Monday, March 30, 2009

Evading a Breakdown

I wasn't going to blog about this because I really try to keep things positive here. This blog isn't for venting after all. Now that I think of it, I may need another blog as a kind of outlet, lol. The thing is, I think I have to share this because it's a pretty strong manifestation of how God is really looking out for me. Anyway, that time of the month is probably coming around again so I'm having fits that are all kinds of fierce. I think I spent hours last night crying so I woke up this morning with really crazy eyes (should have taken a picture, lol). It's all kinds of small things heaped on top of accidents upon accidents in connection with the current attempt at toilet training. I won't go into details because I'll just end up blathering (not that I'm not already). I was getting really scared of my reactions, which were really kind of extreme (if only I could send my daughter to my mother every time I have these insane spells). I felt horribly guilty and ashamed as well, not to mention really ill too as though my brain was going to explode (because in spite of all the tantrums, I keep myself from going verbal. I truly dread what will come out of me if I unleash the tongue. I've been good for so many years now and I don't want to go back there.)... It started to happen again this morning. Please tell me that potty-training can really induce nervous breakdowns and that I'm not just inherently a candidate for a mental asylum. Anyway, Marguerite had just an accident (in the bath, so it wasn't so bad, but shortly prior to that, she had an accident with no.2 so...), so I wasn't expecting her to pee anytime soon. However, I was picking a few things up in the living area when she asked for her toy mic. I told her it was in the toy box in her room (the contents of which were all scattered on the floor anyway) so off she went to get it. She wasn't but a few seconds in her toy-strewn room when I heard a gushing sound, like a running tap. I quickly checked on Marguerite and sure enough there was a puddle forming around her. It got a few things too. I think I picked her up and took her to the bathroom, took off her wet undies, tossed them in the sink, washed her, DIAPERED (couldn't take anymore at that moment, was definitely not taking chances) her and when I went back to her room and saw the puddle again, I just lost it. I tragically slumped to the floor and sobbed - all the unnecessary and unwarranted melodrama! Anyway, I called Husband to ask if he could ditch work (of course he couldn't. You may think that it was all mountains out of molehills, but you have to realize this was all happening in a house that had not been cleaned in more than two days) just so I could relinquish responsibility for an hour or so while I collected my wits. Anyway, amidst all this turmoil, my mom texted me this (and I usually ignore forwarded messages): Seeking God first early in the morning gives us power to face trials and temptations for He is our refuge and shelter day by day. Good morning. God bless you. I think it's a foregone conclusion that I had not spent time in devotion this morning. Anyway, I settled Marguerite to play with a bunch of toys next to me in bed and I got out my devotional. The message was about letting go. I don't have time to type out the entire thing here (besides the fact that it might be an infringement even if I give citation), but it was rather bull's eye, especially this part: You may be dealing with harsh expectations of yourself, frustration with circumstances you have tried too long to control, or disappointment because things didn't happen the way you thought they should. The harder you try to conform life to your preconceived patterns, the more frustrated and angry you become. Only by letting go and letting God can you ever find the joy and freedom you so anxiously seek. ("Checklist for Life for Women", Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2002 - or however you properly cite) I do continue to struggle with coolness (in its many definitions) and really, when will I learn that the only way I can keep cool is by giving it all up to God? So anyway, the storm has subsided and the house is clean(ish). Marguerite is still in diapers, but that's just because I still need to relax.
Totally unrelated: Have you guys checked out my cooking blog? It's all about my hits and misses in the kitchen as I journey in learning how to feed my family.

Hope You All Observed Earth Hour

Did you all observe Earth Hour? We were still on the road when it started, so we may have cheated a little being in the car and all. I thought about parking somewhere to just stargaze, but Marguerite had fallen asleep and we wanted to get her to bed right away (which didn't transpire anyway since she woke up when we got home). Of course, our building had the electricity running in all the public areas and I really don't think I saved power at all by climbing up 6 flights of stairs instead of using the elevator, but I had wanted to commit to the idea of not using electricity during that time so lugging diaper bag, purse, and two other parcels, I hied off to the seventh floor via stairwell. Of course, we couldn't switch anything on when we got to our apartment, so I ended up pushing Marguerite on her trike up and down the hallways. This is why we sort of made up for being in the car during the first part of Earth Hour because we weren't able to switch on until Marguerite had had enough tricycling and that was past 9:30.
Anyway, it was really encouraging to see the usually twinkling Marikina River totally dark before Earth Hour even started. I could see the efforts of the city as we drove home, but once we left Marikina, Earth Hour wasn't as evident anymore. This is ironic since Earth Hour actually started around the time we entered the next city. I asked Husband to take during EH and after EH pictures of the view from our balcony, but there wasn't much difference. I wish we had taken a picture of the river instead. That would have been more inspiring. Maybe I'm biased and Marikina has always been more inspiring to me anyway, but that's home and I miss it.

Robo Calls to Let You Know I've Updated?

I remember blogging about mortgage leads before and how some companies even use robo calls to update people who sign up with them regarding leads. Voice broadcasting can be used pretty much for anything that you may need to advertize or have a heads-up with, ranging from loan modification leads and debt leads to travel leads and auto leads.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where a Mother Goes On and Onnn

Marguerite has been wearing her bathing suits around the house. She just wants to. She has also started playing with Barbies (all given by my aunt, otherwise she wouldn't have owned one until she'd asked for one. Too many years ago, I read that Barbie dolls are sexist - I think it was a Judy Blume book - and the influence stayed.). She used to just line them up in her perpetual game of lining things up, but now she has concepts and storylines. She creates a bed for them with a makeshift pillow and blankie and sings and reads to them so they'll fall asleep. She shushes me and tells me to "Be quiet. The Barbies are sleeping." and then pats a Barbie back to sleep with soothing coos as though it had stirred because of any noise I might have made. Marguerite has also taken to wanting to fix broken things. Like last night one of the screws of her butterfly chair came loose and she insisted on putting it back herself. She did a pretty good job too for a 2.5 yr-old. Of course I had to tighten the screw, but she knew how to put things together. It's also great that I can now have a real conversation with her, with the two of us understanding each other most of the time. Her words are more intelligible and she strings them together pretty effectively and when I tell her something, I'm certain that she really understands and it's no longer hit or miss. So, I leave you for now with pictures of Marguerite shortly after waking up. It's straight out of her jammies to her bathing suit.

Where to Go if You Need Fast Business Loans

As a WAHM in these hard times (as a WHAM in less hard times, I was pretty content to just freelance as a writer and as a translator), thoughts of starting a business go through my head a few times a day. I’m not particularly daring, especially when money is involved, but I’ve learned that you have to act on things if you want results. This is why even though I’m not comfortable with the thought of borrowing money, business loans may have to be the logical recourse. I’ve come across a site that offers small business loans online. This may be a novel concept, but so long as it’s legit and fair, it will be a good thing to take advantage of.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spending Time on the Doulos

We went to the MV Doulos last Saturday after Marguerite's appointment with her pedodontist. Since we would be in the Manila area, my husband suggested that we (late) lunch in Binondo (China Town). After lunch, I learned that a trip to Ongpin wouldn't be complete without a quick shopping stop at Eng Bee Tin, the most popular Chinese deli in the area (not that I'm knowledgeable), so we got us some of their goodies. The following day, I found out that my Dad and a family friend were also there (separately) that Saturday. I guess we missed bumping into each other by a couple of hours.
Anyway, I was excited to be at the pier. The Manila Bay isn't the cleanest body of water, but it's still romantic and the sunset (barring bad weather) is always spectacular. We got on the boat (with Marguerite singing "Here I Go" and signing "boat" from Signing Time). There was quite a crowd there, but I heard that's nothing compared to the Sunday mob. My theory is that many churches decide to do a trip there as that Sunday's fellowship activity. Anyway, the items are sold in "units", but fortunately for me, the Math whiz, 100 units=100 pesos, so I didn't have to break anything trying to do conversions. Anyway, we got a photography book for Husband and a French poster and Sesame Street book set for Marguerite. We didn't get anything for me, which was really bordering on miraculous because it was a BOOK store. Buying books is my one compulsion (okay, I have many compulsions, but that's the only one that involves buying) and I think I'm still feeling guilty about buying all those books (to take advantage of the Books for Less 500peso- promo) before Christmas, so I'm really trying to abstain (what a coincidence that it's Lent).
To those who want to check out the ship, it'll be docked here until March 30th. Anyway, here are some pics Husband took last Saturday:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where the Seniors Are

I’m decades away from being a senior citizen, but I have always liked seniors. I’m a very willing audience to all the stories that they want to tell. If it’s a particularly fascinating one, I would not mind listening to it over and over again. I must admit there have been several times that I kind of borrowed a story tidbit from tales of, shall we say “the more mature”, to put in my own fiction. Everybody in my family is a history buff and we all like to gather around and listen to somebody willing to share his or her personal story. There’s reading from books on World War II and there’s listening to the first-hand account of somebody who was there (this is making me miss my grandparents). Anyway, my father, who is a babyboomer, officially became a senior citizen two years ago and he doesn’t mind being one. I think he really likes it. He’s certainly enjoying his privileges. He and other seniors like to gather every morning for an hour or two of physical fitness at the nearby sports center. I tell you, there’s a treasure trove of stories being swapped over there. It’s nice that there are several venues wherein senior citizens can congregate and really belong. They can relate to each other about most things and feel simpatico. Online there is Senior Chat, a cyber venue with the same purpose. Registration is free and once you establish an account, you can immediately access other seniors from all over.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Daybook - March 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For This Week...

Outside my Window... a brilliant sunset, birds swooping past, a homemade pinwheel keeping perfectly still
I am thinking... of all the things I need to accomplish this week
I am thankful for... my sister's improvement, for God's grace and endless mercies
From the kitchen... rice pilaf and the makings of a bananas foster
I am creating... curtains from a beautiful sari material I bought from a garage sale
I am wearing... tank top and shorts
I am reading... The Philippine Cookbook, among other things
I am hoping... that I can be more involved in church (I'm a regular church goer, but in 2004, I moved to a place 3 hours away, then when I moved back, I was shortly to have a baby, then when the baby was becoming more independent, we moved to another city - these shouldn't deter really. Guess I'll have a talk with my Dad as to how I can be of more use to the church)
I am hearing... children playing, the hum of the computer, the dings of the elevator...
Around the house... I've just cleaned the floors, done the lunch dishes, and I'm now about to do some light washing
One of my favorite things... a rubber stamp of Marguerite's name with daisies
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... post on my cooking blog (it has exactly one post, lol), fix my wahm blog, do a whole slew of other blog stuff, do that research favor for Husband, etc.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is the MV Doulos, a very inspiring sea vessel we visited last Saturday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We're Completely Unplugging Ourselves for an Hour on March 28


We were happy to participate in Earth Hour last year and we're excited to do it again this year. It's a week away, folks. It's very easy and simple to participate and yet our seemingly minor contribution can make a lot of difference. Collectively, our efforts can have a tremendous impact on the future of this planet we call home. So don't forget to Vote Earth on March 28.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh The Little Things We Forget to Be Thankful for

My mother excitedly rang me this morning to tell me that another one of Chip's bodily functions has returned. Since she got sick more than a year ago (btw, in case I forgot to update you before, we've zeroed in on hyperthyroidism and it seems she's had it for a long time), she has become irregular in many of the normal functions we often take for granted. To spare my sister's blushes, I won't say which functions have been resumed, but regaining them is definitely a good sign that she's on her way to getting better. It has been/is a long journey, but God's goodness is evident every step of the way. I continue to include Chip in my prayer requests and it's my fervent wish that we get to travel together again soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'll Have You Know I'm Part Dalmatian

I still have chicken pox scars. I've resigned myself to the fact that the spots won't fade until a decent interval has passed (6 months to one year as one article I read indicated). Honestly? I don't mind having scars. They're just a physical indication of what I had gone through and I really don't think having the chicken pox is anything to be ashamed of. I mean, of course, it would be better if they disappeared, and I am doing what I can to help the process of fading along, but while they're here, I just live with them, no worries or frets. What does bother me though is having people make a big deal out of them. I don't mind children who are curious about them asking endless questions. They don't make me feel self-conscious and I actually like being able to explain about the disease. What I don't care too much for is when grown-ups act all sorry for me for having scars (mistakenly assuming that I feel as they would about scars: devastated and doomed) and reassure me that they'll fade in time (oh, gee thanks, THAT I didn't know) or nag at me endlessly about products I should try (again very certain that I'm feeling desperate about my complexion) when I didn't ask for their advice. The nannies in my building are all lamenting what happened to my skin. While I suppose there's a compliment there somewhere when they say they thought I had lovely skin in the past, they're also, in fact, saying that those days of loveliness are now OVER, lol. Am I so wrong in still feeling beautiful even with all these scars? If it is, well then it's my own delusion and nobody else's business, lol (si estoy loca es cosa mía - love that line). My mom did/does a great job drilling into my brain that I'm beautiful and I'm afraid the effect is irreversible, lol. Anyway, these reactions (very normal I'm sure), I know they're all stemming from concern, but they are making me feel bad about something I don't feel bad about at all. For instance, my appearance seems to prompt my dad to inquire if I'm being vigilant about applying fading cream, and it rankles. It feels exactly like all those years of being asked if I had done my homework (I was a good student; I always had. It really bit being asked, although I knew it's just one of those reflex things.). So anyway, if you know me and we see each other and I don't mention the scars (sometimes I do), it's really better if you just leave them alone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Enjoy More Snuggle Time with Your Family

There's a new fabric softener on the market and they're offering a $2 discount to readers of Spinning Lovely Days. The product, Snuggle Creme, comes in two wonderful scents: jojoba and sweet almond. I'd personally love to try out the sweet almond one as I'm a big fan of the smell of almonds. Anyway, I'm also keeping the Snuggle Creme dancing bear widget in the margin for an indefinite period of time, not just because it's adorable, but mostly to give you guys easy access to the discount coupon. Anyway, here's Snuggle Creme's cute video ad:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

After Several Attempts

and interruptions, well Marguerite still isn't potty-trained. She showed great promise earlier on, but I have not been able to be consistent about the training (people kept on getting sick), so, yeah, we're still working on it. I'm not too bothered. After all, she's only 2 years old. I'm also rethinking the toddler toilet seat we currently use. We did get her a separate potty chair before, but a friend had advised us to get the toilet seat instead since it worked better for her. Anyway, at this point, I'm willing to try the potty chair again (even if it means a more "engaging" clean-up, but it's not like I have not been dealing with accidents, both no. 1 and no. 2)... So, I'm just waiting for the previous attempt to be forgotten and start anew. So next Monday? Can't wait.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'd Rather Play

Monica Geller or Kate Gosselin would not approve. The house needs dusting, the closets need tidying (I'm actually waiting for Husband to do something about the wood and screen stored in Marguerite's room before I organize the closets. I'd do something about it myself, but... I don't want to! We'll see how long I can stand the complete chaos that is our bedroom closet before I take action.), the bathroom needs torching after being doused with alcohol (even if that hadn't been been Husband's province, at this advanced stage of grossness, I still wouldn't attempt to clean it - okay, that's a lie; I did attempt it, but all my stomach could stand to do was scrub off some of the crud and spray Mr. Muscle. Sadly, the thing still won't pass muster, lol... To people who have no appreciation for hyperboles, please understand that I compulsively exaggerate. Please do not report me to social welfare or to the health inspector.)... I was supposed to be leading to a point, but after all the side comments, never mind. Don't you find these little parenthetical inserts annoying? I'll have you know I'm exactly the same heard or read. Been this way forever.
Anyway, to start over (and this is the point I was leading to - there goes the insert again), instead of cleaning more thoroughly (I'm not a complete and utter slob, I do some superficial charing, enough to keep the place free of vermin), I play. With Marguerite, I mean. I definitely prefer that to cleaning, lol.
Speaking of slacking and doing things more fun, yesterday we had an impromptu playdate here in our apartment. Three children (all older than Marguerite - aged 3, 5 and 6) from the eighth floor followed us down from our post-lunch rounds to play with Marguerite (or Marguerite's toys, lol). I think they found me - a mom who was keeping an eye on them as well as playing with them - quite an alien concept. The six-year-old asked me, "Why don't you get a
yaya (nanny) for Marguerite?" and I answered, "Because I want to take care of her myself." I could have elaborated, but I might have ended up implying something that I didn't mean, so I kept it simple, yet truthful. Sometimes I do wonder about going back to work (esp since the extra income would give us more comfort), but the idea of somebody else being Marguerite's primary caregiver (and influence) just stops my heart cold. I'm not saying that mothers who work outside the home are not doing as much when it comes to raising their children, but I have a very concrete idea of what kind of life and relationship I want for my daughter and myself and being a SAHM was the choice I had to make.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Trust Geeks

I like geeks. I really enjoy geek rock and geek movies and even that TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. I myself am a geek in many ways, but let’s not get into that. Anyway, I trust geeks to be extraordinarily knowledgeable when it comes to their area of expertise, hence, when I wanted to learn more about webhosting and search engines pointed me to a site called WHG (Web Hosting Geeks), I knew I would learn what I needed to find out. As soon as you get to the site, you are immediately offered information on the best web hosting companies with a list featuring professional but affordable web hosting services for less than $10 a month (with webhosting plans including at least one free domain name registration and a 30-day money back guarantee). With the economy being as it is, this is a really astute feature since cost is an essential detail that understandably greatly influences many people’s choices nowadays. Web Hosting Geeks also has a blog that offers advice, tips, and warnings about all things webhosting. It has posted articles on such things as trends and breakthroughs in the webhosting world. Clearly even the most clueless will be enlightened.

A Grateful Spectator

It is so hot! It's really hard to accomplish tasks or even just function normally when it's this hot. I refuse to use the AC unless it seems really crucial. Anyway, it's nice though that there's usually a healthy breeze blowing past our front door, which I think is the usual case with space between buildings. Also, thankfully Marguerite can spend hours on any of the absorbing activities she seems to prefer. She obsessively lines up objects (no, she doesn't manifest any other seemingly autistic behavior), just arranging and rearranging any given set of items. She can also spend the entire day painting (forget finger painting, she insists on using a brush). The water color set is non-toxic, but it's actually recommended for 3-yr-olds and above. Oh well, Marguerite makes a mess, but she knows how to use the thing properly. She has always had a good grip, instinctively knowing how to handle crayons even when she was still a baby, and I've never really had much trouble with her putting things in her mouth; she just didn't do that even as a one-year-old. She also already knows to use paper for writing, drawing or painting (sometimes she needs reminder, but in most cases that she does, she really seems to be deliberately testing her limits). She'd get marks on other things, but only accidentally. One other thing of note (well, to me anyway) is that she's still very much ambidextrous with all manual tasks. She doesn't show preference when eating, writing, handling, etc. And anyway I think I kind of went on a bragging-mom tangent there. The point is, I'm a content mirón at this point because I can sit (not for long though, there are those other chores that need attending to) and just watch-sing-comment without having to run around with Marguerite.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Need That Extra Brake Pedal

I do not drive yet. Do not tell me that I need to learn because that will just irritate me. I hate being told something I already know. I HAVE tried learning a couple of times in the past, but I got so panicky about wrecking the car that I always put it off until I could enroll in an official driving school (that lets you learn driving in cars with the extra brake pedal -is that what it’s called?). I’ll definitely take driving lessons when the time is right. Anyway, I wish there was a number I could call, sort of like this service they have in Australia (driving lessons Brisbane) that puts you in touch with driving schools near you.

Yesterday Chip and I Sang "Kaleidoscope World"

Okay, this is probably an uncharacteristic post, but I'd just like to say that I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Francis Magalona's death. I knew he was battling with cancer, but even if I didn't know him personally (although I'm semi-related to him: I grew up with his niece and nephew since an uncle of mine married his sister) he was just one of those personalities that you expected to defeat the disease. I think I did cry a little upon learning it. I was watching a replay of American Idol or Survivor Tocantins, I forget which, when this commercial of one of the local shows flashed a clip of him with his name and the dates 196_-2009 (I forget the year of his birth although I know he was 44 when he passed away). I immediately went online to verify this and sadly enough it was true. One feels sad, of course, but one can easily overcome it by remembering what a full life he'd lived and of course, the legacy he had left in the artistic world as well as with his children (all 8 beautiful, intelligent, and very well brought up, it seems) will keep him immortalized. I briefly saw an interview of his wife during his wake and all I can say is that Pia Arroyo was the picture of grace. Chip (we did an homage of sorts yesterday when I went over to their house... being children of the '80s, of course, we had to reminisce about Bagets and breakdancing, and the sight of his family shopping at the mall making us smile...) and I have always remarked on what a cool family they have and... anyway, condolences to the Magalonas.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What/Who's on Your Wallpaper?

I’m not particularly musical, but I have always been a fan. Although my taste is really pretty eclectic, I can identify the most with the ‘90s alternative sound. To date I am still a huge fan of all the grunge bands of that era. Second to pictures of my daughter, I would probably use album covers of Live or Pearl Jam as wallpaper. To get these Music Wallpapers, go to ShareWallpapers where there are about 80,000 wallpapers available.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Should I Laugh or Cry?

In a fit of PMS-induced depression, I unburdened some negative thoughts on my husband hoping for some comfort (may I add that it had also thus far been a very trying morning?). I was standing in the shower, explaining why I was in a horrible mood. "I feel like such a loser. I'm hardly making any money and on top of that, I suck at homemaking and parenting (I don't really, but I was having a pity party)." My dear husband rolled his eyes to convey how ridiculous my thoughts were and consolingly reassured me with the following words: "Don't worry; you'll find another job." Sigh. That's what I got for fishing. Although I wasn't really. It just really threw me; that's probably why I can even see how comical it all was. You'd just have expected him to respond with the answer anybody with half the sense of a pig would have given: "You're doing a great job at homemaking and you're a terrific mother." Instead, I got a reminder that I really should keep on looking for another regular WAH gig, which is, you know, not only depressing, but also stressing. Deeper sigh. Now, that I've blogged about it, I think I'll just laugh.