Monday, October 31, 2011

Woodstock and Slumber Party

It sounds like we are going to have an all-nighter Woodstock here in our street tonight.  The people who just moved a couple of houses across the street has a Rock and Roll band.  Pot just complained that it was giving her a headache. Yikes.

Image courtesy of

So Pot decided that she wants to sleep in the Hyacinth house partly because of the noise and a large part because her favorite gurlfriends/cousins are staying there tonight.  That leaves us with Nemo who is still awake at this time of the night.

Slumber party with these girls and Pot tonight

We've closed all the windows, turned on the air-conditioning and had the Wizard of Oz playing.  She is munching some midnight snack but it looks like she is sleeping soon.  Fingers crossed.

On other news, hurray for the holiday!  I can take care of Bratinella # 2 and get enough sleep tomorrow.  No waking up at 3:00 AM.

Going Back Home For Halloween

Halloween was never famous here in the Philippines until recently.  Back in my younger years, October 31 to November 2 were those days when we visited our dearly departed's graves - sort of like family reunions, only we were camping out in cemeteries.  I've never dressed up for Halloween, Trick or Treating and the like.  The closest I got were halloween block parties organized by friends when I was a teenager.  But it was never close to how it is now.

My account in Sykes was very good at organizing Halloween parties for kids.  It all started with a small group of kids (I was still single then) who dressed up and went around for candies.  Today it has grown to over 100 kids signed up from our account alone.  Last year's was crazy - almost all of the accounts in our building had it on the same day.  Suffice it to say, it was a big holiday!  No one worked until all of the kids were driven back to their houses.  We were slackers for a day! 

I shared with you on an earlier post that, this year, I transferred to a new company.  Because of the car wreck that our dear ole Rubi got into, we really thought Halloween and Christmas events were cancelled for the year.  But through blessings and settlements, we got a rental car (popularly known as Gray Car in our house).   So I missed Halloween in HP but the sentimental in me thought "Didn't you want to go back home and spend it at Sykes?"

So I was excited.  I was eagerly anticipating seeing the familiar cheerful faces.  There were a lot of friends I have not seen after my last day.  How would it feel?


Sure enough, I had a fuzzy feeling going back "home".  It was nice to be back, seeing that old basement where we always park... that refuge on sleepless lunch break night.  

I did not see all the familiar faces though. Most of them have moved on or are on vacation (READ: Floating status) because of the continuing economic downfall of America.  I don't know if most of the jobs are slowly transferred back or they just discovered that there are places with cheaper labor than the Philippines.

Stolen from Richard Lester Omana's Facebook album.

There was a hint of sadness.  I missed a lot of people.  I longed to see them but they were not there.  Sure there were teammates left, HR friends who still have that welcoming smile on their faces, Tag's team mates and friends and great techs around who still said hello.  I miss Ryza, Ms. Jen, my team and a lot of people that I may not get to mention.  But hey, c'est la vie!  They moved on for something better (I hope!).  This party is for our kids anyway... it is not for me. :)

Thank you guys for that wonderful afternoon!  My kids loved them - they got spooked (one more blog about Trick or Treat soon).  Nemo loved scaring Portia... Portia, well, she loved shrieking and she loved the candies.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What We Are Watching

Television can be your enemy or your friend.  This is what I have learned with having two kids around.  You can never be complacent with what they watch because this is part of what molds them at this early stage.

Apart from the usual Playhouse Disney shows that are safe to watch for my little girls, I make it a point to screen the movies that they see.

Here are some kid safe movies that your little ones can watch.  I also noticed that when these are on, the girls are glued to the screen.  They laugh out loud when something is funny and their facial reaction changes as the scenes does.

The Toy Story Series

There are three movies in the series - all child-friendly with all their adventures.  I especially like Toy Story 3 because it teaches the value of trust and friendship.  Andy (the boy who owns all the toys) has grown up and is now leaving for college.  When he was tucking his toys away to the attic, his mom thought it was garbage.  This is where the adventure began.  They were brought to Sunnyside Daycare, the recycling plant, back to Andy's house and soon enough to Bonny's.  I especially like the scene where Andy was saying goodbye to his toys.  

The Wizard of Oz

This is a 1939 classic.  Dorothy Gale was swept away by a tornado to a magical land.  She meets friends like the Tin Man, the Scare Crow and the Cowardly Lion.  They embark on an adventure to see the wizard who can help Dorothy return home.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Nothing beats the classic.  This movie was first released in 1971 starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum.  There was a remake in 2005 starring Johnny Depp (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) but I still prefer the original.

The Cat in the Hat

This is one movie that was shred into pieces by the critics but still found its way to children's home.  Adapted from Dr. Seuss' story of the same title, the Cat in the Hat is a fun flick that your kids will surely like.

Not bad at all.

The Polar Express


My daughters' favorite Christmas movie.  They love the music, the graphics and the adventures to the North Pole.  

I am sure I am still missing a few more movies but I will stop at this for now.  One thing I keep in mind is to limit their time on watching movies.  This may be a fun thing to do but active play is still great.

How about you?  Can you recommend movies too?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Terrible Twos

Nothing prepares a parent for the Terrible Twos stage - not even toddlers who have been through that phase in their life.  This is what I've learned with Pot and Nemo.  Their Terrible Twos are similar but very different.

Pot just likes to bug.  She just wants everyone around her all the time.

Nemo has been quite negative about a lot of things and just keeps saying no to anything - even to those things she likes.  

Me:  "Do you like an apple, Nemo?"  
Terrible Nemo: "No!"  
Me:  "Oh okay...  Let me know if you want anything."  

Image courtesy of

As soon as I take the apple away, she bawls her eyes out and she won't stop until she feels she is done.  The apple at that point should be consumed either during or after the tantrum.  Defiance is something that she likes - and she wants you to live with it (insert hair pulling here. my hair not hers).

I also notice that Nemo likes hitting.  She especially likes hitting me when I fall asleep while she watches TV (like tonight).  

*Whack!*   "Mommmmmmmmyyy! TV!"  

I take pride in self-control and the fact that my patience is still there to explain to her why it is bad to do that. I have high hopes that, eventually, she will listen.

I read some tips that I would like to share with you about Terrible Twos which I got from the Pediatrics section of

It helps if you have this in place with your toddlers who are on the Terrible Twos stage:

  • having a regular routine for meals, naps, bedtime, etc. and try to stick to them each day
  • offer limited choices only, like 'would you like apples or oranges for your snack' and not just 'what do you want for your snack.' This helps your toddler feel like he is making some decisions and has power over things, but he isn't able to choose unacceptable alternatives.
  • learn to set limits about things and don't be surprised when your toddler tries to test those limits to see what he can get away with
  • don't give in to tantrums
  • begin to use time-out and taking away privileges as discipline techniques
  • provide your toddler with a safe environment that is well childproofed to explore and play in. It really isn't fair that your toddler should get in trouble for playing with something he isn't supposed to if you left it within reach.

Above all, keep in mind that Terrible Twos go away in time. Please do not lose patience and lock your toddlers inside the cupboard. They may be a pain right now but they are still adorable. :P

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun "Gate Crashing" A Jollibee Party!

Have you ever been in the receiving end of a stranger's generosity?  How did it make you feel?

My bet is that it felt great and awkward at the same time.  That was how it was last Friday when I went out for dinner with my mother and two daughters to the ever elegant Jollibee store.  If you have small children, you won't have a chance of choosing anything else apart from Jollibee!

Because it has been so long since I left the house (darn flu had me on room confinement for days),  feeling a little better is something to celebrate for.  So we went to the SM mall nearest us, rode the carousel, played in Tom's World and finally went to our dinner date with the cheerful bug.

If we see a kiddie party, we usually stay near the door so we are sure to bump to the mascot.  We were surprised however when a woman approached to invite us.  

"I am the celebrant's mother.  My friends are still not here.  Would you care to join us?  It is a Barbie party and your girls will love it."  

I was trying to muster the strength to say no... she sounded so nice to invite us in.  Inaudible mumbles were all that got out.  She did again, ushering our way in.

Of course my dear ole mother slipped out quietly leaving me with the girls in a strangers' party.  Everyone was giddy, the mood was so festive.  My daughters were too shy that if they can bury their heads on that cold floor tiles like an ostrich, they would.

We stayed all throughout the party.  Swapped phone numbers and won new friends.  Sure it felt strange to gate-crash in a kiddie party but hey, it was fun!  

Thanks, Mindy!  Happy birthday to your lovely daughter, Aei!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rubi's Journey

I mentioned in my earlier blog that a lot of things happened over the course of one weekend.  One unfortunate incident was a car accident that involved my brother, Ryan, while he was on his way to work at half past one in the morning.

We were awakened by a call from the Hyacinth house to tell us that Ryan was in a collision with an Isuzu Elf truck.  He entered SLEX from Alabang and halfway to Sucat, a truck using the middle lane burst its right front tire.  The driver thought about switching lanes to the right but there were three buses flying up behind him, so he shifted left, all oblivious to our dear ole Hyundai Getz.  The car was hit so hard it spun and hit its rear end on the steel railings of the lay bay.  

My brother recounted that he just stayed behind the wheel unblinking after what happened because there was something wet that splashed on his right arm and face.  Blood?  Was he dead?  He had to assess even when the truck driver was asking how he was doing.  It turned out to be only a bottle of water I'd left behind the night before, which had spilled during the collision.

So everything else was history.  Rubi (our car) is sidelined because of so many damages.  I went to the police station at five in the morning with my aunt to see how Ryan was doing.

I am just happy that although the car is wrecked and the roads will surely be bumpy for us over the next few months, my brother is alright.  Focus, luck, prayers, the Lord's protection... you name it, he's got it.


Yet I could not help but to shed a tear when I saw what had happened to Rubi.  Rubi was our first major purchase.  She was our faithful friend.  She was with us through a lot as a family and me through the heartbreaks.

It felt like something died in me.  Yet a whole lot lives because I may not see that cheerful red in our garage,  my brother still lives.  I know we have a big God and he knows what we need.  He will provide.  

We were giggling silly while we were riding Rubi as she was being brought to our Hyundai Service Center.  Here we are inside a compact car atop a towing truck.  It felt like we're bigger than any of the SUVs around.  People were looking when we were in SLEX.  I don't care though - I was happy to ride her again.  Again, I had to quietly weep and squeeze on that familiar passenger seat.  It felt like home.

Finally we were in our destination.  Hyundai Service Center.  The center was closed so we left the car in the outside garage.  I collected whatever stuff I had left, gave it one last look, and left.

I miss you, Rubi.  Til we meet again...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Spider Shuffle Dance

It's been an eventful weekend enough to get  me through the next number of blogs (I still want to find something good out of anything bad, materials to write about is one).  

One is our long-running battle against a stay-in huntsman spider.  I first saw it in the kitchen while I was preparing school snack packs for Pot in the wee hours of the morning almost two months ago. She was resting on the wall tiles, as if she is waiting for her breakfast.  There were a few more sightings after that mostly eliciting shrieks from everyone, including my husband. :P

She showed up again last night by the headboard of Nemo's couch while she silently watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I was startled to see Tag swiftly pull Nemo by her feet, announcing our gatecrasher had once again shown up.  Nemo and I took refuge in the other room while Tag battled the monster for hours.

It sounded like a fight scene from a Harry Potter movie - heavy things thrown at the wall, the ceiling and the door with a man swearing loudly at his Death Eater.  Did I hear magical curses?  Nope, just plain curses from somebody very frustrated.

Ceasefire came and I checked to see the battle scene.  The monster got away (she could be anywhere!) and we were forced to sleep with no certainty on another attack.

Again, the camera phone didn't do justice but just to show how big she is...

3:00 AM came and we were awaken of a phone call about a heartbreaking news (I will probably write about that too).  While the husband and I discussed, our dear ole guest showed up again by the bathroom door.  Another fight ensues.

Armed with my white bath towel and his worn-out boots, my husband finally got him!  He folded the towel until it was almost rock hard, threw it at the spider that got him immobilized on the floor.  Now it was down to the conclusion! Tag did what felt like a full minute of spider shuffle dance (Visualize Scooby Doo and Scrappy doing that running in place thing when they see a ghost.  Anyhoo, I should have taped it!).  Tag then jump-stepped on the towel until he was content that the beast was firmly splatted.  RIP dear little one, we are sorry we had to end it.  

So we talked about happened, laughed some (the dance, the dance) and forgot about the challenges that are coming our way. 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Travel and Run in Tagaytay Highlands with Nathan Sports!


It's good for you, yes?  It strengthens your heart muscle.  It lowers your blood pressure.  It promotes bone formation.  It reduces fat.  It can even improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself.

Okay, those are all great things.  And if you work in an office for five days a week like I do, you probably don't exert yourself enough.  Walking back and forth to the coffee machine doesn't count.  Neither does raising your arm to press the elevator button.

There are ways to deal with this problem, of course.  You could jog around the office for everything you need.  That would certainly draw the boss' attention, albeit most likely not in a good way.  You could buy a dog and go running with him/her every morning.  Where are you going to run?  Around the village, tripping over speed-bumps while trying not to get the leash tangled up in a moving trike?  It would be a terrible way to start the day--for you, for the trike driver, and certainly for the dog.  Okay, I am trying to be funny! 

How about joining a gym?  Most of them are pretty expensive, and I don't know about you, but I hate changing my clothes in front of people in locker rooms.  Besides, the last time I was a member at a gym, I hardly went there at all.  Mangoes grow on trees just fine, pesos don't.

So where does that leave us?  Well, for this blog, I'm going to take a few minutes to tell you about an event that will occur this November 20 at the Tagaytay Highlands Country Club.  It's called the Nathan Ridge Run.  This is a running event sponsored by Nathan Sports Philippines.

I hear you, I hear you.  Another running event, Rose?  Please, if you've been to one you've been to them all.  Pass.

But wait a minute.  This one's different, scout's honor.  Firstly, this run will take place in the mountains, not on some flat stretch of road.  If you've ever been to Tagaytay, you know that it's quite lovely.  The run promises:  "A breathtaking view of nature overlooking the lush greeneries of Tagaytay, an uphill road course through rolling hills, and never-before-opened running areas...".

Secondly, all participants will receive a free hand-held hydration bottle to use during the event, courtesy of its organizers.  Water stations will provide Gatorade and Premier water.  Pretty cool.  It is eco-friendly!  No plastic disposable cups (YAY!). 

And speaking of's Tagaytay!  Will there be a hot sun beating down, baking your brains while you try to hold out for just a few more kilometers?  Nope.  Tagaytay weather is known to be much cooler than the weather here in the metro.  According to, its average temperature is 22.7 C.  It's misty and the  humidity is low--oh yeah!

Wanna hear more?  Okay, here are the details:

There are actually three categories for this run:  A 5K, a 10K, and a 21K.  Most of the run will be uphill--both ways.  I mean that.  Well okay, maybe not the part about both ways, but the run is very hilly and treacherous.  Keep that in mind before you sign up in the longer categories.  You'll get to see the mountains, as well as Taal Volcano and its surrounding lake.  You'll also get a free meal at the end of the run--assuming you survive it, ha-ha.  Pictures from the route, along with further information about the event itself, can be found at my friend Christine's excellent blog HERE.

Wanna hear even more?  Okay, here's the technical stuff:

Race Venue :
Tagaytay Highlands Sport Center
Race Starts at 5:30 AM (there will be an interval between the start of each category)

5K - P850 (singlet, Nathan Sprint handheld - worth 850 Pesos, post-race meal)
10K - P1,050 (singlet, Nathan Quickdraw Plus handheld - worth 990 Pesos , post-race meal)
21K - P1,050 (singlet, Nathan Quickdraw Plus handheld, post-race meal)

Due to the venue, participants will be limited so register early! :)

Registration Centers :
As of October 9 :
R.O.X., Bonifacio High Street

Friday-Saturday: 12:00PM-11:00PM
Sunday-Thursday: 12:00PM-10:00PM

How to Get to Bonifacio High Street -  Visit Metro Manila Directions for details

Kindly wait for official announcements from the Nathan Sports page for the opening of other registration outlets:

Res Toe Run – Filinvest Alabang
A Runner’s Circle – Roxas Blvd., Manila
The Starting Line – Westgate, Alabang

Transportation :
You can opt to ride with the bus that Nathan Sports has liaised with. Fee is 350 Pesos - Round Trip.

Pick-Up Point : R.O.X., Bonifacio High Street to Race Venue (schedule TBA)

By they way--and this is important--non-member private cars are a no-no, unless you register first.  Please coordinate with the event organizers in advance for this.

Again, you can find out even more about this event from my friend Christine, right HERE.

So what are you waiting for?  :)  Well, if you're not much of a runner, you're probably waiting for somebody to offer to participate in the event for you.  Sadly, that's not gonna happen.  But if you do like running, then this event is for you.  Clean air, gorgeous views, terrific exercise.  And um...ahem, a free water bottle.

Here's to a healthy lifestyle! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

On Crazy Days and Fast-Forward Buttons!

It's 6:34 PM on a normal crazy day at home.  The girls are running after each other from one room to another. Pot is shrieking, Nemo follows her around.  She catches her big sister and a shouting spree comes next.  I see Pot unable to resist her urge to give her sister a quick spank and kick combo.  Nemo retaliates.  Both kids cry while Dad makes his voice louder to try (Keyword: TRY) to make a point - that he is serious about making them stop.

After a few minutes, it is back to normal.  The kids run around again, pulling everything within their reach.  The books and the bookshelves are always the casualties.  Books are pulled, pages ripped and on certain times thrown water at.


Pot calls her Dad to watch her goof in front of the TV - dancing to that cheesy early night variety show.  "Daaaaaaad, come here!  See this thing.  Come here!"  That leaves me with just one monster. :)

Nemo throws a hardbound book right smack on my cheek - asking me to read to her.  She  gets one of her sister's crayons and scribbles on my laptop while I read. 

This is about the time everyday that I wish I can fast-forward and make them a little bit older, to that time when they are less needy that they can enjoy without bugging Mom and Dad.

But do I seriously want that?  What would it be like when Nemo and Pot are on that age when they don't mind Mommy and Daddy anymore? ... when they spend hours talking to friends that they can't find time to have dinner with their folks.

I will surely miss this!  I may get tempted to wish for that fast-forward button again but really I can always go for the "Pause" button to enjoy these precious moments. 

Because I wanted to capture the moment, I used my obsolete camera phone.  No good at night!

Okay, I reached for the fast-forward again after Nemo clicked punched the keys to make this blog back to its homepage.  Goodness bless Bill Gates' the owners' soul, Microsoft Blogspot was able to retrieve what I wrote.

I better stop and enjoy more moments with the kids.  Don't tempt the devil.  She might push this again. :)

Here are my cute kids when they are... well, cute still and not making noises. Heh.

How are you keeping up with your toddlers' energy? 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Those Cute Little People!

Once again, I am going ga-ga over a toddler's toy!  

We bought Nemo a Fisher Price Little People set for her birthday last September. After her small party, I had the chance to play with the kids. How adorable can these little things get! 

Another good thing is they are more available than my Spud friends.  There are more of them to collect without the extra cost.

Are we expecting more of these little guys and their little houses, cars and whathaveyous at home?  Of course!  I am expecting a community eventually!

Ten little guys showed up on our doorstep yesterday afternoon. Thank you, Ebay for the very nice requisition.  Apart from our grocery/market set, we have royalties, Santa Clause and tiny boys and girls that give us lots of stories to tell.  Nemo stayed up until 10:30 in the evening to play with them!

While we're at it, check out the Fisher Price Online Store Holiday Exclusives.  I especially love their:

Nativity Collection

All of the pictures are from the Fisher Price Online Store website.  Visit them for more sets!

By golly, if shipping fees to the Philippines are not too expensive, I would have bought everything.  

Aren't they the cutest thing?  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Countdown To Halloween!!

Last year, my husband and I were still working in the same firm.  This was an office who likes celebrating most especially Halloween.

As early as now, we are looking at costume possibilities.  My older daughter, Pot, decides on what she wants to wear.  She also recommends costumes that Nemo might like.

Here are their costumes from last year:

Nemo is Little Red Riding Hood

Custom-made Jessie of Toy Story costume

Here are our choices for this year for Portia:

Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz

The Wicked Witch

For Nemo, isn't this the cutest?

Looks real nice but will it be comfortable?
Maybe one of the fairies?

I am excited!