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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Maia, the Photographer

Despite having a doting [stage] mother, my little miss remains really shy around people. She doesn't like being the center of attention.  She doesn't like to dance nor sing like most kids her age. She doesn't like to be photographed and always just smile in photos to give in to my relentless coaxing. 

What my daughter really loves doing though is to tell stories usually thu drawing and painting. I couldn't rave enough of them as several of my posts would attest to just like in here and here. Of late, we noticed another activity she seems to be having so much fun doing. She has bid her addiction to angry birds goodbye and now prefers the camera app once she gets her hand on my phone.

Anyway,she took several photos this morning using my phone camera. I made a collage of my 3 favorites photos. I was really just amazed when I saw the photos. Nobody prompted her to start taking pictures or taught her which object to shoot. She just really picked subjects to focus on and clicked away. And they were mostly single shots, mind you. Not trigger-happy, random shots of 20 or so frames where I had to choose which ones were the best. 

I love these three most.
These two are runners-up.

I hope her enthusiasm to learn never wanes. And if she does develop a passion for the arts  or music we will gladly support it. Actually, whatever your heart desires to pursue in the future Maia - Suportahan ka gid namon! 

Meanwhile, expect me to flood this blog with overwhelming photo posts in the coming days :)

Look Who Came To Visit

Maia's cousin Gogol is spending the next 9 days with us. The last time he came to visit was December 2008. That was when Maia was still a tiny little baby while Gogol could barely run yet and neither of them had a memory of the visit ever happening.

Gogol has recently taken more interest towards riding an airplane again. The last time we went home to Antique, he accompanied us to the airport and it was kind of painful seeing him so eager to get inside the pre-departure area only to be stopped by the guards because it was restricted area for non-passengers.

We were planning for another December get-together so he can finally come visit but an earlier travel plan came up for my mom and she thought it might be a good idea to bring him along since it's a longer visit. It will provide ample time for Gogol and Maia to bond again. :)

Today is Day 2. Gogol arrived around 10am yesterday and they aren't over the giggling, shouting, jumping and just-so-overly-happy-to-see-each-other part yet. They have a love-hate relationship but I guess most toddlers are just like that. Fact of the matter is they really adore each other and couldn't stop talking about one another when they're apart. My sister and I try to raise them like siblings. I think that's just exactly how they see each other. They fight like there's no tomorrow but easily forgets as soon as they make up.

I had to give them a ball each or else one of them
would end up grabbing the ball from the other.
Making eggs for breakfast. Just look at that naughty look on Gogol's face
Maia intends to tour his Manong Gogol around her favorite places in our village. She's got it all planned out. Afternoons at the playground and a dip at the pool in between.

When they see each other next summer, I'm sure they'll have more interesting things to talk about already. I can only imagine. Hehe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maia Draws Toodles

We came home to this last night:

It was strategically placed on our sofa. Ate Belen, our yaya, said Maia placed the drawings there herself to make sure they immediately catch our attention when we arrive from work.

Amazing, right? (Or Am I really just an uber-proud Momma?)
My parents (Maia's grandparents) found Maia's drawings interesting and well, amazing (sorry that's the only word that stuck on my head). My dad would say he couldn't remember any of us making drawings of faces at Maia's age (well, none of us grew up to be good illustrators except of course for my sister Tips who paints really well). Maia does hers with facial expressions already. And her drawings often come with a story. Like the ones you see in the center and the rightmost portion of the photo above.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Horseys From Dapitan Arcade

We found these pretty little horsies at our recent trip to the Dapitan Arcade. We bought the set for just P150 and the little girl literally jumped with joy when we were unloading them from the car. She was shouting deer! deer! (as in reindeer) and hugging them non-stop.

With Mommy Deer and Baby Deer
(I got tired correcting her. It's probably best for her imagination anyways
so if she wants to think these are deers then I'm letting her do just that. Hehe)
She brought the babies into our bedroom thinking we'd let her
sleep with them. Sorry baby...baka mangati ka eh. Dayami kaya yan.
Next year I plan to bring her along when we come back for more decors. The house would probably have more space then and maybe we can finally get the little girl some Santa Clause decors. I know she'd be really thrilled to see Santa hanging on one of our windows. Tibs and I are also planning to drop by after the holidays maybe we could score some wooden toys for her because this time of the year you'd find mostly Christmas goodies there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Long Weekend in Photos

Unlike many families who would probably pack weekend bags and take their family to a weekend outing to the beach or some place pretty outside of the city, we always choose to spend our long weekends leisurely (read: lazily) at home. Well, we already live outside of the city anyways and are already enjoying the breath of fresh air from our area so we really have everything we need here to relax. When Maia was an infant we had plenty of this but lately it has become rarer so we grabbed the opportunity to just be lazy and enjoy each other's company.

Here is how we spent our long weekend in pictures. I've also recently discovered this really great android camera effects app and have since been clicking non-stop.

early morning bonding time at the playground
Dad and Maia bonded with nature
Spent lotsa hugging time with Lolo and Lola

Puzzle time! I got to see her complete 3 (somehow) complicated puzzles
Maia joined us in an early morning run.
She was able to complete 800m. Good job, little girl!
Enjoying tacos for meryenda!
ending the weekend with another bonding time at the playground
Hope y'all had a wonderful long weekend just like we did!
Sorry for the overwhelming pictures in this post. As you can see, I was really hooked to this camera app. Hope your weekend was as great as ours!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mornings With Maia

She usually wakes up early. Just as her dad would get up to prepare for work, she's up as well. She'd like to fuss over her 'babies' (fave stuffed toys). She's usually sunny in the mornings. Occasionally though, she'd throw a mini-tantrum especially when she can't find one of her babies (which are usually just buried under one of the pillows).

She always cracks us up the minute she starts her blabber. This morning even more hilarious. Let me share with you snippets of the conversations exchanged in our household this morning.

Tibs to Maia: Baby, parang kulang na mga puzzles na yan. San na ang iba?
Maia: Di ko alam! Di ako si Mommy! O si Ate Belen! Di ako nagtatapon! (yesterday we threatened to throw away her toys because she refused to pack them away)

Me to Maia: Good morning Maia! Mukhang tumangkad ka na ulit! Tara measure nga natin height mo. (she goes to stand by the height chart and waits for me to take measurements) Then she goes to grab the pen from me. I move away and looked for some place out of her reach to put the pen on. She throws a tantrum and cries on the floor. I wait for her to stop and scooped her up to talk to her in our bedroom. I explain: Hindi mo pwede sulatan yung chart kasi pano pa natin masusukat yung laki mo pag puno na sya ng sulat. Alam mo naman san ka pwede magsulat di ba? She yells: Ayaw ko! Ayaw ko magsulat sa paper! Ayaw koooooooo! I tell her back: Bakit ka sumisigaw? Sino ba boss? She replies: AKO! Ako boss! (ano mommy, me angal ka pa?) Short pause. Then everyone laughs. She joins the laugh party.

A few days ago, we also had a good laugh hearing her bedtime monologue. I told her to pack away her toys because it's already late and she should be in bed. Refusing to follow orders, she retorted: "Ayaw ko ng gabi! Ayaw ko matulog! Palabasin nyo si Mr. Sun!" (I don't want it to be nighttime yet! I don't want to sleep! Ask Mr Sun to come out!)

Hay, Anak. The best ka talaga. And we love you very much.

How To Encourage Kids To Eat Fruits and Vegetables

My daughter did not inherit my passion for food and eating. Eating was almost like a chore for her. Something that she just had to do right to impress the adults. But it never seemed to have appealed to her.

I trained her early to love eating. Especially eating food that is of the healthy nature. Although I did fail miserably on breastfeeding, I made sure I compensated that when it was time for her to eat solids. I painstakingly prepared her meals from scratch and if my schedule as a working momma doesn't permit me to do it myself, I made sure I supervise the yaya when she does it. Maia never tasted artificial toddler food like Cerelac or Gerber. And I'm really proud to say that my daughter never had an attraction towards anything salty or sweet. Yes, junk food was not something that she craved for. 

Despite this, Maia still didn't each as much as I'd wished her to. Although she didn't demand for a particular taste from food, she was very picky when it came to texture so it was very difficult for us to make her eat the green, leafy ones. And we all know that those were the ones considered to be most nutritious. Maia would gag each time a malunggay leaf would get stuck in her throat. She would refuse to eat each time a thin pechay leaf would touch her tounge. She would complain non-stop when a cabbage leaf would get stuck in teeth. Eventually, she was able to distinguish the food that made her gag that the mere sight of them would lock her jaw up and force us to give up trying to make her eat them.

Fruits were also another thing that she didn't develop a loving, passionate relationship with. I tried introducing her to every local fruit available but her liking for these things were somehow also seasonal. There was a time she really liked melons but now she refused to eat them. Then she moved on to grapes. Then to bananas. Then that was it. She would take a bite of an apple, a spoonful of fresh mango, a segment of an orange, a tiny bit of a watermelon or a small slice of a pineapple but she never got to the point of wanting them which was what I was aiming for. 

All these were always a major concern that I'd bring up to the pedia during our well-baby check ups. One solution that we came up with was to wean her off formula milk. That trick somehow worked. Her solid intake definitely improved after we weaned off formula milk but still, I'd like to see her eat more of the greens and fruits.

I could say that Maia's picky eating has been one of the biggest issues we've encountered raising a toddler. But thankfully there has been drastic improvement in the last 6 months. So what were the tricks that led us to somehow succeed in making her eat more? 

1. Weaning off formula and the bottle. As our Pedia would say, as soon as your kid turns one, formula should not be her main source of nourishment anymore. She should really be eating more solids rather than stay dependent on formula. I will make a wrote separate post of this experience but we were able to successfully wean Maia off formula and the feeding bottle at 26 months.

2. Blender and Popsies. We would puree ripened fruits and freeze them into popsicles. They became an instant hit to our toddler. We also became creative. We came up with frozen Atis, Papaya and Pineapple popsicles. I'll try making guyabano popsicles next.
Homemade Avocado Ice Cream
3. Mix them up. Chopping the fruits and mixing them unto her favorite yoghurt or rolled oats. 

4. Sneak in the veggies. We usually mince the veggies and greens and saute them with a little bit of diced chicken or ground meat. Egg omelets and fritatas are also a fun way to sneak in your veggies.
Eggs + Spinach
5. Serve fruits during pretend plays. Just this morning, I successfully got her to eat 10 pcs of grapes and a big banana by encouraging her to feed these fruits to her stuffed toys with whom she was throwing a birthday party for. Each time she'd attempt to feed the toys, she take a bite herself. In no time, she got to finish the fruits that I served to her. 
She really likes feeding this monkey!
6. Bring color to your menu. In our case, we always try to put a variety of colors into our sauteed veggie dish so we can provide some distraction to our picky customer. For example there would be: red (bell peppers), orange (carrots), green (brocolli, cabbage or sayote) and yellow (sweet corn). She always has great fun identifying all the colors she sees on her plate.

7. Be consistent with the taste. We don't play with the taste when it came to Maia's food. We always try to replicate the taste of every dish that we know she's inclined to eat more of. We don't include vegetables that would alter the taste so we can always get her excited when we tell her what's on the menu for the day.

8. Go for natural. When we were introducing Maia to solids, we never seasoned her food. She used to favor the taste of carrots and brocolli then so to improve the taste I'd just saute white onions before adding in the minced veggies to make it sweeter and give make it more flavorful.

9. Keep a schedule. We discovered that Maia is hungriest at around 8, 11/12, 4 so we serve her breakfast, lunch and dinner around that time. Even on weekends or when we're out, we try to stick to that so we won't mess up her appetite. We usually just give her crackers or one or two pieces of cookies and a bottle of yakult or yoghurt drink for snacks.

So far, these are the tricks that got us through. This is a continuing struggle for us but I'm just really happy that she's gaining weight and I could see that she's been eating more. Some days when our convincing powers won't work, I try to supplement her meals with one malunggay capsule a day. I break the cap and mix the contents into a bottle a yakult. Fortunately for me she's never rejected my concoction and would sometimes even remind me when I forget to add the malunggay to her yakult. :)

And when all else fails, I just always remind her that fruits and veggies will keep the big C away.
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