Tuesday, January 31, 2012

21 Months

21 months - just 3 more months and she's gonna be 2.  I know this phrase is already overused but really, how time flies.   The last time I have updated about Little Spanish Pinay's development was when she was 15months.  Half a year passed and I haven't written anything about her growth progress?  I do have to remind myself of the very reason why this blog was born...

Anyways, I better start working on this because 6 months is a lot of time for a flashback. 

Motor skills

She's a bottomless fountain of energy.  She runs... she climbs... oh dear, does she climb? She clilmbs anywhere! And gets mami's heart skip a beat but at the same time swell with pride everytime I see her able to climb to the top of whatever.  She gets really, really happy about that achievement so mami is there to support and be happy for her too. Around 18 months, she develop the guts to launch herself on a slide too.  She loves slides every since but mami normally holds her from the top to the bottom of the slide (mami is a bit of a helicopter mom, I tell you) but now she'd excitedly throw herself down the slide and we all get shrieks and claps and muy biens!! (very good!!).

She's algo getting better and better with her lego.  I get fascinated with how those little hands put each pieces together.  Sometimes when she can't fit two pieces together at once, she'd apply a tremendous force that you'd see her hands tremble.  She thinks that by applying pressure, the pieces would fit better. It's hilarious.

She loves writing too.  She loves drawing.  She'd ask you what would you like for her to draw.  Tell her anything your heart desires as she would willingly and excitedly do it.  You want a drawing of a house? you got it.  You want a picasso? You got it.  Just be ready to take out your most vivid imagination because I tell you, she draws in abstract form ;-)

one of her work of art

Little Ms. Busy on her writing 
She has also started showing interest on doing a lot of things on his own.  "Tala sola! Tala sola!" (Tala on her own! Tala on her own!) is frequently heard in our household.  She wants to do things on her own, her way.  She loves to take off her clothes alone but hasn't showed interest yet on putting her clothes on her own.  Because she simple prefers to be naked. But then once she's all dressed up and looking pretty, she loves to admire herself in the mirror.

Have I mentioned that she loves to dance?  Oh boy, this little girl has good rythm and a beat of her own!  I am leaving a few videos of her and be the judge :)

Reading Habit

Does she love reading? Oh, she's passionate about it! She loves to read anything from books to magazines to uhm, brochures. Yeah, brochures with tons and tons of pictures in it. It's also really funny how she'd pretend reading the words - she reads in her own language.

Go ahead and interpret what she says


She talks a lot! This part is really my favorite as this is beyond what I have expected. I have readied myself for a little bit of speech delay because she's learning 2 languages at the same time but she has actually started showing confidence about talking as early as I can't remember. She doesn't hesitate about expressing herself verbally even if she hasn't mastered the word yet or even if they come out like garbled words. She doesn't hesitate to tell us the whole story either even if what she can only say is btthhhh bzzzzz thhhh. At 18months (yeah, this month is where most of the her bigger milestones started), she has started constructing 2-word phrases and by the time we were in the Philippines, she started talking in real phrases. She has this favorite hello kitty candy lipstick and one day, while at my parent's house she started calling me frantically. I was talking to my sisters and my mom at that time so I'd just glance at her from time to time acknowledging her call. But she kept on calling me and started saying mami, kitty, muffy, come (ko-me). The series of words she just said caught my attention and when I tried to check what's going on, I realized what she was trying to tell me. Her hello kitty candy lipstick fell on the floor and muffy (my parent's dog) was eating it! Everybody realized what has just happened and started laughing and of course blaming me for not paying attention to Little Spanish Pinay before.

I don't think she knows yet that she is talking in two different languages. She cannot differentiate the words just yet which ones are Filipino and which ones are Spanish. She understands Filipino perfectly but before, I notice that she prefer to speak more in Spanish than in Filipino but lately, she's talking and learning more Filipino words. Our one month Philippine vacation really helped a lot too. It hilarious when we were in the Philippine airport (NAIA) and she saw a baby boy sleeping in his stroller. She suddenly said "GISING!!" (wake up!!) in her loudest voice. She totally cracks me up.

She loves to sing in both Filipino and Spanish (and a little bit of English songs from Mama Mia the movie). Her love for singing is so apparent that sometimes even if it's her first time to hear my invented song, she'd sing a long with me and would repeat whatever word (or word ending) she catches. About 3 2-3 months ago, she'd normally just sing the last word of every line of the song but it's totally different now. Depending on the song, sometimes she is able to sing all the main words within a line - i.e without the articles. For instance she'd say "... colores... bonitos... colores... alegres" instead of "los colores son bonitos, los colores son alegres"

We sing from the beginning of our day to practically the end of our day.  Below are some of her videos singing.  Just don't mind me singing in the background please... and don't make fun of me.

Singing Bahay Kubo

Makulay ang buhay sa sinabawang gulay featuring Little Spanish Pinay's falceto voice
side note: Never mind the place where the video is taken.


She's not a big eater. She has never been. Although she has days when she has more appetite to eat than any other day. She loves rice, meat (including that of rabbit! yes, ladies and gentlemen, she eats rabbit), vegetables (especially leafy vegetables), potatoes, oatmeal, select fruits (she's recently learned she is crazy for strawberries), bread, cookies, chocolates, ice cream and a lot of junk fun foods. She loves coffee (ooops) and tea. We don't give her a cup of coffee to drink of course so lower those eyebrows and take it easy on me, k? I got her this cereal drink that tastes like coffee but is far from coffee. This cereal drink is used by people who for any health reasons, can't drink coffee but still want to enjoy something that is coffee-like in taste. Also, from time to time I let her sip from my cup of decaf coffee... that is when she begs for it. You know, I don't exactly offer it to her. Am I sounding like a guilty mama explaining herself now?

We still breastfeed and it shows how attached she is to it up to now. But within the day, she's asking for it less and less already. Most of the days, she wouldn't even ask for it from the moment she wakes up, till her nap time in the afternoon. So that's really a big change (or improvement). When she gets really tired though, or gets hurt or upset about something, she'd run for mami and boobies to the rescue!

Sleeping Habit

She's a late sleeper - what else to expect from parents who took after owls. She does get her daily dose of enough sleep though as she sleeps from 10-12hours during the night and another 1-2 hours nap in the afternoon.

She still wakes up at night 2-3 times to nurse or to just cuddle. So, co-sleeping is still helping us on this area but this little girl is growing up so fast and moving tons on her sleep that it gets complicated to sleep at times. If I don't have her feet on my head, her papi has them. Her favorite position is to get horizontal on the bed so we form a letter H. It's a comedy, I tell you.

One of her crazy sleeping positions
Social Skills

She's gets shy at the beginning in front of the strangers especially adults. But with kids, she's the first one to get closer and say hello. She would introduce herself which I find really, really adorable. The other day, we went to McDonalds and sat on the play area. She was the only kid there at the beginning but later on, a girl about 10yrs old or so came in and started playing too. Little Spanish Pinay's eyes lit up with happiness (she loves seeing kids) and started telling me there's a little girl. Then she started calling the girl on top of her lungs Neeena!!! Neeeena!!!. The two crews who were cleaning the area and us had a good laugh. At the beginning the girl was kind of shy to go near her but LSP followed here everywhere and kept saying hello to her. Finally, the girl gave in and they played together. LSP is to be a social butterfly.


Still a long way to go I must say.  She's doing good on the poo department.  She tells us whenever she needs to poo and then we sit her on the toilet bowl so she can do her business.  But on the pee department, she's kind of lazy to tell us before she goes.  I would normally catch her with some gestures that tells me she needs to go but she hasn't really tried to tell us if she's going.  Most of the times, she'd tell me after the accident already happened.  There was a period that she can already control her pee at night until the following morning when she wakes up but it looks like we're back to step 1 again on that.  I am really hoping that in the next months, we'll improve more on that.  The best part is that we already know that she's very comfortable seated on the toilet bowl or on the potty - that's a big step right there already.  

This is how you do potty with style

She's quite a strong character but with a big heart.  She's shy at the beginning and very very observant.  Once she's all comfortable, she becomes one big clown.  She is very compassionate and affectionate.  But when she gets mad, she can throw even her most loved and cared dolls named Paola and Georgie.   She has learned to say thank you and please and I swear, I melt everytime I hear her say that especially those moments without us prompting her to say so.  She has also recently leaned to say sorry with so much emotion.  There's really no way one won't forgive her with her sweet little voice and eyes half closed saying sorry. 

be scared, be very scared...

big hug for her favorite cat

One of the many animals she likes... she calls them tupa.

I so love the tenderness of this picture. 
She told me she'll hold Paola's hand so she won't be scared.
This is exactly what I do for her whenever she cries on her carseat. 
I tell her I'll hold her hand and things should be ok.  I was so moved when she did the same to her doll knowing that the same gesture gives her comfort.


She loves animals and she knows many of their names in both Filipino and Spanish.  She loves to immitate the sounds of each animals and she's quite good at it ;-).  She loves to play hide and seek.  She would hide and tell me "Mami, Tala no esta..." (Mami, Tala is not here...).  It's funny.  She would also try to hide but you'd hear her squeal before you even try to find her.  She loves cartoons and some of her faves are Caillou, Peppa Pig, Dora (not so much lately), Mickey, Noddy, Postman Pat, Arthur and a looot more.  Her most favorite though is Caillou and Peppa Pig. 

Happy 21st month, mi vida! You are so beautiful inside and out.

Monday, January 30, 2012

She's ready...

Ok, I was writing a different post but I just had to stop and start on this one.  Right at this moment, our Little Spanish Pinay is inside a daycare (sort of) in the country club near our place.  The have this facility where we can leave kids from 2 yrs to 6 yrs for an hour and a half while parents do their thing - like going to the gym, swimming, etc.  We thought it's really a good idea but we were kind of hesitant about because she has never been to a daycare and is practically always with one of us and we aren't sure how she'd react in a place totally new to her with kids and an adult totally strangers to her. 

But we thought we'll give it a try.  In any case, she's still 3 months away from 2yrs old so most probably they'd just ask us to wait till then.  We dropped by the area and we showed LSP the little kids playing inside the daycare.  She immediately wanted to go in.  The lady noticed us so she opened the door and asked us what she can do for us.  We told her that we were just checking out the place and that we'd love for our little one to try out the place but she's still 3 months away from 2 yrs old.  The lady told us we can try and see how she'll do since we can pull her out anytime if we see that she's having a hard time adopting.

The rest happened so fast and so emotional for me.  LSP entered the room without looking back.  She walked in slowly, looking around carefully studying the area and the kids then looking at the care giver.  She has a serious face but very keen and curious.  She looked back by the door as if looking for me but I quickly hide then I already expected a loud squeal of mami!!!.  It didn't happen.  Everything was really emotional for me, I couldn't help but choke on a few tears.  She's there spreading her wings on her own... she doesn't need me anymore!
she's very attentive to her seño (short for señorita - the way kids call their care give or lady professors)

Started to move around the room and observe what's going on

Parents are actually asked to leave the area but since it is LSP's first time here, we were allowed to stay.  I tried not to peek too much but I can't really help it.  While I have been composing this post, I have glanced at the window and checked for LSP a hundred times.  My neck is already strained.  And every time, every time I see her, she's attentively listening to the care giver or looking at the kid on her side.  She's seated on a chair within a table with the rest of the kids. After a while, I saw her walk toward the end of the room and sat herself on the floor beside a boy about her age too.  She's making friends.  They're chatting.  She's playing with them.  She's sharing toys.  She's a real trooper. 

She has totally mingled and found some good buddies

After an hour so, the kids started to be picked up by their parents... it was almost 8pm.  We came in a little earlier than 7pm so LSP has been inside the daycare around an hour or so.  When the door opened, LSP caught a glimpse of her papi and immediately ran towards him to tell all the fascinating stories.  She was so happy she didn't know where to start.  The care giver told us she did really well and seeing how she behaved and liked the place, we can be rest assured that she'll be just fine.  She also told us that if we didn't tell her that she has never been to any day care, she would imagine that she's been in a daycare for at least 6 months already with the way LSP assimilated everything. 

I can't just be any more proud of her right now.  We haven't considered sending her to daycare anytime soon just yet although we are getting some pressures from the family already as everybody thinks that sending a 2yr old to daycare is the best and is the ONLY way for them to be able to learn how to socialize.  I disagree.  That's not the topic of this post though... Anyways, I still prefer our current arrangement right now... me being able to see her everyday the whole day while I work.  But when the time comes that we do see the need for her to go to preschool, I think she'll be ready.  Mami is not.  Sob.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best of the Breast: The best alliance on a looong air travel with a toddler

 Anxieties struck me before our planned travel to the Philippines back in December last year.  As it was our first time to travel with a toddler (a high-demand toddler, not to mention), I really didn't know what to expect.  Actually, I have been expecting it to be daunting and nerve breaking because I thought our little one would get bored or scared or would be too uncomfortable, etc. But I was wrong (thank God).  The whole trip was smooth in general especially while we are in the aircraft.  The longest flight we had was a 15-hour flight from Paris to Hongkong and during that whole time, Little Spanish Pinay was sleeping if not walking around or playing or reading or singing with us.  She rarely fuzzed.  

That's right... at one time, she preferred the cart over her stroller or the baby sling

I tried to pack enough entertainment for her as well as fun food.  But what really helped us a lot, is that fact that she is still breastfeeding.  I didn't have to bring bottles and formula and water.  That's a big convenience because we already have heavy carry-ons so being able to omit things to bring is a big help.  Plus, there's no need to prepare the bottle every time she wants to be fed.  Milk is ready and fresh and warm just the perfect way every time she asks for it.  The most important of all? It really helped her not to suffer from ear popping because of the pressure during landings and take off. 

Learning the cabin's safety instruction


Thinking about all these, confirms my thoughts that we shouldn't consider weaning yet.  Consider, I say? Yes weaning is knocking in my door of thoughts these days.  Getting persistent even.  But that's requires a whole different entry as it's a long  and winding road.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Air Travel with a Toddler: My Own Experience

Remember I posted this when we were still preparing for our first-long-flight-with-a-toddler going to the Philippines.  I meant to write different tips air travel with a toddler but my schedule just went crazier and crazier juggling my time between work, home and taking care of a toddler and a hubby.  Also, in the end, I just stopped fretting over it.  I convinced myself that whatever happens, we'll do just fine. 

And of course we were just fine.

Little Spanish Pinay did very well especially on the long flight.  She slept like a winner and played/watched her videos while awake.  She rarely fuzzed but her play included walking back and forth along the airplane's  aisle.  She's one curious little girl.  She look at each person in the seats then walk away then back and look.  She also liked passing through where the WCs are even where the cabin crew prepare the food.  She wanted to explore on everything.  Result? Mami got really tired.  She'd rarely want papi to go with her so most of the time, it's mami going after her.  She'd ask for papi only when she feels like watching her video.  She's all comfy and calm sitting on his lap.

So what did we finally decide on whether to bring just the baby sling or just the stroller.  At the beginning we were sold on just bringing the sling but I don't know what happened suddenly, hubby was so adamant on the idea that it will be better if we bring a stroller.  And so we did.   We used the stroller for some moments and it did help but LSP had other idea than staying in the stroller while we were going mobile throughout the airport.  She wanted mami's arms most of the time.  It helped though that she's already walking and loved to explore so there were times as well that she'd walk.  She especially liked the walkalator!

So what's the verdict on the stroller? It can be useful but not a necessity. In our case we especially put it to good use because we were able to use it as a cart for our fully-packed-shoulder-breaking personal bags. Since we don't get to travel often to my native land, we make sure we maximize all our luggage capacity both check-in and hand-carry.  You know, we gotta stock up on those sinigang, kare-kare mix, nagaraya, noodles, etc!

About the baby sling? It has become her enemy now. Sigh.  She didn't want to get even near it the whole flight except during our last leg of flight coming back here.  I asked her fervently for us to use the baby sling because mami's arm is going to break apart already.  I don't know if she understood my plea or she took pity of my best-actress-poor-me-look in my face, but she agreed to be carried on our baby sling.

Oh, I have to give one important tip for travelling with a toddler (especially if your toddler is a girly-girl who loooves the idea of her looking pretty)..... bring some of these!

click here for image source

Just look at her enjoying her beauty session:

I swear that kept her still and quiet for a good long of time.  From time to time though, she'd call me and say "Mami, mami! Tala guapa!" to tell me to look at her because she's pretty.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Love coffee?

Are you like me who feel bad about throwing coffee grounds after enjoying the sweetness, heavenly-soul-awakening taste of it?  Coffee is  not really cheap and truth be told? Sometimes I feel like just leaving the used coffee grounds in the coffee maker and just pour water to make another batch. I know. I am that frugal.  But hey, I never did it nor tried it.  It's just all in my head.  I am  a coffee lover and I love the richness and fullness of a good coffee.  But I still can't avoid that feeling of dismay everytime I have to throw used coffee grounds.  Until a friend of mine gave me the idea of using it as body scrub!

Why must you listen to me and use coffee grounds ON your body?  Listen.

Because you'll beat cellulite with it. Rub it on your skin in circular motion with your eyes close to further make it more effective and hah! Adios, cellulites!  Check many anti-cellulites cream... one of the ingredients that they have in common is caffeine.  So, coffee? caffeine? You get it. 

Because it's one of the best exfoliating agent.  I love the way it scrubs my skin - not too coarse, not too fine.  Just the right tingling sensation while it removes the dead skin in my body.   I read that it also reduces the size of the pores and helps firm and tone your skin.  Ain't that sweet?

Because massaging it on your skin helps you get better blood circulation and shrink those nasty varicose veins! So if you know you are genetically prone to varicose veins, here's your shield against it. 

Because it's gentle enough for everyday use.  Body scrubs are normally suggested to be used once or twice a week but with your homemade coffee body scrub, every shower time of every day is a big treat!  I swear it's addicting.  I sooo love the feeling of rubbing this body scrub on my body not to mention enjoying the sweet aroma of my adored coffee while I make my skin happy.

Because it keeps that beautiful tan you get from beaching around summer stay on longer on your skin. 

Because it's cheap my golly! 

Because it really leaves your skin supple and smells like coffee after that luxurious shower you just had.

Because it's so easy to make.  There are a lot of different recipes you can follow by googling but mine is the simplest you can find.  I just mix baby oil or olive oil (my fave) with the coffee grounds.  The ratio depends on the texture you are going for.  More oil, finer texture. 

Now I do not feel bad whenever I see my loved coffee grounds literally go down the drain.  I just smile and say thank you - till next time.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some Good Things Never Last .... and that is OK.

After what, about 2 months? of not having a decent post, I am finally back.  Well, back with the intention of posting more blog entries than the past 2 months... let's see how I would be able to keep up granted that I have more tasks at work than ever plus I am still trying to recover from the big clutter after our Philippine vacation.  Not to mention the tons and tons of photos I am trying to organize and have them printed.  I would really try hard as I have soooo many things in mind that I want to put out there before I go crazy... er, crazier.  I'd love to blog about our vacation, Little Spanish Pinay's development progress, ideas about home projects, girl talks, etc!

It has been really wonderful spending almost a month with the whole family and seeing our little one bond with her other side of the family.  It was also heartbreaking to see her part from them as our vacation days ended.  It's tough when you live oceans away from your family and goodbyes are never easy.  But it's ok.  That means everytime there's goodbye, there's always another hello to look forward to.  And each time, hellos will be sweeter and most desired.

As what hubby beautifully and emotionally put in his tweet, we have left half of our hearts in the Philippines.  But the other half, we brought back here in Spain to share love with the other half of our family here who has welcomed us warmly with lots of hugs and kisses.  We've been missed! Especially the little start of the house.

For now, I am leaving here one of my fave photo from our vacation in the Philippines :)

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