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?

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, 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!


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.


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


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.
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.
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.

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