reminding myself its not about the trimmings

i wish i could tell you what i am exactly sulking about but i won't and i can't. i won't because its too petty. i can't because i am ashamed. i told myself, it could be worse. this is a test of my character and i failed at it miserably.

anyway, our Christmas break is a few days away and i am excited to spend it with S. you know, when S turned 20 months, she became extra clingy and it breaks my heart that every time she beckons me to play with her, i have to rush to work. we'll be spending the first week of my vacation at my parent's house so that means i'll be online for that week. although that greatly depends whether i'll be too tired to actually go online since yaya and helper are going home to their provinces too. but all in all, i am just excited to spend that 2 weeks with S.

and i have let the "trimmings" (or rather lack of it thereof) get my festive spirit.

sorry, i've been just plainly rambling. i hope you all have a stress-less holidays (let's just steer clear of the topic of traffic and the frantic shoppers), haha! as for me, i still have a lot of things to accomplish for the upcoming activity for January - one reason why i am amiss lately from blogging. i'll have to keep my fingers crossed that i can actually post before this week ends. *fingers crossed*

"He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more."
(Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

another dreadful to-do: You are Fired!

either of you wanna be (insert my name)? i borrowed that line from FRIENDS (ross annoys rachel), particularly from Ross. it was very funny in the show, how come its not when i used it in my dilemma?

i am simply dreading tonight for i am going to "fire" one of our helpers. oh dear, i am a nervous wreck just because of this. sometimes i think its far easier when they ran away like the first we had, when they decided they just can't handle the job like the second one we had, and when something urgent came up that i had to be spared of firing them.

however, the one i am firing now is not our yaya, but our all-around househelp. i think i blogged about her arrival and how i am undecided for the first week i met her.

its not that C is terrible. in fact, my husband likes her at first because she seems willing to learn. but apparently, that's just all for the show. once our backs were turned, her true colors comes out - lazy and overbearing. she goes back to sleep and leave the used dishes lying in our sink, our laundry gets dried out late (it explains that why despite the very hot weather during the day, almost all our laundry are still not dry) and when i get home, she is still not done with her tasks. our yaya tries to remind her of her tasks but she talks back and tell her to mind her own business. our yaya is the one actually suffering getting a headache over her. i told you, i really like our yaya, though she has share of faults but i have nothing bad to say about the way she takes care of S. S learns from her, she follows my instructions and my tips on how to handle S's behavior and what i really like about her is she is very eager to play the games that S thinks of. and anything that makes my yaya think about leaving, i will deal with. the hell with favoritism.

i talked to my yaya and according to her, she does not want to bad-mouth her companion (they are actually neighbors from the same province - their families are friends) but she had enough with her companion's attitude. honestly, i had seen the two of them bicker and had a silent war lasting for a week due to reasons that i really do not want to know. i can go on and on about the things i do not like about her but i just had enough of it too. i think the last straw for me was when i heard my 20 month old daughter say, "shet". WTH!!! yaya T does not say it, and neither us. the only person i know who utters that is C. i already warned them not to speak expletives in front of my daughter and well, i told you, she is all for the show.

she has got to go. and it may be unpleasant but i really have to tell her. *sigh*

the bright side of this is that, Manang K, our second yaya and the one we originally wanted to be our help but had to back-out due to commitments, is coming back. and i found out that T, our current yaya is already contemplating of going back to school. *sigh* i'll talk about this in a separate post.

i pray that i will be able to do this "firing" properly. wish me luck.

same weight for the past 3 months

on this corner is a 9 kgs 20-month old child. and she has been for the past 3 months. initially,  i am not worried so i have not posted anything about it. but i read Mommy Topaz's post about her son who has been 10 kgs for the past six months and how her pedia suggested to feed him "weight-gaining" food that i started to become slightly anxious.

our pedia showed concern when S registered the same weight at 18 months. but it was more of an observation or remark, not a concern. she said that S weighs below the standard weight for her age but she looks firm and full. we agreed to give S iron vitamins. still, no change. but to be fair, S is getting taller every month - that is 1 reason why i registered unconcern about her seemingly stagnant weight. and i kept thinking how could they say that S weighs less? carrying S gives me backaches every time i carry her. i could not carry her for long time without getting sore muscles.

S is not a picky eater, thank goodness. S eats our table food, no separate meals for her. our meals are 85% of the time are veggies and fruits. we rarely eat out, so in a month, S eats fastfood or outside meals once or twice.

as for snacks, as much as possible, S eats avocado, apple, kamote (sweet potato) and other fruits in season. if not available in our kitchen, we give her cookies, biscuits and bread. we never feed S food with chocolate after 4PM because she gets really hype up and ends up sleeping late. we try not to give her candies and too much sweet stuff to avoid tooth decay. (now i'm starting to sound like a boring parent, hahaha!) we give her ice cream if we have, but S never demands more after giving her half a bowl. she eats cake, but she is contended with 1 slice. as for milk, she is still on formula. she drinks 4x a day in small amounts (5 ozs. the most) because she never finishes anything more than that. after 2 hours from drinking milk, we give her solids again.

we don't give S large amounts of food because S has the tendency to have vomiting spells if she gets too much full. i learned this lesson twice - the hard way. she sleeps 12-14 hours a day. she rarely gets sick except for colds and cough that is usually bought about by crazy weather.

now tell me, what am i doing wrong? how come S is still at 9kgs?

i told you, i do not want to worry about this. i haven't shared it publicly but i kind-of overlook charts and milestones ever since S was a baby because imagine how stressed i get every time S is not achieving a particular milestone and i want to avoid comparing S to other kids. to be truthful, i felt free once i started respecting my daughter's pace in her development.

my S is healthy and very smart and funny too. i do not want to worry about something trivial as weight. maybe its our genes (Y and i are sort-of skinny..well, i am not that skinny anymore but i am still below the minimum weight for my height) or maybe S's metabolism is like her dad. my husband is a voracious eater but still maintains his weight. (you think he can carry my added weight if i get pregnant? hahahaha!)

S's next trip to her pedia is february next year. i'm targeting 10kgs for her by that time. it still falls below the expected weight for her age but no matter, a gain is a gain. now what on earth i am going to feed her? well i hope the holiday meals will fatten her up.

what about you mommies? please share your struggles about weight gain or loss of your toddler. i will really appreciate it.

our first home-made attempt of dough

i found this great book in our library entitled, "Infants and Toddlers: Curriculum and Teaching" and believe it or not, i am still the proud borrower of this book for the past 6 months. i am not a exactly a teacher (based on the title, it seems its for daycare and pre-school teachers) but i found the books easy to read and understand. what i really like about the book most is that they have a section for recipes and instructions for toys from home-made materials. at every beginning of the chapter, the book identifies toys and materials that will help a baby and toddler in their development of language, motor, physical and social skills. the book is a treasure for me because it helped us determine the kind of toys to buy S. i'm supposed to have a post about how we buy S's toys but i have not yet written a draft about it yet but anyway, this book is a great read for a mom with a toddler.

how i wish i can upload photos from the book about the things i am talking about but i do not want to get into trouble about copyrights (and i have no written permission from the author). the thing is i cannot lend it to you because i also borrowed it but i can share what i've read through email.

its from this book that i got the recipe for a home-made dough. so one sunday, Y and i decided to test it since the ingredients were all available in our pantry. i have no actual photos of the process (i am a really bad at taking photos - and it should have been nice photos because S mixed the ingredients herself) of making but the photos i have are with how we played with it.

the finished product. you have to allow to cool it down because out from the pan, it's really hot!!! and it was advised in the book to continually knead it to keep it soft.
making "body parts" of the dough dog. okay, make it i was making the parts and S was pulling apart.
that's our ear-less, tail-less and face-less dog.
anyway, after attaching the eyes and ears, S decided to squash them. so much for the dog. hahaha. the dough can be re-used within a week and i was quite surprised that it does not smell bad. it must have been the salt. but after doing the activity, you know what my husband said? "let's buy play doh nalang. no hassle to cook and comes in different colors pa." hahaha, panalo! i agree actually but still, i am glad i tried making a dough from scratch.

Read: Upside Down Inside Out

Title: Upside Down Inside Out
Author: Monica McInerney
No. of Pages: 392 (the story itself but there are additional pages that includes an interview with the author and a sneak preview of the sequel, Spin the Bottle.)

Sypnosis (Back Summary as i call it): Eva Kennedy is in a rut. After seven years of working at her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen, her artistic aspirations have slipped by the wayside and her latest relationship has fizzled. Whatever happened to the Eva who was going to be someone? Hoping to shake things up and find inspiration, Eva takes a break and ventures to Melbourne, Australia, to visit her old friend Lainey, who, for fun, gives her an exciting new identity. Eva is now exotic and adventurous and...not herself.

Joseph Wheeler is a successful London designer. Unfortunately his firm is thriving at such a high level that he doesn’t have time to actually design anymore. And his love life is nonexistent.

In Australia on business, Joseph meets Eva, and the sparks fly–even as Eva is stuck pretending to be someone she’s not. Little does she know that Joseph has some secrets of his own....

When what starts as a holiday fling quickly blossoms into something more, Joseph and Eva discover that romance can turn life upside down and inside out at the bottom of the world.

* * * 

honestly, i find it a bit "refreshing" to be reading romantic novels again. haha. and this one is definitely one of them. the book has the formula of a romantic novel but what i like most about the book is not the love story, but somehow it made me reflect a bit about my life in general. in the middle of reading this book, someone made a remark about "missing half of our life.." (i wish i could tell you the whole story about it but i do not think its a wise idea.) and somehow, i connected the story of this book to the remark. like the character eva, i was made to pause and think, do i feel i'm in a rut? right now, my life is home-work-home routine and a few hours of me-time or time with friends (i have another post about friendships).

honestly, i am not bothered. in fact, i feel great and truly happy. yes sure, i am tired and could use a loooong vacation (but i think every working mom wants that..) but i never felt "missing out half of my life". i mean, my life now is my marriage, my daughter, my family and my career (which i also believe is my mission). for me, missing out on my life would mean i have failed to honor my husband or even end the day without kissing him or i failed to play with my daughter when she asked me to.

anyway, check out the book if you are looking for a light read in fiction. but i definitely find the book entertaining.

Missus Rates It: 3.5 stars
Previous Read: The Language of Flowers

very pretty little things for girls from Celestina and Co.

if there is one thing i love collecting for my little daughter, it's hair accessories like clips and ribbons and headbands. i find little girls wearing them so cute and ADORABLE beyond words! and i only buy these things from Celestina and Co. i am not saying that other brands are less cute (in fact, i also love those pretty soft elastic headbands from my guest mom Ella's Baby Essence Online Shop) but S prefers wearing clips now because i think she has outgrown those silk elastic headbands and also she can yank them out of her head if she does not like them. hahaha.

also, Celestina and Co. is also within my reach because they are now available at Baby Spice at Gaisano Mall of Davao! here are some of their new items and believe me, it took a lot of willpower not to buy them all. hehehe. (all photos are from the Celestina and Co. website.)

Butterfly Sculpture Bow
(i love this but i think it comes in limited supply..)

Cattleya Flower Headband
(also available in blue flower in a yellow elastic and red flower in a blue elastic)

Flower Sculpture Bow
(also available in pink)

Spring Boutique Bow
(also in blue and red combination..the size is Large so i found it a bit big for S now but i might get one for myself. hahaha!)

and here's what i like best about their clips: it is fully lined that no metal touches the baby or child's head. S wears her clips all day and she does not feel uncomfortable at all.

 Designer Handmade Blossoms
(i cannot remember the other designs, you have to check out Baby Spice, hehehe..)

Round Korker Bows
(this is my top pick!!!!)

Two-tone Stripes Bow
(also in Large size so might get one later..they have stocks with this item attached to a grosgrain headband..and their grosgrain-wrapped headbands are very nice and soft. it does not cause the pain behind the ears from wearing a headband too much..)

Satin Grosgrain Bow with Rhinestone
(really perfect for newborns..)

i love Celestina and Co. because i can actually use them as accessories. i swear, i can attach them to my polo shirts for accents or even wear them on my hair. they are just so adorable and pretty useful for a mom too.

if you have the time, check them out at Baby Spice, 2nd Level, Gaisano Mall of Davao. these are perfect gifts for your pretty daughter, nieces, god-daughters. a woman can never have too many shoes, well, a little girl can never have too many hair accessories (my husband will probably disagree, hahaha!). Happy Shopping!

watch: catching fire

finally saw the movie that we have been talking about for the past 6 months, hahaha. i got initiated into the hunger games series a bit late but maaan, this trilogy has a sort-of harry potter addicting level. for me that is.

i'm scatterbrained lately so my train of thought about the movie is a bit messy so please bear with me.

readers should not expect "the book" version because it never works that way. but, only readers can understand and appreciate the movie very well. take for example the hanging of seneca crane. most of my colleagues (who watched with me) didn't get it and had to ask me. the Hunger Games trilogy has a lot of characters and non-readers sometimes get lost and confused with who's who.

round of applause for francis lawrence! i like his take on catching fire. this book is my favorite in the trilogy and i like the movie. well done, lawrence, well done.

woo hoo hoo for team peeta. i am team peeta from the start. hutcherson has brought peeta to life. chos ba? haha. but seriously, i like how hutcherson delivered a peeta mellark this time. in hunger games, he was seen as a weakling compared to gale - that's why i'm not surprised most girls prefer gale. but not me. peeta in catching fire is in love but not foolish, wounded and hurting perhaps, but no display of bitterness, loyal and always ready to lend strength. okay, enough gushing for team peeta.

and of course my favorite, FINNICK! i have high expectations from claflin to become odair and i was not disappointed, thank goodness. its one thing i am greatly fearing in mockingjay, the loss of finnick odair. oops, sorry for the spoiler. WHY, COLLINS, WHY????

the movie was great but i hoped that the following scenes were given more depth. one is the scene where peeta explained the reason why she should be the one to survive the games (the one where she showed the locket with the photos of her mom, prim and gale). i have hoped it should have been more intense and emotional because it's the part where katniss felt "the spark of emotion" for peeta. another scene that should have been given more time was where peeta told katniss about his disdain about people in the capitol who eat and drink some liquid to throw up to be able to eat again while people in their district were dying from hunger. i don't know. i always think that scene/part of the book showed a peeta other than being an in-love tribute/victor. but still, i have no complains about how the movie turned out.

you cannot help but love johanna mason. i'm sure she'll be more fun in mockingjay.

the cornucopia was the way i imagined it to be. it was amazing.

can i talk about finnick again? (laughs)
go and watch Catching Fire. it's a great watch, i promise. but read the trilogy first. its better that way.

- FriendS -