Monday, November 19, 2007
To my mind, among the four of us in our family, my 6 year old is the one mostly affected by the busyness of life. I never knew being a preschooler could be a stressful stage. Everyday she needs to work on at least 20 pages of assignment in different subjects. Needless to say, she needs parental guidance to accomplish her task which means I need to devote at least 2 hours to help her with her homework.
Doing her assignment is stressful for both of us. Being a child, she'd rather watch TV or play on the computer or play with her toys but these past weeks playing has become more of a privilege than a right. I'm trying to remedy this situation by making myself put more importance on my daughter's childhood than on her role as a student. I hope we'll be able to strike a balance and make my daughter enjoy being a child and at the same time learn to be responsible and not be overwhelmed by different tasks that may come her way.
We are all so busy but I hope not too busy to know and value more important things in life.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
One of the things that happened these past weeks is that my toddler turned 3 years old. To celebrate it, we had a mini birthday party during Sunday School. I was the assigned Sunday School teacher so I was able to plan out things to accommodate my daughter's birthday celebration. We belong to a small church so there were only about a dozen kids (usually there are less than 10 kids during Sunday School) who joined our mini celebration.
After telling them the story of David and Goliath, I let the kids watched VeggieTales' Dave and the Giant Pickle. While they were watching the video I prepared their snacks (spaghetti and hotdogs). Before serving them their snacks, we had a game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey. In keeping with our Bible story for the day, I prepared 'Hit Goliath with a Stone' game for the kids and one other party game which they did after eating. As expected, they had lots of fun.
While the kids were eating their snacks I inflated some balloons for them as well as readied their loot bags. In essence, they came to church for Sunday School and went home with memories of party fun. It feels good to share your blessings with others and this is what I aim to instill in my kids.
Friday, October 5, 2007
I have planned to wean her from breastfeeding when she turns 3 and because she's nearly that age, I'm slowly trying to limit breastfeeding her with emphasis on the word 'trying.' It was a breeze weaning my older daughter but it's been an uphill struggle when it comes to my younger daughter who is 'tantrumatic.'
Tantrumatic is a word that I coined for my toddler. It simply means she automatically has a tantrum whenever she does not get what she wants. Her usual style is to drop down on the floor and spin around like a breakdancer while stomping her feet and bawling like it's the end of the world. I just let her be whenever she has her tantrums. I just make sure she does not hurt herself.
I'm used to her tantrums and most often she stops having one when she's distracted or if it's been quite a while and no one is paying attention to her. But it's entirely a different matter when she uses her dramatic flair to touch my heart.
The other night, while we were in bed, I told her, "That's enough!," after nursing her for about 15 minutes. She readily stopped but she cried as if she was really hurt emotionally. I hardened my heart and just allowed her to cry but my defenses crumbled when she started pleading with me. "Please mommy, please." I just can't ignore my daughter and say no to her after that. After all, she said please.
Some of the older folks here encourage me to just continue breastfeeding my daughter for as long as she wants to since I don't have plans to have another baby anyway. Well, I can do that but at the back of my mind there is something in me that wants to reclaim a bit of my freedom. But then again, my daughter will probably be weaned in due time without me even trying to. So, I'll just play it by ear and just let it be for now.
Monday, October 1, 2007
I haven't been able to update my blogs too because of all these health concerns. But more than anything else, the welfare of my family comes first so please bear with me. I have already some posts in mind, I just haven't written them yet.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
When our second child was born, I placed the new baby on my right side while my older child was on my left. There were times when I had to nurse the baby and could not cuddle my older daughter to sleep since I have my back to her. Not wanting to make her feel bad, I just encouraged her to hug me instead while I'm holding her hand. It worked! She did not feel left out and she still felt close to me.
Months passed by and our second daughter grew and developed her own mind. Even though I still placed her on my right side, she preferred sleeping beside her older sister and have some "tickling fun" with her before going to sleep. Because I wanted them to enjoy bonding with each other, I did not discourage my younger daughter to sleep beside her big sister. It put a stop however to my bedtime cuddles with my older child.
With her younger sister between me and my older child, we contented ourselves to just plain hand holding. After a while, I encouraged her to be cuddled to sleep by her daddy until she pushed me away when I tried to cuddle her to sleep while my younger daughter was with my husband. I felt really bad. I felt like my older child no longer needed me. It was at that point I thought about having my own separation anxiety which led me to think about what's going to happen in the future when my kids are older and have their own families. I felt like crying then.
With my anxiety in mind, I slowly tried to renew bonding with my older daughter. While in bed, I lovingly rub her arms and tummy and hold her hand. I also tell her I love her as often as I can. At first she would push my hand away but lately she does not mind anymore. Whenever possible, she would like for me to cuddle her and hold her hand. I hope we'll stay close even when she's older, same with my younger child.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
As a mom, my heart bleeds for her. Her sleep is disrupted and she's having a hard time. Hers is not just a simple case of cough and colds anymore. Like me, she coughs and sneezes as allergic reaction to whatever allergen is found in our environment. Sad part is, we have no way of completely shielding her from these allergens without disrupting her everyday life as a young child.
Nowadays, fresh and clean air is not something you can easily enjoy. We are having these allergies because of dirty air. Sometimes neighbors' activities are the cause or contributing factors to our polluted atmosphere. Just imagine what it would be like ten years from now. I hope all citizens of the world will open their eyes and do their part to save our planet. Just think about our children and their future.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Aside from being busy with my online work, I've been having allergic rhinitis almost daily. I try not to take my medications for it since I usually end up feeling groggy and sleepy. Add to that, my toddler has been more of an attention-seeker lately. These past days and weeks, she's been acting more like a baby. She prefers me to spoonfeed her even though she can easily feed herself. One time, she handed me a piece of bread that she was eating and motioned to me that she wanted me to put it in her mouth. I can't say she's lazy. She just wanted to be given more attention, not that she lacks attention in my opinion.
With so many things to do, I'd rather play or do something that does not require much thinking whenever I have free time. Not that I don't enjoy blogging anymore. I just need some time to rest my mind.
To my dear nephew, I hope you will not grow weary visiting my blog. I'll try to be a better blogger but please don't expect me to have a new post daily. If I do have something interesting to post, you can be sure you'll read it here.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Keratosis pilaris is a benign skin disorder characterized by rough bumps on the skin. Just like in geographic tongue, keratosis pilaris occurs in otherwise healthy persons and has no known cure. It commonly appears on the upper arms and thighs and sometimes on the face, which is true in my daughter's case. Keratosis pilaris results from a buildup of protein called keratin in the openings of hair follicles in the skin. This produces small, rough patches, usually on the arms and thighs.
I first noticed the rough bumps on my daughter's arms and thighs when she was around 4 years old. I first thought it was part of the allergic reaction she had with one of the medicine prescribed for her. But then the bumps persisted long after her other skin rashes (allergic reaction to antibiotic) subsided. Truth is I am more bothered by the goose flesh appearance than my daughter is. I'm thinking that maybe she'll be more concerned about it when she's older but at this time she's not giving much thought about it.
Keratosis pilaris, sometimes also called as chicken skin, is more common in women, can affect people of all ages and tends to improve with age. It's difficult to treat so it can be frustrating at times. The symptoms usually improve during warmer months and worsen during colder season.
In keratosis pilaris the keratin, a protein in our body, builds up within the hair follicles on the skin causing small acne-like bumps. Although it is very tempting to do so, scratching or picking on the bumps is not advisable as it could lead to scarring. Our dermatologist prescribed cleansing milk wash, AHA cream and anti-wrinkle cream for my daughter's keratosis pilaris. Her doctor jokingly said that she was his youngest patient who needs anti-wrinkle cream. She was also encouraged to eat food rich in Vitamin A which is not an easy task considering her dislike for veggies.
My daughter call her keratosis pilaris bumps as her "spots" and she usually directs my attention to them when they are very prominent. "We need to put medicine lotion on my spots," she would say referring to the creams that our doctor prescribed for her. The aim in keratosis pilaris is to prevent excessive skin dryness.
Did I say it improves with age? I did? Well, I just need to remind myself about that lest I continue to let myself be bothered by it. There's a possibility it could worsen though but I will not focus on that.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
When my daughter was older, there were instances while we were eating when she would cry and say, "I have ouch on my tongue." Upon inspection, I would notice the smooth like patches on her tongue again. It really puzzled me because there were times when the patches are not there at all. After some time, I had observed that my daughter would complain about hurting her tongue especially when we were eating food with spices or with sour taste. This prompted me to do a bit of research which led me to sites about geographic tongue. Finally, my daughter's condition has a name.
Geographic tongue or benign migratory glossitis, a condition affecting the tongue has no known cause but tends to run in families. I don't have it and no one in our family has it. My husband doesn't have it so does his parents and siblings. So, I really don't know where my daughter got it from.
Geographic tongue is a benign condition. It is not dangerous to health, it is self-limiting and it does not require treatment. There are foods though that could aggravate the condition as I had observed with my daughter. Avoidance of foods that could exacerbate or cause pain to the tongue is therefore recommended.
Geographic tongue is common to people with psoriasis and also to those who have allergies, eczema as well as asthma. It occurs in around 2% of people in all ages, sexes and races and affects females three times more than males and more often appears in adults than in children.
If you observe closely someone who has a geographic tongue, you will notice that the pattern changes every time. It does look like an ever-changing map. In my daughter's case, sometimes there are bright red patches, sometimes they simply look like bald spots and there are also times when I don't see anything at all.
I'm no longer worried about my daughter's geographic tongue after learning more about it and I'm instilling in her the idea that it's not something she should be ashamed about. I do hope however that it will completely go away so that she could explore more her taste in food.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
I've heard a breastfeeding advocate say it's not a problem breastfeeding another baby who is 6 months or below. Usually babies 6 months and younger will allow anybody to hold them, even virtual strangers. But how do you breastfeed a one year old child who is very attached to her own mother? A child who cries when I hold her even for just a short time while her mother is still around?
After my sister left her daughter in my care, my niece attached herself to me and I did not have much difficulty breasfeeding her. I think she was presented with no other choice so she readily accepted what I offered her. The only problem was she was more possessive than my own daughter. She cried whenever she saw me breastfeeding or even just holding my toddler. There were even instances when she pushed my daughter away while I was breastfeeding them both.
Yes, you read it right. There were times when I breastfed them together at the same time. I would have preferred to breastfeed them one at at time but there were occasions when it was better to give in. My niece has the tendency to hold her breath while crying, making her lips turn blue and I didn't like her to do that while she was under my care. At the same time I don't want to make my daughter feel like I'm abandoning her. So when they wanted to be fed at the same then I allowed them to do so. It felt strange but I survived it.
My niece had the tendency to wake up very early in the morning and she wanted to be rocked back to sleep while listening to music, preferably bossa nova. Her early morning habits made me feel like I had a month old infant in my care once again. What's so painful, is her tendency to pull my hair when she wanted me to get up. Arrrgggggg. I have very long hair so you can just imagine the amount of hair she was able to grasp.
All in all, the experience was bittersweet. Taking care of my niece limited my free time for personal endeavors but seeing her smile, hearing her giggles and enjoying herself with my family made up for the difficulties.
I am mighty proud of my daughters. They have been very understanding when I was still taking care of my niece. I am especially proud of my toddler who did not mind at all that I was breastfeeding another baby. She even enjoyed playing with her younger cousin. I have to admit that it was also tough on her since I am unable to respond to her needs right away when I'm taking care of the other baby. I am also proud of my husband who was always there to help lighten the load.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
My niece has not experienced being fed from a bottle so expressing milk for feeding is not really an option. Having refused to stay at their home for a week (my family also needs me at home), my sister travelled by plane last weekend to deliver her baby to me. For more than a year of her life, my niece has seen me for a total of about one month during 4 separate occasions, half of it during her infancy. In essence, she doesn't really know me that well.
I have talked about how clingy my toddler in my post here but my niece is the runaway winner in my opinion. Having chosen me as the next best thing in the absence of her mommy, she doesn't ever want me out of her sight. Sometimes I need to heed the call of Mother Nature and if she's awake, she'll insist in being with me in the toilet when I do my thing. Privacy is certainly not in her vocabulary, not that she's got one yet.
Cooking food is not something I can easily do anymore. Yesterday, I was holding my niece the whole time while cooking for lunch. Oh, I assure you it's not something I relish doing. It's dangerous and physically taxing. Add to that my niece's desire to help me out by grabbing the pan. So from now on, we'll probably just have takeaway.
More about my experience as a surrogate mom on my next post.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Cat's in the Cradle's lyrics was written by Sandy, Harry Chapin's wife after their son was born. I don't know if it has any connection with their family life but I feel that the song is a good reminder for us parents and would-be parents to really know about our priorities in life.
My child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad.
You know I'm gonna be like you."
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."
My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.
Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today,
I got a lot to do." He said, "That's ok."
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmmed,
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."
How many parents missed their kids many firsts? First smile, first word, first step? Promises that were broken because there were far more important things to do?
Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"
How would you feel then when you have all the time to spend with your child but he no longer has time to spend with you?
I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."
There are some things in life that you can never go back to again. Our kids will never be kids forever. Before you know it, you are no longer the hero in your child's eyes and he'll consider other things and activities more important than spending time with you. Don't wait before it's too late. Don't let the busyness of your work put your family to the sidelines. Expensive toys can never replace your presence and guidance in your child's life.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
However, if I'm only 19 then I should feel like one, but sad to say I really feel old right now. I've been swamped with so many things to do lately but just before posting here I was reminded that I should strive to be happy and not dwell on the negative things. Life is too short to worry about the future. We really don't know what tomorrow will bring so I'll seize the moment and make the most of what I have now.
I have a personal relationship with my Creator and I have my family and loved ones to enjoy. I eat three times a day and I'm sheltered from the storm. What more can I ask for?
Monday, July 30, 2007
I enjoy doing the puzzles by myself, but I derive more pleasure when the whole family is playing together. Everybody helps out in looking for the missing objects and even my toddler does her share. It's quite humbling to know that my kids can see some of the objects easily and if they can't find anything anymore they usually cheer me on. My 6 year old usually says, "Good job Mommy. You found it." When I place the cursor on the object to be found, my kids will both say, "There it is," as if they also helped in finding it.
Playing is fun and more so when there are others having fun with you. As a family we are a team and anything that we do together, whether work or play, is an opportunity for us to bond and appreciate one another.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
It's gratifying to know that my "job" as a homemaker can fetch more than $100,000. Of course, nobody's going to pay me that much as a homemaker. Truth is, I still need to do work outside of homemaking in order for me to earn a few bucks which will be used to keep our home in good shape.
Still, the fact remains that no one can really put monetary value to what a Mom does at home for her family. It's true that a professional housekeeper can do the cleaning, washing-up and everything, but can she lovingly kiss the hurt away from a bruised knee? Can she offer a prayer of protection to the owner of a shirt as she tries to remove the stains from it? Can she offer warmth from her loving arms as she comforts a child from troubled sleep?
To a professional housekeeper, housekeeping is just plain work. To a mom, it is a loving commitment for the holistic growth of her family and continued joy of living in their home.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
One time, instead of asking about what she did in school, I asked, "How was school?" With a pleasant smile she replied, "I had fun." I was pleased and excited, I was finally getting something from her. I then asked, "What fun things did you do in school?" Without any hesitation, she answered, "Nothing."
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
As far as I can recall, I never wished to be rich, powerful or even famous. When I was younger, I imagined myself as a wife and a mother and I really thought I would find fulfillment in being a homemaker. I do. I love being a wife and a mom to my 2 kids.
Although I have a college degree and I passed the board exam, having a successful career was never my top priority. Not that I'm no good as a career woman. I was considered an asset by one of our clients in my previous workplace. Even now that I'm a stay at home mom, I still try to give my best in everything that I do, whether in my online work or in taking care of my family.
Being a homemaker is never easy. I tend to become a catchall for everybody and everything around me. Others think that because I am always at home I have all the time in the world, but this is not true. Often, I don't have the time to do the things I need to do. There are times when I feel like I'm too busy doing things for others that I have no time for myself anymore.
But I am happy where I am now. Being who I am today gives my life a purpose and defines my reason for living. God is good! Life is good!
Monday, July 23, 2007
I told my husband about my intention and he directed my attention to another poop on top of the car. Fine. I can do both. It's no big deal.
I got a bucket of water and a squeegee and started cleaning up. As expected, the poop made a mess so I decided to clean the whole windshield and also included the car windows. The water dribbled and caused some marks on the car's body so I got more water and with a sponge, resolved to give our car a good wash.
It was in fact my first time to wash our car. It is usually my husband's responsibility since our car is his baby. Still, I was able to do it. Maybe not expertly but an accomplishment just the same.
Now I'm tired but mighty proud of myself. I just hope I still have the energy to do the laundry, not to mention the floor and the cooking. Who knows what big things you can do coming from little things out of small intentions. Oh well, that's what an Extra Super Mom is all about.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Seeing the need to improve on her fine motor skills, I bought a pack of 2 dozen clothespins. Making it like a game, I let her clip the same color of clothespin on a piece of cardboard. She was eager to do it but complained after a while.
"I'm hurt," she sadly said. I thought she had difficulty handling the clothespins. It turned out she broke some. It's either she's super strong or simply uncoordinated. My husband had this to say, "You have been too much of a penny pincher. You bought the cheap kind."
So much for being practical. Now I have to buy another pack of clothespins. This time I will not look at the price but give more value on the quality.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I have read that sleep talking or somniloquy is pretty common, occurs more often in children than in adults and runs in the family. It is really not something to be worried about but could be irritating if it disrupts somebody else's sleep, especially mine. According to my husband, he seldom talks in his sleep and I should be thankful he is not snoring as that could be more irritating. I have to agree with him on this but it's still no fun to wake up from a deep sleep because somebody is sleep talking. I have to admit I got used to it and I no longer feel frightened when somebody starts talking loudly, it seems loud because everything is quiet, in the middle of the night. Sometimes it could be fun too.
One time, I woke up when I heard my husband talking. I immediately realized he was sleep talking. Out of curiosity, I asked him to repeat what he said and he did. He repeated the same unintelligible talk while still sleeping. I should have asked him some of his secrets but then again I still wouldn't understand because he was mumbling.
As for my daughter, I woke up hearing her call my name one night. I thought she wanted me to go with her to the toilet but was puzzled why she did not get up at all and instead said something else (I already forgot what she was talking about). It turned out she was just sleep talking.
I don't know if laughing is also considered sleep talking but I have witnessed my daughters and their dad, on separate occasions, laughing while sleeping. It's not the kind where you wake up in the midst of your laughter because they still continued sleeping. Now, I don't know if I'm also guilty of sleep talking because everybody in my family is a sound sleeper except me.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Read more about this here.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So how does the pizza taste? If you ask my older child she'll say, "It tastes good." My younger child will say, "Mmm... delicious." If you ask me, I'll say, "It's boring." My husband will say, "It tastes like bread with tomato sauce."
Are we full after eating pizza? I'm full. My husband is also full. My two daughters are complaining. They are still hungry.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I was buying medicine for my Aunt while my kids and their daddy were left in the car. There were lots of people buying at the pharmacy so I had to wait for my turn. More than 10 minutes passed and I felt somebody touching my shoulder. It was my husband carrying my toddler who was whimpering. She was a sorry sight with tears streaming down her face. She only stopped crying when she saw me. I learned from my husband that she was crying the whole time they were waiting in the car.
Another time, my two year old stirred in her sleep and I saw her edging to one side with her hand patting the bed. I guess she was still looking for me even in her sleep. After some time she woke up whimpering when her searching hand did not find me.
Whenever we go out somewhere, my daughter won't step out the door until she's sure I'm going with her. Sometimes she wants to be with me even in the toilet. I can no longer respond to Mother Nature's call privately.
It seems like my daughter has an on and off switch in her. When she's crying for me, she instantly stops as soon as she sees my face and magically turns back into a fun kid to be with.
I know this is just a phase and she will grow out of it. It's nice to be needed and wanted but it has its down side when I can't do what I need to. I'm not complaining. It's better this way rather than not being needed nor wanted.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Here's what happened. We decided to buy food from a drive-thru restaurant. We could not get in immediately because of a slow walking pedestrian and a van hurriedly got in front of us. Ok, so he got to order first. That's fine with us. What we noticed was, even though we could not hear what was being said, he was either ordering a lot of food or making complicated instructions about his order. It was taking him forever to finish and pay up.
We were still pretty patient up to this point. Things like this happen and the restaurant crew was cheerful when it was our turn. Our kids were very patient too. They did not make any complaints or whine about the delay and my 6 year old even said hello and thank you to the crew. It took us less than 2 minutes to order and pay up.
My husband drove the car to the next window to pick up our food and the van was waiting there as expected. We saw the restaurant crew motion the driver to move forward to a waiting slot so others can move on. I guess their order was not yet complete. We got our food shortly but could not get out. The van was parked in front of us in such a way that its rear was at an angle, it would seem impossible to pass.
There we were ready to leave but we couldn't. My husband honked at the van to let it know we can't pass and patiently waited for the driver to move even just a little. The van did not budge at all. We assessed our situation. There was about 4 inches of clearance for either side of our car if we decide to go ahead and pass. If my husband makes a mistake, we either scrape the van or a concrete wall.
As much as possible, we don't want to take the risk because we have 2 small kids in the car. We were forced to sit there, waiting again. This time, we don't know for how long. The car behind us got their food and was ready to leave too. My husband was getting impatient. I have to admit, I was also getting restless. So my husband asked me to check once more how much space there was on the right side of the car, while he checked on the left side. There was about 4 inches. It was very tight.
We moved very, very slowly, watching the wall and the van close in on us. It was a bit scary but the kids were cheering their daddy on. Finally we were free. It was a relief.
What happened to us is a plain example of discourtesy and selfishness. The van driver could have moved just a couple of feet and it would have made a big difference. But he was protecting his space without thought for others behind him. Maybe he was thinking we can pass without problem if we wanted to. Well, we did, but it was an unnecessary risk that was forced on us. We felt he was very selfish and unreasonable.
My husband and I did not lose our tempers but impatience got the better of us. Although they were eager to get home and eat their food, I'm thankful our kids remained patient throughout the whole thing.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
1.5 kg whole chicken
2 cups long grain rice
12 pips garlic
half inch long ginger
1 tsp salt
half tsp pepper
4 tbsp cooking oil
Ingredients for Chicken stock: I'll probably use a store bought one to save time
quarter kilo of chicken bones
750 ml water
salt to taste
Ingredients for Chilli Sauce:
5 red chillies
4 pips garlic
1 Tbsp sugar
half inch long ginger
one-fourth tsp salt
1 sprig spring onion
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soya sauce
Boil chicken bones with water to obtain chicken stock. Add salt to taste.
Smash 8 shallots, 6 pips garlic and ginger.
Clean the chicken and stuff it with the smashed ingredients. Rub the skin with salt and pepper.
Finely slice the remaining shallots and chop the remaining garlic.
Pound red chillies, ginger and garlic together. Extract lime juice. Add lime juice, sugar and salt to the pounded ingredients. Set aside mixture.
Finely slice the cucumber and tomato.
Cut the spring onions into 2 cm lengths.
Mix the sesame oil and light soya sauce together.
Wash the rice grains.
Heat oil in wok. Fry the chopped garlic and sliced shallots until golden brown. Then add in the washed rice grains and continue to fry until fragrant.
Transfer the fried rice grains into a rice cooker. Add in the chicken stock and continue to cook until rice is done.
Steam the chicken in a wok or steamer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and cut into bite-size pieces.
Arrange the cucumber and tomato slices around the edge of a serving platter. Then place the chicken pieces in the centre of the same platter. Sprinkle the spring onions over the chicken and pour the mixed sesame oil and light soya sauce over it.
Serve chicken with the steamed rice and chilli sauce.
I'm thinking about just having plain rice so my kids can eat this dish too.
There are more recipes on WanNo's site. Do check it out.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Last month, my daughter was not this mess lover monster. Well, not that much anyway, and she doesn't really look like a monster. She still looks deceptively sweet and she still has lots of "I love yous" for us. She was also scattering her toys then, but not to this extent. There are times when I don't want to look at her mess anymore and just pretend it's non-existent. But then again, if I don't clean up she or somebody in our family could get hurt.
We're in a dilemma here. My husband suggests we bury all her toys underground until she is old enough to clean up after herself. Of course, he was just joking. But I don't agree with the idea of keeping the toys away. She is a child, a toddler in this case, and this is her time to enjoy her toys. But at the same time I don't want to spend too much time cleaning up. Just seeing the mess makes me feel tired already. So, what to do?
As I was gazing at my charming little girl gleefully pouring the toys out of a box and pondering on my next move, I realized that she was really enjoying what she was doing. This was a game for her. She was not scattering her toys because she wanted to mess up things. She was simply playing and having fun.
I got up from my chair and started putting back the toys inside the box while singing Barney's clean-up song. My daughter sang along with me and picked up a toy from the floor and placed it in the box. After a while we finished our cleaning-up game and I happily moved on to my other tasks. CRASH!!! Hmmm... burying the toys underground doesn't sound like a bad idea after all.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
My children don't usually whine or have temper tantrums whenever we don't buy them the stuff they fancy. Often, there are toys they'd like to have and we merely let them play with the toys inside the shop. They don't really feel bad if we leave the shop without buying anything. My kids, especially the older one, know why we are not buying the toys. During her Blue's Clues days, she would say, "We need Blue dollars." Nowadays she would say, "We need to buy money." Sigh!
One time, I was telling my first child of our plans to go visit her cousins. Being very attached to my sister's family, she was excited about it. I told her we don't have our plane tickets yet and asked her to pray to God to provide us with the means to purchase them. She readily complied and prayed about it. Later when we were in the supermarket, she found a small coin on the floor. She was very happy about her find and excitedly said, "Mommy, I found a coin. Now we can buy our tickets." I simply hugged her and said, "One coin is not enough. We need lots of coins in order to buy our plane tickets." Without any trace of disappointment she smilingly replied, "Yes! I'll go find some more." How I wish we all could view life through the eyes of a child.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
It's somewhat hilarious and at the same time heartwarming watching them together. God bless my children!
Her concern for her older sister was so real and touching that a parent just can't help but smile at that tender moment. The smile was covertly done however, lest my older child think she was already off the hook.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I have always loved the smell of babies. They smell good all the time. My husband doesn't agree with me on this one, he says babies don't smell good when they have poo-poo but exclusive breastfed babies don't have foul smelling excrement. I should know, I'm the one changing nappies most of the time.
My two year old daughter is not exactly a baby anymore but she still has that sweet baby smell. It's just lately that I really took notice of her breath. It does not stink in the morning upon waking up even if she goes to sleep in the evening without brushing her teeth. Come to think of it, my 6 year old does not have stinky breath too. It makes me wish they will always have sweet smelling breath, but such is not the case. When they grow up, they'll have stinky breath too.
Remember the movie America's Sweethearts? Julia Roberts and John Cusack woke up with bad breath, prompting them to talk with their mouths covered by the blanket. I think that was the only real thing in that movie, the rest was well... too Hollywood.
Knowing that my baby's sweet breath will not last forever, I have been taking every opportunity to enjoy it. My kids will grow up someday but I have this moment now to enjoy them in their youth. I will therefore embrace this moment and savor it.
Friday, July 6, 2007
It caught me by surprise when my 2 year old showed me a yellow toy and she said, "Amarillo." Another time, she was trying to reach something and she called for my help saying, "Mommy, help. Ayudame." All these she learned from watching "Dora the Explorer." As we are not Spanish speaking people, it's good to know that my kids can learn a new language just by watching TV.
My older daughter learned about fortissimo, adagio, crescendo and other musical terms. She also became aware of different classical compositions from watching "Little Einsteins." I sometimes catch her humming classical tunes while playing with her toys.
Because of "Elmo's World," going to the dentist was a breeze for my 6 year old and she actually had fun while having a prophylaxis. Watching an episode about babies also helped prepare her for the birth of her younger sister when she was just 3 years old.
There are so many things a child could learn just by watching television. I just hope more child-friendly and educational shows will proliferate on TV. Truth is, even I, do learn something new from watching these shows.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
My 6 year old still likes to do things with my armpit. One time, she smelled it so I laughingly asked her, "How does it smell?" She cheerfully answered, "It smells good." She's like an armpit inspector who tells me "very good" whenever my armpits are newly shaved.
The sense of adoration they sometimes shower on my armpits is really laughable, not to mention embarrassing. But children are driven by their active senses after all. It is important for them to see, hear, touch, smell and even taste special persons in their lives.
Thinking about all these things brought back to mind what I had experienced when I was about 7 years old. I remembered taking my mother's used nightgown and smelling it. The smell was very comforting to me and I can honestly say it smelled really good then. She was breastfeeding my younger brother at that time, so maybe the smell of breastmilk has something to do with it also.
I am curious to know if bottle-fed kids do these things too. Feel free to post your comments.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Both my kids tried nipple twiddling but I did not allow them to continue, so having a hand in the armpit is actually more of a compromise. Sometimes an errant hand gets lodged in my mouth but more often its the armpit that gets the honor of being given the loving attention.
I have read of this action being referred to as the free-hand habit. With no bottle to hold on to, the hands are free to explore and do things that could be soothing for a child. I can still remember clearly when I was about 3 years old and I love to twiddle my mother's nipple. She used to slap my hand so I will stop doing it.
I discourage my child from touching my armpit whenever I'm breastfeeding her. I usually remove her hand and put it somewhere else. Sometimes she whimpers, especially when she's very sleepy, but more often she allows her hand to be removed and slowly she'll place it back in my armpit when I'm not paying attention to her. Nowadays, it has become more of a game with her.
With a quarter kilo of chicken, carrots, cabbage, vermicelli, garlic and onion, I can be assured that my 2 year old will enjoy her meal.
Saute the chopped garlic, then add the diced onions and then the thinly sliced chicken strips. Once the chicken turns brown, add the chicken stock and let boil. Add the vermicelli and wait for it to be cooked before adding the julienned carrots and shredded cabbage. You can add other vegetables if you like. Season to taste.
This is fast and easy to make, just the kind of thing for extrasuper moms who have lots of other things to do.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Although my daughter does not seem to feel any embarassment everytime she bedwets, she still does not want it to happen since she has to wash and change her clothes after getting herself wet. Personally, I don't worry too much about her bedwetting, it's the need to change the sheets as well as wash the soiled bed linens that I don't like.
Bedwetting is hereditary. It's more likely that a child will bedwet if a parent or both parents wet their beds when they were still kids. In my daughter's case, I think she got it from my side.
I remembered when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I woke up from a deep sleep with a wet bed. If my memory serves me right, I got up from my bed, covered the wet spot with a blanket, changed my clothes and went back to sleep.
My Aunt had her own story to tell. She laughingly recounted her experience when she was already in her teens. She remembered dreaming about going to the toilet with a need to urinate. "It just kept going on and on and on without giving me any satisfaction until I finally did it and felt relieved," she said. She woke up soaked but just laughed off the incident.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
My eyes felt so heavy that I had a hard time knowing what my kids were up to. When I opened my eyes, I saw my little girl on top of a plastic toy box, singing and dancing with delight. Groggily I got up and had her get down but before I could even lay down my head on the bed, she was up on the box again. Not having enough strength, I called on my husband for reinforcement. He took out the box and I figured, I'll probably get the rest I needed then.
Without the toy box to amuse her, my toddler got on the bed and began poking my eyes saying, "Mommy! Wake up, wake up." Arrrggg... I just want a little rest and it seemed like I'll never be able to get a good one. She then snuggled up next to me and said, "I love you, Mommy." Sigh! Who can remain irritated after that? "I love you, Baby," I said, and then she began jumping on the bed. Oh well, that's an extra super Mom's life.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Between my two daughters, it is my first born who occasionally wets the bed. Sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night sensing her to be uneasy. I would either wake up my husband or assist her myself to the bathroom so she can relieve herself.
Sometimes my husband and I are just deep in sleep and wouldn't know whether she feels like going to the toilet. There are times when she gets up on her own and proceeds to the toilet all by herself. I noticed she prefers to be accompanied when it is still dark but goes to the toilet alone when there's light from dawn coming inside the room.
My daughter drinks water a lot, and I'm thinking it's one of the reasons why she needs to wake up in the middle of her sleep in order to pee. Her little sister is not much of a water drinker and seldom needs to go to the toilet in the middle of the night.
As my husband was the one assisting my daughter in the toilet, I did not bother getting up anymore until I heard her shout, "There's weewee on the bed." Oh dear, my toddler is nearly lying on the wet spot and I have to clean up the mess. I guess, it's time to get up now. What a good morning!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Not wanting to make her cry, I decided that we will all go together in the car and bring her older sister to school. She was very happy as she sang along to some Disney songs being played on the car stereo.
At the school, only my husband and my 6 year old got off. My toddler started to panic again but because I was with her, she calmed down. When my husband came back to the car alone, my 2 year old started to cry and called out for her sister. She cried and shouted her sister's name all throughout the trip home.
Back at home, she kept on crying and calling for her sister. I tried to amuse her with her favorite videos but she just kept on crying. She literally cried herself to sleep.
My 2 year old was in a much better mood when she woke up but she still kept calling her sister's name and asking, "Where are you?"
She was very happy when her older sister got back from school and they hugged each other. I found out from my husband that according to the teacher, my 6 year old also cried after we left her. She had hoped that her sister will be with her in school.
It's heartwarming to know that my children truly care for each other. I hope their sisterly bond will grow stronger each day.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I asked my daughter what she did why she got a star and she answered, "Uh, nothing."
Mix a half teaspoon of salt (preferably kosher, canning, sea or pickling salt) and a pinch of baking soda to a cup of water (room temperature). Place the mixture in a clean container and use as necessary. It is better to make a new batch everyday, but you can actually store this mixture up to a week.
For my kids, I normally use 2 to 3 drops per nostril and then let them blow through their noses. For infants and kids who don't know how to blow their noses yet, a nose suction or aspirator is a handy tool. You can do this 3 to 4 times a day.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
How do you keep your child from being exposed to TV shows with questionable content and still give her freedom to explore her taste? I don't want to be super strict because this could lead to rebellious acts from her which could worsen as she gets older. At the same time I don't want to be too lenient because I'd like her to develop good values. So what to do?
The best solution is to watch TV with her. I have to discuss the shows with her and point out what's good and what's bad. It's time consuming but it's the only way I can think of to give her a bit of freedom and allow her to discover her own preferences while making sure that good values are in place.
My eldest child was like this also when she was still a toddler. When she was sick, I had to try every trick in the book in order for her to take her medicine with only 50% success rate. Now, I have to relive this stressful experience with my youngest daughter.
A nose suction and a bottle of saline solution is essential for an extrasuper mom who has a child with a cold and who refuses to drink her medicine. Although my toddler already knows how to blow her nose, I still use a nose suction to effectively suck out the mucus especially before bedtime. I prefer using a nose suction which has a little bottle and a long tube (like a straw). Suctioning her nose is essential for her (and for me too) to have a good night's sleep.
Monday, June 25, 2007
But dangers do lurk in TVs. If you're not too careful, your kids could absorb things that will not make them better persons. Sometimes TV channels, supposedly for kids, carry programs that I deem not child-friendly at all.
My eldest daughter learned to say "stupid" and other nasty comments from cartoons. I saw her hitting her toys as well as shouting at her younger sister while pretending to be angry. All these offensive acts were acquired from watching television.
It is very much necessary for me therefore to be fully aware of what my kids are watching on TV. If I chance upon a show that has a nasty element, I usually tell my kids, "It's not a nice show." I then try to explain to them why I don't like them watching such shows. My eldest child understands what I'm saying but she tries to reason out that "it's a nice show" whenever she is caught watching a particular show that I told her not to watch. She will then proceed to tell me the story and why she likes watching it. It's really tough to reason with kids.
With the proliferation of children's videos, I am able to, more or less, control my kids exposure to television. I buy them videos that impart good values and learning and they enjoy watching. It's just a pity that my eldest daughter has learned to operate our video system. She's able to switch back to watching TV whenever she wants to.
During Sundays, we usually eat out or buy take aways. Sometimes we eat leftovers. Being spared from cooking, even for just one day in a week is already a big relief for me. It gives me more time to relax and get a chance to watch television. And because it's also a non-working day for my husband, he gets to do more household chores, like washing the dishes (way to go, Honey).
It is really important for me to have this bit of day off from being an extrasuper mom. I don't want to get burned out because I am swamped by too many household chores. A little relief is all I need to continue doing what an extrasuper mom does for the rest of the week.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The most obvious source of infection was found in school as the only places she has been to this week were home and school. Nobody in our home has a cold except her.
I don't want my kids getting sick but it's a fact of life that we cannot completely protect them from it. Even with all the immunizations, they will still get sick one way or another. One thing we can do is arm them with our prayers and if they do get sick, give them all the tender loving care that we could give.
Friday, June 22, 2007
My grandfather died recently and we attended his funeral. It was the first time for my children to see a dead person. I was curious to know how they will react upon seeing him in the coffin.
My youngest daughter took a look at my grandfather and did not bother looking again. My eldest daughter after seeing my dead grandfather asked, "What is he doing? " I told her that her great grandfather died and is already with God. I also explained to her that we were there because it will be the last time we will be able to see him physically and we are going to say goodbye to him.
When the coffin was being put inside the tomb, many people were seen shedding tears and some were even bawling. My 6 year old daughter was also moved to tears and she kept on crying until we got back to our hotel. She cried because she was saddened to see people who were also sad.
In all, it was a smooth experience for my children unlike what I had to go through when I was a child.
I was around 7 or 8 years old when I first experienced going to a wake. My aunt brought me with her when she went to pay her last respects to a friend. On our way there, she was scaring me with ghost stories and she told me that I will be visited by the spirit of the dead because it's my first time to see one. I tried to look brave but it took all my guts just to take a peek at her friend inside the coffin. I had a hard time sleeping that night. I kept hearing creepy sounds and I was afraid that something will appear beside my bed.
Now that I am a mom, I have realized the folly of my aunt. I would never want any child to go through what I had experienced.
One time I had a terrible headache and I was groaning while cradling my head. My eldest daughter asked, "What's the matter Mommy?" I told her about my headache and I asked her if she could pray to God to take it away. She readily agreed and started to pray, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this food..."
Before giving birth to our first child, I had initially planned on expressing my milk and let my baby feed through a bottle occasionally. This is primarily to let my husband get his share in bonding with the baby during feeding as well as allow me to go out for some hours. I was discouraged by our pediatrician against doing this as it could lead to "nipple confusion." I took her advice and decided to completely do away with the bottle.
Having decided not to feed my baby through a bottle left me no choice but to constantly bring my baby and my husband with me wherever I go. I experienced feeding my baby while shopping (I literally breastfed while browsing from one shop to another), while attending a church service, while waiting at the doctor's clinic, while eating in a restaurant, while onboard an airplane, bus and car, and in many other places while doing my usual activities.
I have learned the art of breastfeeding in public. Most people don't realize that I'm breastfeeding at all. Maybe it's because I don't make it too obvious. The only thing I need is a wide baby blanket coupled with a happy disposition.
Admittedly, breastfeeding is not for everybody but it is something which should be encouraged. I had my ups and downs with regards to breastfeeding but I never regretted doing it. For me, the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences.
Before we had our first child, I had already resolved on becoming a full-time mom while our kids are still young. When I got pregnant, I stopped working and devoted myself to reading books. Having been breastfed by my own mother and having an older sister who exclusively breastfeeds her kids, I have decided to do likewise.
I have read and heard about the pains experienced when breastfeeding so I have mentally prepared myself regarding these.
My sister has been plagued by mastitis while breastfeeding her kids. It was distressing seeing her moan in pain and trying to alleviate it by applying warm compresses. I did not look forward to experiencing it but I have prepared myself just the same.
I did not have mastitis but I had a similar, if not more painful, experience.
Because my baby was not properly latching on to my breast during feeding, I developed a tear on my nipple. It grew bigger and bigger and breastfeeding became painful more and more each day. Later my other breast got a tear too. I remembered kicking the bed and groaning in pain while feeding my baby.
I sought the help of our pediatrician and she gave me a cream to be applied on the affected parts. It did not make much difference so I made my own research.
It was a blessing that we were living with my sister's family at that time. She agreed to feed my baby before we went to bed at night so that my breasts can take a bit of rest and be encouraged to heal. I wet the affected parts with my breastmilk and airdried them. Once in a while I expressed milk by squeezing my breasts in order to prevent more painful problems.
After a 12 hour rest, my breasts began to heal. I resumed feeding my baby and I made sure she was latching on properly. Slowly, the pain ebbed until breastfeeding no longer became a painful ordeal but a wonderful bonding experience.
More about my breasfeeding experiences later. Watch out for Part 3.
Note: Some people may be grossed out by what I have posted but I am only stating my own experiences. Things like these do happen.
Both my daughters were exclusively breastfed. They never learned to feed from a bottle and they have never tasted any infant formula. This is something that I am very proud of.
I had no milk yet 2 days after giving birth to my firstborn. My daughter got her first feeding from my sister who had a four month baby at that time. This was not the only time that my sister breastfed her (more about this on the second part). I think my mammary glands got jealous because I was able to express milk just hours after my sister fed my baby. I breastfed my eldest daughter until she was 2 years old.
I was able to start breastfeeding my second daughter hours after she was born. She is not yet weaned and she doesn't seem to have any plans to stop at all. My heart breaks everytime I attempt to wean her and she gives out a painful cry. But I have already resolved to wean her when she turns 3 years old. I just hope it won't be very hard when that time comes.
Breastfeeding my kids has given me a sense of achievement and satisfaction. I have developed a special bonding with them and they made me feel important. It has allowed me to have more cuddle time with them and plenty of eye contact.
I have seen the healthy advantage of breastfeeding. Both my kids seldom get sick. Breastfeeding is also very economical. No need to spend on infant formula as well as baby bottles and all those gadgets associated with bottle feeding. We also have less things to pack and carry whenever we go on a trip.
There are also many sacrifices. More about that later.
It's my 6 year old daughter's first time to go to school. The school is located near a busy street so we kept reminding her to stay inside the school and to never go out on her own or with other people in the absence of her Mommy or Daddy. She was constantly advised to wait inside her school and not to venture out to prevent accidents.
After oh-so-many times of reminding her, we asked her again what she was supposed to do to prevent accidents like getting hit by a car and she promptly answered, "I will stay at home." Smart girl!
Now, I'd like to talk about my two beautiful kids. Without them, I wouldn't be the extra super Mom that I claim to be.
My eldest daughter is now 6 years old. She's got very expressive eyes and wonderful lips. She enjoys having cuddles with me, her daddy, as well as with her little sister. Her usual line is, "Give me my hug." She's got a very good appetite and she adores babies.
My second daughter is nearly 3 years old. She loves to sing and has a good memory for different tunes. She enjoys parroting whatever her elder sister says. In fact, she repeats what she hears from songs, television as well as from us, her parents. Her favorite show is Maisy Mouse.
My first daughter came into this world without much ado.
I started to feel the contractions around 8 am and I gave birth to her before 3 pm of the same day. As far as I can remember, the labor pains were bearable. I was just disappointed when I first saw her. She looked ugly! She had puffy eyes and appeared like she came from a boxing match. She turned out to be a pretty little girl.
I had a totally different experience with my second daughter. What I went through during her delivery convinced me not to have another baby.
My amniotic fluid started to leak so I was advised by my doctor to stay in the hospital. I stayed inside the labor room for more than 24 hours without feeling any signs of labor. Finally, my doctor decided to induce my contractions. It took nearly 24 hours before I felt the labor pains. The contractions I had were unbearable. Had I not thought it embarrassing, I would have shouted to my heart's content. But I did make it through without making a raucous scene. I just wished I had thought of having an epidural beforehand.
Both my daughters have given me so much joy. Having them made me realize the importance as well as difficulty of being a good mom. Their presence in my life made me appreciate my own mother more.
I mentioned that I am a mother to 2 beautiful girls but I got pregnant thrice. I had a miscarriage before I had my second daughter.
Having a miscarriage was a painful experience. I was already 12 weeks pregnant when I visited my Ob-Gyne. No heartbeat was heard so an ultrasound was advised. I had to harden my heart and open up my mind to the possibility that the baby inside me no longer has life.
Fetal demise... these words were written in black and white on my ultrasound result. I felt numb but I had to be strong for my eldest daughter and for my husband.
After 2 days of taking some medications prescribed by my doctor I started to bleed and had to go to the hospital for a D & C (Dilatation and Curettage). While waiting for the surgery, blood kept gushing out and I felt something solid came out. It was my baby.
My baby already looked human, complete with a head (with facial features), legs and arms. I felt like crying then, but I could not.
My second baby did not make it, but I will never forget...
Finally, I got the nerve to make my own blog. I am hoping this will help me cope with stress related to being an extra super Mom.
Hmmm... what can I say about myself? I'm an extra super Mom who's in her 30's and blessed with 2 lovely daughters and a loving husband.
Why am I an extra super Mom? Well, I am a full-time mother to my 2 kids... that's the Mom part. The "extra super" part comes from being the cook, dishwasher, dressmaker, secretary, housekeeper, teacher, nurse, counselor, entertainer, and a lot more.
My blog will chronicle my adventures and misadventures as a Mom, inside and outside my home.