At the start of 2016, instead of making New Year’s resolutions I started a gratitude jar. Each day since January, I would try to write a short note on a little piece of paper on what I was grateful for on that day.
When I became a mom last year, somehow finding even the smallest things to be thankful for, particularly after a long, grueling day helped me in this intimidating new role. A small human being needed me almost every second of the day. He was crawling. Trying to walk. Trying to climb.I would be filled with so much joy and pride one minute. And then get a couple of little heart attacks the next every time he would stumble or appear like he was about to fall. He would put his little arms around my neck for a ‘gigil‘ hug one second and unleash a storm of screams the next.
Focusing on even just one thing (because there a hundred of small things, really) at the end of the day that I was truly grateful for was a joy. I wanted to remember all those small things, so now I have this jar getting filled with little notes. Getting to have a movie night with the husband. Listening to Z belt out “Twinkle, twinkle little star.” Having an hour to catch up with a girl friend while my mom watches over Z. Or milestones. Like turning 40 for me and Z turning two.
Last year, before I started the gratitude jar, one of the days I was thankful for was the time my husband and I went on our first road trip with our son. We wanted to see how he, no, we would all handle traveling together, even for just two-three hours on the road to the nearby weekend destination that is Tagaytay.
The city, which sits on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake and its famous volcano, is so popular that many of its humble bulalo eateries and drinking joints have in the past several years been replaced with high-rise condos, boutique hotels, and fine-dining restos.
My online search for accommodations now includes key words such as “kid-friendly,” “family,” and “play area.” I kept coming across Hotel Kimberly in the search results and a review by a mommy friend made me decide to book it.
Located just off Mahogany avenue, along Amadeo Road (which is not to far away from the rotunda), Hotel Kimberly has a huge playground, a little farm, a decent-sized grassy field where Z could run to his heart’s content, a swimming pool, and an indoor play room. When the weather permits, they also set up a bonfire in the evening where guests can roast marshmallows and watch the outdoor screenings of family-friendly movies. We were so excited for Z.
He spent most of the afternoon after we checked in going up and down the slide. He loved it and laughed every single time he reached the bottom. It was hard to redirect him to the other parts of the hotel grounds…like getting to meet some rabbits. There were also a couple of horses, a herd of sheep, some turkeys, and guinea pigs.
When it rained in the evening, Z spent a couple of hours on the Little Tykes car. There were a few tears shed when it was time for bath and sleep.
Another thing we liked about the hotel is they can provide a crib/play pen for your child without additional cost. Since Z is used to sleeping in the crib, I was relieved to know there was a good chance he would be able to sleep well. The crib is a Graco Pack ‘n Play, which has probably seen better days as the push-button didn’t hold it upright too well. It kept collapsing that we felt it was safer to have Z sleep with us in the bed. And after all the running around and sliding he did, he was just happy to sleep even if it was on an unfamiliar bed. Yay! One small victory. Now, on to the next trip in a few weeks with the little one.