Crush vs. Love

sign by mockingbirdprimitive

sign by mockingbirdprimitive

I feel that one of the best things I can give my kids is the security that their parents have a good marriage. This, I believe, will also prepare them and direct them to have good marriages when they grow up. A couple of weeks ago, as we were preparing for bed, the kids asked me to tell them the story of how their Dad and I met. So I told them about J and I –  how we first met, how we became friends, and how we ended up together. After my story, Joya said , “Ohhhh!!! Friends who fell in love!” His eyes were sparkling and he looked so happy, I almost laughed out loud. I told them that it is better to be married to someone who is also a friend. Of course, whenever I say something about love and marriage, I end it up with “when you’re already an adult” or something similar (mahirap na! haha!). Minsan, lalagyan ko pa ng numerical age (“Yes, you can get married when you are 35 years old.”). Hahaha!

Jia, all 7 years old and 4 months and 3 feet 11 inches of her looking serious, said, “Mommy, I am confused. You said that falling in love is for adults. You see, I have a crush. The way I thought of it, a crush is something that hits you immediately [instantly] and then you have a crush on that person while love is something that takes a long time to develop. But you say that falling in love is for adults. I was thinking that since I have a crush on this person for a few years now, that it is has now developed to love and I am now falling in love with him. But if love is just for adults… I am confused….” She trailed off.

Okay, I have to admit that I had to breathe a little deeper than normal and I had to say “Hmmmmmmm” and “Ahhhhh” for a long time to be able to stall and think of how best to answer her. Hahahaha!!!

I told her that, indeed, love takes a long time to develop and yes, it is for adults, and then in a stroke of near genius that only happens to me once every few years (kasi usually tapos na yung pangyayari pag nakaisip ako ng magandang solusyon! Haha!), I remembered an FB viral post I saw about crushes and the “Love is patient, Love is kind” verse of 1 Corinthians 13. I told Jia that there is a simple test on how to see if what an adult is feeling is love or is just crush (yeah, sinabi ko na “what an ADULT is feeling” para klaro) but that she can also do the “test”. Ay, ang anak ko, dahil sa Montessori nag-aaral, excited sa salitang “test”! Haha! But since it was already late and I refused to do the test that night, she made me promise she’ll have the test the following day.

Day of the “Test”

I started by showing her 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Then I explained to her that before she can take the test to see if what she is feeling is love, she has to see first if the other person deserves to be loved. Oh, Jia was so excited! I told her that to know if the person deserves to be loved, all she had to do was to substitute the the word “love” with the name of the person and to see if the statement still holds true. If it does, then the person deserves her love when she is an adult.

Jia refused to take the test with me (I asked her to read it aloud.) and said she would do it by herself. I knew the exact moment the person “failed” the test (and I think I was able to hide my look of glee pretty well). Jia’s face looked crushed for about two seconds and then promptly recovered. I think she understood the wisdom of the test… plus it’s the Bible — she believes in the Bible so much ! (Sadly, wala akong kinalaman diyan, laking pasalamat ko talaga sa school niya!).

She then asked if she could copy the verse. When I said yes, she sat down, copied it, rolled the paper, and put it in her shelf, probably to remind herself about the test.

crushlove2

Jia copying the verse from the online Bible.

I was so proud of my girl. She was able to face a disappointment (this boy has been her crush since she was 4 years old) and get over it and then even do something to make sure she does not forget. I honestly do not know where she got her maturity. *insert a happy sigh*

I am also so proud of myself for not freaking out and for letting her feel that she could, in fact, talk to me about things like crushes and falling in love. I an anticipating that we would be going through this test a lot in the future. She told me she has 50 crushes now so at the very least, 49 more tests to go! Hahaha!

Our home remedies – Part 2

This is part of my Home Remedies series blog posts. Part 1 of this series can be found HERE.

DISCLAIMER: The home remedies I would enumerate below are the remedies I use for MY family. I am, in no way, a medical practitioner. Use the following home remedies with caution and at your own risk. This is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. My home remedies do not apply to infants. Please also always remember that natural/whole food does not mean no overdosage or no side effects. Practice prudence when employing natural home remedies. Garlic, for instance, seems to act as a blood thinner which prevents heart attacks but this also means that it should not be given up to a week before a surgery. Consult your doctor or medical practitioner.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is love! I have never realized how great aloe vera is until recently. The gel can be used for so many things – from minor wounds to burns to all sorts of beautifying stuff.

I use fresh gel as I have aloe vera plants at home. It is so easy to grow and I suggest you grow your own, too.  I just peel the aloe vera and apply directly. Because I usually am in a hurry, I peel it with my hands (yeah, hindi ganito kaganda!). I just make sure to wash my hands thoroughly. I apply this directly to burns and minor wounds. I also used this as a poultice for Jia’s stye.
aloe vera [Read more…]

My best mommy buy ever* **!

* My best mommy buy post-potty training 🙂
** This post is for mommies or for those who can tolerate poop stories. Proceed at your own risk! LOL!

When Joya got a bit bigger, it was so difficult whenever we were outside and we needed to wash him after he pooped. It was just so awkward carrying him over a sink to wash him (not to mention how awkward it was for the other washroom users). I needed a tabo so I could wash him in the toilet bowl but putting a normal water dipper in his diaper bag was not an option. LOL! I tried to use a small cup but because it was small, I needed to fill it with water at least five times!

I asked my mommy friends from Newlyweds@Work and some directed me to Daiso for foldable bowls. After several Daiso branches, I finally found THE perfect tabo!! It was not meant to be used as a dipper but as a fruit bowl but it was “foldable” so it took up little space inside the diaper bag or my bag (well, compared to a normal tabo). It was also big enough to contain all the water I needed for one washing/rinsing and because it was sold at Daiso, it was just Php88.00. And this, my friends, is the single best buy of my life as a mom… LOL!

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Montessori at home: Kids’ room

When I was in high school, my Mom took a class on Montessori education and her constant kwento of how Montessori schools do things piqued my interest. I enjoyed the reasoning behind the Montessori practices as explained by my Mom. And now that my kids are attending a Montessori school, I try to apply the principles, too, at home (that is why I train my kids early on to be independent as this is a basic tenet of Montessori).

One of the most basic Montessori principles is to have a place for everything and for everything to be in its place (oh yeah, that line – though I have edited it a little – is actually from Benjamin Franklin). For me, this is especially important when it comes to toys and books as these two are the most frequently used by my kids. I have already blogged about how I have organized our home library so this post focuses on how we organize toys.

My kids have lots of toys… well not as many as my friends’ kids but they have enough. Because I want each toy to have a specific place, I rotate the toys. At any one time, I only have less than 20 toys in their room — the rest are kept in the storage area. Why? First, I do not have enough space for all the toys to have its specific place. Second, I have realized that kids appreciate their toys more if they have not seen it for a while. Third, in my opinion, it is not healthy for kids to think that they have so many material things as I feel it promotes a sense of entitlement. So every three months, I rotate toys (keeping what is in the room and taking out some from the storage) and the joy in their faces when it’s rotation time is priceless. It’s like they have new toys every rotation time! Imagine, the joy of new toys without spending a centavo! How’s that for cheap?! Hahaha!

We have a couple of (kid-sized) toy shelves in their room and we do not have a toy chest. Why? Because toy chests make it easy for kids to just dump everything inside it without order. On the other hand, a toy shelf encourages a kid to put back a toy in its proper place. In their classroom, the same principle is applied and their class does not have an “Ate” or a teacher’s aide to help clean the classroom; all kids are expected to pack away the materials on their own.  I know this is getting off the subject but once, while having a chat with Jia’s teacher, one of her classmates spilled her baon (rice and viand) on the rug inside the classroom. The kid promptly got a broom (the small handheld one) and a dustpan and cleaned up the mess. She did not have to be told by the teacher what to do nor she needed help from an adut. Ang galing di ba? It just shows that kids, if they are taught how to do things properly, will be able to do so much without helicopter parenting. Ang galing talaga! 🙂 But anyway… 🙂

kidsroom3

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Mother’s Day 2014

The day before Mother’s Day, I was not feeling well and I was just so cranky that I stayed in bed after breakfast. When I went down around lunchtime, Jia told me she was almost finished with her Mother’s Day gift for me. She was giddy with excitement and I saw how hard she was working. I was so touched! She let me see the front page (Book title was “Our Castle”) and gave me a clue as to what the story was about. Our conversation went like this:

Jia: It’s about our family and one unreal character!
Me: An unreal character?
Jia: Hihihi! Yes! I know you don’t like unreal characters, Momma! Hihihi!
Me: What is it?
Jia: A dragon!
Me: A DRAGON!
Jia: Hihihihi! Yes but the unreal character is just in the second page and the sixth page!

Jia is just so adorable! Hahaha!

Sunday morning, J and I woke up early so we could do our usual Sunday palengke routine earlier than usual. J has already gone downstairs and I was on my out of the bedroom when Jia suddenly sat up straight and yelled “It’s Mother’s Day today!” We hugged and I could feel how excited she was. We talked for a bit, I explained to her that I needed to do the weekly marketing, and she agreed to just stay in the bedroom while waiting for us.

When I got back, she had me close my eyes and she got her gift. Ay grabe! I was so happy and proud of her. Even though her story had a vestige of Paper Bag Princess, the psychologist in me cannot help but just be so happy at how strong she feels our family is. Nakakatuwa at nakakataba ng puso!

Without further ado, I present to you, Jia’s Mother’s Day gift to me… a book she has written, illustrated, cut, and bound herself (obvious kasi puro tape! at obvious na pinaghirapan talaga ng anak ko!)!

To My Mom: Our Castle

To My Mom: Our Castle

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Teaching kids independence

My kids grew up with yayas. Jia’s yaya was the old school type who did everything for her. When Jia was 23 months old, she had to go to Occupational Therapy and her OT, Teacher Alta, was very firm with the rules: Jia may be accompanied by a parent or a yaya inside but she has to do things on her own. When Jia went in, she had to remove her shoes by herself and put the shoes in the rack. When it was time to go home, she had to retrieve her shoes and put them on.

That Jia can actually do that by herself was a revelation for me. Soon after, I made her eat by herself, dress herself, etc.

When Joya came, I was more conscious of making the kids do things by themselves. I think it is just part of good training to do this. After all, us parents and their yayas will not be around forever to pack away their things for them, feed them, change their clothes, etc. For me, the goal of parenting is to raise God-fearing, responsible, society-contributing individuals, and teaching kids independence (which is a basic thing) should start as early as possible. Kids don’t wake up at 13 years old very much willing to launder clothes or wash the dishes or have neat rooms; they have to taught how to do it and they have to be taught the value of hard work. Admittedly, there were are times that I would forget (or sometimes I would just be plain lazy to go on with the training) but something would remind me and I would trudge on.

A very significant factor in all the training is Jia’s Montessori school. Jia’s class does not even have a teacher’s aide who helps them pack away. Each kid is responsible for his mess and the materials he works on. Everyone is expected to pack away properly. The teacher is not a helicopter teacher; she works with one student at a time while the rest works on their own.

I realize that though my kids are nowhere near the independence that I wish they have at this stage in their lives, they are pretty independent. Nakakatuwa! The other night, Jia and I were downstairs and because it was getting late (around 9:00p.m.), [Read more…]

Organizing our home library

Jia and Joya have over 300 books combined (as of my last count around middle of last year). With so many books on different subjects, it was so hard to organize . Jia pestered me to label her book shelves so it’s easier for her and us to fix her books. I just got so exasperated that I asked my mommy group how they organize their home library.  Kat, one of the mommies I super admire, gave me this link. I was super excited! I printed out the labels and worked on it one weekend. The result? I have organized books per topic! Ang saya!!!

Putting the labels

organizing home library

organizing home library

organizing home library

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