Monday, January 30, 2012

Car Rides with Kids

Traffic and kids... the potential for going berserk is pretty high in a setup involving these elements. I think I reported more than a year ago that  Marguerite had already discovered that charming travel mantra (mantra as repetition is key) "Are we there yet?" and she hates being caught in a traffic jam. We deal with her by trying to find something fun and entertaining to do while in the car. How about the baby though? Cameron has decided that he absolutely would not stand for an unmoving car. He would be sleeping and as soon as we're stuck in traffic, his lids shoot up and we have an indignant baby on our hands. Distracting him usually does not work. He knows what he wants and that is a moving car; he won't stop the racket until he gets what he wants. What works sometimes is feeding him, but that means getting him out of his carseat, which is boring to do, hee, and besides the novelty wears off after a little while, especially if he's not hungry in the first place. It really makes you dread hitting the really busy spots of the metropolis. Mark and I are crazy to always be talking about going on roadtrips, lol.


Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Now a Tandem


Kids. I have kidS. Plural. Sometimes, I still get amazed that I'm now a parent to two kids. And their affinity with each other is so clear. Marguerite is delighted in her brother. She has issues about the way things are now, but she has never showed resentment toward Cameron. She's actually very possessive of her brother. The baby, on the other hand, adores his big sister. He loves watching her dance and he thinks she's very funny -- well, 5-yr-old humor would be very sophisticated as perceived by a baby, lol.

Well, folks, Mark put me to shame yesterday. Remember how I said he'd take forever and a month to fix the video for uploading? Lookit! All resized and uploaded.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pics for Lola's Birthday


Hi. I'm posting pics we took of the kids to send especially for my mother-in-law's birthday. She's in Zurich and it has been years since Midge got to see her (there are webcam visits, of course) and Cameron has yet to meet her.
Just in case you don't get the captions, that's just me being stupid. Cameron's are references to Zoolander and Tangled. You'd think I have too much time on my hands, snort. There's also a video, but it's taking me forever to resize it. If Mark were to do it, it would take maybe forever and a month...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái

Time to eat tikoy/niangao once again. If anybody wants to throw some (filled) ang pows this way, I wouldn't object either...

I was born in another year of the dragon. I don't believe in luck, but I'm definitely praying that lots of wonderful things happen for me and my kith and kin this year.

These don't have anything to do with the lunar new year, but I'm posting them... More baby pictures... Happy Chinese New Year!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Take Advantage of Walgreens Prescription Savings Club

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


When we stayed with my aunt in Fresno, there was a Walgreens close to the house so it was easy to make quick trips for any drugstore need we might have had. As frequently as we dropped in for small purchases, it would have really helped to have what Walgreens is offering now, which is a special discount on annual membership for its Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. This comes in really handy for anybody who has a Walgreens close by, but especially so for big families and people with diabetes or other medical conditions. Members receive discount prices on their prescriptions. Benefits also include:

-          Savings on more than 8000 brand-name medications, and on all generic ones (which is great news for those who prefer to shop generic, like I do)

-          Discounts on flu vaccines (if you believe in vaccination, this is really helpful because they come up with updated versions every year that target new strains, etc.), pet prescriptions (pet medication usually does not figure in the budget, so this could prove to be very useful), diabetic supplies and nebulizers

-          Bonuses when you buy Walgreens brand products and avail of its photofinishing services

For just $10 a year, you can get a family membership for everyone in your immediate family  - spouse, dependents who are 22 years old and younger, and even pets. For $5, individuals may also join.

You can show support and keep updated by following Walgreens on Twitter @Walgreens, and liking Walgreens on Facebook.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I wish I were talking about my parenting. Guess who got a haircut...

We got tired of snarls and constant reminders not to let her hair touch the toilet bowl...

She likes beauty salons (you know, like Lemon Meringue's from Strawberry Shortcake -- she's always giving us a makeovers. I'm seriously pissed that she learned about that stuff this early.) and there's an okay one at the corner, so off we went. This was her first trip. Previous haircuts were done by her Nannie.


Her hair has never been this short since she was probably about 2 years old...

She promised not to cry about missing her long hair, and then she tried to extract a promise from us that we would buy her a Rapunzel wig. Or a Plum Pudding wig because it's purple, and you know, she's frequently Plum Pudding -- e.g. We were at Hobbes and Landes and a clerk at the play area was going around asking the kids their names... everybody else was Nikki or Joaquin or Lindsay, but she gave Plum Pudding as her name, so the poor clerk had to call her that...

I keep on talking about the "last child in the woods" type of exposure, but who am I kidding? The outdoors usually has us breaking out in hives. :(

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

La Vache Qui... Regarde

Here are more pictures of the baby. They were actually taken right after the two I featured yesterday had been taken. Babies can get away with wearing cow-inspired outfits to church, because believe it or not, Cameron was about to attend our Thanksgiving Service here on the night before New Year's Eve.

Speaking of cows... Marguerite has inherited my love for cheese... Wait. That sounded like I was calling Marguerite a cow. For the dense, the connection was with cheese, not my daughter. Anyway, she goes around nibbling on all types of cheeses. She particularly likes the soft ones. She was also very involved in the preparation of our holiday fondue. I'm not sure if it was age-appropriate considering there were heat and a sharp object involved (this quote from Friends came zipping to me -- Ross: Like I said, I was thinking of taking Emma to the Museum of Knives and Fire...), but the kid's a pro. Okay, I did fret and supervise a lot, but wielding a fondue fork and dipping baguette pieces in melted cheese came naturally to her. Sorry, no pic from those nights. I don't know why. Everybody was too busy pigging out, I guess.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sensitive Skin Woes

Two posts in a row? I must have time on my hands. Or this is a scheduled post. :)

It's not. I'm just blogging against my better judgment. And I actually do have some time. The kids are sleeping. I'm eating breakfast as I do this. I could be working on our slings instead, but it's easier to type in the dark than it is to sew.

So, thoughts... How is it that it felt natural before to share my every thought, rant and rave here? Now, it feels a little forced... Does that mean I had way too much time on my hands before?

Anyway, we're experiencing skin trouble in these parts. Marguerite has some sort of irritation on her legs. I don't know why, just really sensitive skin probably. Remember the itchy grub episode? She and I came out of a playdate with welts from those wretched caterpillars (they weren't on us; we just happened to be where they also had been) while our dates suffered no such discomfort. Anyway, Cameron seems to be having an allergic reaction to something as well; it could be his own drool... Anyway, I'm religiously ministering to Marguerite's irritation with aloe vera (we have some in the garden) and being all finicky about the baby's stuff - we changed his detergent, I've stopped using lotion on my hands (it's a compulsion of mine, my hands feel dry if I don't apply some every couple of hours -- anyway, I switched to petroleum jelly for now), I also stopped using the toner and emulsifier set my sister gave me, the ac's on more because sweating makes Cameron's bumps flare up, etc., I stopped eating chocolates...

So, I've shared some thoughts; now, the pics...

These pics are a couple of weeks old, but...


Monday, January 16, 2012

Cake All You Can

I have blurry pics! And I announce it as though I expect anybody to be excited about that, lol. 
We were up in the mountains again Saturday night. First, we stopped by the nearby sports center to inquire regarding karate lessons. Mark and Marguerite did that while I stayed in the car and nursed, so yeah, basically they came back with details on taekwondo lessons and some vague information on ballet lessons, just the stuff I was expecting to learn... What about karate? Well, folks, we will just change the topic... hee! Next, we drove by the dinky little mall where the dance studio Marguerite took ballet lessons in was located, and now I know why both its landline and mobile numbers were unreachable; there is now a church where the studio used to be. So, it turns out that unexpected (very vague) information on ballet lessons could prove to be useful.
Then we headed on to the mountains because the last time we had been there (last Wednesday, I believe), we had found out about the Seven Suites Hotel (turn left at the corner where The Old Spaghetti House is) and their dessert bar Sugar. We had seen a sign saying something like "All you can cake and coffee", so we thought we'd try it out. That night there were only four choices - carrot, double chocolate, Swiss Alps and caramel. I only had 3 slices, mainly because I had a baby to temper down my full enjoyment. I wasn't going to let shame or fear of diabetes stop me from committing gluttony, but fortunately Cameron was unwittingly saving me from my own foolishness. Mark had to run up and down with Marguerite, so he had an excuse for consuming who-knows-how-many slices. The main draw for Marguerite was the observatory. And the other kids, of course. She said she was going to have a pool party at the hotel for her birthday. Good plan. Our wallet can be thankful that it's crazy typhoon season around that time; pool parties are very rare.
There was a 3-yr-old kid who immediately walked up to Cameron as soon as she got there. While she was playing with the baby, I asked her, "What's your name?" and I heard her say something like, "I cannot say." I felt rebuffed, but impressed. "That's right. You shouldn't tell me because I'm a stranger. Very smart." I did find out her name though. Sort of. I heard her mom call her a name that sounded like Chon-say (Chauncey?) I was telling Mark about the name snub thing, when it occurred to me that she was actually tell me her name (I'm Chon-say). I just misheard. What an idiot! lol I'm sure her parents heard me too, hee.
Anyway, here are the blurry pics, as promised. You have to excuse Marguerite. She's all about the wacky shots these days. It would have been nice to have some pics of the cakes here too, but oh well, it didn't occur to me to take pictures of those.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dinner out

I'm all about the pictures these days. If I have none to share, then I probably won't blog, lol. Anyway, these are some taken last Thursday when my little family went out to dinner. I won gift certificates at our church Christmas party raffle (which was pretty amazing considering I normally stink something awful when it comes to raffles) and one of them was for The Old Spaghetti House. Mark and I opted to go to the one in the mountains, one of the branches nearest us (we live in a valley). I've blogged about eating there before here. Did you look? Marguerite was still so little. That was more than 3 years ago. They changed their playground equipment, but the one they have now is still crappy. I'm thinking it's not kids who busted those pieces. After hours, the place turns into a watering hole, so what would you like to bet that adults (presumably - they don't ask for IDs in this country) who've had one too many and decided to get silly at the swings are culpable? Anyway, here are the pics:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weighing in on Being a WAHM

"This is my entry to Stay at Home Blessings Adgitize 4th Year Blogging Giveaway. Join and win one year domain name and one-month advertising."

I think that with 5 years of work-at-home experience, I have a pretty good grasp of what is involved in the pursuit. I was a schoolteacher before I became a mom and two months before I gave birth, I had resigned my post to become the primary caregiver of my soon-arriving daughter. A few months into motherhood, I decided to help out my husband with our family income by taking on freelance writing work. I've always freelanced as a writer, mostly of feature stuff and short stories, but writing usually takes a back seat when I'm regularly employed. In any case, I started writing CMS manuals for a web development company. After that, I became aware of online writing gigs - mostly SEO/keyword-oriented writing through a writing egroup I was a member of. In the past 5 years, that has been the major source of my work-at-home income. I've had other gigs such as transcription work, translation, being a voice talent of sorts doing Spanish recordings for call centers, content writing, etc. I've been employed part-time to write, encode, proof, edit... stuff for a tutorial website, and now I'm employed full-time as a press release/article writer... It's hard to work from home, but as long as I can afford to do that, I'll do it because of my kids. It's of the utmost importance to me that I be around for them not only as their primary caregiver, but also as their primary teacher and influence. I'm exhausted though. No, I don't have hired help, although my family, esp my mom, help a lot. Still, I'm really tired. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since my third trimester of pregnancy, and it is only by the grace of God that I function reasonably well. It's really pretty amazing, considering all the things I have to accomplish in a day. It's not anything extraordinarily spectacular for moms, but mothers are amazing creatures anyway...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So Long and Thanks to Adgitize

I'm really sad about Adgitize closing. I do feel guilty about not being more active in the past months. With the baby and everything else going on, I just couldn't hack blogging in general. I was planning on being active again come January, take a month-long ad as usual, but obviously I was too late. The same thing happened with CMF a few months back. I was inactive for a really long time because of being pregnant sick and pregnant lazy, and then one day, there was an announcement that it was soon closing. I know it couldn't have been just me, but these were programs I really appreciated for making the blogging experience a little bit more lucrative, and through them I met so many wonderful bloggers and got to know of so many fine blogs; I wish I had been more zealous in supporting them. I just thought one inactive member wouldn't do much damage, but of course, collectively, members who thought that way could. Anyway, I just wanted to give a shoutout of "thanks" to these two programs. I guess I'll be concentrating on Entrecard, memes, blog hops, etc. for more visits. Does anybody know if there's a similar program for bloggers? What would you recommend?