Monday, November 23, 2015

Kids and Sand

Why do kids love playing with sand so much? Could it be the feeling of lush between their fingers? Or the ideas they play in their head of the things they will build? I love sand as much as these kids, but today was a mobile type of activity kind of day. I was picturing running around and going down the slide with them. It's sunny, but cold... and my youngest is once again having tummy issues. Of course, he isn't running around. He is playing with his cars on the sand, totally being immobile. I guess at least he's happy.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cooking as a Petite Mom

I have a confession to make. I didn't know how to cook until I had my second child. I've never attempted as a single woman. I tried, but horribly failed as a mom of one. I never really cared for it until I started eating cleaner (organic, non-processed, home cooked). After I erased fast food restaurants out of my diet, with the exception of Chikfila, I was at a lost as to what I would actually eat. So, I started cooking. The downside? My prep takes twice as long as everyone else and leave the kitchen a mess. So total cooking time is double what the recipe calls for. I also can not see what I am cooking when I am using a Stock Pot. And, I am so close to the frying pan because my arm can reach so far, that the oil pops all over my face! But the rewards? I hope it's long healthy life for me and mines. Although, my grandpa drank soda everyday and lived to 94... But one must try to eat clean, right?

So what recipe books do I actually use? I only use two actual books and two online sites.

The Philippine Cookbook by Reynaldo Alejando started me off with the basic things I would actually eat. I grew up eating everything in this book and it would be terrible to not be able to introduce them to my own children.  My favorite recipe here is the Maruya, which is a banana fritter.

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld is awesome. I hated vegetables and picked around my food a lot growing up. I bought this to trick myself into eating more vegetables way before my first child came along. Funny, right? My favorite recipes here are the beef stew, meatballs, and Banana bread. They are so delicious.


I love the Panlasang Pinoy blog. I've started using his blog when my first one was a baby; just random Filipino dishes I wanted to learn to cook. Then a friend showed me that he also had vlogs on YouTube and my cooking game reached a higher level. His recipes are on point and the dishes taste authentic once you are done. I absolutely love his Siopao recipe (steamed bun).

And lastly, I love the comment section on all the recipes on this site because many people comment on how they made it better, etc. At first it was kind of hard for someone like me who needs the recipe to be to the tee, but it helped me learn how to improvise. Initial dishes were not very good, I won't lie. Eventually, I got my groove in the kitchen that I finally want to taste them before I serve them. Was I really the only one that never taste the food while cooking? Anyways, they also have an app. I go by stars for their recipes. I find myself recooking their homemade Alfredo sauce and their Crockpot dishes.

By no means am I Chef quality in the kitchen. I can read and follow instructions well, though. I just wished my counter was at a level where I can actually see what I am cooking.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Public Restroom Woes

Let me start off by saying, I am very particular when I use a public restroom. I dread every visit to one. I always try to help my children in them. My eldest is almost as tall as me and I still insist she lets me take her. There are times she will see another child in there and tell me she is a big girl and can do it on her own. I say, okay, let me at least make sure it's clean for you. 80% of the time, the seat is wet/dirty or the person prior did not flush it. I overlap the cover so her skin never touches the seat. When she allows me, I do try to carry her up to the seat or at least hold her skirt up, so it isn't lying on the ground. When she wants to be independent, I back off, but remind her what she needs to do: don't swing your legs, don't let you skirt drop, and put your hand on your lap. Many people have commented to me that I am hindering her somehow because in school she would have to do it on her own without toilet seat covers (mostly). To that, I say, thank you for your opinion then I go about and help my child, anyways.

When I absolutely can't avoid it, these are the things I do:

1. In long travels or overseas flights, I would buy toilet seat covers in advance for my kids (specifically, the ones below). They fold flat and small. They cover the entire seat and then some. So when they swing their legs, their thighs won't touch the seat at all. I just fold it up and throw it in the trash.  

2. I have an antibacterial spray for our hands in case the restroom is out of soap. 

3.  If we were on our own and I need to use the restroom, I tell my kids to stick a foot under the doorway so I can see them at all times. My daughter tends to sing. She said, so I know it is her foot and that she is still there.

4. With infants: I always buy a stroller that folds completely flat so I can just change him on there. If I need to use the changing table, I bring the Goodnights pad (for the bed). It completely covers the table. 

Yesterday, my daughter and I were alone in the bathroom. She insisted on doing it all by herself. I checked. She did her thing. As we were washing our hands, I told her, "That's pretty cool you can do all this by yourself now. I know mom always wants to help, but it's my nature. I will always try to help you as many times as I can while I am here with everything you do, not just in restrooms." She somehow understood that it wasn't because I thought she was a baby. She replied, "I know mom" and gave me a hug.