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pencil head creative studio is a team of young freelance writers and artists who love to do creative stuff, go to the beach, eat wonderful food, and take nice pictures. if you have any web content, graphic design, or flash animation needs, get in touch with us!

here is our website: http://pencil-head.com

our blog: http://pencilheadwriters.wordpress.com

our email: sayhello@pencil-head.com

and our phone number: +63 2 470 4450

we’d love to hear from you!! ūüėÄ

my kid worships spider-man, ben 10, iron man, and almost every¬†superhero he gets to watch on cartoon network or nickelodeon. he¬†would eat everything i tell him that these superheroes eat just so¬†he would get the same “superpowers” that they have. and by¬†everything, i mean even the bitter ampalaya that most kids love to¬†spit out.
but sometimes i want to tell him “hey kulot, the real superhero is¬†right in front of you!”
the octo-mom (no other than me, of course) has more superpowers¬†than all these superheroes combined. i mean, seriously, can ben 10¬†or iron man wash clothes, cook lunch, write 10 to 15 articles,¬†manage an online creative studio, clean the house, go grocery¬†shopping, pay the bills, take care of a tornado kid, and color disney¬†coloring¬†books all the same time? i doubt! (well, yeah, maybe flash can but¬†mikkel doesn’t know about him so shussh!)
on top of these, there are always those pleas for help:
“mom, i hurt my finger!”
“mahal, i can’t find my shirt!”
“mom, i’m hungry!”
“mahal, where is my shaver?”
“mom, my workbook is missing!”
despite the piles of work to do, i zoom and fly to rescue my two curly tops from whatever big or small problem they have.
being a working mom is not easy. and most of the time, your efforts¬†go unnoticed too. it’s like you’re expected to be a robot to¬†perform all these duties flawlessly that sometimes you just want to¬†scream, “hey, i am human too!”
but even if sometimes the feat seems too big even for a superhero,¬†it doesn’t matter. all it would take is a sweet thank you from¬†mikkel or a short hug from mike, and i’m back on my feet as the¬†octo-mom ready to save the day!

the sad thing about talent is that sometimes, it never gets discovered. it continues to be buried for such a long time that the owner of the talent never realizes that he has it. this does not need to happen with your child if only you would be able to provide excellent opportunitues for discovering his untapped gifts. how do you do that?

here are some effective ways i know:

1. let your kid play. play is child’s work. it is through play that he learns various skills and lessons crucial for his proper development. but aside from that, it is also through play that he learns where he is good at. make sure you give him the right educational toys to aid him in skill and talent discovery.

2. allow your kid to be himself. don’t expect your kid to grow up exactly the way you are. mikkel looks exactly like his dad but we never want to make the impression that he can only be good at things that mike or i are good at. i suck in math but if mikkel grows up to become a math whiz, why not?! while his dad is an artist, if mikkel grows up to become a scientist, we won’t stop him.

3. never pressure your kid. your kid is just a kid. if you make him do hundreds of extra-curricular activities a day just so he would become talented, you are only going to make him feel that all of these is a chore, instead of a great learning experience as what they are supposed to be. instead of enrolling him in piano lessons, basketball lessons, dance lessons, voice lessons, math lessons, and drawing lessons all at the same time, ask your kid what he really likes to do. also, make sure there is sufficient time left for family bonding time and for fun and games.

i can’t say i have successfully unraveled all of mikkel’s hidden talents but so far, i have learned that he is good in puzzles, and building blocks. he loves manipulating things and he has adept visual and memory skills. i also noticed that he has a penchant for photography just like his dad. i know mikkel will surprise me with more skills and talents as he grows up but all i want to do is to encourage (but never pressure) him to be the best in whatever he wants to become.

right from the moment your child came out into this world, you have been washed away with a sea of mixed emotions‚ÄĒhappiness, excitement, fear, amazement and worry. the very first time you saw him you could not help but feel a unique sense of joy that you did not know you were capable of feeling. at the same time, you have that persistent fear of what is ahead as you worry about things like disciplining your child and making sure that he grows up to be a person of moral values.

your fears begin to transform into reality once your child becomes a toddler. you see some changes in his attitude. from the tiny innocent baby, who does nothing but coos and cuddles with you, he slowly transforms into a toddler who begins to know about the world. soon, you notice that your child begins to cry more often or does not obey you anymore. to raise a child properly, here are some key disciplining pointers that every parent should know:

1. do not give in to your child’s every whim. many parents think that giving their child everything they want is a good way to express their love. but this is the biggest misconception when it comes to parenting. not giving your child everything is healthy as this will make him more grounded with the reality of life that he can never have everything that he wants and that he will not always have it his way. children raised this way grow up to be mature and level headed adults who can handle problems and disappointments with more ease than adults who were spoiled brats in their younger years.

2. be consistent with your rules. most children of today are very smart and they remember things quite easily. If you say no to him eating snacks before mealtime but allow him to have a couple of treats the next night, he will get a disoriented notion that rules can be broken. this will not stop him from breaking other rules that you set.

3. do not say ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ too much. this word is supposed to be used only for important matters like when your child is about to touch an electric outlet. using ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ too much will lose its sense of urgency.

4. be generous with praises and compliments. positive reinforcement of proper behavior and good manners is always more effective than punishment in forming your child’s moral values.

5. do not let the surroundings be tempting for him. If you have a child in the house, keep all things dangerous away from his reach. do not place your expensive China in a place near the play area and expect that you can just discipline him into not breaking it.

6. talk to your child often. communicating with your little one and instilling proper values such as saying thank you, please and excuse me is one of your prime duties as a parent.

7. distract to stop crying sprees. if your child cries to get what he wants, do not give in to the temptation of handing him the object of her crying session. instead, remove from her from the area and distract her to make her forget about it. giving him what he wants after he cries will reinforce this behavior and teach him to use this to wrap you around his finger.

8. spanking is never the answer. this violent manner of punishment may only cultivate aggressive behavior in your kid and give him the wrong idea that you can hurt anyone who makes mistakes. time-outs and negative punishment (removal of things that your kid likes to discourage a certain behavior) are more effective forms of discipline.

9. spend a lot of quality time with your child. this is probably the most important ingredient in raising your kid properly. do not allow yourself to be caught up with too much work and be sure that you set aside sufficient time for your little one.

being a parent is truly an extraordinary and wondrous feeling that you are lucky to be able to experience. it will never be an easy and smooth ride but you will know that all the challenges and problems you face along the way will be all worth it.

crymommy

babies cry all the time but so do moms! i cried when my baby came out into this world due to
pain, happiness, disbelief and so many more–i was a melting pot of emotions!
i cried when mikkel said his first word (dog!), when he ate his first solid meal, when he
took his first step, and when he sang his first song (it was during mass and people were
solemnly singing “our father,” mikkel joined in by singing the only song he knew, “happy
butdey”).
i cried buckets of tears the first time he said, “i yab yu ma” and i know i am going to flood
the church when my son gets married (hopefully with someone whom i i approve of! i can
imagine what a big monster-in-law i can become).
i’m a one big crymommy. i am more a crymommy than mikkel was ever a crybaby. i don’t know how
that happens. it’s like whenever mikkel does something, even the simplest, most ordinary feat
that he accomplishes, i feel a surge of emotion much more powerful than what my rationality
or logic can explain.
now i understand why i always caught my mom crying during moments that were supposed to be
happy. she cried during my first ever dance performance in school, she shed a tear or two
when i gave her a happy mother’s day card, and she uncontrollably sobbed whenever i or any of
my two brothers tell her we love her. up to now, she still does!
a mom’s love–it’s a happiness that’s beyond the laughable kind. you’d only get it when you
become a mom yourself ūüôā yes, when you become a parent, that is the only time that you will
ever begin to comprehend the enormity and depth of your parents’ love for you.

babies cry all the time but so do moms! i cried when my baby came out into this world due to¬†pain, happiness, disbelief and so many more–i was a melting pot of emotions!

i cried when mikkel said his first word (dog!), when he ate his first solid meal, when he¬†took his first step, and when he sang his first song (it was during mass and people were¬†solemnly singing “our father,” mikkel joined in by singing the only song he knew, “happy¬†butdey”).

DSC08891

i cried buckets of tears the first time he said, “i yab yu ma” and i know i am going to flood¬†the church when my son gets married (hopefully with someone whom i i approve of! i can¬†imagine what a big monster-in-law i can become).

i’m a one big crymommy. i am more a crymommy than mikkel was ever a crybaby. i don’t know how¬†that happens. it’s like whenever mikkel does something, even the simplest, most ordinary feat¬†that he accomplishes, i feel a surge of emotion much more powerful than what rationality¬†or logic can explain.

now i understand why i always caught my mom crying during moments that were supposed to be¬†happy. she cried during my first ever dance performance in school, she shed a tear or two¬†when i gave her a happy mother’s day card, and she uncontrollably sobbed whenever i or any of¬†my two brothers tell her we love her. up to now, she still does!

a mom’s love–it’s a happiness that’s beyond the laughable kind. you’d only get it when you¬†become a mom yourself :)when you become a parent, that is the only time that you will¬†ever begin to comprehend the enormity and depth of your parents’ love for you.

go places

go places, learn life
when i was a little kid, i heard my uncle bernie say that in order to travel, you need to have three
things: money, time and health. he said that when you’re young, you have time and health but not the
money; when you’re an adult and working, you have money and health but not the time; and when you’re
old, you have time and money but not health.
he made some people laugh when he quipped, “so while you’re still young, borrow money and travel!”
i was not born from a wealthy family and memories of childhood vacations were limited to nearby
beaches or seldom out-of-town trips. as a kid, i think the farthest i’ve gone to was baguio, and aside
from posing with native igorots, i hardly remember anything about it. not that i’m complaining, my
family was a happy bunch and that was all that mattered.
but of course, there were times when i would occasionally remember what my uncle said. even though our
family did not go to too many vacations, this did not at all discourage me from wanting to go
traveling. in fact, it only made me want to go places even more. i told myself that when i grow up, i
would travel to see the world. my goal back then was to visit at least one country or city from each
of the seven continents of the world. (back then, i did not know antarctica was a frozen land! all i
knew was that it was in the opposite direction of where santa lived.)
before i could do that, i knew i had to explore first what was in front of me. when i got halfway
through college, i began to do some short distance traveling with friends–tagaytay, antipolo, laguna,
bulacan, batangas, mindoro and so on.
loads of school work and one strict lola restricted my venture for exploration. i got away with it
once in a while as i would insert the words “attending a convention” or “doing investigative work”
whenever i asked for permission.
i felt bad about lying but i knew that lola would never understand. i was a restless soul and i got
itchy soles! (come to think of it, i probably got this from her as lola is a certified lakwatsera too!) at least, i always told her where i was going, i just could not explain the exact purpose of my trip.
when i started working, i went to see more places like quezon, boracay, and iloilo. it was only until
i was married that i was able to finally step out of the country and get that precious stamp on my
passport. my first out-of-the-country experience was 25 years in the making! (this time, i did not
have to concoct some weird alibi to lola. she was more than happy when she heard about our plan.)
our trip to hong kong was an adventure of all sorts and it was filled with so many bloopers. but i
don’t regret any of them because i learned so much from that experience. last month, we traveled to
cebu and bohol. bohol has that kind of beauty that would make you want to go back.
when mike i and go traveling, we don’t simply want to “travel.” i don’t want to go on guided tours and
have limited itinerary. i want to go on backpack adventures, gain different experiences, learn life
lessons, meet new people, and immerse myself into different cultures. i want to document our journey
of exploration through my writings and my husband’s photographs. i don’t even like shopping for
souvenirs as the memories i bring home are more than enough souvenir for me.
the best part of traveling for me is not the vacation itself but the moment when it is time to pack
our bags and bring home those special stories and memories i’ve gained from the trip. i intend to do
more traveling with my family in the future but it would depend on how our lives turn out. my dream destinations include maldives, india, africa, cayman islands, japan, switzerland, egypt, cambodia, dubai, italy, china, las vegas (i don’t like gambling but this is where my mom lives so i badly want to go here!) and jamaica.
my uncle was right about so many things about traveling. but instead of “borrowing” money, as he
jokingly advised, we save for it. mike and i have discovered the art of budget traveling where we are
able to go on trips while spending only a fraction of the cost that most people would normally spend
(see article, savvy tips from the budget traveler). after all, traveling is not about how much you
spend but how much you learn, it is not about money but people you travel with, people you meet, and
the experieces that you gain.

macau (13)when i was a little kid, i heard my uncle bernie say that in order to travel, you need to have three¬†things: money, time and health. he said that when you’re young, you have time and health but not the¬†money; when you’re an adult and working, you have money and health but not the time; and when you’re¬†old, you have time and money but not health.

i was not born from a wealthy family and memories of childhood vacations were limited to nearby¬†beaches or seldom out-of-town trips. as a kid, i think the farthest i’ve gone to was baguio, and aside¬†from posing with native igorots, i hardly remember anything about it. not that i’m complaining, my¬†family was a happy bunch and that was all that mattered.

but of course, there were times when i would occasionally remember what my uncle said. even though our family did not go to too many vacations, this did not at all discourage me from wanting to go traveling. in fact, it only made me want to go places even more. i told myself that when i grow up, i would travel to see the world. my goal back then was to visit at least one country or city from each of the seven continents of the world. (back then, i did not know antarctica was a frozen land! all i knew was that it was in the opposite direction of where santa lived.)

before i could do that, i knew i had to explore first what was in front of me. when i got halfway¬†through college, i began to do some short distance traveling with friends–tagaytay, antipolo, laguna,¬†bulacan, batangas, mindoro and so on.

loads of school work and one strict lola restricted my venture for exploration. i got away with it¬†once in a while as i would insert the words “attending a convention” or “doing investigative work”¬†whenever i asked for permission.

i felt bad about lying but i knew that lola would never understand. i was a restless soul and i got itchy soles! (come to think of it, i probably got this from her as lola is a certified lakwatsera too!) at least, i always told her where i was going, i just could not explain the exact purpose of my trip.

when i started working, i went to see more places like quezon, boracay, and iloilo. it was only until i was married that i was able to finally step out of the country and get that precious stamp on my passport. my first out-of-the-country experience was 25 years in the making! (this time, i did not have to concoct some weird alibi to lola. she was more than happy when she heard about our plan.)

our trip to hong kong was an adventure of all sorts and it was filled with so many bloopers. but i¬†don’t regret any of them because i learned so much from that experience. last month, we traveled to¬†cebu and bohol. bohol has that kind of beauty that would make you want to go back.

when mike i and go traveling, we don’t simply want to “travel.” i don’t want to go on guided tours and¬†have limited itinerary. i want to go on backpack adventures, gain different experiences, learn life¬†lessons, meet new people, and immerse myself into different cultures. i want to document our journey¬†of exploration through my writings and my husband’s photographs. i don’t even like shopping for¬†souvenirs as the memories i bring home are more than enough souvenir for me.

the best part of traveling for me is not the vacation itself but the moment when it is time to pack¬†our bags and bring home those special stories and memories i’ve gained from the trip. i intend to do¬†more traveling with my family in the future but it would depend on how our lives turn out. my dream destinations include maldives, india, africa, cayman islands, japan, switzerland, egypt, cambodia, dubai, italy, china, las vegas (i don’t like gambling but this is where my mom lives so i badly want to go here!) and jamaica.

i learned so many things about traveling from my uncle. it’s a good thing also that mike and i have discovered the art of budget traveling where we are able to go on trips while spending only a fraction of the cost that most people would normally spend¬†(see article, savvy tips from the budget traveler). after all, traveling is not about how much you¬†spend but how much you learn, it is not about money but people you travel with, people you meet, and¬†the experiences that you gain.

face of mischief

face of mischief

the mischievous smile says it all. there is no way you cannot tell that this kid is extremely makulit and hyper-active. even before mikkel came out into this world, he would kick from my inside so hard that i would let out a distressed grunt in the office loud enough for eveyrone to turn their heads at me and ask why.

“hehe, sumipa lang yung baby ko,” i’d reply sheepishly.

with eyebrows raised, they would go on, “ganun kalakas?”

i’d just shrug my shoulders.

that time i already knew what was in store for me. good thing, i had sufficient training from taking care of two little brothers who made it a daily activity to turn our place into a madhouse with their kakulitan. they climbed, ran around, banged the walls, jumped like crazy, tormented me whenever they had the chance, screamed at the top of their lungs and did everything to exhaust their excessive energy.

i remember the story when my uncle was talking on the phone with his friend while my brothers rambled in the background. the friend actually thought there was a party going on in the house and he wasn’t invited. yeah, the two mokongs had the energy of a crowd.

i think it’s only apt that i thank my two brothers for getting on my nerves during the early years of my life for they have made motherhood somewhat easier for me. ūüėÄ