Family

Freedom, Joy and the Simple Pleasures of Life!

Oh freedom! Yesterday, except for previous doctor’s visits, was the first real day out we had as a family, ever since we all started getting sick. That’s roughly about a month!

We went to the doctor in the morning for a follow-up. Noelle’s lungs are clear of the wheezing. Danae, however, still needs to continue with nebulizing, and the coughing must disappear by Monday. If not, well, who knows. Let’s just pray that it does go away completely by then. Danae was very late for school but we still brought her, and when she got home, we went to SM!

I told King I was itching to shop and we did! Oh joy! We got the items we needed for our upcoming 80s night at the annual couples’ getaway, among other things. The kids got some new stuff that they needed too. Then we ate at the newly renovated Goldilocks. I had my favorite lumpiang ubod and binagoongang baboy!!!

Sigh. The simple pleasures of life. I tell you, our day was nothing extraordinary, but it meant a great deal to me and the kids. We are a family who loves to go out, to do things together, to travel, even if it’s as simple and inexpensive as walking around & having a snack in SM (which is literally our next door neighbor). Being stuck in the house for a month is no joke. Glad that season is finally over! Looking forward to the last quarter’s scheduled AND unscheduled activities & trips! 🙂

Family, Motherhood, My Kids

good news and bad news

Danae has had fever since Sunday last week. Thinking it was just a common virus, we treated the fever and we were somewhat confident it would be gone by the 3rd day. To make the long story short, she was diagnosed by a pediatrician with acute bronchitis on the 4th day. But because she had fever again this morning, the 8th day, we decided to go to her ever reliable pulmonary pediatrician. After listening to her breathing, an x-ray was ordered. I knew it was going to be BAD NEWS…..DANAE HAS PNEUMONIA, for the 3rd time (but microplasmic this time) in her entire life of 5 years and 11 months. And incidentally, her bouts with pneumonia have always been right before her birthday.

You have no idea (well maybe most moms do) what a roller coaster ride of emotions I’ve been through. I hate that my Danae gets this sick. I’ve already written a blog related to this. I hate that it’s the same disease, sickness, whatever you call it. And if you remember, we spent ten days in the hospital because of King’s slipped disc, beginning August 15. Two days before leaving the hospital, Danae got sick. When she got well, Noelle got sick. When Noelle got well, I got sick. Then Noelle got sick with me. When we both got well, Danae got sick. Then King got sick. His fever lasted only a day, but he still has cough and colds now. 6 days after the onset of Danae’s fever, Noelle got fever too. Now, she also has to nebulize to treat her wheezing. So both kids are sick. It’s already October 3. When will it ever end?!

The GOOD NEWS is there is NO NEED FOR HOSPITALIZATION. With Danae’s other bouts with Pneumonia (click here for full story), it was so bad that we insisted that she be admitted in the hospital. With this one, her appetite decreased but it did not disappear. She’s not like her hyper active self, but she’s mobile, not sluggish. Despite the severity of her case, wherein both lungs are affected, not just one, I guess her body is strong enough to handle it.  Her fever doesn’t go as high as 39 anymore, and there are hours in the day that she is fever-free.

I am still on that roller coaster ride, but I know Danae and Noelle will get well soon. As a mother, I am a natural WORRIER. I wish it were as easy as changing two letters to make me into a WARRIOR. Since it’s not, I must get off this ride and get on another so I can continually flow with the rhythm of God’s grace. Not resigning to the fact that this sickness will come upon Danae regularly, but trusting in God and absolutely fighting with prayer.

My Kids, Parenting

Teaching My Kid Some Tact

Last night, Danae approached me and whispered in my ear.

Danae: Mom, does ****** take a bath?

Me: I don’t know…..yes. Why?

Danae: Because when I smell him, he’s stinky.

Hahahaha. Thank God she didn’t just blurt it out. The person was right there when she asked me. Remembered and found an old blog from 2008, when Danae was 2 and a half. We’ve been teaching her about being careful what to say, not to be rude, and that if she wanted to say or ask something, she could just whisper it to me or her dad.

danae at 2 yrs & 10 mos

….as we were walking to the car after service, she saw a man squeeze out of his car, because he was parked beside a bush (parking can be hard in festival mall at certain hours of the day). She pointed at the man while laughing a little bit and said “OMIGASH…..SO BIG!”

click here for the whole post.

Hahahaha. She certainly has come a long way. 🙂

My Kids, Parenting

Danae’s Read-A-Thon

Danae’s school recently concluded their book month, wherein they, aside from other activities, promoted the Read-A-Thon in all levels. As the kids read books at home, the parents or guardians were asked to time them and record the title of book, time started, time ended and date on a sheet of paper. The teachers scheduled a certain period during class hours where the kids were to drop everything that they were doing, and read. The teachers timed them and listed their readings too. Whoever would spend the most (accumulated) time reading, would win a prize. The goal was to get the kids to appreciate and have a love for reading.

I enjoyed this particular exercise because reading and comprehension come easy to Danae (her school has recognized her skill in reading for 2 years now), and it was an opportunity to practice and make it an everyday thing. She almost always obliged when I’d encourage her to read a few books, because it was sort of like homework, which she enjoys doing. I didn’t even tell her that there’s a prize involved because I didn’t want it to be about getting the prize and I didn’t want her to get disappointed if she didn’t get any.

Because we would read at least 2 books daily, sometimes even  up to 6 to 8 short stories, it became somewhat of a habit. We would read to her everyday, especially her Bible story before going to bed, but during the Read-A-Thon, she started wanting to read it herself! Only exceptions were the few nights when she was already super sleepy. I mean, Danae would read by herself, sure, but it wasn’t a regular thing that I pushed. She’s more into grabbing a notebook, doodling or writing or drawing. Now, it’s EASIER to tell her that it’s time to read, and when we tell her it’s Bible time, she automatically reads it herself. We just ask questions later on, to make sure she understood it. But of course we still enjoy reading to her, especially her children’s Bible called the Jesus Story Book Bible. Even I get refreshed reading it. It’s just so wonderful.

So who won in the Read-A-Thon? I kept thinking that Danae surely would, because she read A LOT. We filled up about 3 pages (bond paper), listing the stories she read. She did the work! But I have no idea. There has been no announcement yet. And it doesn’t even matter. I got greater news from her teacher yesterday. Danae’s going to be part of the Fast Readers program in her school! I’m so proud of her and I love that the school encourages them and gives them an avenue to develop their strengths. Like I said before, our kids are already TEN TIMES BETTER than we are. King and I were never natural readers and we didn’t have a love for reading as kids, but our kids seem to. We are extremely grateful for that. 🙂

Family, My Kids, Parenting

WE MISS OUR KIDS!

It’s been five days since we entered the emergency room of Asian Hospital for King’s terrible back pain, and five nights since he got admitted. Needless to say, in true Lucero fashion, our hospital room was home for us and the girls. Danae and Noelle are such troopers that it wasn’t a problem. Besides, we have great family and friends who help us out. But by the third night, I thought that the girls needed to get out of here. They needed to be doing other things besides watching tv, drawing, and being stuck here in the room. Danae was able to go to school Wednesday & Thursday, thanks to my mom, but still. They needed to get away from any sickness they could contract from this place too.  So I asked King’s folks if they could take the girls, knowing that we may not be discharged for a few more days. They willingly and happily obliged.

This is our second night without them. MY SECOND NIGHT WITHOUT THEM EVER.  That’s nearly six years for Danae, and nearly three years for Noelle. King has gone on trips without us, but I have never gone anywhere overnight without both girls. They have never gone a night without me either until now. And guess what! They’re totally fine, enjoying every minute there with their cousins! While mom and dad are here in the hospital, ABSOLUTELY MISSING THEM! At least I don’t need to feel guilty because there’s good reason that we’re apart, but we feel so incomplete without the dynamic duo! I miss Danae’s beautiful face and her perfect smile. I miss our conversations. I miss her deep concern for her dad. I miss Noelle’s pretty, cheeky face. I miss her adorable smile. I miss her funny quips. I miss their laughter, their hugs, their kisses!!! WE MISS OUR KIDS! It makes us appreciate them so much more. Sure they stress us out every now and then, but NO DOUBT THAT THE JOY THEY BRING US IS FAR GREATER.

My Kids, Parenting

Danae got me!

We were reviewing for Danae’s first achievement test last week and came across examples of polite expressions in her English book. The exercise was for her to choose the proper response for a specific situation. Things like how to respond when someone thanks you. Should you say “Whatever!” or “You’re welcome!”? The most interesting scenario was of a child who broke something by accident and was sorry for what she did. The choices of the parent’s response were “What did you do??? You broke it!” or “It’s alright. Just help me clean it up.” Danae of course knew the right answer but then told me “You always do that!”

Hahahaha! I knew she would call me on that. I heard myself as I was reading the choices with her. I laughed out so loud. She really got me there!

What a way to get rebuked. The things we know are right, are oftentimes different from the way we act. I’m the type who overreacts first before being rational (well mostly when it comes to my family). It is in my knowledge to respond calmly in situations like that but it has yet to translate into action. I was reminded to practice what I was actually preaching. Now, to help Danae to also respond right, I have to set the example. I have to step up and be more mindful of my actions. As they say, kids do what we do, not what we say.

My Kids, Parenting

Danae Learns Responsibility

One afternoon two weeks ago, Danae told me that they made something in school that involved cutting. The first time she shared her story, she just said that they made something. By evening, before going to bed, she told me that somebody cut her hair after making the craft. Curious, I asked her who it was. When she said she didn’t know, I immediately asked if it was her. And it was! She told me that when her teacher asked, she said it wasn’t her.

I wasn’t angry that she cut her hair (because thank God it wasn’t noticeable at all), but I told her that what she did was wrong. She shouldn’t have lied to her teacher about it, and she needed to apologize. She cried her eyes out. She didn’t want to apologize because she was afraid that her teacher will get mad (her words). She said she lied because she was afraid of her teacher. She was so upset that for the first time, she said that she did not want to go back to school anymore. I comforted her and assured her that I will be with her when she apologizes, that we will not do it in front of other people, and that her teacher will appreciate her honesty. After much talk, we settled it and she agreed. I did my part in accompanying her the next day and making sure that it was only her teacher listening, and Danae did her part.

What a great opportunity for our child to learn responsibility. Now we know for sure, that she will not cut her hair again OR lie about it again. We made her own up to her responsibility by letting her face her fear, admit the truth, and apologize for her mistake. She is only 5 but she is already starting to actually learn the value of honesty and integrity (also that lying is unacceptable in our family), learn the reality of actions and consequences, learn the power of her family’s love and support, and learn the freedom that forgiveness (asking for it & receiving it) and grace bring.

That day, my daughter acted like an adult. That day, my daughter made us so very proud.

My Kids

Funny Noelle

When I started blogging (coollarem.multiply.com), I would share the funny things that Danae would say. When Noelle came, I eventually started using Facebook and then Twitter, wherein I’ve posted many funny dialogues with my girls.  Here’s a sample of 2-year-old Noelle’s latest quips.

Last week, at Bonifacio High Street, while running around…

“Ready, get set, go!”

While running, “I’m Dash!” (The Incredibles)

While running another lap, “I mean…I’m…I’m…I’m….”

She stops. “What’s my name again?”

We all broke into laughter! 🙂

The other day, at the dining table…

Noelle: “Mom, can I watch?”

Me: “No TV before Ate (big sis) goes to school.”

Noelle: “Ok.”

She runs to their box of shoes… “Here Ate, wear your shoes.”

Hahaha. We were just having breakfast then. Danae’s class starts at 12:30 daily.

Still at the dining table…

My mom: (holding a teddy bear) “Who’s this bear, Noelle? Is it a Miss or a Mister?”

Noelle: “Mister.”

Mom: “Ok, what’s Mr. Bear’s first name? Is it Pooh Bear?”

Noelle: “Nope. Bear Poo.”

That just didn’t sound right. Hahaha. 🙂

My Kids, Parenting

SUMMER 2011

Summer 2011 has been one fruitful season!

Noelle learned shapes, letter sounds, counting, songs, and keeping her hair clip on for more than 5 minutes (haha) through her summer workshop. She learned to recognize authority and interact with her teachers. Even though at first she was not confident enough to stay in class by herself, she was very responsive. Her teachers would often say that they are sure that at least 1 was listening, because Noelle would almost always answer their questions. She would even assert herself, requesting for her favorite song Row Row Row Your Boat. And finally on the very last day of the workshop, she stayed in class by herself the whole 2 hours without crying!

And just recently, we’ve been on the beginning stages of Noelle’s toilet training. It’s been going on for more than a month now. So far, so good! After she poos in her all night nappy in the morning, we bathe her and no longer put nappy, unless we’re going out for the day. When I tried seeing if she was ready to be toilet trained a few months back, I saw that it was not yet time. She could not pee when I would sit her on the toilet. I thought of using a potty, but before I knew it, we didn’t need one anymore. She tells me and she easily does it now. There are still some accidents, naturally, but I suspect we’ll be nappy free before she turns 3! Just like her big sis!

Danae surprised me much over the summer. Aside from doing well in her cheer dance class and ballet class, she’s been getting better and better at swimming. No formal lessons yet but she can already swim in the deep, without floaters! She also learned to bike without both training wheels in a matter of hours. She was already biking with only one training wheel for a month, then King decided to take out the remaining one. In a matter of 2 hours, maybe even less, she could bike already! Her balancing skills have greatly improved, and so now she can also ride a 2-wheeled scooter and an adult skateboard by herself. Even her drawing skills improved! The stuff that she used to get frustrated with trying to copy and draw 2 years ago, she can now do nicely. She also got frustrated last year when she started trying to whistle and couldn’t. Now she can!

My kids amaze me. I am very proud of my girls for what they are able to accomplish. We are directly involved in helping them, true, but they’re the ones who actually do it. I am grateful that I have the luxury and privilege of witnessing almost every little milestone and breakthrough they experience. Can’t wait to see and document more! 🙂

Motherhood, My Kids, Parenting

Ten Times Better Already

We named Danae after Daniel of the Bible. He’s one of our favorite people, along with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They had great faith and courage, and were ten times better than their counterparts. But before I continue, this blog is in NO WAY AIMED TO MAKE YOU COMPARE YOUR KIDS or other kids to ours. We are not claiming that our kids are ten times better than their friends or other kids. We are, however, claiming that they ARE ten times better….than their parents!

For one thing, Danae is so much more mature than I or King ever were when we were her age (5 and a half). Noelle’s vocabulary is more extensive than mine or King’s when we were her age (2 years & 5 months). They are both articulate, smart and very confident.

I know I performed in school quite often (a pre-school play, field demonstrations and the like), but I was never comfortable in front of many people. I wasn’t comfortable with even a few. In grade school, they would get me to join declamation contests, and maybe because I was pushed, I’d agree. But I never won anything because I really am not much of a performer. Sure, I can speak. But that’s it. Now that I’m older, I am way more confident than I was, but Danae was BORN confident and fearless. Unafraid of almost anything. Adventurous too! I thought at first that Noelle was timid, but she’s pretty fearless too. I saw that when she almost jumped from the boat to join King in the water (Coron) and when she danced with us on stage in front of hundreds of people (Victory Alabang Leaders’ Night). I guess it just took a while for her confidence and fearlessness to come out.

I’m amazed at how expressive Danae is. I thank God that she trusts me and can freely share things with me, without any fears of being judged or being reprimanded (though there are times that I do reprimand of course). I guess that attributes to her confidence and fearlessness too. It doesn’t take much to draw things out of her and she can articulate her feelings well. That’s God’s grace right there. I’m so grateful that she and Noelle need not be caged because of insecurities and fear of rejection, like I was when I was young.

I’m amazed at how my girls take on food. Well, Noelle eats almost anything so it’s no surprise that she eats almost any vegetable. But I was surprised at how receptive she was to the idea when I introduced malunggay capsules in their diet. She doesn’t care if her food turns green. She’s the one who reminds me and is excited to put the green powder on her food! Eeew right? haha. Danae is a bit like me, somewhat picky when it comes to food, though she eats most vegetables and is eating those that I only started eating a few years ago. I still don’t eat onions to this day and Danae, if she sees them, doesn’t eat them either. She does eat them unknowingly when I feed her (hehe). I wasn’t planning to give her malunggay capsules since she drinks milk (Noelle doesn’t but needs calcium), but she was also interested. I knew putting it on her food wouldn’t work but I was surprised that she wanted to try swallowing the capsule. I thought she’d have a hard time, it being her first time. She didn’t! No struggle at all. While 33 year old me, still struggles with tablets sometimes!

I’m tempted to say that I know these things are so shallow, but they’re really not. They mean a great deal to me. I am grateful that as early as now, their communication skills and eating habits are already good. As early as now, they are already confident and fearless. As early as now, they are getting to know and learning to love the Lord. My girls are a handful and are very strong-willed. I see so much of me in them, which makes me fearful of who they will become. But seeing that as early as now, they are already ten times better than me, gives me the hope that they need not make as many mistakes as I did and that THEY WILL DISCOVER THEIR GOD-GIVEN PURPOSE & DESTINY EARLY, and FLING THEIR LIVES TO IT.