Spring Concert 2015

Spring has finally come in Edmonton, Alberta. Last Tuesday, we attended Bea's very first Spring Concert in her school. It was held in their gym. Only 2 tickets were given per family. The school didn't sell additional tickets. Extended family were invited to the dress rehearsals instead. I found this very effective since the audience for the performances was just a small group, easier to manage too. 

Bea performed with her cousins, who attended the same school. Her grandmother was also able to come and watch. There were 3 kids in my brother-in-law's family so I guess they were given a couple more tickets. 

The evening was fun. Berto and I watched Bea with our full stage parents battle gear. Berto had his DSLR and various lenses while I had my trusty digital camera.

The girls performed without a hitch. I felt so proud watching my Bea perform. I was also happy to note that she is now a few inches taller than her cousins, which is good since she is older than they are.

I loved how organized the school was. After the performances, parents were given some time to take pictures. Then, kids were ushered back into their respective classrooms where parents are supposed to collect them, for security purposes. Smart move.

Right after, we took the opportunity to take a few shots with the whole family outside the school. My mother-in-law then invited everybody for dinner. I begged off though, since I still had a ton of homework to do, but Bea and her dad went. Maybe I can join them next time. Fun night spent with family, priceless.

The Home Depot: Free Workshop for Kids

I found out that The Home Depot holds regular free kiddie workshops every month. This month it was about building an EMS truck. It will be held on Saturday October 4, 2014. It's open for kids from 4 to 12 years old. They will need a hammer, glue and paint brushes for the project but all these materials are provided by The Home Depot workshop leaders. Kids should be accompanied by an adult. 

There was an online registration but sadly it was already filled up. However, the site did say that we can still come to our chosen branch and register in person. The workshop starts at 10:00am. I guess depending on our schedule on Saturday, we can try to drop by our nearby branch Edmonton South Common at 2020-101 Street N.W., Edmonton. 

photo from homedepot.ca

First Time to Ride The School Bus

Bea has been attending a Catholic school here in Edmonton for a month now. Thankfully, she seems to have adjusted pretty well. Everyday, her English is getting better and better plus she's making new friends. When we first registered her, we also signed up for the school bus. However, since by the time the school office returned from summer vacation, the roster of students to be picked up by the school bus was already finalized. The secretary told us that they'd be able to accommodate us by the next month. So, today, on the first day of October, Bea got to ride the bus for the first time! Her wide smile can barely contain her excitement, Back in the Philippines, her school was only walking distance away from home so she never got to experience to ride a "service".

Today she got up earlier, finished her breakfast faster and kept on repeating the bus number of the bus from Stock Transportation that will pick her up. When the bus came (promptly at 7:45am) she got on excitedly! By the way, she wore her new skirt that I got for her from Target. =)

Later, I'll be picking her up on the designated bus stop. I'm as excited to hear how her ride went and how her experience being all "mature and grown up" felt. =)

Toy Shopping at Walmart

Toys Aisle at Walmart

When we first arrived in Canada last June, we stopped by my cousin's in BC for a visit. She worked at Walmart and Bea asked to see the store. While still in the Philippines, Bea spent countless hours watching youtube videos about new toys and they'd often feature toys bought from Walmart. I think she thinks of Walmart as a sort of Disneyland full of toys. So just as she was starting to miss our family back home, we visited a Walmart. Boy, was she happy! She squealed with delight when she spotted the toy aisle. They were selling all kinds of dolls, but she zoned in on one particular doll, the Elsa Doll. It was still a bit steep at $18 (on sale too!) but I still wanted to get it for her anyway. A little welcome to your new country sort of gift. Something to keep her mind off the toys and loved ones we left in the Philippines. Thankfully, when we were about to pay for the toy, my cousin paid for it, with an employee discount too! 

We are so grateful for so many blessings. Thankful for wonderful family with generous hearts!

Of course now, we can also conveniently shop online on walmart.ca. They have free shipping too! The only hitch is that we still don't have a canadian credit card so.... online shopping will have to wait, And I tell myself... this is a good thing. Right? Right? 

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

My Little Pony

My little one just went completely gaga when she found out that there is a movie showing her current favorite characters from My Little Pony here in Edmonton. Of course Queen Elsa, Anna and the rest of the Frozen gang is still number one in her heart, but lately she's been very interested in these magical little ponies. In the movie,  Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy are going to be performing with their new band, The Rainbooms. Then a rival group, The Dazzlings thought of turning the competition into an all out Battle of the Bands. Tensions mount and discoveries are made. One thing can be sure though, it will be a very magical, colorful and musical adventure!

I hope hubby's schedule allows some time for us to watch this movie at the Cineplex. If not, we'll just have to wait for the DVD! =) Thanks to this movie, my daughter is all hyped up and excited about My Little Ponies characters once again.

Photo from Cineplex.com

Tips on Surviving a Long Flight with Kids. Bea, and Our Move to Canada

Last June, our merry family of three left the Philippines for the promise of a better future in Canada. The processing of our application as provincial nominee took almost 5 years. It was a long wait. We were even thinking that nothing will ever happen to it. Then one day, we got an email from the Canadian Embassy saying that we should schedule our medical exam. Wow! From then on, everything was a blur! Everything happened so fast. Of course we still had to attend to our family business, Bea still had school activities and then we also had to think about settling our affairs in the Philippines in preparation for our new life in Canada.

We attended several seminars in preparation for our move: the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) and of course the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) by the philippine government.

The seminars talked to us about the transition we will experience as a new comer to a new country. They gave tips and suggestions as to how we can settle in our new environment. They talked more about the adults. They told us not to worry about our kids. Children adjust better than adults they say. Just give them 2 weeks playing outside and they'd have a Canadian accent already. That was good to know, but I was still a bit worried. How will Bea adapt? She can be a bit shy when meeting new people. It's a good thing that she has 3 cousins there, at least she already has playmates to look forward to.

On the day of our flight Bea was really excited, but I can also tell that she's a bit sad about leaving her Ninang and Lolo in the Philippines.

Bea was really a good girl during the flight. We had to fly on 3 planes. It was really tiring as it was, imagine if you had to travel with easily bored kids!

Here are some tips on surviving a long flight with kids:

Orient your child. Before the day of the flight, talk to your child and tell her what to expect during the flight. Tell her it would involve a lot of sitting down and waiting. Children get bored easily especially if they're all excited to go to new places. Expect the "Are we there yet?" question a lot. But at least they'd still know what to expect.

Research. Ask whether the planes you are riding had TV screens where your little one can watch cartoons or her fave educational movie. I think most planes do, but just in case they don't, be prepared with movies or games on your phone or tablet.

Bring toys and books. Don't bring toys with little parts that may fall off and get lost in the aisles. Just bring something like his favorite toy car or her favorite doll. Something that can keep her pre-occupied without making too much noise. Remember to be respectful of those sitting near you. If it's a long flight, it can be awkward having to deal with hateful glances from strangers. Better bring books too.

Bring snacks. The airline might have snacks to serve but these may not always be to your child's liking. Bring something you're sure your child likes. This will keep her and her tummy happy.

In our case, it helped that the planes also had individual TV screens where Bea watched cartoons. They showed The Lego Movie at that time and she loved it. When she got bored, she'd play with her toys. When she got hungry, she snacked on some cookies we brought from home. Good thing we brought snacks, Bea didn't really like the food they served on the flight. It wasn't that it was bad, she just wasn't familiar with chicken pita and salad. hehe..She wasn't a bit scared even during our flight from Vancouver to Edmonton where we experienced a lot of turbulence. Good thing we were prepared.

So far, Bea is adjusting pretty well here in Edmonton. She's attending school with her cousins. Language is not much of a barrier. Everyday she gets better and better in speaking English. She's also acquiring more and more of that Canadian accent. I'm just so proud of her!

Read our post about our last day in the Philippines here.

Pretty Stainless Steel Earrings

Bea lost her earrings a few months ago. We've been planning to get her another pair. We usually get her the earrings for babies bought from the drug store since they're hypoallergenic. We initially bought earrings from our pediatrician, but then we found out that Mercury Drug Store also sold earrings with birth stones. We don't really get Bea's birthstone, we just buy whatever color she likes. 

However, we kept on forgetting to get a pair, and we were worried that the holes of her earlobes will close already. So I lent her my smallest hoop earrings, which was still too big for her. =) I kept on telling her it's just temporary but she got stuck with the hoops for months!

So finally, when we went to the mall a few days ago, I remembered the earrings! We went to my favorite stainless steel jewelry shop, Imono. I figured that since the material is "surgical steel" it follows that it is hypoallergenic. Plus I cleaned it with alcohol first. 

Heart-shaped Earrings

Beautiful earrings for the beautiful girl

I got her the cutie heart design with a faux diamond in the middle. I didn't get her something super expensive, just in case she loses this one again. =)