Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First playdate

Monday was  a mix of difficult and fun day.  Little Spanish Pinay woke up 2 hours too early than her usual and I got wounded up between my work and her for about an hour and a half. Nanny was kind of lazy yesterday too which got me ticked the whole time she was here taking care of LSP.  She kept on doing "nothing" while LSP tried to cling on me, wanting my attention while I beggingly say "not now, I have work to do".  I had to tell explicitly to my dear nanny to please get LSP and go to the other room and play with her.  Couldn't she just realize that on her own? I am obviously still ticked so I'll let that go.  Besides, it's not nice to talk badly about a person on a blog.  Next topic please.

Since LSP woke up too early than her usual, she also slept 2 hours earlier than her usual naptime.  Result is we had plenty of time in the afternoon to play.  We went to the park and LSP had a blast.  She recently learned "mami, no me pillas!" (mami, you can't catch me!) from a the cartoon show Peppa Pig.  So she's been doing that while running so fast and her head turned back.  She can easily bump into something anytime and it always gets me screaming for her to watch out and look where she's going.  Toddlers are really heart-attack provokers!

She says "tigidig, tigidig!" Read as: tee-gee-deeg, tee-gee-deeg :-D
That's the Filipino way of making the sound of riding a horse ;-)

Later on, I got a nice phone call from a friend to check on us if we are available to meet her and her little one.  Playdate for LSP, finally!  Hubby joined us right after he came home from work and I was really glad he was able to meet V. 

I've met this friend of mine, V, in one of the parks nearby last summer.  We are both first time moms.  We exchanged timid smiles at the beginning, a couple of nice comments about our daugthers who are just 4 months apart.  We are both "from the outside" married to someone "from the inside".  See, a lot of things in common.   We coincide again in one of the streets downtown, exchanged few his and hellos then another coincidence in the supermarket.  The third time says we are meant to be.  Friends, you know? We exchanged numbers.  We've been wanting to schedule a playdate but alas, cold weather and Christmas vacation in our native lands, and then cough and colds prevented us from having one.  BUT when the time is right, the time is right... even if things are not planned.  So the impromptu playdate happened yesterday! Finally, LSP got to really meet D and this time since they are older, they got to play with each other.  The first time they saw each other was just like exchanging curious looks and then just moving along with their own things.

The playdate was great! D is a real darling.  She only didn't bring LSP some gifts from their vacation to their native land but she let LSP play with her toys without any fuss while LSP wants ALL of D's toys. LSP is obviously on the mine-all-mine stage!  We went to have some coffee and then proceeded to go to another park after.  D and LSP walked holding each other's hand the whole time.  I died of their cuteness. 

This is the best I could do to improve a photo as a product of dusk and phone battery dying.
But look at them holding each other's hands while walking!

Hubby's phone wasn't doing much better than mine either.  But on the other hand, since I am not sure if my friend V is comfortable about posting her daughter's picture on the web, then this is perfect.  It's just like masking the faces in the picture of a daughter of a celebrity on magazines, yes?

Sadly, the fun has to end.  It was already dark and getting colder and dinner time is about to start and the little ones need to rest.  We said our goodbyes which was not really welcomed by LSP.  She hates goodbyes. Most specially, she hated saying goodbye to D's baby doll. She wanted to bring it home with her! My little sweet rascal.  The best part is that this is not the first and last playdate for LSP and D together.  Spring is just around the corner as well, so that means nicer weather for playdates!

How's your week going so far?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Weekend That Was

It's Monday again but all I can think about is weekend.  I can't wait till it's weekend again - good thing there's only 5 working days in a week!  Just 4 more days and hello weekend again.  I believe in the power of positive thinking, y' know :)

So how was our past weekend.   
  • Saturday morning- another swimming day for Little Spanish Pinay.    After eating her breakfast, I let her play while I prepare our things.  Did I mention LSP looooves to write, loves to put lipstick and many times mix these two things?  So this is what happened when I left her a few minutes:
All I could say was... what have you done!
She matter-of-factly answered me with "go-te" for bigote (mustache) - Her way of telling me she painted herself a mustache.
Look how happy and proud she is with her little art.
    She used a permanent marker (don't ask me how she got one) and I couldn't remove most of it from her face so we had no choice but to go to her swimming class with that face!  People thought it was part of her costume for the carnival LOL.
  • This time, she was able to swim on her own with arm floats and it's quite a big milestone for her.  I was surprised and ecstatic at the same time.  Her mood about swimming fluctuates from the beginning.  Her first day was awesome.  Her second day was a lot of mami and hugging and clinging.  Some days were a-ok.  Then other days she's splendid...etc.  But the past 2 weekends - she's really been excited to get into the water and has been doing a lot of improvements.
  • Father and daughter drinking session after swimming activities and running around the playground
  • In the car, hubby took my hand while he was driving.  He does that many times and I love it - makes me feel giddy like a high school girl :) But then since he'd need to change gears, he'd let go of my hand and then take it again whenever he's driving in a steady gear.  This time though, he didn't want to let go of my hand even if he had to change gears so he took my hand put it on the gear with his hand.  We looked at each other and smiled at each other.  Too cheesy? I know! But what can I do... we are both hopeless romantics.
  •  Lunch time with the inlaws as usual - LSP was particularly affectionate to her abuela (grandma) inspite of saying Abuela, no! Abuela, no!.  That is her way to drive away someone she doesn't want to deal with.  But she was doing this to her abuela in a playful way so that was quite funny.  She does this so her abuela would run after her and get her "culing" (butt).  She'd squeal and run as fast as she can. 
  • As usual, it was a battle for her to take her afternoon nap.  When she's not at home, she naturally would love to explore and just play so nap is her enemy.  But in the end, she would still fall asleep.  The power of Las Boobies always take over :)
Our Ms. Super Active... too cute with her poncho and pig tails!
  • About a week ago, she has started saying porque (because).  I know kids enter in a "why" state where in they don't stop asking why about every single thing.  This normally starts around 3-4 yrs of age. In spanish, why is por que while because is porque. LSP's favorite word now is porque... she'd use it on every single phrase when she tries to tell us stories.   If you ask her "Where is your pen?" She'd typically respond "No esta... poh-quie Aga!" translation: "It's not here because... ... Aga took it"
  • We had another meltdown when we got home.  I was beat! I had to carry her American-football way while she tries to wiggle off from my arm and cry out loud.  Upon arriving at the garage, she tried to tell me something about her boots but I couldn't understand her and she started to get frustrated explaining to me what it is she wants.  We have a lot of things to carry because it was also supermarket day so I didn't have time to wait for her till she calms down. I just decided to carry her and go up the house as fast as we can.  We went straight to our room and I placed her in our bed.  I sat beside her trying to talk to her and helping her put into words what she was feeling.  She started choking with her cries and looked for me so I can help her.  We started hugging and thankfully the storm calmed down.  Whew, another one of those difficult moments.
  • Sunday was quite a lazy Sunday and I loved it!  My sides hurt from a lot of LOLs with the Little Spanish Pinay in her terrible two stage.  We painted, we sang, we danced.  I love listening to hubby and LSP's dialogs.  I love to watch them play together while I try to unclutter the house a little bit.
  • Sunday afternoon was another meltdown moment for LSP - I forgot the reason why she had the meltdown but I supposed because she wanted to play with something (like a tube of cream or something) and I didn't allow her.  She was crying and doesn't want me near her.  But if I go away, she didn't like it either and would call for me.  Toddlers!

  • Finally, Sunday night,  we tried to sleep LSP on her own bed in her own room :-O She didn't protest at all - because mami and Las Boobies were there anyways heh.  But it's a good start I think that she's also comfortable to sleep there.  Around 12mn though, she woke up and looked for mami so I just scooped her up and brought her to our bed. 
All in all, it was quite a refreshing weekend.  Just what I need because the next 2 weekends will be a little more complicated.  I will be on support and may get paged anytime which means I would need to work.  For how long? Depends on the gravity of the issue.  But I do hope I won't get paged!
I also hope this week's going to be nicer to me and to all of us! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's a Dress!

So, when I finally decided I will learn how to sew, I cannot stop wishing that one day I will be able create a dress for me and for the Little Spanish Pinay.  Honestly? I haven't imagined any project for the hubby... men's clothes are boring, aren't they? LOL

Anyways, in search of a very, very simple pattern for making a simple dress, I came upon this from Pinterest.  I so love the idea because it does look very simple to make.  I've been checking for fabric and a top I can use for this small project and finally about a week ago, I found some nice materials to play with.  They are not the best material for this project but at least, if I make a mess out of it, it's also ok to give up on these materials and charge everything to experience :-D

I am not going to put a how to on this one because the very creative Leana has done a very, very nice step by step comlete with picture how to on her blog.  So if anyone would like to try it too, just head over to her blog and you'll also find a lot of interesting projects and ideas there :)

This blog entry of mine is to just boast the almost successful dress I did! It still has a lot to improve on especially on the part that is not seen by the naked eye but equally important to polish.  I'm a newbie so I get extremely proud with even just a little success... making baby steps, ya know.

Ok, so here are some photos... sorry for the crappy quality... I am just using my phone, making really, really quick photo and then no time for editing coz y'all? I am an extremly unorganized busy mama!

So here is the dress... click on the picture to make it bigger, please.

and here's how it looks like paired with a knit jacket and some kick-ass boots.... let's not mind the mess from the background, yes?

a bit close up photo!

I really planned on making a maxi dress... I dream of having a maxi dress but haven't found the right fit for my height and body and for my budget.  So when I saw this simple project, I thought this is my salvation.  I ended up making this as a short dress because the fabric I chose for the skirt part is not soft and flowy (I think that's a made up word).  So I had to stitch it up and make it into a short bubble skirt instead... worked quite good.

So there. 

And calling Ms. Kim.... no pressure but I am excited to see yours!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Tantrums and Throwing Fits

It's here definitely.  We are on the terrible two phase.  It has started a little early actually... the intensity gradually levels up and right now we are at the peak level of the phase.

She easily gets so frustrated whenever she can't verbalize what she wants or what she feels or if she can have something her way.  One second she's this very sweet little happy angel and the next second, she's like a little angry monster throwing fits.

She has learned the word no for as early as I can't remember but at this moment, her no is a big NO! with the index finger pointing upward in a very snappy way.  Eyebrows crossing.  Eyes stern.  Yeah, she got the attitude.  Don't ask where she got that.

She has also started the twisting and back-arching and diving on the floor and punching and kicking and yelling and sometimes nail scratching when you try to force her to calm down.  She'd want everything on her sight to go away.  Go away, chair! Go away boots! Go away, jacket!  Go away, doll!  Just go away all!

What's even more frustrating is that sometimes we can't understand what has caused her to suddenly throw into some big fits.  She'd try to tell us but she still lack words for all the big emotions she's going through so all the more that she'd get frustrated. 

It is a difficult moment but what I have learned and still trying to learn is to accept the situation and not get frustrated myself.   I've tried different ways to help her calm down but most often than not, it'll be just in vein.  One day, when she had one of these moments at my in-law's house, my inlaw tried to help in calming her down.  She tried to "correct" LSP's attitude by telling her that LSP is being bad and that good kids don't throw themselves on the floor and cry out loud.  She was also telling her that she doesn't like bad kids.  Of course she's saying all these in all her good intentions to help and somehow to "discipline".

While I understand how people can tag this kind of behavior as "bad" behavior, I do not share this connotation.   I am not an expert on child psychology so I will just speak for our LSP being her mom.  At barely 2 years old,  our Little Spanish Pinay is growing up so fast.  Her mind makes her want to explore on so many things; learn; express emotions and ideas and yes, opinions too, why not.  But her words and ways are still too limited and it frustrates her.  Whenever she experiences a lot of excitements learning new things, wanting things,  she gets overwhelmed and couldn't process the tons of emotions she's feeling.  And when she can't get through to adults, she falls into fits.  At this age, I don't think she is doing this because she just wants to get her way. It's not bad behavior. It's the only way she can vent out whatever frustrations she is having because of incapacity to communicate well and/or incapacity to understand the amount of emotions she's dealing with.

What she needs is not discipline.  During this sensitive moments, what she needs is help.  Help in sorting out her feelings.  Find the words to express her frustrations, understand what has caused this and understand that she's not alone in dealing with all these.

I am neither saying that she'd be let alone when she's having the fits or give in to what she wants even if it's something dangerous or is not good for her.  This one, will just eventually (especially when she's already in an older age) help her develop the bad habit of throwing herself into fits if something is not going her way and that is not what we are going for.  There are things that no matter how much she'd cry for, we can't just give in to her but it's also not just about saying NO and that's it.

What I have learned to help her somehow slow down on her tantrums and eventually overcome it is by trying to help her verbalize what she's feeling or going through by telling her things such as:  "You are upset, aren't you?".  "That socket looks really interesting but it's dangerous and you can get hurt.  You don't want to get hurt, do you?".  "It's been a long day, isn't it? You've played a lot, you ran around, you've met a lot of children and now, you are tired. It's normal you get so tired and sleepy after all those activities!"

Normaly when we start to "re-live" all the activities that she has done for the day especially the ones that were really interesting for her, she'd start to calm down and would join in on remembering the fun things that happened.  It's not an easy road though, and it's really a challenge not to get frustrated nor raise my voice while I try to calm her down by talking to her and then she'd fight back with an even louder cry.  But it pays off.  The storm would calm down.  Then it's time for even more hugs and kisses again.

This is also a difficult time for her as much as for hubby and I and  we'd really like to let her know that inspite of this ugly phase she's going through, we'll still be here for her and we love her just the same.   There will be no "I don't like you anymore because you've been bad or you're acting bad!".   Instead, "We're here and we'll help you go through this rough road."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Carnival Fiesta!

Warning:  This is going to be picture-heavy post.

Sunday had been nice to us and we were able to bring Little Spanish Pinay to the carnival fiesta in the afternoon right after she woke up from her nap.  It seemed like she knew our plans for today becuase she woke up a little bit earlier than the usual in the morning and then took her nap a little bit earlier in the afternoon too.  Just great for the schedule.  Thanks to my in-laws as well for joining us.  Below are some pictures from the activity. 

I tried to convince her that Mario doesn't bring a purse... but no avail.  She must carry a purse.

Ready to rock and roll upon arrival. 
In the car, she saw this wooden clown so she forgot about the purse. Good thing.

Mami is quite excited too.

Mesmerized by tons of people and tons of kids wearing costumes.  There was a family all dressed as The Smurf and the mommy and daddy smurf scared her.  She loves smurfs (she calls them fufos for pitufos - spanish for smurfs) but giant smurfs?? She wasn't quite ready for them.

Papi is always afraid to let her go on her own... look how he grabs her.

She loves to enter this tunnel.  There are 3 entrances.  She enters on one and then by the center, she can choose to go out between to exits and what we do is see what exit she'd take and then run for our life to go to that exit so she'd meet us there.  That game gets me my tongue out after a few repeats.

Coming out from the tunnel, she came upon this little boy.  She was like make way for me!

I had to remind her that she's going for Mario not spiderman.  Coz this pose? I believe that's for spiderman.

It has gotten a little bit chilly but it didn't stop her from enjoying.

We went inside to rest a little bit and she saw the "daycare" room.  It's not really a daycare but it's a place where parents can leave their kids under 6 yrs old for a couple of hours under a care of a professional care giver.  It's like a daycare where do also do activities but not quite daycare because it's just for a couple of hours.  So when she saw the room, she immediately want to go there.  Of course we let her while papi and mami take their little break.  Running after an almost 2-yr old is quite tiring.  Or I am getting old and not fit at all.  I think it's the latter.

It's been a tiring but fun day for all of us.  I was also quite surprised that LSP maintained her Mario hat.  I was already expecting that she'd remove it around 5mins max after I put it on her.  Mami was wrong.  I should have a better expectations on my child, shouldn't I? 

Happy carnival season, everyone!

February is almost over! Come check out this just-for-fun snail-mail jig

Friday, February 17, 2012

Carnival in Spain, DIY Mario custome and cuteness overload

It's carnaval (carnival) time here in Spain.  Carnival (El Carnaval (kar-na-vál)) is widely celebrated here in Spain. Carnival celebration marks the season entering Cuaresma. It normally starts around February, centering on the week before Ash Wednesday.

This is quite a big celebration for all especially the kids.  Kids go around the street in their costumes - much like the trick or treat in the US - minus the uhm, trick or treating duh.  There are also costume wearing and holiday celebration on schools and/or organizations. 

Last year, we didn't get LSP any costume because one, we believe she was still too young to actually enjoy it; two because I am too frugal and didn't want to spend money for a custome that she wouldn't enjoy wearing and three, I didn't have time for a DIY.  Lousy mom, I know.  She didn't get to wear anyting for last year's halloween either.  Though I must note that halloween is not really that big here yet.  Most of the kids look forward to the carnival season more than the halloween although many schools are starting the halloween tradition already.

Ok, so back to the present... we are in the carnival season now and we thought perhaps this time, LSP will be able to enjoy the fun of wearing something silly and cute and see other kids wear differnt costumes as well. 

On Feb 19, we thought maybe we can join the carnival celebration in the country club near where we live.  So we looked for a cute custome for LSP.  We saw a mario costume from one of the big toy stores here.  The price is 24 euros - too steep for a one time wear if you ask me.  I told hubby "That's silly! I'm not gonna spend 24 euros for something that I can make myself!  You'll see, I can do that!"  Immediately after saying that, I took my words back and said "Well, we still have time so, if I am not able to do one, then at least we already know where to buy".  I had to laugh at my arrogance and cowardice at the same time.

It took me a while to find the right fabric.  At the beginning, I thought I'd buy some blue and red fabric but I couldn't find time to go to fabric stores :( .  Feb 15 and I started panicking since the carnival party is just 4 days away.  I thought maybe I can find some used clothes that  I can snip and  turn into a Mario costume.  Good luck on that  - my inner self told me.

I found an old sweatshirt that hubby doesn't use anymore.  It's not the perfect "Mario" blue but I thought it will do.  Plus, it has a thick fabric - perfect for the cold weather.  Then with hubby's permission, I got one of his red (very) cheap tshirt as a candidate for Mario's long-sleeve shirt. 

I honestly didn't have any idea of what I was doing and how to do what I have in mind.  I tried to check for how-tos from the internet but I couldn't find any.  I also felt like I am wasting time looking for how-tos so I just proceeded on snipping the old sweatshirt, fitting the pieces on LSP's body parts then sew, sew in an almost mindless way.  Lo and behold, the pieces started making sense and I got this!
It can pass as Mario custome, can't it?

As much as I would like to post a how to, I can't.  I didn't bother to take pictures of each step I was doing because one, I was too much in a hurry; two, I wasn't really sure it will turn out good - worthy to be posted as how-to.  The yellow buttons are from an empty plastic jar of a chocolate powder.  That's my favorite part as I think that's pretty clever! :-D

The legs part are from the sweatshirt's sleeves so I didn't have to do much stitching on it.  I just tried to slim it down to LSP's leg size.  then the upper body part is just basically made from the body of the sweatshirt sewn into a tube-like shape.  then I just sew the legs and that tubular fabric together.  I cut two long strips of fabric, stiched the long sides and then attached it to the top body part. Very basic steps.

Also, the picture doesn't show how clumsy all the stiches are especially the long-sleeve shirt. It looks like a patched shirt! One of the leeves has 3 sections in it because hubby's red tshirt wasn't big enough for me to create the long sleeves in whole pieces.  But then again, it doesn't matter.  As I've told a friend of mine, it's a costume - it meant to be silly and funny.

But Mario custome wouldn't be complete without his famous cap... with this one, I got lucky and found an easy tutorial.  Here's how mine turned out:
Never mind the marks of the fabric glue please. I didn't think it will dry out like that.

Can this mario be any cuter?

p.s.  The just for fun snail-mail shinanigan is stil on! You can visit this entry.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting Boo Boo

All parents intend to do what is best for their children and that's a fact. Whatever decision made, the best intention is for sure behind it. But being parents, we are just human and we commit mistakes, we do parenting mishaps and sometimes we even forget we are parents.
That's what I like about watching Modern family - especially the part about Mitchel and Cam being first time parents. I may not agree with some of their decisions about parenting but I like the way their characters as parents are shown in a realistic way. I particularly like the scene from the episode "Run for You Wife" wherein Cam and Mitchel ran to the pedia when Mitchel accidentally hit Lily's head on the ceiling while they were dancing. The doctor told them that babies are designed to withstand new parents. I know that that was meant to be funny but I believe there is truth in it. Doesn't mean either that we can just do whatever with our babies "thinking they are sturdy" but just for us not to become too obsessed and worry about everything and anything.

Isn't Lily too cute? 
Reminds me of my own (many) dumb-dumb moments while taking care of our little one. I've wet her umbilical chord while bathing her realizing later on that that is not advisable, She almost fell from my arms one time when I fell asleep while nursing her, she almost touched a hot pot (the one from the rice cooker) while she was with me on a baby-sling while I prepare dinner (I yelled out of fear she had touched it and she got scared and cried), she accidentally slammed her lip on the center table while we were dancing because she immitated me slamming my head in the air, she fell from the sofa while I was changing her diaper... Etc, etc. Thankfully nothing of this accidents has really hurt her. Each time each of these incidents happened, the more I believe about guardian angels that protects babies.  Because falling from sofa on a hard-wood floor and she was only maybe 6 months and no bruises or anything? I don't know how else  to call that.

Anyways, one of the super hilarious episode from modern family is when Cam and Mitchel accidentally locked Lily inside the car. Cam ran around the parking lot in panic while Mitchel called some sort of car insurance and got them unlock the car via some signal sent remotely. Good thing the car was unlocked before a super-sized Rambo Cam smashed the car window with a garbage can. It was a super hilarious OH.MY.GOD situation. Super funny - not until it happens in real life.
In real life. In our lives.  It did happen.  One weekend, as every weekend, as we were about to go my in-law's house for lunch, it happened. In our garage.  I didn't realize LSP was holding the car key.  We were quite in a hurry so everything was snappy.  Open the car door, put the things inside the car, take LSP and fasten her on her car seat and close her car door.  The moment I closed the car door, we heard a very familiar click and hubby and I exchanged scared looks.   Hubby just blurted out in his low but worried voice ...what have you done....  and I was like "I didn't know she has the car key!" in a nervous voice.
I looked at LSP and she was looking at us, car key on her two hands.  Hubby and I froze for 2 seconds... then we started to talk and gesture to LSP to press the button in the car key.  She thought we were playing with her and she smiled soooo sweetly totally oblivious with what's going on. Ahhh innocence is such a bliss.  That sweet, sweet smile will forever be stored in my memory.  She started waving the car key out of excitement with "the game" she's playing with mami and papi.  Hubby and I panicked that she'd drop the key.  I tried to dance and sing.  Why? I don't know.  Then I told her to press the button pointing to the car key.  I don't know how many times I told her that with a fake oversized smile and voice tone overyly high-pitched.  To our relief, she did it! She was able to press the right button!
Hubby and I were speecheless for a while but later on had a good laugh about it.  We don't have that sort of thing calling some sort of insurance and then will be sending us some sort of signal to unlock the car.... at least I don't know if we have it :-S AND we were in the garage of the building where we live... we don't even have a phone signal down there soooooo the only option we had that time was for one of us to go to my inlaw's as they have our extra car key.  But that may take 30mins at the minimum.  We were just sooo thankful for LSP's skill and love for pressing buttons and that she didn't let the car key fall inside the car.  That was God and the guardian angel He assigned for LSP.

And you think those that happen on TV only happen on TV.

This happened about 2 months ago and now is the only time I had the guts to blog about it.  I still couldn't believe it happened!  I can be really such a disaster I have to admit. 
What about you? Any parenting boo boo so far? :)
By the way, you might want to visit my ongoing giveaway if you love getting and sending something via snail-mail.  It's just for fun! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Inlove!

Happy valentines y'all!! I do hope you get to celebrate this special day with your loved ones.  Be cheesy.  Be giddy.  Be happy.  Be inlove!

Visit my giveaway if you're up for some love-sharing and a bit of fun!

Monday, February 13, 2012

When different languages conflict

Just one funny language dilemma we have in our household…

Ok… to Filipinos, I know you are all familiar with the word that spells P – as in Philippines, U – as in umbrella, T – as in tango, and A – as in apple. To non-Filipinos and non-Spanish, this word means W – as in water, H – as in house, O - as in octopus, R - as in ribbon and E – as in elephant. In Spain and in the Philippines, it’s a curse word… a strong one at that.

Then here in Spain of course, it has male equivalent… which is formed by just changing that last word A to O – so it becomes puto. Quite vulgar. I wrote this word without batting my eyes because for me, it‘s not a foul word at all. Here’s the dilemma… in the Philippines, the male equivalent is not a curse word at all. On the contrary… it pertains to something really sweet and yummy delicacy. It’s rice cake basically. So in the Philippines, we say the male version of THE word all the time – without malice or malevolence or insult or anything negative.

So why is this Filipino delicacy named like that? Beats me.

The thing is, we brought this puto mix from the Philippines. I love this Filipino delicacy and have been trying to make one here from scratch using normal flour – because we don’t have glutinous rice flour here… but I haven’t been successful at all. So I took advantage of our Philippine vacation and brought home some of these babies.

Spanish speaking people, you are free to laugh and gasp and gawk ;-)

You know how everyone knows how I love to share my culture with our Little Spanish Pinay. My culture is her culture and I like her to know that she is not just Spanish but also Filipina – and most of all, I’d like to be proud about that. I talk to her in my native language, I tell her Filipiino stories, I teach her Filipino nursery rhymes and games and of course, I introduce her to Filipino cuisine. Puto is not going to be an exception of course.

beautiful, aren't they?

But I have to admit that she can’t just learn this word… not right now. She’s very young and she doesn’t know how to choose the words to use in front of certain people. She doesn’t differentiate yet her Filipino and Spanish words and I can’t just imagine her saying “Mami, quiero puto!” (like as if saying mami, I want male-wh**re!”) – That is just NOT going to be funny in front of non-Filipino speakers and would be hard to explain to judging looks of people who would hear this.

I didn’t realize this until few minutes of mentioning the word when I suggested hubby for us to have this for merienda/dinner. Hubby didn’t realize either. He’s already used to many Filipino terminologies – he’s already half Filipino, I tell you. When I realized this, I suddenly gasped and told hubby we can’t use this word in front of LSP because she’s too quick on picking up words. I told her, she might use the word in front of other people and it is going to be a disaster. He totally agreed.

Hubby also agrees that these are delectables. I made puto-pao for dinner one day.  He absolutely loved them especially that he also adores Filipino corned beef!

We agreed on using the word rice cake but then both of us kept on slipping on the word puto a lot of times so it’s a lot of ooops-cover-the-mouth-eyes-wide moments.

I really do hope though that LSP won’t pick this word.

Language differences can be very interesting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making it happen...

Motherhood is really giving me more desire to learn to become even more domisticated (*clears throat*).  I learned to pour my heart out on cooking, I conquered my fear about baking.... and now, I am ready to learn how to use a sewing machine.  Mind you, I do know how to do simple stitches manually - it's something I enjoyed doing ever since I learned about it during high school and that my mom taught me and helped me do one of my first sewing projects.

I always wanted to have a sewing machine but I am scared that later on I won't be able to use and it'll just end up as wasted money.  In my world, wasting money is a grave sin.  But then after soul searching and weighing things out, I told myself there's only one way I could not make the sewing machine (if ever I buy one) end up as wasted money - by commiting to learning it and using it for making wonderful home projects. 

It's actually a good new year's resolution for me (I don't usually make one) as I always have a lot of inhibitions on things I want to do because I am scared I will just waste the money involve in it.  I guess when one has personally witnessed how hard life can be when money is tight, I've developed this kind of negative attitude about venturing.  So my mantra now is just make it happen.

Anyways, this post is not about writing some life's drama.  It's about celebrating myself, giving in to this little want I have had for quite some time now.  Hubby got me a sewing machine for Christmas.  He's the most amazing supporter one can ever have.  He has encouraged me to try because he believes I will learn it and will be able to do what I want to do with it.  He has always believed in me.  Ok, drama again :)

Let's go down to the business.  As a first step on learning how to sew, practice is a must, right?  So instead of just passing pieces of fabric through the sewing machine to try it out, I thought I'll make something really, really, really simple - then I don't have to waste some fabric samples.

You know those tin cans of Danish cookies?  I love them... aside from the fact that I also love Danish cookies.  I always keep these tin cans to store little tinkers on them.  I have 2 of them where I use to put sewing materials - needles, threads, small scissor, buttons, etc.  The only thing I don't like about it is the noise it makes everytime I have to open and close its lid.  I hate the sound of metals touching each other.  It hursts my teeth - that kind of feeling when you accidentally scratch your fingernail on a chalkboard? Ufff.. that.

So I thought I'm gonna make a cloth lining that will cover the inside and the opening lid of the tin can so that the tin can cover will not touch with the metal body.

I am not a pro(obviously) so I don't use patterns :-D I just traced the bottom of the tin can to cut a circular fabric and then just put a rectangular fabric around the outside of the tin can to measure the length of the side.  I ended up with these 2 fabric pieces:

Then, taking the long side of the rectangular piece, I folded it about a half inch and passed it through the sewing machine.  I didn't get a straight line but hey, it's my first time.

Then I folded the rectangular fabric right side together and short side facing each other.  Then sew, sew, sew.

I ended up with a big but short tube-like piece of fabric.

Then I just took the round fabric and match its sides to the bottom of the other piece I just sew.  I matched it with the side without the hem then just pass it through the sewing machine.  It's a bit challenging but it didn't have to be perfect as it will just go inside a tin can.

After a sewing and pausing and praying from time to time, I ended up with this:

To my delight, it fit the tin can well. 

It's nothing fancy but for me it's a baby step to confirm that I WILL learn how to sew :)

I'd like to call Kim of Coffee With Kim - are we still on for our simple sewing project? :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kalokang You've Got Snail Mail for the Month of Love

I'm sure many of you have already met this kalokang pinay.  She recently celebrated her one year blog anniversary and relaunched or repurposed (whatever it is called) this contest-sort-of.  By the way, happy anniversary again, mommy Krizzy!

Her enthusiasm and excitement and positivity about this contest-sort-of is really contagious.. so I got myself  promised, I hafta do dis too!

Who doesn't miss getting something via snail mail? Not me uh-ah.  I love receiving snail mails but I got a real problem.  I am extremely lazy busy.  Ok, lazy AND busy.   So I thihnk this is a small way to overcome my laziness and show my busy schedule that I am the boss of me.  Sounds kick ass, yeahy? LOL Anyways, what's really more important is that I want to take part on this positivity and hopefully make 2 or 3 bloggers smile

Before I continue, let me explain what is kaloka in universal language - it's something that makes you crazy in a good way :) That is the correct translation according to Spanish Pinay dictionary vol 1.

Ok, let's go down to the monkey business.  Did I say monkey?  No, I just meant business.  There's no monkey here... just snail.  Snail mail. K?  I know.  Corny.

For the mechanics, please read below.  I just copied and pasted this from Kristeta's blog entry of course and added my thoughts in italics.

1.  Write a blog post announcing that  participating.  
and I say, comment here as well about your intention to participate :)

2.  Copy these rules and the above icon into your post.  
and do not add unnecessary comments like I do. I kid! I kid!

3.  Ask people to comment if they are willing to participate on their own blog.  Sorry, but you MUST have a blog to join in on the snail mail action.
awwww.... no blog? awwwww... sorry I can't think of anything to twist this rule  I promise to update if I come up on something cunning.

4.  Choose a winner (or two or three) from your comments section. You can choose your winners however you like--at random, first comment, whoever lives the farthest--it's your blog, do what you want!
the only thing not allowed is not having any winner at all. duh. 

 5.  Go shopping (or scavenging)!  Pick out items that are easy to mail and cost under $5.  Be thrifty, be creative.  Got something good lying around the house?  Send that!  Mailing your gift to another country or region?  Send a local candy or snack item!  In this case, it really IS the thought that counts.
It's the thought that count.  Very important ;-)

6.  Mail those items to your chosen winner(s), and one to the person who sent you a gift (if you received one).  Send a little note with the gift--show off your (little-used) handwriting!
Since this is MY blog and that I am such a copycat, I am going to take it after mommy Krizzy.  I am not going to require the winners to send me back something especially if the winners chosen will be from overseas (i.e. outside E.S.P.A.Ñ.A)  Just holler somewhere (twitter, or comment here in my blog or on your own blog entry that you already got the gift so I'd know the post office didn't fail :D)

7.  No need to tag other bloggers.  The game will be passed along through the posting of snail mail.

8.  You don't have to be chosen to participate.  If you want to join in the fun but nobody mailed you anything, just start with #1 and away you go!
I really didn't get this (it's 6:30pm here but brain is still not kicking) but I think what I want to add is that it's really more about passing the fun and that "kilig**" feeling of receiving something via snail mail on to others and not much on what do we get in return.  

** ok, to all pinays, can anyone please help me explain what is kilig in English? :-D

My snail-mail prizes will be some cute small tote bags I found from a local store here called Portico.  This store is one of my favorite here. Sometimes they have products from The Philippines.  LSP loves dogs so we really found these ultra cute and functional.  Here are some pictures of 'em.

Aren't they cute?

They're nothing like some coach bags or big valued gifts but I tell you, they from the yours truly's bottom of heart.  They're functional too!  Can be a  cute lunch bag or shoe bag or kikay bag.  Since it's just made of cheese cloth,  it folds really in thin inside your bag so you can bring them anytime and have it handy when you´re doing small purchases on groceries.  Think green, baby!

I am not sure yet how I'll draw the winners... I might just be a full-time copycat and let LSP draw the winning name but I don't think she'll pick one at a time.  I can imagine her just taking a handfull of papers from the container.... so this might not work.  I gotta think of something simple and effective.  I'll update!

I was thinking of drawing the winners on valentines day but I figured it's too close already (coz it took me so loooong to draft this entry - sorry super busy, unorganized mami here) and will not give much time for others to join... so, I'll make this available for the whole month of love.  I shall draw the winners on the 29th of Feb and the winners will be announced the following day.

I'm excited? Yes, I am!

In case no one joins (haha yes, I am THAT negative)... I will still pick some winners from my avid commenters  so then, there's really no more pressure on paying it forward... only if they are willing to give me via private email their addresses.

So there! I am hitting the publish button.

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