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Showing posts with label Mommy Moments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mommy Moments. Show all posts

13 July 2012

Mild phone addiction



In a bid to make CJ follow his morning routine before going to school, i.e., eat, brush teeth and shower on time, I offered him a deal he could not say no to: his own mobile phone. He is mainly after the games so I bought him this China-made, disposable Nokia something.



And a mild addiction began surfacing. More worthwhile activities are put on hold. Yaya could hardly coax him to eat. Wasn't I told in previous talks with the Grandma that CJ was so keen on this sort of gadget? So I learned yet again.

The fun is on sending each other messages when we are actually just a room apart, no matter how terse replies to my full sentences are. Some indulgence during a two-week vacation when distance between us shrank could not be very bad. Gradual phone use restriction should be in order now that I'm back to reality, a.k.a. work.

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

31 May 2012

Encouragement: Colorado power pack and a giveaway

Encouragement. Don't we all need that?!

Unless you are a super natural being you need encouragement, just like any normal person. We are talking of the type that we need for day to day living.

As a working mother I need lots of encouragement and tips on how to run my household while raising a boy whose hyperactivity often coincides perfectly with times I tidy a certain part of our home. One minute everything's in order. The next I see the same things crumble right where they are like a sand castle dissolving in a rush of waves.

The Colorado power pack audio set by Lorie Flem works nicely for me. It is an audio bundle filled with help, suggestions and yes, encouragement for wives, mothers, or women contemplating a home and family. As I listened to it, I nodded several times, thinking 'how true!' or 'haven't I encountered that situation before?' 'How did I survive it, I wonder....'

This audio set is filled with inspiring examples of women in the Bible who, just like you and me, are wives and mothers who also had issues and struggles of their own.  They had personalities. They had attitudes. Exactly just like us. If they can be successful in their roles in those days so can we.

Check out these valuable inclusions in the bundle:

  • Keys to a queenly castle

  • Attitude Adjustments

  • Encouragement for the weary homeschooler

  • Cheerful children and challenging chores

  • Teach so they'll learn

  • Dawdling or diligence

  • Welcome home, Daddy

  • Doing enough and fortifying the foundation


Ladies, take this hint I got from the set: there's a way you can impact a certain thing when your husband walks through the door.

You can find out what is that and more from www.eternalencouragment.com for $29.97

And the giveaway: Get a copy of this audio bundle for yourself here. Leave a comment by May 31st. The winner will be notified via email.

I received this product as part of the Gabby Moms review program in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This post is also shared with Mommy Moments friends.

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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16 May 2012

Justified exposure

May 3-5 came and went. I monitored CJ's convention activities online. From the grandma's daily updates I learned that CJ found a friend and was out playing with that friend while sessions went on. Brilliant. But then I go back to conscious-of-his-issues mode and I reiterate brilliant. He socialized and that's big deal to me. Day 3 was spent celebrating this -


I am happy to see familiar faces: neighbors' and church friends' kids. Some of them are regular guests at CJ's birthday parties for two consecutive years now.

They seem to be sharing a light moment with the audience -




Now I understand why CJ's developmental pediatrician shook her head firmly when I asked, "is it autism, 'Doc?" I braced myself for the worst; and it's one of those rare times when my heart leapt to Cloud Nine for not getting what I expected.

Never mind that I ended up paying for what turned out to be play convention. I just love signs that my money is not wasted on expensive therapy and even more expensive hours at the specialist's office.

27 April 2012

CJ's convention and CaCoy's colors



My moment as a mom this week was to enlist CJ in a Children's Convention on May 3-5. He is going with Grandma. I gladly anticipate results.

As an auntie I recall a happy dining moment with nephew CaCoy.  We - cousins, spouses and kids lazed an entire week away in Huahin, the Thai royal family's summer home. One of those evenings we had dinner in the night market opposite the beach.

I marvel at CaCoy's changing colors.  With a half Spanish paternal Grandma I swear he was pale pink as a baby. With football in school his ecru skin slowly vanished. Then he went chasing coconut bugs in the glare of the tropical sun. That was the final straw. He turned midnight black without further ado.

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.








16 March 2012

Shoe rules


“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.”


That is one of my fave quotes about shoes. Except perhaps books, nothing excites me more than the sight of shoes. CJ's 4th Crocs are among other pairs I could hardly remember to track. Back when my Ex was drawn to the Casino at the Thai - Cambodia border, I focused in the shoe shops. 



Last night I went shopping with a cousin who got this beauty to match her daughter's summer dress -



Daughter is due to graduate next week and I surprised my cousin by saying "on me" when she decided to check out this pair -


My niece studies at the same school I attended. In my time there wasn't any 'shoe regulation' during commencement exercises, and I didn't hear of any nowadays.

A girl friend once said to me that they had shoe guidelines at her medschool graduation, but she wore what she liked anyway. I could have hardly gotten past the parking lot if I did that during my gradschool graduation among temple spires and chili patches.

Shoe rules seem stricter in the kingdom than in the republic. Small sacrifice if a minor addict considers other pleasures derived from such delightful things ;)

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

09 March 2012

Calls and attorneys


LDP or long - distance parenting entails lengthy phone calls and expensive phone bills. The latter element of this reality changed when a cousin began selling calls to the Philippines, each lasting 49 minutes for only 110 baht. Quite a break from when I used to pay an average of 4,000 baht a month and sometimes twice that figure; which is more than enough for a low cost two-way Bangkok - Manila ticket.

That is something I am greatly thankful for and happy about nowadays. The other thing is learning something new out of LDP:  Special Power of Attorney, which authorizes a guardian to process documents in behalf of a minor. My kiddo's Philippine passport (he has dual citizenship; holds two passports) needs to be renewed as the plan this summer is for him to do some traveling again.

This notarial service at the Philippine embassy in Bangkok is efficient. I got the SPA and sent it by registered mail within three hours yesterday.

It looks like I'm dealing with airports, air crafts, and immigration again in a few weeks. This could be tiresome but I'm warding off wrinkles by counting blessings instead.

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


02 March 2012

Jacquie Lawson ecard


Are you familiar with Jacquie Lawson ecards?

Thom, a bloggity friend sent me an animated flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson. That was about three years ago and though he's no longer blogging regularly nowadays, these ecards keep coming. And do I like these cards? You bet!

A few reasons why I like, no, love them:

Following instructions and discovering what comes out is so much fun. I love what I see so much I take a shot of one scene despite knowing the result won't be as I see it live on screen. They are hand paintings! Just my kind of art.And the music works perfectly for me. Here's an example:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7V_Ya8uRmk&feature=related[/youtube]

Back to fabulous Thom Robinson. Except for our blogging interaction I haven't done anything to compel him to send me cards that are costing him. So I call it pure thoughtfulness on his part. Last week I sent him a message thanking him for the Valentine ecard. He replied asking how CJ is. He even remembered that I have a son. Aren't some people just beautiful, just grand? 

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

24 February 2012

Kiddie Fest: sack race partners

"They got second place in the sack race. I asked Maybelle to accompany him. They're getting ready for the mass dance now."


That was my mother's SMS on February 17th.  I had forgotten that CJ was in Marbel for the Kiddie Fest, a children's activity organized by the Department of Education, participated in by both public and private school children.


Reality poked me again:  I am doing long-distance parenting right now and have to live with bits and pieces of this arrangement until we snag a better option. Fortunately I can be grateful and happy for the presence of loved ones in my son's life while I am not physically around.

Maybelle is my deceased cousin's youngest daughter. I took this photo of her and CJ goofing at home last summer. I am glad they get along well.  Thank you, Maybelle for being CJ's sack race partner.


I imagine myself leaping about with a 7 year-old in a sack. My mind flies back to a parade of high heels and work suits in my apartment, and I feel like bursting into laughter.  The funny feeling should at least soothe missing the fun of my son's activities.


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


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.

04 November 2011

One little guy's opinion

Last weekend my mother sent me a text describing CJ's comment on a page of a volume of his Bible Friends. It was one on the crucifixion:
This is Jesus. He said to his Father, why did you forsake me but he did not answer. Oh, what a pity to Jesus.

The wrong grammar and shaky semantics amused me. Detaching my rigid academic head off lay stuff was a learning moment. All those fine scholarly writings I encounter at work and I get to witness a child's cute opinion. Don't you just love life's bonuses?

Yesterday my mother rang. It was to worry about me and the current flood situation in Bangkok. A couple of minutes in:
CJ: (rambling in the background) I can't ride it anymore... (then butting in to address me) Mommmyyyy! why did you tie my swivel chair?

Me: Why, what did you do in church?

Am I not so deaf?! (nakakaloka ang buhay na to)


Ma then explained that she told CJ it was my order to have his swivel chair tied in a corner to prevent 'improper traffic' in the living room. With CJ's ongoing speech and occupational therapy sessions I am grateful his mind is functioning and he is behaving normally.




[caption id="attachment_7742" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Summer watching Ultraman in a makeshift corner; he would later discover another way of riding wheels - like yesterday's incident"][/caption]

This post is linked with Mommy Moments at The Mommy Journey.

07 January 2011

Goal goalie


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.

Goals. What are those?... Seriously that crossed my mind. For the life of me I am probably too benign with goals. If I didn't accomplish one, I could get so hard on myself. But goals. I play them by ear and you can bet your apron strings this will be simpler than putting on lipstick in the steering wheel while the light flashes red.

* Home school or something else
In May this year, CJ's developmental pediatrician suggested normal schooling. I had that followed. But my learner forms his own ideas of how he acquires education. I need to sort this out.

* Budget
Gone are the days of sitting pretty knowing money is not an issue. Four years have flown by since I signed those divorce papers and CJ got wiped out of his Dad's bank account. There's my appetite for travel, household name concerts, and luxury dining over dwindling cash. Last year I breezed through 5 major cities in 3 countries. No debts and I am proud of that. The goal here is to be willing to give up expensive tastes if the budget threatens to keel over.

* Emotional stability
Has life taught me anything yet? Excitement, terror, optimism, boredom are quite a handful of mix to manage. Now where is that useful thing called presence of mind?

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