Friday, July 29, 2011

Baking cheesecake intimidates me - not anymore!

Need I say, I love cheesecake?  I've been browsing, reading and studying recipes for cheesecake.  But every single of them make me produce bead-like sweats on my forehead.  Not to mention most of them would have this highly sophisticated kitchen aid or something else of the same level.  Mahirap lang po ako eh. We can't afford kitchen aid so all I have in my kitchen is a cheap-o hand mixer.  Another problem is that most of the recipes use graham biscuit for the base... and we.don'  Insane, right? 

But One day, I found a recipe that gives an option to not use kitchen aid AND no graham biscuit either.  I got excited. Only that, it takes a lot of time and there's this process of waiting for certain hours, blah blah.  I thought I was ready. I bought the necessary cheese - 4 boxes of 'em but then when the moment of truth came, I chickened out.   Revisiting the recipe, I thought it was just too much for me.   So I just forget about it and ate the toast with philadelphia cheese for 2 straight months.  Or maybe it was 3.

Then came a cool mommy blogger who posted a recipe for cheesecake.... the easiest and yummiest ::just let the bad grammar go, ok? I like to ryhyme:: cheesecake next to the original New York cheesecake and cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory.  Ok, maybe not.  But this IS really, really good.

The cool mommy blogger I was talking about is Ava of Mamás Todoterreno.  And if you want to see her recipe direct from her blog and have that spanish polished, go give it a try :)

Or you can continue reading for my own version of step by step to the heaven... I mean to making a no-sweat cheesecake.


150g of biscuit - remember the Microwave Chocolate Cake recipe I posted? Same biscuit can be used.  Or if you are lucky and there's an available graham - go ahead and use that :)  Only that perhaps, there's no need for adding sugar anymore.

50g of granulated sugar for the base - you may opt to use brown sugar
150g of granulated sugar for the cheese

75g of melted butter

450g of philadelphia cheese

2 eggs

Very easy ingredients right? I know.

So moving on to the step by step

Just like before, the biscuit was crashed using the classic mortar and pestle.  If you have a food processor, it'll make things easier and faster.  But the good ol' way is not bad at all :).  Put the crashed biscuit on an aluminum molder just like in the picture.  A normal cake molder can also be used I believe.

put the 50g of sugar and then mix well then pour the melted butter and mix, mix and mix some more

Flatten the base with a spoon.  Hand is good to use too. Then set aside.

Put the cheesecake in a bowl and add the sugar.  Mix, mix.  Notice I'm just using a spoon? I love this.  Simple life. Oh, before I forget.  It is important that the cheesecake is at room temperature so it'll be mixed well.  Smoot and without lumps.

In separate bowl, beat the two eggs.  I took a shot in action! How cool is that? Not. lol.

Pour in the beaten egg in the cheese and sugar mixture

Then mix again until everything is uniform.

Pour in the mixture on the base that we prepared before and voila, ready for the oven.  Baking recipes normally ask to preheat the oven but I'm a big rebel mom, I didn't.  I sometimes think it's a waste of electricity heh.  So I didn't.  I just turned the oven to 170ºC and popped in the cheesecake.

According to Ava, 35minutes is enough but mine was still a lot wobbly after 35minutes so I ended up waiting till 45minutes.  

Here she is fresh from the oven.  I let it sit for about 30minutes to cool it off then popped it in the refrigerator.  It's really good when it's cold :) You can also top it with your favorite toppings like cranberry or strawberry marmalade, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

I didn't cut it nicely but one bite, you close your eyes and you go uhhhmmm uhhhhmmmm.

So tell me. Is this easy or is this easy?  It's E.A.S.Y.  Try this, I beg you. You'll never regret it.  The proof is this - hubby is not a fan of cheesecakes but then he tried this and he flipped out.  Cheesecake from the restaurant as he describes it. My smile was from ear to ear.  He even brought cheesecake for dessert in the office for 2 straight days now.  

We love this in our house that I have done 2 cheesecakes in a span of 3 days.  Crazy. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We got her the most sophisticated doll house e-vah!

Personalized with her own name

Complete with wardrobe and accessories nook

as well as a vanity corner, why not.

Carpeted and elaborated with coziness

The owner's cuteness? Overload.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog on Fire Award

Hear me roar coz this momma got another award... and it's her fourth! *ROAR!!* 

Thanks to Joy of Cool Bean Momma for giving me this award.  I was kind of extremely busy lately with work and sick little one plus a very affectionate husband seeking for my attention so I've been a bit behind blogging.  But what do you know, when I got back,  I got this very pleasant surprise from a dear momma blogger.  Thanks again, Joy!!

So to keep with the tradition, here's a list of the 7 things about me.  I gotta warn though... it'll be boring!!
  1. I've been working for the same line of work for 11 years now and I've just changed work twice. Blah. Boring.
  2. I've colored my hair just once in my entire *mumbles the age* years of life.  Blah. Boring.
  3. I don't know how to skate.  I tried to learn once but I was already around 20s by then and you know how the saying goes about old dogs... Blah. Boring
  4. Speaking of skating, I've tried ice skating maybe 4 or 5 times. I learned to glide a bit... skate sloooooowly without holding on to the rail but I swear I just look like a 4yr old who just peed on her pants accidentally. Blah. Boring.
  5. When I was in college, I was a member of the book and math club.  Blah. Booooring.
  6. I have a blue birth mark at my back near the shoulder that people would often mistaken as a bruise.  So what? Blah. Boring.
  7. Sleeping yet? Ok, here's the last that is maybe a bit interesting.  Just a bit. Maybe.
  8. I can move my ears.  Hah. Not too boring now, is it? Oh well, a lot of people can do too so, again, blah.  Boring.
Oh wait, I have some more freaky talents.  Nah, I'll just save 'em for the next award probably. *wink* *wink* :-D

There you go.  My blog is probably on fire but me, as me, has only a tiny bit of flame. Heh.  But as a mom, a roar! and as a wife, I roar even louder! Ask hubby ;-) LOL

Let's keep moving.  Now's the time to award this to 10 other bloggers.  This took me a bit while to compose because I tell you, I have a big list of blogs that I do love and reading everytime I get the chance to sit in front of the computer and dedicate time for blogging.

Ok, enough intro. 

THE list:

Sunny of Sunny Toast
Einz of Mommy Tots
Monica of F.L.A.G
Veronica Lee of OF MICE AND raMEN
Daisy of Daisy Girl

Now, the next task is to inform each of these lovely ladies that they got an award from this roaring mom!

Friday, July 22, 2011

1 and one fourth

She's 15 months... a year and a quarter already! To think, only 3 months have passed since her  first birthday but then she has changed a lot!  She's a full-fledged toddler now and showing signs of the terrible two.  It looks like she's so in a hurry into her growth development that I notice changes on her everyday.  I'm not implicating that she's a precocious child - I believe each child is a different world.  Each one has their own pace that should be respected.  I don't really try to measure if she's doing something "in advance" or not.  I just try to note her different milestones for my own journaling.  Maybe one day I can compile everything in a book so I can read my thoughts to her - or she'll be reading them on her own.

See? side-tracked again.

Motor skills
She learned to walk at 11 months and she, well, toddled for about 2 months and now, she's running! And everytime she does, my heart would skip a beat because it always seem she'd trip over.  And then when she sees me running after her in a panicky mode, it would excite her like a flame to a firework.   She goes like a rocket squealing.  And then I'd die of a heart attack.

Her hand-eye coordination is also getting better.  She uses her fork or spoon to eat.  There are time that she would still miss her mouth by half an inch though and smear the food all over her face, on to her chest and then to her lap and then finally on my poor-now-very-battered floor.   She also has a lot of succesful attempts on picking the food with the fork and every time she is able to do so, mami would take her pompoms and cheer non-stop.  She would shy sheepishly and at the same time give me that look of "yeah, big deal... that's a piece of cake for me now".   She can be such a show off like that sometimes.  But then other times she just can't trap the food with the fork so she'd just ditch the fork and pick the food with her fingers. It's funny how she'd try to keep her cool on this frustrating moment for her.

She loves dancing.  She has different grooves with some kicking here and there. She got that dancing style from her spanish lola.  Also? she just learned to twirl around a month ago! How fun it is for her and what's more fun is the after effect of twirling a number of times - dizziness!! I know how fun it is.   I love twirling or turning round and round when I was young and then slump on the floor because I'd get so dizzy and then I'd get so amazed with just how the world turns round and round before my very eyes.  She dances with just about any music - upbeat, rap, jazz a la Frank Sinatra, copla, and just about any type of music.  She would twirl daintily with Sinatra's songs.  Every time she sees that cd player in her room, she'd point to it and would say "tu-tu" which means tugtog, which translate to music... and then she'd bop her head tons of times to encourage me on turning the cd player on.  Really, she loves to bop her head when she's asking for something.  It's cuteness overload when she does it.

She loves entering doll houses and then opening and closing doors.

I don't literally count the words that she can already understand but I tell you, there's already tons of them.  I would often be surprised with how she can follow my commands (in both my language and in Spanish).  We do have a real conversation now.  The thing is, most of her words are still indecipherable.  More cryptic than Da Vinci's code.  One time she was asking me to sing something.  She started pointing at the TV and then she said something like mi-mi.  She repeated again and again, pointing at the TV and then saying mi-mi.  I tried my very best to guess what song she wanted me to sing but each time I tried,  I got a big no-no-no-no.  And the longer this goes on, the more desperate she become. She tried different signs, putting her two-hands on her mouth, on her head, pointing again on the TV and then finally she cupped my face with her two hands and bursted something like pak-tuk-plak-pa-pak-pa-plak bopping her head so frequent and then I just couldn't guess the song.  Defeated, she cried.  And I burst out laughing my heart out.  Bad mami.  I know I shouldn't have laughed as she was deeply frustrated and she was already crying but I couldn't help it.  She was too darn cute.  I told her mami was sorry she couldn't understand her so I just offered her to do something else.  Hubby had the what-has-just-happened look on his face while observing everything and he was left open-mouthed with the way Little Spanish Pinay tried to communicate.

The following day though, while watching some of her favorite videos, we came across this video of a hippopotamus and a dog singing and dancing to the tune of In The Jungle.  You know this song from the famous TV series Friends? When Ross lost his pet monkey and found it in a shooting.  He sang this song and the whole gang joined in.  It was hilarious especially on the part when Joey sang the part of the highest pitch.  Anyways, this song has this part.... something like "a whimaweh, a whimaweh... ".  The moment Little Spanish Pinay heard this, her eyes sparkled and she started singing mi-mi.  Then the big light bulb just dinged on top of my head.  That was the song she wanted me to sing last night! And I just remembered that there is a TV commercial that uses this as a background song.  Or perhaps it was a movie trailer.  I am not sure.  But I am sure that from time to time, I hear this from the TV and LSP would dance with the jingle.  Now everytime she remembers the song and would tell me mi-mi bopping her head at the same time, I exactly know what to sing.

Ok, back to the language area.   I am really happy that at this point, it already shows that she does understand both filipino and spanish languages.  She can follow instructions or responds to either language asking for the same thing.   She also uses the both languages in her convenience.  She knows the different part of her body in filipino and in spanish. Although I believe she knows more body parts in filipino than in spanish.  But I wouldn't worry about that because learning spanish for her is inevitable. She hears it everywhere.  I'm sure sooner or later she'll know more spanish words than filipino words... but this Spanish Pinay mama will not be taken down easily.  Little Spanish Pinay will be speaking in Filipino as fluent as any other natural Filipinos :) I can't wait till she is finally conversant with Filipino.  Finally, I'll have someone to talk in my language here. IN PERSON.  Sometimes talking using a foreign language for a long time makes me feel like my tongue is getting too thick that at the end of the day, I feel like I'm already slurring.  Then when I get to speak my own language with anyone... as in real talk not just chat, I have this wonderful feeling about it.  Analogous to wearing a tight shoes all the day and then taking it off upon arriving home at the end of the day.  Can you imagine that aaaaahhhh feeling? Any other people speaking foreign language too often too much in a day feels the same way I do?  

Yeah.  Side-tracked again.

I don't really know how much words she should understand by now and how many of them she should be able to speak as I just go on a daily basis.  The way I see her add up on her vocabularies is more than enough for me... and it does tell me she's developing properly at her own pace.

She loves eating in general.  I let her play with her food so she'd get more confident about it.  What makes me happy is that she eats her spinach, her carrots, and her green peas.  She didn't like the regular squash being sold here... but she does like the pumpkin type coz it's sweeter.  The thing is, it's kind of hard to find one here :-(  Then I normally run out of ideas for her breakfast.  Her mood about breakfast changes.  She used to love oatmeal with a dash of chocolate powder or some fruits but now, she'd hardly touch it.  She eats cereals with milk though but from time to time, she'd get tired of it again and then I will be left blank on what else to give her.  I don't have much time to prepare her food in the morning so I really need help on this area.  Ideas, moms out there?

Ok, I must admit this - she loves junk food ::but then again, who doesn't:: and I let her eat her junk food like potato chips or cheese curls ,etc from time to time.  Call me bad mom,  I don't mind.  I swear I am not giving her too much.  She also absolutely likes adores chocolates and that too, I give her from time to time.  I try to choose the ones with lots of milk in them like the kinder chocolates.  And again, I promise, I give her a very controlled amount.  I was a junk food addict ::and I still am:: when I was young but I believe I am good healthwise.  So a controlled junk food intake should be fine, right?  Ok, I am open to sermons.

Sleeping habit
Ok, this one is a bit tricky.  First, I must say we still co-sleep.  We are all still enjoying this but sometimes the bed is getting smaller and smaller for the three of us already.   Especially that Little Spanish Pinay is such an active sleeper.  She kicks, she wiggles.  She rolls over on a 3 complete cycle.  She rotates her legs like a clock and would end up horizontal on the bed.  Imagine a letter H on the bed.  Hubby and I as the two vertical sides and LSP is the horizontal line in the middle.  Then most of the nights, she sleeps fine waking up once or twice to nurse.  But there are nights that she'd wake up like a hundred times, squawking like sea gulls.  And these moments are very apparent every 3 months.  It's like every 3 months, she experiences a big growth spurt that makes her uneasy on her sleep.  So far it never fails.... every quarter of the year, we'd have this every hour or two waking up and nursing.

In terms of napping, she can be a good napper.  She'd stay mute for at most 3 hours and at least an hour. So on regular days, she would get a boundary of 12-14 hours of sleep which is not bad at all.

Her night sleep is normally at 11pm or 12mn. She'd wake up around 10 or 11am too.... lately she's been sleeping till 12nn or even until 1pm.  I think it is also because of the many waking up times at night during her growth spurt moments.  Her schedule might be odd but it works fine for all of us especially for me - since I work from home.

Conclusion:  Sleep habit is good but can still be improved ;-) mami can make use of more sleep and more nap times!

Social skills
LSP looooves kids.  Kids call LSP's curiority.  The way they talk, the way they walk, run jump.  She would love to touch their hair especially those blondes.  This is funny.  I always tell people that she's probably particularly curious about hair because she doesn't have much... and well, blonde? We now know to whom she's attracted to, I guess? ha. ha.  At the beginning she's very shy around them and around other people in general.  From a far, she loves to say hola or hi/hello in english and then waves her hand energetically.  So when she does this, she'll capture people's attention and they'd come near her to say hello back.  Then she'd run towards me to hide.  It would take her a short while to get used to one person and start clowning around.  What I notice though is that she loves to share or show her things to kids and other people.  Everytime she meets some kids, she'd always give whatever she has in her hand, a cookie or a toy, etc.  There are times that in a park she'd see kids, older kids than her and she'd go near them to offer her toy.  Some kids would ignore her, especially those that are much older than her and are already playing with other kids.  It would often melt my heart seeing my little one walk around after a kid to offer her toy but is just being ignored.  She has this genuine generosity and eagerness for the kid's acknowledgement.  I have nothing against those kids because they are kids and they don't mean to purposely ignore LSP to hurt her or whatever but it still kind of hurt my mommy feelings seeing my baby in this situation.

See,  (getting side-tracked warning) everytime LSP calls for me, i.e. asks for my attention, I always, always attend to her immediately and look at her in her eyes showing her that mami is listening.  If she calls for papi and papi is a bit busy with something else or didn't notice that LSP is calling her, I'd call papi's attention and command ask him to answer LSP.  And it kind of irks me if he sometimes wouldn't notice her calling for him.  Of course he doesn't do this purposely, by golly.  He's always attentive and very affectionate with LSP but anyone can get engrossed with what they're doing and not immediately notice what's happening around them, right?

That's just my overly-protective-on-my-child's-feelings-mami-me.

I've warned that I'm about to get side-tracked, right? Ok, so getting back on her social kills,  contrary to what many people perceive that might happen since LSP is not going to daycare,  I believe she is sociable enough.  Especially to kids.  I don't believe that just because she's staying at home most of the time of the day, she's going to be converted into an introvert and a child incapable of socializing.  A lot of people would comment on me that we have to send her to daycare soon so she can start meeting kids and learn how to socialize.  But see, I'm a rebel mom. I don't believe in this and I prefer her to be near me most times of the days.  I even kind of dreaming to homeschool her even just until 7yrs old.  Here in Spain, homeschooling is not yet very popular and well accepted.  Parents are not required to send their kids up to before 7yrs old... after that, parents can be sued or get trouble from the government.  So, I am considering homeschooling for her pre-school period instead of sending her to pre-school... but with my full time work, I am no sure if I can give her her necessary time for learning.  Although, I don't think a pre-schooler would need hours and hours for learning.  I myself didn't go to pre-school.   I was sent straight to grade 1 and I did fine.  I learned to read around 3-4 with the help of my mom and some comic books.  And I even got first honors straight from grade 1 till grade 6 ::modesty aside...please don't raise an eyebrow on me, I just want to make a point that pre-school is not really necessary for kids to do well in school::  So right now, I am still battling with this.  If I finally decide to do this (with hubby's consent), I may have to prepare myself for thousands of questions and disagreement from the people around us here.  But we'll see... there's still some time to wait.  I'd also have to read more about homeschooling.

So there, the longest post evah! If I have a reader that got up to this part of the post, you deserve a big kiss and hug from me :-D

Happy 15 months mi amor!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Barking on the wrong tree

4 canine teeth cutting through all at the same time. The 2 upper canine teeth have finally cut through a bit after about a month and the other 2 lower canine teeth are still trying to cut through.  The gums have started to look transparent but I don't know how much more it'll take to cut through completely.  She's been with her fists in her mouth all the time but apparently this teething by a number is not the culprit why she's with fever since Thursday till Sunday morning.

Sunday night, red rashes started appearing on her forehead, down to the back of the ear, on to the face then down to her neck and chest and stomach area.  It also extends through her back and the diaper area.  Some are also a bit visible in the arms.  

Could this be bungang-araw (prickly heat)? Or perhaps measles?  Or chicken pox? No way, it doesn't look like chicken pox at all.  I was starting to think of the worst.

So Monday, we didn't let the day pass without consulting the doctor.  As soon as we were done with work, we went to the doctor.  The verdict? Exantema Subito.  Say, waaat? In English it is called roseola or sixth disease. Say,  waaat? This was the first time I've heard these names and I was like where the heck did my child get this.  I asked her pedia and we were told that there's really no known source of this disease and though it is highly contagious, it's almost benign apart from the fever that the child can get at the onset of the disease.

When I tried to search more about it, I was surprised to find out that this was something I am very familiar with after all.  Tigdas hangin!! That is how it is called in my language and it is a common disease  in the Philippines and is usually not of concern.  I can't remember having afflicted with one when I was young though.  I've never had this, not even bulutong (chicken pox) nor tigdas (measles) nor beke (mumps).

Today, she's doing really well. Rashes were almost gone and she's back to her normal self.  Although she's got a big bukol (bump) on her forehead.  Argh, don't ask why and how.  Sometimes she's too fast I can hardly keep up with her even though  I have my eyes on her like a hawk.

I'd often feel really, really bad ::as if the world is on my shoulder:: and feel like the worst mom on earth every time she gets small accidents like this.  And the tears I'd shed?  Drama anthology.  But then I started to accept that these will be inevitable.  And there are things that are just out of my hand no matter what I do to protect her from these things.  Of course it doesn't make me *not* feel bad everytime she gets hurt and it doesn't mean I'll be more lax on protecting her but accepting the fact that there are things that are just out of my control would help me tone down a bit about *always* blaming myself with any misfortune that happens.  I think this is some sort of *sickness* of moms... they always blame themselves for things.  Don't we just have such a high expectations of ourselves, especially when it comes to mothering our children?

Ok back to the  topic at hand. I always let myself get sidetracked.  I don't have a cure.

So I guess I was barking on the wrong tree and it wasn't really the teething that caused the fever.  And about that amber teething necklace... I'll hold off on that since it's not something very affodable especially in this side of the world ::add the fact that I still sometimes convert euros to php so things would even look very expensive to me, then add another fact that the idea I have of the value of products in the Philippines is still way back 2005... so just imagine - I'm sick like that::

See the bump on her forehead? This was taken on the same day of the accident.  This is her usual messy look while having dinner.  Her face looks so kawawa (pitiful).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Night Terrors On Toddlers

I'm still kind of perplexed while writing this.  My Little Spanish Pinay started having fever last Thursday and it continued on and off until yesterday, Sunday.  I believe it was mainly because of her 4 canine teeth cutthing through as she wasn't having colds nor having any kind of infection - as I believe. In any case we were already planning to go to the pediatrician if after 4 days, her fever would continue.  The last time LSP had fever, we immediately went to haver her checked but the doctor told us to go back after 2 more days that the fever still goes on and off and reaching 39ºC.   According to the doctor, if the cause of the fever is infection or specific virus or bacteria, it doesn't normally manifest before 4 days.  So we'd have to wait.  And just like the last time, LSP was completely fever free on the 4th day so we attribute the fever to her teething.  On both occassions, LSP was having 4 teeth cutting through all at the same time.  She's normally a good teether - but when there are 4 teeth cutthing through all at the same time, it'd really take a toll on her.

Apart from having fever, she's irritable almost the whole day.  She's very sensitive and would require much much attention.  This time though, on 2 consecutive nights already, LSP would have a fierce episode of waking up hysterically.  There's no way to calm her down.  She'd wake up all of a sudden crying and screaming as if someone is trying to attack her.  She seems to be oblivious of our presence.  Touching her and taking her in my arms to calm her down would just make things worst.  She'd try to free herself from me, twisting and arching her back furiously.  She would also point on a specific area of the room as if she wants something from there but then when I try to put her near the area she's pointing to, she'd scream even more.

This would go on for about 10-15minutes.  And all the time, I am mixed with worry and fear and confusion and desperation on why is this happening and what to do and what is wrong with our little one.  When everything starts to calm down, she'd ask to be nursed and almost immediately, she'd fall asleep while I am left bewildred as to what has just happened. 

As usual, as soon as I am able to, with a glass of wine on one hand to calm myself down, I started googling about the situation... and I was brought to this sleep problem called night terrors.  Little Spanish Pinay might still be young to have this but the signs are all pointing to night terrors.  Plus, there had been changes in her sleep routine due to her fever and us spending the weekend over my inlaws' house.  She's been pretty agitated these days because of the fever and the teething and have been napping irregularly.  During her no-fever moments, she would also be out and about runing and playing around the house... and with fever on and off, her body and mind was just worn out.  All these can attribute to night terrors - according to a number of websites I've visited.

While there's really nothing much to worry about this as it will normally pass, it is highly distressing for hubby and I.  I wish I knew about this night terror thing before so I could have avoided making things worse by trying to carry our little one and trying to control her frantic movement in an attempt to calm her down. 

Now that she's completely fever free, I hope she won't have another episode of this night terrror.  Most of all, I do hope her fever won't come back for good!

If the night terror episode happens again, we'll be seeking her pedia's opinion about this.  In the meantime, I'll be watching her keenly.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fangs are no fun!

Vampires are cool... especially when their fangs would slighty show when they talk so matter-of-factly, cold but full of mystery.  Imagine Mick St. John of the TV series Moonlight, that was unfortunately cancelled after less than a year due to poor critics received.  It was really unfortunate for me because I loooove the series.  and Mick St. John is one of the cutest vampires I've seen.  I would say hottest vampire too but my husband reads my blog so I'd skip saying that :-D

But on fangs Little Spanish Pinay? No fun! Her fangs or canine teeth as its proper name, are cutting through for it seems like a month already!  Then to make matters worst, both lower canine teeth have also started to cut through! Poor LSP, when it gets really tough, she's cry with her whole fist stuffed in his mouth.  And then yesterday, she woke up with a fever.  Last night we woke up at around 5am with her on 39ºC.  I gave her paracetamol to help the down the fever.  She's especially irritable through the day but she still keeps her humor.  She'd sing and dance and would play with me.  But then from time to time, all of a sudden she would start crying for no apparent reason and would stuff her fingers inside her mouth or he would be touching her teeth with her fingers and then drool all over her.  It's tough to see her go through this but there's really nothing much I can do but double the affection and attention and love I can give her. 

She woke up with 38ºC fever today but the smile is still indispensable

Frozen delights help her sooth the pain so sometimes we'd let her chew on some popsicles.  Paracetamol is my other option if I see her really bothered by her teething.  There are also gels that can be brought from the pharmacy but it's not really recommended by pediatricians.  And there's this latest hip: amber teething necklace/bracelet/anklets.  It is supposed to work as a natural analgesic when it comes in contact with human skin.  Healing stones are becoming popular these days.  I have no idea how effective they are but I am not closing the possibilities either.  So, if desperate measures come, I might have to try this... I'd do anything to ease LSP's pain even for just a little.

Anyone who has experience on trying this amber teething necklace? Any postive result?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When you become a mom you kind of develop a thick face

We didn't exactly have a very sunny weekend but we still managed to go to the beach for a couple of hours on Sunday morning and then in the afternoon after lunch.  After the beach session in the morning, we stopped by a cafeteria to have something to drink before heading home for lunch.  Here in Spain (or at least in our region),  it is common custom for cafeterias to provide some sort of tapas if you get something to drink (say, soda or tonic water or beer etc).  The waiter gave us some spanish tortilla.  There were one 2x2 inches cube for each drink ordered.  Hubby and MIL started eating their portions and as usual, as soon as Little Spanish Pinay saw them eating she started pointing and making her monkey sound (uh uh ah ah).  So I gave her my portion.  She devoured the whole piece.  And she seemed to want some more.

I love to see her eat something (especiallly something healthy) with much gusto so I was kind of on the edge to give her some more. 

What a mommy wouldn't do for a hungry baby?

I took Little Spanish Pinay inside the cafeteria, sat her on top of the bar and talked to the waiter.  I think I kind of stummered but I was determined to get some more spanish tortilla for my dear LSP so I just asked the waiter if he can give us some more spanish tortilla because my baby looooved it.  Just a small portion for her. And then I tried to add that he can charge us for that as he sees appropriate.  But before I even finish my last statement the waiter told me that he'd have to check since it seems to him that the portions he gave us were the last ones already.  Then off he ran inside the kitchen.  He came back with a big triangular portion and I beamed with happiness.  I asked him how much it costs but he said not to bother since it's the last from the batch.  I was double happy.  I think my face was all red.

Little Spanish Pinay and I went back to our table both with big smiles.  MIL chuckled and hubby exclaimed a big wow and asked me where I got the spanish tortilla.  I asked the waiter! I said.  The he proceeded on teasing me for having such a thick face.  I just told him anything for my dear daughter and then I winked.

If we are probably in the Philippines, this is not really such a great deal nor an embarrassing act but here in Spain, generally people are more reserved about these things.  It's not even a custom for people to bring home their left over food from restaurants no matter how big the portion is left uneaten.  And if you do,  waiters would kind of look at you in a weird way, they wouldn't know exactly what to do as they are not prepared for packing the left over food.  they don't have these take-home styros or boxes.  If you are lucky, they'd give you a plastic bag - or literally a doggie bag.   

Not a very good custom if you ask me. I hate throwing food so if I eat in a restaurant, I'd like to be able to bring home my paid food so I can take advantage of it later on and not throw it away.

Oops, I kind of got distracted.

Anyways, LSP ate half of that big portion of the spanish tortilla and I was so happy and proud.  Really, a mom can be proud about just anything her baby would do, right?  It's silly but that's how moms are :)

The following day, remembering how our little one loved the spanish tortilla, I decided to make one for lunch.  Apart from the normal potatoes and onions for a regular spanish tortilla, I added some veggies like spinach, green peas and carrots to give it some health booze then I also added some salami for an additional zest.  So I ended up making a humungous serving.   

This was good for about 6 people I think. 
It was also such a big work to turn it over as it was too big and heavy! 

Not too crappy coz LSP enjoyed it twice. 
Once over lunch and then over dinner and she got her day's portion of veggies.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mustache and beard - would they look good on me?

Lately, I've been having this fear of growing beard and mustache or developing a "manly" skin on the face.    What the heck has gotten into me thinking this may happen.

It all started when I realized I'm developing this habit I'm about to tell.

At night when Little Spanish is already asleep, I try not to use the bathroom in our room. I don't want to make any noise that will wake up our light sleeper.  So I'd normally use the bathroom downstairs and there, I only have a spare toothbrush everything else I use for my before bedtime routine is upstairs. What I'd normally end up using is my husband's facial wash and facial moisturizer.  I'd tell myself it's better to use man's facial wash than sleep with dirty face - tomorrow I'll transfer all my stuff in the bathroom downstairs.  And that then the following day, I'd tell myself the same thing.  I never remember transferring my stuff downstairs and I never get the habit of doing my before bedtime routine BEFORE sending Little Spanish Pinay to bed. 

Old habits die hard.  Or how do they say that? 

One side of me enjoys using hubby's facial was hand moisturizer coz they really smell yummy.  And then it makes me feel like hubby's face is always touching my face because I can smell him sooooo near. He's scent is actually on me!  Romantic.  But then my subconscious really has its way on creeping into my consciousness and makes me think using a man's facial wash and moisturizer may get me in to developing mustache and beard... plus my skin in the face will be that of a man.  During the day, while I work, I would often find myself touching my face trying to feel if something is changing or I would often sneak time closely looking at my face on the mirror if there's any hint of hair growth.

Duh.  If I fear this much, why do I keep on using hubby's facial wash and moisturizer.  Then again, night after night, I'd be on the same pitfall.  Send Little Spanish Pinay to bed, go downstairs, go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and then get hubby's facial wash and wash my face (enjoying its good smell), pat my face dry and then finally get hubby's moisturizer and apply it on my face (again, enjoying the good smell while closing my eyes).  Then it'll hit me.  Gosh, man's product on my face again.

I don't have a name for this.

Anyone knows if this would indeed make me grow mustache and beard???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am a selfish mama

We were invited for a 2-day fiesta celebration in one of the small towns here about 40minutes drive from where we live.  This was the same fiesta we attended a year ago where I have heard too much of "you are spoiling her by taking her in your arms every she cries and breastfeeding on her demand" and "she'll take advantage of you from now on and forever" and "she will never become indpenedent".  I wrote about that here.  As usual, there were many people in the fiesta and although Little Spanish Pinay have already met these people when she was about 2 months old, they are still all strangers to her.  When we arrived at the place, all people started crowding on her to see her, greet her, baby talk her, etc.  At the beginning LSP got a little too uncomfortable and scared about these people hovering over her and so she clung on mami for her dear life.  Someone started to yell. step back, people, you're scaring her!! Then one by one they started to relax and just let Little Spanish Pinay get used to the place and breathe fresh air.

Our Little Spanish Pinay is very sociable in general but she would need time to get used to the people and she would need them to be gentle and not come along quite strong on her. After a couple of hour, LSP was already comfortable and has started to talk and play with different people.  She was enjoying all the attention from many people.  She would even take a person's hand and would ask him/her to go out with her.  Because she loves to be outside and mami prefers to stay inside and eat, she'd go from one person to another and see if someone will take her outside.  She was a complete doll!

And then everyone's buzzing about how lovely she is, how independent, how funny, how sociable - everything good but a spoiled toddler.  I never changed my parenting way on her.  She still gets to be carried everytime she fussed.  We breastfeed on demand.  We co-sleep.  I did everything people say that will spoil her.  Not to agree on the spirit of contradiction but because that's what my instinct has told me to do.  Every tear that my baby shed tears me apart and I can't help no to attend to her.  Even if that meant going to the bathroom to pee carrying her on one hand and doing everything else with the other.

Watching her going out of the door, talking to different people, playing with then-strangers-to-her-a-couple-of-hours-ago, makes me a really proud mom.  Proud because she has proven everybody wrong and she has proven that love can only bring something good.  An attended child with every second requested is and will never be converted to a "spoiled" child.  As what I always tell people - only unattended food gets spoiled.  The someone spoke her mind out loud and said "Look how independent and jolly she is now... who would've have thought with the way she cries before".  I glanced at the person and just smiled.

There goes my social butterfly making her conversation to people

I hate stereotyping and I hate it even more when given to an innocent baby or child. 

As proud as I can be, I also kind of felt a slight pang in my chest while seeing her spending lots of time alone with other people.  She seemed to have completely forgotten her mami.  And there goes my selfish me.  I like her attention to be all just for me.  I want her eyes on me.  I want those full of admiration and wonder look just for me.  She's becoming more and more independent in her little ways and I didn't realize I would feel this weird.  I was happy and proud of her but I got this little lump in my throat.  My chest was getting filled with a mix of happiness and my-baby-doesn't-need-me-much-anymore sentiments.  I went outside and deliberately showed myself to her to see if she'd run towards me the moment she sees me.  All I got was a glance and a sweet smile then back to her business.  I was stabbed right in the middle of my chest. 

Now it's not just mami(or papi) that can make her squeal with happiness and excitement

How tough it is to be a mama.  But at the end of the day, I know there's only one she'd be looking for.  There's only she'd want to cuddle with and fall asleep with.  And that's me, her mami.  I for sure this will go on at least while we are breastfeeding.  Sometimes I am already imagining the end of our breastfeeding and I already start to feel nostalgic about it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Go The F**k To Sleep

Many might have already heard about this new children's story book for adults as it is one of the most controversial these days. It's also one of the best selling in Amazon both in US and UK. It is currently the 4th top bestseller in Amazon US and the 39th best selling book in Amazon UK. The author - Adam Mansbach is an American author and professor of fiction. This birth of this controversial children's book for adults started when one night, as a frustrated and exhausted parent of a toddler that was waking up every 2 hour, Mansbach posted "Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the — to Sleep" as his status in facebook. Many found this hilarious and enthusiastically supported the idea.

The book was even more popularized by the ebook version of it which was narrated by Samuel Jackson and hello! we all know Samuel Jackson is a brillian actor. I love his voice.

Controversial I say? The title says it all. There are tons of people who find this really hilarious and cathartic but this is matched by the number of people that thinks otherwise.

If you haven't heard of this book yet, here's the whole text/story that can be read from the book and then be the judge:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear.
Please go the fuck to sleep.

The windows are dark in the town, child.
The whales huddle down in the deep.
I’ll read you one very last book if you swear
You’ll go the fuck to sleep.

The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep.
I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying.
Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.

The wind whispers soft through the grass, hon.
The field mice, they make not a peep.
It’s been thirty-eight minutes already.
Jesus Christ, what the fuck? Go to sleep.

All the kids from day care are in dreamland.
The froggie has made his last leap.
Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom.
You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.

The owls fly forth from the treetops.
Through the air, they soar and they sweep.
A hot crimson rage fills my heart, love.
For real, shut the fuck up and sleep.

The cubs and the lions are snoring,
Wrapped in a big snuggly heap.
How is it you can do all this other great shit
But you can’t lie the fuck down and sleep?

The seeds slumber beneath the earth now
And the crops that the farmers will reap.
No more questions. This interview’s over.
I’ve got two words for you, kid: fucking sleep.

The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle.
The sparrow has silenced her cheep.
Fuck your stuffed bear, I’m not getting you shit.
Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep.

The flowers doze low in the meadows
And high on the mountains so steep.
My life is a failure, I’m a shitty-ass parent.
Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.

The giant pangolins of Madagascar are snoozing.
As I lie here and openly weep.
Sure, fine, whatever, I’ll bring you some milk.
Who the fuck cares? You’re not gonna sleep.

This room is all I can remember.
The furniture crappy and cheap.
You win. You escape. You run down the hall.
As I nod the fuck off, and sleep.

Bleary and dazed I awaken
To find your eyes shut, so I keep
My fingers crossed tight as I tiptoe away
And pray that you’re fucking asleep.

We’re finally watching our movie.
Popcorn’s in the microwave. Beep.
Oh shit. Goddamn it. You’ve gotta be kidding.
Come on, go the fuck back to sleep.

Want to see the actual book with complete illustration? Here's a pdf copy - that is if it is still available. You know how these things in the internet sometimes are. If you want to hear Samuel Jackson's narration, here's a link (that's hopfeully still working).

Here's my personal take about the book:

I liked it and it's funny but it is not something I'd buy and I for one, am not a fan of vulgarity. Then another note is that I don't want to keep something at home that later on my little one would find and read and then I'd have to explain a lot why mami is keeping this kind of book when mami always says that foul words are bad and shouldn't said or told to anyone. It is funny for me in the sense that I can relate to the frustration and exhaustion of the parent trying to put to sleep a child that doesn't want to sleep and I know how it feels when sometimes you just want to growl like a mad lion in frustration. We all have these frustrations and we all sometimes would like to just let out a big, crisp-sounding F-word but in front of our children, they just remain as a silent voice ringing inside our heads and are just converted to deep sighs. And knowing that other parents also experience these kinds of frustrations, gives us some air to breathe, thinking that we're not alone. And then we just laugh about these frustrations.

I guess it can be a bit too much on the vulgarity especially on the part that says (I know you're not thirsty, that's bullshit, stop lying) but again, this book is not really children's story book. It is just for the adults. And since it's a form of comedy, it doesn't necessary mean that this is a real conversation between a parent and a child being put to sleep. I just hope that no parents would mistaken it as a real children's book and read it to them.. carried away by the very sweet illustrations of the book.

Side Note:  In all fairness to the book, the parent attended to the child everytime and never let the child cry it out :-D

So what do you think about that book? Funny? Fail? Brilliant? Too much? Would you buy one?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Pastel

I've seen this recipe from Panlasang Pinoy and I thought I just have to try it.  The only challenge is the dough that needs to be put on top of the whole chicken mix.  This mama has started to learn baking but not making dough or bread... so it was a challenge for me.  But then, I had an idea.  I saw a ready-made dough for making empanadas(similar to a pie) here in Spain.  So I thought perhaps I can use that.  Then here comes hubby poking his nose on my cooking (I actually asked his opinion ;-) ) and told me that hojaldre dough is better and tastier.  Hojaldre is a type of pastry that is flaky. It is also called danish pastry. 

Hojaldre in my hand, I prepared to do the chicken pastel.  


2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
2 pieces Chorizo (or Chinese sausage) I used whatever chorizo I had in the fridge.  It was a chorizo criollo but perhaps even chorizo de bilbao in the Philippines would be a good substitute.  I am not actually familiar with chinese sausage heh.
2 pieces Beef franks (or Vienna sausage, hotdogs) I used bratwurst coz that's what I have :) This is what I love about cooking... it's easy to substitue ingredients and you can still get the same or even better result.
1 regular sized carrots, cubed
1 regular sized potato, cubed
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock I just boiled a cup of water and then dissolve a chicken broth cube in it.
6 to 10 pieces green olives  I used those conserved olives in a bottle and they tasted really nice in the chicken pastel.
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 pc lemon (or 5 pieces calamansi) In this part of the world, calamansi is unheart of so I definitely used lemon.
1 cup white mushroom sliced (or button mushrooms) I used the fresh ones but I'm pretty sure canned ones would be ok too.
1 cup butter I just used half cup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cups water

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