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According to babycenter.com, the American Pediatric Association recommends that children under 2 years of age should not be watching ANY television, while children two years and older should watch no more than two hours of TV per day.

I hate to admit it, but my kids watch way too much TV, especially when I’m at work. I really feel guilty about this. When Enzo was still a baby, I told myself that I wouldn’t use the TV as a babysitter. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. I resort to TV whenever I have tasks to do that I need to concentrate on and I can’t have the kids interrupting me every minute or so. There are also a lot of times when I watch my favorite parental guidance shows (e.g. CSI, House, Heores) even with the kids around. I know, I know… I should be more responsible as a parent. And of course, hubby is not helping. After all, he’s the TV addict, not me!

I know my kids have been watching too much Disney channel because:

  • They say “Aww, men!” when something goes wrong.
  • They call the mice in your house “Mickey.”
  • Whenever they see three interlocking circles, they shout out, “Hidden Mickey!”
  • Their favorite song is “You are the Music in Me!”
  • They think the world of Mr. Bean.
  • Their magic word is not “please,” but “Miska, Muska, Mickey Mouse!”

It scares me that I’ve been too lax with them when it comes to watching TV. I’m thinking of removing the TV from the bedroom or even unsubscribing to cable altogether. But can we (hubby and I) deal with that???

Dean and I decided that this summer I wasn’t going to teach and we would be spending the summer vacation in Iloilo with him.  I’ve been working so hard over the last two semesters that I hardly spent time with the kids.  When I got home from work, I had more take-home work to do.  I was really burned out over the past five months, and I knew I just had to take a break.

Although I won’t be earning any income (from teaching, that is) this summer, at least I get to spend some time with the kids.  Right now, we are in Dean’s parents’ house and the kids are having fun playing around the house.  It’s a new environment for them, and being away from home is always an adventure.  Yesterday, we went to Sports Complex to jog around the track.  The kids had a great time running and playing on the football field. 

I’ve also been trying to look for tv-free activities online.  I know I’ve used the tv as a babysitter back home in Bacolod, and I don’t want to do that here.  We bought an origami book for Enzo and other activity books.  I’m also planning to bring them to the museum here and maybe take a day trip to visit old churches here in Iloilo. 

I guess I’m beginning to get the hang of being a stay-at-home mom.  I also brought some researches to do, so I would still be able to earn something while being on vacation.  I just hope that after this much-needed break I’ll be able to go back to work refreshed and ready to take on any challenge.

Dean surprised me this Monday by telling me that we’re going to Manila with the kids.  Turns out they have a meeting there today and he wants to take advantage of the time to visit his paternal grandmother who has stage 4 colon cancer.  He wants to bring the kids so his lola could see them also, while she still can.  He’s actually been meaning to go there but we just couldn’t find the right time to go since I’m always busy.  Well, now that classes are over and he is getting a free ticket (thanks to his company), maybe this is the right time.

However, I’m a little bit apprehensive about this trip for several reasons.  First of all, I’ll be traveling alone with the kids since Dean is already there.  I told my friend Jaja about this and the first thing she said was “kaya mo na?” If you know my kids (especially Evie), you’d probably say the same thing.  Evie by herself is already a handful.  Evie AND Enzo together is double trouble.  But I’ve been psyching Enzo for the trip and I’ve been telling him that he has to behave, that he has to be responsible and help mommy by being a good boy.  I just hope he will behave so that if Evie doesn’t, I won’t have a hard time.  Sana lang they will both be good kids during the flight tomorrow and the flight back home.  I still will be traveling alone with them because Dean is taking a different airline.  Sobrang mahal if we take the same airline coming home eh.

The second reason why I’m a bit apprehensive about going to Manila is the fact that I haven’t finished making my grades and list of failures are due on the 8th and we’re flying back home on the 7th.  I’ve checked all my exams, but I still have a few test papers and projects to check.  Plus I have a research work going on and I’m just in the data analysis stage.  I guess I just have to do all that I can before I go… bahala na si Batman! 

Another thing is, I’m not so comfortable with the thought that I’m going to Manila on such short notice – with the kids in tow pa!  I’m very OC and I rarely do something like this (going on a trip) without having planned it in advance.  For instance, we are planning to spend about a month in Iloilo this April-May since I won’t be teaching, and I’ve already lined up activities for the kids (trips to Museo Iloilo and old churches, art activities, etc).  

But I guess this trip is really meant to be.  At such short notice I was able to get discounted plane tickets although I only booked 3 days before the scheduled trip.  So far, everything is falling into place.  I just hope things will go as planned tomorrow.  Or maybe I do need to lighten up and not make plans na lang and just enjoy this spur-of-the-moment trip with my family.  

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Enzo did so well in his first quarter exams that I just have to blog/brag about i! Hayaan niyo na ako, I’m sure any mom would be proud to know that her 3-year old son got perfect in his exam and answered the entire test in only 10 minutes.  He is now 5th in their class of 14 students.  Not bad, huh?  He did well in all of the subject areas except for drawing! Haha!  In that department, he took after me because I can only do stick drawings.  Too bad, he didn’t take after his dad who is more artistic than me.  Anyway, I’m just so happy that Enzo is interested to learn and he seems to be enjoying school.  He comes home everyday with new songs to sing and new poems to recite.  Every time I ask him what he does in school, he doesn’t just tell me, he demonstrates. Now I know that our decision to send him to school at an early age was the right decision after all. 🙂

My son turned 3 years old yesterday, July 20.  Instead of celebrating with a big party (like what we did last year), we decided to give a small party in his school and then we will celebrate again with family and friends this Saturday.  Here are some of the pictures we took for his birthday celebration yesterday.

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It seems like only yesterday when I gave birth to Enzo.  I can still vividly recall that day.  It was a Sunday and early in the morning, about 730AM, I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom.  I spent about an hour in the bathroom and my hubby was getting concerned.  Fortunately, Nanay was still okay at that time and when she came home from church, Dean told her I had been in the bathroom for an hour.  She told me to get out of there because it was already time.  So I got ready and we arrived at the hospital at about 10AM.  I had a short but painful labor, but I think I was physically and emotionally ready for it because of all the pregnancy books I read (they do help!).  Enzo came out at 1:17 PM.  I had a natural childbirth (no epidural, no pain medication).  It was truly a wonderful, life-changing experience that I will never forget.

My daughter's yaya is asking to go home.  She says her mother wants her to.  I didn't ask for explanations anymore; I just told her to give me some time to look for another one.  I've been through this losing-another-yaya stage so many times (with Enzo and now with Evie) but everytime I do, I still get stressed out.  Although I know I can eventually find a replacement, I still can't help feeling helpless and at the mercy of these helpers.  But I guess this "problem" is here to stay – for the meantime, at least – because my kids are still growing.  I know when they get older, I wouldn't be needing yayas for them.  It is during these times that I really can't wait for them to grow up.

For now, the search for the next yaya is on… Any applicants? 🙂

This is how OC my son is:

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He found some coins on the dining table this morning and he placed them on a sheet of sticker paper.  Can you see the pattern?

Last Monday, we brought him to Robinson's Place to play at Dave's Funhouse.  While playing he saw that some of the kids did not return the toys to their proper places after playing with them.  My son picked them up and placed them on a basket.  Apparently, he didn't feel comfortable seeing the toys strewn all over the place.  How OC! 

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 Here's a conversation I had over the phone with Enzo last week.

ME:  Hello, Enzo!

ENZO:  Hello, Mommy Tintin!

ME:  What did you do in school today?  (I was calling home from work.)

ENZO:  We exercised.

ME:  Did Tatay fetch you from school?  (Enzo calls my dad "Tatay," too.)

ENZO:  Yes, because you didn't fetch me.

Whoops! He got me there!  Last summer he joined a summer workshop and I would fetch him from school, but this time I couldn't because my schedule is so full.  Since he's in Junior Casa (that's Nursery in Montessori), their classes are for two hours only (from 8am to 10am).  Good thing my dad isn't really that busy so he volunteered to fetch Enzo.

Enzo really amazes me.  He talks like an adult and he never fails to amuse me with his answers.  He's a very curious and observant kid.  Sometimes it scares me that I might not be able to nurture his intelligence and help him develop his full potential.  Since there are no hard and fast rules on bringing up a child, we moms just do our best – and hope and pray that our children will grow up to be decent human beings.

My friend Omski (who doesn’t blog but bloghops) left me a comment about Disney movies and how we never get tired of watching them a million times over, especially movies like Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and Toy Story. I’ve realized that it’s not just the movies that I could watch over and over, but even the shows they have on Disney Channel. I like their shows because they teach good values to kids.

Take for instance the cartoon show, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers. There was this episode where Brandy was asked by Mrs. Crocodile to take care of her eggs, which were about to hatch. But Brandy was invited by some friends to go to this lagoon, so she left the eggs to Mr. Whiskers, who had to take care of them himself. Unknown to Brandy, Mr. Whiskers didn’t have his eye on the eggs the whole time, especially since he took them for a walk and accidentally nudged the stroller down a hill. When she came home, she was surprised but pleased to see Mr. Whiskers with the eggs who were just starting to hatch. But instead of crocs, they got a bird, a snake, a duck (I think) and some other animals. Turns out Mr. Whiskers had to look for replacement eggs because he lost some of the eggs when they fell out of the stroller. It’s such a simple story, but it taught a valuable lesson on responsibility.

While many of their shows are comedies, like That’s So Raven, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Lizzie McGuire, they’re good shows which always have lessons to tell. They never fail to give me a good laugh, and they’re the kind of shows I let Enzo watch.

I used to love summer breaks, especially when I was a kid.  My mom always brought us to places for a summer vacation, even if it was only in Balasan, Iloilo (her hometown).  This time , however, I don't really look forward to summer because of the unbearable heat.  And because summer to me equates to a higher risk for asthma – not just for me, but also for my kids.

This morning I had to bring Enzo to his pedia because he has been coughing since Monday and last night he had a fever.  I have to arrest the cough so that it doesn't result to asthma.  The heat must have gotten to him.  Also, being exposed to varying degrees of temperature (their classroom is airconditioned and then he plays outside under the heat of the sun) has wreaked havoc on his system.  I know it because Enzo has my genes and he takes a lot from me in the health department. 

Anyway, mag-aantibiotics na naman sya!  I really want to avoid this as much as possible because giving medicines (especially antibiotics) to a toddler is really hell.  There's a lot of prodding and maneuvering and chasing just to get him to drink 5ml of the awful smelling liquid even I wouldn't take! (hehe, mana talaga kay mommy!)  Everytime my parents see me getting all stressed out when I chase after Enzo to give him his medicines, they would laugh at me and say that I'm getting what I deserve because as a child I was also difficult to handle when it comes to taking medicines. 

But as much as I don't like summer, I still prefer it to the rainy season.  I'd rather be hot and dry than cold and soaking wet.  And of course, there's dengue to contend with during the rainy days.