Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye, Bye Year

How was I as a mother this 2009?

I was not very consistent, but I was very intentional. I attended seminars, I read books, and I was open to different parenting techniques. Plus, I embraced breastfeeding and sign language and intentional parenting in a level I haven't before. Weirdly enough, I became someone mothers turned to for information and support, for guidance and comfort.

But like what I said, I was not very consistent. I still didn't enforce a routine and I still got stressed because I wanted to control my child. I was also not that consistent in discipline so I struggled more over it.

But did I enjoy myself as a Mom? I sure did.

I relished every milestone reached by my son. Sometimes, I can even afford to feel validated because of how happy and healthy he is. And I still enjoy cuddling to him everyday, still enjoy the fact that I am a Mom, still look forward to the days when we'd really get to talk and learn about the many wonders of the world together, and still mourn the fact that every step forward is a step away from the baby that he was.

So yeah, I am still immensely grateful, privileged and blessed that I am a Mom. May I be a better one next year!

Travel Plans for Next Year

It's too soon to plan orlando vacations, or too impractical, since we really don't have the money for it yet, but we're already planning trips for the first half of next year. See, we have to allocate money for the plane fares if we're ever going to Marinduque, and this time, Yakee won't be travelling free anymore. That means he's also paying terminal fee already.

And then there's his swimming lessons and possibly, Kindermusik lessons. Am also wondering if I should enrol him in CFA's reading program already. Maybe if I don't get to teach him satisfactorily enough the first half of 2010, I will.

Even a HongKong trip will have to wait for when Yakee's old enough to really appreciate it, and not demand to be carried around everywhere. I am wondering if it's too soon for a Donsol or back-to-Coron trip though... or if we should just go somewhere else in Visayas where there'd be a beach he can enjoy.

It's good to dream, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here's To Not Bingeing

Okay, I am not exactly starving either. But at least am not bingeing. Plus, since they liked my paksiw adobo so much and I made squash soup after Christmas, we've had relatively healthier viands and weren't living on liempo and barbecue.

But I really cringe at how much I'd weigh come next week. I know I'd probably need fat burners!!! But at least, am not bingeing. There's no ice cream and I can't afford to eat too much sweets because of my cough and sensitive throat. So we also don't live on cake. And we'd be baking cookies tomorrow but it's mostly for New Year consumption.

Already, MIL is preparing to bake apple pie, make callos and chicken galantina and fruit salad. I only really eat the chicken part of the galantina (I don't like the stuffing) and maybe the sauce of the callos.

Now, I should cut down on rice.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yearend Plans

First, there will be baking of cookies. And cooking of fattening foods for Media Noche. But hubs and I are also going to scout their area for manufactured homes within our budget (read: something we hope we can afford). Condos are out of the question but a townhouse without a yard will do. They have parks here anyway for my overactive son so he will get to run about and enjoy some fresh air at least.

The important thing is to make owning a home a priority come next year. Other things are sure to fall into place once that one's been settled.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stubborn Gift Giver

One niece of mine has been vocal about not wanting books as Christmas present. I also know for a fact that my other nephews won't be too keen on getting books as presents. But I was intent on giving books and Filipino products and recycling/reusing stuff for packaging. Plus, because my son is leaping and bounding in learning, I am more excited about books than before.

So I gave books and just gritted my teeth for the lackluster reception to them. If there's one of them who will someday thank me, however silently, for having given a particular book, then that's enough repayment for all the hassle and expense. If there's one of them who will grow up knowing about Symbol LS2208 bar code scanners and astronauts and dinosaurs, if one of them will absolutely love mythology and the classics, if one of them will grow up with a passion for reading and learning like I do, then I can say that this Christmas, I invested well.


My son says WOW to his own books again and again. He'd love remote control cars and play with singing puppy dogs and flying planes, but his love for books and stories is apparent. I couldn't be prouder, or happier :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Mother's Voice Chases Away Night Terrors

Son had a bad case of night terrors just an hour or so ago. It was the first time he couldn't be consoled and sounded like he was in pain. But I also couldn't say that he was fully awake. He was not even calling out to me, which he usually does when he has such episodes.

For five minutes, no amount of "mommy's here baby, it's okay" could pacify him. And then I asked him softly if he wanted me to sing, and he immediately stopped crying. And I hummed his current favorite song (Tuhog na Bulaklak, Flores de Mayo song) and he quited down and later settled back to sleep.

That's how I know he wasn't really hurting over anything. In a way, I shouldn't be touched that I have that effect on him because he's also probably working all the spanking and bad blood between us these past few days in his psyche. Sigh.

It's the lack of sleep and PMS and his greater demands that is making me hellbent on maintaining control. I keep forgetting that am not here to control him, but to guide him and inspire him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Overweight and Dowdy

I tried shopping for clothes. I really did. I even mustered the courage and energy to fit clothes.

I am sure there are clothes that would still look good on me but the thing is, I feel ugly and dowdy. So the shopping is always not a success. I have projected to really diet and exercise next year/month because I know dieting over the Holidays is like asking for ice cream not to melt in your hands in the height of summer. And thankfully, slight coughs and colds have rendered me disinterested with sweets. My only craving these days is KFC (an order of 1 piece chicken and Go-Go sandwich). But really, I am trying hard to look for ways and means to keep myself inspired and committed next month.

I don't want to have to check out new life insurance rates because my weight is issue enough to make me worried about dying young. Plus, I have to prove that I love my son enough to keep his Mom around for a number of years yet (God willing) and to raise him seeing that eating and living healthy is doable and fun. I've seen enough of cancer to last me a lifetime...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Games, Games, Games

For my fellow Moms who have the time, online games being offered in Facebook are more than enough. They even team up with others to exchange harvests and cows. I don't know how many times I've been given a cow or cupcake but I just really don't have the time to be addicted there.

For sure, games and toys will also populate Christmas trees this year. My niece wanted a Baby Alive and some nephews wanted their own PSP consoles. For one godson who is into online games, however, its new PC games that will rock. He has already hinted on his preferences (Double Play - Jewel Quest Mysteries and Mysterious City Cairo and Samantha Swift and the Mystery of Atlantis). Yeah, I guess he's into old civilizations and stuff. That is one good thing I can say for these games, they get kids interested in folklore and history, in myths and legends, in building and farming.

I can just imagine parents already ordering such games online, or are now making a beeline in stores, hoping to avoid the worst of Christmas rush but still get frustrated with crowds and long lines and possibly out of stock products.

I wonder how many of them know that they can just download some free games instead? Or, if they didn't get a particular game or toy in time, that they can still amuse their child with easy to download games without having to worry about installation and viruses. They just probably have to Google it well and read reviews/testimonials in the sites.

Oh well. At least my son is still only two years old and is still more into stacking cups and blocks. Then again, we're giving him a potty trainer as gift this year. Hehe. Well, I supposedly won a game from Hasbro anyway, so that's another gift.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cruises Whoring Suri Out

Suri was spotted looking really cute in Spain. She really is such a cute child and dresses really look great on her. But heels, make up and dangly earrings on a 3-year old who's just supposedly walking about? Plus, if it wasn't really cold, how come everyone around her had proper shoes and wore long-sleeved ensembles?

Some of the commenters were right. This is very reminiscent of Jon Benet and I wouldn't be surprised if ten years from now, she is filing for emancipation already.

This also reminds me again of how some parents (moms mostly) will go all out prettifying, sexifying their little girls up... but would cry desperate tears when 15 years down the line, their daughter comes home pregnant.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cobain's Daughter All Grown Up

Frances Bean, Kurt Cobain's daughter, is already 17 years old and fighting her Mom in court to release her from her custody.

I wasn't really a Nirvana fan but I loved Kurt's pictures in all the tabloids carrying little Frances Bean, holding her bottle or actually feeding her. That made him cool as a rockstar for me. It was only after he died that I really listened to his music.

Fast forward to now. Frances Bean is pale, reminds me of that Osbourne girl, and not (yet) cashing in on her parent's fame and notoriety. She hasn't been caught without panties, drunk, doing drugs, etc (as far as I can tell). Hopefully, somewhere, somehow, that is making Kurt smile.

But it's a tragedy that she doesn't have a great relationship with her Mom. It could be Courtney's still doing drugs. It could be that Frances just wants to hold all her money. But really, what it boils down to is that one of them is not making good choices.

For Frances' sake, I hope it's her Mom and that she live a less chaotic and absolutely drug-free life.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Carolling Starts Tonight

All this time, I have been putting P1 coins in a piggy bank in anticipation of carollers. My son, being an avid fan of anything and everything that makes music, actually listens to them. So of course we feel we have to pay them to continue playing.

Last year, both kids really had a blast. I think it's akin to being serenaded for them. I remember how I even felt humbled again by the fact that the instruments my son and nephew were playing were newer or possibly more costly than the ones the carollers were using. After all, some of them were just banging spoons together. And this year, my son has a better drum, two xylophones, a tambourine, two harmonicas, two recorders, a trumpet, a ukelele and a maracas.

Well, we will run out of coins... but I guess carollers will have field day going to our house. And nobody really loses because we're always happy when our son is happy.

Can't Hear If You're Shouting

One trick I have heard of but have somehow forgotten is just that... to tell a screaming child that you either can't hear or understand him/her because he/she was shouting. What I do is tell my son usually that, "crying and screaming won't help him get what he wants" or that "Mommy cannot help a boy who's just whining and throwing tantrums". I guess it's the same principle but seeing two friends use it on our friend's child reminded me that I could use the tactic better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mommy Realizations

One great thing about meeting up with friends is that you ealize that your child isn't the only driving his parent crazy. I rant and rant about my son's demands but in truth, he's just really like the rest of other kids out there. My friends' girls are all dynamos as well.

Great thing though that Yakee didn't throw tantrums much last Sunday at Festival Mall in Alabang. At one point, he was really overstimulated and sleepy and kept hurting me, and I know my friends were looking at me how i'd handle him. But generally, I know we passed with flying colors. I got many slaps but still nothing major that I'd have lost my good mood.

As a bad reward though, we let him have his way with Pappie's drink, which was Dark Cherry Mocha. Hehe.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rising to the Challenge

Last night, I attended a Christmas party with my counselor friends from way, way back. Anyway, I was able to discuss more fully an income opportunity with a friend who's going into the party planning business. She will attend a seminar on balloon designs while her brother has already mastered the art of face painting (because he used to also do tattoos).

I will have to master Photoshop more to really be her invitation designer contact. But at least I can make decent layouts already and there are a lot of commercial use freebie kits already out there I can start working with. In time, I may have to pay for more kits that are commercial use, but at least that would be business investment anyway. Who knows, I may even be able to really moonlight and design wedding invitations.

And then, one of our friends make chocolate treats (I even bought one designed to be a house, complete with chocolate Christmas tree). This is it. We're moms now and need to expand our horizons.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feeling Helpless

We really can't afford Outer Banks vacations, or even a trip abroad just right now. But we're blessed enough to have roof over our head, cloths on our back, some money in the bank, etc.

My cousin found two families at the Plaza de Dilao with two infants exposed to the elements. One is just 3 weeks old, the other 4 months old. She was affected by their plight and was asking me if I haven't kept some of my son's socks.

Good thing I actually still had 4 pairs of infant socks. But I'm at a loss because I really gave away my son's stuff already for Typhoon Ondoy victims.

The only things I have saved for myself were two newborn onesies (one I gave to my cousin to give away to the baby) and the other things that are still here, I have promised already to a Mom. My son's past two years old... I really have no more newborn stuff to give.


Now, I should really seek them out and try to convince the Mom of the 3-week old to nurse the 4-month old, whose Mom is working as a maid somewhere. And I should see what we can give to those families.

I can't save every child... but that doesn't mean I don't wish I could.


A friend is also enlisting my help to help her get her future niece/nephew adopted. See, her brother (and his wife) are drug addicts and they already have a one year old. The wife is pregnant again and they usually vanish for several days and are unemployed because of their addiction so my friend and her Mom wants to have the new baby adopted. They even want to just sneak the newborn away and bring it to me so that her brother couldn't go after it anymore.

I didn't want that though because I know it's kidnapping. Plus, my heart always go out to adoptive parents whose hopes get high one minute and get dashed the next. So i'd rather adoptive parents pick the baby up from the hospital... give their names to be placed on the birth certificate instead.

Yes, I am a little ashamed to say that there are cases where I also don't like how the DSWD system works.


All these babies needing to be saved...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guilty Working Mom

the funny thing is, I am working from home. And I worked mostly very early this morning while son was asleep. And I woke up with him, nurse him, play with him, policed him and his cousin, put him down for a nap and he is playing near me. But I already miss him. And I already feel I am neglecting him. To think there have been many times before when am actually just Plurking the day away so me in front of the computer isn't anything new.

But now I feel guilty.

Now I feel he's being deprived, neglected, shortchanged.

To think he's also clearly proven that he could actually play by himself... that it only seemed he couldn't before because he really could engage me to stop whatever I was doing for him. I still stopped today but I guess he could also sense that I was seriously at work this afternoon.

Sigh. I don't know how working moms can do it. Eventhough my child isn't complaining, I look at him and feel like i've been bad to him all day.


But Mommy really loves him.

Homeschooling Thoughts

At the World Bazaar yesterday, we almost bought a bedroom and accessories set because I wanted the toy rack. But I knew that was being impractical but hubby also said that we could use the table and chairs for our homeschooling days soon. Two years can fly so fast after all.

Maybe next year, I will start browsing curriculum online to see what is being offered and weigh what will also seem as a perfect fit. I also intend to attend next year's homeschooling conference and continue attending the seminars being aranged by The Masters Academy. Right now, however, I am still really torn between three homeschooling institutions.

The Masters Academy is a school I am already sort of at home with, because they initiate the homeschooling conference and I've attended one Learning Styles seminar with them. Being affiliated with CCF, I also know that they're really intent on values formation and that their parents are a warm lot.

School of Tomorrow, on the other hand, is where a friend's son is enrolled. Supposedly also, it has the best curriculum of all the homeschoolings institutions here. It's also Christian-based and there is a regular school in Las Piñas should I ever want to enrol my child in a regular school already.

Catholic Filipino Academy seems to be the only Catholic-based one and is actually the most affordable. It's being run by Bo Sanchez.

I still don't know which homeschooling curriculum best fits our family and which one will offer the best support system to homeschooling parents. It's great, however, that the pinoyhomeschool yahoogroups is also able to provide support, information and resources to parents who are feeling lost or overwhelmed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Still on a Homeschooling Road

SIL asked me when I'm going to enrol Yakee in a homeschooling program. I explained to her that homeschooling orgs believe in "better later than sooner" and are usually strict about not enrolling a child in a program before the child is four years old.

I still have 1.5 years before I enrol Yakee into anything (apart from swimming lessons again next summer). But oh, how time really passes. Soon, I will be making first communion invitations for him and getting anxious because I will be sending him to a regular school already the following year. First communion is given at Grade 6, right? I really only plan to homeschool my kids till Grade 6 and want them to go through adolescents in the company of other adolescents. Hopefully, 12 years in my company has fortified them enough to face peer pressure with grace and wisdom.

But anyway, that's looking way ahead. Right now, I am just buying my son books and reading to him and letting him lead me to what interests him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spanked The Son

Spanked Yakee last night. Gave him three calculated thumps on his bottom for running up and down the stairs. Granted, I was already annoyed that he kept plucking the Christmas tree decor and has broken several (and I can't help but calculate the cost of what's broken already) but I have also told myself that we put up a tree for him, so he should be allowed to enjoy it the way he pleases. I thought of dismantling the tree and just putting it up when he can appreciate it... but what is appreciation really? When he's around 7, I doubt he'll look at the tree and delight in it as he does now.

But I lost my cool when he went running up and down the stairs, sometimes even turning, with the trimmings in his arms. Plus, he really refuses to listen most of the time!!!


I need to find more ways to parent him. I try my best not to spank but even talking him through before and during something sometimes doesn't cut it anymore. Even removal of privileges and awarding of some don't get noticed.