parenting

App Love – Fantasy for Camera 360

I spent a good deal of my time today taking pictures with my camera phone.  It’s because of this app I downloaded from Google Play, Fantasy for Camera 360.  To use it, you need to have the Camera 360 app installed in your phone first.  Although Camera 360 in itself is already nice (not great but nice), this Fantasy app really gave me a great time today.  It was actually inspired by the works of Ben Heine, ‘Pencil vs. Camera.’   There were only a few templates available and I know pretty soon, I’ll tire of it.  But for now, I still haven’t had my fill of it. Besides, I will be going out of town with my friends soon and I’m excited to use this to take pics.

So far though, the pictures I took were just for testing purposes so nothing special.  But I hope I could get to try it outside soon (when I do get to go outside.)

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What other apps can you recommend?

Things I Wish For Dad

I wish Dad…

could be more patient with the kids.

would always remember that the kids are still just toddlers, and well, they would act like toddlers.

would know that the kids look for him everyday when he’s at work.

would realize that the kids will not be toddlers forever and soon will not need us as much.

would know that (having said the 4th statement) he would lots of time for himself as soon as the kids hit grade school age, and more so when they enter highschool.

would listen to me more.

would think before he speaks.

would have more initiative.

would be more considerate.

would be more of a team player.

would read this, reflect and understand…

 

i’m not a washer, i’m a kid!

Me: you should wash your own plate.

washing dishes

from gomommygo.com

JBboy: why?

Me: ’cause you’re taking too long to eat and finish your food

JBboy: i’m not a washer, i’m a kid! somebody should take care of me, mom and dad!

Me: ……..

— later in the day, i recount the story to JBdad.

JBboy: diba? diba? (isn’t it)

Me: ………

i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife

i enjoy reading a lot of parenting blogs because it’s fun knowing how other parents handle very familiar situations and i also get a lot of tips and also, because it’s nice to know that you are not the only one who feels that way about something. however, i just realize now that it’s also great to read about marriage blogs; after all, i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife.

us in college

dad and me in college

i want to write about this blog and a particular blog post i really liked today by Pamela King. i’m so thankful that she found my blog first when she checked out my post “and just like that it was 2002 all over again” yesterday. i headed over to her blog Still Dating My Spouse and absolutely loved it! one post touched me though, it was Creativity in Marriage. sure, it was written beautifully by Pamela and her tips were great but most importantly, it got me thinking (don’t you love it when a post gets you thinking?)…about my own actions, about my complaints, about the things i wish that my husband would do, and finally, about what things i can do differently.

i realized that there are a lot of things i could be doing. despite our hectic everyday life, there are a lot of things i could be doing to have even just five minutes of sparkle with my husband. i have also realized that these tips Pamela mentioned…we used to do all of that. and somewhere along the way, we just lost track or we just started waiting for the other one to start.

out of town

out of town for our 3rd wedding anniv

recently, i have been spending hours and hours online. yes, i work from home but even after my work, i would still be in front of the computer for several hours more. i even think, the internet is now my bestfriend but then again, it would be very easy to delegate even just a few minutes from all those hours to sneak in some QT with hubby.

i am really glad i was able to find her blog around the same time hubby expressed his feelings about us and or family. that way, i know exactly what to do to add on to what he initiated: letting me know how much he still cares.

new yr 2012

dad & me new yr 2012

??!??!!-rite of passage? taboo?

i was supposed to write a new post when i came across this page No Circ is WholeSon! from the blog Our Homeschool Journey.

now i’m not sure if i’m just stupid or if i have just unintentionally buried the knowledge in the depths of my mind about routine circumcision of baby boys. i mean, i was (for a lack of a better word) dumbfounded. i am in a state  of mind right now that i am still grasping at this concept that i am still not able yet to create or think about my own opinion about this issue.

taken from charmed.wikia.com

not that circumcision is something new to me; it is the exact opposite. i know it as tuli or pagpapatuli. it is actually a “rite of passage” for adolescent boys in our country. i have read that 93% of our males are circumcised. at least every man i know is circumcised; and every man that the men i know know is also circumcised. it’s just that it is done here when the boy is at an age when he can choose to do it or not (although they all choose to do it eventually, because, yup, everyone does it). a lot of times, it would be the boy who would tell his parents that he’s ready (maybe because he hears that his friends are all doing it already). and of course, there are all those local jokes about those that are past “the age” and have still not done it; it’s a guy thing here (so i’m not really one to talk about it and i never really planned to talk about it but here i am). i don’t have actual basis on what i’m about to say and in no way am i sure about this but i don’t think that a parent (especially a dad) would actually force his son to go through with it if he does not want to (or at least if he’s not yet ready). but it is not a without a lack of machismo commentaries.

(wow, this post is getting long for something i didn’t plan on writing about)

although i am not ready to make opinions yet about this matter, i guess i can speak for how i plan to go about it. i’m not saying that this is certainly what will happen because i have not yet discussed this with my husband (hello, our son is 3). i think though, that we would leave it to my son’s choice. (alright, in the spirit of not assuming, i would change “we” to “i”) i think that i would leave it to my son’s choice. i never really thought about this until now but this is what i feel that i want to do. of course, i will be sure to explain to him how our culture sees it and on the other side, what it’s really about (and not about) so he will be ready to make his own judgment and not just be influenced by tradition. if the only contest to go for it is the hygiene reason, then i guess there are other ways he can do aside from having a part of his body cut off. but whatever he decides to do, i would want to make him feel that this is his choice for it is his body, something not mine or his father to impose upon.

dad and son

related to this is the fact that we did not decide to have my daughter’s ears pierced when she was born. in a country where almost all baby girls have their ears pierced before being released from the hospital, it had been kind of weird for some (or most) of my relatives to see my very pretty daughter without earrings until now. my mother cannot keep her mouth shut about this, she would always pressure me to have JBgirl’s ears pierced as if not doing it is just plain neglect of a basic motherhood duty. but honestly, i just don’t see the need for my 2-year old girl to have earrings. she is beautiful (not only because toddlers are beautiful but because she really is) and she does not need any piece of jewelry for that.

The Grudge and Me: Parenting Politics

There comes a time in your life as a parent when you need to employ strategic politics.  It has come to mine several times already and one in particular happened some months ago.

Both my kids have always been so active, always lively and very loud. I know, most toddlers are like that and when I see a mild-mannered kid it can feel like, “oh, now that’s new.” But my kids are like most toddlers who can turn the house from tidy to what-the-hell-happened in seconds. My eldest is only a year and a half older than his sister so they would always be partners-in-crime or worse, they’d be rivals. Our house is always noisy, we can’t watch anything properly, it takes me forever to get work done because I’d always have to check what they’re up to when they’re unusually quiet or break them up from a riot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly complaining. I am very grateful that they are lively, healthy, happy kids. I am merely recounting events that have become “facts of our lives” as parents of these two active kids. Sometimes though, you need even just a few minutes of peace and quiet to finish something; or today’s episode of your favorite soap is just too juicy to miss; or you need the kids to sleep so you can have some time with your partner already.

So some months ago, I think that was September, JBdad decided to unlock our emergency secret weapon #1. After dinner, he made the kids watch The Grudge. (oops, stop. a disclaimer for would be critics: i’m not saying that this is a great thing to do and I am in no way telling other parents to do the same. and this is not a “perfect-parenting-blog). The objective is for them to get familiar with “The Grudge” and maybe the name can be strategically used in the future to get them to listen.

taken from trailers.apple.com

The actual movie watching was uneventful. They were pretty brave and sat through the whole movie quietly. JBboy (3) would ask occasional questions and JBgirl (not even 2 then) was either quiet or not at all that interested. But it has since then given us a great convincing tool; you know like, when they are getting too loud, when it’s way past siesta time and they’re still jumping about, stuff like that. I don’t really think they’re scared, I think they just take it to mean like “okay, they’re serious now.”

When I was a child, parents here used almost the same “strategic secret weapons” and a lot of them were scary creatures (our culture has lots of them that I wanna mention now but it’s 4am and I’m the only one awake). Others and equally popular were unfortunately a bit racist or derogatory, the most popular of which is the “bumbay.” During the 90’s, there were a lot of Indian nationals who ride around neighborhoods in their motorcycles and there are the go-to’s of those needing cash and fast. They were really friendly, tolerant and at times “abused-for-their-kindness” men who unfortunately, because of their wardrobe became an easy target for parents who need a convincing tactic for their kids. So popular tactic #1: Don’t get out of the house, the bumbay will carry you away in his motorcycle. I know, not very nice; but it worked really well for parents back in the days. (for possible Indian nationals that may come across this blog, please do not get offended, our parents loved the jewelry and the umbrellas and all the other stuff and they tried to keep up with the installment payment because you were all really nice and understanding. it’s just that, sometimes, parenting was hard and lack of imagination prompted them to do that).

"a man in need will cling to the bumbay." taken from geekofalltrades.wordpress.com

another one would be the neighborhood eccentric. i think this would be popular everywhere and each one would have their local version. ours was this young man (then) who used to walk around pushing his cart to collect pig feed (i was also scared of him).

neighborhood eccentric

taken from emilovesshushi.deviantart.com

I think using The Grudge is us staying away from the racist and the derogatory. I know you have strategic secret weapons of your own. Care to share?

 

even superheroes need help

one of the things i swore not to make my children feel is that they would not be able to count on me when they need help.  i think more than anything else, it came from personal experience.

growing up, i guess my parents saw me as this smart, independent girl who can take care of everything by herself. while that may sound as a compliment, it was actually very hard. i learned early on in life that i should look for solutions to my own problems instead of asking for help. luckily, i made it through most, but that just showed them that i really can handle everything. on the few times that i did ask for help, my pleas fell on deaf ears. it was always like nobody took me seriously each time i asked for help because they were thinking, i could do it anyway. (god, the unshakable memories of school programs without presentable costumes, art projects that lack materials, figuring how to get home on your own because no one would pick you up). as a teenager and until now, it’s still the same. many times i have been let down from asking for help with people dismissing everything as something i could do myself.

people always tell me that i’m a strong person and that i can handle a lot by myself. while that’s true, i just want people to know that there are times when i need help too.

now as an adult, my husband has told me a dozen times that i have problems with asking for help or even assistance. he said, i try so hard to solve something myself when it would be much simpler to ask someone for help (like asking for directions, assistance from someone). but i’ve just so gotten used to that. it’s like i have learned that it’s better to work my ass off on doing something myself than asking someone for help and getting disappointed.

although there were a lot of those “feeling-overlooked-childhood memories” i know now that those experiences taught me to be strong and independent. i believe i’m pretty good at solving problems and that i have commendable analytic skills. i want my children to be just as independent but i do not want them to learn it the same way i did.

i want my children to be able to explore and do things on their own. at the same time, i want them to feel that if they ever need my help, then i am there to guide them. i do not want them to hesitate with running to me for their problems. i want them to feel that i am here to listen. i want them to be strong, but i don’t want them hard as rocks. i want them to feel that it’s okay to sometimes feel weak because there will be people to help them be strong again. i don’t want them to feel the pain of being disappointed or let down by the people who are supposed to have their backs. i don’t want them to feel alone.

 

 

a grateful kid

this afternoon while i was preparing my son for siesta, he held his index finger up to me…

JBboy: mom, look o! i got hair in my nose!

me: oh, that’s okay. we really have hair in our nose. they’re supposed to catch dirt.

JBboy: …?

me: diba* sometimes you have kulangot**? the hairs catch dirt so they wouldn’t enter your body. look, your nose is always open diba? if you don’t have hair in your nose, all the dirt would just go inside your body.

JBboy: wow! thanks, guys! gee, thanks hairs!

me: lol!

thanks, nose!

*diba-isn’t it; **kulangot-booger

 

why video games are different from your kids

  1. the amount of time you invest in video games will not influence the kind of individuals they would grow up to be.
  2. video games would not feel bad if you don’t spend your weekends with them.
  3. no matter how much effort you put in on mastering your gaming skills, video games would not kiss, hug and whisper “i love you” when you go to bed.
  4. video games cannot give butterfly kisses.
  5. even after not seeing you the whole day, video games’ eyes will not light up into a smile upon seeing you again.
  6. even if you get really good at playing with video games, they’d never think you’re just the coolest and try to imitate you.
  7. if you need to stay late at work and miss dinner, video games won’t care.
  8. video games will never defend you from “mom, the unreasonable.” in fact, they will even fuel up her fire.
  9. video games do not have memories of all the times you spend together to treasure and hold dear.
  10. if you miss a year of your video games’ life, they will still be the same. meanwhile you have missed an entire year of your kids’ lives and no amount of rebooting or re-installing could ever bring that back.

Note: this post has definitely nothing to do with this man whatsoever.

dad with his video game

the guy who would kill me when he sees this

newborn

A Love Letter to the Man Who Taught Me True Love—My Son

Let me start off by saying I have prayed for you all my life. I have always known I wanted to have a son as my first-born. I imagined you to be this smiling boy, so full of life, smart, happy, someone with whom I share a special bond.  God could not have made a better job.

booties

positiveIt all started with two purple lines. I knew then that life will never be the same. From that moment, I have loved you.

How I wish I could justify with words the love that envelops a mother’s heart when they see their child for the first time. Unfortunately, words will never be enough. All I can say is, I never thought I can love someone that way until I held you in my arms. But you showed me that Love encompasses a lot of things. This Love is different–it made me stronger, stronger than I ever thought I could be. It made me want to be better, made me want to achieve something, made me want to deserve you.

newborn

Five days after you were born, I was singing to you this love song. It suddenly hit me how the lyrics of this song greatly explains how I feel for you. I felt tears run down my cheeks because I realized then, I would die for this person.

Now four years after, I look at you and I still can’t believe someone like you could come from someone like me. You are beautiful. You are amazing. I want to tell you that everyday amidst the shouting, and all the racket of raising you and your sister. I wish I can just hold your face in my hands and make you understand how much I do love you. I know it annoys you now sometimes when I repeatedly tell you I love you or kiss you over and over again because it distracts you from Disney Junior. Just that, maybe if I do it that much, it will somehow come close to how I truly feel.

The truth is, at times I feel guilty that I gave you a sister too early.  Not to undermine the love and happiness I feel for your sister; but I feel that I should have allowed you more time to be my baby. I am so proud that being a big brother before turning two has made you a little bit more mature in ways, but sometimes I wish, I could have “babied” you more. In a few months you’ll be entering preschool and soon, you’ll be more independent. But as your mom, how I wish I could hold on to you for much longer…much, much longer.

J&B

They say moms are little boys’ first girlfriends. I would say you are my true love. You are my son, my first-born. The place you occupy in my heart is no less than my happiest place. Someday, I may have to share you with a woman who you will love.  Although in my mind now, I am hating that day, I will try my very best to accept that when the time comes (although I know I would probably cry rivers).

For now, I will enjoy being your beauty queen, your heroine. And I reserve my right to kiss you as many times as I want.