Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hey Little Lady, Where Are You Headed?

We were initially walking together here and I was holding your hand.
You told me to let go. So I did. I stepped back and let you walk ahead of me instead.
You've really grown, I can see.
Walk safe and slow little lady. Remember, I'm just right here.
Some days you refuse to walk beside me just like you did yesterday while we were headed out to enjoy a day at the mall together. Malls are a rare treat for you so I was surprised how insistent you were that I take you. So we went to the nearby Festival Mall to hear mass, eat lunch (where you finished a full meal) and enjoy a train ride. Oh how happy you were while riding this train. You were shouting your heart out. Yelling with glee!

I really wanted to get a good photo of you aboard this train
but you were just so excited you keep jumping up and down.
It wasn't your first time on this train but this was definitely the first time you reacted like this.
Ang saya, saya ba talaga?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sticker Swap Pals

18 month old little stickerhappygirl finding pleasure in sticking em stickers on her face

Since Maia discovered how to peel off stickers and labels, there's no turning back. As soon a sticker pad lands on her hands expect to see them all over the place. She just loves sticking them up so much that last Christmas, she only asked for stickers as Christmas gifts. Yes, she is that obsessed with stickers and yes she's very easy to please.

Christmas Day 2010 - enjoying her gifts from Santa
The addiction I'd say is rather temporary though. As soon as she finishes up a pad, she moves on and gets herself busy with other things. I guess we're partly to blame for this. We are so concern with discouraging her attachment to things that even if she asks us to bring home stickers as pasalubong we would intentionally forget it. Some days she'd throw a tantrum but most days she doesn't really mind. There was a point though when she'd take scotch tapes in place of fancy stickers. Times like that just make for great laughing moments at home.
Stickers here, stickers there...stickers everywhere!
Anyways a few weeks back, Neva and Toni (one of the many mommy bloggers that I really look up to) brought up the idea of doing sticker swaps and with thoughts of Maia being the stickerhappygirl that she is, I immediately jumped in to join!

So far, we've rounded up the swap for September. There's the 4 of us involved in this exchange for now. But I'm really looking forward to exchanging with more mommies. I especially like reading the notes that come with the stickers. I'm actually saving them up so I can compile them in a scrapbook to hand over to Maia when she's older. 
Notes from Elysse and Timmy
Oh this swap conveys pleasant childhood memories. I used to collect stamps, stationery sets and cutesy erasers during my childhood. Unfortunately, I was not able to preserve them well enough to give to Maia as a sort of mom-daughter hand-me-down collection. On the otherhand, I guess this is a good start for us. I hope Maia can keep this correspondence going when she's older. It's one great way to make new friends.

Always delighted to see something in the mail for her!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Update: Dealing With Thumbsucking

A few months ago, I wrote about our thumbsucking dilemma.

The thumb is my sleeping buddy. The thumb and this pillow.
I aimed to resolve that before Maia's 3rd birthday but it just seemed impossible. Well, not till 10 days ago. We had to travel to Antique for a family emergency last Friday. We were rushing to catch the first flight going to Iloilo and I accidentally left her favorite bolster pillow at home. We were already in the airport when I realized I made one of the gravest mistakes my forgetfulness could ever do me. That pillow was the ticket to our uninterrupted sleep for the past two years, why did I have to forget that of all things? Tibs was throwing dagger looks at me but we cannot discuss it for the fear that the little girl might notice her precious pillow was missing and throw a tantrum at 3am in the crowded pre-departure area. What's worse, a sleep-deprived Tibs and me might not be able to handle it in the most pleasant way possible and might make a scene. Ugh.

Thankfully, she didn't notice that it was missing. However, when the plane was about to take off she demanded for the pillow. What are we to do? Well, normally we would have stalled and maybe come up with a white lie till we get a replacement but she was demanding for a specific pillow. The cry went exactly like this: Gusto ko ng hotdog ko! Yung color white! May pagong, alligator, yung may zebra! Gusto ko yun, Mommy! Gusto ko yung hotdog ko! (roughly translated as: I want my hotdog [bolster pillow]! The white one! With the turtle! Alligator! The one with the zebra! I want that, Mommy! I want that pillow!) We couldn't come up with a lie at that point because we are thinking of the next 5 days that we will be dealing with. If we lie and say the pillow was just inside one of our bags, the next 5 days will be a nightmare for us. She will not stop till she gets it. If that happens, we might never be able to get at least a night of restful sleep. So we gradually broke it to her (we just got creative while doing it hehe). Our dialogue went: We left the pillow in Cavite. We left it because she was still sleepy when we left and she forgot to wake up the pillow. But the pillow will be waiting excitedly for her to come back. We will make sure to call Ate Belen (our nanny) when the plane lands so she can take good care of her pillow while she's away. She cried of course for maybe about 10mins of the flight. But she eventually got tired and finally succumbed to sleep when her dad started scratching her back. Poor baby.

The first night without the pillow was really bad. We were able to put her to sleep around 10pm already (she normally sleeps at 7-730ish). Thankfully, at my lola's wake, everyone was busy so nobody really notice we were already listening to bad opera in our bedroom (read: Maia screaming, crying for her pillow). She'd wake up every hour or so and demand for the pillow. It was a terrible night for us three.


The second night was (thankfully!) better. My sisters found her a spare pillow (from our past vacations) but she still insisted at first for that specific white pillow with the turtle, alligator and zebra print. She threw the spare bolster pillow many times unto us till her strength ran out and finally slept. It wast still a night filled with so much interruptions. But it was on the 2nd day that we realized the pillow served as her anchor when she takes her thumb to suck. Without the pillow, it's very uncomfortable for her to suck with her arms hanging in the air. That was a light bulb moment for Tibs and me. Instead of feeling helpless, we were suddenly empowered with the thought that we can finally kick the habit out. We just have to be more patient with handling her pre-bedtime (and middle of the night) tantrums. What we did was not make her nap during the day and keep reminding her  we do not have the pillow with us so she should stop demanding it from us.

Our patience paid off! The next 3 days turned out way, way better. She'd cry for just a minute or two. Then would tearfully ask for one of us to scratch her back and she'd silently go to sleep.

Getting back to Cavite was a different story though. She immediately looked for the pillow when we got home. But I already gave instructions to Manang to hide it.

What excuse did we come up with? Well, the stray cats that found solace in the empty lot beside our house became a convenient excuse. Manang told Maia that she couldn't find her pillows anymore and that Mingming (the name we gave the cat) might have taken them away when she was airing them to dry. Maia cried of course. She really cried her heart out. But she somehow knew there was nothing she could do.

So, for the past 10 days she's almost kicked the bad thumbsucking habit away. We only caught her twice I think trying to stick the thumb back into her mouth but again for the lack of support for her arms, the thumb would easily fall out of her mouth when she's fallen to sleep. Some days Manang would tell us she would chase the cat and demand for her pillow. But most days, she gets by just fine.
Day 10: Shhhh...DO NOT DISTURB: ANGEL SLEEPING
I asked from her to stop sucking her thumb before her third birthday but she refused to give in to my request. But 10 days before her birthday, she did give me what I asked from her. I was the one who got the best gift on my daughter's birthday. And it was her who gave it to me.

I'm the luckiest mom in this whole wide world. :)

Will hug Sophie instead. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Currently Playing: Rainbow Connection

We've been playing this version for days now. On repeat. During bedtime. I look forward to the day you can sing this to me, Maia.

RAINBOW CONNECTION

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.



p.s. I can't find a nice video to share but really wanted to bookmark this song because next month she might have a new favorite.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Almost Three, Barely Three

You are almost three today. And the past year was definitely far different from the past two years that we've experienced together. You now speak your mind. You know what you want and say it. You can now tell what's right or wrong. You devour more food than I do. You are now officially a kid indeed.

You're barely three but you speak in complete sentences already. You never fail to keep us entertained by your witty remarks. I know most people would say, it's not that amazing because I am such a talker so you probably took after me but at almost 3 you just deliver the most unexpected monologues, you always leave us dumbfounded. I could only pray that God blesses you with the wisdom to someday put that gift to good use. Who knows you might grow up to be a great storyteller!

You're barely three but your imagination just blows me away. There is no need for fancy, expensive toys for you. Because in your world, every thing is just perfect as it is. There are no boundaries, you just simply let your imagination fly. You can transform scratch papers to flying carpets and wings; bottle caps to fancy cups; sticks to electric guitars! I don't even have to do anything with them. You give them life on your own!
Stick House (with some help from Daddy)
You're barely three but you already come up with such beautiful drawings sometimes they're so intricate we have to step back to see what they really are. You can create a full story out of your drawings as well. Amazing, little girl.

Left: Car (was probably remembering her Manong Gogol's drawing)
Right: Self-portrait (wearing sunglasses)
You're barely three but you can already write a few letters of the alphabet. You first wrote H and your dad thought it was just something you did by accident. But no, you had to disprove your dad and you did another one. I feel so proud. Now you can easily do your E's, F's, O's, T's, I's, L's (and a few more I cannot remember them now). Letters like P, B, M or A you can also do but you always want Mommy to guide you (but honestly baby, you're the one doing them. I never controlled your hands). 

You're barely three but you now understand why rules at home exist. And you try your best to follow them because you know you're breaking Mommy's and Daddy's heart if you're not obeying us. You do not hesitate to say sorry when you know you did something wrong (and you say it is such a sweet way, you make us feel it's a big sin not to forgive you). 

You're barely three but you can fix your meals already. If we even let you, you can make your own warm milk. When we're too pre-occupied you'd grab your little mug and put milk on it and attempt to put warm water on it just to test if we are paying attention to you (but remember we said the red button on the water dispenser is not for kids your age yet so thank you for listening to us).


You're barely three but you have such a big heart. You are never short of hugs and kisses. You say I love you more often that we do. You say I love you not just to us but to every one you care about. Keep spreading the love, little girl. You always make people smile when you do that :)

You're barely three but you've taught me so much already. And I'm still learning so much from you day in and day out. You brought out something in me that I never expected I had...one of them is PATIENCE. I never thought I can be this patient but you showed me how to be. Thank you for that. 

I thank God everyday that you came into our life, Maia. We love you to bits.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

...crawling in mud and jumping on puddles.

Mud Play! 
Yes, that's what the little girl did with her cousin Gogol yesterday. Back home in Cavite, she's been bugging me to let her bathe in the rain. But of course, with our house situated just beside the road I just couldn't let her do that by herself. So it was always a NO (because I was never always in the mood to bathe in the rain with her).

Since we had Maia, we've never been home to Antique during the rainy season. We've always scheduled vacations during summer and holy week when both Tibs and I are allowed to take long days off from work. But last Friday, we had to be back home to Antique to personally say our final goodbyes to my 101-year old grandmother. And what great timing, it has been raining (and raining hard at that) since we got here.

When the rain started pouring hard yesterday, my nephew (just fresh from a bath actually) seized the moment and ran out to enjoy the rain. He was running, jumping and dancing with glee. The mere sight makes you want to join him already. So I can very well understand how the little girl was feeling. She was tugging on me but since we still hadn't rested enough I thought her immune system is still compromised and it's going to be a bad idea to let her join her cousin for an afternoon rain play.

To keep her occupied and nurse my guilt as well, I went to make her a paper boat to play with while waiting for her cousin to finish his rain play. She happily took the boat from me and immediately set it sail. She loved watching the boat drift thru the rain puddles but it eventually got stuck and she wanted to run out and fix it. I relented, decided to set aside my fears and let the kid enjoy this rare moment.

Enjoying a muddy crawl with cousin Gogol
Sometimes, it does feel extremely good to just let go, have fun and enjoy the play!

They were shouting in glee and literally dancing in the rain! 

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