Monday, July 25, 2011

No Ordinary Review of No Ordinary Family

Fox's brand new, spanking show, No ordinary Family, is basically Pixar's The Incredibles --just in case you want to see them in human form.

Frankly, a rip-off was my first impression of this TV show.  Really, the super-powered characters of the show are even called 'Supers' --a term that was also used to label super-powered CG characters on the cult cartoon blockbuster.  Thank God, spandex-use was spared!

Eventually though, I did realize I was being unfair.  No Ordinary Family can actually hold its own.   Since it's a weekly TV series, it has more time to flesh out its story into several very interesting plot lines per episode.  So it kept me interested.

All is well and then the show had to reveal a mastermind on top of all the super-powered mutations sprouting all over the city.  So now... it's an X-Men rip-off.  *sigh*

You know what, I'm overanalyzing this.  At the end of it all, No Ordinary Family is another family show with the same gender wars between husband and wife, the same drama and rivalry between teen-aged siblings... but with a very unique, high-octane twist.  Unlike X-men and The Incredibles, No ordinary family doesn't focus on super powers.  It focuses on relationships.  On family.  On friends.
BUT unlike any other family show, it doesn't do soap opera or slapstick to get these warm, familiar messages across.  It uses super powers.   So you can relate to the reality of every episode's story, and enjoy extraodinariness and empowerment at the same time. 

And what family doesn't believe they're unique and powerful in their own right?

So that's what makes No ordinary Family extraordinary.   It's real and surreal at the same time.   Kinda like your family, huh?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How To Beat The Bully

This post is bound to catch the ire of teachers and goody-to-shoe moms alike --but someone has to do it.  If you're squeamish, do look away.

Bullying is a primary schooler's nightmare.  It affects not only his self confidence but also his focus on school and desire to go to school.  The usual solution provided by authority figures is the age-old, tried and tested IGNORE THE BULLY tact.  Which, in my opinion, doesn't always work.  Not all bullies are created equal.  Not all get tired of harassing your child when your child looks the other way.  There are persistent monsters.  And for these-- there should be intervention.  The other age-old tact called TELL THE TEACHER should always work.  But sometimes, it doesn't.  Unfortunately, teachers can't always come in between every little thing.  But really, when it comes to bullying, is there really such a thing as 'a little thing'?

This is why your child needs to know how to FEND FOR HIMSELF.   Here's how.

1.  Laugh Out Loud.  What a bully really wants is a reaction.  A whimper is his favorite.  Change the game by teaching your child to laugh an insult off.  When a bully comes up to tell him he's a wimp and gets nothing but a laugh, he'll be thrown off and move away.  

2.  Make a Scene.  Some bullies are smart.  They'll poke your kids in secret so the teachers won't get to see.  Here is where your child should start to scream!  "Stop hurting me!" is a good line.  This catches the teachers' attention and freaks out the bully.  He'll stop, I guarantee you that.

3.  Witty Comeback.  "That's what you think!",  "Says you!",  "Yeah, right!", "Whatever!", "I know you are, but what am I!"  The lines you wouldn't allow at home are totally allowable when in the middle of a bullying situation.  The bully can get caught off-guard and leave your kid alone.  But, if saying any of these eggs the bully on instead, there's the...

4.  Quiet Threat.  If being loud doesn't help, be silently menacing.  Whispering "Tease me one more time, and I'll have my dad punch you..." is perfect.  Mentioning a bigger, older person makes the threat more believable and scarier.

5.  Punch!  This is the last resort.  If the bully just won't stop poking, pushing, pulling, tripping, etc no matter what your child does --it's time to REALLY fight back.  Just remind your child that the bully must be the one to make the first move.  His should only be a retaliation.  And not one that should cause bigger damage.  A physical back-at-ya will only show the bully that your child is capable of dishing it out, too.  But, only when needed.

To all those gasping in disbelief in their seats right now, I am not espousing violence.  I'm championing defense.  All parents should.

I know some of you will say, "You should understand the bully.  He has personal problems, too..."  Yeah, sure.  But this post isn't about his personal demons.  It's about a bug you want to get off your child's back.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Mother's Flowerama, Loveapalooza Birthday

Important tip:  When a mother says she doesn't want anything for her birthday, read between the lines... SHE WANTS SOMETHING.  :P
She wants simple appreciation, a little attention, and maybe a heap of love.

Good thing my husband knows me soooo well.  He knows I won't want anything huge, not anything expensive, not anything that will take a lot of his effort and time.  I never said that though.  But couples have this amazing way of reading each others' minds.

So when I came home after spending the most of my birthday at work, I found this!

My 3 boys (and the dog) with 3 bouquets of roses singing (and the dog howling) 'Happy Birthday, Mimi' and then segueing seamlessly to 'Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic'!

It's simple, I know.  And I'm sure you think I'm an overreacting hag who just had to blog about something.  But really... it's a surprise!  Who doesn't like a surprise???

It's a big thing for me because I don't do surprises.  I'm the family's Activity Planner.  I get details and I sit the family down to discuss if we want to make a go for it.  My husband, on the other hand, is the family's Surprise Giver.  He's more spontaneous and more fun than I could ever hope to be.  And with our budget being tight since last year, he still had to spread joy and surprise me no matter what!
Plus, my boys went to town with the 'Eeeyooo-oooh!' part of the popular Police song so can you really blame me for being quick to the giddy?

So that was my most awesome flowerama-loveapalooza birthday --thanks to my most awesome boys!  

Another important tip:  When a woman tells you she doesn't like flowers because they're way too corny, read between the lines... SHE LIKES THEM! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Art to Art

I haven't been talking about Family Project Weekend for a long time now simply because my boys have not moved on since being introduced to Papier Mache.  Papier Mache, by far, is the longest-running hobby hit in the household!  That and tinkering with the mac.  My boys are umbilically-connected to technology being self-professed mini-art directors.

This post features those 2 loves.

One rainy weekend, Kenji was surprisingly hell-bent on making papier maches of Maggie Octopus (from the Simpson's Halloween Movie) and Dr. Octagonapus (of YouTube's fame).  I thought those were pretty random choices until he shot a picture of the 2 facing each other and quickly uploaded it to the mac.  He then went to work on the Powerpoint Program and transformed the simple shot into a screen capture of his self-made, work-in-progress video game:  OCTOWARS!

And then there's Miro who slaved for days sculpting, coating, and painting several penguin breeds he learned from the school library.  When done, he propped them on a white sheet, took dozens of photos, and uploaded them to the mac.  I saw him surfing for different scenic backgrounds, too.  A little computerized snip, paste, and clean up later --and he's got the first few pages of his new book:  THE TRAVELING PENGUIN.

My boys are multimedia (er, dualmedia) artists!  Who would've guessed! 
I'm proud of my boys for welding the 2 art forms together to create cohesive, imaginative wholes.  Their fondness for old art and new art finally met.  Of course, they haven't finished their big projects and are now bullying me to help them out --but it's a cool start.

With that, I call upon parents all over to expose your kids to every art form they can get their hands on.  Kids are pretty poly-inventive.  Chances are, they'll astound you. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

How We Got Wii

Call me a square, but I'm one of those moms who thinks buying a Php20,000.00 video gaming console is a total waste.  I'm not against turning my children into Nintendo zombies though.  So I'm still 21st century uber cool.  Just cheap.

But thanks to a good friend introducing me to the wondrous gaming discount paradise that is Data Blitz, I have managed to shed my inhibitions and become a full-fledged stick-my-kids-in-front-of-a-video game modern mom!  Yeah!  (I'm being funny --for those who don't get me. :P).

Awesome timing, too --because it was Miro's 10th birthday.  That's the big 1-0.  Double digits.  It has to be special.
And Miro was pretty sure we were NEVER getting him a Wii so it was perfect.

Deviously, we went for the big birthday surprise shebang!
We started it off with a haphazardly-made Wiimote cake.  It was meant to torture our son into thinking he's getting a Nintendo Wii when he knows he won't.  Mwahahaaaa...  
(I know the cake sucks.  Give me a break.  It was a last minute idea.  But concept-wise, it so rocks, doesn't it?  Lol!)

And then, as he sat there staring at his cake in confusion, we sang off-key and handed him 'the big one'!
A Nintendo Wii bundle pack that sold for a mere Php8,860 only at Data Blitz!  It came with a Mario Kart game and the Wiimote wheel, along with the Wiimote controller and the Nunchuk (high-tech terms I've just learned, haha!).
Big bang bargain!

To enable 2-player zombifying action, we got the Wii Memorex controller and wireless Sidekick set for only Php1,995.00.  Again, only from Data Blitz.  The original Wiimote and nunchuck set was around Php3,000.00, and even more at toy stores.  So again, a nifty score!

Wrapping it up with a nice bow on top, these sum up Miro's 10th birthday:
•  Good buys galore from Data Blitz.
•  Parenting win from Mimi and Dada.
•  And the biggest, happiest, proudest, 'loving-est' smile from my 10-year old young man.

You can't put a price tag on that.  But I'm giving it a perfect 10. :)