Friday, August 29, 2014

Buwan ng Wika outfits

Since it is Buwan ng Wika, I am doing additional posts on it since it has more relevance (again) in my life now that I have a pre-schooler.

Part of the celebration is having children wear traditional Filipino costumes in school for a day.  You can either DIY or just buy. Now a days, it is not too hard to find RTW costumes.  Just go to SM (since they've got it all) and you can choose from a variety of Filipino costumes.  I think the most in demand costumes for boys would be the maglalatik and the barong, while for the girls it would be the baro't saya attire.  

Last Friday, R's school had their Filipiniana day.  I like that the school reminds the parents to keep the costumes simple and not expensive.   I already had a peg in mind and wanted him to dress up like a datu.  I was pretty conscious that I also did not want to spend too much on his costume since this would only be a one time affair and honestly, the kids couldn't care less.   For his costume, it was a mix of store bought finds and  clothes and accessories that we already have at home. The only thing that I bought was the vest from SM Kultura for P229.  I also bought a bigger size so that he can use it again in the future.  If I only know how to sew, I would have made his costume from scratch!

R in school during their costume day.

Also last weekend, my son R and his cousin Q had a pictorial at home to commemorate Buwan ng Wika.  Since my niece will be migrating to Canada, we wanted to capture her wearing a Filipino costume before she leaves.  

My chinitong Datu.
Cousin love.  R and Q in their Mindanao inspired costumes.
How cute are they?  Her costume was purely DIY-ed!  Her Nonna (grandmother) made the malong. It was difficult to make these two kiddos sit still, I almost thought we would not be able to get a decent shot!

What about you, how did you prepare for Buwan ng Wika?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Buwan ng Wika activity: Let's make some Pastillas de Leche!

Back in the day when I was still studying, it was known as Linggo ng Wika.  Nowadays, it is known as Buwan ng Wika.  It is a month long celebration every August to celebrate the Philippine National Language. Coincidentally, it is also the birth month of the Philippine's Father of National Language, former President Manuel L. Quezon.  Personally, I think having a month long celebration is a good thing especially now that there are many children that are having a hard time speaking and even understanding Tagalog.  It is a sad reality and I think our generation of parents need to exert more effort in making sure that the Filipino language stays alive with our children.

Philippine and KKK flags by the kids at R's school.

Now that R is already going to school, he gets to celebrate Buwan ng Wika.  Part of his school's activities is to invite parents to volunteer to read a Filipino story, teach kids to make any native dishes or desserts or show and tell about a famous landmark or destination in the Philippines that they have been to.  I chose to teach them how to make No-cook Pastillas de Leche (Thanks to my HS barkada Mia for giving me the idea!). I wanted something quick, easy and something that the kids would enjoy doing as well.

The children had a blast making their own Pastillas de Leche.  I think each of them were able to make at least three each.  I also pre-packed one Pastilas each per child to bring home so they could show it to their parents.

I also added a twist to the basic Pastillas de Leche by givng them an option to roll it in crushed cookie crumbs and making them into Pastillas pops.  The Pastillas pops idea was a big hit!  Seeing R and his classmates' excitement and enthusiasm was priceless.
And I saw these three pogi boys snacking right after our Pastillas making session!  Nagutom ?

In case you want the recipe, here it is:
1 1/2 cups powdered milk 

1/2 cups condensed milk 
1/2 cups white sugar for rolling

1. Put powdered milk into a bowl.  Make a well in the middle then add condensed milk.  Mix well.  If you find the consistency too wet, add powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  Same goes if you find the mixture too dry, add condensed milk.

2. Roll the dough-like mixture into balls or small logs.

3. Roll the balls or logs in sugar. You can also get creative, by rolling it in crushed cookie crumbs like we did.  

4. Last, wrap them in cellophane, put on small cupcake liners or stick them into paper straws if you want to make Pastillas Pops.

I am sure that your kids will have a blast doing and eating this one. Have fun and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Number two

One of the most common problems during childhood is constipation.   I honestly have been wanting to write about this for the longest time, but it was just recently that I was truly enlightened, more of alarmed that we really had to seek the expert's help on R's BM (bowel movement) issue.  Some might find that this is TMI (too much information), but I feel that I should share my experience and thoughts on this.  I did my research on the internet on what to do if your child is constipated.  Believe me I have tried everything and was already out of my wits trying to figure out what to do.  I am well aware that lack of fiber in R's diet is a culprit.  However, R is also in the picky eating stage right now, bummer!  I honestly do not want to stress about it, but sometimes I could not help it.

Photo courtesy of

R was having BM problems ever since he was a baby especially when I switched to pure formula when he was around 4 months old (that's why please choose to breastfeed!).  We sought the help of a Pedia-Gastro and it somehow improved. I resorted to giving him either diluted prune juice and it has always worked.  But as he got older, there were a lot of times wherein he would strain for hours trying to get it out.  Making him drink prune juice also became a struggle because I think he is sick and tired of its taste.  The final straw was when he was straining for almost half a day to no avail and he was already in tears. We were so stressed and felt so bad for him.  I quickly booked an appointment with Dra Jean Guno of TMC (The Medical City) because I do not know what to do anymore!

Anyways, I am thankful for the very thorough and very detailed explanation of Dra. Guno.  R has been classified to have functional constipation.  This type of constipation means that the child does not require surgery due to another condition, it's just because the child has a hard poop.  In R's case, other than having a low fiber diet, he used to drink very little water (as in pahirapan). What could have also  triggered longer days to pass on poop could be due to a painful past incident wherein poop was too big to pass and it hurt him a lot.  And as the poop stays in there longer, the bigger and dryer it becomes, thus making it difficult to release. He usually poops every four days which is so not good.  The explanation here is that the passage way has been stretched so it takes more time for it to trigger the brain to do #2.  I did not know that!

Below is the Bristol Stool chart that was shown to me.  What we are aiming for is Type 4.  The first three types are signs of constipation.

For now, R will need to undergo a Bowel Retraining program which includes Disimpaction,
Maintenance Medication, Behavioral Intervention, Fluid Intake and Diet.  He was also asked to have an X-ray of his abdomen to validate fecal impaction.

We are on our second week in the program.  Apart from R maintenance medicine (Lactulose), I have also been training him to sit on the potty every after lunch and dinner. A helpful tip is to make sure that his feet rest on a stool because it is hard to poop when your legs are hanging from the toilet.  Blowing exercises also help.

It is still way too early to see major improvements.  Though poop consistency has greatly improved, we are still struggling with long days.  I cannot wait for the day that everything will be ok, I tell you.

In the meantime, I will do whatever it takes to make him eat more fiber and increase his water intake and of course be supportive of what he is going through.

As a last note, it is always best to consult the experts immediately.  Please do not offer laxatives or suppositories without the Doctor's advice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Once upon a Sunday

Ortigas was once a vast grassy place in the 80's. I remember my dad and my brother used to go there to watch RC races.  There were just a handful of buildings dominating the area, like the Strata building.  fast forward to today and I cannot even find Strata immediately because of the new and tall buildings surrounding it.  Honestly, as much as possible I avoid going there on weekdays, sometimes even on Saturdays because the traffic just makes me go insane.  The perils of modernization.

Anyway, one of my friends invited us to hang out in Ortigas one Sunday morning.  I did not know that they close down F. Ortigas Jr. Road (formerly Emerald Avenue) every Sunday.  They have free Zumba in the morning and the kids (and adults) could bike there without worrying that they would bump into a car.  There are also bikes and carts for rent in case you do not have one.  Several establishments like Mc Donald's, Jollibee, Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice are also open if you get hungry.

The kids loved the free space so much that we stayed there for four hours!

Up and about at 7:30 in the morning!

R biking away while dad is making chika, haha!

R has his own bike.  But don't fret if you forgot to bring yours or do not have one.  There are  bikes for rent.  I think the fee is P100. 

Run, run, run!

Dads and the kiddos.

Kids winding down.  As usual R was eating.

Iam still alive!

Hi remember me? I have been on a blogging break, if that's what you call it.  Now that R is officially going to school everyday for three hours, I now have three hours for myself!  If you are going to think about it, I should have had more time to blog.  But there were so many things that I wanted to do that kept me preoccupied for three hours everyday like cleaning and organizing our closets, errands, and just basically hanging out with myself.  Now that I have pretty much crossed out my to-do lists, hopefully I will have more time to blog, yey! So watch out for my upcoming posts!


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