case you need to format your unit. If it has been misplaced or no where to be found, don’t worry, you can download these drivers from the manufacturer’s website
  •  Use a legit Operating System software.  Take advantage of the important system updates.
  •  Never forget to install an Anti-virus software and update it regularly. As much as possible learn how to configure your anti-virus.
  •  Help your anti-virus in capturing malicious files or folders by setting the folder options to Show Hidden Files and Folders. Go to My Computer > click Tools > click Folder Options > click View > in the Advanced Settings, tick on the Show hidden files and folders then uncheck Hide extensions for known files types.
  •  Turn off Auto-run or Auto play properties of your system. Auto run viruses are very common in removable flash disks that freely enters our computer system. 
  •  Edit the Start-up configuration in your system configuration utility.  This is to improve system startup times.
  •   Take time to sort out and clean up your personal files, categorize it into folders for convenience.
  •   Defrag.  A Disk Defragmenter is a Utility designed to increase access speed by rearranging files stored on a disk to occupy contiguous storage locations, a technique commonly known as defragmenting. The purpose is to optimize the time it takes to read and write files to/from the disk by minimizing head travel time and maximizing the transfer rate. 
  •  Lastly, back up your files from time to time.
Happy Computing everyone!







Lovingly written by Joy












Feeding the Fussy

My sons are picky eaters when they are still in their younger ages, it really took time and effort for me to convince them to eat what is served at the table, be it vegetables or the yucky fish as they call it then.

Picky eating is natural especially in the second year where toddlers are more interested in experimenting with food by mashing it between their fingers than actually eating it. This is also the time wherein we train them to get used to certain meal routines. Our toddler kids have their favorite food at this stage and that is what they want to eat most of the time.  Any attempt to feed them anything else would end in tantrum. JM my eldest, when he was still a toddler always wants hotdog and hotdog only.  Yahmir, my youngest on the other hand likes chicken and chicken only.

Toddlers are also turned off by sight, smell, touch, texture and sensation.  My eldest son when he was a toddler spit out food with pepper while my youngest son likes it. 

Well take heart – toddlers don’t need as much food as we might expect.  According to my children’s pediatrician, growth slows considerably on this stage, so their bodies require fewer calories.

Through the years, I find ways to expand their eating repertoire and help them become a healthy eater.  Here are a few ideas.

·         Start small, I let my children eat their favorite food but on one condition.  They  would  try a little or one spoonful of another dish.  If they like it, great! But if they didn’t, no big deal.  The point was to try. By this method, I was able to figure out other food preferences and worked from there. Both of them liked the buttered broccoli, so I offered them buttered cauliflower and then buttered fish, and so on.
·         Feed frequently, feed smaller but frequent meals in the toddler stage.
·         Keep trying, we just don’t lose hope at once. Many need repeated exposure to new food to even take a first bite.  We can encourage them by calling attention to not just flavor, but color, shape and aroma. It will make their meals look interesting.
·         Bring them with you at the supermarket to help you pick fruits and vegetables. Let them help in the kitchen.  Ask them to help you rinse the veggies or mix the batter.  He is more likely to eat what he “cooked”
·         Take advantage of Peer Pressure.  They will be more likely to eat and try new food when they see other kids eating it.
·         Do not forget to consult your pediatrician on recommended  good milk and multi-vitamins to supplement the kid’s diet.

I am proud to say that my kids at age 9, they are already eating variety of foods.  But, be very careful on what you also give them to try, for they might be allergic to it.  Some common food that might give allergic reactions are shrimps, crabs and other sea foods.  Also, take note that clams are not easily digested on kids which might cause stomach pains.

At present, I am no longer worrying about them being choosy in the foods they eat,  but I am already complaining, for my kids have developed strong appetite, and are always hungry when at home (lol)



Lovingly written by Joy












My Dad at 69

Last  January 16, 2011, my Dad had turned 69 years old.  Me and my sisters planned a week ago about giving him a surprise birthday bash.  A simple yet memorable birthday celebration for our father. We all came to our parents’ house before lunch bringing potluck foods to feast on, cake, ice cream, “pansit”, different viands, with wine and brandy to complete the gala.


My Dad, a loving and responsible husband and father is a man with dignity.  He is a jack of all trade.  He taught us simple house repairs when we were still young, like replacing a busted lamp, changing a leaking faucet and many more. He is the one who taught us how to iron clothes the proper way. He managed to endure the hardships in working abroad to let us finish our studies. He is a hands-on Dad not only to us his daughters but also to his grandchildren.  Every time, any of us gives birth, he and my mom are always present.  He is the first one we will call on, if there’s something that needs to be fixed in our homes. He’s always there for us, just a call away.
My Dad

Everyone is in a festive mood, our children were very happy to see each other again.  Due to tight schedules, we seldom have this get together, so once we see each other, we are really very noisy ahaha. 
from left: My sisters Econ,Cecille, Mom, Dad, Me and sister Tess
Dad and Mom with all of their grandchildren

My dad can’t fight back the tears, because he is not expecting anything for his day, he is very very happy and so are we. 

A repeat, or I should say the celebration will continue on January 27, 2011 wherein my Mom now is the celebrant, so another article is coming up dedicated for my Mom J

I pray for my Dad’s good health, strong mind and body and long life.  If you Dad will happen to read this, always remember that we are always  here for you, Thank you for being a great father, for being always there for us.  I love you Daddy!  Happy Birthday!



Lovingly written by Joy












Tutoring Kids

One of the joys in teaching children is seeing your kids grow and learn right before your eyes.  Aside from the academic benefits, this is also a good way to bond with them.

I love helping my kids with their homeworks for it refreshes my memory too.  I instill in their minds the importance of good study habits early on, so that  they will very likely learn to study independently when they are already in the middle school.

When I say I am helping my kids in their assignments, it means that I am guiding them and not doing the homework for them.  Guidance means helping them to focus on work rather than leisure first, and giving them clues when they do not understand the topic.  We have to bear in mind the major purpose of attending to our children now is for them to develop good habits that will be invaluable to them in the future.

There came a time that I need to hire a professional tutor for my kids, for I have to attend to our family business personally.  Sad to say, that my expectations were not met.  There are things left undone, unfinished home work or projects for instance, because these private educators always observe time.  Usually, tutoring lasts only for an hour, excess time will mean excess payment. There are times they cannot come to teach.  In the previous tutors I hired, only one had passed my criteria and expectation, because she looks after my children as if they are her small brothers and do not mind if she exceeds time in teaching to see to it that all assignments are done and my kid had reviewed well for the next day’s quizzes.  I admire her own set of rules which she enforced consistently in a fair manner that cut down on unnecessary struggles. In consolation, I am giving her special incentives like she eats dinner with us if they studied overtime and give her gifts on special occasions.

At present, I am once again hands-on with my kids and our home.  I personally assist my kid in his school projects, assignments and reviewing him during their quarterly examinations.  I keep on reminding him to listen very well to his teacher while discussing a lesson especially in their Math subject.  I am poor in Math, it’s a good thing that my son is very good at it, so he is the one explaining his math lessons with me, haha.

We celebrate for his school accomplishments like getting very good grades every school quarter.  In this manner he is more inspired to study harder.

According to surveys, children who do best in school are tutored not by professionals, but by parents or other family members who take the time and effort to ensure that their young really learn. Yet, we do not have to tutor them all the time, as my kids grow older, I gradually loosen the reins of tutoring.



Lovingly written by Joy












The Bloggers Exchange


Notepad Corner is now an official member of The Bloggers Exchange, a group of bloggers in a new exchange link program aiming to help co-bloggers in their blogging career in various ways.  I am so excited to meet the people behind their pseudonyms personally in the future, whew! They are great writers!  I am very glad to be a part of this group!





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Lovingly written by Joy













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