Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pacquiao Did It

He did it. Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao won by TKO against Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya who threw in the towel in the ninth round.

It was a lopsided fight, with Pacquiao winning all of eight rounds. De La Hoya looked old, tired and battered after the match. He was put into a corner several times and could only put up his arms in defense. Manny had peppered him with punches and managed to connect 58% of them.

Poor Golden Boy.

My mom and I were shouting and jumping and screaming while watching the fight live online. Kowi and Kuya had to run into the room to check on us. We really shouted our tonsils out.

Freddie Roach said it in several interviews. He had predicted a ninth-round TKO win for the Mexicutioner. And it happened.

Maybe Roach should also consider a career in fortune telling. Just a suggestion.

De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao

It is called the "Dream Match" although most sports critics would disagree. If you've been living under a rock, I'm talking about De La Hoya and Pacquiao's boxing match tonight at the MGM Grand.

Of course, I'm rooting for the Pacman. He's the best pound-for-pound fighter today. Although clearly smaller than De La Hoya by 4 inches and at least 6 inches in reach, I am really hoping that he'll pull a victory tonight. It'll be great if it's a TKO.

Well, we'll find out soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Presidential Parenting


I found this article by Sara Kugler very interesting.

It seems that Sasha and Malia Obama are not exempted from doing chores even in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Being the presidential daughters (and having access to all kinds of household help) does not give them the license to neglect fixing their beds or cleaning up. And with the hunt for the new presidential dog, walking the dog and scooping the poop would be on the to-do list soon.

Apparently, First Lady Michelle Obama is trying to work out a plan with the White House staff to get the kids to do their chores.

This is a great day for parents, especially the moms. Hooray! This is what I call presidential parenting.

Now, I can safely say this to Kuya and Kowi: If the leader of the free world can get his daughters to clean up and fix their beds..."

Channeling Martha

I’ve been holding on to quite a few Christmas brooches for three years. My pack rat grandmother finally decided to get rid of her personal storage unit and sent them over in several batches of balikbayan boxes. I kept the brooches for no apparent reason.

While decorating the house for the holidays, I found them in a Tupperware container. The time has arrived to put them to good use. To be honest, I haven’t a clue what to do with them.

I spent several days leafing over my Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Southern Living magazines. If I could just find some sort of inspiration -- just one picture to copy from. Haha. And I did.

Voila! Introducing my first DIY Christmas wreath. Most of the materials I already had at hand, the straw wreath, green garland, ribbons, twist wire, small disco balls and the Christmas brooches. I just hot glued the garland and disco balls together and stuck the brooches into the straw wreath and pinned a red ribbon on it.

I am officially announcing my Christmas wreath will grace the front door starting December 1st. (And rightfully so, don’t you think?)

Hubby was delighted that I am, at last, channeling my inner Martha Stewart. And he’s expecting a few more DIY projects for the holidays. Oh no!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cafe Living Room

Hubby stayed home for eight days after his three-month stint. It was just in time for Kuya's school vacation. Being the November holidays, family schedules were jammed. We tried to fit everything we could in a few days day to spend more time at home and with each other. It was really mission: impossible.

I wanted him to stay home to do a couple of home maintenance projects with me. But more than that, I just missed having him home and being with the kids. I gladly took a back seat for a couple of days and let him be in charge of everything.

Night times are my favorite. I think we may have even developed a ritual. We'll put the kids to sleep before 9 pm. I'll make a cup of coffee for him and a cup of tea for me. We'll sit in the living room with only the Tiffany lamp as light. And we'll talk about the kids, the house, our plans or reminisce about the past. He jokingly refers to this as, "Cafe Living Room." It sure beats Starbucks even if he's just having instant coffee.

Now, he's back at work. And we're back to the original routine which is seeing him one night a week and on the weekends he's off duty. I suddenly realize that eight days is short. I had hoped to do more home projects with him or just to do more stuff with the kids. It ended too soon.

Three days a week isn't too bad. I think it makes us appreciate our family even more. The kids are excited when they know he's coming home. "Yay, Dad's coming!" Kuya will bring out stuff he made in school. Kowi will show off the new nursery rhyme she learned.

But I especially look forward to the opening of the Cafe Living Room. When he has plans to come home, he calls to ask if there's coffee. Instant coffee or not, Cafe Living Room will be brewing--something. Somehow having only the Tiffany lamp for company is not the same.

Yes, I'll gladly take those couple of days a week that he's home any day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Bite Of Twilight

There is a very BIG buzz about the movie, Twilight, which is due in theaters in roughly a few hours. It is based on the book series by Stephenie Meyer who apparently was inspired to write after a vivid dream. Twilight is about the young but forbidden romance between Bella and Edward. Yes, forbidden because Edward is a vampire. This is the extent of my knowledge.

I don't know if I can get myself to start reading the saga. Vampires really freak me out. In college, Anne Rice was a favorite author among my classmates. I couldn't even pick up a copy of Interview With A Vampire and buy one! But I did watch the movie and fell asleep through most of it.

Actually a lot of things freak me out. The Sixth Sense didn't make me sleep for a whole week. After watching it I had to call my parents (they were out of town) at 2 am. My dad had a paperback of The Shining and I could even look at it because of the yellow eyes on the cover! After reading The Red Dragon, I walked flushed to the wall to make sure no one was behind me when I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.

But with all the hype with the Twilight movie showing and all maybe I can muster enough courage to watch it. Or I just may sink my teeth into reading the book. Who knows?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funnly Little Quote

As I was surfing the Net, I saw this funny little quote:

"Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway."

It is incredible funny yet so profound. Life really is too short to get caught up in the details. Women, especially moms, tend to think about everything and everyone at once. We're always rushing along through life that we could miss out on the simple yet important things in life like savoring that cuppa joe (or Nesvita in my case.)

Indeed, life is too short for the nitty-gritty. Stop and smell the flowers. Spend the whole day in jammies. Eat PB&J for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Carpe diem!

Who would've thought that a funny little quote could make me think about life?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do It Myself

Every time Hubby goes away on his eight-week trips, the kids and I stay in the house. We don’t get to travel with him as much as we would like. But when he returns, we get to back to our routine, which is seeing him on the three weekends a month and one night on weeknights plus special occasions if applicable.

There are a few disadvantages to Hubby being away. Aside from me and the kids missing him, there are jobs around the house that a stay-at-home mom’s touch can’t cure. There are just things that he can do better just because he can. One prime example is opening of jars and bottles. He has the firmer grip so he can open them easily. I miss him when I can’t do it myself, like opening a jar of peanut butter.

Busted light bulbs have to wait for Hubby’s return before replacement. Although we have a four-step ladder on hand for purposes like this, I can never get around to changing them. I just put that on Hubby’s to-do list when he comes home.

I know that some things I just have to do myself and can’t wait eight weeks. Information like unclogging drains and toilets, I am finding out, is a must for stay-at-home moms like me. I am getting to know Mr. Plunger quite well these days.

Stay-at-home moms really need to be DIY experts. With two curious kids and a military Hubby that takes eight-week trips two to three times a year, I can’t afford to hold off important house maintainance until he returns. So it’s either I become adept at DIY or know of a really good handyperson to call for emergencies.

For now, I’m learning to do it myself…
and storing an important phone number on my cell phone just in case. You never know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recycling Gifts

My Christmas list this year is long. And I haven't started on my Christmas shopping yet. But I've unearthed a few things in the attic that just might be "recycled" and "passed on" for Christmas this year. So, in effect, I have shaved off a few names from The List without spending a dime.

Yes, it maybe tacky to think but I recycle gifts every now and then. There are times when I'm stuck with several variants of something when I only need one or when I got one when I don't need it or I got one when I certainly DO NOT want one. Instead of letting it go to waste (or gather dust in the attic), it maybe a better idea to pass it on for others to enjoy. Or just get it out of the house.

However, there are a few rules I follow on recycling gifts.

1. Never recycle perishable food items. Or at least recycle them quickly. But fruitcakes are another thing, they have a shelf life of a century, give an take a few months.

2. I recycle only brand new, unused, unopened items given as a gift or brand new, unused, unopened items purchased during a temporary moment of weakness (or madness or sale frenzy.)

3. I give away secondhand items to family and friends who need it and not pass it on as a gift. I want a reaction of "Thank you lots" not "Are you nuts?" Or it'll be banished to the attic until the next garage sale.

4. Items with sentimental value are never recycled. Hubby would have my head.

5. I try to keep track of who gave what to avoid giving a gift back to the original giver. Talk about embarassing!

6. Open gift wrappers very carefully to prevent tears or open just enough to see whether you want to keep it. This makes rewrapping so much easier. However, make sure that the giver is not present. Otherwise, open the gift with gusto and then put it in another box and rewrap at an appropirate time.

7. T try to remove all cards, notes, inscription or anything that might reveal my recycling scheme. Be very thorough. Break the seal if you have to.

These tips are valuable after Christmas, when I get that 100th candle, mug, towel and fruitcake.

An Interesting Observation

Kowi said the funniest thing the other day.

"Mommy, you know, when I feel weewee in my peepee, I dance with no music. Like this..." And then she did the jig.

I laughed so hard I almost peed myself.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Themed Christmas Party

kids cowboy costume westernLast year, my Dad's class decided to change the annual Christmas party from the traditional (aka BORING) to a themed party. The first theme was western.

My Dad was so excited that he brought out all his western-inspired accessories a few weeks before the party. He even went on a cowboy shopping spree for a few items like bandannas to make the Old West come to life. Kuya scored jeans, suspenders and a checkered long sleeved shirt in the process.

But all that shopping wasn't in vain. Kuya won the best in costume! My Dad was ecstatic.

This year, I heard from my Dad that the class decided on a 70s theme inspired by "Mama Mia" and the return of ABBA. Apparently, my mom and a few other class moms are doing a not-so-secret song and dance number to ABBA hits. I guess we'll be expecting blondes, glitter spandex and knee-high boots this December. With most of my Dad's classmates and their wives in their 60s--hmm...

I am, however, excited to dress up the kids in retro. I'm thinking a flower power hippie for Kowi and an afro wig for Kuya. Haha. That'll be fun! What will Hubby and I wear? For sure your won't be seeing us in spandex any time soon. Not in a million years.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Ready For Christmas

It's less than 50 days before Christmas and I haven't done ANY shopping yet. The LOOOONG Christmas list has been ready since midyear but I haven't gotten around to getting some retail therapy.

Every year I say to Hubby that I will start my Christmas shopping in June. And every year I start shopping just in time for the long lines at the cashier and the when the Christmas shopping frenzy is at its peak--just like a New Year resolution gone bad.

However, seeing all that clutter disappear during the garage sale inspired us to decorate for Christmas. I brought out my Nativity set, collection of Santa Claus, and started to put them around the house. Upon careful examination, the house still needs a few more Christmas-y items like wreaths and candy cane. Hmmm, we'll see.

I also bought a book called, "The First Christmas" to let the kids know about (ahem) the First Christmas. I read this to them last night and they loved it. They even rearranged the Nativity set and look to it often for reference. I can't wait to read "A Night Before Christmas" to the kids tonight. Hopefully, they won't rearrange my Santa Claus collection after that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Being Out Of The Blogosphere Made Me...

It seems that my last post was ages ago. In truth, it was like two weeks. But in the blogosphere two weeks is a long, long, LONG time.

A lot of things kept me busy. I did a repeat of the garage sale. Yes, my second day wasn't as successful in sales as the first because it was the same stuff from the previous one. I did add a few things to the inventory, things that I had labeled as "not sure if I should sell but probably should." Finally, I mustered the strength to give them up. Although I didn't get as much as the previous garage sale, I was successful in getting rid of the stuff that we had accumulated from almost 8 years of marriage (give and take a few items before that). It took me two years to get it all out of the attic!

With all the stuff gone, the next step was to re-organize the whole house. I took out a lot of stuff and now had to clean, sort, sweep, sanitize everything that is left. The funny thing is that I found a lot of items that I had kept but forgotten like notes, unopened gifts, craft materials. I had to keep some but disposed most of them at the yard sale.

The great thing about having a yard sale aside from earning extra bucks is that I got rid of 5 balikbayan boxes of stuff that was gathering dust. My attic is now inhabitable. Plus I lost a bit of weight in the process. Imagine lugging, pushing, dragging boxes up and down the stairs. It sure beats the gym.

Oh, and Hubby was pleased that the house was clutter-free and clean when he got home last Friday (Another reason why I am away from the blogosphere). LOL

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just Like A Sponge

I left Kowi to stay at my mom's house for one whole morning. My mom and my brother had the task of keeping her entertained while I indulged in some "me time." When I got back after lunch, I saw my brother and Kowi at the door. The first thing that Kowi said to me was, "Hey, dude!" I was shocked. She has never said hey and dude in the same sentence.

I immediately turned to my brother and asked him what he watched while I was away. He sheepishly said, "Harold and Kumar." I tried to give him my best disapproving look, the one I give to my kids. When Kowi saw this she said, "Cool, dude!" and then went into the room. My brother and I just laughed.

I reminded him that kids this age absorb things pretty quickly, just like a sponge. Anything that he says, shows and does will register in Kowi's mind. And the likelihood of repeating this new info will be high, permanently sealing it in her mind.

Good thing that "hey, dude" and "cool, dude" were the only ones she took away from watching "Harold and Kumar"...or is it? Oh, no! I am dreading to find out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Bad For A Day's Work

I've been in and out of the blogosphere for a while due to several reasons. One of them is organizing my house (the attic in particular) for a yard sale. Yes, it has taken me a loooong time to get things together. It's hard to move around on your own with Kowi in tow. And a few "activities of daily living" prevent me from sorting the Stuff as much as I'd like.

And then there's the difficulty of parting with things. I sometimes catch myself taking back a few items I've already labelled for sale. Some of the Stuff had certain memories attached to them but Kowi reminds me, "We're selling that, mom." The three-year-old voice of reason.

I guess my enthusiam to get rid of Stuff and simplify started to rub off on Kuya and Kowi as well. They started to go through their toys and picked out the ones they didn't like so much. Most of it were stuffed toys and Happy Meal toys.

Our itinerary for the sale was like this: Thursday, make posters with kids. Friday, put up posters around the village (Kowi liked doing this.) Saturday, make breakfast early and haul the Stuff to the garage.

We were in operation by 8am. The kids were excited to see the neighbors/buyers. Kowi even said, "Mom, we're having a garage party!" And by the close of the shop at 3pm, I had over Php 4,000 in profit just from the Stuff we had around the house. Not bad for a day's work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday 13 #5

thursday thirteenFavorite Movies of the 80s (fer sure!)

I grew up in the 80s watching these films. It was nice to reminisce.

13. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)- Chris Parker agrees to babysit three kids for the day. Against her better judgement, she ends up taking the kids on a wild ride to the city to rescue Brenda. Oh, there's a cameo by Thor. "Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues."

12. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)- Pardon my French, but only Ferris Bueller can fake an illness, watch a baseball game, eat in an upscale restaurant, sing at a parade, visit an art gallery, wreck a 1961 Ferrari and be home by 6pm. "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

11. Pretty In Pink (1986) - Andie is from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with the rich and popular Blaine.

10. Cloak & Dagger (1984) - Davey finds himself in the middle of real-life espionage when he gets hold of a video game containing top secret data. Kim and Davey must run from the bad guys, relying only on themselves and imaginary hero, Jack Flack, to save their skins. In the end, Davey's very busy dad saves the day. "Jack Flack always escapes."

9. The NeverEnding Story (1984) - Bastian finds an old book with the story of warrior Atreyu and his attempts to save the land of Fantasia from destruction. With memorable characters like Falcor the flying luckdragon, the Childlike Empress, the sneezing turtle Morla, it's a fun adventure movie that promotes reading and imagination. "Fantasia can arise anew, from your dreams and wishes, Bastian."

8. Labyrinth (1986) - Sarah is asked to look after baby Toby one night. She inadvertently wishes him to the goblins using a spell from a book. She now has 12 hours to go through the Labyrinth to find the castle of the Goblin-King Jareth to save Toby before he turns into a goblin. "I can bear it no longer! Goblin King! Wherever you may be, take this child of mine far away from me!"

7. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) Airheads Bill and Ted go on an excellent adventure (surprise) with man from the future, Rufus, in a phone booth. They go back in time to meet some of the most notable people in history and bring them to the future to pass their oral exam. "Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!"

6. Romancing the Stone (1984) - Romance novelist Joane Wilder finds herself in the heart of Colombia to save her sister. She is saved by low life Jack Colton while dodging bullets, bonding over a mudslide and sailing the rapids in a car. "What did you do, wake up this morning and say, today, I'm going to ruin a man's life?"

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)- Set in the 1960s, Baby and her family attend a resort for the summer. She falls in love with sexy dance instructor, Johnny, and learned how to dance. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

4. Beetle Juice (1988) - Adam and Barbara, a dead couple, find themselves haunting their house in order to scare away a family who has moved in. They ask people exorciser Beetle Juice for help. They end up saving the family and sending Beetle Juice away. "I'm the ghost with the most, babe."

3. Top Gun(1986) - Maverick is a Top Gun Naval Flying School student with an attitude. He tries to be the best fighter pilot but is shadowed by his father's alleged mistake. "I feel the need, the need for speed."

2. Back to the Future (1985) - Marty McFly goes back in time to save his crazy professor. He ends up dating his mom, scaring his dad and making them fall in love. He goes back to the future and turns his life around.

1. Karate Kid (1984) - New kid on the block, Daniel, is trying to fit in. He falls in love and is bullied by the a gang of Karate champs who make his life hell. Mr. Miyage agrees to teach him Karate through various home improvement projects like painting the fence. "Wax on, wax off"

The 80s were so great that I couldn't limit my choices to just 13. =)

Runners Up:

The Last Starfighter
The Princess Bride
The Goonies
Die Hard
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Tootsie
Splash

Something Fishy

fish foot spa

Monday, October 13, 2008

Red Roses

Thanks for the red roses, MM!

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.

2. Link the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of the bloggers you've nominated.

I'm sharing these roses to everyone. We all deserve one.

Somebody Said...

I saw this somewhere. Just thought it was worth sharing.

Somebody said a mother is an unskilled laborer;
Somebody never gave a squirmy infant a bath.

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby;
Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history.

Somebody said a mother's job consists of wiping noses and changing diapers;
Somebody doesn't know that a child is much more than the shell he lives in.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct;
Somebody never took a three year old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring;
Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a permit.

Somebody said teachers and pediatricians know more about children than their mothers;
Somebody hasn't invested her heart in another human being.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out” okay;
Somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said being a mother is what you do in your spare time;
Somebody doesn't know that when you're a mother, you're a mother all the time.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices;
Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother;
Somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first;
Somebody doesn't have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to child-rearing questions in the books;

Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery;
Somebody never watched her “baby” get on the bus for the first day of Kindergarten.

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back;
Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married;
Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home;
Somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said being a mother is a side dish on the plate of life;.
Somebody doesn't know what fills you up.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her;
Somebody isn't a mother.

- Author unknown

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday 13 # 4

thursday thirteen
Ways To Save Money


I've been dreading to watch the news for these past few days and with good reason. It's all about how the world's economy is slowing down and how the financial markets are taking a dive.

Of course, this affects the common folk like me even if I'm thousands of miles away from Wall Street. As they say, (and I've heard from different sources many times this week) when Uncle Sam sneezes, the world will get a cold.

So, here are thirteen ways I'm saving money and stocking up on vitamin C.

13. Recycle.

12. Cook at home.

11. Shop on Ebay.

10. Sell my clutter on Ebay.

9. Stick to it -- the budget, the grocery list.

8. Leave credit cards at home.

7. Cut fuel expenses by scheduling errands and appointments.

6. Improve my DIY skills.

5. Cancel cable. (Or I'm considering it.)

4. Plan, plan, plan ahead.

3. Use compact fluorescent lamps.

2. Learn to say NO -- to designer brands, to whiny kids at the mall and to keeping up with the current trends.

1. Simplify.

Good luck to all of us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tina Fey is Dead On

tina fey as sarah palinI've been watching clips of Saturday Night Live (SNL) and their spoofs on the current U.S. Presidential campaign.

Tina Fey's return on SNL this season has everyone raving. Her dead on impersonation of Gov. Sarah Palin is so funny, it's actually disturbing. In fact, there are times when I can't even tell which is which anymore, especially when the TV's on mute.

The VP debate episode in the recent SNL was so hilarious. Queen Latifah was so good as PBS journalist Gwen Iffil. Kudos also to Jason Sudeikis who played Sen. Joe Biden. However, I must say that the spotlight belonged to the two ladies.

I'm sure SNL is on a roll this campaign season. They definitely have a lot of material to work on. I can't wait to see what they come up with this Saturday.

Second Attempt Crashed And Burned

In my 32 years of life, I have sampled my Dad's cooking only once. I guess it was with good reason. His first attempt to cook was a nutritionist's nightmare--and he was just cooking hotdogs.

If you think no one can flub pan-frying hotdogs, you're wrong. My Dad did. He fried them with the individual plastic wrapper still intact. And served the blackened, plastic-wrapped hotdogs to us, his precious children! The funny thing was that he insisted that plastic had nutritional value.

His second attempt to cook last Saturday literally crashed and burned. He was frying tapa, which is tasty dried beef, and had a senior moment. He left the tapa cooking in the pan while he went to his room to watch Harold and Kumar with my brother!

Good thing my brother went out and smelled something burning. He immediately ran to the kitchen to see the it almost half-filled with smoke and turned off the stove. When my Mom learned about it, she was livid and ignored my Dad the whole night.

My Dad officially has AAADD (Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder). And I think he's entitled to it as long as he stays away from the kitchen.

Finding People For The Reunion

Time really flies. By December, my batch mates and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary after college. And we'll be celebrating with a big reunion.

After graduation, I’ve kept in touch with a select group of friends. And they’re all going. However, there are a few classmates and friends that I've lost contact with over the years. Hopefully, they’ll attend. It’ll be fun to see how we've all changed and reminisce with them again.

A few friends already living in the U.S. and Canada are flying in for the holidays. The mastermind behind the reunion got hold of them through a free people locator online service, which is so great. She just typed in the name and state, and viola, an address and phone number was provided. It was that easy.

Now the difficult part is figuring out what to wear. I have a few weeks to find something. Hopefully, that’ll be enough.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Starting To Simplify

Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have experienced the difficulty of managing the house and the kids alone and all on a budget of a military wife. And I will not trade it for anything else. However, I must admit that I am still finding the groove.

I read in an article somewhere online that one thing a stay-at-home mom should know is how to get organized and start to simplify. In other words, get rid of stuff. With almost eight years of marriage, accumulations of life pile up and I find that we own a lot of things that we no longer need or use.

Yes, I confess, we still have a VHS, a laser disc and VCD player in the attic somewhere. I'm pretty sure there are other obsolete gadgets like my college beeper in there, too. Not to mention Betamax, VHS tapes and sets of encyclopedia just waiting to be rediscovered.

Now, I'm making a deal with myself to get rid of stuff before new stuff comes via gifts this Christmas. I'm starting to make a mental list of things give away like the encyclopedia set and a couple of books to the local elementary school, old clothes and shoes to the church. The rest I'm selling on EBay. And most will end up my planned yard sale that is a year overdue. (Yes, Hubby, it will take place his month!)

My watch tells me that it's 12:27 in the morning. Hopefully I'll remember this deal when I wake up later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Give Them Toys But...

My kids have a little quirk--they don't play with toys.

Don't get me wrong, they have loads of toys. In fact, I have banished several toys they got from last Christmas to the attic. Many of them are still untouched and wrapped. Along with them are other old toys that I have confiscated. My kids seem to have forgotten about them.

These days, instead of toys, they play with a lot of other stuff--empty paper towel rolls, bottle caps, loose microwaveable containers, strings, and other odds and ends scavenged during trips. The Ben 10 Happy Meal toys of Kuya and Kowi's PowerPuff dolls are starting to gather dust.

We've sailed the seven seas looking for pirate treasure, gone camping in the deep woods and joined the Queen's grand parade while eating Kowi's "mini strawberry" soup all from the comfort of our house.

I'm glad I have pretty imaginative (and very cheap) kids. I'm wondering how I can ask people to give money to my kids instead of toys this Christmas. Haha.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No More Janina

It's official: Controvertial beauty queen Janina San Miguel gave up her crown as the reigning Binibining Pilipinas World and her slot in the Miss World 2008 pageant. The Binibining Pilipinas Charities has confirmed that Janina resigned due to personal reasons and the death of her grandfather.

This gives 1st runner-up Danielle CastaƱo the opportunity to represent the country in Johannesburg this December. I certainly hope she's better than Janina at the Q&A portion.

Although I was sad for Janina when she became the country's laughingstock, I was shocked that she won a title at all. Yes, her answer was filled with lots of hahas and ahms, the P and F interchange was prominent, subject-verb agreement disagreed and, frankly, she didn't utter a single coherent sentence in English. Why did she win?

Why didn't she just request for an interpreter? European and Latin American candidates do it all the time. Although it might be weird to ask for a Filipino-English interpreter in your own country's pageant. Hmm...

Better still, she could've just the answered the question in Filipino. What's wrong with that?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cats In Hats

Kuya had their Mufti Day at school last Friday. The theme this month was to come as their favorite literary character.

He initially wanted to wear his Spiderman costume. But from last year's experience, most boys came in assuper heroes and most girls were fairies and princesses. In last year's class alone they had 5 Supermen, 3 Flash(es?), several Batmen and 1 Green Lantern. I wanted Kuya to wear something unique and easily recognizable.

I asked him to name a book that we read during bedtime and choose a character from there. A lightbulb went on and he decided to go as the Cat in the Hat. Not a bad choice. It was unique and something that we could make together.

We bought red and white felt paper and construction paper to make the hat, a red ribbon, black shirt and pants, white gloves and penciled-on whiskers and viola--our version of Cat in the Hat. We had fun making it, although Kuya had a bit too much by taping all the discarded paper together and finishing a whole roll of scotchtape!

We made two hats. Of course, Kowi had to have one--just like her Kuya.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Watching The Wanders

wanders at pagcorWe had the opportunity to watch the Wanders at PACGOR Casino last Wednesday night. We didn't expect a lot of people for the show but a long queue had already formed by 8pm. All the seats were occupied and people were already sitting in the middle aisles just to watch. The show started promptly at 8:30.

Kuya and Kowi were excited to see acrobats. And they weren't disappointed. It was really a feast for the senses. Kowi fell asleep halfway through the program. But she got to see La Vie En Rose and loved it. Kuya was rolling with laughter at the Wander's rendition of Stomp. A bunch of guys in black and neon masks beating the drums under black light was his favorite part of the program.

Cameras aren't allowed inside the casino. So we had the official photographer take our picture as a souvenir. This was around 10 pm, after the show. My eyes look a bit puffy. It was almost past my bedtime, too.


You can still catch the Wanders every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the PAGCOR Grand Theater, Airport Casino. Apparently they'll be performing until the end of the year. Tickets are available at Ticket World.

This is not a sponsored post. Too bad. Haha. Hopefully, Hubby can watch this when he returns next month. His sister is an understudy for one of the singers. But she wasn't there last Wednesday.

And She's Off

My sister is flying in an airplane and jetting off as I am typing. She finally got her Norwegian visa two weeks ago and now she is off to Norway via Amsterdam.

For the past few weekends, we have been going around town buying things for her trip. We scoured the local vintage shops for bubble jackets, long-sleeved shirts, anything thick to keep her warm for the coming winter months. We hit the jackpot after only two weeks of hunting with a soft brown bubble jacket with faux fur trim hood which we got for a steal at Php 150.00!

Of course, with every mall hit, we'd eat like crazy. Takuyaki balls, siomai, rice toppings, baked zitti. She has also been eating grilled bangus consistently. My budget has been somewhat strained because of our escapades since I have two kids in tow. And Kuya eats a full meal on his own, sometimes with mandatory dessert.

A couple of months ago my sister was at the crossroads of either going to the U.S. or Norway. Although it was the road less traveled, I suggested that she try it out in Norway. She can always opt to go to the U.S. any time she wishes. My reason was that Tina, her best friend, and her family are there to take good care of her. Yes, we do have relatives in the States, but I've seen how Tina and her family treats my sister. She will be staying with her second family, so it's still home away from here.

The sad part is, aside from her being gone for a few years, is that we won't be able to go to Norway whenever we feel like it unlike in the States. One good thing, though, is that I might be able to lose a couple of pounds with her gone.
I'll miss you, little sister. No more weekend food trips and storming the buy 1-take 1 vintage shops. I know you're in good hands, but yes, I'm still crying. See you in the little box soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Smell Like Grass--And I Likey

grass cucumber cedarwood bench body sprayThe first time I used cologne was in high school. I was very fond of using JBC regular scent (Johnson's Baby Cologne) and I thought that there was no other smell quite like it. Very light and quite nice for every day use. Then I discovered Angel's Breath. I love that scent. Although other "Angel's" have sprouted, I think that Angel's Breath is still the best smelling of all.

In high school senior year, I was using Denenes and used to buy it in really big bottles. I would just transfer small amounts into my atomizer for my bag. I remember my Ninang Mildred even took home my atomizer becasue she loved that smell so much. There were also times when I used Nenuco and Para Mi Bebe, but I would always return to JBC after a while.

I discovered Gap Grass in the mid 1990s when a friend gave me a little metal canister as a gift for my birthday. I sooo love the smell. Not "matronly" floral and not "sweet sixteen sweet." It was just right for any occasion. But somehow I never got a refill. Apparently I was the only one who wanted to smell like my mom's lawn.

And now Bench has it's own version, Grass Cucumber Cedarwood. I am sooo loving it. Just bought my second bottle and I'm not getting tired the scent at all. I absolutely love smelling like freshly cut, wet grass. And the fact that it's only Php 160.00 ($3.50) doesn't hurt a bit.

iLASIK Is Life Changing

My family has a history of bad eyesight. Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism -- you name it and a family member has it. In fact, even Hubby had to wear corrective prescription eyeglasses at one point. Good thing he still got into the naval pilot training program.

I've heard about LASIK technology and how it has changed lives with its success. A good family friend recently had LASIK surgery and is raving about how he can now read the fine print each and every time. I was surprised to know that there is an upgrade to this procedure that now uses two lasers instead of one to treat vision problems.

When I read the modern LASIK information, it was comforting to know that approximately 32 million LASIK procedures have been performed to date with at least 95% of U.S military personnel achieving 20/20 vision. It is the most common elective vision procedure in the U.S. So it virtually proven to be effective and safe.

It works by first using a software to evaluate the vision imperfection, making an individual blueprint of what has to be done. Then the first laser creates a thin flap around the cornea. Using your individual blueprint, the second laser makes the correction to your cornea. The procedure only takes 10 minutes for each eye and is virtually painless.

As with any medical procedure, the modern LASIK treatment comes with a few risks. It is better to talk to a medical professional to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK technology.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

2008 Emmy Winners

The Emmy Awards were shown live here this morning. I missed it. We had a total of seven short brownouts today. Thank God for reruns. I'm definitely watching, just to see what the celebs wore at the red carpet. Haha.

So, the Emmy goes to...

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Jean Smart, Samantha Who
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Zeljko Ivanek
Directing for a variety, music or comedy program: Louis J. Horvitz– 80th annual Academy Awards
Best supporting actress in a Drama: Diane Wiest, “In Treatment”

Best writing for a variety, music or comedy program: The Colbert Report
Best Comedy Writing: Tommy Smothers– Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Best lead actress in a miniseries or movie: Laura Linney,” John Adams”
Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Outstanding Guest Actor/Comedy Series: Tim Conway for “30 Rock”
Outstanding Guest Actress/Comedy Series: Kathryn Joosten for “Desperate Housewives”
Outstanding Director/Comedy Series: Barry Sonnenfield “Pushing Daises”
Outstanding Writer/Comedy Series: Tina Fey “30 Rock”
Outstanding ‘Made for Television’ Movie: Recount
Outstanding Supporting Actor/Mini-Series: Tom Wilkinson “John Adams”

Directing/Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Jay Roach “Recount”
Writing/Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Kirk Ellis “John Adams”
Supporting Actress/MiniSerires or Movie: Eileen Atkins “Cranford(Masterpiece)”
Outstanding Reality Show Competition: The Amazing Race
Oustanding Miniseries or Movie: “John Adams”

Individual Performance: Variety or Music Program: Don Rickles “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project”
Guest Actor/Drama Series: Glynn Turman “In Treatment”
Guest Actress/Drama Series: Cynthia Nixon “Law and Order”
Outstanding Director/Drama Series: Greg Yaitanes “House”
Outstanding Writing/Drama Series: Matthew Weiner “Mad Men”

Outstanding Lead Actor/Miniseries or Movie: Paul Giamatti “John Adams”
Outstanding Lead Actor/Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin “30 Rock”
Outstanding Lead Actress/Drama Series: Glenn Close “Damages”
Outstanding Lead Actor Drama Series: Brian Cranston “Breaking Bad”
Outstanding Lead Actress/Comedy Series: Tina Fey “30 Rock”

Outstanding Reality TV Host: Jeff Probst “Survivor”
Outstanding Comedy Series: 30 Rock
Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men

Overall, I was disappointed. My bets didn't win. I wanted Hugh Laurie to win so bad. I'm a big "House" fan. I was also rooting for Kristin Chenoweth of "Pushing Daisies." I find her sooo funny. Jeremy Piven won his third Emmy for playing agent Ari in Entourage. Good for him. "30 Rock" rocked the Emmy's by being the big winner. I find Tina Fey very funny. Paul Giamatti was no surprise. He's really quite a good actor. Loved him in "Sideways."

Getting Ready For Halloween

Kuya wants to dress up as Ben 10 for Halloween this year. But finding a Ben 10 costume (white shirt with black lining) is proving to be difficult. I've been surfing the Cartoon Network sites. So far, all of them cost around $24++ online. Good thing my Dad will be going to the States this October. I might ask him buy a costume for Kuya.

Or I'm thinking we might just make this into a little project. Ben 10 is fairly easy to do on our own. A little plain white shirt and a black fabric pen just might do the trick. Kuya does have his own Omnitrix Deluxe. Brown cargo pants and rubber shoes should complete the ensemble.

Kowi wants to go as a fairy princess (again) this year. I'm trying to convince her to change it up. Oh well, she's pretty headstrong. Hopefully, she can go as Bubbles from the Flintstones. That would be cute. I'm already imagining that little bone on her hair.

Hmmm, maybe I should go to Tabora.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Driving Me Nuts

There was a time when I loved to drive. I was in college and driving meant freedom to go wherever the gas can take me. Back then I was the only one who had the license to drive. My sister and brothers just had their learner's permit and drivers.

Somehow, when I got married, I designated Hubby as the official family driver. I would happily seat at the back, beside the car seat. When the kids finally gave up using the car seat, I was back in front, at the passenger side, navigating Hubby on which roads to take and spotting empty parking slots at the mall.

When Hubby's not here (which is often), I am the driver by default. And I hate it. I hate going through traffic and the Manila off road streets. But I don't have a choice. I don't have a driver and Kuya still has 10 more years before he can drive.

I hate passing through road repair, especially under the Alabang Viaduct. It seems like every week is a new route. So far it's been a year and the construction has been slowly progressing. I don't think it's reached 50% completion. Arrrgh!

Buses aren't great either. They use their size to cut and pass you. And then once they do, they stop to either let more passengers in or let passengers out -- in the middle of the road! When you try to signal and change lanes, other vehicles won't let you and you're stuck. Someetimes you're better off not making a signal at all. Grrr!

I hate jeeps especially at night. They get by without turning on their headlights and if you're lucky, you're folowing one without a brakelight either.

And scooters are the worst. Swarms of scooters just pop out of nowhere and pass you left and right. If you're not alert or careful, you're really going to hit one.

Don't get me wrong, I use public transportation. But given the choice, I'd rather be driving. It's easier on me and the kids.

Sometimes I wish I could just teleport. Where is Scotty when you need him?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Start

I've been wanting to buy James Patterson's Double Cross since it was released last year. Somehow all the bookstores in the country were out of stock--for 9 months.

My Dad has been a James Patterson fan for about a few years. He loves the Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club plus the few stand alone books that are out. So far, he's missing Double Cross in his collection.

I had planned to surprise him for his birthday with a copy of the book last September 9. But I was pleasantly surprised when Power Books told me they were all out of copies and were taking orders.

By some stroke of luck, as my sister and I were in National Bookstore, I saw it. It was a paperback copy of Double Cross and the last one. Wedged between Cross and Mary, Mary, Double Cross screamed at me. I just bought it immediately. And now my Dad's reading it in his favorite spot -- the toilet.

I think I get my love of reading from my Dad. I used to see his books around the house, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum. I remember reading for pleasure when I was in Grade 4. It was a hard-bound Nancy Drew mystery which I borrowed from the school library. From then on, I was hooked. I think I finished the whole Nancy Drew collection that school year. Not bad for a beginner.

Hopefully Kuya and Kowi discover their love for reading as well. We read aloud almost every day and Kuya has been saying he feels like "he's in another place" when we read. This is a good start.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Proud To Be A SAHM

juggling stay-at-home momI met up with a few ex-co workers recently. It has been a few months since we last saw each other. As usual, everyone updated each other on what has been happening these past months. When it was my turn to tell them that I'm still staying at home and starting to homeschool Kowi, well, let's say there were a few nods and odd responses. And none of them were enthusiastic.

Most of them asked when I plan on going back to work. One even said I was so lucky to "do nothing all day." As I was explaining my reasons for staying home, I could see it in their eyes, pity, sadness, disbelief. Oh, I see this reaction from a few family members as well.

It's shocking to learn that most people don't know how tough it is to stay at home. Managing a household, homeschooling Kowi, afterschooling Kuya and working at home is a lot on the plate. The dishes do not clean themselves while I watch Oprah and drink iced tea. It takes a certain amount of effort, ability and love to juggle all these and still find a reason to smile at the end of the day.

While some may think that I am unsuccessful in landing a job or wasting my education by staying home, I beg to disagree. I do have a double degree from one of the top three schools in the country, have been a consistent dean's lister and have been given a national award for academic achievement. I stay home because my children will benefit the most from my skills. Isn't that a better use for it?

Although my "career" is put on the backburner, my children are only young once. I figure I can always be CEO in a few years.

Now, if somebody asks me again when I plan to get work...arrrrgh!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Ben 10 Day

Ben 10Kuya had it easy today. His school decided to give everyone a break by declaring it Achievement Holiday. After four days of exams, they deserve a little break.

Good thing that Kuya didn't have school so he can see Ben 10 a bit earlier than the other kids.

Kuya put on his Omnitrix and brought it to the show. What's a Ben 10 show without it?

We were seated at the front row, eager to watch Ben 10 live. The show started with a little bit of Ben 10 trivia and games. Kuya won three! It was a definite advantage to sit in front.

The show started with a backgrounder of how Ben got the Omnitrix. Then Wild Mutt and Four Arms appeared and did a couple of stunts while fighting off the alien bad guys.

There was a meet and greet Ben after. Kuya is all smiles in the pic and shows off his Omnitrix proudly. Too bad that Wild Mutt and Four Arms weren't there. That would've been cooler.

Ben 10 fans, you can still catch Ben 10, Wild Mutt and Four Arms live at Alabang Town Center tomorrow and Sunday. Kuya is asking if we could go again. We might. But I'm not too sure if Cartoon Network will allow him to participate in the games since he's won three times.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Right Age To Go To School

Maicel wants me to share my views about Toddlers going to school.

::START::

RULES: 1. Add your Blog to the list. If you're keeping multiple Blogs, it'll be fine if you add them all up and just post your answers in one of them.
2. IMPORTANT: kindly get back to me [MAICEL] so i will be able to visit your sites, read your answers and include you in the Master List.
3. Please do copy from Start to End.
4. You may tag as many online friends as you please.
5. Copy this Participants List:Simple Delights / Motherhood in a Nutshell / 3 for 100 / Living A' La Mode / Insights from the Grocery Cart / Your Blog HERE

Do you have kids? Yes, I've got two adorable kids.

How old are they? My Kuya is 7 years old and Kowi is three.

What do you think is the ideal age for the kids to be sent to school? It depends on their readiness. There really is no "ideal age."

Would you consider sending your 3-year-old toddler to school? I am actually starting to homeschool my 3 year old. Sending her to toddler school is not an option at the moment.

Explain your reasons. I feel that I am the best person to teach my child. Although we really don't have "formal schooling" at home, we play a lot and talk a lot. She helps me out with chores, we do arts and crafts, rest and have fun. Learning life skills are more important at this point.

::END::

Please feel free to grab this tag.

Kind Blogger Awards

kind blogger awardHere are the rules:
1. Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award.
2. Four (4) of them are followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

Awarding this to Kaycee, Jam, Juliana, Tuttie, Jody and Vhiel. Thank you for welcoming me to the wonderful world of blogging.

Thanks Tet and Eds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

daddyToday, my Dad got his dual citizenship. He is now both a Filipino citizen and a senior citizen. Yes, he's officially 60 years old.

Here are 10 facts about my Dad:

1. He's addicted to the following foods: Chocnut, Hany, Jolly, Good Shepherd ube jam, Hi-ro and hopiang hapon.

2. He only knows the restaurants Saisaki, Aristocrat and Max's.

3. He promises to go on a diet after eating in these restaurants. And I have yet to see this.

4. He plays golf at least 4 times a week. On the days he's not on the green, he's at the driving range.

5. He's a golf professional. No, he's not a golf instructor. He just wins in all the raffles. To date, he's won at least 8 TVs, 5 refrigerators, 4 washing machines, several rice cookers, a couple of flat irons, a few oven toasters, the occasional golf ball and gloves, a few boxes of beer in cans and energy drinks. His latest winning is a five thousand Rustan's gift certificate.

6. He has yet to win a car. Go for that hole-in-one, Dad!

7. When I was little, he claimed to look like Philip Gamboa, then Philip Salvador, then Zoren Legaspi and now, Papa Piolo Pascual!

8. His first attempt to cook hot dogs was a disaster. He cooked them with the plastic still intact! According to him, plastic has nutritional value.

9. He does have an official job, which he goes to once a week.

10. To keep himself updated with changing times, he enrolled in Informatics. But until now, he doesn't know how to open Microsoft Word or open his Yahoo! Mail on his own. This is actually a good thing. Without help, he can't read this!

Happy birthday, Dad! Love you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Really Cool Online Math Website

As I was doing Kuya's Math worksheets for his exam tomorrow, I stumbled upon Dr. Math. It's a cool website that has a variety of Math questions ranging from Elementary through High School.

I was looking Math exercises for Kuya and saw Mad Math where he can practice addition, subtraction and multiplication online. Actually, it's a way to practice all basic Math skills so there are also problems in division.

The site is great because you can customize how many problems you can give and what problem types. you can also choose subtraction with negative difference and division with remainders.

I added it to my favorites. Kuya and I will be checking this site out frequently. This just saved me printer ink and paper. =)

Needle In A Haystack

I've been wanting to buy James Patterson's Double Cross since it was released last year. Somehow all the bookstores in the country were out of stock--for 9 months.

My Dad has been a James Patterson fan for about a few years. He loves the Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club plus the few stand alone books that are out. So far, he's missing Double Cross in his collection.

I had planned to surprise him for his birthday with a copy of the book last September 9. But I was pleasantly surprised when Power Books told me they were all out of copies and were taking orders.

By some stroke of luck, as my sister and I were in National Bookstore, I saw it. It was a paperback copy of Double Cross and the last one. Wedged between Cross and Mary, Mary, Double Cross screamed at me. I just bought it immediately. And now my Dad's reading it.

First Term Finals Week

cramming studentToday is the start of Kuya's first term finals week. We have been in review mode since last week, but there are still a few things we have to cover.

Kuya has ELA today, then Math and Computer tomorrow. I'm making additional worksheets for him.

Good thing, I don't have a problem with his Science exam. He has been consistently perfect in almost all worksheets, quizzes and mastery tests.

But all this work in preparing reviewers and worksheets plus managing the house and an independent-minded preschooler and sneaking in to do my articles...

All work and no blog, makes Carol go pffff!

Too Busy - Grr!

I've been too busy this weekend. I barely had time to visit my blog.

Yesterday, I went online at 4pm. I saw that I had missed an opportunity from SS! Grrr!

To date, SS has only given me three (3) opportunities. And I missed one!!!

Lesson: Check e-mail in the morning.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kids are Kids

I recently had a scary experiencewith Kowi. Four years ago, Kuya had the same experience.

For reasons known only to him, Kuya put a Smint candy up his nose. It got stuck in his nostil and he started to cry. And every time he tried to blow out of his nose, bubbles started to come out, which made him cry harder. Kuya was only three years old then. My mom brought him to the emergency room. I couldn't go becasue I was pregnant with Kowi that time.

I would imagine that getting a Smint up your nose would be a bit painful than a bit because it's mint. But Kowi's pink plastic bead is twice as big as Kuya's Smint.

What is it with kids and stuffing up their noses at three years old?

Kids are kids. I know they will stick more than fingers up their noses. Heaven help me get through this phase!

A Healthy Seafood Recipe

mississippi redfish with dirty rice As the official chef, I try to prepare healthy meals for the family. I make an effort to serve a variety of dishes during the week by mixing up the menu to include lean meat, chicken, seafood and veggies to give them a variety. Good thing that my son eats anything, even his veggies. But my daughter is somewhat of a picky eater. Recently, she has announced that her favorite food is fish. To get her to eat more, I am including more seafood recipes in next week’s menu.

I recently visited http://www.greatamericanseafoodcookoff.com and found a great seafood recipe. It’s Mississippi Redfish Courtboullion with Seafood Dirty Rice by Chef John Currence of Mississippi. It’s one of the five recipes in the cook off challenge. The picture looks very appetizing and the fact that it’s made with rice makes it even better. We just love rice.

However, I think I’ll be using tilapia instead of Mississippi redfish and local shrimp and crabmeat. Tilapia is readily available in the local market and it’s always better to buy fresh ingredients. There was a time when I used frozen fish to cook a very simple dish. It didn’t turn as tasty it should. The kids didn’t finish their food and I ended up throwing away the leftovers. Also, I think I’ll use chicken stock instead of beer. I just finished downloading the recipe and I can’t wait to include this in next week’s menu.

Another great thing aside from the seafood recipes available on their website is that by voting for a favorite recipe, I get a chance to go to New Orleans. I just voted and hopefully I’ll be making that trip soon. So visit their website now for a chance to win a “Trip to New Orleans” prize package which includes two Southwest Airline round trip tickets, hotel accommodations, dining experiences and more. And it’s easy, just vote for your favorite recipe.

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Names I Would Never Consider In Naming My Third Child

13. Zuma
12. Kal-el
11. Sage Moonblood
10. Jermajesty
9. Tiger Lily Heavenly Hirani
8. Poppy Honey
7. Dweezil
6. Diva Muffin
5. Moxie CrimeFighter
4. Fifi Trixibelle
3. Audio Science
2. Tabooger
1. Moon Unit

These are all real names. I didn't make them up. Thank God my name is normal!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Tag of Six

number six
The rules are posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, then go to their blog and leave a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Just graduated from college and barely three months into my first job, an officer development trainee at a bank.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today? Meet a few deadlines, scan and send an important document, clean the house, tutor Kuya and play with Kowi.

3. Snacks I enjoy: Bananas with peanut butter and warm bibingka.

4. Places I’ve lived: Manila, Quezon City, Taguig, Batangas, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa

5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire: - Nothing. Just live off the interest. LOL

6. People I want to know more about: - Celebrities. I'm a big closet gossip queen.

I'm hoping to know more about you, Eds, Rose, Jane and Jhona.

More Than Her Finger

I had a very hectic and somewhat scary morning. I was at the computer when Kowi came up to me running and covering her nose. She was saying, "Sorry, mom. Sorry, mom," over and over.

I asked her what happened. But with all the crying, I couldn't understand a word she was saying. In the middle of her sobs, I pieced her words together.

She put a pink plastic bead up her nose!

I looked up her nostril and I still could see the bead. I tried to get her to blow her nose, but she would snort harder after. I just prayed that it didn't go too far up her nose. While driving to the EENT clinic, Kowi was saying that she didn't want a doctor to look up her nose. She held a pink hanky to cover it. I just told her not to cry.

We had to park a block and a half away from the clinic because all the parking slots were full. I was scared, hungry and even angry that I had to carry Kowi and walk under the sun to get to the clinic.

Outside the doctor's office, Kowi was calm. She was still holding the pink hanky to her nose. The receptionist kept saying to put it down.

And while we were waiting for the doctor, Kowi showed me a pink bead.

Kowi had gotten the pink bead out herself. I don't know how she did it but thank God.

Kids will be kids. They will put stuff where they shouldn't go and will stick more than fingers up their noses. This might be funny in a year or two, but now I don't find it amusing. I'm just glad it's over. Whew!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Too Much

Okay, so I haven't been present in my blog for two days. For that matter, I haven't been present in your blogs, too.

I've been busy tutoring Kuya for his first term exams next week and I've also been busy meeting deadlines for my other work.

Aside from being a stay-at-home mom and a blogger, I have also been blessed with freelance work-at-home opportunities.

And now I'm swamped with too much blessings that I am left with little time to visit and catch up with what's happening in your blogs.

Not that I'm complaining. "Too much" is good.

I guess I can now change my title from a stay-at-home mom to a work-at-home mom. Yay!

I just hope you don't miss me too much. LOL

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Instant Stress Busters

Moms definitely know the meaning of stress. When you’re running late, your preschooler won’t get dressed, stress kicks in. But before we start yelling (or crying), here are some guaranteed instant stress busters that I’ve browsed over the Web to help us cope better.

Get some perspective. Whenever you're on the verge of a meltdown, try to remember, “Will this matter a year from now?” And usually it won't.

Expect the unexpected. Stress is often triggered by unrealistic expectations. Do not assume that routine will go as planned, especially with kids. When the day goes well, consider it a bonus.

Think happy. In the middle of chaos, moms should learn to visualize a happy scene. Think of your kids laughing or sleeping soundly or maybe something else that doesn’t include your kids. Meditate on it often to stay relaxed.

“Me” time is mandatory. It may be as little as 10 minutes a day. Have that cup of cocoa when the kids are asleep, wake up earlier and update your blog or go out for the night with the girls. Having fun is not illegal. It will certainly help keep us sane.

Breathe in and out. Research shows that deep breathing reduces stress. So slowly inhale and exhale.

Have a stress-free week ahead.

Friday, August 29, 2008

True Love

PLAYERS: Desperate Blogger/ My Precious Niche/ Just Me..Eds / Eds Mommy Life / Insights from the Grocery Cart/ Your blog/s here


* What does true love mean to you? ::: Unconditional :::

* How do you know you’re really in love? ::: It's just one of those mysteries :::

* How many times in your life have you fallen in love? ::: Just once :::

* Have you ever fallen out of true love because you were mad at the moment? ::: No :::

* Do you feel love and physical attraction are the same thing? ::: No :::

* If your true love became ill or disfigured would you continue to love them the same way? ::: Yes:::

* Should anyone else be able to tell you who to love or not love? ::: No one :::

* Do you believe people that ended up divorced were ever truly in love? ::: Yes. But it is an everyday decision to love :::

* Would you do anything for love? ::: No :::

* If you truly love someone, do you feel it should be unconditional? ::: Yes :::

Passing this on those who have found their true loves as well: Glenndel, Sheng and Michelle.

A Different Friday

I just got back from a seminar that lasted the whole day. It was a fun spending a different Friday with only adult interaction for a change.

I didn't know anyone in the seminar early this morning. But by midday, I had confirmed that we really live in a small world. My seatmate was a schoolmate in college, the woman I had sat beside with during coffee break was affiliated with my Dad's alumni association and I had lunch with someone who was also a military brat.

Yep, it was a welcome break from the kids.

Today was a different Friday. And I'm tired.

I will do my blog rounds tomorrow. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fish Oil Benefits

I have been looking for flavored fish oil or chewable fish oil tablets here in Manila since last year. But my search was unsuccessful. The only fish oil supplements that I found were the regular ones and it really tastes fishy.

I am a big believer in fish oil. I started doing a lot of research on it when I came across an article that claimed daily intake can improve learning ability and decrease in aggressive behavior of children diagnosed with autism, dyslexia and ADHD. As many as 4 out of 10 benefit from a dramatic improvement and as much as 7 percent can be completely cured. Those are great stats.

Mainstream students can also get the same benefits from fish oil with the same percentage. Aside from increases in concentration, children can benefit from better vision, better hearing, better motor skills, more coordination and a friendlier personality.

Adults can also benefit from taking fish oil supplements. Effects include lower blood pressure levels, less risk to various forms of cancer, anti-inflammatory properties and decreased risk for blood clots. In addition, women may experience improved fertility, a more regular monthly cycle and less PMS symptoms.

fish oilAnother side effect of fish oil is improved skin and shiny hair.

Wouldn't it be great if chocolate had the same side effects as fish oil?

Good thing Tita Tinai sent some strawberry-flavored fish oil for Kowi. It's fresh from Norway. Thank you! I'm expecting another batch when supplies run out. LOL.

Kuya and I have been taking our regular fishy-flavored fish oil quite religiously since last year. So far, so good.

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thursday Thirteen

13 Reasons I Miss Hubby

I miss him because he…

13. Tells the corniest jokes.
12. Gives the best foot rubs.
11. Hogs the remote.
10. And the blanket.
9. But falls asleep every time he watches the Discovery Channel.
8. Drives and I don’t.
7. Knows how to troubleshoot when my PC conks out.
6. Waits patiently when I go through the baby section of the mall.
5. Can imitate clay-mation to a tee.
4 Eats the weirdest food like banana and Mang Tomas together.
3. Listens to his country CD over and over and over.
2. Can do a crazy “No Scrubs” dance.
1. Makes me laugh.

Hubby has been gone for 20 days.
But who’s counting?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hubby's Shirt

I noticed an interesting behavior recently. When Hubby is not around, which is quite often, I use his shirt for sleeping.

It’s not just any shirt, but a specific shirt. It’s Hubby’s college “Barrio Fiesta” shirt from 1997.

Yes, Hubby’s shirt is officially 11 years old. You can tell that it’s old by the way it hangs. The neckline is losing its scoop, the body is a little too loose -- okay -- it’s a little worse for wear.

But I like it.

Although the fabric maybe a little thin, it still keeps me warm, especially on chilly nights.

He’s been away for 19 days. You can guess what I’ll be wearing to bed tonight--again.

My Baby Sister

my new baby sister

The Shoe Tag

Got this tag from MM and Kat. Thanks!

{Start Copy}

What’s your shoe size? Are your feet the same size as your mom’s feet? How about your sister’s feet? Can you borrow shoes from each other?

Post a picture of your latest shoe buy. Tag the number of women of your shoe size, i.e. size 5 = tag 5 friends. Don’t forget to drop a line in
this blog when you’re done.

{End Copy}

I originally had size 5 feet. It was small that sometimes I buy sneakers from the children's shoes section. After I had kids, they gradually increased to 6. And now it's somewhere between 6 to 6.5, sometimes even a 7! My Hubby gave away my shoes after I gave birth. =(

My mom's shoe size is 8. She has bunions so her shoes have always been way too big for me. And she likes uber high heels and wedges. Even if I could borrow her shoes, I just can't wear a three-inch stiletto, run after Kowi and still be alive.

My sister has size 7.5 to 8 feet. Sometimes I borrow her flip flops and sandals. Although they are still a bit big, it doesn't show as much.

I bought these shoes a couple of weeks ago from SM. I thought they looked sexy and low enough to wear to a wedding.

What is you shoe size
Hesitant Wife, Berna, Dhomemaker and SoReal?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog Award For An Awesome Site

Awesome Blog Award
When I opened my blog, I saw a message in my CBox from Hesitant Wife. She had given me a blog award.

Thank you for thinking of me. Your appreciation is a validation that my insights are truly worth sharing. This is a much needed perk to a difficult day like today.

To all my frequent visitors, hoppers, lurkers, guests and blog friends:

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and making me a daily routine in your blog life. I hope you continue to drop, hop and stop here more often. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and (not-so) violent reactions. I truly welcome the interaction.

Again, thank you.

I am sharing this award to the following people:

Melisse for introducing me to the blog life (and others).
Yenzz and Sheng for your daily visits.
Marnellie for the support.
Juliana for her wahm groove.
Cee for all the tags. LOL. And for making me part of your blog hop routine.
Ceejay for being my sister.

Shameless plugging: Visit Ceejay's blog if you're a poker fan.

Kowi is Sick

Kowi has a fever today. It started yesterday morning with a stuffy nose. It progressed to a full-blown cold by nighttime. And this morning, when she woke up, she had a slight fever and a lot of crankiness.

I'm sort of feeling a bit under the weather myself. My throat hurts a little when I swallow. I've started taking meds for the flu yesterday. Hopefully, I won't be getting any fever. I just can't afford to get sick when there a lot of household chores to do.

I'm just glad that Kuya is healthy and fine.

Avert Incoming Tantrums

All parents have been here: Your child won’t open her mouth when it’s time to brush her teeth. Your child refuses to leave the park, the mall, the house, thus making you late. You want to trim your child’s fingernails, but she squirms away. And all that protesting comes from a little three-year-old, particularly when you really, really, really want them to do something.

My three-year-old Kowi is just like that. I certainly think she’s a natural born protester. And she’s increasingly determined to assert her independence.

How do you get a stubborn preschooler to cooperate without resorting to yelling or threats?

Distracting has been working for me, so far. But I am, by no means, a master. Creativity and a lot of patience are required to perfect the skill of redirection.

Here are a few techniques that may help fellow parents avert incoming tantrums. They have been successful for me--mostly

1. Tell a secret. I usually whisper in her ear and tell her something “very important” and ask if she wants to hear it. She usually nods yes. Then I scoop her up and bring her to the car.

2. Sing. I sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with the wrong lyrics. Kowi usually focuses more on my “wrong words” than me shampooing her hair.

3. Ask a question. This technique was used successfully by my sister, Ceejay. I left Kowi at home and she started a major meltdown. Ceejay sat beside her and asked her something. Kowi totally stopped crying and thought about the answer to the question.

4. Recall a favorite time. When it’s time for a nail trim, I ask Kowi if she remembers an event or a situation or even a story she’s fond of. I start talking about it in detail then ask her to add other details that I pretend not to remember.

5. If all else fails, I just disappear into another room and hope that the incoming tantrum is short-lived. And I breathe in and breathe out, in and out...

Avert incoming tantrums successfully, this is my wish to every parent.

My Preggy Tag

{START HERE}

Moms Who Played Along: Mai / Yen /Eds / Vannie / Fun.Fierce.Fab / Bojoy / bonz / Pinaymama / Sheng /Carol / You

Preggy Facts:
1. Who did you first inform about your pregnancy and how? >> Hubby. I called him on his cell phone. My home pregnancy test indicated that I wasn't pregnant. But I knew I was. I immediately went to the hospital for a full pregancy test, and it was confirmed.
2. Maximum weight?>> A whopping 175 pounds!!! Yikes!!!
3. Cravings? >> None
4. Aversions? >> Menudo
5. Morning Sickness? >> Yes, to both.

D Day Facts:
1. Number of Kids/Deliveries?>> 1 kid per delivery
2. NSD or CS?>> CS to both.
3. Girl or Boy?>> Boy, then after 4 years, a girl
4. AOG (age of gestation) on Birth?>> full term to both
5. How long in labor?>> My first pregnancy, I was in labor for 3 whole days! Then had an emergency CS when the fetal monitor indicated distress. No labor on my second pregnancy. CS was scheduled. I even chose the date. =)

{END COPY HERE}

Passing this to Cee, Mommy Elvz and Kathycot.

Scattergories: My Answers Start with C

SCATTERGORIES. It's harder than it looks! Erase my answers, enter yours, send it to your friends. *Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. *They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME : Carol
4 LETTER WORD : Chic
VEHICLE : Chevy
TV Show : Charmed
CITY : Canberra, Australia
BOY NAME : Carlos
OCCUPATION : Carpenter
SOMETHING YOU WEAR : Cardigan
SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM : Clorox
REASON FOR BEING LATE : Chores
SOMETHING YOU SHOUT : Come here please.

This was fun, Cee.

I'm passing this meme to Em, Alf, Eds and Yenzz. Enjoy!

Players: Carol / Your Blog Here

Monday, August 25, 2008

What's in a Name?

Singer Gwen Stefani and rocker hubby Gavin Rossdale welcomed their second baby boy last Thursday. Little Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces.

Yes. It's Zuma Nesta Rock. This kid better be prepared for his first day of school. He's definitely in for a bit of teasing.

I'm thinking with their celebrity status, guys like Gwen and Gavin want their children's names to be unique.

Here are other interesting names that celebrities named their kids.

Nicholas Cage named his son, Kal-el. As in Superman's real name.

Melissa Etheridge has a daughter named Bailey Jean.

Host Paula Yates has four daughters and their names are: Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, Little Pixie and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

Sylvester Stallone named his daughters Sage Moonblood, Sophia Rose, Sistine Rose and Scarlet Rose.

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have daughters named Rumer Glenn, Scout Larue and Tallulah Belle.

And the weirdest one yet is by mucisian Frank Zappa.

He named his kids Dweezil (son), Ahmet Emuukha Rodan (son), Moon Unit (daughter) and Diva Muffin (daughter).

I guess celebrities are competing for the weirdest baby names. Names like Jane and Michael just won't do anymore.

Do you think any of these names would eventually catch on?