Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Food Recipe for my Toddler

While I was writing this, I was also doing a research for food recipes for my 1 year old daughter.  She probably is bored with her daily menu (plain lugaw + veggies) because she lately couldn't finish a bowl.  That's why I decided to research, plan and introduce new recipes that she may like.  After my research, I thought of simple recipes that could be easily prepared even by the maids (and even edible for adults!)

Cheesy scrambled eggs
A hearty breakfast recipe

scrambled eggs + cheddar cheese + veggies (gonna start to introduce ampalaya and tomatoes to her!), bits of sausage or ham + butter (instead of cooking oil).

Fruity Mashy Snack
Delicious and yummy

mashed fruits (can be avocado, banana, or apple) + my baby's formula milk (not condensed or evaporated milk) + cereal (Cerelac-- wheat and milk or chicken and veggies or any flavor...but I think the wheat and milk flavor is the best because adults like the taste of it...I know because I tried to eat it too...haha!) + small amount of honey (not sugar).

Tinola / Sinigang / Nilagang Baka
A taste of adult food
Soup of Tinola / Sinigang / Nilagang baka + rice + bits of chicken / pork / beef + mashed veggies (malunggay, zayote, potato, papaya, etc.)

Munggo Galore
Healthy meal again

the usual munggo recipe + rice.  I haven't tried this yet but I hope my daughter would love eating it.

Pasta Perfect
A taste of  Italian food

Pizza - my daughter loves pizzas!
the usual Spaghetti / Carbonara recipe
the usual Mac and Cheese recipe

The next step I would do is to plan weekly meals.  And I pray that my daughter would have a healthy appetite because she still needs 2 kg to reach her supposed-to-be-normal weight at 1 year old, which is 10 kilos.

Happy eating baby Rian!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shopping for my family

It's true that once you have a family, you will think of them first before yourself.  And that goes too with shopping.

There was an anniversary bazaar in our company last week and the prices of the items in it was lower than the regular prize in malls.  My collegues started to purchase items mostly for themselves during the opening day.  But I got to shop on the last day of the bazaar because it was also our payday (too bad all new employees weren't able to get yet the bonus...and I'm one of them.  Worse, my salary was deducted because I got  absences this month because I got sick.  Read my blog about it: On Sick Leave. ).  But despite of those things, I still de-stressed myself into shopping.  I bought for the following items:

2 terno outfits for my toddler Rian.  I initally picked just 1 terno (pink strapped top with shorts) for only 50.00 Php.  But since the saleslady didn't have change for 1K, I decided to buy 2 terno (I added the green strapped top with shorts).  The outfits could be worn at home or going outdoors.  When I got home, I realized that both outfits are of the same design, they just differed in color!

2 kikay caps also for Rian.  This is worth 25.00 Php each.  She already have 2 caps at home--- one white and one pink. So for her collection, I purchased one green and one checkered (blue, pink, green, white).  We already used the green one earlier when we went to her pediatrician for her monthly check up, and I was surprised she didn't take off her beautiful cap like she always did before.  And when I stood her infront of the mirror with her new cap on her head, she smiled with glee, probably she knows how cute she is with her new cap.

1 pair of Adidas shorts for my hubby Jeff.  Most of his shorts are already torn and does not fit to him anymore (lalo ka ba tumataba, hunny ko?).  We had been planning to buy himself new shorts but he prioritizes in meeting our family's basic needs, he ended up having money shortage (hehe).  That's why when I learned that there's a booth for men's shorts in the bazaar, I got to pick the kind of shorts that my husband would love (he wanted a short that could be worn either at home or outdoors).  And guess what, I got it for 100.00 Php only. 

1 pair of Liliw shoes for my sister-in-law.  After all, it was her birthday last Thursday, and it's our welcoming gift for her, as well, because she just came back from Bermuda.  Giving gifts to our dear friends and relatives are part of our family's tradition.  My husband and I decided to give her shoes which are made from Liliw, Laguna, Philippines, because know that when she go back to Bermuda, she could wear those shoes with pride because it's Philippine-made and export-quality, as well.  Too bad I got the wrong size for her, but anyway, I could still exchange it for the right size next week.  Hey, I order those Liliw shoes at my officemate who also happens to be my office seatmate! 

Finally, I decided to buy for myself also...but I purchased the item which would benefit myslef and my husband, as well.  I bought something that both of us would benefit from it so that he wouldn't get angry with my shopping galore (hehe).  It was red and black, made from satin, 2 piece outfit which can be worn at home (at at night!).  Top is spaghetti-strapped, with lace.  Bottom is panty-like, matching the design of the top, also with lace.  Sexy enough but not super lusty.  Guess what it is?  Yup it's a nightie. And I bought it for 350.00 Php.  Sulit enough, when my husband saw it, he approved it.  I still haven't worn it, though.  Hehe.  Probably tonight. ;-D

Shopping is really fun and de-stressing.  But after it (like now), time to worry about how could I live for the next two weeks.  Haha!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Joining the BC Bloggers

I just found out this cool web place, the BC Bloggers' Secret, wherein you can check out other blogs and even place your site in its list.  I decided to join, to visit other people's sites and be fascinated with their blogs.  I decided to join to also share my blog to them.  And I'm hoping you will join too! It'll be so much fun! :)

Click this link to know how to join:


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rian's 1st Birthday Bash!

You are warmly invited to read this post about my baby's 1st birthday milestone!

When: July 17, 2010 (Saturday), 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.  A sunny Saturday morning (thank you Lord for the wonderful weather).
Where: McDo Festival Mall, Alabang

We're the first one to arrive, along with my sister-in-law, Yin, who came all the way from Bermuda to take a short vacation here in the Philippines.  It was almost 11:00 am and the guests were still not around...oh well, I forgot to put an earlier start time in the invitation so that they could come earlier (or just be on time).  Hehe.  After about a few minutes, the guests started to arrive (hurray!), and by then, the program began.  We all had McDo Chicken, fries, and sundae for lunch.

A Spongebob cake! (coz Rian loves Spongebob!)

There were games for adults and a game for adults with kids.  Our friends were so cooperative that they willingly joined the games (well, most of them loved the prizes...especially the clapper!).  My husband Jeff and our little celebrant Rian also joined the Trip to Jerusalem game (also known as Musical Chairs).  Rian was so energized, she also walked around the chairs (with her Daddy's support).  She didn't win, but I guess she had fun.

Daddy and baby participating in the Trip to Jerusalem game

Yup, our little celebrant really had fun during her party.  Actually, it seemed like she was the one who was having blast more than the rest of us.  She didn't wail and didn't have tantrums, except during the picture taking at the last part of the party probably because she was already tired.  She was dancing to the max with the music, and she loved the mascots Ronald McDonald and Birdie!  I observed in almost all of the photos we had with them, her head was turned to those two mascots.  She seemed fascinated with them because she was smiling at them all the while.  She even kissed Birdie!

Baby Rian kissed Birdie!

We never had lots of guests, most of those who were invited weren't able to come.  But what matters most for me is that Rian enjoyed the occassion....After all, it's her birthday!

And hey, Rian's not a baby anymore...she's now a toddler-- the stage between infancy and childhood, with lots of more milestones to come.  She's now the toddler Rian, but will always be our baby in our hearts and home. :)

Thanks to all who had given time to attend Rian's 1st Birthday Party--- my parents, my brothers Bob, Mark, and Adri and their girlfriends Monna, Mariz and Joanna, my niece Alyssa, my officemates Erick, Saber and Marco, my relatives-in-law, Jeff's college friends and officemates.  You made my little toddler's day a memorable one for all of us!  God bless! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Yabadabadooo Picture!

I was browsing for a good clipart to add in my blog, and I found this one!  This picture really reminds me of my family---The Flintstones!--- I'm Wilma, Fred's my husband, and Pebbles is our baby Rian.  We don't actually have a dog to portray Dino, but we have a stuff toy cat named Baby Siops (a gift I received from my husband way back when we were still in bf-gf relationship).

I loved watching The Flintstones because it was funny and entertaining.  Actually, I enjoyed watching it than the Jetsons (which had a complete opposite scenario with the Flintstones because they futuristic).  Hey, I even remember that I used to take Flintstones Vitamins when I was a Kid!  And I still remember its TV commercial...why is my Flintstones different from your Flintstones?...Why are you wearing mommy's shoes???  Because...  Hahaha! if I could just make a Flintstone theme design for my blog, that would be nice, isn't it?  But I'm not a web expert, hehe.  So I guess, I would just have to self-study on how to create customized blogs.  Well, I'm open to have somebody else create for me, but probably for a good price. :D

For now, it's a good feeling to reminisce the Yabadabadooo! child in me.

The Liwanag family picture, taken during Rian's baptism

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On Problem Solving

I attended a training workshop in our company which talked about Problem Solving and Decision Making using KT (Kepner-Tregoe) process.  KT process includes a very systematic way to analyze and address problems.  We run this training program in our company to boost our Managers' problem solving and decision making skills in work.  But the KT process can also be used beyond our can also be used in our daily lives.  And I'm going to share with you some insights I gained from the training workshop, which could be helpful in solving problems in any aspect of your lives.

Do you argue with your husband in some things most of the time?  Does your kid have school dilemna?  Can't you sleep peacefully at night because there are lot of things you're thinking and worried about? Can't choose between two or more good options?  Problems are obstacles that hinder you to achieve your goal.  It's the gap between the actual state and the desired state.  Moreover, problems can be anywhere and can come up anytime.  But  we can minimize, avoid, and solve them.  And we can effectively solve them by having the right decisions.

Sometimes, we just tend to address the problem by a "reaction".  We do whatever that comes into our minds or do the traditional solutions we know just to solve problems.  And the problem occurs again the future.  Let's ask ourselves...are we really solving the problem?

Here are some tips in Problem Solving and Decision Making, from the popular KT Process (I will not elaborate the whole process because it's a long discussion.  Just leave a comment if you're interested to learn more.  I'm willing to share the whole thing with you).

1. State the problem.  When you feel grumpy or angry, a friend tells you, "hey, what's your problem?!".  The next time you hear that, don't just let it pass through your ears.  Ask yourself, "what is my problem?".  By answering that, you would know your actual state.
2.  State your goal.  Knowing now what's your problem, ask yourself, "what is your goal?" Given the problem, ano ang gusto mong mangyari? By this, you would now know your desired state.
3. Know the root cause of the problem.  Knowing the root cause of the problem is like knowing the main illness of a sick person, not just the symptoms. This is important so that we can provide the right medicine (solution) to the illness (problem).  Because if we wouldn't address the real root cause of a problem, it will just come back again and again.  You can use the Fishbone Diagram in knowing the root cause.  In doing this, you ask yourself why did the problem came up? Then you ask yourself again, "why?".  Ask it again for 5 times until you have reached the real root cause or root causes (if there are many).

Fishbone Diagram template

4. Think of possible solutions or options.  Write all the options you can think of.  If the problem involves other persons such as your husband or your mother, encourage them to brainstorm with you and come up with possible options.  But we'll consider those as options as for now, because later, we'll pick the best solution among them.

5.  Know your MUST Criteria.  MUSTs are the criteria you would set that are necessary in picking the right solution.  Cross out one or more options (from step 5) if they do not meet this MUSTs.

6.  Know your WANTs Criteria.  WANTs are the criteria you would set that are not necessarily the basic needs but what you prefer in picking the right solution. 

7.  Rate your options.  For each options left from # 5 step, rate if each of them has attained your WANTs Criteria.  You can scale the rate from 1-10, 10 being the highest.  Then get the average rating from all the options. Consider the option with the highest rating the best solution for your problem.  (P.S.  Reflect also on the solution.  It must be harmless, safe, and humane.  For example, terminating an employee because he / she is not delivering properly her responsibilities may not be a likable solution. cannot even terminate your husband if he is not doing his job as a good husband, as well...though it seemed like a pretty good idea for some.  It is better if you choose a win-win solution for the problem.)  Also check if your solution will take you to your desired state (from # 2 step).

8.  Delegate tasks and make a commitment.  Knowing the right solution doesn't end the whole Problem Solving process.  You have to DO IT.  And you can do it by either delegating tasks to yourself and to other people who are involved in the problem and/or making a commitment with yourself or with them.

9.  Follow up.  Review how the solution changed your life.  Has it eliminated the problem or do you have some improvements to do?  What are the things you should do in order to prevent it in the long run?  Prevention is really important so that the problem would not happen again.

10.  Celebrate!  Hey, you're 1 problem down! (this was not originally in the course module.  I just added this step because I believe that we should give ourselves a pat on the back because we did something good and right.) :)

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and you have gained some insights which could be used in your daily lives, especially at home.  Happy problem solving everyone!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Toy Story 3 Experience

It was last June 27 when my husband Jeff and I watched Toy Story 3.  We actually liked to watch it a weekend before but cinemas were all jampacked!  Even on the day we watched the film, cinemas were still crowded, we ended up buying a ticket for a 3D (which we really planned to), in IMAX at Mall of Asia (which was a hundred pesos more expensive than the regular 3D but sobrang sulit naman), and in the last full show (as in that was around 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight!).  At least we still had a lot of good seats to choose from.  And yes, we got nice center seats.

A shot after the movie, in 3D glasses

I loved the film, and I admit, I wept towards the end of the movie.  But husband just chuckled at me when he heard me sniffed.  I didn't know where my mother put my childhood toys but I hope my mother didn't trash them away because I would surely be sad.  I would want to think that she had given them to unfortunate children and those kids took care of them. But come to think of it, if they were given to other kids before, those kids are now grown ups too...and ooohh...I don't want to think of this anymore.  I suddenly missed my childhood toys (and I remember, I only have 1 Barbie Doll back then.  No Ken's).

Now I'm a mother, and my daughter has now a collection of her own toys.  Someday when she grows up, she would stop playing with them anymore.  And before deciding on how to dispose those toys, I would ask my daughter if she wanted to trash them or give them to other kids.  And I hope, knowing that she has a big heart, she would decide to donate them to the less unfortunate children, like what Andy did in the movie.

Here are some of Rian's current toys.  Her other toys are in Batangas and Laguna.
These toys have their own stories to tell.  And they all know that they belong to Rian.  And their mission in life is to play with Rian and make her a happy happy baby! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

On Sick Leave

I'm having a looong weekend right now.  But I'm not in the mood to celebrate it because I'm on sick leave.  And there's nothing exciting on being sick.

Monday afternoon-- a heavy rain poured down from the heavens.  And because I didn't want to get stuck in the office because it seemed like a long heavy rain, I got out of the office after work, 5pm on the dot.  It was super duper raining outside but I got an umbrella.  I guessed, I would shield me from the rain...but that's what I thought.  My head was safe but my feet and legs were not (I was wearing our uniform skirt and stockings that time).  So cold water creeped in my open toed shoes.  And when I got inside the aircon bus, the feeling became worse because I started to feel the cold creep inside my whole body.  When I arrived home, I changed clothes fast, fearing I might catch flu.

Tuesday-- I felt cold in the office, probably because I used my only uniform blazer again (which was quite cold from the rain.  I didn't have time to iron it again to make it warm).  That night, I started to feel chill all over my body.  And that's it.  The next day, I was really in chill.

Wednesday-- I put socks on my feet and jacket the whole day.  I was like a suman.  And I felt a little silly because all the other members of the house (my in-laws) were wearing light clothes while I was in almost-winter clothes.  I watched the newly appointed President Noynoy Aquino's speech (but I didn't finished it because I really felt so damn bad).  My head and throat also ached a lot.  I skipped lunch and just slept.  I know I really needed a lot of rest.  My husband, who had an overtime work at his office, treated me that night at North Park because I couldn't eat anything but soft foods.  I ordered Nanking Beef and Wanton soup with HongKong noodles, and had a Honey Lemonade and water for drinks.  Imagine, we're eating in North Park, in my pajamas (and imagine, I didn't even take a bath that day because I was too cold).  I felt like a lucky street kid.  I'm lucky to have Jeff as my husband. :)

Thursday-- I told my boss I couldn't be able to go to work because of my fever and flu.  I felt warmer than Wednesday, and I was perspiring a lot.  But I knew I was still not ok because I still felt weak.

Friday-- This is today.  I was supposed to go to work, but my body still feels weak and I am afraid to get cold again and catch flu.  My officemate teased me, "whatever your reason is, hihi!", maybe she thought that I'm just making excuses to have a long weekend.  I told her, "Girl, trangkaso ito dahil sa ulan nung Monday!".  Hay, if I only have enough strenth to go to office today, I would go because my sick leaves aren't paid....and it is so much harder to have a deducted salary (meaning, our family budget will be affected).  If others thought I'm happy with this sick leave, they are totally wrong.  Any family person or mother will not be happy to know that she will not meet the expected family budget.  Well, at the same time, I won't be happy also if I go to work despite of my current health status and would find myself in worse state afterwards.

Oh, my brother-in-law's in ICU right now because of Myocarditis.  A virus targeted his heart muscle.  Hmm...we're actually both having colds and fever these past few days.  But his case got worse, he had to rush to the hospital.  Now, I'm thinking of having the same clinical test because I fear that I might also have the same illness (I pray na sana hindi naman...pero wala namang masama if magpa-test diba?).  I'll convince my husband regrding that.

Good thing, my daughter's at Laguna right now, away from all the viruses we have here at Alabang.  I pray that she would stay happy and healthy there.  I miss her.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rian's Milestones

After two weeks, Rian will celebrate her very first birthday! And as her mommy, I'm very excited and proud of her!  Over a year, Rian has grown to be a cute baby who has a strong personality but with a very big heart.  She knows what she wants and would not stop wailing until she gets it.  But she's also a loving baby who shows affection to those around her by showering them with smiles and kisses.

Looking back, she has developed a lot and probably already absorb much information about the world she's living in.  Therefore I would like to share with you some of her baby milestones.

At O months, she already had strong ligaments, and could stretch her arms outside the receiving blanket which enveloped her whole body.  She liked sleeping with her arms stretched out.  When she turned 1 month, she liked sleeping on her side. 

On her 2nd month, a funny thing happened while I was breastfeeding her...she suddenly smiled at me.  As in a big grateful smile that probably says, Mommy, sarap milk! :).  I didn't know how to react that time because I was just alone in the house and I found the smile initially scary because here's a baby who suddenly showed a true expression.  But I realized that, she's a stranger, but my daughter whom I had given a small happiness (the milk. hehe).  On her 3rd month, she started smiling frequently, especially when I was making faces infront of her.  It became our special playtime.

When Rian turned 4 months old, she began practicing to sit, and she already raises her head and chest when put on tummy.  She also began babbling...a beginning of being a noisy baby. Haha!  She also began recognizing sounds, like Spongebob opening music (her favorite cartoon!).  But she didn't anymore startle to familiar sounds like the opening of the door or someone talking, probably because she already knew them.  Rian was a breastfed baby, but when she turned 4 months, I tried to wean her...and it was very stressful because she really wanted my milk.  I told her that she should know how to drink milk from the bottle so we can travel outside the house.  After a month, she already became comfortable with bottles, though I alternate breastfeeding and bottle feeding.  It was after her 5th month when she decided to stop breastfeeding.  When I totally stopped breasfeeding her (since she didn't anymore wanted to drink from me), I wept a little because I felt like my baby's beginning to be an independent being.  I was quite hurt but very happy at the same time (at last, no breast pads anymore!).

It was Rian's 5th month when she was baptized.  After being baptized, we occasionally started travelling and going to malls, especially when we do shopping.  I observed that whenever Rian goes to a new place, she poops!  Haha!  On her 5th month, she could already sit with support and began talking endlessly, her favorite was: aba aba aba aba!, especially when she was angry.

2009 came to an end on her 5th month and she already celebrated Mother's Day, my 28th birthday, her first Trick or Treat, and her first Christmas.

Rian's 6th month-- the time I introduced solid foods to her.  Her very first solid food was Cerelac (Wheat and Milk).  After a while I introduced to her the mashed potato and carrot.  She loved the carrot very much, but not the potato (though she still ate it, medyo pangit lang nagiging expression ng mukha nya).  I tried making lugaw / porridge in the rice cooker but whenever I tried to, it became rice lang din. Haha!  On her 8th to 9th month, she started to eat soft biscuits.  Well, she liked to eat whatever things she got in her hands!

It was also in her 6th month when we bought her a walker, but she learned to walk fast the next month.  The next thing we knew, she wanted to walk without a walker, but with someone just holding her hands.  On her 10th month, her favorite was to climb up and down the stairs! I don't know why she didn't get tired climbing on the stairs...but one thing I know for sure, it was a very tiring activity for the one who's holding her hands while walking up and down!  Rian was also a fast crawler especially when she turned 10 months.  Aside from that, she also learned to stand up with support and even walk sideways, cruising on furnitures and bed.  Wow, my baby becomes more and more mobile!  I can just imagine how she would be when she learn to walk on her own...I'm sure running and hiding would be her favorite activities!

On her 10th month, she learned to give her loved ones kisses, which was very sweet.  Everytime my husband and I came home from the office, her eyes would lighten up and her smile would be very big.  And most of all, she would give us her kisses.  A very sweet baby she is, isn't she? Aside from giving kisses, she also learned how to dance...and I call her dance, the Spongebob dance (because it lookd like Spongebob when he's dancing with his Spongebob Birthday Bop commercial on TV 5).  Whenever she hears any kind of happy music, she would eventually dance.  But when she hears a sad song (like a very slow version of Twinkle Twinkle, she would cry sadly).  She also knew who her mommy and daddy are.  She would sa mamamama  and dadadada.  Sometimes she says other babbling words when she's angry.  Actually, she's more madaldal to her daddy than to me. I guess, she wanted to talk to a quiet person like him than to a madaldal person like me.  Haha!

Just like the other kids, her interest in things had grown widely.  She searches for things hidden and even peeks under my shirt to see what's in it (she even looks at my belly button to see what's in it!).  She already knows how to clap especially when someone's praising, Very Good! to her.  She also knows how to point with her pointing finger (a skill which she will use when she grow up and tell us, mommy, daddy gusto ko nun, gusto ko nyan!).  Our sleep became less stressful because she already sleeps soundly throughout the night (and she learned how to sleep by herself too! No more cradling her, except kapag naglalambing siya).  She's more active in playing and she knows how to encourage the people around her to play with her.  Yup, her world now is all about playing.  That's why as a parent, I do my best to play with her but also instill some learnings through our play.

Rian, my birthday wish for you is to continue being a smart and loving baby that we always know.  I wish you good health in all aspects of your life-- physically, intellectually, socially, spiritually.  May God always bless you and give you happiness.  Your Mommy and Daddy will always be here to care for you and to keep you safe.  We love you very much, Rian.  Happy 1st brithday to you on June 19! Mwaaah ❤❤❤

Rian at 11 months
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