Friday, March 21, 2008

Our Little Energizer Bunny

Raine is turning into a very precocious toddler. Just recently, she was able to push a chair all the way to the front of the fridge all by herself. She then climbed the chair so she could reach the colorful magnets on the top half of the fridge! Good thing hubby and I saw her just in time.

Raine is such a bundle of energy, she’s our very own energizer bunny. She was up until 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday night as well. Hubby and I were both so sleepy already but she was still wound up. I thought for sure she would sleep early Sunday because she slept so little the previous night and only napped for an hour in the afternoon, but there was just no stopping her.

Although the apartment has 2 rooms, the 3 of us sleep in the same room. We moved the other mattress to our room for Raine to have her own bed. To keep her from rolling off, we placed it against the corner wall. Her bed is flanked by our bigger bed and a long chest of drawers. Raine loves to go up and down both beds, hide under the covers until we “find” her and play with her stuffed toys. Unlike when she was a baby when I would rock and sing her to sleep, now she falls asleep on her own. The only problem is she’ll go to sleep only when she wants to, despite our bedtime rituals. Lately, I’ve noticed that she plays with her dolls more animatedly. She would get a couple at a time and pretend they were talking to each other then they would end their “conversation” by giving each other a kiss. It’s really hilarious watching her do this.

Sometimes despite her colorful toys and books, she prefers going thru all the cabinets and drawers she can open. I’m actually running out of kitchen storage space because the ones she can open are now empty. She used to take out all the pots and pans and pretend to cook her books or toys in them. Sometimes she would get the canned goods and other food items inside the lower cabinets and line them up on the sofa.

When she does something naughty or misbehaves (throw food on the floor, bang her sippy cup on the coffee table, chew on her books, etc.) I scold her and let her know that what she has done is not good. Sometimes she seems to understand and becomes quiet, but more often than not she would look at me with her big, round eyes and act like so sweet and innocent that I just have to stop and smile.

Everyday my little energizer bunny displays more independence and I see the baby rapidly turning into a little girl. It is only when she sleeps that the baby in her sometimes returns. She loves to sleep with her back against me or her Daddy’s. I know she’s tired and sleepy once she lies down, rolls around until her back touches my chest and snuggles up until she’s comfortable. Sometimes she takes my arm and wraps it around herself like a warm blanket. Within minutes she’s fast asleep.

I miss the baby that Raine was but watching her grow into a lovable tyke is something I look forward to everyday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Making friends while increasing your PR

I never thought having a blog could also mean making new online friends. Only in the 21st century huh. I'd like to thank Pat for the Friendship Chain and Anna for the Linky Love tags.

Friendship Chain

~~Begin Copy~~

This is the easy way and the fastest way to :

1. Make your Technorati Authority explode. 2. Increase your Google Page Rank. 3. Get more traffic to your blog. 4. Make new friends.

Rules :1. Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog. 2. Put your own blog name and link. 3. Tag your friends as much as you can.

1. Picturing of Life 2. Juliana’s Site 3. Hazel-My Life, My Hope, My Future.4. Jeanne-The Callalily Space5.My Family is my Life 6. My Charmed Life 7. To the Moon and Back 8. My Happy Place 9. I am Dzoi 10. 100% Kelly 11. Shopaholic Ties The Knot 12. One Hundred Eighty Degrees

~~End Copy~~

I'm tagging Agnes, Danie, Eileen, Faye, Jan, Jenn, Joanne and Mari.
Linky Love

Cut and paste the following starting here.

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)It’s real easy!

Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!The benefits of Viral Linking:- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!- Increase your Google PageRank fast- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site- Build your community- Make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook, Link Addiction, Ardour of the Heart, When Life Becomes a Book, The Malaysian Life,, What goes under the sun,Roshidan’s Cyber Station, Sasha says, Arts of Physics, And the legend lives, My View, My Life, A Simple Life, Juliana RW, The Callalily Space, Petra Summer in Blue, Confessions of an Army Wife Bless’ Sanctuary Happy Life,, La Place de Cherie, Chez Francine, Le bric a brac de Cherie, Little Peanut, Pea in a Pod, The Creative In Me, Me and Mine, Pinay Mommy, Expressions from the Heart, TeacherJulie, Sweetbites by Bang, Paul, Toni and Lance - Bridging the Distance, Our Growing Family, The Uncensored life of me, My Untamed World, Something Purple, A Detour, Something Purple, Wifespeaks, Coffeenchoclate - Anna, One Hundred Eighty Degrees

I am tagging Jennie, Anne, Pheng, Rhea, May and Emz.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Raine Moments

Baby Raine, as her almost 3-yr. old cousin Annika calls her, is now 16 ½ months old. Not much of a baby anymore. She’s about 27 lbs now, quite chubby for a little girl her age, and showing more of a personality everyday. She has just recently learned how to give Mom and Dad a kiss, complete with a “mwah” sound. For awhile she would only kiss her stuffed toys. She also knows how to do the flying kiss, although, since I taught it to her to say goodbye to her rubber ducky after her bath, she would only do it in the bathroom. Her Dad taught her how to remove his socks and put it in the hamper. It’s really funny how she excitedly removes them when Rynor comes home from the office and she goes to our room to find the hamper to put them away. When she opens her books she starts pointing at the drawings and babbles away, as if she’s reading the words or making up her own story. To help her fall asleep I would often rock her stuffed toys to sleep, hoping she would want to do the same but she just picks up her toys one by one and hands them to me again and tells me to “meme” her dolls. Sometimes she does it herself, she takes 2 toys at a time and sways from side to side while she says “baby, baby” to them softly.

Her first word like most babies was “Mama” and then when she learned to say “baby” at about 11 months, she loved to say it about 100 times a day. When we got to Marshall Islands one of her first words was “dirty”. She seems to have a fascination with dust and dirt as she likes to pick up things on the floor and put them in her mouth! Gross, right? I’m always telling her not to do this because it’s dirty and that’s how she must have picked it up. Haha! She loves all kinds of music. Whether it’s pop, jazz, classical or hip-hop the minute she hears music from the TV or radio she would start dancing. She would move her body up, down, side to side. She would bob her head and raise her arms with a big smile on her face. It’s really a site to behold.

Raine also loves animals, especially dogs. Whether she’s watching Baby Einstein or Animal Planet, she would get excited whenever she would see animals on the screen. She would point at the TV and say “Oh, oh!”.

Sometimes when we are sitting together either on her bed or on the sofa she would stand up, go behind me and wrap her arms around my neck to give me a hug. She also likes to put her face very near mine and pucker her lips slightly, meaning she would like a kiss. Our little girl has so many adorable little antics and you can already see her personality emerging, but these are my absolute favorite Raine moments.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

6 Quirky Things About Moi

This was a fun thing to do. Had a hard time thinking up stuff to put because I kept coming up with embarrassing things instead. Hehe. Thanks Marie for tagging me.

The rules:Link to the person that tagged you.

Post the rules on your blog.

Share six un-important things/habits/quirks about your self.

Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let these random people know that they are tagged by leaving comments in their blog. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Unimportant things/habits/quirks about my self.

1. I took Hawaiian dancing lessons when I was 8 yrs. old.
2. I took piano lessons too but I didn’t really learn how to read notes very well. I just memorized the different positions of my fingers on the piano so I could play the tunes during class. Obviously, I didn’t like playing the piano at all.
3. I learned to ride a 2-wheeled bike only when I was 11 years old. Before that my bike always had the little training wheels attached to the back wheel.
4. I’m such a scaredy-cat when it comes to thriller/horror movies that after watching The Sixth Sense I slept over my friend’s house because I didn’t want to sleep by myself in my room.
5. I fall asleep faster and better if I’m lying down on my left side.
6. I took driving lessons twice but I still don’t drive. Didn’t really get to practice much, but still, how embarrassing noh?

I'd like to tag Tricia, Anna, Faye, Jen, Pat and Mari next!

Also, thanks to Anna for sending me this award.
I haven't really haven't had much time to check out all my blogger friends' sites but here are just some of the few I think deserve this award: Marie, Joy, Peachy and Tricia.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Laidback Sunday

We had a fun-filled busy Sunday. The three of us got up at about 10am and had a lazy brunch of last night’s leftovers. We dropped by hubby’s project, so he could check on the progress of the construction workers. It slipped our minds that it was lunch break and everyone was either out for lunch or taking naps under the shade. So off we went to hubby’s officemate’s apartment where a group of them were just about to have lunch. We chatted for awhile and then went to hubby’s office where his boss, John, turned over some work stuff to him. He would be the acting Project Manager while John went to Guam for a week.

The meeting took quite awhile and Raine was getting restless. I wasn’t able to bring any of her toys so we got an old folder and a pen and she started making squiggly lines across it. Hmm, I have a feeling that she might grow up to be a lefty. John’s wife, Lynn, bought some balloons for Raine and we blew up a few for her to bounce around. She soon tired of the game and I found her a clean paper cup, some bull clips and our house keys. She enjoyed putting her loot into the cup and spilling the contents on her chair again and again. It still amazes me how little kids take delight in the simplest things. After some time though, Raine got bored of the game, drank some milk and promptly fell asleep in my arms.

We still had to go to the supermarket and we were wondering how I would carry Raine around while we did the grocery, we had left her stroller at home. The moviehouse is right beside the market and we noticed that Jumper was still showing. Since Raine usually naps for about 1 ½ to 2 hours we decided to catch the afternoon show, at least that way we wouldn’t have to carry her around the store as she slept. Raine however woke up 10 minutes into the movie but was surprisingly behaved. It was her first time to watch a movie and we thought she might be afraid of the dark. But she seemed to be comfortable. She got antsy only twice during the whole movie. Rynor and I took turns going outside with her. When it was my turn, I bought her popcorn and she was a happy little baby.

We went home to deposit the groceries. We were going back to our friend’s apartment for dinner so I didn’t have to cook. Rynor prepared tuna sashimi and fruit shake while I washed Raine’s bottles and gave her bath.

We had a nice dinner and Raine had fun playing with Tintin’s dolls. (Rynor’s officemate has a penchant for collecting Barbie dolls.) All in all it was a great day spent with family and friends.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fake Yayas & Answered Prayers

I would just like to share with you an unforgettable experience I had that started on Raine's first birthday last November 4th.

My whole bag was stolen during my daughter’s first birthday party! In the bag was about 45,000. I was going to pay the party venue, the party needs supplier & later that week I was planning to get hubby’s laptop w/c was under repair at Acer. So as you can see, the money was already allotted for very important stuff. As I looked at the pics of the party afterwards, and after talking to my best friend Hazel, the last person I was with before it got stolen, this is what most probably happened:

Hazel & I were talking while the programme was winding down. I noticed that I was about to get called for my birthday wish for Raine so I reached into my bag (which was on my lap) to check my face in the mirror. Suddenly, my brother was calling me to go up on stage already so I hurried to the front & placed my bag at the first chair on the front table, beside my niece's diaper bag. An officemate & my siblings were seated on the table across the bag. I carried Raine & everyone stood up & sang her a happy birthday. After the candle-blowing & everyone had seated again I looked in the direction of the bag. My heart skipped a beat, it wasn’t there! Only about 5 minutes had passed since I had put it down. I called to my yaya Sarah if maybe she got it but she hadn't. I was in a panic, I was hoping maybe it fallen under the table. While I was giving the lootbags, I felt a cold sweat creeping down my back. My bag & everything in it: cash, credit cards, cellphone, and other valuable personal items were all gone in just 5 minutes.

The assistant of the party-needs supplier said she had noticed a 40-ish woman dressed in a yaya's uniform earlier while they were setting up. She asked what time Raine's party was. Of course she must've read the welcome banner by the entrance & the happy birthday sign on the stage. Later, my cousin also noticed that this "yaya" seemed to be going back & forth from the other party beside ours. At the time my cousin thought nothing of it cos she could've been 1 of the yayas of the kids, she just thought maybe she was bored & was checking out the other parties in Dad's. Later, my cousin said she had bumped into her again & saw her with a black bag! Waaaaaaaaah!!!! That was mine!

My Dad paid for the party & had to withdraw some cash to pay the party-needs supplier. (Apple, the party supplier, was very business-like throughout our negotiations but she was genuinely sympathetic when it happened. Her hubby who was the photographer immediately downloaded the pics to check if maybe a pic of the thief could've been taken. When they left she even hugged me.)

Needless to say my Dad, brother & friends helped me call up the credit card companies and my mobile company to block them all so that evil woman wouldn't be able to use any of them. I felt so bad. I felt violated, helpless, defenseless, exposed. This was a whole bag w/ a lot of money! Hubby who was working abroad had just sent that money the other day. Plus it was Raine's 1st bday, one that almost didn't happen because of the Glorietta Mall blast. I kept thinking, I should have just stayed put w/ my Glorietta reservation or I should have just moved the party back a week or I shouldn’t have had the party at all.

It was my first time to be a victim, and I felt sooooooo bad. I couldn't sleep Sunday night.

Monday, I filed for an affidavit of loss. Thankfully, we have lawyers at the office so I didn't have to go to a Notary Public. I spent most of the day securing permits for replacement of my IDs, ATM, SIM card. Everyone was so sympathetic.

Tuesday, was Raine's interview at the U.S. Embassy. I had to set aside my bad feelings & focus on the interview at hand. If Raine got denied I'd go crazy! Even if we had an appointment we still had to stand in line to get a number for the fingerprint scanning for 2 hours. Yayas were not allowed inside so I was carrying Raine the whole time, her in 1 arm & my bag w/ all my supporting documents in the other. Add to that, there was no airconditioning in the Embassy Pavilion, only fans, so it was pretty hot. Thankfully, she wasn't cranky, just super malikot. At about 3pm we finally got into the aircon room for the interview, my sked was supposed to be at 1pm. The family before me was grilled. The American consul barked such questions as, “What is your job? How much do you earn? Your salary cannot cover a plane ticket to the U.S.!”. I was really nervous, I looked at the consul & started praying the "Anima Christi".

When it was our turn, it was as if something came over the consul, he smiled at me & Raine. I told the consul that I was getting a visa for my daughter & that I had one already. She asked how old Raine was & I said she turned one just last Sunday. She greeted Raine a "happy birthday". I asked him if he wanted to see my own passport & he said no. He asked me also where I worked, how many kids I have, when was the last time I was in the U.S. He asked where my husband was. I explained about his job & asked if he wanted to see Rynor's papers. He said there would be no need. He stamped Raine's passport & told me to proceed to Delbros to pay for the delivery of Raine's visa! Raine was given a 10-yr visa. I was so happy! He didn't even look at my own passport or any of the supporting documents I brought! Hallelujah!

Tuesday night, Nov. 6 I got a text that my IDs & cards were found in a paperbag in Magallanes MRT station! I was at first suspicious, what if it was a trap? I called the number, he said he was a janitor at the station & found a wet paperbag beside the escalator containing all my cards. He said he suspected that I had been robbed & the thief must've dumped all my identification in that paperbag. I wondered how he got my cellphone number because it's not in any of my IDs or my calling card. I realized that the janitor saw my cellphone number in Raine's invitation! I went to the MRT station the next day. Puro IDs, credit cards & my baby pictures. No wallet, no bag, just the small leather case where I put my IDs.

I learned 2 very important things during those past 3 days: 1) that even if there are heartless people in the world who would steal during a children's bday party, they are outnumbered by kind & good people and 2) never underestimate the power of prayer, I prayed hard that my IDs would be returned somehow & I prayed hard that the consul wouldn't bombard w/ me questions & both my prayers were answered!