Scarface

Have you seen the Scarface movie? I have and if I may add, unwillingly. I don’t like seeing too much violence. Apparently, for the male species, particularly my husband, too much violence can be relative.

Speaking of male species, just when I thought I am already immuned to the heartattack that little boys give their mothers because of their naturally adventurous spirit, I realized that I will probably worry and panic until Aki is in his 40’s. We were in my sister-in law’s house for my darling baby niece’s 5th month birthsary. It was raining. Aki was playing near the door when he stepped and slipped on the floor rug and hit the corner of a coffee table. He let out a faint cry, a sign that he was really hurt. I rushed to him to give comfort and reassurance that he will be okay. When I lifted his head, I saw blood gushing from his forehead to his cheeks. Aki has had a lot of wounds but none was as deep as this one. I never had a wound that bled as much.

Normally, I am a panicky person. I worry even if there is nothing solid to worry about. Surprisingly,  I only panicked for a second or two and immediately switched to my okay-here-is-what-needs-to-be-done mode. Here is what played in my head right away after I realized Aki’s cut might be serious

1. Aki’s HMO card is in the catch-all brown box
2. I will bring Aki to Asian Hospital and not the nearby hospital. I did not have a good experience the last time I went to the hospital-that-must-not-be-named  and my fear is they might use a lazy daisy stitch on Aki’s cut
3. Must call Shar later to check if plastic surgery is covered by our HMO
4. Scanning the room. Where’s Tatay? We need someone to drive us to the hospital
5. Looking down. Oh good. I am wearing a bra and denim shorts. I am ready to leave

Lucky for us, there were 2 nurses in the house. Both assured that we don’t need to bring Aki to Asian Hospital. We applied cold compress until the bleeding stopped. We applied Betadine and then Bactroban and finally a  band-aid to cover the cut. I read recently that it is a myth that wounds heal faster when they are exposed

Oh wait, I just realized that I have not yet seen Scarface. I was referring to the The Godfather movies.  Haha.
Aki was running again in a few minutes. He was so okay and back to his old self that he almost had a timeout.

Here is how it looked like 2 hours after he slipped. Scary right? It looked like a little toothless but ruthless mouth

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Korean-style Fried Chicken

When Franco and I were newly married, he often teased me that he was so unlucky to have married someone who does not know how cook. While I knew that he was only kidding, it did hurt. He didn’t want to buy an oven because he thought it would not be a wise investment considering I have never baked anything in my entire life prior to moving to our house. It took a lot of seducing and begging and thank God, I won. haha. Once we have settled in our house, I challenged myself to learn to cook. Franco loves to eat. Since we hardly see and talk to each other on weekdays,  I try to be a good loving wife on weekends by cooking his requests. I would like to think that I have come a long way since the first meal I cooked. My last masterpiece, my version of Bonchon chicken, was a hit not just with Franco but with his family as well.

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Ingredients

Chicken. I used wings and skinless thigh fillets. The wings as expected were crispier.
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
Oil for frying

Sweet Soy Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vinegar

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First Day on the Job

I took a leave yesterday because

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May 27 is Aki’s first day in his first job! Ever! My boy is part of the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2013.

Every summer, several fast food chains in the metro offer workshops for children. I inquired with three. There is Friday’s but there is no branch close to our place. Jollibee was my first choice because the closest branch is just a 10 minute walk from our house. Plus, they have drive-thru. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your kid hand you your order via the drive thru window? Unfortunately, we were not available during the workshop days and they only have one run. I went to the closest branch at least 3 times but they kept telling me they are still waiting for word from their head office if they will run the workshop again. Lucky me, there is McDonalds and they have 8 schedules for the workshop. The fee is very minimal at 550 only. That already includes the shirt, cap, bag, daily snacks and materials.

Aside from the fact that there is no way I am going to miss watching Aki work, I took a leave because I want to personally make sure that Aki is clear on the rules, rules that the facilitator will not tell him.

Rule # 1. No nose-picking! I reiterated this to him several times. Hehe. Side story: we were invited to a kiddie birthday party in Makati Shangrila early this month. It was my first time to attend an event there. Flooch, the same talented guy who made Aki’s first birthday party a success was the host. Every minute he was holding the mic was fun except for one instance. Aki joined one of the games and went to the stage. He was wearing his traffic enforcer costume, which by the way, did not win the best costume award (yes, I am bitter. haha). Suddenly, I wanted to hide under a rock. Standing on the stage, in front of everybody, mostly senior managers and directors from our company, Aki started to pick his nose in what felt like 30 minutes. Probably it was only for 10 seconds but it felt like eternity to me. Oh well, that is rule number 1.

Rule # 2. You can’t suddenly (pretend to) fall asleep. Like what he always does to me, when he does not like what he is being asked to do.

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Rule # 3. You can not transform into a dinosaur and roar at the customers.

When we got there, Aki was immediately at home. He was the smallest but he made friends right away. Kuya Iann, the facilitator asked us, stage mommies, daddies and lolas to leave the function area. That did not stop me from peeking. From the glass door, I saw Aki  listening, laughing and participating.

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After the 20 minute discussion came the most awaited part of the parents. Kids were assigned to different stations.

Aki’s first task was to place burgers inside a plastic bag. He did it well and he did it with a big smile.

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When it was his turn at the counter, I was the first in line. I ordered for a small McFlurry cup which he made with the help of Ate Hanny.

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Help Me Grant Aki’s Wishes

Wish # 1: I want to go inside a jelly. Remember the jelly castle in the movie Cloudy with Chances of Meatballs? I wonder if there is anything close to that where I can bring Aki.

Wish # 2: I want to ride a flying dragon. This one was inspired by the movie How To Tame your Dragon. Do you know any dragon-like kiddie rides in the metro?

Wish #3: I want to eat a tree star. If you have seen Land Before Time, which by the way we have watched at least 30 times already, you know what tree stars are. What 5 point edible leaves are available in the market? Hmmm

Wish #4: I want a blowfish pet. I am not sure where he learned about blowfish. Mental note: look for blowfish books, articles and clips.

Wish # 5: I want to be Santa! Because my sweet boy likes giving gifts. I think this is doable. I saw kiddie Santa costumes in my last trip to Uniwide.

I wish I can be Santa too, so I can grant all his wishes. Good luck to me!

Lucky Chopsuey

I have been feeling uninspired lately. So many things floating on my head. So many things I want to do at home, with my family and on this blog but I feel so drained when I get home and even after I wake up in the morning. I have so many drafts in my head. So many pictures to resize and to watermark but who has the time? Well just for today, because I am on leave, I am forcing myself to make time for blogging.  Last year, my goal was to have at lest 25 posts every month. Knowing I won’t be as dedicated to blogging as I used to be, I am pegging the monthly target starting this quarter to 20 posts.

Deep breath. Here goes. I hope I get to finish 5 entries today. I am going to start with a chopsuey post, as Em calls.

Sometime last April, Franco, Aki and I went to Makati for my make-up shopping. Franco has been very supportive of my vanity project and even volunteered to accompany me when I scout for that perfect lipstick, blush, powder, brush etc. So sweet of him but I immediately said no thanks because shopping for make up is best done with girlfriends. Lucky me, I have friends who are experts in the beauty department and are always just a text a way. When I realized that all my make-up are already expired and that I need new ones, I had no doubt that it should be my fellow mommy blogger friends, Maggie and Sha, who would accompany me. More on that shopping trip in a separate post.

Because we had time to kill that morning, we went to our favorite mall in the whole wide world, Makati Cinema Square. Booksale, as usual, is the first order of the day. Normally, when Franco is done checking out the Marvel comic books and the new jujitsu magazines on stock, the boys leave me. They move on to the next store because they don’t have the patience to wait for me to finish. I, on the other hand, sit on the floor, kneel, scour for additional books for our family library and spend hours and hours there. Until of course Franco sends that irritated WHERE-ARE-YOU SMS.  After book shopping, I found my boys in our family’s favorite donut joint, Dunkin Donuts. Franco and Aki were each holding a donut and asking me to guess who were they copying. Can you guess? Doesn’t Franco look so much like Derek Ramsey forehead up?

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After MCS, off we went to Glorietta where our favorite Timezone branch is. Oh  yes, the Timezone and Gogo Balls fever is going strong. We have two favorite attractions now. We love the 5-D adveNtures.

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And this game.

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Basically, you just press the button and pray that you shoot the ball in the jackpot or 100 hole.

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A Tale of Two Preschools

In a few weeks, we will formally say good-bye to toddlerhood.  Once school starts in June, Aki will be a preschooler. Are you excited for him? Me? Not so much. In school, lessons will now be more academic. I hope he responds positively.

When I enrolled him last year for toddler classes, my main goal was to improve his social and communication skills. Until my chubby giggly super cutie niece Baby Dumpling was born last December, Aki was the only kid in the Endaya family. I wanted Aki to have friends from the same age group.  Seeing how confident, friendly and talkative Aki is now, his first ever school definitely exceeded our expectations.

However, for a week or two, I had second thoughts if I should still enroll Aki in that school for nursery.  Academic-wise, I was not sure if Aki did learn a lot of new things after 1 year of school. I also notice that he has become less interested in writing and drawing.  But then again, I had not been as hands-on when it comes to introducing Aki to concepts like I used to be. Before, I would research for activities related to letters, numbers, shapes and colors that we can do on weekends.

What made me doubt the first school really was Aki’s trial summer classes in this nearby school. For purposes of comparison let’s name Aki’s first school as School A and his summer school School B

School B
– Cost-wise, this school costs 20K more than School A. What is good here is that the fee already includes 2 sets of uniform and school materials
– More traditional. They have quizzes and exams.I don’t mind the traditional method of teaching since we plan on enrolling Aki to a traditional big school anyway.
– Very focused on academics. As what one of the teachers told me, the competition in big schools is so much different now. I was impressed when the teacher told me that at the end of the nursery, their students are expected to be able to write their full names, count objects and identify letter sounds etc.
– The classroom was spacious and the library and audiovisual room was very nice.
– Nursery kids have daily 2-3 page homework.
– They have two major presentations every year. Both presentations are held in Insular Auditorium in Alabang. No need to pay for entrance but they collect a not so small fee for costumes. Teacher said last year the costumes cost more or less 2K.
– There are 4 nursery classes. Student teacher ratio is 12:1
– Classes run for 2 hours
– This school is just 10 minutes from our house. We don’t need to pay for school bus.
– I also like that when they introduce a concept, they introduce them thru songs, movements, stories, food and writing.

School A
– Tuition fee is reasonable but does not yet include the books, uniform and school materials. I was pleased though when the head teacher said they kept Aki’s materials from last year so we don’t need to buy new ones.
– Nursery classes run for 3 hours (toddler class runs for 2 hours). This means more learning opportunities and hopefully more returns for our money.
– What really made me choose this school when I was still hunting for a playschool, was that they have 30 minutes of free play. They use this time for one-on-one teaching and for checking for social skills.
– For toddlers, the class size was 16 with 4 teachers. For nursery, I think there would be less teachers. I was not able to ask.
– The classrooms are smaller. I also felt like the walls were over-stimulating. Good news is that when I visited school recently, they were repainting and adding new rooms.
– They have homework but it is not daily
– I also like the small community feel of the school. Presentations are done in the school. Parents are discouraged from buying costumes. For the Christmas and Halloween parties and also for the family day, instead of collecting a fee or having food stalls, families were encouraged to bring food for sharing.

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Personal Make-Up Workshop c/o The Soshal Network

Sometimes, I feel like the universe really conspires to make my wishes come true. Last March, I was one of the 5  lucky readers of The Soshal Network who won a slot in Crazy Beautiful, a personal make-up workshop. Normally, because of work commitments, I can’t attend workshops on weekdays but lady luck was on my side last March 20. I was on leave because of Aki’s Moving Up Day. Yey!

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I arrived at Wedding Connections, a one-stop wedding shop, 30 minutes before the call time. Jill of Kikay Exchange and the TSN ladies, immediately made me feel at home. I brought all the make up that I have, which I soon learned were all, except for the BB cream from Maggie, already expired. haha

One of these days, I will share my notes. Basically, here are the quick steps to personal everyday make-up
1. Clean your face
2. Moisturizer
3. Use BB cream or foundation that is the same shade as your neck
4. Put concealer to hide dark spots
5. Blush.
6. Lipstick
7. Eyeshadow and eyebrows

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I asked Ivy Ross, our facilitator  if she recommends putting make up before or after the commute in the morning. She said it is better to put on the make up before leaving the house. The make up will act as protection for the skin against the elements.

There is so much I learned from this workshop. I will definitely share them …………..as soon as I find my notes.

It felt like Mother’s Day because surprises were never-ending. As if the pretty venue and the free workshop were not enough, the generous organizers prepared a yummy dinner. Drinks were c/o  Spiritloo.

After dinner was the photo shoot by the very talented Michelle Pineda.
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