Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your toddler is not a liar.

How many times have I seen and hear this, in movies and in real life.  Parents telling their toddlers: Don't lie to me. I know you broke that vase!   Stop lying, and tell me where you hid Mr. Teddy we need to wash him!  Why are you being such a liar at a very young age? 

Isn't it frustrating and disappointing whey they lie? 

How can they learn to lie at such a young age?  If I catch my toddler lying this early, does that mean he's going to be a professional liar when he grows up?  Help!


It doesn't really mean they're lying and that they are masking the truth because they want to avoid being punished or simply because they didn't want to upset us.  Don't we do this adults?  Don't we lie because we want to avoid hurting people we love? Don't we lie to avoid getting fined or punished?  I am not saying it is OK to lie but I am just saying that in reality, lying is part of life and if we adults can't avoid this many times, why expect for toddlers to become stronger than us and not lie at all?
I read a blog article of a mom (who shall not be mentioned) about her 2yr old girl playing with other children in a park.  One playmate (a boy slightly older than her) approach the girl and asked for one of her favorite doll.  The 2yr old girl quickly hid the doll behind her and said she doesn't have it. Seeing this, the mom hurried to her girl and said "What did I tell you about lying? I told you not to lie.  Your hiding your doll behind your back.  We can all see her legs coming out from your back.  Let your friend play with it for a while.  You're not just becoming a liar but also a selfish one".  Embarrassed about her 2yr old girl's behavior,  she proceeded on commenting to the parents who were also watching the kids play; "She's terrible. I don't know where she learns how to lie. I kept on telling her that lying is bad.  I guess she's in that age.  But I really have to put a stop to this".
I don't know if I am the only one seeing something wrong with this. But I didn't agree on how the situation was dealt.  The 2yr old girl loves her doll very much.  She might have known how this boy treats toys.  She might have seen him play with his action figures being thrown up in the air and letting it fall - which is how boys would normally play with them.  But for her, this is no way how to treat a beautiful doll... much less her doll.  And it terrorizes her to see her much loved doll to be thrown up and in the air and fall flat in her face.  So to protect her doll from this rowdy little boy,  she said she doesn't have it.  Not telling the truth is her only way to save her doll!  In her small mind, it was her only escape.  Won't adults do the same given a similar situation?  Of course with something more valuable than a doll. But for a 2yr old, her doll is more valuable than an iPhone or than a Prada dress.  She's not being a liar.  She's protecting something precious for her.  
Sometimes we do need to stop and try to see the world the way our little ones see it, to understand their behavior.  Why they acted one way and not the way we'd want them to.

Another classic example is when a child breaks the mom's favorite vase.  The mom would see the broken vase in horror and would ask her child if he broke it and the child would say no with the flower still in his hand.  What could really have happened is that the child was admiring the flower and wanted to touch it but was too clumsy and pushed the vase accidentally.  Obviously, it fell on the floor and broke. The mom normally ask the child "Did you break the vase?" and the child would adamantly say no.  So what happens next?  Mommy says "Don't lie to me, I know you did it! Stop lying because I know you did it".

Why does the child can't just say he did it?  Naturally, he's scared of getting punished and most of all, he's scared of upsetting his mom with his own doing.  He didn't want to be "the cause" of mom getting upset.  For obvious reasons, he loves his mom.  And children more than anything else, loves to see us happy. They love to make us smile.  And so realizing that being the probable cause of mommy becoming sad is not acceptable to the child so he tries to cover up what happened.  This is all his small mind can do best to protect his mom from being sad.  And most probably to avoid getting punished.  Who wants to be punished anyways? Wouldn't we do something as well to avoid punishment?

I am not trying to justify thy lying per se but I am just trying to know where the lying is coming from and how and why these little minds resort to this.  And this way we can better deal with the situation and not just attack the kids with the words lying and liar and other not so nice words.  They don't even know what's lying and a liar and we are already making them believe that they are those words.  Much more, they don't even understand their own emotions.  When a 3yr old boy broke mommy's vase, he could be feeling sadness or disappointment with himself or fear of mommy's punishment but he doesn't even know what are those. 

I just don't like name calling on kids.  Kids believe in what their parents tell them.  So if we constantly tell them they are liars or they are being bad, they'd believe that and they'd think they ARE these things.

So what am I suggesting to be done when faced with a toddler that is not telling the truth in a given situation?  Talk to the child and help them identify what they feel and then recognize it.  Cryptic? Taking the first example above, the mom could have asked her child why she doesn't want to let the boy play with her doll.  The girl might not even able to express her fear of how the boy would treat her doll but the mom can tell her child something like "I know you don't want Lani (supposed name of the doll) to get hurt.  But you can still let your friend play with her while you supervise her.  We'll tell Carl (supposed name of the boy) to take care of her and treat her well, otherwise, we'll tell him he cannot play with Lani.".

Just omit the word lying and the phrase your're being a liar.

On the second example, the conversation can probably go like this:  Mommy:  Mommy is really sad about the vase.  It's my favorite vase.  It was a gift given to me by your grandma.  I know you're sad too.  You didn't mean to break it, did you?  Child: (would most likely nod in silence with a worried face)  Mommy:  Let's see how we can fix this. (Offer something that the child can help mend what has broken or if it's beyond repair let the child help in cleaning up by holding the plastic bag or the garbage can while mommy collects the pieces)

This way, we are teaching the child to do something about what has been done incorrrectly and be able to feel adequate on correcting his clumsiness.  And most importantly, we can show them that it is better to tell the truth and that by telling the truth, they don't get punished (and then we have to be true to our words - we should set a good example, yes?).

Preachy me?  No, I'm not trying to preach, just offering some alternative avenue on dealing with this kind of situations.  I believe toddlerhood is a sensitive period of child development.  In this period, they are very maliable and their brains absorbs just about anyting we teach directly or indrectly.  And we'd want to be really careful about what we tell them (or say when they are around) and show them. 

I've heard a 3yr old say "I don't want to sing because I don't sing well."  Do you really think a 3yr old would already know the standard of good singing or not?  Children at this age, should just be enjoying singing on their own way, their own style.  Oblivious to judgement.  Because they too, don't judge.  Children loooves the way their parents sing to them no matter how bad their parents sing.  Simple because what they appreciate is the attention, the fun spending time with the people most important to them at that point and most of all, the love behind those tunes or mistunes.  So how can 3yr old say he doesn't sing well?  He's heard of it from someone he trusts and thus, believed it.  And that is sad.

 redhanded on munching those sweet yummy cookies

So mommies, I know it's tough to control our nerves when after a long day of hard work, we'd be greeted with a broken vase or empty cookie jar just before dinner and our toddler would vehemently shake their head to deny they weren't the culprit inspite of the flower from the vase is in their hand being hidden at their back or the cookie crumbles on the side of their mouth and on their shirt. But we do need to try and control ourselves not to utter words that may be harmful to their crucial development.  Let's try to remember that the next time this kind of situation occurs, our toddler is not lying because they are little devil liars at such a young age but because they are trying to tell us something in their own clumsy way.  Remember, their vocabulary and perception about their feelings are still very limited thus, they can't just explain things to you and would resort to pretending that the misfortune that happened didn't happen at all or hide the obvious in order to save something or someone very important to them.

Your toddler is not a liar. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy birthday, amor mio.

You're 37.  Am I allowed to say that?  Don't worry because I am pretty sure that what you'll get is all what?? you're 37? You look much younger! There's no doubt about that.

It's been 7 years and 6 months since the first time we've known each other but it seems like I've known you all my life.  Like you've been already a part of me ever since.  That is because you are my destined other half.  Thank you for finding me.  

Sometimes at night when sleep shies away from me after getting too tired the whole day, I would recall our early days together and marvel at what we have already built together.  And then I'd look at our wonderful treasure between us, with her legs wide open like a frog and arms stretched as if reaching for each one of us, I'd feel really, really lucky because life is so good because we are together and because we have formed a family.  

And what's even better that's making me smile just by wondering about it? Is that we'll have each other for a looong time.  You know forever? Longer than that.  Oh, you bet.  And I am pretty sure that by the time my hair's all white and my skin's already saggy all over, you'd still be hot all over me. Although maybe I'd be grumpier than I am now, you'd still undoubtedly hold my hands just every time you'd get the chance to - walking on the street, sitting by the sofa watching tv, seated in a restaurant waiting for the food to be served, in the car on a red light, on the cashier's line waiting for our turn, etc., etc., etc.

I know it'll always be you and me.  And now with Little Spanish Pinay.  And maybe another little one. Or perhaps another? LOL and then it'll be back to just you and me.  Because you and me? Forever.

he's goofing around when I took this photo but look at him, makes me wanna strip him down and procreate right about this minute. Oops, did I just say that out loud?

I love you, my love.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Drunken Cake

As hubby's birthday was getting near, I've been already thinking about the cake that I'd want to prepare - what design this time, what flavor, etc.  I'd like it to be different from the cake I did for my sis-in-law's birthday and I didn't feel like using fondant as I have even lesser spare time these days.  Fondant just require considerable amount of time although they are really very pleasing in the eye.   And the cake becomes really, really personal because the design will be unique.

But, this time, it just won't be fondant.  I was not in the mood for it.  So I searched around but couldn't find something that tickles my fancy.  But the irony of life is hard rock solid.  You'd normally won't find what you're looking for when you are actually looking for it and would accidentally stumble upon it when you're not looking for it.

That's what happened with this cake and I.  But it wasn't love at first sight.  Coz really, stout in a cake?  And then it was love at second look.  I found the recipe from this caprichosdecocinablog and was just convinced at how the blogger raved about the recipe.  Hubby loves dark beer.  Guinness in particular.  And this recipe calls for a Guinness as the star ingredient in it. So I thought, cake with guinness? Spells hubby's name in it.  

The verdict? We got a winner!  I've never blushed so much with compliments and raves with the other cakes I did compared to this one.  Even the coldest person I know expressed his ravings about THE cake.  So there's no way I'm not gonna share this to the world wide web.  TRY. THIS.  You can thank me later.


For the cake:
250g cake flour (regular flour should be ok too)
75g of unsweetened chocolate powder
400g sugar (I used 350g)
2tsp sodium bicarbonate
250ml of stout beer (guinness for e.g.)
250g butter
150g heavy cream
2 eggs

For the topping:
300g cream cheese
150g sugar confectioner
350g heavy cream

How to for the cake:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, powdered chocolate, sugar and sodium bicarbonate.

2. In a pot, heat the dark beer.  Don't let it boil.  Once the beer is hot enough, put the butter in chunks and stir slowly until beer and butter is thoroughly mixed.  The original recipe where I copied it from, has a different way for this step but I've seen other recipes and this one is easier and more convenient for me.  And it worked quite well :)

3.  Remove the butter and beer mix and put it in a mixing bowl.  Add the beaten egg and the heavy cream and mix.

4. Then slowly add the mixed dry ingredients.  The recipe didn't mention about using electric mixer so at the beginning, I just tried to mix it with my spatula but figured it might take me forever before getting a homogenous mixture so I ended up using the electric hand mixer.

5. Take the mixing bowl with your two hand, stand near the oven and ask your hubby or anyone from the house hold who knows how to operate a camera to take a picture of you and your raw masterpiece.

Ok, this step is optional.

6.  Put the batter in a molder. I used a 23cm round pan.

See the rich color?  Black beauty.
7.  Bake for 50 minutes.

8. After 50 mins, take it out from the oven and let it cool down before removing from the molder.  And then be happy and be very excited and admire your work!

The silly smile can be omitted.

How to for the topping:

1.  Using a wire whisk, mix the cream cheese and sugar confectioner until they are totally mixed and smooth.  Tip:  Use cream cheese in room temperature.

2. Whip the heavy cream and carefully mix this with the cream cheese and sugar confectioner.  Tip:  If you want a voluptuous topping,  do not completely mix whipped cream and the cream cheese mixture.  

left: whipped cream.  right: cream cheese mixed with sugar confectioner 

The blog where I copied this recipe from, has this cake with a majestic beautiful topping in it... all cloud-like and spongey.  At first, I thought I was able to achieve it but then later on,  the topping kind of settled down a bit.  I blame it on the room temperature so I immediately put the whole cake inside the refrigerator.  It kind of stopped it from flatting out.  Then again, I looked at other recipes and pictures of this cake and almost all of them has the toppings kind of flat and some look like a melted cheese on top of the cake.   So I was already happy with how mine turned out.

This was how it was at the beginning.

After a few minutes it turned out to this.  Still not bad.

Reminds me of a foamy dark beer in a glass.

 Seriously I didn't expect the cake to be THIS good.  Its darkness is magnificent.  It's thick and moist and has a certain tang that can make one just ask for more.  The topping completes the cake.  They're soulmates.  So perfect for each other.   Although the cake itself can stand out on its own.  If one is watching the calories, the cake is just the same majestically yummy on its own.  It got me hooked.  I know this black beauty will frequent our household from now on.

And it got me those you should-put-up-a-business comments.  Plus hubby was really happy about it.  It's love.  Wait till you see the other details I add to complete his birthday cake.  Tacky.  Corny.  But I tell you it's love :)

We celebrated hubby's birthday last Saturday although his birthday is still on Tuesday, August 30.  Weekend is the best day to celebrate birthdays, agree?  We were in the countryside near the mountains and it was perfect for barbecue as well.  We had a blast.  

see? isn't it obvious that the candles and the happy birthday card are DIY? 
They're like child's work ha. ha. 

A birthday cake wouldn't be complete without a candle and a happy birthday card, yes?

The cake's original recipe is called chocolate guinness cake

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The pinkish salt and the beginning of a controlled diet.

So hubby's blood analysis revealed he has a very high bad cholesterol (again) and his good cholesterol went down.  Doctor asked him to be on a controlled diet otherwise, he'd be back with medication.  And we don't want that.  I guess it's about time for us to become even more conscious of what we eat.  

We are both meat and seafood lovers but meat is just more convenient to prepare so meat is scoring more than seafood.  But now, we've decided to do a little more effort on having more seafood at home.

Last night, we got some smoked trout and I cooked it a la plancha.  Also? I tried this Himalayan salt that's been intriguing me for quite some time now.  We've seen this in a supermarket and wanted to try it out but we didn't know if it is used for special recipes or what.  So I just tried it with the trouts.  The result is really nice and it did add some flavor which I can't quite distinguish.  I must say though that it also has a special smell that's not very enticing at the beginning.  When I applied it on the trouts before cooking it, it made the fish smell verrry fishy.

I was kind of worried it'll have a negative effect on how the fish would taste but it turned out otherwise.  

Himalayan salt

a closer look....
it has pinkish crystals and some off whites and some distinct smell.

Later on I've found out that there are amazing benefits himalayan salt can give.   I haven't really done any major research about the authenticity of this but I was able to read a number of health pages raving about the benefits of Himalayan salt.  If the things they say is true about himalayan salt then I am more than glad I have discovered this.  Although so far, the pages I've read talking about this salt's benefits are those that are selling them, so you know, marketing can be a little on the exaggerated side.

Dinner served.

But one things for sure.  The dinner was enjoyed.  Even the little one ate her portion.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ghost Town

.... is what my blog has been for a week now!  I've been busy yes, but more than busy, I was lazy.   I've a number of blog drafts already and I just can't find time ::and enough words:: to conclude them worthy of posting.   How many times would I compose a whole blog entry in my mind while having a shower but then once already in front of the laptop, I am left blank.  And then I'd hear Little Spanish Pinay yell meeeeemmmiiiii - yeah, sometimes she calls me that like she's some type of slang.  Really, everytime I hear her call me in her usual enthusiastic yet very affectionate tone, I drop everything and just roll with her on the floor and make her giggle and my heart bloat with love.

I am addicted to her. 

But going to a supermarket or a store with her? Stress level to the highest power!  She. Is. Unstoppable.  She loves the shopping cart and would squeal upon seeing one and couldn't wait till she gets on it.  Only for 10 minutes though.  Then she'd want to go down and start running around and squeal with excitement with all the colors and shapes and people and kids she's seeing around.  She'd carry heavy big bottles of water, or pick up cans of tuna and put then on the floor and admire what she just did and then go on to the next item.  She'd try to squeeze instant noodles and open yogurts.  Curiosity and exploration intensity level?  Full bars.

And so, everytime we can do shopping and leave her with her grannies, it's equivalent to peace.  And uneasiness.  See, I would miss her a lot in the grocery.  She's just full of life and I love the she would greet people and then suddenly shy away when someone responds or try to talk to her but then would go back to the person to get the attention back.  Then I like the way people look at her and exclaim how cute and adorable she is and then she'd tilt her head smiling with giddiness as if she understands that people are admiring her.  Mami is just a proud mom.  Too much.  I'm not really vain and compliments about me is something that makes me feel uncomfortable.  I can't handle compliments.  I become clumsy over compliments and would always end up looking stupid with my shy smile and non-verbal responses over compliments.  But with my daughter, I've become vain over her.  Is there such a thing?  Like I continuously seek compliments about her and people's attention on her, etc.  As if she's me or part of me and I just want to hear all those compliments and raves about her.  This is bad, isn't it?

She wants to go up and down the escalator on her own.  She won't settle being carried.

Anyways, like what Katy Perry says, I'm hot and I'm cold over grocery shopping ::and shopping in general:: without LSP.  When I finally get the chance to have some time just with hubby, there's peace and calmness and it's really a breather but then we'd start to talk about her silliness and antics and then I would terribly miss her.  My body literally aches for her presence.  Then my mind would just wander where she is.  The whole time.  

It's addiction definitely.

See, the post is supposedly about my blog being a ghost town for a week now and that I am super busy and than I miss blogging and that I miss reading my favorite bloggers but I just ended up talking about her.  I know, I'm annoying already.  But bear with me, please? *bats eyes*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It was a success, thanks to our faithful God and his wonderful timing and guidance.


I wrote about my mom going through a minor surgery so remove a dark substance that was covering her gall bladder and thus, not allowing doctors to see whether she has stones or not.  As I've said, my mom has been complaining about stomach ache from time to time and there are times that the pain is really intense.  We've been asking her to have this looked at but once the pain goes away she'd tell us it was just nothing.  Good thing that the last time she experienced the pain again, we were able to persuade her to go to the doctor and get throughly checked.  Monday last week, she went to the doctor and right there and then, they did an ECG for her. The following day, she got the result and was told about the substance covering her gall bladder and that they couldn't see if she has stones or not.  She was asked to meet the surgeon on Thursday and the doctor confirmed she'd need to undergo laparoscopy soon.  Monday she was admitted at the hospital and today, the D-day.

I really thank technology as my family were able to update me with every progress of the whole procedure.  I was really on the edge the whole time inspite of knowing that this is just a minor surgery.  I had knots on my tummy the whole time holding my phone all the time waiting for my sister or papa to send me a message how everything went.

It was a success.  And was just right on time before my mom gets any more complication.  It turned out that my mom's gall bladder has been really bad for at least 5 years already.  It was already rotting to be precise.  It's size has quadrupled and changed from the normal green to a swollen rotting red.

This is a picture of a healthy/normal gall bladder.
source: google image

and this is my mom's. I have no word.

the gall stones or what just remained of 'em

Not only that the gall bladder was swollen and rotting already but it was overloaded with gall stones.  Too many of them that the surgeon had to stop taking them one by one and just use a sucking tool.  He was so relieved that no gall stones went out the gall bladder as otherwise, they'd need to search and remove any of the stones that gone haywire.  This will make things more complicated for my mom and for the doctors.  There was something that blocked the passage on the gall bladder and held all the gall stones inside.  I do feel like this is His work.  Whatever that thing that blocked the gall's passage, thank you!

While my sister was explaining to me everything, I couldn't bear it. I vomitted. I couldn't stomach what I just saw and what has just happened and what could have happened hadn't my mom listened to us and get checked.  The tension, the nervousness and then the image just gotten into me and I got sick in the stomach.

So everything went fine although we got a bit of a bad news.  The doctor said that mama's liver is in a bad shape and needs to be cured asap otherwise, it may lead to cirrhosis.  Doctor said that mama has a fatty liver and thus would need medication to correct this.  Cirrhosis is a big word and kind of alarming.  So I am really praying for a positive turn over.  Extend your prayers for me mama, will you?  Thank you!!!

I purposely set the pictures in the smallest size possible so they won't come out too strong for those who have sensitive stomach like me.  Yeah, I am no good on these things... that's why I ended up as IT and away from medical field.

Sneaky Veggie

I was a picky eater when I was young.  All my siblings are in general.  My mom's fault.  What was more important for her back then was that we are able to eat.  She's not the type the type that lets us NOT eat our meal IF we'd say we don't like veggeis.  Or not allowing us to leave the table until we finish each grain of rice and each strand of the greens that we have in the plate.  On one hand, this is good as eating shouldn't be posed as an obligation and never as a punishment.  Children should enjoy every meal time.  I do not believe either on forcing a child to finish his plate because mommy or daddy says so.  It will make every meal time an agony for the children.  On the other hand though, perhaps some extra effort can be done so we could have gotten used to the taste of the vegetables.  You know, a little bolahan here and there.  It all depends on getting used to it. 

Then again, things didn't turn out that bad as I am a big veggie eater now (although I love my veggies to be accompanied by some meat too :-D big veggie eater, bigger meat eater har har).   Being a picky eater lasted on me until around high school.  Then slowly my curiosity on food became stronger and then I've become fond of veggies.  I love amplaya or bitter gourd.  I love okra.  I love to try different food.  I also love discovering different tastes.  Right at this moment, I can't think of any veggie that I don't eat - ah! the white asparagus especially the canned ones! ack.

Now that I'm already a mom myself, I try to incorporate vegetables as much as  I can on Little Spanish Pinay's meals.  She's showing interest on some but hating others.  What I am learning myself now is to add these healthy veggies on her/our meal ::her meal is normally our meal too:..  My favorite sneaky way of adding veggies to our meals is by shredding carrots.  I add shredded carrots on omelets and other different recipes.  Below is one of my favorites and recent discovery:

This is pasta with zucchini (chopped finely), shredded carrots and bacon.  And then topped with eggs and milk.  Finally, covered a little with freshly grated cheese.  In this picture, I used a semi-cured cheese from lamb's milk.  But I am sure it'll be as exquisite with a parmesan or emmental as well.

Just a neat idea I came to think that I'd like to share to mommies out there especially those with picky eaters :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Mama's Chant

I always remember my mom... and especially now that I'm already a mom myself,  every nitty-gritty things I do or see around me, reminds me of my mom.  From time to time, I even feel like I here my mom calling me with my real name on top of her lungs.  She used to do this every morning when I was a student to wake me up for the nth time.  For a split of second, I'd feel like I travelled time - back when I was still young and with my family in the Philippines.  

Then it'll bring me back to remembering my mom's favorite chants especially when she gets mad.  I must admit I was handful when I was young :-D

Here are the two of my favorites:

Noong maliit pa kayo, hindi ko man lang kayo pinadapauan sa langaw.  Ngayon pinababayaan nyo ang kutis nyo! 
 Translated to:  When you were still small I didn't allow not even a fly to land on you.  Now you are not taking good care of your skin!

She would tell this to us every time we get bruised or scratches from whatever - from playing or from doing anything.  She was very meticulous when it comes to our skin care.   She'd always brag on our relatives that no one would think that we are daughters of the poor because our skin is like that of a porcelain - you know how mothers exaggerate about praising their kids.  I remember one time, I playmate was trying to pull me down from a swing (because he wants his turn) and pulled me on one of my legs.  He fell backwards because my leg was too slippery with the amount of lotion my mom applied on me.  That was embarrassing for me and funny for my playmate as he fell on his bottom.

Saan ka nanaman naglamyerda, amoy-araw ka nanaman at ang buringot mo parang niluwa ng sawa! 
Translated to:  Where did you roam around this time?  You smell like the sun and your hair looks like it was swallowed and spat out by a big snake!

I always wonder if she has really ever seen a snake literally swallowed someone and then spat it out to make this kind of statement.  And smelling like a sun?  Who has ever smelled sun?  I guess amoy-araw is kind of a Filipino idiom that means someone smells like he has been under the sun for a long time.  When I was in grade school, I love to sneak out during nap time and play in the street.  I especially love to play those street games, running around the street barefoot - tumbang preso, patintero, agawan-base, taguan, luksong-tinik, sipa and a lot more!  And everytime I come home all sweaty and tired and dirty, my mom would start this chant.  Mad of course.  

I'm just all the more kind of sentimental about my mom right now as she is going to undergo an operation this coming Tuesday.   I kept on thinking about her and I very much would like to be with her on that day.  Doctors found out she has some type of biliary sludge on her gall bladder and they wanted it to be removed asap.  I forgot the complete medical term, though.  Although the operation is going to be simple and fast according to the surgeon, I still can't help but get worried.  The difficulty of being oceans away from family...

At the time of this writing, my mom is already admitted in the hospital for some tests.  She'll stay there to get ready for tomorrow's operation.  She'll be needing 3-4 days recovery.  I know everything will be fine as God is always with her and that there are tons of people praying for her.

With this note, I'd like to ask everyone to also offer a little prayer for my mom's successful operation and quick recovery.  Thank you in advance!

I never thought I'd miss her nagging :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Whoa, Friday! ... slow down, will ya?

Breath.  I need to breath!!!   Friday has just been crazy and from the moment my alarm went off,  I've been running around the house like a headless chicken! CRAZY.  Not to mention Little Spanish Pinay had a bit of a hard night - 3 times she woke up asking to be nursed.  Not only to be nursed while we are on the bed side by side but to be nursed AND be on top of me.  Such an addicted-to-mami-and-boobie little human being!

10 to 7am I was awaken by the alarm on my phone.  I dragged myself to my laptop and there it was restarting due to an automatic update.  Nothing to worry, I still have 10 minutes.  After the laptop has restarted, off it went for another automatic update and then restarted and then another update! Oh my good Lord, it restarted no less than 4 times.  I'm beginning to get stressed out.  30 minutes it took to finally finish with all the updates and be ready for me to log in. 

I connected to vpn quickly crossing my fingers that no database alerts have already come in my email.  Alerts does not happen too often so I was trying to be positive.  Then again seems like today is not my day.  There they were 2 database space alerts, each were sent 3 times!  Drat.  My clients would think that I didn't start on time and thus, the space alerts were not attended to at once.  ::Ok. Let's not worry just yet, Spanish Pinay... you can very well explain this and you have a valid reason::

Before I even fix the database space alerts, I got a page.  Production failure.  I am beginning to get really tensed.  But I tried to keep my cool as hard as I can coz this is production environment and I just can't go wrong.   I nervously looked at Little Spanish Pinay while she sleeps soundly. I quickly uttered a prayer.  Please, please don't wake up just yet.  So I dealt with the production failure while discussing things with the client.  I swear, I hate that Murphy's law exists.  This Murphy guy invented this thing and now it hunts many people ever so often!  And today, the index finger of this vicious law is pointing angrily at me.  While talking to the user, there goes the call of nature louder than the siren of an ambulance in a quiet street.  My heart was already pounding and I was breathing heavily.  Of all the time that this kind of emergency would hit me, WHY NOW.   I twisted and I twitched like an earthworm caught between a naughty boy's fingers.  I may have even let out some *noisy air* in the room.  Too much detail? Oops.

Mind over matter, mind over matter.  Between my bead-like sweat and pounding heart,  things weren't bad at all as I was able to resolve the production failure ::and I would add to that - gracefully:: so I was like YEAH, BRING IT ON! 

But I shouldn't have dared fate that way.

More work came in though minor, they still needed time and attention.  Looks like my lunch time will even be taken by these tasks. AND I am supposed to bake a cake!

My loving mother-in-law requested the last minute for me to bake a cake for my sister-in-law as she will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow.  Without batting an eye I said yes.  She asked me if it will be a big deal and I said not at all.  I'm such a show-off like that sometimes.  It kind of thrilled me too because that means they liked the fondant cake I did for LSP's first birthday.  Now, everything's coming right back at me like a boomerang.  I don't have much time to do this and I'm getting stressed at work and man alive, I still need to prepare LUNCH!  Hubby was working at home today and he needs to eat.  LSP needs to eat.  The only one who doesn't need to eat is me because with all the knots forming inside my tummy, there's no room for food anymore.

4:55pm right now and I am taking a breather.  THANK YOU blog!  Thank you for being my outlet and thank you for letting me rant and thank you for listening.  I don't know how I did it but all my tasks for work is done (except for my timesheet which I can do much later), we ATE lunch and I have a beautiful cake for sister-in-law!

Sister in law loves owls.  She has a collection of owl figurines so that inspired me for the cake decoration.

Some additional detail.  The name was especially requested by my mother-in-law and I just printed the Feliz Cumpleaños (happy birthday) card.  This is not a total fondant cake as I just don't have more time to roll a big fondant and cover this cake with it.  So I just made a chocolate ganache to cover the cake. 

So that's my Friday so far.  I so badly need a mint tea and a nap afterwards.  But no, my kitchen is a total wreck so I'm just gonna hang out a bit with LSP and then send her to nap.  Plus I still need to prepare our things for the weekend.  We'll be bumming out on my in-law's house .  It's gonna be beach, baby! That is, IF the sun will not shy away as what it has been doing all these summer period!  

And that call of nature earlier this morning? It hasn't called me back since the last time I hung up on it.  Ack I feel so bloated!  The aftermath of Murphy's law.  Ugh, I so hate Murphy!  Am I grossing out anyone? Shoulda put a warning at the beginning of the post? Yeah, too late for that now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Are you earning from your blog?

Who doesn't like to be recognized and appreciated? 

Yesterday, I had a short chat (we regularly chat) with a high school friend about blogging.  She asked me if my blog is earning big now. 

I've started blogigng way back 2007 and was ust writing things from time to time for personal journaling and a bit of a past time.  It was never opened to public. Then I created a new blog that chronicles my pregnancy and later on, experience about motherhood and life in general.  Few friends and family read my blog and started to encourage me about putting it for public viewing and advertisers and eventually, probably earn from it.  I was told that there are people who are earning enough just by blogging or writing articles... and it kind of gotten my curiosity.  I've been telling people though that my blog only talks about personal things and personal views and that I do not write articles good enough to get readers and regular traffic.  Plus I wasn't sure if I was ready to put my thoughts out there for public scrutiny. 

Then again, later on, I was encouraged by the idea that I'm not gonna lose anything anyways.  People may not like what I write but what harm would that make?  It may not earn anything at all because no advertisers will be interested in my blog due to not having any decent traffic or becasue I may not have really time for writing regularly or do all the works to get traffic, but then it won't change anything if I am just blogging for personal purposes only.  I would still write whenever I can and whenever I want and with whatever topic goes on top of my head. 

So off I went and jumped on the pool of bloggers out there aspiring to get some extra ka-ching ka-ching for their pocket - without that big hope, though.  I started joining memes and visiting other bloggers and writing in a more frequentl manner.  I've started knowing more bloggers from different part of the world with different niches.  I've enjoyed reading their articles, their thoughts about motherhood or fashion or friendship or writing or God or anything under the sun, their own experiences of the same roller coaster ride I am going through, their rants and raves about life, their humor, their children's annecdotes, etc.  I also enjoy (tons) reading their comments on my articles and from time to time, exchanging emails with them. 

Then it hit me.  What I never expected about putting my blog into public view for initially hoping to get some extra hand on our expenses, is that I will be gaining cyber friends.  Yes, ma'am.  cyber friends.  Call it pathetic but it's nothing pathetic at all to me.  It's nothing like people having a thousand facebook friends but not even exchaging any his and hellos and asking about how's your dog on their facebook wall. This is different.  My cyber bloggy friends dig me.  There's concern and there's friendship and there's acceptance and there's support and there's connection.

In reality, I haven't been doing much on finding advertisers to sponsor my blog or articles or anything like that.  I honestly don't have any idea how to do this.  What I have only done so far is visit other blogs and join memes.  I've earned a significant number of google friend connects and I got a google page rank now and was chosen to be a momcenter partner but I don't know how to move forward after this.  Let's just say I really have no clue on this kind of business - as stupid as it may sound.

Not having a clear vision of the possibility of really earning from blogging, I still look forward to writing more articles and read more blogs.  Ideas kept on pouring for new articles but the extra time a mommy can get keeps on narrowing with the life's demands.  I get giddy everytime I see the small icon on my phone that I have a new comment waiting to be published.  I've forgotten about my real motive for opening my blog to public.

And so going back to my friend's question whether my blog is already earning big?  My answer is a big YES.  I've earned friends!  I'm even looking forward to meet ups on December! How was this thing called back when I was in high school?  Eyeball, was it? LOL.  And this was friendship waiting to bloom was even confirmed by what happened the other day on my blog.  I talked about it here.  And the support and comments  I got just bloated my heart :)

So you guys, thank you once again! Here's to more blogging and more friendship!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Come back, everyone! pretty please?

I was saddened by the news from 3 different bloggers that my site gives a warning from google that my site contains contents from another site that is known to distribute malware.  Good thing I have concerned bloggers that took time to inform me about this as I am totall unaware of it.  I have tried different computers but I was getting the message so I don't know what to look at.  I haven't done any change on my blog either... so I was totally blocked out. 

I also noticed that I have lesser visits yesterday.. lesser comments than normal as well :( 

Good thing, Andy and Juls told me the exact message they are getting so I was able to at least determine what to remove from my site.  It seems like a link to another blogger on my blog is causing this - and I don't know why because I've had this link up on my site for a long time now.  I had no choice but to remove it though coz I can't risk having my readers get bugged by this - and in return, shoo them away completely from my site.

And google? what if google would list my site as one of those to run away from? At least, the last time I checked (like a couple of minutes ago), I still have a page rank of 1.

I think I really have to start over with my list of blogs I have.  I do have a lot of new found blogger friends that I have to add anyways.  Some, I might need to remove with all the pain in my heart.

I'd like to thank jplbarbara, Andy and Juls  for putting this to my radar so I was able to act quickly.  I also would like to say sorry to all who were hassled by this.

Come back, everyone, please?

Monday, August 8, 2011

when mami gets possessed with weird ideas...

A month ago, I met this pinay blogger from Kalokang Buhay ng Isang Pinay sa Ukay who lives in UK.  I read one of her blog entry about her son finally sleeping on her own room at age 2.  She was really nice to exchange emails with me and gave me tips.  Not that hubby and I are in a hurry for Little Spanish Pinay to sleep in her own room but it would be nice to know some tips on how to encourage her to sleeping alone.  I don't see it happening really soon though because we are still breastfeeding and we are leaning towards child-led weaning (rhyme not intended).  Co-sleeping is for now the best arrangement for all of us while we are still breastfeeding.

But then this did not stop me from re-arranging LSP's room.  I have converted her crib (the crib was convertible to a single bed, night table and study table) to a normal bed since we don't believe she'll be using the crib ever.  Inspired from my email exchanges with Kristeta, I just laid down a mattres on the floor so "big accidents" like falling off from a bed can be avoided.  See picture below.

Find anything wrong in the picture?  Yeah.... that's a bed standing on its sides instead of well, on its feet.  Reason?  As I've said, I just wanted to lay down her mattress on the floor so she can play around on it, get used to it and avoid falling from it the hard way.  The mattress is really small as it is her "crib" mattress.  I didn't want to buy bigger mattress for the bed just yet since I don't think she'll be sleeping on her bed anytime soon.  I also added some of those kids' mats to cushion the floor in case LSP falls off from the matress.  And since I don't have a space to temporarily store the crib converted to bed, hence the arrangement as shown, there goes the invention. Hubby had a good laugh when he saw this.  He must be thinking "This is what I get from marrying a Filipina... weird exotic ideas... as weird exotic as she is" LOL.

For now, this mattress only serves for her to practice her jumping skills... she loves to jump on top of it and step on and off of it.  In the meantime, hubby and I will continue enjoying our co-sleeping arrangments.  I love it when one day, hubby told me that he's loving the way LSP sleeps with us.  He feels much closer to her everytime and according to him, each night and morning waking up with LSP on the bed is one of the most beautiful moments with her that he will surely miss once LSP already sleeps in her own bed.

Can my husband get any sweeter? 

Saturday, August 6, 2011


.... that's talkative in English.   Little Spanish Pinay is developing into a very talkative girl.  And we love it.  She cracks me up whenever she tries to seemingly tell stories or explain things.  Nothing is understable but she's fierce and determined.  It was funny one time when she started blabbering a long and winding story and her grandfather overheard it.  He was amused by the talkativeness and asked me if she was talking in Tagalog.  I told him, to knowledge, it wasn't in Tagalog as I didn't understand a word she said.  We all had a good laugh.

Below are two videos I took while she was looking at herself in the mirror and just started talking with herself. The cuteness was overflowing I could have just eaten her up!!

Any idea what she has just been saying?

Friday, August 5, 2011

..I don't feel like doing anything

Bruno Mars in the background...

For a week, I was tired.  No. Exhausted.  And everytime I had some few minutes free time, I just wanted to fall flat on the bed, arms stretched and stare at the ceiling.

I could have very well taken an ultra short nap but I couldn't.  My body's pleading for a long break time but my mind's nagging over me knackered body to keep on moving, telling me to move my butt as there was so much to do.  There was so much my mind wants me to do.

Our windows badly need cleaning.  I need to cut my toenails.  Have I given Little Spanish Pinay her afternoon snack?  Where is she by the way.  Ah yeah, she's also on the bed above my head with her battered book.  I hope she stays quiet a little longer.  That bathrooms need scrubbing.  My dining table is missing.  Oh, I have two wall clocks to hang on the wall... what wall?  I hate drilling on the wall... can there be any other option for this? The groceries... I have no space to store them on.  Drat, we badly need more kitchen storage.  When would they ever put that beautiful china cabinet on sale? My timesheet... I forgot to do my timesheet again. And the weekly status report.  Monday, I'll do these on Monday.  God, thank you it's almost wekeend.  Weekend... man alive, I'm on-call support over the weekend! Please don't let any page come in my support phone.  My phone.  Let me get my phone so I can at least do my regular blog reads.  Blog. When was the last time I have posted something on my blog? I have to write something... or I'll be losing my readers. No, stop. No obsessing over blog.  Remember it's just your outlet.  Can't make this as another daily task.  I have way too many tasks already.  What's for dinner... I'm craving for Filipino-style spaghetti ala Jollibbee.  Dinner's decided then.  Oh no, we don't have ground beef. Bah.  I'll think about dinner later.  There's an ant crawling on my ceiling.  What the heck is it doing there... did LSP throw food on the ceiling? Nah, that is not possible.  Just close those swollen eyes  and nap, Spanish Pinay!  No you can't nap, the little girl might wander.  Well then, just close the damn eyes and put your radar up high.  Eyes closed.  One hand on the feet of Little Spanish Pinay so I'd know when she moves.
Something's pulling my hair.  Someone's pinching my nose?  And I got a kiss on my nose.  Or a lick.  I swear she just licked me.  My Little Spanish Pinay just licked my nose and as I opened my eyes, she burst out laughing.  I have just been energized. 

And the tickles and rolling over the bed started.

And that was practially my everyday last week - busy and knackered.  At the end of the day when everything's already quiet I would try to encourage myself to face the laptop and continue on those blog posts I have drafted but then I didn't feel like doing anything... so I'd normally just slump on the sofa and watch some favorite series with a cup of mint tea on one hand... .and probably a chunk of chocolate on the other hand. 

I missed writing though and I missed my regular blog reads.  Today should be a quiet day and at night, I hope I could sneak some time to do my regular blog reads.  That is right after Little Spanish Pinay is tucked in bed, sleeping soundly.

Spanish Pinay and Little Spanish Pinay saying hello to everybody and wishing for a good and restfull weekend!

Happy Friday, y'all!
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