Sunday, January 30, 2011

My First Ever Blog Award

A blogger friend of mine has given me an award.  The first time I ever got! I'm thrilled :-D  Thanks, Eins of Mommy Tots!!

The blog award consist of passing it on to other 15 bloggers and to share 7 things about me.  I might have a problem picking 15 bloggers as I do not have that much connection yet :-O but will try my best.  So here's the 7 things about me.

1. I can only swim (pool or sea) if I know my feet can touch the ground and the water does not go over my neck.

2.  I learned to ride the bike on my own and with a borrowed bike without a break.  In the process of learning, I ran over a 4 yr old child who was in the middle of the street.  I was about 8-9yrs old then.  

3. I worked at Jollibee during the summer break before starting college.  I worked at the delivery section - receiving orders via phone calls, preparing the orders and handling them down to the delivery boys.

4.  Lived in Madrid, Spain for 6 months then moved up to the north after.  Been living in Spain for 5 yrs and 7 months.

5.  I hate routine

6.  I'm addicted to chocolates and junk foods snacks.

7. Not a morning person.

Now the hardest task is to tag 15 bloggers.... here's my election:

1. Mommy Tots - I know you already have this award but I'm tagging you back! You deserve it :)
15. When Mom Talks

link back!

Nothing Beats Bayanihan

A nice 2011 welcome for us. We won the contest held by our internet provider with the prize of none other than a 1-yr free subscription of 100mb fiber optics internet connection, cable and phone line. Thanks to the new fad in facebook where companies use its popularity for marketing. The contest consist of leaving a Christmas greeting in the facebook page of our internet provider and gathering the most "likes". Hubby and I read the rules of the contest over and over again to make sure we are not going to break any of them and would later on be disqualified. We've got a good feeling we have a big possibility in this contest. It started Dec 16 and we were just able to enter by Dec 28. Did I say we were hectic busy these past months weeks? Well, we were and still are (hence the scarcity of my posts). So in spite of the other participants having a big advantage already, we were still positive we are going to have a good fight.

So off we joined. At the time we joined, the person with the most "likes" has around 45 votes. So hubby and I thought ok, 45 votes is a piece of cake. In less than a day we got 60++ votes so the following day, hubby already got the top position. Naturally the one that was running first place before got ticked off. He tried to get more votes. With every 20 more votes he gets, we get 40 more votes. Hubby and I were so amazed with the power of connections in facebook. I sent private messages (I currently have 395 friends) to my friends as I didn't want to bombard the walls of my friends with a request to help us win the contest. Plus I believe it is more appropriate and more personal to do so. I also commanded asked my siblings to force ask their friends to vote for us. Hubby has 98 friends and did the same thing...sent privies to each of them. 

For about two weeks, we were leading by nearly 100 more votes than the second in ranking. So were kinda thinking ok, he has probably given up and just thought he'd never get near us. Did I say he was ticked off? That's an understatement. He was furious! He started commenting on the company's blog and facebook page about the first-in-the-rank's (hubby) fishy activity about getting votes. He was like "the leading has only 98 friends and yet he has 300++ votes already - something's going on" and "the leading has 90% votes coming from the Philippines which has nothing to do with the internet subscription here in Spain" and "what the heck, I'm losing". Well, not that latter but whatever he says, that's what he only sounds. I was so tempted to answer him back with a look-whos-talking kind of retaliation but I stopped myself. Hubby and I said we should not enter his game. 

Confident that we are leading for almost 100 or more so votes, we brushed off any kind of negative comments and just wait for the days to pass and for the contest to be over. Then one day before the contest is concluded, hubby checked how the scores are and was surprised that suddenly, the close opponent garnered a whopping 80++ votes overnight. We were suddenly about just 20 votes away from losing. Our heart skipped a beat. At this rate, if we don't do anything the opponent will totally overtake us. 

We're just one day away from winning this contest and we are determined not to lose this chance! I waited till the sun rises in the Philippines. I called home in Manila, asked my siblings and cousins to bully ask their frineds to vote us. Hubby and I stayed online to monitor the scores and I sent some more privies to ask other friends whom I haven't asked before to vote for us. I sent another messages to other friends who didn't respond to my first message (there are those who decided to totally ignore...which felt a little sad). I posted a cry for help in my wall for everybody to see (I finally gave in but I swear I posted just twice ot maybe three times so I wouldn't flood anyone's wall). We were so overwhelmed with the support. In total, we got 372 votes against 259. I was warmed by the friends and friends of friends' (and even friends-of-friends-of-friends) concern and willingness to help. This IS the bayanihan value of the Filipinos. Modern but same spirit.

The old bayanihan way

So the contest ended and we won the first prize. Our internet company has declared hubby as the winner and congratulated us. The twitter representative has been ultra nice to me...he has even followed up on me to ask how does the 100mb connection experience so far. Told him it is splendid and that after all the work (told him the 101nights story) and he said with all the work we've done to win the contest, then we really are the deserving winners. Isn't he the sweetest? He was also the one who gave me a free shirt for being the 101st follower in twitter! He's like a bestfriend!

I sent him this photo after receiving the gift:

I can't express more our gratitude to those who helped.  Thank you once again to everyone especially to those who made an effort to ask their friends to vote for us.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

She Loves Water

On the same day she turned 9 months, she started her first swimming lesson. My silly husband was too excited and nervous. Me? I was just excited ::grins:: We've been waiting for this since October. And finally last Friday, the country club called and confirmed that the swimming classes for babies will start the following day.  It's gonna be a tiring and fun Saturday!

The day came and Little Spanish Pinay was all set with her bathing suit and swimming cap.  She's adoooorable.  She was all matter-of-factly about everything.  We were a little bit worried that she'd make a fuss later on since she was to take her morning nap yet, but already no time for it.

Check out my long legs, mami!

ohhhh hot!
When we got in the class, we were told that only one parent is allowed to swim with the baby as to not make the baby feel over protected.  So hubby stayed outside the pool to take pictures.  Unluckily, cameras were not allowed but hubby was still able to take some pictures with his phone and was allowed just this once.

There were about 7 or 8 kids/babies in the class.  Most of them has a face of scared or worried face, clinging to their mom or dad for the love of their life.  One was crying histerically and wouldn't even want to get a quick shower before plunging in the pool.  Little Spanish Pinay was all observant with the surroundings.  I was careful with every move so I won't scare her.  We went to the shower so we can we ourselves before entering the pool.  LSP has a history of getting scared with the water coming out from the shower in our bathroom so I made sure we do it this time slowly.  I sang to her while I slowly turned on the shower.  She smiled and reached for the water.  It was a veeery good sign.  So we sang in the shower and we sang our way to the pool.  She was having a good mood.

Getting to know the instructor
Time to slowly plunge into the pool.  The other kids started whaling, saying no, and climbing up the neck of their parents.  LSP was just looking at the water.  Everything just seems interesting for her and not scary.  And finally time to fully submerge in the water.  LSP loved it. 

testing the water

Just a little later, she was already squealing with joy and splashing the water.  She'd get splashes in her face and would cause her to feel like she's drowning (poor her) but she was ok with it.  We swayed, raised up and down the water.  She sat in the pool gutter and jumped towards me.  Not her favorite activity but she didn't cry nor made a fuss.  She was so amazing the whole time.  I am such a proud mami! I know I sound like a broken record.

Our little champion

9 months

Is it too weird if I say I already feel like toddlerhood is just around the corner? Coz I do. I see Little Spanish Pinay like she's already a toddler or about to enter toddlerhood soooo soon. Whenever she does those big steps while we hold her arms, whenever she pulls herself up casually, whenever she sits down on her own from standing position, whenever she throws a kiss in the air, whenever she dances on her own rhythm and style with any music she hears, whenever she walks around the furniture on her own, I see my baby is like a blink away from toddlerhood.

We're starting to introduce even more food and making it more regular rather than just casually letting her try different food tastes and textures.  We're also trying to make her get more used to drinking water.  She's not exactly the water-thirsty type but she loves to play with it and the feeling of it in her mouth, so I guess that's a good start.  Everytime she holds her sippy cup on her own, I get awwww-stricken.  She looks so grown up!

Little Spanish Pinay in Action with her Sippy Cup
Look at that oozing confidence

It's exciting to see her communicate more to us. She does different facial expressions to call our attention. She squeals to express her excitement or happiness seeing someone or something she's really fond of -like her abuela or a bag of cortezas de trigo. I swear, I looked that up and tried to check its name in English but couldn't find a good translation. So I'm just showing here a picture.

They're like chips made of wheat. One of the junk foods snacks hubby and I really like. They're healthier than potato chips so don't tag me as a bad parent, ok? It's rich in iron and has no cholesterol ;-)

How time flies I often wonder. She's now entering the last quarter of her first year. That means 3 more months and she's turning one! Just 3 more months.

Is it just me or she's really looking so grown up in this picture? That far away thoughtful ook... to die for.

P.S. I still daydream about being a stay-at-home mom. Wait, I'm a stay-at-home mom but working at what I actually want to say is that I daydream about being non-working stay-at-home mom. But I AM grateful I have a job, let's not forget that. It's just that sometimes, staring at this little angel, makes me feel like that's what I would only want to do the rest of the day everyday... And there goes the longest P.S. ever.

P.P.S. Happy 9 Months my little Spanish Pinay!!
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