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Life

Life-learned lessons, relationships, marriage, faith, lifestyle, and everything else in between.

Filtering by Category: Toddlers

How I Screwed Up My Son's Brain. And How I'm fixing it.

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I never believed that excessive screen time could affect children's speech, thinking and social skills. Until it happened to my son. Apparently, fixing it involves me having less screentime as well.

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What I Learned from J's Recent Surgery

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

When I first became a mom, I didn't want to believe when people told me that no matter how careful you are in taking care of your kid, no matter how thick you bubble-wrap them, accidents happen. Because that's just how life is. Bad or unfortunate events happen in life. Well, an unfortunate event happened to J back in January. I was trying to get my New Year's resolution going by working out at the gym in my apartment complex, and I brought J with me. Why did I bring him? Because I brought him last year, when I was training for a 5K run, and he did fine. He enjoyed watching the cartoons there, he would play with his toys, I mean it wasn't a problem at all.

But this year...It's a different story. Why? Because he's almost 3. He was more curious about equipments around him, and he ended up sticking his left fingers under the treadmill I was running on. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Blood was splashing everywhere.

So that brought us to last Wednesday, when he had a plastic surgery that will enable him to extend his fingers again. Because they got burned really badly.

Instead of throwing a pity party, whining and complaining, I have decided to jot down what I've learned from the incident :

  1. You don't have to bring toys to the hospital. They have tons. (Especially Children's Medical Center!)

2. Your spouse might be as stressed out or as anxious as you are. So try your best to not cause drama. Keep calm. 

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3. When eating at the hospital cafeteria, don't go for the Asian selection. Always go for the popular, Western selection. 

4. Nobody can replace you, mom. Not even dad. Not even the kindest nurses. So please, be there for your kiddo. He's prolly scared and confused.

5. What you do today might and will affect your kid(s) tomorrow (or years after), not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. 

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So please, do your best to put their wellbeing first. And when accidents happen, have grace for yourself and others. And have faith! Things will get better :)

Have an awesome weekend y'all!

Celebrating the Superhero

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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When I was single, just like most of people, I thought choosing a husband involved a lot of loving feeling and romance. But thank God I realized early on, that in selecting the right one for me, I needed to USE MY BRAIN in order to determine whether or not he would be the right partner for me to do life with. Because really, at the end of the day, that's what marriage is about, doing life together, growing together, and raising a family together. Loving feeling comes and goes, but values, good principles, belief, and faith will stay. Today, with all of my heart I can say that I thankfully had chosen the right partner to do life with.

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He's a great friend, he keeps me on my toes, always truthful, and very loving (even more loving than me, I really need to improve in this area!). He is a great cook, very smart with money, a great planner, and thankfully, he is a great dad.

The kind of man I would want my son to look up to. Strong in his faith, very careful with his choices, not afraid of challenges, yet goofy and vulnerable at the same time. He's not afraid to show his feelings and cry, you know. That's rare to find.

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I know J can see that too through his 3-year-old mind and soul. That's why he lights up everytime his sees his dad. And I honestly think that's why J is into books and numbers (because, that surely didn't come from me lol).

I'm so blessed to have him as our superhero. He is not perfect, but I know that his heart is in the right place, and that is good enough to make any dad a superhero.

So at 10 days before Father's Day, we celebrate you, Mr.Man. Happy Father's Day!

-

We got a help from Customink to create this t-shirt on their  Design Lab. Scanned J's handprints and uploaded them on the web, before placing the order and receiving it in just 3 days with their super rush delivery. Thank you Customink :) 

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A Mother's Promise

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Whenever our toddlers scream and throw a tantrum in public, our natural response as parents would be trying to calm him/her down and sometimes even apologizing to people around us for the inconvenience that the loud noises have caused. We feel embarrassed, often because it makes us look like bad as parents. Or at least that's what I usually think. What is it about being parents that makes us we feel so obligated to have kids that do not embarrass us? Why do we have to look good anyway?  Aren't the other parents dealing with the same things too?

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I remember how I used to set crazy goals for J, like getting potty-trained before he turned 1 or speaking 2 languages by the age of 2. Why? Because I wanted him to 'make me proud'.  Don't get me wrong, determination is good, goals are great, but if you've come to the point of forcing them to your kids before they're ready, you better check your motif :) Why do we them to advance so much?  To make us look good? Some parents do this until they're kids are grown!

In my case, it was simply potty-training.

Last year, I was so desperate to get him potty-trained by the time he turned 2  over the summer, that it frustrated the both of us. He just wasn't ready! After a few months of battling over the potty, I've finally made peace with it and tuned out all of the negative voices that said, "No he's ready, you're just too lazy" - in my head.

Today, I am content with the fact that he is not yet potty-trained at the age of 2.5. I know that every kid is different and mine will be ready whenever he is. Some might be interested in getting potty-trained at the age of 11 or 18 months old, and some don't. So why compare? Why get insecure?

In the words of one of my favorite speakers, Nancy Houston :

Your children are not here to make you look good.

Ouch! True this! They are their own person, with their own sets of skills and purposes on this earth. They are here to grow, love and learn - and we ought to remember that and respect that. Oh little J, I'm sorry for the way I forced you into things just to make me look good. I love you just the way you are. And I promise to remember what you are here for.

To remind me of my #MothersPromise, I've printed out this cute photos and framed them for his nursery :)

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We are planning to try potty-training him again before he goes to school this fall, but until then, I know that J is well taken care of in his comfortable, hypoallergenic (y'all know how sensitive his skin is), high-quality Pampers Premium Care diapers. I love that the fact that it's got a wetness indicator, unique absorb away liner, extra absorb channels, and that it's breathable inside & out! No sogginess and rashes for my bebe :) You can get them at your local Walmart or here at walmart.com.

Check out this video and don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel :)

https://youtu.be/qGGLqc068Jw

 

How about you? What is your #MothersPromise? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Why Mommy-dates Are Vital for Our Survival

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

No matter how 'fun' and 'okay' my motherhood life might seem on social media (hashtag it #momlife hayyy ;) ), I am gonna be real honest with you and tell you this : I face real challenges that other moms face and there are days when I just snap and lose my patience. I remember crying in the restroom because I had J's poop all over my shirt last year. Sometimes we feel helpless and just overwhelmed, no matter how many kids we have and however young or old they are.

At those moments, we tend to think that we are the only one going through this, while the other moms have it all together. But let me tell you this : we ALL have those days in our walks as mothers and wives. So why go through it alone when you can have your fellow mommy-friends supporting you and cheering for you?

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That's why I think having a community of moms who uphold the kind of values you uphold is very important. We bring our kids to playdates so they can socialize and learn to interact with other kids, why don't we go on mommy-dates ourselves?

I'm so grateful for my friend and neighbor, Roselle, who has been able to pick me up and go on little playdate slash mommy-dates with me on almost every Tuesday. We've been to local libraries, Dallas Arboretum, and recently, a Midwestern-based restaurant that specializes in ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard, Culver's.

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Started back in 1984, Culver's has now grown to over 550 restaurants, including in the DFW metroplex. We went to the one in The Colony, which was just opened back in September of 2015. And of course, we brought our kiddos with us.

Roselle decided to try the Beef Pot Roast sandwich (left) with some BBQ sauce on top, and I tried the ButterBurger Cheese. Yum!!

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I like the fact that their ButterBurger is cooked-to-order and the patties are NOT frozen, seared to perfection, so you get that crust when you bite into it. Check them out on instagram to see more of their delicious burgers, sammiches, and more. 

Over the delicious lunch, Roselle and I talked about everything from parenting, Disney movies, to Beyonce! I love that when you carpool and go out for lunch with your fellow moms and their kid(s), you get to see how they deal with their kids, how they overcome challenges you might be facing or have yet to face. And be real, you know.

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For dessert, I tried the Frozen Custard made with cold-pressed vanilla and fine dairy. This one's the Chocolate Chip Cookie Concrete Mixer. I added some brownie bits too!

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Roselle tried the flavor of the day which was Cherry Cheesecake and she said it was super yummy!!

We ended the afternoon by taking photos (and being photobombed by our sons) and taking a long ride home together.

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Wherever you are in your journey of motherhood, don't ever feel like you are alone. Find a good friend and hold on to them. Support them and cheer for them, because we are better together.