Save-the-Caterpillars Project

Aki and I made an important discovery about caterpillars recently. They don’t start as little green creatures. Instead, they are dark brown and white when they hatch. All this time, I thought this furry thing was insect poop.

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Imagine how amazed we were when we inspected our calamansi plants an hour after. The brown thing became a cute green caterpillar!

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Because of this discovery, Aki and I started a project. We call this project “Save the Caterpillars” Project. Remember how the birds attacked the caterpillars in our garden? That was quite traumatic so we want to be heroes by saving them. Basically, we inspect the calamansi plant in the garden for baby caterpillars and transfer them to the plant in our mini backyard which is not frequently visited by hungry birds. This way, we increase the fighting chance of these little critters to become a beautiful butterfly.

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Since we started this project, we have seen 3 opened cocoons. In two instances, there was a butterfly beside the cocoon. I want to think that we just missed the grand cocoon opening by minutes. Continue reading

Akisms

Recent questions

Aki: Ano yun bad luck?

Aki: Ano yun extinct?

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This is the I'm-being-my-silly-self face

This is the I’m-being-my-silly-self face

We were in Makati Shang lang Saturday. The family’s official photographer, my father-in-law was taking the family picture when this very nice and very tall American guy approached us and offered to the take family pic.

Aki to the tall American: Are you a giant?

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Scenes whenever we require Aki to sit down and practice his handwriting.

But, my hands are small and tired.

*fake cough* I am sick

Pawis na ako!

Poopsie ako!

I’m hungry!

Tubig please!

I don’t like writing. Writing make me not happy

And let us know forget that he likes to pretend to suddenly fall asleep.

LORD, pls give me patience!

And this is the nasermoman-po-ako-ng-nanay-ko face

And this is the nasermoman-po-ako-ng-nanay-ko face

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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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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!

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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The Best Reality Show on Earth

The most rewarding part of being a parent is that opportunity to watch a helpless infant grow into an independent person full of personality. Parenthood really is the best reality show. It was not so long ago when all Aki did was eat poop cry and sleep. Now he is mastering new skills everyday.

He tries and likes dressing himself up without any help
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He wants his own me-time as he bathes himself in his bath tub

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Now, he is brave enough to step on and off the escalator. Sometimes, he even pushes our hands away because he wants to cross all by himself.

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Aki Goes to Washington

Washington Street in Makati, that is.

I lived in Wash for most of my single working girl life. I rented an apartment with my Kalayaan college dormates. Aside from living with my best friends, I love how everything is accessible from Washington. Pedicure? Hot Oil for 99 pesos? Seamstress? Palengke? Every immediate need is at most two blocks away. If we wanted the more posh offerings of Makati like Greenbelt and Makati Med, we just needed to ride a  jeepney. I miss the colorful banderitas and pink and green chicks whenever it was the feast of Don Bosco. Have you ever watched a senakulo? We have that in Wash every Holy Week. And who can forget staying up late because it was so noisy outside? Thanks to the annual Miss Washington beauty contest.  But what I truly miss is the abundance of carinderias.
After our wedding, Franco and I rented an eensy weensy studio type apartment. We were so excited to be back even if it was just for lunch. Aki did not share the excitement at first because he just woke up.

Aki was conceived in one of the units in the white building with a black car.

There are a lot of carienderias in Wash but our favorite is Coby’s. To my housemates, Franco and me, we call it Chavacano because the staff are from Zamboanga and speak the dialect.

We had our usuals.

Giniling with Egg (my favorite!), Barbecue, Maling, Longganiza, and Inihaw. Continue reading