Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 31: Accomplishment

At the start of the year, I began Project 365 in response to MrsG's challenge. It took a week before I finally pushed myself to begin the project, hence having 7 entries in my very first post.  I have to admit that it was indeed a daunting task in the beginning and there were days that I missed updating it but somehow I managed to get back on track.

Today is the last day of the month and I cap the first 31 days of 2010 with the word "accomplishment".  I borrowed the image here from and found it to be a fitting description of the past month.  Every single day that passes leaves some accomplishment, no matter how small.  Before January bid a bow of goodbye, we had to battle certain health issues that reminded us to always be careful with what we eat and feed the kids.  It also made us come face-to-face with fear when we thought a simple misstep could have caused a serious injury.  Sometimes the everyday rustics of life tend to make us complacent and this should never be the case.  We should always be on our toes...always alert to whatever life throws at us.

With January enclosed in memory, I look forward to the next 11 months with so much vigor and excitement...and I wonder what other adventures are in store for little Miss Promdi...

Day 30: Cat Eyes

If there's any facial feature that my children has inherited from me, I would say it would be my eyes.  Those big, anime rounds of dark brown are definitely mine.

Growing up, I came to realize that it was my eyes that people would usually notice about me.  They would also reveal certain moods I had at any given day.  My eyes are always the dead give away whenever I try to hide sadness or anger.  I'd have to say, my husband has certainly mastered all my looks and stares and knows exactly how I'm feeling just by looking at my eyes.
Looking at my children now, I believe their eyes are the true windows to their souls.  You could certainly know their moods just by looking at their eyes.  I know for a fact that hubby is very happy that our children inherited this facial feature from me...I just hope that along with it, a 20/20 vision which I wasn't able to take advantage of (I have a congenital defect in my left vision is very blurry).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 29: "We're going on a trip..." (sung to the tune of the theme from Little Einsteins)

The day started very early for me...I woke up at 5:30 am to prepare breakfast, pack our lunch for the field trip and set up the kids' backpack of personal stuff.  By 7:00 am, I was ready to wake everyone up to take their baths and eat breakfast.
When we arrived at the school, everyone was already in their vehicles, ready to leave.  Jarred's homeroom teacher was already ringing me when she saw our car on the other side of the road.  I guess we arrived just in time.

Our convoy of about 8 or 9 vehicles filled with preschool children, teachers, school heads and parents began our trip toward the first stop which was Nasipit port.  At the port, we were toured on board the M/V Cebu Ferry 2.  We were able to see the captain's bridge and vessel's navigational equipment.  After that brief tour, we began an unexpected long and bumpy trip to Jurassic Park in Carmen, Agusan del Norte.

At first I didn't realize that our destination would be a faraway beach resort, nestled in a small town off Carmen.  It wasn't really supposed to be such a long and bumpy ride had the road to our destination been cemented.  It was, after all, only 14 km off the main highway.  So, what normally took 15 minutes to travel became an hour and a half due to bad road condition.

When we arrived at the resort, we thought that the trip was quite worth it.  It was built around a ridge and below was a breathtaking view of the sea.  Tired from the road trip, we quickly scouted for a place to set up our little picnic and had our lunch.  It was a beautiful place but hardly one that I'd consider safe for preschoolers.  The ridge sides were kind of steep and everyone had to very careful while walking.  I would've allowed my two older kids to swim as I did pack their swimwear had the skies remained clear.  When it seemed that rains would befall us, I decided against the idea and just agreed with the rest of the group that we had to go back home earlier than scheduled.  Rains + bad roads = not good.

The field trip's theme was "Enjoying God's beautiful creation" and indeed, Jurassic Park proved to showcase such beauty.  Maybe in the future, we'll have a longer time to spend there and enjoy its wonder.

We weren't able to take much scenic photos as hubby got busy with macro photography of such unusual subjects.

Day 28: The show must go on...preparing for a field trip

Even though I wasn't back to being my 100% self, I had to muster much needed strength to prepare for my son's field trip.  After all, this is going to be the first time that the entire family will accompany him and the entire preschool of BFCS.  

Since it was BYOB (bring your own baon), I decided to cook "Visayan Humba" for our lunch at Jurassic Park.  Humba, being similar to the Adobo, does not spoil easily and gets yummier as leftover.
I whipped up quite a huge batch so it pretty much solved our dinner and still had so much left over for our lunch tomorrow at the field trip.

Here is my recipe for Visayan Humba:
1.5 kg combined pork hocks (pata front) and belly, sliced and washed
1 1/2 heads of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp canola oil
3 pcs bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 pcs star anise
1 tbsp salted black beans
2 tbsp dried banana blossom
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
water (optional)

In a casserole, heat up oil then saute garlic until fragrant.  At medium flame setting, add in the pork and some salt. When the meat is half cooked, add in the bay leaves, peppercorns, vinegar, soy sauce. Mix well and simmer under low fire.  When the meat is fork tender, add the salted black beans, banana blossom, star anise and sugar.  Simmer until sauce gets thick.  Adjust seasonings (vinegar, soy sauce and sugar) to taste.  If it gets too dry, add some water.  Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 27: Assurance

Our original plan of consulting the pedia for only one child turned out to be for all three of our children.  While keeping watch in the wee hours of the morning, the youngest one surprised us by retching so suddenly.  But since it seemed isolated, it was thought that maybe "hindi lang natunawan during dinner".  

However, several hours later, while prepping the eldest for school, he too had retching bouts while taking his bath. Hmmm....this is not good.  But thinking that maybe it was just an anxiety symptom before going to school, we let him leave for today's school activities.  A couple of hours later, the school calls to say that he's been vomiting in school and doesn't feel well.

Oh no! And so, we took all three to the pedia to seek professional advise.  After eliminating all the symptoms associated with head injuries, child #2 was cleared.  A big thanks to the big guy above for that!  And since all of them had been exhibiting similar symptoms, the pedia thought that they may have eaten something that didn't agree with their body.  Armed with prescriptions and instructions, we were now more confident that there was nothing serious to worry about.  Of course, we still had to be vigilant and make sure that dehydration won't be a problem, thus the help of ORS (oral rehydration salts) and an antiemetic medicine.

Day 26: Keeping Watch

The previous day's events pretty much mapped out our lives this day.  Anxiety still loomed around as we kept watch over our child's behavior and activity today, taking mental note of every detail.

Every second, a whispered prayer is said...

And when, at the end of the day, there is that an expert will be your source of assurance.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 25: Peril

When you have young children in the family, you tend to become OC when it comes to safety.  However, there are instances wherein accidents do happen and we just have to make sure that we know how to respond timely to that kind of situation.  Today, it was a flight of stairs and missing a step that gave us quite a scare.  As a parent, your heart will keep racing and you won't be able to sleep a wink until you can know for sure that nothing serious has happened to any of your children.  It took a watchful eye for symptoms, the expert advise of the pedia and a whole lot of prayers before we could give out a sigh of relief.

I did learn a lot about bumps and falls in children during this entire experience.
  • keep calm and never panic 
  • watch out for symptoms of drowsiness or difficulty in rousing the child from sleep 12-24 hours after a bump or fall
  • take note of any vomiting and if any fluid or blood is trickling from eyes, ears or nose
  • look for any problems with coordination 
  • check if pupils are unequally responsive
  • monitor the child for incoherence in speech
  • always consult a physician if you observe any of these symptoms
It is during these times that I come face-to-face with the fact that the joys of parenthood also come with great responsibility and you can never be too careful when it comes to your own children.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 24: Indoor Clothesline

The recent erratic weather condition has left me with loads of laundry (almost 3 weeks full), either for washing or drying.  Thank goodness the sun made a brief appearance this morning until mid afternoon.  I was able to have 3/4 of the load folded and pressed.  A quarter remain hanging on the makeshift clothesline in the terrace.  It's the only covered space we make use of whenever rains threaten to fall and deem sun drying useless.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 23: Guessing Game

When I started this 365 project I had to look for photo organizing/editing software I could use so I could add text to my photos and make it easier for me to look for photos in my hard disk.  Right now, I'm making use of two is an online photo editing software at and the other is a free downloadable software called Picasa.  Picasa is the one I used to make the collage here.  

When I  was organizing my photos, I was amazed at the face recognition feature wherein it grouped together the pictures by person.  While skimming through the person albums, I discovered some photos of my kids jumbled up...those of Jarred's went to Cailie's, CeeJae's went to Jarred' dawned on me that the software would group the pics into a person's album based on the it meant that at one point in their lives, my 3 children actually looked alike.  Aha!!!  Why not make a collage of 3 photos showing all three of them at relatively the same age.  So, the finished product is what you see here. Jarred, Cailie and CeeJae at about 8 months old. Can you try and figure out which is which? What similar facial features do they all share?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 22: Love, seasoned by time...

I was searching through my hard drive for photos and I chanced upon these two here...
The larger photo was taken last March 2009 during my birthday our anniversary (the two occasions are 2 days apart, hence the slight confusion) and the smaller one was maybe circa 2003 or 2004.

Although you could see very similar faces (alright, give or take 5 lbs...), the more recent one shows so much more character. Maybe we were more innocent when we were younger? Or we didn't know as much?  And of course, the experiences were much different.

Ours is a love that has withstood the harshest of weather and continues to grow and evolve at present...much like the dishes I concoct in my kitchen, we've been seasoned so ever gently by time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 21: Coffee

My day wouldn't be complete without a cup of coffee. Part of my morning routine is to fill the coffeemaker with water and a heaping spoonful of ground kapeng barako.

Just the aroma of brewing coffee can really perk up the morning.  I guess this is also the reason why hubby would always remind me about making coffee whenever I forget to turn on the coffeemaker.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 20: After the rain...

I spoke too soon...the warmth of yesterday's sunshine failed to continue until todayI woke up to find the skies in gloomy gray.  Sure enough, by mid morning it was raining once more.  The scheduled laundry day had to be postponed again...and looking at the small mountain pile I have in a corner, I wonder when the baskets of dirty clothing would finally have their date with soap and water.  I'm getting a little anxious as all of us in the family are close to running out of things to wear.

Tinkering with our handy point-and-shoot cam, hubby took the photo above as he was trying to learn the technique of macro shooting.  We were both amazed at this new discovery so we both spent the whole morning shooting other subjects in macro mode...It's funny that we only discovered we could do this with our point-and-shoot when we've had the camera for almost 3 years now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 19: Exams and Reviewers

Today is Jarred's 2nd exam day in school for the 3rd quarter this year.

Since the year began, I've made it a habit to make reviewers for him based on his daily school activities and tests.  It is so much easier to do the review with him using these than when I used to write the reviewers by hand.

Jarred likes the pictures I paste and the organization of the questions.  It does take some work and a lot of time but whenever I see my son appreciate my effort and the effect on his own school performance, it's all worth it!

Day 18: Hello Sunshine!

For the first time in over a week, the sun finally shone over the city.  I quickly took this photo right outside our 2nd floor terrace to capture the brightness in our front lawn.

It was a wonderful feeling to feel the warmth of the sun's rays once again after a week-long snuggling under bedcovers due to the cool and rainy weather.

Hmmm...if only the sun would stay on long enough this week for my almost 2-week laundry that needs to be washed and dried...we'll see...

Day 17: A Surprise Visit

We had a quite surprising but very much welcome visit from our good friends and Serge and Mira today.  They brought along their 3 year old son Lance and Mira's brother (who gamely took this picture).  Husband and wife are both godparents to CeeJae so you can see that Mira took no time at all in cuddling little CeeJae for as long as she could.  It's been quite a while since we saw each other.  The last time maybe was back in August during CeeJae's christening.  So even though their visit was brief, it was special and heartfelt.  Ever since hubby left Petron, we seldom get a chance to meet with our friends there so this visit of the Asumens really made our day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 16: "...walang tigil ang ulan." (there's no stop to the rains)

It's official! It's been one whole week already of rains here in BC. There has been no sign at all of sunshine.  Half of last week's washed laundry are still left hanging outside and continue to get soaked as I don't have any other covered area where I can place them.  Have to make sure that this batch gets washed again once the weather is better.  This kind of weather warrants some type of comfort food.  Today, the choice was "Chicken Sopas".
Since I didn't have the ingredients readily available, I had to troop down to the nearest store to buy what I needed to make a decent pot of soup.  Here's my version of home-cooked Chicken Sopas:
1/3 kg chicken pieces (soup pack/choice cuts), chopped into bite-size pieces
1 pc carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped (optional)
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chicken cubes
2 medium potatoes, chopped
2 pcs mandarin chorizo, chopped
1 large can of Carnation evaporated milk
300 g elbow macaroni
1.5 liter of water
1/2 tsp italian seasoning 
dab of butter
2 tbsp canola oil
patis to taste
dash of pepper
spring onions, chopped finely (for garnish)
In a stock pot, saute onions, celery, garlic and carrots in a combination of butter and oil.  Add chicken pieces, chorizo and chicken cubes until chicken are half-cooked.  Add the water, pepper and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then add potatoes and macaroni.  Once the pasta is al dente, add the milk and simmer (do not boil). Adjust taste with patis.  Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with pan de sal.
And so, this is what I was enjoying with my family as we listened to the rhythmic sound of raindrops falling outside.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 15: Comfort Food and Leftovers

It has been raining here six days in a row and I'm pretty sure this kind of weather will drag on until early next week.  Weather like this always prompts me to prepare food that's warming to the belly.  

Ampalaya Guisado is always a winner for me and hubby, especially on a gloomy day like this one.  Served on piping hot rice, nothing beats the taste of bitter, salty and downright yummy all at the same time!
To reduce the bitterness of the ampalaya (bitter gourd), I usually soak the sliced ampalaya pieces in salt water for at least 2 hours.  To prepare the dish, I just saute onions, garlic and tomatoes in a little oil. Once translucent, I add some julienned red peppers and the drained ampalaya pieces.  I like my ampalaya to retain its rich green color and crispness so I just let it cook for about 7 minutes on high heat before adding 1-2 beaten eggs.  Once the eggs are almost cooked, I put off the heat and let the steam finish the cooking process.  Voila! Comfort food at its best!

I haven't been successful yet in having the kids love eating ampalaya so they feasted on the leftover "Fish-tek" from dinner the night before.  It's a simple dish of having "bariles" pieces marinated in some soy sauce, calamansi juice and a dash of pepper for about 30 minutes before pan frying them in hot oil.  Once brown, just add lots of red onion rings and the marinade.  It was even more delicious as a leftover since the sauce had already penetrated the fish pieces well.

Suffice to say, we were "belly-ful" today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 14: Transformation

For several months now, I've been receiving comments on my weight loss, especially whenever I visit my son's school.  Although I am aware that there has been some change, I wasn't fully aware of how much the transformation had been until I saw a picture of mine taken six months ago.  I asked hubby to snap a photo of me now, wearing the exact same clothes.  The top and jeans are the same ones but I had the jeans altered some weeks back as it had been sliding down already and the fit wasn't great anymore.

I am glad and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to make the change without much stress and effort on my part at all.  The big change you can see is courtesy of tandem breastfeeding and a cut on my rice consumption.  Everything else on my diet is more or less the same and although I don't follow a regular exercise regime, I've been keeping active ever since we let go of our household help.  Doing household chores is one surefire way of getting some exercise in your life.  I'm trying my best to keep the habit up and hopefully, I can maintain this look from now on.

Day 13: Escabeche

I brought out a portion of frozen roundscad (aka galunggong) to thaw this morning.  I was thinking of frying it for lunch.  When hubby saw me in the kitchen, he asked what I planned to do with it.  I quickly replied that I'd be frying it since it was quick and the kids always love it when we have fried fish.  He asked me what I thought about making it into an escabeche (sweet & sour) dish.  Hmmmm....I haven't tried making escabeche and just by the sound of it, I thought it'll be quite a challenge.  I didn't have enough time on my hands...just an hour to prepare for lunch, is escabeche at all possible?

A quick search on Google revealed various ways of making escabeche...after browsing 2-3 recipes online, I realized that making escabeche wasn't that difficult at all!  About half an hour later, the result yielded a feast featured in the photo above.  It was raining the whole day and oh boy, the escabeche lunch was just perfect for the weather.

Here is the recipe I used:

8-10 medium sized roundscad (galunggong), fried *** you can use any other type of fish: lapu-lapu, matangbaka, anduhaw
2 thumb-size ginger, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 pieces medium-sized tomatoes, quartered
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 medium sized red bell pepper, julienned (*** you can also throw in a green one for color contrast)
1 small carrot, julienned (I didn't have this in my kitchen so I left it out but most recipes call for it)
1/4 cup vinegar (cane or white)
3-4 Tbsp tomato catsup
1 Tbsp corn starch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1-2 Tbsp sugar
Canola oil for sauteing

Set aside your fried fish.  In a shallow pan, heat some oil.  Saute ginger, onions ,garlic  and tomatoes until translucent.  Add carrot and bell peppers.  Stir in vinegar, catsup until well combined.  Bring to a simmer then add sugar.  Slowly stir in the corn starch & water mixture.  You should get a slightly thick sauce.  Adjust your vinegar, water, catsup, sugar to taste.  Pour over fried fish and serve with hot steaming rice.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 12: Memories of Pregnancy and CS Delivery

A friend was asking some advice on how to prepare for a CS delivery.  She's due to give birth this week and her baby is still in a breech position so a Caesarean section is inevitable.  It'll be her first so she is kind of apprehensive about the procedure.

Having delivered all three of my children via CS, I'd like to think I'm quite qualified to give my thoughts about the procedure.

My worst experience with the operation was the very first one, only because it was an emergency CS and I wasn't prepared for it, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I was a newbie and didn't know what to do right after the operation.  Indeed, the recovery was slow and painful.  With my succeeding two deliveries, I made sure I read up on how to prep myself on all three aspects: physical, mental and emotional.  True enough, the last two procedures went by like a breeze.  I was able to pull myself up quickly and recovery was record fast.  I also had an advantage since I really decided to do complete breastfeeding for both my girls which I wasn't able to do with my son.

Here are some tips I can share to make a CS operation less daunting and scary and to ensure a smooth and quick recovery:

1. Don't be afraid to ask your OB details about the procedure.  He/She should be able to allay your anxiety or fear.

2. Make sure you get a very good abdominal binder.  It will be your best friend in making sure your stitches heal well and getting you back to your pre-pregnancy figure. (refer to the picture above for a visual)

3. Follow the NPO (non per orem) instruction of your OB strictly.  No liquid or solid intake at least 12 hours prior to your CS. This will ensure you of a shorter "suffering" and allow you to take in liquids or solid food shortly after your operation.  I went on a fiber-filled diet for the whole week prior to my CS schedule to ensure I didn't suffer constipation after the procedure.  CS and constipation = not a good mix

4. Follow the instructions of your Anesthesiologist during the insertion of your spinal or epidural.  Your obedience will reward you of an almost pain-free procedure.

5. Do not attempt to speak within 12 hours after your operation to prevent "kabag".

6. Try your best to move sideways within 6 hours after operation; elevate your bed in varying degrees within 12 hours after operation; sit up within 12-18 hours; and walk within 24-36 hours after the CS.

7. If at all possible, try to breastfeed your baby as soon as you feel you are up to it.  It will help a lot in the healing process. *** With my 3rd baby, I was breastfeeding 3 hours after the operation.

8. You can take full showers already provided your OB used a waterproof seal on your stitches.  If not, you have to take extra precaution not to get the scar area wet when you take a shower or bath.  

9. During your recovery, do not attempt to carry more than the weight of your baby for at least 6 months postpartum.

10. Refrain from going up and down stairs and exerting too much effort for at least two months after your operation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 11: Innocence

There are times when I wish I could be back to being a child.  No worries, no problems, no big responsibilities.  When adult life becomes too complicated, stressful to the point that one has sleepless nights filled with anxiety, it's wonderful to go back to the time when all these problems were virtually non-existent.

As a child, all I had to think about was what to play, what to eat and what to watch on television.  At the time, my biggest problem was how to dodge the "siesta" and let the yaya believe that I already took my share of an afternoon nap.

As I grew older I realized that for every year I gained in age, I also gained a level of difficulty in life.  I would get additional responsibility or feel a certain added emotional strain.  I guess it's really just that God only gives you what you can handle every single time.  He prepares you for every step you will take in life.

My wish is that for each of my children to be prepared to face life head on.  I hope that the manner by which we are bringing them up now will help them become the best person they can be...children of God, people for others.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 10: Imagination

It was late in the afternoon when hubby hollered for me to go downstairs and see what our eldest daughter was up to.  Using two foams of our sofa and several throw pillows, Cailie creatively constructed her own little ice cream truck.  She would open the "hatch" at the back whenever someone wants to buy some of her ice cream.  How's that for imagination?  That's Cailie...Ms. Smarty Pants!

***We've noticed how faster the learning process is for our two little girls compared to our son during the same age.  It made us realize that Cailie was able to walk and talk earlier because of her exposure to her Kuya.  Since Kuya was around, there was someone she could follow and emulate.  This is also the reason why we're kind of hard on our son when it comes to discipline.  It's because he is the role model of his two younger siblings and he has to set a good example to them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 9: Market Day

Saturday is Market Day.

With my trusty purple and yellow modern  "bayong", hooked on my shoulder,  I trooped to the neighborhood market, my 3-year old daughter in tow. 

Understandably, when it's market day, there's more produce and more produce means more people. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the two days of the week that people would normally go to the market here.  There are more choices in terms of fish/seafood, meat, vegetables and fruits.

Growing up in a middle-class family, I didn't really bother myself with "wet" market details and always thought that weekly marketing was such a boring task.  It is only when I became a wife and a mother that I learned the ropes of going to the market.  Hubby was the one who taught me how to go about buying our weekly supply from the market.  Having gone through the weekly exercise of going to the market for the past several years, I've come to realize that it isn't a boring activity at all.  In fact, my weekly marketing has become a therapy of sorts.  I love to be surrounded by the buzz of people and merchants.  I get a high when there are a lot of fresh produce to choose from.

In recent times, there has been a more important reason why I love going to the market.  It reconnects me with my mother who is currently based abroad with my younger sister.  Every time I go to the market, I feel as if Mommy is just around.  You see, I grew up watching Mom do the weekly regime of going to the market to buy our supply of food.  Despite being a busy pedia, Mom always took the time to do the marketing herself.  I don't remember her ever relegating the task to our helper.  Early on a Saturday morning, she'd wake up and ask us what we wanted for the week and after taking a mental note, she'd go off to either the neighborhood wet market or to upscale Farmers Market in Cubao.  After a few hours, she'd arrive with a grin on her face which I never understood why she had until I myself went through the same exercise.  Being in a market is like being a little girl inside a candy store.  Go figure.

Mommy's task doesn't end there.  She would be the one to painstakingly unpack her goodies, wash and prepare them to be stored in the pantry or the refrigerator/freezer.  With utmost care, she would divide the fish/seafood, meat and poultry into portions that would be easy for her or the maid to cook within the week.  It is only after preparing and cooking our Saturday lunch and leaving weekly cooking instructions to the maid that she'd finally relax and take a shower.

My siblings and I often resented Mommy's 24/7 profession while we were growing up.  We envied our classmates' Moms whom we would usually see in school, attending to their needs...whether it be for PTA or what-have-you.  It is only now that I've come to fully understand how difficult it was for Mommy to be juggling a full time job and taking care of the family.  Looking back now, she has shown her love and care for us in her little ways...instead of resting her heels during the weekend, she took it upon herself to do the task of marketing to ensure that we'd have the best and freshest produce.  It is these little things that I failed to see and acknowledge.  I guess this is the reason why I really insist on doing the marketing myself, rain or shine.  For one day in the week, I get reconnected with Mommy and I am reminded to be grateful for all she's done for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 8: Independence

Didn't I just write about how all grown up my son Jarred is now? Well, today is about another milestone in his life and our family. For the first time, he went to school and back home all by himself. His Dad or I didn't have to accompany him on the way to or back from school.

For many months last year, he kept on dropping hints at us that some of his classmates and schoolmates ride the tricycle all by themselves. In several occasions he would request if we would let him do the same thing. At the time, we thought he might not yet be ready to go off on his own but since turning 7, it seems he has grown so much, proven to be more mature and responsible. And so, today marks his "independence day"...and you should see the grin in his face when he left this morning and the pride in his smile as he arrived home.

Of course, this kind of independence is parent-controlled. We were able to contact a trusty neighbor-trike driver who agreed to bring him to and from school everyday. It is much like a school bus thing only that there is only 1 rider. To my son, it is complete freedom from being treated like a baby.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The First Week of TwentyTen...Days 1 to 7

Day 1: Blessings and Milestones
It wasn't a very good end of the year for me personally as I've been bothered by a lot of financial woes and questions about the future.

But to awake to this scene on New Year's morning is humbling...I've come to realize that instead of worries, I should be thinking of the blessings I've received over the past year, of which there are a lot. I need to believe that the future will work itself out and that I should just welcome the milestones that will come my way in twentyten. Much like the amazement of looking at my 8-month old daughter sitting down on her Atchie's play chair all by herself.

I am blessed and I thank God for that. Happy New Year!!!

Day 2: All Grown Up!

Wasn't it just yesterday that I held this little baby boy in my arms?...I was so unsure if I'd be a good mother to him. Yet look at him now! He's become my little ever-dependable guard at times when his Dad is away on trips. He loves his two little sisters so much even though there are those instances when he'd have an argument or two with Princess Cailie...that's all part of sibling play, I guess. I am amazed at his independence streak - he wants to do things by himself now but I do long for those times when he'd call out my name because he NEEDS me to do something for him. It makes me feel that I am still his Mommy and I'll always be around whenever he needed me.

I have to treasure every minute I have with him because time sure flies so fast...before I know it, he'd be going off to college already or be with a girlfriend (oh no!!!! not yet, not in at least 20 years please!!!)...

Day 3: Strength

At only 8 months old, it looks like CeeJae is ready to walk by herself. I wouldn't be surprised if she'd be walking by 9 months. Even this early, she's showing so much strength, both physically and mentally. Once she tries to do something, she won't give up until she achieves her goal...such tenacity at a tender age. It delights me and at the same time it scares me too! I'm sure she'll grow up to be a young lady so sure of herself that we'll be having a lot of those Mommy-daughter arguments in the future. Hahaha!!! Mommy has to get ready, I guess.

Strength...this is what we want our children to have even at a young that they'll be ready to face whatever challenges they'll meet in their lives.

Day 4: Back to work...(cyber speaking)

As the long holiday break comes to a close, merry vacationers make their way back to school or the office...such is the sad reality that usually await us after Christmas and New Year's revelry. Ugh!!! And I'm suddenly brought back to when I was still a young schoolgirl dreading the Monday after holiday vacation...not a good feeling at all!!!

The first Monday of January 2010 is also back-to-work day for me...well, cyber wise at least. This is the first day of the year that I go back online and resume online English lessons with my foreigner students.

I hope that twentyten becomes a better year for all my students, tutors and business partners. May we continue to provide excellent service to our clients, more students to our tutors and in turn, more business to us and our partners.

Day 5: Big Feet, Little Feet

Today, my little girl, Caitlin was tinkering with the camera and took this photo of our feet (it's not the image quality, my feet are really that ugly...not my best feature, you see).

This made me look back and remember those times with my Mom. We used to put together our hands because aside from our faces, our hands were close to identical. We would stare in amazement at each detail of our hands...our fingernails, the length of each finger...they really looked the same.

Looking at my daughter's feet, I'm thankful that she didn't take after me and inherited my ugly pair. It was just fun to note how some thing never (well, nearly) change. Years ago, it was about 2 pairs of hands, now it's the tale of two sets of feet.

Day 6: Girls

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first and only picture we girls have together. This photo is courtesy of Kuya Jarred who gladly snapped away with the camera when he saw us girls together. He did a mighty great job, don't you think?

Me and my girls...would we be sharing "boy" secrets when they're well into their teen years? Would they be as loving and sweet to me as they are now? Considering the relatively big age difference, I'm afraid that I might turn out to be a killjoy once they're teenagers...I hope to God I can maintain a close friendship with my girls aside from being Mommy to them. I guess I just have to make sure I stay in touch with what's new with the times, be it music, fashion or lingo.

Sometimes, I can't wait to see my girls grow up to be beautiful young ladies but for now, I want them to stay as they two wonderful baby girls.

Day 7: Pigtails

Not long ago, it was my Mom combing my then very long hair and fashioning it into two beautiful pigtails. Oftentimes, my sister and I would get compliments in school because our hair would be nice and tidy every single day.

Having sported a very short hairstyle since 2005, I had some difficulty getting into the groove of fixing my daughter's long hair.

Up until she turned 2, I would bring Cailie to the salon to have her hair cut just like mine. Then some time later, hubby said to just let her hair grow long. It took some time before I finally got into the groove of ponytails and pigtails. Last Christmas, one of the gifts Cailie got was 2 boxes of hair elastics in gorgeous colors. Now, the pressure is on poor little me to learn the ropes of braiding and buns.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Project 365 of 2010

Hello peeps!!! I've created this blog in response to Xtine Gooding's challenge...

Hopefully (and I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed), I can keep up with this challenge and be able to present you daily snippets of my provincial life...

Wish me luck!!!