Category Archives: Family

The Bittersweet Step to Betterness

I distinctly remember going through step 1, which was a 2 week separation from Babe. It seemed so long ago that we are now on Step 2 of 7. This may probably be the saddest and longest, but is also the second most important step of all in achieving our goals.

IΒ am a “list” person. I like seeing things written – timelines, short and long term goals, even those pesky “payables” and grocery lists as it let me see things in perspective. It reminds me of what really matters, what needs to be prioritized, and the progress we are making so far. This somehow rubbed off Babe and I am sometimes amused with his love and hate relationship with it (lol!).

So as far as our list goes, as mentioned, we are on step 2. This is the saddest because we have never been apart each other aside from his 2 week stint before. We both know that it won’t be THAT lonely from where he will be working and thank goodness for technology for making communication and video calls possible, still, nothing beats being able to hug and kiss him, having him near. Konting tiis na lang talaga.

Today, I installed Skype. For those who do not know, Skype is an application which allows you to do video calls, send messages, and voice calls by use of an Internet connection. If you have enough credits, you may do a regular calls. Since we both have internet connection, we were able to talk and see each other at the same time.

Babe gave me a tour of his temporary home- his room, the lounge, kitchen, and everything else. This way, I am able to place an image with his stories even though we are not together physically. The call lessened my anxiety and loneliness. It even made me more determined and patient with our plans in the future. For now, Geoff and I are staying put until the time is right for us to follow and eventually move. Let me leave this image on this page. It is said that the more you think, vocalize, put into writing whatever it is that you aim in the future, the universe will do it’s best to align itself with what you desire.

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

On Geoff’s Speech Progress

I am an avid reader of parenting blogs. Being a new mom 2 years ago, I thrive on what I read and try to apply it on my son as well. Of all the advises that I have read, one of the most helpful is the fact that not all children are the same, and that the best person who really knows my child, is me.

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Having fun with his alphabet

I, Babe, together with his yaya have been constantly trying to teach him how to speak. Per the progress charts, he should be able to speak phrases by now (not the straight talk kind), however, this task proves to be a very difficult feat. You see, Geoff flat out refuses to hear us out, whether we insert it to play, or during our “study” time, or even when bedtime. We always hear is standard “Na!” (which means no) and continues on with what he is doing.

Here are the things that we let him do instead, with lots of encouragement and good nudge in the right manner:

  • We encourage him to play educational toys such as letter puzzles and his leap frog phonics toy.
  • Posters of animals, alphabets, numbers and shapes are posted on his yaya’s room (that is where they take naps in the mornings and afternoons)
  • Electronic games are allowed, but only if me or Babe is there (this part is mandatory as he does not have an ipad or tablet of his own)
  • Books are everywhere, and though he does not want to be read stories, we let him browse the pages, and we volunteer the stories or what the picture is.
  • He has pretend toys downstairs and both rooms in the house. This lessens the “umay” factor when he is playing.
  • We take advantage of the time when he is in the mood to learn. Geoff provides the hints and we just take it from there.
  • TV time mostly consists of Disney Jr. and commercials (ooops!)

As of writing, I have accepted the fact that in my case, there is no point forcing Geoff to learn how to speak as he should when compared to other 2 year olds. Besides, he is talkative as he is right now, and it maybe overreacting on my part if I intervene further.Β The mere fact that he is able to learn a word or two every week, it is progress enough for me.

A Graduation Treat – Crisostomo in Fairview Terraces

Our little family trooped to Fairview yesterday because it was Cyv’s elementary graduation. Cyv is Babe’s nephew, and since we are a pretty small family, including my sisters in law’s families, it is quite easy to call for a mini reunion.

Anyway, we celebrated in Crisostomo, a Filipino restaurant in the newly opened Fairview Terraces. Since this was a treat, I figured I might as well enjoy it (lol!). Here are the dishes that we ordered last night. Please take note that these images are not from us, and are lifted off the internet.

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Geoff’s favorite! bam-i guisado, a combination of bihon and canton with lechon kawali top! picture lifted from ryelmedina.wordpress.com

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Binagoongan ni pia. This was crispy liempo on a bed of eggplant and bagoong. Image lifted at sandiestar.com

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sisig linares – This was the classic sisig and Cyv’s favorite. Image lifted from www.tripadvisor.com

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sinigang gomez – this is your classic sinigang na baboy in a ceramic palayok. I liked it because it achieved the “asim” that I am looking for in a sinigang. Image lifted from foodbytes101.blogspot.com

Overall, everything we ordered tasted good, and for me are considered comfort food, them being Filipino dishes. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, and when I asked the waiter how big the servings were, he said it was good for sharing (2-3 persons). When the dishes came, it turned out that the sharing portion is indeed good for 2-3 persons, who have very small appetites (LOL!). Service wise, it wasn’t exceptionally good, pretty fair or what you would expect from a restaurant. The space being small, they only have 1 high chair to accommodate babies, and we had to wait our turn.

By the way, Crisostomo has this treat for graduates. Anytime you dine with them, you get to have a slice of cake (ube or caramel), a glass of Sangria and an appetizer (Beaterio or Setas Salpicao). You just have to meet the minimum purchase of Php1,800 and present any proof of graduation such as Diploma, school ID, or Certificate of graduation).

Side kwento: Ate was already paying when I asked the waiter about their promo. The waiter then explained the mechanics. Unfortunately, they left the certificate in their car, all the while budging the good kuya waiter for the freebie (asking if the ceremony picture was ok, or if the graduate would suffice). Nakulitan na lang si Kuya, he decided to give us an ube cake instead (Haha!) Moral lesson, always comply with the mechanics of the promo, pero try your luck minsan din πŸ™‚

Congratulations again Cyv! Do well in high school, ok?

Geoff’s Swimming Day

So last Saturday, we pushed through with our swimming plan to celebrate Geoff’s birthday. It was a simple celebration, as it was just me, Babe, my mom, our yaya, and of course, the star of the day, Geoff.

One week before the planned outing, we did an occular as to which resort is the most kid and budget friendly (our choice was narrowed down to Loreland and Cristina Villas, so we only visited those 2!). Having visited the latter twice now, I was quite obvious that I favored the said resort. And so, after seeing the place, Babe gave an okay signal to choose Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel.

Anyway, this post is all about Geoff’s celebration, so let me save the review of the resort on another day. πŸ™‚

Warning: This is quite a photo heavy post

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Babe was being goofy while Geoff was showing off a diamond

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Happiness is a slide, within the pool. The baby loves both, thus, the very wide smile on his face

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On his own

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Did I mention that he was ecstatic? πŸ˜›

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Dancing in the pool, assisted by a fan (lol!)

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Bad boy look daw πŸ™‚

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Beh-lat!

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Mama Lola, look at the camera please?

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Shh!

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Look up

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I’ll smile na lang Mommy!

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I’m tired!

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Look out. I’m on a mission

Overall, we all enjoyed the place, the weather was neither too hot nor too windy. The water was a bit cold, but who cares if everybody enjoyed the water, right? What matters is that we got to see Geoff (even his Mama Lola) enjoying every moment, until kami na yung gustong umawat na from swimming!

Watch out for the review on my next post πŸ™‚

Week 10 – Can I, Mommy?

Last week, we went to Fairview to visit the son of our friend, Isay. Rai was born exactly a week before Geoff. As we don’t have any gift yet, we decided to stop by the newly opened Fairview Terraces.

Ayala Fairview Terraces is the newly opened mall by Ayala Land. Based from where we came from, I think it was behind SM Fairview. I liked the ambiance outside the mall as there were lots of plants and space for Geoff to walk run around. A lot of stores are not opened yet, but the usual stores are. I also saw lots of branded shops around, such as Forever 21 and Uniqlo. We were unable to do a proper tour as we were there for only one purpose – to buy a gift.

Anyway, here is my top pick for Week 10. Look at Geoff’s expression as he looked at me. I can tell that there was a mischievous twinkle in it. πŸ˜›

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P.S. If you’ll notice, merong path of rocks (?) sa background. Geoff kept on wandering there, maybe because he likes the feel of the rocks underneath his feet. Unfortunately, bawal pala lakaran yun according to manong guard. I guess, I will never understand kung bakit hindi na lang hinarangan yun if they are worried about ruining the aesthetic purpose that it serves. Bandang entrance pa naman, and considering the number of people who would be coming there, mahihirapan si manong guard to tell everybody off.

My Birthday Boy!

In a few hours time, my baby boy will be entering the toddlerhood stage. Quite bittersweet as time seems to go so fast and so slow at the same time. I still remember the vivid details when I first saw Geoff, while it was such a blur watching him grow. I am in such awe to see him run, climb, jump, laugh, cry, be naughty and sweet.

As we enter the “terrible two” phase, I pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance to make Geoff a better person in the future. As most mommies can relate, motherhood is not easy, and we are now seeing signs of mischief in those chinky eyes, truly, a test of patience. We are at a point where Geoff is no longer a baby we can leave inside a crib, or surround with pillows; Constant vigilance is what we are right now.

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Happy 2nd birthday my baby boy! May you grow up to always be the better person. Be kind, rather than nice. Be strong, yet be weak when necessary. Surround yourself with people who loves you, and would matter the most. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be adventurous and live life (with a little caution, of course!). Daddy and I will always be your number 1 fan, supporter, and cheer leaders. We love you, and will never tire of saying it. Makulitan ka man samin!

One last wish though. I wish you would tire of gibberish na and speak words that we can understand na, ok? I love you!

 

Chinese New Year Weekend

So last week, we were with my mom to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Yes, I am Chinese, but no, my family (mom, brother, I) does not practice anything Chinese in tradition. Simply put, we went there for a visit as my mom was hinting that she misses Geoff.

Anyway, it was Geoff and I’s first time to commute to Las Pinas. Babe had work that day so we both agreed that he will just follow after his shift. Surprisingly, Geoff was behaved throughout the long trip home. We had to do a couple of transfers (bus, jeep, and tricycle) but the baby did not really mind at all. I just found it tiring, but since I had a good boy with me, okay lang.

My mom and brother prepared a simple feast. Kare kare, grilled liempo with special sauce, and baked tahong. While I was busy eating, Geoff was busy exploring both inside and outside the house. I think what he enjoyed the most is the attention that the kids in our area gives him. Yung iba, parang santo lang, hahawak kay Geoff then babawiin agad yung kamay nila.

Geoff clearly is more accustomed and comfortable in Mama’s home. Unlike before that we had to wait for a few minutes outside, pointing at numerous things before makapasok kami without him crying. Somehow, Geoff feasted on a lot of things inside. There are a lot of candies as my mom runs a sari sari store, and in addition, she has this marble display on her center table which Geoff finds amusing to throw everywhere, making my mom the asar talo of the 2.

It was an enjoyable weekend. We were all full from the food and Geoff had his Mama-lola fix, being a lola’s boy that he is. Let me end this post with a conversation I had with Geoff earlier:

Mommy: Geoff, tawag mo si Mommy.

Geoff: Ma? (softly)

Mommy: Eh si Daddy?

Geoff: Ma?

Mommy: Si Ate

Geoff: Ma?

Mommy: Si Choi (the cat)

Geoff: Ma? (with a smile)

Mommy: Si Mama Lola

Geoff: Ma?

Mommy: Yung tree?

Geoff: Ma?

Mommy: Ohh-kay. Lahat na lang Ma.

Geoff: Ma?

Hay. Kelan ka ba magsasalita baby?