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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving Up So Soon!

Last Tuesday, I received a note that the little girl is scheduled to have her "graduation" photo taken. I went a little sentimental, was teary-eyed even and announced to my co-worker who is a parent to a kindergarten student herself that I will have a graduate soon. We both exchanged "how fast time flies" stories for a bit. And after that talk, I realized I'm slowly transforming and gently letting go of the helicopter parent personality. I have since ceased to be overly worried about every single minute that my kid is in school. Most days during the school week, I would forget to check if she's home already. 

This school year, mostly due to drastic changes at work, I had to lie low on being super mommy. I think all these changes was probably God-driven as I would come to realize now that with me getting really busy, I've become the cool mom that I exactly wished to be. I stopped being worried about whether she's reviewed enough for an exam or if her homework is done right or if the artwork rating is perfect. Am I a bad mommy? Nah, I stopped beating myself hard on that one. I think my little girl and I finally struck our balance. I've started letting her be herself which at this point, appears to be just best approach for her personality.

I am extremely blessed to have a daughter who was born with a big, understanding heart. I missed half of the school activities she had this year but I'm lucky I have a supportive husband and a super yaya to fill in when needed. We celebrate a milestone soon! And it's all because of everyone's hardwork!

My little girl's moving up to a whole new chapter soon. Exciting times ahead! And our entire household just couldn't wait!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Arts-N-Crafts: School Projects

Eversince the little miss started attending formal school (aka traditional school), we have had very limited arts and crafts sessions. Maybe it's the packed weekends. Or me subconsciously choosing to stay lazy on most weekends. Or maybe it's the no TV/cellphone/computer rule during school days. Or probably all of the above. But as I look back at the year that just past, I couldn't recall any particular project that we really labored on as mom and daughter.

Despite the lack of artsy activities at home, I'm happy to report that her school still gives her opportunities to channel out her creativity through regular arts and crafts sessions. These activities are the teacher's way of gauging their motor skills and they're usually being rated on how well they'd cut, paste, apply glue, color within lines, if they can hold crayons and scissors properly, pick tiny glitters and eyes.

Now that she's in kindergarten already, the art projects have become more complicated. But I'm really happy to see that the kid showed huge improvements every time she'd take home one finished project after another. It makes me feel like all those bonding sessions every weekend doing nothing but art was all worth it. Well, not that I was really counting on it coming in handy later on. Those were still moments I deeply cherish with or without the benefit that we are reaping of late.

Anyways, moving on. Let me just share with you a couple of projects I managed to document. In Maia's school, we are often required to provide the materials (the teacher sends us a note a week before the activity) since they were not included in the school supplies list that we have to complete during the opening of the school year.

learning addition is fun! (cutting and pasting exercise using construction paper)
Christmas activity (cutting and pasting)
(wreath made from paper plate and christmas wrapping paper and silk ribbon)
Everytime there's a note that says bring tissue paper roll,
my heart gives a silent jump for joy. My hoarding of paper tubes is justified.
This particular activity was a test of painting, brushing, drawing, and gluing.

How they are graded on these particular activities

Adding is fun! And on the right side is a test on cutting and pasting and tracing.
Care to share the art activities your kids enjoy most?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Flu Season

I came home last night to a kid with a terribly stuffed nose. Ngongo. Poor baby. And I though she's already toughened and immuned from flu having made sure she gets her good share of natural vitamin C these days by stuffing her with lots of veggies. I would have wanted to get more fruits in too but the only fruit she likes to eat of late are bananas. I still consider myself lucky though since we are already past that stage where every meal time is a struggle. These days, I rarely fret over her meals anymore as she's pretty much eating whatever food is served on the dinner table (thanks to her training in school which I will discuss in a separate post).

I guess the only culprit to that stuffed nose is this terrible cold weather that we've been experiencing almost every night since we got back from Antique last December 31st. We had to skip night runs these days because Tibs cannot push his legs out of the door the minute the cold air touches his skin. We are a family of lamigins. Yes. We can barely tolerate temperatures falling below 20 degrees Celcius. Corny no?

Kid is fast asleep now but she cried out for me for several times in the past few hours. She really hates getting this clogged nose. Well, who would want to be bothered in their sleep, right? Nobody. We always go to bed wishing for uninterrupted snooze time. Poor, poor baby. I really hope she gets better tomorrow.

How has this season been to you, friends? I hope it doesn't wreck havoc in your household. We have enough virus already what with the recent news of measles outbreak. What precautionary measures are you taking of late to ensure your household is safe from these aggressive viruses? I hope this looming fear of getting sick will be over soon. I hate being paranoid all the time.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Arts-N-Crafts: A Card For Daddy (2014 Edition)

Maia takes credit for every single word on this card. Even for the design, I should say. The only help she needed from me to put this card together was to reglue the frame and cut the photo to fit it. Everything else was hers to take.

Every day she amazes us. I barely have time to guide her in her lessons anymore. And yet, she carries on like a pro. All grown up. Doesn't need mommy anymore. Sigh.

p.s. Oh I take credit though for introducing her to the art of making cards. If there is one tradition that I can claim I started with this kid, this is probably it -- birthday card making!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Love - Milestone At The Kitchen Front

What's the activity that you are most scared of doing?

For me, it's probably baking. It comes a close second to my top fear/hate which are job interviews and speaking in front of a lot of strangers (both tied in first place).

Both of the things I mentioned earlier, I've already attempted to overcome several times. Well, I came out alive on all attempts but I couldn't really say I've totally overcome them.

But I am perfectly okay with the idea that at several points in my lifetime, I've tried once, twice and even thrice to win myself over those two.

BAKING on the otherhand is something that I haven't really tried my hand at. Well, I don't count that first attempt I did during high school because that probably was the reason I'm so scared to try baking come adulthood.

I love watching THE FOOD NETWORK though and yes, I will not deny the fact that I've always been in love at Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson's creations.I did dream to make them myself at some point. But I guess, I dreamt freely because I knew there's really no way I will ever challenge myself to try making one of those mouthwatering homemade baked desserts.

THAT however changes this year. Because my husband, who is just as masochistic as me, agreed to buy a gas oven for our household. We've had the oven for about 2 months now but I've never really gotten around to trying to whip out even just a simple muffin or a cookie recipe. Not till last week. It's the husband's birthday and I thought, it's just the perfect day for me to take the plunge into the world of baking. But that impulsive plunge turned out to be just as I feared -- my first break into the baking world was A TOTAL FAILURE.

I was on a break at work because Ate Inday is not back yet. I planned for a perfect day for me and Maia after she comes home from school. We wanted to do something special for the husband's birthday. I suggested baking calamansi muffin (which was actually something that he's been requesting for us to make) and boy was she delighted with the idea of me and her baking a goody for Daddy? Of course, she was! She's been asking for it since we had that baking playdate with Aki.

But guess what I did? I burned half of the muffins. I was extremely heartbroken. But unlike the other two fears that I mentioned, I had this strong feeling that I can make a strong comeback. If only I can find out the reason behind my burning the muffins when I've followed the recipe to the letter.

Well, turned out there's something that I didn't follow. And that was to read the OVEN MANUAL. It said there to use either the top or 2nd rack to bake cakes and cuppies and muffins. Guess which tray I used? THE BOTTOM! No wonder 15 minutes I charred half of them.

So yesterday, I prepared my ingredients and got myself ready to comeback with a vengeance.

How was it? IT TURNED OUT REALLY GREAT!!! Yay! I felt like I won the lotto when the muffins came out of the oven perfectly baked and sporting a nice yellowish color. It didn't look anywhere close to the Calamansi Muffins that Real Coffee makes in Boracay but hey, to my taste testers (aka Tibs and Maia) it tasted exactly the same.

And as an added bonus, I also tried making a double chocolate chip loaf cake with the remaining ingredients that I have on hand and that turned out pretty well too. My co-workers liked it so much. I'm just so, so happy!

So I guess, it pays to challenge your fear and push yourself to overcome it.

This might seem petty, shallow, trivial to some but my baking success last Sunday was like a triple dose of happy pills for me. Now, I'm more excited than ever to try other baking recipes.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back To Reality

I'm finally easing back to my reality. Days filled with meetings, conference calls, attacking a huge paper pile, polishing reports, dealing with graphs and pie charts. It can get crazier and crazier if I go on.

A few days ago, I allowed myself to wallow in sadness. I mourned the end of my hands on mothering. I've been so into the moment this past two weeks that I briefly forgot that role already took a backseat several months ago. Was it good that I was given the chance to play hands-on mommy again? Of course. But I feel bad it had to end so soon. Just when I was already so immersed to the role. If you are an instagram contact you know what I mean as I've been flooding your feeds with coosome twosome pictures of me and the little girl for days now.

In the past weeks, I did the laundry, pressed Maia's uniforms, scrubbed the floors, dipped my curious hands into baking, made daily visits to the nearby wet market, rushed to the supermarket on a weekday for our weekly groceries, planned our daily menu, washed the dishes. Things that I used to enjoy doing but haven't done for so long now. Ahh and it's just so liberating that I do not have to worry about work and just enjoy my time with my little girl!

It's been a very tiring two weeks for me. But more than the aching muscles and joints, it's really fulfilling to see my daughter so happy to have been around the house all to herself for one full day.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bedtime Reading: Clifford Saves The Day

Now that she knows how to read most of her books, I get a break from bedtime reading. I'm now the audience and she, the actual storyteller. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

List Of Official Holidays For 2014

Time to plan your trips!
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