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Monday, October 29, 2012

The Doctor Is In

Today is community day/trick or treating day in the little miss's school. They are supposed to come to school dressed as their favorite community helpers. Maia chose to come as a doctor. Sadly, I can't be with her again today. Because well -- I have work.

I know that we are always given options. Today I have two: miss work and come in tomorrow. Or come to work today and earn the ticket to miss work tomorrow. I chose the latter. Because the latter would give me more time to spend with the kids (my nephew is here for a week-long visit). I can take them to the museum and maybe if we still have time and maybe if they're not tired yet we can still drop by the zoo. The kid's cousin only comes to visit once a year and I think I owe him too at least a day to come and see things (read: Manila sights).

But missing the kid's school activities always renders me heartbroken. And I tend to beat myself up for stuff like this. Sigh.I know, I know that just like the heartbreaks I felt with all those milestones I missed, I will eventually get over this. I will eventually realize that supermom is really just somebody fictional. And that I should stop aiming to be one. (Today though I will just wallow in this pool of sadness. Sorry for the rather gloomy post. I just need to let this out)

Meantime, thank you Ate Inday for stepping in for us. I hope they make more of you. 

Little Miss Green Fairy Princess and Trick-or-Treat Weekend

Trick or Treat? A witch-boy and two green fairies
Six months before most people would start preparing for trick or treating activities, she's already decided who she would be dressed up as at this year's halloween party. Our village hosts a trick or treat activity for the village kids and she has always looked forward to it since she was 2. She wanted to be Tinkerbell this year. But her dad didn't like the idea of her getting attached to a particular Disney character so we had to edit a bit and just settle for green fairy which didn't bother her at all. Basta she's a fairy. That's all that mattered. (the birthday theme was actually a spin-off of this)

We bought the cloth from divisoria - a yard of soft green tulle fabric and another yard of the soft silky cloth (which I don't know the real term is). I think it only costed us less than P200 for the fabric. And I had plenty of extra left to set aside for future projects. (I think I can even make a tulle skirt out of the remaining fabric)

The original costume design that we had it patterned after had no sleeves but since (per experience) come October the temp in this part of the hills that we live in usually drops to something similar to that of chilly Tagaytay, I had to add sleeves on her costume as well. We opted for puffed sleeves so she will look like a fairy princess. The dress costed us P250 (which I think was overpriced considering the stress that the sewer gave us but it left us no choice for now. But I probably will not avail of her services anymore in the future. Time to look for a new one)

We had the costume made early September. The sewer didn't have it ready till mid-October though and by the time Ate Inday picked it up, the excitement has waned already. It even took us 3 days to convince her to fit the dress on. It was a little loose but I was too kind to bring it back and have it repaired so we opted to just 'repair' it ourselves with a couple of safety pins. Good thing our strategy worked and with it being loose, I think the little miss can still play dress up with this particular costume for quite a long time before she finally outgrows it. 

I wanted to take lots of photos of my fairy princes but I unfortunately had other duties (as I am an officer of our homeowner's association -- see how i like to complicate my life?) the day of the trick or treat so I wasn't able to take nice photos of her but let me just share with you a few photos that the daddy manage to snap. 

here is our fairy princess with her tito (my cousin) Iko
full attention on the program, notice the headband?
i made that one too! i cut out the flowers and sewed them on a recycled headpiece
from one of the birthday parties that we attended previously
photo-op with Jollibee. she just looks so grown up here. 
this was a photo i took the night before. just wanted to take a souvenir shot
of these pretty sugar cookies that my friend Dea gave as a belated
birthday gift to the fairy princess (if you like to order, just pm me ha!)
look at the treats they took home
How did your weekend go? Did you go trick or treating too?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I Got Myself A Liebster Award!

Taking a break from talking about the kid to share little bits of me this time. This is a response to a tag by a blogging mommy that I am a super fan of. Thanks for the tag, Pepper! You can view her heartwarming stories of her pretty little A and the rest of her beautiful family over at days in a wagon.

And by the way, this is my first award too! So thanks again for sharing it with me!

Before I respond to the questions, I was supposed to share bits of trivia about me. I will try my hardest to come up with 11 as my brain is still kind of hungover from the weekend's hectic run. So let's see:

-I was never sporty when I was young but for health reasons I have since been religiously exercising and have been running for 3 years now. I am currently training with my husband for my first full-marathon (that's roughly 42 kilometers for those who are wondering how that is) which I hope to do early next year. 

-I am a true blooded probinsiyana (from a small qiuet town in Western Visayas). And despite living away for more than 10 years now, I still get bitten by homesickness every once in a while so I always make sure I get to go 'home' at least once a year. 

-I am the eldest among 5 siblings. Yet, I am the smallest. 

-I love to cook. Apart from blogging, cooking is another activity that helps me de-stress.

-My favorite part of the house is the bathroom and the kitchen. If I win the lottery, those two are going to be my renovation priority!

-I am addicted to coffee (any kind - instant, brewed, rice, corn hahaha) and I the longest I have been off it was about a year (9 months I was pregnant and 2 months that I breastfed). 

-I don't like keeping (cleaning and organizing, mostly) the house so usually it's my husband who does that.

-I once dreamed to be a preschool teacher. But now that I had a glimpse of how Maia's few hours in school were, I totally stopped thinking about it. Ang hirap pala!

-I'm a big fan of grunge (and alternative) music. 

-Booksale and the grocery/supermarket are my happy places.

-I had to cheat a little and grab from one of the list in my facebook notes (facebook had a lot of those memes before). I think this is an interesting fact and I hope my little girl will find her own BFF one day: I'm still bestfriends with my bestfriend since grade school. That's almost 30 years of friendship and counting.

And here are my answers to Pepper's questions:

What is your favorite  comfort food?
Anything with sabaw (soupy). But chicken arroz caldo and lomi would top the list. 
For dessert, cake or ice cream? Why?
Cake. I have terribly sweet teeth but between a cold dessert and something off the oven, I would always grab for the latter. Red velvet with cream cheese topping is a favorite (no particular brand but the best I've tasted so far was from Cukay's)
The beach or the mountains? Why?
The mountains. Was never fond of the beach because I never learned to swim. And I've always longed for the colder breeze that the mountains bring rather than the salty, humid breeze from the beach. 
Whats good about blogging?
It's very therapeutic. And I think it saved me a lot of money because I get to type down and organize my thoughts here before they explode in my brain and require me to book an appointment with a shrink (not that I'm underestimating the importance of talking to a professional when necessary).
Whats not so good about it?
I tend to get carried away and talk a lot about my loved ones, and that sometimes gives the public a glimpse unto my private life. So as much as I can, I always try to leave a post overnight so I can edit and edit and edit some details before hitting the publish button. (although I know not a lot of people read this anyways, so I'm partly thankful for that)
Who or what serves as your inspiration when writing a post?
My daughter most definitely. That's why I dedicated this entire blog to her!
How long does it usually take you to write a post?
Some days when I'm really inspired about 30 mins max. Some days it takes me weeks to polish a post. Can't really tell since I haven't written a lot yet anyways.
What makes a certain photo blog post worthy?
Good quality photos. Details. Emotions. Facial expressions. Colors.
How long have you been blogging?
Hmm give or take, 5 years. I started a blog in multiply to document our wedding planning.
What inspired you to pen a blog?
I tend to be forgetful. And I fear I would forget the important details of my girl's growing up years so I thought this is the best way to make a record of all the milestones not only of her but of our family as well.
Whats the story behind your blog name?
This blog was named after my daughter. 
I wouldn't want to be the blogger who will contribute to the demise of this meme so in the attempt of keeping this going, here are my questions to pass on to the following mommy bloggers:

Erlaine of Glamma Momma
Leslie of Got To Believe
Jeng of J.J.J.
May of Cheeky-Momsy
Irene of Nanay Irene
(Sorry I'm breaking the rules now because I don't want to tag those that have been tagged earlier already but you can all leave a comment if there's a question that you would want to answer. would really appreciate if you do!)

And my questions are:
-When did you start blogging?
-What's the story behind your blog?
-What time of the day do you prefer to write?
-White Chocolate? Or Dark Chocolate?
-If you're ever given the chance to live in a province here in the Philippines, which province would that be?
-What's makes a great weekend for you?
-Sunrise? or Sunset?
-Are you a breakfast person?
-How long do you usually stay online in a day?
-Have you tried joining the lottery? Did you ever win?
-Is there any particular skill that you would still want to learn right now?

And while I was finishing this post up, I got tagged by 2 more mommy blogger cyberfriends (but I'm meeting them soon! excited!). Thanks too for the tag, Maggie and Em!

From Maggie:
1. If you have a slogan for yourself what would it be?
The hands-on working momma. :)
2. What do you miss doing that you are not doing now?
All day TV/Movie marathons. (have to always wait for the kid to fall asleep now before we can watch TV shows/movies that we like)
3. What was the weirdest pregnancy or even non-pregnacy advice you received?
Can't remember anymore. Has it been that long? (lolz)
4. Shoes or bags?
Can I choose both? I can't make up my mind. Hahaha.
5. What is your number one “Supermom” ability?
6. What is the best advice about motherhood did you receive?
Follow your instinct.
7. Apart from home, where is the next best place for you?
Antique. My childhood home.
8. What’s your morning routine?
15 minutes of online time in bed. Get up and comb hair. Make coffee. Fix breakfast.
9. What do you think your child will tell you after reading your blog ten years from now?
Mom, you don't have to beat yourself up that hard.
10. What is your favorite dessert?
Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese topping.
11. Why blog?
Because it keeps me sane. It provides me the outlet to vent out my feelings and to somehow organize my thoughts and emotions.

From Em:
1. Name a book you would read over and over again?
Catcher in the rye (because that's the only book that i've read for more than 3 times i think)
2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
6 pairs. (and you ask, am i a girl?)
3. What chore do you absolutely love doing?
4. What personality trait/s do you dislike in other people?
Dishonesty. And selfishness.
5. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Missing curfew (in college, our dorm had a curfew) and having to climb the gate to get in. I almost got my thighs barbecued because the gate had blunt edges.
6. If you have an extra hour today, how would you pass the time?
Finish that photobook layout because my coupon is expiring soon.
7. Flats or Heels? Why?
Heels. I stand 4 feet 10 inches (my OB even disagrees - it's just 9 inches she says) and yet I'd still go for flats. Comfort is my style.
8. If you could go back to any age for a day, what age would that be and why?
The hippie generation. Flower power!
9. What is one job you think you’d be absolutely terrible at?
Housekeeping. Organizing. 
10.What is your favorite film of all time? Just one. The Neverending story. 
11.In five words or less, how do you want your readers to perceive you? Straightforward. Open. Learning. Improving.

Whew! That was quite a lengthy Q & A but I had fun answering them. I hope one of the mommy bloggers I tagged would respond :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Fairy Princess - The Making Of The Wand

Dear Fairy Princess,

I intended to make this wand tomorrow. But in the middle of my run this morning, I got a text message from your shuttle service operator saying ESS declared a no school day for preschoolers today. I was overjoyed! You see, your dad's office is throwing a trick or treat party for the kids today and I so wanted for you to join. I've been wishing for years but we always had your costumes ready the last minute in the past. This year we were more prepared. You already had your costume ready by the time October hit. I learned about your dad's office trick or treat party last week but since I know that you still have school, I didn't push for you to join since you might get the impression that you can just go ahead and miss school anytime you wish to. No, that's not how we go about with schedules at home little miss so even if it saddened me a bit thinking you're passing up again another opportunity to see your dad's workplace I had to let it go. I have to teach you about priorities and this is one of those teaching moments.

When I told your dad you can now join the trick or treat party, he wasn't as ecstatic as me. He hesitated actually. I guess the idea of being bugged by a little miss makulit at work wasn't a very thrilling thought (you know how daddy hates being thrown out of focus). But since I am also Mrs Makulit, he relented. Not with some conditions though - that you only leave the house when the rain lets up and that you let us sift through the candies you get before you start eating. You agreed to all conditions. I went to pack up your stuff for him to bring with him this morning so you and Ate Inday will have a worry-free commute later.

That's when I realized you don't have a wand yet (and a headdress actually to complete the attire but I immediately set aside that thought else I'll just succumb to panic) so I frantically got my crafts box out and started working hurriedly on a wand. I already had a design in mind but I mentally computed the time it would entail me to finish and decided on a simpler version for now. I thought I will just add more embellishments tomorrow.

So what were the materials that I used to make this wand?

-a piece of balloon stick from a balloon that Maia took home from a Jollibee party (which I hid from the hubby else he might again scold me for hoarding trash) 
-a silver fabric ribbon saved from last year's Christmas gifts
- 2 pieces of 6 inch silver strings (sorry I don't know how they're called exactly)
-a ball of cotton for stuffing
-felt fabric (leftover from my holiday project)
-a tiny green pompom
-needle and green thread
-magic tape (to seal the bottom)

I just wrapped the silver ribbon on the balloon stick and stuck it in between the star-patterned felt fabric that I stuffed with cotton. I sewed the edges to seal off. The pompom in the middle is there for a purpose. I actually hides the stitches that holds the stick. The silver string that I attached on the sides were just a spur of the moment thing because I wanted it to sort of 'sparkle' when you wave it.

So there. I made you a wand. In 15 minutes. I am flash mommy! :)) I'm kinda proud of myself for coming up with this wand that fast. 

Sadly (and I'm a little heartbroken), your trip to daddy's office didn't push through because dad wasn't able to register you on time. They had a cut off and it was last Monday. You cried when I called to break the news but Ate Inday tells me you're all better now. And you seem to have forgotten about it already. 

So anyways, this wand won't be wasted at all. You still have the weekend coming up and you're going trick or treating with your cousins and Ate Chloe. It's still going to be lots of fun. And you're going to be the prettiest fairy princess ever. 

Ang likot lang I couldn't take a decent shot.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Maia Travels: Breakfast At Antonio's

A peak at how and where the little girl spent her Saturday morning yesterday. The past 4 years we always celebrated our wedding anniversary by just attending mass at the church where we were married and grabbing a quick (fast) breaky at the nearest fastfood chain (how cozy and romantic no?). Yesterday, we thought, kid was big enough to already bring with us for a shot of fancy celebration. So we commuted our way to this little fancy resto in Alfonso, Cavite for breakfast.

Will blog more about this soon over at our family blog. In the meantime, let me direct you to the restaurant's website in case you would want to drop by this place soon.

Click for more photos here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ang Paboritong Bedtime Story ni Maia

Eto ang buod ng paboritong kwento ni Maia. Minsan hindi ito matapos tapos ikwento ni Mommy nya kasi ang dami-daming nasisingit na detalye. Nakakatulog na sila bago pa man umabot sa ending. May panahon din na hindi nya ito naging paborito. Ewan ko kung bakit, nalulungkot daw sya pag naririnig ang kwento. Siguro yun ang panahon na binubuo pa lang ni Maia ang bokabularyo nya at hindi nya gaano naintindihan ang ibang parte ng kwento. Pero ngayon, kayang-kaya na nya ito ikwento ng mag-isa. Kabisadong-kabisado na nya ang mga detalye. Sana hanggang sa kanyang paglaki, maalala nya ang masayang araw na ito. 


Isang araw, doon sa malayong bayan ng DC may isang batang nagngangalang Maia Isobel. Pinanganak sya noong Oktubre 18. Ang pangalan ng Mommy nya ay F at ang pangalan ng Daddy nya ay T.

Madaling araw noon ng bigla na lang naisip ni Maia na kumatok sa tyan ng Mommy niya. "Knock, knock, knock Mommy ko. Palabasin mo na po ako dito. Gusto ko na po makita ang mundo!" Malakas ang katok niya pero hindi agad ito pinansin ng Mommy niya. Bakit kamo? Sabi kasi ni doktora dalawang linggo pa ang aantayin nila. 

Pero sadyang makulit itong si Maia. "Mommy ko, Mommy ko! Naririnig mo ba ako? Ready na akong masilayan ang mundo! Palabasin mo na po ako dito!" Nilakasan nya ang katok at ayun napansin din sya ni Mommy nya. Inumpisahan bilangin ni Mommy nya ang katok nya. Aba! At mukhang handa na ngang lumabas para makita ang mundo ni Maia.

Alas kwarto nang umaga nag umpisang kumatok si Maia. Pero alas-8 na nung umalis sila Mommy at Daddy nya para kitain sa ospital si Doktora. Pagdating ng alas-11 nakahiga na si Mommy ni Maia at handa nang ilabas sya. Pero nakatulog ata si Maia at inabot ng alas-9 ng gabi bago sila magkita ng personal ng Mommy nya. Natagalan man, sulit na sulit ang bawat segundong inantay. Inuluwal na malusog at malakas ang batang si Maia.

Nakakatuwa, sino mag aakala. Pagkatapos ng siyam na buwan ayan na si Maia. Nagkamustahan na rin sila ni Daddy at Mommy nya. Hindi mapantayan ang galak sa mga taong matagal nang sabik makita sya. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Little Dose Of Saccharine To Brighten Your Day, Mommy!

Before I left for work this morning, kid handed me this bunch of weeds and said: "bring it with you to the office ha, Mommy? May vase ka ba doon? Kailangan kasi ilagay yan sa vase"

I finally understand why my husband was not gifted with sweetness. God was probably thinking it's not a swell idea surrounding me with too much saccharine. I wouldn't be too happy acquiring Diabetes anyways. So yes, an overly sweet daughter should be enough to cover for two. 

Hope you're having a wonderful week! We're halfway through with October. I still am cramming for the kid's class party (which is happening in 2 days) but again, I keep telling myself we're after the salo-salo (class get-together) so there's really no need for me to pressure myself. Sana nga. Sana nga. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Run, Maia, Run!

You ran your first race yesterday. Did you have a blast? I honestly think you did even if you didn't run the entire course. Had you not gone bored the first hour that we have been waiting for gunstart, you would probably have not wasted half your energy warming up with your dad. That was a headstart of about 500 meters for you and in retrospect, 1km on itself does seem like a tough distance already. 

I was bent on achieving a milestone myself yesterday. Admittedly, stage mothering took second priority yesterday as I tried my best to prep myself up for my goal realization. I forgot to take photos of you. Documentation was the least of my priorities. I just wanted to get that sub-1 that I have long been wanting to achieve. You see, dad and I have decided to push through with our full marathon training. And we're supposed to take things seriously now. All things related to running that is. And to me that sub-1 matters a lot because that will somehow validate my claim that I AM READY. 

Several lessons were learned yesterday though, albeit rather painfully. One - I should never, ever aim for a PR when racing in a low-budgeted fun run aimed just for (yes pun intended) FUN because a lot of factors can get in the way and you most likely would start racing not on your optimal form. So really, it's a lost cause to begin with. Two - when you are encouraging your kid to think of pursuing a certain activity the best thing to do for you is just focus your energy on him/her. The mere fact that she took on your challenge should be enough for her to deserve your full attention. This was the part I really regretted the most. I should have looked after you myself.

But well, at least, I did manage to hold your hand at the first few meters. You kept pushing to get me and daddy to run alongside you despite our firm hesitation initially. We were really stubborn at first choosing to (unfairly) force you to gather up the guts to run without us amongst the company of kids majority of whom were double your size. I should have knelt to level with you and looked at the current environment from that perspective. I would have understood your overwhelming emotions then. 

Oh well good news for me as there's always a next time for things like this, my little miss. An opportunity for redemption is still very possible. And I am giving you my word now that the minute that comes, you can count that we'd be 100% present for you then. 

You are one brave, headstrong and determined little girl, Maia. I look forward to witnessing the many adventures that you will take on soon! And great job for reaching the finish line!

you always, always never fail to make my heart swell with pride.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Teacher's Day Seatwork

In the lobby of the kid's preschool building  the teachers maintain this artwork 'show-off' board where each of the preschool sections would take turns posting their class's top artwork pieces on special projects. I only came to know of this recently.

Mommy oh, di na lumalagpas pagko color ko!

Here's a photo of my little miss proudly showing her completed artwork from the Teacher's Day celebration last October 5th. This was the second time that one of her artworks made it to the board. The first one she showed to her dad but the daddy forgot to take a photo of it, I didn't see what it was. So yesterday, she made sure Ate Inday took a snap of her and her 'masterpiece' to show to me later.

If you're proud of yourself little girl, WE - daddy and me - are even prouder.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birthday Invitation Wrap Up

Occasionally (or rather literally when an occasion at home comes up), I would daydream of being a DIY Goddess. Think Martha Stewart. Really. But in reality, I do not even have 1% of her incredible skills. I struggle hard at every arts and crafts project that I embark on with my overeager little miss. But of course, since I have an enthusiastic student I always try my hardest to deliver my best. Although I tended to be very unlucky with raffles and lotteries, the kid and I often (as luck would have it) ended  with surprisingly nice looking projects. The Fates probably thought it wiser to gift me with the luck in this kind of things since they know how difficult it is to console disappointed kids.

So anyways, with the class birthday party in mind I thought of the great amount of joy I could bring to the kid if I DIY her birthday invites taking to mind all things enchanted and fairy-like. But as I brainstormed for hours, I just ended up mentally-drained and tired. And yet with nary an idea to start with. So I embraced defeat yet again. And decided it's time I called for back up. I am eternally grateful for cousins who are gifted with real (and not fake ones like mine) artistic talents who are also ever ready to take over from where I failed. 

So I say again, "Hello there, Ninong Jepoy!" and browse the internet for some generic fairy-themed invites and send the first thing that I see to my cousin to personalize for the kid. Here's what he came up with.

i had to blur out the party details. i wanted to link up the source of this photo but i cannot remember where i got it from. so my advance apologies. i really have no intention of claiming ownership over this design.
I wanted a very simple birthday invite BECAUSE I was very watchful of my budget and I didn't want to overspend as well. But I also didn't want to totally disregard the kid's wishes of seeing fairies and castles in it. So this is the best I can come up with. I swear, little miss, best effort na 'to ni Mommy (and mostly Ninong hehe). 

I had that printed as a 3R photo. Picture City over at ATC (I'm sure they have branches in other malls around the metro) has a 5+1 promo so we got about 6 pcs for free since we also had some of the kid's recent photos printed for our birthday card exchange project. So that costed me about P4.50/pc. Not bad at all. And I still have P5.50 left to spend for the envelope since I budgeted each invite at P10/pc.

I was thinking of something generic to get for the invite. I thought we'll just seal them with stickers for added color but when I was browsing through the available envelopes at National Bookstore, I couldn't find anything that would fit the invite. So I was looking around almost ready to just go with the next best thing when my eyes fell on this rack that houses coin envelopes. I grabbed a pack and measured it against the size of the invite and TA-DAHHHHH, we found our winner! 

So yes, I went with a coin envelope and a photo paper printed invite. So boring looking. So unappealing. But who cares. It passed my little girl's standards and it fit my budget. That's all that mattered really. 

When we got home, the little miss was so excited to start working on them so I got the invites out and she starting pulling the envelopes out of the package one by one. Lining them up and counting them over and over. 

"Mommy, huwag mo kakalimutan si N, si A and si C ha?!"

"Yes, ma'am birthday girl. I got them all covered!" (she giggled at my response and at the sight of her class list)

i hand wrote the names of her classmates on each card and
she sealed them with letter stickers depending on the first letter of her classmate's names
After we've finished inserting into the envelopes and sealing all 22 pieces of her birthday invites, she asked me to help her sort the invites according to the gender of the recipient. It turned out to be her way of checking if we missed somebody out. She kept insisting we missed 3 but I thought maybe the other kids were using nicknames in school that's why they weren't on the list that Teacher J confirmed to me. But the daddy was telling me, he trusts his daughter's memory. So the following day, I sent Teacher J a note to re-confirm the list and guess what -- the kid was right all along. Teacher J did miss to add 3 more to my list. Good job kiddo for double checking!

So we've sent out the invites. The kid is soooo ready to party. But I have yet to finalize everything. I don't know yet where we'd get the food. Or if we'll have banners and balloons. I'll go by my instinct. We'll go by whatever would work best for us that day. I'm excited to see though the kid's reaction when they see Kraze Kitch's Rainbow Cake. (because the cake was a big hit from last year's party we're reordering again this year) I hope I can find nice garden/enchanted/fairy themed toppers for that.

By the way, I spent less than P150 for 25 invitations. Do I get a good job, Mommy cheers as well?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Snaps # 40 - Carousels, Swings and Making Friends

Lazy weekends are never complete without a visit to the playground. We skipped our palengke date on Saturday and brought the kid to the pocket park instead. What we planned to be a short stay extended to almost 2 hours.

She made a new friend without our prodding. Of course they had to warm up at first. But it didn't take long before they started playing tag, balance-balance, invading the slides. When we left the park, they were hand in hand already! She even asked E where her house is. My shy little miss finally coming out of her shell? Oh I hope so. And they also met again later that day at the pool and she proudly introduced her new friend E to her Ate Inday. 

And we witnessed 2 milestones this weekend.

On Saturday, the little miss rode the swing on her own for about 10 minutes (well...technically by not sitting on our laps. But the daddy was standing right behind her all along). Moments like that always pinches my heart a bit. But no matter how briefly, they always render me mystified by the thought. I am a mother to this amazing  kid. Yes, motherhood is rather overrated on my part of the world. But every time I get this sudden burst of overwhelming emotions like this one, I just can't help but silently throw my relentless thank yous to God for gifting me with this kid. 

Then Sunday we finally had to make this mall trip that we had been delaying for months now. We are not fond of weekend mall trips and are seriously scared of the mall mob (lol). But we had to do this errand now. So we planned to go first thing in the morning and it turned out to be a good strategy because there were barely any people yet when we got to the mall come opening time and the kid still had enough energy to walk almost the entire time that we were inside the mall. A carousel ride was never part of our itinerary since we wanted to leave before lunch time hits (that's when we expect the mob formation to begin) but the minute she saw us approaching the carousel area she just wouldn't take NO for an answer. And you know how persistent they can get. So we said yes but with the condition that she rides it alone. Although unexpectedly, she bravely said YES! 

lining up to get in and about to hand her ticket to kuya operator

The daddy kept shouting "don't let go. hold tight!" but eventually relaxed to enjoy listening to the little miss's squeals and wave back to the repeated "Hi's and Hello's". And when she came down, she was beaming from ear to ear. Ako lang ang walang kasama no, Mommy? Kasi big girl na ako eh.

You're only turning 4 next week, little girl. Wag magmadali. Please.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto By Brene Brown

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions--the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.
We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.
I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.
When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.
Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.
We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.
As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.
I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Printing Woes Solved?

Eversince I discovered the happy, colorful world of arts and crafts, my days have never been the same. I would constantly be found planning and daydreaming of things the little miss and I can do with our hands. So far, our creations have leaned towards upcycling and reusing scrap materials.

Of late however, (especially after doing our recent project) I would often catch myself daydreaming about making personalized dainty Christmas cards to give out to family and friends this coming holidays. I am not confident though that we can go handmade all the way so I’m thinking of designing and printing them instead. One big problem though – we currently do not have a working printer.

Several years ago, I brought home this Lexmark printer from the US but we have since stopped using it because we can’t find ink cartridge refills anywhere. I have been bugging my husband to get us a new one. I’m thinking maybe an HP OfficeJet 6500? At least we won’t have problems with HP 6500 ink cartridges since we can always readily order online. 

I am still working on improving my convincing powers. But I hope I could persuade him to make up his mind soon so I can finally work on this new project with my very creative little miss.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Arts-N-Crafts: Birthday Card Project

I recently signed the little miss  up for this birthday card group exchange with 3 other kids. I posted the background story here.

Having recently reacquainted myself with the wonderful FUN world of art and crafts (read: handmade everything), I thought I'd raise the bar a notch higher make handmade cards instead. Ambisyosa. Yes, that's me. This little miss's mommy.

I also wanted the kid to remember this card exchange and I thought doing the cards ourselves would definitely leave a dent on her memory. (Well, we won't know till next year if my experiment turned out to be a success. Of course that's discounting the fact that she still doesn't have a full grasp of dates nor of time yet. Funny mommy, yes again that's me)

So anyways, I thought it was going to be easy peasy. But just as we were about to start the project, I realized I don't know where or how to start. I don't even know how I'd want the cards to look like nor what materials I should use. Thank God there are super women like (who else) Martha Stewart! So yes, I got the inspirations from her (not ashamed to admit just this once).

So I zeroed in on affordable (read: cheap) materials and majority of which I hope is already in my crafts box. I just bought a pack of kraft folders and colored pens. And yes, I am proud to say, that the rest of the materials  we already have on hand.

The materials we used for this project are as follows:

- short kraft folders (bought a pack of 10 for P35, if i remember correctly)
- transparent alphabet stickers (P49/pack)
- craft envelopes (on sale at national bookstore, pack of 10 for P8.50)
- leftover felt cloth from my holiday project last year
- beads also a left over from my holiday project
- colored yarns and threads
- craft scissors
- crayons
- construction paper
- ribbons also a left over from my holiday project
- permanent marker

Here's how the cards looked like before we personalized them:

let it be on record that we worked on these for 2 weekends.
and had to do several trial and errors before we finally got them right.
The little miss also made her own version of the birthday cards and we're sending them along with these. All 3 kids get their own personal cards from Maia. I just hope they will be able to pick up the message from those cards. Here's a sample of her card masterpiece (and we're really proud of this. we would want to keep  and frame them but well, she made it for the other kids so it's really not ours to keep):

I initially wanted to do the card messages using watercolor but it might take me one more week to finish so I went with the ever reliable permanent market instead. Kid was proud of what we did. And I hope A, M and J will love them too!
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