Friday, July 4, 2008

On homeschooling and compromise

Homeschooling. It's sort of becoming the buzz among the egroups of which I am a member. This started an interest to read articles about the benefits of homeschooling. I even joined a Philippine homeschool egroup to learn more about it. By the end of the 10th article, I crossed over to the other side. With the benefits totally outweighing the disadvantages, who wouldn't?

So, armed with my newfound knowledge I became an advocate for homeschooling Kowi, my three-year-old daughter. I started a battle with the enemy. And the enemy was her dad. Not that he was an advocate for the traditional school. It's just that he doesn't like change (sorry, honey--get your own blog =P).

The battle lasted for days. In the car, at the dining table, in SM, in bed. There were days when I started to waiver, but I'd look at my armory of homeschooling articles. It gave strength and resolve to continue the fight.

Finally, we agreed to compromise. His offer: Since I am currently a stay-at-home mom, I get to homeschool Kowi for her preschool. But elementary, it has to be in a traditional school like Kuya. I gladly took it. We shook hands (and a bunch of other bleep-bleep stuff) and he slept like a baby.

I didn't get to sleep right away. My mind was awake from the flurry of activites I was cooking up for Kowi. And I was also secretly thinking that I'd have time to convince him to defect to my side. I win. Bwahahaha.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On icing, cakes and getting older

For as long as I can remember, I've always had cake on my birthday. It was as staple as rice. I've had different cakes with different icing. The best one is chocolate. I definitely hate the butter icing!

I remember having the big rectangle cake with butter icing and sugar flowers for my birthday when I was younger. If Imy memory serves me right, it was bigger than an average laptop. So there were certainly lots of that butter icing. I had no choice. I would only get the flowers (the pink ones) and not touch the cake, especially the icing.

I've also had ice cream cake from Magnolia House in Cubao. I have a few fond memories of ice cream stains on my dress, moustaches on my upper lip and lots of dry ice fun after the party.

When I grew a little bit older, I had more choice in the matter. It was MY birthday after all. It was chocolate all around for my 12th birthday. Yummy. Even for my 18th birthday at McDonald's with the Under the Sea theme. It was with sugar icing but the cake was defintely chocolate. This time it was as big as a laptop--only thicker.

As the years progressed, I am finding that I am veering away from chocolate. It started in college when I was introduced to more bakeshops (hehe). I have tasted different cakes, some with icing, others without. Some sugar-free, others sugar loaded. Some round, others not-so-round.

Now, as I am a year older, I chose an old friend. One that I stayed away from for three years because it is very sinful. But it's my birthday after all, and a little indulgence now and then never hurt anyone. Or so they tell me.

I had blueberry cheesecake again.

Do you notice that as you grow older, the less cake you have? Hmm... Maybe it's time to skip next year's cake altogether. I still have 364 days to convince myself.

Job Description for Parents


Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life.Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs money.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule.
And be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery-operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

None required, unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this...YOU PAY THEM!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growthand free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are appreciated for the fabulous job they do...or forward with love to anyone thinking of applying for the job.

40 tips to a great life

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. Record your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, "My purpose is to__ today."
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, & prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life .
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does .
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about .
24. Burn the candles, use the nice bed sheets. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business .
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time ..
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. So stop complaining about the weather, the job, the rent, etc. etc.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
32. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
33. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
34. The best is yet to come.
35. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36. Do the right thing!
37. Call your family often.
38. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: "I am thankful for ___." Today, I accomplished ____.
39. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
40. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tummy talks

When I became pregnant with Kowi, Kuya was 4 years old. I decided to tell him that he'll soon be a "kuya" when I was still in the first trimester. This was to prepare him for the pregnancy bump that will surely show.

We were in bed one night. I said to him, "Kuya, you will be a big brother soon."

He said okay and did not move. He actually seemed uninterested.

"I have a baby inside my tummy," I said.

With that, he felt my tummy and said, "Where's the baby, mommy? Eh, bilbil lang naman yan."


On telephones and hellos

When Kuya was 3, he discovered the telephone and how he CAN really talk to someone on the other end.

And everytime the phone rang, he'd race to the phone to answer. "Mine," he'd shout to us. Pick up the receiver quickly and say hello.

One day, Tita Gigi called. Of course, he ran to answer the phone and answered it.
Gigi recognized his voice immediately and said, "Hello, may I speak to Kuya?"

My son opened his eyes wide in amazement. "It's for me," he said and promptly put down the phone.

Gigi had to call the house again.


When Kuya was 4, he liked to walk around the house barefoot and 've been trying to change that habit for the longest time.

I bought him cutie dog slippers which were made of furry cloth. It worked -- only for two weeks. He would wake up in the morning looking for those slippers and sleep at night with the slippers placed neatly under his bed. But, unfortunately, the novelty wore off.
Scare tactics didn't work either.

"Kuya, please wear your slippers OR ELSE..."

He answered, "what?"

"Or else... I'll step on your feet every time I see them without slippers" was the threat. It was the first thought to come to me.

One day, while eating breakfast at my parents' house, Kuya went to the dining room barefoot. My dad echoed the same threat.

"Kuya wear your slippers or I'll step on your feet."

To that, Kuya answered, "Jesus doesn't have any slippers, either!"

My dad spent the whole morning looking for pictures of Jesus with sandals.

JOY in my heart

One Tuesday afternoon in January, my dad and Tita Evelyn (his sister) showed up at the door bringing choconuts and bread. Kuya was in the middle of some "work" in the garden. I asked Kuya to go inside the house, but the need to dig dirt and put holes in the grass was too enjoyable to put off.

I lured Kuya into the house by saying we had choconut (king-sized) brought by my dad and Tita Evelyn. Of course, he hurriedly dumped all shovels, rakes, and barbeque sticks to get a taste of the goodies.

Lolo reminded Kuya to wash his hands before eating. Kuya was a bit frustrated, having to "waste time" in washing hands instead of digging in to eat. Since he was a bit too small to reach the faucet, he called Ate Elsa to help him wash the dirt away.

While waiting for Kuya to finish washing up, my dad, Tita Evelyn and I were enjoying a lovely conversation and eating at the dining table. Suddenly, we heard Kuya cry. He suddenly ran up to me, crying, suds still in his hands. "Bakit Joy yung ginamit pang-wash ng hands ko! Hindi ako PLATO!!!"

We just had to laugh.