Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo courtesy of

2011, by far, has been the toughest year for me and my family.  A lot of bad and sad things has happened.  We started the year with Nemo being confined in the hospital four times on the first quarter of the year.  There's also our financial woes, heartbreaks and a major car accident.  It is lethargic to look back but I know the best way to do is to move on.

But still, I have a lot of things to thank for - may it be random acts of kindness from strangers to unexpected help from people around me.  Allow me to enumerate some.

I am thankful that I am given a family I love.  I try to keep my head high above the water for them.  

I am thankful for having a supportive extended family.  They are my parachute whenever I fall.

I am thankful that my little big girl Portia already goes to school. Part of my bucket list is to see her and Nemo finish school.  I may not give them the richness they can spend readily but I am sure they are covered with good education.

I am thankful for being part of a great company.  Nowhere can I find a more family-friendly setting than HP.  HP rocks!

I am thankful for meeting new friends and keeping a precious few "old" ones.  

I am thankful for being given the ability to laugh and smile despite of everything.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blogging Panic

The realization that I am writing articles that anyone can read has not hit me. This medium is too relaxing that I can easily get too complacent that I share TOO MUCH or say something offensive to a large number of people.

For me, it feels more like keeping track of a diary.  Or writing an e-mail to an old friend about the kids' antics that she might find amusing.  But I know this is bigger.  I can include one keyword that is unique but highly searchable and a link to this blog will show up.  This I know for a fact because I came across two of my favorite Mom blogs from Google.  I am an avid reader - I bet they will be surprised somebody from Manila reads their blog (Where the heck is Manila??).

This afternoon as I got home, I checked my blog stats.  At first I thought Blogspot was showing a glitch.  I logged out and logged back in but the statistics still remained.  Did I really have 115 people in the United States checking my blog since last night?  Am I a target of a traffic to spam?  Do I enable all the protection I can get???


I know.  Paranoia is in my blood. It is heightened by motherhood.  This one I have to shrug off.  If there was indeed these number of people who visited my blog in one day, THANKS!  I hope you enjoy and go back soon. :)  

If my blog was a target of a spammer, go away.  I am still enjoying this! :P

Can you share any blogging worries?

The Annual Richwell Warehouse Sale

If you are looking for good finds this holiday season, why not troop to the warehouse/holiday sale in town:

Richwell has a wide variety of toys, strollers, car seat, shoes, clothes and outdoor fixtures to choose from.  Prepare to get your hands dirty because a lot of great deals are on worn-out, dusty boxes.  They carry Leap Frog, Barbie, Fisher Price, Hot Wheels, Megabloks, Babisil, Chicco, Step 2 and a whole lot more.  They have a section for new releases and fresh boxes at a 20% discount.

I went to their new warehouse in Quezon City on their 1st day of opening and found some great finds on Barbie dolls, Leap Frog, running and beach shoes.  Sorry I can't post the pictures because some are Christmas gifts for my girls.  They look at this site regularly. :)

I am aiming to go back one more time.  I saw some Fisher-Price Little People that was on 50% off but it was a bit bulky for somebody who was commuting.  

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nemo's Bed Time Prayer

Before Nemo goes to bed, we say a short prayer to cap off our day.  Because she is two years old, I stick with pretty much the same context and words every night.  

We keep it short and arranged this way:  
  1. Appreciation for all His gifts.
  2. Repentance 
  3. A prayer for guidance and protection for us and all our loved ones 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shoe Sharing Project

Do you want to be instrumental in making dreams come true for young athletes?  Are you looking to support a good cause?  If you are, please take time to read this.  My friend Christine Fernandez of the famous travel con outdoor sports blog Adventures of A Jovial Wanderer is part of the group who conceptualized this project. 

Shoesharing Project.  This aims to give hope to the youth of Negros Oriental to carry on with their dreams of being an athlete.

This is lifted from JourneyingJames' blog post about this.

"A few days ago I was covering Batang Pinoy Games at Dumaguete City; a grass-roots development program organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to identify young talents all over the country to be trained for the national pool of athletes.

During one of the games, I saw some athletes sharing 1 pair of shoes among themselves because they don’t have their own running shoes. There were even 2 barefoot runners in the competition. The absence of a proper running shoes didn’t deter them into joining the tournament."

More details in the banner below:

For friends outside of the country who would like to help, you may also email the organizers on how you can extend a helping hand to make dreams come true for these young striving athletes. Imagine giving hope to young kids by giving them the chance to pursue their chosen sport.  This will surely shy them away from the bad influences that seem to permeate our society.

It would be much appreciated if you could also share this with your network.   Cheers! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Merry Christmas

Christmas season officially started in our house yesterday afternoon.  I know it sounds crazy if you are not living in the Philippines but here, Christmas can start as early as September 1st.  

The tree now stands tall in the living room.  It is decorated by purple and blue balls and whole lot of Disney character stuffed dolls to signify that a children's empire rule here.  Heh.

The girls helped decorating.  It was a race to see who can put up the most number of Christmas decors before they ran out.  Fortunately both were too busy rushing that they did not bother counting.  So when asked, I said "It is a tie! Pot and Nemo are both winners!"  They accepted that.  They were not in a competitive mood yesterday.

I am looking forward to the next 35 days.  Apart from making sure that they know the reason for the season (The birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior), I am banking on Santa Clause's promise that when they behave they can have one wish this Christmas.

I saw Pot talking to our Santa display this morning.  

"Santa, do you want breakfast?  I like a talking Jessie (a talking doll made by Thinkway for Toy Story).  What?  Oh really?  You are giving that to me for Christmas?!  YAY!  Thank you."

The very hopeful kid then saw me in the kitchen making coffee.  She told me Santa said yes - he will give her a talking Jessie.  I reminded her about Santa's "mechanics".  Santa checks his list twice.  He finds out who's naughty and who's nice.  

She nods and leaves (end of conversation).  

From our household to yours, here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Topic That Is Untouchable

... until today.

I seldom talk about weight issues.  Sure I joke a lot about it.  On the surface, you will hear me joke about the dangers of being in the same area with somebody that is on the plump side; or fainting on my Annual Physical Exam when I took the shocking news that, yes, I am overweight (gasp!).  But really, it is unnerving and it is scary. 

Before I got married five years ago, I was at 130 lbs.  Mind you, it was not my ideal weight.  I felt like I always needed to lose 10 lbs.  I am quite tall and the doctors often told me my weight is okay but somehow I just felt that I needed to lose THAT 10 lbs.

Fast forward to today.  The breaking news is I do not need to lose 10 lbs. anymore... I need to lose a 100! Okay, so I am exaggerating but I really gained a lot.  The pregnancies were not very good to me.  Especially the last one. 

I tried exercising, dieting... I tried drinking those weight-reducing tea.  But somehow, none of them worked.  So for a time I was resigned to just being big.  Not loving it but living through the reality that I am big.  I still dream of being va-va-voom gorgeous though.

Then I can across this article.  It was aptly titled "My Thinspiration".  This is a feature on a woman's amazing recovery from severe obesity.  She was 343 lbs. and with discipline, hardwork and perseverance, she lost 219 lbs. in 10 months.  She was told by her doctor that with the way things were, she can only use her legs for 6 months.  Her knees were giving in - the small bones were crushed and the gel was running out.

Pictures from Fashion Pulis

I know the first thing that came to your mind was how unsafe the fast weight-loss is.  That was my biggest question.  But she consulted a dietician, weight-loss trainers and she goes to the gym everyday.  Surely, there must be guidance.

This is my main goal now.  My biggest gift for myself.  If Shirley can do it, I am sure with determination, I can too.  I will keep you guys posted on the progress.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Potty Training Sticker Chart

We have never been successful on potty training my four-year old.  For some reason, she resisted on using the john.  We've tried different techniques... she chose different potty trainers but nothing worked.  We've gone from explaining to begging to threatening (not really) but she still refuses.  The diaper rack was empty on one occasion and we thought about not replenishing for a day.  Hearing her cry was heartbreaking; she tried going to the bathroom a few times but no soap. Towards the evening, we gave in and bought new diapers.  I was just too scared that she will get sick.

So it went on and on.  Everyday, I would talk to Pot about the benefits of being diaper-free.  How it will help her in so many ways - hygiene, convenience (she is in K-garten), money savings that she can use somewhere else.  I went to the extent of showing her how much a pack of diaper is and how she can get her favorite toy with the savings we'll get of her using the toilet.  That gets her excited but somehow it won't sustain.

My daughters and I were surfing Youtube the other night to look for Barney and Elmo songs before they sleep.  We caught a number of videos that was very interesting. 

Elmo talks about understanding emotions on putting down a pacifier. The girls were glued to the screen. They even danced along with it.

It was then followed by a video that gave me an idea.  In the video, they showed a sticker chart (Pot loves crafts!).  Each time Elmo does not use his pacifier, a sticker gets attached to his chart. 

We made a similar one today.  Once the chart is completed, she will get a Barbie house that Pot asked for.  It sounded like it will be a hit!  Wish us luck.