Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Amazingly, our iPod charger still works even if it has lost its shell (case? cover? -- just the part that you plug into the iPod itself) more than two years ago. Marguerite went through a phase when she would collect all the loose cables (and Mark always has plenty - not really lying around, but quite easily accessible to a curious toddler - and yes, we’ve heard of babyproofing) and just, well, line them up (that has always been fun for her, collecting things of a kind and sort of setting them up as a display). I tried to discourage her from the wire thing since even if she was past putting things in her mouth, she would still be handling something that might have lead or whatnot on it. I don’t really know much about those things. I could recognize things like cables for s-video and those USB things, even if I didn’t really know what to call them. I know there is always an ethernet cable knocking about somewhere for some reason. I’ve had to look up Ethernet on Wikipedia since I was curious about the ether part - did it have something to do with that thing used to knock people unconscious? Anyway, I wasn’t comfortable letting my daughter play with them, even if I was watching. Of course, there was also the fact that those wires might have been important or cost money and Marguerite wasn’t always careful with them, as in the case of the iPod charger that got schlepped around one time too many.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hi. Other than bad "morning" sickness, I'm fine (meaning, everything's pretty much in order pregnancy-wise). However, I'm in an almost perpetual state of dizziness and nausea, so blogging activity here will be quite sporadic for the next couple of months. Let me just get through the first trimester and I'll resume the posts, clicks, drops, comments, etc. with bells on. I'll try to visit some of my usual blogging haunts from time to time so I won't miss out on so much, but the writing and publishing of this post is about as long as I can stay in front of the computer without getting sick.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Game Day Fun with TABASCO Original Red

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marguerite Is Going to Be a Big Sister


I thought I'd hold off blogging about it until after I'd seen my OB-GYN, but many people already know, so I thought I might as well let the rest of the world know, lol. I'm currently 6 and a half weeks pregnant and as you can probably tell, blogging makes me feel sick, hence the lull in my clicks and drops. I wanted to keep it quiet for the first trimester, but Marguerite announced our secret in her Sunday School class last week  ("My mommy has a baby in her tummy.") while Mark posted what he thought was a harmless "And it is..." on his Facebook wall right after I took the test and was flabbergasted when everybody jumped to the right conclusions. Obviously, these are two people you wouldn't want to trust with top secrets.
I hope I'm not speaking too soon when I say that this pregnancy seems to be easier than the first one (I did that before, exclaiming "Hey, this doesn't seem like it's going to be a difficult pregnancy. I don't feel any different!" and proceeded to spend the following five months gagging and projectile vomiting), but even if it isn't, at least I won't have to worry about teaching 5 classes a day (and students don't have to worry about warding off speckles of flying puke - it wasn't really necessary as I always made it to the sink in time) and driving the 3+ hours from Subic to Manila most weekends (this was before SCTex). I'm getting sick waxing nostalgic about that time, lol. Help me pray for this one, okay? :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pics from Cousins' Birthday Party

Marguerite's cousins, Matt and Chesca (siblings) had a joint birthday party yesterday. It was really fun. I'd love to talk more about it, but I can't stay too long in front of the computer. Btw, the Bing page's look makes me feel  sick for some reason. I don't know how that became the default search bar on two of the browsers I use here. Pics!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What Would You Call This Decade?

I was the kind of kid who listened to her aunt’s Ray Conniff collection, so while the other kids were learning the latest New Wave tunes, I was memorizing the best of the ‘70s - BeeGees, Chicago, Barry Manilow, etc. One song I really liked was Midnight at the Oasis. I liked the imagery, I suppose - deserts, caravans, etc. I’ve always liked the idea of going on a caravan - you can put it down to too many Mills & Boons while growing up. The thing is, I don’t really care to see the desert, and caravans, when I really think about them, strike me as a really messy and uncomfortable setup. Of course, in this century/millennium, things don’t have to be uncomfortable and inconvenient unless you prefer them to be. People can have all the modern conveniences in their caravans and stay in really fun holiday parks besides. My grandmother, for instance, bought an RV shortly after retiring and it’s a really fancy setup. She could have traveled across the country if she wanted to, but she chose to park outside her friends’ house in San Bernardino. I wasn’t in the US when she had the RV or I would have persuaded her to travel in it. The experience would have been right out of Trixie Belden and The Red Trailer Mystery. Music from the ‘70s, books from the ‘50s-- you’re probably thinking I grew up with a confused idea of what decade it was.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

About Spectacles

My sister was talking about getting graded sunglasses the other day, which, in turn reminded me of the pair my husband got for himself. I mean, he took the time and trouble (not to mention money) to bring his aviator sunglasses to the shop, to have the lenses replaced with graded ones and before long, he lost them. They were really for driving, but it was such a hassle to switch glasses every time, so he tended to wear them anytime during the day when it was appropriate. Anyway, he looked all Topgun-hot wearing them for about a couple of weeks before he forgot them in a client’s conference room and some person with no morals went finders keepers on them (he’s now probably wondering why he got headaches every time he wore those Raybans he found in the conference room). Mark got another pair of eyeglasses soon after because his old ones were all geek rock (I don’t know what made him think he could be geek rock - I was geek rock while he has always been more classic rock than anything) and didn’t suit him. He scored nice ones this time, but he had to look high and low for just the frame he wanted. It would’ve been a lot simpler with virtual try on frames. He could’ve found and bought the right pair of glasses without leaving the house.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Day Started Too Early

So. Today started with Marguerite waking up at 4am and while I do get up around this time, it was still beyond my capabilities at that time to intelligently cater to a disoriented 4-year-old who knew something was wrong and kept on whining about it, but somehow could not pinpoint that the problem was that she should have still been sleeping. I basically ended up just giving her whatever she wanted: iPod, that we held hands, cuddled, that I wiped her tears, etc. I was still too dumb to attempt any kind of resistance. About 10 minutes into that, I started feeling really ill, the kind of state I get in when I am hungry, which is about every thirty minutes or so right now. And not just hungry, but absolutely ravenous, which brings us to a pretty abrupt segue: I really thought I would finally be able to travel abroad this year (I haven’t been since Mark and I got married - he has, but not me). My US visa will expire this year. I was really hoping to use it before it expires. I thought also, perhaps we could visit my mother-in-law in Zurich and go on proper europe holidays, but that’s not really likely now. I’m not about to complain though. God knows which blessings to dole out to which people at which time. Confused sentence, but I’m ending it there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

That's Why Blinds Go Up and Down

Above the sink kitchen windows require some thought. I personally love them. I like looking out the window while doing the dishes. I can see the flowers and the birds, so I get entertained while taking care of that boring chore. One time I was washing the dishes at my aunt’s house and a red and yellow bird flew past. It was such a bright little thing, so I quickly tugged the cord of the roller blinds to make them roll all the way up so I could see where the bird headed. It went to the orange tree. I decided the dishes could wait, so I went to the backyard to watch. A distraction, I know, but I didn’t want to miss out. In my mom’s kitchen, we hear birdsong all the time and through the window above the sink, we can see which creatures are serenading us. Above the sink windows, on the other hand, are not that helpful at night, if you have a very rich imagination and have been in a camp where a person was washing dishes and somebody who clearly had nothing to do suddenly popped up right outside the window while shining a flashlight under his chin. In that case, the roller blinds can just be down. That’s it for now. Sorry for the disjointed post. I feel nauseated.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kaleidoscope Love

I got this for Marguerite as a stocking stuffer last Christmas. It's a flimsy, part-plastic, disposable type of toy, but it's about as non-adherent to my vague plaything philosophy/principles as silly bandz which she also got, so... Besides, it's a kaleidoscope. You should know that I have very deep affection for kaleidoscopes. I first came across one as a pupil in the lower grades. During Science Week, we would go to the laboratories and see the exhibit of Science projects the higher grades had worked on that year. There were always the usual things like the one with the light bulb, the one with the wavy wire, volcanoes, the solar system, etc. The kaleidoscopes were always a personal favorite of mine, and they usually remained intact despite the legion of schoolgirls handling and twisting them. I couldn't get enough of the shifting psychedelic images. The things seemed like magic to the 7-yr-old me and I've been fascinated since. I'd been meaning to make one for Marguerite, but the mirror part struck me as a hassle, so I put off doing it indefinitely until... Now, she has this.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Must Get Fix of Blurry Pics

I know you want to see some blurry pictures, so here they are ;p

Went to get groceries at Shopwise and thought we might as well see what's going on at some of the places we'd pass by on the way home (like Eastwood and Riverbanks)-- yes, Marguerite has silly bandz...

Cute one of Chip (wilted hibiscus stuck in her hair) with some of the kids during the Music Department luau

From the actual pageant and not the encore performance (Chip says Midge was part-angel, part-ostrich, lol)


Christmas party (not a phone shot - Chip, Maf, myself and behind us, Maf's husband, Obet-- yes, the memory guy and they came in 7th overall in China last year, woohoo!)

I haven't been posting blurry pictures here ever since the camera on my phone conked out. Thankfully, Mark's and my cousin Cheska's phones take blurry pictures as well, lol.

Remembering That Call Center Lounge

Have I ever mentioned here that I tried call center work in the past? Back then, call centers were relatively new in the Philippines. I lasted about three months before I conveniently had to go the US. As you can probably tell, this was back in the days when they still hadn’t thought of the one-year bond thing. I have to admit though that I was pretty bratty about it. It was nothing to me to succumb to depression and the shifting schedule, the endless barrage of problems (they didn’t call me to chat, you know), the hours in front of the computer with a headset on (me, not the computer), etc. got to me. I couldn’t eat. I was so stressed. Not at all a night owl, I thought it was highly unnatural to be going to the office just when most people were heading home for dinner. When I think about that time, I remember myself sitting at the lounge during my “lunch break” at 11 pm, toying with the vertical blinds (Is it just me or do offices really prefer vertical blinds? Maybe they're better for wall-length, floor-to-ceiling windows...) while looking at the cars whizzing past 20 stories below, and making my mind up to just get out of there. Of course, I was young and had little accountability to anybody. If I were in that situation now, I would probably think about our financial obligations and just suck it up.

Another Blog

I’m thinking of starting another blog. It has to be something that’s really helpful and informative so people would interested in visiting it. Naturally, it has to be something that fascinates me too, otherwise it would just be bogus. Mainly though, it has to be all mercenary and needy and be all about people visiting and liking it. Of course, really good traffic means a better chance at getting businesses to advertize on the site, so it all boils down to making money (like I said, mercenary, lol). I really need to look into it to do it right. I have to start learning more about the blogging business, start caring about search engine optimization, start understanding the page rank thing better, etc. Right now, even though I do earn from this blog, it is really more of a personal diary and I can only do so much before it all becomes insincere, like exploitation (now you know why I suck at social networking—besides the fact that I’m disguising my natural timidity as coolness). Anyway, going back to the blog I want to start, I might look into going with a different platform, a different webhost (currently reading a webhostingpad review), a different tone, etc. Now, if I could only just pick the right topic and actually get around to doing it…

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Cough That Shut Me up

I'd been nursing the most vicious cough. I was supposed to sing backup in the worship team during service yesterday, but I couldn't even talk. Sadly, I also had to give a meetup with my high school classmates on Saturday night a miss, since the bug was something that needed good quality rest for it to even consider going away. My throat was raw from all the coughing. I can't take medication however so I had to settle for copious mugs of hot water-citrus-honey, which I alternated with bowls of soup. I also gargled warm water with salt to soothe the chafed walls of my throat (are they walls?). I expectorated (not something I'm any good at, but I tried), blew my nose, did everything possible to expel the bad stuff, and now, I believe I'm in the last legs of this spell. Of course, prayer worked and now I'm busy flushing the rest of it out and trying to boost my immune system. Can't afford to have another one of these episodes. I've never been one to just sit and listen in group conversations. And I bet you can tell from this blog's parenthetical overkill that I'm just brimming with cracks and quips I just HAVE to share. Come to think of it, it was probably also a lesson on impertinence. Also, I have even more respect now for mute parents raising young children. I spent the weekend clapping at Marguerite (as though she were a pigeon) to get her attention. Motherhood moments to file under anecdotes, lol. All I can say is (of course, I've actually already said a lot), Thank you, Lord, for the healing...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hoarding Broken Crayons

I don't buy Marguerite crayons anymore. She has a desk-full of the things, from different sets, many of them broken. You know those old fashioned school desks (we got ours at a garage sale), like this?

Lift the lid and you'll find the compartment brimming with crayons accumulated in the past three years. That's why I don't buy her crayons. My mother, on the other hand, thinks old crayons from varying sets are no good. She can't stand to see Marguerite using them, so she buys her new ones that Marguerite breaks in two beats. Okay, maybe four beats. Recently, she got her the Crayola set with 64 crayons (preferred by teachers, including My World colors whatever they are, and with that ingenious built-in sharpener). Marguerite's 4 now and more careful. There are only maybe 2 broken tips and 1 actually broken crayon so far. She pressed hard on the tips and she sat on the latter.

What I find really amazing though are the color names in the collection. I wish Crayola had hired me. I would love to come up with apt color names for a job. It also made me realize how I'd have been stumped if a student of mine had asked me what Purple Mountains's Majesty or Tickle Me Pink were in Spanish. Good thing I taught middle school and high school, so I was spared from that. In any case, I'd be prepared now. I found this.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Prefer Cash

For the longest time, I didn’t believe in credit cards. If I didn’t have the outright cash to pay for something, then I thought I shouldn’t get it. Up to, oh say, 2004, I still upheld that belief. I remember having breakfast with a friend and our boss. My friend told our boss that she would like to apply for a credit card and he told her to talk to the finance officer about it. He asked if I wouldn’t want one myself and I said that I didn’t believe in credit cards. He looked gobsmacked. “What?! It’s not like ghosts or God you have to believe in.” When it was time to pay, he made an elaborate show of hiding his credit card from me because he said he didn’t want to shock me. Haha. Anyway, the more things got virtual and the more the online world was accommodated, my regard for credit cards shifted. I still believe you ought to have the money for things you get, but you can use a credit card for transactions where its use is most convenient. It is clear to me though that the utmost discipline and responsibility are necessary for using a credit card. It can so easily be abused and before you know it, you are in debt and having the most difficult time getting out of it. That story is more common than we all care to know, but with the proper principles of debt management, you can prevent yourself from sinking lower and gradually work toward being debt-free.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Time to Diet

I totally binged on food over the holidays. I’ll tell you my current weight now, but I’ve made it a secret, lol. My mom, a couple of friends and I intend to do our own Biggest Loser challenge (the prize for the winner would be a gift certificate to an all-you-can-eat buffet, hee… I’m kidding). Now, I’ve found (since having a baby and turning thirty) that losing weight is no longer as easy as it used to be. Total commitment and dead serious discipline are necessary. I have not really formally tried any established weight loss program and this just may be the time to do so. I went to and got information on the most popular diet plans. Besides diet tips, articles and tools (BMI calculator), the site also offers coupons and discount codes to make these programs more affordable. The Nutrisystem promotions look really good. They pretty much plan and provide your meals for you. It’s a pretty good plan if you live alone and cook only for yourself. It also suits you if you’re very busy and eat a lot of take-out anyway. You can find a Nutrisystem promotional code on the site.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So Blessed, I Can't Contain It

I should always feel this way:

I was going to highlight the lines I love, but it turns out I love all the lines. :)

More than I could hope or dream of
You have poured Your favour on me
One day in the house of God is
Better than a thousand days in the world

So blessed, I can't contain it...
So much, I've got to give it away,
Your love taught me to live now...
You are more than enough for me.

ONE DAY - Reuben Morgan

I'm sorry for not really blogging... It's a mood thing. Don't worry, it's not dark or negative. I'm very happy, but the interest is really just elsewhere. I expect to regain blogging momentum one of these days. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Boudreaux's Butt Paste Is More Than Its Name

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

I think I first learned about Boudreaux's Butt Paste (love the name, by the way) while watching the Today Show. I’m definitely interested in trying it out. It would make a great addition to the medicine cabinet and my tote-everywhere first aid pouch (the product is packaged in various sizes, from 1 oz tubes to 16 oz jars - jar for the cabinet and tube for the pouch). Not only does it treat skin irritations like diaper rash, it also deals with minor burns and insect bites.

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Pictures from the Eves

Have to get ready for church, so just pics grabbed from my cousin Cheska's Facebook...

Fun we had on Christmas Eve:

board game - I got this in Spain, a combo of Trivial Pursuit, Charades, Pictionary, Taboo, and Trademark (not sure if this is the name of the game)

New Year's Eve fun:

fondue (didn't get denatured? alcohol for the burner, so had to use candle; just lined bottom of pot with foil so it wouldn't blacken -- worked)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy new year, everyone!

Something I intend to keep in mind:

I will come to You
With an open heart,
And bring a sacrifice of praise.
I have seen Your power
In the Holy place.
And I have known Your mighty ways.
I will remember Your mercy
And, Lord, Your faithfulness.

Lord, Your goodness
And Your love will follow me
All the days of my life.
I'm surrounded with the favor
of the Lord, Always and Forever


Some Thoughts on Having Pets

Pets… something that I always want to have, but it never seems to be the right time or right place for them. The last big pet I had was Maggie, the beautiful part-Collie, part-who knows that Mark gave me while I was doing my undergrad thesis. That meant housebreaking while I was toiling over graduation. I wanted the puppy too, but in hindsight, that probably wasn’t a good time to get one. Now, as you know, we have Buddy and Boy, Marguerite’s hamsters. Next door, my cousins have Jackie, the dog, and in our compound, we have any number of stray cats somebody made a mistake of feeding a long time ago, so now they’re here to menace the garden and their poop stinks up the place and is something that the helpers have to deal with on a regular basis. I suppose they’d go if they weren’t continually fed by somebody, who as it happens is even me sometimes. Anyway, I’d love a dog or a cat, and I know Marguerite would too, but there are many things to consider. Budget is one of them. There’s feeding, vet bills, medication, and other effects. The expense would practically be tantamount to adding another person to the household. Pet medicine could be quite steep. Unlike human pharmacies, pet pharmacies don’t seem to have the generic equivalent. In fact, you usually have to get the medicine from the vet himself. I was reading PetCareRx Reviews though and found out that you can get pet medicine and other pet products (brands that are all EPA and FDA approved) at as low as 50% of the commercial price. I’ll keep that in mind when we finally get that cat or dog, or if the hamsters get sick.