Monday, May 28, 2012

Dark Shadows

I am not a fan of horror flicks. Though I once wrote scripts for a total of three TV shows that are horror in genre, but I am not drawn to watching them on the big screen. I however, got intrigued with the latest Johnny Depp starrer, Dark Shadows. So I took time out today, a Monday, to watch the earliest screening in Robinsons Metro East. All in all, it was entertaining. The synopsis was simple, it could've been the seed concept of a show I could write in the future. Watching it was fun... but that was it. It's not like it will boggle your mind, or keep you interested in the storytelling for so long. The visuals are the part that will keep you entertained, and the acting of Johnny, too. Though the script may not be fantastic, I can say I liked it still.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And She Indeed Returned

Late January of this year, our all around maid/yaya of 3 yrs has told me she's leaving for good to be able to continue her studies in the province. We got a replacement, who isn't at par when it comes to nanny-ing, but is hardworking and cooks well. However, our old-time maid/yaya, named Ate Ruby texted me and wanted to come back. Last Thursday, she indeed kept her promise and came back! My daughter was so happy and I am, too. God really works behind the scenes. He knows how we want to keep Ate Ruby and He orchestrated things and situations in our favor. Our household has somehow gone back to its normal routine again. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Relaxing Weekend, Thank You, Lord!

I have been clamoring for a weekend getaway since a couple of months ago. But since I am maid-less, the list of things to do and errands to run seem unending. I know that an out of town trip is close to impossible, since May is a buys month for my hubby and his team at work, so maybe a dip in a hotel's pool would suffice. When I saw the deal in ensogo on Greenhills Elan Hotel Modern, I got interested. Although I haven't heard of the hotel before, the location won me over. It's only barely 40 minutes away from our place, and I haven't shopped in Greenhills for almost half a year now. It would be like hitting two birds, actually three birds with one stone - a weekend getaway, Aliya to be able to swim, and me to be able to shop. The deal was tempting, only Php2699 for a night, with buffet breakfast for two. Kids 12 yrs old and below are free. After thinking about it, I got my credit card and purchased a voucher. We booked last week, and checked in last Saturday. Aliya was so giggly about the idea, since she's such a fan of hotels. Her first New Year's Eve was spent in Astoria Plaza, her third was in Astoria, two. There were times when we just wanted a quick get-away and we checked in at Richmonde Hotel, or Linden, or even Go, and of course, the hotels we've been to in a few countries. If other kids are called "water babies," Aliya might be considered a "hotel baby?" Hehe, I'm not even sure if there's such a word. Anyway, since we're all there to relax and not think of anything, we decided to remain stress-free... and thank God it's been a stress-free stay indeed. Everything was well provided for, the staff are accommodating, the room is spacious, clean and modern, and housekeeping attendants are swift to attend to our requests. Though the kiddie pool was quite small, Aliya enjoyed it just the same. But she loved the jacuzzi more and spent more time there on our second day. Buffet was good enough, the linens are smooth and inviting, the phone lines to the lobby are never busy. The only thing I didn't like was there wasn't any airconditioning system in the hallways. When our keycard didnt work, I had to go downstairs to speak to the receptionist because there were no emergency phone lines atop the hallway console table. Anyway, it was a nice experience all in all. Romy and I got our retail therapy at the Greenhills tiangge, Aliya enjoyed swimming, and we had a good night's sleep. To God be the glory!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

She Shall Return

Almost a couple of months ago, I ranted about my all around maid's decision to resign and stay for good in her province so she can pursue her secondary education. Yes, she stopped studying after elementary and worked as a maid here in Manila. I was, I think, her 4th employer. Anyway, she was with us for 3 years, being reliable and responsible, and because my daughter loves her, I was terribly hurt when she told me about her decision. Last April, she packed her things and left. We bid her goodbye and sent prayers and wellwishes, and we hired another maid as replacement. However, she texted two weeks ago and told me looks like she's not going to enroll after all. She realized she needed to work, and that she's no longer used to life in the province. To make the long story short, I sent her bus and boat fare yesterday, and now she's purchased the tickets going back to Manila. She's leaving their province on the 23rd, and she'll be here with us again the next day. God works in mysterious ways, and His plans are higher than ours, indeed. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Officially a Superwoman

I intentionally woke up a bit late today, at around 8:20am. And instantly, the list of things to do started filling my thought bubble. Barely a few minutes after I stretched my body to wake up my senses, Aliya woke up with full blown energy. Energy to talk, to gigil, to play, to swim, to do all the things I need maximum energy to do! Hmmm, this is going to be another day when I need to be a super hero, again, haha! So even if we havent even washed our faces and brushed our teeth, she insisted we start our drawing lessons (we have different activities everyday). After 30 minutes, I told her we need to go downstairs so we can gargle and I could prepare breakfast. During breakfast, and while my mental list of tasks are lingering over my head, Aliya is making known to me her own things to do list for the day. I have grown a bit used to this, multitasking, sacrificing alot of things I WANTED to do, and prioritizing things I have no choice but to prioritize. I'm just so glad I am a work at home mom, because I cannot imagine leaving Aliya's day to day activities to a nanny. Being a proactive parent, I always see to it that in the midst of laundry and dishes and endless other chores around the house, not to mention the errands outside and my career as a scriptwriter, of course, I still provide Aliya with the proper and enough and age-appropriate stimulation that she needs for a balanced and fulfilled childhood.

Monday, May 07, 2012

25 Ways to Talk So Children Will Listen

I love reading other people's blogs, especially the informative, inspiring and encouraging ones. And this is one of those that struck me big time. Thanks to my fellow n@wie Meng who posted this in our yahoogroup. Here's the link by the way: http://www.askdrsea discipline- behavior/ 25-ways-talk- so-children- will-listen A major part of discipline is learning how to talk with children. The way you talk to your child teaches him how to talk to others. Here are some talking tips we have learned with our children: 1. Connect Before You Direct Before giving your child directions, squat to your child's eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get his attention. Teach him how to focus: "Mary, I need your eyes." "Billy, I need your ears." Offer the same body language when listening to the child. Be sure not to make your eye contact so intense that your child perceives it as controlling rather than connecting. 2. Address The Child Open your request with the child's name, "Lauren, will you please..." 3. Stay Brief We use the one-sentence rule: Put the main directive in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf. Too much talking is a very common mistake when dialoging about an issue. It gives the child the feeling that you're not quite sure what it is you want to say. If she can keep you talking she can get you sidetracked. 4. Stay Simple Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood. 5. Ask Your Child to Repeat the Request Back to You If he can't, it's too long or too complicated. 6. Make an offer the child can't refuse You can reason with a two or three-year-old, especially to avoid power struggles. "Get dressed so you can go outside and play." Offer a reason for your request that is to the child's advantage, and one that is difficult to refuse. This gives her a reason to move out of her power position and do what you want her to do. 7. Be Positive Instead of "no running," try: "Inside we walk, outside you may run." 8. Begin your Directives With "I want." Instead of "Get down," say "I want you to get down." Instead of "Let Becky have a turn," say "I want you to let Becky have a turn now." This works well with children who want to please but don't like being ordered. By saying "I want," you give a reason for compliance rather than just an order. 9. "When...Then. " "When you get your teeth brushed, then we'll begin the story." "When your work is finished, then you can watch TV." "When," which implies that you expect obedience, works better than "if," which suggests that the child has a choice when you don't mean to give him one. 10. Legs First, Mouth Second Instead of hollering, "Turn off the TV, it's time for dinner!" walk into the room where your child is watching TV, join in with your child's interests for a few minutes, and then, during a commercial break, have your child turn off the TV. Going to your child conveys you're serious about your request; otherwise children interpret this as a mere preference. 11. Give Choices "Do you want to put your pajamas on or brush your teeth first?" "Red shirt or blue one?" 12. Speak Developmentally Correctly The younger the child, the shorter and simpler your directives should be. Consider your child's level of understanding. For example, a common error parents make is asking a three-year- old, "Why did you do that?" Most adults can't always answer that question about their behavior. Try instead, "Let's talk about what you did." 13. Speak Socially Correctly Even a two-year-old can learn "please." Expect your child to be polite. Children shouldn't feel manners are optional. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you. 14. Speak Psychologically Correctly Threats and judgmental openers are likely to put the child on the defensive. "You" messages make a child clam up. "I" messages are non-accusing. Instead of "You'd better do this..." or "You must...," try "I would like...." or "I am so pleased when you..." Instead of "You need to clear the table," say "I need you to clear the table." Don't ask a leading question when a negative answer is not an option. "Will you please pick up your coat?" Just say, "Pick up your coat, please." 15. Write It Reminders can evolve into nagging so easily, especially for preteens who feel being told things puts them in the slave category. Without saying a word you can communicate anything you need said. Talk with a pad and pencil. Leave humorous notes for your child. Then sit back and watch it happen. 16. Talk The Child Down The louder your child yells, the softer you respond. Let your child ventilate while you interject timely comments: "I understand" or "Can I help?" Sometimes just having a caring listener available will wind down the tantrum. If you come in at his level, you have two tantrums to deal with. Be the adult for him. 17. Settle The Listener Before giving your directive, restore emotional equilibrium, otherwise you are wasting your time. Nothing sinks in when a child is an emotional wreck. 18. Replay Your Message Toddlers need to be told a thousand times. Children under two have difficulty internalizing your directives. Most three- year-olds begin to internalize directives so that what you ask begins to sink in. Do less and less repeating as your child gets older. Preteens regard repetition as nagging. 19. Let Your Child Complete The Thought Instead of "Don't leave your mess piled up," try: "Matthew, think of where you want to store your soccer stuff." Letting the child fill in the blanks is more likely to create a lasting lesson. 20. Use Rhyme Rules "If you hit, you must sit." Get your child to repeat them. 21. Give Likable Alternatives You can't go by yourself to the park; but you can play in the neighbor's yard. 22. Give Advance Notice "We are leaving soon. Say bye-bye to the toys, bye-bye to the girls…" 23. Open Up a Closed Child Carefully chosen phrases open up closed little minds and mouths. Stick to topics that you know your child gets excited about. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no. Stick to specifics. Instead of "Did you have a good day at school today?" try "What is the most fun thing you did today?" 24. Use "When You…I Feel…Because…" When you run away from mommy in the store I feel worried because you might get lost. 25. Close The Discussion If a matter is really closed to discussion, say so. "I'm not changing my mind about this. Sorry." You'll save wear and tear on both you and your child. Reserve your "I mean business" tone of voice for when you do.

I Miss Baguio

My childhood has lots of wonderful memories of Baguio. That's why when I was choosing a UP campus when I was applying for college, I wrote the Baguio campus of the University of the Philippines as my first choice. I was ecstatic when I passed. Thus, I spent the first one and a half years of my college life in Baguio, but because I got bored with Journalism and realized I wanted to pursue Film Making, I transferred to UP Diliman. But I kept going back to Baguio even after that. I even wrote a show where we had a week's worth of episodes shot in Baguio. My co-writer Andrew and I went up and enjoyed a Baguio vacation for free. Shortly before I got married, my family and then fiance spent a weekend there and that was it. That was the last time I was there. This summer, with all the activities and visitors coming over, I couldn't squeeze in even just two days of Baguio. I long to go there even for a weekend, I hope I get to visit the city of Pines and introduce it to my daughter this summer.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I Miss Me

Summer is halfway through and if I am to summarize what's it been about so far, it's been about juggling my time between household chores and Aliya's ballet lessons. I don't want to think I made the wrong decision of enrolling her in ballet, it's just that the schedule being spread out during the entire week kept me from doing something else. Maybe also because I was the sole guardian who brings her to school (we ride the school bus)and waits for her for almost two hours in a not so conducive waiting area... the waiting and the heat are taking a toll on me. There used to be Ate Ruby who accompanies her to school but now it's solely me. What's happening now is I just tend to squeeze in what other things I need to do on the times and days that I am not attending to the needs and schedule of Aliya and Romy. The past week, too, has been quite of a circus in the house, because Romy's 3 nieces and sister stayed for a few days. Don't get me wrong, I like that Aliya has playmates in the house and that she's always busy entertaining and socializing, but the fact remains that I am not used to having alot of people in the house, so that's another adjustment that I had to make. Romy's weekends had been and is still is packed with appointments, so I end up the one making way, adjusting, and compromising. I long for the normal and quiet weeks again, I long for a reliable helper again, I long for more time for myself again, when I don't have to always be in a rush doing things that I love because I need to wash the dishes, or prepare dinner, or entertain guests, or (gasp!) iron the clothes! Most of all, I want to find myself again, the relaxed, creative me. Not the harassed, pressured and always-in-a-rush me.