Memory Exercises: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As I was taking time to finish my post on the iron giants, I found this video in the deep recesses of my drafts folder.  c was around two and a half years old when this video was taken.  I think this makes a good Throwback Thursday post.

Several months after this video was taken, c’s speech has improved and so was his delivery of the story.  It has improved a lot that some people who saw him in real life running his finger under the words as he “read” aloud the story actually commended him for being able to read.  It sure looks like it, but no. C was not yet really reading at two years old.  It was all memorization.  How he came to memorize the whole story was an interesting development for both of us.

To begin with, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of our all-time favorite stories.  He would make clay figures of a caterpillar and the food it ate.  He would draw or re-enact a scene from the story using his toys.  And of course, he would ask me to read the story to him all-through out the day.  I know many parents will agree with me that reading aloud the same thing several times a day everyday can become a wearisome task.  So at one point I thought I could do something to keep me interested in the activity.  Or rather, it was not do something.

I asked c to finish the sentences for me.  It then became like a game for us.  It was a joy for both of us when he got the word right.  As days go by I asked him to fill in more.  And day by day I am reminded how amazing children are.  Young as c may be but he was able to learn every word of his favorite story.

What started with …
RAT: In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a 
CAT: leaf!

turned to …
RAT: In the light of the 
CAT: moon
RAT: a little 
CAT: egg
RAT: lay on a
CAT: leaf

and then it became
RAT: In the light of the
CAT: moon a little egg lay on leaf

Eventually, it wasn’t I who was “reading” aloud anymore.  I would run my finger under the words and c would bring those words to life.  He has memorized the whole story – every word of it and quite expectedly every pause and intonation I do when I read the story to him.

I’m really happy how it turned out for c.  I could see how pleased he was with his accomplishment.  I was even happier upon learning later on that what we did was somewhat an application of the whole language approach to reading. I learned there are other ways to teach and learn reading.  It was not just through phonics.  The memory exercises we did have actually helped him learn to read.  c was able to recognize the words by memory and by context, and has gained confidence in reading.

Moving on from the beloved caterpillar, I attempted to do the same activity using another one of his favorites – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  The first few pages were quite okay but with all the repetitions, I myself got confused.  Hahaha! So I replaced the book with a locally published favorite – The Moon is My Friend.  I remember c was doing fine with that story.  Unfortunately, I was not able to follow through.  I can’t remember why.  Maybe things got busy for us.  Maybe I was intimidated by the length of the story and forgot about not underestimating a child.  Maybe… One thing for sure though, this summer is a great time to bring this activity back in our daily grind!  c is already a good reader now.  He’s been reading a lot by himself.  But I am sure there are more benefits to memorizing a book.  How cool is it to know one’s favorite story by heart, right?😉

The Way of the Cross and Visita Iglesia in Rizal

Aside from celebrating Easter, two other things we did as a family last Holy Week was Visita Iglesia and praying the Way of the Cross.  It was our second time to do Visita and Stations of the Cross at the churches we visited.  The first time was with c’s Ninang E back in 2012.  We drove through the provinces of Rizal and Laguna and prayed in some of their beautiful and historical churches.  It was inspiring to see how the faithful have devotedly built and maintained a place of worship for the Lord.  This year we went on the same path, but we limited ourselves to three churches in Rizal.  In that way we had more reflection time at the churches rather than on the road. Here were the churches we visited:

  Our Lady of The Holy Rosary Parish of Cardona, Rizal

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Cardona, Rizal

St. Jerome Parish Church of Morong, Rizal

St. Jerome Parish Church in Morong, Rizal

St. Joseph Parish Church of Baras, Rizal

St. Joseph Parish Church in Baras, Rizal In preparation for this year’s trip Hubby and I dug into our memory banks for the churches we went to last time.  Unfortunately, Continue reading

Scholastic’s Summer 2015 Warehouse Sale

I’m on a mission to beef up the kid’s library with non-fiction books – generally about science and more particularly about the solar system. So when two mommy friends on separate occasions on the same afternoon told me that Scholastic is having a warehouse sale, I could not contain myself. I went to check it out early the next day.

Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale
March 23 to May 2, 2015
9 am to 6 pm, Mondays to Saturdays
#70 C. Raymundo Avenue, Brgy. Rosario, Pasig City.

scholastic 2015 summer warehouse sale
Upon arriving at their warehouse, there were red tents at the driveway housing neatly arranged books in shelves. These were the books sold for 49 pesos and at 80% off. I took pictures of the shelves to remind myself of the available titles and to share as well, but the pictures were all reddish. Fortunately, Mommy Pehpot has good pictures in her blog post.

(I went back for the second time and the pictures I took of the books under the red tents are better.)

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The first thing that caught my attention and my shop basket was this book:

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This is a paperback around 10 inches tall and with about 40 fact-filled colored pages.  It was printed back in 1995 and Pluto was still recognized as a planet.  Out-dated info I know but there’s a load of other info in the book still considered as fact.  More importantly, I see it as another opportunity to teach c research skills.

Moving on, there were also these Usborne Young Reading Series all for 49php each:

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The set with Aesop’s Fables are hard covers, while the set with Ulysses are paperbacks.  They are more or less the same size. Nasabi ko na ba na 49 php each sila? Masmura pa kesa Booksale!😉 There were other titles like Rome, Napoleon, Shakespeare, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Little Princess, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. The classics are condensed and “kiddified” versions. It would have then be nice to introduce c to Shakepeare but I don’t fancy starting with two tragedies. The non-fiction titles on the other hand are not in any way condensed in information. (thumbs up!)

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There were also some Magic School Bus paperbacks.  Magic School Bus is a book series which presents science through an adventure.  A lot of my mommy friends have been collecting and buying these from bargain bookshops. I never bothered about them until now that the little boy is into science.  I grabbed all the titles available  on the shelves last Saturday.  All are brand new at 49 pesos – definitely cheaper than what they’re sold for at Booksale!

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Two books I found interesting but were not able to make the budget cut were these two: Continue reading

fruits and bunnies

Baon Diaries

Our little boy has started school!  Homeschool?  No.  I am still hanging on to that great endeavor but for now, we have enrolled him in the mainstream.  And since he is away from home for a couple of hours, I send him off with some love in a small snack box. Sharing with you the baon (snacks) I have prepared for him since his first day of school.

Day 1: Pandesal with banana and nutella spread + apple cubes

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Day 2: Star sandwiches with banana and peanut butter + apple cubes + tri-color fusilli pasta (with tomato and spinach add-ons for the red and green colors)

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Day 3:  Star sandwiches with peanut butter and nutella spreads + banana + raisins + tri-color fusilli with Cheezee sauce

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Day 4: Heart and star-shaped sandwiches with cheese spread + green and red apple slices

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Day 5: Star sandwiches with peanut butter or nutella spreads + tri-color fusilli with attempted homemade carbonara sauce

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Day 6:  “House” sandwiches with nutella and peanut butter + slice of red and green apples + slice of papaya

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Day 7:  Rabbit fish cakes (from Cold Storage) + green apples + papaya

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Day 8: (I forgot to take a picture of this snack box.) Peanut butter and nutella sandwich triangles + indian mangoes + hard-boiled quail egg

Day 9:  Choco crinkles and oatmeal choco cookie (from My Bitter Baker, a deaf-mute baker selling baked stuff for a cause.  Contact #s 02-427-1693 / 0917-532-4543) + banana + cheese Continue reading

Does Your Child Like to be Blogged About?

A post after ten years! Well, not exactly ten years but it sure felt like that. There were earlier attempts to compose an entry but something always pops up and blogging takes the backseat for the nth time.  But the bigger factor as to why I haven’t been updating my blog is because I have these questions that hold me back.

What if C doesn’t like being blogged about?

What if he doesn’t like his pictures posted in the internet for the world to see?

What if he turns out to be a very private person and would not like strangers all over the world reading about him however trivial the posts were?

If you are also a blogging mom and you write about your child(ren), did you have these questions too? Have you asked your child(ren) about these? Do you get their permission to post their photos and stories? I am really curious to read what other blogging moms think and more curious as to what kids actually think about this and how they take in the idea of being blogged about.

C is 4 years old now.  I have not asked him yet or actually even tried asking him. I don’t know if he will understand.  Although I do plan to ask him in a couple of years when I think he can already understand somehow the complexities of social media .

So would I continue blogging about him and hope he’s okay with it? I am actually thinking of just doing the email-diary thing where I can write him(!) anything and whatever about him!  Family and friends can write him too and tell him stories of how he is when he is a wee bit tall or anecdotes when they were together. The idea sounds really nice. It will be very personal and private.

So will I keep this blog alive?  Maybe, since there are still a lot of things in motherhood and family life that I can blog about.  Or maybe I could do a revamp and restart all over? Or totally not at all since I am also struggling to find that passion to blog. Siguro I am just making excuses hence those questions about children and blogging. Dami kong issues! LOL ;P

But in all seriousness, please, I hope someone can share their insights to my questions.

And then in all honesty, this post was brought about by the prodding of Maqui, Erl and Faye. I don’t know if I should thank them or not for bringing me back to blogging life. ;p

 

To Climb A Tree

That was what he wanted to do one morning last week.

We were out on the grounds that morning. We just had to take advantage of the glorious sunshine and fresh air after days of being held hostage by fever and rains at home. It was then a really bright day for us.🙂

So there he was whirling around the play grounds when he suddenly stopped, pointed pass me and said, “Tree. Taas sa tree.” He wanted to climb the small tree just like the kids did when we first stepped on the playgrounds.

Without much thought, I obliged to his request. Children actually climbing real trees in this cyber age… Priceless. Thank God the property developer of the condominium community we currently live in is generous with open spaces, greens and trees.🙂

So there, I propped him up the stone at the foot of the tree.

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But I guess there will be better days to climb as he only managed this one big step

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Some other day, LC. Maybe when you’re a little more able😉

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Oh how I wish there will be a lot of trees to where we will settle permanently. And of course, more trees for the coming generations…🙂

Behind the Acts of Sharing Breastmilk

Milk Mama Diaries
Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.

Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

Sharing constitutes giving and receiving. LC and I have been at both ends of milk sharing. Giving will always have more weight for me in whatever matter in life, but I guess relaying how we were at the receiving end of milk sharing is another way of showing gratitude to the generous giver.

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.
– George Elliot, English novelist

Almost two months after giving birth to Little Cat, I was still struggling with my milk supply. I was also still struggling with post natal blues and to adjusting and learning about the baby. All these I had to deal with on top of the house hold chores. We don’t have a maid or yaya or anyone else aside from the three of us, so the stress-level for me is way off the charts. We would then top up with formula milk once in a while to give me even an extra hour of rest. Then there was this time, when I really wanted to have that very much-needed breather. A time away for myself.

Good thing it was also our wedding anniversary. I had more reason to level down my motherly doubts of not going for it. Hubby and I decided to get a massage and have dinner. We left LC to my sister-in-law who lives nearest us and whom we can entrust LC. We left LC with his stash of formula milk and feeding bottles good for about 6 hours.

When Hubby and I came to fetch LC, I was soooo pleasantly surprised to Continue reading