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Sunday, August 17, 2014


This morning we had a very interesting topic over breakfast.


She told us she gets teased often in school now. I bet the our daddy's heart was a bit crushed seeing how her little baby girl giggled at the mere mention of the word.

And yet, when we asked her if she knew what it meant - she still responded with a NO. So for now, we gave a simple explanation in the form of the word "LIKE". And we impliedly discouraged further use of the word "CRUSH".

But she did admit she gets "kilig". What is "kilig", Mommy?

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaay Maia. No wonder your daddy wants to freeze time now.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hello Grade School: Things We've Learned So Far

I thought when my kid finally sets her foot in big school, there will be plenty of opportunities for me to revisit my old selfish self. I thought there would be lesser late nights spent trying to catch up on assignments or coming up with reviewers. 

Well lucky for me, I have a good support system to back me up. I admittedly didn't have to spend too much time with assignments or reviewers as I usually come home to a first time grade schooler who is already sleeping soundly and comfortably. 

Yet, two months after the school season officially opened, here I am dazed from lack of sleep. Our household alarm goes off at 4:15 am Mondays to Fridays. We had to make sure breakfast is ready by 4:45 so the little miss will have enough time to eat before the school service arrives to pick her up at 5:15. 

Yes, you read that right - 5:15. Ridiculous is the first thing that came to my mind, when I was told about the pick up time. But then again, I am proud to say that my little gradeschooler is adjusting pretty well. The early wake up call is compensated by an early bedtime by 7pm. And she does not every single day with no complain, except on days when several chapter tests are line up the following day and she had to stay up till 8pm to finish reviewing. Those days are days she looks forward to like a reward day because those are the days when she can wake up an hour later and get a little extra treatment in the form of me or her dad personally dropping her off in school. (Ahhhh really, the joy of being a kid)

Grade school was a little bit tougher than what I thought it to be. I am still adjusting to the demands of it. Our entire household is. Happily though, this entirely new experience has demanded that each of us contribute something to make things easier. I've cleaned up the white board that has been idle for sometime now into our weekly breakfast/lunch menu board and the little girl enjoys planning her lunch menu with me. Now that she can read majority of the things I write, she doesn't miss to check what the next day's menu when we're having breakfast. 

I promised myself I was going to share our weekly baon list to help other moms who might be having the same difficulty planning their kid/s daily lunches but I unfortunately have yet to consciously make time for that. Right now, honestly, blogging would have to take the back seat again and I couldn't commit yet to make regular posts. For now, I end this post with the takeaways we had in the past 2 months as first time grade school parents.
  • Be consistent. Having learned the value of consistency early on in this parenting journey, this was easier to practice for us. Consistency is most important in setting schedules for reviewing the next day's lessons and implementing the sleeping time as well. 
  • Be present. Since we don't get to talk about how her day went before she goes to bed, we make sure we take the opportunity to do so during breakfast. We make it a point to eat breakfast together. Even at 4:45am. This is something our little girl looks forward to as well every single day.
  • Be involved. Even if I had to bring home work (which is rare nowadays, thankfully) I make it a point to check her diary. I leave a note for each of the teachers if there is something that concerns that little miss or if I need to clarify anything. Some days, I get a reply. Most days I don't but I still make sure I leave those notes. And we've been present in all parent's meetings so far. They were helpful and we take the opportunity to talk to the teachers as well in those events. 
  • ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! Kids are very perceptive. And in my kid's case, since she really feels we're always happy to hear her stories about school, she volunteers them without our prodding now. She's gone far from the little timid girl she was just a little over 3 feet tall when she started going to formal school. Although we secretly wish she stays 5 longer, it's always refreshing to hear her growing up stories. And we always make time for it no matter how busy and tired we are. 

Recipe: Vegan Brownies

The little girl was invited to an impromptu playdate down at the village pool this afternoon. I didn't know what to prepare since our pantry was almost empty.

Luckily, while I was searching for a brownie recipe I chanced upon this vegan brownie recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand except for eggs and this one didn't call for eggs so I got all the ingredients out and prepared to bake.

I would wish I can come up with a dessert that will require less oil  (if possible, none at all) but that will have to wait for another day.

#Vegan #brownies for the kids swim playdate later :)

I was a little anxious at how this experiment would turn out but in the end, it proved to me that you can never go wrong with chocolate.

The recipe did not need much tweaking but let me just type it all in here for easy reference (in case you are like me who doesn't like to jump from one page to another)

Vegan Brownies
Yields: 16 brownies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

What you will need:

 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
 2 cups white sugar
 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolates
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 cup water
 1 cup vegetable oil
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I added 1 more extra vanilla in here)
 a pinch of cinnamon
 colorful sprinkles

What you need to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3. Pour in water, dark chocolate, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended.
4. Spread evenly in a 9x9 inch square baking pan.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny.
6. Take out of oven when toothpick comes off clean. Add colored sprinkles on top.
7. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

It was a hit among the kids and yayas. I even brought some for my officemates to sample the following day and they loved it too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How Fast Time Flies Grade 1 Edition

This phase of our school adventure has given me enough validation for being a camwhoring momma during my little miss's early childhood years.

She was asked to bring 7 photos to school this week, depicting each of her growing up years starting from infancy and while I was picking the photos I can't help but chuckle.

Look at how she's grown!

If you are a new mom, I encourage you to take pictures of each moment of your kid's growing up years. Although my energy has waned, I still grab any chance I get to freeze a certain moment and encapsulate it in a photo. Such joy to really watch your kid grow through photos.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Maia Recommends: Engineering For Kids - Philippines

Did Science ever interest you as a kid?

It really did for me. Well, it was probably due to my dad's (who is a mechanical engineer) influence and he really did talk day in and day out about science at home. He trained us to approach problems the scientific way and that really helped me a lot in solving my daily dilemmas, not only as a kid but even now as an adult.

I wanted my kid to develop interest in Science too. But I guess I was never like my dad. And since both my husband and me have day jobs that wasn't directly connected to science, it wasn't a topic that is often discussed at home. I didn't push anymore, I figured since she's now in grade school, she will eventually figure out for herself if Science is something that she likes or not.

Thankfully though, I didn't have to wait long to get my answer. A couple of weeks ago, a generous soul from Mommy Bloggers Philippines, a blogger group I belong to posted an invitation for interested mommies who would like to try out a session at the recently launched Engineering For Kids after school program at the BGC. I immediately grabbed the chance to introduce Science in a fun way to my little miss and signed up.

Finally last Saturday, the little miss and me trotted off to Bonifacio Global City with our mom-daughter partner in crime - Erl and Kelsea - to try out the Aerospace Engineering session. We made it just in time (despite the delay that Maia and I caused) for class after travelling for an hour. Thanks to Erl for the free ride. If we were commuting, I would probably have to allot at least an hour and a half since I was coming from Cavite. Good thing we picked the 9am schedule so the traffic on the roads was still free flowing. 

When we got to the venue, the kids immediately got themselves seated while Erl and I were briefed about basic info of the program. We were handed a kit that contained the list of what the offerings were for the month and a flyer that discussed the history of the program. We learned that Engineering for Kids Ph is a franchise from the US. It was started by a mom-teacher who saw the rising need for an after school program that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. 

There are two classes offered: Juniors (4-6 yo kids) and Apprentice (7-14 yo kids). Every month, they offer new sets of topics/projects for each of the programs offered. Weekend rate is P4500 while the weekday rate is P6600 (if I remember correctly). There are 4 sessions per month for the weekend class and 6 sessions for weekday class.

The class that Maia and Kelsea tried was under the Aerospace Engineering program and for the day, the project that they were designated to work on is Stomp Rocket. The class was a group of 6 kids - 4 boys and 2 girls (Maia and Kelsea). They started off the class with a brief introduction of the parts of the rocket. Teacher Em started it with a song which immediately got the kids' attention. After about 15 minutes, the kids started working on the rocket. Before we knew it, the allotted one hour was up and the kids had started taking turns stomping on the makeshift rocket launcher.

She went back to stomp a couple more times. Gone was that timid little girl.
But while the boys couldn't wait to get their foot on the stomp rockets, the little girls took their sweet time making their rockets pretty. Maia was so proud of her rocket she immediately ran to hug me when it went up so high it almost touched the ceiling. It was a fun class and the way the activity was structured, I doubt if the kids even realized they were dealing with Science at all. I just hope a few years from now when the kid starts to study physics she would remember this experience.

Class picture minus Kelsea (Do you know how to add her via Photoshop, Erl?)
Would I recommend it? If you live near BGC, I would. But if you live farther (down South like us or up North in QC), I don't know if the travel would be all worth it since the class runs for only an hour. Or best to just call and ask where the other branches are located.

Engineering for Kids is offering early bird discount till August 8 so if this is something that you are interested to try, contact them at:

Tel Nos: (02) 224.4170 / 0917.551.8705

They are currently doing classes at the Function room, 5/F of Forbeswood Parklane, Rizal Drive, BGC, Taguig. More info at their website:
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