Sunday, 26 February 2012

Lex' First Sunday School

It's Lex' first time to go to Sunday School on his own. Oh well, Kyle was with him because the age bracket for the Pre-school class is 3-5. I know Kyle is overage but I need him to look after his brother while we the adults are attending the Worship Service in the main hall. The church has a system of letting the parents know if the kid is cranky or crying or looking for them. There is a LED sign near the main stage and the number that you get when you register the kid will be flashing to prompt you to go and attend to your kid. I was always looking for the sign and I was glad that the number I got didn't flash for any of the kids. BTW, Aloysius is in another hall for 8 to 11 years old. They have a mini-church service, complete with worship songs, bible reading, games and other activities. The room has its own projectors for the songs and messages. Cool, di ba?

Back to my youngest - When the service was over and it was time to fetch the kids. I told Lito to get Aloysius and I will get Kyle and Lex. When I went inside, I realized that Lex and Kyle were separated and they have their own activity. I saw Lex in one table and he was busy coloring and pasting. I sat beside him and he barely noticed me. He was too busy. When he finally saw me, he told me "Mom, I'm not finish (with) school." I told him to keep the crafts and it's time to go. Dad and Aloysius were waiting in the hallway. When he saw Kyle coming over to give me his own art project, Lex went to the teacher and started crying. "Send mom away, I'm not finished (with) school." By this time, moms started to arrive to fetch their kids and they were looking at Lex because he was the only one crying and the class is already over. I went closer to grab him by the arm and he started screaming and fighting Kyle who was also telling him to go with me because the teachers will not allow him to stay or leave the room on his own. The scene was like that until we reach the hallway which is full of parents and children by that time. Lex was still crying hard and boxing Kyle when Lito grabbed him and put him in the corner. I couldn't do anything, maybe dumbfounded at the incident. Kakaiba talaga ang bunso ko, hahaha. When other kids would cry when their moms leave them on their first day of school, Lex would cry because he wanted to stay in school. Excited to go to school? Maybe..I hope his attitude towards school stays the same when he enters full-day kindergarten in September.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A glimpse of a snow-less winter

The weather has been very cooperative to us this winter and the past 2 winters we've experienced. Thank God for zero snowstorm and less snow winter. My kids almost missed what they enjoy doing most in a weather like this - snowball fighting, snow angel and tobogganing. But there were these 2 nights that the snow came in abundance, enough to make a snowman in our front yard and toboggan in Leaside High School (but look how thin the snow is on the slopes). They only lasted at least 3-4 hours because the sun came up and the warm weather melted the snow. We grabbed the opportunities to enjoy the snow and capture the moments in our camera. Ang aming huling hirit habang me snow...enjoy!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Hair Cut

My boys had a new haircut-with style for a change. Or should I say from a real barber, hahaha. Lito and I took turns in cutting their hair and they got tired of the same cut (semi-kalbo). They look good (mga gwapings) in their new look. Here are my sons in their new 'do':

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Leadership Books by John Calvin Maxwell

I need to brush up on leadership skills, it's challenging to be in a change management role, much more in implementing it to Canadians..Hirap! John C. Maxwell, need na Kita ulit...Help me Lord.

I went to the Toronto Public Library to check out these books but they are all out. I also needed to renew my library card because it's been 2 years since we moved from our very first home here in Canada. Anyway, after the renewal, I was able to browse the books titles and authors and reserved them online. I place holds 2 John C. Maxwell books: "Everyone communicates, few connect : what the most effective people do differently" and "Running with the giants : what Old Testament heroes want you to know about leadership" to start equipping myself with tips from the leadership guru.

Lex and Lito wanted to borrow DVDs so we got Kate Hudson, Tom Cruise and Thomas the Train movies. Of course, when I chanced upon Sophie Kinsella, I placed a hold on her latest book "I've got you number". It's nice to be flipping the pages of a paperback. I was tapping pages of ebooks and it's good to be back.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Repost and wanted to share

25 Rules for Moms with Sons
Written by: Tabitha Studer at
November 2011

After a mostly fruitless search for “rules” for mothers with sons (and a particularly hard momma day), I was inspired to write my own list to remind myself of what’s important, especially during those days that being a mom to an ever- squirming, ever-curious boy is both challenging and exhausting. Granted, my list will not be conclusive and may not be entirely uncontroversial. So agree, or disagree, or take with a grain of salt - but I hope to inspire other moms who are loving, and struggling, and tired, and proud, and eager to support the boys in their lives. You are the most important woman in his life, his first teacher, and the one he will look to for permission for the rest of his life. From "Can I go play with them?" to "Should I ask her to marry me?" It’s a big job, but as the mumma, we're up for it.

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment. He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement. Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference. Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion. Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games. There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics. There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts. There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade. He will tell you to stop. He will say he's embarrassed. But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry
..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt. He may not always choose to do it. He may not ever have to do it. But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents." Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals. No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three. It doesn't have to be good. Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things. If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this: If you have done any of the following: a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensilg) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero. do not doubt yourself for one second. Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners
because it’s nice. and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there. Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle
like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes. You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable. Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes. Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football
or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Griffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song. Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him
turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away. Just go outside and follow him around. Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions. It's like magic.

15. Let him lose
Losing sucks. Everybody isn't always a winner. Even if you want to say,"You're a winner because you tried," don't. He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids. This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....) Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

16. Give him opportunities to help others
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help. Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities. Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together.

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better listener by listening. You become better speaker by speaking. Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing. Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip. Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"
Answer him, or search for the answer together. Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches). Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself. Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.' If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, someday down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers. And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom, you will stay connected to what is happening in his life. Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy
drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog. Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff. and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts
Forts have the ability to make every day normal stuff into magic. Throw they couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders. For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

23. Take him to new places
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

24. Kiss him
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet. They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day. But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender. So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?' Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild. Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old. You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it. p.s. (this one is just as important for dad'sy too).

25. Be home base
You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in they stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Career Updates

I missed my team's planning session for this year and after my sick leave I received more workload than usual. Suddenly, all of them wanted their documentation to be in our system, maybe trying to squeeze in 2011 projects while they can to add merits to their achievements. I had a one-on-one with my boss and I was pleased with the results, it's actually expected because I know that I always meet the targets because I keep track of my performance/scorecard. I'm thankful that even if there were some negative vibes from co-workers (di talaga nawawala ang inggitan at siraan khit dito), I was able to perform and achieve my goals.

This year is going to be more time to be spent on the production floor, and learning about the business. What I look forward to is the interaction and exposure to more people from different levels - production operators, team leaders , line managers, directors, 3rd party contractors. Sometimes, I feel that I have not used my social skills because I was always in front of the computer.

Today, we had a Town Hall meeting and it was a nice experience, being informed of what the corporate plans for the year are and meeting more people. I think the number of people I know increased from last year and I had more time to talk and socialize with them today...also more Pinoys as well. Nakakamiss kayang mag-Tagalog, hahaha. Ang sarap magchismisan in your own dialect, hahaha. Anyway, we were dismissed early because we didn't have power at the Brewery so off I went to Sherway Gardens Mall to give in to my shopaholic cravings. It feels good to be browsing the stores in a mall like in the Philippines unlike most areas here where the stores have their own buildings and you are mostly outside, driving or walking from one store to another. Nakakamiss ang SM, ATC, Festival Mall at ang mga favorites ko na Glorietta at Shangri-la Malls. I wonder where Ani would treat my sister Wendy for lunch today.

I bought some girly things to reward myself on the outcome of my career, sana mataas din ang sales namin, to enjoy more big perks.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hi-tech but slow

I was sick and was home for 2 days (had the time to update this blog hehe). The first day was terrible, I was just bedridden, couldn't eat or else I'll vomit. My legs are wobbly and couldn't walk and my back hurts big time. So today, Lito and I went to the family doctor near Sherway Gardens. His sore throat is getting worse too so we spent 4 hours at the clinic. Yes 4 hours, it's like going to work halfday. Anyway, I wanted to describe how is it going to the doctor here compared with what we were used to. The clinic we went to is a walk-in clinic so even if you don't have an appointment, they will see you. Remember the comment I had when we wanted to have our family picture taken 2 years ago, everything here needs an appointment but this is an exception. Upon entering, you will see a kiosk where you will swipe your OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Program) card and you will need to confirm your address and contact number, also give your email address because later you need to specify how you wanted to be contacted. There's also a checklist there for allergies to medicines and why you wanted to see a doctor, if you knew. My symptoms reveal a UTI but I didn't put that in. All these are done on a touch screen, tap method. Even the seniors do it. There are only 2 nurses there, but they spent most of their time inside assisting the doctors and lab specialist. I remember the last thing that I saw on my screen before completing the information gathering is "You are patient no. 5 and the current wait time is 20 minutes". The information we entered in the kiosk is now reflected on their system, on the nurse desk and in the Tablet computer that they use to enter the symptoms information during the interview. This is also where they put all the vital signs that they usually get in each check up. The medical history, the prescription and lab requirements were also entered there. No paperwork, promise. Only the prescription was printed for me to show to the Pharmacist.

While waiting, I feel like urinating so I asked for a container and they gave me a sealed one. Once inside, the nurse did the urinalysis herself. I didn't have to go to another lab to bring my urine to wait for another 30 minutes. I remember that ordeal while doing the pre-natal check ups with my 3 kids. It was really hi-tech, as in..she just put in a strip. I checked on the label and it was called SIEMENS Multistix Reagent strips for urinalysis. There was a color guide in the bottle which says what the condition of my urine is. Well, based on what I saw, mine revealed, high protein, high glucose and blood stains whatever that means hahaha. I wonder where would the medical technologists be working when this is available in the Phillipines.

I was required to do an ultrasound to check on kidney stones or something so I waited again but it's a relief when I went inside the Ultrasound room, it's like a Spa, so relaxing, even the bed was so comfortable, the lights are low and even the liquid gel that they put on was warm. But since I was already there for 2 hours and I urinated, nothing can be seen on my bladder, it was empty. I was advised to drink water and come back after 30 minutes because he has more patients already lined up. It's a good thing. Lito was already done and needed to take the medication immediately but we didn't have a proper breakfast so we headed to nearby Mcdonald's to fill my bladder and our stomachs.

When I returned, I didn't wait long and so I didn't really had an issue with my kidneys but they still gave me antibiotics for the UTI, they call it bladder infection, but I'm not sure which is which, hahaha. Anyway, the doctor reminded me about the results of my previous visit because they got the X-ray report. It was confirmed that I have a Mild Scoliosis (sakit ito ng mga magaganda remember Lorna T and ZsaZsa P? LOL) and Osteo Sclerosis, the opposite of Osteoporosis where my bones were hardening, thickening due to osteitis condensas illi. The doctor advised me to do some research on this. This is new to me because in the Philippines, no one told me to do something like this. My guess is the physicians here wanted their patients to be educated on their sickness to help them in curing it. Nothing to be alarmed but it can be cured with Physiotheraphy and meds when the pain strikes again.

I was just amazed at how hi-tech my doctor's visit is today but I got tired at waiting. I wondered if it's because they only have one doctor or there were too many patients they were attending to. I know that the expensive Hospitals like Asian, St. Lukes, Makati Med and Medical City in the Philippines may already have these facilities but only those who can afford can experience where here, only the OHIP was required, they didn't even have to look for my other insurance from my employer. I really feel blessed I am here in Canada where healthcare is a priority.