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Saturday, March 31, 2012

'Almost' Losing Georgie

Dearest Maia,

We planned to sleep early tonight because we wanted to participate in Earth Hour and we also thought getting an early shut-eye would do us good since tomorrow is going to be really hectic for us.

You missed yet another chance to walk down the aisle as a flower girl (at Tito Kimoy and Tita Eyang's church wedding) today. You fell asleep again. Yes you did, just ten minutes before we leave for the church. When it comes to timing, you always nail it at perfect! You woke up when the ceremony is just about to start and me and Daddy had to take turns carrying you because you woke up grouchy and refusing to be put down. You were a very cooperative girl though once Fr. Jay started the wedding ceremony. You didn't make a lot of noise and you obeyed Mommy and Daddy. When the ceremony ended you were ecstatic to see Bedok (he used to be your bestfriend, you born just a day apart. but he is now busy with his little sister so you don't get to see him often) and Ate Shaia again you didn't waste time inviting them to play. While Bedok refused your invitation, Ate Shaia was quick to engage you in a game of tag. The two of you continued the play when we got back to the village clubhouse. I was amazed that I can already leave you at the playground. You played on your own, you didn't even look for me. I was just surprised to see you walking back to meet me at the reception area about 15mins after. Ate Shaia told me somebody pushed you while you were at the slides. I thought you got hurt but when I asked you about it you just told me, 'Tinulak nya ako, Tinulak ko din sya. Ako ang nauna dun eh'. Mommy is proud you can already stand up for yourself, but at the same time, I still wish you'd mellow down a bit little girl. I TELL YA, you gotta learn to yield sometimes. It's also good for you. It will earn you a lot more friends, which I'm pretty sure you'd like even more than getting ahead of other kids at the slides.

they're kids now and not babies anymore! 
pretty girls
all girl's race to the top of the stairs
they rule the slides!
Anyways, everything went well at the reception. Despite your overflowing energy, there was nary an tantrum incident and that was more than enough help for me and Daddy. It's difficult having a kiti-kiti like you in social events but it saves us a lot of energy when you skip the tantrums. So thank you for that little girl.

We got home before 7. You still wanted to play with your friends but they too had to be home already so you were left with no choice but continue playtime alone at home. You played with Tito Kimoy and Tita Eyang's wedding souvenir (which was a carriage by the way. something you can use when you tell us your version of Cinderella). You surprised me and daddy when you blurted: 'they're not yet a family!' (with the married couple miniature on hand. something you forcefully plucked out of the souvenir). Daddy was impressed, you already have an idea of what a family is. You proudly explained why you didn't think it's not a family yet - "wala pa silang baby eh. di ba? wala pa oh"

When we were already preparing to sleep (lights off already), you suddenly went looking for Georgie. That's when it hit me...i thought I left your favorite monkey at the reception venue. It just totally escaped me! And I'm sorry I wasn't able to contain my panic. I didn't even give Daddy a chance to look around the house first. And because I announced that we might have lost your baby monkey, you just went ballistic. You wailed. And wailed. And wailed. "Hindeeeeee! Ayaw ko siya mawala. Kailangan ko dito si Georgie! Hanapin mo mommy!" My heart was breaking watching you cry and hearing your plea in between sobs. "Hanapin natin sya mommy. Kawawa naman si Georgie! Gusto ko sya dito. Ngayon! Please mommy. Baka andun lang sya sa table (meaning the table we sat at during the reception).

Daddy decided to go out looking for Georgie. The clubhouse is just a few minutes away anyways and it's still early. When you heard daddy preparing to leave, you stood up and also prepared to leave. You wanted to come with daddy and look for Georgie yourself. My heart just broke into pieces. You were fighting your tears but I understand how painful it could be for you. I was able to convince you to just stay in the house and just let daddy look for Georgie. I, however, tried to lighten things up for you (but i wished i didn't try anymore). I came up with arguments like - "georgie's mission with you is already over, now he's off to make another kid happy" (you doubled your wail when you heard this), "toys really get lost sometimes, its a fact of life" (what was i thinking by saying this?) and "we'll just look for another Georgie. a better one" (this got you kicking and wailing. of course nobody can ever replace Georgie. again what the heck was i thinking?)

As expected, Daddy came back with  no Georgie. He then mentioned asking Tito Kimoy and Tita Eyang in the morning. But you wouldn't hear the end of it. You wanted us to find Georgie pronto! You wanted us to head over to Tito Kimoy and Tita Eyang's house immediately. Daddy reckons losing Georgie is a lot worse (probably) than you losing a pet. After all, you've known him since you were a baby. You started recollecting the things you did while we were in the clubhouse - "nasa playground ako mommy tapos kumain kami ni ate shaia tapos nagtaguan kami sa mesa tapos nagpapicture kasama ni Nanoka tapos takbuhan kami ni ate shaia sa pool. nandun lang si Georgie eh. nasa sapin ng mesa" (insert sobs and hiccups)

I texted Tita Eyang but they didn't find Georgie either. They were the last to leave the venue and they swear they didn't see him. That's when you somehow mellowed down. Maybe you got tired from all the crying. I don't know. But somehow, you started accepting that Georgie might really be lost. Amidst the stifled sobs, you suddenly smiled. A wide grin. I asked you why you were smiling all so suddenly and you just told me, "may naalala lang ako mommy". Then tears fell down your cheeks again. "Nami-miss ko na si Georgie, Mommy. Gusto ko sana sya i-hug ngayon". (and this got me crying too. aren't we drama queens indeed? daddy empathized with us by the way, he cried too) Then you went, "bukas pagdating ni Ate Ging (your current stay-out nanny) sasabihan ko sya, wala na si Georgie"

We then decided to take you to the clubhouse again. Just so you can look for Georgie there yourself. And maybe get a closure (or something, I don't know really we just thought it might really help you sleep as well). When I was about to put your sweater on, you suddenly made an excited leap and pointed to our cabinet. I turned to check it and guess what -- IT WAS GEORGIE!!!! HE CAME HOME WITH US AFTER ALL! (I heaved a deep sigh of relief! I was soooo happy for you little girl!)

You immediately hugged and kissed Georgie. You were just laughing and smirking and grinning from ear to ear. "Nandito ka lang pala Georgie! Ikaw talaga!" I guess the crying spree left you really exhausted, you fell asleep just a few minutes after you laid down with Georgie.

Oh little girl...I know you will encounter far worse situations than this in the [far yet inevitable] future. This whole thing got me thinking and somehow blaming myself for indulging your attachment to this specific toy. Another thing I realized too was that you REALLY now think like a grown up. And I hate that you do. Because I want you to enjoy being a kid for now. I'm now at a loss. I don't know if I should start doing something to detach you from Georgie.

But then again, maybe I'm just exhausted. And is in dire need of sleep. I know I'll eventually figure out an answer to this dilemma but I do hope and pray that I'll have the wisdom by then to choose what would be the best for you.

For now, please always remember - We love you very very much. You are still a kid. Please remain a kid for now.

Mommy and Daddy

here's a video i took of you and Georgie, right after your reunion and right before you fell asleep tonight

Friday, March 30, 2012

Summer Memories Of Antique

Antique is a coastal province in the island of Panay (Western Visayas). Belison (we are in wikipedia!) is a town about 18kms north of the provincial capital that is San Jose de Buenavista. I grew up and spent almost 20 years of my life there. It is a quiet town where not much has changed since my childhood. I used to rant about how provincial it was. How devoid it was of 'development'. But I am taking all that back now (well I did take it back some 3 years ago). I am now loving every bit of that place regardless of how it remained to be the same old. 

Since I moved to Manila some 10 or more years ago (hahaha okay just do the math), I've always made it a point to come home at least once (but if the budget would permit well as frequently as possible). My officemates then would often tease me that my savings were all going to the local airline companies' bank accounts. Yes, I admit without shame or regret that spent almost every spare peso I had then to buy plane tickets (and if I get really homesick my parents would take pity and volunteer to buy the tickets for me just so I can come home during long holiday breaks). This year however, because we wanted to make a lot of our plans happen already (plans that were on the pipe since we got married actually), Tibs and I agreed we will skip our Antique homecoming. I tried to psych myself out (tried my hardest, I swear) and used arguments such as - "Cavite is now my home, I should not look far." Or "as long as we spend our holidays together as a family, it wouldn't matter where we are." But there's this nagging thought in my head that firmly declares NO! -- I also have a family in Antique. I've never missed a holy week away from them except during the first trimester that I was pregnant with Maia because I was put on bed rest. Since I gave birth however, we kept on with this tradition and Maia has somehow grown accustomed to it too. She now looks forward to our trips to Antique (and she now enumerates fondly the specific things that she's excited about).

It's difficult to explain but I'm really THAT close to my family that no matter where our disagreements would take us, holy week get-togethers are SACRED in a sense that we just have to be together. It has sort of become our mini-reunion and I'm fervently hoping it's going to stay that way till Gogol and Maia are all grown up and till our pockets would allow us to. 

I never got around to convincing myself that we could forego one trip this year. So the inevitable will happen, the three of us are leaving for Antique again for some R&R and a lot of bonding with my family! And I just can't wait for Monday to come!

I am sharing here photos of all our past trips with Maia in tow. 

Mar 2009. Five months old and enjoying the early morning ocean breeze. Our house is just about a kilometer away from the beach.
Family pic from under my dad's mango tree. 
kids with the grannies. summer of 2009.
La Parola, Patnongon, Antique. Summer of 2010. 
mudplay! summer of 2010. 
Summer of 2010. Outdoor bath.
Summer of 2010, chasing goats.

this may be not comparable to 'world-class' beaches but the sunsets are just as perfect
we took a photo of the aratiles for Maia and Gogol. they loved this, by the way!
Basking on the surf with daddy
Enjoying a piggyback ride with Lolo
Sand 'box' time with manong gogol
Cow-watching with Manong Gogol (lolz)
I still have gazillions to show! But I know this post alone is quite an overload already. But I guess now you know why I can't just let this summer pass without us coming home to this wonderful place!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saving For A Desired Toy

Little girl likes flipping through my magazines. She likes to look at pictures of toys, of little girls with their mommies or daddies, of pretty dresses (no attraction to shoes or bags just yet. thank God!). She loves it even more when she sees a photo of a toy that she already owns. She'd run to me or her dad and excitedly announce: "Mommy/Daddy o, look! Toy ko 'to!" 

We trained her not to be attached to things, especially to toys. But we of course have also come to accept the reality that at some point in a little girl's life she becomes best friends with her toys (for the lack of company at home, I reckon). Still I consider us lucky because each time we go to a toy store she would be contented with playing with the toys in the store but not coming home with them. On really good days, she would even put the toys back on their shelves without us telling her to do so.

We rarely buy toys for Maia and that's probably the reason why she doesn't demand we do And we frequent bookstores more than toy stores so that's probably another reason. However, we have been noticing that lately when she sees toys on my magazines she would say "MOMMY/DADDY, Bili ako neto ha?" And when we'd ask her if she has money for it, she'd say - "IKAW MAY PERA. IKAW ANG BIBILI".

So today, when she was again pressing me to buy her a specific toy I finally told her she needs to save for it if she really wants it. She immediately went looking for her alkansya (coin bank) and ask me for a coin. She goes: "O okay na today Mommy ha? Meron na ako nahulog ha? Bukas ulit huwag mo kalimutan ako bigyan".

Pambihira 'nak. Parang ako na lang nag-ipon nun ah.

The Looks Of Summer

I'm not a fashionable mom. But being a stage mommy to a little girl pressured me to keep myself abreast with what's in and what's not in kiddie fashion. However, given my lack of enthusiasm for the fashion world I've always been left behind. These days I'm glad the little girl can finally pick her own clothes. I wouldn't have to go through so much trouble just to come up with what would be nice to wear (truth be told, the hubby usually ends up choosing the little girl's lakwatsa get-up).

So anyways, I was going through some photos and have come to realize how much photos I've accumulated in the past few weeks. And they all look very summery so let me just post them here, for posterity's sake.

Getting ready for the long trip to Angeles. Waiting for her ride -- the jeepney ride that is.
Leaving for ESS to enroll and finally graduate from being a toddler to a preschooler  
Shirt design c/o Tita Mao (my sister who is currently into tie-dye shirt making) 
Embracing Graffiti Art While Enjoying the Mid-day Sun  

As you will probably realize upon reaching this part of this post, I was actually just looking for an excuse to post photos of this pretty little miss that I surely miss while I'm here at work.

It's going to be mid-week soon and we'll be off to vacation in 5 days! Yahoo!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Afternoon Playdate At Tribeca

We love joining playdates. When Maia hears that word, it's like magic to her ears. I guess because her playdate experiences were always very pleasant and it's where she gets the excuse to run, hop, skip, shout and be just her kiddie self all she wants (well not that we prohibit her from being such at home but I just have the feeling that being around adults almost all of the time somehow gives her the impression that she needs to grow up fast just to be able to catch up).

Each time I get an invitation to join a playdate, I immediately block that date (if it isn't blocked by a prior commitment yet that is). Maia and I are now 'almost' pros at commuting that distance has somehow become very mundane for us to consider. Well, QC is really far but Makati would still be okay for us. It's usually just the two of us who comes to these playdates but I'm really lucky having a kid who now gamely walks with me and rarely asks to be carried except when of course, we have to cross via a footbridge where she gets awfully scared so I would be left with no other choice but to carry her. 

Yesterday, Tricia (who is also a n@w) invited us for a playdate with other n@w kids at Tribeca (those blue and white buildings you see near Sucat in SLEX). Friday pa lang, the kid was so excited already she can hardly get some sleep! (mental note not to remind her of a next day lakad because it renders me super tired the next day) She helped me pack her playdate 'essentials' and some toys to bring since we were told there's a sandbox installed in the playground (another yey for the little miss since she loves to play in the sand). 

Maia's playdate essentials - human <3 nature's pocket handsoap, extra change of clothes, snacks, towel, paper handtowels to keep her back dry, water bottle, by nature spf 55 sunblock, wet wipes + first aid kit - alcohol, band-aids, by nature's baby salve (plus mine too)
So mid-afternoon our twosome left the Daddy at home and headed to Tribeca carrying with us the prospect of a really, really fun afternoon. It drizzled already when we boarded the jeepney going to Alabang but I was still hoping that the crazy weather would cut us some slack (it is summer afterall!) and spare that area where Tribeca is situated.
Weather was such a bummer, wasn't it?
We were the first guests to arrive and got there just about the same time as Tricia. It was starting to get gloomy then but the kids didn't seem to mind. Maia immediately raided the dollhouses and claimed the pink (yet unfinished) one as her own. Kids spent about 30 mins frolicking in the playground and the sandbox when the warning drizzle started and we ran for cover towards the tents on the other center of Tribeca's football field (awesome, right? they have a football field inside the condo compound). And that was how our day ended. It was all heavy downpour from that moment on and we weren't given any more opportunity to enjoy the awesome playdate venue. There was still so much to do had the rain skipped that part of the south. The playdate was supposed to be timed perfectly since there was an event at Tribeca that day and there were picnic mats, balls, and i forgot what other activities (but definitely plenty) for the kids to enjoy. But because of the rain, we had to content ourselves with munching on the free snacks instead. 

Maia and Aki raid the sandbox together with Raine, Zoe and Raj

She tried so hard to fight her fear of heights but she got stuck on this part of the ladder and was crying for help. I had to push her up and encourage her to move on till she was able to slide down on the other side.

This one's mine! MINE!
Ano naman to, Mommy? May mga tools sya eh!
food stubs c/o Tribeca, yay free snacks!
It was still a fun afternoon. And with the rain cutting the playdate short, we have now perfect excuse to schedule a repeat again (and maybe several more repeats after that hehe). Thank you Tricia for inviting us over!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bring Happy Days to your Child this Summer at ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE!

I received this on my email yesterday and my heart (honestly) skipped a beat when I learned they're now offering classes for adults! Yay! Only downside is they're on a weekday so I will have to figure out my work schedule before I can really do a happy dance for Maia and me.

BUT, if you are all free this summer and is still looking for things to do I encourage you to try a class. I'm am sure you won't be disappointed. Fees are very affordable as well. Sulit na!


Happy Days are at ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE for Summer!

ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE, the only Steiner-inspired Playhouse in the country, hopes to bring delight and wonder to your child this Summer!

We have our Playhouse Program to gently stimulate your child's creativity, from as young as 3 years old to until 7!

Plus, there's our Parent-Child program for toddlers till 2.5 years old, accompanied by one parent.

And we have classes on Doll-making, Moving Storybook, and Basic Crochet for Adults too!!

Scroll down to see information. The upper part is for the children's program, and when you scroll all the way through, you'll see the classes for adults.

Please fill out the attached Summer Enrollment Form and email back, or text 0917 847 0848 for more details ...

See you at ST MICHAEL PLAYHOUSE for Summer! Please do forward to your friends!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mediating A Father-Daughter 'Conflict' - a first

Tonight while Tibs was trying to brush Maia's teeth, he was kicked in the face by a little girl who was refusing and demanding for me to do it instead. Apart from the hurt ego, well, Tibs is just the type who easily loses his cool when he's hurt (I'd slap him lovingly and he's still be mad at me so I had since ceased making carino brutal) - be it as light as a pinch or as heavy as a punch. I was still thankful because he was still able to restrain himself from hitting Maia as initial reflex. I got in just in time to mediate the already rising 'conflict' between father and daughter. 

Sorry I had to document this in Tagalog. I really wanted to transcribe it from memory and I think I'll just ruin it if I translate.

Tibs: Maia! Ano ba? Bakit mo ko kailangang sipain?!#$ (usok na ilong at tenga sa galit, tumataas na din boses)
Maia: Ayaw kita mag-toothbrush sa akin! Gusto ko si Mommy!
Tibs: Hindi! Ako naman pagbigyan mo. Gusto ko rin naman mag-bonding tayo. Buong araw na kayo magkasama ni Mommy!
Maia: Hindi! (sipa. medyo lakas na sipa) 
Tibs: Maia! Tumigil ka na. Nasan na ba ang pamalo, Mommy? (tayo kunwari naghanap)
Maia: Toothbrush na ako! Matutulog na ako! (takbo sa akin, pakandong)
Me: O bakit? Sige na, tapusin nyo na ni Daddy yung pagtu-toothbrush.
Maia: Gusto ko ikaw, Mommy. Sige na ikaw na.
Me: Pagbigyan mo na si Daddy. Gusto rin nya kahit sa pagto-toothbrush makapag bonding kayo. Love mo sya di ba?
Maia: (walang imik)
Me: Bakit walang sagot? Di mo love si Daddy?
Maia: (mega-tango. paulit ulit)
Me: Hala. Bakit?
Maia: Basta ayaw ko sa kanya. Ayaw ko sya mag toothbrush!

Tibs: (galit na. higa at nagtakip ng unan) E di sige huwag. Di mo na ako Daddy! (shaks parang bata no? lolz)

Me: 'Nak, di naman yata tama yan. Ang mga daddy hindi pwede hindi nila-love kasi ikaw love na love ka ni Daddy eh. Mag-sorry na. 
Maia: Sorry daddy. I love you, we rock, sweetdreams, goodnight! 
Me: Parang di na ata yun totoo eh. Sorry ka na talaga? Love mo na talaga si Daddy? Hug mo na nga sya tsaka kiss mo na.
Maia: Daddy sorry na. (attempts to hug but the daddy refuses)
Tibs: Sino ka ba?
Maia: MAIA!
Tibs: Ano ba kita?
Maia: Anak.
Tibs and Me: (stifles laughter)

We went to finish brushing her teeth and I finally got her ready for bed. I explained to her why Daddy is mad and reminded her of our two major rules - LISTEN AND OBEY. She nodded to acknowledge that she understood (I can only hope she really did understand) and I asked her to say a short prayer of thanks and she said goodnight to everyone.

Me: O sige na matulog ka na. Bukas bumawi ka kay Daddy ha? Sabayan mo sya mag-breakfast. Tapos patikim mo sa kanya ginawa mong ice candy.
Maia: O sige Mommy. Kay Daddy ang buco, akin yung Milo no?
Tibs: Ayaw ko.
Maia: E ano gusto mo Daddy? Ha? Sa yo na ang buco. 
Tibs: Ayaw ko nga.
Maia: Mommy, tanungin mo si Daddy ano gusto nya.
Me: Okay sige. Basta matulog ka na. Bukas bati na kayo nyan ni Daddy.
Maia: Sige. Mommy...(pabulong) tanungin mo si Daddy kung love pa nya ako. Ganyanin mo balikat nya o (kalabitin ko daw)
Me: Daddy, sagutin mo daw tanong ni Maia.
Tibs: (walang kibo for 10mins tapos biglang tayo). Sige na. Bati na. Halika nga hug mo ako, bilis!
Maia: (takbo sa daddy sabay hug mahigpit then hagikhik ng tawa)
Tibs: Love na love ko to syempre. Nag iisa lang to eh. 

And that ends my transcription of tonight's events. They continued to bond for another 10 mins or so over tickles and giggles. I can only imagine what other conflicts these two will encounter in the next few years. But I do pray that each and every time that happens, they always will end up resolving it this way (and I hope I don't always have to mediate lolz). 

Haaay Maia if you only knew how much Daddy loves you. You really do not need to ask.

More Ice Candy Projects - Milo and Buco-Sago Flavors

I had a holiday off at work today and yesterday when I announced it to the little girl she immediately drafted a to-do plan for us. She declared that we shall be making this a day of ice candy projects. She planned to make buco ice candy, milo ice candy, another batch of mango ice candy (she just finished the last of the batch we made last week a few days ago) and even kamote (sweet potato) ice candy (I don't know where she got the idea that she can make ice candies out of these but I didn't remind her anymore about it when we were in the market this morning).

I don't think I will have the energy to make all of the flavors she suggested but I figured the buco and the Milo ice candy flavors would be interesting flavors for her to try so we set out to buy the ingredients this morning. First stop was the buco stand and she enjoyed watching the buco meat being scrapped off. Funny, I just realized it was her first time to see and feel a buco fruit (and we've been to Antique where coconuts abound many times already. Sheesh). Then we headed to the grocery to buy the other ingredients (milk, Milo) and lastly, the wet market for our 2-day supply of fish and meat. 

I really love bringing Maia to trips like this because I've been looking forward to it since she was a baby. I love to cook so naturally I imagined spending a lot of time doing market errands and grocery shopping with her. And days like this - turning a simple recipe into something edible - with her are days which I really relish. (Insert picture of my dream kitchen and with us busy in it. Sigh.)

So we first set out to make the buco flavored ice candy since I thought it would be best to make it while the buco meat is at its freshest. Mid-way through however she was already demanding we switch to making the Milo-flavored one. But I was able to coax her to finish the buco first and when it was already time for the Milo flavor, she just totally took control and pushed me out of the way. 

I posted the recipe for the buco-sago sticks here. The Milo-flavored ones are really the easiest to make. Mixing the chocolate milk powder with water, pouring them unto plastic wrappers and freezer would have been okay already but I wanted to make the mixture creamier and sweeter so I just added a cup of evap + condensed milk mixture to achieve my desired sweetness and creaminess.

To make about 12-15 sticks, I used:

1 cup of Milo (chocolate milk powder)
1 cup of warm water
1 cup of evap + condensed milk mixture

We just mixed it thoroughly and you'll see that the mixture is really more chocolate-y than the drink. I think kids will really feel like they're eating the frozen version of the ready-to-drink Milo (the ones sold in tetra packs) when they bite unto these.

we don't have a funnel so i improvised.
see how creative mommies can get?
We also made popsicle versions of the flavors we did today and we're just waiting for them to freeze so we can finally enjoy them. 

waiting, waiting, waiting

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Want Wings!

Yesterday, while I was busy preparing our dinner Tibs called me out asking for help with Maia. The little girl was slumped on the road and was refusing to get up despite her dad's incessant warnings and even threats (of I don't know. hehe his voice just sounded really threatening). 

I left them earlier that day still exchanging giggles over their kite and playing tag. The little girl loves to be chased. She'd tell you she's taya and yet would demand that you chase after her. 

Well, her dad couldn't figure out from all the whining what she wanted. So in between sobs, I convinced her to tell me slowly what it is she really wanted. Turns out, she was suddenly saddened by her dad's revelation - she can't have wings. 

Then I learned that they were desperately trying to get their kite down but couldn't because it was caught up so high on one of the electrical cables even Tibs propped up on a tall ch'air couldn't get it down. So the little thought, she should grow wings so she can get it down herself. Then the daddy just told her the sad truth - people don't just grow wings. (I think our daddy learned his lesson the hard way. I don't think he is ever going to do that mistake again)

Eventually (after a lot of negotiations and explanations), she settled with a lampin cape. If she can't have bird's wings, then she might as well settle for a superhero's cape instead. She's still trying to decide on what name she'd go for but for now she goes by SUPER MAIA. 

When your neighborhood is in need of a superhero, just call her alright?

wings replaced by a lampin cape instead

Bookstore Scenes

Every time we step into a mall these days, she would look for a National Bookstore. She knows well where the NBS store is located in the Hypermart branch that we get our groceries from. Today, I left her sitting in front of the Adarna books stand, asked if I can go around the bookstore to look for some art supplies and she didn't hesitate to let me go. She told me she's going to be fine browsing through the books on her own. Then she grabbed a book, sat on the floor and started to read (although yes, she's really just pretending to. she was in fact just looking at the attractive illustrations on the books). I couldn't get myself to leave her though so I just moved to the other side of the stand pretending to have left but actually was just observing her. She didn't cry or even attempted to look for me. She just sat there, immersed on the book she was holding.

can't get any more comfortable than this
on to her second book
NBS, Gbelt1

it sure looks like it's book love, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Instilling The Love For Books + Reading + Storytelling

My siblings and I were raised to love books and reading. We grew up surrounded by 3 sets of encyclopedias and National Geographic coffee table books and history books. We had this encyclopedia-dictionary (tabby, was it collier's? i couldn't remember now) that the 3 of us older kids then would fight over because we all wanted to read it at the same time. We started reading Constantino when we were in grade school. Back then it was something really fun to learn history and all the trivia I learned from reading that book just came in handy when I was already in College.

Reading, on the other hand, was not something that was forced unto us.  At some point I guess, it did gave us the impression that we could be cool if we know stuff so that would probably had us started. Eventually, during idyllic summer days you’d see us curled in our own little corner of the house, faces buried in a book. We never usually go out of the house unless we were ask to buy something from the nearby talipapa or the nearest sari-sari store. My siblings and I were homebodies and never grew a fondness to being out of the house (happy si daddy and mommy!) so books were our primary source of adventure.

My dad had this grand dream of building his own library. He marked our books with "Pachoco Family Library" and I guess, that dream somehow rubbed off on us because we eventually shared his dream. Among the 5 of us though, I'd say I have the most boring reading list. They consist mostly of chiclit stuff, a lot of Stephen Kings and Robin Cooks, and of late obviously parenting books. I'd always be amazed with all the books that one of my sisters read. She maintains a very interesting (sorry tabby couldn't find the right word to describe it) book collection. I onced picked up one of her books but never got to finish it. They were the 1000-paged kind which about just a quarter through I'd end up falling asleep because the literature would jumble up my brain and my imagination just wouldn't function anymore. Besides the limited vocabulary that I have, I guess I'm still a baby when it comes to literary appreciation really. One day, I'd still want to get my hands and eyes on them though and be able to say that I finished a Dostoyevsky, a Pychon or a Joyce.

When I finally got around to envisioning myself as a mother, one of the things I really wished my kids would become passionate about is reading and storytelling. My sister who had already a son a year ahead of me told me to just make sure we always read to the little one when she was still a baby. So we read to her one specific story book each time till we learned the story by heart we would tell it even without reading through the book. Up until now, we didn't realized that the story was imprinted on Maia. When she finally learned to talk, she once asked for her Puppy Dog book -- "Mommy, nasan na si Puppy Dog ko? Yung puppy dog is dirty! (and Tibs wound interject - Dan and Emma wants to wash him?) Yes, yung book na yun!".  We were once again blown away. We didn't expect her to remember THAT book. But she did.

happy to find a souvenir photo with the puppy dog book
We already lost that book a long time ago. It was worn out from all the chewing and throwing that endure from Maia’s infancy. The little girl also practiced her tearing skills on that book and we eventually decided to retire and throw it away. Maia's literary CV has now expanded to include Adarna published books, some Dr. Seuss’s and Eric Carle's. There are other books she'd take to bed and kiss goodnight on some days (titles of which I just can't seem to recall right now). I'm starting to see my wish coming true. I'm in no way pressuring her to make it happen, but I'm hoping that with how she's treating books these days, it eventually will.

She also developed a unusual skill of reading books upside down. Lolz.

Daddy, malaking very hungry caterpillar o!

typical bookstore scene each time we make a stopover

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time For Ice Candy!

Summer has landed. It's a good thing we've been out most weekends because our electric bill would probably have skyrocketed by now had we been at home during the past weekends. Our airconditioner usually starts its day during siesta time in the afternoons once summer makes its presence felt.

Yesterday we purposely took a break from all the 'gala' and resolved to stay indoors to rest. I wasn't feeling well Saturday night so I was very agreeable to the invitation of rest. I didn't plan for any activities for Maia and me as well because I thought I'd just go with the flow for a change. So Sunday, while I slept in for an extra hour, Tibs took the liberty of preparing our breakfast (he only cooked eggs but well, at least he stepped up). He fixed Maia a sandwich and called me when breakfast was ready.

While we were eating, Maia (in her usual chatty self) retold how her past week went and was sort of briefing us of how the stay-out helper was doing (and yes, the little girl did confirm that Ate has been sleeping while she plays with her toys. sigh. kids don't lie, di ba?). She mentioned too that one time her Tito JR (my baby cousin who is her current bestfriend) ate ice candy one time and Ate did not let her take her share because she was coughing (okay, i give you 1 pogi point for this ate). Poor little girl. I took pity and asked her if she still wants ice candy. I decided I might as well introduce her to ice candy making. I asked her if she's interested to make some and of course, the answer was a loud YES! Her face always lights up every time she gets excited and that is really refreshing to see.

So off we went to the nearby market to buy some fresh mangoes, milk and ice candy wrapper. Even if she hates how the wet market smells and abhors the sound of fish/meat being butchered into pieces (i really think she has the potential to become a vegetarian), she still enjoys going to the market with me because she loves riding jeepneys.

When we got back, we immediately went to work. After an hour, we were able to make 21 pieces of 4-inch long ice candy sticks and 2 popsicle sticks. Plus about 2 glasses (I guess ) of the mixture which went straight to the little miss's tummy (ang sarap, Mommy! ang sarap ng mango milk!).

Let me just share with you our very simple ice candy recipe.

You will need:

a pack of 1x10 ice candy plastic wrapper
1 small can of condensed milk
1 big can of evaporated milk
2 cups water
2 pieces ripe mangoes, flesh scrapped and diced into small pieces to fit into the ice candy wrapper(we bought the big kind. 1 kilo = 3 pcs)

you will also need a small funnel.

How we did it:

Basically, we just dumped and mixed everything into a bowl and funneled it to the plastic wrappers. I just made sure that the milk was mixed well so that the sweetness is distributed evenly. The little girl had so much fun stirring the mixture so I let her stir to her heart's content before we started packing the ice candy individually.

After we were done packing, I let her count how many pieces we made. She still couldn't count correctly after 12 (she'd usually skip to 14, 17 then 11, 20) but I helped her count till we were able to count 21 pieces. "21! Yey, 21 sila!"
she would scoop into the mix and taste it every 10 mins or so.
masarap talaga ang mango milk, mommy!
"Daddy, papatigas muna natin to sa ref ha? Mamaya mo na tikman. Masarap talaga sya daddy. Masarap ang project namin ni Mommy!"
We set aside about a cup of the mixture because I also wanted to make some popsicles. I let her help me put the sticks into the freezer as well. After we've placed everything into the freezer, we cleaned up (surprisingly it wasn't as messy as I'd expected it to be) and before we knew it was already the little girl's nap time. The morning seemed to have zipped by in a flash.

Maia would jump out of bed every 10 mins to check if her ice candy was already frozen and ready but she eventually stopped when I told her the sticks won't freeze if she keeps on checking on them. She finally yielded to sleep but I think she still dreamed about her ice candy because I caught her smiling in her sleep a couple of times.
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