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Rioco will need to go back to Pinas for his dependent pass. Unfortunately, visa changes here have to be processed by the Brunei embassy in the person’s home country so changing from visit visa, which is Rioco’s visa right now, to a dependent visa will have to be done back in Pinas. And since term break is coming up next month, Rioco and I will be going for a week-long break. Ramil and I initially thought about everyone going but since he also has a science camp to go to and it would definitely be less expensive, we decided that it will just be me and Rioco. I am also thinking of it as my semi-vacation leave! Hahaha!
So now I am listing down things that need to be done and bought when we go back home. Our week will be filled with dental visits, a baptism, mall trips, and social visits I will need to remember to check out some online business card printing before we go home so that I have something to compare to when I scout for some in Pinas.
Although I am excited about our week-long break, but I am also having separation anxiety about leaving Ramil and the two bigger kids. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly with the visa processing so that everything is worth it.
We celebrated our 13 years together last March 7! It’s amazing how fast time seems to have passed. Although so much has happened over the past 13 years, it seems like it was only yesterday when we would go for our usual strolls in UP Diliman.
- We are lucky to be living with my sister and her husband and another friend who is like another sister as well. Because of them, Ramil and I get to have small dates even if it is just a grocery or a quick coffee date Our 13th year celebration was a quick two-hour high tea chocolate buffet at the Empire Hotel and although it is a far cry from our usual dates, it was more than enough for us because we were eager to see Mateo and Anika afterwards.
- Ramil is settling in better in his job if I may say. Most of his students are Filipinos as well and they make teaching life easier for him. I can also see that it was definitely a good move to transfer from primary to secondary because I think that is where his strength is. He is the adviser of the science research group that got accepted in the Brunei-wide science research competition. The research work has taken up a lot of his time and we are all praying that they win!
- I never thought I would be able to manage taking care of three kids, household chores, and a small writing gig but I am doing it so far. I’ve missed a few article deadlines but I am very lucky to be working with very understanding people My daily routine is crazy and most of the time, I do not even have the time to go to the bathroom. Still, I am grateful that I can do this, that I am given the chance to be a full time mom to my kids, that my husband can provide well for us and that we are given just enough so that I can choose to stay home.
- Ramil will be celebrating his 32nd birthday soon! As much as I would want to give him something fancy such as a new phone or laptop or the cool mpc 1000, I am limited by budget. But I’ll see what I can come up with by Wednesday!
- I feel like so much has happened the past few months, many of which has changed me big time. I continue to have many struggles as a wife, as a homemaker, and especially as a mother. But I wake up every morning deciding that it will be a good day for us, I spend my waking moments trying to channel good vibes and love to the people most important to me so that they may have a beautiful day too. There are days when I am successful and there are days when I am not. Still, life is great and I feel like I am at the peak of my life so I am trying to savor it and soak it up as much as I can.
- Now that Anika is in the terrible two stage, we realized that despite Mateo’s hyperactivity, he did not give us too much of a problem. Our little girl is a different story. Although she is relatively quiet and mild-mannered whenever her kuya is not around, she still has a tendency to be willful and defiant. Sometimes she would pretend not to hear anything when we’re asking her to do something or NOT to do something. Compared to Mateo’s forgetfulness whenever we remind him about things, Anika would sometimes deliberately test us by defying us.
- She is sooo eager to go to school now. Since she would often tag along last year whenever I go to school to bring or pick up Mateo, school is such a familiar environment for her now. Last year, there were many times when she would refuse to leave Mateo’s classroom because she wants to stay also. Lately, since Ramil has been using the car and bringing Mateo to school, we have not been able to visit kuya’s school in a long time. No matter who is going to school, she wants to go as well and sometimes she’d end up crying loudly when it’s time to say goodbye to whoever is leaving. She has been very expressive about her desire to go to school and declarations of “Anika will go to school!” and “I am bigger; I will go to school” are constantly heard from her now. Unfortunately, she’s too young at 2 years 7 months to be accepted for preschool here because they only accept children who are 3 years of age by March. Hence, school will be delayed for her until the start of the next school year which is January.
- She is learning to be a good ate, thanks to the good kuya. Although she initially felt jealous towards Rioco, which is perfectly understandable, she never showed any aggression or resentment towards the new member of our family. And lately, she has even been very eager to help out in taking care of Rioco. She would also willingly fetch things for me or keep Rioco busy by talking to him.
- It seems that we have another chatterbox. She has been speaking in compete sentences for months now and except for a few words here and there, we can understand what she is saying! Hence, conversing with her has been very entertaining. The problem now is how to keep her from talking from time to time
- Anika loves to sing and dance! We have been thinking of letting her study a music instrument in a few months. Not too fancy like a piccolo trumpet or violin but maybe something more simple like the piano. Dance or ballet lessons are also being discussed as a possibility for her since she really likes moving her body to the music.
- She has a very big appetite but like the kuya, Anika is very slim. She can finish an order of 1-piece chickenjoy with rice all by her 2-year-old self and she would still find space for french fries and siomai. I just hope that she can keep her very fast metabolism if her appetite continues to be very big as she grows older.
Anika seems to have sealed her place in our family as the diva. It is a blessing that Rioco turned out to be a boy. At least now I don’t think Anika will have a tendency to develop the middle-child syndrome since she has her own distinction in the family as the only girl.
- The big boy in the family is such a doting kuya! And his affection for Anika and Rioco are very much rewarded with how much they want to be with him to play, to talk, or in Rioco’s case, even if just to look at him. While he is Anika’s idol and constant playmate, he is Rioco’s clown and entertainment.
- He is my willing and helpful assistant once everyone has left for work and it is just me and the kids left at home. He is my gofer and except for some kakulitan, he is excellent as my gofer!
- He is still as makulit and as hyper as ever. Not a day goes by that I do not lose my patience because of how hyperactive he is. He has had accidentally hurt people, scattered things, damaged items, and many more – all because of his kalikutan at kahyperan. And even though I still lose my patience everyday, I have come to accept his very active and energetic personality. I have accepted that it has nothing to do with behavior but has everything to do with temperament and personality. Everyday I remind myself that his hyperactivity, energy, and enthusiasm will be strengths someday for when he is truly on his own whether it is in school or his life beyond school. Despite my constant reminders for him to be quiet, to relax, to pay attention, and to focus, I know my Mateo will not be himself without these very distinct traits. The challenge is how to harness these for his benefit. So help me God
- Because of the traits I just described above, I was called by his class teacher for a meeting just a month into the school year. I was a very reserved and quiet girl in my grade school years so pray tell me, where is the justice in this? Hahahahaha! Still, despite paying attention to his teachers less than half the time, our boy is going through his subjects without a hitch (except for his Malay subject!) and even breezing through some of them. Nevertheless, it is a good thing that I am not a grade-conscious parent because I know that he can get higher marks if only he would apply himself further. I think that he is actually bored in many of his subjects which explains why he does not pay attention a lot of times.
- He is still very thin but growing taller. Lately, his appetite is growing and he seems to want to eat constantly. Despite the marked increase in appetite, he is still very thin and I think with the genes in my side of the family, he will continue to be thin until his college years. Hence, I have stopped frustrating over how thin he looks. He seems to have boundless energy and eating really well so I guess everything is okay in the health department.
- A few teachers have been telling Ramil that Mateo is a heartthrob. Apparently, a pretty classmate of his has been very vocal about her admiration for Mateo, going as far as telling everyone that he is her boyfriend. Hahahahaha! She would sometimes surprise him by kissing him on the cheek or on his head or even just throwing a flying kiss his way. He would also frequently receive notes from her, sometimes with a “Girl’sname *heart* Mateo” written on it. I think it is very adorable but since boys tend to go yuck over such things at this age, Mateo has been very vocal as well about his ‘disinterest’, hehehe! I have been constantly reminding him to just be nice even if he does not feel the same way towards the girl. I think it is way too early for any real boy-girl relationship talks so I just tell him to be nice to everyone including his classmate who has a crush on him.
- He continues to be a homebody. For as long as there is someone left at home, he will always choose to be left behind. Like a typical guy, he has no patience for window shopping or walking around in malls/supermarkets. Hehe!
Our little boy is not so little anymore and I always find myself praying for God to help me bring up a man who is smart, down to earth, respectful, and mindful. Sometimes I would see hints of the teenager that he will become or the man that he will become someday and I am eager to see him bloom and mature.
It has been a long time since I posted a long update on this blog and a lot has happened the past few months. We are all doing well and enjoying our family of five! Despite the fact that we did not really plan to have Rioco as early as we did, all of us have been doting on him and even Mateo and Anika seem to be so taken with him.
On the financial side, things are still tight (when is it not?!?!) especially with the many expenses (some of which are expected and some unexpected) we’ve had the past few months but Ramil and I have long ago learned that money should be the least of our worries. We just work our a**es off and then pray for divine providence :D
I think my blog deserves a proper update on each of us and to avoid a very long, boring post, I’ll just write several posts for each of us.
Anika has been showing a love for music. She can easily memorize lyrics of songs and she would often hum and sing. When we went home last December, she loved it whenever Ramil would play his guitar and she would often ask Ramil to play and sing with her. This is why Ramil is planning to buy a guitar here. Instead of bringing over his guitar from Pinas, he might as well buy a new one here since we don’t know if guitar cases would be allowed as checked-in baggage. With three kids between the two of us, hand-carrying it is not in our options. Hopefully, he gets to buy one soon because Anika will definitely love it.
It has been months since we last went swimming. If I recall correctly, it has been 10 months since I was last able to swim in a decent pool. Anika and Mateo has been settling for their small inflatable pool whenever they feel like going for a dip but I am suddenly eager to go swimming especially since we can actually have Rioco try it as well.
Just earlier today, I saw an expat living here who is selling their pool and pool deck. I am not sure if it includes some raypak pool heaters or some other kind of pool heater. The price is quite affordable too! If only I have sufficient spare money, I would definitely get it for us.
At 2 years and 5 months, Anika seems to be ready for school. The credit goes to her early exposure to the daily grinds of going to school courtesy of her Kuya Mateo and living with three teachers in the house. She would often adamantly announce ‘Anika is going to school’ and last year, when Mateo was in preschool, she would refuse to go out of Mateo’s classroom.
However, the earliest preschool level here accepts only those who are three years of age so Anika will have to wait until next year. My sister is thinking of enrolling her instead in baby ballet classes or music classes. Last night, a music school had an orientation in my sister’s school and she is really thinking about enrolling Anika. The fees are reasonable and the program is designed for toddlers to preschoolers. We won’t have to buy Moog Keyboards, guitars, violins, or any other musical instruments because the program focuses on developing music appreciation and just exposing the children to various instruments and musical elements.
Hopefully, Anika enjoys it and sees it as ‘going to school’. Formal schooling will have to wait until next year.