Monday, February 27, 2012

This Is It. ON to the Next Chapter.

We've finally come to a decision. Well actually it was partly Maia who decided where she's finally going. This morning while I was dressing up for work, she approached me and said "Mommy, sandali lang to ha. Wait mo lang ako. Tapusin ko lang si Handy Manny tapos alis na tayo." 

"San tayo pupunta 'nak?" (me already preparing to leave for work. bubble thought: i don't have time to deal with tantrums. please don't throw one now, little girl)

"Sa Seton." 

I got her to sit on my lap and gently told her it's a Monday and Mommy's off to work already. She pouted and sobbed a bit but was quick to collect herself ("Okay Mommy next time na lang ang Seton ha?") and proceeded to kiss and hug me bye-bye. It was a good thing her dad was taking the day off from work yesterday so I didn't have to feel so guilty leaving her like that.

Tibs picked up the admission results early yesterday and immediately relayed it to me, I thought hmmm she probably knew that she aced the assessment exam (remembering our conversation that morning). hahaha. pinangunahan na kami.

We have decided we will take this a year at a time. And for now, this is what we think is the best choice for our little girl so we're going to give this a try. It's a good thing we've already made our own decision before we were handed the admission results because the school is not giving us a lot of time to think things over as we only have until Mar 9 to decide if we're giving it a go or not. Of course the answer is yes. I just didn't realize enrollment deadlines come this early. Oh well, we know better next year. At least we'll be more prepared. I just have to say this though -- HINDI TALAGA BIRO ANG MAGPAARAL!!!!

I'd frame this if I could! (FOR REFERENCE this is what those 3 pertain to: )
  • Cognitive - generally refers to mental skills
  • Affective - pertains to attitude, social skills
  • Psychomotor - physical and manual skills.
Dearest Maia,



I'd like you to know that you made Dad and me very proud today. Bear in mind though that regardless of the result/s of the endeavors you chose to take in the future, Dad and me will always be here to hold your hand and support you. And now, we're starting a new journey in our life soon -- you finally going to big school -- we share your enthusiasm because we see how ecstatic you are about it. Every morning you'd wake up and announce, I'm going to school! I'm going to school! You make Dad and me laugh every time you do that. I hope this school is the right place for you. But let's help each other okay? We'll take this a step at a time.

We decided to enroll you in big school because we saw how ready you were. But if in the middle of all this, you'd suddenly feel you haven't had enough of play time at home yet just know that Dad and me will never pressure or force you to keep going. We will take your lead. 

This year seems to have a lot in store for us. Oh just the thought of it makes my heart leap already. We're so happy for you little girl. We love you very much!

Daddy and Mommy


Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm Back, Doc Dentist!

Our dentist have a lot of books for the kids to read while waiting for their turn.
Maia was excited flipping through pages of Aladdin here.
Well Maia can now say the word dentist clearly. And we don't know how she ended up knowing we're really going to the dentist. I was a bit shocked when I asked her where we're going and she replied, "di ba Mommy kay doc dentist?" I was still expecting her to push the bookstore trip (we were supposed to go to MV Logos today, that floating bookstore, that is currently docked at Pier 15 in the Port Area in Manila) but we had to change plans last minute. We promised to take her to the bookstore Sunday though so this weekend will mostly be spent outside of the house. 

Digressing again.

Back at the dentist today we could tell how the little girl has grown since our last visit by the way she handled her time in the chair. Her attention span has now extended and having learned (almost perfected) the art of gargling recently she took the time to finish the entire glass of water. I think she just really wants to impress doc dentist. What I like about our doc dentist is her patience with kids and how she really takes her time to make sure Maia's teeth is thoroughly cleaned. I know because I watched her do it for almost 45mins. In between, she would stop to share tips on how to better care for the tot's milk teeth. I guess that's what sets pediatric dentists apart from regular dentists. We're proud to say that aside from some calcified plaque that took quite sometime for the doc to clean, Maia's oral health is still in perfect condition. And despite her losing the veneer from our last visit, doc didn't push to have it re-done anymore since the tooth seemed fine already and she said the last 2 we did somehow covered the 'cracks' in the tooth so with the fluoride treatment and the regular tooth cleaning that tooth is already saved from further deterioration.

Some things I learned from this recent visit --

1. Our 2nd and 3rd molars (grown around 6-7 and 11-12 years respectively) are very dependent on the placement/position of our milk teeth. When the milk teeth is not properly cared for, there's a big probability that those molars are going to come out in the wrong places (i.e. hello braces).

2. Genetics is still a factor when it comes to how our teeth are set in our jaw. Tibs and I have really crooked teeth so doc dentist was saying, Maia might need braces when she's older. But then again, it's not purely due to genetics too she says. Our diet is also a big contributing factor. So we should watch that too (especially when it came to eating food where we have to do a lot of hard biting action)

3. For toddlers/preschoolers like Maia, oral prophylaxis is very important since no matter how we make sure to brush at least 2x a day they're still very much prone to childhood gingivitis (mostly due to exposure to adults who have it) and usually that's where the problem starts. So the earlier you address that problem, the better.

Good thing I got to read this post from Manilamommy before our dental trip today because it helped me tremendously in how I conditioned Maia for this trip. I used to scare her with dentist trips or doctor trips each time I am having difficulty imposing my authority especially during brush time or meal time. But because of this post, I am now making her think doctors and dentists are our friends (which is really true). There was no sign of fear on Maia when we arrived at the dentist clinic this afternoon. She waited patiently and entertained herself with the books at the waiting area. When she heard her name being called, she was alert and didn't hesitate to open the door to the clinic and climbed the chair on her own. All I did was take a video of her and show her how wide her mouth should be opened but other than that I was useless in there. 

I was already (i think ha) in high school when I first visited a dentist and they always scared the hell out of me. So when I had a kid, I made pretty damn sure she is comfortable with dental visits. I think I can finally pat myself in the back here for a job well done.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Look Mommy, I Know How To Brush!

She has been attempting to brush her hair on her own for sometime now but all she usually does is mess her already messy hair up. But last weekend, she actually managed to brush her hair properly (well at least for about a minute she did!). It was fun to watch so I'm bookmarking the video here so she can watch it when she's older. Hehehe. Stage momma alert!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maia's Fave: Georgie, the stuffed monkey

I'd like to introduce you to Georgie. She is Maia's pet stuffed monkey. Maia believes she is Georgie's mommy. Since Georgie came into our life he's also witnessed every adventure we've been on. Maia always makes sure she doesn't leave him behind every time she leaves the house. Georgie has been a loyal buddy to Maia. Maia likes to read stories to him, cook for him, paint for him, draw for him, ride the train with him. 

We found Georgie one fateful December morning while searching for Christmas gifts for Maia's village friends in SM Molino. He was in this big basket of toys for sale. Maia had several animal stuffed toys already and we were thinking of building a stuffed animal zoo for her so when we saw Georgie we thought he'd be a great addition to Maia's animal zoo. Tibs checked the price and it was being sold for P50. Yes you read it right, we bought Georgie for just 50 bucks. He is proof that happiness need not be expensive. 

I hope this little adorable monkey will remain by Maia's side till she has a child of her own. She will definitely have a lot of stories to tell when that happens. (ang layo na ng tinakbo ng isip ko no? hehe)

p.s. Georgie was named by the way, after that popular cartoon monkey Curious George.
Georgie as captured by his Mommy Maia
Greenbelt,Dec 2009. First time she took Georgie out to some place fancy
Love at first sight. Lolz
Eden Nature Park, Aug 2011. teaching Georgie how to wrestle with a carabao. 
Jack's Ridge. Aug 2011. Feeding Georgie

Daddy's Garden, Feb 2011. Making sure Georgie isn't left behind during pack up time.
Playground, Feb 2011. Playing pretend bedtime at 7am. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Maia, The Gardener

One of Maia's favorite bonding activity with her dad is garden time. This has since become a rare treat for her but here's a few of the photos I was able to capture when they recently got down and dirty in the garden.

Whatchalookinat Mommy? 
Making sure the soil is aerated (!#$!#)
I can carry these pots Mom!
I always enjoy watching these two bond like this. Here's more photos of their garden adventures.

Art Attack: Maia's Recent Drawings

Sharing some of Maia's drawings over the weekend.

Her drawings have details now. Do you see the trees and Mr. Sun in here? 

Too much exposure to Barney. Ugh.
This is one of my favorites. She was telling me this is a drawing of her and her pet stuffed monkey Georgie.
Apparently, the rails on the bottom are train tracks and they're riding the MRT going to Araneta to watch Disney On Ice. Hahaha. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mommy's Baon For Today

I had to come to work early today so I had to skip another morning playtime session with my pretty little miss. It's tough coming in early on a Monday. The weekend always feels bitin. It's a good thing I brought baon to work today.

I can stare at this the entire day and not get tired of it. I took this shot yesterday afternoon after playing Hide-and-Seek. Ain't she pretty?

Oh Maia. I just want you to know that Mommy always misses you when she's at work. I think about you all the time. I wish I can bring you here. I wouldn't mind the endless questions that always starts with BAKIT? (Why?). I will make sure I'll have answers ready for you. 
I made her a note and stuck it to our fridge this morning. Yes, I make her notes even if she doesn't know how to read yet. I just wanted her to know that I love her very, very much. This is what I wrote this morning.

Dear Maia,

Mommy loves you very much. Be a good girl always. Listen. Obey. Respect.

Love,
Mom

Maia's Fave: Stir-fried broccoli and carrots with diced chicken

I usually post my recipes in my other blog (our family blog) but I thought it would be a nice idea as well for me to share with you some of Maia's favorites. I'll start with sharing her favorite foods since I'm still overwhelming with pride seeing her empty her plates during mealtime this past weekend.

We had this for lunch yesterday and this was a special dish I especially cooked for Maia. She's been a broccoli monster since she got introduced to this vegetable when she was just less than a year old (I think, I couldn't really remember now). Maia could still be picky at times but what we usually do to curve that is we refrain from giving her snacks especially if she's had a full meal during breakfast and lunch to save her appetite for dinner. This works most of the time, but I really couldn't say right now if it's THE long term solution for us.

Anyways, I've tried making this with left over litson manok, fish fillet and shrimps (just substitute the chicken with whatever meat or seafood you have). It's a really flexible dish and you can add in your kid's other fave vegetables (as long as it won't alter the taste so much - i.e. sayote, cabbage, cauliflower)



Prep time: 15 mins (mostly chopping duties)
Cooking time: 15-25 mins 


What I used for this recipe:
  • 2 pcs of breast fillet, diced/cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets 
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 pc small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oil (you can use whatever you have but of course olive oil would be the healthiest), I used coconut oil for this one because I wanted to stir-fry the chicken so I needed something that has a higher smoking point 
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, diluted into 1/2 cup of water (this is optional. you can use plain water  if you don't have cornstarch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon, light soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few drops of sesame oil (for the chinese taste hehe)
  • chopped leeks (this is optional because we had to pick them out of Maia's plate anyways), for garnish


How I did it:

1. Blanched the broccoli florets and carrot strips in boiling water for about a minute, drained and set aside

2. Sauteed garlic and onion. I usually let the onion sweat (because I find my dish a lot more tasteful when I do)

3. Add in the diced chicken. Stir-fry till chicken turns whitish (I like it when the chicken gets a little brown of the side, it gives me assurance that it's really cooked). Season at this point with light soy sauce, salt and pepper (I usually season my meat and not the veggies)

4. Add in the veggies, stir-fry for 2 mins. 

5. Add in the cornstarch slurry. Then stir till sauce thickens. Simmer for 2 mins.

6. Serve with hot, steamed rice. Enjoy!!!!

This recipe was able to feed 4 hungry stomachs at lunchtime. We were able to set aside a small bowl for the little miss's dinner and we were rewarded with 2 clean plates on both meals. Yay. We were happy parents!


BEFORE AND AFTER (well actually on the left was her lunch plate but I wasn't able to take a photo of the plate after. Right plate was from dinner and it was just a repeat of the lunch plate so I figured this would do *lol. That was more than a cup of red rice, mind you!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Maia's Bedtime Prayer

I was never good at keeping rituals. Ever. I've always been the spontaneous type. But when I became a mother, rituals were one thing that I paid extra attention to. Motherhood can really turn a woman's life upside down, no (mine was a 360-degree turn but it was the best 360-degree turn i'd probably experience in my lifetime)?

I'm not very religious but believing that there is somebody greater than me EVEN greater than people I admire keeps me grounded. So I wanted to teach my daughter that too.  And for now what seem to be an effective teaching medium is through prayer. We started a bedtime prayer ritual when I became pregnant with Maia (well actually when I was put to bed rest and was drowning in fear, I found solace and peace through prayers) so we kept at it even when Maia was born. As much as our schedules as working parents would allow it, we try to be with her during bedtime so that we can all say a prayer together. Tibs and I would take turn saying our prayer of thanks for the day and we would say it as if Maia is saying it. Now that she's able to say a prayer herself we would always encourage her to lead it.

Favorite position when she was still an infant. Was she praying?
Last night I started a prayer of thanks. Since I just came from a battery of tests at the hospital, I had this compelling urge to talk to Jesus. I started with Hello Jesus, Maia says thank you for helping her mom to get through all the needle pricks today. She thanks you for letting mommy bring home meryenda. (Then I felt sleepy so I paused fto gather my wits) Out of the blue, she blurted - thank you sa Daddy ko. Kasi daddy ko sya eh. Thank you sa drawing, sa laro sa computer, sa mga kiliti, sa mga songs kasama sya, sa mga pinapanood namin, sa pagsama pag matutulog na ako. thank you sa Mommy ko. Kasi mommy ko sya eh. Thank you sa paintings, sa laro sa labas, sa mga pancakes, sa mga pasalubong, sa mga sayaw. Yun lang naman. Thank you Jesus. 

I was stifling a laugh while listening to her finish her litany of thanks. More than the  stifled laugh though, I was fighting tears. I was on the verge of crying because I remembered this video and I realized how important those ordinary days were for my little girl. And I was just so happy that I was there to hear her affirm that those moments really did matter to her. I am glad to know that we imprinted (and will keep imprinting) good memories onto our daughter. And I'm super delighted because my daughter now prays with her heart. 


I love you Maia! I can never say that enough. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm A Grown Up Now! (and some yaya rants)

I called her baby this morning and she told me: "I'm mad at you Mommy!" then stormed into our bedroom to disappear from my sight.

I asked her back, "Why are you mad at me?" and she replied, "You just called me baby! And I told you I'm grown up already! I'm not a baby anymore!"

Oh Maia, it felt like it was only yesterday when I was holding a 7-pounder baby in my arms and rocking her to sleep (singing broken lullabies because I never learned to sing one before you were born) and now look at you! Why are you in such a hurry to grow up?!#$!

Sun-bathing at 2 months
Taken just last weekend. Sometimes we would stare at her when she sleeps and  would be filled with awe.
"see how big those thighs are? and these feet? oh and these hands"

Side story: We are again yaya-less and I had to break the news to her - "Ate Belen is not coming back anymore". I found it surprising how unaffected she was with my news. It was as if she was already expecting it to happen.

Here's how our conversation went:

Me: Maia, hindi na daw babalik si Ate Belen. (Maia, Ate Belen is not coming back anymore)
Maia: Okay lang Mommy. Si Tita Lingling (her dad's cousin) na lang kasama ko dito sa house. (It's okay Mommy. Tita Lingling will keep me company)
Me: (speechless for a moment) Ah okay anak. That's good. Pero si Tita uuwi na rin sa Sabado. Pano na tayo nyan? (then a light-bulb moment but now feels like an inappropriate conversation with a toddler) Hmmm, papayag ka ba na ikaw na lang dito mag-isa sa house? Di ba sabi mo parati kaya mo na sarili mo kasi big ka na? Iiwanan ka na lang ni Mommy food for lunch sa table tapos maglaro at magbasa ka na lang no habang antay mo kami ni Daddy dumating? Bawal ka lang lumabas ng house hanggang di mo kasama si Mommy at Daddy. Pwede ba yun? (Oh that's good baby. But Tita needs to go home this Saturday. Hmmm, would you be alright if you'd be all alone in the house? I will just leave your lunch on the table and you can just play and read while you wait for me and daddy to come home. You can't go out on your own though. You will have to wait for me and Daddy. Will that work?)
Maia: Oo. Pwede naman Mommy. Kasi big girl na ako eh. Kaya ko na yan. (yes mommy, that can work because i'm a big girl now. I can do it!)

This conversation made me tear up - with me  at the height of being hormonal and the stress that this yaya mess is giving me - I wasn't able to contain myself anymore. I hugged the little girl and stood up to cry silently in the bathroom. It is during these times that I really wish I have the flexibility to just give up my job and stay at home with my daughter. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

St. Mikael Playhouse - Summer Events and Talk With Dr. Cricket Chen

I received this from the mail. Some parents might be interested to learn about Waldorf kindergarten here's your chance to get a glimpse of it. And Dr. Cricket is also Maia's pediatrician and we love her! You might just learn a lot from her on this talk too.

Dear Parents!
 
Join us on Thursday, March 8 and learn more about Summer events and programs for the upcoming school year at
ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE!
 
And we're honored to have pediatrician Dr Cricket Chen as our guest speaker, who will talk about common childhood illnesses, and how they contribute to your child's over all development. Dr Cricket's practice is a combination of conventional and natural medicine, with great emphasis on the promotion of health, essential to the incarnating child.
 
Email St.Michael.Playhouse@gmail.com to reserve your seat! Or text 0917 847 0848.
 
See information below. Feel free to forward to those that may be interested!


--
ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE
G/f, ISIP Center, 6241 Palma cor MaƱalac Sts.
Bgy. Poblacion, Makati City (near Rockwell)
Mobile: 0917 847 0848
st.michael.playhouse@gmail.com
Facebook: Look up 'St Michael Playhouse Makati'

"Where is the book in which the teachers can read about what teaching is? The children are this book." – Rudolf Steiner

   
Maia is going to be overaged for the Parent-child program but if this daycare is anyway nearer where we live, this would definitely come first on my prospective school list. Maia had so much fun last summer she still have fond memories of her friends there and of the nurturers. She still calls St Mikael her 'school'. 

But for now, I am shelving my dream of sending my kid to a Waldorf school  but who knows it could still happen one day. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

ESS South Campus Preschool Tour

Last Saturday, our family of three woke up earlier than usual to prepare and attend the open house at the South campus of Elizabeth Seton School. We hitched a ride with Erl's family. Erl and I have been school hunting together since her cutiepie Kelsea and Maia are almost of the same age (born just about a month apart).

It was a first time to visit this school so we didn't really have any expectations set. It only took us about 15 mins to get to the school from Avida Settings in Bacoor. We took the Daang Hari road heading towards Aguinaldo Hi-way (I'm not very good at directions but it was pretty easy) and I don't think the travel will tire Maia. 


We arrived 15 mins early than the 9am schedule so we had the chance to check out the GS/HS area and the kids were somehow able to warm up. 
view of the school from the auditorium
When we got inside the auditorium, it was already half full. The registration table was  also busy since some parents were already submitting their applications. Erl and I decided to submit ours after the tour.  

Admissions Area
The program started a few minutes after 9am. Kids were settled comfortable and were surprisingly quite through out. They paid attention to the presentation and Maia seemed really interested when the preschool presentation was showing. Tutok na tutok. In between the breaks, Erl handed out post-its to the kids and they got busy writing and scribbling. 

"Know where child is spending the best years of his life."
The open-classroom set up really intrigued us *sorry we don't have photos to show* but after seeing the poster above, it made sense. 

A little past 10, the organizers broke us into groups (based on the levels that we are wishing to apply for - Preschool/GS/HS). They assigned two tour guides for every level). The kids were really excited to see the school.

GS/HS Cafeteria - we were told the the preschoolers have their own dining/pantry area so they rarely come here to eat

Playground and the Preschool Bldg Facade
Pretty ceiling, Preschool bldg lobby
Clinic + Playroom/Preschool Library
And here are the classrooms - I couldn't remember now which belong to the kinder kids and which belong to the nursery kids. But I think the difference was only the way the seats are arranged. All the preschool classrooms are equipped with the same facilities. Each room by the way has their own bathroom so it would be easy for the kids to run to the bathroom if they need to go potty.

All the preschool sections are named after famous children's books characters

Maia: ano ginagawa ni Mickey Mouse dyan Mommy?
Upper left side is the party area (where kids usually hold their bday parties)
Kids are safe here. There's a guard posted at the main entrance of the preschool bldg and guardians are usually asked to wait outside during school days.


I couldn't say yet if this is going to be the preschool of our choice but I liked the environment there. I'd like to personally meet the teachers too to see how Maia would react with them since Maia has somebody in mind when I say teacher and to her a teacher should be just like her Peacher Josie (from St Mikael). I know that she liked the classrooms though and was really enticed by the playground. Tibs and I are still torn. But we're sticking to our criteria and will decide as soon as we're done with all the assessment exams. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Open House At Elizabeth Seton School (South Campus)

The next school in our list is the Elizabeth Seton School in Anabu, Dasmarinas, Cavite. My co-workers kids have been going here before they migrated to the US and she highly recommended this school to me. From her stories, I can very well see how disciplined her kids are with school work and how they enjoyed school time. That is important to me so I made the visit to this school one of my top priorities during school hunting.

I called last November to check on the assessment exam schedules and get a list of the requirements and I was lucky to have spoken to the Open House organizer herself, Ms Cheris. She advised that I come to the open house first before we make a decision so I enlisted myself and the hubby. Come January, Ms Cheris texted me to confirm the date of the Open House. And this morning, we trooped over to the South Campus with the Gools to know more about the school.

It was a helpful and informative Open House. Apart from the overcrowding during the campus tour (overeager parents that includes me plus a defective microphone for the tour guide rendered that part rather disorganized), it was something that we think is necessary for every first time parent. Here's how the Open House program went:


Parts I-VI didn't really take long. If I remember correctly, I think it was less than an hour. And to think the program didn't start exactly at 9am and we were out of the auditorium by 1030am for the tour. Snacks were already made available before the program started. Most parents brought along the kids with them and contrary to what I expected, it didn't turn out to be a  hassle at all because at the end of it all while we were waiting for the our exam permits (which took the longest time by the way) the kids all had fun playing with each other. They were dancing, singing, laughing which was really fun to watch.

I will be posting the pictures of the Preschool Area Tour separately. But in case you're considering the idea of attending an open house with this school I'm posting here a photo of the flyer that we got from last Saturday's open house. 


Here's a list of the open house schedules:

Feb 11 - South Campus Only
Feb 18 - Main Campus Only
Mar 17, Apr 14 and 28, May 19 - Both campuses

The open house starts at 9am and is expected to finish by 12nn. They gave us 50% discount off the testing fee since we decided to submit application requirements right after the open house. For preschool application, we brought with us the following:

- a photocopy (and original for verification purposes) of Maia's NSO Certified Birth Certificate
- a photocopy (and original for verification purposes) of Maia's Baptismal Certificate
- 3 pcs 1x1 ID Picture

We are scheduled to take Maia's assessment for Kinder 1 on Mar 3. We are waiting for the results of that assessment exam before we finally decide which preschool to choose.

Here are the contact information for both ESS Campuses:

Main Campus
BF Resort Village, Las Pinas City
Tel Nos 02 875 45 53 to  59 loc 113

South Campus
Anabu II-D Imus Cavite
Tel Nos 046 471 0080 loc 112

website: www.ess.edu.ph

Up Next: a photoblog of the preschool area tour
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