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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making Faces And Being In Touch With One's Emotions

When did you start introducing the idea of emotions to your kid?

When Maia was younger, one of my dreams was to raise her as a child who is very in touch with her emotions. I wanted her to be very expressive of her feelings. I wanted her to also know that it is okay to tell me how she feels anytime. But my dilemma then was, how do I first introduce her to the different types of emotions? 

I thought of buying those shirts that were quite popular (mga katropa, you remember? hahaha) before which made use of smileys (i don't think emoticons or emojis were already invented then) to illustrate the different kinds of emotions. 

BUT. I never got around to finding that shirt. Or teaching her about emotions in one sitting. What I ended up doing was telling her (as they happen) what I am currently feeling every time she 'does' something. So she's pretty much aware of what happy, sad, angry, tired, proud looked like. 

Yesterday, I was reminded of this project because one of the little miss's activity book had an exercise on drawing facial expressions. And I was a little amazed by how she illustrated the emotions required on each empty face. Sleepy cracked us up since the ZZZZZZ's were unexpected. But kids do have very photographic memories and she probably remembers that most of her books usually illustrate sleep with an accompanying 'Zzzzzzzz'. 

dearest maia,

i really wish you will be as expressive of your emotions as your drawings are to me and to daddy. right now, your are most expressive when you are angry. you really growl when you are. also when you are happy. we love it the most when you are happy because we get tons of hugs and kisses. 

stay in touch with your emotions little girl. soon you will learn about frustrated, disappointed, guilty, embarrassed and every thing else in between. i hope you will continue to open up to us about all your new discoveries and learnings. it is always a fun and enlightening experience for us and we would want to be part of it as long as you would allow us to.

love you always,
mommy (and daddy too!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

First Day High SY2013-2014

So the first day of Kindergarten year went by like a blur. Unlike last year's, this was a fuss-free first day for us. But the husband and I made sure we took leaves from our respective busy jobs to bring the kid to school today. Most of the kids in her school service opted not to take the service since their parents also personally took them to school. So at least the kid didn't feel left out or something.

Actually, she never let go of our hands the minute we entered the building. It was like she wanted to walk proud with her parents in tow. We surveyed the play area to check if she had friends there but couldn't find anyone. Then we went in the party area which was converted to a waiting area for the parents and guardians to stay in. That's where we found most of her old friends from last school year.

I was looking at her this time. She wasn't as timid as last time. But she didn't reach out immediately to friends too. She just stuck with Daddy and her bag. Haha. So we didn't pressure her. Daddy was also very happy to have her sticking like glue to him that day. She freely gave kisses away. No reservations.

And so when they were all called out to get inside their respective classrooms, we lined up to hers. When it was her turn to get inside, her new teacher (a familiar face) welcomed her warmly and told her she still fondly remembers her name. She beamed. "I remembered you Maia, do you remember me?" Her new teacher asked. With bowed heads and a low voice, she said -- "Teacher J" -- gladly accepted her name tag and took a seat on one of the tables where her friends are seated.

When the teacher politely asked us to leave, she urgently kissed us goodbye and happily waved us out of the classroom. Someone was obviously so eager to start her first day in school. I took one last look at her and didn't see a look of hesitation on her. My fears disappeared in thin air. She has grown to be one confident preschooler now.

Dearest Maia,

You are starting to make me feel it's time for me to let go. That thought kinda pinches my heart a bit. Just a teeny-tiny bit. You know how protective Mommy is of you (and I do not want to mention Daddy here because he is definitely a 100x more protective than me). But one thing is certain, this is bound to happen. And I'm happy that you are finally embracing traditional school like a real pro. 

Keep it up baby girl! I'm sure it's going to be a rocking school year for you. I look forward to all your stories about your daily school adventures. 

Love you always and forever,

Mommy (and Daddy too!)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Maia Recommends: Travel Logbook by Caroline Istas

I cannot think of anyone I know that doesn't like travelling. Travelling in my opinion is the most fun (if not the best) way to learn about other peoples/regions/places/cultures. I want my daughter to nurture in her a love for travel and adventure. I want her to be curious of other cultures. I want her to be curious of the world. And so even with our limited (financial) capacity, my husband and I try our hardest to expose her to travelling as young as she is. 

To me, a family trip is most fun when we try to blend in with the locals. (Eat where the locals eat, go where the locals go -- or something to that effect). So we try to just that when we travel. We want to teach our daughter to love travelling despite some bumps along the way. And by bumps I mean the possibility of taking the local commute, the lack of air conditioning and (maybe) posh accommodations (or not being able to afford it), or maybe even love walking when the situation calls for it. At this time, she still is enjoying the fact that she can just yell - CARRY ME MOMMY! CARRY ME DADDY! each time she feels like it. But you bet, when she's old enough, we will impose stricter travelling rules (hehe, I assure you Maia, it is going to be fun that way)

Writing this just makes me even more excited to travel with my little girl. I look forward to backpacking adventures in the future. And to her filling up the pages of this latest discovery - A TRAVEL LOGBOOK by Caroline Istas.

I first saw this posted in COANM's Instagram account. I immediately asked where she got it and was happy to know that I am acquainted to one of the resellers - Lyra (who is also a fellow n@wie and a blogger mom that I frequently stalk). Lyra's blog - Hello Saigon - talks about living as an expat family in Vietnam. Do check it out one of these days. It's really fun and informative.

So anyways, let me give you a glimpse of this travel logbook that I'm talking about.

cover, inside cover and back page
just look at how intricate the drawings are in this log book.
no wonder my little miss illustrator was immediately smitten.
it was love at first sight!
it has pages to entertain a kid's restless mind.
the bottom left is 2 pages of beautiful hand-drawn stickers 
it's a very comprehensive travel log book that your kid will truly appreciate if she owned one.
The minute she learned the book was for her, she immediately grabbed a pair of scissors and started opening the package. She was very careful though (probably thinking what she was holding is very fragile and delicate)

She was so ooh'd and ahh'd at the drawings on every page and she immediately expressed her want to travel soon so she can fill up these pages. Soon, Maia. Hopefully, soon.

Do you want a copy of this book for your kid too? You can send an inquiry to Lyra at I ordered this book from her and had it shipped through local post. It didn't cost much (a little more than P100 if I remember correctly). 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Welcome, School Season!

Are you a preschooler parent like me? If you are, then I sincerely wish you're already done shopping for school supplies. The lines at the cashier in the nearby National Bookstore outlet is never short. I try to stay away from malls these days because the mere thought of the crowd makes my head ache already.

I used to like braving the mall crowds in June. But since my kid started school, I start collecting supplies (especially the generic ones like pencils, erasers, spare crayons, tissue paper rolls, liquid soap) even before the school year ends. I have lost patience for shopping for hours. I have become the most boring person in this whole wide world. (hehe).

My kid officially starts her final year in preschool tomorrow. And just like last year's, I am taking a day off from work to personally take her and fetch her from school. We requested for her to remain in the same schedule as last year's so we won't have to worry about waking her up at the crack of dawn yet. I want to take things easy this year. I want to relax and enjoy the rest of the ride since I know that once she starts grade school, it's going to be a whole new different ball game already.

I also love that I can finally be true to the claim that I am no longer an amateur preschooler mom now. I feel more confident now. I am more at ease with approaching the teachers. I now have prior experience to tell me when to worry and when to let go. See? It does get better. It always gets better.

I hope the same goes for my kid. But if she probably sees me more relaxed, she will probably follow my lead.

Here's to a fresh new adventure for us Maia! I hope all my wishes for this year will come true as I really want us to just have fun and enjoy and be free of pressure.

What Makes A Great Weekend

To me a swell weekend consists of  --

a good night's sleep. (read: a few minutes of a beautiful morning spent awake in bed but with a little girl still snoring beside you)

a perfectly brewed cup of coffee to start the day.

a hearty breakfast to pair that cup of coffee with.

a morning mostly spent organizing stuff, that will usually need an entire day to get organized. but still. it's very therapeutic, you see.

a power outage that would drive us out of the oven-like house, drop our mobile phones and laptops, and find something creative to do instead.

Ahhhh..I wish I have actual photos to show and be more visually descriptive of the phrases above. But I seem to find myself always busy enjoying BEING in the moment these days, I always forget to take a snap for documentation purposes. But to working moms like me (and working daddies like my husband) weekends are very sacred. So we just try our best to be in it, in every way we can.

Oh well. Memories are still better. I'm going to live with that. Have a great week ahead friends!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Future Plans

Kids often get asked: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Maia isn't spared of that question. I cannot count how many times I've heard people ask her that. I cannot blame them, it really is cute (and amusing and even fascinating) listening to kids narrate about their grand plans for the future.

My little miss seemed pretty sure about how she'd want to end up to be in the future. She would firmly declare she wants to be a doctor, almost always. Add to her recent fascination on Doc McStuffins and she will really convince you she has her life's directions mapped out really well towards that medical degree dream.

So everyone in our family is really happy that she's got the conviction she will definitely become little miss MD someday. But as we know how kids know that in between those years, they are bound to change their minds and decide to become either:

The Illustrator of the Year

(this one i'm really very proud of how far she's gone even without taking up lessons yet. If you look closely at the photo below you'll see that she's holding a very detailed drawing. Showed it to my co-workers and they were awed)

or maybe;

The Colorist of the Year

(she still isn't into colors as you would expect most kids to be but she's starting to like coloring her illustrations lately)

or she could very well be;

The Chef of the Year

(ever since she finished that 3 day cooking class at St. Michael Playhouse, she's become more interested with not just eating but food preparation and cooking most especially. And whatever she can get her hands on during make-believe play, she'd usually turn into a kitchen tool, a food item or a household fixture)

Yes, we would want her to pursue being a doctor. But we would also want her to always bear in her heart and mind that no matter where her passion takes her we will always be there to support her and cheer on her.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Barefoot. And Free.

A friend reacted to the caption I used on one of the Instagram photos I posted last night for this photo:

Oh to be a kid have this kind of freedom, no?

Tibs told me that prior to me taking this photo, the little miss was already swimming in the sandbox like there's no tomorrow. She's probably imagining she's in a beach.

I actually am the type who doesn't really fear seeing my kid get dirty. I played with dirt as a kid and I think that is one of the best part of my childhood. I had fond memories of serving mudcakes to friends while playing bahay-bahayan.

As my little girl is now officially a kid, I would hope she gets to do this more and more often. So indeed, I look forward to more and more playdate weekends. Because really, hearing kids laugh heartily is one of the most beautiful sound in the world. It sort of freezes my worries for a moment and transports me into bliss world (even if just temporary).

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