Dec 18, 2008

Our December In Pictures

I finally have the time to blog but still does not have enough time to write a post. Makes sense? So I'll just say it in pictures. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.

1. Our Christmas tree this year. Christmas tree came from mother-in-law. Hubby just added in the family photos. Great idea. I love looking at this Christmas tree.

2. Basti was asked to bring red, green, and white crepe paper, glue and a folder last November. My husband and I guessed what the finished product would be. A Christmas lantern? A wreath? We were both wrong. It was actually this.
3. Sam and Papa Edwin attended first day of Simbang Gabi. This is Bamboo Organ in Las Pinas.

4. Simon was finally baptized. Welcome to the Christian world Simon!

Dec 12, 2008

Nov 28, 2008

Simon Starts Teething

It seems Simon is already teething. Teething starts at around 6 months but it can begin as early as three months. So this must be normal.

I checked on the symptoms. Fussy, yes. Does not want to drink milk, yes. Gums swollen, yes. When we looked at his gums, it's all sore and swollen. Biting, definitely yes. He loves to bite my mother’s shoulder blades or his hands. He could take in his whole fist in his mouth! It seems he does not want his pacifier anymore. We put it in and then he takes it off, and sucks on his hands instead.

So off I went in search of a good teether to help him through this "difficult" stage. I went to SM and saw many kinds of teether. I can't decide on which one to buy. Price ranges from P49 to P110. I settled for the P59 one since the saleslady at SM told me the only difference is the brand. I also do not want to buy the most expensive one (though they look better and softer) because I'm afraid that Simon might not like the teether after all, and not use it. I bought his brothers different kinds of teether some years back hoping that they'd gnaw on it but no luck. So this time, I am wiser mom.

In the past three days, I have bought 3 teethers. Not a wise mom, after all, huh. The first one was never used. My mom boiled it thinking it's the kind that can be boiled. The second one was too big and hard for Simon's delicate gums. And the third one, I bought yesterday. It's round but still too big for Simon. I would like to believe that it's not because Simon does not like the teether per se, it's because he does not like the ones that I bought.

So I'm still in search for a perfect teether for Simon. I'll try another one like I did with my two other kids (Di na natuto!) but this would be the last time. If he still doesn't want to bite on the next teether I'll buy, I’ll just settle on Xylogel (if the doctor will permit it) to soothe his swollen gums.

Nov 17, 2008

Simon Lying On His Side

This is baby Simon lying on his side. He doesn't want to lie on his back anymore. He cries every time we put him down so we have to pick him up again, and carry him around until he falls asleep. This is one of the rare moments where he turned around and just kept still lying on his side. In just a few moments after this shot and succeeding others, he fell asleep.
Click to play simon lies on his side
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Nov 14, 2008

Jollibee: Every Child's Bestfriend

Jollibee is every child's bestfriend. And in more ways than one, we could say that it's every mom's "close friend". Ilang bata na ba ang napatahan at napangiti just by the mere mention of the magic word "Jollibee". (Tahan na, kakain tayo sa Jollibee, ayaw mo ba sumama?) Ilang bata na ba ang nadisiplina sa pamamagitan ni Jollibee [Pag mabait ka, pupunta tayo sa Jollibee sa Sabado)? Ilang bata na ba ang tumaas ang grades dahil sa Jollibee (Pag mataas ang grades mo, ibibili kita ng kiddie meal (me toy e)] We should all be thankful that we Filipinos have Jollibee. It has made the life of most moms and dads easier and the days of the children happier and more exciting. Malling on weekends and celebrating birthdays has become a much awaited event for kids just with the thought of eating out in Jollibee.

Just like any kid, Basti and Sam love Jollibee, but Sam has formed a stronger attachment to Jollibee than Basti ever had. Basti loves the toys and the chicken and spaghetti. Sam loves Jollibee Sphag but truly dearly adores Jollibee, the mascot. Oh, those big awesome eyes and red and yellow outfit! He even has 2 Jollibee stuff toys that he brings with him everywhere he goes. The oldest one, he's been carrying since he was 1. It is so old and so used that the face is cracked and looked like a rag already. He can't sleep without it. There was a time when he left it at home and his Lola had to get it from us in the middle at the night riding a tricycle from their house to our house and back because Sam can't sleep. Now, Sam has a new Jollibee given to him by his Tita Bhe which he keeps at his Lola’s house (in case of emergency- LOL). He still prefers the old one though.

Before he turned three, his Tita Bhe again gave him a Picachu stuff toy, the kind that we put on the back window of a car. He came home with it one day and did not even look at or touched his Jollibee friend. We thought that at last, he has outgrown Jollibee! We can't believe that Jollibee has been replaced! We were wrong. The next day he's back to Jollibee again and just looks at his Picachu friend with wonder every now and then.

I would say that Jollibee has a very positive on Sam. His Jollibee stuff toy is like his best friend. It's his comfort zone. He learned how to read all the letters of the alphabet just by watching Jollibee CDs. They used to sell these CDs some years ago. We have copies that we bought for Basti and which Sam discovered just last summer. He danced to the music and sang the songs with Nash and company. Then we reinforced his new interest in letters by letting him play with his Kuya Basti's Vtech computer. Thankfully before summer ended, although he doesn't talk straight, he knows how to read the letters of the alphabet. All because of his love for Jollibee. Thank God for Jollibee and Vtech. I recommend these products to all mothers out there.

Nov 13, 2008

Lessons In Preschool

This is a blog that I posted a year ago on my other blog, which I have deleted so I can concentrate on my blogspot account. Anyway, let me repost this here just so I can look back on what's on my mind as a mom a year ago.

"My six year old son Basti is now in Prep. He's learning a lot of things now, things that were not even taught to us when we were his age. I learned to write & read when I was in grade 1 at 7 years old. He learned to write when he was in nursery school and learned to read in kinder school. (Sam, by the way knows by heart, can identify and read out loud all the letters of the alphabet and numbers from 1-10, at the age of 2 1/2). Now, they are done with fractions, subtractions (1 digit), addition (2 digits), brushed up on telling time, all the three-letter words & now they are tackling the sh, ch, & some other combinations I can't remember. I can't help to think that we had it easy back then, there's too much pressure on the children of today. Children are forced to learn these things at an early age. Or else, they will be left behind. Don't get me wrong. I like the fact that my son knows how to read already and that he can understand what's on the news even if it's reported in English. Of course, every now and then he asks me what some words mean. Or that he can read the Komiks by himself. (Now, he asks me to read for him the subtitles of movies we are watching at home. I ask him, "Why? Can't you read it?" And he'll say " Mama, they are speaking too fast! It's gone (the subtitles) even before I'm done reading!"-- lol). It’s just disturbing that with so many things they are trying to learn these days, they don't have time to play anymore and be a child the way that we were children before. And that they know so many things they are not supposed to learn...yet.

This week, they have an assignment on the life cycle of a frog. My goodness!!! That was taught in Grade 3 or Grade 4 when I was a child. Even before that when I was 7 or 8, in Grade 1 or 2, I remember going to the rice fields every afternoon, checking out the eggs, and then the tadpoles. It's just a waste that my child can only see these things, these wonders of nature, in pictures. It would have been wonderful to have him watch the real thing. But unfortunately, we live in the city. I feel that those who were born & raised in the province are so lucky to have experience such things. To wade in the mud in the rice paddies, bathe in the river, chase dragonflies & watch butterflies up close. I don't think Basti has seen a live grasshopper. Or a firefly.

Anyway, when he was in nursery they were taught the parts of a turtle and it was only then that I learned that the hard shell the turtle is carrying around is a carapace.. Imagine that! don't know what to say, for me it's just a shell."

Now Basti is in Grade 1 and learning so many new things, things that were taught to me in Grade 4. Oh my!

Nov 10, 2008

Baby Simon at 3 Months

Today SiMon is Three Months Old. How time flies. It's already 3 months since I gave birth. From the time he's born, Simon has given us so much happiness. He's such a joy to be with. He started smiling and cooing very early, at 1 month and 10 days, while he was in the hospital. And the fun has been nonstop since then.

According to an article I read at Yahoo Health , a baby should be able to do these things by the end of the three months :

  • Smile when you appear (He senses when someone's coming in the door. He'll turn he's head in that direction, ready with his smile.)
  • Begin to babble (He does not babble yet but he shrieks and coos a whole lot!)
  • Imitate sounds (Check on that.Sometimes we have the feeling he's trying to speak, hehehe)
  • Move his or her eyes toward the direction of sound (He'll follow you with his eyes waiting for you to talk to him, and when you do, he'll smile and shriek with glee.)
Furthermore, babies between 1-4 months, become alert to sounds by blinking or widening eyes; may start to be awakened by noise, become startled, or turn toward a sound to look for its source.(Oh yeah, he knows exactly where I am as soon as I speak out loud). Will quiet to their mother's voice. (Which is really true, he cries so much when his fathers holding him and stops when I take over.)

Base on all that, Simon is right on schedule. And there's more....

Simon started lying on his side last November 6. I did not notice at first. I was sleeping beside him. I woke up and saw his face, he's smiling again; his face turned to me. I drifted off to sleep but suddenly was awakened with the realization that it's not just his face that's turned to my direction . It's his whole body! I sat down and there he was lying on his side! Smiling at me, looking like proud of himself. It's another smilestone (sabi nga ni kris) for Simon ! Hooray!
Simon loves posing for the camera. Here are the proof....

Nov 2, 2008

Hippie Happy Halloween!

Halloween used to be just another day for me. I did not even like it a bit. I hated worrying over on what to wear and where to get costumes for Halloween parties. I never got to enjoy celebrating the Halloween season before as a child, as a teenager and even as an adult. Until I had my children.

Halloween has suddenly become something that I look forward to because of the kids. Basti loves to listen to scary stories and loves watching horror movies and this is the time for storytelling and scaring. And the best thing about Halloween is going trick-or-treating.

We started going to SM for Trick-or-Treat when Basti was 4. Actually, I and my husband discovered the fun of trick-or-treating at the Alabang Town Center when Basti turned 3. We went there to celebrate Basti's 3rd birthday and to see a Winnie The Pooh show. Winnie the Pooh is Basti's favorite cartoon character back then. He has gone a long way from the very gentle Winnie the Pooh to the violent Power Rangers, which he watches everyday now.

We enjoyed the show and Basti had his picture taken in a Tigger costume, but the highlight of the day is Basti's first trick-or- treat experience. Basti enjoyed going from store to store asking for candies, although he does not understand yet why he's being given candies. I was the one who had to say trick-or-treat. At first he's hesitant, but he got the hang of it when he saw other children doing the same, in different costumes. There were so many children, mostly from Ayala Alabang and surrounding vicinity. The good thing was that the stores had plenty of candies to give, in large quantity for every child, so we were able to take home a lot of candies.

The next year on his 4th birthday his Ninang Ning bought him a Superman costume. That Superman costume is Sam's now. On his fifth birthday, we made a homemade costume, one that he wore at his nursery school Halloween Parade. We just added in a mask and he's fine with that. Last year he got a creepy Reaper Halloween costume courtesy of his ninang Ning again (or is it from his Ate karen?).

We went to SM as we used to because that is the nearest mall from home. I hurried from work so I would be there around 11am. Most stores in SM only give a piece of candy per child which is kind of sad but with so many stores to go to, the kids still manage to get their pumpkin baskets full. There are some stores of course that gives a handful of chocolates.

What usually happens is that at 10am they don't have candies yet, it's still early, at 12noon they don't have candies anymore. Trick or treats usually resumes at 2pm. Best time would be 11am or 1pm. We usually go to the customer service area first since they give more than the stores. We just follow the throngs of kids coming in and out of the stores.

And it's the same this year, nothing's changed. We were in at around 12pm. I had to get Basti and Sam there early before it rained. We start going from store to store immediately. Time is gold and I wanted to start early so I could sleep early. You know, call center duties call. But no luck. They started giving out candies at 1pm after the Halloween Costume Parade, which we did not register for.

(Here are some of the pics -- sorry for the date formatting --this was on Oct 31st not 25th. Sam did not want to put on the Superman costume. There's Basti with Doc Oc and what seems to be Dyosa. Basti and Sam at SM. Basti putting on the Devil's Horn given by Mama's officemate Nov 1st. And there's Basti with his stash.)

We stayed in SM Sucat for just 2 hours. We were home by 230pm. Sam sadly did not enjoy third activity. He got afraid of the kids in monsters costumes and got bewildered with massive throng of kids in costumes. There were so many kids (mommies) walking, running around, shoving each other for goodies. I was not even able to take that many pictures due to fear that I will lose one of them in the crowd. Sam cried and wanted to go home. He kept pulling me to the main entrance. Basti was furious coz he wanted to get more treats. We had no choice but to go home or else Sam will bawl his way out of SM. Basti managed to get his basket half-filled.

Last year, we were there at around 12pm. Not a good time for kids. Most of stores did not have any candies to give anymore and the kids leave feeling dejected, rejected, and sad. There is one thing that I learned though from one mommy last year. Not wanting her kids to feel rejected and understanding that goodies do run out, one mommy approached a saleslady from a certain store before her kids could come in the door with their pumpkin baskets and asked the saleslady they still have candies for ‘trick or treat", The saleslady said " E ma;am ala na po memya na po ulit 1pm. And the mom said, okay lang ... and then gave the saleslady a handful of candies, "Pede pakiabot naman to sa mga anak ko...para hindi naman sila malungkot.”. And so when the kids came in, and excitedly shouted "trick or treat" the saleslady gave them the candies and the kids hurried off bouncing happily. Halloween is a time for kids, trick or treat should be a fun activity for them and we, as parents, should help in making that possible just like what this one mom did.

Meanwhile at work, we had a fabulous time with our account's Halloween costume contest. I never ever participated in anything like this coz like I said I hate worrying over on what to wear. This time however I participated actively. Our team gave our full cooperation and each one made it a point to stick to the theme. Out theme was Hippies/60's era. It was fun looking for hippie clothing. I found a hippie blouse at an ukay ukay in Baclaran for only 40pesos and shades at 30pesos. My bestfriend who is a hippie at heart lend me all my accessories like the wooden bracelets, earth tones necklaces, vest, and the headband which I think is a masterpiece. My officemate Maridel lend me a green flowery pants. And voila, I looked like a true blue hippie.
My officemates also did their best to the point of putting on wigs to complete the look. Maridel wore a sexy 60's look and she was the star of the night, she surprised us all. It was a wonderful Halloween Costume Contest. We laughed at ourselves and had fun posing for the camera.

Oct 24, 2008

Late Talker

At a time when I was already worrying over Sam's speech development, I chanced on an article in Yahoo! Health that made me feel better.

The article is entitled "Not Talking: A Sign of Autism?" by Dr. By Robert Needlman, M.D . I'm definitely sure that Sam does not have autism, although my best friend told me once that speech delay may be caused by autism. Although Sam's not talking the way we want him to, he is still talking. Only gibberish. He's a very active and expressive child, and he can do things that his big brother can't do at about the same age. He's like a bouncing ball, always laughing , always giggling, and always happy especially when playing with his Kuya Basti. Like the boy Tom in the article, we can ask him to get things for us. He's after all Mama's little helper.

What made me happy is that I finally found a name for this so called delay in Sam's speech development. Dr. Needlman call it Specific Expressive Language Delay, which in layman's term means "late talker". And Sam may just be that. After all, he has a cousin that was a late talker too but did well in school. Dr. Needlman said it would help a lot if late talkers are taught sign language. Hmm, I will definitely look into that.

UPDATE: 04/07/2014

Sam is already eight years old now. When I wrote this post he was four years old. I remember one of the doctors said then that it may be possible that his mind process information so fast that he wasn't able to articulate it in a way that is understandable, like words tumbling out in rapid succession.

He was still not talking when I sent him to school at six years old. I guess he was ready by then, because all attempts prior to that year to keep him in school failed. I was really worried for him, but he wowed us with his achievements during his first year in school. He had an amazing teacher when he was in Grade 1 who brought out the best in him, and he was already reciting a poem three months after during their Linggo ng Wika (National Language Week) program.

For a year, it's like he's learning each word that comes his way, he's ask me what a word means, how it's spelled and how it's used in a sentence, dissecting them like a child working on a Math problem. He is indeed a late talker. What really helped him out is being in school and having talkative classmates (and a younger brother who doesn't stop talking) and a very patient teacher who cares for him and knows how to bring out the best in a child.  He's got first honor when he was in Grade 1 and also this year and really good in Math and computer.  

Oct 17, 2008

Big Brother Sam

Finally, basti and sam are certified kuyas to simon rex . it has been 2 months since i gave birth to simon rex. at first , sam who used to be youngest wouldn't even look at the baby. everytime simon cries, he would cry also, bringing attention to himself. he wouldn't even go near simon as if simon is a monster that he's afraid of. but now, he comes near simon often, looks at his face in wonder, and seems amazed when the baby smiles at him. yes, simon the baby, already responds when talked to as early as 1 month and 10 days. now he laughs and screams with glee at times. 

whenever we talk about simon, sam would say "baby" and points at him. he has also become mama's little helper. he would bring the bottle to me whenever i asked him to. when he's not too busy playing, he would bring me simon's diaper even before i asked him too. he's ever alert with the going-ons inside the house. he's careful with his movements when he's around simon. once when we put sam down on the bed and not on the crib, he accidentally stepped on him. Of course, simon cried and sam did not cry, but it seems that he knew that he had done something terribly wrong while horsing around with his kuya basti and looked guilty for a few days, always looking at the baby in odd sort of way. once we caught him tiptoeing around simon's crib so as not to wake him up, afraid that he'll step on him again. at early age, it kinda show his concern and love for his little baby brother, which makes me and his papa very happy.

i was worried before that Sam might feel left out with the baby around. we really paid special attention to him to make sure that he wouldn't feel that he's not part of everything anymore. and our efforts paid off, thank God. some of the things that we did is to make him feel important by assigning task to him. soon enough, he became mama's little helper. another thing is that when he's around and we are talking to the baby, we talk about him, our kuya sam, so that he will hear that even if our attention is with simon, we are also thinking of him on the side. this makes him happy judging by the look he gives us and the baby. we also play a lot with him, especially his mama tess, and nights, his papa and kuya. we are happy that with some efforts, we can see that Sam has adjusted wonderfully to having a new baby in the house.

indeed, little sam is now big brother Sam.

Aug 5, 2008

Excitedly Expecting

Basti and Sam will be kuyas to another baby boy any day now. His name will be Simon. Basti is already excited to see Simon. He's more excited now than he was with Sam almost 3 years ago. He knows that he'll always be Mama's no. 1... I don't think Sam understand what's happening yet or what is about to happen, but he does know that there is a baby in Mama's tummy...I worry that he'll get the middle child syndrome. I've heard about this from people, from talk shows, and read about it. I guess we'll just have to work harder on giving him more love, care, and attention than we ever did before... Yes, we are excitedly expecting for little Simon's arrival.

Jul 10, 2008

On Sundays and Weeknights

every night, the boys will wait for their father to come home. once they hear the gate opening they will rush to the door in all excitement. i can even say that sam bounces as he greets his father at the door. sam will make beso beso , basti will look for pasalubong, ( haha!) or his papa's cellphone . they can't wait for him to come home. it seems that he is the life of the house during the night. basti sometimes eat dinner with his father, afterwards the three of them would play , watch a movie togther in dvd, basti's choice of course . come midnight they would eat again, make some midnight snacks (sandwiches, popcorn, etc). basti and his papa has gained weight in the past few weeks. sam is still as skinny but bouncy as ever, he doesn't eat that much anyway. he just do a lot of horsing around. the kids love their papa tremendously and are always excited to see him every night. there is always a sense of peace, a sense of completeness, an assurance that everything's okay and there's no need to worry everytime he's around..... basti enjoys his father company. i hope this continues until he grows older. on sundays, they take a bath together in front of the house, sam playing with the water hose, basti spraying water all over , all of them in shorts, except of course sam who's naked . basti does not want to wear brief in front of the neighbors, haha. he's just 6 and already conscious! on weekends too, when edwin go to the groceries he usually buy food which they can eat during their midnight snacks or weekends merienda. hotcakes, popcorns, french fries, yes i know these are junkfoods but these are food that we all enjoy and bonds us together . i bought what we call in tagalog as "pangkaskas ng yelo " and edwin has taken a liking to sago and gulaman, halo halo, etc. we are planning to make some mango sago this week. we are planning to concoct some more ice drinks in the future. edwin even makes ice candy occasionally. as for the kids, they have been addicted to one kind of food to another, there was a time that basti loves choco chips, now he loves oreo cookies and doesn't let anyone near his stash in the ref. they used to love jelly ace but they don't seem to like that much nowadays. of course jollibee foods are consistently popular. to sum up, my boys enjoy being together, eating , and watching movies together. They are such a happy bunch.

Jul 8, 2008

fridays and saturdays

fridays and saturdays are sad days for me. friday afternoons, basti and sam packed up their things and sleep over in their lola's house where we used to live before. the kids grew up in that house and they love it there. basti look forward to fridays knowing that he'll be there till sunday. i can't sleep when they leave friday afternoons. it's not because i worry... i have no reason to worry . it's just that i miss them as soon as they head out of the door, all excited and looking so happy to be away, knowing that i'll see sam only the next day and basti two days after. i feel so alone, i can totally feel the emptiness of the house, and i feel so lonely that i can't go back to sleep . i watched dvd movies instead of sleeping. usually on fridays, i only get to sleep around 4 hours starting from 5pm to 9pm. before going home, their papa would drop by my mother in law's house to bring pasalubong and then would come home around 9pm. he'll wake me up, prepare some food for me, and by 11pm i'll be out of the house. saturdays after work, knowing there's no one waiting for me at home, i'll dilly dally around the mall or just go online, or sleep some more. i guess i should be thankful that i have extra time for myself, but somehow i'm not. i feel that those times should be for me and my kids and my husband alone, since we really don't have much time to bond together on weekdays. well, the kids bond with their father a lot during weeknights , but me, i usually just sleep the whole day after work being a call center agent. but what can i do, the kids love being there and i'm at the point where i have given up trying to force my basti to come home on saturdays. so even if i'm lonely, alone, and "single" during the fridays and saturdays, i try to enjoy it as much as i can. i watch a lot of dvd movies and tv series, go online a lot, do scrapbooking, sleep , sleep , sleep which i need anyway for my unborn baby. i guess i would like fridays and saturdays and sundays to be mine knowing that when the baby comes, i won't have much time for basti and sam anymore especially during the first 2 months. by the time my husband gets home saturday afternoon with sam in tow, i'm too exhausted to stay awake, so saturdays are really not good. but sundays are good though, especially when basti's at home. the boys bathe together, we cook lunch, we make palamig and desserts , go to church, or just watch movies together.sundays are fun. i just wish i have more time for the kids, hayy..