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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: In Retrospect - Adventure-filled Year

We traveled almost every quarter during the year 2013. For documentation's sake let me just list the places that we've visited in 2013:

January - Boracay (trip with Nono and Abbey)
March - Holy week in Antique
April -  My first time in Gunma, Hanyu and Tokyo, Japan
May - Japan again for me (visited Nagaoka, Ojiya, Gunma and Tokyo)
July - Tagaytay (stayed overnight at the T-house)/Vigan (with Tibs's barkada)
October - Dumaguete and Siquijor
December - Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique (spent our Christmas there)

We don't have any travel plans for 2014 yet. We want to go the impulsive traveler way this time. Let's see where that is going to take us.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

QOTD: Is this our farm, Lolo?

We went corn picking yesterday afternoon with the kids. Kids were bored and in our household, this is my dad's idea of killing boredom. That idea was brilliant, I would say. Kids had fun and for the little girl corn picking isn't really something she does everyday.

On our way home we swung by my parents' sugar mill. And while they were checking out the fields that are being prepped up for cane replanting, the kid threw the lolo a question: Is this our farm, Lolo?

She's seems to be loving her time here in Antique extremely well. And she doesn't retort anymore every time we kid her we will be staying here for good soon.

Someday, Maia. We will call this place HOME.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holidays In Antique

I've been mostly tied to my computer since we got here but I'm happy to report that it's not totally the same for the little girl.

Yes she spends a big chunk of her time catching up on her Disney/Nick/Cartoon Network favorite shows but she also takes time to go outside and enjoy what we really came for. 

Let me just illustrate that by sharing some photos:

Date night. Oldies went for beer and the kids enjoyed sausages and pasta.

Then most days were spent running and climbing fences and rolling on the grass and patting free range piggies in the grannies backyard.

These piggies were named Rose and Gumamela. And they really enjoyed calling the piggies by these names. "Mommy, can we feed Rose and Gumamela some apples today?" (kalurkey)

This face here. Just says it all. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings!

May you be blessed with unending joy and peace always
May the spirit of this season reign in your hearts forever
May you always be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

From our home to yours!

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." - Luke 2:14

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

So we're finally settled in my Antique now. We've been officially on vacation since last Friday but my siblings planned something out for our family and we made a stopover at the nearby Guimaras Island (will make a separate post of that weekend soon) for the kids to frolic a bit and get some more color before we hit it off for the holidays.

I'm that feeling that Christmas-y yet. I probably won't till maybe a few hours before. There's a reason for that but I'm not going to ruin this post by sharing that here. Maybe it's also partly because this feels so new again -- the idea of spending Christmas away from our Cavite home -- but the kid already claimed it by announcing: I LIKE CHRISTMAS HERE AT LOLA'S.

Yes, Christmas is definitely better here. I wouldn't have to worry about what to plan for our Noche Buena (oh yes, my mom will take care of that). And nothing will always beat sharing a Christmas meal with family.

So yes, we're wishing you a Merry Christmas! I hope no matter what circumstance you are in, you are spending Christmas with a heart filled with overwhelming joy and hope.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Cheers 2013

I posted this photo earlier today in IG with this caption: She's been practicing for her presentation since last week. I feel so sad I won't be around to witness the fruit of her hardwork. But. A working mom's gotta do what she needs to do. Super sigh.

Most working parents (if not all) can probably relate to that post. I have not only once, twice, or even thrice been in this situation before. And I've only been a parent to a school age kid for 2 years. When she moves to big school next year (yes, we are graduating to grade school parents by next year), I'm bracing myself for the worse. I would like to believe though that missing these things can be made up by my giving our bonding sessions my full, unadulterated attention. Time after work is the only thing I can offer her. For now, yes that is enough. I hope she really grows up to understand why there are days I will really have to miss moments like this. Sigh. Why does life have to be filled with trade offs?

Dalawang tulog na lang and we'll be off to our family holiday. We'll be full time parents again with no nanny to help us get through the day. I'm so looking forward to that. It's going to be challenging and tiring for most part. But yes, I'm totally prepared to plunge into it.

While I revel at that thought, let me leave you with a photo of my pretty little miss in her presentation get up. She truly enjoyed her day so much that she replayed her presentation to her dad and me tonight not just once but twice complete with giggles and squeals. Oh how comforting those squeals sounded like. I suddenly felt like I wasn't the worst mom in the world at all. That it really is just okay that I couldn't make time to be with her today.

Looking so grown up and every bit a student. I love you so much, Maia.
Always remember that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Maia Travels: Siquijor: Playtime At The Beach

I was cleaning up my Photo folder and came across a folder of my photos  taken using my phone which were dated October to November of this year. I clicked it and saw these:

Siquojor is forever etched in this little girl's memory because she spent a lot of time playing by the beach. We also spent all 3 of the mornings we were there early by the beach making sandcastles using our hands and what-nots we could find on the beach. The mere thought of it brings a big smile to my sleepy face.

I am going to sleep with wonderful thoughts tonight. And yes, I think I can officially say now that I am a converted beach lover. Yes I still love the mountains and the flora that abound it. But a day by a quite beach, with just you and your loved ones is equally relaxing too. Thoughts of summer on this cold, wet December night, not bad at all eh?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Traditions

It's official the start of our Christmas countdown. Today being the first day of Misa De Gallo or what is more popularly known as Simbang Gabi for most Filipinos.

My little girl has not attended any one of these morning masses yet. It's too early for her and our subdivision does not hold anticipated Simbang gabi masses yet (hopefully soon though). Can you remember the first time you attended Simbang Gabi?

I honestly can't. The closest memory I have is from highschool. When my uncle signed me up to join the church choir so I'll have something to list down in community participation in school. I've always been off-key. I love music but it never really loved me back. But my choir mates had the patience to put up with my singing anyhow and I survived that Christmas season unscathed and yes, with brand new friends.

I started this post hoping I'd finally come up with a bright idea for a Christmas family tradition but two paragraphs after, I still haven't felt that bulb light up. So much for traditions to start this year. That has long been in my list but every year during the holidays, I never seem to get myself out of urgent things to attend to at work. I super envy my friend Maqui for maintaining what in my opinion are super fun Christmas traditions. I'm sure her little boy Aki always looks forward to Christmas. What with all the traditions she has lined up.

Next year, Maia. Hopefully next year I can come up with something fun we can do as a family. For now, I hope you will cherish the memories that we will make your Pachoco cousins. We'll be spending our pre-Christmas weekend at the beach! Yay right?

Before I end I'd like to go back to the purpose of this post, would you care to share your Christmas traditions as a family?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Maia's Favorite: Doc McStuffins Theme Song Lyrics

We do not subscribe to cable TV so Disney shows are a rare treat to my little girl. She usually watches them in You Tube during days when she's allowed to use the computer (which is during the weekends during school season). Of late, she's been enjoying Doc McStuffins probably because she dreams of becoming a doctor (among the many other careers that she plans to pursue) when she grows up.

photo grabbed from the Disney Junior page
She always hums the theme and would sometimes pitch in a lyric or two. She would also occasionally request for me to join in but the only part of the song where I'm confident I got the lyrics right is the chorus. So I'm posting the lyrics here now, for personal reference when the kid suddenly calls for me to join in. (Tara, let's sing it together!)

(Thanks to for this!) 

photo grabbed from Activity Mom
The Doc is in and She'll fix you up.
if you're a toy then your in luck.
it's ok don't be afraid the Doc really knows her stuff.
Doo Doo Doo you know it's good for you
The doc is gonna help you feel better
Oh Oh Oh it's the place to go
when you feel a little under the weather
Let Doc McStuffins do her thing
to get you right back in the swing
Doc McStuffins Doc McStuffins
Come and let the visit begin
the doc is in.
Doc McStuffins Doc McStuffins
Come and let the visit begin
the Doc is in...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hardwork Pays Off - Musings On Grades and Study Habits

Our little kid went home a couple of weeks ago with her first quarter report card and I can't be any prouder especially with her grades for Reading.

Were you grade conscious as a student? I've been trying to remember and my memory tells me I probably was. I really wanted to graduate top of the class because I wanted to make my parents proud.

I would later realize I should have done it for myself first. Well I never graduated the way I dreamed to but I would like to think I still made my parents proud somehow. I was never a diligent student but I learned fast. And I loved English and Math and Physics (no not Science and yes, in that order).

I hope for my little kid to be an enthusiastic learner too. To always embrace that thirst to learn something new. But I would want to be as cool as my parents were. So I try not to be imposing.

I do see that she's starting to develop a study habit. And I'm happy for that. That wasn't my influence though but more of her school's because she's asked to complete several sets of homework everyday. So far, so good -- she's been very diligent about finishing most of her homework before dinner time. Once or twice a week I make it a point to give her some slack and let her finish in the morning. I really am scared she will get burnt out so early in my student life. So I want her to still make time to enjoy her childhood while she can.

Anyways, again for posterity's sake I am posting a photo of her first quarter grade in reading.

Again, thank you for always listening and obeying us Maia! We love you and I keep that in mind. ALL THE TIME.

p.s. Posting here a photo of the card we made for you. You were sad you didn't get a merit card but you know little girl, it didn't really matter to us. What this card says is real. And that's exactly what felt when we saw your grades. Just keep that up. And just keep asking questions. As long as we are assured you are learning, that's what is important to us.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Peak At Maia's Day In School: Prayer Before Mealtime

Last October on her birthday, Maia treated her classmates to a pizza and spaghetti lunch. We ordered 5 boxes from the nearby Yellow Cab store and had the canteen pack them individual boxes of spaghetti. Based on our experience last year, not all of the kids are going to eat so we decided to just stick to pizza and spaghetti as requested by the birthday girl herself.

As kids are, they were pretty excited to share the simple meal after they greeted the birthday girl with a joyful Happy Birthday song but they had to play super cute first before they get to the table. 

So here's our little girl, leading the class in prayer before mealtime.

p.s. We would later find out that their class adviser would assign a prayer leader to lead the class in prayer every day. Our little girl seemed to be very good at that role, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hey There, December!

Just checking in for now to say "Hello! We're still here!"

The little girl worked on getting our humble tree up the minute we plucked the fake spider webs out of the flower bed in our lawn.

I wanted to have brighter lights this year. I don't know why. But the sight of Christmas lights is like a happy pill for me these days. I wanna fill our home with lights. But it's the 3rd day of December already and I don't think that wish is going to happen this year.

We are spending Christmas with my family in Antique for the first with the little girl this year. I guess that should be more than enough replacement for my bright wish this year. Just 17 more days to go and I say hello to rest again.

Our household can hardly wait.

Here's to hoping the rest of December is going to be kind to all of us. Tight hugs.

It is going to get better.
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