Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where You Can Chat with LDS

I really do not know much about Mormons or the Latter Days Saints (LDS) although I have met and liked several of them. I remember getting one of them to explain to me how their doctrine is different from mine (I’m a Pentecostal Christian), but I did not really understand much of it (understandably as I was supposed to be fielding refunds calls in Spanish for a certain credit card company). I did register the name Melchizedek. I have a vague notion of who he is, but I don’t remember how he’s supposed to figure in Mormon history. Anyway, to this day all I know of the Church of the Latter Day Saints is that they have neat and attractive chapels (in the Philippines, they usually have a basketball half-court in the compound), they send missionaries (A Mormon acquaintance told me that she used her own money to do mission work - that’s dedication) to other nations and the men wear slacks and a short-sleeved white shirt with tie in mission (lots of them are cute - the men, I mean, or boys rather as the ones I’ve seen looked really young) and some of them seem to be having their share of the limelight recently (Todd, that guy who won in Survivor China; Rachel Coleman of the Signing Time fame; Stephenie Meyer; and that Tyson guy in the current Survivor for whom Filipinos are supposed to root as he’d spent time here in the Philippines in mission - hahaha any connection will do). Anyway, if you’re interested in the LDS or are one yourself, check out the LDS chat room. Registration is free.

Presenting Marguerite as the Quiet Bunny

When it comes to discipline matters, my knee-jerk reaction is to be defensive as the philosophy I follow could be considered alternative. I don't believe in being punitive and when Marguerite acts out (and of course she does; she's in her terrific twos), instead of punishing her, I use other methods to make her stop whatever seemingly unpleasant behavior she was adopting. I've heard comments, of course, how their own kids can be controlled by a mere LOOK or how children shouldn't get away with throwing tantrums or how children who are not scolded/spanked will end up spoiled rotten... It takes a lot of willpower for me to block them out, but it is important that I do. To counter my exposure to all the unsolicited critiques/advice, I read up on the discipline approaches I want to adopt. For example, I intend to try the Quiet Bunny method recommended by Elizabeth Pantley in her book "The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior without Whining, Tantrums & Tears". The following is an excerpt from the book:

"When children get worked up, their physiological symptoms keep them in an agitated state. You can teach your child how to relax and then use this approach when fussing begins.

• You can start each morning or end each day with a brief relaxation session. Have your child sit or lie comfortably with eyes closed. Tell a story that he’s a quiet bunny. Name body parts (feet, legs, tummy, etc.) and have your child wiggle it, and then relax it.

• Once your child is familiar with this process you can call upon it at times when he is agitated. Crouch down to your child’s level, put your hands on his shoulders, look him in the eye and say, let’s do our Quiet Bunny. And then talk him through the process. Over time, just mentioning it and asking him to close his eyes will bring relaxation."

I actually do something similar, which is to remind Marguerite of stories or rhymes she knows and she usually gets distracted and calms down. I still want to try out the Quiet Bunny as I think it will also be very effective.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Have a Christian Gift Handy

I love Christian bookstores and Christian gift shops. When shopping for holiday gifts and generic ones, Christian gifts are always a good idea. I’m currently in the process of decorating the apartment (if only Husband would jump on board) and I think it would be a good idea to surround myself with verses, hopefully ones that have something to do with patience (I need a constant reminder with regards to this one), gratitude, and faith. I’d love some items that are both functional and inspirational. For example, I find the growth chart below really lovely. It is something that I can use with my daughter for a long time and maybe even get to use with another child, God willing. It even has picture pockets wherein you can slip pictures of your growing child.

A Wilted Ivy

What can I say, I'm exhausted! Coming back home from my Mom's, all the work just seems so much more tiring and heavy. I guess I sort of lost momentum in my quest for a '50s home life (not that people didn't have helpers in the '50s) when I immersed myself in a setup where I didn't have to do a single chore, except maybe watch my own daughter when everybody else was busy (only during the second week of my bout of the plague - I tried to convince people that having rashes was more debilitating that it appeared, lol). Anyway, I'm actually not doing as much as I did before I got sick (had to say hasta luego to potty training... so not in the mood to clean up after accidents just yet ... also welshed on dinner prep twice thus far) and yet I'm droopy and completely wilted at 3pm, just when I'm about to do all the major cleaning and cooking, provided Marguerite cooperatively goes down for her nap. Is it because I'm simply getting myself used to all the work again or is it something else, like the heat? I think the summer heat's beginning (summer's earlier here) and nothing can make me droop more than having to move in all the humidity. Help me, Lord!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trendy Eyewear Within Your Budget

For somebody who started wearing eyeglasses in the second grade (I think I wore them until about 4th grade), I actually have 20/20 vision. I just had lazy eyes (my folks found out soon enough that it wasn’t just my eyes that were lazy, lol) and in time, the things corrected themselves. I enjoyed superb eyesight until, well, I became a mother (how unfair to point the finger at this milestone for every health problem I have, lol. I suppose being 32 has nothing to do with it.*snort*). Although I still insist that I have 20/20 vision nowadays, the conviction is really kind of hollow and if truth be told, I do have my doubts. I can still see very well, but I can also feel the strain and have been getting headaches that seem to emanate from the eyeballs. Anyhow, I’ve prepared myself for the possibility of having need of eyeglasses. Now, I know ‘to each her own’, but I really don’t get the point of having designer prescription glasses. They’re insanely spendy, after all. If I were to get my own pair, I would get inexpensive ones that are still attractive and of good quality. Enter Zenni Optical with its wide selection of very affordable and stylish glasses. Zenni is able to keep its prices low by doing without the usual middleman. Customers can get their glasses straight from the manufacturer. Zenni’s concept is such a good one that it was even mentioned in a New York Times article. Personally, I would go for this pair. It costs a mere $8 and has a retro style I find endearing.

Picture Meme

Was tagged by Annika.

You go to your Pictures album on your computer. Go to the 6th folder there, and then choose the 6th photo in it.
Post it in your blog, write something about it, and then tag 6 others to do the same. Here's mine:

Husband took this picture. I think it's of one of the places we considered moving into. Sorry, the pics that end up in my My Pictures are usually the ones that I mean to discard later on (except that I forget or am too lazy to get around to actually deleting them).

Again I welsh on the tagging part of the rules. :p

The Lingo of Married People

If you are surrounded by unmarried friends, it gets pretty frustrating trying to carry out conversations revolving on the trials and tribulations of married life. Wait until you become a mother and find yourself transformed into an even more specialized species whose language is practically gibberish to non-mothers (what the heck are terms like attachment parenting, positive discipline, cry-it-out, babywise, babywearing, co-sleeping… or why must you brim with mnemonics you assume everybody to understand, yo SAHM, LO, DD, DS, etc! And let’s not even start on all those gory birthing details that we insist on talking about during lunch out with friends). Going back to marriage matters, you can’t expect your single friends to be able to empathize with you when you talk about beefing up your joint income, putting up with the awesome discoveries brought forth by cohabitation, having in-laws, brood aspirations, etc. It is but natural to yearn for conversations with people who can relate to you and married people can have that by joining Free Married Chat Room. Registration is at no cost and as soon as you have created an account, you can have access to chats with all sorts of married men and women around the globe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Over the Plague

Hi. In case you're wondering what happened to me, well the answer would be a slipped disc and chicken pox.
First, the slipped disc. I got it from a very slight movement that I'd made while carrying Marguerite. We were out on our pre-lunch constitutional and she asked to be carried so she could see the view from the hallway balcony better. I was about to put her down, but she protested, so from that intent to bend forward (I don't know that I even really went so far as to actually bend, it all happened so quickly), I immediately straightened. Huge mistake. I suddenly felt an intense shooting pain from my back all the way to my calf. Marguerite, of course, had no choice but to get down. I tried walking, but the slightest movement made me gasp with pain. I was debating with myself whether to knock on the door I was closest to and ask for help, but with Marguerite racing down to the area near the elevator and stairs made me panicky enough to muster enough pain endurance to hobble after her, giving agonized groans and gasps all the while. We were on the 9th floor when it happened, so thank God really for elevators, I didn't have to risk two flights of stairs to get back to our apartment. I left Marguerite to trash the outer room while I pathetically lay myself down on the bed. Another huge mistake. It took copious tears before I masochistically made myself upright again. I had a glimpse of Marguerite knocking chairs over in the toy-strewn living area. She was throwing a hissy fit about being back indoors. Also, I suppose she could tell that something was wrong and her tantrum was just the ticket to make everything extra dandy. Weeping, I tried to contact my mom and my husband, but both were unavailable. They did return my call probably just a few minutes later (seemed longer at that time, of course) while I and my daughter were in the throes of a crying frenzy. Husband was on his way back to the office after a meeting, so he decided to drop by the house first to gauge the gravity of my situation. Of course, knowing that I was about to be rescued calmed me down a bit so I was able to think of ways to distract Marguerite (they were a cop out, but very helpful at that time: got out my lighthouse tealight holders and lit up the tealights so she could blow them out; got out tiny M&Ms and Skittles from my hidden candy stash - sent by my mom, our share of the loot from one of my aunts - and fed them to Marguerite). Anyway, Husband left after giving us lunch. I thought my back was getting better anyway, so I assured him I could survive until he got home later that night. Around 5 o'clock though, I was in so much pain that I had to beg him to come home. Oh, and if that day just won't go down as one of my favorites ever, that same morning I discovered my first chicken pox bump.
Anyway, the verdict was that Marguerite and I were to spend the rest of my sick days at my parents' house. I had bedrest for a couple of days for the slipped disc and when I emerged from that it was too find that the chicken pox was in the course of ravaging my body. I was covered all over with grossness (whenever she saw me, my sister and I would sing to each other in proper screechy tones "I know what you give! Give them all the pox! Spread around your poison til they end up in a box!" ~ Les Miz if you didn't know) and it was grossness that hurt - huge putrid boils that felt sore like bad acne. To add to the misery, I had recurring fevers and blinding headaches, so I couldn't read or watch TV the first week. I had to resort to entertaining myself with a one-woman (the woman being myself) rendition of the entire Les Miz TAC and holding a "countries and capitals" contest with another bedridden female (Chip if youd didn't know - the Papa sisters make a fine pair.). The second week, the fevers were gone, but I still got the occasional headache. I started watching TV (my sister's main occupation) so was able to start Suvivor Tocantins (will probably follow that) and was recruited by Chip to fangirl with her over Ateneo volleyball player AJ Pareja (we are not deluding ourselves, our gaydar was sounding off the alarm the entire time. However, what were we anyway? Just a couple of GenXers stuck on high school mode, lol.)
It's pretty awful lot to get chicken pox when you're older. I did consider getting vaccinated against varicella zoster (that would be a cool pseudonym) when Marguerite got it as I was sure to catch it from her, but opted not to. I thought it would be better to get immunity the natural way, finally get the experience out of the way. I know of several vaccinated kids who got the disease anway, and got it bad. I'm not saying the vaccine isn't effective. It was just my choice to go this route.
So, I'm back in business, albeit covered with pock marks. Anyway, perhaps you know of an effective way to get rid of chicken pox scars and would like to share it? I'd be much obliged.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Boost Your Blog Traffic

I learned from previous SEO-oriented writing gigs that you can increase the traffic to your site and improve your page ranking by joining directories. offers you the chance to be "Blog of the Day", which will then entitle your blog to the whole traffic of the directory. Signing up is an easy process. Also, equal exposure is guaranteed as blogs are listed randomly, not according to seniority, popularity, or whatnot. To be blog of the day, however, your blog must direct a good number of unique visitors to the blog directory in a day.

Daybook - February 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For This Week...
Outside my Window
... darkening skies, an orange glow emanating from a probably gorgeous sunset over at the bay
I am thinking... of experts to interview, articles to write
I am thankful for... God's healing and that we were able to go to church yesterday since Marguerite was no longer contagious
From the kitchen... Mexican cheese sticks, about to start dinner (sautéed sesame fish)
I am creating... homemade bubbles and playdough
I am wearing... purple tank, pink shorts (lol, reliving adolescence)
I am reading... the Bible and Peter Mayle
I am hoping... that a particular desire will be fulfilled (but only, of course, if it's part of God's will for us. If not, then I can be certain He has something better in store.)... in more concrete/less complicated terms, I am hoping to find experts so I can commit to the writing assignments I've been given.
I am hearing... children playing in the hallway
Around the house... clean, gleaming floors, dusty windows
One of my favorite things... the beaded portiere my sister made for me
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... vintage medicine cabinet sanding, full-force potty training, accounting, etc.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

My little girl finds fascination in the often over-looked. I'm glad I'm always around to share in the discovery and learning.

Injured in Temecula?

If you live in or in the vicinity of Temecula, California, keep Sweeney, Sweeney, and Sweeney in mind if ever you find yourself in need of personal injury lawyers. This family of Temecula Lawyers are experienced in helping people recover legally from accidents and injury.

There's This OId Matchbox20 Song "Argue"

If you want you can get to know me well... Got this meme from my friend Andrei.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:45am
2. Diamonds or pearls? both
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? HP5

4. What is your favorite TV show? Project Runway
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? cereals and fruit
6. What is your middle name? none

7. What food do you dislike? would you consider ketchup food?
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? don't have CDs anymore
9. What kind of car do you drive? We have a Honda Civic.
10. Favorite sandwich? like lots of them, don't have a favorite

11. What characteristic/s do you despise? being "matapobre" (looking down on the poor)
12. Favorite item of clothing? don't have a favorite
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Paris

14. Favorite brand of clothing? not into brands
15. Where would you retire to? in Marikina, but Santander would be nice too

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? 2006, my first one as a mother
17. Favorite sport to watch? right now, swimming
18. Farthermost place you are sending this? posting this on my blog, so all the 4 corners, hehe...

19. Person you expect to send it back first? N/A
20. When is your birthday? November 9th
22. What is your shoe size? used to be 5.5, probably 6 or 6.5 now
23. Pets? none at the moment

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? It's not really new, but it's THE Good News: Hey there. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. :)
25. What did you want to be when you were little? writer
26. How are you today? optimistic

27. What is your favorite candy? Smarties
28. What is your favorite flower? marguerites and lilies
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? not any particular date
30. What are you listening to right now? French café music

32. What was the last thing you ate? a pancake
33. Do you wish on stars? on a beautiful night, yes, just to be whimsical
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? when I was younger, I would have been red; now, I think I'm more of a green.
35. How is the weather right now? nice tropical weather, pleasantly warm, not humid
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? haven't been on the phone yet, but I expect my mom to call soon
37. Favorite soft drink? none
38. Favorite restaurant? none

39. Real hair color? dark brown
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? I don't remember, have always been more into books
41. Summer or winter? summer
42. Hugs or kisses? depends on who's giving them

43. Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla
44. Coffee or tea? tea
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? I love hearing from friends
46. When was the last time you cried? last night, have this fervent prayer request (actually a couple of them)

47. What is under your bed? books and things Marguerite dropped or kicked
48. What did you do last night? talked to my husband, played with my daughter...
49. What are you afraid of? war
50. Salty or sweet? both
51. How many keys on your key ring? 3
52. How many years at your current job? SAHM? a little over two years

53. Favorite day of the week? Friday
54. Do you make friends easily? not really

What We've Suffered in the Periphery

I have an uncle who battled (has been battling) with substance abuse for many years. He pretty much ruined his life, perhaps dragged down that of his wife, and traumatized and stigmatized his children. We love the children and do everything we can so that they don’t feel the full brunt of their father’s disease, but we’ve all suffered. For starters, we’ve all been stolen from and the children have had their money swindled from them. Even when I was going through my rebellious phase in college, drugs were something I never messed with. After all, I’d seen with my own eyes the kind of destruction they bring forth.That's why if you have somebody in your life who has a problem with drugs (methamphetamine, alcohol, heroin, cocaine addiction...), seek treatment and rehabilitation for this person right away. The efficacy of a program will be influenced by the person himself, of course, but you at least you have the comfort of knowing that you've taken the active stance.

Blocks and Fingerpaint

Marguerite is done with the chicken pox. We're still waiting to see if I caught it. Anyway, remember those pics I mentioned before? Here they are: