11 November 2014

Half year review

This looks like a half year review with the rate at which I write my posts :)

Anyway, we're all getting excited because we'll be home for the Holidays! The best time of the year for me, even better (is there something better than best? Haha) is that we'll spend it with family and friends. Four weeks to go!

The not-so-little boy is still doing good. He has gotten better in dealing with other kids - the combination of age and therapy at work. He's a naturally lovely soul, just needs to be reminded to take time to listen to others and focus.

He's so engrossed in his Minecraft and lately, seems to like playing with his Skylanders again. He's also liked playing with his Lego - right in time, we can bring back his Lego set that uncle Abet gave him about 2 yrs ago. I've downloaded a jigsaw puzzle app into the iPad and he's interested in it as well, which is cool.

School-wise, he's still doing good. Doing multiplication now, both in Kumon and in school. His brain is amazing, he's memorised the multiplication table at age 6! I had a hard time memorising tables 6,7 &8 and I was in second grade then! Challenging the mind is working for him, he thrives in it. We feel really blessed that we don't have any issues in that front - with both our kids! :)

Behaviour-wise, he's also doing good. Their reward system in school starts with a "Learner's License" at the start of the year. They get one sticker/stamp for each week that they complete without any timeouts or callouts for their behaviour. Once they get 5 stickers for the Learner's, they progress to Purple, Blue, then Lime with 10 stickers needed for each.

Last year, he managed to just complete his Purple at the end of the year. So this year, our goal was to complete his Blue license. He managed to go beyond because he's now in his Lime license with 1 sticker in and still 4 weeks to go before he gets his early year-end.

There were a few snafus along the way, there were about 2 weeks when he didn't get any sticker because he got into the company of a silly kid and he went along with the kid's silliness. But after a few talks (and reminders from his teacher as well), he realised the silliness and stood up for himself.

It has been a good year for Ethan, I just hope his appetite would improve. And those episodes with tonsillitis wouldn't recur because he suffered through it. The good thing though is that he has no problem with taking medicines.

He's turning 7 in over a month, I am still in denial that in 3 years' time photon, we'll have a 2-digit-age kiddo! He's still my baby :)

Speaking of which, the baby girl (ehem, excuse me, she says she's not a baby but a little girl. Except when she wants to dede, then she's a baby!) is getting more and more talkative. She can talk your ears off! I remember Ethan going through the same phase when they're such chatter mouths!

Where do I start? She is such a girly-girl, loving princesses and ballet tutus. Twirling when she has a dress or skirt on. Loves mani-pedis and tiaras! So different from tomboyish me. She loves playing with my trinkets, fiddling with bracelets and necklaces - good thing I only have cheap costume abubots haha.

We got surprised when she was able to recite the Three Little Kittens poem (or whatever you would call it), out of nowhere. We didn't teach her that, she saw it from her YouTube views. She loves watching videos of toys and those egg surprises. Or Eggsperts, Peppa Pig, Louie, Donald Duck with the Chipmunks, Postman Pat, Yo Gabba Gabba and so much more.

Oh, and she loves singing Let It Go. It's almost as if it's on forever looping the way she sings it again and again. With matching actions (tiara-throwing "I'm never going back, the past is in the paaasssstttt!", Cape-throwing "the cold never bothered me anyway", or walking backwards "it's funny how some distance, makes everything seem small...")

Go ahead, Google it, watch that video of Elsa singing...you'll know what I mean;-)

She attends playgroups every other Wednesday, and she's got the administrator, Liana, at her beck and call! She would like to go to Preschool next year but her age doesn't fall into place just yet, one more year. I told her that, and she goes "Awww, wwwhhhyyy???"

We plan to let her start Kumon middle of next year, hopefully, the center here would take in non-readers, like how Ethan's center in Sta. Rosa welcomed him with open arms. It would help prepare her for school the following year, although that's just preschool. Albert has downloaded an app which helps kids learn to read and started working with her last night. Learning letter sounds, and how the letter looks like.

She was able to hold her own, promising start, if I must say so :)

She's adorable, it's difficult to get mad at her. She can charm her way in, smiling her cheeky smile saying sorry, with hugs thrown in for good measure! She is spoiled, I'm afraid. Even Ethan, she's wrapped him around her little finger, he can only shout out or complain but never hurt her back.

I asked Ethan last night if he loves Ianna. He says he does, but sometimes he doesn't like her. Like when she pulled his hair or kicked him on his nose - softly (his words, not mine). Haha, sibling love. I told him about my experience as the oldest child as well, letting him know that I empathise, as I have been there :) and my lovely little boy understands.

Although, we don't worry, because we can see how much he loves the little one. And she loves him just as much - she thinks of him every time we have something for her, she thinks of kuya as well.

I could not ask for more. Oh, maybe several pounds off, and these pesky skin irritations going away please. But family-wise, I am blessed. Especially with A, who is the best. He takes care of the kids, actually all of us. Yeah, I get irritated with the kalat he leaves after cooking, that's my stressful A-personality talking which I'm struggling to curb each day, but I couldn't ask for more. He's the best partner in life, again am blessed.

Let me end this with a short thanksgiving prayer...

Blessed are You, loving Father, for all Your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving me my family and friends. Thank You for Your gifts. I pray for Your loving guidance in our every day, grant us the grace to always see the abundance of Your blessings. Amen.

29 April 2014

Another update which is long past due...

 Ethan is now in Year 1, doing Year 2 work. Hehe.

They've just returned to school today after a two-week term break after Term 1. He has also started Kumon Reading and is now in level A1. His Math is in Level A and has Subtraction. He's doing quite well, I can say and has improved his time and focus (a bit).

He has written 2 short wacky stories to date, and has 2 still in the pipeline. I am thinking of starting a blog for him...but I just might take snap shots of his 4-page stories and post in Facebook. I am just so proud of his writing, so sue me, stage mama. ;)

He has also been painting from time to time...and he likes doing landscapes. He's also been so busy building his world in Minecraft, which he calls Firesparks. It has turned into a large world with a mushroom building, lava holes, waterslides, his sheep pen, cowpen and a lot of other structures. It's amazing how well he can move around Minecraft while I can't even move forward or sideways haha.

He's still continuing his therapy sessions with his OT and speech therapist. It's something that we'll continue to let him go to until he has the funding to support his sessions.


Remember when we were getting a bit worried that Ianna still hasn't talked much when she turned 2? It was for nothing because as soon as she started talking and building her vocabulary, she just sped ahead and has become much of a chatterbox now.

She has a lot of words and cheeky expressions:
Feel better, mama.
There, all done!
Where are you? (singsong voice with her hand along her brows as if looking for something)
There you are!

And when something (or someone annoys her): No! Go away!

She seems to have acquired the Aussie accent (something that's baffling, we don't know where she got it! probably from watching kids' shows?):

Jake, cake - pronounced JAYK, KAYK
Water - pronounced WO TA
Baby - pronounced BAY BI

She can count from 1-10 now, sing parts of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep and ABC.

She goes to playgroup in Ethan's school every other Wednesday where they play, listen to stories, sing (Row Row Row your Boat daw), run around catching bubbles on the field, stamp their hands silly.

She's bugging me now, she wants dede daw. Until next update na lang muna....

04 February 2014


It's never easy being a working mother. I thank God that I was given last year to just dedicate my time with the kids. Because now, I find it hard to be away from them. I always find myself rushing home (but who can rush a 1 1/2 hr train ride, right?) and fortunately, I get blessed with the hugs, kisses, huge smiles, and shouts "MAMA!" Bliss. School has started for Ethan for a week now, he's in Year 1. They haven't been divided into sections yet, as the school still expects some new enrollments and some cancellations. He's settled in just fine, happy to see his friends again. Albert says when they reach school in the morning, he just goes and looks for his friends. No more drama boy with his "I'm going to miss you. Sniff Sniff" and when it's time for lining up, he just goes to his line, without even saying bye first hehe. We've enrolled him again into Kumon for his Math. And we can definitely see improvement in how he does his additions - he's more confident. I seldom hear his "But I can't do it!" now, it's more of "Can I do my worksheets later because I still want to play?" He's now adding 5s and 6s and we know (and see) that he can definitely do it quick. It's just that he keeps on getting distracted and wondering about stuff that he spends so much time on a page. His OT sessions have also recommenced and we're set to schedule his speech therapy this week. Now the little girl... She has more words now, and we've found that she's more able to repeat words. But then, because of her usual cheeky self, she prefers to keep her old words. For example, she can say KUYA but prefers to say EEBO. Although sometimes when we ask her to call her kuya, she can shout "KUYA!" Her new words: Kuya Boy Girl Lollie - referring to my auntie Belen Cat Hat Hop Apa (cone) Mami (can range from the mami to plain pancit) Mickey Pik = pink Bu = blue but then there are still the "Ianna words": Hapo = soup Bugs Bunny is still with the hopping action while saying "Hop! Hop!" Go Yaba Yaba = Yo Gabba Gabba (yeah, I know, so close!) And of course, Me: San ka punta, Ianna? Ianna: Mow (Mall) She still loves dressing up and posing (basta walang sapot!). Never a dull moment, indeed! :)

16 January 2014


It's a new year, and along with it comes a lot of new for us.

First off, I have started work last January 6. If there is one thing that 2013 has taught me, it was about being patient and waiting for God's will to happen. He gave me a year to settle down in our new home, a year to be with the kids and just enjoy my family's company.

Being there while Ianna learned how to walk, talk, eat on her own; being there for Ethan to support him throughout his Kindergarten year, go with him to his therapy sessions; all these are precious moments that The Lord has enriched me (and Albert) with.

And He had always provided even if we didn't have work, we still had enough, and didn't feel deprived.

And now He has provided again and answered a prayer to help us find work. Now my year-long vacation has to end because we cannot depend on kuya forever hehe. Ang galing ni Lord, He truly provides and gives what you need in the best time. And I always thank Him for Papa A who is truly the best husband a girl can have because he is a partner in every sense of the word.

So now, I wake up early, go to work through a 1.5 hr train ride, and come home to hugs and kisses from the kids. Bliss! :)

Another new thing for us was our 5-day holiday in the Gold Coast courtesy of kuya Abet :) We all had a great time going to WB Movie World, Sea World, and Wet 'n Wild. I am really glad that we were given this opportunity. Thank you, kuya!

Now, updates...

We've enrolled Ethan in Kumon again, for his Math. He had his IQ test last December and he was classified as gifted. He had an IQ range of 122-132. He had Very Superior skills in reading, comprehension, pseudo word decoding and spelling. His math skills are average but mostly because according to the psychologist, he was hesitant when he saw the numbers and she didn't push him anymore because he was getting tired.

His classes will start on the 29th of January and he'll be in Year 1. His Kindy teacher informed us to bring his test results and discuss with his teacher on how we can help him in his classes. It is important to constantly challenge him otherwise, he'll just "muck around" because he'll get bored. That's one thing that's good with his school, they are aware of this and are extending children when needed to help them achieve as much as they can.

As for the little girl, she can now identify some colors:
Boo = blue
Peek= pink
Nani = yellow (because she calls bananas nani, which are yellow so...)

She can say Hi and Bye. She can do wacky shot now, mostly with her tongue out and arms spread out. She knows some of the Backyardigans:
Papo = Pablo
Tasha = Tasha :)
Me = Uniqua (because she likes Uniqua, she's pink)
Tico = Austin (because he's purple and has a tail, like Tico, Dora's squirrel friend)
She doesn't know Tyrone, though hehe.

Me: how old are you?
Ianna: two!
Me: how are you?
Ianna: two!


Cheechee= chichirya, pretzels
Choochoo= train

She' maarte, I know she didn't get that from me! She gets really excited when we ask her to choose her clothes (which is almost always the Dora one), and takes so long I choosing which shoes to wear. She does wacky shots now, mostly with her tongue out and arms spread wide.she loves posing with her hats, necklaces, bracelets, sunglasses. Maarte nga!

She now knows the concept of "mine!" So her toys are now "mine!" And sometimes even kuya Ethan's and that's when the kulitan begins. But kuya dotes on her, she's really the baby, and sometimes acts like a brat. But we don't let that slide. She gets time outs now for those really naughty time. And she knows, and hates it, and cries all throughout the 2 minutes. But she understands why.

We've also started toilet training, as she prompted it. Much like with Ethan, we just wait until e she's ready. For two days now, she's been doing the number 2 on the loo (using kuya Ethan's Thomas the Train booster seat)!

I guess that's it for now. Oh yeah, we reached our 1 year milestone last Monday (13th January). How time flies! Just looking at Ethan, sometimes I find it amazing that we have a 6-year old who's starting to really push his independence. But as I always tell them, no matter what their age, they will always always be our babies!

04 December 2013

Welcome to my favorite part of the year :)

Merry Christmas!!!
It's the most wonderful time of the year...and so the song goes...and I agree!

December and Christmas time is always my favorite time of the year. It brings out the child in me. Now that we're celebrating Christmas away from Pinas (which has the longest Christmas season, I believe), it takes some adjusting.

But we have our Christmas tree up. Gifts for the kids are ready to be wrapped. Difference nga lang, Christmas here is in summer time, so medyo mainit :) but it's the spirit that counts!

They have a lot of Santa booths, but only the little boy goes near Santa. Ayaw ni little girl. She knows Santa and calls him "Ho Ho Ho" but she doesn't want to go near him. Maybe it's the suit hehe.

The school year is about to end for Ethan and I've been hearing a lot of "he's changed a lot, there's a big difference from when he started school and now" from his teacher and even the principal. They don't say it in a negative way, and I don't get offended either. Because he has changed in some way.

I guess the changes can be observed more in school wherein they see how he interacts with his classmates and schoolmates. Here in the house, he's still the same Ethan - joyful, malambing (though at times a bit babyish hehe), funny with his out-of-this-world jokes, and he still has that habit of not regularly using his listening ears :P

In their End of Year assembly, we got a note saying that he's going to receive an award, we're not sure what it is yet. But I think it would be his certificate for completing the Premier's Reading Challenge - that is, they have a program where kids are asked to read 25 books within a certain time period (kahit hindi marunong magbasa pero binasa ng parents, pwede pa rin).

He has been attending Year 1/2 classes for 3x a week since Term 3 because he's advanced than his class. In fact, he can even read faster than kids in the Year 1/2 class! And he knows big words, according to his teacher. His mind is like a sponge that just remembers everything. It's amazing actually.

He's due for an IQ test (cognitive assessment) on the 19th to formally assess his capabilities. It would also help us in talking with his school and inform them so that they can plan accordingly, in terms of the support they would provide for Ethan. But according to his teacher, he will always be "extended". It means he will always be advanced in his lessons.

His Speech Assessment results say he's Above Average in his speech and language. So his therapist, would focus more on the social aspect of language - maintaining conversations, staying on topic, keeping eye contact, waiting for your turn, etc.

His Occupational Therapy Assessment results say that in his Gross motor skills, only his balance is not age appropriate (so that needs work). But his fine motor&handwriting skills, visual motor integration, motor functions, cognitive age assessment are all age appropriate. In his Sensory Profile, it showed that he needed some help in his sensory processing and integration (the way sensory info is interpreted from the environment) - particularly, auditory, vestibular, and oral. So his sessions will target these areas.

He's also attending a Social Skills group once a week. It gives him a chance to interact with other kids his age (aside from the school environment), and it's where they are taught skills like - processing their thoughts, dealing with bullies, learning teamwork, etc.

He is enjoying these sessions, and we're really glad that he does. He looks forward to these, and we just hope that it would really benefit him. But we find it helpful when we find him acting up at home sometimes, we can pull out these learnings as an example, and it's easier for him to understand what we're saying.
The little girl is still learning new words. Some of her new ones:

Santa = Ho Ho Ho
Ianna = NaNa
Kuya = Eebo (previously Yabo)
Uncle = Cuh (pronounced with a short u sound like Duh)

A: Who is your favorite monster?
Ianna: MoMo (Elmo)
A: Sinong ayaw mo na monster?
I: Co Co Ki (Cookie Monster)

She loves watching Eeyo (Rio). And her favorite drink is "Pep". That's Pepsi. Patay na. Parang si Ethan dati, favorite naman Cok (Coke).

Dora = Tatajee (sometimes shortened to Tajee)
Tikkkk-ko = Tico (Dora's friend, the squirrel)
Heesa = Isa (Dora's friend, the iguana)

Her favorite fruit is Nanani (Banana). She says "O-o" for yes and "Ne" for no.

Rowing motion = boat
Rolling her arms = drive or a car

She loves reading before going to sleep. Is terrified of Peleda and Coraline (they look scary with their button eyes) hehe. Loves chips and chocolate (uh oh). Can eat rice and ulam with a spoon. She sits with us during dinner time, we give her food on her plate and she can eat by herself (unlike Eebo who needs constant prodding unless he really loves the food like sinigang, menudo, nilaga, or anything soup).

She's funny and is so maarte. She loves dressing up, and takes a long time to choose what she's going to wear - whether her clothes or shoes! So when we're in a hurry, I don't let her choose haha.

We've come up with actions to the "Down by the River" song and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". She likes to dance and sing. And we love her noisy kisses and tight hugs.

She also loves swimming, and takes a long time taking a bath because she has to play and "swim" in the bathtub. When she sees us painting, she also wants to paint, and we let her because it's good for her to learn to appreciate art.

Ianna is in that precocious stage, where everything is just precious. She can get really hard headed at times, but we can manage to distract her. She even has this "tantrumy" action where he slams her body onto the floor when she wants something and we don't give in. When she does that, we don't pay attention to it. And she knows that it doesn't work hehe. She's so attached to me, but thankfully, deals well with going with Papa while I go with Ethan to his sessions.

That's Ianna's progress report for now :)
Another thing to look forward to is our summer holiday! Uncle Abet generously booked all of us tickets for a 4-night stay in Queensland and our planned itinerary is Sea World, Warner Bros. MovieWorld, and Wet'nWild. I'm sure the kids are going to have fun (and us too!). I just hope there won't be too much people although I doubt it a bit, because it is summer vacation after all.
Still job hunting...but all in God's time. He knows what is best.

Have a blessed Merry Christmas everyone!