Saturday, December 31, 2011

K's Point of View: It's all about giving

Tonight, as I carried my little girl up to bed, I gave her a big hug - thinking how blessed I am. My husband has just celebrated his 3xth birthday, I had just put my 4 month old baby to bed with breastmilk and cuddles - and then it was my toddler's turn.

Me to K: I love you.
K: I love you too.
Me: Mommy's very happy. You know why?
K: Yes.
Me: Why?
K: Because you give your presents to me!

Such an endearing little thought from my 2year old... but so true too. As a mom, I've been truly blessed to have given to my 2 daughters throughout the year - in whatever form it might be. And tonight - I again remember that it is in giving to others that we start receiving a lot more blessings.

As 2011 comes to a close - I pray that I have touched the hearts of many this year in giving a part of me. In the coming new year, may I be able to share a little bit more.

Happy New Year - from our humble home!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Welcoming December

Christmas is a huge thing in the Philippines. Somehow, Filipinos are able to squeeze in a year's worth of get-together's and reunions into this typical 31 day, 4 weekend month. Even the antisocial couple, DH and I,  are swept into a whirlwind of people to see, parties to attend, and (I must not forget) food to relish.  At home, Christmas gifts, fruit boxes, goody baskets and the like are always either coming or going... it's a busy, busy time. It takes a lot of effort to stop and freeze time - and just enjoy the moment. This is why I was really happy that at the close of November, DH, the girls and I got to steal away for a couple of days for some R&R.

I had bought a Cash Cash Pinoy voucher in June for an overnight stay at a new resort in Subic. I had first meant to use it just for DH, K, and myself - to spend time with K after the baby arrives. As the months passed, I went back to work, the expiration loomed near, and I still have not used the voucher. I almost gave it away. DH convinced me we should use it - and we can bring the baby (yey) with us. So off we went to Subic!
 And we chilled by the pool...

...blew bubbles...

... and danced....

and bonded with each other.

With that, I am refreshed with new energy, reminded of what's important to me, and ready to face the Christmas rush head on. Bring it on!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Precious to Me: Tequila Joe's *blast from the past*

Do you remember Tequila Joe's? No, not the one in Glorietta 4... the one on the corner of Kalayaan and Makati Avenue? I do. I've only ever had dinner there once... but it will always bring back good memories.  It was the first restaurant DH and I ate at... on a first "date" (if you can call it that!). It was Thanksgiving Day, in 1998. I had squid ink pasta; I was more concerned about having a great meal, than impressing my date! Look where we are now though... I cannot believe it's been 13 years. Definitely something to be thankful about.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

K's Point of View: It's hot

Part 2 of the transportation series:

While reading a Dora book with a hot air balloon...

Me: K, would you like to ride a hot air balloon?
K: No.
Me: Why?
K: Because it's hot (eh).

Giving Feedback... to your Child

I just attended a two-day management training on managing staff at work - and one of the topics was on giving feedback to your team members. I learned the SBI technique of giving feedback - especially for those times when the team member has done something that's more negative than positive. The SBI technique is using the following steps to frame and analyze the situation:

  1. S - Describe the Situation
  2. B - Identify the Behavior
  3. I - Explain the Impact
This got me thinking about other ways to use the technique. One can use it in the work place, in a social environment, or even at home. It then hit me that I have been using the SBI technique to talk to K whenever she exhibits naughty (I prefer to use the word "naughty" over "bad") behavior. Although K is only 2 1/2, I believe she understand a lot more than she lets on - and so I've been treating her more like a bigger kid than the toddler that she is.

Recently, she took her cousin's bubble toy and did not want to return it, claiming it was hers. As it was starting to become a heated argument between a 2 year old and a 3 year old --- an argument that is sure to end in the meltdown of at least 1 child --- I stepped in, pulled out K, and started talking to her.
  1. S - I explained to K that the toy was her cousin's and that she had her own bubble toy.
  2. B - I told her that she took the toy from her cousin, and did not want to share.
  3. I - I then told her that her cousin now feels sad, because she had no toy. She will also probably not want to play with K anymore if K does not share the toy with her.
I had to repeat this several times, while K kept insisting the toy was hers, very close to tears. This took all of ten minutes, until she calmed down. When I saw she had calmed down, I asked her again to return the toy to her cousin. She slowly returned the toy to her cousin. I thanked her for returning the toy to her cousin. I was happy that I somehow got through to her - and I hope that the through constant repetition of this type of "feedback" - we will avoid harsher punishments/reprimands.

How do you talk to your child about naughty behavior?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Precious to Me: Fast Asleep

They say never spoil a newborn with too much hugging and carrying. How can you resist though? They grow up so fast - and they are this small only once. This picture is of baby S sleeping on my chest, barely one month old.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

K's Point of View: High up there

K has been learning about different kinds of transportation in toddler class. Hence, I've been pointing out cars, trains, buses, motorcycles, etc. to her. On a recent car trip out - the MRT passed in front of us so I pointed it out to her.

Me: Look K, it's a train!
K: Wow.
Me: Would you like to ride the train?
K: No.
Me: Why? It's nice and fast...
K: (Looking up at the rails) It's high up there eh! I can't go up.

Mommy forgot to show her the stairs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby Plus and other deals from Quirks Marketing Philippines

Thanks to my cousin Cheps, I got to use Baby Plus with my two daughters. For K, I used it from the 24th week onwards, while for S, I used it from the 18th week onwards. To be honest, I do not have any experience taking care of a baby that has not listened to Baby Plus. I only speak for my two daughters - both were calm and not "cry babies." My second daughter S - who was on Baby Plus 6 weeks longer than K - started cooing earlier than her sister (before she hit the second month) and responding to people talking to her. On her 2nd month, S has started sleeping 5-6 straight hours at night. K, on the other hand, has grown up to become a very interactive and imaginative toddler (Check out my Time to Make Believe post here.) I believe the thub-thumping of Baby Plus has something to do with this. 

On November 12 - you can get your Baby Plus from the Quirks Marketing Philippines sale. You can also get your other baby and toddler gear needs! Check out their sale at the Atlanta Centre in Greenhills - where old and new stocks are to be sold at discounted prices. 
I myself want to check out their stuff - who knows, they might have these items, which I have been wanting to own!
Zinnia Rose Stroller Blanket (picture from
Perfect for toddler K who has started wanting blankets!

Paperdolls Wall Decals (picture from
A great way to spice up a door or a wall.
Kiddie Ride On (picture from
K would enjoy standing on this while baby S is in the stroller.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

K's Point of View: Who has colds?

I started a blog because I wanted to share my life with my kids some day. I also wanted to share with them bits and pieces of their growing up years. I tried handwriting notes to my eldest daughter - and I almost filled up a small notebook - but I was never consistent! Worst of all - my husband says I have very bad handwriting. Today, I chanced upon a fellow mom's blog - Trisha's playtime break - where Mom Trisha shared the darndest things that her 2 year old son Matteo says. And so - here goes my own version - K's Point of View - from my toddler to you.

October 2011
K has developed a cold - and I was concerned that this may have come from school. So I ask her, "Is there someone in your classroom who has a cold?" She answers, "Yes!" I ask, "Who?" And she answers..."K!" 

How do you argue with that?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mi Casa Home Cooking

Fried to a crisp!
I love fried pigeon. I especially like it when the skin is fried to a crisp (but not burnt) in a golden honey color. If there's one thing I looked forward to during "confinement" (or "ge-lai" - which is the one month period of pure Chinese torture after giving birth), it would be that I can have all the pigeon I wanted because it's considered to be very helpful in the strength regaining process of women who have just given birth.

For my second birth confinement, our friends Cons and Marie introduced us to Mi Casa's Spiced Fried Pigeon. It comes frozen - the entire bird sealed in see through packaging. It's also just the right size for one meal - perfect for an always hungry, breastfeeding mom! Our cook would chop the bird up into 4 pieces - each piece with either a wing or a leg. This is then fried to a crisp. The skin comes out looking perfect - and trust me, they are also crispy and tasty! There's no need to eat this with any condiments (not even the salt and pepper that's served in Chinese restaurants) - because it's marinated perfectly by Mi Casa. This pigeon is perfect to serve at home - and also as a gift to someone who has just given birth. It's convenient and easy to prepare.
Add caption

We kept going back for more - and discovered other Mi Casa cooked frozen specialties. My mom and sister loves the embutido - precooked and frozen for those days when you need a quick meal idea. They make a mean chicken embutido too. I checked out their freezer and there are a number of items I will definitely try in the future. They also sell pasta sauces, baked goodies and dips. Watch this space!

Check out Mi Casa at 57 Connecticut St., North East Greenhills. If you have time, check out their dine in restaurant, Angel's Kitchen, too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

25 Random Things About Me

This post is inspired by Dainty Mom.
I'm a newbie blogger and I'm always wondering what to blog about next. There's very little on my "About" widget that can possibly pique your interest to read my blog. I am hoping one of the 25 random things here will! I'd like to think that this is what I've become - after all these years.

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Nina Garcia (coolness - i had to look this up!). 
2. What’s on your playlist right now? ABC, Music and Me.
3. Where did you meet your husband? In Taiwan, in 1992. That was officially the first meeting.
4. How many children do you have? Two.
5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? Yes, in 2nd grade for a solo singing contest - where I totally failed. But I met a very good friend (Gressy!)
6. Was it love at first sight when you saw your husband? NO. Not even love at second sight ;)
7. What’s your favorite food? I cannot decide! Grilled liempo?
8. What do you order at Starbucks? Tall Caramel Macchiato (hot) or Tall Coffee Frap (cold)
9. If you could buy one thing for the house right now, money aside, what would it be? A lot of shelving for storage. Especially the IKEA ones for the kids' room!
10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? A doctor.
11. Say something totally random about yourself. A horse bit me when I was about 9 years old.
12. Do you watch X-Factor? No.
13. Did you have braces? No.
14. Favorite Social Network? Twitter (Follow me: @cuckoo_sing)
15. Where’d your husband propose to you? At Subic, on a yacht, just before sunset. Yes, it was a yacht. Maybe someday I'll tell you the story. 
16. Why is your blog called The Corporate Housewife Mom? Somehow, I ended up with those 3 roles, without aiming for them. 
17. Do you speak any other languages? Chinese (Fookien, some Mandarin) and Filipino.
18. What’s your favorite pastime? I love reading and trying out new food.
19. What magazines do you read? Nowadays, it's Yummy and Good Housekeeping. Online, I like Parenting and Real Simple.
20. Name one of your useless skills. I can recite the alphabet backwards. I remember people's shoes.
21. Do you drive? Yup.
22. What are your top five TV shows at home this fall ’11 season? Unfortunately, none. I don't watch TV. Maybe How I Met Your Mother? Is that still on?!
23. Can you dance? I think so. You might not think so though.
24. What’s your favorite place in the world? Our room. And also the shores of Boracay.
25. If you could have a super power, what would it be? To go back and forward in time.
Now, I’m gonna ask you to do two things in the comments: 1) Answer one of my 25 questions with an answer about you, and 2) ask me another random question, which I’ll answer. I hope to meet you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Papa, can I ask you something?

If my papa were healthy and alive today, he would be turning 54 years old today. It's not the ripe, old age of 54... because 54 is young. He would be young enough to carry my two girls, play with them and spoil them like grandfather's do. I grew up with a grandfather figure - my father's dad doted on me (I shamelessly admit that) - and I feel sad that my daughters will grow up not knowing a grandfather figure (my husband's father has passed on as well).

Now that I have daughters of my own - I really wish that my dad were still alive so that I can ask questions about my own infant and toddler years. How similar or different were our experiences in rearing up daughters? If he were alive today, these are some of the questions I would have asked him:

1. When did you find out you were going to have me?
2. How did you feel the day I was born?
3. When was the first time you carried me?
4. Did you feed me milk? Change my diapers? Washed my poop?
5. How did you play with me as a baby?
6. What did you do that made me smile? Laugh? Cry?
7. Who did you think I looked like?
8. What were the things we liked to do together?
9. What were the dreams you had for me when I was a baby? When I was 1? 2?
10. Was I as you expected me to be?
11. Can you tell me anecdotes of my infant/toddler years?
12. What were the things I said that made you smile?
13. How different/similar was I to Shobe?
14. Did you like having two girls?

Papa, it would have been wonderful to exchange notes, talk about the girls, and let you experience having little girls once again since Shobe and I are both all grown up. It would have been wonderful to give you back the experience of going back in time... seeing us again when we were small. Now, you can only do this from afar - and I do hope you are watching over my two girls like a guardian grandfather. I hope you enjoy watching them grow up - seeing their beautiful smiles, relishing their bubbly laughter, and chuckling over their little girl antics. Happy birthday, Papa! My two girls and I wish you were here to celebrate it with us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Time to Make Believe

The blogging prompt from Social Moms made me think about writing this post. What is my favorite part of the day with my child/family? I work for a multinational company, and my working hours are usually around 9am to 7pm. On weekdays, the only downtime I really have to spend with my family is after dinner, just before my 2 year old goes to bed. On holidays or weekends - we also get to spend a little more time in the morning, and again just before nap time. However, it is really before bedtime where we are consistently able to spend quality time together, and it is best spent make believing! This is my favorite time of the day - the time when we make believe as a family.

Thanks to my husband who is the creative soul in this marriage - he is able to bring out the imaginative side out of our daughter. At an early age, I noticed she loved playing make believe with dolls, cooking sets and doctor sets. Their play includes setting up pillows to make houses for K, walking around the room with baskets "shopping", or cooking up a storm with K's cooking set. I don't need to really be part of it to enjoy it - just watching them together makes me smile.

Staging a makeshift puppet show
I, on the other hand, prefer reading books and stories to my daughter. To bring out the "make believe" in it - I dreamt up this idea to set up small puppet shows for K using her stuffed toys. The puppet shows were a big hit! She's taken to pretending she's Little Red Riding Hood... and when her father pretends to be the big bad wolf, she answers "No, no, no... not by the hair of my chinny chin chinny...!"

Make believe time is part play, part learning for us. Now that my daughter is a lot more verbal - I can see how she has been learning from our make believe time. It's a great mix of fun and learning!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stain, be gone!

There are few things in life I am OC about (ask my husband - I am light years away from being OC). However, there is one thing that seems to top my short OC-ness list - and that would be any kind of stain on my clothes. Nowadays, it has expanded to DH's and the two DD's clothes and sheets. The moment I see a small stain or anything that remotely resembles one - I am all over it with tissues (white only, of course) and water (cold, never hot/warm) - as a basic emergency instant relief.

This kind of OCness must have stemmed from the fact that growing up, my mom has made sure that our clothes were always spic and span. My mom is THE expert at removing stains. Our white uniforms remain white years and years after they were bought. I could never understand the comparison's on TV when they show Detergent X washed laundry are not white... because our white clothes remain white forever.

I use the mandarin orange variant.
My no-fail stain remover formula of late has been: water + mild liquid soap + hydrogen peroxide. For a strong stain that's dried up already - I usually mix 2-3 part water to 1 part liquid soap, and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. For the mild soap, I've tried using Perwoll and Human Heart Nature's mandarin orange handwash. Both worked perfectly fine. If the stain is fresh - more water would work too.

The worst stain I've used this on is a red wine stain on DH's pina barong. His friend spilled red wine on one arm of his barong - and we thought the barong was goner. I made the mixture of water, soap and peroxide and dabbed this on the stain. I kept applying and re-applying the mixture (while blotting behind the fabric with white tissue paper) every 10 minutes for about half an hour. At each 10 minute interval, I could visibly see the stain getting lighter - until it eventually complete disappeared. Even I was surprised at how well it worked. I feel bad I did not take a before and after picture!

Here are my other stain removal tips:

For the barong, I used the pink variant.
1. Try to blot out the stain (both sides) with water and tissue paper or white cloth as soon as possible.
2. Make sure to always use cold water, because hot water will "seal" in stain.
3. Remove the stain BEFORE sending this into the wash. Once the piece of clothing has been washed, dried and ironed - it's received a lot of stain sealing heat.
4. Ink stains are best removed by spraying hairspray on it first before washing. Spray hairspray liberally, and keep repeating until the ink has visibly evaporated/bled - before washing.
5. For stains with oil in it - it helps to liberally sprinkle with talcum powder first, to absorb the oil.
6. Use the mildest soaps available - and be gentle!

What are your stain removal tips?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The NOBU experience
My husband and I love Japanese food. For as long as I can remember - eating at a japanese restaurant was always a "happy" moment for us. One of our earliest birthday celebrations for me was at a Japanese restaurant called Shokuji in Salcedo Village. I remember being on night shift that night, and going out only for a birthday dinner break. On another occasion, we played hooky and went all the way to Katipunan to have lunch at Kamirori (an old college favorite of mine). For the past 5 years, we've celebrated our wedding anniversary at our favorite Japanese restaurant in Manila - Senju, at Edsa Shangrila Hotel. In fact, Senju is one of the reasons why I continue to keep my Club Edsa card... so that we can continue to enjoy the fabulous Japanese food there.

I first read about Nobu years ago. I read about the collaboration between Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro - because Robert De Niro just loved his cooking. The first restaurant was in New York - and I can only imagine how hard it must be to get reservations (if you were in New York, in the first place!) I did not even dream of trying out the restaurant at that time. I contented myself with buying the cookbook and imagining what his food must taste like (I have a great imagination, especially when reading recipes). I also wanted to have the original recipe of the Black Cod Miso, a signature Nobu dish, a "copy" of which I was able to taste in Singapore.

Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno
Fast forward to 2010 when, on a trip to Hongkong, my husband surprised me with reservations at the Nobu restaurant in the InterContinental Hotel. I had been updating my research on Nobu - and I had told him that there is a Nobu restaurant in Hongkong already. It was not to drop hints - because I knew it would be expensive to dine there - but hey, we can dream, right? The restaurant at the InterCon is on the second floor, and has a great view of the Kowloon bay. Despite my advice to go at lunchtime (to take advantage of the cheaper lunch menu), he insisted we go for dinner so that we can enjoy the lights and sound show coming from the buildings across the bay, at Central. The restaurant is not too formal - they welcomed us with warm smiles as we walked in in our jeans, sneakers and numerous paperbags (from a day of shopping). We asked one of the servers to suggest dishes that we could try out, given it was our first time. We were quite happy to try out small appetizers rather than actually have a full main course - in order try out more of Nobu's dishes.

Beef Tataki with Onion Ponzu Sauce
Alaskan Crab with a sweet vinegar sauce
Yellowtail sashimi is always good - but the jalapeno and special soy sauce on this dish added an oomph that was at the same time yummy, and not overwhelming. Next, we tried the beef tataki - which is very simlar to the Italian beef carpaccio. We felt this was such a worth it dish - it came in a serving that was more then enough for two people. Despite not ordering the Angus version, the beef was very soft and tender. Of course we had the Black Cod Miso (what's the point of lusting over it for years, if I don't at least try it?), and it did not disappoint. The cod was soft, and cooked perfectly. The sweet miso glaze was perfect - and no matter how many times I read the recipe, i probably will not be able to imagine what it actually tasted like. We also tried some Alaskan Crab, fried like tempura, and served with a warm, sweet vinegar sauce.

Toro Tataki with Yuzu Miso
The one dish that deserves it's very own paragraph though, is the Toro Tataki with Yuzu Miso. This is a dish that must have literally been made in heaven. "Toro" is tuna belly - in this case, a very high quality, fatty belly; "tataki"is a manner of preparing fish, and literally means "pounded" or "hit into pieces." Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit giving the creamy miso sauce a hint of citrus in it. After slowly relishing the toro, and even the shiitake mushroom on top... it took all of our willpower not to slurp up the sauce! The dish was quite pricey for four pieces of toro... but it is well worth the price. I will keep ordering this, each time we get to visit Nobu (which shouldn't be often!)

Nobu Signature Bento Box

We raved about the Nobu experience to our friends, enough to convince them that we should all try Nobu again on our next trip to Hongkong. So in 2011 - we went back for seconds (Nobu, twice in less than 12months - what a splurge!) This time we went for lunch. Most of us ordered lunch sets or bento boxes so that we can personally order what we wanted to try. The bentos came in Japanese lacquered boxes - 2 layers for each bento order. Each compartment, again, had a generous serving of quality Japanese cuisine. These bentos are definitely worth trying!

NOBU in Hongkong is located at the second floor of the InterContinental HongKong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hongkong, SAR. For reservations, call +852 2313 2323

Thursday, September 8, 2011

One quarter housewife, three quarters dreamer

I have a confession to make. Despite the middle name of my blog title - I am only really one quarter of a housewife. I don't actually have a "house" to manage since I live with my mother-in-law. Lucky me though, she does most of the managing of the household. I also get along well with my MIL (no, she does not read this blog) and hence have had no conflicts with her, after 5 years of marriage.

Having no house to manage also leaves me with "very" little to do as a "housewife." I still do my own share of "housewife-y" things though, like:

1. Ensure DH and toddler DD has meals that they like (and are willing) to eat. Sometimes this entails I may have to cook a viand or two - but this is rare. Our cook (managed by MIL) usually has something for everyone.
2. Ensure that the two DD's things are in order - clothes washed properly, they have enough supplies (toiletries, snacks, vitamins, medicine, breastmilk, laundry detergent etc.), outgrown clothes packed away....
3. Pack DH's things for his trips - or for our trips together.
4. Choose the best for my dear family whenever I can - the best vitamins, the best type of soap/laundry detergent, organic vegetables, and so forth.
5. Manage schedule of the family and make sure either DH or myself or both are available when needed - school for toddler DD, PTCs (This is new this year!), doctor's visits for the 2 DDs, weekend events, trips, family outings...
6. Manage the two yaya's (and their relationship with the rest of the household help - enough said.)
7. Prepare DH's baon for the times when he's not in Manila... this is less frequent now because of my lack of time (sadness - because i truly enjoy this) - and with DH's schedule (he spends more time in Manila now - yey!)
8. Expense management for the 2 DDs
9. Queen over DH and my room (and T&B)... and now also the kid's room.
10. Oh, must not forget - i also do trips to the grocery to stock up on household supplies, as and when needed.

So that sums up my quarter of a housewife role - but it still leaves me craving for more. I dream of becoming a FULL housewife, and doing things like:

1. Planning the weekly menu, on a weekly grocery budget
2. Managing an impeccable kitchen, pantry and refrigerator.
everything in it's proper place
3. Clean surroundings - less clutter!

4. Matching sheets and well made bed.

5. Breakfast/Brunch on Sundays for the family
simple breakfast fare
6. Organic Food (everyday)?

7. Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
And the list goes on --- today, it is all but a dream, but I know I have to keep brushing up on the basic skills in order not to shock my system when I reach that stage. Now, let me sign off, and start tidying up  the bedroom first!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

I grew up in a a non-"touchy feely" family environment. We don't hug nor kiss each other - not parents to children, children to parents... or even worse (horrors)... sibling to sibling! Probably the only family member whom I got most kisses from would be my youngest brother - and that's just because we were 9 years apart, and I was actually old enough to remember when he first came out as a baby. And babies are always kissable, right? 

Not only are we not touchy feely - we also are not expressive, even with words. We don't say I love you out loud to each other. It's not to say we don't - we just are not comfortable with it. At most - we would put "love, so and so" on the annual birthday and christmas card (or email) - and I am sure we all meant it, when we said so.

Fast forward to today - I am now raising a daughter almost two and half years old. I am proud to say that somehow - she's turning out to be very expressive with her feelings. Is it because she's a girl? And all girls are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice? Or it could be because my husband and I have never been shy to show affection in front of her as well. Whatever it is, I am proud that she's turning out the way she is!

Here are some of the signs that seem to say she's going to turn out to be a very affectionate little girl.

Sign #1 In the mornings, my husband is usually still in bed when I leave for work. K would be awake by then, and I would take her with me for her to have breakfast. I'd always kiss my husband on the forehead before leaving, and say "bye hon...." Recently, K has also started doing the same thing... and she's got the routine down pat... down to the "bye hon."

Sign #2 The other night, before going to bed, we called up her dad who was in Batangas. After chatting for a few minutes, I said it was time for her to say goodnight. While staring at her dad's caller id picture, she said in a very sweet voice "dude [good] night papa... i wub [love] you."

Sign #3 As she was seated on her potty... she suddenly said "I kiss you mommy..." and held my face with her lips pursed. And after that sweet kiss... I also get an "i wub you."

A kiss, a hug, and an "i wub you..." - these are the simple, priceless treasures of being parents. I wouldn't exchange these for anything in this world.
"i wub you, baby"

^^^^^^^ August 3, 2011 ^^^^^^^^^
Tonight - sign #4 came - while slathering lotion on to my belly - K kisses my belly and says "i wub you, baby." At 37 weeks and a few days, baby number 2 gets assurance from big sister that he/she is definitely loved!
Kissing the 1 week old Baby S

Originally posted on July 30, 2011.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mommy's Turn

My daughter and me - bonding before bedtime...
Recently, my daughter has started using this expression to mean that she wants mommy to do whatever it is that needs to be done (in relation to her) at that time. These activities range from holding her hand to walk with her - to taking her to the bathroom to pee - to washing her cute little bum, when she had done more than peeing! When she utters "mommy's turn na!", this mommy's heart turn into little pieces and I literally do anything to be able to accommodate her request. Needless to say, I would bend over backwards for my little girl - just because I know there is no such thing as spending too much time with her.

When she was first born - no matter how busy I would get in the office, I would aim to get home by 7pm - from then on, the care for her was almost entirely mine - until I needed to go back to work again the next day. I would feed her (I directly breastfed her) and put her to bed. In between that - I change diapers, clean up poop and/or spit ups, play storyteller, act goofy, sing off key, kiss booboos... the list is never ending. During the course of her 1st 18 months - K and I were pretty much on our own for about 3 weekday nights a week, while her daddy is out of town some days of the week. Sometimes, one of the two grannies will be with me for an hour or two to help out, but at the end of the evening, it was always K and I who will hit the sack together, cuddling each other to sleep.

In a way, I think K got spoiled with all this attention. The question is - is there really such a thing as spoiling a child with attention? Today, as she is able to better express herself through words and actions, she is becoming more demanding of my time. In the mornings, I cannot leave for the office without K sitting on my lap, leaning on my chest sleepily, wanting to be hugged just a little bit more. These days, she knows to say "no" when I say I need to leave for work. When I get home from work, she is all over me as I have dinner - playing with my hair, hugging me from behind, or just babbling illegible sentences with "mommy" interspersed into them. She has reached the stage when saying goodbyes are not as easy as they used to be.

We have our share of misunderstandings - a 34 year old and a toddler! I am constantly correcting her or telling her not to do certain things. She's not always happy when I do that. When I saw she has started to understand my instructions - I started giving her short time outs whenever she wilfully disobeys my instructions. Both of us exhibit the eldest child syndrome (because we both are) - or maybe it's the stubbornness in us (she was born in the year of the ox, under the sign of aries; i was born in the year of the snake, under the sign of Taurus). We always spend the first few minutes of our "misunderstanding" not talking to each other doing our own thing - and then we both melt, and then kiss and make up. At this age, I can see my daughter has an implicit sense of awareness about emotions - she knows when she has made me feel bad, and uses her charms to win me back.

I am selfishly happy with all this. I know this will not last forever. My little girl will grow up and will want to do other things without me. She will want to be free from my watchful eyes. But all those are things of tomorrow - what's important is today. Today, she's all mine - and she wants it to be my turn. Oh, how I cherish today!

"Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. To him we cannot answer 'Tomorrow,' his name is today." - Gabriela Mistral

Originally written on July 22, 2011.

The Corporate Housewife Mom

What is the corporate housewife mom? I've been obsessing about it for the past few days. I like to think of myself as that - because I work almost 10 hour days (yes, i read my mail while eating lunch most days), own a company issued blackberry (therefore i am accessible 24 hours a day), aspire to be the best mom I can be to my 2.2 year old daughter (and baby number 2, now 8mos in my tummy), and the best wife I can be to my 35 (almost 36) year old husband. I AM A corporate housewife mom - but not necessarily in that order.

These 3 roles do not necessarily meld together like coffee, cream and sugar... unfortunately. There are days when I really wish I did not have to leave for work... especially when my daughter wants to cuddle in bed, and tells me with eyes half closed... "still sleepy...". On sundays, I wish I can always make a nice breakfast/brunch for hubby - but I also like spending sunday mornings chatting with him in bed. I wish I could spend a few hours each day tidying up or organizing things at home... but I only have 24 hours in a day. When I get home at 8pm - the priorities are my husband and my daughter. The days when I need to stay late at the office, or attend an office affair... my mind is always revolving around what time I can escape to spend some precious time with them.

I have to remember to check on my daughter during the day - but I usually forget as I get involved in meetings, answering emails, worksheets and the like. I have to check on urgent email in the evenings... but I cannot always do so because I am too involved in focusing on catching up with my husband and spending quality time with my daughter. In the office, I would sometimes have to think about what food I can prepare to send with my husband, when he goes to work. At home, I would worry about issues I am facing at work or a report left unsubmitted.

People have succeeded with alternative work strategies - some spend a few days working from home to be able to spend more time with their families. Some bring home work so they can work late into the evening. I fail miserably at bringing home work - so I have not even considered going into alternative work strategy. I salute the people who have succeeded... It just is not me. I still like the clear delineations between the office and the home... weekdays and weekends... workdays and holidays. 

I am lucky to have a husband who understands (most of the time) that I like working and what I do. I am lucky to have people who help me to take over the roles I am missing as mommy and wife - my mother in law, my mom, the nanny, the cook, my husband (as mommy). I am lucky too that my boss understands too the importance of my family.

Whether as a wife, a mom or a career woman - I know I am not perfect. I fail at a lot of things but I have had my share of successes. At the end of day - even if I cannot give all my time to one role - I try to give all my best into each role. I am a corporate housewife mom. 

Originally written on July 9, 2011.