Aki's Preschool Years · Celebrations and Family Traditions · Family Traditions

Last Day High

Faded Patch. Bitin Pants. Same Excited Smile. Last day of school!

Dearest Aki, on your first year in Dadoy’s old school, you learned how to read in both English and Filipino. You learned how to multiply and divide.Oh and fractions too. You memorized all the mysteries of the rosary and prayed the Angelus us daily. You also had your first bestfriend, Zac. What makes us truly proud are your enthusiasm for learning and your faith in the power of praying.

Continue reading “Last Day High”

Aki's Preschool Years · Memoirs of a Mummy

Our Big School Application Experience {Part Dos}

Part I here

Since we had a lot of time to kill, we stayed in the school premises to again, observe. First stop was the canteen to check their products. The meals were very affordable and there were a lot of choices. I personally loved the cereal bar. Think Cerealicious but more affordable.

The stage school mummy in me wants to  buy more fish and plants for this aquarium :p


Aki’s first time to use a water fountain.


We were watching a basketball PE class when a guard asked us to leave. Loitering in the school premises is not allowed according to Manong. Ffffffffine! Hmmp! We transferred to a nearby mall. By this time I was still feeling antsy. I thought the written exam will take only 15 minutes.  To my surprise, it would take 2 hours. An hour and a half depending on the batch of examinees. Aki goes to a progressive school and is not used to the traditional pen and paper assessments. And not to mention that my Nursery son who technically has only 4 months of formal education was about to take the entrance exam that he was supposed to take  this year. In order to skip a level (Kinder), he needed to pass this 2 hour exam. Ayayay!! Franco kept assuring me that Aki got this. And so to relax my OA nerves, we went to our favorite noisy place, Timezone!

This is my new favorite game. I have always liked target shooting even back in my UP Fair days. That is a score of 193 over 200 which means I hit the bullseye 13 out of 20 attempts and got 9/10 in the 7 other shots.


For lunch, we went to our newest discovery. This is one of the most sulit buffets ever. For only 180 bucks, we had


Cream of Mushroom and Asparagus

Seafood Bisque


Cauliflower and Cheese Casserole

Spicy Aglio Olio Pasta

Curried Shrimp

Are you already salivating? Am not yet done. Continue reading “Our Big School Application Experience {Part Dos}”

Aki's Preschool Years · Memoirs of a Mummy

Our Big School Application Experience


When we wrote our 2013 card, one of the major highlights that we included was Aki’s successful application to the big school that we have been eyeing on for ages. I really prayed hard that Aki gets in because we have no other option. There are other schools of course but it would break my husband’s heart if Aki will not study in the same school that my husband, my brother-in-laws and Franco’s closest friends went to. I am sure you all will understand if I don’t give out the name of the school here for security reasons. I actually mentioned it a couple of times before and I had to go back, look for those posts and edit them.

Anyhoothoot, the application experience was really stressful for me. Not really because the process was complicated, or the fees were unreasonable or the exam was too difficult. In fact, the staff of the registrar’s office was very friendly and accommodating. The application fee was only 500 pesos and most of the certificates needed are on file. Using Aki’s very words, the exam was “soooooo easy”. What stressed me is that we did not have time to prepare. Cramming just is not my style. I am a planner and I plan ahead. I only learned that there was an upcoming entrance exam less than two weeks before the schedule. I have heard about the newly implemented K-12 system. I know that an additional year level/s was added to make sure our graduates are more competitive.What I did not know is that 6 year olds should now be in Grade 1. Aki is currently in Nursery. I was expecting that he will be in Kindergarten next year. Then, Prepartory. But no, with the new system, Aki should be taking Prep next year and Grade 1 on the year after that. I also learned, but please don’t quote me on this, that in the new system, instead of 3 levels of pre-Grade School, now there is just one. Different schools have different naming conventions. It is never too early to inquire if you have a big school in mind. If you have kids born in 2009 and 2010, get your phone and call pronto.

According to the registrar, there’d be two assessments. One interview and one written exam. We don’t review Aki’s school lessons at home. I check if he has assignments and we work on those. Once in a while, I pick up his workbooks and we discuss his lessons but we are not so hardcore in terms of his study habits (thinking about it, maybe we should start him soon).  But for the week leading to his exam, I tried to go home early and practice Aki to write his full name (oh why oh why did we give him three given names?!!), count, write numbers etc. Ask him about dinosaurs, dragons and Transformers and he will give you a very detailed answer and if you are lucky, he will require that you listen to a story that he just made up.  Ask him about some basics, and you will get either amused or frustrated. He may or he may not give you a straight answer. He is always on play mode. He might even turn the table around  and start questioning you. For a week, aside from the boring academic stuff, we also practiced his interview skills. I thought my background in recruitment will help me help him but no. This was our usual scene for that week.


Haha. I learned that I don’t have the patience to pursue a career in tutoring preschoolers.

Speaking of tutors,  for 7 days before the exam, I got him a tutor. Teacher Joy is also Aki’s nursery adviser.  I saw her work with Aki and I was surprised at how attentively my son listens to her. I am glad Aki’s school offers tutorial services. I know I have a smart kid but I still got him a temporary tutor because I want to make sure that we make the most out of the 1 week and a half to prepare him for the exam.

Continue reading “Our Big School Application Experience”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

Fourteen more hours to go before the weekend! Yehoo!  We will have our annual family photoshoot tomorrow. Super excited. Please pray that the weather cooperates.

Last weekend was lazy, ordinary and fun.  I wish I took more pictures.

Saturday morning. No jujitsu practice for Aki. It was his school’s family day. Last year, I missed to read the memo and forgot to bring food for sharing. So there we were with our packed breakfast, eating in our little corner. When the teachers announced that it was time to eat, we had nothing but pandesal crumbs to offer. While I was turning purple in shame, I could not help but appreciate what was happening around me then. Parents, kids, grandparents and yayas were walking around the rented basketball court, offering food to everyone. Parents chatting with each other about their kids. Kids being kids. Teachers hugging the kids and excitedly catching up with their students’ older siblings who already moved to big schools. I really love the small tight community feel of Aki’s school.  I have been to other family days in other schools. The events were highly organized and well planned. There were sponsors, a professional host, marketing booths that gave away sample vitamins, freebie bags, etc.  The families were required to buy food  vouchers from the school and get food from the accredited food booths. Each student and family member had to buy family day shirts. Maybe it was in a way a fund raising activity for the school. At the end of the day, regardless of how big or how simple a school’s family day is, everyone goes home happy. It just that for me, given a choice, I will go with a simple event where the focus is on getting everyone to know each other better.

Anyhoo, I vowed that this year, I will be a better school mom. I woke up early and made chocolate cupcakes. GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Those crater things are melted ganache. My father-in-law described my cupcakes as solid. I did not understand what he meant until I took a bite and remembered that I forgot to add baking powder and baking soda. hihi

Guess who had fun helping me?


Another weekend highlight is Aki’s new old bike. It was another hand me down from Kuya Rock.



Is it just me or do you also find your husbands super sexy when they, all sweaty and focused,  are working with tools? Thank God for technical high schools. Franco loves tinkering and knows how to use the things inside our toolbox. I am such a girl. I don’t even know what those tools are called. Maybe once I have a girl, I will exert more effort in trying to be a handy mommy. Continue reading “Gift of An Ordinary Weekend”

Aki's Preschool Years · Memoirs of a Mummy

Random Big Boy Updates

He’s getting better at ruining a what could had been a great group picture.

Proof that I have a big boy: We don’t bring a diaper bag anymore. We used to bring 101 items whenever we go out. Now, on days when I am not feeling lazy, I bring 5 things – foldable fan, water, extra shirt, towel/lampin for his back, and a damp towel. When my bag is small or is already full, I leave the water and the fan. Still using wipes? Try bringing a damp towel sometime. It is cheaper, earth-friendly and better at wiping sticky hands and faces. The capsule which often comes with a towel in it, is widely available.


Aki is taking his big boyhood to heart. Whenever we enter any building that has guards, he always go to the queue for males and does not move until the guard has inspected him.


Dragons are his current obsession. He even saw a dragon up high in the sky lately.


One of the stories that my mom always tells about my childhood is how embarrassed she was when she apologized to the parents of a kid I slapped on the face. Now, I understand how truly embarrassing that is. My neighbor and sister in law, Mae, was telling me how Aki misbehaved in their house. It was one offense after another. It felt like a never ending “but wait there’s more” tale.  Mae was not upset at all. She just wanted to let me know what happened. The next day, I made Aki write an apology letter.


This is not the first time that we apologized. The first incident happened with a stranger sometime in March. Aki and I were in Ceelin’s, a bakery in BF. I was waiting for my relatives. Aki went up to me and said that the other kid in the store was not dancing the Gangnam dance properly. Instead of arms forming an X, the kid’s hands were together. Aki was obviously bothered. I just told him that it is okay and let the kid be. While I was looking out the window, Aki approached the kid and tried to teach him the correct position of the arms. The kid, who was probably less than 2 years old, did not mind Aki and turned around. Then, it looked like Aki tried to slap the kid’s back. The kid cried. Oooooooooooooh shooot! From my angle, Aki did not mean any harm. He just wanted to call the kid’s attention again. Of course, that was not how the other kid’s family saw it. From the kid’s family, I mean mommy, daddy, lolo, lola, tito, tita and cousins, basing on their gasps and piercing looks, they thought Aki was their little prince’s first bully. I really could not blame them. I’d feel the same way if I were in their shoes.  I did not dare explain to them Aki’s side. The grandma looked really upset. I needed reinforcements but hubby stayed in the house because of our LQ and my relatives were nowhere to be found. My brain froze for half a second. Then, I quickly apologized to the mom, removed Aki from the scene and spoke to Aki in private about what happened.  He was also in shock because he did not mean to make the boy cry but he was also still upset that the boy was not doing the dance right. Even though there was nowhere for us to go, we left. About an hour after, we saw the kid again in church. Aki was in a better mood. So were the boy’s parents. The scary lola was not around anymore. We went to the parents and apologized again. This time, it was Aki who personally said “I’m sorry po.” The mom who looked surprised by the gesture, replied, “Aaaaw. It’s okay. (looking at me) Ganun naman talaga ang mga bata, diba? (looking at Aki) What is your name?”.

So all is well in the end but Aki, if you are reading this, you still owe me big time!!

Let’s move on to happier, less traumatizing thoughts, shall we?

But wait, there’s more!

Good Buy · Memoirs of a Mummy

Scrimping and Splurging: Back-To-School Shopping

Where did the last 5 months go? Can you believe we are already in the middle of 2013? For kids, June means the end of summer and the start of the school year. For parents, June is the month of paying for tuition fee, of wrapping books (which does not excite me at all), and of course, shopping for school supplies.

Fortunately, Aki’s school kept the art materials and other supplies that we bought last year. Because of that, my shopping list was slashed significantly. After comparing prices, I found out that the school supplies shopping place-to-be is ….. drum rolls please…. Booksale! Yup, another reason to visit Booksale. School supplies there are cheaper compared to the ones sold in the more known bookstores. If last year’s shopping trip in Cash and Carry was not stressful, shopping in Booksale this year is even better. No lines at all.  I got these for Aki


And because I doubt like cramming and I hate last minute birthday invitations, I stocked on gift-able books for Aki’s classmates.


Booksale is known to be a bookstore of second-hand books but they also have a lot of brand new ones. You just have to inspect books carefully. Although this is not true for all books, I noticed that one way to spot a brand new book is to check if it has a mark on the pages. I think Booksale does this so the discounted books sold at their stores will not be sold elsewhere for the original price.


From books, let’s move on to socks. Last year, I was surprised to find out how expensive socks sold in malls are. I can’t remember exactly but I think we bought a set of three for 150 or 200 bucks.Yes, that is already expensive based on my standards.  I am a commuter who regularly checks out bangketas or sidewalk vendors. I know I can get 3 pairs for as low as 50 bucks. That’s exactly what I did this year.


We scrimped on socks. We scrimped on school supplies. We scrimped on gifts for classmates.  School shoes was a different story. Continue reading “Scrimping and Splurging: Back-To-School Shopping”

Memoirs of a Mummy

Aki goes to the dentist

Oh, I wish I was there when Aki went to the dentist for the very first time.  As soon as I came home, Aki told me about his experience. He said he was so strong and brave.

When I got to talk to his teachers days after, Teacher Tina informed me that Aki was actually teary-eyed at first. They, the teachers, intentionally tried to semi-ignore Aki because it might turn into a full-blown drama if Aki gets a lot of attention. At first, Aki was just observing his classmates from a far. He got closer and closer until he volunteered to be the next.

The dentist, Dr. Jaime Samonte, is not a pedia dentist but he knows how to get young kids to cooperate.  Before checking the mouth of his new kiddie patients, Dr Jaime makes them feel relaxed first. He lets the kids  play with the dental chair. Aki kept telling me how the made the chair go up up up and down down down. The kids got to play with the spray, the light and the mirror thing too.

I am so proud of Aki for getting past his fear but I am even prouder of the “report” from the dentist. All those wrestling matches and drama-fest when Aki was still younger, are worth it. I blogged a couple of times how challenging it was to brush Aki’s teeth. Even if Aki kept pushing me away, I stood my ground and insisted that we brush his teeth every night. My mom’s a dentist. Tooth decay would be a big disgrace! Hehe. I remember when I was still in grade school. I was so insecure because my tooth paste did not make as many bubbles as my classmates’ toothpaste did. They were using Colgate and I was using Floucaril, the same toothpaste that my mom uses on her patients. Continue reading “Aki goes to the dentist”