Thursday, November 8, 2012

High Expectation Means High Result



I took this from the Purpose Fairy's Facebook page. And find it really useful for my present situation. Just this week, I have already started my volunteer work as a nurse in the rural health unit. For more than a year, my brain rested entertaining concepts I learned from the nursing school.

And for 3 days that I've been reporting to the RHU, I am really overwhelmed by the number of patients flocking in the morning for consultation and for tooth extraction. Another thing is, the nurses working there are labeled as "mini doctors" because they work independently with the use of the IMCI guideline. In nursing, it's like the bible of the community health nurses in treating common sickness for children from 2 months to 5 years old.

In my mind, I always say that I already have the mommy brain, a good excuse for me every time I forget something (which happens almost always). During my duty time, I can just say that my brain has become stagnant. AS IN. It's so hard for me to understand the concept of IMCI and wonder when could I probably become an expert in it.

Reading that quote above enlightened me so much. I have to give my brain a little higher expectation so that I can live up with it. It can help me learn faster at work, since being mommy is no excuse at all. ***wink***

Friday, November 2, 2012

Win Some, Lose Some

Hello ladies and gentlemen!

If any has wondered why I haven't updated my blog for more than a week, then this post is a sort of my explanation, partly. =)

I promised myself that I would update this blog everyday. But I failed.

Hey, that's okay! Because I have realized though, for me ha, it's better not to blog than not to have time with my unico ijo.

Yes, win some lose some ang drama ko this week. In so many angles.

First, as I have mentioned about my blogging concern, it did become a serious time-eater that the time I shoulda spend with my son was affected in a nega way. I know, I know, blogging and family time are juggled well enough by others. But for me, di ko pa sya masyadong reach. So I better blog, during my super extra time - well, that means, when Kristoff is asleep, chores are done, and I am well-rested. =)

Second, I will start my volunteer work in the RHU (Rural Health Unit) this Tuesday na. I am doing this to increase my chance to be hired in the RNHeals program of the DOH and DOLE in January. I want to practice na din my profession as a nurse and to help with the finances, also as a way to show thanks to my parents who sacrificed a lot to send me to college. But then, it means, I'm not gonna see my son 9 hours a day. =( I comfort myself thinking that I can, pero the other question is, how about him, can he? Gets me teary eyed.

One time, I left him to my MIL on the day that I passed my application. They told me that he was pointing to the way home. And when I came back in the afternoon, his face lightened up ng sobra when he saw me...Huhu...

I'm gonna miss the days........ 


***edited**

Another thing pa pala about my win-some-lose-some drama is that the things in my wishlist, like the rolling pin and the mixer that I wanna buy this November would be set aside muna since for 2 months akong magwo-work without pay. Extra expenses.

Yeah, some sacrifice for some future gain. Mabibili ko din ang mga yan.=)


Monday, October 22, 2012

In the Kitchen: Tortilla Empanada with Tamarong Fish Filling

Good morning moms! How are you doing on a Monday?

Yesterday, I decided to have a relleno. Not exactly though, just the filling only...and since there's no bangus these days in town, I just use the tamarong fish. I don't know how you call this fish in your own dialect or in Tagalog, but that's it's name in Hiligaynon. See this photo from Flickr.What happens in town kasi, is pag yun ang kuha ng mga dakilang fishermen sa amin, yun na lahat ang isda na mabibili mo from the vendors. Unless during our marketing day, Wednesday and Saturday that vendors flock in a place and offer a variety of fish which they get from other towns.

So, it seems that these days are tamarong days... =) That's why if you stick to the common ways of cooking this kind of fish, always, your taste buds are going to crave for something different. What I like to do with this is to fry it and cook vegetables with it like laswa, or just sauteed vegetables with fried fish. 

OK. Let's go back to relleno...I'm not gonna call it with that anymore because when we say relleno, what comes to mind is always the fried bangus with a filling inside. So, let's say it's a Tamarong Fish Filling. =)

Ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten
4 medium sized tamarong, boiled, bones and skin removed (fillet) mashed
garlic and onion
cooking oil
salt and seasoning
black pepper
1 medium sized carrot, diced
1 small potato, diced
raisins
1/8 cup water

Procedure:
1. Mix thoroughly the mashed fish meat and egg. Set aside.
2. Saute the garlic, onion, carrot and potato.
3. Put a pinch of salt and seasoning, add water. I just needed a very small amount of water enough to tenderize the veggies.
4. When tender and almost no water is left, add the fish and egg mixture.
5. Season to taste, you may add a little black pepper  and raisins and just mix until it is cooked.


Yan na ang filling, pero inulam namin yan and I'm so happy napadami ang kain ng niece and son ko! =D

But then, I found some flour in the kitchen and just made a tortilla dough  and stuffed it with this filling, sealed and fried it just like an empanada.

Not bad for the first time, right?



Guys, I'm not born in a family of cooks or chefs, but I am teaching myself, experimenting, trying, documenting, and always inspired to make it. Just like my sister who has become a pastry chef in a cruise ship. 

As long as the people I love enjoyed the meal I prepared, I'm satisfied with what I made and I'm happy to share them with you. If you happen to have suggestions to make the dish better, I am happy to read it from you. Please feel free to comment on. I love learning!

I'd like to leave you with a quote that has inspired me not to be hopeless in the kitchen ever since I heard it:

"Anyone can cook"
                                                                                                   - Gusteau in the movie Ratatouille

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jungle Safari Birthday Cake

Five months to go pa before K turns two, but I'm already planning for his birthday. I admit, I am that excited because I want to undo things. It was a fail for me when I prepared his first birthday. Kasi naman Mark and I always reminded ourselves that we won't spend very much for the party and we underestimated the budget allotted to it. What happened was, we spent more than the estimated amount and yet the things that were supposed to be there during the party were not even bought.

So mommy's going to make his second birthday a real success. I know, he's too young to appreciate everything, but with the help of technology, everything will be documented and someday he will see all these things - someday he will feel blessed and loved to see how his 2nd birthday was planned and done. For the theme, I'm thinking of having a Jungle Safari Party, it's because he simply loves animals! He's all too familiar with the jungle animals given the fact that he's exposed to Lion King movies and the Baby Brainy animals part. He's not also scared of animals he sees around. Future vet kaya sya? =)

Then, my latest interest is baking - swear, I really love to! If only I have my own materials, that's why a mixer and oven are in my wishlist (gosh! I already have a very long wishlist!). I want to make my son's birthday cake - of course - to add more touch of love in it!

I was searching the web for themed birthday cakes and I just found in pinterest exactly what I like! See here...











Isn't this really cool? Truly, one of my inspiration! But if I'm gonna make a cake that really looks like this, it would be hard for me to slice it and destroy this work of art! Hehe!

Snow White and the Huntsman - Chika Lang!

I am not really into movies these days. A movie theater is a 6-hour travel from town, watching online is not my pick because it's too slow to load and I haven't bought or rented a DVD of any movie lately, too.

To my luck, last Tuesday, my brother's girlfriend lent me a DVD of Snow White and the Huntsman and yesterday ko lang sya napanood. Di pa straight viewing yan kasi from time to time I needed to go somewhere to another part of the house. So pause and play ang drama ko kahapon. =)

At first, I didn't like the idea of Snow White being paired to the huntsman because I preferred William for her...hehe..at first look kaya William was more handsome and heroic than the huntsman, whom I never learned the real name. But then, sige na nga lang, when he appeared with a clean look at the last scene, it changed my mind na agad-agad...at the last scene pa talaga ha! From the start until before the last scene kasi I had hopes that at the end, Snow White and William will eventually get married, you know, like the typical happy ending of fairy tales. Oh sya, si huntsman na... and besides his kiss was the one who woke Snow White up, so he must have the true love Snow White needs regardless of who looks more handsome. =)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day Off Ba 'Ka Mo?

It's Thursday and I declared a day-off as a housekeeper in the house! So, ayan, ang dami-daming kalat wherever I look in the room. =)

So, I would like to cancel my self-declared day-off and get back to work as soon as I finish this post. My little darling is sound asleep, and then I'll be hitting the bathroom, too.

***Sigh**

This is the life of a WAHM without a maid. But still, I don't want to get one again....Nagmamatigas lang, hehe. Kaya ko pa naman, kahit ang hirap hirap na. Harhar...drama!

Anyway, despite the fatigue I get from housekeeping + mothering + online teaching + crocheting, my little boy still managed to make me smile and be blessed and to continue to be inspired.

He's reading the book and he reads it in Chinese! Haha! Di ko maintindihan eh. =)

Anyway, here's my niece wearing the headband I made.


Pretty, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 
She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 
 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


Although we can say that this was written in a far different time and culture, but still we can always learn something from this, right?

I can just agree to all of what this says, but I know I am also far from that kind of wife. But then, I want to walk its way for I believe this is the better way.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Beautiful Monday!

Today, Kristoff and I took a walk to her grandma's house. Yes! We went out a few minutes before 7, I think. I just decided to visit them before doing any house chores, because for sure, they are always undone even if I stay home, they only leave me tired.

It was a good break, a good start of the day, of the week. :)

We ate our breakfast there, and the grandma was so happy to see her grandson. As usual, we chatted about plants and flowers, that's something that my mother-in-law and I have in common. :)

And to start off the week, here are the things that really give me pleasure:

1. This rose. Did you know that this is her first flower? I planted a looooot of roses more than a month ago. However, the typhoons that came by brought flood and caused the death of some. Nobody was tending them too when we took a vacation. But still, even a few has survived, I'm very thankful. The last two weeks, I've been putting them somewhere in the yard where the morning sun can shine on them and in the afternoon, I place them back to the shade to prevent the evening rain from drowning them. And this paid off! Just look at this beauty!


 2. A crochet flower headband. I bought a pattern from Emie Grace Collection a few months back and finally have my crochet headband. My first! And I'm going to give this gift to my niece and new goddaughter tomorrow on her Christening and first birhday! Yippee! Pretty right? I'm planning to have this as a new line of business...hmmm...



What are the things that gave you pleasure this week lovies?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tiring, Surprising, Rewarding Wednesday

Good evening moms! How's your Wednesday?

I'm thankful that the day started off sunny, I did the laundry - there was a lot due to the past busy and lazy days plus the non-stop rain. I have to pat my back because I'm done with most of it, just a few whites are left. Yay!***Clap, clap, clap!**

In the afternoon, Kristoff and I went to a birthday party. I haven't taken photos of the set-up and the food, but I'm so impressed and inspired. They have the mickey/minnie mouse theme. Everything's nice and organized. I like this party 'cause it made me relaxed from the tiresome morning all-out laundry duty. :)

But one thing I discovered with K at the party, sumasabay sya sa mga toddlers na mas matanda sa kanya! Lol! Actually, we noticed before that he likes to play with older kids rather than younger ones. But at the party today, he did mimic what the 2 1/2 year old was doing.

When we arrived, it was a little late, they were already blessing the food. However, my friend's kid, the 2 1/2 year-old was already eating on the kiddie table. Di na papigil eh. I like her din, she looks so cute gobbling the food.

I was surprised when K approached the table and wanted to seat on the kiddie chair, so I assisted him. Then, he tried to open his styrobox that contained the food. I opened it for him. He grabbed the spoon and fork. Tama naman ang pagkakahawak!  He used the fork for spaghetti and then picked with his hand the foodies placed on sticks.

Nakakatuwa!  My son just surprises me every time. At home kasi, almost always ko syang finifeed, buti na lang that during the few times that I allowed him to grab a spoon and fork during meals, he already made use of that experience and applied it today at sa party pa ha!

Kaso lang, andali nyang nainip, I had to feed him myself 'cause he started playing with his food na after say 10 minutes of trying to put some on the spoon or fork.

He also participated with the pabitin, he understood that he has to grab something from there. But due to the crowd of kids, we moms just carried the littlies and we ourselves grabbed the pabitin. Hehe! Parang five year-olds lang kami ah. I got him a mini hellicopter anda mini racquet.

When we got home, he was already very sound asleep. The baby was soo tired eh.

Then I got a surprise placed at the bench at home, it's a box, and it's from Zalora! Yey! I got my new flats, perfect for some casual getup I could just pull off if the need arises. Hehe. I like it because the design makes me look tall!


Isn't life great?

Being exhausted is a normal part of being a mom, and it's totally alright because we're doing it out of love. When we see the hubby or the kids happy, then it makes us feel the same, too. But to have another thing that makes us feel rewarded, like that thing above, is a bonus.

By the way, have you checked out picmonkey  lately? I love their Halloween themes! Can't help but include this.;)



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the Kitchen: Pork Adobo with Banana


It's rainy today and I felt like I wanted some pork on the table. I couldn't leave the house because as you know it's only me and K here during the day. Fortunately, our suki pedicab driver, happened to pass by so I requested him to buy me ingredients from the wet market.

He bought 1/2 kg of pork and sliced unripe jackfruit. I was craving for that eh. But then I found some saging na saba in the tray which were already too ripe. No one in the house likes to eat them in that state but I thought it would be better to cook them rather than throw them away.

I remember Mark cooked adobo with this banana plus sweet potato, so I decided to cook the other half of the pork like that one minus the sweet potato.

Ingredients:

1/4 kg pork
salt
Ginisa Mix (seasoning)
3 cups water
1 cup sliced saging na saba banana
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soysauce
1 bulb onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped


Procedure:

1. In a pan, saute the garlic onion and pork.
2. Put a pinch of salt and seasoning.
3. Add the water and boil until pork is tender. Add the vinegar and soy sauce. Simmer.
4. If only a little water (sauce) is left, add 1 more cup and put the banana. Let it cook.
5. Taste and adjust according to your preference.

Guys, I'm not born in a family of cooks or chefs, but I am teaching myself, experimenting, trying, documenting, and always inspired to make it. Just like my sister who has become a pastry chef in a cruise ship. 

As long as the people I love enjoyed the meal I prepared, I'm satisfied with what I made and I'm happy to share them with you. If you happen to have suggestions to make the dish better, I am happy to read it from you. Please feel free to comment on. I love learning!

I'd like to leave you with a quote that has inspired me not to be hopeless in the kitchen ever since I heard it:

"Anyone can cook"
                                                                                                   - Gusteau in the movie Ratatouille

Monday, October 8, 2012

From the Heart of the Seaman's Wife

As of this time, Mark is on his way to the US to join his ship, Kristoff and Mom are sound asleep. And I have just finished evaluating my students in the online report.

It's a little bit busy today, running errands with Kristoff in my arms, getting rid of the virus while K was asleep and while he's playing around, doing the house chores while he's watching the Brainy Baby video which has now become his favorite instead of Lion King. And in every moment of each, there was Mark calling me or me calling him.

We could only hear our voices, I know. So it might as well be the same if we talk through phone while he's still in Manila or when he's already on board. But no. There's really a difference, psychologically when the person is physically miles and miles away from you. Manila is reachable in less than a day. But continents? 

I am not whining at all. I'm just expressing a humanly emotion - the longing for my other half........thinking of the 9 months that we're going to be apart.

But then again, we have to bear it, if it's the way we can give brighter future for our family, especially for the kids. Mark and I promised that we would never let our kids experience the kind of hardship that we had due to poverty. And I feel so blessed that he's very responsible to reach that dream of ours.

We always say, 9 months is short, so as to ease the longing. There's Facebook and Skype and the mobile phone to be updated with each other.

But I hope someday, someday...we can have the option of him living with us while still providing well-enough for the family.

I miss him. But I must be strong. And I will be. For him. For K. For me.

'Til we touch you again...dad...


Beware of the Virus Spreading now in Skype!

I missed blogging!

If not for the virus or worm whatever that is quickly spreading now in Skype, maybe I already did post something early this afternoon. It took my 5 hours away.

First, I received a message from one of my contacts stating like this:

"hey ito sa iyong larawan sa profile? http://goo.gl/5q1sx?img=teacher_pie"

I was alarmed! I thought somebody might be fooling around with me. Then I did what most of you won't. I clicked it! And! Unzipped the file!

In less than a second, my account had already sent a message containing the virus to all of my Skype contacts. It says like this:

 "lol is this your new profile pic? http://goo.gl/5q1sx?img=(the skype username here)

Wow! The author of this virus is really brilliant! It is programmed to automatically place the username in the link so the greater chance for you to believe it's true!

Then, of course, my online contacts reacted to it, some were innocent while some had already known about it because they received so many messages like this in the past.

I wasn't even able to reply to most of the messages because my computer just hanged up. A friend suggested to uninstall the Skype program. It took me a long time, you know. The system was really slow.

I then downloaded Malwarebyte Anti-malware and did a quick scan which resulted to 8 viruses! After removing, Skype was installed again and I feel so relieved when the system got back to normal again.

The first 20 minutes of being online in Skype got me soo busy answering messages about the virus that my account sent. :)

P.S.

I forgot to tell that I also changed my Skype password and clicked the Tools from the menu, then Options,  Advanced, Manage other Programs' Access to Skype, and removed all the .exe files.

Monday, October 1, 2012

6 More Months To Go and You're 2!

 

It really seems unbelievable, my darling baby boy has turned one and a half yesterday.

***Sigh**

Of course, of course, I'm happy! It's just that...I couldn't believe he's this grown up and it seems like it was only yesterday that I gave birth to him. My, he looked so cute and helpless in my arms I could just imagine I could hold him like that forever.

And just  look at him now...he has turned into a little version of his dad! A very cute....little.....monster! Hehe...My type of monster! ***Wink**

That's it. No more mommy senti moments, I have to reserve that when he turns two!

Anyway, I really love our moment yesterday. Why?

Because aside from celebrating Kristoff's birthday, my innocence in baking was finally over. My pastry chef sister made these cupcakes and I helped her, a little, haha! Actually, we only bought Lemon Square cupcakes and then place whipped cream at the top and fancied it with some choco sticks, mallows and Nips! It was my first time to touch a mixer. Haha. I owe my sister a lot! I hope we can stay over at their place again soon.

Now, here's the birthday boy!


Kristoff at 1 year and 6 months!

Favorite Foods: Chocolate, sundae, potato fries, banana, apple
Favorite Activities: Dancing, hide and seek, "catch me please"
Favorite Movie: Lion King parts 1,2,3
Favorite Animals: Cow, Fish, Bird, Dog, but cow really is number 1, but the house lizard is the first animal he identified. :)
Sweetest word I heard from him: De (when he calls his dad,especially when he wakes his big man, it just melts my heart)
Sweetest thing he did for me: when he simply kisses me on my lips unexpectedly, it paints a smile on my lips every time I remember it. :)

I LOVE YOU BABY! MOMMY AND DADDY ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU, LITTLE ONE...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Funny Free Talking Class

Sharing to you tonight's conversation with my 8-year old Korean student.

Jaden: Teacher, can you see this? (Showing me a picture on his phone through Skype video call.)
Me: Oh sorry Jaden, the photo is not so clear. What is it?
Jaden: It's a fish! Wait...This one is a real turtle!
Me: Wow! Have you been to a zoo?
Jaden: No.
Me: Ahha...Ok, I will show you our picture at the zoo.

I sent him the  link of our El Toro Zoo visit.

Me: Can you see the birds and the fish?
Jaden: OK, I'm looking at the pictures now. I can see your dad.
Me: Dad? That's not my dad, that's my husband.
Jaden: This fat guy with a baby?
:-x

Haha! This is one of those moments when his size gets obvious and his age doesn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That House, This House, That House

When I was in high school, I started planning to renovate my parents house. Not only as my expression of gratitude to my parents, but also as a gratitude to that house which has been a witness to my family's ups and downs and a refuge during a great trial.

How did we have this house? Here's the story...

That House First.

My maternal grandparents gave my mom and pa some good old house and a nearby piece of land good for having a small orchard of apple-guavas.

I have some pretty good memories in that house. Eating ice buko - or coconut ice pops - since it was the family's business some 20 years ago. I can still remember the three big freezers just placed in the terrace . A few 3-5 people came every morning to get the ice bukos so that they can sell them around town. They would come back in the afternoon to remit their sales minus the commission.

Ahh... some of my memories in that house are still very clear especially those when I was around 4-5 years old. I couldn't imagine I could have a crush on the ice buko vendor who was on his teens perhaps! Lol! I even played house with him as my husband (who was sound asleep at the terrace). I gathered leaves from the garden and assumed it was our food. And because I was too noisy while playing house, he was startled and showed me an angry face. It made me ashamed of course! Maybe because I disappointed my crush, haha! I can just laugh at my young self!

At that time, my Mama Sandra and Papa Buchok, my mom's siblings were also living with us in that house. I have a vivid memory of my Tita Sandra who suddenly felt her birthing pains with my cousin Lala. We were gathered in the living room and it seemed that the adults were having fun since all I can remember is that they were all laughing. Then, at once, Ma Sandra paused and grimaced. It must be really serious since it made everybody almost panicky. Some assisting her to the room, another person leading me away from it and my poor innocent mind was asking why I shouldn't be in that same room where my aunt is. Minutes later, a woman came and later did I know that it's Tita Neneng, our midwife. After all that fuss, I heard a baby cried.

Not all memories are good, though. Some are not so nice and yet they're there for some good reason!
After having her third child, Ma Sandra moved to another house which was also from their parents. Then, Papa Buchok got married and continued to live with us. My father, at that time, was a house husband, he's the one who took care of me and did all the household chores while my mom was teaching in a public school. Even though I was young, I could sense some conflict in the house. My father would sometimes look sad and mom and uncle talked in raised voices. Then, one afternoon, in the terrace, I saw mom and uncle facing each other, exchanging tense words...and then, right before my eyes, I saw him slapped my mom. A neighbor intervened. Nothing did I understand, except that they were fighting, there was hurting and there was hatred in me...

This House Now.

So, we moved. My parents built a house in front of that big old house because we couldn't afford to buy our own lot. And that house they built was more likely this bahay kubo I grabbed from Wikipedia:


This is a native house in the Philippines made of bamboo and nipa leaves. Yes, we fitted ourselves in this little house, all the 6 of us including our little baby girl, our youngest sibling. I also had plenty of memories here. One time, I didn't know where my mom was on that day and when Papa told me she went to the city, I grabbed this coconut husk and scrubbed the bamboo floor of the terrace. I thought mom would be happy if she sees it clean and shining! So even when the rain came, my papa couldn't force me to stop what I was doing. I was wet yet I continued to scrub! Hehe! What a head! So, when mom came home, she came home to a very sick daughter. :)

Soon after we moved, Papa got a job at the local mining and they afforded to hire someone to babysit my little sister and bring me to kindergarten. Then they were able to renovate our small hut using concretes. And it has become a little bigger and our memories with this house grew a little more each time.

Over the years of serving us, this shelter is already worn and torn, aside from the still unfinished parts. There are holes on the roof where the rainwater can happily make their entrance and wet our floors waiting for someone to slide,  there's no ceiling, walls undone and a lot more are needed for this house to be finally called complete.

That House I Dreamed.

Mark and I plan to buy our own lot this year. It is one step closer for us to finally have our dream house. A few years from now, we will be moving. But this makes me remember my first dream house and that is this house owned by my darling parents be renovated to the design they like.

I promised this to them, especially to mom. And I talked about this to Mark just last Sunday. I'm glad that he respects my desire for my parents. He doesn't have any qualms about it. Our condition is that, his salary goes to us and mine goes to fulfilling my first dream house! 

I pray that God would bless this dream!
 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm joining BC Bloggers

Finally, I am able to write something for BC Bloggers.

I was blog-hopping some time before and got curious of BC Bloggers' badge. What is it all about?

I was then led to mommydiary.net, a site owned by Ms. Paula through which she blogs about her family and hosts a community called BC Bloggers. It is a network of bloggers sharing and exchanging links. It is a great way to know other blogging moms.

I can't resist to join. I want to be part of that community where I get to know other people's ideas and tips to learn from them. I want to know their life stories and be inspired by them.

If you are like me seeking for a community like this, join us too by clicking here.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Let's Move and Let's Love

Good evening mothers! What are you up to tonight?

Here? I can find silence in the house, good enough for reflection. Kristoff has just fallen asleep beside me after watching Bingo and Old Mcdonald for several times and Mark is out to bond with his uncles. Most of my online students have an appointment and cancelled their classes. Yay! I can blog early! :)

Anyway, I found in my inbox a message from Nuffnang about Benetton's Let's Love and Let's Move Contest. Apparently, it has a price when you win. So it makes me really excited to make my entry, thinking of my hubby and me having Benetton's new fragrances, Let's Move for him and Let's Love for meeeee! It requires to blog about a thing that we commit to do as a move of love.

I was so focused on the price, to be honest. But while pondering on it, I've come to some important realization:

We can be great in moving and loving even through the simple random act of kindness. 
We may not reach the extent of putting our lives at stake for some historical heroic deed, 
but we can still be heroes in simple ways as we live our lives everyday. 
For parents, we move and we love every moment when our thoughts and actions are geared towards sustaining our kids. Reading a story book, kissing a son goodnight, dancing with your little ones, and playing peek-a-boo are only a few examples that we move and love. 
We may not be appreciated all the time, 
but sure does this random act of kindness brings goodness and joy to both us and our kids.

When I was in high school and college, I dreamed of being a Christian missionary to India or Africa. 
I felt like I was being called to bring good news to the unsaved and help the less fortunate. 
It is where I can best perform as a nurse, I thought.
But it didn't happen. 
I got married and blessed with a sweet son. 
Then there's no more way but to set aside that dream. 
But I love what Mother Teresa said in these two quotes, they remind me of my mission now:


 I am happy that whatever I have become right now, I am always moving and loving, even at times when things are so hard and I don't even realize that we are doing it.

But I have one special thing that I want to do on my birthday which will be on the 23rd of December. 
Yay! I'm turning 25! Let's celebrate!
Actually, I have an ideal birthday celebration and this was supposed to be what my 18th birthday should be done. Due to some personal circumstances, however, it didn't go like this.

It's so simple, you know. 
I just want to throw a party in a poor village in the nearby barangay. There would be lots of parlor games and prices for them, Christmas gifts, and of course, food! 
But a preaching about the Holy Word would be a great start for the celebration. 

This is my vow, my commitment, my move of love.

How about you? Have you committed to do a move of love today, this week, this month,
 or before the year ends? What is it?

Let's move and let's love!





Exciting Thursday + Ocean Park Adventure

You say, why exciting?

Because our Kristoff seems sooo talkative today, although we can't understand what he's saying. But he talks in long sentences of arrghjauhm....etc. Well, forgive me for the spelling, but that's the sound I can remember from him today.

For a first time mom like me, I find it amazing how he utters out the wordssounds that I know have meanings for him. They are not clear words, but we figure them out depending on the current situation or when he uses gestures and facial expressions.

The other day, he requested to watch the Lion King and he happened to say Timba while pointing to the TV. Oh, my little boy!

Early today, he saw his Old Mcdonald book  and said Maaaaaah...that's how he call it because there's a cow in that book. Whenever he saw that, he would just say the cow's sound, although I teach him everyday the sounds and names of other animals in the book. But this morning was extra special, because he finally said duck, yeah that sound, while pointing to the picture of the ducks! I'm just so proud of him!

More words are being added to his dada, daddy, mama and mommy!

Tonight, I was having an online class through Skype when he just went near me and kept on speaking to me with his eyes telling that I know what he's talking and he's demanding for a reply.  My! He wanted a conversation! And so I just nodded and while my words were for my student at the time who was on the other line, I focused my eyes on him as if referring to him.The happy earthling was as if satisfied by our convo, smiled and went to his dad.

Every time he did this, Mark and I just held each other's gaze, smiling, knowing that some time soon, our boy will talk...I mean really talk in simple words. Way to go son!

Anyway...on the other hand, I'd like to share our photos on our Ocean Park adventure yesterday. Enjoy!

Tickets to the shows and the Oceanarium.

Oh, I'm more than 2 feet!

The father and son together with my sister.

At the Sea Lion Show, Kristoff wasn't in the good mood, sleepy baby.

A sea lion on the show. She's Sandra, the female sea lion, very clever. And the other one, not shown here, is Vincent. He's also good, but he's old so he moves slow.

Sea horses at the Oceanarium.

Trying to reach the diver?

swimming sea lion...the cool water refreshes me.

Daddy felt like he's in Antarctica!

Me: Hey son! Your not allowed to enter there.  Kristoff: Oh come on mom! Define fun! 

This photo should be the first. Entrance!

I forgot the name, hheehehe.

Jelly fish! Like! Like! Like!


My sister and the Moon Jellies (?). Beautiful!

God is so awesome! How he had made this!

MEEEEEEEEEE! 

I never wanted to leave this room, you know.

Mr. Penguin? Why aren't you moving?


We were so exhausted after this fun trip, but then again, fun is fun and the memories we made were irreplaceable! I love every moment of it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kids Say

Being here with Mark in Manila gives me a good chance to know and bond with his relatives including his two sisters and a bunch of his cousins, aunts and uncles. And may I mention it's my first time to meet some of them.

I love moments like this especially when I spend time with the young cousins. They don't fail to make me wide-eyed when they start a conversation. :)


Renren (seven years old) to me: Are you and Kuya Mark already married?
Gab (five years old) eagerly answered: You see, they already have a son, so they must have been married already.

Hehe! Gab has his reason, you know.

-o-O-o-oOo-o-O-o-





Ranting and Happiness

Before continuing about our flight, I'd like to reiterate somehow that since this trip was unexpected, I was also unprepared. To the point that I only got 2 pieces of blouse, 1 short, 2 undies aside form the ones I'm wearing already. And with Kristoff, he has only 2 shirts and shorts, I haven't even brought him long pants.

That's why, I feel 50/50 for my husband at that time. Fifty percent happy to be with him and fifty percent angry somewhat because hindi sya nagsabi days before that he wanted us to go with him. My gosh! He only gave me an hour to prepare while most of our clothes were wet in the washing machine. Mabuti sya at super prepared sya, dami kaya nyang dalang damit, kasi yung lakad nya lang ang planado.

Anyway, I'll stop that ranting kasi we're already here and happy naman kasi may nagpapahiram ng damit, may nagbibigay, at may mga nabili kami, at naglalaba ako everyday. Isa pa, the most important of all is that we're all together and Kristoff and I have finally met Mark's relatives here. Bonding-bonding!

I've come to realize tuloy that this is one of the moments that money can buy happiness. Kasi before, when Mark had to go to Manila for all this processing and stuff for his work, he needed to be away for two weeks while Kristoff and I were left at our town in Negros. That was so because we're thinking to save every penny in exchange of our time spent together.

But now, medyo level up na kmi. Can afford na ng konti to buy tickets for the two of us and stay here in Manila. This makes us really happy. Kasi nga 3 months na nga lang bakasyon ni Mark, kukunin pa yung 2 weeks dun? So this is better. This is really better! Happy together!





Monday, September 17, 2012

An Unexpected Trip to Manila Part 1

Yes! At long last! After 4 years I'm back in Manila and it's super UNEXPECTED! As in U-N-E-X-P-E-C-T-E-D! A probinsyana like me from Negros, without really any business to do here and on a tight budget doesn't expect to be here on leisure. And I'm here with my little family, yep, the three of us!

So what really happened why we happened to be in the metro?

Actually, it's already Mark's time to report to his company's office in Ermita to sign his next contract and have his training in Cavite. He left on Tuesday last week for Bacolod and that same night, I was in so emo mode thinking that he'll be leaving us again for work for nine months! He just have a 3-month vacation - so short!  And yet, we're doing this for our dreams, for a better future so that our kids will not experience the hardships we had because of poverty. This is a third world talk and I feel I don't have the right to complain. So sacrifice...sacrifice...sacrifice....I know that word. And Mark and I believe that it's for the best.

The morning after that emo-Tuesday night, came a surprising question from him through a text message:

"Do you want to come with me to Manila?"

What? Are you kidding? That's my initial reaction. Then, I suddenly realized that he's not kidding at all, he was in fact very serious of that question that suddenly popped out of his mind. No, no...he wasn't asking me if I wanted to go, he has actually decided about it already. I learned that he was done calling our parents to inform them that we're going. This mom ain't got a choice.

In a matter of an hour, I'm done packing our things. I'm just glad that my mom came home from work to help me out. 

At 9:00 a.m, we're already on our way through a 6-hour bus drive to Bacolod City where Mark was waiting for us to catch a 5:20 pm flight.

We arrived at Silay_Bacolod Airport at 4:00 PM. I was VERY excited and anxious at the same time because this would be my very first flight. And Kristoff's too!

***to continue po ito...**


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Can I Be Well-Rested Too?

Over at Pepper's blog, she posted about the Secrets of Well-Rested Moms, and what an answer it has been to my almost-burn-out state this week! As I have already posted yesterday, last week was a real sucker - everyone was sick and Kristoff  today still is. I'm just grateful that at least his fever lowered down today. We haven't gone for a blood test because of the whole-day rain. Okay, anyway, yes, I was really exhausted, even until now.

Nevertheless, I vowed to try those steps and see where it can get me - hopefully, to that day when I can proudly say that I'm fully rested and still have time to do everything and bond with my precious loved ones.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Everyone's-Sick Week

***Sigh***

Yes, apparently, the title must tell you what's happening in the household. Yeah, the family's been experiencing a lot of stress this week from unexpected ailments.

First, it's Mark who got serious colds that started on Friday night. He was supposed to have his trip to Bacolod and Manila the following day, but cancelled it off because of it. Of course, he needed to stay in bed and have a full rest and he was like that for four days. 'Yan kasi, he was really busy facilitating the permit of cutting down a tree to be used for making a pump boat. With just the motorcycle, he and my father-in-law went to the mountain and took a picture of the tree, then went to DENR. And mind you, the weather here is not so nice these days. The day might start with a scorching sun and all of a sudden, the rain would just pour down. So lesson for him: Slow down, take it easy and avoid abusing your body.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Silly and Funny!

Papa is an avid fan of war and action movies.
Every time he comes home, he would always find time to watch his all-time favorites,
War in Mindanao and anything Bruce Lee.
 
 
On Saturday, he was about to play a movie together with Kristoff
when I interrupted him.
 
 
Me: Pa, please don't make Kristoff watch war movies. He might think, shooting people is just an ordinary life scene.
 
Papa: Don't worry, this is not war. This is Karate.
 
 
:p
 
-o-o-0-o-o-
 
Kristoff has been showing a lot of new skills these days.
One particular "skill" I've observed is his ability to identify things that are bad smelling.
 
For example, after he poops,
he would put his hand on his diaper area, then to his nose and makes a face.
That's a bad smell for him.
 
Tonight, the three of us were on the bed and Mark didn't have his shirt on.
He was lying with his arms up and Kristoff was right beside him.
Suddenly, he patted his hand on his dad's armpit, put it on his nose, and made a "bad smell" face!
 
Ohhh...Kristoff is too honest! :)


 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Missed Poop!


Thanks to the wonderful moms who commented on my post if Kristoff's ready for potty training that I get a lot of valuable advices and opinions about it.
The Flawed Mommy's experience on her five kids inspired me what to do today.
We got up early because Mark and mom have each of their appointments.  After saying goodbye to his dad, I placed him to our big potty while holding him and sounding like I'm the one to poop.
"Oooh...ooh..."
Pohhh. That's the closest word I can put for the sound of his fart that came after. But then, after around two minutes, it felt that he won't poop, so I removed him from the potty.
I talked to him that he should tell me if he wants to poop or pee.
We started singing and playing to set the mood and I let him watch TV.
After almost thirty minutes, he came to me and say "uh uh" repeatedly. This was my cue because everytime he feels like defecating, he says this word. So off we went to the big potty, but alas...his poop was already falling down from his shorts even before we reached the toilet door.
However, I contnued to make him sit on the potty but when it seemed that he's really done,
I just washed him. 
Kristoff can't still hold his bowel and so it's okay. When he gave me his cue, it meant that he's already halfway. It's fine, baby. No pressure.
You know, mommy is so happy today that we already started this and this will be one of our morning routines.


Brush, Brush, Brush!

.I began using a brush on Kristoff's teeth even before his first birthday, but stopped when his gums bled because he resisted it and then I resorted to using the gauze pad again. But since he has his molars now, the gauze can't clean the folds and corners of the teeth and I'm afraid he could develop cavities.
It's very necessary to get him used to brushing his teeth.
Here are some techniques I use to get him back to brushing and making him enjoy it:
1. I make him see me brush my teeth while singing and having fun.
2. Right after I brush my teeth, I show him that it's his time to have his teeth cleaned.
3. It's natural that kids become resistant when we force them to brush and this would just cause injury to their gums. Yes, okay, I learned from experience.
a. So what I do, is be as friendly as possible to him and instruct and show him to open his mouth and bare his teeth. That way, I get him to obey. But he obeys for only like a minute or even less, just in time for me to pass the brush to his molars.
b. After that, I let him hold his brush and because he already knows what it's used for, he put it in his mouth and brushed even though it's not perfect brushing.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Living in an Extended Family

 

This TV commercial of PSBank on their Home Loan offer strikes me. That woman in the ad and I are just in likely situation, only that no one has yet said "di nga" to me. Nobody has reminded me yet of building our own house and get separated from my parents. But it keeps me thinking, really, when would that probably happen. Yes, when?

You see, before, I never really planned to live here when I would have my own family. I aspired to live in the city and I disliked the countryside despite the fact  that I grew up here. But things changed and the unplanned eventually happened. I married my neighbor and he's just exactly the person who loves the countryside. While I did have great plans on living in the city, he also had great plans on the rural life. 

And since we got married when we still didn't have much savings to buy a lot and build a house, we have decided to stay here in my parents' for awhile. We just built an extra room for us. Just thankful that my parents' are okay with that. See how my fate works? It left me with no choice.

This is much to our advantage especially that Mark is away for nine months and my father who works in another city only comes home thrice in a month. Mom is a public school teacher, she leaves at seven and comes home at five. So, most of the days, it's only Kristoff and me at home. 

Imagine if we have our own house, it would be so boring for my son and me, only the two of us. And mom? She would've come home at night and be all alone at this house. 
So, I guess for the meantime, this set-up is all okay for everyone.

There's joy living in an extended family. The grannies get to enjoy their little grandchildren while these little ones could feel the abundance of love in the family. Some folks say that grannies show more love to their grandkids compare to their own offsprings. Might be true!

I also have the "I was born here and I'll die here" idea and thinking of moving out someday makes me sad. It's just hard to let go. 
What will happen to my mom and papa when they grow old and alone? 
Who will take care of them?

But I know time must come that I should let go. Or I don't know yet what will happen in the future. The best thing I know I should do is that to make and cherish good memories in this house while this set-up lasts. It's the only one we've got for now, tomorrow maybe different.

In the Kitchen: Maja Blanca



I love to share this merienda recipe I just learned to cook. Actually, back in high school, I sold these everyday to my classmates for one peso per slice which is as big as the slice above. Imagine?  How cheap it was back then. It was my mom who used to cook this and never did I try to cook it on my own.
I know how, though.
She used cornstarch or third class flour mixed with coconut milk, refined sugar and young coconut meat, sweet corn or crushed peanuts.

I got curious of the ingredients other folks use because the way they tasted, there's really a difference in the consistency of the maja blanca and I like the other's taste better. Good thing I found an old recipe book owned by my grandmother and discovered that instead of flour or cornstarch, they have used probably the soaked rice ground finely.

After trying it on my own, here's the recipe you may also try:

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups coconut milk
1 cup white/refined sugar

Procedure:

1. Soak the rice in the water for at least 4 hours. I did mine for 8 hours because I was a bit busy. Before grinding, wash the rice first. Just make sure that the amount of water mixed with the rice which is like 1 1/2 cups is still the same.

2. Mix all the ingredients and bring to a boil until thick.

3. Smooth over in medium heat for about 20 minutes and place in a plate. Top with cheese.

Variations:

You can also mix to it nuts, buko (young coconut) meat, sweet corn or cheese. I mixed cheese in mine.






Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is Kristoff Ready For Potty Training?



 In a gathering we attended a couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance asked me if Kristoff is still wearing a diaper. When I told her yes, she looked a little bit surprised saying that her daughter had stopped using diaper even at night a few months after she turned one. 

I felt a little pressured and guilty at first because Kristoff is already 1 year and 5 months old and yet, I haven't tried potty training him. I had to remind myself that each child is different and I must allow his normal pace of development and not to put pressure on him.

But still, it led me to search for help in potty training my toddler. Just this week, I notice significant changes in his overall development. I could account it to our vacation in La Castellana where he collected a lot of cognitive stimulation.

Here are the things I've noticed in him recently:

1. Whenever he feels like defecating, he would say "uh-uh" and touch his diaper area.
2. He knows how to obey simple orders like "don't touch", "press a button".
3. He engages in our conversation, only that his words are incomprehensible. He talks in long sentences though and when he repeats them twice, they are still the same pattern of sounds. This made us believe that he must be talking in sentences only that he can't utter words, only sounds.

Need not to say, these changes are also essential in engaging my son to potty training.

Anyhow, I searched BabyCenter and found this checklist on a toddler's readiness in potty training. 

Hmmm... let me assess my son's readiness.

Physical signs

Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
***Yes.

Urinates a fair amount at one time.                               
***Yes.

Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
***He does have well-formed stools, yet his bowel schedule is still unpredictable.

Has "dry" periods of at least two hours or during naps, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. 
***Yes.Sometimes at daytime, I don't make him wear his diaper especially when we're only staying at home. He can sleep for 2 hours without urinating.

Behavioral signs

Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.                                           
***Yes! Especially when he's attentive to watching Lion King!

Can pull his pants up and down.
***Not yet.

Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
***Yes, he complains a lot when he has poop in his diaper or if the diaper is almost fully soaked.

Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).     
***He loves going to the bathroom, maybe because he finds it really cool. And another reason may be he's observing what people do in the bathroom.

Gives a physical or verbal sign when he's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.         
*** When he's going to poop, he says "uh-uh" and touches his diaper area. Yes!

Demonstrates a desire for independence.                                                                     
***Not so much.

Takes pride in his accomplishments.        
***I wish I can just paint his face every time his face lights up when he does something good and we give him our affirmation. So, yes!                                                                          

Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet.
***I think he isn't.

Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.
***Guess he's in the negative stage..or say 50/50. Sometimes, he's really cooperative and obedient.

Cognitive signs

Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.        
***Not yet.

Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy."
***Yes.

Understands the value of putting things where they belong.
***Not so much!

Has words for urine and stool.
***Yep! For urine, it's "eeh" and for stool, it's "uh-uh".


Oh, and I guess we still have to wait for a little more time to finally get him into his official 
potty training.

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