Saturday, September 2, 2017

On Teaching Kids What to Do

Earlier this week, I experienced one of the greatest fears of parenthood. A stranger tried to convince Johan to go with him.

It was on Tuesday night as we were preparing for bed when Johan said he needed to tell me something. He then proceeded to say that there is this one tricycle driver who is so annoying and kept talking to him in school. Our conversation went like this:

Johan: Mom, there is this guy who is so annoying.
Mom: Who was the guy?
Johan: He is a tricycle driver, a service of a girl from school.
Mom: Why is he annoying?
Johan: He keeps on telling me to come with him to McDo and Burger King, He'll buy me burger. Sometimes he says he'll bring me to the canteen and I can buy anything I want.

At this point, my very sleepy self was suddenly alert and all ears to his story.

Mom: Who is the guy, where were you while he was talking to you? Was he inside the school? Did you get out of the gate?
Johan: No, I was inside, The guy was outside the gate waiting for the student. He was speaking to me thru the gate.
Mom: What did you do?
Johan: I just stay inside my classroom and wait for Kuya Amang to pick me up. (Kuya Amang is his service driver)
Mom: Does this annoying guy always talk to you?
Johan: Yes, everyday. He keeps on asking me to come with him to McDo and Burger King. That's why I just wait inside my classroom so the guy won't see me and sometimes I just run to Kuya Amang if I see this guy.

I was in panic and messaged my husband on Facebook and relayed to him what Johan just told me. We were both fearful for Johan's safety and decided that the Yaya will again accompany Johan to and from school. Yaya will talk to the school admin the next day and I will do it again on Thursday when I go to school for Johan's Buwan ng Wika presentation.

While me and the husband were planning what to do, I remembered to ask Johan:

Mom: Why didn't you go with the guy to McDo? Di ba you liked going there for the chicken?
Johan: Because the guy is a stranger and I am not supposed to talk to strangers di ba, Mom?
Great job, Johan!

Anyway, as planned, Yaya went to school with Johan the next day and informed the school admin and the guard on duty what happened. She also waited for the annoying guy during dismissal and it turned out that the guy used to be the same tricycle driver that serviced them a few times the previous year and Johan just didn't remember it was him.

It was relief to know that the annoying guy was not really a stranger but I am more at peace knowing my son is smart enough to remember what he taught him and to not speak to people he does not know.

This is why it is necessary to keep on reminding our kids not to talk to strangers, paulit ulit kahit makulitan sila. Times are different now, evil people are everywhere and we just cannot sit back and assume our kids know what to do. We have to teach them and prepare them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Recipe: Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa and Crispy Fried Liempo

Gusto ko na magbagong buhay and maging typical wife na marunong magluto. My sister recommended the Panlasang Pinoy Facebook page for recipes as these are fairly easy to follow. Upon browsing the page, natakam ako sa Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa.

So, early Saturday morning, I went off to our neighborhood talipapa to get all the ingredients. I was deciding what to partner Ginataang Kalabasa with - Fried Fish or Pork. We had Fried Galunggong the previous weekend, so Fried Pork it is. I am using the recipe that my sister shared with me. I will also be including prices of the ingredients with this post.

Here goes:

Crispy Fried Liempo

Cooking Oil
2 packs Laurel Leaves
Whole Pepper
3/4k Pork Liempo

I got three slabs of Pork Liempo from the market, asked the manong to chop into three slices per slab. Put all slices in a pan and boil together with 2 packs of Laurel Leaves, salt and pepper. Boil until meat is tender. Take out the meat and let dry. Once the meat is dry, rub each side with salt and pepper and fry until golden brown.

I only have to buy the following since I have the rest of the ingredients in stock.

Laurel leaves ........................ 4 php (2 php/pack)
Garlic .................................... 5 php
3/4k Pork Liempo ................. 135 php (180 php/kilo)
Total: 144 pesos

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa
For the full recipe, please proceed to the Panlasang Pinoy website here.

3 Squash slices, cubed
1 bundle String Beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 k Pork, cubed
1 cup Beef broth or pinaghugasan ng bigas
2 cups Coconut Milk
1 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
1 medium Yellow Onion, sliced
Cooking Oil
Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsps Shrimp Paste (I used the Sweet Chili variant of Barrio Fiesta)

Saute the garlic and onion. Add the ground black pepper, stir and add the pork. Cook the pork until color turns to light brown. Since I didn't have Beef Broth at the time, I used the 1st pinaghugasan ng bigas water, pour this onto the pork and let it boil. Add the coconut milk. Stir and allow to boil once more. Cover and cook until the pork gets tender. Add the squash. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shrimp paste and stir. Add the string beans. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.


Squash slices .................... 30 php (10 php/slice)
String Beans ..................... 10 php
1/4k Pork .......................... 45 php
Coconut ............................ 20 php
Garlic ................................  5 php
Onion ................................  5 php
Total: 110 pesos

And the verdict? The kids loved the Fried Pork, well they like all things fried anyway. But the husband, though nonverbal, looked like he enjoyed the Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa. I noticed that he got another batch when he finished the first and he even ate the same thing for dinner! Yay, success!

My realization here is kaya ko naman pala and there really is no harm in trying. Plus, I enjoyed my short trip to the market ha. Ang saya mamalengke! But, the greatest joy here is seeing my family enjoying the meal that I prepared for them. Mauulit ito talaga!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Johan's First Quarter Exam Results

I've been sleepless for days leading up to Johan's exams week because I have been preparing reviewers for him. Since Nursery, we have been struggling with his Filipino lessons and now that he is in First Grade, we are having difficulty not just with one Filipino subject but with three subjects - Filipino, Araling Panlipunan and Mother Tongue.

Imagine how stressful it was to think of techniques on how to improve his Filipino vocabulary, on how I will make him understand what pangngalan, katinig, patinig, pangungusap mean. I never thought we would struggle this much in school.

We spent three days studying for his nine subjects and concentrated on the three he is having the most difficulty with. Math has always been his strongest one, English is quite easy, Science is average while the new ones like Values Formation, Computer and MAPEH were fairly easy to review. We mainly spent more time with the Filipino ones.

I thought he's ready to take the exams and I was hoping he'd get good grades. The results came out today and it came as no surprise that he did very well in Math, the rest of the subjects got good grades but the three Filipino subjects just showed how much Johan needs more guidance. 

After all those sleepless nights and hours we spent reviewing, his grades are below my expectations. He did not get failing grades but I know that he can do better. I don't want to pressure him too much about getting very high grades but I don't want him to get low grades either. We tried so hard studying his lessons but I guess, we need to do more next time. Right now,  I am frustrated, tired and dispirited. 

I am being too hard on myself as usual. It's a relief that I have a bestfriend who I can talk to anytime and air out my grievances without judging how being unreasonable I am.

Kahit madalas luka-luka tong babaeng to, may sense naman sya paminsan-minsan

First quarter exams may be over but we still have three more quarters left. We will try harder on the coming months and we will not give up until MATATAS NG MANAGALOG SI JOHAN. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Kita Kita: Unexpectedly Good (A Movie Review)

credits: Kita Kita

The movie is now on its third week and it is only today that I got to see it together with my sister. All the people I know who have seen Kita Kita have nothing negative to comment, they are all praises for the movie and the actors. I'm so glad that we chose to watch it in the movie house instead of watching online through the link that trended the other day. I paid a measly 181 pesos for my movie ticket and I tell you, I would have gladly paid more than that for Kita Kita. It is that good and here are some reasons why I am gushing about Lea and Tonyo: *some spoilers included so if you haven't watched the movie yet, stop reading now*
  • Alessandra is phenomenal. The first time that I watched her was in Azucena, way back in college when we needed to watch it for movie review. Even then, I saw her potential, she is a great actress at her early age. Ang galing lang ng mga mata nya. Here in Kita Kita, the scene where her fiance stood her up for their anniversary and she took a photo by herself in a photo booth, ramdam mo sa mga mata nya na may pinagdadaanan sya. 
  • Empoy was surprisingly great. I only saw this guy in a few TV appearances, I find his jokes okay but not enough for me to pay for a movie. In all honesty, he is the reason why I was hesitant to watch Kita Kita. I don't know the guy, his kind of humor is just normal for me, nothing fancy. But, gosh, that normal, nothing fancy thing is why this movie is earning a lot to this day. Empoy is so natural that I would like to believe some scenes where Alessandra is laughing is not acting anymore, I believe she is laughing in real life because Empoy is unmistakably funny. Sobra, first scene pa lang na pinakita sya tumatawa na kami. I'm glad to be proven wrong on how I see this guy. Ang laki ng ikinagwapo nya sa movie na to!
  • The script, I have no words. Not the typical, commercialized Rom-Com that I was used to watching - I love Popoy and Basha, Laida and Miggy - but Lea and Tonyo's story is a different genre. Kalmado the entire movie, walang rollercoaster of intense emotions. I felt warmth the entire time that we were watching it. Gusto kong mag slow clap for Kita Kita director and screenwriter Sigrid Bernardo. \
  • The setting. Sapporo, Japan is never heard of, at least for me. The movie depicted the town as a peaceful, laid back place. I liked that the movie did not use a setting that is too well known. Sapporo is just perfect for the flow of the movie - tahimik, malalim. 
  • The twists and turns of the story is clever. Nung nagback track na how Tonyo met Lea, ang warm talaga sa pakiramdam. May lungkot but not naman to the point na hahagulgol ka, lungkot na tipong reminiscing lang of the good old times ang pakiramdam ko and panghihinayang. I said before no rollercoaster of intense emotions, hindi sobrang lungkot hindi sobrang saya. Tama lang talaga ang timpla.
  •  I've heard reviews saying the movie's ending is not that good. It was unexpected yes, kasi ang una kong naisip "Ay, tapos na? Yun na yun?". Very abrupt kasi nag black screen bigla but it was okay for me. Lea lost Tonyo, she looked back at all their good times, cried for her loss, the end. There's nothing much to say after that and ayoko naman na like most Rom-Com's pahahabain pa ang istorya for the sake of humaba lang. 
  • The song Two Less Lonely People in the World. I am not a fan of cheesy lovesongs. Highschool pa ata ako nung huli kong nagustuhan yung mga ganyan but KZ Tandingan's version of the song added a different flavor. Ang ganda ng areglo, ang ganda ng boses nya. It was on repeat on my Spotify on my way home from watching the movie and now as I am writing this post. Listen here: Two Less Lonely People in the World by KZ Tandingan
  •  Alessandra and Empoy together. What an unlikely pair. They are the perfect unfits. I did not expect the two of them to have chemistry - ang ganda ni Alessandra, ang simple ni Empoy, ang lalim ng acting ni Alex, very comical si Empoy. One balances the other and their tandem is one reason why this movie is a success. 

I only have great things to say about the movie, I cannot think of a single thing na hindi ko nagustuhan. Their gross earnings of 230M on their second week is proof enough that this movie is not your ordinary Pinoy rom-com. I hope more people will watch it and pay for it instead of just watching through the pirated ones uploaded online. Give credit where credit is due and Kita Kita is worth the credit. Let's pay for movies like these so that more producers will invest on quality Filipino movies. 

Go watch Kita Kita, hindi ka magsisi, promise!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Struggle to be a Good Mom


Don't shout.


I failed. I shouted again at my two kids aged 6 and 2 years old. This happened one evening this week when I just arrived home from work and upon checking my 6 year old's school diary, I found out that I still need to prepare for project materials that are needed the next day. And to think that I just did the same thing for 3 other subjects the previous night. I had to cram - turn on the laptop, do some research, print, gather the materials - all of that while the 2 year old is crying and the older one is being his usual rowdy self running around the house teasing his little brother.

The long list of school project materials of my first grader

I've had it. It has been a stressful week with both kids being sick, me with very little sleep and school assignments and projects piling up. That particular night, I was tired and hungry and wet from the rain. So, I lost it. My meltdown was so bad, I was screaming for at least five minutes at my two sick boys, begging them to shut up.

I was a bad mom at that moment. There was no doubt about it and nothing, not even my lack of sleep, is reason enough for me to behave that way.

I'm struggling to apply positive parenting but fails each and every time. I can't do it. The pressure at work, the clingy youngest kid and the loud eldest kid gets to my nerves and I shout. I was never a yeller. My husband even noticed this, he told one time "You were very patient when we first met but since the kids arrive, you became short-tempered and you get mad easily."

What happened?

Work, traffic, house chores, yaya problems, demanding first grade school stuff, active toddler. Those are what happened and the reasons why I am such a lousy mom these past few days.

I have to remind myself that the kids are watching, whatever I say and do will be mimicked by two boys, they might think my behavior is normal. I have to be mindful of my actions and how it will affect my kids.

Also, I should never forget that all of these are temporary anyway. The kids will grow up and soon I will be left with a clean house, no more assignments to help with, no more loud kids to shush.

I've got a long way to go but for now, I'll just take this one day at a time, let these kids be kids, take a deep breath and be grateful that I survived yet another day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Life with Boys

It's 2017, 3 years since my last post. Saying that life has been busy is an understatement! Life has been more than busy since 2014 - it's been tiring, hectic, tiring again. But beyond the tired there is also happiness and love.

Before I gave birth to Jeron, my constant fear was will I have enough love for two boys. I felt then that I have given Johan all the love there is to give that I don't have any left for a second child. Oh how mistaken I was! As soon as Jeron came it felt as if my heart has expanded to double it's size and I have more than enough love for my boys. How amazing a human heart really is!

Being a mom of two has been busy add to that the fact that I have a full time day job. As soon as I arrive home, my boys, both excited to see me, will be all over me. Johan will be talking nonstop about how his day went while Jeron will just be too clingy and won't let me out of his sight. Believe me, I used to want this much attention when I was younger but there are days when I dream to have a quiet moment of rest after a day at the office. 

That is the reason why it took me a long time to blog again. I've been busy -  with motherhood, with work, with life. But Jeron is turning three in October, he has started learning to play with his Kuya which gives me a little more time of solitude. Right now, they're both nursing a fever, I have just sprayed the room with disinfectant and we are in the living room watching Disney Jr. 

So maybe this is the continuation of my blogging life. Hopefully. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Second Little Miracle - Jeron Miguel

I have been very vocal about this being a difficult pregnancy. It has been an almost nine months of bedrest for me, numerous preterm contractions and subchorionic hemorrhage. I took all of those quite easily - when my doctor advised me to be on bedrest during the second trimester and told me that it would last until I give birth, I was pretty much okay with it. Anything for the baby.

Then come August 30, a routine ultrasound showed that my amniotic fluid is high and my doctor diagnosed it to be Polyhydroamnios. I was asked to do a Fasting Blood Sugar test to determine if my glucose level is high causing the amniotic fluid to be excessive. The test yielded a negative result. My glucose is within the normal limits. 

On September 13, we came back to the hospital and did another ultrasound. That was the day that I literally broke down in front of my doctor, my firstborn and my husband. The ultrasound result showed that the baby had a minimal edema on both the head and the abdomen. I was very scared for the baby and the first thing that entered my mind was my baby might have Hydrocephalus. I cried at my doctor's clinic, I cried when I saw my cousin, I cried in the car while talking to my sister on the phone, I cried when we arrived home. It was a very scary thought and I cannot accept it.

I only told a few relatives and few trusted friends about the result. I posted prayers and motivational quotes on Instagram and Facebook without explaining fully what we were going through at the time. My husband and I rarely talked about it at home, I guess we were both scared. I asked prayers from friends and family, my husband gave up smoking as his own sacrifice for the baby's health.

I was scheduled to undergo a Congenital Anomaly Scan to really determine the condition of the baby. On the day of the scan, the Perinatologist decided to do a Biophysical Profile Score instead as it was already far along in my pregnancy and the Congenital Anomaly Scan won't be as beneficial as when it is done at 20 weeks.

The first thing that the Perinatologist told us was that the edema on both the head and abdomen was less pronounced. We all breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that but the next question that my doctor asked me almost gave me a nervous breakdown, "Do you have a history of Down Syndrome?". The ultrasound showed the baby having a thickened tissue around the nape area and according to the doctors this is one of the symptoms of Down Syndrome.

I was once again scared for the baby. I started reading through forums about Down Syndrome and searched for support groups when I realized that I am already acting as if my baby has Down Syndrome when it was not diagnosed yet. I changed my way of thinking, I tried to keep a positive attitude, claiming that my son will not have Down Syndrome and that he will be born in the best of health. I prayed a lot. Family and friends prayed with me.

I was asked to return for another ultrasound to check if the thickened tissue on the nape of the baby worsened or lessened. The Perinatologist didn't see the same thickness on the nape area, my son's face looked normal on the ultrasound, the edema on the head and abdomen looked like just fat. But still, she could not rule out Down Syndrome until the baby is born. So she advised us to stop researching, stop stressing out, keep praying and just wait until the birth of the baby. And that's what we all did.

On October 18, the supposed final check up before I give birth via scheduled CS on the 24th, I was hooked up to a machine to monitor possible contractions. It turned out that I was already having contractions and they are pretty close. My doctor then decided that I will be delivering our second child that day. I asked if my husband can go inside the operating room with me, I was thinking what if the baby has Down Syndrome, I don't know how I will react. I need somebody there for support. Unfortunately, family is still not allowed inside the operating room. So it was just me, my doctor, an array of other medical practitioners and my prayers who went inside the operating room.

Little did I know that my family already arrived at the delivery room's waiting area, all ready to offer their support should we face our fears regarding the baby's condition. They are all there ready to welcome our second son.

At 12:50 in the afternoon of October 18, I delivered our second son, Jeron Miguel. All of our prayers were answered! He did not have any congenital condition, his head and his abdomen are both okay, he is a healthy young boy! 

Thank you to the doctors and nurses of the Metropolitan Medical Center for the superb job of taking care of me and Jeron during our stay, our deepest gratitude to my OB-Gyne, Dra. Eva Macababbad for being the dedicated and great doctor that she is but most especially for being a friend during the times that we were all worried about Jeron's condition and finally, thank you to everyone who prayed for our family to be strong, to keep the faith and to keep on believing. Prayers do move mountains and truly there is nothing impossible with God.


Related Posts with Thumbnails