All Smiles @ McDonald’s Summer Kiddie Crew Workshop

I know summer is still far away but in case you are planning to enroll your kids to summer classes, this post might be helpful.  For the second time, Aki joined Mcdonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop. I blogged about his first experience here. Aki was only 2.5 years old then.

The workshop runs for 5 days. If I remember correctly, as early as March, start holding workshops. Most branches have several classes a day. My tip is enroll your kid as soon as you see the announcement. I know a lot of interested parents who got disappointed because all the slots were filled. Actually, I was told that too, that they don’t have available slots.  I asked for the manager and begged her. Hehe. So glad my charms worked. Also, consider getting the morning slot, so you can wash the t-shirt in the afternoon.

For only 500 pesos (or was it 600?), the fee was very reasonable. It includes  the ID, uniform, chef’s hat, apron, activity materials and daily snacks. In a way, it is win-win situation for the kids, their parents and Mcdonald’s. Kid’s have fun. Parent’s have fun. Mcdo earns because the companions will surely buy food when their kids are serving. Continue reading

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Summer Of 2013

Aki’s summer vacation is about to end. Huhuhu.
Before the school year starts, lemme tackle the oldest draft in my head — our summer Elbi vacay 2013.

If you remember, Aki had his first vacation without us last year. All cousins stayed in our anscestral home in Bayog because my UK-based relatives were home for a few weeks.

What happens when you put 5 boys and 1 girl with ages 3 to 10 in one roof? Chaos! Clutter! And lots of laughter and happy memories.

Pillow fight

Muscles muscles muscles

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Jumping on and from the bed

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The newest Go Go Balls addicts in town.

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The reason we were all home is that my Tita Ming was celebrating her 60th birthday. Can you guess the theme of the party?

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The Gift of An Ordinary Morning Tuesdate

Good morning!

For the past 2 days, I have been waking up at around 4AM. I think this is my  body’s way of telling me  to get ready to return to work. Well, Body, stop it. Let me overstay in this bed while I still have the license to do so.

Let me pretend just for today that I don’t have any backlogs. Here is how  my Tuesdate with Aki yesterday went.

Aki woke up late. Eight AM is late by our standards because we are early risers. We wake up on or before 6AM. The two extra hours allowed me to read 50 pages of my Power of Praying Parent book.

As soon as he was up, I told him we are going to have a date. He ate breakfast and  changed into better looking pambahays. We were to do a lot of walking around the neighborhood so I wanted both of us to be very comfortable dressed.

 

Meet my dates – Aki, Bulkhead and Megatron. If you guys remember, these two robots were our surprise birthday gifts last year.  I guess that makes the extra calories from eating 3 happy meals worth it.

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Isn’t this smile much much better than his smile back in February?

 

First order of the day, buy tape from the neighborhood bookstore.

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It is that time of the year again when I have to do my motherly role of covering Aki’s books with plastic wrapper. Funny thing is when I got home I realized that my new tape is too big for my tape dispenser and that my tape dispenser still has a fresh roll. Not only that, I ran out of plastic cover so I need to make another trip  again today.

 

The highlight of the bookstore trip is this picture.

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It was Aki’s first close encounter with a policeman. Thank you, Sir, for posing gamely. When the policeman left, I had a mild headache after Aki asked me to explain  the difference of a policeman from a security guard and a soldier.

I wondered for a second if my son would be afraid. Growing up, I always heard the adults tell kids to behave or else the policemen will get them. We never used such threat with Aki so he was not scared at all. A semi threat/tactic that I often employ when Aki keeps running whenever we are inside a mall is I talk to mall guards and ask if I can leave Aki with them while I  shop. This usually makes Aki come running to me. The guards think I am joking but actually, I am not. That was a serious desperate plea. Hahaha.

 

From the bookstore, we walked a few steps to the nearest lotto booth!

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Never underestimate the power of a praying kid. I tell you, God really listens to Aki’s specific prayers. I am so so amazed. If you include my pregnancy with Emily, 7 out of 7  wishes were answered. We changed the prayer for the next baby from Jesus, give us a baby (which He did) to Jesus, please give us a happy healthy baby when we are ready. And since Aki’s prayers are heard and answered, I asked him to include winning in the lotto. 🙂 Please include us in your prayers too. And if you want to be included in Aki’s prayers, drop me a note.

Next, bank!

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I am pleased to report that Aki earned almost PhP 1500 in his ice candy store last month. Mega special thanks to our VP for operations and marketing, Ate Doring for getting resellers and for befriending our neighbors. Continue reading

Gray

This picture reminded me of two things

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1) I am so lucky to have nephews. Aki has a lot of Kuya’s. Three of them regularly donate clothes and toys to us.  I save a lot because Aki is destined to wear hand-me-downs  until he earns his own money.  Hahaha

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2) I don’t like swimming when it’s scorching hot. While most people have a reddish tan, sunbathing leaves me with gray, dry skin. Unfortunately for these 2 nephews, they also got the gray curse.

Manila Staycation Part II: Manila Hotel

Part I – Planetarium

It was already past 11AM when we arrived at the Manila Hotel. Although check in is normally at 2PM, the very friendly receptionist informed me that we can check in as soon as there is an available room, free of charge. Yey!

Have you been to Manila Hotel? We so love it there. I feel sosyal yet at home whenever I am in the lobby.

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And these chandeliers are beyond gorgeous.

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I can’t stop taking pictures of them.

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Chandeliers and their reflection on the grand piano

Chandeliers and their reflection on the grand piano

While waiting for our room, Aki and I sampled the goodies available at the hotel bakeshop.

My cinnamon roll for only 75 bucks.

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Aki had cheesy and ube ensaymadas.

Finally, our room was ready. We officially checked in at 12:10PM.

Elevator lobby

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Welcome to Room 1608.

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Love love our bed. Not one, not 2, not 4 but 10 pillows, baby!

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Just looking at the picture of this bed makes me want to go to our bedroom, crank up the AC, lie on my imaginary 300 thread count cotton comforter and social climb in my sleep.

The bathroom.

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Aki’s favorite feature is the strategically located TV. My favorite is this retractable clothesline. Hehe.

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Aki’s Ice Ice Candy Business is Expanding!


I am pleased to report that Aki’s ice candy business is expanding!

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We opened another branch in our house (the first one is in my in-laws). We are also extending operation hours from 7AM to 6PM to save more people from heatstroke. Not only that, we have a reseller! Ate Doring drops off our ice ice babies every morning to a fellow yaya who lives at the other end of the village. Are we sosyal or are we sosyal?

 

Early last week, Aki and I made a trip to the bank to deposit his earnings from our first month of operation. After deducting the cost of materials and Mayor’s permit and the likes, Aki’s nett profit for April is 695 Philippine pesosesoses! Not bad considering the business hours became erratic when I started my medical leave.

In case you are planning to get into this business, here are some tips.

Our tools of the trade. Mixing bowl, a funnel (very important for obvious reasons), ice cream scooper. Ice candy wrappers from local wet markets are cheaper and thicker compared to the ones being sold inside malls. Being charming and friendly help too!
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Food safety is very important. Make sure the germs of the raw meats in your freezer will not contaminate your ice candies. We keep our meats in clear plastic containers.

Listen to your customers. When I conceptualized this project, I dreamed of coming up with unusual flavors. However, since our market are Ate Doring’s friends who prefer traditional flavors, I won’t be having my calamansi basil anytime soon. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Apparently, our loyal customers have a sweet tooth. So, after mixing our secret concoctions, when I have reached the perfect balance, I still add a few more tablespoons of sugar.

Buy fruits in season which are always cheaper. We often buy mangoes which are on clearance sale. These mangoes are smaller, or are about to get overripe. Once blended, they taste the same if not sweeter than their prettier counterparts.

 

Try to add fruit chunks or jelly. Customers appreciate having something to chew on.

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Suddenly, I am 18 again

UP Diliman will always have a special place in my heart. From time to time, I am transported back to my favorite teenage years. When I hear Mambo #5, I remember my days as a dormer in Kalayaan Residence Hall. When there is a typhoon, I remember how classes were suspended even if it was not raining. When we don’t have water, I remember how the brave firefighters in their fire truck brought us water and how I had to carry a heavy pail of water 3 floors up.When I see sunflowers, I remember my graduation day.

 

Last Sunday at the church parking lot, thanks to the flowers, I was a college student again taking summer classes so I didn’t have to take a full load next sem. Passing by the BA Building. On my way to our beloved Psych Building. Hugging my heavy books. Wearing my lucky Herbench baby tee. Looking up and feeling amazed and blessed because above me are  beautiful yellow flowers falling slowly like yellow rain. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I pause for a couple of seconds and take in everything around me. The heat of the sun, the shade from the old strong leafy trees, the call of the jeep dispatcher, the smell of fishballs.  I open my eyes, look at my phone and remember that I am late again for my CommIII class. Thank you for the memories, UP.

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So this is what it is like to be a stay-at-home mom

Officially, my medical leave started last April 14 when I had my dilation and curettage procedure or D&C for short or more widely known locally as raspa. It was not scheduled. I don’t know what was I thinking but I thought it won’t happen until last week. Had I known that the D&C could happen that soon, I would have prepared a transition plan at work. I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down. I am thankful for the 2 month paid leave from work. I am thankful for my understanding and supportive boss, team and colleagues. But still, I can’t help but feel guilty for the work that I had to suddenly had to pass on to them. I just hope the work-at-home tools and accesses that I requested for will be granted soon.

On the first week of my ML, the long leave did not sink in yet. I had the procedure done in Medical City. Franco stayed with me. And then Holy Week. To me, it just felt like a longer than usual long weekend. It was last week when I realized that I am blessed with a lot of time in my hands. In some ways, I am  lucky that we lost our baby in summer. If it happened during the school year, I would be sulking at home with no Aki to keep me entertained. He is just so chatty and energetic that he won’t let me feel depressed nor will let me get some rest. Mega thanks also to Ate Doring. Imagine going through an emotional rollercoaster and still having to clean the dishes.  I am also grateful that even if the sun has never been this powerful, we live in a breezy corner allowing us to get some work done instead of living in the airconditioned cave that is our bedroom.

Here is what I did for the first 3 days of my leave (April 21-23)

Coached/tutored/bribed/threatened Aki to write his name and his A-Z.

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I am happy to report that his handwriting has improved  significantly since the start of summer.

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Made pandan gulaman ice candy

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Cleaned up the Japanese room/guest room/walk-in closet/storage room. These are what we are selling in our garage sale this May.

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One more cabinet to go and we can already start pricing.

 

Got more hands on in menu planning although I was too lazy to cook.

 

Hosted a late Easter egg hunt for Aki and his village pals.

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Used reverse psychology to make Aki eat veggie straws or kangkong stems. The more I said that he is not adventurous enough or he is not fast enough to eat them in X seconds, the more excited he got to accept my challenge.

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Aki’s Summer Project: The Ice Candy Store

Ola!

Yes, I may have lost my blogging mojo but I am logged on to WordPress now because Aki’s summer project is just so cute not to share.

 

So tell me is this sooooo cute or is this so cuuuuuute?

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Honestly, if you assign a peso value to the effort in buying the ingredients, the creativity to come up with new flavors, the labor that we put it in to make these babies , and not to mention, the electricity and freezer space, the measly 20 bucks that we earn on a good day is not worth all the hassle. But, seeing Aki beaming with pride every time he makes a sale, is beyond priceless.

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Aside from the value of hardwork, we also hope that through this project, Aki will master addition and subtraction.

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