Sunday, July 31, 2011

Excuses and Pics

Hi! I'm here. I'm fine. I'm incredibly busy - writing, homeschooling, nesting... Will try to blog more often, also visit your blogs more often. I actually have another book to review, but I need to make time to read it first... Posting pics now just cuz I've been remiss as a blogger (like that scores points):

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Sterile Spot Amid the College Grunge

I had a friend in college who was a real germaphobe. She would not even let me hold on to the escalator banister. I told her I’d rather chance contracting germs than plummeting down to my - well, if not certain death, then certain disgrace with possible medium-serious injury. This was before the rise of hand sanitizers and cheaper brands of wet wipes. What she toted instead was rubbing alcohol. She really was only a little less OC than Monk. She didn’t touch things if she could help it, and definitely not the restroom door. She was very suspicious of hand towels and if a Hand Dryer wasn’t available, she preferred to air dry her hands. As much as possible, she waited for people to open doors and just went in with them. Of course, we were freshmen then. I’m not sure if she was able to keep it up as college culture is pretty grungy in general. I can’t be sure because I shifted out of my first major, so we sort of drifted apart although we remain in very sporadic contact to date. The last time I saw her was at dinner at a mutual friend’s house about two years ago. She stopped me from drinking straight out of a soda bottle and made me wait for straws. Sure enough, there were rust stains below the bottle mouth. If it’s not obvious, I recall all this with fondness. :)

M's Own Bed

Today I’ll be hauling out a great amount of junk from my bedroom. Some of them date back to my girlhood - books, memorabilia, etc. They’ve really just been in my bookcases forever and even when I moved my family into this tiny space the first and second times (we had two years of apartment living in between as a family of three). We’d brought in drawer chests, cribs, a new bed, etc., but those bookcases remained untouched. Anyway, we’re on our way to becoming a family of four and some of those things have to go to storage. We’ve been co-sleeping with Marguerite all her life, but she’s now ready to graduate to her own bed. We just bought her a mattress, which she helped pick, and we’re having a platform/bed frame custom-made for her (her toddler bed, which she never got to use, is too big for our room, but only because we’re bringing the crib back in - I frankly don’t know why; we almost never used it with M). Marguerite and I are having fun planning her corner of the room. We’re thinking of putting up her letters again and adding pretty accents like dream catchers, pockets, hooks, etc. Of course, there are her toy chests and bookcase as well. I can’t wait to see how her first night on her own bed will go.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marguerite Moments from My Phone

Look! Finally got to upload some of the pics from my phone...

She's actually dealing cards here.

She was supposed to be painting (my dad just got her a mini easel), but she opted to play with the kawaii stationery set her Aunt Chip gave her.

Shush. This was just a short ride to church. She'll go back to booster seats when the baby gets here.

Eating carrot cake

Use, Store, Discard

I’m currently dealing with a lot of storage boxes. I’m unpacking the old ones and packing new ones. I’m weeding through our things, dividing them into use, store, discard piles. I’ll have to get Custom Printed Tape for the new boxes as I had a hard time distinguishing our boxes from other people’s storage boxes. This is one of those instances when I feel that being a packrat pays. The baby hardly has any need for new clothes (although we welcome them, of course). He’s really pretty much set in that department. My baby shower registry mostly includes consumables - stuff like shampoo, wash, oil, etc. I’m thinking of making my own diapers and wipes, but hopefully, somebody will point out in time that I don’t really know how to sew. Anyway, it’s going to be hard giving away Marguerite’s baby clothes and shoes. I was so sure that they were going to be used by the next baby, but, oh well… I’ve picked the really special ones for souvenirs (yeah, there are more than necessary, but I think Marguerite will appreciate that we thought to preserve them as part of her baby keepsakes). The ones that are also really nice will go to the baby girls in our church. The rest will be donated.

More Kiddie Party Thoughts

I’m still thinking about Marguerite’s birthday. The one time it’s really difficult to throw her a party (because of my condition, and, well, the general situation), she’s actually asking for one. The past two years, we didn’t really throw her a party-party. On the day itself, we just made sure she woke up to cake, balloons, flowers and presents. On her third birthday, Mom was supposed to throw her a mini-party on Saturday and I was going to bring cake and goody bags to her Sunday School class, but that was the year Ondoy happened, on that very weekend, in fact. Her fourth birthday, I was able to do the Sunday School thing. Marguerite didn’t care about not having a party, but now, she’s turning 5 and she remembers the parties she’s been to. She keeps on declaring that she’s going to have a party too and every time we go to one, she asks, “Whose birthday is next?” I know we have to teach her about disappointments, and Mark and I do (my mom is a totally different case), but I just don’t have the heart to disappoint her with this one. I’m thinking, just a small one. This once, I’ll consider getting a package with food, décor, kids entertainers, etc. included, so I really don’t have to deal with the details. I don’t like doing things that way but I don’t really have a choice this time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Grandfather's Sister

Yesterday my mom visited Lola Conching. She’s my grandfather’s elder sister. There’s another one, the eldest, also still surviving; we call her Kaka Nita. Anyway, Lola Conching is 88 years old, while Kaka Nita is 91. My grandfather would have been 86 this year if were still living. He died in 2000. Bearing a gift of atis (sweetsop fruits, aka sugar apples/custard apples - a close relative of the cherimoya for those who live in cooler regions), my mom went to Lola Conching’s apartment. She was a spry old lady until she fell ill with a stomach problem. Her children initially took her to this expensive hospital and the doctor told them that she had a lump in her colon and needed an operation. Good thing they went for a second opinion because the lump turned out to be something else and she didn’t actually need an operation. She’s recuperating now, but I’m not sure if she’ll get her old energy back. Mom thought about taking Marguerite with her, but she thought she’d better see if it would be a good idea first, check out the lay of the land, etc. It was Mom’s first time to go to Lola Conching’s new place. Lola Conching gave up her house and moved there after getting sick. I suppose it was as close to a convalescent home as a private residence can get - nursing home furniture, her own caregiver, etc. Anyway, I think it would be good for Marguerite to visit Lola Conching.

Preggy Shoot?

It’s been really hot again lately. I dread to see the electric bill at the end of the month for the duration of time the air conditioners have been running here. As much as I try to stay away from malls as a means of amusing myself, I have to admit that they have been very appealing of late, if only for their air conditioned interior. We hit several malls during the weekend. We did have to run errands as well as do our grocery shopping on Saturday, but we also dawdled a bit. We let Marguerite spend some time in one of the playrooms and we browsed through the various exhibits. Mark naturally gravitated to the photography booths and flipped through the photobooks on display. He has made a number of pre-nup storybooks himself, even going out of town on several occasions to shoot. I think he really enjoys it. I’m glad he’ll have time to pursue his many interests soon. I wonder if we’ll do a pregnancy shoot. I’m not feeling particularly attractive at the moment, but I might regret it. I refused to do one the first time (sigh, obviously I don’t go through pregnancies gracefully), but now I wish I had more pictures from that time. Maybe makeup could do something for the swollen nose and, well, I won’t get a better excuse for being fat…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marguerite with Cousins

Posting a few pics here from Sunday lunch. We came from church hence Marguerite's dress. It was my BIL's birthday. Photo credits go to my SIL Christine.

Cousin Matthew eyes Marguerite's Barbie

You'd think it was sweet, but...

...doesn't this look a little suspicious? Don't worry; little Matt came out of that hug just fine.

Some horseplay in the waiting area

Medic! Medic! One man down!

Now, for some real "horse" play... except that it's actually a tiger

I said "Giddup", tiger! Whatcha mean you don't understand?

Birthing Dreams

I keep on having weird dreams about giving birth now. I’m 8 months along and I suppose it’s normal. The other night I had two such dreams in a row. I suppose I woke up sometime during the night because they had differing plots. The first one had me finding “show” (the mucus plug) in the bathroom and panicking that it was too early. For some reason, I couldn’t get to the hospital - you know, those stupid frustrations you have in dreams. In the second one, I had already given birth and was marveling at how fine I felt. And then, LOL, I explained it away as one of the differences between an epidural and a natural birth. I was all, “That’s why I was so out of it the other time, because I was drugged…” - like I had this epiphany, lol. I was really just sitting around shooting the breeze with my visitors, feeling really peachy keen. Dumb dreams. That’s how you get lulled into a false sense of security. I was so relieved at how easy it was that I felt wistful when I woke up, lol. It was so vivid too. I distinctly remember remarking on the asset tags on the hospital sheets, guerney, television… I wonder who in their right mind would try to bolt off with a TV. Anyway, it’s usually screwed on to the wall, so that should discourage the thieving minds.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Messy Preschoolers

We had a rubber stamp made for Marguerite’s 1st birthday. We’d used it on the flaps of her invitation envelopes, kind of like a seal. It’s just here, knocking about somewhere, but I should really get it out. It basically has her name and a clump of daisies. Anyway, Marguerite likes stamps and has acquired quite a number through the years, so I should really look for her name stamp so she can add it to the collection. One of these days, we’ll do the fruit and vegetable stamp project. It will have to be on a nice day, so I’ll have plenty of patience for the huge mess that activity is sure to bring. Gotta love the mess! Did I also tell you that she likes glue? Good thing I like peeling off dried glue from surfaces (that was such a treat in grade school - when you encounter a table with splotches of dried glue on it…). She also likes making sandwiches (and forcing you to eat them), working with such a thick blob of peanut butter you’d think she was spreading cement for laying bricks. She doesn’t stop with the peanut butter either; there has to be jam. All the while she’s doing this, she’s describing or explaining what she’s doing, pretending to be “Marfis” Stewart.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pregnancy Update

Busy here, although it doesn't really feel like I'm inching forward, except maybe with writing; that gets done. I'm super behind my craft projects. I'm cramming the decluttering project this weekend. I know I have a zillion other things to do, but don't worry I won't enumerate them anymore; haven't got the time. In pregnancy news, all good things... I don't have gestational diabetes according to my oral glucose challenge test results, although I do have to cut down on carbs now. The baby is no longer in breech position. My blood pressure is normal (low normal, as always), and everything seems to be in order, so I praise and thank God for taking care of me and answering my prayers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some WAHM Ponderings

I’ve actually cut down a big chunk of my writing assignments. I saw that Marguerite was already beginning to be affected by the activity, so I ended the assignments that called for a turnaround of less than a day. I found myself telling her “Not now; I’m working” too often and as soon as I realized that, I whittled my workload. The ones that I could work on a weekly basis, I kept. Of course, I still accept one-time fixed rate assignments. I just can’t hack a daily thing with such a severe deadline. I certainly don’t need the stress from that right now as I don’t want my immune system to go down. Anyway, as much as I like writing, I really wish I could focus on writing stories. If I could find a worthwhile gig that doesn’t involve writing, I’d take it… and then I’d write for fun, which could also possibly bring in money. I’ve been looking and most of the work at home gigs I can do involve SEO or teaching ESL. The latter won’t work in my current setup though, and the usual rates are way below what I’d ask for an hour’s work. Of course, I have blogging and I’m thinking of trying PPC again. The last time I did that, I quit without reaching any of the payouts. I didn’t really understand it well at that time though, so I suppose it does bear looking into once again.

Anybody Else Following "The Glee Project"?

We’re currently avidly following The Glee Project. It’s a reality show /contest aiming to pick somebody to join the Glee cast. I’m frankly more interested in it than I was in the second season of the show. I missed many episodes and didn’t care. I’m not sure if I found the storyline particularly lacking (in continuity, for one. The first season’s episodes just seemed more cohesive…) or if I got tired of Rachel’s singing, or if the issues they wanted to tackle seemed forced, or if the characters’ idiosyncrasies got stale… Anyway, I am enjoying following The Glee Project. Fresh blood and all that. It’s a set of really talented kids. I don’t really care who wins. I think the show is great exposure for them if they’re trying to break into show business. They certainly have better pipes than many of the so-called singers out there right now. Must be tough singing for a living. First, people can see all the way down your esophagus when you belt it out, give you a dental inspection as well while they’re at it. You’ll have to get fresh fillings if you have silver ones still, lol. Your breath has to smell nice too since you’ll be expelling lots of it and maybe some spit too. Read the bad breath report review to keep up-to-date. Of course, there are also the facial contortions. Your face can get all kinds of weird trying to reach that high note. Anyway, we do have our favorites. We’re particularly fond of Cameron although I don’t think I really want him to join the show. I guess I just want somebody to give him a record deal and he can have a commercial … nah, he’s way cooler indie. I don’t know what I want.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pics from Euan's Party

It's time for some pictures. These were taken last Saturday at the birthday party of the kid (Euan) of a couple of our friends from church. It was a fun morning. We were late, but Marguerite was still able to participate in some games. Photo credits go to Oning, Euan's mom.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Music Monday: Electric Youth (Sniff This)

What my early teens smelled like...

Oh hey. Look who has finally gotten around to joining Music Monday. I've been meaning to for a long time, and now I'm finally doing it. Electric Youth. It came out in 1989 just as I was about to enter my teens. I wasn't a fan of Debbie Gibson (I was more into NKOTB, first, because I was 13 and didn't know any better; and second, because I was 13  and ... yeah, that's pretty much my entire defense. Woot! NKOTB Forever!). I thought she was okay. She wasn't trying to steal any of the NKOTB boys from me. I thought the song was okay. It was very catchy, but more than the song, the perfume it spawned won me over. It was my official scent when I was 13-17. Later on, it was replaced by Tribe. If neither was available, I went for Malibu Musk (a fourth option was Exclamation!). Anyway, Electric Youth the perfume for me smelled like the combination of all things associated with the adolescent girl of that time -- hot pink and other neon colors, Trapper Keepers, candy, etc. Of course, some girl I knew said it smelled like Robitussin, but what did she know?

So basically, Electric Youth, the song, wasn't my personal anthem or anything like that. The song simply became significant to me because it brought to me the scent which I can definitely describe as smelling like teen spirit (not the deodorant). Anyway, "Electric youth, It's true you can't fight it. Live by it, the next generation..." Wow, what an old song? That "next generation" has been and gone (well, on toward the grown-up world). Sigh. Still hard to accept '89 was a long time ago.

So, that's my first Music Monday entry! It was fun.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.  

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not about Casey Anthony

How about that verdict, eh? I'm not going to blog about it. I'm tired of discussing the topic with the people here in my house, especially since it's hard for me to talk with a stuffy nose and an itchy throat, and I actually have to do most of the talking at that explaining stuff since I'm the only one who has followed the case since it caught media attention 3 years ago.

So, I'm just going to talk about blogging. Let's start with Adgitize. I haven't been active in the last few months. It's mostly because of my work. It doesn't really give me time to do anything else on the computer. Well, that's not accurate. It's mostly really that I don't feel like spending any more time on the computer after I'm done with it. Essentially, I haven't been doing my clicks; I've stopped participating in the forum; and I've stopped purchasing ads. Hopefully, I can resume my Adgitize activity soon. It's just that I said I wouldn't purchase ads if they're not going to pay for themselves (meaning the money used to buy them would come from my Adgitize earnings). If I don't do my clicks, there's a chance that I wouldn't raise the $14 I used to buy the month-long ad. Anyway, I do regret not being able to buy ads since they do help in boosting my traffic. For the time being, I'm concentrating -- well, not even really concentrating, on CMF spikes. I tried the Firework thing once and I'm not sure that it did much for my traffic, and it just got more expensive too. I think I paid $2 last time for 200 unique clicks and it took quite a while before I got all 200. Now, they're asking $4 for 200 clicks, I believe. Maybe I'm missing the whole point. Oh well, you can explain in the comments section if  you get it and want to enlighten me.

Essentially, blogging just doesn't figure much in the current scheme of things around here. Hopefully, I can get my momentum back soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There's a Crack on This Tummy

Hi. I'm here, just not using the computer much. First, this cough and cold bug has been courting me for the past few days and I've been doing my best to ward it off. It's pretty hard though with the weather being the way it is, and unfortunately, I've had to go out for one thing or another lately. Second, well, I've been following the Casey Anthony trial, which means that I'm mostly in front of the TV and dozing off at intervals. I wonder how the judge and the jury could stay awake. Then again, they get to listen  to everything in the morning while I get to watch things late at night if I want to get them as fresh as possible. Also, they're not pregnant (how nice to have a semi-valid excuse for being a sloth and a sleepyhead). So the thing is, closing arguments in real life aren't like closing arguments in the movies or on TV. First, lawyers seem to be less bombastic in real life, and second, they take HOURS to finish talking. I mean, if Bobby Donnell had taken that long with his closings, then The Practice would have been all about closing arguments, and with no room for commercials at all. Then, of course, after the closing arguments themselves, I have to listen to expert panels weigh in on the proceedings and evaluate the performance of the lawyers.
So, my point is that I really try not to be in front of the computer except for work. My days are mostly about homeschooling, walking, Kegels, and sorting through our stuff. Btw, Marguerite saw my linea nigra and said, "Mommy, your tummy is cracked." Not just the tummy, the other cracked thing in my anatomy issued in rejoinder.