Writing Books for Learning Toddlers

One of the things that I told Lucas’ teachers during our first parent-teacher one-on-one was that I wanted Lucas to learn how to write. It’s one of those things that I, as a mom, really don’t know how to teach my kid so I asked for the teachers’ help. One month after school started, I noticed Lucas being more interested in writing. It wasn’t perfect but you can see the letters in his strokes. Since I am on bed rest for several weeks, I took the opportunity to support his interest.

We started with some worksheets. I would write the letters on dots and I would ask him to trace the dots.

Then Dadi bought these neat writing books.

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These books are printed on glossy boards and the kids can write on it using a white board marker. Lucas and I loved it! Now he can practice writing over and over again because we just need to erase everything and start over. I like the Little Hands First Writing Book because Lucas learns how to the read longer words that he is tracing.

In fact, when Lucas wakes up in the morning, it’s the first thing he grabs and does even before breakfast! I received a report from his teacher that his writing has improved and he initiates doing his worksheets at school. Good job, Lucas!

Here’s where you can find these awesome books:

  • ABC board book – Tickles, Php 140
  • Little Hands First Writing Book – National Bookstore, Php 49.oo each
  • White board markers with eraser – Daiso, Php 66 for a pack of three

On Bed Rest and Other Activities

In my previous post, I shared that I am required by my OB GYNE to take a one month rest with limited movement because of the two incidents of threatened miscarriages. No matter how workaholic I am, I know that Little Peanut is far more important than any work so of course I obliged. However, with the limited activities that I can do, resting the whole day can be very very very very very boring. UNLESS you do something about it. Sure I can watch TV series and shows and movies (I have seen Master Chef season 5 up to episode 10 already!) and be in the internet all day long. I know that sounds ideal to any working individual longing for some rest but it can only be enjoyable up to a certain time. Sooner or later, you will run out of series to watch, realize that there’s really nothing good on TV (everything’s a freakin’ reality show!) and Facebook and Instagram browsing could actually just take you 30-mins to one hour.

I would love to do so many things: organize my stuff, clean the house, bake, work. I am not allowed to do the first three for obvious reasons. Mike doesn’t want me to work either. Well there were two instances I had to go online and check my mails and work the whole day (I’m sorry! I’m sorry!). The first time, I got stressed with the mails that I started feeling cramps on my lower abdomen again and the second time, I experienced migraine for two straight days. Now I can’t even log on to our office account. Yep, the odds are telling it straight to my face to STOP WORKING.

So what do you do when you are on bed rest aside from sleep, watch TV and check FB? Here’s a list of things that I have started doing in lieu of my condition:

1. Read Books

I have finished two books including GoT’s first book (finally!). I am reading Clash of Kings now but since I have experienced migraine last week, I had to stop. I am also planning to download some ebooks so I can read them with bigger fonts and better lighting.

Current read

2. Plan our menus

I have been watching a lot of cooking shows and since I can’t cook, I got all my recipe books and plan our weekly meals. I haven’t done this a long time and I have forgotten how much time I could spend doing this. I list down the grocery items we need to buy as well.

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3. Make worksheets

Inspired by Kim of Mom on Duty, I prepare worksheets for Lucas when he is in school. He like writing lately and he’s having fun working on the worksheets. Kim has shared the worksheets she also prepared for her Princess. Check it out here.

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4. Play a Game with Lucas

I can’t play rough house with Lucas anymore but we came up with new games to play. One game is Sing and Draw. He will sing  nursery rhyme and I will be drawing it. Another game that we are playing is Touch the Color and Touch What Starts with the Letter. He likes these games a lot! I don’t have to do anything but sit on the bed and give the instructions.

5. Read a Book with Lucas

We are reading more now! And we both enjoy it! Need I say more? :)

6. Blog

I finally have time to blog again so why not grab the opportunity. I also spend some time everyday to get myself updated with my friends’ blogs as well. I have forgotten how fun reading blogs is and how fun writing blogs can be. It’s such a relaxing activity.

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7. Plan for Family Activities

I am planning what to do for upcoming family activities: Our Anniversary, Mike’s Birthday, Christmas, New Year, Lucas’ birthday. I have starting making plans for the arrival of Little Peanut as well. What to buy, what to borrow, when best to buy. I want to be more prepared this time. I am also reading a lot about breastfeeding because my goal is to exclusively breastfeed Peanut as long as I can.

8. Listen to Good Music

I love listening to oldies but goodies. Y’know, 80’s and 90’s songs that I grew up to. It just relaxes me even the rockest of rock music from the 90’s soothe me. Hehe. Rock on, Peanut.

9. Do some crafts Check out Pinterest

Weeeeell, I haven’t actually started any crafting yet. Unless you consider browsing Pinterest for ideas  part of it. Hehe. I hope I can start on something this week. Ideas, anyone?

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10. Rest

I am required to do this right? I sleep when I need to and feel more positive about the present and the future. A good disposition is great preparation when the time comes that I have to face the world of work again in a couple of weeks.

 

Ten Things Robin Williams Taught Me in His Movies

1. He taught me how to treat each day.

Dead Poets Society (1989) | 22 Of The Most Powerful Quotes Of Our Time

 

2. He taught me to love poetry deeply and sincerely.

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." - Dead Poets Society

 

3. He introduced me to Pablo Neruda.

Pablo Neruda. This is the quote that Robin Williams reads in Patch Adams, which if you haven't seen it, you should.  It is a beautiful movie.

 

4. He taught me to be happy no matter what and make people happy.

"The most radical act anyone can commit is to be happy." ~ Patch Adams Quote

 

5. To have faith in the impossible

What Dreams May Come quote

 

6. To live each day to the fullest.

Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and when a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day, make a wish and think of me. – Jack, Jack

 

7. Not to look for somebody perfect but for that imperfect half who will complete me.

My favorite Good Will Hunting quote

 

8. To live life like a child.

i am in love with this quote & the story of peter pan especially now that i have a little boy & i am hoping he never wants to grow up, for a little while at least :)

 

9. He taught me that a touch, a hug, a small talk can do wonders to people.

The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we’d forgotten – the simplest things. – Dr. Sayer, Awakenings

 

10. To understand that seeing things differently is ok.

THE DEAD POETS SOCIETY -   One of our favorite Robin Williams movies, Dead Poet's Society focuses on the magic and freedom education brings to young minds willing to embrace its wisdom.

 

To the genius who molded my teenage years with his talent, thank you and rest in peace. I don’t know you personally and you do not know me either but somewhere in between the lines of the films you made, you have touched my heart as you have touched millions. I am deeply heartbroken that you’ve gone to Neverland forever. I will share the wonderful art you made to my children and my children’s children. 

Sunrise Buckets

Woah talk about really late posts. This one was drafted in May. Well, it’s never too late to post it right?

One fine Saturday (I wasn’t pregnant yet), we were all asked to come to work. Now, don’t feel too bad for me because had I not gone to work that day, I would not have tasted chicken wings from Sunrise Buckets. Our thoughtful boss brought us a couple of buckets and what I had (I still don’t know what it was so Boss J, if you are reading this, please tell me the flavors you brought that day) was really good. It was had a a sweet and spicy bbq sauce and the chicken was perfectly crispy. So I told Mike about it. As usual, he googled it and was convinced. So with the whole family, we drove to Madison Road near Greenhills and tried Sunrise Buckets.

The place had  a laid back California style with surfing as the theme. Sunrise Buckets offers Buffallo wings and burgers and even all day breakfast.

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What’s different about Sunrise Buckets? They don’t offer one, not two, not even three flavors of wings but seventeen friggin’ flavors! They have Original, Smokin’ BBQ to Real American BBQ, Honey Mustard, to unique flavors like Honey Jalapeno and a favorite of many, Jack Daniels.

Smokin BBQ (Photo from Sunrise Buckets’ FB Page)

Sunrise Original (Photo from Sunrise Buckets’ FB page)

We ordered boneless crispy fried chicken and honey jalapeno with sides of rice, coleslaw, fries and, onion rings. My sister ordered a burger.

Buffalo chicken burger (Photo from Sunrise Buckets’ FB page)

When our order was served, we were given plastic gloves. That simply means, it’s best to eat wings with your hands.  The sides were pretty ok but the wings did not fail to deliver the flavor I was expecting. The Honey Jalapeno wings were my favortie. They were crispy with the right amout of sweetness and heat. The flavor and the heat will stay in your mouth without burning it.

A must-try: Honey Japalapeño wings. (Photo from Sunrise Bucket’s FB page)

What I liked about the boneless crispy fried wings is that it reminder me of a good chicken chicharon. The skin was so crispy. We ordered another bucket of Real American Wings. It was also good. It as not spicy but it was a good balance of flavors. However I still prefer Honey Japaneno. It was good grub!

If you are a fan on buffalo wings with a different kind of kick, try Sunrise Buckets:

Unit 1 Madison Square, Madison St. Greenhills, San Juan

The Grove by Rockewell Retail 2A The Pavillion, C-5Ugong, Pasig

Pregnancy Cravings, New Experiences and Quirks

When I was pregnant with Lucas, my first trimester went by smoothly. Except for occasional motion sickness and two instances of vomiting, it passed by quite serenely.

This pregnancy has proved to be quite different from the first one. In my previous post, I shared with you that I had the hunch that I might be pregnant because I experienced headache and dizziness for two straight days. Little did I know that it was the first of many new experiences for me. This time it’s the total opposite of the first one.

Cravings

When I had Lucas, I only had one craving: frozen yogurt. Now, my cravings change every week! It started with me craving for anything sour so I had pomelo and green mangoes all week long. I couldn’t take anything sweet then. Chocolates made me nauseous. I met with my friends for lunch that week and I haven’t announced my pregnancy yet. One of my friends wondered why I didn’t order dessert and that is kind of unusual for a sweet tooth like me.

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The following week I craved for anything salty. Admittedly, I craved for Lay’s Sour Cream and Onions chips. I also loved (yeah it’s in past tense now) Mike’s grilled chipotle ribs. Now here’s the funny thing, Mike cooked chipotle chicken crispers and I didn’t touch it. I didn’t like the taste and the smell of it. Weird.

Right now, I crave for something sweet and cold. I had halo halo one weekend and holy cow, halo halo never tasted so good! Yeah, ice cream is on the list too.

I noticed I just want to stick with comfort food. Max’s fried chicken is on the list of my must eat, so are sardines (with calamansi), mechado, and adobo. Yum.

Nausea

I had a very bad case of nausea since my first month. There were times when I can’t go to work or I had to go home because my nausea is so bad. Every movement triggers it. I even experienced walking to the bathroom would make me nauseous. It has gotten better now that I am on my 13th week except when I smell Nuggets or anything ginisa.

Aversions

I am highly sensitive so I get cranky easily. I develop aversions to people that I don’t even know. If I don’t like what they are wearing, or they are not smiling, I immediately conclude that I don’t like them. I know, I know, parang ang sama sama ko with that. That’s why I don’t like going to malls anymore. I see a lot of er… unpleasant people. I’m sorry!

Challenges

Another reason why I don’t like going to malls is because I simple can’t. On my 11th week, I had spotting and on the same week, I bled and was brought to the hospital. I had the biggest scare of my life. Admittedly, I did training that Monday and was standing up for more than 3 hours. I suspect it’s what caused me to bleed. :-( My doctor initially wanted me to take a two week leave but finally decided that I should rest until the end of my first trimester just to be sure that I will not be at risk of another threatened miscarriage. The complications could get worse in the future if that happens again.

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So here I am, with a full month to rest and blogging my experiences away. I cannot do much but I still plan to make it worthwhile without stressing myself. My doctor strictly told me to stay away from any form of stress so I am obliging. :-)

I am not complaining. It’s all part of the wonderful gift that we received again this year and it is my responsibility to take care of myself and my Little Peanut. :-)

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Happy Public Announcement

Last week I posted this photo on Instagram:

Hinalughog ni Mike and mga stores to find “Daddy” for this shot. Hehe. I received several likes but Ging was the first one who asked the question:

“Kuya?! You preggy?!

Yes folks. I am. I am now on my 11th week and my there is not a day that I am not reminded that I am pregnant. It’s a really pleasant surpise for Mike and I. We finally decided to have another baby last quarter of 2013. Well, actually Mike wanted another one as soon as Lucas turned one. I was the one who told him I would like to wait a little bit more. It wasn’t really easy. I forgot that it was also difficult to conceive with Lucas. In fact, it took us two years before I finally conceived. I was already experiencing irregular periods.

Last May, I noticed that I haven’t had my period for three months already yet when I took a pregnancy test, it would show negative. I really got worried. I decided to see an OB GYNE who was recommended by Lucas’ pediatrician. She asked me a couple of questions like if I gained weight fast (yes), if I noticed anything different with my skin (it’s drier and I have breakouts), how long it took me to be pregnant with Lucas, etc. She finally concluded that I may have polycystic ovaries syndrom (PCOS). It’s a condition that may cause the ovaries not to ovulate and may lead to subfertility. It also causes hormone imbalance, which can lead to acne breakout, and insulin resistance tat causes obesity. Having polycystic ovaries can also be a cause of pregnancy loss.

The doctor gave me some medicines to help me ovulate. She said I need to take it for a week and expect that I will have my period the week after.

So I did but no period came. I waited another week and I still didn’t have my period. It was almost a month after I finished my meds and I still didn’t have my period. One weekend, I felt dizzy and had a headache for two days. Then something nudged me to take a pregnancy test again and viola. The two lines appeared! I am pregnant! I couldn’t believe at first. I was asking myself “Am I not under medication for PCOS?”, “Is it possible to conceive like that?”. Well, Mike was convinced the moment I told him.

We went to see my doctor again the same week and she confirm that I am indeed 6 weeks pregnant.

Why didn’t I announce it immediately? I got worried. During my check with the doctor, she told me that the baby had a very slow heart rate for its age. She had me on meds again and asked me to see her two weeks after. I asked Mike if we can keep it to ourselves and close family until the doctor clears the baby’s condition.

Two weeks after, the baby’s heartbeat is normal. The doctor told me to take care because she reminded me women with PCOS is at higher risk of pregnancy loss. I complied until we experienced the storm last week. I was highly stressed out with the electricity out, lack of sleep, and constant worrying. Last Monday I also ran a training session and stood for more than an hour. That night I thought I saw blood on my underwear. I texted my doctor the next morning (yesterday) and she wanted to see me immediately. So I left my workstation, my laptop even set up, and went straight to the hospital. After being examined, she told me that the baby is safe but she wanted to make sure and asked me to take a rest from work for two weeks. She said being highly stressed can be bad for the baby.

So here I am typing away my first post in weeks on the first day of my rest. I guess I will be finishing a lot of books, writing a lot of posts, watching a lot of show, spending a lot of time with Kuya Lucas, for the next two weeks. I am not worried and I am not complaining. I guess it is my body’s way of telling me that I am no the only being in this body so I better start taking things easy.

I was never able to document my pregnancy with Lucas before since I didn’t have a blog yet. Now I am hoping to update my pregnancy diaries. :) Crossing my fingers for an easy and safe pregnancy ahead!

Image from Google

How We are Doing at School

It’s been three weeks since we started school. Lucas comes home sharing new things that he learned from his teachers: songs, names of his classmates, colors, packing away of toys, new expressions, etc. Sometimes I wish I were a fly so I can just fly in inside the classroom and watch how Lucas is doing at school.

I have seen a lot of improvement from Lucas and the school validates my observation. Since it is a progressive school, they do not have a grading system. During the parent-teacher one-on-one, the teachers asked me what specific development do I want to see from son. I told them that he is not very comfortable with anything that has to do with art like pasting, painting and playing Play-Doh. I told them that I want to see Lucas become more conversational and be friendlier. Every week, they would write a progress report about Lucas. I enjoy reading it because it gives me an idea what they are doing in school and how Lucas participates in class.

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They took note of my comment about Play-Doh and they highlighted on that because they know it’s an achievement for me and Lucas. They also share if my son had been a little naughty and class without making me feel like they are “nagsusumbong”. I like that they also recommend activities to do at home and asks parents what we did over the weekend so they can talk about it on Mondays.

Part of the progress report is a folder that shows all the worksheets that Lucas accomplished for the week.

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They do the worksheets daily and the manner of answering it is different from one child to the other depending on their current capability. For example, if one student can already write,  they would give him a writing activity. If  not, they would use coloring or painting activities. As for Lucas, I think they took note of him not being too comfortable with glue so they give me pasting activities. :)

The children also bring home their artwork from school. I have yet to figure out where to put Lucas’ increasing artwork at home.

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During Pasig Day, I was able to bring Lucas to school. The teacher brought a live caterpillar because the book of the day was A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Another recent activity was the “Dress Up Like Mom/Dad Day”. Here are Mr. Agustin and Little Mr. Agustin.

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I also appreciate the small things that his teachers do for the parents like sending Lucas’ pictures in school to me. I think that’s very very sweet.

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This was taken by his teacher and was sent to me :)

So far I am very very happy with Lucas’ school. He is really enjoying learning there. Every time we bring Lucas to school, he does not run after us but instead is eager to go inside and start his day. The school lives up to its vision of learning through fun. I also enjoy and learn with my son thanks to them. I’m looking forward to more activities and discoveries for my Little Jedi.