When there’s a toddler in the house (Part IV of 20,000)

Peace and quiet can only mean he’s up to something.

I was having some Me-time by reading my new 5-peso magazines from Booksale. I was almost finished with the article on wabi sabi living when I realized that I was almost finished with the article! There must be something wrong because I never get to read whenever Aki’s awake.

He is been looking out the window for a good 5 minutes. So, I looked outside. No birds. No stray cats either. What could he be looking at?

This is what I saw…

his favorite non-toys just outside the window

The fun Mameh in me slowly went out to further investigate.

The culprit in action!

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Toddler School Search: Don Bosco Day Care

Since I was in the area, I checked out another preschool nearby, Don Bosco Day Care Center. We do not have plans of enrolling Aki in a public school (unless it is UP where I attended both HS and college) but I was really curious on how kids are taught there.

Here are the things I learned and noticed about this school:

– It is located beside the Don Bosco Barangay Hall which is kinda big for a barangay hall. I guess that makes the location secure since kidnappers would need to run or drive  half a kilometer before reaching the main road. On the other hand, I noticed that there is no security guard dedicated to the day care. When I arrived, the gate was open although the teacher aide was there to call the kids when their guardians arrive.

– There are  no  slide or swing set but kids were happily running around and playing. This is a big contrast to Kidsville where there are  lot of Little Tykes but no kids playing.

– Teacher student ratio is 1 is to 50.

– They only have one classroom, meaning they only have one class per year level. I love that the classroom is big and bright.  There are a lot of books, many of them were donations. Kids’ artworks are displayed for everyone to see. I also like the recycled ABC’s.

– Tuition fee is 400 pesos for one year. Uniforms are excluded although sometimes politicians sponsor the kids PE uniform and school bag.

– There is only one teacher for all the classes. I noticed that that there were missplelled words written on the blackboard. I first hesitated to call the attention of the teacher. She was busy but found time to show me around and I did not want to offend here. But then again, 50 kids for each year level  means  150 kids might think that FEEL is spelled as FELL . The teacher did not seem offended and even thanked me for pointing our her mistake.

Don Bosco Day Care Center  may not be the best school around  but it sure does have one very patient and dedicated teacher.

I just realized  that I also need to ask  what other expenses should we anticipate aside from the the tuition fee, like books, uniforms, PTA contributions, etc.

Toddler School Search: Kidsville

Am I atat or what?

I have been checking out potential preschools for Aki. I am not rushing him to learn how to read and write.  Just want him to socialize with kids his age. There are a lot of kids in our village but most of them are older, like 4 or 5 years old. Aki likes being around kids but I noticed that kids in our area are more interested in playing with Aki’s toys than playing with my son. I guess Aki does not make a good playmate yet for older kids since he does not understand the game rules and can’t talk yet. As manang said, Aki’s non-family playmates are mostly our neighbor’s drivers and helpers.

Anywoo, I decided to check out the two schools closest to us. First up was Kidsville which is within the village. Yey!

My visit was unscheduled but the principal was nice enough to accommodate me.

Here is what I learned and noticed about this school.

– Teacher student ratio is about 1:15. The less students in a class, the better so the teacher can focus on each student.

– Their method is progressive.

– Since I am  a stage mummy, I asked where they hold their graduations and other events like Christmas presentations. It is not a dealbreaker.  I just hope the venue is spacious so I don’t need to fight with other parents to get good shots when Aki plays the role of Joseph in his Christmas play.  Apparently, they hold their major events at the auditorium of Insular Building in Alabang.

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Baby Sign Language

Last month, Aki started showing keen interest on toothbrushing. Whenever we brushed our teeth, he would come close, ask to be carried and watch us carefully. Then just one day, Aki went near the sink and started rubbing the back of his hand against his lips. Alas! Aki’s first sign! I took that sign as a sign that Aki is ready to learn sign language.

Basketball. In the middle of eating chicharon, he did the sign for basketball to tell us what activity he wants next.

 

Now at 15 months, he knows the signs for basketball, none/no more, water, milk, book, drivey drivey, dog, toothbrush, wash hands,  shoes, eat etc. My favorites are his signs for scared and for thank you.  Early this month, we just finished our lunch at Aristocrat. Right after stepping out of the restaurant,  he kept tapping his chest (sign for scared). He then pointed his finger at the large Moriones mask that adorned the nearby Christmas tree.

Close Open = Sign for milk. We never taught Aki the usual baby trick Close Open because it might confuse him with the sign for milk.

His first phrase/sentence also involved the sign for scared. First he opened his hand as he twisted his wrists (sign for none/no more).He did the sign for scared and then pointed at the torotot. He was trying to say that he is no longer scared of the torotot which he hated last Media Noche. I find this really amazing.  His verbal vocabulary is limited to three words (mem for Mummy and iiiz and  bhuz for alis (leave) and labas (outside) yet he was able to construct and express a sentence.
 

Here is Aki doing the none/no more/all gone sign when we arrived at the unusually empty village basketball court.

I have always been interested in baby sign language. I think I first learned about it from watching Oprah many many years back. When I was pregnant, I came across this book which ignited my interest.
 

Gifts for Aki: It’s all about the money!

 
As I mentioned before, Aki already has a looooooot of toys. His playroom is filled with so many play things that he gets overwhelmed and hyper, jumping from one toy to another.
 
So for Christmas, we decided not to give him any toys since he’d surely get a lot anyway. What we gave him were instead money and money saving habits. Franco and I are the biggest cheapskates. We try to live, not within our means, but below our means.  Our hope is for Aki to grow up like us who try to save as much as we can and spend only on what really matters.
 
Gift # 1: Sputnik aka Niki Endaya, Aki’s first piggy bank. Remember Mong-ki? He is the first coin bank but since he is too cute and kinda fuzzy, we decided to display him on the playroom, beside cute little Baby Glorie. Everytime I come home from work, I give Aki a couple of coins for him to feed Niki. After every successful coin drop, we give him a round of applause. It is almost automatic for him to clap after hearing the clanking of the coins inside.
 
 
Gift # 2: Crisp New Old Bills. As many of you may have already heard, Bangko Sentral already printed the first batches of our new brightly colored bills. Slowly, they will phase out the bills that we grew up getting from our godparents every Christmas. Since I am a sucker for memorabilia, we kept a hundred, a fifty and a twenty peso bills for Aki’s future reference. For a minute,I contemplated if I should also save a 500 and a thousand peso bills. But then again, 1500 is 1500. Spending that much on a memorabilia would be against what we are trying to teach. Aki’s 170 peso aguinaldo are now safely kept in his keepsake box.
 
Gift # 3: His first bank account. This gift is kinda late. We got it only last week because Christmas was hectic and we were yaya-less. We chose Metrobank because one, the nearest branch is right outside our village. And two, Metrobank Fun Saver’s Club offers the most perks compared to other kiddie bank accounts.
 
 
These are the perks
    – PhP 50,000 Educational Trust Fund should something happen to me.
    – Personal Accident Insurance  amounting to twice the daily average balance of account.
    – a welcome gift which was an insulated lunch bag.
    – a membership card which will allow me to avail discounts from their partners.

A Lighter and Organized Bag

…..is what I wanted to have this year.

I read in Reader’s Digest that the easiest way to reduce back pains is looking into one’s bag. And so, on the same day I had a haircut, I shopped for a new bag. My criteria? It should be light and simple. That is exactly what my new bag is. I got it from the new shoe store in Shang. My old bag even without things inside it was already heavy. This new one is sooo light. I love it. I also love that it is looks classic. The strap is adjustable. It can be a shoulder bag from Mondays thru Fridays when I got to work. And weekends, it can be a sling or body bag.

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FIVE STEPS

 

Step One. I bought a new kikay pouch. There is another smaller pouch inside the bigger pouch, for my feminine stuff. One side is for the make up that I hardly use while the other side are for the other basic items. Since the goal was to keep my bag as light as possible, I looked into my old kikay kit and threw out the make up and other stuff that I don’t ever use.
Step Two. Hubby helped me achieve the goal by giving me a new Kenneth Cole wallet. This my first proper wallet since since time immemorial, I have been keeping my money, cards and receipts in zippered pouches. With the new wallet, there is a pocket for everything. I am forced to put things into proper places before closing the wallet.

Step Three. I am now the proud owner of the lightest and smallest umbrella I could find. For 399 bucks, it is the most expensive umbrella I’ve ever had.

Step Four. I checked my keys and kept only the ones that I always use. There were 4 keys and 3 keys chains from the heavy bunch that I took out because I don’t remember what they are for.

Step Five. I also got rid of the lace of  my office ID  and replaced it with pulley. I have always hated how the comb and keys gets stuck on the lace. I replaced the lace with a pulley.

Happy mid-week!