everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the tag “school”

Liam’s barber

Unlike Kenzo, Liam is kinda scared of getting a haircut. He would bawl upon learning that he is entering a barber shop, once he sees those big clunky chairs and a barber waiting for him while holding a pair of scissors is enough to make him scared. It is always tough to get his hair done but good thing,  Liam has a very nice shiny hair, surely the nicest set of hair I had ever seen, because of this he can delay haircuts as it always remained looking great.

When Kenzo started going to the barber he hated it, but after a while he learned to trust his permanent barber-Neil but one day after cutting Ken’s hair for about 3 years he just left and no where to be found.

Just today, mum brought Liam for a haircut and it seems he did not cry today. He entered my room shouting that “I got a haircut and did not cry and just closed my eyes like I were sleeping” (paraphrased for clarity).

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Chikon

Liam loves fried chicken, yeah it is oily and unhealthy but he likes it. Sadly, it is not considered to be something of a go to food for toddlers but we cannot do much as Manila’s food are mostly salty, oily or sweet.

When he sees a Happy Donalds (Mc donalds) that is what he is going to get 4 out of 5 times, other times it is a toss up between Pancakes and Nuggets.

Compared to his brother, who is very picky, Liam is more of an eater.

He calls his favorite “Chikon” and he eats it with rice, sometimes even using his hands.

We celebrated a birthday

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Mum’s birthday was yesterday and it was kinda tough because of how RAMBUNCTIOUS Liam and Kenzo can be. When I was told that we are gonna eat out I suggested that it is perhaps better to eat at home, take out some food from a resto and enjoy at the comforts of our home. I am worried that if we eat at a nice resto there might be a chaos–named Liam and Kenzo that we might not be able to handle.

We all started at about 6pm and by around 6:30 we are all at the tables deciding on what to eatr. It is a nice Casual Dining place called Yabu and the ambiance is nice, lighting subdued and other diners are fairly quiet. Then in a few minutes  they both started to make the chopsticks as their drumsticks and later as a harry Potter’s wand. A while after they shifted to  walk over the long couch, climb the seats, fight for M&Ms, playfully act around, shout, fake cry and what really made it worst is when they both grabbed the Mango Juice at the same time and spilled it.

It is both a gift and a curse to have active kids and what I learned is that it is better to lay them off nice restos where you have to wait for a long time for the food to be served, it makes them cranky and they are like a wound up rubber just waiting to spring out. I think they can handle Fast foods where we dont have to spend a long time. It is like order, eat and head out.. to a toy store.

 

Haus Construction

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We are in the first couple of weeks in our house construction. And a few of my ideas I wanted to be adopted, it is more of a long term plan and it is more on necessity than style.

Reason why I agreed to buy this house it is because it has a separate lot that I can sell when Kenzo or Liam entered college. It is more of a college fund or investment whose value will increase with inflation and by the time Kenzo or Liam is in college the selling price of the lot is hopefully equal or more than the cost of college fees. I also made the house design with the future option to sell in mind. Like the location of windows, doors, entrance and even the front setback that we can also be converted to a carport should we sell the other lot.

But it turns out not what I expected. Mum is not to keen on selling the other lot, she just let me believe that she likes my idea just to go on with the house construction. Now the house has an overhang that encroach on the other lot. Windows are above the property line, I hoped it has a setback or an allowance so we can still open our windows should we sell the other lot.

I want the house to be in line to a minimalist style where we keep only important stuff inside the house to avoid clutter, accumulation of dust and to make it easy to maintain and clean. I prefer minimalist so that in the future we wont have to be dependent on a househelp. A house where we dont have too much stuff lying around, furniture that can be easily cleaned, open spaces, less house decors (that are just a big magnet for dust). We also need to limit our clothes and stuff that we keep.

One idea that I had recently  was how Jobs and Zuck wear the same style of clothes almost always and I realized that we can do that with our bedsheets and curtains etc. Truth is we dont need a bedsheets, pillow cases that is different every month. We can just keep about 3 sets and just alternate them. Too bad I bought several sets maybe about 10-12 already when I was in the US… well, maybe I just have to sell them perhaps.

It is hard to make someone a minimalist, we have a tendency to keep things and put heavy sentimental values to our things. We like to hoard and make boxes filled with memories that we wont bother to check again,  except only when you are very sick and about to die. We tend to over-appreciate our stuff, no matter how old and useless it is, and will not let go. Problem with this it will accumulate dirt, gather dust and become a nice home for little insects and pests.

I have been trying to make mum towards this but I am hardly making a dent, but I am still pestering her and still trying.  

I dont intend to keep a househelp, I feel it is a form of slavery and I dont really feel good about it… but having a maid is ingrained in our culture and maybe there are only a few of us who wants a home or willing to live without it.

Convincing Mum to  not have a house help is the hardest thing, as I said it is already ingrained in our culture, and it is even quite unheard of to think of not having one. 

I want all the important stuff settled first before thinking of the aesthetics. I prefer to make sure the house will have strong, continuous water before thinking about the nicest shower head, toilets etc. I want the house to be solar powered so we can freely use ACs to fight humidty. I think even with the most expensive exterior paints, interior design etc will mean nothing if the house is uncomfortable and humid. I believe an ugly house with AC trumps a nice house with poor ventilation.

We are just starting with the house and issues and disagreements are coming out, our ideas clashed and a common ground is often hard to reach. Well, goodluck hope will be able to finish this and set out roots in our new house.

 

II

problem with house construction is laymen don’t have the expertise to know what is standard measurement in construction. We cannot make the computations of loads, lateral loads etc on our own. We have to get another opinion of another engineer to determine if our house is within standard.

For example: Using of a 5′ CHB instead of 6′ for external wall, I was told that since it is just a small house a 5′ will do. Now there is now way to know if that is true or the contractor is trying to save cost to increase profits.

Wall spacing of vertical rebar,  I read ,to make house stronger should be 40cm but when I asked about this they said the standard for a 2 storey house is 60cm, then again I have no way to know this.

If anyone is gonna have a house constructed it is better to detailed all the specs you prefer on your house or get a standard quote from the con\tractor and asked it upgrade the materials to make the house stronger. Increase the size of hollow blocks, if they quote that they are gonna use 4′ CHBs upgarde it to 5′. If they told you that they are gonna  use a 10mm rebar, asked them to use 12mm etc…

Contractors incentive is to quote a low price so clients will give them their business, they  then will try to cut corners to increase profit.

It is a tough position to be in especially when you just youtube and google trained kind of a handyman.

What a question.

Kenzo just a few hours ago complained about his asthma and his itchy body and  asked us “why are these things happenning to me?”

I knew Kenzo is kinda like me and I am scared of it. I am suffering from PDD or Dysthmia or three decades now and the way Kenzo forward his question ,silently I knew, he is capable of deep thought, critical thinking, introspection, self analysis etc. Which are good things but also all of those can be a good push towards depression.

At an early age, he is already being hard on himself, maybe starting to dislike his situation, perhaps starting to realized that he is not getting a fair deal from life and these scared me. I knew how painful depression is and how it can ruin anyone and now I am faced with the possibility that I might have passed this gene to my kid.

Kenzo just broke his arm and was just healed a week ago, but now he has asthma and some rashes all over his body. He is in a bad state and the month of March and April has not been good to him.

When I was asked that question. I dont know the answer and I just gave the best BS i can think of. I just said, “he gotta do good things as good things will happen to those who do nice things” I asked his mum to massage him, I put on Vicks on his foot and covered it with socks, we  put Calmoseptine on his rashes and sang him a lullaby.

Kenzo is one brillant kid but I think his pre-disposition to sadness can be a hurdle to get what he wants in life… I just hope he will snap out of it and not fall the way I did.

I ain’t religious

I am not religious. I had read more of R. Dawkins, C. Hitchens than bible verses. The only time I will watch a religious program is to be amused on how hard they try, how they make it dramatic, how they scare people with guilt and the ultimate punishment of eternal fire and that part they ask for donation always cracks me up.

Now I am remiss in teaching my kids about God, Jesus etc. I really struggle because I myself is not 100 or even 10% into it. Good thing the school is squeezing a few bits and pieces about it otherwise they will be the only kids in this uber religious part of the world that cannot understand that if you pray Jesus can win you basketball games, make you pass exams, keep storm, floods, earthquake away from you. I will also struggle to explain how there are very poor people and very rich ones and why God don’t bother to assist the poor once in a while  to balance it all out.

But really how can I explain that Jesus is actually the son of God, but he is also a son of Joesph and Mary but Joseph is not his real dad.. yes, Mary is the real mom but God is not the husband. Now Jesus was sent here to wash our sins.. which was committed by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. yes, it is the sin of Adam and Eve but since we are human decendants of them we also get to be part of that original sin.  God sent Jesus , his son, to earth from heaven to show us the way, get crucified, and die violently on the cross. after being dead for 3 days, he will resurrect and fly back to heaven.. yes, he flew like being transported up, similar to how aliens kidnap earthlings to their spaceship. It is like an invisible vacumn tube that just pull him up to the sky. Now by accepting Jesus that will wash away all that sin we inherited from the first humans. Now we need to accept Jesus with all our heart, it can not be half-hearted otherwise that will not count… and yada yada

Come what may, I just hope school will do its job because I cannot do that religious part.

We. Bad. Parents.

We are the worst parents, but mostly it is just mum whose voice showered the neighborhood with loud curses, nags, commands etc.. to a strangers who would pass by and hear her would think that our kids (mostly it is Kenzo) was being tortured, but really I think he is already, traumatized and scarred for life from all the nagging, emotional and psychological punishment he got from his mum.

Now since I stopped taking my Zolodin, I get to be easily upset with his noise and his mum.  When Kenzo will act stubborn,  whine, fakes his cry his mum will shout loudly, curse and say really bad things to the kid.  She will shout, get mad to scare Kenzo to stop it.. but Kenzo will be more scared and end up crying more. It would be a cycle everytime, in the morning before going to work and at night after work. I used to be just passive (as much as I can)  and would just go and hide in my room and let all the noise settle but since I am off Zolodin, I think I can easily lose my patience as well.

I used to take the “good cop” role but now mum and I are both the bad cops. Kenzo is on the receiving end of all these and the saddest part he is only 6 years old.

Honestly, I am now without patience to deal with Kenzo. I am very close in hurting him physically. I will not be surprised that one day he will get welts and bumps. I just cannot control all the noise. I am struggling to control my anger.

I think we are stuck in a deep shit that we (but mostly his mum) created. She spoiled Kenzo and no matter how I try to correct her ways before, she is too stubborn to even listen and just like in many things in our household that my thoughts dont carry any weight, I am just an added noise in the house.

I used to offer suggestion on how we should do our parenting and maybe ( if I am heard) we had not created Kenzo to be bratty, defiant kid. But all my thoughts to his mum are just nothing bookish theories.

We created all these troubles that kenzo is in and now we are punishing kenzo for all the issues we dug for him. WE are indeed stupid and bad at the same time. Sorry Kenzo but life gave you us, the worst parents on the planet.

Tutoring Liam

Kenzo is back in the USA for his annual vacation and I am told that he is having a blast, but who would n’t? He is enjoying a cold weather, at Tahoe they were  able to catch snow, when I was there 3 months ago I got snowstorm and it was borderline scary.

Now since Kenzo is away I thought to corner Liam and tutor him step by step, but it is not as easy as teaching Kenzo. In fact, Kenzo just learned mostly on his own via his Ipad.. that was in fact any lazy parent wet dream, almost no effort was needed.

I tried to crawl (figuratively) to hold Liam;s attention and to make him know that learning is important. I have to be creative and work my way slowly to get him to start learning but I am not as successful as I wanted to be. I lose interest and easily give up. I really have to snap out of this slump or else Liam’s future is at stake.

I know it is never a child’s fault for not learning, it is my belief that it is always the parents fault for not trying hard to teach. But really it is hard, or maybe I am just spoiled on how easy it was with Ken, to teach a toddler… but we got no choice but to succeed

 

Leaving his small school

5 days ago Kenzo graduated from kindergarten and is now ready to move up to grade 1 at San Beda. He even got an loyalty award from his school (Jose Maria Montessori School) for staying there there for 4 school years.

Yesterday, I went to the school to get Kenzo’s Evaluation card and all his old stuff like shoes, extra clothes, some work papers etc.. and while waiting outside it hit me that it will be the last day I am gonna be there and Kenzo will maybe never ,go back to that place where he spent his toddler years. It is kinda sad to leave a place like a second home to him, it is where he slowly matured to a young boy he is now, he learned  and met his friends,  loves going to school and really enjoyed it there. But sadly it got to end as he need to transfer to a big school.

He started there at 2 years and 8 months, yesterday I looked back at the days when we still have to carry him to the door of his school and will only agree to go down once his class is about to start. His first Nana was Joy and she would carry Kenzo from the car to the front door of the school and wait there until the teachers ask him to go in.  In his first year, often he would cry and will fear going to school. We even have to force him to wear his uniform and ride the car.

Kenzo had come a long way now, as he is more sociable (but still relatively shy) and more mature than his first year there. He has grown and have to say good bye to his small school.

He met his first Best friends there Rai-Rai, then it was Gabe and last school year was Ken and Gab.

Yesterday I was standing outside the school and realized that was the exact spot where I used to wait for Kenzo everyday for about 26 months. Day after day starting Jan 2013 until Sept 2015 I will brought and picked him up, waiting there made me remember the past as if I was waiting for kenzo again but in fact I was waiting to get his stuff and talk to his teachers maybe for the last time.

Thank you, for all the wonderful memories, stories and for teaching him. Thanks!  ‘Small school’ — Jose Maria Montessori.

Another US Trip

*Late post*

Around the end of December 2016 I left for SFO- Bay Area to be again at Menlo Park. Just 2 days after Xmas I was packing to fly out to celebrate New Year in the other side of the world.

At the airport, I arrived 2 hours before my flight but since it was a holiday season the airport was cramped with more than usual number of passengers. NAIA T2 was full, as one american passenger observed, “there is not even a place to sit.” Passengers occupied all the seats, the window ledge and some are even on the floor. It feels like we were  refugees awaiting asylum. The problem with T2 is that they have a cordoned Gate area which is too small, the seats are not enough to accommodate all and once inside it is inconvenient to walk around, use the restroom, buy snacks, etc… because your seat will be gone and you have to fall in line again to the final x-ray screening section. That  situation we had will surely remind anyone that we are in a poor, backward country, to make matters even worst our flight (PR 114) was delayed by almost 2 hours and this added salt to our injuries(so to speak).

I thought when we started to board that was the end of our hardship, but when I settled onto the seat I realized (and the passengers that sat next to me) that we were in an old,  small, obsolete plane. It does not have an in flight movie, music or even a working lamp where I can use to read my book and the seats were about a few inches smaller.

It was an horrible flight.

At Dec28 at around 830pm I was outta SFO and Sam, Eric and Susie greeted me and in a while I am in their home. The weather was cold but I realized that it was not too cold and it was something I can easily manage. I slept with just a light jacket and shorts but at early morning the cold bit me hard, I was awoken by the temp and I was literally freezing. I quickly looked for my thick jacket and used 3 layers of clothes to sleep that night, and that was the time I fully realized that it was indeed winter.

The first few days was nothing really unusual, I stay at Monte Rosa to kill time, went back and forth to kill more time, spend some time with Claro and at Susie’s time out will either go to buy some stuff to bring back home, or those on the  list of Tere, or also to eat out for our dinner… which is nothing far from what we had been doing every time I visit.

I was back driving for Sue and towards the end of my vacation I also drove Sam to school a few times.

New year’s eve: we spent it watching Moana. I Literally spent my last hours of 2016 and the first hour of 2017 inside a theater. It was a nice movie, really cute and we were  soo relaxed on those Lazy Boys we sat on.

Before watching Moana we first ate at a chinese restaurant that has quite OK food but has some mediocre customer service ( which is a norm in most chinese restos)… the food is not something I will choose over Panda Express but it is still kinda OK.

The main attraction of my whole trip was going up Lake Tahoe. When we got there Temp is about freezing point and everywhere was covered by thick white snow. It was such a pretty sight and just by mere looking at it can melt all the stress away.

We arrived about late afternoon and after resting in our rooms we head out to eat at Applebees. I also bought some bread and soda to partner with my Spam as my food in my room. As the night comes the temp go down further to about -4.

The next day we head out to see the tourist sights, we went around the Lake, eat out, drive, road trip, eat again and basically enjoy.

Our plan was to sled the next day and do some fun at snow, but when we woke up the next day there was a slight blizzard and it closed all ski and sled slopes. Unable to do anything we just decided to go to the Nevada side and ‘Casino Hop’. I thought them to play the Roulette, which we won a few times but lost a lot more, sadly.

We still tried to make most of the trip considering we cannot do much as there were heavy snow everywhere.

On the day we are to leave, It was scary. I am scared that we might get caught up there as news of heavy blizzard to come down in the afternoon of the day we were to leave. I am worried that I might not be able to catch my flight or finish some of my errands if we get stuck there for 2-3days more.

On the morning we were to leave, I am really antsy and I was silently hoping that we to move and drive down ASAP before the blizzard caught us. As we drove down snow started to pour, some 2WD cars were asked to use chains, travelling will be about 25MPH only.

As we crawl down Tahoe, I am worried and scared, as I dont want to be back there in that weather.. after about 2-3 painful hours we were over it and the snow was replaced by mild raindrops. Yehey! after a while we were in rainy Bay Area and that ended my quick fight with heavy snow.

After Tahoe, I was back doing the same stuff… buying, window shopping, eating out etc.. I prepared to flight out 3 days after Tahoe trip but that did not end there… some few hiccups happened after (see my previous post: Flight Delays)

 

 

 

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