Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yellow Doll Cake

Last Sunday was Ashrie’s nineteenth month we decided to buy a cake for her! She loved the tiny doll more than the cake, but it was sure fun while taking these photos because immediately after the candles were lit, she will blow it right there and then!

Happy Nineteenth Month Ashrie!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

101% Mom

My wife Jane never fails to impress me every time she prepares activities for our daughter to do. I admire how she handles her career as a mother and homemaker and how she endeavours to become a better mother for Ashrie. I can see that our daughter is well taken care of in all aspects of her development as a child.

Just to further illustrate to Ashrie the concept of “open and close”, she made this beautiful cardboard box house (with moveable doors and windows) for Ashrie to paint. Imagine the painstaking task of measuring and assembling this project, not to mention that she has to do other things to. And doing projects like this entails more cleaning afterwards. The photos are well worth the effort but I’m sure, more than the photos, Jane is happier because Ashrie has experienced and learned new things after doing this project!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mei Mei's Bath Time

Mei Mei is the Mandarin word for little sister. It is also the name of Ashrie’s first doll, a Baby Born bath doll complete with a bath tub, a face towel, and a hooded towel, all in mini sizes! So before Ashrie’s bath time, she played with her doll and gave her a bath...

Listen to me and be a good girl, okay?

Among all these photos, this my personal favourite. My wife said Ashrie couldn’t put water in the bottle because the water in Mei Mei’s tub is not deep enough to submerge the small bottle. That’s why she used the mini face towel’s water drippings to fill in the small shampoo bottle. Now that’s ingenuity at an early age!
Now, you're fresh and clean!

Our daughter and "doll" Ashrie with her Mei Mei

Building Blocks


and Away!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I used to think that rainy seasons mean not having the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and take good photos. But then again, these photos proved me wrong. Sunny pictures mean happy pictures but photos taken in the rain are simply interesting and equally visually appealing. So here it is, our first photoshoot in the rain:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jane's Version of Ka Bebe's Menudo

Jane tasted my Mom’s Menudo for the first time in one of our visits to the Philippines. My mom, knowing that this dish is one of my favourites, prepared it for our homecoming. Jane liked it and has been in her list of special recipes to date.  She prepared this dish for our guest today alongside her Lumpiang Shanghai. As promised, this is the recipe:


1 kilo pork (cut into small chunks)
1/4 kilo pork liver (cut into small cubes)
2 medium-sized potatoes (peeled, cut in small cubes, fried)
1 green, red and yellow bell pepper (diced)
1/2 cup green peas
3 tomatoes (diced)
1 small head of garlic (minced)
1 medium size onion (diced)
1 can liver spread
salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil


Place the pork, pork liver, salt, pepper and a quarter of the onions in a casserole of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the pork is tender. Set aside.

In a pan or wok, heat cooking oil. Fry the potatoes and carrots and green peas. Set aside.

In the same pan, saute garlic, onion. Then add the pork, liver, tomatoes, bell pepper, patis and about half a cup of the stock. Cover and let it simmer. Then add the potatoes, carrots and green peas. Simmer for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with white rice.

Jane's Lumpiang Shanghai

It's a holiday and friends are coming to visit us today. So Jane prepared Menudo and Lumpiang Shanghai to serve our guests for lunch. Here is her version of the popular Filipino-style spring rolls.

Golden Brown Spring Rolls served in a Small Basket


1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1 whole egg
4 cloves of garlic finely minced
1/2 cup onions finely minced
1/2 cup carrots grated
1/2 cup prawns finely minced
1/2 cup Chinese celery (flat leaf parsley) finely chopped
soy sauce
salt to taste
pepper to taste
spring roll wrappers
cooking oil (for frying)


Step 1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl (except for the wrappers). Season with a little bit of salt and pepper and mix well. You can do a sampling at this point by taking a bit of the mixture, forming it into a small patty and frying it in oil. Just to test if it needs adjustment in seasoning.

Step 2. Lay a wrapper on a plate and wrap about a teaspoon of the filling. Brush the end of your wrapper with a little bit of water to seal the roll.

Step 3. Deep fry your spring rolls for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Good to eat as it is, with ketchup or sweet and sour sauce. And of course, perfect with hot rice!
(Her Menudo recipe to follow shortly.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hooray for the Holiday!

Got this from the mailbox last night. 
It’s IKEA’s seasonal brochures. One is the Kitchen Brochure which is filled with inspiring kitchen interiors and the other one is the Christmas Brochure, festively heralding their promotions and new items for holiday decorating. But even if we did not receive these, we’re going to IKEA before Christmas!

Inside the Kitchen Brochure:
Basic Rules for an "easy" Kitchen
You can browse it online here.

And the Christmas Brochure can be browsed here.

Painting Shapes

It’s the rainy season here once again and parents of toddlers should be creative enough to think of creative ideas since the kids cannot go out and enjoy sunny Singapore. So that’s the background of this story. Originally, Jane planned to cut and paint cardboard shapes for Ashrie but decided to let our daughter paint the shapes that she (my wife) cut. And a better decision it was. Ashrie enjoyed doing her artwork very much!

These pictures tell it all.

All geared-up to paint!

Blue and Yellow makes Green!

A liitle bit more and this will be perfect!

Messy, Messy, Messy!

Clean-up Time

All done. Let's hang and dry them up!

After the shapes have dried, Ashrie and I placed the shapes (circles, squares and triangles) each in a separate plastic container which can be used as a shape sorter. Brilliant!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jane's Chicken Afritada

Jane asked me to download a Chicken Afritada recipe and I gave her two recipes from two different sources. She liked the one from Kusina ni Manang and we had this for dinner last Saturday. It’s her first time to cook this and it was so good!

Well, thanks to Manang and more thanks to Jane.

Our Block is Having a Face-Lift!

View of painting works from our flat

Our apartment has already been whitewashed (with paint that is) and, as this post is being written, receiving a fresh coat of blues and greens.  A bit messy on the lobbies and void decks but we need to bear the inconveniences first to enjoy a brighter and more pleasant environment later. I will update you on the finished product as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Girl Who Love Books

I’m borrowing the title from Elmo’s World, in his edition on books when he watched the “Book Channel”.

Jane and Ashrie reading a pop-up book at the bookshop!
It’s good to know that at her very young age of 18 months, Ashrie is showing a great interest in books. She enjoys our every visit to the bookstore and would love to sit down on the (usually) wood-laminated floors of the store while browsing books. She already has a good collection of books, from baby board books to the classics. Some were given as presents, and most are bought. All are new when we got them until we discovered recently that good resources also can be found on book sales which sell pre-loved children’s books.

Her collection includes the following titles:

Baby Days: A Collection of 9 Board Books Ken Karp
Baby Einstein: What Floats? Julie Aigner-Clark
Baby Touch: Flip-Flap Book Ladybird
Baby Faces make believe ideas ltd.
Peekaboo Kitty Puppet Book Cartwheel Books
Ladybug Book Cartwheel Books
My Giant Fold-out Book of Words Priddy Books
The Bear Who Dares Kate Toms
Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney
Wiggle Worm: Yellow Worm is tired! Hinkler Books
Flip & Find: Weather Hinkler Books
Animal Series: A Collection of 6 Board Books Hinkler Books
First Words North Parade Publishing
Her First Bible Melody Carlson
My First Bible Stories Armadillo Books
Little Red Riding Hood Ladybird
The Sly Fox and the Red Hen Ladybird
The Three Little Pigs Ladybird
100 Classic Stories (Various Authors)www.mileskelly.net
And growing…

We hope that knowledge and wisdom will increase in her with every book that she reads and may her enjoyment in reading books grows with her even her love for the Word of God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Elmo’s Potty Time

Potty training is a very difficult stage for parents and toddlers alike. It can be very rewarding and frustrating at times. But all kids and parents need to go through this phase. Good thing there are DVDs like these to help young kids know how to use the potty. And that it is not embarrassing if accidents happen sometimes. Well, you know what I mean.

Although the video is entitled Elmo’s Potty Time, do not expect that it’s all about Elmo using it, instead he and the rest of his friends (including Grover, Baby Bear and Prairie Dawn) teach the viewers the basics of potty usage from the “go-to go feeling” to the things to remember after using the potty. So it’s more on Elmo’s Potty Talk Time with Friends! But you can still see him using the potty when he was very young in a flashback skit.

There are a lot of catchy songs and funny moments. It’s even weird sometimes to hear them say they go to the potty! There is even a sequence about how toilet paper is made in the factory. Interesting stuff but rather unnecessary. I hope this video will help your toddler and mine to be familiar with the potty and hopefully be encouraged to use it sometime soon.

As Elmo says, “Bears, people and even monsters go to the potty!”

Here's Baby Elmo using the potty!
Baby Prairie Dawn and her mom
buying underpants for her for the first time!

Here’s a clip from the DVD.

♪♫ Teens do it, even famous king and queens do it...♪

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best “TOYS” in Life are Free!

Ashrie's bungalow made by her Mom
using dismantled shoe racks!
The best things in life are free. That is also true with toys!

As parents, (especially if we have the means) we want only the best for our kids. The best education, the healthiest foods, the prettiest clothes and even the newest toys in the malls! And speaking of toys, the truth of the matter is, expensive toys do not equate to real fun.

Have you ever bought a toy thinking that your child will enjoy it and then you ended up frustrated because she easily loses interest in them the day after? Or worse, trade it for an empty tissue roll because she finds it more amusing to play with? How about giving a toy to your child then finding yourself scolding him for not taking good care of his toy?

Kids love fun. And kids don’t really care if the toy is expensive or not as long as they are having fun. Looking back to our own childhood, I hope you will agree with me that our fondest memories were the times we spent playing outdoor games, or simply having a good time playing with the stuff at home. Not really toys, but ordinary things that sparked our imagination and creativity.

In his website http://mysuperchargedlife.com/, Jeff Nickles enumerated 7 free toys that kids would really love to play with. Comments are from me.

That’s my belt I’m pulling while
singing “Row, row, row your boat!”
1. A Big Cardboard Box. This will be a great wagon or car, a boat, or even a house!

2. A Super-Hero Cape Made From an Old Pillow Case or Bath Towel. Or for girls, it could be a blanket for a princess gown!

3. A Balloon

4. Two Sticks. It could be drum sticks, or swords. But this is for older kids. And I’m not sure if you’re little girl would love to play with these. Or I may be wrong.

5. Fort Made with From Sheets or Blankets. It can also be chairs, pillows, or even the removable cushioned seats from the couch.

6. Empty Paper Towel Tubes

7. Paper Airplane

So before buying that high-tech robot, think again. Maybe all she really needs is your time and a good old empty cereal box!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Philippians 4:13

I saw this while searching for bible quotes and fell in love instantaneously.  The wall decal is from etsy.com which quotes the famous verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The letters form a cross with CHRIST in red. It is presented in an unusual yet classy manner. And I would love to have it on one of our walls in the future.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bedtime with Elmo (and Ashrie!)

We have a copy of Bedtime With Elmo and we love it! I have read some reviews of the DVD which was actually released last year and I was surprised on the effect it made to some kids. Some parents say their kids have no issues with monsters or the dark until watching the video while others highly recommend it.

Now, I will definitely be on the side on the latter. For me it’s a good watch especially for Dads like me. The video focused primarily on Dad and child relations with just (as I can remember) a mention of Elmo’s mom helping him with brushing his teeth. There is also a story of a girl being put to sleep by her Dad by reading her a bedtime story, scratching her back and singing a lullaby, and not to forget Natasha and his Dad singing him a very personal good night song.

The DVD is packed with stories cleverly illustrating common situations parents and kids go through every night before their kid finally has a shut-eye. Such situations include fear of monsters, the dark, and the most common the “I-still-want-to-play” problem.

There are poems, stories about the moon and the stars and bedtime routine of children from Haiti and India. Songs are witty with catchy tunes too. I can hear myself singing the song the morning after. It is truly a must-buy and a good collection piece. We simply love it!

Here is a clip from the video. Enjoy!

We just purchased the Elmo's Potty Time DVD and our review will be posted soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Myplayschool.net Giveaways

Myplayschool.net will be giving away 3 Math Start books each to 3 lucky winners; The 3 Little Firefighters, Beep Beep Vroom Vroom and The Best Buddy Counts.

To  Join :
Just complete your details on the form and just click on submit
Up to 2 more chances of winning :

1. If you are a new addition to our 'LIKE' Myplayschool.net on Facebook (1 more chance)

2. Post the details of this giveaway on your blog (1 additional chance of winning)

* Contest will be open until Midnight Friday, November 19th. Contest is only open to readers in Asia.

Winners will be randomly selected for the items and announced on Monday, November 21st. Please check back on this website to see if you won. The winners will need to email contact.myplayschool@gmail.com to provide name and shipping address.

Visit http://myplayschool.net/giveaway-math-start-books-worth-30/ for more details and to join!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Just a simple photo update of our ever-growing daughter, Ashrie. She is now 18 months old. And we, as parents are enjoying every time spent with our greatest blessing. We're making the most of her toddler years because time really fly so fast. We can almost imagine what she'll look like when she grows older. Or we could also be wrong, because daily she's "evolving". We just pray that she will be what God has intended her to be, that she will always be in the center of God's perfect will.

I really love this one. A candid shot of her captivating smile.

Looking at Mommy...

Sitting pretty!

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