Turon Recipe

Ingredients
Lumpia Wrappers – If you are not from the Phillipines, you can get them from your neighborhood Asian or Filipino store
Saba slices – This is a type of banana that we normally use when cooking. Not sure if they are available outside the country.
Brown Sugar
Sesame Seeds
Oil for frying

Cut the lumpia wrapper in half and use one half to wrap the banana.


There are two ways to add sugaar. You can mix the sugar and sesame with the banana before the wrapping part. Fry until golden. This isn’t as sweet as most turons so I like pairing this diabetic friendly version with a diabetic non-friendly ice cream. I love how the hot, cold, crunchy, chewy combination.

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The Worst Mistake When You Are Putting a Child on Time-Out

Before you throw cyber tomatoes at me, let me just say that I had already beaten myself mentally over and over for this parental mistake. I could opt not to post this but I am doing it anyway. I am human and I make mistakes every day. This is one of those mistakes that I chose to remember and learn from.

I read a lot about time-outs. Dr. Harvey Karp recommends the playpen for kids below 2 and a childproof room for older kids. A corner would do if a kid won’t resist. A power struggle would defeat the purpose of a time out which is a time away from attention or anything reinforcing. The corner used to work for Aki until Franco saw Aki on time out,and laughed. Since then, Aki won’t stay in place in his TO corner. A time-out in the room will never work in our house because Aki’s playroom is too exciting while our bedroom is not safe for a smart kid. He might stack the laptop bags or  move and stand on the side table and jump off the window.

Let’s go to the juicy part of the story. When we were in Bayog last April, Aki went on time-out because he was playing with his yayay aka saliva. After a quick scan of the guestroom, I decided to let Aki stay there for a minute. I was holding the door knob while runing the countdown in my head. I only let go of the door when I looked at the time in the clock in the living room. When I went back, it was time to go out. But guess what? The damn door was locked! I let out the slowest slow mo and crunchiest and foulest (or is it most foul? wachever) curse word ( just in my head of course).

I got the bunch of keys and nervously tried all of them, all 20 of them. I got another bunch and tried all the keys again. By this time, Aki was already crying inconsolably (he didnt cry during the actual time out). My heart was beating so fast and so hard. It felt like my chest was going to explode. What the mother freak was I thinking locking up my son without checking where the keys were? I called my mom who was in her dental clinic to tell her of the not-so small problem. She said the key was just there. I probably was just too nervous to make the keys work. I gave the keys to Ate Che for her to try to open the door while I checked on Aki via the windows.

Here is how we looked like

The problem with the knob is that it isn’t the normal press-and-twist-to-open knob. You have to turn the small thing in the middle before turning the actual knob. Aki is not used to this kind of knobs and could not understand my instructions. I called my sister, hoping she could help. She told me that there is a bunch of keys inside the guestroom. I told Aki to open the closet and look for the keys. As you can see in the picture, there are a lot of clothes so it was really amazing when Aki came runing with keys.

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The Gift of an Ordinary Weekend #38

Aki’s very words as I was taking this picture – Happy Family Day!

Saturday

9:10AM He got my spray bottle of homemade pesticide and danced and sprayed it all over while saying “Iz raining! Iz raining!”

9:55AM Aki and I love this chalkboard book. Thank you, Jacob’s mom! This book is the reason why we have less scratch papers and why Aki is getting better at writing numbers. I think I will bring this book on our next long trip to keep Aki entertained.

10:35AM Aki found two belts and managed to make it look like a dog’s leash

10:58AM One of our favorite bonding activities nowadays is taking pictures of each other’s silly and funny faces


12:37PM Yey! My pork ribs in paprika tomato sauce was a success! Couldn’t wait for our daddy to try it!


1:17PM While waiting for our daddy, Aki found the bamboo sticks in the garden and played with it. The bamboo stick transformed into ninja sticks, a magic wand and a flying broom.

2:03PM Finally, Dadeh’s home! Off topic: Are you also rooting for Daddy’s Home in XFactor? As soon as he came in, Franky invited Aki to play in the rain. I was too KJ to join.

2:37PM While Franco and I were enjoying the ribs, Aki lay down on the floor and slept.

An hour later, his temperature went up! Yikes! I felt so guilty for letting him play in the rain. Good thing, we always have paracetamol and Iburofen in the ref.

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Akisms: Superhero Linggo 101

when you see an apostrophe (‘) that means pronouncation is maragsa.

Sapa Hilow – superhero
Venjos – Avengers
Taten Elika – Captain America
Payo Yenjo – Power Ranger
Fydo Man – Spider Man
Ba’ Man – Batman
Ayo Man – Ironman
Toh – Thor
Howk – The Hulk
Doying Fish – Dorie, from Finding Nemo
Toy Stoyi – Toy Story
Ti Sta – Tree Star
Die-So – Dinosaur
Litol Foot – Little Foot
Suhk Toof – Sharp Tooth
Kelebols – Incredibles
Supoh Man – Superman

Not related to superheroes but let me just document that Aki now likes saying “Meyon pa!” (meron pa) and “Heeen-di kaya!” (hindi kaya)

A Father’s Brand of Fun

Yesterday was my dad’s 56th birthday. Today is his 27th death anniversary. I was only 2 years old when he died. My sister was only 10 months then. We don’t have  lot of memories of our dad. We know though, from the stories  of our families and friends, that he was kind, funny, and romantic. Even if he was not with us growing up, we did not feel incomplete or unloved. Mummy showered us with love and patience. And maybe because we are fatherless, our relatives from both sides, were extra nice to us.

Now that I am also a parent, I can see how much fun it really is to have a dad, especially for little boys. I want to think that I am a fun and cool mom in Aki’ eyes but I have to admit that Franco’s brand of fun is worlds apart from mine.

Here are some of their bonding moments

1. Putting pentel pen tattoos on each other.

2. Reading comics. Sometimes I wonder who enjoys the Spidey action figures more? Oh, the second word that Aki learned to read is Marvel.

3. Playing in the rain

4. Ninja ninja! Continue reading

Falls-off-the-bone Ribs in Spanish Paprika Tomato Sauce

This is my version of a recipe that I found from a freebie recipe booklet

Ingredients
Pork Ribs
2 tablespoons Lea and Perrins worshorshor sauce
2/3 cup  tomato ketchup
3 tablespoons vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons sweet Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups water

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Toddler Discipline: It’s Complicated

In a few weeks, we will finally be saying good bye to the terrible two’s. I can’t wait to say good bye to picky eating, selective deafness, fake cries and uncooperation. Don’t get me wrong. I love Aki to the moon and back. However, he goes from being the apple of my eye to being a pebble in my shoe in a snap. I love him every minute every second of the day but there is these 15 minutes where all I just want to be away from Franco’s crying and demanding son.

Let me take minute or two to document what worked for us during the terrible twos.

1. Saying what I mean the first time I say it. I wish I learned about this earlier. The longer the time frame between the warning and consequence, the more ineffective warnings become. I learned this from Elizabeth Pantley. The first time I consciously tried to use this technique was when Aki was glued to the TV in my in-laws house. I told him it is time to go but he was ignoring me. I told him that I am leaving after 10 seconds. Instead of saying Iiwan na kita (I am going to leave you) 20 times like I used to, I did what I said I would do and left him there. On my walk home,  I kept looking back, hoping to see or hear a crying toddler running after me. I got home but still no sign of Aki. This may sound bad but I let out a big sigh of relief when he finally came home crying.

It is actually easier said than done. Once, when I was working on our weekly menu, Aki picked up my cookbooks and threw them on the floor. I told him that if he won’t   pick up the books, I won’t take him to the grocery with me. He didn’t do what I said so even if it broke my heart to see him begging to go with me, I left him.


In this picture Aki is sleeping without a pillow. I told him that if  he still won’t let me brush his teeth  after I count to 10, he will not have any pillow that night. My boy only cooperated after the countdown. I so wanted to share my pillow with him that night but I had to stick to my word.

2. Counting.  This works , although not all the time, when I want Aki to stop doing something and do something else. For example, after bath time, instead of saying, “Time to get dressed now”, I say “You have 10 seconds and then it is time to say good bye to the water. 10, 9 ..”  Or “You can play with that for 10 more seconds but after playing  you have to pack away. 10, 9.” I am still surprised whenever this technique works. Sometimes, Aki thinks it is a game and wraps things up even before I finish counting. I can’t remember where I read that kids need time to transition from one activity to another but to who ever wrote that, Thank you! The more I use this, the more it becomes effective.

3. Giving  time outs. For Aki, I escort him out of the house. Of course I make sure the gate is locked and I secretly watch him.

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Images from the Garden

Photo-dumping because I am too lazy to insert each photo.

Unplanned Good Buys

Because of our wealth management New Year’s resolution, we have managed to avoid unplanned purchases. Sort of. I am still a work in progress because I just could not resist buying these..

Buy one, Take one shelves from ShopWise. I got both for only 599 bucks. A family that is addicted to Booksale can never have enough storage for books and magazines.

Buy One, Take One olive oil from a groupon site. I am not a member of any groupon site because I don’t want to be tempted into buying something on sale that I won’t really use. But 2 liters of olive oil for only 500 bucks is just too hard to resist especially since we use olive oil often for Franco’s favorite chicken dish.

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An Exceptionally Great Friday

Last Friday was exceptionally great. There are days when I question myself  if I am a good enough mother, wife and employee. Last Friday was not one of those days.

I started the day by eating a yummy mooncake. Isn’t it pretty? I wonder how it’s made.

It was a gift from Peter, one of my recent Mandarin-speaking hires. Thank you so much, Peter! Even without the mooncake, I enjoyed every bit of our unscheduled 3-hour job offer.

There are several reasons why I work late on Fridays. One of them is so I can spend more time with Aki in the morning. Aki has been going to school since June and I have only seen him wear his school uniform once. Last Wednesday, Ate Dorina told me that during the trip to school, Aki kept saying to his classmate ” Mommy mo, hatid you! Mommy mo, hatid you!” He was so happy for his classmate.  Last Friday, I surprised Aki by bringing him to school myself.

PS I bought the shirt in Divi for only 75 bucks.

Then off to work I went. It was a productive day, job offer and interview-wise. I realize that I should go on later shifts more often since more applicants are available to talk in the evening. I was in the zone! All I wanted to do was talk talk talk and talk. I even got an email from our clients that made me smile for the next two days.  Before I knew it, it was already 10:30PM and I had 3 missed calls from Franco.

When we are not too tired, Friday nights are our date nights. We went around Makati to look for an interesting place to eat in. We did two rounds in the Valero/Salcedo area but could not find a dining place that was not expensive, noisy and smoker-friendly. Finally, we found  New Bombay but when were about to order, we were informed that they will be closing soon and will only accept take out orders. We ended up eating jumbo siopao from 7-11. That Fridate, we learned something new about each other. Franco always goes for asado siopao while I always order bola-bola. We are so meant to be. haha. I know, walang connect.

I look like a lemur here. My excuse is that this pic was taken at 12AM. Continue reading