Sunday, July 21, 2013

All about circles, polka dots and Yayoi Kusama

I made Marco play with circles.

When Rocky came home, Marco showed him the art work he did on our window.
We used contact paper and colored paper. :-)

Marion decoupaged.

This is our birdhouse.
We used a polka dot gift wrapper which I had stashed in our crafts box.

Now we just have to hang it. :-)

Doesn't the birdhouse remind you of Kusama? :-)

Yayoi Kusama

We took the kids to the Ayala Museum to see the I Love Kusama exhibit.

The exhibit will be there until Sept. 1, 2013

When I asked Marion which one was her favorite, she ran and pointed to "High Heels". (She had earlier stopped in front of it to take a closer look.) It was something like this--


I had her wear polka dots. :-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From the Kitchen: Dehydrator Recipes

I've been wanting a dehydrator for the longest time and so jumped at the chance when Tita Tami offered to lend me hers. I dehydrated like a crazy woman for a month or so. 


1 L
·         I’ve used Hacienda Meycauayan Non-fat and also Whole milk (from the supermarket)
1 cup
Powdered Milk
·         I’ve used Milk Magic Low fat
·         Some say powdered milk just helps to make the yogurt less runny and that it is optional
2- 3 Tbsp
Plain yogurt with active cultures
·         I used yogurt from Hacienda Meycauayan

1.       Dissolve powdered milk in milk.
2.       Scald milk in a pot up to 185 degrees. (Use a candy thermometer.)
3.       Turn off the heat and let it cool up to 110 degrees.
4.       Mix in the yogurt culture. Mix well.
5.       Transfer the mixture to jars/pyrex and cover with the lids.
6.       Dehydrate/Incubate at 110 degrees for 8- 10 hours.

* Comments:
I kinda get paranoid about my "active cultures" so I usually put in more than 3 Tbsp.
The kids don't like the yogurt even when I've mixed in a whole lot of agave. I give it to them with their cereal. Marion gags and I know it's not drama. Marco used to eat the store bought yogurt (Hacienda Meycauayan) and now doesn't like the homemade ones. I'm sneaking in a tablespoon or less into their meals.

***** ***** ***** *****


2 cups
Flax seed
·         Available at Healthy Options
2 cups
Sunflower seed
·         Available at Healthy Options
Carrots, grated

1 cup
Celery, minced

1 Tbsp

4- 5 Tbsp
Nutritional Yeast
·         Available at Healthy Options
2- 3 Tbsp
Liquid sweetener (agave, honey)

1.       Soak flax seed in 2 cups water for 3- 6 hours.
2.       Put everything in the food processor and mix well.
3.       Spread around 1.5 cups of mixture on the sheets or parchment paper.
4.       Dehydrate on 105 degrees for 12 hours.
5.       Flip (and take out the sheets/parchment paper) and dehydrate for another 5 hours.
6.       Cut into pieces.

·         Notes: Any mixture will work. I’ve tried using parsley instead of celery. I’ve made it sweeter or saltier or threw in chili flakes. Experiment with the thickness also. Instead of eating bread, I eat this.

***** ***** ***** *****

1 cup
·         Available at Sweet Craft, Boni Ave.
1 ½ cup
·         Available at Sweet Craft, Boni Ave.
1 cup
·         Available at Sweet Craft, Boni Ave.
2 Tbsp

1 Tbsp
Coconut oil

1 Tbsp
Vanilla extract

½ cup
Cocoa powder

Sea salt

1.       Soak almond overnight. Drain and rinse.
2.       Soak cashew and dates also for an hour. Drain and rinse.
3.       Process almond and cashew until flour-like.
4.       Process/add dates, agave, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until mixture is dough-like.
5.       Drop and shape into cookies on sheets/parchment paper.
6.       Dehydrate on 115 degrees for 10 hours.

·         Notes: I never used cashew. I replaced it with pistachio. The cookies came out like cookie dough so I topped it with crushed nuts to improve the texture and dehydrated it longer to make it more dry. Next time I make this, I'll make it "nibbler" size and not regular sized cookies. I'm keeping some in the freezer, others in the fridge.

·         I also tried cookies that was just 1 cup almond, 4- 5 pieces of dates and a handful of dark chocolate chips all processed together then shaped into cookies.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lesson: Molting (Science) and Getting Dressed (Skills)

When our friend who lives 2 streets away posted that he found a spider's exoskeleton, I asked if we could have it.


Then I showed her a video on youtube of a spider molting.

And I told her of that time the dad of the "little girl named Yen" once found snake skin outside their house and so she carried a piece of it in her purple wallet for good luck.

Then I showed her a video of a snake molting.

***** ***** ***** *****

She also practices how to dress herself.

It's really difficult for her to take her shirt/dress off. I think she needs to start practicing with the really loose ones. But she can handle putting things on...

We're focusing on getting the clothes on. So this happens sometimes-- inside out.

***** ***** ***** *****

A guide for age appropriate dressing up skills

Marco, who is a little over one, can do the tasks for age 1 & 2 years. He's very good at taking off his diaper too. :-)

Marion, at 3 and a half, still needs to learn how to figure out the front of clothing and to be better at buttons. I think this will be something we'll work on soon. :-)

***** ***** ***** *****

We also have this book about a little girl dressing up. It's not "instructional" but it inspires Marion to be just like this spunky little girl who picked out her own clothes. Ella Sarah wore "my pink polka dot pants, my dress with orange and green flowers, my purple and blue striped socks, my yellow shoes and my red hat" and thought that it was just right. :-)

If Marion wants to wear her tutu skirt, then I let her. :-)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Playing with Cornstarch: Oobleck and Liquid Chalk

We played around with oobleck (That's easier to say than "non-Newtonian fluid" which is a mouthful even for me.)

liquid? solid?

Then we made some liquid chalk with cornstarch + water + food coloring.

Super fun!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Playing with plants and vegetables

Follow the Pattern

She got to eat the candies only if she got the pattern correctly.
Bribe. Haha.

Preparing healthy soup

malunggay soup

Stamp printing 

I was hoping the papaya stalk/leaves would make a nice pattern but I think the ones we asked from our neighbors are too small/young and didn't have a very nice pattern when we cut it up. Oh well.


Sweeping the paint around with papaya leaf.
Oh yeah! We love making a big mess!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Marco: 1 year and 4 months

From my diary--
June 11, 2013
When Marco wakes up in the morning, he usually asks for a bottle of milk right away (points to my bedside table where his bottles are and says "Dededede") or points to the "Doh" so he can go out and play. This morning he sat up still a bit groggy and asked to be carried out. I did. Since I noticed he was still half asleep, I decided to just hug and carry him. He just leaned into me, rested on my shoulder and we slow danced. 5:22am to 5:34am. He doesn't like to be cuddled so it was like magic. His eyes were open and we just swayed. Then he seemed to wake up for real and then asked to go out of the room. So we did. :-)

We've been waiting for Gymboree to open near us. It hasn't. Yet. But I saw a play school package at one of the deal sites and just got Marco a couple of classes. They said it would be okay for one year olds, but their classes are really for older children (maybe 2.5 years old). So Marco just goes to tumble around and for the bubbles. :-)

We had finger painting with him at home, too.

And here he is with Charlie--

These days I can ask him to do stuff-- like close the door and put things in the trash. :-) I'm excited to have him start serving me breakfast. ;-p


Rocky had fever and cough so the kids and I slept in the other room. He couldn't sleep right away and was upset to be in a different room. The poor baby tossed and turned and cried. He only stopped when he found a comfortable position on his sister's tummy.

Well, the inevitable happened anyway. The kids got sick. He got it worse than Marion. He didn't get fever but was coughing. He threw up after drinking milk on June 28. And then maybe once or twice the day after and that was it. I just had him nebulize with saline and drink lots of water.

When I brought him to Dr. Pia she saw that he had an early ear infection. He's been poking his ear so much he'd scratch himself. He let me clean it a bit but some were too deep I couldn't take it all out. On July 4 we started his meds--

a) Co-amoxiclav 457mg/5ml- 2.5ml twice a day for 7- 10 days (for ear infection)
     *note: may cause diarrhea
b) Nebulize with 1.6ml ventar + 1ml saline- twice a day (for cough)

I found out that his yayas have not been diligent about giving him flying lizard so now I'm making sure he really gets that also. Marion maybe coughed for one day lang and that was it. I don't know if flying lizard is just for asthma or any kind of coughing but really Marion's been taking it a year and no coughing at all.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

From the Kitchen: Chili for Rocky

For Father's Day, I usually cook something special for Rocky. Since I had ordered Lechon from Pepita's Kitchen for Father's Day, Rocky's chili came a week late. He's been asking for chili so I finally made him some.


around 6 slices of bacon
1 kilo ground beef (the best kind I could find)
3 or 4 onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
around 1/4 cup chili powder (most likely more)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 bottle of Cerveza Negra
1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of black beans (which I omitted because he said he didn't want it)
cheddar cheese, shredded

I feel like I make chili differently every time I make it.  I haven't found a recipe that was perfect and it kinda stresses me out to have to work in the kitchen "according to taste". I want a recipe I could follow to a T. But anyway, he always loves how it turns out so I should just relax. This is what I did.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside but keep the oil.
Use half of the oil to brown the meat.
Use the other half of the oil to cook the onion and bell pepper until soft. And then add the garlic. Then the browned meat.
Then add the chili powder, cumin, oregano. Mix.
Add the beer and let it simmer until completely reduced.
Throw in the tomatoes.
Simmer for at least 1.5 hrs.
Adjust taste. (I added more chili and cumin. And salt).
Serve topped with crumbled bacon and cheese.