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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Thank you for always being present (with Mommy) in raising me even if it often calls for you to go out of your comfort zone. Thank you for being hands on with me. Thank you for trying your hardest to keep your temper down (one of these days, I will understand why this is very difficult for you to do and why that alone is something that I should be very grateful for already) while teaching me the basics of surviving this world. Someday, I know, I will fully understand all of that. For now, I thank you most especially for always making me laugh like there's no tomorrow. Thank you for always indulging my shallow childish whims (for instance) like letting me ride on your shoulders during our strolls even if they'd end up really sore (because I seemed to have grown heavy, right?) . I just want you to know Daddy that riding on your shoulders always make me feel like I rule the world! 

I love you very much. Paulit-ulit. Paulit-ulit. **big kiss**

p.s. Even if I hesitated earlier today to acknowledge that you still remain as my one and only prince, please know in my heart that you will always be my original prince.
She will probably forever remain a Daddy's girl.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maia's Favorite Things: Homeopathic Remedies

allergy and colds remedies - pulsatilla d4/allium cepa d3/apis
mellifica d30/sabadilla d6/kali carbonicum (not in photo)
Since becoming a mother, I also became more conscious of the choices I make. I always made sure I do my research first before I come to a decision.  I read books, interacted with other moms, asked questions and made sure I find out the explanation behind myth-sounding advices before I even give it a thought. If there's is no explanation, then I won't even consider. I am after all a believer that everything in this world is dynamic, constantly evolving. And I grew up knowing how important science is in our lives. Whatever might have worked for our elders, might not necessarily work for us. I believed that making an informed decision will rid me of the what-ifs and the regrets later on (read: no sick days). But of course, that was never the case. I learned the hard way that there will always be days where I'd be overwhelm with exhaustion and yet will be found tending to a sick little girl. It is in this sleep-deprived moments where I'd be cursing myself for being such a lousy mom for letting my little kid get sick (again and again and again).

At first I'd always be rushing to the pedia nearest to us when Maia's fever would hit 38. And we will always end up with prescriptions for various traditional meds (cough/allergy medicines mostly) and most times another prescription for antibiotics with instructions to give it once the fever persists on the 3rd day. Being the first time mom with no one to really direct questions to, I'd most often be caught submitting to our pedias orders.

I would eventually learn (or sige believe na lang) however that constant intake of oral medication can be damaging to one's body (to the liver most especially). So I took caution and became even more cautious (bordering on paranoid actually) after my PT diagnosis and subsequent surgery. Gladly, I sort of stumbled upon Anthroposophy and homeopathic remedies while researching on alternative medications for common colds one time. With the help of a fellow n@wie and my AP (attachment parenting) idol Jen I found Dra. Cricket Palanca-Chen, a natural medicine doctor (who is also a licensed pediatrician) who helped us understand homeopathy more and made me realize the importance of investing on building my daughter's immune system rather than become totally dependent (and hostage victims) to commercial meds. 

cough remedies (ferrum phosphoricum d6/pyrite d4/cinnabar d6)
We started treading the unfamiliar waters of homeopathy remedies a few months before Maia turned one (that was in 2009). We were initially prescribed the 'first aid kit' for commons colds and coughs - Pulsatilla (for hinog na sipon) and Allium Cepa (for watery na sipon) then the anti-cough combo of Cinnabar and Pyrite powder. The first year, I would still find myself running back into the arms of traditional meds especially when I couldn't see upfront the homeopathic meds taking effect after 2-3 days. But each time we come back to Dra. Chen she would assure us that Maia is well and that her body is still building up her inner defenses. 

So where are we now 3 years after we were first introduced to homeopathic remedies? I'd like to say that we now have a good, solid relationship. Maia responds well to the homeo meds. That's not to say that she never gets sick. She in fact does but her cough and colds usually goes away after 3-5 days. Since Maia turned 2, we only get to see Dra. Chen twice in a year for her well-baby check ups but in our last visit in April she was happy with how Maia is thriving. I happily reported too that she has not taken in any commercial meds for almost a year already (that bad tummy flu last January was what broke our supposed to be longest record). We don't give Maia commercial (by commercial I mean those produced by big pharmaceutical companies) vitamin supplements. If she isn't eating well, we'd break a malunggay capsule and mix it with her food or with yakult

Maia is already very familiar with these homeo meds. When she gets sneezy she would call on Ate and say, I want 5 drops Ate. Please! (when she says 5 drops she's actually referring to Apis Mellifica which helps her allergic rhinitis attacks). Then she calls the powdered ones "polvoron". I'm lucky we didn't have difficulty convincing her to take homeo meds. The liquid ones taste weird at first (almost like mild white wine) and takes a bit of getting used to but it didn't take long for her to get used to it.

I intend to stick to these babies for as long as we can and for as long as Maia is willing to take them. Of course, I am not totally discounting the help and the role that traditional medicines play in saving millions of lives and this is not to say that we will never, ever seek the aid of these medicines because I still would when the need arises. But what I'm trying to say is for those common illnesses, this works for us for now and we'll stick to it for as long as we can.

For those who are interested to see Dra. Chen here is her clinic schedule and other pertinent info:

Pediatrics/Natural Medicine

Clinic schedule:

Medical Plaza Makati
(she recently moved to her husband's clinic at the 18th floor, just ask the receptionist at the bldg lobby for the room number)
contact: Ms. Ayie

St. Luke's Global
Room 539, Medical Arts Bldg
contact: Ms. Ayie
789.7700 loc 7539/569.7217

Monday, June 11, 2012

Arts-N-Crafts: The Philippine Flag

This was a post that I started June 12th of last year. I was only starting to be active with blogging again that time and I never had the confidence to just go ahead and publish my posts. I always had to proofread then edit then proofread and edit again, it went on and on till I totally just lose confidence and eventually abandon my post in my drafts folder. Now, I've just come to realize that firstly, I own this blog. It's my account of Maia's day to day experiences so I am actually only accountable to her (and of course to myself). So there's really no need to hold back (unless I'm oversharing and eventually endangering her and our family, right?)

So anyways, as part of my resolve to bring my drafts folder down to zero (0), I am publishing this post a year after I started writing it. It still is apt to the day since it was after all the first time that I introduced the little girl to the symbol of our 'freedom' and that is the Philippine flag. I will leave the historical background of how this day came to be to Wiki's expert hands. Let me just share with you this simple activity that you too can enjoy doing with your toddler on this lazy Tuesday (and it's a holiday, yipee!).


Yesterday was a welcomed break from the wet, rainy days that we've been experiencing for almost the entire week. So I took hold of this great opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun with the little girl. I checked my arts and crafts stash. I'm still starting to build it so I don't have much to go on. I realized though glancing at my basic poster paint colors that the little girl and I can paint the Philippine flag so I excitedly brought out the paints, diluted them with water in unused small medicine measuring cups, laid down our buri mat in the garden, gathered our paintbrushes and invited the little girl for a free painting activity. Maia helped me set up our outdoor activity area for day. I noticed that recently seeing me prepare for an activity excites her in a jumping, clapping way. I get more inspired to come up with weekly activities each time I see that positive response from her.

I was initially aiming for more elaborate crafts projects but at the last minute decided to just go with the free painting activity. After all, Maia still has a limited attention span on most sit-down activities so I was sure that activity was just perfect for now. Plus, we can put up whatever project we would complete after since Tibs and I were able to score some barbecue sticks for P10/bundle at the nearby market when we dropped by earlier after our morning run.

Basic Poster Paint Colors and the Philippine Flag Project by Mommy + Maia
Anyways, here's what you will need to create your own Philippine flag:

- 2 pcs of large sketch/drawing paper (we painted the flag back-to-back)
- poster paint (red, yellow and blue)
- paint brushes (best if you can spare a brush for each color so you won't have to worry about one color being mixed to a different color)
- thick barbecue sticks, blunt end trimmed (we used just one actually since we made only one flag) to avoid accidents
- glue
- double-sided tape

I glued the 2 paper together first then taped the ends with the double sided tape and (rolled) wrapped it unto the barbecue stick. Then outlined the flag and instructed the little girl to what colors to use. She painted freely for a good 3-5 mins for both the blue and red but as expected, I did most of the painting job. After thoroughly painting both sides (and draw 3 stars and a sun on the triangle part of the flag), we stuck the stick unto our garden and let it air-dry. I may have done 90% of the activity but I'm happy that through this I was able to teach the little girl something today. She learned to say 'flag' too! How nice is that? 

I was trying to think of another project to make today since we've decided to stay home and enjoy a quite holiday again today especially since Maia's grandparents (my mom and dad) are with us. We'll probably leave later for a small family get together but the rest of the day, we planned to be lazy once again. We're done with Maia's homework already so we have plenty of time for play. I'm also asking my dad to tell Maia an independence day-themed story. They'll probably do that before nap time later. 

How's you Independence Day going?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Photo Blog: First Day Of School Rush

I posted about our first day of school experience here. And of one of my well-accepted baon recipe here (I say well-accepted because she requested for me to cook pasta for the entire week). I don't have a lot of school anecdotes to share yet because the little girl has been very privy of her school experience so we don't press. We will wait. For that day when she openly shares her everyday adventures in school. For now, we're just happy with her coming home excitedly to show us the stickers and stars that she's earned for being well-behaved. Well, actually we're just happy to always have her home safely from school.

i caught myself staring at this.
it's probably reality starting to sink in.
i still feel the excitement more than the anxiety though.
i hope it stays that way. so i can be a better parent to my preschooler.
So here goes the photo blast (again if you're not up to it, would suggest you skip this post ^_^)! I'm glad I  was finally given the opportunity to take pictures again using an actual camera (thanks for letting us borrow your camera lolo!). It was nice break that I really welcomed with open arms since I was kind of getting burnt out (read: tired) already looking at lousy photos from my faulty phone camera. Is there a raffle out there that's giving out free cameras? I'm willing to try my luck since I don't think I could squeeze in our budget tighter to make way for a new camera anytime soon. Lolz.

tiny shoes, tiny socks ready to share new adventures with our little tot!
"Mommy, ako na magsasara ng butones ha?"
maia's first day baon that she helped prepare with me.
i wasn't able to get some seedless grapes earlier so we had to peel and seed them out manually.
it was a fun bonding exercise for me and maia anyways.
admiring her sandwich masterpiece
Mandatory First School Day In Uniform pose
Another obligatory pose this time inside her school shuttle service
while waiting for the other kids. She's the youngest in this batch
but she doesn't seem to mind. And she's starting to love the rides to school
since she gets to horse around with the other kids. 
One of the things that our little miss preschooler is really excited about is the playground time. And to see plenty of kids to play with is more icing on the cake for her. When we arrived in school, guess where she immediately went.


At almost 11am, the sun was already blasting at it's hottest but little kids don't really care too much about that, do they? It's a good thing they had shortened classes the first week and PE in the middle of the week so she had plenty of play time and wasn't immediately subjected to a barrage of school work. Kid has unlimited energy, I'm telling ya. I'm deeply hoping she will have the same amount of energy for schoolwork when they all come pouring her way.

Anyways, I'm glad I didn't have to sift through a lot of photos so here's just a few more that I'd like to document (there's a bright side to not owning a camera after all!) These are our first day parting shots. 

happy to see her daddy waiting by her classroom door
with her pretty classroom adviser, teacher jam
So that's how our first day of school went. Kid slept like a log a few minutes after the school shuttle left the school to take them home. She gets tired, after all (what a relief! hahaha). But the minute we got home, she was wide awake and ready to share her first day of school experience to her village friends. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Macaroni With Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

With the new adventures comes new struggles as well. I used to obsess about my little girl's picky eating. She still isn't totally over that picky eating phase so imagine what it's like now that she's fully distracted by school. The picky eating has doubled. It takes about an hour for us to convince her to eat. and eat more. I also now have to slave myself over what snacks to pack for her and also since her school schedule overlaps with her lunch schedule I also have to think of what to pack for lunch as well. So Bento lunch boxes are such a great idea. I am actually burning the midnight oil browsing through blogs and online articles about meal planning but I've sort of gotten myself stuck in this particular site call Kitchen Cow and it's quite riveting and inspiring. I can only wish though that Maia will be fooled by the presentation enough to convince her to give my veggies and fruits a try. 

I still have a long way to go before I even get into level one of Kitchen Cow's bento magic. But for now, I'm hoping that playing sneaky mommy will help me get to my goal (which is to get the little girl to eat healthier food). I usually do my groceries with no particular menu in mind (I wanted to really list down a menu even for just 5 days but I can never get myself to start making that list. The mere thought of starting is already exhausting me. Sigh). So anyways, today, I rummaged thru what's in our vegetable crisper and in our pantry and I was able to come up with this recipe.

The daddy of the house says this really looks appetizing. He isn't fond of creamy sauces though so he didn't get to taste this particular recipe.
For now, here's what I used to make this recipe:
  • about 200g elbow macaroni, cooked per package instructions (I always make sure it's al dente because that's really how my family likes our pasta)
  • half a pack of all-purpose cream (the version I used was the full-cream kind so it was really rich)
  • 1 cup of broccoli and cauliflower florets (cut into little miss bite size pieces), blanched (we actually dropped it on the boiling pasta water 2 minutes before we put the flame out and drained the pasta)
  • about 1/3 of a packet of ready-made pasta sauce (I used the three cheese variant here since my little girl's really BIG on cheese)
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 2 slabs of Canadian bacon, chopped into small even pieces (that's about 1/3 cup)
  • chopped white onion (I used half of a med sized onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil and a dab of butter for sauteing 
How I did it:

This recipe's main ingredients
1. Saute onion and garlic over combined olive oil and butter on low fire until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.
2. Add in chopped bacon bits and cook till the meat changes color. 
3. Add in the cream. Stir and simmer for about a minute. 
4. Add in tomato sauce and stir till white and red sauce is incorporated thoroughly.
5. Toss over cooked pasta and vegetables. 
6. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs (basil and italian parsley would be great).

Surprisingly, my girl loved this so much she finished 2 servings at breakfast and ate another serving before she left for school (brunch). I couldn't be happier. I hope that tomorrow I can come up with something interesting again. Wish me luck.

School Adventures Officially Begins!

And so our big school adventure officially kicked off today. Maia couldn't sleep well last night, but that didn't really alarm me because she's always been like that when she's looking forward to something new the following day. Although, I was already armed and ready for a tantrum-filled start brought about by lack of sleep. But the minute the little miss was up I knew we were off to a good start because she was extremely cheerful and ever ready to start the day.

We started by preparing her baon for school. I called the school yesterday and I was told they were going to shorten the class periods from 3 to 2 hours until Friday to give the kids some time to adjust so there's really no need for us to pack heavy lunches. I've been thinking of preparing a weekly menu for Maia's lunch pack but that remained to be just a plan and as expected, I crammed. I aimed for an ambitious lunch pack but ended up with a bag of mini-sandwiches, peeled grapes, a few packs of biscuits and some yogurt drinks instead. Nothing healthy. Nothing fancy. But then again, at least the little miss was all so eager to help me prepare her school stuff. She cut the sandwiches into her preferred shapes (it was a heart-shaped cheese and a flower-shaped hazelnut sandwich)

To keep the spirit of 'stage parenting' alive in our household, both Tibs and I took a day off from our respective jobs to personally send our little miss schoolgirl off and as well as fetch her after school. Being the realistic working parents however, we made it clear that it's all just going to be for today. She seemed to have understood. In fact, she initially refused to be accompanied to school - "wag na kayo sumama, Mommy. kaya ko na 'to". But then the school service operator was apprehensive and wanted us to help ease her adjustment to the new environment so she pleaded for us to be present on day one. And yes being the stage parents that we were, we eagerly complied.

As I've anticipated, it was a chaotic first day rush when we got to the school. I had a happy realization though. I wasn't the stage mother that I thought myself to be. I call that a happy realization because that made me feel (in a nice affirming way) that I'm on the parenting path that I'd really hope to be in. And that's just somewhere in between and nowhere the extremes. I support but I also let be. My kid wasn't clingy at all when I led her to her classroom door. And she couldn't wait for me to leave her. Surprisingly, I didn't feel heartbroken at all when my daughter shooed me away. I felt pride in fact.

I bid her goodbye, blew a few kisses then silently but happily walked out of the preschool building and made my way towards the auditorium where the preschool parents' orientation was going to be held. It was a short orientation (about 30minute I think) and it just gave us an overview of how our preschooler’s day would be like while in school - grading system, feeding programs, PE schedules, class parties, raising and discussing issues with teachers and guidance counselors, and a short open forum where anxious parents were given the venue to voice out their apprehensions and fears out in the open. The teachers were gracious enough to listen and I could personally say they won my trust just by merely affirming to us parents that our kids are their priority (I am that mababaw, see?).

So I guess, having had a smooth experience during our first day has somehow padded the issue of separation anxiety (on Maia and us, most especially). But that doesn't mean I'm finally closing that phase of our school adventure. I'm still bracing myself for next week because I'm thinking that after all this excitement ebbs down, that's when the real idea of separation anxiety will start to work its magic (black magic nga lang). I don't sound very optimistic, do I? Well, I really just wanted to be prepared. Wish us luck!

camwhoring with mom inside the school service
while waiting for other kids

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