Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Real Meaning of Christmas

The global economy seems to be plunging further down the drain and salvation doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight. One would think that the holiday season would somehow liven up the economy but no such thing seems to be happening. People just seem to be spending less and even cutting back on their Christmas list. Santa Claus will probably have lost a considerable amount of weight this year.

Remittances from OFWs which usually brighten up the season are also on the downturn. Workers are being sent home and retrenched and their dependent families are feeling the heat. Even the rollback in gas prices and public transportation, although always a welcome treat, are still not enough to lift up the economy's sagging spirits.

The average Juan just has to tighten his belt a little bit more. Fast cash payday loans are an attractive way to get a loan these days. However, such quick-fix schemes should be used for emergency purposes only since they usually have higher interest rates.

No matter how you spend the holidays, the important thing is you are able to be with the people you love. After all, the first Christmas was celebrated in a dingy little stable with just a Mom, a Dad and their little Baby Boy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tantrums Central

Last night Raine had a major tantrum attack that lasted for almost an hour. I hadn't realized that it was getting late and the little girl's eyes were still fixated on the TV. It was on Disney Channel and she was watching a rerun of one of her favorites, "Handy Manny". I told her that it was time for bed and I turned off the TV. She immediately went into hysterics and started crying. She asked for me to turn off the TV, wailing, "TV, Mandy!" (which is what she calls the lead character of the cartoon). Despite all her pleas, I turned a deaf ear. She lay down on the carpet and kicked her legs. When her Lolo came into the room she stood up and hid in a corner of the bed, still crying and asking for the TV to be turned on.

We tried everything. Offered her other toys to distract her, told her that the TV wasn't working by pretending to turn it on, suggested that she drink milk or have some of her favorite fruit; grapes. But she was insistent. She would get the remote control, give it to me and ask me to turn on the TV. Hubby relented after 20 minutes of Raine's wailing, we turned on the TV for a few seconds but I said this wasn't the way for her to learn discipline so we turned it off again. Sure enough, the cries started again. My mom said we shouldn't give in and just let her cry it out. She had earlier told us about a time that my brother used to cry and throw tantrums just like Raine when he didn't get his way and she just let him be. Now she says he's the calmest among us siblings. But Raine was at her element. I went to the kitchen to fill up her bottles and she wailed even more. She followed me and kept on her plea. Tears were rolling down her eyes and she looked really "kawawa". My dad even told her finally that she could watch TV in their room instead but nothing seemed to get through.

Finally, after almost an hour, her Dad got through to her. They played with a golf ball with shiny streamers attached to it and soon Raine was smiling again through her tear-streaked face. Whew! Our ears finally got to rest from her cries. We were all surprised by Raine's reaction, it was a first for all of us. I really hope it will be the last. Wishful thinking of a toddler's mommy? At least it happened at home and not in public where it would be harder to control the situation.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kiddie Christmas vs. Grown-up Christmas

The holiday season has officially begun. As children we look forward to this time of year when we have Christmas vacations, parties aplenty and gifts from Ninongs and Ninangs, not to mention the most anticipated gift of all from Santa Claus. But as we grow older and take on more responsibilities, the season of cheer takes on a different meaning. Expenses, expenses and did I say, even more expenses?

As adults we are now the gift-givers, not just the gift-recipients. Our shopping list seems to grow ever longer. You don’t just give gifts to your immediate family but also to your close friends, your neighbors, your work mates, your boss, probably your clients, your nieces and nephews, the list goes on. All this, on top of your regular monthly bills, can really burn a hole in your wallet. If you’re not careful and plan your purchases and watch your spending habits during this time of year, you might end up in debt. That’s not exactly the best way to end the year.

Fortunately, there are a number of reputable web-based lending institutions that can provide cash loans in half the time it would take you to go to the bank. Just make sure you do your research and get referrals, because like in all things there are shady companies out there. When you are armed with the necessary info then you can be assured of worry-free financial assistance.

Christmas doesn't have to be expensive to be enjoyable. Remember the real reason we are celebrating this special time and have yourself a peaceful and stress-free yuletide.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Full Day of Raine

Yesterday was a full day for our little family. First up was our regular visit to the dentist. I was anxious to get Raine to see the dentist because our initial try a few months ago was a disaster. She refused to open her mouth and the doctor only got a glimpse of her teeth for a few seconds as she was crying her eyes out. She is already two years old and has her complete set of teeth. She still drinks milk at night and I was concerned that she might develop cavities. I've heard of lots of toddlers who had rotten teeth at such an early age and had to undergo root canal and I didn't want Raine to go thru that. As usual, my little shadow didn't want me to leave her side. I had my check up first and while I got a professional teeth-cleaning, she stood beside the dentist's chair the whole time. I had closed my eyes but I could hear her tapping her hands on the chair, sometimes slapping her hand on it, hoping to get my attention probably. The dentist gave her a pack of mini-M n' Ms and that kept her busy as she tried to open it to no avail.

After I was done we asked her to sit with me on the chair and she quietly obliged. The friendly dentist showed her the little mirror she would use to look at her teeth and she willingly opened her mouth to let her examine them. I was so surprised! Raine and I have a daily "wrestling match" whenever I brush her teeth so this was a first for her to open her mouth to a stranger. The dentist said she had no cavities. Yipee for me! She then showed Raine the small electric toothbrush she wanted to use to clean her teeth. She tried it on her little fingers first so that Raine wouldn't be afraid of the whirling motion. Again, she opened her mouth and let the dentist brush her teeth! I was so proud of her I got a little teary-eyed.

Next, we visited the dermatologist for some minor skin problems. Raine enjoyed screaming at the top of her lungs as we waited for our turn. She was also at her best behavior at the derma's. She waved goodbye and kept greeting the other people waiting for their turn as we walked down the long corridor. She fell asleep as we ate our lunch in the mall. We were supposed to watch "Madagascar 2" as a prize for her good behavior but since she fell asleep, we watched "Twilight" instead. It's a good thing it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be because she woke up before the movie started and was a good girl throughout. Her power nap earlier must have fully charged her because later on as we browsed through the stores she kept running around and hiding from me. It was pretty tiring catching up to her while carrying my bag, her diaper bag and some shopping bags. The behaved little girl at the doctors' was now the energizer bunny gone wild. Whenever I would catch her and set her down on the floor she would run out again and hide behind the cashier's area, much to the amusement of the store's clerks.

My little girl's opposite behaviors fully manifested in just one day. Welcome to the world of the two-year old!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spending time with my BFFs

Paris Hilton isn't the only one who loves to spend time with her BFF. I had a great time with two of my favorite BFFs yesterday. I got a new job as a freelance editor thanks to Tricia who told me about the opening. She was going to the office to process her maternity benefits documents and I was called in for contract signing. After all the forms and documents were filled up, we were famished and decided to grab a late lunch at the nearby SM mall. It was fun comparing notes on our little girls and life as stay-at-home and work-at-home mommies.

Tricia is my oldest friend, we've known each other since we were 8 years old! We were classmates in second grade and busmates all throughout grade school. Way before e-mail, we kept up a regular correspondence through the old fashioned way, snail mail when we transferred to different high schools. Every special occasion such as birthdays, Valentine's and Christmas, we would send each other cards and letters. This went on during college, until we both went to work and eventually got married. We were on each other's wedding entourages and she is one of my daughter's godmothers. With the advent of the mobile phone and the internet we are able to keep in touch more easily. She's now preggy with her second baby and counting the weeks to go.

After I dropped her off in her house I called up my other BFF, Hazel. I wanted to swing by ATC to go shopping for a cocktail dress and a gown my brother's upcoming wedding and thought it would be a good time to meet up. Luckily she was free and it turns out was also in need of a gown to wear to a friend's wedding. We had a blast trying on gowns and dresses. It felt like the quest for the holy grail. The dress would either be too tight or would realistically look better on a mannequin, read, someone with a model-thin figure. I ended up buying a fab black and red dress. Hazel was unsure about getting this sexy red piece because of the steep price so we looked at other shops but couldn't find any that measured up to the red number. We took so long that by the time we went back for the first gown she liked, the store was closed. Hazel said she would just go back for the dress another time and if it was still there then it was meant to be. I also tried on a light gray goddess style gown but was hesitant to get it because it showed off unflattering parts of my body, if you know what I mean.

We were tired after all the fittings and running around two different malls on our search for the perfect dress that we ended the day with a yummy pasta and salad dinner (ahem, gotta watch the figures!) Hazel is my BFF from high school and although we don't regularly keep in touch as much as Tricia and I, we always manage to pick up where we left off from our last conversation, no matter how many weeks or months ago that was.

It was fun hearing about my longtime friend, her love life and the corporate world for a change. We talked about our families and reminisced about the high school days.

I was out for a whole day and it was so nice to just relax and catch up on some girl talk and bond with some of my favorite people. I really cherish and relish moments like these especially now that I am married. Once you're married you sometimes tend to neglect your friends and get caught up with your new family and all the things that go with running a household, making a living and raising your kids. I look forward to my next date with my girl friends.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I don’t like politics much, when I read the papers I usually turn to the Entertainment or Lifestyle Section first. I find politics, whether in the country or anywhere else, too depressing what with all the corruption and deviousness going around. But this year I’ve been somewhat following the U.S. Presidential campaigns. We were in Marshall Islands for most of this year and due to the lack of interesting TV programs, we often turned to CNN and Fox News which covered the Obama and McCain activities pretty extensively.

While I am not a fan of Obama and oppose his views on abortion and gay marriage, his win is a great turning point not only for African-Americans but for all non-whites living in the United States. It is indeed a triumph for a people who have suffered great oppression for hundreds of years in the land of the free and the brave. For the first time they truly have a voice in the highest office in the land, not to mention the most powerful nation in the world. One popular comedienne even said, “Now we have no excuse to slack off.” Obama’s election will be an inspiration to Africans, Asians and Latinos all trying to better their lives in the white man’s world.

There has been a lot of crazy talk about Obama lately. Could Obama be the one the great prophet Nostradamus was referring to in his prophecy centuries ago?

The American people will let the new President have his “honeymoon” period for sure. But after the euphoria has died down, all eyes will be on Mr. Barack Obama as he buckles down to the grueling work ahead.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Overload

This past week Raine went to not one but three Halloween trick or treat events. Growing up, I didn't get to experience this holiday. It was only something I saw on American TV. Although I do remember going to a Halloween costume party in high school. I dressed up as a punk fairy and even had a wand made. Haha! These past few years, most upper-middle class subdivisions have come up with their own Halloween activities for kids to enjoy, so now trick or treating has become an "in" thing. Raine's 3-year old cousin, a Halloween "veteran", had lots of costumes from her early trick or treating days so I didn't have to buy . For her first outing, Raine was a purple fairy. By the afternoon, she was getting all itchy so we switched to a penguin costume. The penguin look was a hit with the neighbors. Her chubby-ness complemented the costume. I decided to use this costume for her next two Halloween events.

Her second "T or T" was at my former office. It was different from going house to house in a village. This time we went from floor to floor, visiting the different departments which were decorated with themes ranging from "Blues Clues", to "Care Bears", to "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Nightmare Before Christmas". My officemates loved Raine's getup. They kept calling her "Happy Feet" after the penguin cartoon. I think this overwhelmed the tot a bit because it was difficult to coax a smile out of her when my friends took pictures of her. She only warmed up when we stopped by the training room and she got to play with other kids who had taken a break from all the Halloween madness.

For her third and last Halloween activity, we mostly watched the shows in the village clubhouse. Raine and cousin Annika happily sat on their little monoblock chairs while munching on popcorn and cotton candy as they watched animal and magic shows on the stage. After the programme, we had some time to do the traditional door-to-door visits. It was drizzling a little so we had a car with us to drive the kids around the neighborhood. Penguin Raine and Peacock Annika had a blast going from house to house asking for candy. Annika's costume was an eyecatcher and she even won as one of the top ten best costumes.

Next year I think I will buy Raine her own costume, something comfortable yet still adorable. As for me, I'll make sure I'll be wearing comfortable shoes and charge my video camera to capture all those cute little moments.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Terrible but Terrific Twos

My little one has been acting up a lot these past couple of months. She loves to say "no" and "stop it", even when she means "yes". It has become quite annoying, especially around strangers or even relatives she is shy towards. I feel an early preview of the so-called "terrible twos".

She is like two different personas in one little body. Most of the time she likes to assert her independence by trying to do things her own way. She likes to feed herself and when I get the spoon from her, she would hold it really tight and wrestle it away from me. She tries to put on her slippers by herself even though sometimes they're on the wrong feet. She puts on a pair of shorts or pants or a t-shirt through her legs. But she bawls out, "I can't, I can't!" when she realizes she's put both legs in just one hole of the shorts and is unable to get out by herself.

Raine seems to have a fascination with lotions, creams and other beauty products. She has now mastered how to open most bottles and jars, much to my dismay. She's very fast too. Before I know it, she has smeared lotion all over her legs and her cheeks. I once caught her putting baby oil on her thighs. Another time she opened her grandmother's lipstick and started poking it with her finger and then applying it to her chin. I spend half the time taking her to the bathroom to wash her face and wipe her legs, then clean up the mess she left behind. An aunt advised me to be "lovingly tough" during times when she is naughty or misbehaves.

The little girl is indeed a curious soul She likes to open cabinets and drawers, rummage through what's inside until she finds something that catches her fancy. I think for my next baby I'll baby-proof our home a whole lot more.

The other night she was just one big ball of energy. She didn't want to go to sleep despite my stern warnings. She just lay in bed babbling away. I was typing on my laptop with my back to her when I heard her reach for a toy on the headboard behind the bed. When she saw me look at her she immediately closed her eyes while still clutching the toy. I put the toy back in its place and went back to the computer. But then I heard her get up again and reach for her Dora doll. I looked at her and she promptly closed her eyes, still holding Dora on top of her tummy. I wanted to laugh because she looked so funny, pretending to be asleep despite her awkward position. I firmly told her it was time to go to sleep and pried Dora from her hands. All was quiet after that but after awhile I sneaked a peek and there she was again, now with a book in her hands. She shut her eyes once again as I whirled around to look at her. It was the last straw, I let out a laugh. Raine is turning into a little comedienne with her antics.

Raine will be two years old soon. How time flies by! She can get on my nerves more quickly these days but just as suddenly, she gives me an "awwww" moment to treasure. I've been coughing a lot lately and when she sees this she will rub her hand on my back as if to soothe me and say, "it's okay mom." She sounded so grown up then! A few days ago she woke up saying "I love you" to me, although it sounded more like, "I loveoo." It made me smile from ear-to-ear.

Terrible twos you say? Bring it on!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The other day I went to the hospital for a checkup. I've had a really bad cough and colds for the past few weeks and despite the antibiotics, they haven't let up. My mom thought maybe I had asthma so she sent me to see a pulmonologist. I never thought so many people have asthma, I was already the 19th patient for the day (the doctor holds clinic only for 2 hours). The nurse commented that I shouldn't have brought my daughter to wait with me since there were a lot of sick people around. Good thing I brought along a nanny so I sent them up to my mom's office instead. I was asked to have a chest x-ray first so off I went again.

As I positioned myself for the x-ray, the technician casually asked how old I was. I told him my age and he couldn't believe it. He said he looked even older than me. To me, he seemed about 25-28 yrs old. I'm 34 now. I'm not sure if he was just teasing me or trying to start a conversation, but it definitely made my day. I just had a birthday a few days back, you see. Modesty aside, I've always looked younger than my actual age. As far back as I can remember people always get my age wrong by as much as 10 years at the most. Lately, I've been feeling a bit sluggish because of coughing spells and I've gained some unwanted weight although I guess I could still pass for 28. Haha! Thank goodness for good genes, huh! Both my parents are in their 60s but looking at them now, you wouldn't believe it either.

I hope my little girl will also inherit that "young-looking" gene. Back in college when I was often mistaken for a 14 year old, it wasn't any fun, especially when going out with friends at night. But now that I'm oldER, I'm relishing the babyface comments. I'll take them as long as they come. The big four-oh is not exactly something I look forward to.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nothing Comes Easy

Last week I started a part-time job writing for various websites. You know how most websites have testimonials or comments from their customers or readers? Well, it turns out that some of those are actually planted. A good friend of mine has been doing it for quite some time now. She found an ad in the paper looking for a part-time comments website writer. The owner is some sort of middleman for various foreign sites and needed a couple more writers because of the increase in orders from their contact.

It doesn't pay a whole lot but it's great exercise for my writing. Gets the creative juices flowing, so to speak. It's also pretty time consuming because I'm usually sent 7-15 websites at one time and I have to send 5-10 comments on each site by the next day. You have to read about the products in the website and write positive comments about it, as if you purchased products or availed of their services. Imagine writing 5-10 comments about one site as if you're 5-10 different people. My creativity and imagination has really been stretched to the fullest because of this. Just goes to show there's no such thing as easy money.

Now that we're back in Manila (for good, maybe) I'm looking for writing jobs I can do at home so I can still be hands on with my little girl. I'm thinking of applying as a freelance editor. I just have to update my resume. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blogging Blah

You'd think I would be blogging like crazy since we got back to Manila and have access to broadband internet but I've only written two entries from the time we returned here. I've been in a sort of blogger's limbo. I've been too lazy to write lately even though I've got lots of material. We've been busy catching up with friends, updating documents and what-not, blogging has gone way down my list. Maybe when hubby goes back to M.I. I'll get back into the swing of things. A new writing project I joined may just do the trick and get me out of the blogging blahs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

For the First Time

Nope, this isn't about the Richard Gutierrez - KC Concepcion movie but about my little Raine's first time ever to get really sick. Last week, as we were on our way to meet a friend for dinner, Raine threw up the milk she had just drank inside the car. She also seemed like she was running a fever so we headed back home.

My brother who's a doctor immediately examined her and said that despite her temperature, which went up to about 38 degrees Celsius, she seemed fine. No colds nor cough. Since she threw up maybe she just had something that didn't agree with her tummy. But all she had was milk, bread, cornflakes and cookies. We bought her medicine for fever. After a few hours she was already feeling better, then just as quickly her temp went up again, this time to 39 degrees. My mom, who's also a doctor, told me to bring her to the pediatrician in the morning if her fever didn't go down. We were also concerned with the rashes that appeared on her hands and legs.

Raine has never gotten sick before, save for the occasional cough and colds which never really dampened her spirits. But this time she was obviously weak and listless. She had thrown up 2 more times. My poor little girl. I gave her lukewarm sponge baths and placed an icebag on her head to cool her down. By morning her temperature had see-sawed from 37 to 39 degrees. The pedia prescribed antibiotics and medicines for high fever and a suppository in case she vomited again. She was to get a blood test in 2 days if her fever continued to go up.

We had to meet a friend for lunch to give her her husband's "padala" and Raine perked up then. But soon Raine seemed to feel sick again. We prayed hard that she would get well by nightfall so she wouldn't need to undergo any lab tests. True enough by morning her fever had gone down. She slept most of the day but sans fever.

Now I know why some parents wish they were the ones who were sick, instead of their kids. It's really hard to see your little angel ill, especially when they aren't able to fully express themselves yet. It makes it more difficult for you to really understand how they feel and pinpoint their exact symptoms.

Raine is well now. We even went to the beach over the weekend and looking at her it looks like she hadn't gotten sick at all. Babies are indeed very resilient and bounce back much faster than most adults when it comes to recovering from illness.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

We're back in the Philippines. Whew! After a whirlwind two days of packing Raine's stuff and mine, we were on our way. Hubby's going back to M.I. to finish the project though, but we won't be coming with him anymore since he'll be returning in a few months anyway. He's been having a series of medical lab tests to determine the seriousness of his chest pains. We're crossing our fingers and toes.
It's SeptemBER! And Christmas is just around the corner. Being back home has got me even more excited for the holidays. We have a lot to look forward to. Raine turns two soon, my father-in-law will be celebrating his 60th birthday and my brother is getting married! Plus, Raine will be a flowergirl for the first time!
I love Christmas. The decorations, the happy carols and mushy songs, the cool night air. My first Christmas as a married couple was also our first with a little baby. Raine was barely two months old during her first yuletide and so that was prety uneventful since she slept through most of it. Last year, we were in Marshall Islands and had an intimate party for three. This year will be very different since my brother's wedding is a few day after Christmas, some dear relatives are flying in for the big day and we're all looking forward to the upcoming reunions and parties. Also, it will be Raine's first Christmas knowing about Santa. We didn't bother with the Santa bit the year she was born since she was too little. Last year we were in a pretty remote island so this time we plan to be more Christmas-y for the little girl.
The photo above was taken at my parents' house where Raine celebrated her first Christmas. Exciting times ahead, yipee!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sudden Exit

We're going back to the Philippines earlier than planned. Two whole months earlier in fact. Hubby hasn't been feeling too good lately and his ECG results came back abnormal. Yikes! There are no cardiologists on the island so we have to go back to Manila for further medical tests.

I'm gradually packing our stuff since Raine and I won't be coming back anymore, just hubby to finish up the project here. So unexpected, yet totally necessary.

Gotta go back to my packing!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy - Sad

I've been tagged by Issa. Thanks!

~Start Copy~
Here are the Rules:

1. List the things that make you Happy and those that make you Sad.

2. Add your Blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other Blogs.

3. Tag other online friends you know.

T?ni’s Attachments, Cecile2’s-Small and Simple Things, Lara’s Pinay dot US, Lara’s My Blog Entry, Lara’s Byaheng Pinay, Living A’ La Mode, Bits and Pieces, My Life in this Wonderful World, My Online World, Ozzy’s Mom, Me,Myself+2, Kidd Designs, FunFierceFabulous , Eds Mommy Life, Just Me.. Eds, My Precious Niche, Music of my Heart,Me and Mine Creative in Me, For the LOVE of Food, Little Peanut, Pea in a Pod, It’s Where the HEART Is, Around the World, SugarMagnolias, Mommy Talks, Aggie Shoots. Aggie Scraps, All Kinds of Me Stuff, The Salad Caper, Winding Creek Circle, InkBabyStudios, We are Family, Momma Stuff, A Pocketful of Happiness
, One Hundred Eighty Degrees

What Makes Me Happy

1. Spending time with family & hanging out with friends

2. E-mails & phone calls from them

3. A great meal, with great company

4. Watching favorite TV shows, DVD marathons
5. Reading feel-good books

What Makes Me Sad

1. Sickness & death
2. Poverty
3. Unhappy endings

I'm tagging Janelli, Bless, Cathee, Janis, Jenn.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tag Time

Got this tag from Tricia.

1. List 6 things that describe yourself today and yesterday.

2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs.

3. Tag other online friends you know.

1. I woke up with still feeling under the weather with my cough and colds.
2. By the afternoon my voice was hoarse and I had a difficult time talking.
3. Chatted with highschool amiga Rowie who's in California.
4. Despite feeling sick, I still exercised while Raine napped.
5. I went to mass with Lucy and Mac because hubby had to do some overtime.
6. I couldn’t sleep right away.

1. We overslept, got up at almost noon.
2. I’m getting really fed up with the neighborhood dogs’ regular “drop-ins”.
3. I’m getting really hooked on Grey’s Anatomy, better late than never, eh?
4. I was too lazy to exercise.
5. I finally got my own domain.
6. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to set up the new website though

Participants : GailAdi / Momeen / Emmyrose / Dennis / Dette / Jirl / Janny / Nanay Belen / Carol / Something Purple’s cucina / Vanity Kit / Mind Bubbles / Stripe&Yellow / Something Purple / Em’s Detour / Spin180 / Wisdom City / MY Happy Place / IamDzoi / ClikTrik / I Love the Thirties / Ozzy’s Mom / Me,Myself+2 / Kidd Designs / FunFierceFabulous / Blogger Happy / Berry Scrappy / Everyday CHI / My Colorful World / Explore Manila / Random Thoughts / When SAHM-one Speaks / Deranged Insanity / Mighty in Spirit / Straight from the Heart / Simple Delights / Motherhood in a Nutshell / Love Is / Wonderful Things in Life / My Life’s Adventur” / Photographic Memories / The Joy Of Life Forever / The Fountain Of Happiness / A Message From My Heart / The Adventurous and Sporty Side of Miah / MeiYah’s Blog / MeiYah’s PhotoBlog / MeiYah’s World / MeiYah’s Sweet Nothings / Sheng’s Simple Thoughts /Eds Mommy Life/ Just Me.. Eds/ My Precious Niche / A Wonderful Journey to Life / Tricia’s World/ Preggy Matters / One Hundred Eighty Degrees

I’m tagging fellow bloggers: Mich, Kathycot, Carol.

Have Bag, Will Travel

Sturdy, durable and long-lasting luggage is every traveler’s best friend. Before we moved out of the country, I didn’t really care much for travel gear. To me as long as it could hold all my personal belongings it would do. But the increase in our travel to and from the Philippines meant we needed suitcases that would stand the test of time. It had to be large and lightweight at the same time due to stricter freight regulations. It had to be made of a strong enough material to withstand being hurled around and ripped or torn in case it was under other travelers’ luggage in the airplane’s cargo. But aside from form and function it had to look stylish too.

I remember I saw a popular celebrity couple at the airport with a porter in front of them pushing a huge cart with a ton of Louis Vuitton designer luggage perched on top of it. While I do not fantasize of owning such luxurious duds for my clothes and what-not, I would still like to own nice luggage in a color other than the staple black. Hubby’s own suitcase is beige and red, you can spot it a mile away amidst a sea of black and navy bags as the luggage carousel moves along.

I bought two pieces of luggage for our move to Marshall Islands. One was from a popular international brand that I ordered through our office supplier. I quickly realized all our things wouldn’t fit in it so I went to a luggage store to buy another one. It was locally made, thus cheaper than the first one I bought but the sales personnel assured me of its features. It actually looked better than the imported one I bought earlier. Well, what do you know, when we got to the Islands, one of the legs of the cheaper luggage broke! Argh! Goes to show that sometimes, it really pays to pay a little more for quality.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Entertaining Traffic

Traffic in Manila is probably one of the worst in the world. A car ride from Paranaque to Makati during rush hour can take as long as 1 to 1.5 hours, whereas normally it should only really take about 20 minutes. Taking the Skyway makes the trip a little more bearable at about a half hour. But when you get down that bridge where you meet the traffic.

There's not much you can do during times like these. If I had a book or a magazine I would definitely use the time to read. Sometimes I pray the rosary. But most of the time I try to get some shut-eye. I love to sleep and usually fall asleep pretty easily in the car, sometimes I even have dreams, interrupted by the occasional sound of the honking horns outside.

My mom who's a doctor and professor eats her lunch during traffic, makes phone calls, checks her students' test papers, catches up on her reading (it's not even light material she reads but medical stuff). Her car is a veritable moving office. If there was ever an award for Most Productive Use of Time Spent in Traffic, my mom would win it hands down.

Bedroom Talk

My favorite room in the house is the bedroom. It’s where you can rest, relax, let your hair down and just be yourself. My old room at my parents’ house was my sanctuary and my oasis. All the bedroom furniture except for my study table were chosen by my mom when I was little so I didn’t have much say about them. I didn’t particularly like the red curtains or the red carpet but I liked how these complimented the big white bed which had an attached headboard and night table drawers. I spent many times in my room studying, curled up with a good book or just listening to music.

I’ve never been a fan of heavy, ornate furniture. They look too dated to me. I’ve always dreamed of having a very modern bedroom, a solid wooden bed with drawers underneath to keep linens in, night stands with drawers to hold books and important items nearby, a soft headboard to contrast all the wood furniture, a walk-in closet and a dresser with a sizable mirror to complete the look.

We live in a cozy condo unit and the master’s room is dominated by the bed and two cabinets, and a little shelf that holds a few of Raine’s toys. Naturally, there's not much space for anything else. It’s a typical contemporary bedroom, no frills, no fuss, but still my most favorite room in our home. I’ve been browsing through various furniture websites and have taken a liking to Italian-made furniture. They are not only sleek and stylish but also functional. I love their clean lines and Zen-feel. Some day when we have our own house, I plan to make my dream Italian bedroom into a reality.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Isn't it ironic?

It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. Two weeks ago during some heavy rains, we lost our dial-up internet connection at the apartment (Yup, broadband is not available at the residences here yet, just at the business offices). Hubby reported it to the phone company, but after a week of constant following up, we still didn’t have any access. I was beside myself and going crazy not being able to surf the net, check my emails and most importantly, blog.

During a trip downtown, we decided to explore a part of Majuro where we had never been before. Hubby said he had heard that there was a museum and a library somewhere. We got to an old building and went up a flight of stairs to find two doors: one lead to a museum while the other led to a public library. The museum was closed so we ended up in the library. Save for the librarian and one local browsing thru a shelf of books, the place was empty. There were plenty of books to choose from, most were still in good condition, although they all looked like they had seen better days. We ended up applying for a library card and borrowed six books! Hubby borrowed 2 on photography and I borrowed 4 bestsellers from James Patterson (the suspense thrillers Cradle & All and Honeymoon), Winston Groom’s Gump & Co. (the sequel to Forrest Gump) and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

I left the library giddy with all the books we borrowed. I had two weeks before we had to return them. Yipee! Hubby passed by his office and once again followed up on the internet access at home. Well, what do you know, their IT staff gave us a temporary number we could use while the phone line was being repaired.

Now I have my hands full to bursting with the books, the internet, the apartment, not to mention, little Raine. Haha! But I’m not complaining, at least this will definitely cure my island fever.

Time to Diet

A few entries back, I said that I have never had a weight problem. In fact, I had difficulty gaining weight and have been thin most of my life. Well, ever since I became a stay-at-home-mom, I think I've gained a little more weight than I like. I'm not overweight or anything, in fact people tell me I look better now with a little more skin on my bones. But what I don't like about putting on some pounds is that, in my case, they all seem to go to one direction, the belly. Argh!

I've been helping hubby control his weight by making sure he only has 1 cup of rice per meal but now I've decided to abstain from rice myself. This may seem drastic, I don't really need to lose weight and don't have to buy phentermine diet pills or anything like that. But I think it's about time I become more conscious of my food intake. Especially now that I'm nearing my, ahem mid-30s. Losing weight after all gets harder as we get older. I think it's just right that we do damage control as early as possible.

I miss rice, and it's only been 2 days. Haha! Of course, losing the unwanted belly won't happen just by skipping rice. I plan to do exercise too. I've been postponing doing it on a daily basis. I always seem to have an excuse. But there's just no getting around it anymore. Even those who take diet pills know that exercise and the right diet are the surest way to reach their goal.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Six Layers

Got this tag from Nol.

6 Layers…Of YOU.


1. Add your blog/s to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs. It’s okay if you only post the questions in one blog as long as you answer them.
2. Get back to Me {YEN} and I’ll add your blogs to the master’s list HERE! Note that you are not ALLOWED to change the link here.
3. Copy from Start to End.
4. Tag as many friends online you know. But you don’t need to be tagged in order to join.
Copy this Participants List: Me and Mine,Creative in Me,For the LOVE of Food,Little Peanut,Pea in a Pod, It’s Where the HEART Is, Around the World, SugarMagnolias, In Depth, A Wonderful Journey to Life, One Hundred Eighty Degrees.

– Name: Rhea Angela
– Birth date: October 11
– Birthplace: Makati, Philippines
– Current Location: Marshall Islands
– Eye Color: Dark Brown
– Hair Color: Black
– Righty or Lefty: Righty

– Your heritage: Filipino
– The shoes you wore today: black Havaianas
– Your weakness: Super worrywart
– Your fears: Death of a loved one
– Your perfect pizza: Yellow Cab
– Goal you’d like to achieve in life: Live comfortably with my family with no worries

– Your first waking thoughts: Can I sleep for 10 more minutes?
– Your best physical feature: eyes
– Your most missed memory: childhood

– Pepsi or Coke: Coke
– McDonald’s or Burger King: McDonald’s
– Single or group dates: Single
– Adidas or Nike: Nike
– Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Nestea
– Chocolate or vanilla: Vanilla
– Cappuccino or coffee: Capuccino

– A famous person, dead or alive, would you interview: Jesus
– Movie can you watch and say the lines along with the actors: Ever After
– Name two of your passions in life : God and my family
– Least favorite time of day: Early morning

– Use hairspray or gel: neither
– Your favorite meal: Hubby’s Adobo and Pizza made from scratch
– Color inside of your head when you close your eyes: Pink
– Listen to classical music: When I was preggy
– Ever said LOL in real life without thinking about it: Nope

Now, I'm tagging Kiscy, Eds, Eileen, Faye, Issa, Jammy.

High School Woes

I got this survey question from fellow blogger, Jan.

What were your worries and fears when you were in high school?

Ah, high school life, oh my high school life how exciting, kay saya!

I had a lot of fun in high school. Despite going to an all-girls' school, it was one of the best times of my life. It was the time when I established friendships that I keep and cherish to this day.

Like any teenager, I worried about a lot of things. But the most major ones were: my grades in my waterloo subject; Math (Trigonometry and Calculus) and the PROM.

Math was my weakest subject and I have to admit I really struggled through it. I even had a tutor to help me out. Thank goodness I made up for that weakness by getting good grades in English and History. As long as there were no computations involved, I was fine.

The PROM; the biggest Big Deal of high school life was a constant cause of worry and nervousness. It was the first time I ever went on a real date. It wasn't the best date ever, actually it was pretty much a disaster. If there's one thing I learned from that episode, it's that when things get so bad, they can only get better.

Now I worry about more grown-up things like bills, the mortgage, my family's welfare. Ahh, youth is indeed wasted on the young, eh?

It's all in the lighting

House decorating is something I’ve never really been interested in. When I was single I didn’t really share my mom’s constant interest in the house ware section of department stores. She loved to look at the latest furnishings and sometimes would pick up a new vase or decorative item to add to our already-full display shelves. Mom especially loved lamps.

Despite the central lighting in the rooms in our house, such as a chandelier or a lighted ceiling fan she would still add table lamps or floor lamps to strategic corners to emphasize a favorite painting or figurine. She said it added warmth to the ambiance of the room. Back then the only important lamp to me was the one on top of my study table.

Now that I’m married and have a home of my own I love to go to furniture shops and browse through online home stores. I remember being pregnant and dividing my time between the home and baby sections. I’m still searching for the perfect lighting fixtures for our living room. Right now we live abroad in a furnished apartment and I can’t wait to go home and update our little abode’s look.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Awards from Friends

I got these awards from Pat. Thanks girl!

I'm sending this out to Tricia and Rynor.

On being domesticated & chores tag

This was passed on by Marie!


This meme is pretty simple. Here are the rules:

1.) List down the household chores you hate and why. Do you think you can survive without helpers and nannies?

2.) Copy the image.

3.) Tag as many girlfriends you want, the daddies and hubbies can also join.

4.) Add your blog's link in the domesticated divas linky love. You can add all your blogs.

5.) Leave ME a comment and I'll add you up in the masterlist.

DOMESTICATED DIVAS: Living the Healthy Life / Sripe & Yellow / Vanity Kit / Mind Bubbles / Something Purple / Em's Detour / Insights from the Grocery Cart / Living A'La Mode / Joy's In Life / Sheng's Simple Thoughts / Coriander Dreams / Gorgeous Traveller / A Traveller's Domain / Lemon Iced Tea / One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

~~~END COPY~~~

MY ANSWER: I dislike ironing mainly because I'm not really good at it. I also don't like washing greasy pots and pans. Sometimes it's hard to get the oil out. Living abroad has forced me and hubby to do everything by ourselves. Since I'm a SAHM I do most of the housework. I've learned a lot of things along the way and am nowhere near being a domestic diva but I'm slowly getting there. Haha! It would be nice to have some help though so I can just focus on my daughter.

I am tagging Mec, Joanne and Jan!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Island Fever

Have you ever heard of cabin fever? It’s when you have been cooped up indoors for such a long period of time that you just crave for a change of environment. Being on an island for seven months makes me feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, Marshall Islands is a beautiful place to live in. It’s quaint, peaceful, pollution-free and generally crime-free. But after you get your fill of the beach and the open sea, there’s really not much else to do around the island. For a country that used to be a U.S. territory, it is not very developed especially when it comes to recreation.

Downtown Majuro, MI's capital

There are no malls or department stores, no high-rise buildings or fancy restaurants, no parks or museums, no sports facilities. The nicest-looking building is the National Government Office where the President holds office. There are three hotels, all three-star in rank run by Americans and Taiwanese businessmen. There are no high-end beach resorts either. There’s a resort on Eneko Island that offers modest accommodations but all the other islands are pretty much uninhabited. Hubby’s boss owns another island, Enimanit which has small nipa huts imported all the way from the Philippines that provide shade and serve as picnic areas but this island has no electricity so visitors can only stay until sunset.

the rarely used Convention Center

There are many small grocery stores and a couple of big supermarkets. There are a few clothing shops that sell mostly muumuus (a dressier version of the housedress or daster, it’s the Marshallese women’s favorite attire) and simple casual clothing.

Native Chapel in Laura Beach

The country is a group of small islands, the biggest and most populous is Majuro. The three hotels have their own restaurants. There is a Japanese restaurant, a number of Chinese restos, a Filipino eatery and a Vietnamese take-out place.

There is cable TV but there are not too many channels too choose from. There’s Channel V, MTV, CNN, Fox News, Star Movies, Star World, BBC News, Knowledge Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Australia TV, ESPN and a bunch of Chinese channels. There is TFC too. However, if it rains too much, reception becomes snowy or disappears altogether for a couple of days.

the biggest & tallest, National Government Building

Marshall Islands definitely needs some dire sprucing up. The island would be a great tourist destination if only it had the attractions for beach-loving travelers. I haven’t gone diving or snorkeling but I hear that the corals and underwater life are a sight to see. The beaches are clear white sand and turquoise waters, it’s sad that most of the local people are not conscious about maintaining cleanliness though. The beaches near the city already have some pieces of trash littered about the shore. The outer islands are better preserved. Visitors are required to bring their trash back with them after staying on the smaller islands.

Sunset views on both sides of the island

Our weekends are spent at home, in the company of Rynor’s work mates, going to the beach or watching DVDs borrowed from the lone video rental shop.

We still have a few more months to stay on this tropical island until we go back home and, as hubby calls it, “join the real world”. Meanwhile, it’s almost sunset and time for me to take in the lovely ocean view from our porch.

Dusk on the island

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fab Frames at Fab Prices

I’ve never been into eyewear despite being nearsighted. As a child, I hated wearing my eyeglasses and was only too glad to shift to contact lens in my teens. But a few years back an ophthalmologist recommended that I have eyeglasses handy to allow my eyes to rest from time to time. I grudgingly bought a pair and have stuck to them since.

My hubby is also nearsighted but is totally my opposite when it comes to eyewear. He loves collecting eyeglasses and shades and encouraged me to check out this new online shop he discovered called Zenni Optical. He said they have incredibly stylish new frames at unbelievably affordable prices.

They have a huge selection of frames, with single vision lens, sunsensor (potochromic)lens, tinted sunglasses lens, bifocal lens and progressive lens. I was at first skeptical, but became a true convert when Zenni Optical was on FOX News! I couldn’t be happier. Now I have a wider array of fabulous frames to choose from. Zenni Optical $8 Rx Eyeglasses are an absolute steal.

Friday, August 1, 2008

God's Pharmacy

I got this as a forwarded email and could not help but share it here in my blog...

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

The Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the number of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body's cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.