High Hopes

We have a trip to Cebu booked in a few weeks. Cebu is a city on the Island directly to the right of our Island. We got some amazing deals on the short (40min) flight over. Cebu is much more "westernized" then the city we live in. It's got a lot more normal things. We have been over there twice and really enjoyed ourselves. We stay at a great hotel. It's huge, has a complementary buffet breakfast, pools, gym, steam room (my fav!!) and much more. It's located just a quick, free shuttle ride, away from a huge mall. The mall has many wonderful things including a TGI Fridays restaurant, fun play centers for the kids, and 3 floors of endless stores for me to shop shop shop in!! Our trips to Cebu our like our little get away to normalcy....a break from the busy, kayos that is our city.  

We found out that they have recently opened up a new store in Cebu, called S&R. Apparently it's a costco, with a different name. They are supposed to sell everything a costco should. Ahhh I am so excited to go there and check it out. I have heard they even have "kirkland" brand products. This may seem silly or minor to some of you....but costco, superstore, walmart etc. are a few of the the things we really miss about home. There are no such - one stop shops - in our city. Going without them makes you realize just how easy those types of stores can make your life. Anyway we are going to spend quite a bit of time at this S&R when we are in Cebu. A one year membership is 700php = $14 CND. My hopes are high as to what I will find and be able to bring back to our house with us. Here is a list of a few of the things I will be on the look out for:

- Mini Wheats, Lucky Charms, Honey comb Cereal
- Cheese...a big brick of Chedder Cheese
- Protien Bars
- Frozen Hamburger Patties
- Frozen Chicken Breasts
- Cilantro
- Black/red Licorice
- Dentyne Fire (Cinnamon) gum.my fav
- Lemon Juice
- Bag of Raw Almonds
- Bread, Full on, heavy 100% multi grain bread 
- Asparagus
- fruit snacks and regular granola bars
- Venus Razor Refills
- KD - real KD

So as you can see I have High Hopes!! I would be ecstatic if we found even half of these things. I'll update with some pictures of our finds after we return from our trip.

Whatever we find or don't find the trip is going to be a welcome oasis....a wonderful, much needed taste of home.

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Video of Feedin' the Elephants!

Here we are feeding the elephants! It was such a great experience for us all. Very exciting and surreal.

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Elephants in Thailand

Here we are, in Thailand, getting on an elephant! It was crazy, you just step right on the huge animals neck and then sit down. It is such a wild view from way up there.....makes you look at elephants in a whole new light. Me, my Mom and Scarlett went on one elephant. My Auntie Carolyn, Uncle Danny, and Isabelle went on the other one. We bought a bunch of small green bananas to feed out elephant along the way. He ate them all!  My favorite part was Isabelle's reaction to it. She was blow away! It was very exciting for her. Scarlett was a bit more reserved, still excited but holing on very tight to me. We road them at a place which was just a few minutes drive from my uncle Dan's farm where we were staying.

It really was an amazing opportunity. So Glad me and my kids had the chance to do this together. 

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We have had an amazing Christmas and New years this year. My family came over here and we packed  the four weeks, f-u-l-l of f-u-n! We have been so busy and always on the go. The kids have had zero structure, sleeping in different hotels and places, going to bed late, eating out all the time, getting treats from Grandparents and uncles on demand, not having to do any chores or go to school. Needless to say it's been one giant party! It is all over now and we are home, ready to get back into a regular routine.
I have found with kids, there is always a sort of adjustment period after a trip. They need to be reminded and re-trained on how regular normal life goes. The first day we were back I asked Isabelle to please clean up her toys and straighten the shoes. These are two of her regular, everyday chores. She usually does them without much of a fuss, however since it's been a month since she had to do them, or anything else for that matter, the whining and complaining started immediately.

I took her aside and explained that the party is now over and that it's time to get back into the routine of her normal, regular life. We talked about some of the things that are expected of her ~ nothing new, just a reminder. After our chat I asked her if she understood what we talked about, she nodded and walked off (with a frown) to do her chores. 
As she was straightening the shoes I heard her say to herself "geesh, I just don't think I like my regular life much!" 

I guess that's what I get for showing her such a fun time! Give your kid a giant, month long holiday and her so called "regular life" doesn't seem so hot anymore! haha

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Here is a little fact about our little Isabelle that some of you may not yet know....she is a chocoholic. Through and through, she can smell it and see it from a mile away. It is often used as a bribe of sorts in our home. I do have her do things, "just because I said so" but if a bribe is in order I prefer to offer positive consequence instead of a negative one. Today this may have backfired a little......
I was in the kitchen making dinner with a tired, hungry, crying Scarlett attached to my leg. Isabelle was at the table coloring away (as usual).

ME: "Hey Isabelle I would really appreciate it if you could play with your sister for a few minutes while I finish making dinner"
ISSY: "Well...sorry mom, but I am coloring right now"
ME: "The choice is up to you, one choice is the right choice.....you decide if you want to be a good helper to mom or not" (just laying on a little guilt trip usually works wonders since she loves to be a good helper)
ISSY: "hummmm.....well if I make the right choice will I get some chocolate?" 

I started laughing, she's such a little negotiator sometimes, always trying to make a deal! What a girl :)

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