Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wishlist for Baby & Pregnancy #2

A couple of months ago, a young relative asked me when I was having a baby shower. Well actually at that time, I haven't really thought about it. And now that I AM thinking about it, my thoughts are along the lines of "is it necessary, for a second-pregnancy?"

Well who knows, right? But between me and Daddy A, we feel that it's mostly not very important at this point. You see, we (sige na nga I na lang hahaha) have been OA parents with our first born, trying most nice things we have read about. And and and....our families & friends have been so incredibly generous that we feel we really don't lack much. Crib, push chairs / strollers, baby carriers, infant clothing, I think we're pretty much set ;p

But there are things a mother could still wish for. Not necessarily material things this time. 

So whatever I'm blogging about right now are things that would definitely make this pregnancy and new birth a little bit more comfortable :) 


...or Vaginal Birth after CS. This has been my #1 wish ever since we started planning for our new baby. Of course, conditions on the day and our doctor's instructions would greatly influence whether we'll be successful with VBAC or have to resort to CS; after all, safety of mom & baby are of prime importance. But please Lord, we're really praying for a successful VBAC. 

Note: Recovering from a CS operation is really hard (huhubells) so it's not something that I would voluntarily choose, if given an option for this second birth.

I'm currently reading Ina May Gaskin's book on Childbirth and am very inspired with all the birthing stories. Also learning a LOT from the 'midwifery model' of labor and delivery especially how to best "flow" with nature's design. Gosh! I wish I have read this too for my first pregnancy :)

P.S. I really love my Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. Most nights back in 2014 it was the only thing that kept me awake while breastfeeding little Z! 

We've also attended our second round of birthing class, this time with Ms. Rome Kanapi. These were some of the best 6 Sundays of my pregnancy wherein we just relaxed with the rest of our classmates but still learned a good deal about pregnancy and childbirth. In our case, it was so much more than a refresher course...and I'm so glad we invested time in this again. I also love the support group with the rest of our classmates, sharing along as some of them have already given birth :)

Dashing Dads from our Birthing Class with Ms. Rome Kanapi

Please pray for our success in this endeavor :)

2. Packing efficiently for 2 kids!!

Admittedly, I'm an overzealous packer and I try to provide for every contingency hehehe...this is something that perhaps my dad and my hubby would never get about me. Yeah, why can't they understand the need for 3 bags for me and 3 bags for Z??

Though I've realized the folly of my ways, I can't promise to be content with just bringing 1 bag. 1 bag?!?!?!?! Kidding! Yes I know, tiis ganda ang peg just to calm my mind that I'm not missing anything. 

Since we'll be having 2 kiddos soon, a toddler to be carried by Daddy A and an infant to be strapped on me..well, why don't we just consolidate their things in 1 bag and let Daddy A carry it on his back? Great idea, right?! :D

Seriously now, this may have been one of the best ideas I've gathered from mommy communities in the net. And quite practical here in the Philippines too!

Right now it's a toss up between the truly cute and big Jujube BRB or a North Face Recon backpack. I like the designs of the Jujube, as well as the thoughtful pockets, organizers and accessibility to our things, while babywearing. But it's too expensive for a bag and I have read mixed reviews about it's durability. The North Face pack doesn't at all look like a diaper bag but certain models have proved to be quite roomy as well and many reviews attest how sturdy it is. Bonus points is that if it the bag survives past the toddler stage, we may very well be able to use it for day trip hikes with the kiddos!

Jujube Be Right Back
Northface Recon

Well I'm stil doing research about this very small dilemma so if you have any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment. And please leave tips on how to really pack efficiently for 2 kids without having to bring the whole house!! :D

For the meantime, we'll be using Z's old diaper bag to bring with us to the hospital :)

3. Cloth Diapering (CD)

Of all the things we weren't able to soldier on with our stint as first-time parents, we definitely failed in this aspect. Yes we tried it and we have about 8-10 cloth diapers in total but from my research (and I don't intend to hoard or be addicted to it), there should be at least 21 daw (tama nga ba?) for 1 child due to the nature of cloth diapers (wash & wear and tell me, how often would we really be able to do the washing hehe).

Admittedly, cloth diapering can be intimidating at first especially if you have to research the different kinds, suppliers, methods of care, etc. And probably cumbersome during the course of using - just imagine the difference between handling poop from cloth diaper and disposable diaper use. But if you really really think about it, using it multiple times, passing it on to the next baby, or maybe even destashing/reselling in the future...not bad at all!

Not because it's cute, not because it's in...we have been doing disposable diapers for almost 3 years and very partially on the cloth diaper stash. I feel guilty already for our contribution to the local landfill..besides, it's a gift that would keep on giving through poop and bad times hahaha..I know, not funny :p

So I guess we have to do more research to be more successful CD'ing this time around. ;)

4. Woven Baby Wrap

Okay here's my disclosure, we really love babywearing!!! We might not have an enormous stash but what we have right now (Mamaway sling, Saya SSK, Baby K'tan Mesh, Lillebaby Tie The Knot, Tula Baby-sized carrier, Lillebaby Toddler-sized carrier) would definitely be able to tide us over for the different seasons of baby #2's first year. 

So why am I still putting this here? (1) There's something that I seriously want to try which can be used from birth till toddlerhood - and that's the woven wrap (2) so we can have more wash days and ensure cleaner carriers for both babies. Which I'm sure will be used 24/7 especially for baby's clingy days (i.e. the whole first year) (3) It just looks so magical - diwata levels, ganern! Hahahaha :D

Oscha Slings Roses Vanilla <3
Oscha Slings Evenstar Undome from the LOTR collection
***Hint, hint Daddy A! This could be your Christmas or Valentine's present na hahaha :) ***

5. Breastfeeding Success

Despite our initial challenges in breastfeeding when Z was a newborn, I think we pretty much exceeded our goal then. There were days when Daddy A would give me the option of buying formula milk but with God's help, we were able to manage one day at a time until we reached 28 months of our breastfeeding journey.

There were many things, big and small, that we had to sacrifice but in retrospect, it really is worth it. I just hope that our upcoming new breastfeeding journey with baby #2 would be successful too. That I would also be able to give our baby the best possible nutrition especially during the most crucial stages.

We kindly request your prayers to this request. Our Lady of La Leche, please pray for us :)


Oh boy, today marks the 37th week of our second pregnancy!!

Which means we are now term, so anytime from here onwards will come a new addition to our family and changes to our family life. I honestly don't know what to expect anymore - save for crazy sleepless nights, crazy sleep-deprived days with newborn+toddler in tow and crazy breastfeeding 24/7.

I used to think that when Z becomes a toddler, my life can go back to "normal". That's so silly of me to expect hahaha, it will never go back to what it was before and maybe that's what life is all about. Moving forward, meeting new challenges, living & loving every moment.

I guess when Daddy A and I are 80 then we'd both look back and just smile at these crazy and happy times :)

Hay sus, hormones...making me cry now :) Happy tears...wish us luck! :D

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Preggy Diaries: Nesting Stage

Yep, we're preggy-o! :) Sorry to have deliberately left that out in most blog posts *peace!* We had to deal with first trimester complications and other things life threw our way. And I guess to a certain extent, there's a bit of me believing in superstition and a lot of being under the influence of preggy hormones that makes me want to blog less :(

Now we're onto the last leg of the third trimester and I can't help but feel that we're very much in the nesting phase - that time when preggy mommas just want to keep things in order and prepared for the arrival of a little munchkin. This is an interesting phase for me for this second pregnancy. (1) Because I feel so much heavier compared to the first pregnancy; (2) We have been yaya-less for a couple of months now so it's full-on parenting mode plus whatever little cleaning I can manage to do; (3) I'm not exactly the most organized person (neither is my hubs, nor lo #1....Lord, help us!) Hehehehe..there!

Image source: https://funemployedmamatobe.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/nest.jpeg
But it is what it is! Every morning I really do feel the urge to clean and be somewhat (what?!) prepared. This is not a rant, by the way. Deep inside I feel that the challenges we faced early on are actually blessings in disguise. 

Take for example when Z's yaya went home with just ten days' notice. It's not easy to be with an active toddler 24/7 but it gave us the opportunity to really bond and get to know our little girl before she has to share us with our next baby. Oh I wouldn't trade the cuddles and extra bonding moments I got to share with her. The cleaning bit, although not my favorite thing to do, I just view it as extra preggy exercises (squats, lunges, some kegels for good measure) to help me have a smooth labor and delivery. I really do hope it would work this time. :) 

I'm also starting to prepare my maternity bag + extra labor kit items. I'm actually doing it quite late this time. I remember during my first pregnancy we were travelling labor kit in tow as early as maybe 5-6 months. Yikes, what happened? Hahaha :)

We also have some minor renovations / redesign to do with the little time that we have. And it's Christmas season. And I still want to do some cooking / baking projects. And the handful of e-books waiting to be read in the Kindle.

Quintessential so little time so much to do!! 

Do pray for us please :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Anthroposophical Medicine Wellness Check

What do you do when 2 rounds of antibiotics just won't cut it? That's what happened to Daddy A recently. Persistent cough and flu-like symptoms for almost a month..maybe it's the weather, maybe he just 'caught' it, or just maybe his immune system has been poorly.

I decided to check on natural healing methods and luckily I stumbled upon Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's blog on Non-traditional doctors and anthroposophic medicine (http://www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com/2013/04/non-traditional-doctors.html?m=1). 

It opened up a great alternative for us and it is such a great resource for those wanting to get in touch with a homeopathic doctor/professional within their area. Do visit her blog, an extensive list of doctors is provided there :)

What is Anthroposophical Medicine? (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophic_medicine)

Then I began to bug Daddy A to give it a try. Hahaha :) I know he's so busy right now but the blog and other literature on anthroposophic medicine somehow convinced him. After trying to clear his schedule for a couple of weeks, we finally made an appointment with Ms. Marge, the doctor's secretary.

So off we went to Centro Natura in West Kamias, Quezon City which is a pleasant home clinic run by Dr. Divina Hey-Gonzales. The ambiance is just so light and airy..I guess the many feng shui implements help a lot too! They had big & beautiful clear quartz crystals, amethyst geode and a bounty of pink Himalayan salt lamps on display.

Daddy A had to fill out a 4 or 5 page patient information sheet that was very extensive in helping to assess a new patient - from the physical to the intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects. I helped with the basics but for the personal questions, he had to really think it over - major milestones in life that made a change in you, etc.

Z was starting to get fidgety so the secretary kindly lent us some wooden toys to help keep the boredom at bay. It worked!

When we were called for our turn, Dr. Gonzales gave us some insights into a person's life force, life task, how to ensure a child has a balanced education (and yes, no forcing to read or write until they are developmentally ready - usually around 7 years of age). Even if I was only half-listening (sorry! gotta look after a toddler who went a tad bit excited with the toys inside! hehe), I really learned a lot. 

And then it was really Daddy A's turn. From his initial complaint of persistent cough, Dr. Gonzales was able to go to the source of most of his other common ails. 

First order of business is to do a detox to help boost his immune system. This was done through injection. The rest of his medication is for home administration - a Weleda product (quite pricey but I hope it's really effective) and other local homeopathic medicines.

In total, our consultation lasted for 1.5-2 hours. I really learned a lot of new things and was happy that we were already doing some of the things she recommended. I also like how thorough she is in explaining natural medicine and also in finding out the source of one's illness and not just to cure the symptoms. 

I'm really positive this will help dearest A to heal and recover. Already, he said he felt better today after a badminton game (compared to how he felt before) :) Yipee!

And this is also a great springboard for us to make lifestyle changes for everybody's wellness. Oh like chucking out the bedroom TV, totally no gadgets in the room, adjusting our body's rhythm (especially eating & sleeping patterns), and so much more. Hard? Yesss!! But for our health & safety, I know it is worth it :)

Dr. Divina Hey-Gonzales MD. 
Telephone Number: +632 9285386
Address: 14 K-7th St., West Kamias, Quezon City
Mode of Payment: Cash

Friday, September 30, 2016

Our experience at the 37th Manila International Book Fair

Thanks to Homeschoolers of the Phililpines, a homeschooling Facebook group I belong to, I found out that the 37th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) was scheduled this September at SMX and got free passes too! :)

I love books (and now even children's books) so I practically "begged" Daddy A to clear up our very tight schedule just so we can go and bring along Z. I knew that as a little bookworm, it'd be such a treat for her to experience her first book fair :)

So we went a little bit early and took a stroll along SM Mall of Asia's bay walk. 

Exercising by the bay
We had a quick bite at Starbucks too while waiting for the book fair to open its doors at 10 AM.

When we arrived at quarter to 10, we were a bit surprised with the already zigzagging line of people going inside SMX. Had we known about this queue, we would have wrapped up our breakfast much sooner. 

Grabbed a quick bite

We only had a couple of hours to spare to "get lost inside" so it was really a good thing that I chanced upon the recommendations of Ms. Donna Simpao Pangilinan in her HomesCool blog. I just went through her list and visited the booths that would best suit the season we are in. We were a group of 6 and we went in 4 different directions 😜 Myself looking at preschool/kindy products, hubby over at the Architecture books, FIL I guess looked at Agri books and my MIL went to the Grolier booth with the kids :)

Hubby's books - Diksiyonaryong Biswal ng Arkitekturang Filipino & Three Centuries of Binondo Architecture

First stop for me was Pauline's..

At this point I was still mindful of the budget. Well, more like keeping in mind that most booths I visited only accepted cash payment. 

I was able to score 5 books at a discount of course and the booth-keepers were really nice. I even overheard one sister comment something along the line of "hindi sayang ang pag-join nila sa fair". Whether it was due to monetary gains for their products or the fact that they are able to evangelize thru joining the fair or both..I was actually touched (and really happy that the Lord provided for them) when I heard her utter those words.

At Pauline's, I'm a Paulinian after all :)

Second I went to Bookmark and purchased 4 packs of "Original Artwork created by a boy with autism" each pack has 8 Notecards and 8 Envelopes. I was reserving these for Christmas or even just a "how are you" letter to friends. I ended up using 2 right away for reasons I will share in my next post.

Original artwork by a very talented child

Third stop for me was the Sing, Spell, Read and Write set of books although they ran out of packages already. I hope I can see them once more during the Homeschooling Conference this October! :)

Fourth stop, now with hubby in tow was the Jolly Phonics booth. First time I've heard about them from Ms. Donna's blog but when they explained each book and package to us, we decided this is a must-try for our toddler. Although it is really on the expensive side (even with a discount hehe), to us it is worth it for our homeschooling plans. 2 weeks from having the book with songs CD, Z already knows most of them and more importantly, is able to recognize the sounds each letter / phoneme makes. We're not rushing her to read at this point but we also want to expose her to different modes and mediums for learning. And I say we need to give our Leapfrog DVD's a rest too! :)

Some packages are PHP 30-70+k, these are for schools, I believe.

We got The Phonics Handbook & Jolly Songs with CD from them, luckily we were given a discount. Otherwise these 2 books alone would've cost us about PHP 5,000.00 already (what?!?) Hehehe. Daddy A gave me "the look" as if to say, you better make this worth if for the children 😂 The nice thing about this handbook is that I can make copies (legally allowed) for our home so that means I can really use this for more than 1 child :)

The snake is in the grass, the snake is in the grass...

The fifth and final stop - actually my MIL's stop - was the Grolier booth. I thought they were just looking at the products until I realized they actually bought a whole cart-full of children's educational books like the following series - Talking English (with talking pen), How Do You Know (with talking pen) & Fun-Thinkers with Match Frame. Wow!!! It was an advanced and truly merry Christmas gift for the kids because we had to make sure the pens were working :) Thank you so much Amah M & Angkong D!

Now I know what (and how much! hahaha) I have to prepare for next year's book fair! :) Just kidding Daddy A....but not really! :p

Knocked out baby in the Lille

Grolier books and talking pens from Amah M & Angkong D..thank you!!! :D

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Our 4th Wedding Anniversary

Latepost :)


It's our 4th Wedding Anniversary!!!! :D

Funny how I still seem to remember things that happened on that day, how I felt, how others probably felt and many others in between. And yet here I am trying to remember everything that happened in the past four years...some are remarkable, some regrettable, and some just feel like a big blur!

What do we have to show for the past 4 years? That's something that I always think about. Material wealth, well not so much for now. That's something we have to steadily work for. But I'm forever grateful for being blessed with my family - hubby, dear Z and a little one on the way! Yes, we have a new bub coming soon! :D 

Honestly, this is probably the season in my life I'm least prepared for. I mean being a wife, being a mother and being at home most of the time. I've always thought I'd be slaving away in the corporate world even with kids but what do I know...priorities change. Here I am, a full-time homeschooling stay at home mom (SAHM). There are of course things I miss but I know that right now we're making the best choice for our family :) 

Photo by Reality Box

Remember how I told you last year that we'd make sure to always celebrate our anniversary and of course, get our yearly dose of Alex Franco's yummy cake? Well this year, this clearly did not happen. Instead of a nice night out, we headed to the hospital to get the little one checked. Instead of steak for dinner, well we still had dinner of course but I had to relegate the cooking (supposedly my gift or treat for A) to our helper. Instead of a nice cake, well, the chicken macaroni salad is still in the fridge hehe.

In the past (boyfriend-girlfriend stage), anniversaries are more or less grand gestures with flowers, dinners and gifts. I definitely would've been frustrated if we did not have anything special planned out. But again, life I mean married life with kids changes one's perspective drastically. Today it's okay we don't go out for dinner. Today it's okay to book a Grab taxi going to the hospital and "book" a tricycle going home. Welcome to real married life! :)

P.S. Okay, not being totally KJ here...little Z and I (despite our stuffed noses) were trying our best to surprise Daddy A with our recorded song. I guess I underestimated the time needed to record and edit haha...will probably release that when we have the time. Next year, perhaps? Haha :)

Happy Anniversary to us, Daddy A! I love you forever! :)



We did have a nice meal in a resto after all! :) Here we are in Mary Grace Cafe at Lucky Chinatown Mall, still under the weather but enjoying the good food nonetheless :)

What worries me everytime we eat out is whether Z will like to food. Good she enjoyed the mushroom soup and pasta arrabiata *thumbs up!*
Ordered Perfect Plate #3 with Apple Cinnamon Honey Iced Tea. Loved the chorizo pasta here :)

Pasta Arrabiata. I would've gone crazy with chili peppers here if only I wasn't sharing with Z hehe..

With our Lillebaby Carryon (toddler-size) Airflow. Basically this is how we roll. Strollers are just a back-up for us but we find this more convenient :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Homeschool: Learning even if teacher mommy is sick

Still learning even if mommy is sick 🤒. I actually worried that since her favorite is our read-aloud time, and I physically can't do too many read-alouds today, our homeschool today would be blah or "cancelled". I even thought of just leading her to do arts like coloring, doing dot art or even just cutting paper. 

Yet here she was, very excited to pounce on her Jumbo Bananagrams and make up words..the very long ones like only toddlers can :) 

Today I'm really amazed at hearing her sound out all letters from this very long "word" she is still forming. On a side note, I tried sounding out CVC words with her a few weeks back a la Talking Words Factory. She wasn't so receptive with the activity so I planned to just delay it for next year since she's barely 3 anyway..so seeing her do this or at least attempting to sound out words is really such a treat for me! 

Overheard her saying this:
"Pag B, "buh"..Pag T, "tah"..essentially sounding out the letters as well as identifying them. 

When she manages to pick same letters from her Bananagrams, she matches them or if not she finds out the match from the alphabet chart..talk about self-directed learning. All credit to her for this activity since I'm merely an observer today..not even a facilitator aack! Although how I wish I was :)

This makes me so much excited to start out the Jolly Phonics we got from the Manila International Book Fair! :)

PS. She also requested we read another Ballet book (PHP 99 @ NBS), she's just so fascinated with the different forms 👯

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast at Midnight

Just got home from dinner with A's college friends. I'm supposed to feel full with all the yummy Apartment 1B dishes..but there's something about eating and at the same time feeding and entertaining a toddler that has left me all sorts of famished. 😬

Luckily we were able to drop by Kanto Freestyle in Boni, Mandaluyong for a quick take-out trip 👍🏻👍🏻

New Zealand Beef Tapsilog

Goya Chocnut Ganache Pancake

Since it's already midnight, I "just" (hahaha) ate half of each 😋 Now I feel everything's' right in the world..or at least in my tummy!

Sweetest dreams! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Grandparents' Day

"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And most importantly, cookies." -Rudy Giuliani 

To all our dear grandparents, thank you so much for everything and we love you very much! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Video: Tornado in Manila / Quezon City / Sampaloc Philippines (August14, 2016)

This has got to be one of the scariest things I've seen in recent times. We were just hanging out in Alveo Celadon and casually checking how things are outside. Figured we have an optimal view from where we were. 

First it was slightly foggy, then zero visibility and then suddenly some dark clouds hovered above. 

What we thought as heavy dark clouds was actually a tornado/ipo-ipo/buhawi forming over Quezon City / Manila / Sampaloc area. Shikes!!! From top view it seemed as if it was barely making any contact..upon checking the news tonight, it actually made more damage than we initially thought was possible.

Make sure to check out the zoomed in scenes to see debris whirling around & the "lightning-like" show inside it 😳


Oh noes!! Hope everybody's alright :)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

POP by Retail Lab & SURCO

Saw this on my newsfeed tonight: "Watch out for the opening of Pop by Retail Lab on August 1!💕 @ilovesurco's latest collection will also be released on the same day! Located at the Ground floor, Powerplant Mall, across Starbucks. See you there!!!" #POPbyRetailLab #ShopRetailLab #Surco 
#wearsurco #ilovesurco

I really love this brand not only because I know the wonderful lady behind it, but because I've also been a client for almost half a decade now!

SURCO has been with me from my single years..and through important milestones in my life like my engagement, wedding, pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond... :)

Sharing with you some pictures of me in different SURCO pieces, both retail & made to order couture..

This is a lovely breastfeeding dress specially made to order. Isn't it sweet that Z gets her mini version too?!

In a made to order dress for my SIL's wedding. I was very ready to pop at that time.

And of course, my most favorite is my wedding gown, especially made by SURCO. Do check out their Wisteria Bridesmaids line too! :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Stash and Chink +

Looky what I found! I've been cleaning our room (bit by bit) and saw these, again!! 

I've been reading Chinkee & Nove Tan's Happy Wife Happy Life book and am thoroughly enjoying all their practical advise. Their message is not just directed to wives or married couples..even single people will learn lots from it too. Well personally, I hope I was able to read this before saying I do! Would've saved me/us lots of questions :)

Really happy I found the rest of my stash. See, the DIY Money Kit needs to be unboxed too! Is this a sign? Yes! A sign to clean up more (who knows what else I'll find) and read more (oh the things we can learn). And the best is to always think positive despite the odds in life :)

P.S. Got these autographed books & money kit at a homeschool conference I attended last year. Looking forward to this year's event :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Simple Pre-writing Activity for Toddlers

Our homeschool is pretty simple... sometimes we're done in 15 minutes 😊 Hey, I only have 1 student! 

But today she wanted to do more tracing sheets so I gladly obliged 👍🏻 

While we mainly use Letter of the Week/LOTW printables (which I printed and laminated to be used with our dry-erase markers) and some photocopied sheets (where legally permissible from books we purchased), I also felt it's important for her to be able to use actual books and practice pre-writing by tracing with other mediums like crayons and pencil. Glad I found something relatively inexpensive (pero parang mahal pa rin since it's just in black & white hahaha) in National Bookstore. So here we are using it some parts of the week: Readiness in Writing for Preschool -- Nursery level🖌 It's PHP 220.00 and already K to 12 Curriculum Compliant.

Simple activities like this make me appreciate homeschooling. Sometimes we think that something is so easy the kids can easily do it on their own but more often, we are reminded that (1) they are too young for an activity, so we don't push it until they are developmentally ready; (2) they still need a helping hand and someone to encourage them when needed. 

When we started with tracing I used to get frustrated that she didn't want to do it on her own or sometimes would even instruct me to be the one to do it instead!  I thought cuter printables or more crayons & markers would do it but, no..she'd just flit to another part of the room and play with another toy. This baffled me because she enjoys doodling and making stories out of it. However, when we introduced a little structure (i.e., tracing along the broken lines) she just didn't want to do it. 

I changed my approach by (1) not expecting her to do it by herself & (2) not expecting a perfect job if ever she does it on her own. We also added the singing part (to the tune of Leapfrog's Letter Factory) which she absolutely got onboard for! Oh, and this could very well reinforce color recognition for the littles. Really was a stark difference  and I felt she was happier doing the work. Me too! :)

So this is what flexibility (and adaptability) in homeschooling means. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us both in this journey that we may be productive, successful, happy and always have the love for learning. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Love Love: Wipe-clean books & Dry-erase markers

Just a few weeks ago, we started our homeschooling activities for our 2.5 year old toddler. We have free-play & read alouds and of course some activities to help build her pre-writing skills too! 

But I noticed that she wasn't too confident nor comfortable yet with holding any writing material be it pen, pencil or crayon. We don't want to rush into it, given her age, so we just let it slide for the meantime. 

Good thing I remembered to update our pediatrician about it and she assured that we really shouldn't worry. She also advised that at this stage, it's better to just pique her curiosity and familiarity is good enough. She also reminded us to let her use the jumbo version of crayons and pencils. (And bigger things to trace too) And that should she wish to trace or doodle, to just let her..even if she's just grasping at the pen and not really holding it properly. At least she gets some pre-writing practice and it will self-correct (or at least we can intervene) in the future; this is of course, owing to the fact that she's not even preschool age and have not mastered hand muscle control yet.

So I've printed & laminated some tracing sheets which I downloaded from Letter of the Week (by Confessions of a Homeschooler). Sometimes she would want to trace on the broken lines, most days she just wants to doodle on the apple. And that's okay! :)

I'm really proud of her that at least, now she tries her hand in this activity instead of shunning it altogether & say, "Mommy, ikaw na lang mag-trace." Hehe..

I was really very happy with our DIY sorta tracing sheets but couldn't resist when I saw this very nice Usborne Wipe-Clean book on capital letters! It's cute, fun and in not so many pages, tells a story through quirky artwork how these monsters also want to learn their letters - straight, curvy or zigzag!

Just perfect to always grab before heading out together with our dry-erase markers! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Throwback: Sunday Fun Day at Nuvali (Treveia, Wakepark, Solenad)

Oh how I miss you guys! Just last year we were all so inseparable, but now (as the song goes) you're so many miles awaaaaayyy!!!

Sharing a video of a fun day we've had at Treveia in Nuvali. Simple joys...the good stuff of life. 

Hope to see you soon! :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Video: Alternergy 54MW - Windmills of Pilillia, Rizal

From the seas and mountains of the Quezon province, we made a side-trip to the Windmills of Pilillia, Rizal. It reminded me so much of the Transformers, the first time I saw them. I don't know why but seeing them really makes me feel so proud that such progress is happening to this side of the country.

The traffic (both vehicles and people) was really massive during the time we came to visit - a Holy Week weekend but I feel it's worth it to see so we can learn more about the benefits to our society. If anything, the kids had a blast with their giant 'electric fans'.

I'm not sure to what extent they plan to develop the place. So far there was a small cafeteria, visitors' information center, a good number of Portalet cubicles and some street vendors for finger food and little knick-knack souvenirs.

I must say the view is amazing. If you watch thru the end of my video, you'll see a nice image of the sunset over (is it?) Laguna de Bay...I'm not too sure. 

Some reminders:

  • As of our last visit, entrance and parking were both FREE
  • If you are allergic to dust, make sure to bring a mask / bandanna / hanky or anything to cover your nose with. Dirt road + windmills = not a good combination for your allergy
  • If you have a baby carrier, don't leave it in the car like we did..
  • There are small/low hills in the vicinity. Make sure your senior citizen companions are cared for because it might be too steep for them already

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Upcoming Review: Lillebaby Carryon Airflow

So we've transitioned to a Toddler carrier. Another Tula? Nope, not this time...we ventured into a different SSC (soft-structured carrier) altogether - fabric make, size (it is big!), and if you'd notice a different brand. 

We've had this Lillebaby Carryon Airflow since May of 2016, have used it sparingly in between but only put it to the test today. Did it pass? We'll let you know in our follow up post. 

For now, we're sharing some photos we took while we tested the Lillebaby Carryon Airflow out in the trails of La Mesa Ecopark..on a very h-o-t Sunday morning! :)

P.S. Thank you so much to my friend, Atty. I, for lovingly bringing the Lillebaby carriers for us from the US! Mwaaaahh!!! :D

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recipe: Tuna Melt Sandwich

Since it was pretty much an overcast day, we decided that today's lesson will be devoted to home economics / food prep / cooking :) That's the beauty of homeschooling, especially for this particular age...we can be flexible as we want to be, play as much as we want while incorporating lessons - life lessons in the every day living :)

Lucky that my daughter was really interested to help out in the kitchen. Well, it makes it so much easier when she has her own kiddie-sized apron, her "own" tools (borrowed from mommy)..you get the idea! 

We started by making sure our hands and tools were clean. Of course to a 2-year old, this needs to be emphasized all the time while preparing, cooking and serving. She was very attentive the first 15-20 minutes when I was explaining what the tools/utensils are for, what ingredients we will use and who we will be making these sandwiches for. 

Glad she was still on standby mode by the time I finished chopping the celery and onions - she was still able to mix everything together..yay! :) After which she proceeded to do her own "cooking project". 

Things hopefully she learned/absorbed/taken an interest in today:

  • Cleanliness - before, during, after..of ourselves, our counter, our food
  • Proper handling of utensils - demonstrated and explained how to open cans, use knife and that she has to ask us for assistance in the meantime
  • Measurement - that we can control for taste and nutritional value if we measure our ingredients. She was in charge of adding and mixing in the mayonnaise
  • Healthy food choices - that we can make healthy and yummy snacks...and not always look to opening a pack of eggnogs!
  • General awareness - I don't know how this should be classified but basically I hope this activity makes her a little more knowledgeable about kitchen / pantry items. That a tomato is called a kamatis, etc.
  • Fun fact - I was about to explain what the green leafy stalk was until she yelled, "Mommy, that's the celery crunch ni Jesse Bear"...hmmm good job on our BFIAR Before Five in a Row readings *thumbs up!*

Okay so I guess some of you came here for the recipe. I won't say it's the best but it was really delicious!! :) I was originally looking at around 3 different recipes online but when it came to it, we just improvised as we went along hehe :)

  • 3 cans of (6 oz) Tuna in Brine - we like to use Century Tuna
  • 1 jar (470 ml) Lady's Choice Mayonnaise
  • 2 celery stalks chopped finely (or more depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely (or more depending on your preference)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs chopped finely
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Loaf of bread
  • Cheese slices - we used Quez-o, but you can use the Quickmelt variant
  • Butter
  • Optional: tomato slices, cucumber or lettuce

To make the sandwich spread
  • Drain the tuna, set aside
  • Add the mayonaise, chopped celery, chopped onion, eggs. Mix thoroughly
  • Season with salt & pepper to taste
  • Put in a jar / canister and refrigerate before use
To assemble the sandwich
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on slices of bread and toast for 5-7 minutes
  • Heat a skillet on low fire, scoop tuna spread ala patty and top with cheese. Let it "toast or cook" for a few minutes or until the cheese melts
  • Get the bread slices from the oven and top with the "tuna spread patty" and finish with the other slice of bread
  • P.S. You can add tomato slices, cucumber or even lettuce as desired

There you have it! I hope you enjoy your Tuna Melt Sandwich! Tasty, delish and really easy to make! :)


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