Happy 3rd, my chubby cheeks

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You’re getting bigger by the day, literally. If it were legal to bite those yummy cheeks, I would. Gigil na gigil na si Mommy sa yo, anak! You are such a lovable creature, not only because you are so good to look at, but because you have such a wonderful personality. You smile very easily, and you respond as though you understand the littlest things we talk to you about. Yes, before you hit your third month, you have already captured the hearts of everyone around you with your bright and cheerful disposition. I love it that your smile is genuinely reflected in your beautiful eyes! As your mother, I knew that you will be a source of good vibes even when you were still in the womb. Even then, you make your presence felt with the slightest nudge from Mommy.

You are also such a babbler and you’re still our little crybaby though. But I am happy that most days now, you laugh more than you cry (which was what you did in your first two months of life). You have also began sleeping through the night, waking up only to drink your milk around 3 or 4 in the morning. Yay, more sleeping hours for Mommy!

I know I have said this a million times, but I will never tire of saying that I love you and your sister so much. My love for you girls are bigger than anything Mommy has ever known her whole life. I never really knew what my life was for until you came along. I will love you forever, my darlings.

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Fitting in

I am so glad Mischa seems to be doing well, socially, in school, too! The first few weeks of school saw my heart bleeding for the little girl when I couldn’t shield her from girls who didn’t play with her at first. More than a month after, it looks like she has found her place in class, and in the hearts of her classmates. I am happy she feels safe and secure in her second home. Her excitement every morning (which is more than what I can say for myself everytime I have to prepare for work haha), is an indication of how much she enjoys school and everything that goes with it. At night, when I get home, she always has a story to tell, whether it was something they worked on, like writing or drawing, or something her classmates said, or anything in between.

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In her new second home

The big kid on the block has started in her new school! It’s been three days but she seems to love it so far. Although the grandma reports to me today that she had a fit because she wanted to bring home her indoor shoes meant for school. But generally, I’m happy because she seems happy and at home there.

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Mischa is spending 20 days as a requirement for her Kinder 1 classes. Not really a requirement, the principal says to me, but more of writing and reading readiness so she won’t lag behind some of her classmates. I actually am thankful they did this. All for the good of the kid. Besides I don’t want to her to waste time parked in front of the television the whole day this summer. And when you’re in my mama’s house, you don’t really get to go out. Trust me. I never had playmates because I was cooped up all day inside. If only I get to take care of my own kid myself. Sigh! Another woe of a working mom.

I like the small campus. Compared to her old school, the place is very maaliwalas, peaceful and seems to be conducive to learning. The rooms are big, there are enough outdoor space, the personnel are very respectful, and most importantly, her new teachers seem to be very competent at tama naman ang grammar hehehe. Okay, so shoot the grammar Nazi mom, but this is really something very important to me. Marami namang wrong grammar na matalino, pero wala pa akong nakitang tama ang grammar pero…ganun. Pasensya na kung yan ang batayan ko pero yan ako eh. But other than that, the teachers, whom she will be spending a lot of time with, and whom she will have a tendency to imitate, feel like they are genuinely caring, and are considerate and mindful of being second parents to the kids. This is what we missed in her first school. I truly hope that she will develop more fully this time, socially and cognitively.

I hope that my view of the school and everything in it doesn’t change. Sana sulit because we paid an arm and a leg to send her there. There are less expensive schools in the area but this one really called to me. Because of our “big investment”, I am hopeful that they will become our partner in Mischa’s very good upbringing.

Little friendships

Weather here has been going crazy for a week now. This latest typhoon, Gener, just wouldn’t quit. The whole of Luzon seemed to be being slowly battered the last several days by strong gales and heavy rains.

This made us miss work yesterday. Gee, I’m so sad (insert evil laugh here).

For the little girl, though, she has missed classes for four days now. And I was surprised that she was insisting to go earlier today. When I asked why, she replied, “Gab (her classmate) is there.” Maybe she was thinking it was only her who has not been to school. Had a mommy moment right there and then. I know I always say this, but the words my-daughter-is-fast-growing-up is again flashing in my mind. She is actually nurturing friendships now. It made me happy and sad at the same time, knowing that her world is slowly expanding to include other people outside my and her dad’s circle. It felt a little weird that her joy is not limited to our company anymore. Hay, ang baby ko!

My mind jumps to a boyfriend in the far, far future. (Get a grip, Marie!)

Someone please hand a tissue. Sniff, sniff!

Barney’s Space Adventure

Been away too long again. Had my hands full mostly with work, having to head a conference in Iloilo City last week. This took me away from the family, and from the Internet. So now I have backlogs again with my blogging. I have yet to upload photos from the trip. Also wanted to post about how my little girl is doing magnificently in school, and how Mama and I have been continuously arguing about doing things for her, like bringing her school, etc., and how it affects her independence and her performance in school. We’ve also taken more steps into making our home really ours.

But first things first. Before I had to fly out, hubby and I brought Mischa to go see one of her greatest loves at this point in her life–Barney! We headed off to the Aliw Theatre one hot Saturday to see him and his friends live. You couldn’t imaging the look on her face–it was priceless! When I first found out some months ago that the show will be brought to the Philippines, it took me only like five seconds to whip out my credit card and buy tickets online. While we are currently scrimping on expenses because of the upcoming barrage of house related things we have to buy/secure/build, I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give this to my daughter. And boy, was it worth it! I only wished that kids had some kind of discount. Lugi pa nga kami since Mischa didn’t want to sit down. So I shelled out the one thousand bucks to have our bags sit. Much like the HS$60 stroller in Disneyland last year. Oh well, we don’t this often anyway. And as I said, I would gladly hand over hard-earned money for the sake of my kid. And it was some sort of prize for her good behavior in school.






It was also nice to sit beside n@wie sis, Pia and her son, Sky. I am glad to see Mischa relating better to other kids now, too. I credit that to going to school as she is slowly developing her social skills, and “maturing” a little bit. She is beginning to realize now that she is not the only kid on the block, and that not all things she could get her hands on are hers.

Playroom

Mischa had a chance to go play at one of those structured playrooms inside the malls. It was a new experience for both of us what with having to share toys and the play area. Being an only child, she is used to free play–preferring to play with “real stuff” of adults rather than her numerous toys, and has limited social skills when it comes to playing with other kids. While she sometimes sees and gets to spend time with cousins on her father’s side, these are usually big enough kids whom you can already chide gently if playing gets rough.

So it was a bit weird when you had to share space and stuff with complete strangers, especially when other kids are rough, or rude. It took several ounces of restraint to tell off kids who kept on bumping me or Mischa, or shoving us out of the way so they could go first. All of those times we were there, questions such as “where are these kids’ manners, or what are they teaching them at home” keep rolling around my head. Of course, I kept my mouth shut the whole time seeing as the kids are not mine to discipline.

On the one hand, there were nice kids, too. There was this one girl who was slightly bigger than Mischa who kept on shyly glancing at her and offering her the toys, and looked like she wanted to make friends.

I wonder what kinds of friends will my daughter keep? I hope to God she chooses well. I so felt like I was in a real parent’s shoes who wants to check out and approve/disapprove of the company she will have. It was unnerving to say the least, that I am beginning to think and having second thoughts about letting her out into the real world.

Suffice to say, it would be an understatement that Mischa enjoyed herself what with the flailing arms and legs when I had to get her away from the toys when it was time to go.



Pre-school scouting

A huge portion of my days nowadays is being devoted to scouting for pre-schools for our big, little girl. The hubby and I have been greatly considering many factors on why we want to send her this early to school given that she will only be turning three at the end of summer. Many would consider this too early, and that she might lose interest in school early, too. I am not pushing her and being a helicopter mom because this whole exercise should only contribute to her whole being as a person.

Truth be told, I have minor issues on her being an only child (at this point), and what this may do to her social skills. She seldom sees and interacts with other kids near her age, and have only Lolo and Lola as companions for five working days in a week. I only get to give her my undivided attention every weekend, and I have other household issues at that. You can just imagine my desire for her to be exposed to other people, and because she’s a kid for Pete’s sake, she should be playing, playing, playing with other kids! As it is, she’s learned how to entertain herself, but the time is ripe to provide her with another conducive environment for her growth.

With that, and her keen interest and natural curiosity, and early ability to learn colors, shapes, numbers, etc., the stage is set for her entering Nursery come June. As I said, I have scouting, searching all over the Net, and soliciting feedback from friends for schools nearby my parents’ house. Some few weeks ago, we also did a round up of schools in the area, and leisurely drove around the subdivision I grew up in. As of today, we are not yet sure on our exact moving date so we decided not to take a chance, and look for schools near the new house lest we encounter further delays, and end up bringing her to a far location everyday. Besides, we can always make arrangements with my folks, and I know that we would always be welcome at their place anyhow so that point was easily agreed upon. (On another matter, I guess this is the time to also actively look for a nanny.)

And for a first timer about to send her kid to school, I am actually at a loss on what criteria should I be using in determining the best institution. As this is only a trial anyway, I limited my requirements to choosing a relatively small nursery or pre-school, which has an ideal student-teacher ratio (I do not even know what is really ideal hehe). I do not want to put her in to a big school with big kids as I am sure what she would be expecting. I want the school and the teachers, which is truly focused on the kids since pre-schoolers are apt to wander around, and not really concentrate on school. Don’t get me wrong, as I said, I do not want to hover around my kid, put pressure on schooling, and make this whole thing enjoyable for her. But of course, I want some structure that would make her learn, after all that is what schooling is about–not really achieving but learning.

Today we visited some of the schools that I have narrowed down from the list I got from all over. We asked the very basic questions, and watched some of kindergarten classes in action. We were a little early for the nursery classes since schools hold these at about ten in the morning until noon. We looked around, inquired about teacher supervision, how they run the schools, the maximum number of kids per class, the syllabus, how they pace the kids, and of course, the fees! Whew! I was glad to note that not one of the schools we were eyeing are charging an arm and a leg. It would fit nicely in our budget compared with the bigger, more known schools. Besides being more expensive doesn’t necessarily translate to being better.

And of course, coming from an institution that puts premium on quality, I have already researched whether these institutions have the appropriate permits from the Department of Education. I easily crossed off from the list those without licenses, and even those who only have permits but not government recognition (there’s a difference but it’s a long explanation so I will just leave it at that). Anyway I am glad the schools that we went to, and have shortlisted are already recognized.

So now I have, I think, until middle of the summer to make a decision where to send her. I do hope we pick the right one as it will spell out the next stage of her intellectual, social and emotional development (of course I will take the credit for being her first teacher).