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Showing posts with label CJ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CJ. Show all posts

28 November 2012

That hormonal mama dolphin



The can't-shut-up version: This was a day of touring an island city resort. We're back from a show where the main star, a pregnant dolphin, refused to come out at exactly action time. Management apologized. We then headed to a nearby restaurant where I took care of CJ's food that he couldn't consume.  With the heavy safety hat that he was forced to wear earlier and the dolphin show that never was, what kid wouldn't look like he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders?

26 September 2012

Knight's kiss


In a fairytale world, she's the damsel in distress and he's the gallant knight in shining armor who comes to rescue her from the tower of the evil witch.

Enter reality -

CJ in a golden steed green bike and Pinky gallop to the sunset head to the lift of a six-storey apartment building. They speak different languages. They also have different personalities. He is an introvert; she is obedient. And sweet. When asked to kiss him she obliged. Click!  goes the knight's little professor's very first kiss from a girl besides his mom.

20 August 2012

Save * Share * Spend



Divorce wiped me off something I would have been entitled to. That didn't bother me a hoot thanks to financial independence. But when the almighty ex-MIL cancelled my son's trust fund (long story, complicated) I had to look beyond mall windows to think.

The realization that I am responsible for the loss of what is due the kiddo (we're talking more than a few digits here) horrifies me. Add the thought of giving up fine dining and entertainment, holidays abroad, and I'm twirling a nightmare in manicured fingernails. 

The situation provides a steady supply of adrenaline as I scramble to adjust priorities hopping from one advice to another, experimenting, analyzing and trying out examples. Who wants a nightmare when life can go on nicely with some practice of what has been an option all along? Saving it is. A Yahoo Finance article shows readers how to live well on $40,000 a year. It looks feasible and motivated me to set a financial goal for CJ that will teach him how to spend, share and save money.

Three S's - save, share, spend: two in water canisters and one in a cookie can. We upgrade to proper jars or milk cans later. I will be giving CJ $10 a week =  4 dollars to save, 3 to share and 3 to spend.  

Things are about to change for my Little Professor. He will earn his money by doing chores. It's time to appreciate hard work that goes with money acquisition. This is all new to him, and to me as well. But I'm eager to execute the plan. If he wants things badly enough then he will have to sort out schoolwork regularly and take violin lessons.

Times indeed have changed. When I was my kiddo's age I was forced to take up piano lessons without pay. Now he is getting paid for doing things he is supposed to do anyway. But since the goal is to teach him about money, this means will be an exception.

If all goes well, i.e. this money management runs smoothly and CJ does well in his job on top of the trust fund I set up for him myself to make up for the one canceled by his grandma, he will be like little Ava in that Yahoo article that inspired this plan, 'wealthy in more ways than a fat bank account can show.'

30 July 2012

Countryschool children

Coconut trees chime with the mountain breeze cooling this country school in a cozy town known as the 'fruit and flower basket of South Cotabato,' a province an hour and a half plane ride from the Philippine capital of Manila. Children were queuing up to get to their classrooms when I got in for a friendly business chat with the principal.

 
Cashew Fia, girl in white shirt and sneakers, far left, runs to greet CJ (little boy blue with his back to the camera) who was late for flag ceremony. They are classmates in first grade. Srifle, the Red Riding Hood holding CJ's hand, is a girl I hired to help (the Grandma who is official guardian) look after CJ. Cheeky, my niece's dog escorted the duo. That must be his way of saying thank you for the free breakfast I gave him that morning.


There's a class entrance protocol that is new to me. Each child takes the teacher's right hand to have it touch lightly on his forehead, and then give the teacher a peck on the cheek before he enters the classroom. The teacher in turn hugs each child and says words of blessing before letting him in. It is done quickly and then the children settle in comfortably on their chairs. They start the class with a song, a Bible verse and a prayer.


Almost three decades have passed since I studied briefly in this school. Corn and lemon used to grow on the front yard. A couple of my family elders have since retired from the school board. Computers now work in the offices, no more yummy ube jam in the canteen, but the christian country charm continues to warm the heart. I will always like it that way.

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15 June 2012

Benefiting from English

Monday, June 11th was CJ's first day in first grade and the next day I was still on the phone, hungry for updates. My foremost concern was how did he find and take it. Any friends? The first day, I was told, they did mostly orientation stuff. What I liked hearing best of all was that CJ found a friend and behaved just fine.


"Oh, that's good," I said to the Grandma. "Who is that kid?" Like any mom I am interested to know who are my child's friends. CJ's new school friend, I found, is a transferee student from Cebu. "Looks like a smart kid," Grandma observed, "he and CJ hit it off quickly as they have one thing in common - they both speak English."

Apparently, CJ's English language training has benefited him. And I have yet to 'unboggle' my mind about all this talk of local dialects in Philippine schools being adapted as medium of instruction, translations to English, and back to conversational lingo. Sometimes it seems to me Moms have more schoolwork to do than kids.

Mommy Moments & Color Connection



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08 June 2012

The first grader

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Garuda as national symbol of Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Garuda as national symbol of Thailand[/caption]

Due to a previous school experience in Thailand that CJ had when he was 3, we relaxed adherence to schooling tradition and let him take his time at kindergarten in the Philippines.  But two weeks ago he turned 8 and from the info that the Grandma got from his K1 teacher, CJ would be in K2 next. K2? At 8? Time for horribly expensive overseas phone calls again.

Things could sometimes be downright opaque with long-distance parenting. I know though that CJ lacks learning motivation despite surprising shows of reasoning that under his circumstances I never thought he would be capable of.

Thanks to DepEd guys-slash-close friends Vi and JL who shared what they know upon which I based my decision to sort out CJ's grade level. JL alerted me to the K+12 basic education program that kicks off this year. That certainly bears an impact on CJ's age angle even more. Remedial classes should be available for children with difficulty catching up. All matters considered, including recommendations from CJ's psychologist and developmental pediatrician, he ought to be in first grade this school year.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="137" caption="Department of Education (Philippines) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Department of Education (Philippines)[/caption]

That K2 thingy hangs like a black cloud above my head. Plan B includes sending CJ to public school if CJ's present (private) school refuses to admit him to Grade 1. Vi tried to diffuse my tension by saying everything will be fine. Let Grandma pull a few strings as a school board member. Wry smile: Grandma is no longer holding such post, and even if she does I still need to arrange things properly.

So krinnnnggggg goes my phone. I sorted CJ's case with the school principal who discussed with me exactly what I hoped to hear from him. He also confirmed my observation that most of whatever the Department of Education regulates or implements, private schools follow. CJ would be in first grade come Monday, June 11th.

 Mommy Moments & Color Connection

25 May 2012

Beautiful eight

On Wednesday, May 23rd CJ turned 8. Planning the celebration was ironically quicker in a distance than when I was personally fussing over every detail in previous birthdays. I woke up at half past six, Thailand time and waited for the clock to strike seven when it was eight in the Philippines to greet my little guy.

He was already out biking. My heart danced at how normal a young boy's activity that can be. Grandma hollered, "CJ! your Mom's on the phone!" Pause - then it was a trumpeting sound on the line. He let me in on it: "my Ben 10 sword, Mommy." Oh, okay. I thought it was new year there already.

Quite a birthday. Quiet and controlled as I put together a few things that bind us -


A reading to commemorate CJ's eighth year -


and eight things I am thankful for:

  1. reaching the eighth year in good health

  2. the opportunity to celebrate it

  3. big improvement on speech and motor skills

  4. having the means to provide for him

  5. feeling heaven's warmth on my tea table,

  6. which was filled with charm specially for the day,

  7. and being able to document it

  8. hearing "I love you Mommy"
In the stillness of midday, I smiled in gratefulness to God for carrying me this far in my role as a mother.

18 May 2012

Dust off

"Don't look at my feet, Grandma so you can not see that it's dirty," says CJ when he does not want to take a shower before bed.

Good heavens where did he get that? I always washed my feet before I went to bed when I was a little girl.  And CJ's Dad always showered. Our conversations at least didn't have indications that former Mom-in-law had isuues with ex-hubster on taking showers when he was CJ's age.

Honestly I am amused. But perhaps because I am not directly in line at the moment to deal with such 21st century child's progress in reasoning.

Good old psychology has been right all along to observe that 'little boys don’t take baths, they just dust off.' That takes me to a tantrum he threw in Hong Kong because I forced him to take a shower. 

Sometimes now I think I should have just let him dust off, although I don't think it should apply to dirty feet in bed. How long would this argument last, I wonder, but he's a boy and I'm just his mom learning, learning, learning.

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20 April 2012

Smells green

Children. Don't they amuse or annoy and even confuse when they are cheeky? When they call a white object blue and accompany that declaration with a cute smirk - at least I, as a PDD mom find my mind in a pirouette over a little cheekiness from my boy.


Grandma chats with a neighbor. The chat goes on for awhile and CJ plays precocious: "Shut up!" hands on ears and pretending to be distressed, "I'm going to sleep. Everyone, quiet!"

A friend's son, Daniel (the chubby chinoy on his mom's lap) behaves like CJ in some ways. While the rest of the family gathered around the TV for a pinoy movie to conclude our dinner, Daniel and I sat on the bed where he nailed one delightful observation:

Daniel: Auntie, what is that?

Me: (examining the bottle) A liniment. What color is it, Daniel?

Daniel: Green.

Me: (muttering to myself) Thank goodness I don't have to smell like a quack doctor's patient with this product. (then back from my private thoughts) Come Daniel, here, lovely winter mint.

Daniel: (in perfect accent and perfectly imperfect grammar) It smell green!

Immediately I was transported to market day in Cortona, to Francis writing on a postcard, "it even smells purple." Remember Under the Tuscan Sun?  This was obviously a coincidence of color perception but let me just hurray how kids can be marvelous.


Especially when they're not fighting like cats and dogs as these siblings used to when they were little. Look at them now - so peaceful :D. They're going to kill me if they discover I'm blogging about them but they are too busy to read their old aunt's drama so I should be safe for now. That's the niece in a previous post, the one I gifted with a pair of silver heels for her graduation. I heard they were too big so she stuffed tissue paper in them. What grief those shoes must have caused her toes, poor baby.


These two flew in from Cebu last week. We celebrated Songkran (Thai New Year) together which was loads of fun. I'll probably blog about that later. Meanwhile, what a diversion tweaking these photos on Photobucket or I probably just had too much time. But surely, happiness is when you don't have to celebrate a major holiday alone.

06 April 2012

A smoking computer, a real phone and a reason

All the while I was imagining CJ's computer was being used mainly for homework and educational entertainment. Oblivious me. The use has been more like games. It is probably time to buy a new computer again as the old one overheated last night.  Smoked to kingdom come. Bye-bye Pooh Bear (nickname of CJ's computer).

So the Grandma complained that after Pooh Bear, CJ's attention has been on her phone.  I asked what he was doing with it. "Games of course," Mother sounded exasperated. "But he's never been exposed to that sort of thing," I countered.  "Well, hello Girl, it only took your son one look at his cousin doing it, and now he's into soccer, soccer, soccer!" Ops....

These boys have a little explaining to do.



The poor Grandma tries to hide her phone lest some mischievous fingers tinker their way to it. They usually do and when she needs to use it, she hears this:

"Buy me a real phone Grandma so that I will not borrow yours. Tell Mommy."

"So that I will not borrow yours."  Some reasoning, eh? Boys!

Actually I have been eyeing kiddie phones even before CJ was born. But I've been putting the plan aside because I only want it for monitoring purposes and ever since I haven't seen the need. Following last night's awakening I googled kiddie phones, and saw these choices:



Some have parental control, and some have only two buttons - "Mom" and "Dad."

Will I be bonkers to hope that they do not have games in their techie bellies? I'd love to hear your thoughts or recommendations.

The phone game investigation still stands. But I'm not hard to negotiate with. A few cute antics and my heart melts away forgetting that Pooh Bear is now resting in peace.

30 March 2012

Graduation Season

'Tis the season for medals, ribbons, caps and gowns in the Philippines!

A cousin's son finished kindergarten and took home many awards, the niece I talked about in a previous post wore the graduation gift I sent her and posted photos on Facebook. I wanted to steal one to show off here but decided against it (lol).

On moving up day CJ got a ribbon for being most obedient. I was more amused than impressed. At home CJ could be quite difficult to handle when it comes to obeying but my mother and I thought it was better not to contradict the teacher :).  Over at my faculty a Business Administration graduating class gave me a basketful of 'thank you' gift. The medal is CJ's. He got it while attending K1 in Bangkok.

More happy stuff - Mother hosts dinner for nephews and nieces who are on school break, a nephew's girlfriend gives birth, and CJ socializes with his cousins - which is big deal to me considering his developmental issues. The therapy sessions must be working and I am getting my money's worth.

With Father gone, and I, absent from home 99% of the year, besides being an only child with an only child and without a husband - I really get excited when cousins and their families visit us. Our empty nest comes to life with food and chatter.


This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.


23 March 2012

Children's Poetry Day

A heap of celebrations fill March 21st - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, National Common Courtesy Day.... Out of thirteen there are two that particularly attracted me: National Single Parents Day and Children's Poetry Day.

Raising my kid all by myself makes me fond of National Single Parents Day. On its FB page this About is written:

The goal of National Single Parents Day is to empower single parents and their friends and family.... Public awareness of issues affecting single parents is so important.


Thank goodness I do not own all single parent-related issues in the world. God must love me this much he has granted me enough financial independence for as long as I can remember after earning work qualifications.



To commemorate Children's Poetry Day, let me share this poem from iloveindia.com. I italicized lines that are not true to my son, nor to me.  The rest are.

My Childhood
My childhood was fun, tough and exciting,
My childhood was one where there wasn't much fighting,
This is my childhood. My childhood was filled with family and friend(s),
My childhood was filled with love and lots of happy holidays,


My childhood was filled with tricycles and bicycles,
My childhood is filled with lots of classwork and homework,
My childhood is filled with parents that don’t work,
Annoying loving brother and sisters.


This is my childhood. My childhood is filled with a grandmother that was caring and loving

When I left her, I was hurt. But it's for the best.
I remember the good and happy times we shared together.
This was my loving childhood that I will not forget. This was my childhood.


Now what are these 'robots' interlapping my talk for? There was a Japanese-Thai Anime fest last week and I thought CJ would have had fun at this show. These toys are banned at home to follow his therapist's advice.

But once in awhile I allow him to play, admire and/or fantasize on these things. A little dose of indulgence won't kill his imagination.


This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.








17 February 2012

Holes on the wall

How often do you get to a cafe with part of its walls like this?


To be honest I had no idea what was this. But I love literature, and I am always thrilled to spot references to it in places I do not expect them to be at. A bit of skimming tells me this is from a novel called Holes by Louis Sachar.  It won the 1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and was adapted into a film in 2003.

What adds to my delight is finding that in 1999 Holes won the Newbery Medal for "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."


'For Children.' As moms aren't we always on the lookout for media that we would consider sharing to our kids?


This post is linked with Happiness is... and Mommy Moments.

10 February 2012

Airport flowers

A one and a half, early morning flight from Manila usually arrives in Gensan when the sun is blazing. Too hot. I understand why this flower has wilted. Looking at all these DSLR products everywhere tells me this shot is blurred. I am a little dissatisfied of it myself but I am keeping it for good reason.


And that is because my son gave it to me at the airport.



A friend passed through the same airport a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering if this was the same flower as the one my son gave me.


It looks like a flowering tree. I never gave it any other notice beyond vaguely thinking it's pretty and that's that. But I guess now you would know why I think it is more than just pretty.


This post is linked with Happiness is... and Mommy Moments.

30 March 2011

Kneel

Kneel

It happens in church and in church school
Children are taught that praying is cool.
God loves you, He took the cross for you
Talk to Him, He'd love a feel
Kneel in prayer and seal the deal.

 
This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

24 December 2010

Technoperfect Christmas


Mommy Moments is where Moms muse about motherhood and show off their kids. Joys, worries, disappointments, hopes, challenges and successes are shared. Chris hosts this meme every Friday at The Mommy Journey.

With the way things are going for me I know I will not be celebrating Christmas normally. This year though I got a wonderful surprise. People at home did something they rarely do and I was ecstatic! Cj did not face the camera long enough but it was okay. A boy's got to go play I know, I know :)

"I am eating mani (peanut)," Cj stressed when I asked him what was he doing. He swayed his glossy hair muttering quietly 'Mommy, Mommy...' before he went out of the bedroom to play with cousins. My mother then took over the keyboard. Blimey! my 69-year old mother finally chatting with me online? Do I really get a rest now from expensive overseas calls? I hope Cj's computer gets a rest too from the dust or cobweb.

Technology does a perfect job of bringing us closer to loved ones. I appreciate it more than ever.

Merry Christmas Glitter Graphics - Glitterlive.com

25 November 2010

So big

Mommy Moments is where Moms muse about motherhood and show off their kids.

Joys, worries, disappointments, hopes, challenges and successes are shared.

Chris hosts this meme every Friday at The Mommy Journey.


Today's theme got me debating if these punching bags would do.

Maybe HK skyscrapers would count. Three of the world's tallest buildings felt lofty across the horizon. So big too.

They dwarf me much like the way challenges of mommyhood do. But then life is bigger than all these biggies. And good too.

19 November 2010

So little

Mommy Moments is a meme where Moms muse about motherhood and show off their kids.

Joys, worries, disappointments, hopes, challenges and successes are shared.

Chris hosts this meme every Friday at The Mommy Journey.

Today's topic is so little. I dug through what's left of CJ's offline albums and found one I scanned last night. This is one of CJ's earliest photos. He's just hours old. The first time I looked at my trophy, I was slightly aghast: CJ looked like a lizard. So you guessed it - little, tiny everything. Too little perhaps for a silly first-timer's vanity.

CJ with his tiny self is pictured here with his paternal uncle who cradled him away from camera flashes. I obviously didn't do research on photographing infants, but I'm glad I have this shot as I don't know when are they ever going to pose again together.

CJ is not letting his recent, little obsession off his cheeky grasp. He takes it with him everywhere. I sing him, "CJ has an Ultraman, Ultraman, Ultraman..." to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.


And these are CJ's little men; his little sidekicks during his 6th swimming birthday party. This was when I fulfilled a promise I made to him on his 5th birthday - no more girly decors on his next cake, What was Mom thinking! and HK Disneyland to compensate for those flowers on the 5th cake that he snubbed.

To be honest I did buy one of those odd, little toys in HK to avoid a tantrum, aggh.... Boys!

08 October 2010

Coconut husk


"... and you're travelling with your daughter, Ma'am?" asked the immigration official at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. He examined CJ's passport then looked at CJ and his shoulder-length hair. The official furrowed his brow. I stifled a laugh. At Bangkok Airport, the confusion scene was similar.

CJ's 'normal' hairstyle is short like most boys.

Sometimes a hair saloon would take the liberty of cutting him their version of stylish -

Once he wasn't aware of the camera in my hand. He turned and I clicked right into his long bangs -

Round and round Hong Kong, I had no idea his hair was this long already until this photo was uploaded. Only a few hours after we arrived home, CJ's grandma had his long hair trimmed very short.


Now he looks like a coconut husk floor scrub.


We're doing hairstyles this week @ The Mommy Journey.

24 September 2010

Disney Magic

Relying almost entirely on milk and unless starving, CJ doesn't eat. So when I witness moments like this, I feel relieved. His recent snack choice is kechup or soy sauce. To make him eat something healthy I try these strategies simultaneously: coax, beg, threaten, set an example by eating the food myself or bribe.

"I'll let you play all you want with Winnie the Pooh, Lion King and Mickey Mouse if you eat," goes the motivating factor behind this episode. Ibbity-Bobbity Boo! a little mouth opens wide.

For a picky eater, this bite looks big enough to last him til the next snack time.

Snacks going on at the Mommy Journey.
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