Monday, December 17, 2012

The Weaning Comedy

So we started the process of weaning.  I'll tell more about it on a separate post but on this post, I'm sharing my tragedy brought by weaning and pepper.   The title says comedy not tragedy, right?  Really, it's a tragedy but it's too surreal that I ended up laughing on me. On my stupidity, that is.

Hubby and I finally decided that we'll formally start the Little Spanish Pinay's weaning process.  I started thinking of ways to successfully do this.  I've been reading and nothing has really worked well for us.  So I finally resorted to my mom's old way - put something on the nipples to make it taste baaaad.

Still it was tricky because I couldn't really think of what spice or food to use. 

Garlic? Nah. LSP loves garlic. She eats a whole clove of pickled garlic, you know?

Onions perhaps? - yeah, no. She also eats onions. She especially loves those pickled baby onions in the jar.

Ginger? sounded promising. I did try. She made some faces, said blah! But proceeded with her normal business. Fail.
I desperately rummaged through my spice drawer and ding! Dried cayenne pepper.   Now, LSP has a relatively high tolerance on spicy food.  Relatively for kids her age, if I can make that clear.  She devoured one of those chocolate with chili brought to us by her godfathers when they visited Italy.  So I told myself cayenne pepper should do it.

 Dried cayenne pepper

I took a piece, run it down the faucet to wet, squeezed a bit and wipe it down the nipples. Then I thought I'm ready to face her. Until I felt the burning sensation. Then in panic, I tried to wash it down with water. Big mistake, people. Water DOES NOT help. It worsens the burning sensation! And man alive, IT. HURTS! For the life of me, I was in total lost of what to do.

By this time, I was already cyring in pain.  Hugging myself, I walked back and forth the hallway.  Hissing and ahhh-ing.  I sat down the foot of our staircase and desperately cried.  Poor hubby he didn't know how to help me.  He kept on telling me to try and wash it down.  With desperate tone I said I already tried and it just got worst.

You'd think that's the worst part?  No, missy, no.  Too annoyed of my own stupidity, I scratched my eyes and my whole face while wiping off the tears.  Suddenly I couldn't open my eyes.  You. have.! Of course I touched my eyes with the very same hand I used to crush the pepper. 

I thought I was gonna go blind.

I was screaming and jumping.  And then I found myself slopping down the floor almost like a toddler with the meltdown at the middle of a supermarket. 

Hubby was like "what? what? what's happening with you?"

I'm like "My eyes! ahhhhh! my eyes!"

and he's like "what? what? what about your eyes????"

I'm like "My eyes! they're burning! I can't even open them!"

and then he's like "Try to open your eyes! open them!"

and I'm like  "Did I just tell you I CAN'T open them? How the hell would I open them if I can't open them???"

Gosh, I swear I felt like I was Larry from the Three Stooges.

Then I suddenly found myself laughing my heart out because of the total insanity of what I have just done to myself.   Totally a mess.

Good thing I remembered one of the episodes from Bones where Hodgins ate something really spicy and drank a glass of water but made the burning sensation even worse.  And Angela told him never drink water with spicy food.  Should be milk!

So the rest of my story was just hubby wiping my eyes with cotton soak into milk... and yes, I also wiped milk on my nipples that were still burning at that time.  That part, I did on my own... coz you know...

And in case you're wondering,  I did not use breastmilk. 

Come to thnk of it, I should have tried breastmilk.  Just to know, you know.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas DIYs and Recycling

Since I've been really committed to being green (whenever I can) and frugal,  I have sworn to not buy new Christmas decors nor buy gift wrappers.  I sworn to use our old Christmas decors and if they are not enough, take out my magic DIYer wand.  I sworn to use papers I already have for gift wrappers and make them look Christmas-y so then I won't have to buy gift wrappers. Sounds extreme?  A bit.  It's actually quite hard to resist the temptation of buying those super lovely Christmas decors and ornaments from the store whenever I see them... but I am so doing it! **patting my back**
I'll probably won't be able to complete decorating the house but with the close-to-none extra time I have, I'm just doing what I can.  And I am quite pleased about the whole effort so here I am showing 'em off.  You are warned:  there'll be stars everywhere!
Entrance hall.  Remember the wall decor I created using pistachio shells?  There they still are.  The paper snowflakes on the side are just paper cut outs using normal printing papers.  The mistletoes on the yellow and green vases are from the tree.  The stars are from a kraft and cereal boxes.

The plant/tree that I always thought to be mistletoe are just taken from the nearby park.  Thank you my fellow mommy bloggers and twitter buddies, I have learned something new..  It's not mistletoe, Spanish Pinay.  It's Holly!
Some more 3D stars this time out of magazine covers

and another set of 3D stars from cereal boxes

Yet another star from cereal box.  Candle (ok, with this one, I couldn't resist... I bought it. But for 2 euros, it was begging to climb my shopping cart and so I gave in). Decorative sand = expired baby cereal mix and glitters! That's a winner I tell you.  The gold small balls are from a broken old Christmas decors and finally, the pine cone I picked from one of our walks in the mountains one summer day

Parol (Fillipino Christmas lantern).  This was a necessity for me to make. 
Blame it on homesickness.  This parol is made out of barbeque sticks.  The cellophanes are store brought while the white tissue papers are recycled from the pictures frames I bought ages ago.  Stores would usually wrap fragile items with these type of paper tissues.  Yes, I also keep those. Holler if anyone wants a tutorial!

Gifts wrapped so far:  The brown papers from the dining chairs packaging we ordered online months ago.  The different ornaments used are:  magazine papers, some colored craft papers I already have, yarn, cupcake papers from a tin can of danish cookies and of course, glitters! I certainly think glitters is made for Christmas!
 I'll probably update this post if I am able to add some more Christmas decors at home for now, that's all the humble abode got.   I still need a Christmas wreath for the door.  Spell DIY and RECYCLE!

Disclaimer:  Don't be fooled by the neat pictures... the house mess is kicked off the camera radar ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hot Mami

Hot mess, that is!!
It's been really chaotic at home these days. Not that I am complaining as all three of us in our household  are all healthy and so much inlove with each other but things and schedules are all crazy and me, being a scattered-brain to start with, can't just keep up with this crazy, crazy phase in our family life.
As I was writing drafting this post, I was in the commissary office waiting for my name to be called. Don't worry, I didn't do anything bad! The only record I have in this country is that I was caught without a seat belt inside a moving car. Long story, but yeah, I am already an offense maker.
Anyhooooo, reason that I am here is that I need to get an affidavit of loss for my ID.  I lost it practically without knowing how and when.  I'm kind of in a hurry to get it replaced as we are in the middle of processing some important documents.
And hoo, hah! I just learned that I had no idea where my passport is. OUR passports! They are all in one pouch and the location of the said pouch has just decided to elude my memory.  After putting our house upside down, inside out, thank God I was finally able to find 'em.
Did I mention already that our house is in total jumble right now? Unshelved (yes, accept that as a word as I have no time to check the dictionary right now, mkay?) groceries are in the hallway and everywhere in the floor kitchen. Documents on top of every furniture. Unloaded dishwasher. A mountain of dirty dishes.  Unfolded clothes. Unmade beds. Gooey bathrooms. Toys everywhere (ok, that is forgivable). Bunny dusts on the floor, everywhere. Umm, that's it. I shall not continue describing the state of the house right now before I start to pick my eyebrows and eat 'em.
And oh! I can't count how many days hubby and I haven't eaten a decent lunch. We simply couldn't find time to cook and well, even sit down together and munch each other. I mean, munch something together.   
My day job? Not spared from all my hullabaloos... I did mistakes here and there that could have hurt my career if only my bossess do not know me. 
Ok, so my name was called in the commissary and proceeded inside the office to tell them my story.  I sat on the chair infront of the table where the officer is seated on the other side.  He asked me what is my business there and just before I could open my mouth, my stupid very hungry tummy made the most awful, embarrassing sound it ever made in my whole entire life.  I was hoping the officer didn't hear any of it but judging from his awkward facial expression, there was no denying that he didn't hear it.  My face was burning with embarrassment and with a sheepish smile, I just said "Uhm, I haven't had lunch, sorry".  And the rest of the 10 minutes was just me stammering in Spanish.
Good thing the officer new I am already married otherwise, he might have been thinking by now "Poor girl, she'll surely be single for the rest of her life".  Or perhaps he's thinking something like "poor husband...".
I couldn't even imagine if I would be able to survive the past week but I'm here, finishing this article so  I guess yes, I did survive last week.  I survived it with bruises and an ego resting on the floor but I survived.  Because mamas have no other option but to survive, right?
Tell me I'm not the only one who has days like this.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Skinless Longganisa

Longganisa is one of my classic comfort food.   Although we have chorizo here in Spain, it's really nothing like longganisa from my beloved Philippines. 
I have been wanting to be able to make one but haven't really found an easy recipe so thank goodness to my pretty preggy friend Dianne as she was able to find one.  The plus side is that she has already tried this and approved of the result.  Being a great foodie that she is, I have no doubts the recipe is really going to give good results.
It took me a while before I was able to finally make this on my own as life happens and this mama gets burried with so much work and mama duties.
I did some modifications on the recipe to suit my liking... for one, I love my longganisa just a  tad bit on the sweeter side so, I used a bit more sugar.  You can refer to Dianne's recipe for the original recipe.

My recipe below is probably just good for 2-3 people so double it if you want a big batch.  Dianne's recipe calls for 1.5lbs ground pork and that's about 680 grams.
250grams ground pork (I used the mix kind - mixed beef and pork)
1 carrot, grated (my special ingredient)
1.5 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (I may have used a bit more)
5 cloves garlic (yes, I used 5 times the original recipe.  we love garlic in the house so, need I say more?)
1/2 tsp anato/atsuete powder (I don't have anato seeds here)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 or 2 tbsp of red wine
a little butter

Let's get down to the business.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the wine and the butter.  Mix it good until all ingredients are well incorporated.  You can use a spoon or your clean hand. Hand is better.

I like sneaking in veggies in my dishes so I thought I'd sneak in some grated carrots in this. It wasn't a bad idea at all!

Roll a part of the mixture to a cling wrap.  The amount depends on how big or long you would want the longganisa to be.  I did about an inch thick.

Now, here's a trick I did.  I closed the sides of the cling wrap (after the longganisa is rolled inside) and made a knot on each side.  This made the longgaisa more compact and sort of tube-like round.

does this remind you of the classic ice candy?

excuse the blurry photo. I was just using my phone camera on my left hand.

You gotta let it cure overnight inside the fridge.  But if you are impatient like me, 1 or 2 hours may already be good... but not as good as overnight, so remember that ;-)

I also have a slightly different way of cooking longganisa.  I've used my mom's classic way of cooking longganisa and also added some Spanish touch to it.

In a skillet, I put the longganisa (cling wrap removed) with a little bit of water.  Let the water boil.  This way, I am more confident that the longganisa would be well cooked until the core part.  I love meat and I love it well done.  I may have also sprinkled the longganisa a dash of brown sugar while it's cooking (yes more)... but that really depends on your liking.


When the water is about to get dry, pour in your red wine. This gives tanginess to the longganisa and that nice dark color.  I am thinking that with the wine, you can totally ommit the anato powder.

Oh, just imagine how the mixture of different tastes would explode in your mouth with every bite!

Let it simmer until it caramelizes a bit.  Then put a little butter or if you prefer to be healthier, use vegetable or olive oil.  I used butter!

Then just let it fry until golden brown and the caramel becomes sticky.

You wanna be more sinful?  Cleanup that caramel in the frying pan with rice!
Yes, I committed more sin by frying the rice on the longganisa caramelized drippings!   And I must say, it is all worth it! Every.single.calorie.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You got an issue? Here's a tissue!

This entry has actually been sitting in my draft for about 3 weeks now.  I couldn't even get a quarter of an hour to finish it and as I read it back it sounds too whiney to be published.  And I feel like I've been a totally hot mess that I had second thoughts about publishing it.  But then again, this is real life.  There IS mess and chaos in a real home.  And there IS stress and tears and own-hair-pulling and lost of words and desperation in a life of a normal mama like me.

I do want to chronicle our adventure in parenthood and our daughter's development and so I shall not miss this part either especially through these experiences, I have become a better mami even for just a little bit.

So lately (been a while, in reality), the Little Spanish Pinay has been experimenting with her new discovery.  That she is an individual with her own decisions and capability to actually say NO anytime she wants to.  And she finds it really cool. I do know and understand this phase but somehow with the stress of daycare adjustments (back in early September), workload (from my day job) and super backlogged housechores (because of camping-in at inlaw's house on August); and then add the desire of wanting to squeeze in blogging and crafting and baking in the middle, I found myself short on patience and gentleness during those hectic moments.

There were those days where LSP seems to be just being a big pain in the bottom. And one day, I fell deep into that pit where I have told myself I would never jump into.  Nor even peek.  We had a hard time in the morning preparing LSP to go to daycare as she was just plainly refusing everything.  She's taking forever to finish her potty, claiming that she's not yet done.  She didn't want to get dressed.  She didn't like her socks.  She didn't like her shoes.  I literally had to wrestle her (which I really hate to do) to get dressed as we were simply running late.  I had to let her wear her house slippers because that's what she preferred over any shoes I offer her.  (side note:  A couple of days prior, we went to daycare without her wearing socks nor shoes because she just doesn't want to wear ANY shoes).

The ultimate act was when she matter-of-factly emptied a pack of cashew nuts on the floor.  Her face was that of a smirk (I must admit cute, at that) that says "Let's see what you'll do about this, mami".

I snapped.

I yanked her up and sat her on our sofa.  Naturally she started crying.   I told her that we do not throw food on the floor, that what she did is wrong, etc.  She kept crying.  I told her she have to ask for an apology.  She didn't want to.  I got agitated even more.  I got angry.  She got angrier.  Until everything just turned into a vicious cycle.  She started putting her whole fist in her mouth and that made her vomit.  Upon seeing this, hubby got too worried and said "that's it", he's picking up LSP.  I got angry on hubby and told him no as she is just trying to get our attention.  I was trying to let her stay in the sofa until she apologizes.   So my angst got extended to hubby.  The whole battle about me getting LSP apologize for what she did lasted for about 10minutes until I told her if she will not apologize, she'll be sleeping ALONE tonight.

Scared of the ultimatum, she held my face with both her hands and told me mami, perdon! perdon! (mami, I'm sorry! I'm sorry!).

I won the battle.

But I didn't feel good.  Suddenly, the way she held my face with both her face made me feel really bad about forcing her to apologize.  She apologized alright, but what I have just taught her is to use apologizing as a negotiating tool and not to express empathy or remorse for what she has done wrong.
I held her and hugged her and kissed her.  She immediately stopped crying and we went to her room.  We laid down on her bed while she hugged me tightly.  She never stopped looking at me on my face as if trying to measure if I am still angry.  I suddenly felt my excess hot blood immediately left my head.  I calmed down.  She asked to be nursed and in just a few minutes, she fell asleep. 

I felt tears welled up in my eyes.  I lost.  It shouldn't even be a battle in the first place.

I was so consumed about ME being tired with so many things and to top it all off, my toddler is making it all harder for me. Me. Me. Me.  I was thinking so much about ME being the victim of all these.  Boo hoo!

I forgot that my toddler is also undergoing a big emotional stress and big transitions.  I forgot that my toddler does not take changes so easily.  I forgot that my toddler lacks emotional maturity to handle this without her getting fussy.  I forgot that my toddler melts down when she's tired and that's her only outlet.  I forgot that my toddler is in a stage where she experiments on our own reactions with her every action and that seeing us get nervous, surprised, or even angry is fun.  I forgot that my toddler wouldn't know just yet to "want" to make me suffer because she at her age, is too innocent for that.

I forgot to show her even more love in her moments when she seems to be unlovable.

I do have moments when I just don't know what's wrong with me and I'd be in such a bad mood.  In fact, this happens monthly.  It's a girl's thing. When I get hormonal, I wouldn't want hubby to tell me "Honey, you have to go to that corner and think about what you have done. You have been acting weird and unfair so take some moment and face the wall.  When you're ready you have to apologize".  I swear, if he does this, I would go ballistic.  What I would want to hear him tell me is "Honey, you are having such a bad day today and you seem to be so stressed.  Why not take a hot bath, and have some coffee or go out and have a walk or just do whatever that will make you feel better.  I'll take care of the house, don't worry".   That's what we all want, yeah?  But I forgot that my toddler would also like something the same on her days when she woke up with the wrong foot.

Thankfully, we were able to get away as a family and find some peace and relaxation before the end of September. It was refreshing and recharging. It was really that hubby and I got to really talk and he was able to remind me so many things about our wonderful little sucker. I really thank God for having the kind of husband that I have and the kind of father he is toour Little Spanish Pinay.

I still have moments with the little sucker when I just want to eat my eyebrows because we are still in that big toddler phase but I have been really trying to remind myself about being a gentle mama.  Because that is what I want to be for her.  It does make a huge difference with the way she responds to us on her stormy moments.  Talking to her helps a lot.  Even at those moments that she seems like she doesn't hear us because she's over the top of her lungs screaming and wiggling, most often than not, we get surprised because suddenly it would seem like what we tell her made sense to her and she would start to calm down.  The key is never reciprocate her agitation with agitation.  Staying calm (which is soooooo hard but doable) is a must. 

Sometimes I just fail to stay calm but I don't beat myself up about that anymore.  I know I can start over and that I can ask her to forgive me for getting angry.  And she ALWAYS say yes, she forgives me.  That little twerp is really innocent and pure hearted, you know?

So there.  Every time I find myself getting near the end of the rope, and feeling like a victim of the circumstance, I'd stop and tell myself:  You got issue? Here's a tissue!
and I also look at this picture because her smile is just something that always, always make me smile too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fun Food: Baked Donuts

So, Mommy Maggie has tempted me with her baked donuts.  I tell you, I couldn't get it off my mind.  I was waiting till she shares to us her recipe I am able to find a donut molder  (Just teasing, mommy Maggie! :-D ) but hoo hah, one time while Pinteresting, I found this recipe and I just couldn't wait anymore.  I still don't have a donut molder but I thought, what the heck.
I said,  I will turn them into a full-fledged donuts, holes included... by hook or crook!
I used my good ol' cupcake silicon molder and just poked a hole in the middle of each "donut" using apple core remover (is that how it is called?)
The secret weapon
When I was all done, making my improvised donut holes, I was blowing the smoke from my apple core remover Lara Croft style.

 And there they are!  They look poorly but hey, wait till they get all dressed up!
Patience is not one of my strength.  Consider this a warning... let the donuts cool off before trying to remove them from the molder. Or they will end up like this!

Peanut butter glaze, baby!

So there.  The recipe yielded about a dozen donuts in a mini size... (think of the diameter of a normal cupcake).   There is definitely going to be a repeat of this recipe! Ñom!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Recycled Nescafe Jar

Have I already mentioned that Pinterest is addicting? Man, it seriously is! I find myself pinterest-ing every.single.night. Once the little one starts to do her little snores, I'd take my mobile and put myself under the blanket and start browsing through the bazillion ideas one can find in the sweet addicting world of Pinterest.  Yes, it could be possible that I am losing sleep because of too much Pinterest-ing.

Anyhoo... as I was browsing and pinning, I found this work of a really artsy man named Eric Barclay.  One of his works is this:

Isn't this too adorable??? I tell you, the guy is full of creativity and talent!

And since this is about recycling (I've been very gung-ho about recycling but just couldn't find time) and by a very, very good chance, I have one empty Nescafe bottle lying around the house, I said I must try this! 

And here is the result of my wannabee-artist work.  I know, it's far (like oceans afar!) from Eric's work but hey, the colors I used are all I have at the time AND I swear, my hand wouldn't just stop from trembling while I was trying to paint the bottle.  I don't really know what I was so nervous about.  And that crackled effect near the whites... and what's going on with the white?  Looks like I used a liquid paper.  I tell you I did not.  I used a super old white paint marker... but I guess it's already super old, that's why.
But I am still happy with the outcome.  My striped cat turned out cute in its own unique style, yes?  Maybe I'd get better on the next ones.  Maybe I should also get nicer colors to use, yeah? I still have to think of what to store in it.  For now,  it holds small knick-knacks in the kitchen.  But it should find a better purpose.  Maybe nuts? Or Sugar perhaps?  What would you use a bottle like this for?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Fun Food: Peanut Butter and Choc Chips Muffin

Whoa! I've almost forgotten I have blog.  Thanks to some of you lovely readers who have reminded me that I'm somehow being missed :) 

I do have tons of stories to tell and most are about the dramatic and at the same time blissful moments of a mama but today is Friday so I decided to share something yummy.  See, ever since the Little Spanish Pinay started daycare, I've been cooking and baking nonstop because this mama strives hard to prepare homemade packed lunch and snaks for that little woman.

I got this recipe from Pinterest.  Ugh, this website is addicting, I tell you.  Here's the direct link where I copied the recipe from. 

So here is the recipe lineup:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar

6tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup peanut butter (cruncy or smooth)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

See that big tub of baking powder? A product of compulsive buying! I don't know what was I thinking buying that humongous amount of baking powder.  Not like I own a baking shop!  

And oh, that carton on the upper right corner?  That's milk.  Sheep's milk!  It's actually equivalent to a half and half milk.  The recipe calls for a normal milk - whole milk I suppose but since this is all I have (and soymilk), then this is what I used.  Sheep's milk is more digestive than a cow's milk so this is our staple milk at home :)  I won't be able to tell the difference it will make on the muffin but I can tell you that the muffins turned out quite succulent!

Eeeeniways, here's the direction.

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).  I do not usually preheat my oven before I start everything.  I do things slowly... most often than not, even the instruction says 15minutes prep time, I would consume double or so. Hence, so as not to waste power (and money), I usually preheat the oven when I am starting to pour in the batter into the molders.  I just make sure that the even preheats for at least 10mins.

2. In a large bowl, wisk together the dry ingredients.   

That wisk without a handle is from my stick blender that broke.  The wisk works just like any other wisk so I decided it will not go to the trash :-)

3.   In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth.  Now, I may or may have not purposely let the peanut butter overflow from the measuring cup... but hey, I love peanut butter! Especially my homemade peanut butter!
4. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined. 

5. Stir in those yummy choc chips!  Batter will be thick.

6.  Divide batter into the paper-lined muffin or cupcake molders.  Each cup should be filled to the top and not just half way up to get that nice dome on the muffin.

note:  The original recipe said this will make 24 muffins... I was only able to do 17!  I think when it says fill up to the top, I understood it like overflowing a little bit.  I guess I have the tendency to exagerate a bit.

7. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.

Hello beauties!

They are really nice to the pallette.  One bite and you'll be asking for more!  Hubby's comment is that it could still probably use some more sugar... but what can I say? Hubby has a very sweet tooth.  He's on the upper extreme of the sweeth tooth level.

So, tah-tah for now and happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our breastfeeding journey coming to an end and sharing another mom's must-read breastfeeding success story

2 yrs and almost 5 months and we are still breastfeeding.  I've been really on and off about weaning.  Some difficult days, I'd stick a middle finger about "child-led-weaning" and some days where unicorns fly around us, I'd wish the moment that she'd ask to be nursed won't end.   I am seeing the near-end of our breastfeeding moment, though.  My supply is very low already.  Little Spanish Pinay herself would even tell me ya no hay leche, mami (no more milk, mami) like as if she's complaining and demanding for more.  So I guess, sooner or later, she'd get tired of sucking and would move on to her life without Las Boobies.  

How do I feel about that?

I am already nostalgic about it.
I am looking forward to it at the same time.

I feel triumphant as we really had a tough start on breastfeeding and that I have told myself 2yrs is the minimum time I'd breastfeed LSP.

If this is a novel, we are indeed nearing the denouement.

Speaking of a novel, I'd like to share another success story of a friend on breastfeeding.  Because novel = story.  I know, I'm good on segues. 

It is a really touching and beautiful story of courage, dedication and pure mommy love!  I do feel compelled to share this because I know that it may help other moms or mom-to-bes who want to really succeed on breastfeeding.  Please click the whole quote below to read the whole story.

Photo grabbed from Chichi Sotomil's fb page

p.s. Last month is Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  But I am extending it to this month and to all the months of the year. Because breastfeeding is that awesome!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Author, educator and parenting speaker, Vivian Kirkfield: Is Your Child Being Bullied?

I am really excited to share this clip of a short interview of Vivian Kirkfield by 9News TV. She has stated great tips on detecting whether your child is being bullied at school:

   Vivian is also the author of this equally amazing book: Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking
Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking (Positive Parental
I have personally own (with Vivian's authograph, nothing less!!) and read this book and been trying some of the activities with my little one.  It is surely one way to spend quality time with your children and be involved with them.  Getting involved with your children can also help them be more confident of themselves and open to communication with us, parents.  This may also help them easily talk to us when they experience bullying at shool.
p.s. I am a fan of Vivian :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To the most wondeful man on earth and in the universe...

Happy birthday.

... did I say he rocks as a father too.
He's all good. All good.   There's really not much men like him in this world anymore.  Little Spanish Pinay and I are the luckiest girls for having him in our lives.  He got us fallen in love with him.  More everyday.  We love you, papi!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Storyteller

Sharing a video of the Little Spanish Pinay reading for her dear mami at night.  I seriously died of cuteness overload here.   It's a good thing that I am trying to watch my diet these days (since we are still camped out at my inlaw's house and they seem to see me like some anorexic 16yr-old that they never stop stuffing food in my mouth) because I can really eat her up and swallow her whole!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

She's the one...

... that constantly makes my heart skip a bit
with her bravado and tender nature in superlative form

... that would give me such emotions
as varied and colorful as the fishes and the corals in the sea

... that kills me with too much laughter in a day with her silliness
because she's just too darn funny
and alive and full of energy and too crazy

... that for God's divine reason, has completed our family.

... together with hubby, makes life not perfect but absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She sings, alright.

She has enjoyed songs from day one and as she grows, her love for music grows even more.  She learns different songs quite fast and easily and to top this off, she composes her own songs :) I love to watch her hum or sing different songs while she plays or "read" books on her own.  She also cracks me up when she tries to rephrase the lyics of the songs.   Here's a sample how she rephrases songs:

Song: Arañita Pequeñita (to the tune of The Eensy Weensy Spider)

note: I am writing the english lyrics in direct translation of the spanish song and not how the song is sang in english

Original: La arañita pequeñita, lo alto se subio (The eensy weensy spider, so high it went up)
Her version: La arañita pequeñita, alto subio

Original: Pero vino la lluvia, al suelo se cayó (But the rain came, on to the floor it fell)
Her version:  mmmm vino lluvia, y cayó y lloró! (mmmm out came the rain, and it fell and it cried!)

I died of her silliness and cuteness and then I was resurrected and then died all over again!

Lately, she's really getting into singing that she has started belting it out.  I always wanted to take a video of her but she'd get all shy and annoyed and wouldn't let me.  The other day though, while we were camped out at my inlaw's house,  she miraculously didn't mind mami taking her video... I think she was even enjoying the limelight!

I'll end this post sharing with you some of the my-now-treasured-videos (I shall make tons of backups of these!).  Have fun and be prepared for ear-piercing vocal belting.

and here is the one where she's showing her own style playing the guitar :)
Have a nice week ahead!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Philippines cries for help.

It's been more than a week of rain and the number of death and victims continue to rise.  Watching the news is really heart wrenching but seeing the all the volunteers and rescuers pour out their solidarity, compassion and dedication to help those in need makes my heart swell with pride and gratefulness.

Philippines need any help it can get. Below is a comprehensive list of information where we can bring or send our donations.  This is taken from Daddy and The City.  Thanks, Jinoe!

Angel Brigade

ANGEL BRIGADE accepts CASH donations via ISDANCO FOUNDATION. The fund will be used to prepare/purchase hot meals for evacuation centers / stranded families. Details are:

Account Name – Isdanco Foundation Inc.

Philippine Depository Bank – Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Bank Account Number – PESO Savings Acct No. 4-001-57757-9

Bank Address – RCBC Head Office, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Ave., Makati City, Philippines

Angel Brigade is accept relief goods – old clotehs, rice, water, canned goods and powdered milk. Please deliver to 2F Frank Provost Bldg., 120 Jupiter St., Bel-air., Makati City.
Pilipinas Natin Operation Walang Iwanan Relief Operation

We are in need of volunteers for repacking of relief goods in DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) Gate 1, Quezon City Circle. For more information, please contact us at 0916.320.0809. Please share. #walangiwanan

Gawad Kalinga

Gawad Kalinga - Gawad Kalinga Command Center for relief ops North NCR @hrd Training Ctr, DAR Compound QC. #09991889683 / 09064192016 / 09228483806.


LBC branches will serve as drop-off centers for Philippine Red Cross.Donations for flood victims are accepted in LBC branches starting August 8. Most needed are blankets, water, milk, easy-to-eat foods like biscuits, rice, baby diapers, mats/banigs, toiletries. Please make sure these are properly labled as donations and we will make sure these are sent immediately to the Red Cross and to their evacuation centers. Please don’t use plastic bags, instead use a blanket, towel or old shirt to tie-up and carry your donations. Thank you.

Christ’s Commission Fellowship

(Alabang) Accepting donations of OFF LOTION, BLANKETS, MEDICINE, CANNED GOODS.

Address: G/F Prime Street Madrigal Business Park.

(Ortigas) Donation of clothes, blankets, canned goods, noodles, rice, drinking water needed.

Address: St. Francis Square. Contact 6353410.

Address: 6th Floor, St. Francis Square Julia Vargas Avenue corner Bank Drive, Ortigas Center Mandaluyong City

GMA Network

GMA Kapuso Telethon 9811950

GMA Network Operation Bayanihan Relief Operations now open. Just call 9811950.

GMA Kapuso Foundation appeals for donations in cash and in kind. #OperationBayanihan

Para sa cash donation, maaari rin po kayong mag-deposito sa numang branch ng Metrobank, UCPB at Cebuana Lhuillier. Wala pong service fee na ibabawas sa inyong donasyon patungo sa GMA Kapuso Foundation.


Peso Savings

Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.

Account Number: 3-098-51034-7
Dollar Savings

Account Name:GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.

Account Number:2-098-00244-2



Peso Savings

Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.

Account Number:115-184777-2 or 160-111277-7
Dollar Savings

Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.

Account Number: 01-115-301177-9 or 01-160-300427-6


Sagip Kapamilya accepts donations in cash or in-kind.

For donations in kind, you can drop them off at:

ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse #137 Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City


For cash or cheque donations, you may go to:

ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

Mother Ignacia Avenue corner E. Lopez St. Brgy. South Triangle, QC

Office tel. no: +632-411-4995 or +632-415-2272 loc 3765

or deposit to:

BDO Peso Account:

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya

Account Number: 39301-14199

Swift Code: BNORPHMM

BDO Dollar Account:

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya

Account Number: 39300-81622

Swift Code: BNORPHMM

PNB Peso Account:

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya

Account Number: 419-539-5000-13

Swift Code: PNBMPHMM

BPI Peso Account:

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya

Account Number: 3051-1127-75

Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City

Swift Code: BOPIPHMM
BPI Dollar Account:

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya

Account Number: 3054-0270-35

Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City

Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

* For confirmation of donation, please fax (+632-411-4995) or email ( copy of transmittal slip with complete donor’s information.

Akbayanihan Relief Center

Akbayanihan Relief Center now accepting donations. Food, water, clothes, and the like being accepted at the Akbayan headquarters in 36B Madasalin Street, Sikatuna Village. You may contact (02)4336933 / 09175381816 / 09064304315 if you want to volunteer.

Ateneo Law school Makati

Please drop off at 3/F Ateneo Rockwell.

Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila

Now accepting donations:


- Medicines (Paracetamol, Betadines, etc.)

- Blankets

- Clothes (Sorted according to age and gender—Adult Female, Adult Male, Female Teens, Male Teens, Kids sizes Male and Female, as well as toddlers)

For more info, visit

Simbahang Lingkod Ng Bayan

Cash donations are now accepted by SLB.


Direct deposits may be made to:


Bank of the Philippine Islands, Loyola Katipunan Branch

BPI PESO Checking Account Number 3081-1111-61

BPI Dollar Savings Account Number 3084-0420-12


ROUTING NO: 021 – 0000 – 21or channel to:Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Loyola House of Studies

Ateneo de Manila University

Loyola Heights 1108, Quezon City DONATE VIA GCASH1. REGISTER (one time only)

Text REG4-digit PIN/Mother’s Maiden Name/First Name/Last Name/Address and send to 2882Example: REG 1928/Sanchez/Michael/Borromeo/187 Naval St. , Novaliches, QC2. DONATETo send your donations:DONATE AMOUNT MPIN SLB or slb and send to 2882

Example: DONATE 100 1928 slb


Relief Operations starting now at LA SALLE GREEN HILLS. Volunteers proceed to the LMO office and look for Marlo Castillo. For LSGH High School students, you would need to bring a letter from your parents stating they are allowing you to volunteer for the Relief Operations. Of course, everyone please exercise your best judgement, if your location or way to LSGH will put you at risk, then please do not take unnecessary risks.

Also please spread the word that donations are being accepted at Gate 2 of La Salle Green Hills along Ortigas Avenue.

As of now, only the following donations are being requested:

Ready to eat food (does not require cooking, and preferably in easy to open cans or pouches)



Cash donations will also be accepted but please proceed to the LMO and look for Marlo Castillo.

Miriam College Institute for Social Action (INSA)

Miriam College Institute for Social Action (INSA)is now accepting cash donations for victims of the flooding caused by habagat.

Donations may be sent to USD BPI Acct. 3084-0375-35 Swift Code BOPIPHMM.

Miriam College CSC: Contact Shirley 09178517408/Clarke 09178797603

Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

We’re opening PARC (PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center in Aurora Blvd, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights QC) as a temporary evacuation center for Marikina pets. Owners must leave ID and contact info, and if possible, roofed cages.

PAWS does not have enough cages but at least it’s higher ground and the animals will not drown.

The PAWS shelter has actually reached maximum capacity as it has been overrun with animal rescue reports but it is making this announcement as an open evacuation center to reach out to pet owners in Marikina now.

For more info, visit


All donations will be received at d main gate starting today.

You can also donate thru @cegponline bank acct
Accnt name: College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Account No:001003036211

Student Organizations Coordinating Council

The Student Organizations Coordinating Council together with One Meralco Foundation will be collecting CLOTHES, RICE AND CANNED GOODS. Please gather your donations as we will collect them at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center once the flood subsides (please wait for further announcements as to when the collection will happen). Contact us (+639055003546 and @officialSOCC) should you wish to help! Socc Ust SOCC Executive Board 2012-2013

Victory Fort Bonifacio

Starting August 8, Victory Fort Bonifacio will accept donations of food and bottled water at the ground floor of the Every Nation Building, University Parkway corner 32nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
For particulars, please call 817-1212

Friday, July 27, 2012

Do you get jealous?

I'm not a jealous person and really, my husband has never given me any reason to be jealous of another girl, so luckily, it has never been an issue in our relationship.

And then I discovered that I can be a jealous girl... not of another girl but of songs!  I know! What sense does it make, if it has any sense at all??

I already feel silly just by thinking about it now but the jealousy came in to me and I couldn't just silenced it with let's say, eating bars and bars of chocolates.

Before I get all the disapproving looks or ho-hums, let me at least elaborate the case at hand.  And then, I will accept judgments.

See, hubby loves many things about Asian culture.  Even before he met me, he's already an afficionado of animes.  Japan has always caught his interest.  But he met me, went head over heels (ahem) and his interest about Asian culture even grew wider.  He didn't only fell in love with me (ahem again) but also with Filipino cutlture, food, songs, country, etc.  So far so good, right? 

Here comes the problem or better say MY problem.  Lately he's been getting into Korean and Japanese.  He'd play them in his car, he'd sing them around the house (with invented lyrics of course), he'd download them like crazy... get the point.  It's actually good as he has a very, very wide range of gusto when it comes to music.   He IS a music lover, not to mention he sings quite well.  But one day, the chong-chong (my description of asian-non-filipino-songs) songs just got into my nerves and I burst.

Told him that I am getting jealous annoyed of the songs already.  Hubby, with a surprised and confused face said "what? why?" 

Told him, you are married to a Filipina and not Korean.  Hubby was like "uh... what?"

Told him, why didn't you just find yourself a Korean so you can get yourself drunk all the time with Korean music and then maybe your Korean wife could even teach you the song.  Hubby was like, "it's just that right now, I don't have the Filipino songs in my phone.."  with an even more confused face.

That fired me even more.

Told him, "You are married to a Filipina and you listen to Korean and Japanese songs but NOT Filipino songs.  Why is that?" Not true as he already knows a number of Filipino songs but lately, he's just getting obsessed (my subjective description) with playing Korean songs.  Hubby was out of words for a good while but trying to stifle his chuckle.

He tried to remind me that we already have a wide collection of Filipino songs and he'd even play them at home. 

I was like, yeah because I am at home and you do that for me.  For ME to listen to the Filipino songs but on your phone, on your car, all you have is everything Asian songs but Filipino songs.  It does show what is your favorite, your priority. I know... hormonal. That's me.

He tried to explain some more but he just kept burrying himself under my wrath.

Don't think that all these happened one fine afternoon and ended there.  No, days and days, I get so moody everytime we are in the car and he'd start pluggin in Korean songs (even Little Spanish Pinay has started learning the song).  One day, while we were outside enjoying the pool and the sun, he started singing his favorite Korean song and I snapped and said "Will you stop the friggin' singing?"  I immediately regretted my attitude.  But I have a reason and I am THE offended (based on my hormonal state).

The next day, when we got in the car, he started playing Filipino song from his phone plugged in to the car.  And what do you know,  it ticked me off too.  What? Why? Because now, he's putting Filipino songs only because I reacted and made a show out of it.   I kept telling him there's really no sense for him to redeem himself anymore by playing Filipino songs.

Ok, crucify me now.  I KNOW I am totally being shallow.   I can't fight my hormones. They are the boss of me! 

My poor husband?  Never got mad with all my nonsense.  He's a saint and I'm the bi-atch of the house. 

The. End.

Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY: Fabric Hanging Bookshelf

In the midst of too much work and drama and some drainage problem around our household,  I tried to work on some DIY project that hopefully would make me feel like there's still something we are able to accomplish inspite of all the hullaabaloos.

 I've been eyeing this project for quite some time now but couldn't really dedicate enough time to sit down and start on it.  But then slowly, slowly, like that tortoise in the story  The Tortoise and The Hare,  I managed to win the race!  Thanks to Pinterest and to this lady who posted a great tutorial.

I'm not posting my own tutorial as really, I just followed whatever is in the link above plus, some improvisation.   If any one has some questions though with anything, just haller and yours truly will try her best to help :)

So here is my own version.  The fabric is from a curtain that was on sale.  From €24.99 to €5. Score!  One whole curtain was already more than enough for these two hanging book shelf. 

I downloaded pictures of animal silhouettes from the internet, printed on a paper and then traced them on an old shirt I have.  I then just pasted them using fabric glue.  I love the result! But man, cutting animal silhouettes on a fabric is a tough job. 

Ok, some revelation... see the big red arrow above? Not cool.  That shows how my sewing skill needs tons of practice.  But I am turning a blind eye on that as I am currently too lazy to correct this booboo.

And now for my favorite part.  See the embellisments on the side?  Rolled paper magazine, what else!

Coz, this? Is ugly.  I bought long curtain rod and just cut them in half.  So the result is this ugly thing.  They badly need some eblishment but the ones that are ready-made from the store are either too big or way too expensive for my budget-conscious self.  So I think and think and think of what to do... and my trusty magazine papers were the answer!

I was thrilled with the result!  They are quite simple and pretty enough to be considered as embellishments heh :)  I am contemplating though whether to paint them green or not... I'll probably try and see how it looks much later. 

So there ya go!  I hope you like 'em like I do ;-)

Next project should be something to put on that blank part of the wall.  Any idea for a DIY?
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