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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Milestone: Learning To Tie Laces

My plan for today involved only 2 things - a corner table and my office laptop. Due to the torrential rains that we've experienced for the past 3 days, the area where my company is situated was severely flooded and we were advised not to come to work anymore last Monday. Had it been any other week, I would have jumped in glee. Who wouldn't appreciate an extra day to spend with her family?

But it's the end of August (in our financial books) and a day or two missed translates to piles and piles of paperwork that I will have to catch up and make up for during the same week. And it just so happens 2 public holidays were set less than a week apart.The more that I gotta work extra hard (and maybe put in more hours).

Good thing I'm finally allowed to work from home these days so I only had to condition the kid that I cannot be disturbed for a few hours during the day because I needed to get some things done. Good thing, her school also declared that they are taking the entire week off so I had no reason to be implementing gadget-free school day rule. 

Just to be sure, I woke up extra early today so I'll have a few hours headstart before the kid regains full energy at breakfast. 

Being a working parent and actually bringing in work to the home sucks big time. But I guess, it helps if you poured extra efforts in her earlier years to train her to be independent. These days, apart from the non-stop craving for mommy and daddy's attention, the kid can pretty much do a lot of things on her own. And that includes feeding herself, dressing up, entertaining herself mostly through pretend plays (yes complete with a script and an imaginary playmate to boot). So the gadgets remain my last resort even during days like today.

She really can survive the day without me asking how she's doing but being at home and not doing my parenting duties always leaves me guilt-ridden. Luckily today, I finished work early and we still had the few hours of the day to bond. I wanted to do an art project but ditched it when I realized I was just too exhausted to gather materials to use. 

Then I remembered I'd been planning to try to teach her again how to tie laces. Last December, I attempted to teach her that but I guess she wasn't ready because she was losing patience every time the ribbons would jumble up. Well, she still has a lot to learn on being patient but when I took out the P20 pair of laces (mahal pa actually because I bought it from the supermarket) that I bought a few weeks back she was eager to be taught. 

I remember a book about tying shoelaces that I saw in NBS recently and thought I can maybe do something similar to it. At no cost. Of course the book came with a story but we're experts at that already, we can always make up new ones. We just need the props.

So I got a pair of scissors and a cereal box from my recyclables stash, traced the little kid's cute feet on it, cut two pairs of feet and punch 3 holes each on the sides. Viola! We now have 'shoes' that we can practice tying laces on.
She grew really impatient in her first 2 attempts. But I remained calm and assuring her it's an easy task to do. After 3 repeats, she grabbed the laces again and was able to make a loop and tied the laces tight! Yay! She seemed so proud of her achievement she gladly replayed the same to her dad and ate Inday.'s probably time for us to get rid of those velcro P.E. shoes and get her a pair of decent laced rubber shoes. Agree?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Preschool Hunting

Dearest Maia,

I'm sad these past few days. I just found out I lost most of the photos of our recent Tagaytay get away. I hardly get attached to material things but to memories, oh I have extreme attachments. Pictures are my way of preserving memories. So when I lose those things, my heart breaks. I wanted to preserve these things for you to browse through when you're older.

But I am better now. I found a collage I made of you and Daddy from that day. At least, I have that.

And while I was frantically browsing through old photo files, I came across this. So apt to the day because in the Instagram world, Thursdays are known for throwbacks. And these are photos from last year when we were still preschool hunting. You took a preschool screening test here and you aced it. Especially the test for emotional readiness.
I don't think you were really mad here. You're just goofing around, I guess.
You're so cute!
Chubby cheeks!
famished after spending about an hour at the testing room
Looking at these photos made realize how so much can change in just a span of a year. You still look like a baby here. Now, you're all grown up. Just like a real kid. Some days, you even feel like an adult ever-ready to give mom and dad a piece of advice. You're very outspoken. And opinionated. Oh so much like mommy actually.

BUT. I hope you take your sweet time growing up, my little miss preschooler. Enjoy your childhood. Because I want you to have great memories of it when you are at my age already.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Arts-N-Crafts: Cardboard House

I can't remember the last time I did an arts and crafts post but I am sure it has been a very long time already. I could tell by the look on my kid's face when I told her we'll do something crafty last Sunday. She lighted up. Like she really missed doing something with me.

She was actually the one who pushed for us to do this activity. She pointed to a pack of corrugated paper boards that we've had for a long time now and said, "let's do something with them later Mommy ha?"

Who am I to refuse?

I was the one who introduced her to the fun world of crafting. I wasn't any good, I must admit. I bravely plunged myself into crafting because I cannot think of any activities that we can make good use of our hands. But I wasn't artsy, not friends with scissors and even crayons. You get the drift. But what she saw everytime we do an activity was never the aesthetics aspect of our project but the quality of time we spend together. I figured then that's how badly she misses my company. And she has full faith in our partnership, she always believes we make the best art projects in this whole, wide world. (Indulging, eh haha)

After lunch that day, I logged into pinterest and showed her several activities that we could do together given the materials that we have on hand. She initially picked a lighthouse made of what was to be a mishmash of all types of paper (cardboard, tissue, crepe and corrugated paper). Then she saw a miniature cardboard house and decided in a heartbeat -- we are making that one, Mommy!

So off we went with the cutting and measuring and taping and glueing...tada! This is what we came up with. The structure was mostly me. But she decorated it with cut outs of different shapes of corrugated paper. We built an art deco inspired miniature house made of recycled cereal boxes and corrugated paper. She also gave it her personal touch by doodling on the walls.

Ain't it pretty? Surprisingly, the house still stands to date. I gave it at least 2 days but she was so careful with it I now think it will last longer than I thought.

Do you enjoy crafts with your little one too? We'd love to see your projects too. Please do share.

Here are the other recycled paper/boxes projects we did in the past:

Easter Bunnies
Truckie From Trash

and more here.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, August 10, 2013

First Illustrated Story Book

A couple of days ago, at bedtime, she surprised us with this storybook that she had put together that day. It always amazes me how detailed her drawings can be. And for the first time, she attempted to put together a storybook (about Barbie, which is her current favorite toy). 

Last summer we made a storybook about Little Bear but I was mainly the one who did the storyline. I did that to practice her use of several sight words that they are learning in school then. But now, this was entirely hers. All of it a product of her creativity. When she's at home, you'd find her sprawled in our living room floor (with scratch papers, pens and pencils scattered around her), lost in her world of drawings. And this the first compilation of those drawings and it came with a story to boot!

Good job, Maia. Keep doing what you love to do! 

Weekend Love: Kiddie Fun At Star City

I never developed a fondness for theme parks. When I visit a place I would rather raid the local palengke, bakery, museum or zoo. But of course, when you become a mother, your preferences take the back seat when you plan something with your kid.

When the company I work for announced that they are sponsoring an Employee Fun Day at Star City my instant reaction was to delete that email. Good thing the announcement came in installments and on the 3rd email, I realized that although this is not something I would personally define as fun it actually could be something that might be fun to the kid. So I asked the husband's opinion and he decided we will go for the little miss's sake.

Friday morning, the kid could hardly contain her excitement for our trip. We're going to "ROCK" City! Yehey!!! Before we could react to say she might be referring to a different place she immediately corrected herself -- "ay Star City pala".

Being the clueless parents that we are, we only paid admission for the kid and decided to just pay per ride inside when the kid has finally chosen the rides that she'll take. But when we got in, she wanted to immediately try the Pirate Adventure with my cousin and her Ate Inday. I inquired at the nearby booth and was told a "per ride" option is not available in Star City. If you want to try the rides you will have to purchase a Ride-All-You-Can pass. We had to walk all the way back to the main entrance so we can avail of the corporate discount. We were able to get her RAYC ticket for only P270 (normally P400/person). Had we inquired before we got in, it would have saved us the hassle of the long walk back and the relentless whining from the kid. But...these things just happens. Moving on...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Evading Naptime

As a child, I hated naptimes. My grandmother, who was our primary caregiver then, was however very keen on us getting enough napping hours because she really believed that nap time was an essential part of a kid's growth. One of her tricks then to get us to nap was to tell us we will never grow an inch further if we don't take our naps. ("maputot na lang gid timo indi run timo magtaas") If there was any truth to that, I guess, you can tell by looking at me that yes I was not a fan of that afternoon activity. I would pretend to close my eyes and get up the minute my lola would leave our side to do other chores.

I never thought I'd resort to one of my lola's tricks now that I'm a mom. Not till this afternoon. Although, I did tell the little miss it was Lola Apoy who told me that missing afternoon naps will stunt my growth. It didn't bother her at all. And it didn't surprise me. That trick never worked for me anyways. Why would I ever think I can fool my own kid?

"I'm just not sleepy, Mommy. Di ba mahaba ang tulog ko kagabi?"

But you have to take enough rest during weekends so you'll have plenty of energy during schooldays, anak. Try to close your eyes now. Makakatulog ka rin.

(feigns sleep for a few seconds) "Ayaw talaga eh. Hindi ko talaga kaya matulog" (then she goes to ask me to make her some warm milk. she drank it up fast but still didn't show any sign of sleepiness after finishing a full glass)

O sige. Ako na lang ang matutulog.

So I forcefully closed my eyes to feign sleep too but ended up actually falling asleep myself. I woke up after (maybe) 15 minutes and there she was, snoring next to me with her arms wrapped tightly around her favorite bolster.

Yun lang pala ang dapat ginawa ko 'nak, di mo na lang sinabi agad.
Are naptimes also a challenge for you and your kid/s? How do you convince them to take naps without having to go through so much drama?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weekend Love: Sunshine Kitchen

Weekends are sacred to our family. The best weekend for us would be one spent entirely at home doing just about any "lazy" activity there is (movie marathons, trying out simple recipes with the little miss, siestas that would extend through the entire afternoon).

But we also value friendships. So connecting regularly with friends is also important to us. And for that, we also make a conscious effort to allot one of our weekend days at least once or twice in a month to spend outside of the house. 

Last Saturday, we left home early to meet up with my college girl friends and also long time roommates/housemates (Half of the time I lived away from home, I played house with these girls). I picked Sunshine Kitchen at the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City as our meeting place because I still had an unused Groupon voucher which was about to expire. I was saving that voucher up for a special occasion and I thought this was just the perfect time for it.

Although I did read a couple of good reviews of this restaurant I preferred to set my expectations at low. After all, I really am just after spending lunch with my favorite people. I called the restaurant 2 days before to reserve a table since we are a party of 5 and I really wouldn't want to wait long when I'm with the little miss. She borders on tantrum attack everytime we're made to wait for a table to free up. 

We arrived in Sunshine Kitchen about 15 minutes before my reserved time and the table was already ready. I guess, when they asked me to confirm our reservation around 11 am that morning they were just about to prepare our table. I say, they already won me over just by doing that (yes, I'm shallow I won't deny it hehe). I rarely get a callback for confirmation every time I make dining reservations.

The room is very airy. I immediately loved the ambiance. I also like their rustic the interiors. Both my husband and I have a common attraction to wooden furniture so yes, we were smitten by the place. We were handed over a menu. It was just a list of what they had. I did wish they had a better one, maybe something that had photos of their best sellers at least so people like my husband (who didn't get to browse their menu online beforehand) would not have a hard time choosing what to order.

sadly i wasn't able to take a photo of the braised beef and the friend chicken
I ordered 3 items for our party of 5 - Four-cheese pizza, Braised Beef and Fried Chicken. We were initially set on ordering their best seller - the 6 hour slow cooked Porchetta - but at 12:30 they were already out of stock. It must be that good, no? I was also planning to order a pasta dish when my college friends arrived but when the food came (we had to wait for about 15-20 minutes for our food to be ready), they were just enough for light eaters like us. My little girl, who is a cheese monster, had 3 slices of pizza. The chicken servings were just big enough, were cooked well and very crisp. The braised beef that we ordered was good enough to share. It was very tender and the sauce complimented the mashed potato that came with it on the side. Each of the items we ordered had a real home-cooked feel. Being somebody who loves to cook at home, that is another plus.

Will our family come back again to dine here? Definitely. The resto is kid-friendly and one of the waiters were even kind enough to ask my little girl if she wanted anything else. That made the kid feel like a real grown up. I also love that despite being at full capacity on lunch hour, my friends and I can hear each other very well. We were able to chat to our heart's content. It was just like were dining at home, only I didn't have to worry about food and all. Oh and my voucher was even good enough to let us try 2 of the desserts on the restaurant's menu - Key Lime Ice Cream and the Salted Caramel Cheesecake. Both were really good. I was transported to dessert heaven. I would come back to this place, even just for the dessert (but I will -- to try the Porchetta). In my opinion, this place is worth spending good food money in. Even without the group buy discount, I would pick this restaurant to eat in.

Good food, Great Company!
I will stop my blabbering here. If you want to find out more about the Sunshine Kitchen, check out their Facebook page. Or Google for more interesting food reviews like this one.

Sunshine Kitchen
2/F Fort Pointe Bldg 1,
The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City
(0928) 821 26 25
Store Hours: Sundays-Wednesdays from 11am-2pm; 6-10:30pm, Th-Sat 11am-2pm; 6pm-2am)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I always look forward to the weekend because...


This is one of my favorite photos of my little family. This was taken when the little girl was around 6 months. And we were enjoying a quiet weekend at home. I literally closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I recalled how good Maia smelled then. And how soft her tiny chubby body was. 

Ahhhh, precious memories that I hope to remember till I'm old and gray. 
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