Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 115: I'm Two Today!!!

Time really flies so fast...wasn't it only yesterday when our cutie-pie CeeJae made her grand entrance into the world? Well, it's already two years since then and she's grown into a very witty and a parrot-like chatterbox. When you hear her talking you wouldn't believe that she's only two...she talks wise beyond her years.

A week before her special day, whenever Mama Lola would ask her what she'd like for her birthday, she'd reply with a list of specific requests - chocolate cake, spaghetti, balloon and ice cream. 

And so with the support of her Ninongs (godfathers) JunJun and Jeffrey, Mama Lola Alice, Papa Lolo Fred, she got her wishes today. With family around her, she blew the number 2 candle on her Orange Brutus Chocolate Monster cake and had a feast of Spaghetti, Roast Chicken Rosemary and Baked Pork Liempo.

It was a simple celebration and yet to her it meant the world.

Thank you so much Lord for all the blessings you've bestowed upon our little angel throughout the past year. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 114:"Dirt Bike" Fun

Eyes widened in awe and excitement when my two older kids saw a bunch of other children going around a makeshift track using battery-operated kiddie dirt bikes. Back in Butuan, they usually spent whole-day weekend playdates at Jarred's best buddy Francis' home to experience such a ride. 

Well, it's a lot different here in the city...first, the ride doesn't come free - it's P35 per child and second, it's not ride-all-you-can - your money can only get you as far as 5 minutes on the bike. 

Since it was their first time and it wasn't something they would be allowed to do frequently, I thought it wouldn't hurt to let them experience it even just for once. Those precious five minutes seemed to last a lifetime as I watched them do the rounds on the track. The joy and the thrill that was evident on their faces was worth more than the seventy pesos paid for the ride.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 113: A Birthday Prelude

Our bunsoy will be turning two years old in a couple of days. Since this is her first time to celebrate in Cebu, the family thought of giving her an advanced "day out" treat at SM Cebu.

We entered through the Northwing entrance and it was clear that little CeeJae was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the mall. Her eyes widened and she seemed a bit afraid to explore. When asked, "Do you like it here?" she moved her head side to side in negation while she would nod in the affirmative when asked, "Do you want to go to Gaisano-Butuan?" Hay, my little promdi-girl!!!

We thought she'd be interested in the SM Storyland Train ride but she got kind of scared when it passed by. What caught her attention were the little tikes cars for rent going around the mall. 

She got very excited getting into the driver seat of her very own "pick-up truck". Atchie Caitlin had to content herself at the backseat while Kuya Jarred was tasked to push them around the mall.

A couple of hours making rounds in the mall capped with a simple snack at McDonald's made her day. When we passed by the entryway of Northwing, she suddenly pointed to it and said, "Go home, Mom...tired, miss Lola". When asked if she enjoyed her day, she gave a resounding, "Yes!!!"

It was just a simple day out with the whole family and yet through the eyes of a toddler, it was a magical and amazing day. This is one of the reasons why I love promdi life and exposing my kids to it. A trip to SM is already something very special when it's just an ordinary thing to most city-bred children.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 111: Reflecting on God's Amazing Love

Today is Maundy Thursday and it's an opportune time to ponder on God's immense love for us. He sent His only son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin. From the very beginning, Jesus knew that He was going to give up His life for us - for our redemption.

God has given us the chance to spend eternal life with Him. The only thing He's asking from us is repentance and belief in His word.

We only need to think about Jesus' passion and pain to realize how much God loves us.

May the spirit of the Lenten Season fill our lives with the true meaning of love and sacrifice.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 106: Entrance Exam

I'm so sure hubby and I were the more anxious ones today during our children's entrance exam at BCS.  We might as well be the ones taking the exam as evidenced by clammy hands and sweaty foreheads. Our daughter, Caitlin breezed through her preschool test by confidently following the teacher's instructions and answering the paper test in front of her. 

This was so unlike my very own experience 33 years ago when my parents took me to Maryknoll CSC for the entrance test. They brought me to the school a total of three times - the first two were unsuccessful attempts to let me take the exam as I would be kicking and screaming upon being ushered into the room. During the third and final attempt (which turned out to be the last chance to take the test), my Mom gave the ultimatum - if I didn't willingly go with the teacher to take the exam, I won't be able to go to school. Well, I went in, took the test and came out grinning from ear-to-ear half an hour later. I remember my parents telling the story of what I said upon emerging from the examination room, "Hay, ganun lang pala yun exam, may mga tanong lang...akala ko naman parang injection sa doktor yun..." - classic epic fail of my preschool life.

As incoming Grade Two, I'm sure nothing prepared our son, Jarred, for the two-hour, more than 10-page test he encountered this morning.  If he was nervous or afraid, you wouldn't see it...he faced the challenge head on and didn't give up until he finished all pages (despite feeling some pangs of hunger midway through the exam).

My hats off to the resilience and tenacity of children today...they're growing up more confident and ready for the world compared to how we were when we were their age.

The exam results won't be in until after Holy Week...until then, we will just keep praying that God's will be done. Everything is in God's hands now...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 97: Movie Date

Thanks to a couple of movie passes courtesy of my brother-in-law Jeff, my son and I were able to have a movie date at the SM Cinemas. 

Having lived in the more laid-back places in the Philippines for the past 9 years, I was in shock to discover that cinema prices in the city are now at a minimum of P170/head. It would even go up to twice that if the movie were 3D or ultra special. Wow!!!

Well, unless we'll be gifted with complimentary theater tickets, regular movie dates will certainly not be in our family's list of bonding activities. It is simply much too expensive for us. 

For today, it was an entirely new experience for Jarred as it was his first time to watch in a topnotch theater. He was in awe of the size of the movie house, plush seats and clean smell. He was excited to see the animated film "Rio", a feature about a domesticated blue macaw from mid-west United States who gets the adventure of a lifetime when he travels to Rio de Janeiro to reunite with the only other survivor of his species, the feisty and independent Jewel. It was a great blend of comedy, drama, romance and music - all working together to impart an important message about preserving the environment, reaching for your dreams, never giving up and love in the family. 

Jarred couldn't stop laughing during the hilarious parts and would freely tap his feet and snap his fingers during song numbers. At times, I would see him shy away during tender and romantic parts (wow, they understand about that already?).  Before the movie ended, he told me that his two sisters would certainly enjoy the movie but he knew it was far too expensive for our family. He just said that they should just all wait for it to show on HBO or Star Movies. 

As we were leaving the theater hall, he noticed a big billboard featuring Disney's "Cars 2" in   3D. He knew 3D would be much more pricey than the regular P180 ticket. He said, "I wonder when Cars 2 would come out. Mom, when it does, can we watch? I'll save up for it so that we can all watch. I can keep my allowance and maybe by then, I'll have enough for the movie." All I could do was say, "We'll see son...that's still too far away to think about..."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 92: Freshly Boiled

After many months of culinary hiatus, I found myself spending more time in the kitchen in just a span of 3 days. I realized that cooking is certainly just like riding a bike, once you learn how to do it, you have it for life.

I was like a kid let loose in a candy store when I discovered a nearby weekend market along an alley. Fresh produce - fruits and vegetables, live native chicken and eggs, and a whole lot of other good stuff were so enticing to see (watch out for my blog entry on this weekend market). 

I only had a few pesos stashed in my pocket, thinking that I was only planning to buy ingredients for a couple of vegetable dishes - Squash and String Beans in Coconut Milk (Guinataang Kalabasa at Sitaw) and Chop Suey.  Those farm fresh native eggs were so tempting that I couldn't help but want to buy a couple or so. However, my daughter spotted a vendor selling freshly harvested peanuts and dragged me to the stall and insisted I buy some. And so, the moolah I was supposedly saving to buy the eggs went to the peanuts...

My little girl was a happy camper on the way home...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 91: Weekend Market

The weekend market along the corner of Ramos Extension and Escario Streets.
It begins every Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.
Barely on my second day after our move from BXU, I started to miss home terribly...the familiar places, the traffic-free roads, the corner stores and outlets where I buy our needs, and all the other stuff I'm used to there.  Well, my spirits got an uplift when I was told of this weekend market nearby (across the road from where we live actually) that's teeming with fresh produce - fruits, vegetables, live chicken, farm fresh eggs. 

After learning about it, I couldn't contain my excitement and actually rushed to the location with my two girls in tow. It was indeed a sight to behold! Just looking at the cornucopia of goodies made my fingers itch to once again experiment in the kitchen. 

The only downside to this neighborly trip is the price...I was taken aback at how expensive it is here. Well, if I got the stuff in the supermarket, surely it'll be more pricey so this was the best alternative. Gosh!!! I so miss the "bagsak-presyo" produce of Butuan!!! Imagine, here, the bananas are priced per piece and not per kilo. There goes my kids' favorite fruit...we'd probably consume dramatically less here than we did back home...

With my small eco bag filled with as much as my budget would allow, I set for home, quickly planning in my head the cooking trip I'll have this weekend...dum dee dum...