Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wish me Luck!

How can time fly so fast like this?  For 9 months I have abandoned my blog.  Not purposely, no.  God, I’ve been missing writing.  But busy life happens and one just got to prioritize.  Does this article mean I’m back on blogging?  I sure hope so but one can never tell.  But yes, Spanish Pinay is re-taking the blogging journey, so hopefully it works out.  9 months of suppressing the thoughts, the kwentos (stories), the rants, the raves, the opinions, recipes and crafting to share and so many other things to share, is just too much to keep suppressing.   So I’m going to start letting them all out!  And just because I know this time, there’s just one more big reason to be back writing.

I am this excited!

Wish me luck! J

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tum, tum, tum

The Little Spanish Pinay has just completed her daycare days.  At the start of the school year, she'll be entering primary school.  It has been a great year at daycare with the little.  We are actually a little bit sad as she has already learned to love the daycare and her carers but excited at the same time as she will be entering a new phase in her educational development.
She has definitely learned a lot from her daycare most especially developed sweet relationship between her carers and with other children.
The song below is one of the songs shared in her daycare.  kids love the song and adults like me as well :)  It definitely is sweet and reminds me of how I fell in love with hubby and then again when we had Little Spanish Pinay.  In reality, my heart beats tum tum tum tu-tum tu-tum tum tum everyday as I am with the two most wonderful person in my life.
 No tempo que eu era só
At that time I was alone
E não tinha amor nenhum
And there was no love
Meu coração batia mansinho
My heart was beating softly
Tum tum tum
Tum tum tum
Depois veio você
And then you came
O meu amor número um
My number one love
E o meu coração pôs-se a bater
And my heart began to beat
Tum tum tum tum tum tum...
Tum tum tum tum tum tum.... 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

3 happy years

3 happy years ago, God has gifted us of you whom we have already loved from day 1 of learning we were pregnant.  That love just kept on growing each day and would only grow more and more until eternity and beyond.

Those were three challenging years, but definitely happy and magical and unique.  You're three today and a continent away from me but that doesn't make this day any less special because on this day, you made me become a mother.  I will forever be grateful of this great privilege.

Anak, although I always doubt my capacity to be able to do and give you what's best for you, I know God made me for you and you for me. 
Your papi and I can never be prouder than how we already are about you. Please know that we will always be here for you no matter what. 

Your smile is brighter than the sun's ray.  Your laughter, the sweetest music in my ear.  Your big eyes speak nothing but love when they meet my eyes.

Your silliness turns my gloomiest day into the most fun and colorful day because you're crazy and naughty and sweet and giddy all the time.  You are pure sunshine packaged most beautifully.
There is no doubt you will become a good, compasionate, loving and God-fearing person when you grow up because right now, at your most tender age, you already are.  Perfect the way you are.
Happy birthday, mi amor.   I'll see you in 2 weeks!  Mahal na mahal na mahal ka ni mami!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Putting my best face forward

I was in the airplane when I have drafted this entry and has been longing to hear and see and talk and touch and hug and kiss my mag-ama (husband and daughter) is just killing me.  My stomach was producing too much acidity (and gases…shhhhhh!) thye've just made the entire flight uncomfortable.  I got lucky I was moved to the emergency exit seats that I got all 3 seats just for me, not to mention the extra leg room.  Still I am quite uncomfortable. It’s hard to bear.  I’ve been thinking about my daughter since last night when we left her at my inlaws’ house and already then, it’s driving me crazy.  I wondered how she’s doing, if she was already sleeping, if she was crying, if she was waking up from time to time looking for me, if she’s having a hard time in the bathroom, if she hurt herself, If she got scared of something from the TV, if she’s eating well or not… tons of worries that’re driving me nuts. 
 Drama, right? That’s really mostly the life of a mama… tons of drama. 
 It’s tough but I’m an adult, a mature one and I am supposed to deal with this like an adult.  I can’t have a meltdown and throw myself on the floor while I kick and arch my back like a toddler.  Maybe I can do that later in the hotel.  No one would know.
 On the other hand, I want to think that this short separation may actually do us good.  It’s only 3 weeks.  Only.  I have to convince myself that it is “only”.  Career-wise, this travel is really something good for me.  After 5 long years, it’s time to reconnect with my team back in Ohio and put faces on the voices of the members of my team I haven’t met personally.  It’s also time to get more involve with the new technologies newly employed and will-be employed in the environment.  And as for Little Spanish Pinay, it could be the little push that can help her learn more on independence and trusting on herself that it’s ok to be apart even for just a short time from mami.  It will be a good opportunity so she can bond more with my in­-laws and her papi as well.
So yes, I’ll try to be more positive about this and put my best face forward.  So I'm putting my make up and the chirpiest smile while I'm in the office. 

Oh and hey, this short work-assignment may probably give me more time to blog, so yey?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mami solution: If the shirt is too tight fit, rip it.

Before anything else, I'd like to emphasize that this is not a fashion blog nor I am trying to convert this to one.  But I'm making this entry for sale and thrift lovers like me because one, I felt so clever (let me be conceited just this once, mmkay?) getting a good result and two, I might be able to give some ideas to others who, like me, bought something so cheap and then didn't fit.
 So here is the subject matter:
I bought this shirt from Zara for almost 3 euros ONLY.  I fell in love with the ruffled sleeve and with that price, I didn't even check if it will fit me.  Size is médium so I thought it should fit perfectly.
But when I got home and tried it on, it was too fit and I didn't feel comfortable about it showing off my curves, you know what I mean? And this mami want's some comfy shirt without looking frumpy.  So I was a bit disheartened... I didn't want to return it as I do really love the effect of the ruffled sleeves on me and the sexy neckline without revealing much.
See? Nice Ruffled fitted sleeves, but I would have to tuck my tummy all the time and that means tough and less oxygen for my body!  In this picure I was holding my breath and I haven't even eaten lunch, heh. What is that you say? My mirror is yucky? That's some photo filter a la instagram! :-P
Going back...
So what did I do?  Here comes the clever-me part...
I ripped the sides off!
That feels a lot better.
But I will never go out the streets half naked like that! 
So I grabbed these lovelies. Cheapos.  60 cents from the Chinese store - equivalent of dollar store
And hand-stiched them on to the shirt's open sides.
I was really pleased with the result.
Do I get a standing ovation?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Parenting Blog Award: The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award

The Positive Parental
Participation Blog Award

Ages ago (yes, that's exaggeration), lovely Vivian has tagged me with this parenting award she herself has started.  I've had been given some blogging awards but this one is yet to be the most important and most appreciated one for me.  Vivian has started this award to give recognition to bloggers who, she believes exemplifies the tenants of Positive Parental Participation (words borrowed from her).
See, being a parent is for me, above any other role that I have right now.  I am really dedicated (sometimes obsessed) to be not just a good parent to our daughter but also one that is gentle and one that provides positive participation.  I deeply believe on positive and gentle disciplining and being really there, present and fully participating with her, whenever given the opportunity.
Of course, there's always a struggle.  At the time that Vivian has told me she got this award for me, I was in that moment when I was feeling insufficient as a parent, as a mom.  We were in that phase that meltdowns and tantrums and less sleep is very common at home and so I'd often find myself always on the edge and snapping every minute.

So when Vivian told me about the award, it nearly broke me into tears. It was just so timely.  I felt guilty at first as I thought I didn't deserve this but then I took it as a challenge... a gentle reminder of what I have told myself the kind of parent I want to be.

Again, I'd like to really thank Vivian for thinkking of me!  You always continue to serve as an inspiration to me.

I've been meaning to write about this post but couldn't find time as usual. But finally, I was able to do it :) and of course I'm going to pass this award along to other parents who I believe exemplifies the tenants of Positive Parental Participation.

Please feel free visit Vivan's article about it.  You can also continue to browse her other articles as you will surely pick a lot of things about activities, picture books and other things you can share with your children to have some quality bonding for positive parental participation :)

In reality, I have a very long list of bloggers to pass this award but I will start off with a short list as otherwise, I'd be making the longest blog entry of my life  :)  I do know that these wonderful bloggers below will be passing this award to other deserving mom/dad bloggers.

1. Kristeta of Kalokang Pinay sa Ukay -  She's one sweet mama and girl friend.  We haven't met in person but I do feel like I've known her personally for a long time now.  We do have so much in common in terms of parenting views and life situation in general.  I can almost see myself in her as a mother for her cute Jace... not to mention that Jace is also very similar to our Little Spanish Pinay. Jace is one lucky little fellow for having this uber sweet-thoughtful-baking-goddess mom.  It's always a pleasure to viber with her :)

2. Em of Akira and Everything Nice - She's my idol in breastfeeding. More than 3yrs now and still breastfeeding! If that is not one of the tenants of positive parental participation, then I don't know what it is :)  It always make me smile when she talks about her lovely daughter as it would always picture how she adores her and that she's all for her. 

3. Annmarie of Mom to 8 Blog - She's a mom to 8 children! All raised so well.  She has such a positive and simple outlook in life that is simply an inspiration to me.  Her entries are most of the time short, funny and full of good insight.  It's always a pleasure to read her articles.  My favorites are about her conversations with her children!

4.  Mamas TodoTerreno - Behind this blog are two equally dashing mamas, Rebecca and Ava. This is one of the few blogs in spanish that I regularly check and read.  I love how they both create a positive and loving environment for their children.  I love the activities and the crafts they both do with their children. Many times, I'd steal their ideas ;-)

5. Madi of Entre Apuntes y Pañales - Another one of the few spanish blogs I read. What can I say, this young and dedicated mom is all giving.  She has a toddler just like me and I can always relate with her experiences on the terrible two phase.  I love the way she handles this difficult situation gently.  And now that she has been gifted with another adorable baby girl, I really don't know how she's doing all what she's doing now.  She's doing it so wonderfully... a total pro ;-)  Oh, let's not forget that she's a babywearer!

6.  Faye of Fighting For Maia and Turning Dreams to Reality - I have just recently met this mom through her blogs and I was already captured by her story.  As she puts it: I am alive because I became a mom. And for that I will fight to live so Maia can have a mother.  Those are such beautiful words.  She's a survivor, a doting mama who would overcome anything and everything for her little one... even cancer.

 7. Pepper of Days In aWagon - This artsy mom is also a heartsy.  Her gentleness and love for her little A is pasted all over her blog.  Her little family is adorable and her positive parenting participation is evident with how her little A is growing to be a really nice, sweet and well rounded little girl.  They have such a sweet, sweet bond and I'm looking forward to having the same kind of bond with my own daughter as she grows.

I could add more on this list but I'll keep it short and let the award roll from one mom/dad to another.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Surefire Cold Remedy - All Natural!

Ever since the cold weather started, colds and cough has been in and out of our household.  We have tried a lot of natural remedies both homemade and over-the-counter type as we really want to avoid taking medicines as much as we can.  While some would give good results, the effects are nothing really dramatic nor consistent... except for one. 
And that is the reason why I decided to wake up my sleeping blog. 
I'd like to share this to mommas out there because it has been really effective for all of us. I KNOW how hard it is to take care of a sniffling and coughing toddler especially at night, so here is something for all you mommas (and everyone else) out there hoping that it may help you as well.
This natural remedy has helped the Little Spanish Pinay combat cough, colds and even throat infections.  Ever since we started giving this to her, around January, she has never fallen to serious illness relating to cold weather (and viruses as such).  Never missed daycare as well and has a better fighting chance against falling sick.
The best part is that this is all natural and thus, no side-effect nor limit as to when and how much to take.  Ok, maybe one side-effect could be stomach acidity.  This is almost undiluted lemon juice so just make sure stomach is not empty when this is taken.
Ok, without further ado, here's the recipe.  Special thanks to hubby by the way, because he was the one who was able to find this recipe somewhere in the internet. Unfortunately, we can't find the link anymore to give due credit.  I will definitely update this entry if we finally get to find the source.
     half of a medium sized onion - chopped
     a small piece of ginger - grated
     2 lemons - squeezed (we need the juice only)
     honey - as pleased
1. Combine all ingredients in one recipient and let them sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.  This will let the onion "sweat" and release its powerful substance.

2. Strain the mixture so it is left with the syrup part.

3. Store the syrup in an airtight container.  It is also best to store this in the refrigerator.  Take it out from the refrigerator a few minutes before giving it to your child just so it won't be too cold.
My husband tells me that the syrup is best taken within 2 days.  After that, it loses its power or effectiveness.  It does make sense because vitamin C content of lemon or orange drops or "evaporate" when it comes into contact with air.  Then again, storing it in the refrigerator can slow this down and besides, this powerful syrup does not only count on vitamin C for combatting cold and cough but a lot other medicinal substance.
And since the recipe above results to a good amount of liquid, it is most probable that there will be a lot of left-over even after two days, and this mami just don't throw away good stuff.
So I continue to give the syrup to her as long as it is hasn't perished... I tell you it can last up a to a week in the fridge.
Some more notes:
 You can add as much honey as you like.  This reduces the acidity of the lemon so it helps the syrup to taste a little better.  It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it's all good.

 Onion is all wonderful.  I adore onion because of its so many medicinal qualities.  It really helps the relieve cough and fight bacteria, fungi and anything that is eww.
 Ginger  is another oh so marvelous herb on earth.  In the Philippines, it is popular for treating throat problems.  Singers are known to take hot ginger tea or "salabat" because it is said that this tea "sweetens and smoothens" one's voice.  So, you want to sing like Barbara Streisand? Then you know what to do ;-)
Lemon is the mega source of Vitamin C and is so good with throat infection as well as it is also has anti bacterial properties.

Given all these facts, I tell you that this WORKS. 
Now, the challenge is for you to get your child to drink this as it has quite a strong taste. I normally administer it to the little one using a teaspoon or syringe.  It would take me a lot of persuading but she drinks it.  Over the time, I have learned an important trick on making her drink her medicine too.  Key note? Do not lie and do not sugarcoat.
I'll talk about this trick next time.
For now, ta-tah!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Late Greetings and Chritmas Post

First of all, I hope everyone had a super merry Christmas and big bang new year celebration!
After 10 years,  I am finally able to sneak in and post something here on my abandoned blog.  Need I elaborate more on how tough it is to balance time between taking care of a high-spirited 2.75 toddler, a full-time day job, being a wife to a doting husband and being a homemaker?  I didn't think so :)
We celebrated Christmas with the family here in Spain - unlike Christmas of 2011 where we were able to go home to my motherland and had the chance to celebrate Christmas like there's no tomorrow.
Christmas celebration here in Spain is nothing like how it is celebrated in the Philippines.  Christmas in the Philippines is GRAND! The Christmas spirit starts to tickle everyone's heart by the start of September and goes on until a couple more weeks after new year.
We still get to enjoy the Christmas here especially that this is the time that Little Spanish Pinay gets to understand a little bit more of about the Christmas concept.  She enjoyed the gift-giving (more on gift-receiving on her side) of course.  She has also started understanding about Santa Claus and she did wait for his arrival with much anticipation.  We  had our noche buena (dinner on 24th) at my sister-in-law's in-laws together with my in-laws.  That's right, in-laws are typed 3 times.  4 actually.
The poor little girl slept at about 2 am.  We did prepare Santa's milk and cookies before she went to bed but sharing is not yet one of her established values as she only wanted to put ONE cookie for Santa... she even chose the cookie she likes the least.  At least we were able to convince her to add another one more cookies as Santa might be very hungry when he arrives. You gotta laugh at this little mischief.  Note: Sharing is important for us but we don't force it.

So the following day, she was all giddy when we finally told her that today is the day! We have to check if Santa came and left something for her.
She was definitely happy with Santa's gifts. I'm glad we didn't go overboard with the gifts.  After all, there's still Three Kings where kids (and kids-alike) receive more gifts.
After gift opening and a good lot of time to play, we headed over to my in-laws to have lunch with them.  Overall, Christmas celebration here in Spain is quite simple but quite significant, nonetheless.  It was well spent with the love ones.  And thanks to technology, we are also somehow able to celebrate Christmas with the family oceans away through video calls.

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. got.to.be.kidding.me! 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 ;-)
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