Sunday, March 24, 2013

Update on the Praying Toddler

3 months ago, I shared a post on how we teach Yanna to pray and how proud we are of her. This is just an update on her growing knowledge on praying.

In addition to knowing that she has to pray before eating, this time she sees to it that everyone is participating in praying. Or else, your name gets called! LOL! If her lolo is not praying along (even if he already did pray before Yanna sits to eat) she expects him to pray again. To get his attention she calls out "Wowo!" How strict! LOL! She won't start praying unless everyone participates. That's why I'm guessing she'll be a nun someday hihi! 😄

During the mass 4 weeks ago, I whispered that she should raise her hands when singing The Lord's Prayer. To my surprise, she did! It was a proud moment for us. She held her hands up the entire song. But knowing Yanna, expect kulitness to her newfound skill. After that she wants me and hubby to always hold our hands up, along with her, for the rest of the mass songs! Over naman! 😄

Another milestone is that she's starting to memorize some prayers like The Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary & Angel of God. We always pray these before bedtime so she got used to the words. What I do is when we pray, I stop mid-sentence and see if she will say the next word. Sort of like fill in the blanks. To my amazement, she knows the missing words! I just had to hug her tight for that! Little did I expect that a 17-month old can do that.

I'm so happy that she likes praying so much. Whenever she sees the statue of Mama Mary in my in-laws' house, she waves at it and says Hi! Then tells me "Mommy? Pray?" and we pray.

I'm looking forward to see what new things she'll learn the next months. For tips on how to teach toddlers to pray, you may want to check out my post on that too.

Hope you all have a meaningful Holy Week! 😃

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Letting Go

In my past posts, I've told everyone how clingy Yanna is to me. It was tough, draining at times, even made me lose weight (the best part of it!). I've been looking forward to the day when she will let other people hold her, carry her and play with her.

Lately, Yanna has been very sociable. Thanks to our long stay with my in-laws here in Bicol. She lets them carry her once in a while but she still clings to me oftentimes. When she sleeps beside me, she no longer needs to nurse all the time when she wakes up at night. She can now soothe herself back to sleep without my help. Such a big improvement!

I should be jumping with joy right? This means more sleep and bed space for me, less tired arms, a little more time to myself. But you know what, I feel a sudden pang in my heart whenever she prefers being carried by my sister-in-law or when she rolls away from me during sleep. This only happened a few times but I'm still bothered. I find myself thinking " Oh my. She's starting to need me less". And I try to hide my dismay over it.

I'm crazy right? This is what I want to happen and now I realize I'm the one having a hard time letting go of my baby. Oh, she's not a baby anymore.

I know I have to let go. She needs to learn independence as she grows older. This is good for her. I need to learn to be independent from her too. I know it will take time. Right now all I want to do is treasure our time together and when she starts clinging again, I will hold her like there's no tomorrow.

Friday, March 15, 2013


It was so hot yesterday here in Bicol! As in scorching hot! I was about to whine again then I saw Yanna in her cute dress and her hair tied in a ponytail ( Yaya is really good at fixing Yanna's hair! I have no talent for that!) My bad mood faded fast!

When I told her that she is so pretty, she looked for her pink Victoria's Secret bag then carried it on her shoulder. Hmm, just like me! Then she made me and yaya wear our slippers then pulled me to the door saying "Go? Go?" That's her version of "Let's go". I don't know what she's thinking but I guess she wants to go to the mall 😄

Here's a photo dump of Yanna yesterday. Enjoy! 😊

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh, Mama was right!

"You'll understand me when you become a mom yourself".

Those were my mom's favorite line whenever we argue back then. I always shrugged it off and told myself "of course I won't be like her when I become a mom".

Then came our little bundle of joy and all of a sudden, I heard myself saying "Oh, Mama was right!"

I hated how she kept on reminding me "Lock your doors" whenever I ride a car. Must she always say that everytime??? But now I find myself always saying "Careful!" everytime my toddler walks a little bit fast.

I hated how she wanted me to eat vegetables but now I am over the moon whenever my toddler eats hers.

I hated that she worked and didn't have time to attend parents meetings in school but now I know that I'm sure she hated not going too but she had to work so that I can go to school.

I hated that she didn't allow me to go malling with just my friends at the age of 12. Now hearing of kidnapping stories in malls makes me nervous for my toddler eventhough she has me and yaya with her all the time.

I hated that she got angry when she found out I have a boyfriend when I was only 13. Now I realized - Yeah, it really was too early to get into that. I think I'll go hysterical too!

I hated her traditional thinking that suitors/boyfriends should frequently visit me at home and not go out on dates. Now hubby and I are joking that we'll get a big house and if someone wants to date our daughter, they'll have the date in our house. We'll take care of the food hahaha!

So many realizations now that I'm a mom too. This made me appreciate my mom more and it made us closer. I now understand her.

If in the future Yanna and I get into an argument, I know I'll find myself saying...
"You'll understand me when you become a mom yourself". 😉

Mommy May

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Little Genius

I am amazed at how Yanna learns so quickly! She has at least one surprise for me each day - One or two more words added to her vocabulary, new dance moves, new song... But what really amazes me is that she already knows how to count 1 to 20 and say her A to Z at exactly 16 months!

I have underestimated her intelligence! Just a short history - at 15 months, she only knows the number 10. Then 2 weeks after, she knows numbers 9 and 10. After 3 days, she started counting 1 to 10 but with some few misses here and there. Another 3 days and she can count backwards from 10 to 1! Then 2 days after, it was A to Z! Amazing!

Here's a video of her counting backwards :)

I thought that was already the best she's got. Hubby and I were joking her grandma that she can already count to 20. Oh my! Little did we know that she already can! One day after she turned 16 months, I was jumping with joy when she suddenly counted to 20 plus she recited A to Z with ease!

What have we done to help her learn these things at an early age?

1- Make learning fun! When Yanna was still a baby, we make it a point to let her listen to us counting. We count her toes, fingers repetitively. When she was starting to walk, we count her steps and the stairs. We count anything that we think fancies her interest. For the alphabet, we point at letters from posters, books, even the taxi's plate number painted at the taxi door.

2- Read! Read! Read! We bought her books with numbers and the alphabet, and even flash cards. It is a good thing that she really loves reading so we had no problem in this area.

3- Try educational videos. I know there are lots of psychologists saying that letting your kids watch tv or videos is not good. I say it's okay as long as you keep it in moderation and you ensure that what they're watching has good content. Yanna has been watching Brainy Baby Left Brain under our supervision since she was 3 months old. It's important to watch it with them and talk to them about what you're watching to help them learn better. I repeat the words and numbers from the video and saw that Yanna liked watching me say it rather than look at the screen. Some Elmo videos of the alphabet wuth catchy tunes also worked for her.

Baby Yanna concentrating on Brainy Baby

4- Repetition is key! I sometimes find it boring to read the same books and watch the same videos over and over again but what the heck, Yanna loves it! Little did I know that she was actually learning from those repetitions.

So moms and dads, although you feel like punching yourselves for hearing the same songs or reading the same books for the nth time, resist the urge and do your kids a favor. I'm sure your kid will surprise you one of these days!

Now time to count with Yanna again :) Will upload a video of her counting 1 to 20 as soon as I get a good shot of it :)

Mommy May

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Inspirational Quotes on Marriage

My hubby & I are not perfect. I am not ashamed to admit that we do have low periods in our marriage from time to time. Miscommunication, insensitivity, feeling smarter than the other --- these are some of the reasons for our arguments. I don't know if there is a psychological explanation to this but sometimes I think it's because we're both the eldest child in our own families. I guess we're both too proud to admit our mistakes sometimes and we're used to being the "boss" to our siblings.

They say there is no perfect marriage. There will always be growing pains and by being married, you both need to get better at it and discover how to overcome some obstacles of life. I admit that there are times when I wonder if I married the right man, if I would be happier now if I remained single.

Emotions sometimes get the best of me but I know that after a couple of hours, I will again feel fine and realize that yes, I married the right man and I'm going to stick with him forever! Just like what I promised God on that very beautiful Tuesday, two years ago.

I hope you too are keeping your promises to God. If you're feeling a little blue, please read below some quotes that I found. Hoping that whatever it is bugging you today, love will find its way to make you happy again. 😊

In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer.
-- H. Norman Wright and Gary J. Oliver

People think they have to find their soulmate to have a good marriage. You're not going to "find" your soulmate. Anyone you meet already has soulmates. Their mother. Their father. Their lifelong friends. You get married, and after 20 years of loving,bearing and raising children, meeting challenges - then you'll have "created" your soulmate.
-- Diane Sollee

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
-- Theodore Hesburgh

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
-- Leo Tolstoy

A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.
-- Ruth Bell Graham

Mommy May

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Teach Your Toddler To Pray

90%, if not all, of parents hope that their kids grow up to be good Christians. I hear that wish every time from parents during their kids' birthday parties. So how do we do that and when to start?

In our case, I think we're doing a fine job with it. At 14 months, Yanna can somehow do the sign of the cross, knows that she needs to say a prayer before eating and sleeping, and knows how to pray at Sunday masses. She does the sign of the cross (which is tapping her chest 3x) and clasps her hands. She does this several times during mass. I am at awe everytime she does it.

Here are some tips from our experience:

1. Make it a habit to go to Sunday mass together as a family. As soon as Yanna was baptized, we made sure to always take her to the mass with us. To ensure good behavior from her, we attend mass schedules that are after her nap times. This avoids a cranky little church-goer. Of course there will be times that crying is inevitable. When this happens we take her outside the church first and return inside once she has calmed down. Since going to mass has become part of her Sunday schedule, amazingly, she no longer gets cranky inside the church and is now very well-behaved. She can now finish the mass without fuss. She's very behaved with her hands clasped together in praying position. She even sings! I'd take a photo if only we weren't in church! She's just so adorable!

Ready for mass. Baby Yanna at 3 months.

2. Eat together and say a prayer before meal. We started doing this when Yanna's 6 months old. It is important to eat together as a family to make mealtime fun for her and to teach her how important it is to share a meal with Mom and Dad. We also showed her that we need to pray before eating. At 12 months, we were surprised to see her clasping her hands together while praying. At 13 months, she started saying "Am" for Amen. And now at 14 months, once all three of us are at the table, she will remind us to pray by calling our attention, showing her clasped hands and saying "Am". Just recently, she started doing the sign of the cross (tapping her chest). Sigh, I'm such a proud mom!

3. Include your toddler when you say your bedtime prayers. Moms and Dads, I hope you are still saying your bedtime prayers together. With our fast-paced lives now, I know it's not easy. My hubby does not have a normal 8-5 work schedule so whenever he's still not home during Yanna's bedtime, I make sure that I say my bedtime prayer with Yanna. There are times when Yanna will wait for her dad to come home, and that's the time we pray together as a family. It is very important to make bedtime prayer a habit even at her very young age. Yanna really surprises me. Because she knows that prayer comes before sleeping, there are times when we forget and she reminds us! She would clasp her hands and hold it high up and show us. LOL! To prove to you that she's so into praying, whenever we finish our prayer and say goodnight, she cries! She wants to pray over and over again! LOL! I'll bet she will be able to memorize the prayers by age two at the rate we're going.

Yanna knows a lot of stuff already like trying to say the alphabet, numbers, but knowing the concept of prayer is by far the biggest milestone that she has achieved and we're so proud of being good role models to her.

How about you? What tips can you share? :)

Mommy May