Category Archives: Raising A Tween

This Summer’s Movie List

Summer days in our home are slow, quiet, and free-flowing. We aren’t the type of family who goes out of town a lot (though, I have to admit, that would be fun). We don’t eat out often. We aren’t mall rats. And we don’t go out to see movies unless they are films that we really, really want to see.

 

We are homebodies, all of us, and we enjoy the unstructured way that we choose to let days pass when the kiddo is on school break. MrC, of course, goes off to work every day, but on weekends when he’s home, he picks up the same slow summer state that the kid and I get to enjoy on most days.

One of our regular activities is movie time in the afternoon. In past summers, I tried to turn this into a daily thing, but it actually became too difficult to think of a new movie for us to watch every day. So I’ve learned to let go, and instead, I’ve turned this into a come-what-may activity just like the others. So far, we’ve really been enjoying our occasional lazy afternoon in front of the TV.

We love our slow summer days

Now that the kiddo is older, it’s becoming easier to choose movies. He’s open to watching anything I put on, which really great. I’ve been able to make him see old favorites from when we were about his age. We’ve also enjoyed newer films that we haven’t seen before, together as a family. With snacks, of course. Always with snacks. 

So, just like before, I thought I’d share which movies made it to our summer watch list this year. And I will keep adding until to this summer is over. Do you see any of your favorites?

  1. Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 13+
  2. The Lego Batman Movie (2017) – Rated PG, suitable for age 7+
  3. The Dark Tower (2017) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 14+
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) – Rated PG, suitable for age 8+
  5. Nacho Libre (2006) – Rated PG, suitable for age 11+
  6. Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 14+
  7. The Little Rascals (1994) – Rated PG, suitable for age 8+
  8. Ready Player One (2018) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 12+ (We caught this on in the theater!) 
  9. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 14+
  10. The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) – Rated PG, suitable for age 6+
  11. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – (2017) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 11+

In case you’re interested, here are our movie lists from the past summers:

  • 2016 – Mostly cartoons! The kiddo was 10 that year.
  • 2017 – Lots of old favorites, like The Ghostbusters and Back to the Future

So, what else should we try to watch this summer?

A Movie A Day For Summer, Year 2

It’s officially day two of summer vacation for us, and we are super excited! We started the school break on full-blast  with a year-end party for MrC’s class. We both had so much fun that we were among the last few to leave the party that day.

mrspcuyugan
Fun in the sun on the last day of school. Thanks for an awesome year, kids and moms of 5F!

MrC’s dad is arriving from the US in a few days, and will be staying with us for three whole weeks. That means the kiddo will have someone at home that he can bug all the time, and I know for sure that he is looking forward to it. Then, the birthdays of my two boys are coming up, and you all know how I feel about birthdays. Lol!

In between, we have museum visits, day trips, and play dates planned. Of course, me being me, I’ve also accounted for lazy days at home. Because, really, what school-aged kid doesn’t want to just spend time at home playing and watching TV during the summer? I know my siblings and I really enjoyed the do-nothing days when we were growing up. I’m excited for my kiddo to experience the same. 

(Can anyone recommend books for 11-year olds, too, please?)

As with last year, my boredom-busting plan for lazy days is to be ready with a new movie for Little MrC to watch. By new I mean a movie he hasn’t seen before, and not newly released. I’ve listed a bunch of my old favorites this year, like My Girl and The Karate Kid. He’s at that age where he understands and appreciates films better, which is why I am extra excited about our at-home movie dates.

Before writing this, I looked at my post from last year and saw that I was only able to list 10 of the movies we watched. Galing ‘no? This year, I will really make an effort to make note of them all. I know I should since it can help me make sure there are no duplicates when it’s time to plan for next year, and the year after that. Assuming the kiddo will still want to watch movies with me at home, that is. Huhuhu don’t they just grow up so fast??? *Sigh*

So anyway, here are the movies on our watchlist for this summer. I’ll be adding more as the days go by. You guys might want to check these films out, too. 🙂

  1. Ghostbusters (2016) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 11+
  2. Ghostbusters (1984) – Rated PG, suitable for age 11+
  3. Ghostbusters II (1984) – Rated PG, suitable for age 8+
  4. The Last Airbender (2010) – Rated PG, suitable for age 9+
  5. Back to the Future (1985) – Rated PG, suitable for age 10+
  6. Back to the Future Part II (1989) – Rated PG, suitable for age 10+
  7. Back to the Future Part III (1990) – Rated PG, suitable for age 9+ 
  8. Star Trek (2009) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 12+ 
  9. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 12+ 
  10. Star Trek Beyond (2016) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 12+ 
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 12+ 
  12. My Girl (1991) – Rated PG, suitable for age 11+ 
  13. Speed Racer (2008) – Rated PG, suitable for age 8+ 
  14. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) – Rated PG-13, suitable for age 14+

Do any of you have recommendations for great family movies that we can watch? Please share in the comments? 🙂

mrspcuyugan

One Less Roommate

About a month ago, Little MrC decided that it was time for him to start sleeping in his own room. It’s funny how it happened, suddenly and completely out of the blue. 

When we first moved here, I was sort of forcing the idea on him, telling him that if he didn’t use his room I’d turn it into my office. He resisted. He wanted to stay in our room. I understood. We all lived in the same room for 9 whole years. Why did moving houses have to change that, right?

mrspcuyugan
In our old room at the old house. He always slept so soundly, right next to MrC and me.

 

At the time, I was thinking along the lines of finally having more space and some privacy. But I didn’t argue with what the kiddo wanted. Instead, I agreed to have his mattress set up on the floor next to my side of the bed. Every once in a while I’d ask if he was ready to move into his room, and he’d always say no.

Then one day, I found the boys cleaning up that room across the hall. A few days later, the mattress was off my floor, and on the bed frame where it really belonged. And just like that, I was left with one less roommate.

mrspcuyugan
Oops! Someone forgot to make his bed this morning. And yes, his sheets are mismatched. That red pillowcase is from an old Aladdin set, and the blanket is Pocahontas, all from my childhood.

 

Since he decided to start sleeping on his own, Little MrC has spent less and less time in our room. He only comes there now to watch TV. He has his own airconditioner, so when days are too warm he asks my permission to use it.

He has a desk, which he uses when he wants to write or draw. His dad’s laptop is parked on that desk so he has something to use for research, and (occasionally) for games. He hangs out in his own space to read and play, and to do little boy things, whatever they may be. I’m not sure that I really want to know.

mrspcuyugan
The desk where I learned to write. It’s just as messy now with it’s new owner as it was back then.

 

Little MrC loves his room. On the way home from school yesterday, he said he couldn’t wait to spend time in his favorite place on Earth. I told him that I was so happy to hear that. I never had a room of my own, so I’m super glad that this is something that his dad and I have been able to give him. 

So much has changed for us since we moved houses. As the months go by, it’s becoming more glaringly obvious that my little boy is now a big boy. I’ve officially entered into the realm of tween parenting, and I’m completely terrified and a little bit sad. I don’t know what to expect. I’m afraid to make a mistake. And I miss having a baby around.

At the same time, it’s such a relief that I now have someone I can count on to open the gate for me when we drive home, so I no longer need to get out of the car and do it myself. I can count on him to lock the front door when we leave, and he can open it for me when we get back to the house. He pushes my grocery cart and checks items off of my list.

mrspcuyugan
Favorite books all in a row, guarded by his daddy’s old barrel man.

 

He does most things by himself now, including homework. His independence means more free time for me, and that MrC and I can now watch movies in our room at night. It also means that I live in fear that this kiddo will grow up too soon, and will someday stop needing me. Or at least think that he no longer needs me. Of course, I know that he’ll come running back eventually (right, mom and dad?) but still…

Ah motherhood, what a huge emotional rollercoaster you are! I never thought it would be this crazy. But it really is worth it, cliche as it may be.

mrspcuyugan
Once upon a time, when we were both a little bit younger. Man, time really does fly by so quickly.

 

So now, what do I do with all the extra space I now have in my room? Maybe a nice couch? A reading nook? What do you guys think? 

And can someone please guide me through this tween parenting thing? Everything here is so new! And so emo! I need all the help I can get. And maybe an extra glass of wine. 

mrspcuyugan

On Frogs and Other Fears

Fact: I am a worrywart and a scaredy-cat.

A lot of things freak me out. I’m easily startled by strange noises and sudden movements. I jump like a cat when someone sneaks up on me. I worry all the time about a lot of things, and I’m a worst-case scenario thinker.

You’d never think this about me because I’m generally a cheerful person, but it’s true. I spend 50% of my day lost inside my own head. If it sounds like I’m kinda crazy, that’s okay. I think the best people are all a little bit nutty anyway.

mrspcuyugan
No, this doesn’t look like a worrywart’s face.

 

My greatest physical fear is most definitely frogs, and I’ve said this several times before (like here, here and here.) I’m also scared of the idea of ghosts and I never want to see, feel, hear or smell one, ever. Same goes for demons, and stuff or people possessed by them.

Just as I typed that, my mom’s phone rang and I literally jumped. See what I mean? I really am a scaredy cat. It doesn’t help that her alert is The Count’s laugh with matching thunder in the background. 

More than these seemingly silly fears, I also worry about bigger, more serious, meaning of life things. I worry about MrC during his daily commute to and from the office.

I think about Little MrC while he’s in school, whether or not he had enough time to finish his lunch, and if his immune system is strong enough to battle the germs and viruses that live on campus.

mrspcuyugan
I can’t help but worry about this little big boy whenever we aren’t together.

 

I think about myself and my own health, wonder if I am getting enough sleep, and scold myself over my lack of daily exercise. I worry about oncoming and overtaking cars while driving. I am scared that my gas oven might explode when I light it.

I guess it really is a mom’s nature to worry, and my own personal nature to have these fears.

Oh, I could go on and on with these things but I know that I shouldn’t. Worrying, fretting and fearing wastes a lot of time. At the same time, I know that every once in a while it’s important to think about them and acknowledge these fears.

I believe that, as long as they don’t paralyze you, fears will keep you on your toes, careful and cautious with every step. Then again, I could just be fooling myself. A result of watching too much Divergent. 

Photo from Pinterest
Photo from Pinterest.

 

I only hope that I don’t pass my own fears on to my son. There was a point where it looked like I would. I’d see him panic at the sight of lizards. I’d hear him run across the hall to our room at night because he didn’t want to be alone in the dark.

Then he did something that made me feel like he’ll be okay, and that I’m not such a bad role model after all.

The other night, it was rainy when we drove home after dinner. We all got out of the car and I went straight for the front door, which was locked.

I tried digging through my bag for my keys but MrC stopped me and walked quickly to the door to unlock it himself, which was unusual. The entire time, the kiddo quietly stood behind me, which was unusual. Of course I’m only realizing these strange things now!

The husbandry finally unlocked the door and I took a step towards it. Then of course a little frog just had to cross my path! It was really small, only about the size of my big toe, and dark. I thought it was a bug. Then I realized it was hopping and the freak out ensued.

mrspcuyugan
It used to be my job to protect this little one from creepy crawlies, and now he’s the one who’s saving me. (Photo by my dad.)

 

When we were safely inside, the kiddo told me that he had seen the frog right away but chose not to say anything because he didn’t want me to get scared.

The following day, he checked around the car before I got out to make sure that Froggy Friend wasn’t back to get me. He unlocked the house for me, closed the gate, and brought his own stuff inside.

I went straight in because I could hear a chorus of frogs croaking all around us. Oh the joys of being surrounded by empty lots in the rain. 

All of a sudden my son is braver than I am. All of a sudden I see more of that big boy and less of the baby that used to live in his skin. I know that he has his own set of fears, too, but I see that he is learning to face them.

I suppose I should take a cue from my little one and learn to be braver in the face of all my fears, too. I guess it would do me good to lighten up and step outside of my head more often.

It’s times like these that make me think that I learn more from my son than he does from me. More than anything it makes me feel happy and proud to know that I’ve somehow done something right with that little guy.

Still, I dread the day when he will come home and say, “Mom, I need to bring a frog to school for Biology class.” Oh, kamote.

What are your worries and fears, and how do you handle them?