Weekly round-up

Happy Easter everyone! I/We did not do anything extraordinary last Holy Week. My family does not go out much so we just stayed at home while everyone else is out of town or doing Visita Iglesia. I joined the Station of the Cross in our barangay on the morning of Good Friday. That’s all.

Sharing with you my little girl’s pic on her bike. This one was taken February 19, 2010, when we bought her bike.

Bought the bike at SM Batangas, Feb 19, 2010

And this is her today, enjoying this bike. Ngayon lang nya fully na-enjoy yung bike, as in she can bike on her own without our help (except when turning around). My, she drives it so fast.

Enjoying the bike, April 24, 2011 (Tip: Buy kids their first bike at around 2 1/2 years old to fully enjoy the ride)

Notice the mark on her left face? She got that last Friday, when she tripped while running. My poor little girl. Here’s the closeup of her face.

My poor baby is wounded. 😦

For her wound, I put Bactroban ointment from GSK. (I used drapolene first because she did not want alcohol or betadine; then betadine after.) When it’s fully healed, sebo de macho ang katapat para di pumeklat. Hehe. Any other suggestion aside from sebo de macho?

The Not-So-Religious Me

I am not devout a Catholic. But I believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in Mama Mary, and in the saints and angels in heaven. I pray every night before I sleep to thank God for his wonderful blessings, to ask for His guidance, and to share my saddest feelings that I cannot share even to my diary. I talk to God even when I’m not inside the church. I believe that God is ominous, that He is everywhere, that He makes all things possible. I believe in His power.

I cannot remember whether I knew how to make the sign of the cross before I entered pre-school. My pre-school, grade school and high school years were spent in a Catholic school near our place. Every year, we studied the lives of St. Theresa of Avila (patron saint of my school), San Lorenzo Ruiz (first Filipino saint), and St. John Marie Vianney (patron saint of priests). We had confession twice a year. We had first Friday masses. We were required to submit proof of attendance to Sunday masses. Sadly, I remember only a few details about their lives. I only studied their lives because the history of their lives was always included in monthly and quarterly exams. I am still familiar with the seven sacraments, the Angelus, and the Holy Rosary. The rest of the topics that we studied in Religion, I am not sure if I can still remember.

When I went to college, I enrolled in UP, where I mixed with students with different religions. I had a friend who belonged to another religion but it was never an issue. I did not go to Sunday mass as often as I should but whenever I got the chance, I visit UP chapel to hear mass. Only once did I go to confession back in college.

After graduation, my relationship with God was limited to prayers at night, Wednesday mass in Greenbelt chapel, occasional visits to church to attend Sunday mass, and praying the Holy Rosary, which was not very often. I knew that it is against the Catholic teachings to have sex before marriage, but, as the Bible says, the flesh is weak.

What is the point of all these? My first writing challenge is to write a short autobiography. In observance of the Lenten season, I chose to tackle my religious side, as a way of reflection with regard to my relationship with God. As I wrote at the beginning of this piece, I am not a devout Catholic. I am pro-RH bill. I use contraceptives, not the family planning method supported by the Catholic church. I am frustrated over the ultra conservative stand of the Catholic church. I believe in God’s powers and that God answers my prayers. I still pray everyday. I pray when I need help; when I have a big decision to make; when I am happy; when I am sad; when I feel depressed. I pray for other people. Sometimes I pray for the world.

My family is not very religious either. We were never involved in Visita Iglesia. We seldom go to church together. We never had Pasyon reading in the house. Every year, we spend the Lenten season at home. I try to make small sacrifices, which is incomparable to what Jesus did to save mankind. In my own little way, I give back to God as a sign of gratitude for all his wonderful blessings to me and my family. I try to be a good person, although it is very difficult to be good.

As a wife and mom, I want my family to be a little more religious than what we are now. I want God to be the center of our family. I want my children to be God-fearing. I know it has to start with me. What am I going to do? I am not yet sure. Maybe start teaching Kaila to pray every night. Let’s see tonight.

One of the rare moments that I went to a religious site, not with my family but with my in-laws.

writing challenge

sometimes, i feel like i don’t have anything to write (or share). this is why i do not have regular updates. so to challenge myself to post regularly, i’m challenging myself to write something at least once a week. good thing, i found this (click the photo to get to the site where i found it):

so, yes, i’m challenging myself to write. i am not sure if i can pass this challenge, but i will try. you can try it to if you like. 😉

Raising Responsible Kids

Teaching kids to be responsible at an early age is very important. I remember myself NOT helping in the household chores when I was a kid. My younger sister and brother were as LAZY as I was when they were younger. My aunt used to tell my mom to teach us to clean our room and help in the household chores so that we grow up to be responsible kids. But since we had household help (until now), we never really participated in everyday house duties.

Yesterday, when I was preparing for dinner, I asked Kaila to help me prepare the table. She immediately got the plates and put them one by one on the table. Upon my instruction, she also filled each glass with water, which she got from the dispenser. When everything else were prepared, she called everyone in the house so that we could eat together. Imagine her smile when I was telling my younger sister and my mom that Kaila helped prepare the table.

Photo from this site
Training children to help in the household tasks is training them to be responsible individuals in the future. You are preparing your kids to become independent, so that when the yaya gets sick, or that when you cannot go home yet because there’s an important meeting in the office, they will not starve to death because they do not know how to use the microwave oven. It is important, however, to tell them the reason why you are requiring them to help. When I was younger, I did not understand why I needed to help my mom since we had household help. Children should know that being part of the household, they must be aware of the roles that each member of the family plays. 
Teaching kids to be responsible is not limited to helping in the kitchen. If your child is too young to handle spoons and forks, you may begin by teaching them to put their toys back in their proper places after playing. You can also ask them to fold their clothes after they change to their sleepwear. Every time you sweep the floor, did you notice that your 3-year old grab it from your hand because he wants to do it on his own? Instead of getting angry, take it as an opportunity to train your kid. Show him the proper way of sweeping the floor.
Make sure that the tasks that you assigned your child to do gets accomplished. It will be useless if your little boy kept ignoring your command. If he is not yet ready to handle big tasks, do not force him to do so. If he willingly follows your instructions, congratulate him for a job well done. Show some appreciation. This will reinforce your child’s behavior.
Believe it or not, children as young as two years old can be trained. I began teaching Kaila to put her toys back in place when she was barely a year old. Today, she knows how to fold clothes and sweep the floor (well not really sweep). After she watches her DVD, she turns off the player and the TV. These are simple tasks yet every time Kaila accomplishes them, they make my heart leap.

In simple ways, you can raise a responsible child. Whether she’s three or seven, it’s never too late to assign them simple tasks that can help them become mature, reliable, independent, and dependable individuals in the future.

weekly round-up

monday. bank duties. received my remittance from hubby, yey. 35% went to our savings account and the rest went to everything else. budgeting is fun when you have something to budget. haha. i found out that melvin’s brother bought himself a very expensive watch, which reminded me that my hubby wants a tissot watch very badly. thinking of giving it to him as a Christmas present. matagal-tagal pang pag-iipon. i went back to serious writing so i think i’ll be able to save enough to give him what he wants for christmas. (it’s a secret, don’t tell.)

thursday. bonded with my sister at SM batangas for some shopping and eating, my treat of course. the first stop was… National Bookstore. I bought Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and a counting book for Kaila. then we went to surplus shop where I bought 3 shorts–yellow, aqua, and green (if I remember correctly) and four shirts (one was mango shirt for only 299.00). then we went to the department store for mom’s stuff, some toiletries, and kaila’s sleepwear. afterwards, we’re tired already so we ate at Pizza Hut and ordered a small pizza, seafood pasta, and iced tea. we weren’t able to finish the pizza (we have small stomachs!) so we decided to bring the two slices home, in addition to another small pan pizza which I got free (thanks BPI credit card). i didn’t bring our car so we took public transportation. it was great to have bonded with my sister. we rarely have time for this because we have our own lives to live. so sad we weren’t able to take pics (we’re no camwhores!).

it was also bonding night with Kaila. i bought her a counting book so before she went to sleep, i taught her how to read numbers from 1-10. good thing she already knows how to count each item, although she can really be stubborn and she would just play around while I teach her. when she got tired, she asked if we could watch her favorite dvds (little einsteins this time). we always watch her favorites every night before we go to sleep. here’s her counting book:

friday. finished reading hornet’s nest. in one day. record! 🙂

saturday. my day started early because i was to pinch in for melvin as godparent of jonathan for his confirmation. jonathan’s dad picked me up 9 am from our house and we went to the church together–myself, Atan, Brenda, and Joan, his sister. the ceremony did not start until 10 am. there were over 400 12-year olds who were confirmed so we just stayed on the sidelines. it was very hot inside the church but i just thought that it’d be one of my simple sacrifices for the Lenten season. we had a simple lunch at Atan’s house after, where i met his aunts. one of his aunts offered insurance for melvin. haha. the rest of the afternoon was spent with Kaila. she had two balloons when I arrived home because her balloon flew in the sky and she would not stop crying so my cousin’s wife went to the market to buy her balloons. don’t know what is the appeal of balloons to kids. i also remember myself loving balloons when i was young. just like kaila, i experienced my balloon flying into the sky. i was left crying the whole time for my balloon.

sunday. didn’t get to go to mass. kaila slept the whole afternoon. it was so hot so we just stayed at home. i found out that i have a couple of more books to read so i promised myself not to buy one until i finished them all.

by the way, i’m writing most of my diary entries here and i find it very convenient. just giving it a try.

Undecided

over this blog.

i have been changing blogs since 2001. changing, deleting, starting, ending. i’m not the type who writes diaries and then read what i wrote many years after. it takes some sort of courage to read through the leaves of a personal diary. i don’t know. for me, after i’ve written down something, i refuse to look at it again.

so i am undecided whether to continue writing here or not.

just some random thought.

Want a dirty ice cream?

Yesterday, I bought dirty ice cream for Kaila. I taught her how to eat ice cream on a cone. She enjoyed it, although after she consumed the upper portion, she threw the cone, thinking that there’s no more ice cream left. Happy summer everyone. Have some ice cream with your loved one.

By wishful thinker Posted in family

Still on Cars and Kaila’s First Party Attendance

Melvin gave up his desire to get that car. Thank you Lord he listened to me. Well that was after the lecture I gave him. And he must have realized our (yes, not just me but even his mom, brothers and sister) point that it is much better to wait and buy and brand new unit.

So, he’s now looking into the possibility to buying a brand new unit, but this time, it’s S***a. Ok, I don’t want to disappoint him again, but I don’t like it either, because it only fits up to five people. Second, it’s too big for me to drive. Third, I prefer M****o over this.

The next question is, how will I be able to convince him this time not to buy S***a.

***

Yesterday, Kaila attended the first birthday party of our neighbor’s kid. I forgot to take some pictures since I was observing Kaila the whole time. My observations:

She sat at the kids’ corner for a while before she started looking for me.

She was not very friendly with the other kids. She just observed what was happening and then get bored after a while. When she got bored, she played with the chairs and then asked for balloons.

She was not afraid of Jollibee and Twirlie.

It took her a long time before she asked me if we could go home already.

Is She Ready for School?

Kaila’s turning three on July. She can recite the alphabet and recognize the letters as early as two years old. She has memorized numbers from one to 10 and can count the items one by one. However, she is shy with adults, she does not want to be noticed, it takes hours before she finally warms up to another. It has been two years and eight months since she had known her pediatrician, yet she still screams, won’t talk to her, and won’t get the jelly ace that she offers every time we visit her clinic. Is she ready for school?

I told her pediatrician that I might enroll her in school this June so that she will be able to overcome her shyness and fear of being around with people. Her doctor suggested to enroll her in a small class so that she won’t get frightened. Just in case. After a few weeks, I received a call from an International School inviting me for some parents seminar. Apparently, my daughter’s doctor remembered our conversation and referred me to this school.

Right now, there are many things that are running in my mind. Will she be ready for school in June? Should I enroll her in an international school, in a montessori, in a regular school, or in our barangay day care? I remember my office mate a few years back when she was school-hunting for her kids. I thought she was being so meticulous over this school thing because she checked every detail possible when it comes to her kids’ school. Come to think of it, what she did was every responsible mother ought to do. Make sure that her child receives the best education possible.

So, is my child ready for school? According to may articles that I found in the Internet, the best approach  to take is to use one’s own judgment coupled by visit to schools. If it is possible expose her to the environment where she will spend most of her time when school starts, it would be better for parents to do so. And when the child says she does not want to, parents should listen. It is also important to know what your goals are. For me, I want Kaila to become more socially capable. I mean, she’s good at relating with kids, she’s more mature compared to children her age, but I want her to be comfortable to adults as well. I am not very much concerned about her learning how to write her name or solving mathematical problems at an early age. I just want her to relate to other people better, which I know can only be possible when she is in school.

Budget is another important consideration, especially in this country where there is a big difference when it comes to education expenses depending on what school you are enrolling your child. Tuition in international schools are very expensive. I told my husband that we cannot yet afford enrolling Kaila in an international school because of money issues. If we would be enrolling her in one of these schools, our future children may not receive the same education that we’d be giving her. So my option now is to enroll her in montessori, where there are a few students. I think, their teaching methods are inclined to what I want for Kaila. When the time comes that she has improved greatly with her social skills, then I might considering transferring her to a regular school.

So, I will begin my montessori school hunting this summer. Hopefully, Kaila will answer the interviews successfully so she will be wearing her very first school uniform this June.

By wishful thinker Posted in school

First Quarter Ender

So the first quarter of the year has passed. March was a slow month, first because Melvin had to go to SG for work, and second because it was the last stretch of my freshman year. Final exams were unexpected. Labor law turned out to be much easier, Oblicon was unpredictable, and Crim2, well, as usual, the most difficult exam of the year. Praying to pass all my second sem subjects and I’m on my way to my sophomore year.

My birthday was celebrated with my family. Dad ordered lechon and then we had spaghetti and pancit and a few desserts. We invited a few neighbors. It was a simple celebration. I thanked Dad that night and he kissed me on the cheek and greeted me happy birthday. 😉

I’ve read a few non-law books, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire. I find both very exciting, fast-paced and thrilling. I exchanged my 12 books with my classmates, for six books, the authors of which are unknown to me and I don’t think I would be reading those books soon.

My 40k earning seems very far from reality since I have not been writing since March. I accepted a few writing stint from my friend but that’s all. I do not feel like writing more than one article a day.

The seven-figure savings? O well, my hubby wants to buy a car, but we are not agreeing as to the type of car that we’re going to buy. He wants this:

I want brand new. The car that he wants costs more than twice the downpayment for a new car. I gave him the ultimatum that Kaila and I will not go to SG if he insists on the car because that would mean we would be spending more than what we should if he choose to buy that car and then we would go to SG. I told him to wait until we could afford a brand new car but he is very stubborn. When he wants something, he’s never gives up until he gets what he wants. And I hate him being like that.

I promised myself not to eat chocolates and junk food, not to drink soft drinks, and not to eat rice at dinner. I’ve broken the last one because I had to eat plenty of food while studying. So I still weigh more than I should.

Summer started with a two-hour swimming at a nearby resort. Still haven’t gone to swimming lessons. Bert Lozada swimming school no longer holds classes in Batangas City. I’m still looking for other swimming lessons near our area.

Four days have passed since our school vacation and I’m already bored. What am I gonna do?

Oh, and here’s me, wearing my new eyewear. (picture taken while I was talking) This is my birthday gift for myself and a reward for myself for being a very good student.