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Monday, November 26, 2012

When I Kiss You Goodbye

I don't know why, everytime I kiss you goodbye my heart always feels like it's being torn to pieces. 

It's at its worst in the wee hours of the morning when Daddy and I leave for our long distance runs. Like this morning for instance, I wanted to just kiss you lightly but then you stirred and opened your eyes bright. My heart just sank even if you just went to kiss me back (3x - one per cheek and then a big smack on the lips) and bid me bye-bye. You hardly cry when we bid you byebye but I don't know if it's the paranoid in me that's giving me strange thoughts like it could be the last and I just have to drink in that moment. I always end up hugging you very, very tightly. And wishing I could wrap you up and bring you with me. Sometimes I'd wish you're already big enough so we can bring you with us to run. 

When I look at you these days, I can see how much you've grown. Physically, you're taller (a few more months and you'll be as tall as my shoulders). I can hardly carry you now but I'm thankful you'd still reach up for me to carry you on some days. 

Sigh. I wish though I'd stop feeling sad when I bid you byebye because coming home is always something to look forward to as well (and don't get me wrong, I do look forward to that EVERY.SINGLE.DAY). But I really just can't help it. I'm not yet out of the door but I always, always miss you terribly already. 

I love you very much, Maia. I hope you will always feel secured by that thought. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On Fieldtrips

The kid's preschool class is going on a class fieldtrip to Manila Ocean Park tomorrow. I opted not to let her join them. I informed her then and she gave me her nod of approval. But of course, I knew she's bound to change her mind. As most kids would, anyways. And this morning, when it finally dawned on her that she's not going there with her classmates she started sobbing. 

"Gusto ko sumama sa fieldtrip, Mommy! Gusto ko talaga!" 

With the sobbing and that pitiful tone almost reaching the point of unbearable, I started considering the idea of calling the school to ask if she and Ate Inday can still join the last minute. But I took a deep breath and recalled the reason why I took the strong decision not to let her go. And I gave her my final word - No, she's not going this time. I told her she's been there already and I have pictures to prove.

"Pero hindi pa ako nakapunta don ng BIG na ako! Small pa ako nun, Mommy! Ngayon BIG na."

Okay, I rest my case. But I reminded her that next month we also have a scheduled trip there with her Ninang Yette whose visiting from Malaysia. Argument not accepted. But she conceded knowing she will never get her way this time.

Last year, when were rounding up prospective schools, one of the questions I posed to the school tour guides was about fieldtrips. I asked if they were required and what would be the consequence if we (or my kid) won't join. I had to ask that because I always felt that at 4 or 5 and even at 6, kids are not supposed to be subjected to fieldtrips  because I find it torturous making them fall in line for a long time and I personally think being around so many people isn't very conducive to learning at all (i doubt if they learn anything in that trip anyways). If it was just a trip for a small group like maybe of 20 kids I might reconsider but of 50 is a different story. Add the parents to that and you have two buses filled with parents and kids all of different temperaments. So yes, I really meant to say I asked that question first because I do not want to be pressured into having my kid go on a fieldtrip. I just don't think it's appropriate. So anyways, the kid's school assured us it not a requirement at all. When you're 7 and able to really enjoy the long lines while chatting with school friends, little girl, I will let you join. (you see Mommy is no KJ at all. you just have to wait a little longer. and waiting is not a bad thing, you know)

But yes, I feel guilty now that she went into that drama this morning. I questioned my parenting. But no, I won't let one fieldtrip be a judge on how good or bad of a parent I am. I am no expert at this whole parenting thing. But I would like to think that I don't just make decisions at a snap of my finger. I study my options. I weigh the pros and cons. That should be enough for now (RIGHT?). 

Some days, I wish this parenting thing came with a manual.

Maia Travels: Rizal Park Tour Part III

The Children's Playground (finally, the last of my 3 part post)

Of all the places we visited in the Rizal Park compound it was in this place that the kids had so much fun. Well, I can't really blame them. It's a playground. And kids live to play. While we were in the Planetarium, they were already bugging me nonstop about it. That's why I'm still very thankful that they gave full attention to the film showing because I could clearly see then how excited they were to go to the children's playground.

We initially (Gogol's Yaya and I) planned to just walk back to the playground from the Planetarium but by 3pm, I was almost out of energy we decided to take the jeepney instead. It wasn't a long ride (just about 5 minutes from the Planetarium) but it was enough for us to regroup and recharge. By the time we got to the playground, the kid's energy were overflowing they just ran and ran and ran around like there's no tomorrow. The place was already filled with kids and adults that late afternoon but it was just large enough to still give plenty of running space for hyper kids like Maia and Gogol. It also had plenty of shaded areas which was a big welcome for us since it was very humid that day. Oh, the gift of trees indeed!

Apart from the wide open spaces, slides, and colorful hiding places another upside is the cheap entrance fee which was only for P10/person. That probably explains why even on a weekday, the park is filled with people. The downside to that is, the park maintenance couldn't police everyone and kids (and maybe even adults) would probably end up urinating on the ground or one of the pretty structures (which provides them obscurity from the other park goers). Most of the structures reek of pee and that isn't a good smell at all. It didn't bother the kids at all though so we just made sure they changed to clean clothes and their hands properly washed after they finished playing. Some of the structures that were not frequented by kids also became perfect hideaways for adults looking for privacy. On one of the turtle structures that Maia liked, there were two adults that were to me too intimate for a kid and I felt they didn't respect the presence of the kid at all. They didn't budge when to me, the park was built for kids so they should give way to those who wish to use that structure for it's real and true purpose.

Just to give you an overview of the park, here are a couple of shots I took using my phone camera:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts On Stock Trading

I am an accountant by profession. But I suck at managing our household finances and moreover at finding ways to grow whatever little savings we have. I always envy friends who are stock market savvy. I wish I paid more attention to discussions regarding the stock market while I was in college. It could have come in handy in this adult chapter of my life.  Parenting-wise my greatest achievement as a financial guru to my kid would be providing her with a piggy bank and challenging her to save up so she can have the funds to get herself a toy or a book that she desires.

Thankfully at this time where the world-wide web rules, everyone is now afforded with the opportunity to study and gain deeper understanding of almost everything by just a click or two. If you would want to dip your finger into stock trading for instance, you can read suretrader reviews online to guide you in choosing the broker that will suite you best. 

Someday, I will make time to learn this stuff. I'm just really glad everything is virtually just a click away.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend # 46 - Dates, Reviewers and Handmade Things

If the silence in this blog isn't testament enough of how crazily busy this month has been (and will be as it seems), then I don't know how else to tell you. I couldn't even pause and pull my hair and scream even if I wanted to (pardon the rather violent tone). To flush the bad vibes out and just set the mood for the week, let me just recall the weekend that was. It was a mix of crazy (Saturday) and calm (Sunday) but if all my weekdays were like that, I'd be one happy mom!

Saturday was an exclusive Mom and Maia day as our coosome-twosome trooped to Makati Med to get the kid's immunizations up to date. We had to wait a little longer than usual for our turn but she didn't show any signs of restlessness. She really knows how to entertain herself now. I just make sure I have plenty of paper and pens with me and she will be fine. When our turn came, I could tell she was uncomfortable but was so brave she didn't even wince she took the shots on each of her shoulders. She even managed to throw a big grin at me while the doctor was massaging her arms. Even in our commute back, she never complained. She only asked me to grab lunch at KFC because she's already hungry but she never demanded for anything that would exhaust all my energy. She walked most of the way and she only slept (even if I knew she was already very drowsy from the shots) when we were already settle inside the shuttle service.

Sunday proved to me that doing something with my hands is one of the best and cheapest therapies in this world. I finally took my craft box out yesterday and started sewing my handmade ornaments again. Before I knew it, the kid and Ate Inday was already sitting beside me and grabbing cut-out felt fabrics as well.

The little miss wanted to sew to but she understood that a needle is something that is not safe for a 4-year old to handle yet so she contented herself with just handing over a couple of buttons to either me or her Ate Inday. Before we knew it, 2 hours have past and we managed to sew a total of 8 ornaments. How cool is that? Three heads (or 6 hands in that case) is definitely better than one, don't you think?

Can you guess which one was Ate Inday's and which ones were done by me?
Sunday turned out to be a (good!) slow day, I also was able to squeeze in some time to make reviewers for the little girl. Math and Language has been a struggle as of late so I wanted to focus on that for now. I didn't want to put too much pressure on the kid though so I am trying to find creative (but cheap) ways to encourage her to study and review (even for just a few minutes) during the weekends.

Fill in the missing number yan, di ba Mommy?

How about you, how did your weekend go?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maia Travels: Rizal Park Tour Part II

The Planetarium

I grew up in a household where Science is revered. We knew how important science is to our life. And I think at some point in my childhood I dreamt of becoming a scientist (I just couldn't remember of what particularly). The geek in me is somehow hoping that the kid will have the same appreciation of science as I did as a child. And I'm thinking we (me and her dad) have a hand at making that happen (a huge one as I see it) since if I relate it with my childhood, my dad was really the one who always challenged me to study and read more on science. 

At this point though, I really have no idea how I can make that dream happen. I'm still torn between just letting the kid be a kid vs introducing her the complicated concepts of science (feel free to rebut if you think otherwise maybe I can learn from you as well). I'm still choosing the former but some days when I remember (a light bulb moment hits for instance) I would try to squeeze in an info or two to maximize the kid's attention while her interest is at it's peak. Although honestly, yes, my creative juices are starting to run out faster than I'd expected. And at the rate I'm going I see my box of tricks emptying out soon. (Gotta find more time to read up and research then)

So anyways, the idea of the solar system (which is something I deeply associate with science) is something that is still alien to the kid. She knows she lives in Earth and she's very much familiar with the Sun, Moon and the stars but she really has yet to understand why they're there and what they really do. In other words, she hasn't gone beyond twinkle, twinkle little star yet and goodnight, moon. 

In our recent visit to Rizal Park, the Planetarium also offered free entrance so I decided to take advantage of that. I thought that even if the kid isn't familiar with the solar system yet, this could be something of interest to my nephew (and yes, I haven't been inside it myself too). So after our brief lunch at the nearby Jollibee store, we headed off towards the Planetarium building. It was just right across what used to be the Orchidarium (it's closed now). We walked but if you have small kids with you, it might be wiser to take a jeepney instead (it's a short ride of 2-3 minutes). It's roughly about a kilometer walk from the Jollibee branch near TM Kalaw St. 

I didn't have any idea what to expect inside. I was a little surprised when we were asked to deposit all of our belongings and was ushered inside a theater-like room. It was only when we were seated that we were told there's going to be a 30-45 minute show. Cameras are not allowed inside. Even our phones were asked to be surrendered (heck they actually asked for our bags to be deposited and were only allowed to bring wipes for the kids).
my nephew happily reported his trip to the 'sun' to his nanay when he got home from vacation
I seriously thought we won't last 10 minutes inside but the kids were so into the simulated outer space trip, the darkness didn't bother them so much. Maia only asked for me to hold her hand every time it turns pitch black. They asked me questions like: "are we back in Earth already?" or would interject in the narrations with statements like: "that's why you should never come near the Sun, it's so hot you will melt". Other than those occasional comments, the kids were well-behaved and it gave me and Ate Lenlen time to breathe (sort of) and regroup. They also surprisingly kept their voices hushed (as if acknowledging the fact that they will disturb others if they go a note higher)

the unique projector inside the planetarium (it projected images of the solar system and made you feel like you are indeed floating in space)
hand in hand while walking around admiring the posters and paintings around the planetarium
I think I was a good decision to bring them here. At least they now have an idea what the planets are. I might have to wait a little while before I really teach the kid about how the universe came about but I'm thinking when that day comes, I will bring her back here for reinforcement.
after the film showing, they let us claim our bags back so I was able to take photos of the exhibits around the building.
here are the kids screaming their hearts our after I told them what's up next on this Rizal Park tour.

National Museum Planetarium  
P.Burgos St., Rizal Park Manila, Philippines 2801 
Tel No. (632) 527-18-30

Schedule of Shows:
9:00 - 10:00 am  
10:30 - 11:30 am  
1:30 - 2:30 pm  
3:30 - 4:30 pm 

Part I: Museum of the Filipino People
Part III: Rizal Park Children's Playground

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maia Travels: Rizal Park Tour Part I

I have a confession to make. I have never stepped inside any of the buildings within the Rizal Park compound. All 34 years of my life, yes never. I lived in Manila for 6 months right after graduating from college but yes, it never crossed my mind to check this place out. 

Although I do have fuzzy memories of seeing a well-lighted (festive in fact) Luneta Park on December night from afar when I was younger coming from a family daytrip at Star City.

Thank God for the kids I finally dragged my lazy feet out of the house on the last day of October and took the kid and my nephew to this wonderful place called Rizal Park. In a day, my mind was refueled and my spirit fed with an abundant dose of happiness. The history geek in me was somehow awakened and I started wishing the hubby and I once considered having a date at the Museum of the Filipino People. It would have been an interesting way to get to know each other. I'm sure there's also a geek persona buried deep in him (why did we 'click' in the first place, di ba?)

So enough with the lengthy intro, let me share with you how we wisely spent our day at Rizal Park. 
This was a photo I took of the back side. 
We initially planned to just visit the museum. I thought that alone would already drain my energy reserve dry. But then while walking towards the museum (we were clueless as to where it was exactly located) coming from TM Kalaw St., a calesa driver (aka. mamang kutsero) approached us and offered to tour us around the Park. He told us he's charging a hundred bucks (Php100 = roughly about $2.50) for the tour and well, my instant reaction was "wow cheap" but kept that to myself. Even before I said yes, my nephew was already walking towards the calesa so I didn't think twice and just said yes. I never rode a calesa yet so I might as well do it now. So one by one, we climbed unto the calesa

Top photo: A shot of the Kalesa before we decided to ride one ourselves.
Bottom photo: My nephew playing the kutsero. Bagay ba?
The tour took us about 45 minutes (this is just an approximation as I can't tell exactly how long). We arrived at the Rizal Park at around 10:30am (we wanted to be at the museum at opening hour). We boarded the Kalesa right in front of the Museum of the Filipino People entrance and was back by 11:45am. Mamang Kutsero and I misunderstood each other with regards to the fee as it turned out to be P100/head and not P100 for the entire tour but I didn't complain anymore. Good thing he only charged the adults so I paid P200 in total. We got inside the museum around 12nn after rounding up the kids who were getting a little restless and depositing our bags at the front desk. Bags are not allowed inside the museum but you are allowed to take your camera and valuables with you. No flash photography though so I adjusted my camera settings and managed to take quite a lot of pictures. 

We were lucky to get in for free as they offered free entrance for all 3 buildings: the Planetarium, the Museum of the Filipino People and the Philippine Art Gallery for the entire month of October. On an ordinary day, they would charge P100 for regular patrons and P30 for students. That's big savings already as there were 4 of us that day (kids, me and my nephew's yaya). I was hoping they would extend so the hubs and I can come back and marvel at the museum artifacts. But I got confirmation from the staff that it's really only till the end of October. 

Anyways, sharing with you the highlights of our museum visit. I will have to cut this post into several parts as I have quite a lot (and I mean a lot) of photos to share. I would say this museum visit is all worth it. I would suggest though that you bring school age kids (at least preschoolers) because these kids (in my opinion) have longer attention span and can easily follow directions. I have a very hyperactive nephew and my kid usually takes after him. But before we left the house, I repeatedly told them the museum houses very fragile items and that they are ONLY ALLOWED TO LOOK BUT NOT TOUCH (look but not touch repeat at least 10x). And we are very lucky they took that to heart. My nephew would only stop at things that interest him and tell me "pa-piktyur ako!". 

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