Family, Parenting

Kristo’s 5th Birthday Mini-Field Trip!!!

To have a birthday party or not to have a party, that was the question for Kristo’s 5th birthday. I felt that things are different now that he’s a “little man” — Kristo knows what he wants and what he doesn’t enjoy. That being the case, I asked him to choose between having a birthday party or going on a mini-field trip. As I expected, he chose the mini-field trip!

This is how his ‘big day’ started…

Since it’s Kristo’s 5th birthday, we decided to do 5 stops throughout the day for his mini-field trip! So by 9:30am Kristo and I were on our way to SM Mall of Asia for our first 3 stops.

First stop: Toy shopping at the department store.

He got his favorite…Hot Wheels!

You know how at Christmas friends and family give the kids cash? Well, I saved up what everyone gave Kristo plus the SM gift card he got too. So basically Kristo got P800 and I told him that he can buy any toy  he wants as long as he sticks to our budget of 800 pesos. At first he was choosing small toys which were worth like 100 or 150. I think he got used to the fact that when we go grocery shopping, he can buy a toy, for as long as it’s within that range. (I don’t usually buy him expensive toys because it all just usually ends up in his toy box in pieces!) So because he knows our ‘rules for shopping’ ..I had to explain it 2 or 3 times to him, that since it was his birthday, and since he was given 800 by friends and family, he could buy anything (which was within budget). I wish you could have all seen how he slowly walked to the Hot Wheels section of the store, and frequently looking at me, as if waiting for my approval. When I gave him a huge smile, he started looking at all the big boxes. At first he was pointing at the sets that were a little over 2 thousand, so I had to explain to him about the budget again, and then we pointed out what sets were around that price range and lined it up for him, which I think made deciding a bit easier for him.

When it was  time to pay up, I gave him the money and the gift card and told him that since he was a big boy now and that we were using his money, it should be him lining up and paying for it. I think up to that point he still couldn’t put two and two together — Mommy? Buying Hot Wheels?! (Coz it’s usually his dad that buys him stuff like that, and I buy him books — which we both enjoy)

The little man paying at the counter

Second stop: The Science Discovery Center (Mall of Asia)

If you’ve been reading my blogs and if you hang out with me and Kristo, you’d know that he’s into Science BIG TIME. So I felt that the Science Discovery Center would be something we’d both enjoy. As soon as we got in, he started playing this:

It’s one of those ‘floor games’ where you step on the image and it moves. I have no idea what it’s called. Anyway, Kristo wanted to stay there and I had to remind him that the place was pretty big and that it was worth discovering. True enough, walking into the place something caught his fancy, full on! Make a guess!!!!

My little doctor

There’s a section that’s all about the human body, and you know how he’s so into the human anatomy, right? (well, based on my past blogs) There were these internal organs made out of rubber, and you could take `em out and then put them back in the right place. We did about two rounds of taking out the organs and putting them back in its proper place. As he was doing that, he said “mom, I’m a doctor!”

After maxing out our time in the human body section, we went into the planetarium to watch “The Stars of the Pharaohs.” Kristo is really interested in the solar system too, so as we watched to short film, he was able to identify the planets! woohooo! (yes, i’m a proud momma!) After the short film, we went to play with flight simulators. Yes, WE, because Kristo insisted that I learn how to fly a plane too! I couldn’t help but feel all warm and mushy inside `coz he reminded me so much of my dad and my brother — who sooo love planes! (Dad was a flight engineer and flew glider planes when he was younger and my youngest brother is a flight attendant and a private pilot)

Just like his uncle
It runs in the blood I guess

Then of course there was the robots section, which was pretty interesting. And the robot that caught his attention THE MOST is the one that plays classical tunes! Why am I not surprised?!

Maestro Robot I think is what he’s called

The Science Discovery Center was definitely an awesome choice as one of the stops for Kristo’s birthday field trip. It allowed him to enjoy the things he’s really interested in, human anatomy, astronomy, music and robots!

Third Stop: Lunch

After all that we were really hungry so I asked him to chose where he’d want to have lunch. His choice was…drum roll please…Mc Donald’s! While we were there, my brother dropped by to give his gift! (thanks kuya!!!) But it was very obvious that Kristo was already pretty sleepy, so we decided to go home first so that he could take a nap.

Fourth Stop: Ark Avilon Zoo (near Tiendesitas)

Kristo is into animals too, so Ark Avilon Zoo was one of the places I promised him we’d go to. I checked out the place a month ago and I was so impressed by it. So I told my friends and family that if they wanted to join us in celebrating Kristo’s birthday, we could all meet up at the zoo!

(from L-R) Elaine (she takes care of my mom), My mom, Kristo, Matthew his cousin, Nanay (our super nanny!)

Aside from being thrilled that it turned out to be a family day out (which we really haven’t done in over a decade!!!), I was so glad that my friends could join us at the zoo too!!!!

Thank you to….

JonJon! He’s like my little brother! and he’s usually Kristo’s playmate when we all meet up
Nix Puno! He’s a super brother!!!
my best friend, Aia de Leon

Thank you soooo soooo much for spending the afternoon with us! It really means a lot that you guys were there!!!! And by the way, Aia inspired me to do the mini-field trip for Kristo’s birthday. If you guys read my week-long blog about the birthday surprise Aia and Nix and our other friends prepared for me, where I had loads of stops on the day of my birthday, doing the things I love, this day was sorta inspired by that. So, thank you!!!!!!

At Ark Avilon, Kristo and his cousin got to pet and feed the animals! I think that was the highlight of that stop for them.

my brave little man
my brave little man
They got to feed rabbits and guinea pigs
and the sheep too!!!!

After a couple of hours going around the zoo, feeding the animals and hanging out in the play area, I started to move everyone to our last stop.

Fifth Stop: Jollibee (on the corner of Julia Vargas and C5)

Nope, we didn’t have your normal Jollibee kiddie party. We all just went there and lined up the tables and ate together! I went there the weekend before Kristo’s birthday to ask if they had your usual party package, but at that branch they didn’t offer it. BUT they said we could just come in as a group and eat and bring in cake! It sounded perfect to me! Mom wanted to give him a little party (just because it’s what kids have on their birthday) but I insisted that we could all just go there and just eat and have fun as a group.

our not so small group

I also told told my other friends, that if they wanted to join us for dinner, they could all just go to Jollibee. AND I was so thrilled coz my mentors and boss Ron Titular (our Network Manager) and his gorgeous blogging beauty queen wife Joyce and their pretty daughter Diandra drove all the way from Marikina to join us!!!!

Mom, me, Joyce, Ron, Diandra

I know it meant a lot to Kristo too that they were there coz Kristo loves them! I know that for sure, coz Kristo has asked about how they are, several times, out of the blue! I think it’s because he always has fun hanging out with them, either when we’re at their place or when Kristo is at the station…and even if Ron is in the middle of doing something, he’d still stop to draw Kristo a sketch of Sonic the Hedgehog — just because Kristo asked him to! How awesome is my boss?! So thank you to one of our favorite families ever!!!

As we were all eating dinner, I was watching Kristo’s reaction. He was obviously waiting for something to happen. Right before we left for Mall of Asia that morning, he hugged me and said “mom, when its someone’s birthday, there’s usually a cake right? Where’s my cake?” I quickly brushed off the topic and talked about something else. Of course he had a cake ready, his grandma asked me specifically to get a Ben10 cake since that was one of his favorite characters…

So when we felt like it was “time” we surprised him with his cake!!!!

Happy….
…5th….
…birthday….
…Kristo!!!!

When we got home, I asked Kristo if he was happy. He said, “yes, very” 🙂 wooohooo! Mission accomplished. Happy on his birthday!!! To be quite honest,  I am so thankful that we’re home schooling this year, `coz if it weren’t for that, I would have just thrown him another birthday party! But because our relationship has improved tremendously throughout the year and I’ve taken note of what he’s really interested in, I was able to brave this mini-field trip concept and we were able to pull it off — with the help of really close friends and of course, my mother dear — who was my partner in crime preparing everything for Kristo’s big day!!!

My gorgeous mama!

I highly recommend something like this if you’re a mommy on a budget too! Friends and family who joined us shouldered their own entrance fees as well as their food at Jollibee. I had to convince my mom a week before Kristo’s birthday that it was ok to be honest and tell friends that we were on a budget. I didn’t have to pretend that I could throw something big for Kristo and take care of everything. That’s what love, friendship and family is all about after all! So again, thank you to everyone who made it that day!

love..love..love!!!

I’d also like to thank everyone who’s supported us throughout the years. It hasn’t been a bed of roses and I had to learn so many things about being a mom while I was trying to get my act together….but with friends and family who never gave up on us, look at where we are now!!! Joy! Joy! Joy! (Thank you Jesus!!! You rock!!!) We wouldn’t have done it without all your help! Thank you for helping me raise him to be the little man he is now!

And now…to end this blog…I’d like to share this video…. Kristo asked me to record his little ‘sales pitch’ — he’s been watching too many ads on TV for Hot Wheels! Enjoy!

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