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Stay at Home Mom for a Little Time

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I always say, I would love to be a stay at home mom, to be hands on in taking care of my daughter, doing housework...mommy stuff. So I am for a time. Let me say that I love it! I won't say I was not exasperated at times or at the end of my patience but on the whole it was great.

In the morning we would make our breakfast together. That would be around 10am. I let her sleep late because she doesn't get enough sleep. Children  her age needs 12-15 hours sleep and she gets about 10 hours at the most. So we make pancakes or toasted bread and eat breakfast leisurely.

After breakfast if I have an errand we go out but not too long. Via tires easily and I don't want to have to carry her around. We would be home about 2pm then we have our lunch at home. I try to get her to nap after lunch but if she can't fall asleep then we play or watch a video or read. Dinner is at 6pm and bedtime at 8pm.

It was easy to fall back to the way I did housework before I had Via. I made sure I did a little bit of washing clothes, cleaning the house everyday so the housework won't piile up. I look forward to Monday, the start of school. I will be preparing her school snack and bring her to school :) 


December Na! How Time Flies!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

 Been a while since I posted here. So the Twerp turned 5 and will be going to big school next year. She was accepted at our first choice and there was no need to apply to other schools. Yay! 

We are both on vacation, not that we are going anywhere. Daddy only has Christmas Day and New Year off so we are staying put here in Manila. Doesn't seem like fun does it? I am looking forward to almost 3 weeks off work though and spending all that time with the Twerp. I have cooking, crafts and sports activities planned for us. 

In keeping with the simple and frugal living that I want for us, we made our Christmas tree out of leftover crepe paper. Via and I made it together. It's not great but we made it and had fun along the way including an exploding glue gun which promptly ended the activity. 

On the subject of Santa, now that she's really old enough to think for herself, I already decided to tell her that Santa is not real. I said Santa is just like Mickey Mouse. He's not real! I had thought she got the message. However.....

in school, the kids were asked to write to Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. So Via wrote:

Dear Santa, For Christmas I wish pony Reboodas. Via

I thought it was cute :)

The school had their Christmas Program at the Tektite Auditorium. Really serious business! Nobody was allowed backstage except the kids and production staff. Kids must be there at 9am while doors will open for the guests (parents) at 9:40am.

The program was a success! Why not? The audience were all parents and clapped madly after each number.The kids were their cute adorable selves, especially the nursery. And the surprise at the end? Photo op with Santa with a little something after the picture taking.

Via said to me after, "Why did Santa give me a lighting sword? I asked for Rainbow Dash." So I'm back where I started. Explain that Santa is not real.

I did buy Rainbow Dash and put on the gift tag "Merry Christmas Via, From: Santa (Daddy and Mommy). If she asks, the gift from Santa is actually from Mommy and Daddy, a bonus gift for being good all year.


Via Likes to Cook

Sunday, September 1, 2013

She started with pancakes.

"Mommy, I want to help."

Okay, I said. You can mix the batter. 

That was the beginning. As she helped more and more, she moved on the scooping the batter into the pan. Until she helped make the pancakes from beginning to end.

From then on, she would ask to help from time to time. Measuring the ingredients or peeling garlic, even chopping using the food processor.

Like all mommies, I jumped at the chance to nurture this interest. Our Sunday activity now is making lunch together. Last Sunday, we made Spaghetti with Meatballs. She had fun up to the point where the meat needed to be mixed by hand and make meatballs. She didn't want to get her hands dirty.

Today, we made Wicked Oreos. That super dessert from Flaming Wings. It turned out quite well although there was a minor explosion while heating up the oil. Some oil landed on her arms but she was fine after we ran cold water on her arms.


Pancake mix, oreos, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream.

Prepare pancake mix as you would when making pancakes. Add the salt and baking powder. 

When you oil is really, really hot, dip one oreo in the batter, then deep fry. Add more but make sure they don't touch. When brown, scoop and place on paper towels.

When done, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Eat right away.



Natural Remedies VS Modern Medicine

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Guest post by Rick MD.

On one occasion, I met a couple who were working in the health industry. I had an interesting conversation with them. Apparently, the husband works with natural remedies while his wife is a physician, but not practicing.

The husband declared that medication is poison. I replied that, to some degree, I agreed with him but that I still believe, in some cases, medication is really needed. He then challenged me to give an example where medication is needed. I cited has high fever. The patient would need medication to relieve the symptoms. No, he disagreed. High fever can be remedied by drinking plenty of water. He added that he has natural remedies for all conditions. Wow! That is interesting.

Then it was my turn to challenge him. How about HIVAIDS, I asked. He replied that he also has a remedy for that. Now this sounded like quack medicine to me. At first, I agreed with him that medication not used in the proper way is poison. But when he said he had remedies for all conditions, that is a different story. It seemed to me that he disagreed with modern medicine because it contained chemicals. I did not prolong the argument. My guess is that he has had this kind of discussion many times on many different occasions. 

Afterwards, I realized that there are many other instances where medication is really needed. I believe that the discovery of medicine itself is a blessing for the human race. A long time ago, people died from a simple wound infection. The discovery of penicillin is a blessing in treating infections. Penicillin was accidentally developed from a natural source, fungi. Finally, as a Christian, I believe that medicines are blessings from Above.

However, the use of the medication is often abused by people. Heroin can be very useful for those severe pain or those who have had a surgical procedure. There are those, however, that use it as a recreational drug.

Yes, all chemicals foreign to our body have side effects. I do not deny it. That is why it is very important to discuss the cost and benefit of medication prescribed by your physician. Never use medication without the supervision of your physician.

Nowadays, many people claim that they can treat all kinds of diseases in this world with natural remedies. Diabetes can be fully treated. Cancer is not a problem anymore. It is surprising that many people choose these alternative treatments. One of the main reasons could be that modern medicine itself admitted that it cannot cure all diseases. As is human nature, we try to seek an alternative.

At the end of our conversation, he said that modern medicine is needed in emergency situations but not for daily use. At last we found a common ground. I agreed with his statement. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke, heart attack are due to unhealthy lifestyle. Natural remedies can be used to prevent them. Water, grains, vegetables are actually some of the natural remedies that we found in our daily life in combination with a healthy and active lifestyle.


Dr. Kong Comfort and Healthy Shoes

Monday, July 29, 2013

I noticed for a while now that my daughter's feet turns inward (in-toeing or pigeon toed) when she walks. Pike kumbaga. When she learned to run, I was afraid that she would trip on her own feet because it was bent almost 45 degrees inwards.

Last week we were at Via's pedia for another health complaint. I mentioned that I was concerned with her feet and that maybe she needs corrective shoes. Her pedia said it looked like Via was flatfooted but that it's better to consult with an orthopedic doctor. We did. After looking at the x-ray, the ortho doctor said there was nothing wrong anatomically. That she would grow out of it.

To help her along, I decided to check out the shoes that Via's pedia recommended, Dr. Kong. Yesterday we went to Dr. Kong shoe store in Robinson's Galleria. I was surprised to see that they carry adult shoes too. They also had a machine to examine the feet. I let Via shoes which shoes she like so she's sure to wear them. I also tried on a slip on that caught my attention. It felt AMAZING! I never wear heels and always buy Naturalizer or Aerosoles because I have big feet (size 9) but very slim.

I did not intend to buy shoes myself but I just could not pass it up. I've never felt so comfortable. It fit like a glove. I also had my feet examined. Kids feet may be examined at 6 years old. Dr. Kong shoes are advisable for kids so their feet are healthy and well-formed. 

The bones in my feet were normal although turned outwards a little but I was not flatfooted. In any case, I'm sold on Dr. Kong shoes. I will buy Via's school shoes here and my office shoes since I saw a few pumps on display.

We visited Dr. Kong shoes branch in Robinson's Galleria, 3rd Level (Jumpstreet).


Learning Social Skills

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Like mother, like daughter as some people say. No, Via is not like Mommy. At least not when we talk about social situations. I was very shy growing up. Still am although being an adult requires me to put shyness aside in many situations especially now that I have a daughter. 

Knowing this about myself, I set about exposing Via socially as early as possible, as much as possible. I enrolled her in pre-school at 3 years old, more for the interaction with other kids than academics. We also never fail to attend Sabbath School and join every activity there is. I think I succeeded. 

It helps too that Daddy is good in social situations. I've seen him talk to people from all sorts of backgrounds, from the working class to lawyers, business people etc. He always knew what to talk about with them. I'm amazed at the range of subjects he knows. He can talk politics, religion, current events, entertainment, sports, etcetera. I think she inherited that gene from Daddy. Social skills.

Like Daddy, Via chats with the security guards in our building, with the expat Mommy at my office, with my expat boss and with other children of different nationalities. Always with confidence. None of my trepidation and second guessing myself whether that was a good topic or not.

I saw just how confident she was yesterday. We had lunch and spent the afternoon at her Sabbath School friend Adi's place yesterday. It was Adi's birthday. LJ, another Sabbath School friend, and her mom were also invited. They could have played all night if we didn't put a stop to it at around 7pm.

As we were leaving Adi's unit, there was a boy about 6 years old biking in the corridor. His name was Pom Pom and he was Adi's playmate. So they played a bit with him, running behind the bike. After a couple of minutes, we had to go and started down the stairs. The girls waved goodbye to Pom Pom.

Via called out from the stairs, "Bye Pom Pom. My name is Kristie. You can remember my name" and Pom Pom said, "Bye Kristie."

I won't have to worry about Via handling herself socially but maybe we have to teach her to temper it a little bit.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Yesterday my friend Becky called up Wildflour at the Podium to reserve cronuts. She went a couple of times to buy those cronuts but they were always sold out. When she called to inquire if today, that is, yesterday, they had some left, she was told to just reserve and pick it up the next day. So she did and she told me about it right after she hung up the phone.

I also wanted to try it. It's all the rage in New York. Croissant donuts, hence cronuts! I called Wildflour right away to reserve for myself. I was sure Via would love it because she absolutely loves croissant.

Here it is!

Wildflour: Hello! Good afternoon, Wildflour.

Me: Hello! I want to reserve cronuts para bukas. Pwede daw pala mag pa reserve.

Wildflour: Ay sorry Mam, hindi na kami tumatanggap ng reservation.

Me: Pero kakatawag lang ng friend ko. Now lang! Nakapagpareserve sya!

Wildflour: Sino Mam, si Becky? Last na po yun. Kung gusto nyo punta na lang kayo dito para mag reserve.

Me: Ha?! Bat ganun? Ganito na lang. Idagdag mo na lang sa order ni Becky yun order ko. Pwede?

Wildflour: Sige Mam. Ano po ang order nyo?

Me: Anong flavors meron?

Wildflour: Strawberry, vanilla at chocolate.

Me: Sige, tatlong chocolate. Magkano pala isa?

Wildflour: P120 po. Tatlong chocolate cronuts. Okay na Mam.

Me: Thank you!

Whew! So today we had lunch at Wildflour, Podium to pick up our cronuts. I had the set meal: tomato soup, caesar salad and grilled cheese sandwich for P395. The tomato soup was super. I loved it. Grilled cheese was okay. No photo. I forgot. So hungry.

The cronuts was super by the way. The creme filling made it special. Next time I'll get strawberry. I want to try all the yummy pastries but one at a time. The calories are a killer. I did a search on cronuts and couldn't find one. I guess because it just came out. There was one, Pillsbury cronut mix and it was 1,216 calories for one cronut. I can believe it!


Kinder First Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I took Via to school today because it's her first day. She's in Kinder class this year. The streets were wet because it had been raining the night before. 

Via goes to school nearby so she just walks to school. We paused to take a picture before leaving.

The she started walking very briskly ahead of us. She couldn't wait to get to school and play on the playground.

When we got to the school, I wanted to take another picture. She was very impatient to get inside so this is what her picture looks like.

She didn't seem overly excited the day before but when she got to school, she lost no time in playing and getting re-acquainted with her teachers and classmates. She seemed pretty popular because I hear a lot of Via! Welcome back! Hello Via! Hi Via! When it was time to go in the classroom, she just grabbed her lunch box and ran inside. She forgot to say goodbye in her excitement.

A nice touch from the school administrators is the apple for the parents who took their kid/s to school today.

I had my healthy snack for the day :)


HB Tale: Gutom na ko!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I went out to the mall to buy a stove during my lunch break today. Our stove died last night. I decided to buy the stove quickly before having my lunch. I was done in about thirty minutes, even stopping by the grocery to pick up strawberries, lettuce and my favorite mint chocolate chip mochi to eat after my lunch.

By the time I got to the cafeteria, I was really hungry. I went to get a sandwich instead of sitting down there to eat a meal. I saw a big crowd waiting around the sandwich counter. Since I hadn't decided what sandwich to get, I let the guy behind me go first. While he was ordering, I settled on a mushroom burger. I was ready and waiting for my turn.

The cashier seemed to be familiar with the guy and greeted him by name. After he finished ordering and paying, he asked the cashier where the J. Co donut stand was.

Guy: Nasan na pala yung J. Co?

Cashier: Wala na Sir.

Guy: Bakit?

Cashier: One week lang yun Sir.

Guy: Hindi na sila babalik?

By this time I couldn't stand it anymore. In my mind, he could have stepped aside while continuing the conversation to let me order therefore going one step closer to filling my stomach.

Before the cashier could reply, I interrupted and said, "Isang mushroom burger and half fries!" I half shouted.

If I wasn't super hungry maybe I could have been more patient. But it was lunchtime and I was obviously hungry. Not only me but other people waiting in line too. He should have been more aware of the other people waiting instead of taking his time chatting.

This guy was not staff and the pa cute at english-taglish speaking type of male that I abhor. One of my many pet peeves.


Those Unforgettable Moments

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First time I sampled Ate Annie's cooking. This actually inspired this post. I don't remember what brought me to Becky's house that day for lunch. What I remember is that I just learned I was 10 weeks pregnant a couple weeks back. It was totally unexpected. P panicked. I panicked. When we calmed down, he wanted to go on a vacation to Jakarta to see his bestfriend. He said I can follow two days after but that he wanted 2 days with his friend. Fine with me. 

It was the day before I was leaving for Jakarta that I had lunch at Becky's house. I was very hungry. They had just finished lunch and had a lot leftover so a plate was set for me. I started eating and could not stop until I ate everything in sight. I could not believe it! I'm usually reserved the first time I meet someone because I'm very shy. Ate Annie noticed and told Becky that she should have cooked more rice like she asked but Bex had said the rice was enough. Well, I said in my mind, "it's wasn't enough for me! I'm still hungry and want to eat some more!" What was the food? Adobong clams and adobong pusit!

I realized my crush was really dumb! Come to think of it, I should have known earlier because he was always in the last section. Duh! It was in sixth grade. Their Reading teacher was absent so their class was joined with ours. A story is usually read out loud in Reading class. Every paragraph is read by a different student so that most of the class get a chance to read. When Ariel was called, I sat up straight to give him my full attention. Then....he stumbled on a word. The word was "dimmed" which he read as "dim-eyed" after stuttering a bit. I felt instantly deflated and disappointed. It's not even a big word. Still, he's in my fond memories. He was my BIG elementary crush.

P moments when we had just met. There were a lot but I'll include only these two. Playing badminton with H and G. We won and he was so jubilant he gave me a quick hug like we had just won a super series tournament. Another time, while waiting for our badminton game in the queue, he was asked to play a men's doubles game with these good players. He was a very good badminton player and all the good players wanted to play with him. While this men's doubles game was still ongoing, our turn was called from the queue. Someone else was asked to partner with me to substitute for him. When he saw that, he abruptly left the men's doubles mid game and joined me on the court. He told the other guy to continue the men's doubles game that he left.

My first trip abroad. It was to the US. I was very excited I hardly noticed the 16 hour trip. I saw places I only saw in the movies most notably Lombard Street, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco; Grauman's Chinese Theater and Beverly Hills in LA; Disneyland; whale watching in Monterrey; Hearst Castle; Times Square, the Empire State Bldg, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Serendipity and FAO Schwartz in NYC; and Snoopy's hometown in Minnesota.

Photos of Settha Palace Hotel - Hotel Images
Courtesy of TripAdvisor
My first mission (business trip). It was to Laos. I traveled on business class and stayed at the charming Settha Palace in Vientienne. I was picked up from the airport by the hotel's London Taxi Limousine. On my stopover in Bangkok going to Laos, I stayed at Amari Hotel which was connected to the old international airport at Don Muang. I still managed to get lost on my way to the hotel. On return, I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ploenchit to be near the shopping places. I literally shopped till I dropped.  MBK is the best!  It was my first time to travel and explore another country (or two) by myself. It was exciting and my obsession with having maps helped a lot. The key to traveling abroad!

The moment I saw two lines. I bought a home pregnancy kit upon the urging of my friends when I mentioned at lunchtime that I had not had my period for 2 months. They said get a pregnancy test from the office pharmacy. I told them, don't be ridiculous. It's probably menopause. Still, I bought a pregnancy test right after lunch. I waited until my boss was in a meeting then did the test. The lines were very clear. Two dark pink lines showed. There was no question about it.

The day my Mom and I bought my school bag. It was a very special bag for a first grader. It looked like a trunk with wheels and a key. Back in 1972, I would guess it cost a small fortune but I wanted it so much and my Mom obliged. You could sort of tell I was a spoiled brat. We bought the bag in National Bookstore in Recto. There was a typhoon that day and still we went out to buy it. It was hard to find a taxi to get home. Eventually, we took a kalesa. It was the only ride that could go through the flood. I still vividly remember holding out my arms to reach for my school bag after getting off the kalesa.

Moving to our own home. I was so excited to have my own bedroom. I stayed up all night putting my things in place. I was very happy that my Mom made sure I had enough shelves for my books and a big mirror on my dresser. I have fond memories watering the plants, cutting the grass and planting bulbs. The garden was big and it was very cool and relaxing. We had ivy all around. 

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