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Lazy Saturday

It’s 1 pm and I still haven’t showered! Shhh!

It is actually quite a hot day today in Davao City, so we sought refuge in our home office and let the air conditioner do its job. I’m relishing the moment because I cannot remember the last time I had a Saturday this lazy. Usually, on Saturdays, I do real estate work or attend events or do chores or go to appointments. Today, save for a birthday party this evening, I have nothing scheduled! Hallelujah!

Yuri and I ended up on the floor of our home office over scattered books. See, his books had to go inside a storage container when we re-arranged the furniture last month. Since I have nothing to do this morning, I planned to restore the books to their proper places. However, Yuri had a different plan…

I just let him get all the books he wanted and read them on the floor while I mentally re-scheduled the task for another day.

I also let him feed and play with our “adopted” cat. It was just a kitten who frequented our house for food and shelter. When we started actively feeding her and taking care of her, she decided to stay. She grows bigger each day and, in return, she gets rid of the roaches and rats. She keeps our kitchen clean and better-smelling, too, because all the scraps that should have gone to the trash goes to her hehe.

Yeah, don’t be fooled. That’s just her post-breakfast snack.

Later, we’ll eat lunch (tinolang native chicken), shower (please lang haha), and attend the birthday party of our neighbor’s daughter (also Yuri’s friend). I hope you’re having a relaxing Saturday, too!

Mixed Mess Parenting Personal

Last Day at Eye Level + Nighttime Toilet Training

This post has been sitting in my… wait for it… drafts for way too long!

It’s been terribly hot this summer — where’s my summer breeze to make me feel fine? — but just last night, we had a strong thunderstorm. It was the same as the thunderstorm we had a couple of Saturdays ago where our electricity even got cut off for 5 hours.  And for the first time ever, our home office flooded (a little bit). Thank God it occurred to me to check the office just when the leaking started. (God has been giving me small reminders lately that went on to reveal bigger things. Thank you, Lord!)

I actually meant to post this almost a full month ago. For time reference, Yuri’s last day at Eye Level was on April 8th, and he got fully nighttime toilet-trained on April 13th.

Last Day at Eye Level

There’s nothing about Eye Level that both Yuri and I don’t love. Honest. I already made a proclamation of love here so I won’t go into details anymore. I just want to say that Yuri entered the enrichment centre literally illiterate (does that make sense? haha). Seriously. He just turned four then and before that, I didn’t think it was important to pressure him into learning how to read and write. After all, he wouldn’t be three forever.

(I have nothing against parents whose children were taught to read and write earlier. Different families, different priorities.)

By the time he turned four, though, I knew our time was up: he needed to learn how to read and write. When I enrolled Yuri to Eye Level’s English program May of 2016, he didn’t even know how to hold a pencil. After assessing him, we started at a pre-literacy level, where we even struggled with writing lines! I loved teaching Yuri, but for some reason, teaching him how to draw straight lines, crooked lines, and curves brought me at my wit’s end.

But after persevering, both in the centre and at home, suddenly Yuri was zooming through writing letters. We had to learn the correct strokes (I was lax at first but later learned to abide by the rules — penmanship does matter). At first, he got B’s and C’s on his booklets, but later on, they became all A’s. After several months, he was already on to reading and forming simple words.

From not knowing how to hold a pencil, he’s already writing and reading and spelling words.I know this is in no way an extraordinary feat, but for us, who started the year illiterate, this was amazing progress. And I credit much of it to Eye Level. The one-on-one hands-on sessions as well as the engaging activities and exercises helped a lot. 

Last day at Eye Level today 😭#sepanx

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However, Job and I, even though we are 101% satisfied with Eye Level, decided to pull Yuri out after 10 months of being with the learning centre. This is plainly because Yuri is about to enter formal schooling for the very first time in his life. We felt like we all needed a break from any sort of pressure and just focus on resting and transitioning to school life this summer. We didn’t even enrol him to any summer class this year. I also want Yuri to be able to focus on schooling alone when it starts. By the time he adjusts to our new routines, we may come back to Eye Level. This time, we will be going for Math instead of English. Who knows?

Nighttime Toilet Training Saga

My mother has been nagging me about this for so long. You see, even though Yuri got successfully potty-trained before he turned 2, he has still been wearing pull-ups at night. I don’t know; I just felt like he wasn’t ready yet. Each morning, he wakes up with a full pull-up and he does pee a lot at night. In the early days, I tried having him wear his cloth diapers at night. But barely an hour into sleep, he wakes up because it’s already full of pee. So I just shrugged nighttime toilet training off and waited until he was ready.

I knew he was ready a couple of weeks before he turned five. He still wakes up with a wet pull-up but that’s because he pees upon waking up. It’s also the perfect timing because it’s summer and he pees a lot less during the summer. But then, we travelled and I felt like it wasn’t the best time to toilet train. We were sleeping in a hotel room on a hotel bed, after all! I just didn’t want to risk it.

Heels over head 😂

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When we got back from our vacation, I waited for the next long weekend to come. It happened to be the weekend of the Holy Week. Our first night of no-pull ups happened on the night of Maundy Thursday. I just followed the basic pieces of advice: not giving too much liquid at night and peeing before bedtime. That’s it.

And it was a success! I didn’t get to sleep much that night, though. I was so paranoid he would wet the bed so I kept waking up to check. Nonetheless, he woke up with the bed fully dry and the first thing he did was pee. Teehee. It really does make a difference to wait until the child is ready.


My takeaway from this mothering experience? There’s no competition when it comes to nighttime toilet training. After all, it’s a bodily function that is not easily controllable. We might have used up more pull ups than kids who got toilet trained earlier, but it’s okay. There’s no use pressuring a child who just couldn’t keep his bed dry because he can’t help it. Because I decided to wait until I was sure Yuri was ready, he didn’t have to feel pressured or frustrated. Because we waited, nighttime toilet training for us was super easy, stress-free, and tear-free!

Actually, come to think of it, this can be applied to teaching literacy, too! In other words, raising a child shouldn’t be a competition.

Lifestyle Parenting Yurisms

There’s a Four-Year Old in the House!

Hey guys! How was your long weekend? Mine went smoothly, and last Saturday, I suffered sugar-overload because it was Yuri’s birthday!

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I’m pretty sure I just closed my eyes for a moment and then all of a sudden, I have a four-year old child!

What sorcery is this?

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Well, it’s not as if I didn’t see it coming. Everyday, I’m in awe of his new entertaining antics and — ehem — tactics to get what he want. But my favourite thing about being a mummy to a constantly curious toddler is the company.

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You see, I’m a WAHM in a long-time long-distance relationship. Because of the nature of my job, I communicate with my colleagues “remotely” and my friends have super busy work and family schedules. (I have colleagues here in Davao City; unfortunately, they live in the South while I reside in the North. If you have any idea how big this city is, you would know that going from the North to the South is pretty much like going to another city.)

When Yuri was still a baby, being with him just seemed like a chore. I have no shame in admitting it — the same way as I can shamelessly say now that he looked like an old man when he was a few days old hahaha. (To be fair, my younger sister did look like an alien… I’m pretty sure I looked funny as a newborn too…) Anyway, yes I had my in-love-with-my-baby moments but most of the time, like when he was nursing or napping in my already sore arms, time just seemed to pass so slowly. Sorry baby, it’s true 😛

But ever since he turned 3, he’s become the perfect companion-slash-bodyguard for me. He accompanies me walking around the village or going grocery-shopping. He doesn’t stop talking and I’m sure many of you mums of toddlers can relate to this! We can talk about anything and everything under the sun and somehow, our topics almost always takes the absurd turn. Not a problem at all!

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Parenting Yurisms

An Embarrassing Thing Happened To Me The Other Day

Hey everyone! Blogging just a short and sweet entry today because Miss Joyful Mess is down with the flu. Yes that’s me. I don’t know why, but this year, I’ve been getting sick more often? Does it have to do with weaning from breastfeeding? Or else I’m totally blaming the haze.

The I-have-a-cold-and-I-have-red-nose selfie hahaha. (I didn’t realise how yellow I was until this picture.) 

Okay I digress. Something really embarrassing happened to me last Sunday at the mall.

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Lifestyle Yurisms

Yurisms: I Dropped the Alligator

Yuri is a handful.

There, I said it.

I was so happy when we got out of the so-called Terrible Two’s stage unscathed. He was always a well-behaved child who was normally active and only seldom threw tantrums.

I was wrong. The real challenge is when your child turns three. 

Don’t get me wrong; Yuri still has a mostly happy disposition and could very well behave when needed. However, at this age, he’s also beginning to have a stronger personality and know the fine art of manipulating adults. He still isn’t into throwing tantrums – I guess that goes with the fact that I either ignore him or laugh at him when he attempts to – but can pretend-cry to see if he can get what he wants.

But despite these, I love many things about this age. One of these things is the funny things kids say. Yuri has his own share of funny anecdotes! Here are the funny stuff he recently did:

Alligator Drop

One day, I heard a soft crash – clearly, something fell (or was dropped) in the bedroom nearby. As expected, Yuri came running to me and said,

Nahulog ko alligator mo.

Me: Anong alligator?

Yuri: Yung alligator na gamit mo.

I was confused and kept asking him what that alligator was until he showed me what he meant:

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