Monday, April 30, 2012

Just noticed

Malik likes to rest his chin on his hands with his palms facing upwards. I don't think he does this for effect. He has no idea how endearing he looks.

He's like this when he's watching TV or concentrating on a game in the iPad.

I just noticed because I like to watch him do his stuff.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Will read words for candy

We're seeing improvements in Malik's vocabulary.

Credit goes to Yaya Lyn, who so patiently writes down new words on these note cubes for Malik to read. I've never had to pester Lyn to do this. I remember telling her once to teach Malik new words every day. She just took the task to heart. Good job.

For this particular video, I also give credit to these Disney Cars gummy candies. Malik loves these.

We don't want Malik obsessing over candy so we let him have one or two only occassionally. But after reading all these words, I think he deserves an entire pack. Good job.

I'm not going to bore you with a list of the words that Malik can now read. Okay, maybe I will but I'll make a word cloud out of it so it looks nice. 

Wordle: Malik's new words
(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be Ben 10

Malik knows his cartoons. He has favorites like any other two year old. He used to just watch Disney Cars. Damn Disney Cars. I have involuntarily memorized most of the dialogues from that movie.

And then Malik saw Cars 2. Now he additionally asks for Toy Story 3, Happy Feet 1 & 2 (I personally like the sequel), How to Train Your Dragon, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Tigger & Pooh. Since March, Malik's cartoon of choice has been Cartoon Network's Ben 10.

Ben 10 is about a 10-year old boy, Ben Tennyson, who discovers a device that allows him to transform into 10 different aliens. That the cartoon's plot revolves around a device, called the Omnitrix, is of course designed to get us parents to buy the overpriced equivalent from the toy store. We some some of those in Toys R Us priced between P1,000 to P1,400! Luckily, Pao and I are very "smart"/cheap parents. So we got these from a vending machine beside Tom's World. Total damage = two tokens = P100. Yuz.

Notice the look on Malik's face when he pretends he's transforming into an alien. Total damage = Priceless

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Five free/cheap organizing solutions

The first chapters of The Happiness Project suggest that we de-clutter. I thought, "Oooh, goody. This one I can do." I am a fan of de-cluttering. Really. My parents very rarely threw away things. They were emotionally invested in old Christmas cards or clothes, which would have been okay had a system of organizing them been adopted. But alas, Christmas cards from ten years ago were randomly kept inside the piano bench or tucked between current utility bills. It drove me crayzee.

So naturally, I grew up wanting to keep the barest material possessions. I regularly clean my closet. Clothes and shoes that have not been worn for the last 6 months are sold on ebay or given away. I do the same with Malik's clothes drawer. Twice a year, I go through his clothes to pick out those that he's outgrown. I keep some for the next baby but most I pass on to my cousin's kids.

I like to think that my love for organizing is still healthy. Hindi ko naman siya kina-career masyado. I keep a reasonable number of bric-a-brac at home. There are professional home organizers out there that can, for a fee, help you build the perfect pantry or shoe closet. But I find, in the course of my annual organizing sessions, that we can do as good a job with some items from our home. And so, here are my top five free/cheap organizing solutions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIY Happy Shelf

We needed extra storage space in our house but having storage cabinets custom-fitted wasn't really an option. When I saw this 6-layer shelf on sale in Ensogo at 50% off, I decided to give it a go.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crazy Katsu

The only way for restaurateurs to succeed in Manila and I guess anywhere else, is to find a niche and offer something unique. Case in point is Crazy Katsu along Maginhawa Street, near U.P.

First off, the interiors. Crazy Katsu is unique in its simplicity. Furnishings are square-ish and made of raw wood. Very Japanese.

There aren't too many tables so there's room to move around. We went during the Holy Week though, which may explain the lack (absence actually) of people around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Look Ma

There is reason to celebrate. On Sunday, April 15 Malik used a grown-up fork. Yey.

No meal is ever complete without a few toy cars strewn on the table.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anna Banana*

I've seen billboards of Derek and his mom along EDSA but watching the YouTube videos is a first for me. I like the original song the best. That's the second video in this post. I think I heard him sing, "Anna Banana I like you a bunch. I'll dance like your monkey. Let's go out for lunch." Wahaha

PLDT myDSL & Nuffnang bring you The Avengers*

The time is ripe for Malik's first in-theater movie. He's been sitting through Happy Feet, Transformers and Cars, so I think he has enough EQ now to sit quietly inside a theater and just watch. The perfect candidate for a first-time movie would be Marvel's The Avengers.

The Incredible Hulk and Ironman hang out with Hot Wheels, an Autobot and a Decepticon.  

Malik's been hooked since we got him those Avengers tumblers. He knows all four -

(L-R) Thor - "Ton," Ironman = "Ty," Captain America = "Kapen" and The Incredible Hulk = "Hawk"
Thank you Rona and Ken for Ton and Kapen!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Caine's Arcade

All photos from here

This is Caine. He is 9 years old and he lives in East L.A. Caine is the son of an auto spare parts dealer. One summer, he decided he'd build his own arcade so he set out making games out of cardboard boxes.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First of many

I have to hand it to my in-laws for pulling off fun activities for the kids. On Easter Sunday, we were treated to an egg hunt at Lola Chelle's house. Malik was his usual self - not wanting to mingle at first. But he soon got over this phase and began looking for the loot.

Photo from Pao's cousin, Mac. I'm not sure which basket of eggs is Malik's.
Possibly the one on the right because that contains lesser eggs.

Malik went with Ate Mae. They're a monopoly these two.
When we say "kids" in Pao's family, that means Mae and Malik only. So far at least.

I do not know where this tradition began so I Googled and landed here. Turns out, eggs symbolize rebirth. The egg hunt used to be a pagan tradition to symbolize the rebirth of the land after winter. Christians adopted the tradition to symbolize Christ rising (the rebirth) from the dead.

"Malik, let me tell you something.
Your mom is nerdoks. And you will likely be one too."

I noticed that the plastic eggs that we used looked worn, which could only mean that once upon a time, other children used to look for them. I have been planning to start a family tradition. The one I had in mind involved slowly building up a Christmas tree ornament collection. I kept some Christmas tree decorations from my parents' house (I don't know if my dad noticed that his plastic candy canes are missing Hehe) and was planning to collect a few from our vacations. But collecting Easter eggs may do.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Hunger Games - Part II

The movie confirmed what I was thinking all along - that the people from The Capitol look like Johnny Depp, at least when he's playing creepy roles like Willy Wonka or the Mad Hatter.

"I'm going to eat your children."
"I'm going to use all of your blushes."

Or, as a friend so expertly observed, the folks over at The Capitol could look like Tessa Prieto-Valdez.

"I'm going to make you wear feather boas."
{Some spoilers follow. Read at your own risk.}

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back at home

I could not leave for work yesterday. After spending so much time with Malik during the Holy Week, it was clear I was suffering from separation anxiety. My son is awesome.

Anyway I'm back from a quick trip to Cebu. Stayed in a hotel called Harolds which, except for its very poor take on Harrod's of London, is actually a decent place to stay in. I was only able to take this photo of our room.

It's clean and the interiors are done in good taste - a lot of neutrals and high quality furnishings. I wouldn't recommend dining in the restaurant though. I had to wait an hour and a half for the worst garlic steak I've ever had to eat. Nyi.

I got Malik an Islands Souvenir t-shirt and this magnet shaped like a guitar at the airport. Pao brought home a similar magnet from Palawan but we rarely let Malik play with it because it's made of ceramic. This one's carved from wood and is easily replaceable. Yey.

School hasn't started yet (thank goodness) so I'm still not in the groove of the things. I wish I could delay regular programming for a little while longer. I need some more of these.

Goodnight folks!
- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hunger Games - Part I

I finally watched The Hunger Games last night. In a nutshell, I am underwhelmed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Same banana

I am first to object when Pao claims that Malik takes after him. But everytime I take a step back and get a good look at the boys, I am amazed at how much they are alike.

They even sleep the same. How intriguing is that.

Exhibit A - Left foot up, right arm tucked under belly.
Exhibit B - Right foot up, right arm over left arm.

Today marks 4 1/2 days of taking care of Malik and I am having a blast. I am usually exhausted at the end of the day even though we're officially on "vacation". It's because my needs come second always to Malik's. I eat when he's done eating. I sleep when he's been put to bed. I take a shower only after he's had his. I even use the iPad only when he's done playing. I can see now how being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) can be demanding. I'm not even in charge of cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry. Yet I feel I have my hands full already.

Anywhoo, we'll soon be back to our usual routine so I'm enjoying every moment while I can. Today is Easter Sunday. What activities do you have lined up for the day?

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Saturday, April 7, 2012


We cannot wait for April 25 because that'll be the day when Marvel's The Avengers shows in theaters here in Manila. I haven't watched Thor yet, but the rest I've seen (the Ironman installments, Hulk and Captain America) which is why I'm very excited.

Malik has seen one Hulk episode on Cartoon Network. That was a cartoon roughly made in 2D. Very old school. Yet Malik has recognized the Hulk since, in posters and in standees at the mall. I'd like to get him a Hulk action figure. He'd go nuts if he had one. But they're just too expensive, probably because most are collectors' items that aren't meant to be taken out of their boxes anyway. It'll be ridiculous to give them to a two year old.

The other day though, we dropped by Petron and got these -

Avengers Tumblers! But wait! The toys on top come off so you can play with them separately. Woohoo -

These are really bang for your buck. Only P60 each for every P1000 worth of fuel purchased. We're going back for Captain America and Thor, so leave a couple of those for pogiboy.

Malik-isms: "Ty" = Ironman , "Hawk" - Hulk

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Friday, April 6, 2012


We spent last night at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel. Instead of battling it out with thousands of other Metro Manilans in the Expressway, we decided to stay in the city but out of our house. Everyone's happy, actually. I feel rested -

Malik in da house!
The Richmonde in Eastwood has a lobby the size of a football field. Really.

Malik had a great time swimming ("sim," he calls it. Heehee) -

Splish. Splash.

Who is the most pogi of them all?

That would be me - carrying the inflatable dinosaur. 

While Pao enjoyed snuggling with pogiboy -

Too bad I can't say the same for Malik.
Here he is trying to escape from the clutches of his father. Hee

- and running after him (when I'm not).

Told 'ya the lobby was expansive.

I liked the Richmonde Hotel in Eastwood. They were kind enough to upgrade us to a Deluxe room, which was fairly new.

The sheets were comfortable. They were not as luxurious as those in swankier hotels but they were still better than the sheets at home! Naman.

The bath was clean and huge. In fact, I trusted the bath enough to let Malik "sim" in it, which doesn't happen very often.

The pool area, located in the rooftop, was just the right size for families with smaller children looking for respite from the heat. I recommend you swim in the morning though because it got windy in the afternoon.

Malik: Making waves. In Cinemas near you. Naks.

Other plus points for Richmonde are: (1) It's close to our home, (2) It's located beside a mall, so there's plenty to do, and (3) It's within the Eastwood complex, which means there's plenty to eat too.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Welcome to the new and improved blog! Yey!

I was inspired by the personalized theme that my friend Mel got for her site, so I searched far and wide, looking for someone to design a theme for me too.

I came across Patricia Alix-Villa of Fancy Girl Designs, after a day of browsing through blogs by young moms like me. I discovered that Pat designed the free theme that I used over at my old blog, which I really really liked. And so our project was born.

If you want a theme that's all yours and your design aesthetic is feminine, I highly recommend that you work with Pat. Her rates are very reasonable, payment is convenient (even though she's based in Singapore) and she's so easy to work with.

I should know. I only had a vague idea of what I wanted for the blog but Patricia helped me sift through my otherwise disjointed thoughts. She responds promptly to emails and works fast. I reckon, redesigning the blog would not take more than a week, if I was a good, involved client. But alas, I wasn't. (I have excuses though.)

I hope you like what we've been working on. I am inspired to write more often in the blog because it's so pretty now. Maybe on days when I don't have much to say, I can just post a screenshot of the blog so we can appreciate it some more. Oooh.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I am so looking forward to the five-day weekend. Because of our lack of foresight, it looks like we're not heading out of town. But we'll be spending five whole days with pogiboy, which is always a treat in my book. Plus, now I finally have the time to read these -

(The Hunger Games Trilogy, all borrowed from a friend. Thanks, Grace!)

This will sound geek-y, but I'm also looking forward to finally finishing this -

(Built to Last, a book about 18 visionary companies and what makes them great, borrowed from the office library. Thanks, employer!)

- posted via BlogPress for iPad
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