Week 1 MNL Grow Kits

It has been a week almost since my last post. I have a lot of backlog to catch up to and I will get to it one post at a time (promise)!

I am sure a lot of you guys are wondering whatever happened to my MNL Grow Kits. If you’re not quite sure on what I am talking about you can read up on my last post here.

I have 3 kits and I have planted all 3 two Sundays ago (I even experimented on tissue germination for the basil seeds).

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According to the guide of each kit the germination process takes almost a week. This is why the kits needed to be sealed, yep with the plastic bag using a rubber band.

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I wasn’t able to take pictures day by day but I’ll share below the photos of what I have.

The sprouts started coming out for Basil after 4 days, hot pepper after 5 days, and sunflower after 7 days.

Basil

June 24

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June 25

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June 26

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If you are not patient you might consider throwing the kits and giving up on them. Don’t. Just talk to the plants and encourage them to power through. Why? Because not all of the seeds produce sprouts.
20160626_083444Not kidding you there. For my sunflower kit I planted 2 seeds and only one powered through germination. Now this is not the fault of the grow kits but merely part of plant life. Think of it as the strongest one surviving.

Now that I am done with step 1 aka germination I will move on to step 2. Step 2 is about removing the weaker sprouts which I’ll be able to determine when the 4th leaf comes.

What I observed though, due to tissue germination and planting using the kits, the soil included seems to be made of good stuff. I had taller sprouts and stronger looking ones from the ones I planted in the coco husks versus those I germinated through the tissue.

Will update you again when I am done with Step 2 and move on to Step 3.

Again you can buy your own MNL Grow Kits by visiting their site or their fb page. Happy growing and planting!

This entry was posted in review.

Toddler Tales #1: The Case of the Missing Phone

Yesterday I was out the whole day, I had to attend an event for my new job (more on this on my next post).

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Bunny was left with my aunt who looks after her ever since I started going back to work after my maternity leave.

When I get back to the house after our event I just changed and after I started playing with Bunny. Everything was the same even when it came to our bubble play time.

It was time for dinner so I put Bunny in her high chair as we ate together. As usual she finished eating first so I let her go down and play after drinking water. E and I were even discussing a few things during dinner, after I cleaned up and E took a shower.

It was right at this time when I started searching for my phone. I asked my dad if he saw it and he said that I was just using it while siting at the sofa. So of course I searched the sofa, up and down, around, and even in the corners. I cannot find my phone! So I used E’s and called my phone, no ring. This was then that I remembered, I put it in vibrate (of all the times naman na i-vivibrate ko now pa).

E dressed up and decided to help me search for my phone. We searched every corner of the sala, the kitchen, and the rooms. Still no phone. The whole time that we were searching Bunny was just running around going in and out of rooms. This was when I realized that maybe she hid it!

I got down on my knees to see her eye to eye. With a smile I asked her if I can have my phone back, no response. I decided to make it a game and asked her repeatedly to give me my phone back. She took my hand and started walking with me around our house. Still she did not lead me to my phone. I was already ready to go to sleep without my phone when E thought of a way to ring back my phone using Google (will make a detailed post about this later). Using Google my phone rang even if it was on vibrate mode.

Alas we found my phone under the oven toaster.

Learning from this? Never underestimate the power of the toddler in hiding things. Also, when looking for things that they hid always try to think like them and get down on your knees to see what they see. 🙂

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18 Months and Counting

Ah! Mid year is here and with that Bunny and I hit another breastfeeding milestone that is breastfeeding for 18 months!

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To be honest, this time around was harder because the milk I pump is lesser than before because Bunny doesn’t latch as match as before. It was also more difficult to pump given the meetings I had to attend to and transitions at work. I did however ensure that I will still take home at least 5-7 oz of milk everyday which is enough to cover what she needs while I am gone.

There are times that I want her to stop, just because at times I feel like more than a year is good enough but then I look at her and know that what is best will be to allow her to wean on her own. This was also my realization when I read a letter I saw across my Facebook feed of a breastfeeding mom to her nursling. I cannot imagine not coming home and breastfeeding Bunny after a long day at work. Not sniffing her hair while she latches on as if saying where have I been and what took me so long to come home.

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Now, our next milestone is 21 months. Honestly I do not know if we will be able to hit that milestone, but I sure hope that we do. Even if I have heard my relatives say that it is time for me to wean her I will not do so until she is ready. It is always up to Bunny on whether she will already give up mom’s milky or not. At the end of the day whichever way it goes I am proud to have breastfed this beautiful Bunny girl.

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Let Love Grow with MNL Grow Kits

Our wedding day is near, so near that we are a bit frazzled with the details we have yet to finish. One of which is finalizing the giveaways we will hand out to our guests. Since last year, I’ve had a love affair with plants, or planties as I would lovingly refer to it. It all started with a succulent I bought last Mother’s Day and my affair lasted up to this day.

 

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I wanted to include this love for plants in our special day because that is a unique trait of mine that E supports (so much that he buys me planties here and there). I don’t want to giveaway the usual stuff as well. I was also inspired by pinterest pins which showed succulents as wedding favors set up in a desk with the words “Let Love Grow.”

Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

We have already a supplier for the succulents but I felt like for the cost there must be an alternative choice available in the market. Lo and behold the MNL Grow Kits. Before fully investing on 50 or more kits, I wanted to do a dry run first. I have the whole month of July to grow plants and see if the MNL Grow Kits are better than succulents as give away.

The Kits

After 3 days of waiting the MNL Grow Kits arrived. I have chosen Basil, Sunflower, and Pepper as my trial kits.

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The boxes were easy to handle and looked good already. In terms of personalizing it, we might just have to add a tie and a card saying thank you for our coming and let love grow in their houses with kits.

Unboxing the Kits

Inside each kit was the complete set anybody would need to grow their own plant sans the water spray, plastic cover, and rubber band.

What you see first when you open the box. The warranty:

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The instruction guide, seeds, and fertilizer.

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Basically with the kit you will have:

  1. Warranty Letter
  2. Planting Guide
  3. Chosen Seeds
  4. Fertilizer
  5. Plant Marker
  6. Coco Husk
  7. Soil

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Planting The Seeds

I carefully followed the instructions detailed in the kits and I labeled each one. I will check on it every day to see if there has been any sprouts shooting up. I will do another post to document the whole process of growing the plants.

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This is my basil plant, after I completed the first set of instructions ready for germination!13487772_10209603024375133_1361454188_n

Kit Review

So far, I am honestly leaning towards the MNL Grow Kits vs. the succulents. Although succulents are nicer to the eye, it is not that easy to take home and you won’t actually see it grow since it is already planted for you. Our whole concept of let love grow fits perfectly with the kits.

What I like so far with the kits are:

  • Easy to handle
  • Good packaging
  • Carefully laid out instructions
  • Complete planting set
  • Coco Husk – which makes it easier to transfer the plants if needed and the roots grow out vs. ordinary pots
  • Affordable

Cons so far:

  • No readily available plastic and rubber band needed for germination

Overall so far I give the MNL Grow Kits a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can check their site out at: http://www.mnlgrowkits.com/ for more info.

 

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

As a mom, I want to always be at my best for Bunny. Her best playmate, her best buddy, her best mommy, and the list will go on. At times though I would have my bad days. You know? Days when you just want to stay in one corner, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy and eat popcorn the whole day. Days when you just want to sleep and relax, wake up late and eat.

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Hormones? Maybe, but I know that we all have our off days. Believe me when I say that I had those days before and up until today. Before it was easier, because I didn’t have Bunny factored in. I can just lay back and detach myself from the universe as I recuperate from my off day.

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Now it is different, now I still try to be in my best mood when Bunny is around. It is not easy. My patience is shorter and to be honest I end up not being a good mummy. This breaks my heart when I see her pulling up her sad face. I then hate myself for not being in a good mood that day and for hurting her feelings. It is hard, because I only want Bunny to see the best side of me.

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This is a struggle that all moms face, not just me. I realized this when I talk to other moms and when I see posts on Facebook from my other mummy friends. That is why I want to shout out to all the other mummies out there, it is okay not to be okay. It is. You are just human, after all. You have your off days and when you do know that it is okay. Your little bundle of joy will still love you for having an off day. Your little one should know that mummy has an off day because she will learn how to deal with it when it happens to her.

I know this as a fact that even Bunny has an off day. Usually she’s clingier than usual to me or my mom and would not mind anybody. She would lie down the floor or just insist on staying inside our room, or her version of my off day is to watch Elmo’s World and eat puffs. That is why it is okay mummy to not be okay.

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Showing her your off days will help her deal with her own off days. Your little one will still love and adore you, just ask the help of your hubby or partner or relative when you have your off day. Just make up for it when you’re feeling better because everything will be just fine.

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

I was a big fan of the first Now You See Me movie, although the twist in the end was not really at par with the good build up of the movie in totality it was still worth watching.

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CTTO

When I heard that there would be a sequel I immediately tagged E and said that we should watch it when it hits the cinema. So as promised we did watch it in celebration as well of our 8th year anniversary.

I booked our tickets at SM Director’s Club and picked the back end seats. You can check my review here. The seats were great plus the bowl of popcorn and we were both set to watch Now You See Me 2.

Photo from the Official FB Page of Now You See Me 2 (https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie)

Photo from the Official FB Page of Now You See Me 2 (https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie)

The Trailers

As a sneak peek for the movie trailers were released and it really did help in building up the excitement for the movie. I think some, like me, were intrigued with Daniel Radcliffe’s inclusion in the movie and how he can pull off a brat character vs. his Harry Potter portrayal.

Here were the trailers released:

The Story

It picked up were they left off, the disappearance of the Four Horsemen with the help of The Eye. The start of the movie showed the story behind the death of Dylan’s father and set up the whole premise of the movie. It was still about avenging the death of his father and finding out who was behind The Eye.

Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The three men were still part of the Horsemen but the then female lead Henley (played by Isla Fisher) was replaced by a new character named Lulu (played by Liz Caplan). In the movie it was shared that she left because she could not stand Atlas anymore but in reality the lead star got pregnant and could not perform the stunts. (More spoilers up so skip to the verdict if you want to avoid it.)

They were still in hiding and this set up the tension between the group, Dylan, and The Eye. They were tasked though to re-appear during an event of Octa that would lead them to Harry Potter, oops what I meant to say was lead them to Walter (played by Daniel Radcliffe).

This is were things get interesting as they were “magically” transported to Macau you will have to find out how in the movie.Bulk of the movie is spent in Macau and then Europe.

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Now going back to Walter, he “disappeared” by faking his death but would want to get something he created with the help of the FourHorsemen. This is where things get tricky and where you can see the illusion take place, through their attempt to retrieve something for Walter. But an underlying motive was not known to the Four Horsemen and that was that Walter, like Dylan wanted to avenge the fall of his father, Arthur Tressler from the first movie, and did so by luring Dylan using the Four Horsemen. What he did not expect is how they turned things around to favor them using illusions and magic (ah he is not Harry Potter anymore).

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The ending for me was unpredictable as they met who is behind The Eye. The illusions and magic they demonstrated and how they lured Arthur and Walter to their big illusion though was expected already (especially if you watched the first film the narrative of the last illusion is somehow the same). I will not reveal however who was behind The Eye as I see it fit for you to discover on your own.

The Actors

The original cast’s performance was great although I had to say that Daniel Radcliffe surprised me. I was used to seeing him in glasses acting awkward and all. In this movie though he tried to break out from his wizarding world by playing a spoiled brat. It wasn’t easy for me to disconnect him from his old role but it did help that he played his part well. As for Liz Caplan although her performance was good I still prefer Isla Fisher as my original woman lead of the Four Horseman. Isla has a more demanding presence and she was a perfect fit for me for the role.

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The Verdict

With the fast hand movements and focus on how each trick was executed I give this movie a 4 out of 5. I know that most movie critics say that the first one was better, but for me both movies had it’s ups and downs. I didn’t overanalyze things and I ended up enjoying the movie the way it should be watched. So if you want to relax and enjoy almost 2 hrs of fast hand movements and illusions, this is a must watch for you.

Bunny @ Gymboree

I have been thinking of enrolling Bunny in Playschool for quite some time now. She has playmates here  at home but they don’t see each other that often. Her Ate Hannah attends school and her Ate Hazel can only go out when Ate Hannah is with her.

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What pushed me to explore trial classes is the fact that Bunny really needs a place to socialize with other kids but at the same time learn through play. This is why I considered Gymboree.

I’ve read plenty of reviews and two playschools stand out, Gymboree and The Little Gym. I already signed up Alex for a trial at The Little Gym this coming week and Gymboree was last Saturday.

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Originally we planned to attend the Play and Learn Class at Sofitel but we ended up doing our trial at Greenbelt. It is more accessible through public transpo and there are a lot of establishments where we can eat first before her class. The PLC class for 16 to 22 month babies was scheduled at 1PM so we first had lunch at Jollibee.

Jollibee really wasn’t our first choice but Bunny started pointing at the Jollibee statue and started blowing kisses his way that we succumbed to her cry for Jollibee.

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We finished our lunch early and we just rested for a bit before leaving for her first class. I have to admit that I was super excited and nervous for her first trial class. I wasn’t sure how she would react to a big playground that she has to share with other babies. I wasn’t sure as well if she will listen to her teacher or if she will just run around!

We got there around 12.45 PM which gave us time to sign up and preview the PLC for younger babies. The trial class was worth Php600 and if we sign up within the week it will be deducted to whatever package we will avail of.

Bunny started playing with the ball outside the play area and the staff blew bubbles her way as well to entertain her while we were waiting.

After the PLC 3 class we were allowed to enter the play area. Note here please bring socks for the guardian or parent who will be in the class with the baby or toddler. We were told that we can do our warm ups by playing around the play area and that we will be called when the class starts.

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Ah, Bunny started running around and exploring the place. She climbed and then tried the slide over and over again. I had to call her out when she didn’t like to share things and she listened.

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After 15 minutes or so Teacher Gem called us and we started our class.

This was our first time so I didn’t really have any expectations only that it might be similar to what Jane (in Jane The Virgin) does with Matteo with the singing and dancing). Tama naman ako, true enough there was a lot of singing and dancing, but there were also obstacles or relays. It really was fun for the moms and the babies.

 

First bit was the singing and dancing warm up, and then the play part but with solving skills and what I like about it is that they also teach the toddlers to pack up after playing (Bunny listened and helped teacher pack up the toys partly I think it is because I tell her to do so at home).

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The last bit was another round of song and dance with tapping, bubbles and lastly with Gymbo the clown.

Bunny liked the tapping and dancing part. She listened closely to teacher when she said tap and freeze and when they were told to clap and stomp.

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Bunny wasn’t such a fan of big Gymbo but liked little Gymbo. She even started talking to me and teacher when little Gymbo disappeared! The other babies were cute too because they all had different ways of dealing with the missing little Gymbo.

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After the class Bunny wasn’t ready yet to leave so I had to tell her that we will just come back. Teacher Gem gave her a parting gift before we left, a little Gymbo stamp on her arm and told us that goodbye.

Overall I really like the way that the class was structured. Play and Learn is great for little ones and toddlers because they aren’t pushed to do things if they are not comfortable. The tasks are not that hard and they get to partly socialize with other toddlers.

Another plus for me is the attention that the teacher gave to each toddler. She would adjust when she feels like Bunny isn’t comfortable to do a task but play peek-a-boo with her during the singing part.

Lastly the location is great also because it is accessible altough I do hope they have a branch here in Cavite so that it is closer to us.

My final verdict is that it is a good investment for babies and toddlers. Best of course if it will be the parents who will accompany the babies or toddlers and not the help if possible (I really don’t have anything against this but in our class one or two were with their yayas and the attention was split. I noticed that they were checking their phones and I think babies will enjoy it best with mum or dad or a sibling. Simply put it’s a good bonding experience kasi).

If you have spare time do check out their site here and schedule a trial class at the nearest Gymboree school in your area! We might sign up for a month na package first and we will see from there if Bunny likes it a lot.

SM Director’s Club Review

It has been more than a year since E and I watched a movie in the Cinema House. Let’s just say our plans get cancelled due to last minute errands or the weather is just not as cooperative. So for our 8th year anniversary we planned to watch a movie in MOA’s Director’s Club.

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Why the Director’s Club? Just so that it is special and not the usual cinema house. I heard that it is worth the buck and E loves Lazboy Seats.

I went online and booked our tickets in advance. I just want to avoid the lines and ensure that we have good seats. I asked around which seats were best and Camille and Anj, from my team, said that the best were the back seats. So I booked two tickets for E and I for the 5PM screening time of Now You See Me 2 (review to follow soon!) and the total cost was Php 840 (Php400 for seats and additional Php 20 for service fee).

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At first I thought that it’s not really that costly to think that you will have butler service, free bowl of butter popcorn, you have super LazBoy seats, and only a handful of people will be with you inside (around 30 if I remember correctly).

When I compare it to normal screening tickets which cost Php 250 you only add Php 150 for great seats and great service and it is really worth the extra charge.

When we got there we were welcomed to comfy seats where we can wait while they were setting up the movie and cleaning the theater. We also had access to our own washroom which is a big plus for me too (no long lines just to pee!).

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We were allowed to enter around 30 minutes before the start of the movie. Bowls of popcorn were already served in our tables and it was one bowl per person so E and I had 2 bowls of popcorn. Butlers also approached each guest and asked if we wanted to order anything (menu was same as that of the cinema treats outside – from popcorns to sandwiches and nachos also drinks pala). Since I was still full from our meal before we just order nachos and beef with cheese and drinks. We just had to wait for it to be served while we were watching the movie.

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While we were watching the trailers I already found my comfy spot at the LazBoy seat, with my feet up and the back of my seat just at a right angle (back seats or the last seats really are best).

Our snacks and drinks were served during the first part of the movie and our snack mid movie.

Audio and visual quality was great as well but it really was the seats and service which made the Director’s Club a must try.

My overall rating? A 4.5 out of 5. I hope they have couple seats available but we will definitely continue watching movies there.

The Lolas Day Out

My mom and mamang are big fans of Eat Bulaga. As long as I can remember as a kid we always watch Eat Bulaga. Even if there were other shows aired to rival EB we are hard core Dabarkads. This is why I knew I had to do everything that I can to treat them to a day out at Broadway Centrum.

Dabarkads Photo from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Dabarkads Photo from Eat Bulaga FB Page

I’ve been to Eat Bulaga before to monitor for a brand we handled so I knew that I can score passes. I asked a dear friend of mine if she can help me out and she did! Thanks to Sol, the dear friend I mentioned, we got invites to watch Eat Bulaga today.

A week before this day I already told my mom, aunt, and mamang. Unfortunately my aunt can’t come so it was just the three of us (super sayyaaang but oh well).

The Road To Broadway Centrum

We left around 7.30AM and my mamang was super excited. Intense na excitement, she started talking about Alden while we were just in the van to MOA. She said that her neighbors are so happy for her and that she wants to kiss Alden and photo sana (ooops sorry mang already had a photo with Alden way way back when he was just a Cosmo Hunk).

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I thought it will stop once we went down to grab our breakfast. Nooooo, it continued until we got into our Grab Car.

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She now went on to update us about the latest deets she has about Maine and Alden. I think she can be a president na for an AlDub chapter, no joke!

Hello Eat Bulaga

After our 45 minute ride to Broadway from MOA we went up the studio and secured seats near the upper stage.

This was the time I used my previous knowledge on locating the best seats for my mom and mamang. I knew that they would want to seat at the center part but I advised them to seat at the right most part of the center aisle. You see this was the place where most hosts pass by on the way up the center stage aaaand we won’t be bothered by the swinging cameras and make shift couch.

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This proved to be a good decision because my mom and mamang got to hold and shake Alden’s hand! No joke!

Screengrab by my brother

Screengrab by my brother

They got to shake hands with Tito Sen, Allan, Vic, and talk to Pauleen, Pia, and Patring too!

My mamang was suuuper happy! She can’t stop talking about the fact that she held Alden’s hand (until the time we got home that was all that she can talk about) and that she got to shake hands with the Dabarkads and even have a photo with Tito Sen!

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A great day indeed that we wrapped up with a heavy meal over at Shakey’s. Even while we were eating all she can talk about was Alden!

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Although Broadway is far I knew that it was worth the travel just to see my mom and mamang happy.

It Takes A Village

I have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” numerous times but I never really thought that it will be applicable to Bunny. In my mind I wanted to be a very hands on mom and we don’t really need a village just her, e and I. Now 18 months after she was born I realized that it does take a village to raise a child and for good reasons.

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E and I are out on weekdays for 12 hrs (shorter if the traffic isn’t insane perhaps just 10 hrs but the traffic situation really is intense). So when I am out my aunt takes care of Bunny. I asked her to look after Bunny because I know that she is great with kids. She is part of our village. She is Bunny’s lola and her main caretaker when I’m away for work. Bunny is super happy when she gets here but we still have difficulty sometimes when I have to leave. She still clings to me but when that happens her wawa steps in.

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Her wawa aka my mommy is Bunny’s 2nd spolier. We’ll get to her ultimate spoiler in a bit. In my previous post I have mentioned before that when I scold her and her wawa is in site she will run to her for comfort. You see my mom is best in fulfilling her lola role. I have heard her say as well “apo ko ito eh” (she is my grand daughter) which I think gives her the freedom to spoil her. Well partly that is why we stay in one place, I want Bunny to grow up surrounded by her grandparents like what I had before.

Mommy also has some magical sleeping dust, she has that capacity to make Bunny fall asleep no matter what circumstances there are. Until now I wonder how she does it. I guess I would never know.

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Her wowo aka my dad, is another spolier but not her ultimate spoiler. Bunny and he share the love for food. And we see that everytime we eat. Bunny would eat a spoonful of whatever I make her eat and she would offer her wowo the next spoonful. Her wowo would also share with her their favorite biscuit snack (skyflakes) and give her water.

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Ah but the spoiler of them all is my brother, nongnong Monkey. Great thing it is balanced by Ha’s presence (my brother’s partner).

My brother would buy her stuff and ice cream. YES ICE CREAM AND THEY WOULD EAT IT TOGETHER. Both have a secret world when you put them in a room together. They would play loudly but can also exist with each other in silence. She would look at her nongnong and he in turn would make her watch Elmo’s World. She would look at her nongnong’s dj equipment and he would allow her to play with it. I think they have a secret language. And we’re not in it.

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Ha on the other hand also plays with Bunny but would tell her no and would limit her screen time. They also have a special thing together, Bunny would call him ha and he would call her bata. They would play and bond during his rest day. She would ask him to play Rather Be by Clean Bandit and she would dance while he sang.

Both his nongnong and ha are playmates and their room her playground.

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Her dada is her ultimate protector. Her rock. With him she would play with more confidence and she’s more daring. He would play his favorite opm hits or songs and she would sit on his lap as they both listen or watch the MTVs. She is her daddy’s little girl . His princess. She is the girl who holds a special place in his heart never to be replaced by any other person.

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Lastly she has me, her mumma. I’m her number one fan, her milky provider, but also here to discpline her. I am always here for her to provide comfort when she needs to and protecion, although her dada thinks I protect her too much at times,  that I think is just part of the whole mummy thing.

Over all each person I mentioned has a special role in Bunny’s village. She also has 4 dogs to add to that village.

Bunny playing with Bootleg

Bunny playing with Bootleg

Her ultimate best friend Bootleg,

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her big kuya oatmeal, her playmate/enemy papup, and her nana chachay. All of them teaching her how to care for animals.

This is our village parenting style. A bit traditional like before but with a modern twist. It may seem odd but in the end it worked out to help raise a wonderful girl named Alexis Chloe.