Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Banana Kiwi Oats Smoothie

My toddler has been a picky eater these past weeks so the mommy has been in action trying her might to give the healthiest ever.

As mommies, we know smoothie is a hit to toddlers. And so I joined the bandwagon of mommies turning to the ever healthy and winner fruit and cereal smoothie craze.

Here's for today:

The stars of the day!

Kiwi, banana, oats, yogurt, vanilla ice cream and a cup of crushed ice. Blitz all of the above in a blender.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Want A Norland Nanny

Warning: This is a nanny rant.

I wished I had one of these Norland nannies. You see, Norland nannies are those who are highly trained and are the best in the world. They serve the Royals and are considered some of the most expensive ones.

Well, I'm not a Royal so I can't hire one! But having yaya blues yet again, I wished I was one though.

I really don't know what to do anymore. Does this yaya problem ever end? It really doesn't matter how well you pay them or how well you treat them. It's more of a matter of luck. This is despite I have one for a relative.

My current yaya has been causing me to go absent from work, got me working more household chores than usual, even decided not to give her my son for over an hour anymore. All in a span of two months only. Why? Because one neighbor told me she just goes on texting and making calls while looking after my kid. How does she do that all at one time? And I ignored that one concern from one neighbor weeks ago.

I even have to put up with her incompetence when it comes to household chores 'cause I've got no choice. I got to work. Yesterday, she came back 10am when I firmly pointed out to her that I have somewhere else to go to at 830am. And a lot of neighbors have reported yesterday of how her eyes and fingers are glued on her phone while looking after my son putting one neighbor's observation to a sealed deal.

When she came back, I confronted her calmly. She denied these of course! She went on crying fits by this time. No matter how she denies these, I believe my neighbors have basis on telling me of her doings. They're only concerned about my son's welfare. I had to tell her if these are not true, then let's move on now but I have to stress to her once again the importance of coming in to work on time from a day off and the top most importance of making sure the safety of my son.

Since I feel so miserable right that I can say it sucks not to be a Royal that I have to keep her in the meantime till I can find a replacement for her. I'll let her do the majority of household work since I'm on night shift and I can look after my son majority of the day. That's what I've been doing actually. It just makes me feel sad and annoyed at the same time that I have to pay somebody for being incompetent.

I talked to her again today. I have to let her go. My priority is my son. I don't want to regret one day if ever something happens to my precious kid. In the first place, I am working my ass off for my child. I can make compromises at work. I can't put my son's safety to chances. I'm letting her go.

I got to have one of those Norland nannies!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Miss You, Mama

Dear Mama,

How I've missed you! I'm writing you a letter because I just simply miss you. I miss our long talks over almost everything. I miss how you pack three boiled eggs for me before I go to school at 4am during college. I miss how you visit me weekly at my dorm bringing me gala apples. I just miss you, Mama.

There have been rough patches between you and me. I suppose this is normal for mothers and daughters. No relationship is perfect anyway. But thank you for still loving me. Forgive me for all the times that I've hurt you. I've got lots of burden I need to carry that I know I will surpass by myself. I know I will always need you as long as I live. I will forever need you, Ma. I will forever need your love. Just your love -- no more, no less. But please don't worry about me. Be rest assured there's nothing I can't do. I am happy with who I am. I am a survivor. You raised me well. I want you to know that I appreciate you more now than ever. There's no one who means so much to me other than you -- no one.

I miss you so much, Ma. I love you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When Everything Isn't Right

Dear Self,

When your mind is blank, go for a walk.
When worries eat you, stay calm and be hopeful.
When you are wronged by someone, bethink what’s great in them.
When mistakes are many, stop and ask forgiveness.
When your heart aches, cry it out.
When you can’t change a thing, accept and let go.
When you can’t understand, offer love instead.
When hurtful words are thrown, offer more love.
When you’re soul tired, slow down and look up.
When no one seems to listen, talk to God.
When everything seems to crumble, rise you must and keep the faith.
When everything’s wrong, start making it right.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Curse-Your-Diet Hazelnut Banana Pancakes

I’m a fan of Famous Belgian Waffles ever since I discovered the heavenly taste of their golden waffles. But I crave for it far too many times more than I expected. And as a mom, I have no time getting the waffle fix I needed when I need it.

I don’t consider waffles and pancakes as breakfasts. I will most of the time have them as an afternoon snack. I even consider them as desserts. Crazy but that’s me. And so, in my quest of giving in to my recent cravings, I concocted a familar-to-most recipe. Pancakes with bananas and hazelnut.

Mix pancake/waffle mix with a cup of buttermilk, an egg and a knob of butter.

I first wanted to make pancakes from scratch but after realizing that 500g ready mixes cost almost the same as 500g flour, heck do I have to beat myself up of making it from scratch?

I bought Fineti hazelnut spread for this one. Fineti tastes good and it's way affordable than other brands!

Pour batter in the pan, embed some bananas and gooey-chewy hazelnut. I’m crazy for butter so I also added some knobs to it. Toss and do the same drill for the remaining batter.

Stack ‘em up with banana slices and hazelnut spread like crazy. Tada! My version of hazelnut banana embedded pancakes in all its mouth-watering glory. Best served hot!

Warning: This is going to destroy your diet schemes so make sure to slow down though I know how hard it is to resist this decadent monster!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Maneuvering Mommy Guilt

I'm a guilt-driven mom just like any mom I suppose. So here are some thoughts on how I navigate the dreaded, monstrous mommy guilt and try to be a more relaxed mommy. And I think I failed at trying to be the latter. Read and find out for yourself.

On leaving my child for work. Check!
Seriously. Almost all moms feel guilty about going to work and leaving their child to a nanny. But I have to be realistic. I need to work in order to provide for my son. A one-income household just couldn't survive especially with the state of the Philippine economy. Yes, I've accepted this reality already.

On giving healthy meals. Check!
Yeah, I get it. We all try to give super healthy meals to our kids every time, but there are days when you just couldn't do and make it, well, super healthy. So in order to be not too hard on myself, I guess a slip here and there of an unhealthy meal twice or thrice a week wouldn't hurt so bad. Oh, is Lucky Me Lomi with eggs unhealthy? My son loves LM Lomi and this is my savior on days I'm just too darn tired.

On having a ME time. Check but uncheck!
Me time for me is an hour at the mall, running errands or doing grocery. Heck a 20-minute uninterrupted shower time is even a luxury for me! Ridiculous, right? Yeah, I know I need to be more creative but I don't have the luxury yet of going to spas or go on shopping spree. An hour of massage from our reflexology-trained neighbor makes me uber happy already. I noticed that I feel less guilty when before I step out of the door, my son has done with shower, took his vitamins, ate a healthy meal, had his inhaler shots, and is taking a nap. That's not counting the long list of instructions to the nanny on what to do when he wakes up. See? I am one crazy, annoying mommy and you can shoot me now.

On sending my kid to play outside without me. So uncheck!
This kills me every damn time! Call me OA but I just can't bear the thought of sending Freedom outside with his yaya to play. I work night shifts and I'm with my baby the whole day. When I come home, I make sure I put him to naps, feed him, play with him. Sometimes, if I can't sleep while he sleeps, I send him outside to play for like an hour and it bothers me. Yeah, I know. I need to sleep! I try to overcome this by repeatedly telling myself, "get over it and sleep! This is one area I need to work on. It's daddy and baby time between 4pm-6pm and I always end up still going with them 'cause I feel jealous and makes 'this is our family time of the day' an excuse to join them. I'm so over the top, I hate myself.

On not being more creative with play. Check and uncheck!
This one is hard because my baby is super active. He's a very spirited kid and he will try every single thing to test your patience especially when he's bored. And this one is to blame on me. I need to think of more ways on how to entertain him without me getting exhausted. He's fond of going up and down stairs, never-ending peekaboos, running around looking for harmless centipedes on the ground, swinging by my legs and so on and so forth. It's hard to keep him entertained without me getting physically drained, more so if I lack sleep. Some days are better when I think of something non-physical activity to do like giving a bag of mung beans to decant from one cup to another. Or read him a book that I read to him like a thousand times already. Sometimes, I give him a bag of small dried fishes like dilis. He adores any kind of fish, raw, cooked or dried. This trick makes him super happy and the mommy is as well happy albeit the cleaning part!

Note to self (repeat 100x):
I believe that no matter how guilty I feel, my son will always adore me. In his eyes, I am still the best mommy no matter how many times I leave him to go to work, or how many hours he spends in a day without mommy in sight, or how many times I thought I failed him. He will only have one mommy in his lifetime and I’m sure I mean more to him than anyone else in the world.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fish Tinola

Finally! My first Ilonggo dish! Every Ilonggo is very familiar with this dish. We usually cook this on mornings for breakfast and sometimes for dinner. I grew up having this at home.

This is the simplest Ilonggo dish you'll ever find and moi son loves this so much I cook this recipe almost twice weekly. He likes soupy food by the way.

You'll only need any fish you like, onions, tomatoes and malunggay. Very simple ingredients.

Have some water to boil and add tomatoes and onions. After 3 mins, you can add your fish and top it up with fresh malunggay. Salt and pepper to taste. This dish is best during rainy seasons.
This one's for my son. 

The moment he sees any fish dish, he goes "iiish, iissshhh" with a silent F. Even as I was posting this pictures, he points at the screen and goes "iiisshh, iiisssh" for fish!

Very easy and super healthy meal. Try it!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mommy Meltdown

I just experienced what any mom dreaded the most. I had a mommy meltdown.

My son wasn't feeling very well and developed a fever last Sunday. And then a blanket of symptoms developed like on and off rash and mouth sores. I thought I could still manage him at home since his fever only lasted 2 days. I was wrong. We consulted his pediatrician and mouth sores were to blame. His doctor explained that residue from his asthma inhaler stays in his mouth and this causes him to develop mouth sores that I'm sure hurt as hell. He prescribed Daktarin. He also advised to give him water every after inhaler shots to clear the deposits away. I wonder when will he stop these inhalers.

I've had my share of sleepless nights every time Freedom gets sick. But this episode was the worst of all. Since we're officially in toddlerville, he's more difficult to manage because he can now express his frustrations more clearly.

He only wants mummy! No one but mummy! He cries and cries and cries and cries. When I'm not looking at him, he cries. When I try to carry him to comfort him, he cries. When I put him down, he cries. When I try to give him a bottle, he cries. I tried my best to lull him to sleep through dancing, standing, swaying, singing, tapping; he will sleep but the moment I try to sit down, he cries! Whatever I do, he cries and cries and cries! Clearly, I’m doing something wrong! Now, where could I buy a Red Bull I.V. drip?

He will jolt his whole body as an expression of his frustration and my 120-pound body couldn't take this very well. I have aches all over my body. It felt like my body will split in half down my waist. Out of frustration, I thought to myself, “If I could just shove him back to my vagina, I will!”

I tried to talk him out of it, it didn't work. I tried to tell him mom is doing everything she can in a firm voice, it didn't work. I got frustrated. I got tired. I got angry. The last thing I thought during that time was to put him down and run away as fast as I could.

The next thing I knew, I raised my voice saying, "I don't know what to do with you anymore." I put him on bed and walked out of the room. His tatay and nanny are still in the room so I know he's safe. I can still hear him cry for me. I sat outside with my hands burying my face. I couldn't take it anymore. I was there for about a minute or two when his tatay carried him over to me 'cause he was still crying.

I took him then. I hugged him. I kissed him. I said sorry. I hugged him again, tighter this time. He stopped crying. I lulled him to sleep, singing to him.

I felt so regretful. I was mad at myself. I felt inadequate as a mom. I don't know why I didn't handle it well. I just snapped. Maybe it was my lack of sleep. Maybe I was really tired. But it happened and I feel just awful. The next morning, I still couldn't move on. How could I do this to my child? How could I lose patience with him?

After two more days, my son felt better. He was already up and about, smiling, giggling and even hopping! In other words, he's back to his normal self. The little monster in him has gone to Deviland! The good news is he still loves mommy to bits despite of everything that happened. I tend to overkiss my child but after what happened, I was like over overkissed him!

It dawned to me then that my child has already moved on. When he’s moved on, I might as well move on. The experience was unpleasant and awful. I hate myself forever to have done what I did. I didn't want any mom experience the same. I blame myself for what happened but I can only learn from this experience in order to be a better mom. I still have a long way to go. I am learning every day.

I don't know if I will ever lose my cool again with my son but I hope not, please not anymore. Through this ordeal, I will make sure I'll remain as calm as possible despite lack of sleep and tiredness. I’d make sure I know where to get that Red Bull I.V. drip. A tantrum will not get away with a negative reaction from me. I should know better how to handle tantrums in the future especially when my child is just throwing one because he doesn't feel well.

We all strive to be better in anything we do. For me, being a better mom is what I desire more than being a better employee or any role I take on. With all these realizations and promises to do better the next time, I still feel inadequate. I still feel awful. I was inadequate as a mom. I wasn't a good mom.

That was a bad day for me. But that was only one day. I will move on. I promise that most days, I will be an adequate mother. I will be a good mother. I will be a better mother.

I hope I'll learn not to be too hard on myself though. I am, after all, just human. I make mistakes. I get angry. I get frustrated. I get tired. I cry. I lose patience. I shut down.

On the other hand, being human also means I am capable of forgiving; especially myself. Being human means I can move on. I can let go. I can share. I can give. I can laugh. I can smile. I can love. I can hope. I can dream. I can make a difference.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hottest, Sexiest, Cheapest Quesadilla

I love cooking for my family. I love cooking for my friends. Cooking is one of my ultimate hobbies. Not that I have THAT many hobbies. Hehe!

This time, I want to share with you my own recipe of the hottest, sexiest, cheapest quesadilla you'll ever cook for your family. This recipe is super easy but is a total time bomb when it comes to taste!!!

HOT because it's literally hot with my sprinkling of fire-y, hot chili flakes.
SEXY not because it's low in calories but because it's Mexican and it's so sexy to eat!
CHEAP because 12 servings will only cost you less than 200php!

Okay. I know I named this section Ilonggo Dishes. I actually want to apologize that the first dish I thought of featuring here is not an Ilonggo dish. I promise I will the next time. It's just that I have a toddler right now and every time I try to take a photo of what I cook during lunch, he goes and grabs the cam and I end up taking his photo instead of the food! That's why I attached the word ATBP to this section. So that I have an excuse of including my other sumptuous, mouth-watering recipes as well.

You can serve at least 6 mouths with this ultimate Mexican merienda. Take note 'cause I'm making sure I stick with the theme of this blog. HAPPINESS with FRUGALITY. Boy there was so much happiness in the house when I made these for the Mister and Free.

You'll need:

-- 1 packet of small tortilla. A packet contains 12pcs. I bought mine for only 91php.
-- 1 big block of cheddar cheese. I bought Danes cheddar cheese for only 98php. I only used half of it so that's for only 49php.
-- 1 tetra pack of three-cheese pasta sauce. I used Clara Ole that only costs 25php.
-- a tablespoon of chili flakes. I already got some chili flakes in my kitchen and some ground pepper.

Spread the three-cheese pasta sauce on your tortilla together with some chili flakes and lots of grated cheese. Sprinkle some ground pepper to give a little bit of twang.

Fold this beautiful taste time bomb and grill it over medium heat.

Voila!!! The hottest, sexiest quesadilla with all its cheesy goodness. Yumyum!

The Mister and the rest of the household were so tummy happy! See? It's so easy and cheap to make your family happy. Now get off those feet and run to the nearest supermarket today and make your loved ones or yourself happy! I'll have to include this recipe on Free's 2nd birthday.


The Mister and I were entertaining Free cause he got a bit of fever today. We were trying to feed him with my home-made egg noodles with chicken liver soup and this is what happened:

Mommy: Here comes the airplane! CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG! (w/ mommy's hands in the air resembling the propeller and chug-chug sound with all her might)


Tatay: Ano ba yang airplane mo? Parang KARAG-KARAG. Ginamit pa yata yan sa World War II, sobrang luma na ang sound.

[Mommy smirking]

Free: Giggles and opens mouth.

Yes! Mission accomplished with the karag-karag airplane!

Happy days peeps!