Friday, May 29, 2009

i want to be hanna montana when i grow up

That's what my 5-year old IC told me this morning on our way to kindergarten. I know that she is crazy about Hanna Montana; she's a real big fan. But this?

I quickly made our talk into something positive. Since she's been too lazy joining the extra-curricular activities for the past months (she dont want to go to ballet, she would skip gymnastics, she would miss out on walks); I told her being Hanna Montana is not easy but that she could do it if she would be ready to work on it.

She asked me what she needs to do. And so we listed down the things that Hanna Montana could do: sing, dance, gymnastics, go to school and study. I also told her Hanna Montana doesnt watch tv (I simply had to add this).

IC said she could already sing and dance but that she is ready to join classes. She said from now on she dont want to be driven to kindergarten, she would prefer to walk. She said she would not skip gymnastics anymore. She said I should enrol her to school so she could start studying. And she would only watch Hanna Montana on tv.

I told her she must do and learn all those things, slowly but surely. Her answer? 'I have enough time, I am only 5 after all.'

And she started singing and dancing on her way to kindergarten.

Monday, May 25, 2009

what to do on a hot summer day

the forecast for today is hot. we were up early decided to just go with the flow :D

here's what we did.

- had a brunch cum picnik in the garden
- worked in the garden
- picked strawberries
- went for a short bike ride
- ate ice cream
- watched the clouds
- gave the plants a real shower
- played hopscotch
- danced around the water sprinkler
- ate ice cream
- turned on the water in the slide
- got wet in the wadding pool
- played in the sand box
- had a barbacue party in the garden
- ate ice cream
- painted the street using chalks and water color
- slept late

we enjoyed our sweat today :D

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where the bats are = Andito ang mga paniki

Payak = Natural

Unang bisita namin sa Hundred Islands sa Pangansinan at dun ako nakakuha ng isang 'payak' na pangitain. Isang pangkaraniwang natanawin sa isa sa isla dito. Ang mga nakasabit na mga paniki. Kaya naman ang tawag sa islang ito ay Isla Paniki. Napansin nyo sila?

We visited the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan and saw how one island became the natural habitat of bats.
Iningganyo kami ng mga namamangka na gumawa ng konting ingay para makita namin kung gaano talaga karami ang mga paniki sa isla. Ayan sa susunod na litrato at kitang kita ang dami nila nung nagliparan sila.

The boatmen encouraged us to make a little noise to see how many bats are there. You could see them flying about.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ascension Day is also Father's Day

It is always a facsination to watch how Father's Day is celebrated here in Germany. But let's make it clear, it is also the Ascension Day.
How do they celebrate it? Very different from mother's day.
The kids dont go around with secrets before the day itself. Unlike mother's day, hey dont create any crafts in the kindergarten nor in the school. In fact, it is always a surprise to them when I aske them if they have something for papa for father's day. Their response, 'when is father's day?'
And it is really a wonder that they dont feel the festive air. The day before father's day; people pile the supermarkets. Most of them men, with their cases of beer and/or wine, chips and barbecue items. Then you would see groups of men pushing or pulling their small wagons full of the same 'important' items to a beer tent in the woods or to friend's house. Of course, one would not miss the beer tents, beer garden and show stages sprouting out in some usually vacated areas or parking spaces. And that happens before father's day.
When father's day comes, there would be parties everywhere. The men would be out there having fun.
But not with our family. We are more subdued :D
I would usually ask the kids to draw something for their papa or when we have time, we would buy him something small but special; of course, we would buy something for opa, too. In the morning of father's day, we would presents those items to him. He could stay longer in bed while we'd prepare a special breakfast. (This is special as he usually prepares our breakfast!). Then, we would visit the opa and bring him his gift. This time, we cooked lunch for him and the girls' joined him.

Wikipedia states:
In Germany Father's Day is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. There are two terms and/or events of an older origin that while similar in name, have entirely different meanings. Vatertag, is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men's day, Männertag, or gentlemen's day, Herrentag. It is tradition to do a males-only hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost, which could be Saumagen, Liverwurst, Blutwurst (Blood Sausage), vegetables, eggs, etc. Many men will use this holiday to get very drunk, to the point of having gangs of drunk people roaming the streets, causing much embarrasement to the German people who don't participate, and giving the holiday a very bad name in Germany. Police and emergency services are in high alert during the day, and some left-wing and feminist groups have asked for the banning of the holiday.
Some parts of Germany (such as Bavaria and the northern part of Germany) call this particular day "Vatertag", which is the literal equivalent to Father's Day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nang Matapos = When it Ended

Nang Matapos = When it Ended

Ito ang naiwang natawin sa akin nang matapos ang aming sobrang iksing bakasyon sa Bohol Beach Club nitong nakaraang uwi namin sa Pilipinas. Ang ganda ano? Alam nyo kung ano ang naging reaksyon ng aking bunso sa pagkakita nya sa puting buhangin? Dito.

Here is the last glimpse when we ended our short vacation at Bohol Beach Club during our last visit to the Philippines.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Discovering the Telephone

It's started. Seven-year-old MC has discovered the telephone. She would disappear for a long time. We would find her in one corner, on the phone.

And then Mama A told me she's been getting hang-ups displaying our telephone number since last week.

And then Mama B told me her husband's been getting hang-ups displaying our telephone number since last week, too.

Mama C called me this afternoon saying her husband's getting uneasy as he's getting hang-ups displaying our telephone number.

They were not complaining. They were simply informing me. I told them we noticed MC's busy on the phone, too; but knowing that it's now out of control, I talked to her about it.

I told her it is important that she knows the rules on the right way to use the telephone.

- A telephone is definitely not a toy
- Do not give our phone number to anybody without our permission
- On answering the phone, she must greet and say her name and of course, say a proper goodbye
- She must tell me or her papa first who she wants to call and why
- There is a time to call. Not before 10 am and not after 7 pm. And no calls during lunch and dinner times.
- Dont answer the telephone when no adults are around
- Never give our home address over the phone unless we give her permission
- Do not make an appointment without informing us
- No long conversations on the phone; other people would want to use the phone, too
- Most importantly, be polite

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day is A Beautiful Day

IC hasnt really opened her eyes and yet when she stirred before really waking up; she was already saying 'Muttertag' (Mother's Day). That's how excited she is of Mother's Day.

As I have instructions not to open my eyes until MC and my husband said so, I happily savored the extra minutes under my warm blanket. And here's what happened during Mother's Day.

1. For the first time, I earned a breakfast in bed! MC prepared toast with butter and a few slices of salami and cocktail tomatoes plus black tea. In her thoughtfulness, she made the same thing for IC who made sure that I wouldnt peek :D

2. I got my gifts from the girls, a poem and a poster from MC and a handpainted photo frame from IC. My husband gave me a bunch of roses a day before. (see photo)

3. Instead of the usual jogging with my husband, I opted to join the girls for a short outing; biking to the nearest climbing frame and playing catch. (see photo)

4. After a short lunch, we headed off to the cemetery to offer a Mother's Day flower to oma's (grandma's) grave.

5. We picked-up opa (grandpa) for a Mother's Day early dinner.

6. We went back to the climbing frame for another round of catch me.

It was an exhausting yet fun day. IC summarized the day with 'Mama, Mother's Day is a beautiful day. I wish tomorrow is another Mother's day.'

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Secrets Before Mother's Day

IC cannot contain her excitement.

Two weeks before Mother's Day she blurted out that she's making a special something for me. But she is not supposed to tell me because it is a secret. She kept on repeating those words almost everyday.

One day I heard MC admonishing her, saying she also have something for Mama but she is not telling because it is supposed to be a secret. Secrets are to be kept, she emphasized.

This morning, IC woke me up and said we only need to sleep one more night and then it is Mother's Day. She repeated her story about her secret but she's too excited she cannot contain herself. Especially when she saw that I already got my Mother's Day flowers from Papa this afternoon. (He is afraid it would dry if he keep in in a secret corner for tomorrow.)

Suddenly she disappeared in the garden. I kept on looking for her but she wont answer. Then the doorbell rang. It was IC but she wont come in when she saw me. She wanted her Papa who is taking a long bath. So I left her outside, she rang the doorbell a few more times and was already getting frustrated that her Papa was not opening the door when I told her I am going outside to get something.

She beamed and ran inside; but not before I saw her hiding a bunch of newly plucked flowers ;D I dont know where she kept them for tomorrow though.

And tonight as I was taking a shower, they were all busy. When I went to check on them, they hurriedly hide whatever they were doing.

I am getting excited with all these secrets before Mother's Day.

Wishing all mom's the best on Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What if the traffic light is off?

Just in front of the school is a pedestrian traffic light which makes it safe for the kids to cross the street alone. After all, that is a very busy street.

But what if the traffic light is off? What if there was no notice in written or in the news announcing that it would be turned off? What if you let your kids walk alone to school not knowing the traffic light is off? What if you dont realize that the reason why the kids are late in going home is that because they are stuck in front of the turned off traffic light? What ifs.

It happened one morning that the traffic light was busted. Good thing MC asked his papa to walk with them to school. My husband became the traffic police for a time there before he decided to call the city hall to inform them about the traffic light. It was repaired a few minutes after his call.

But the past weeks, road repairs going on in that particular stop light is making the parents uneasy. No one was assigned to help the pedestrians, especially the school kids. You could see kids zigzaging through traffic. You could see some almost in tears because they could not cross the street. For us parents who are there, we could only hold the traffic for a while, we cannot stay there all day until all kids are out of school.

My husband called the city hall and complained. He told them to at least have someone man the traffic when the kids are scheduled to come and to leave school. That happened after a few more calls and emails from us.

And when police traffic were assigned, we vigilantly observed if they would keep the school times. And we thanked them for their efforts. But we didnt stop walking our MC to school until the road repairs were done. It is better to be on the safe side.

Most of the times, we only learned that the traffic light is off because MC reports to us almost every little details of her everyday activities. That is why we could also take action in time. I shudder to think when MC would stop talking to us and we would miss taking actions.

It is really good when kids talks to us parents, right?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saving Places

We were invited for a movie along with some of MC's classmates.

As usual, we were early as the moviehouse is just 5-minutes walk from our place. Plus, we wanted to save the best seats for the whole group.

The early birds were both my girls and another boy and we wanted to save seats. I told them when someone ask them if the seats are free they should say 'they are taken.' The agreed. I told them to stay to keep those seats for our group. They agreed.

But did they stay put? Nope. They had to jump out after every seconds to watch out for their friends. After awhile I told them they should really stay put as more and more people are coming and I wont be able to say those seats are taken when the could see that the long row is empty.

Of course, the kids disappeared again. Then I didnt notice that a big group claimed the empty row. Should I ask them to move? Of course not.

When the kids appeared with their companions and saw that the seats were taken, they were disappointed. I told them they were doing the 'seat saving thing' wrong. When one wants to really save a seat, they should be there where the seats are so that when people ask if the seats are free; they would hear someone answering them 'no, these seats are taken.'

Leaving those seats empty for anyone to grab is simply the wrong way to save seats. Leaving those seats free after telling them they agreed to take care of those seats would not work at all.

MC couldnt believe we came early only to loose those precious seats because they didnt stay put simply nodded, 'now I know.'

Friday, May 1, 2009

I dont do blogging nor bloghopping lately

Simply because I am busy with the girls...

- enjoying the summer feeling in the garden
- creating crafts and doing water color paintings
- reading for them and them reading for me
- watching cartoons
- singing and dancing to the Hanna Montana songs
- cuddling and tickling and playing hide and seek
- baking and cooking and picnicking
- creating stories under the bed sheets

I am savoring my homework as a mom :)