Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Be a Smart Loser

I've never had a problem losing weight. In fact, up until I got pregnant I had always been below a 100 lbs. I'm not sure if it has to do with my metabolism, my bone structure, my genes or all of the above but for most of my life I've been on the slender side. It's not that I am doing anything to keep the weight off in fact, I'd always wanted to have a fuller figure but no matter how much I ate I never gained enough weight to achieve this, until I got pregnant that is. I gained about 30 lbs. altogether and promptly shed most of it a month or two after giving birth. I have breastfeeding to thank for that.

I guess I could say that I'm one of the lucky ones in this department. I have friends who constantly complain about needing to lose weight. Although I argue that gaining weight is even harder, they just roll their eyes at me. One friend has tried every imaginable diet there is: South Beach, After Six, Three-Day Diet, name it, she's tried it. She's even taken some diet pills to boost her weight-loss program. Until now, she's still in search of the best diet pill in the market. There are pills that make you lose your appetite or make you have to rush to the bathroom after a meal. I've even heard of diet pills laced with drugs. A former officemate got addicted to her pills and kept taking them even after she had already lost a considerable amount of weight. I got worried about her because she experienced bad side effects to the pills and could not function properly. It turns out that the pills weren't even approved by the FDA.

I believe the best way to lose weight is to eat right and exercise. If you must take a diet pill, be sure to consult a physician first. Don't just buy whatever is available at the drugstore. Do your research and find out as much as you can about the pill before you take it. Be a smart loser (of weight) and you end up a winner.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blast from the Past

A few posts ago, I talked about being a Facebook newbie. Since then I've added dozens of friends to my list. At first it was just people I currently know, like my siblings, cousins, former officemates, and classmates from high school and college. But lately, I've also discovered old friends from way, way back, as in people I had known before I was even 10 years old! You see, I went to one school all throughout elementary and then transferred for high school after grade 7.

It was so much fun looking up my former classmates because the last time I saw most of them was when we were all about 12 and 13 years old. Based on their profile pictures and photo albums you could easily tell who gained weight, who looks practically the same, who changed drastically. There's the frivolous girl who's now a responsible mother of three, the one who I caught cheating off my test paper now married with twins, the tough bully who's become a surgeon, the thin and awkward seat mate who's become a top fashion model, a couple of happy-go-lucky guys still enjoying their bachelor days. The quiet nerd-turned-photographer. The list goes on.

I remember them all, some vaguely, some quite well. I remember playing jackstones, patintero and cops and robbers with them during recess and lunch. I remember my first barkada and the name we gave our little group. It's amazing to see how everyone has turned out.

I was a bit apprehensive to invite some of them, especially those that I wasn't really very close to since I figured they might not remember me from so many years ago, but it warmed my heart to get notes from some of them reminiscing about our childhood.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dreaming of a Cruise Holiday

As a little girl one of my favorite TV shows was the “Love Boat”. I found it so amazing to go on a holiday aboard a luxury cruise liner. It seemed to be the height of sophistication and romance. It also seemed pretty expensive. Fortunately today, there are a number of cruise lines available to cater to the different tastes of discerning vacationers. Gone are the days when only the ultra-rich could afford such a trip.

Cruise holidays are the ultimate haven for the traveler who wants to get away from it all and visit one picturesque destination after another without ever leaving the comforts of his hotel room, which in cruise-speak is more commonly known as a cabin. This is not to say that cruise ships are merely moving hotels. The best ocean liners boast of well-appointed cabins and luxurious modern facilities. Elegant dining rooms that serve international cuisine enough to whet your appetite, an entertainment theater for musical shows, shops for the shopaholic, a well-stocked library for the bookworm, even special fun activities for the littlest member of the family. A gym and swimming pools are also de rigueur on cruise ships for the health buff. There are so many available attractions on deck that one might even be torn between sampling all of them or disembarking to go sightseeing.

I have been to parts of the U.S., Hongkong, Rome and Australia and currently reside in Marshall Islands but there is still much of the world I would like to visit and would very much like to go on a cruise on my next travel abroad. I have my eye on cruises to the Mediterranean, Europe and the Greek Islands. A trip to Alaska would also be wonderful. Other popular destinations are the Caribbean, Baltic Fjords, Scandinavia, the Far East, South America and the Indian Ocean. Each location has a charm and ambiance distinctly its own.

To travel the world is indeed an exciting privilege, but now it is also within more people’s reach.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Photos with a twist

I discovered the website through fellow n@wie blogger Peachy's site. It renders special effects on photos. Here are the top three:

Rubik's Cube - Lolo and Raine in the garden
Wedding photo - Good enough for a museum?
Pensive Raine - See the details of her lashes and the flower tucked behind her ear.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Facebook Newbie

Are you on Facebook? I was invited by my best friend Hazel to join a couple of months ago but I dilly-dallied until last week to complete my profile. And now, I must say I’m quite hooked. For those not familiar with Facebook, it’s very much like Friendster. It’s a social networking site where you put in your basic info much like a slambook. You search the site for people you know and add them to your friends list. You don’t have to worry that some stranger will be able to access your personal info because before a friend can be added to your list, you’re sent an email to verify if you indeed know the person who’s inviting you, the same goes when you invite someone.

The great thing about it is that when someone sends you a message, you can easily see it on your profile page. Called “The Wall”, it’s where your friends can post short notes or messages to you. Here they can also send you videos and even “gifts”. You can add different applications that will allow you to send a variety of gifts such as Starbucks drinks, stuffed toys, Easter Eggs, pastries, alcoholic beverage, even luxury bags, shoes and watches. Of course these are only pretend or virtual gifts that you can freely giveaway. You don’t actually receive the gifts. There are also applications related to charitable institutions such as feeding the hungry, cancer awareness, saving the environment, etc. There is even an application that gives you super powers. While another lets you play virtual poker with your friends. I’m pretty sure there are a lot more applications I have not discovered yet.

A feature I also like is that unlike in Friendster where you are notified who viewed your profile or took a look at your albums, in Facebook, it’s kept private. Hehe! So you can spy on your ex’s profile, take a look at his pictures without him knowing about it. Sneaky, sneaky! Of course, he has to have you on his friends list for you to be able to access his deets.

At first, I found all the applications too overwhelming. Some of my friends would invite me to add all these things to my own account and most of the time I’d feel obliged to accept, especially since we’re abroad and don’t get to see them much. Although now I’ve learned to decline some of the invites I find too strange, like being a vampire. I prefer searching for old friends and I have to admit I’ve been pretty successful at it. I’ve even found a number of classmates from grade school and my prom date! It’s nice to be able to see how everyone turned out and catch up on old times.

At this day and age when relationships come and go, it's great to have the chance to reminisce about the good old days and keep in touch with friends who are half way across the globe. Sites such as Friendster and Facebook, just makes it so much more cool and fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Credit cards: boon or bane?

The first time I had my own credit card was right after college. It was a pre-approved card but nonetheless made me feel really grown-up. There’s just something about making a purchase without the exchange of cold cash right then and there. I have to admit being a young urban professional then I used my card a lot. To me it felt like, a “buy now, pay later” scheme. At the back of my mind I knew I would settle my credit card bill come payday. Reminiscing on my past spending habits now just makes me shake my head in absolute bewilderment at my spendthrift ways. Youth is indeed wasted on the young. I sure am glad that I didn’t end up being a slave to my credit card. I know of someone who half-jokingly used to say she actually works to pay off her credit card debt.

Some people fall prey to the many attractive sales promotions and spend money they don’t even have. Before they know it, they have maxed out their credit card and are up to their necks in debt. How can one easily get out of such a daunting dilemma? Paying just the minimum amount due every month is certainly not the way to go. Fortunately, help is readily available through online payday loans. However, it should be stressed that loans such as this should be for emergency purposes only since they usually have higher interest rates. Although loans such as these usually have higher interest rates, I believe that’s the price you pay for speedy and worry free service.

Online Shopping: The Wave of the Future?

I love to go shopping. Part of the thrill other than the final purchase of course, is how it tickles all five senses. For clothes, shoes and bags, it’s seeing all the different colors and styles, trying them on, seeing how they look on you, how the material feels against your skin. For gadgets, it’s tinkering with it, turning it over in your hand, inspecting it with a careful eye. But with the advent of the internet and the surge in popularity of this new way of shopping, I still preferred to shop the traditional way.

But since we moved out of Manila, where malls sprout up faster than you can say “SM”, we have had to deal with very limited shopping options.

It was actually my hubby who encouraged me to try out online shopping. He had tried it himself a few years back when he worked on a military service facility on a remote island. After work, while waiting for me to go online to chat, he would just surf the net and see what's out there. Since the credit card is the main transaction mode, he made sure to research on reputable online shops. His favorites were (the golf warehouse) where he bought golf clubs and for gadgets. He was so amazed at the ease of his shopping experience and surprised at the affordable prices that he even bought electronics and eyewear and re-sold them to his colleagues for a profit.

I had only shopped online through a friend's online store called Her site is patterned after many international online shops, where at the click of a button you can see the color of the top you want, inspect it up close by zooming on the product and even see how the back looks. Recently, I bought athletic shoes from JC Penney and was even able to view every angle of it, from top to bottom. My favorite though is mainly because the shipping cost to Marshall Islands is a steal at just $7.93.

Of course buying online does have one setback, delayed gratification. Hehe! After purchasing what you shopped for, you have to wait at the most 2 weeks, depending on where you live, to get your items. But there's no need to worry that your items get lost in transit. Most big online shops have a tracking system where you can check when your stuff were shipped and the estimated arrival to your place. If ever you are not satisfied with your purchase there is almost always a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Great huh?

Online shopping right now hasn't really caught on as much in mainstream Philippines, but with the escalating gas prices, more people are opting to stay home or at least stay close to home and forego the usual Sunday trip to the mall. Shopping online may just be the thing to whet your shopping appetite.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Small Bang Theory

Raine’s hair has been taking its sweet time in growing. I thought by this time I would already be tying her hair in pigtails with colorful clips and barrettes. However, she’s now 20 months old and has never had a haircut except for a bangs trim last May. Her bangs have grown longer since then, thankfully, and were already touching her eyes so I thought of cutting them myself.

Early this week while she took her afternoon nap I decided to give her a cut. It was trickier than I thought. Hair after all, unlike paper, doesn’t stay still when you move the scissors across it. Needless to say, I kind of botched it up. I ended up cutting too much and now Raine’s bangs are halfway up her forehead, making her look like a little Bruce Lee. Haha! My cousin-in-law said she looks like a cute Korean babydoll. Hubby tried to remedy it by making her bangs look feathery and not too straight across. Well, to us she’s still as adorable as ever. What do you think?

Are you ready for a rainy day?

Times are getting harder. Prices keep going up. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to keep up with all our financial obligations. There are payments to be made for utilities, the car, the house, the children’s tuition, insurance and so many other expenses to think about. Juggling all these, one can’t afford to default on any duties. But what if something unforeseen were to happen? What if the car breaks down, the house is flooded and needs major repairs or you get hospitalized unexpectedly?

Where do you get funds for such an emergency? It’s never easy asking for a loan. You can kick yourself all you want for not having a "rainy day fund" but that’s not going to solve your problems. You have to swallow your pride and accept the fact that you need some help and fast. Fortunately, in this cyber age, help can be easily found on the net. There are a number of reputable web-based lending institutions that can provide cash advance loans in half the time it would take you to go to the bank. Just make sure you do your research, get referrals and ask around, because like in all things there are some shady companies out there. When you are armed with the necessary info then you can be assured of worry-free and hassle-free financial assistance.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Ahh in Spa

Hubby and I love to get massages. When we recently went to Manila for a vacation we made sure to get professional massages. We got a massage at a spa recommended by a friend and then home service referred by my sister.

At night, I usually give hubby a foot massage with lots of “help” from Raine. She likes to knead her Daddy’s feet for a few seconds and then proceeds to his back for her version of the Shiatsu. But after many nights of watching her Dad fall asleep while we massage him, now the little masseuse-wannabe wants to get some pampering for herself too.

It all started a couple of months ago when she had a bad coughing spell. During that time I would rub her chest, her back and the soles of her feet with vapor rub. It always calmed her down and usually got her drifting off to dreamland faster than usual.

Her cough is long gone now but she still likes to get her massages, even during her afternoon naps! I usually rub just a little vapor rub onto her skin but after this she says, “Back, back please”. And promptly turns around. She loves back massages and after the vapor rub she turns to me and points to her baby lotion, “Shon, shon”.

Now, between me and hubby, he’s the better massager. I always tease him that it seems like he went to reflexology school. No matter how much I try to copy the movement of his hands and fingers I can never get it right. I guess some hands aren’t masseuse material. Haha! Oh well, as long as my family loves my massages, that’s all that really matters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's tag time

Thanks again Pat for this tag!

The rules are simple. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves 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? Working at Hemisphere Leo Burnett

2. What are the 5 things on my to-do list today?
~ Do the grocery.
~ Fix the cluttered cabinets and drawers.
~ Exercise!
~ Update blog
~ Send out pending emails

3. Snacks I enjoy: Potato chips, cornick, popcorn

4. Place where I lived:
~ Makati, Paranaque, Taguig and now Marshall Islands

5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire:
~ Travel the world with my family
~ Secure that hubby and I retire comfortably
~ Build our dream home
~ Get a McDonald's or Jollibee franchise
~ Invest in properties, mutual funds for Raine and our future kids

6. People I want to know more about: Marie, Nancy, Chel, Maia, Jenny, Tricia.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dora and Barney Overload

The past two weeks Raine has been going loco over Dora the Explorer and Barney. At first it was just Dora. Even if she's watched all 4 episodes on the DVD, she would still come up to me and say, "Dowa, Dowa, please!" then she puts her hands together as if begging. She's so cute when she does it that I just have to give in. Well, I like Dora and think she's a great influence for Raine who has learned new words just by watching it, but I can only take so much of the spunky senorita. So I thought of letting her watch Barney too. Now Raine switches between Dora and the purple dinosaur on a daily basis. I let her watch Baby Einstein and Baby Bumblebee educational videos as well but after either is done, she always asks for "Dowa" or "Marney".

I know toddlers love repetition and take comfort in its familiarity. My sister's daughter Annika watches High School Musical every single day. Once during lunch, Raine had just watched an episode of Barney and I switched to cable so I could watch re-runs of Friends. She let out a wail and wouldn't stop crying. Her Dad asked her if she wanted to watch Dora or Friends. Guess what she chose?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Live Rich with Orovo

As a homemaker, I’m always on the lookout for quality products that are priced affordably. Nowadays when the prices of consumer goods are going through the roof, it has become even more increasingly important to shop wisely. Surfing the net, I chanced upon Orovo. It is a revolutionary manufacturing company that offers premium health supplements and beauty products at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Orovo boasts of a wide variety of everyday essentials for different kinds of people. You might need to boost your immune system with the help of multivitamins. You might want to jump start your new diet plan with fat burners and weight loss pills. You might be looking for a safe and sure way to treat your acne. You can get all these and more at this amazing site. All products are made using the finest quality natural ingredients there is.

I’m really glad I discovered this site and am thankful that I can easily shop in their website for the products that would benefit me and my family. With products like Orovo around, it’s just a matter of time before we can all "Live Rich".

Monday, July 14, 2008

I love to read

I love to read. As a toddler, my Mom said I would amuse myself during time-outs by leafing thru my Dad’s Reader’s Digest magazine collection. In grade school, I remember devouring our children’s encyclopedias. It had 12 volumes, each one about a different subject. There was Science, Math, History and my two favorites which I liked to read over and over again; classical fairy tales and bedtime stories from around the world. By the second grade I was already reading Nancy Drew books which I borrowed two at a time from the school library. I believe I got my poor eyesight from constantly reading via the lamplight beside my bed.

In my preteens, I discovered teen romantic paperbacks such as Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High. I would save up a portion of my allowance just to be able to buy them. I even discovered a book lending shop near our house where I could borrow as many books as I wanted for a minimal fee. I later moved on to Danielle Steele and John Grisham novels. Back then if it was a really good book I would finish it overnight, staying up until the wee hours of the morning just to find out what happens in the end. One of my favorite subjects in high school was Literature. Here we got to read works of Shakespeare and other contemporary novels like To Kill A Mockingbird.

In college, reading for pleasure took a backseat to school work and going out with friends. I missed reading for fun. But I must admit I liked reading a few obligatory novels like Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. One class even required us to read The Beloved by Toni Morrison, while another class let us read works by Agatha Christie. When I joined the yuppie world, my first job was at an advertising agency. The late nights wore me out so I preferred to zone out on weekends and watch TV or go to the movies. I did subscribe to Reader’s Digest and read it cover to cover. But when I had more regular work hours in my next job I again found time to really enjoy reading. I got to read different kinds of things: works of Nicholas Sparks, Tuesdays with Morrie, Like Water for Chocolate, The Prophet, even self-help books like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Purpose-Driven Life.

Hubby and I share a love for reading and it was actually because of this that we went out on our first official date: he lent me 100 Years of Solitude and I lent him Love in the Time of Cholera. When I found out I was pregnant I borrowed my sister’s copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It became my bible for all those nine months. Hubby also read a book for fathers-to-be and bought a Parenting Book for both of us. My favorite book then was Dr. Seuss’ Oh Baby, the Places You’ll Go, a book you read to baby in utero.

Now that I’m a Mommy, most of the books I read with and to Raine but I do get some alone time when she naps or is busy playing. I recently bought three really good books at the Guam airport while waiting for our connecting flight to M.I. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Husband by Dean Koontz and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

No three books could be more different from each other.

Eat, Pray, Love is the personal memoir of the writer about her “search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia”. After Gilbert’s traumatic divorce and consequent depression, she sets out on a personal journey in pursuit of pleasure, devotion and balance in three very exciting and exotic places. It’s a definite must-read for all the women out there who dare to defy the stereotypes of society and be their own person.

It is a very fun book to read. It arouses all your senses; tickling your palate with sumptuous dining experiences, rekindling or strengthening your spirituality (wherever you may be at the moment) and relationship with God, and finally trying to achieve “a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence”.

The Husband reads like a suspense thriller. It’s about an ordinary man whose wife is kidnapped and held for ransom for $2 million dollars. What baffles the protagonist in the story is why he and his wife were chosen out of all the thousands of people in their community. Being a simple landscaper, he certainly doesn’t have the kind of money the kidnappers are asking for. The book asks the question, how far you would go for the one you love. It has all the twists and turns you would expect from this genre of novels. It was an exciting read and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan from the 1970s to 2003, A Thousand Splendi
d Suns is a heart-wrenching tale about two Afghan women who live in a country embattled by war and poverty. It takes the reader from the innocence of their youth when they lived in a place of promise and freedom, to their adulthood where they suffer oppression and violence not just because of the war but from a force that will bind them forever. After reading this book, you will never look at Afghanistan the same way again.

If you’ve read Khaled Hosseini’s first book, the bestseller, The Kite Runner, you will love this one too. I haven’t read the former but I was able to watch the movie it was based on and it was really very touching and an eye opener to say the least.

So these are the latest books I’ve read. I only wish there was a bookstore here but there is none. Hopefully, I can order some nice books thru online. Some books I’m looking forward to are: The Pillars of the Earth (heard it was on Oprah's Book Club), The Secret Life of Bees, The Devil Wears Prada (watched the movie and just want to see how the book goes), The Nanny Diaries and The Kite Runner.

If you have any great reads to suggest, feel free to drop me a line.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fun Q & A Tag

Got tagged by Pat, thanks for this! =)

This is very interesting and fun to do.

Have you ever gone on a blind date? Yes.
Skipped school? Yes, during college. Not a whole day though, just a class here and there.
Been on a plane? Yes.
Been lost? Yes, I’m really bad with directions.
Swam in the ocean? Yes.
Cried yourself to sleep? Yes.
Played cops and robbers? Yes.
Played with dolls? Yes.
Recently colored with crayons? Nope.
Sang karaoke? Yes, as in before pa the videoke became uso.
Paid for a meal with coins only? Nope.
Done something you said you wouldn't? Yes.
Cheated on a test? Uhmm, yes.
Made prank phone calls? Yes, if calling and hanging up counts as a prank. Hehe!
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose? Nope.
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Nope.
Danced in the rain? Played in the rain, yes
Written a letter to Santa Claus? Yes! Even put it in our little mailbox outside our gate
Watched the sunrise with someone you care about? Watched the sunrise grudgingly during CAT camping, it was my shift to watch over everyone and I was really sleepy. But have watched sunset with my former-boyfriend-now-hubby.
Been kissed under the mistletoe? Nope.
Gone ice skating? Nope.
Been skinny dipping outdoors? Nope.
Favorite drink I'm allowed on a regular basis. Iced tea or lemonade
Tattoos? None.
Body piercings? Just ears.
Vacation spot? Now that we’re away from the Philippines, it’s the Philippines of course. But my dream vacation spot is France and Italy (w/ hubby this time)
Eaten cookies for dinner? Yes and lunch too
Ever been on TV? Yes, telecast of the World Youth Day in Manila but I didn’t see it, was just told about it later. Was also in Wish Ko Lang but for a few seconds only cos our company donated educ plans to a blind man’s kids.
Ever been in a car accident? Yes, a very very minor one.
Favorite number and why? 18, I just like it.
Favorite movie? So many – Ever After, Forrest Gump, Lord of the Rings, The Bucket List, Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge
Favorite holiday? Christmas
Favorite smells? Raine, grass after it rains, and cookies baking in the oven
What do you do to relax? Sleep or read
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Back in Manila with a business and 1 or 2 more kids after Raine

I'd like to pass this tag on to Delish, Marvz18, Goru, Ginni, Renz.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Candle & a Prayer

Thanks Renz, for sending me this prayer tag.

Dear God, we pray for the quick recovery of all the sick and the dying especially those suffering from lupus and cancer. May they find courage in their pain. Amen.

To those who will be tagged, all you have to do is keep this circulating.

Even if it’s to only one person. In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by a serious illness like Lupus or Cancer or is still living with it. A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.

Blogs who have prayed:

1.) Eida’s Closet 2.) My Precious 3.) Just Me.. Eds 4.) Milet 5.) FunFierceFab 6.) Live the Life of a Dreamer 7.) One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

Please keep this candle going.

Let's continue to pray for a cure.

Would like to tag Jan and Tricia.

Flame of Friendship

This is a much delayed tag I got from Pheng. =)

The Flame of Friendship. A symbol of spirit of unity.The burning icon of love.Undying picture of hope.The hot symbol of oneness. The Flame of Friendship. And now it's your turn to pass on the flame!

Copy this post starting from the PICTURE ABOVE to the end and add your blog on the list below. Let's start FLAMING!

Tiklaton: We are the witness
Janeth's Vicy's Life Journey
My Precious
Thea is Blogger Happy
Thea is Berry Scrappy Too
Scribbles of My Life
In This Game of Life
Shimumsy's Republic of A
Princess Vien
Our Journey To Life
Life. Love. Family. Work. Travel.
One Hundred And Eighty Degrees


I'd like to pass this on to
Rocks, Jammy, Sheryll.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Raine's Dictionary

One of the first major milestones of a baby is when she utters her first real word. I say real because most babies babble and gurgle unintelligible sounds at the beginning. I remember when Raine said her first syllable, "Bah!", it was so loud and forceful it took me by surprise. She was only about 3 months at the time and I thought it was just a matter of time before she started spouting words. My mom once commented that Raine would probably be talkative because she always seemed to be "talking". It was as if she wanted to join in the conversation even if we didn't understand her contributions.

At 10 months she said her first real word, "Baby!". And after that she would say it as much as she can. Now that she is 20 months old she can say over 75 words. She loves to "talk" to hubby and me and although we still don't understand half of what she says we pretend that we do to encourage her speech.

Like most toddlers learning to talk she has difficulty saying some words and oftentimes invents her own versions of certain words too. These are Raine's top 10:

1. Boomboom - This means pillow. For the life of me, I don't know why she calls her pillows boombooms. We never talk to her using cutesy words or phrases so she must have thought this up all on her own.

2. Nus - She already knows the basic parts of the face and body and loves to name them all while pointing to them. Her favorite part of the face are her eyes and then her nus (nose).

3. Slimping - This is easy, since she can't enunciate yet this is her version of sleeping.

4. Gib - I taught her the word "behave" and everytime she acts up I just say this word and she crosses her arms and stays still. Okay, it only works for a few seconds, but still.

5. Sin - She loves raisins so I always mix it up with her cereal or oatmeal.

6. Pip - Another part of the face she loves are the lips

7. Tum - Here Raine is referring to her tummy. She loves to pull up her shirt and point to her tummy.

8. Suds - Hubby and I love massages and right before bedtime is time for a soothing rubdown. The little girl points to the lotion and says "Suds!", short for "mas-SUDS".

9. Bahd - Raine loves them all; whole wheat, white, dinner rolls. She eats them plain.

10. Soh - She likes all kinds of animals and after the dog and the cow, comes the "horse". I don't really know why she calls it "soh" but she knows how to imitate its neighing sound.

Raine used to call me either Mimi or Maymie, while her Dad is Didi or Daydie. Now she calls us Mommy and Daddy and it's music to our ears. Pretty soon, our little bunny will be carrying real conversations with us. We can't wait!