Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh, Another School Prep To Do!

Another thing that needs to be done BEFORE school starts is have ALL the kids go to their dentist. Sigh! More bills! Argh! And this is on top of tuition fees! :) It is SO not cheap to have kids! But I love them, hehehe.

For the past few years, a few days before school, the kids all troop to Dr. Buduan's office for their first dental check of the year. A friendly reminder: visits to your dentist are encouraged TWICE a year! :) Thank goodness her clinic is just 5 minutes away, so it's not a major trip in any way.

When they're a bit older, I'm going to look for a clinic like the Hayfield Dental Care Clinic. I love places where they cater to both adults and children. Also, they have an orthodontist on board, which means not having to go to another clinic just for braces (which I'm pretty sure some of my kids will need in the next few years!). They also offer FREE orthodontic consultations; at least I'll have an idea of how much I really need to spend to pretty-up the kids' teeth, hehehe! Their dentists have also had perfect records with zero complaints. Zero! How can you beat that! But the best part is that they are open for you if you happen to have a dental emergency! No need to drug myself (or the kids!) with pain killers for toothaches. Just drive on through!

*This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, visit Blogitive.com.

The Love of Pink?

Pink. A color you get when you mix white with red. So yes, it is a shade of red. And I love the color red. I've loved it for as long as I can remember. But pink? That's a different story. I can't wear pink. I don't like wearing pink. But check out this page here:

PRETTY IN PINK
My brothers and me during the inauguration of the Shrine our family helped build.

Journaling reads: This page is willingly scrapped to mark the very first time that I wore PINK to a formal affair. For the Shrine’s Inauguration, we had to be in formal Filipiniana attire---and I had no available outfit to wear. Rushing to buy something for that night, all I could find was this gloriously PINK kimona. Sigh. What was a girl to do?!?

Credits: kit - Raspberry Patch by Kim Smith at SDK; background paper - Passionately by Kim Smith; notebook paper - by Lauren Reid; date stamp - It's a Second Date by Eve Recinella at SSD; vintage photo frame - by Katie Pertiet; beads - by Laura Bratcher; copper alpha - by Meredith Fenwick; fonts - DJB KeelyB and DJB KeelyB Script by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; layered sketch - by Tracy Blankenship


Um....can you say IRONIC?!?!?!? Hehehehe.

Getting Ready for School and Touching on Patriotism

Sigh! It's almost that time of the year---the kids will be off to school again. Which is GOOD, don't get me wrong, but the preparation time BEFORE it actually starts is a tad bit stressful. And to top it off, this darn President of ours decides to MOVE a national holiday from Tuesday to Monday! I still cannot fathom why she would do that. I mean, we're talking about Independence Day here!!! Sheesh!

I hope when the kids are older and they take up politics and government, they'd understand the need of this nation for some love of country. Which simply means to celebrate - and give importance to - the actual holiday! When it really happened; without moving the holiday because it suits you to; cultivate patriotism by celebrating the holiday: Why we celebrate it, who we are because we celebrate it.

I swear, sometimes our political leaders need a lesson from the CHILDREN as to what the true meaning of government is!

Ok, that's my mini-rant for the day. :) I'm actually on a roll and getting steamed up over something. Just need to collect my thoughts about it before blogging about it.



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just An Ordinary Day.....

Just an ordinary day, doing some stuff for the wedding. We took the girls to the Marikina Shoe Expo to have ourselves outfitted for shoes for the wedding to match our gowns. Next door was a shoe store for boys and I went in to buy a pair of black leather shoes for Ranger; he had already outgrown the ones he wore to Val and Ram's wedding. Can you believe that his teensy weensy shoes cost the SAME amount as mine?!?!?! And mine are custom-made!!! Sheesh!!! P950 for a pair! Hayayayayay!

Just an ordinary day, having lunch with the kids and Randy and Stella. Practically a hole-in-the-wall, not noticeable place in Marikina Shoe Expo was Bellini's, an authentic Italian restaurant. Japa says that the guy who owns and runs and cooks for the place is an Italian photographer who was here during the Edsa Revolution in 1986. Apparently, he loved it here so much, he never left! He married a Filipina and set up his restaurant. It was soooo good and so authentic! Yum yum yum! Price-wise, it wasn't cheap, but it wasn't prohibitively expensive either. We just ordered a tad bit too much, which was what upped the price, hehehe. Thank you to Randy for lunch! :)

Just an ordinary day, swimming with the kids in the afternoon. What WASN'T ordinary was that I am just dead-tired right now from racing with them! It was all the kids plus Randy, Stella, Japa and myself. And can I say OMG----the kids were just incredibly FAST! Sheesh! My body is paying the price right now for me attempting to TRICK this damn old (no one mention fat!!!!) body into thinking it was still in its peak when I was in my 20s!!! Hahahahahahaha!

Lessons we learned from swimming and racing with the kids:
1. I should never let Rogan get a headstart, no matter how slight, when racing him as anchor for our relay.

2. Never ever let Japa race doing the backstroke. He was holding on to a kickboard and using just his legs. Raine annihilated him.

3. Always let the kids think you're slow in a particular stroke so as to surprise them with your "prowess". :)

4. Always have Rogan as a substitute....just in case our poor bodies couldn't take any more racing.

5. Try and race in a shorter pool---we adults have more chances of beating the kids in a race!

6. Never agree to doing 2 consecutive laps in a 25-meter pool. Although the adults won, we could easily have had a damn heart attack after the race!

7. Let the kids just win and get it over with....they'll end up winning anyway!

Dinner at ayala, and then back home where I squeezed in some much needed yoga to stretch my long-unused muscles! Too tired to go to the hospital, so no Tita San update for today.

Ok, I'm pooped. Too exhausted to even scrap I think!

TTFN!

Some of Ranger's Loves

Aside from Mama (hehehe), Ranger loves his Thomas the Train trains. All of them. He has gazillions and knows them all by name. One of my goals is to scrap a whole album of some of his favorite ones.

This is the third page:
I LOVE JAMES
Ranger having fun with James, the latest train in his ever-growing collection.

Journaling reads: James has 6 wheels. He isn’t as big as Gordon, or as small as Thomas. He has a bright red coat and a brass dome. James is a mixed traffic engine: he can pull both passenger and freight cars.

Credits: kit - Pearls of Joy by Royanna Fritschmann at Divine Digital; cardboard tear - by Linda Gil Billdal at Scrap Artist; fonts Century Gothic, Adler, DJB JenB2 by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; layered sketch - Collection 18 by Jen Caputo


Ranger has fallen in love with Dora, so Thomas and friends have taken a backseat for now. But I'm going to be snapping photos of him once he gets those trains out!

Another of Ranger's loves? Donuts. Chocolate covered ones. He loves Krispy Kreme ones, Starbucks ones, and I can't wait for him to try these Wonka Donutz. I've tried the Wonka chocolate bars, so I just know these are going to be delish as well! :)

Had to share a pic of them, hehehe. They look yummy, and oh-so-caloric! I'm not sure how big these donutz are, but they come in packs of 24. Don't they look yummy with all that chocolate and all those sprinkles? I'm sure the kids (and not just Ranger) are going to love them! Didn't know these snacks were vintage-type, until I read that about them! Cool, huh?

*This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Out of the ICU!!!

We went to the hospital first thing. Visitng hours at the ICU were 9-11 am and 5-7 pm. Japa and I were there at 10ish, and Tito Lito and Lola were with Tita San.

When we walked in, something started beeping. It was her heart rate, jacking up. I like to think that Tita San was excited to see me and Japa, hehehe. We said hello and told her to calm down, which she did, after a little bit.

Tita San looked nice; a LOT of color back in her face, and she looked great!

The best part of our visit? She SMILED!!!! At me!!!! Ok fine, not a normal smile, but a smile nonetheless. It kinda reached her eyes, and she smiled not once, but twice or thrice! Cool huh! Also, when I waved goodbye, she lifted her hand and waved back! Maybe she sort of knows who I am? :)

While we were there, Tita San had a few spoonfuls of clear soup and some bites of jello. Which was a lot, according to Tito Lito. When Lola mentioned that she was going to be moved to a regular room soon, her heartrate kicked up! It was either she was super duper excited to move to a regular room where someone could always be with her, OR she didn't want to move because she'd have to endure endless visitors!

My analysis is the second reason. Tita San doesn't like a whole lot of visitors parading in her room. The endless chit-chat and all when really, all she wants to do is REST. I suggested to Mom (and thank God Dr Bitanga said the same thing afterwards!) that there be visitor restrictions when Tita San moves to a regular room. This is the only way to make her feel comfortable and for her to get some rest and gain her strength back.

Here's Tita San when I told her I was going to take her pic. No a real smile, but she didn't blink or look away, so that was a plus. I showed her the pic I took of her and of course dear Japa said that I shouldn't have....because she might be disheartened by the sight of her having tubes all over the place and the huge bandage on her head.

Of course, I retorted that Tita San was a fighter for sure. And that I was just showing her the pic because it was a pic and nothing more. If ever, she'll be pissed at all the tubes and she'll just fight back to get better.

She is truly a fighter. If something irritates her, she'll try and take it out. She even tried standing up! Hehehe. Tito Lito had to restrain her and tell her that she couldn't get up just yet. Tito Lito brought her her cellphone. Yes, can't be in the ICU, but it was turned off. You should see her grip on that phone! She was HAPPY that she had it!

The whole time we were there, she just gripped that phone like a lifeline. She loved looking at it and pretended to be texting. :)

I went down to get her a room, so yes, she is officially out of the ICU and into a regular room! Yeah!
Pic of her and Lola, the ever-doting mother. She is there during all the visiting hours and refuses to leave Tita San's side. She holds Tita San's hand and wipes tears from Tita San's eyes and soup from her mouth. I'm pretty sure she was shocked when she first saw her baby in the hospital...but Lola is a strong woman, too, and she's recovered from her shock somewhat. There is still sadness lurking behind her eyes, but she is putting up a brave front when she is with Tita San.

Online Games

Ever play online games? The kids always do, when they first started Club Penguin. Then there was Millsberry, where even Boydee played, hehehe. Very well, too. I have Millsberry person running around, too, but I got bored easily....the Sims was just more fun and more realistic. If I had the time :)

How about online games where you get free gifts? I know, nothing is free nowadays, but free is free IF the product does get around to being delivered to you right? Or how about if we play the lottery or other Sweepstake type of game? Pretty easy, huh? Just a game of chance, really. Kind of like playing in Vegas.

But if you're used to e-bay and other similar auction sites, then a "game" where your bid is the lowest should be pretty exciting. Different, I know, but if you could win a ton of electronic stuff, travel to exotic places, win a car, and of course win a Cash prize, it should be worth checking out!

*This is a sponsored post.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hospital Visit

Last night, we went to Medical City to visit Tita San. She was in the ACSU, or the Acute Stroke Unit part of the ICU. When I went in, Tita San was wide awake. Elizza was with her, because Bang had left so that I could have my turn visiting.

Tita San had tubes connected to her arms and an oxygen tube in her nose. Her eyes were wide open and she looked at me and looked away, then looked at me again. The others had told me that she wasn't able to recognize a whole lot of people yet. Maybe it would take time to develop her recognition skills again, I don't know, I'm not sure.

It was sad to see her all connected to these tubes and stuff, and sadder to see this once vibrant person just laying there and trying to communicate with just her eyes. Elizza was off to the side, trying to control her sobs....ginormous tears were welling up in her eyes and she finally excused herself to go out, where, apparently, Boydee was consoling Bang. Group hug time, I was told :)

Anyway, Tita San is able to move her arms and legs a little bit. But from my understanding, these small movements are already HUGE steps when compared to how she was in Korea.

She kept moving her feet in irritation. I finally figured out that the monitor thing that the nurses clip to your finger was clipped to her big toe so that she couldn't remove it. It was pissing her off, that's for sure, and she kept trying to kick it off. Hehehe. Typical Tita San---good to know and SEE that she is still the same Tita San somehow.

Also, she kept pointing and pressing on a spot on her thigh. When I touched it, I guessed (correctly) that it was her catheter and like the monitor thingy on her toe, she was totally irritated with the darn thing. She seemed to calm down a bit when I bent to look at her catheter bag and remarked that she had nice-looking weewee, yellow with no traces of whatever (not like Dad's before when he was hospitalized).

Her vitals seemed good, but her heart rate would go up when a visitor would come in. I like to think of it as an acknowledgement that someone she knows is in the room with her. For most of the time that I was inside, her eyes kept darting to and fro. She would follow the people crossing the hallway across from her room. This is good, I think, that she can follow with her eyes. I also think she was looking to check if "her" boys would come in: Tito Lito, RJ and Robin.

When Tito Lito came in, her eyes lit up and she visibly relaxed. Maybe she was thinking, "at last, someone who can understand me and not these imbeciles who can't figure out what I want!" I think Tita San would think that, eh? Hehehe.

All in all, she looked pretty good, considering (from what Randy told me) how she seemed in shock the other night when they finally arrived here from Korea. I took a pic of Tita San while she was asleep, right before I left. This is mainly for the benefit of friends and relatives in the States, so that you'll at least know that Tita San is ok, and that she is finally surrounded by friends and family.

Sorry, grainy pic, I know. I took this with my cellphone which, if truth be told, is NOT allowed in the ICU. It was on silent and besides, I wanted to take a photo! So there! :) Will keep everyone posted as to any developments with Tita San!

That Time of the Month: Bills!

Yup. I go into the office and the first thing I see on my desk are bills. I open up my Inbox and the first thing I see are bills. Sigh! Time to juggle money around again. The cycle never stops, does it?

Thank goodness for my trusty credit card! Or credit cardS, with a capital S! For someone who abhors taking cash with her, these plastic cards are heaven-sent! :) I am lucky to be able to have a whole world of different credit cards available to me. There are some out there that have a very difficult time trying to get approved for these plastic wonders. But honestly, there are a lot of different kinds of cards out there, and one that will fit everyone.

There are credit cards for students and for businesspeople. Cards connected to the airlines for points. Cards specifically for gas or for a department store. Of course, one of the best features of a credit card is one that will allow you to accumulate points everytime you use it. Then you can convert those points into some fun items :)

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

CT Deadline to Make

Yup. I needed to get this layout done to make the deadline over at Divine Digital :) Searched through the recent Easter pics and found this pic that I told myself I HAD to use because it was so adorable! I finally did, and came up with this:
REEEAAACH!
Ranger, trying his hardest to reach that elusive blue egg this past Easter.

Credits: Everything by Lucie Goikoetxea aka Lemonaid Lucy at Divine Digital: papers - Pressed Flowers; swirls - Newspaper Swirls; alpha - Inked Newspaper Alpha; frame - Aged Scallop Frames; rabbit, chicks - Hippity Hoppity by DeDe Smith at Divine Digital; folded corner - Easy Peasy by Karah Fredricks at Blue Flombingo


Isn't that the cutest? And that cute fuzzy little bunny is from Hippity Hoppity, a wonderful kit from DeDe Smith. I told myself I'd be using the little animals in this kit for an Easter album (which I'm still compiling, hehe).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

2 Down, 8 to Go....

in my 10-week yoga schedule, that is. I am SO psyched that I have completed 2 whole weeks!!! Yeah! And yes, my back is reaping the benefits of all that stretching and twisting :) Whoohoohoo! I feel stronger, more stable when I stand and walk, and I have this overall feeling of wellness, you know? :)

Now, since I'm feeling healthy, the next logistical step is to take a look at my diet, yes? Sigh! It has to come down to this, really, if I want to lose that extra poundage. Another sigh! For the record, I detest dieting! The last diet I went on, I got sick. As in REALLY sick. For about 5 days. Granted, it was a semi-crash diet, but still! :)

Dieting, with all that calorie counting! Ugh! The endless lists of what I ate, how many calories total; what I burned (as if I exercise that much--I don't!), and how many calories burned. Too time consuming! Luckily, there is such a thing as a calorie counter --- this website where I can input what I ate and boom! I have my totals for the meal, or for the day! Pretty cool, huh? Takes out ALL the work of looking through pages and pages of calorie counting books! There's also a dieting journal where you can keep track of meals and exercise you've done. All on the computer! But I still say that the BEST feature is the free calorie counter. Nothing beats free, and it is SOOO easy to use!

Let's see if I can add dieting to my yoga regimen......stay tuned! :)

My One Page...

Apparently, one layout is all I have time for today. Sigh! Oh well, at least I got it done. Another one for my Cebu Album.
SPLASHING AROUND
Rod and Zhar emulating movie scenes, hehehe.

Credits: kit - Shabby Sundress Collection by Eve Recinella at SSD; folded edges - Easy Peasy by Karah Fredricks at Blue Flombingo; photo cluster and vintage frame - by Nancy Comelab at The Lily Pad; photo filter - by Michelle Pearson; font - Adler


I got a lot of comments about the cool photo filter. At least it got rid of my pic in the background there, hehhe. Pretty funny page, eh? I am oh-so-close to getting the album done. Although I don't think I'll make the deadline to take advantage of the 20% discount that Shutterfly is currently offering...until the 28th only! Grrr!

Talk of Wedding Gold

Randy and Stella's wedding is coming up fast: June 22! In a previous post, I blogged about the arrhae they needed for the wedding. For non-Filipino folks, this is what the coin bearer carries down the aisle, after the ring bearer who bears the rings of the couple. In Filipino custom, the arrhae is given by the groom to the bride to signify that he will take care of her financially and will support her during their married life. The arrhae consists of coins arranged in some manner (I don't think there's a specific way) and is taken from the coin bearer and given to the groom to give to the bride during the wedding ceremonies.

All our arrhae so far have been patterned after Mom and Dad's original one: they look like some sort of small crown, with the coins dangling from the lower ring, with a solitary coin hanging in the middle. All our arrhae (mine, Rondic's and Boydee's) were all dipped in silver. However, for Randy and Stella's wedding, we had to re-think the silver motif since their colors were white, black and GOLD.

So I called Imelda, our jeweler, to give me a quotation for an arrhae dipped in not silver but in gold. I needed to know the price to be able to give a go signal to her because Mom was still in Korea attending to Tita San at that time. I figure if it was a mangeable figure, then Mom wouldn't mind and needn't be bothered by a call or text message about the whole thing. Imagine my surprise (and horror!) when from a silver arrhae that cost P7,500, the gold-dipped arrhae would cost a whopping P125,000!!!! Yowzer!!!

Obviously, I know gold is expensive. Even more so, in these times of low dollar exhange rates and all. Gold has always been an investment type of commodity. No doubt about it. Gold is safe, and its value will only appreciate, rarely depreciating. No wonder Mom loves gold, hehehe. Gold has always been a sign of status, of wealth. Kings, queens, emperors and empresses...they all wear gold on their bodies or clothing.

No wonder Japa talks of investing in gold. This is the one and only commodity that is a sure thing. It increases purchasing power and gives the investor a sense of stability. Bullion, bars, jewelry. Gold is gold, and is the all-powerful investment.

As for the arrhae, I told Imelda to dip the whole thing in silver and coat it in some color to give the effect of gold. It will be used for a whole 2 minutes in the entire ceremony after all, and will be put in the vault for safekeeping.....for when Randy and Stella's kids get married :)

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cebu Album: More Scraps

Yes! My Cebu Album is coming along nicely. If anyone has noticed (hehehe) I've wandered from my rectangle scraps and have been doing square scraps the past few weeks. I want to try the Shutterfly books that everyone's been raving about, and of course I want some theme to it. So with the great spring colors and summer kits that the designers are coming out with, the Cebu Project was born :)

Adding a couple more pages to it:
EMBRACE THE OCEAN
Raine and Ranger "embracing" the waves

Credits: kit - Spunky by Rina Kroes at SBE; scallop template - Fill A Paper Shaper by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; alpha - Preschool Crayon by Leah Hoddinott; folded frame - Photo Frame Templates by Manuela Zimmerman; convex action - by Jen Caputo; font - KGD Mozer Print; layered sketch - Jiffy Stax Vol 6 by Rina Kroes at SBE


BEACHED BOY
Rogan was content to spend the whole day on the beach.

Poem by an unknown author reads:

Smelling the salt of the ocean.
Feeling the touch of the sea.
There is no better way
of setting your spirit free.

Credits: kit - Shabby Sundress Collection by Eve Recinella at Sweet Shoppe Designs; fonts - DJB Lorraine Bold, DJB Karen B Script both by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; layered sketch - Smart Start 2 by Darcy Baldwin


To take these shots, I took a chance with the seaspray and lay down on the beach with my camera in hand, hehehe. Anything to get the shots I wanted for the albums! :)

*******
Tita San is arriving tonight...I don't think I'm going to be able to stay up to meet her at the airport and help in getting her settled at the Medical City. Randy or Boydee are probably going to do that since Rondic isn't here. So sometime tomorrow, we're just going to drop in to say hello.

TTFN!

A Third Prayer

Japa found a prayer to St. Pio, the saint for those with cancer. Many miracles have been attributed to him, and I know we said this prayer for Dad when we thought he only had a slim chance of surviving his bout of cancer.
Prayer for the Intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech You to grant me the grace of (here state your petition). Amen.

Glory be to the Father... (three times).
So we now have THREE prayers for Tita San. The family has agreed to say this prayer ALL AT THE SAME TIME. We know that prayer is powerful. When families say it TOGETHER, no matter where we are in the world, that makes our prayer and our petition stronger. Praying together magnifies our voices, and hopefully makes God, Jesus and all the saints hear us more. Prayer time has been set at 10 am Manila time, or 10 pm Michigan time (where Ryan and family are), or 7 pm Los Angeles time (where Roc, Tita B, and Val are).

Hopefully, armed with these prayers, another miracle will be granted. Again.

Homeward Bound

Tita San will be coming home tonight. She will probably be in a stretcher, if the airline will allow it, along with an oxygen tank on hand, again, depending on whether the airline will allow it. Her doctor, Dr. Bitanga, will be traveling with her from Korea to Manila, as well as Tito Lito and Mom. An ambulance will be waiting for her, ready to whisk her to the ICU at Medical City.

I am blogging everything I can about Tita San and her arrival so that our relatives in the States can read about any updates on Tita San's condition. I'm sure Valerie will be checking my blog *wink* as well as Roc and maybe Peach (hehehe). Roselle and family, I'm not so sure when they can check in; I think they're in Orlando now, having fun with Mickey Mouse and company.

I remember Roselle asking about resorts and any orlando discount hotel that we have stayed at before. When staying in Orlando, it's always best to do some research before you actually get there. Aside from the plethora of gigantic theme parks within a small area (i.e., Kissimmee), Orlando has so much more to offer!

There's shopping of course, some nightlife sans the kiddos, and the food! Of course the food! This family loves to eat, and we've run the gamut of all sorts of eateries in this magical place that we call Orlando. I cannot wait to go back with the kids. And we're staying for more than a week, too, so that we won't have to rush to see everything!

{SCRAPS}

Still doing pages for my Cebu album....here's another one done:
ENOUGH, MAMA!
Ranger was sick and tired of indulging Mama to smile for the camera, hehehe. He just wanted OUT of the hot sun!

Credits: kit - Spunky by Rina Kroes at SBE; license plates - Creative License by Dani Mogstad; fonts - Love Ya Like a Sister, DJB Lorraine Bold by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo

Isn't this such a FUNNY page? Hehehehe. That expression of Ranger was just too priceless to NOT scrap! So now it is forever remembered! :)

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information please visit Blogitive.com.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Another Layout!

Scrapping a little bit more to get more pictures scrapped. At least with summer almost over, the unbelievable amount of pictures will be a little bit more manageable, hehehe. Of course, just before summer ends the girls have a dance recital tomorrow, and next week, another swim meet :)
A MOTHER AND HER BABE
Journaling reads: Rodney has always been the baby of the family. Even though he is half a twin, by the mere fact that he was born 5 minutes after Randy, he is and always will be, the BABE of Mom. With Randy getting married next month, it will be very difficult for Mom to let go of her last single son, truly her BABE, no question. What is a mother to do? For that matter, at 29 years old, what is Rodney to do? Good luck, Rod! Hehehe.

Credits: kit - Moire Mother by Royanna Fritschmann at Divine Digital; swirls - Newspaper Swirls by Lemonaid Lucy at Divine Digitals; frame - Aged Scallop Frames by Lemonaid Lucy; gold flower, brads - Power of Friendship by Royanna Fritschmann; stitches - by Gina Miller; fonts - Adler, DJB Lorraine bold by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; layered sketch - Simply Sketches 7 by Gina Miller

I bought Bang the same yoga book I'm using....will give it to her tomorrow. Hopefully, she gets to use it. I also bought lil ole me a pocketbook...it's been a little bit too long without some light reading. Tune in to The Average Bookworm for more on that sometime this week.

Off to scrap some more!

TTFN!

Stairlifts

With Tita San arriving tomorrow night, everyone at home is rushing around trying to fix everything. RJ has had Marlyn contacted to have her clean Trafalgar, Mom has told Marivic to call Letty to be on standby for daily massages for Tita San, Mandi has been tasked to make sure all the cars and the Lakeside apartment are all spic and span and ready to be used. And Lola? She's making sure everyone does their jobs :)

IF Tita San is going to be staying at Lakeside after staying at the hospital, it would be extremely difficult for her to get to her room on the third floor! What they need are stairlifts of some sort to help her move around the house more. Stairlifts are, simply put, a way for disabled and elderly people go up and down stairs. They're kind of like escalators for the home, where the person is seated.

I never realized that there were different kinds of stairlifts, including for outside the house! Of course, if Dad had this installed at home, he'd be totally lazy to exercise going up and down the stairs! It is good to know that there are safety features such as the all-important seatbelt, on/off switches and safety sensors that make the stairlift stop if something gets caught in the mechanism. There are also options for a stairlift that will support seated or standing attachments.

It is good to know that there are a plethora of products out there that cater to all sorts of people, including those that have disabilities.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Scraps and Flags

Here's the other layout that I finished yesterday but never got around to posting....at least this post won't be so forlorn looking!
BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE
Journaling reads:

Motherhood is
the most
beautiful
adventure
in life.
The ups
& downs,
the
laughter
& tears,
the
mistakes
made
& the
lessons
learned.
Liife is
indeed
beautiful,
especially
when you
have children.

Credits: kit - Life is Beautiful by Nina Scraps Designs at Oscraps and ndisb; frames - Photocluster 7 by Nancy Comelab; font - King Cook KC, Adler


And yes, I wrote that! :) Love those pics from Mother's Day this year. Except the one where we are all together (taken via Japa's camera timer), all the other pics were taken by the kids.

{YOGA}

Can I just say that I have been quite diligent in doing Yoga the past week and a half?!?!? I am proud of myself! This Sunday will finish up the SECOND week of yoga everyday. Following a book, instead of paying P800 per session twice a week. :) An awesome investment for the book, if you ask me. I did buy a clear book just so I can insert the pages (which I cut up!) into the clear covers for easier flipping through the pages.

I like this book (need to find a site that has a pic of it so I can post it) because it gives me a daily schedule to follow. It is arranged from the easier poses to the more difficult ones.

And yesterday was a HUGE day for me. I did this pose were I support my entire body on my neck and shoulders (not as painful as I'm describing here, hehehe) for a FULL minute!!! Whoohoohoo!!! So GO me! :) And yes, my back has gotten stronger again.....and I can sleep better at night! :)

{FLAGS}

Independence day is nearing for us here in the Philippines. The date itself is June 12. But our stupid President moved this holiday YET AGAIN because it happened to fall on a Tuesday!!! I mean, SO WHAT?!?!? How in heaven's name will we, as a people, feel patriotic when all we care about is how some holiday disrupts the work week....and that we can get an extended weekend because the "holiday" will now be on a Monday?!?!? Sheesh! Of all things to move, it's Independence Day!!!!

Anyway, I've been seeing a lot of flags waving around the streets. A good thing to show our patriotic spirit. I would love to see our country celebrate this holiday the way the States do: American Flags waving from each and every house, school and office building. I've also seen some people erect their own Outdoor Flag Poles to proudly wave the red, white and blue.

There are several online stores that sell US Flags, too! Online! Love how the site is divided into what kind of flag you want to buy: for the car, for decoration, for the flagpole. There are also cool pins to choose from, and not just USA stuff either. They carry flags from different countries, and yes, including the Philippines! How cool is that! :) I love shopping and looking through sites that carry a product that has "designs", i.e., flag designs, from other countries as well, especially the Philippines. Wouldn't that be ironic, though, to buy a Philippine flag overseas? :)

I try and teach my kids the importance of loving one's country. Sometimes it's hard to do with all the colonial mentality going around here, but I want the kids to know about their country and its history. Little by little, we're making progress. Thank goodness the school does its part in promoting love of country too!

Running Around......

{HOSPITAL BLURBS}

Rogan and I went to Medical City to have our tests done on our sinuses and ears. We had gone to the doctor on Tuesday and he asked us to have a CT scan for Rogan's sinuses and a regular audio test for me. I just want to rule out hearing loss in both our cases.

We go to the Radiology department. Turns out we have to schedule an appointment, dang it! Next available one (one that is convenient for us with no conflict in Rogan's summer schedule) is Sunday at noon. Sunday. Sunday--we will be at the hospital. Ugh!

We go to the EENT department. Same thing. We had to have an appointment! Gee! What happened to walk in patients?!?!?! Grrrrr! So I try to get the same schedule as Rogan, to save on gas and time, but no-go. I made one for tomorrow. Just in case, I thought to ask what time they would be available later on in the afternoon, just in case I could make it. Anywhere from 3 to 5 pm was still open. Fine.

We go to Starbucks to get some needed coffee (!) and a chocolate shake for Rogan. Fine. We leave, get into the car, and I text Japa that we were on our way to meet him for a movie. Then I remembered by Sudoku book. Turns out I left the damn thing at Starbucks!!!

Since it was MY Sudoku book which still had a LOT of unanswered puzzles in it, I tell the driver to turn around and drive me right back to Starbucks. Hehehe. Since it was Starbucks and not some cheap-y coffee place, the baristas had noticed the book and kept it under their counter. Whew! I saved my Sudoku book! :)

{MALL RUNNING}

Running, to Rogan, anyway. We walked back and forth across the first and second floors. I shopped for some jockeys and 3 VCDs of Thomas for Ranger, and some hair brushes for the girls. And Rogan was tired, hehehe. Kept asking me when we were going to meet Papa.

{MOVIE}
Yep, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Loved it! I had a few questions, but watching the first 2 movies would answer those I'm sure. Loved the action, the special effects, the whole storyline.

Not a very dark movie, not like the previous ones. And I really liked how there were a lot of funny moments in the movie.

We only brought Rogan with us to see this, since the girls were too scared of the trailer to watch the entire movie, hehehe. Rogan was very excited and had some (a LOT!) of questions afterwards, over lunch.

Loved watching the old characters come back, and Chow Yun Fat as Sao Feng was cool to watch. He had an awesome character, that one.

Loved both Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom of course, but it was refreshing to see that the powers that be in the movie gave some non-girly stuff to Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann. Loved her character in the movie (of course!) and how she delivered it. :)

{BACK TO THE HOSPITAL}

Since we ended movie and lunch at about 230 pm, I figured I'd try to get my hearing test done. As luck would have it, the 3 pm slot was still available and I grabbed it.

They made me wear headphones and I had to press this button to signal that I had heard some tone. It went on for a few minutes for both right and left ears. Then the person on the other side would say a word which I had to repeat. Sometimes I couldn't understand what she was saying; her pronounciation wasn't all that great, but I managed, hehehe.

A few minutes after the test ended, they printed out my results. As far as I know, my hearing is normal. Very normal. Will wait to see what the doctor makes of it when I go back next week.

{JEWELRY TALK}

In between hospital, movie and lunch, I was on the phone with Imelda to arrange for the wedding coins, the arrhae, for Randy and Stella. Mom told me to take care of it while she was in Korea. We needed a total of 13 coins to be dipped in silver and then somehow colored gold to match their motif. All our arrhae look the same; we used Mom and Dad's original arrhae as the model.

For the wedding rings, no news yet. Randy and Stella should look at at reeds jewelers for ideas as to what they want their wedding rings to look like. Lots of different kinds of shapes, colors, cuts. Made me dizzy trying to go through everything, harder to try and narrow it down! We have a little bit more time for their wedding bands...the wedding isn't until a month away, so it's not exactly time to panic just yet. :)

Blogging for Bucks

That's what I've been trying to do the past month now. I've been blogging for bucks. Has a nice ring to it, eh? Hehehe. With all the scrapping I do, despite all the CT kits I get, sometimes there are some designs that I MUST have. And it can get very expensive! So what did I do?

I joined the movement where some companies hire bloggers to do their advertising for them. It used to be that we had a "middleman" of sorts, this company doing all the coordinating for both bloggers and advertisers. But there has been a recent move to allow advertisers to contact bloggers directly.

I don't know how lucrative this is for bloggers since I just recently started, but there has been a lot of brouhaha over it, and with good cause. You have the opportunity to get paid more, with lesser fees being deducted from your payments.

It's been pretty good for me; suffice it to say that I don't have to dip into my savings account to pay for my scrabooking hobby. I can now pay the digital scrapbooking shops (or any shop that accepts PayPal for that matter) direct from my PayPal credits! Isn't that cool!!! I just LOOOVE the convenience of knowing that I can support this hobby of mine, totally guilt-free!






Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another Prayer

Ummm.....we had a 4-hour lunch, hehehehe! We ended up at Cyma, a Greek restaurant on the 6th floor of Shangri La Plaza. The food was pretty okay, although I was really set on having my bbq chicken chopped salad at CPK. Oh well. We had kebabs or gyros, hummus, osso bucco, and some pasta.

We also sat and chatted a bit and had dessert at Starbucks. Just stuff in general, mainly about Tita San and how we were glad that she was going to be home soon.

We did go back to the office to do some actual work :)

That damn barista at Starbucks probably forgot to put DECAF in my Banana Java frap. I didn't sleep until 4 am!!!! Aaaaargh! Just when I was doing so well the past few nights! Grrrrr!

I did some scrapping though, as well as downloaded some CT kits :)

MOTHER'S DAY BOX
Poem by me: My Mother’s Day Box was covered with hearts.
In it were baby wipes and dark chocolate bars.
But the most touching gift I got so far
were the homemade Mother’s Day cards.

Credits: kit - As Time Goes By by NinaScraps Designs at Oscraps and NDISB; flower - Prime of Life by Nina; dotted paper - Say it with Flowers by Nina; fonts - DB Jennifer, DJB Kenna script by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; tag, ribbon, layered sketch - Unique Collection 3 by Nina


I have another page done, but I'm going to save that for tomorrow or for when I don't get to scrap a page for the day :)

Another prayer for Tita San, forwarded by Tita Rosie. I know we prayed this for both Tita San and Tito Roy before, as well as for Dad:
Heavenly Father,

We call on you right now in a special way. It is through your power
that we were created. Every breath we take, every morning we wake, and
every moment of every hour, we live under your power.

Father we ask you now to touch ROSANNE with that same power. For if
you created us from nothing, you can certainly recreate us. Fill her
with the healing power of your spirit. Cast out anything that should
not be in her. Mend what is broken. Root out any unproductive cells.
Open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild any damaged areas.
Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection.

Let the warmth of your healing love pass through ROSANNE's body to make
new and unhealthy areas so that her body will function the way you
created it to function.

And Father, restore ROSANNE to full health in mind and body so that she
may serve you the rest of her life.

We ask this through the intercession of Mama Mary and your son Jesus
Christ Our Lord. Amen
If you get a chance, please say a prayer for Tita San!

TTFN!

Blogging from Work

Yup, I am at work now. Actually working! I won't be here for long though....I have some other stuff to do like help the Sisterhood pick a gift for a golden wedding anniversary that happened last week. According to Mom, Dad was a bit hurt since no one thought of him---how he went to the anniversary celebration without a gift in hand.

Sigh! Hehehe. So we're going to Rustan's to pick out a nice gift, i.e., expensive! from him and Mom. Of course, we're going to lunch after. We were all set for CPK...but Dad called a few minutes ago and said he wanted to go to lunch, and he didn't want CPK. So it's some Greek food. Something new to try.

Anyhoo, we have a "project" here in the office. We set up a sort of cooperative. Sort of because we didn't want to go through the hassle of registering it as a separate company, we figured we'd do it internally. So, to make a long story short, we set up a system where employees could get a loan from us (the Provident Center, we call it) instead of having to go to the bank.

We issue the loan right away to our employee, which makes the employee happy (and liquid, hehehe). The beauty of this is that our "cooperative" is composed of all the employees in the company. So the interest that a loan earns goes back to the employee. Pretty cool huh?

Like most co-ops, we are exploring ways to help others, mostly our employees, to make a better life for themselves via the loans. We look for projects that an employee or group of employees can do for them to earn while at the same time making the co-op earn as well. All in all, the employees don't lose. They earn. Isn't that what a company does anyway? Help their employees?

Eventually, we want to be able to give back to the community as well. Eventually. We have just started and are doing pretty well. So maybe in a couple of years, we may have something to donate somewhere. :)

Ok, off I go for lunch....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prayers for Tita San

All we can do right now is pray for Tita San. The heart is hoping for the best, the mind is preparing for the worst. But I do believe in the power of prayer and have witnessed first hand how powerful and uplifting it is.

This was written by Bang:

Dearest God,

Please heal Tita San and grant her more years to live. Restore her health, restore her mind, restore her body. Grant her total healing Lord. Cleanse her of all infections, rid her of her tumor. Give her the courage to fight and conquer the cancer that is attacking her body now. Strengthen her will and determination to live. Give her hope, Lord, and shower her with Your great love and power at this time of great need, now more than ever before.

We pray for the doctors and the people taking care of her; may they be instruments of Your healing. We pray for our family; may we be instruments of Your hope. Let her feel nothing but love from the people around her. Ease her suffering, lighten her burden.

You have been our source of hope and strength, Lord. You are the source of life. You alone can save her. We rest our hope in You. You have granted her a miracle before and we are most thankful to You for those extra years. We pray that You will perform another miracle yet again.

But, Lord, if You have a better plan for her, then do with her as You please. She is your beloved daughter, and we know You will not abandon her. We lift our Tita San up to You, Lord; Your will be done. Be with her and keep her by Your side always.

We ask these through the intercession of Mama Mary and St. Therese.

Amen.

Beautiful prayer, very touching. This is going on my blog as a reminder to family and friends to say a prayer, any prayer, for Tita San. But if we all say the same prayer, I firmly believe that God will hear us more.

May is Almost at an End!!!

No, the world is not at an end....just the merry month of May. Sigh! Is it just me or are the days (the months!) going by so fast?!?! We're approaching the halfway point of the YEAR, for pete's sake! Pretty soon, it'll be Christmas, yikes! Don't get me wrong, I adore Christmas. It's the shopping for gifts that is the downside. Time spend looking for gifts and the expense of gift giving get higher and higher each year don't they?

Thank goodness for online shopping! There's a plethora of cheap gifts out there, if you know where to look. I'm always on the lookout for those, that's for sure. With 3 kids in school (soon to be 4 by the end of the year, if I get my way, hehehe), that's a minimum of 60 classmates and an assortment of 20 or so teachers. And don't even get me started on my family. Uhm.....can you say, minimum of 50?!?!?! Hehehe. See what I mean?

I'm thinking of getting digital picture frames as gifts, which are all the rage now. Thank goodness they are easily available online as well. Do you know that there are now WIRELESS digital frames? Uh huh. No idea where and how they do it, but it looks like regular picture frames on your desk/table. And yes, NO wires!!! Definitely something to look into!

When I shop online I make it a point to go to the button or link that says "On Sale" or "Clearance". Hehehe. Of course! We need to look at the cheapest possible (but nice!) gifts out there! Shopping for women is easy. On the other hand, getting Gift ideas for men is just so difficult! It used to be shirts and boom, you were done. But guys now are much more discriminating! They KNOW what they want, hehehe, and aren't afraid to let you know!

Which is why I like online shopping sites that categorize their products in such a way that is easier to search for something. Shop by price, by size, by color, by occasion, and of course an optino for personalization. I'm always big on that!

It's almost June...and FATHER'S DAY!!!! Ack! Gotta start shopping for gifts for the guys in my life!

Hmmmmm....I wonder if they'd appreciate a layout or 2 or 3..or an album? :)

MY BABY GIRL
Raine and me. I can't believe how fast the time flies!

Quote reads: A Daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.

Credis: kit - Shabby Little Spring Time by Rina Kroes at 3Scrapateers; aged photo frame - by Rina Kroes at SBE; fonts - Joyful Juliana, You Are Loved; layered sketch - by Johanna Berry


I'm so glad I'm getting my mojo back again...and doing CT stuff! Yeah!

Forgot to Post these Scraps!

Can't believe I forgot to post my Scraps yesterday! I guess if you slept at 6 am the FOLLOWING day, then you'd forget too, hehehe. Can you believe I stayed up that late? All I had was a can of Diet Coke at about 3 pm.....that shouldn't keep me up, should it? Sheesh!

Anyhoo, here are my layouts:
JUMPING GIRLS
Not really a sports page, but these photos of my brother's girlfriend, Zhar, and the girls running and jumping while at Chateau de Busay in Cebu reminded me of Athletics. The girls' ages range from 6 to 10. Zhar is 28

Quote by Joan L. Curcio reads: Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars.

Journaling reads: Tita Zhar was like a little kid let loose as she held hands with the girls and demonstrated how to run and jump as high as possible. Squeals of girlish giggles echoed across the grounds of Chateau de Busay as the jumping girls showed off for the cameras.

Credits: Kit - Spring has Spring by Kim Smith at SDK; embroidered flowers - Spring Mix by Amy Martin; sequins - Sequin Bits by Amy Martin; vintage frames - by Nancy Comelab; alpha - Big Stitched Alpha Template by Janet Phillips; font - Colour Me Purple; 2-page layered template, stitches - Smart Start A by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo

If you want to leave me some love, or want to take a closer look at each separate page, click on the pages:




Isn't that cute? :) Hehehe. Love the 2-pager templates by Darcy...but sometimes it is just sooo hard to find a lot of pictures for a particular event!

Cebu was definitely a FUN vacation. The family should go and do this more often. One thing we should look at is a vacation at an all inclusive family resort. This simply means that after paying the travel agent or the online booking facility (wherever you get your tickets), that's it. You don't have to pay anything else. Kind of like a cruise. Whatever you pay for upfront is it. No other additional expenses for food and drinks. Although in a cruise, you pay for drinks for a sit-down dinner.

Japa and I honeymooned at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Ten years ago, whew! Then, it was hard to find a FAMILY resort that was all-inclusive. Not that we looked for one, hehehe. But with 4 kids in tow now, a priority is trying to get the best deal. We'd love to take the kids to Jamaica or the Dominican Republic or Mexico, which is probably the closest to SoCal. Good thing our kids are natural water babies and love the water. Swimming pool, beach, doesn't matter. Just as long as they can romp around in their swimsuits all day, they are set.

Yes, the more I write about an all-inclusive resort, the sweeter it sounds. Now, to try out my powers of persuasion on either Japa or Mom and Dad. Hehehe.

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information please visit Blogitive.com.

CRM Software

CRM. That's short for Customer Relationship Software. Just heard from the boys that our sales have again exceeded the past month. And, our total vault sales have already surpassed the projected halfway point!!! That is just awesome!

Administratively, of course, all these sales mean more customers, more clients to take care of. Yes, ultimately, more headache and stress, but hey, just as long as the sales keep coming in, we're going to survive, hehehe. I am always on the lookout for things to make administrative tasks easier. This includes crm software.

With all these clients --- and yes, even our sales force we consider our internal clients --- we want to be able to cater to all of them and make any contact of theirs with our company a pleasant one. Especially for the sales force, our bread and butter (the boys will never let me hear the end of this for acknowledging this!!!), we have to set up something that will enable them to sell easier, faster, more efficiently. We want them to be at their most productive at all times.

So if the software is able to support some type of Sales Management, including managing our every-growing sales force, then we'd be set. I want to get rid of the paperwork most of all. Technically, paperwork is livable, just as long just as long as it's computer-generated and NOT written out by hand!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crying.....

Just got this email from RJ:
We just got back from the hospital (Dr. Bitanga in tow), finishing our morning visit to the ICU and our meeting with the neurologist that operated on mom. Again, the following is just my understanding of the situation and I will clarify statements made here as soon as I know more.

The good news is that mom might be able to leave by Thursday or Friday this week. He said that they just need to remove the two tubes that were used for the antibiotic wash and that they would remove one per day, starting tonight or tomorrow morning. She would then be under observation during that period (still in the ICU), to monitor her recovery. They've been concerned about her breathing being erratic/unstable so they'll be watching that closely - she'll be on a plane for 3 and a half hours, after all. But it looks like she'll be able to go home.

The bad news is that upon studying the new CT scans and MRI's, Dr. Bitanga said that the tumor on the left side had grown more than 3 times its size since mom's last MRI in the US (in November, I think), and that it had also spread to the back part of her brain - which affected her personality, memory, motor skills, and attention span. It was this tumor (on the left part of her brain) that caused the changes that many of us saw in mom's personality - to the point where she wasn't really herself anymore. This is also the kind of tumor that the doctors can't operate on, due to the high risk of paralysis - so surgery upon arrival in Manila is not likely. Radiation therapy is also out of the question (unless she starts recovering faster than the tumor is growing) because of the location of the tumor. If radiation is applied to the affected area, more damage could be done than good. Chemotherapy is also not an option, according to Dr. Bitanga, because of the size and state of the tumor.

Dr. Bitanga's prognosis, upon studying the facts gathered here in Korea, is that mom has 3-4 months left.

What we need now, what we all need to pray for, is another miracle. Dr. Bitanga says he hopes that he's wrong again - he gave a similar prognosis the first time mom was diagnosed with cancer. She had 4-6 months the last time - and that was 2003.

It's been FOUR YEARS.

Mom has persevered before, and we all know that she can do it again.

I'll have more once we have new information.

Please continue praying for her.
I have ambivalent feelings now. Mad. Sad. Sad. Mad. Sad, that there really isn't anything else we can do about Tita San's situation. Mad about the exact same thing. Nothing we can do except PRAY and hope for another MIRACLE.

In 2003, the doctors gave Tita San 4-6 months to live. And she's beaten all the odds and lived 4 years from that point. Now, the doctors are giving her 3-4 months. We NEED another miracle. Tita San is only 5o years old. 50!!! That's waaaay too young for someone so vital, so ALIVE as Tita San. The cancer has eaten away at her brain, and has affected her personality the past few months. It is sad to see someone like Tita San erode the way she has.

I'm probably using all the wrong adjectives, but I'm typing as I'm feeling here. With tears in my eyes. The family has banded together even more and have offered even more prayers for Tita San. She is a huge favorite among all of us. Some of us won't admit it, but it doesn't have to be said. It can be FELT.

Bang will be writing a prayer for the whole family to pray. If we all say it together, the same prayer, maybe, just maybe, it'll be a little bit stronger and will reach Him up Above faster. I know He knows what we feel and what we want. But only He knows what the future holds. But there's always HOPE. And that's what's going to keep our entire family praying with all our hearts, all our minds, all our beings. For Tita San.

Roby said to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. The heart is hoping, the mind is preparing. There's that roller coaster ride again.

Please say a little ---okay, a HUGE--- prayer for Tita San when you read this. She knows we are rooting for her.

I'm at Work!!!

Yup, you read right! :) I am at work as I take a little time off (shhh!) to make a proud entry on my blog, hehehe. I've got a bunch of checks to sign and some forms to finish. Reeeaaaalllly finish. At least I'll have Photoshop open for this one, so I can pretend I'm scrapping. Yeah right. No pictures, no kits....just the forms to finish! :)

Oh, and bills to pay....and I just spied a short note to myself on my desk. I need to deposit some money of the kids that they had saved up in their piggy banks. Good thing the kids have some money to deposit! Me, on the other hand, seems to be constantly writing checks for bills! Aaargh!!!

I need to place my money in a bank which will give me the Highest CD Rates or time deposit rates. If I'm not going to touch a certain amount of money for a certain amount of time, why not, right? Better than a regular savings or checking account, that's for sure.

Want to get a high 6% savings account rate? Try FNBO Direct to get this rate. This rate good until September 28 of this year. I wonder if I can open an account online? Gotta review the site a little bit more to find out. Six percent is waaaay better than the 2% we get here!

The Piggybanker.com also tells you where to get the Best money market rates around. They are also giving away $50 Paypal money at the end of the month --- just post about the giveaway on your blog and send your link to thepiggybanker@gmail.com. That's it! Hope I win that 50 bucks! :)

Okay, off to work now!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Korea Update

I keep forgetting to put down the updates I get from RJ about Tita San! Apparently, Tita San has been in a pretty good mood, waving (as her tubes will allow her) and smiling, responding in however way she can to RJ, Robin, Tito Lito and Mom (who left the night of the Shrine Inauguration).

And then we get this message:
Mom hasn't really been that responsive for the past day and a half. She's reverted back to the groggy state that she was in 5 days ago. She hasn't been able to move around as much or respond (verbally or with her eyes) to our questions. She still has the oxygen mask and is still undergoing antibiotic irrigation (for a couple more days I think). We're hoping that this is only a temporary thing and that she'll be able to be more alert and awake soon. Father Ducoy also visited mom earlier today and prayed over her.

Hopefully, we'll see more progress during our second visit later today.

We just have to keep praying.

And this message later in the day:
Just came back from an uplifting visit to the ICU. Mom was fully awake during most of our stay, smiling and even making faces - although she did not say anything. She has regained her normal range of motion in her extremities (again, as "normal" as her condition will allow). She did acknowledge that she was in some sort of pain after we asked her if anything hurt (we noticed that she would periodically stare straight ahead while tightening her grip for a few seconds at a time). Other than that, she looked a lot better than she had for the past couple of days.

Vitals showed a heart rate range of 89-93, RESP of 18-20, and blood pressure was at 142 over 91. Her heart rate had been within that range for the past couple of visits as well, although her BP was the highest I remember seeing since I got here. Not sure what to make of all this, though. Her antibiotic irrigation treatment ends tomorrow or Tuesday and we'll be talking to the doctor again tomorrow. There might be a possibility that she could be cleared for discharge sometime this week. Hopefully that's the case.

I'll have more as soon as we get more information.

Thanks again for all your prayers.

How's that for a roller coaster ride? :) At least there is light at the end of the tunnel: looks like Tita San will be allowed to go home sometime in the next week. Someone from one of my message boards said that the medical system in Korea is one of the best. This has been proven as the Koreans have apparently taken good care of Tita San. And they have modern technology, not like here where some (not all, thank God!) hospitals take your blood pressure using sphygmamometers (sp?) and stethoscopes instead of the machine that is connected to your arm and pumps the arm band and generates your BP automatically.

Work Tomorrow...For Sure

Well! After this whole week of practically not showing up for work, it's time for me to get my arse in gear and haul it over to the office tomorrow. For sure. Which is why I'm writing it down now, on my blog, so I will be compelled to go, hehehe.

Need to show up, do some actual work, sign some checks, start the ball rolling on Raegan's passport, and pay some bills. I've got credit cards that need some paying. I sometimes wish it were like the States where we can get 0% credit cards. They honestly make a difference in the long run.

Here, we have to pay anywhere from P1,200 to P1,500 per year per credit card. That's the price of a few good books, some medicines for the kids, 3 trips to the doctor/pediatrician, or the price of watching Shrek the Third for 7 adults and 8 kids (a few posts down)!

For me, credit cards are a lifesaver...especially for someone who hates to carry cash like me. I would rather whip out the plastic to pay, as opposed to counting dirty bills. :) But for a lot of people, credit cards are a necessary evil. For these people, they don't take into account how much they earn and how much their buying power really is. Because no cash leaves their hands, they think they have an unlimited supply of it; it is hard to keep track of your purchases...and the totals you rack up on your credit card bill!

These people never realize that by maxing out their credit card constantly, they are immersing themselves into debt. Major debt! Because they are so excited to use their credit card (especially in front of friends), they forget that having a credit card sometimes has so many disadvantages when used irresponsibly.

I like to constantly use my credit cards who offer reward points. These are "double the pleasure" so to speak. Not only do I not have to carry cash on my person, but by charging my purchases, I earn points. When I've accumulated enough points, I can then "shop" for my rewards from the catalogue that the credit card company sends to me.

I know I've accumulated a lot of points over the years. And so has Japa :) Not sure what we're "saving" for points-wise, but I think it's time to have another look-see at those catalogues :)

Ack!

I know, not a great title for my post, but it's what I'm feeling at the moment. I look at my DST gallery and see that for the past couple of weeks, I have not made a layout everyday. I know for some that this isn't so bad, but I have made a resolution (sort of) to try and scrap a page a day. Just so I know I've done something towards preserving the memories.

I know that there are some days that I get to do a few pages a day, but I'm just worried that my mojo hasn't been up to par lately :(. And I've got tons of CT assignments to do; not that I'm all that worried about finishing them...just that I want to keep to my "resolution". I've been doing some challenges over at Sweet Shoppe Designs and Elemental Scraps to keep me going...and they've got great challenge kits to give away, too! :) I'm going to catch up doing Rina Kroes' Scripture Challenge over at SBE, too, for some inspiration and much needed "guidance" from the Bible.

We heard mass at Padre Pio at 10 am, then trooped with all the kids and Dic and Lai to Pancake House for some brunch. Full, we went home and I surfed. And scrapped. ONE page, hehehe. Sigh! Although technically, I also started on a couple more pages, but need some finishing touches to it.
LOW TIDE
Journaling reads: Low tide had come when Rogan was all done with the jet ski. It looked like he was walking on the water. He still wore his lifevest, knowing he’d be in trouble with Mama if he took it off.

Credits: orange papers, striped (recolored) paper - Summer Sorbet by Eve Recinella at SSD; background paper - Technoflirty by Eve Recinella at SSD; noteflower - Lil Sunshine by Dani Mogstad, from the SSD Quarterly Assortment; paper clip, staples - Fastenating by Karah Fredricks at Blue Flombingo; white polka dot and green papers - Citrus Splash by Eve Recinella; alpha - Squiggly Alpha by Eve Recinella; ribbons - Sew Twisty by Karah Fredricks; yellow paper - Breath of Fresh Air by Eve Recinella; sun - by Ellen; curl template and action - by Marcie Reckinger and Tracy Murphy; b&W action - by Michelle Pearson; font - DJB ChristineC by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo; layered sketch, glitter swirl (recolored) - by Teresa Ferguson at SSD;
Idea taken from Kate the Scrapbook Lady's November Amazing Month of Memories - Child Safety and Protection Month

Whew! What a list of credits eh? I pulled everything from various paper packs of Eve Recinella to get just the right effect I wanted :)

Orlando Fun

Just got an email from Roselle asking about RCI resorts to stay in while in Las Vegas, San Diego and Orlando. I told her that she'd have to look through the rci website so that she can take a look at the accommodations for each resort.

I did tell her that for Orlando, it would be best to stay in the Kissimmee area, just because it's the closest to the Magic Kingdom and all the other theme parks AND it's got a lot of resorts or other places situated there.

Of course, to fully enjoy Mickey Mouse and friends, it's always beneficial to obtain Disney Discount Tickets --- there's something about enjoying something more if you were able to get a huge discount to enjoy it, hehehe. :)

Orlando. I always have fun here. I've told Japa that the next time we go, it has to be at least 2 weeks to fully enjoy everything AND relax. With 4 kids, we need that relaxing bit! I love the Park Hopper tickets, which let you go in and out of any of the Disney parks for each day of your ticket. That to me, is the best deal, short of buying an annual pass. Another cool option is to get the tickets with NO EXPIRATION on them! So if you don't use a day or 2 of your ticket during your stay, you can always come back and still have some tickets to use!

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information please visit Blogitive.com.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Outsourcing...

I know of outsourcing medical and legal transcriptions. But to outsource bookkeeping? That's pretty new. And practical, from my point of view :) Of course, I abhor having to do anything with accounting, finance, or just numbers in general. So for me, if I can pay someone to do this for me, why not?

Yes, there's the issue of privacy and all that, but if the company handles thousands of transactions for many clients each and everyday, how in heavens name will they be able to "target" someone's specific transactions? Know what I mean? Anyhoo, I think it's pretty cool to outsource these accounting and financial tasks (like payroll and bank reconciliations!!!) to people who know what they're doing.

No more headaches, no more stress. And if the bookkeeping is done so that a person who did NOT set up the whole process can easily continue on with the work, wouldn't that be a bonus? They also offer discounts for people who need to purchase Quickbooks before the whole bookkeeping thing is outsourced.

Now....I wonder if they can do personal bookkeeping? Hehehe. I need major help in this department!




Shrek the Third

Yup! We watched Shrek the Third today. Let's see......there were 7 adults (Japa, Dic, Rod, Zhar, 2 yayas and me) and 8 kids (Raegan, Rogan, Raine, Ranger, Reese, Rielle, Riley, Miggy) altogether. What a circus, hehehe!

The kids were all over the theater lobby, most in their Heelys because they knew the lobby had a small ramp. Sheesh! Then there were the countless runs to the restroom just because. We bought food for the movie at about 3 different kiosks: popcorn and drinks, Starbucks, and FDNY for burgers and fries.

It was the first weekend of Shrek the Third here, so we figured it was safer watching the first showing of the movie with all the kids we had with us.

It was a GREAT movie. Very cute. The kids were all laughing their heads off at the funny scenes, which was most of the movie, hehehe. All in all, it was a fun "expedition" (what else would you call it with the number of kids we had with us?!?!) for the few hours it took us. Everyone (except Japa and me) then went to Teriyaki Boy to have a very late lunch. I don't know how the kids could still have eaten with all the popcorn, french fries and drinks they had! Sheesh!

A lazy day today, just stayed at home to take a long nap and to scrap of course, but I mainly surfed the message boards and caught up on my blogging.
SHANGRI-LA BEACH
The kids by Shangri-La Beach, where we spent a week-long mini-vacation this summer.

Credits: kit - Mr Retro by Eve Recinella at Sweet Shoppe Designs; fonts - DJB JenB2 by Darcy Baldwin at Blue Flombingo, Roughwork, Monotype Corsiva; layered sketch - Round & Round 1 by Janet Phillips


I am trying to finish up all my Cebu layout so that I can test the waters, so to speak, for a Shutterfly book :)

TTFN!

Korea Update

An update of how Tita San is doing in Korea, courtesy of RJ:

From the 17th:
I am glad, once again, to bring more good news to you all - mom's finally off the respirator and back to regular oxygen again. Although I was only now able to read your [Roby] message about checking her oxygen, I will do so during our next visit in a few hours.

Mom wasn't really as responsive this morning - my guess is that they had just removed the respirator a couple of hours before we got there, so she must have been tired. She was sleepy, but did respond to some of our usual ICU antics. If you tickled her feet, she'd move her legs around, etc. She was also able to cross her legs and move around a little bit in her bed - probably to get more comfortable (she has been lying down for about 13 days now). I guess we'll know more about her recovery progress when we see her for the second time later today.
and later in the evening:
We had a great "conversation" with mom this evening. She was awake the whole time and she even waved to us when we stepped into the ICU. She was able to move all her extremities (a little better than before) and responded to all of our questions and kwentos with facial expressions as well as nods and shakes of the head. She even tried to speak on occasion - a task that proved to be difficult due to the oxygen mask over her mouth and nose as well as the feeding tube that was inserted through her nose - but she did try. I even tried to make out a couple of words from her lip movements and confirmed them by repeating them to her.

We did inform her that she was in Korea - much to her surprise - and that we hadn't been able to have a decent conversation with her for days. I also told her that everyone sends their love and are eagerly awaiting her arrival in Manila and I think she welcomed that with a smile (from what I could make out, at least). Overall, she looked better than anything we'd seen since we got here.

Oh, and I checked mom's O2 saturation and it showed a constant 100 on the machine. I assume that's a good thing :) And if it helps any, I think her vitals showed around 70-75 for ECG, a steady 20-25 for RESP, and the last time I looked at her BP, it was 118 over 72 (i think).

With our continued prayers, I'm sure mom will be able to come home in no time at all.
Praying and hoping that Tita San can come home soon. Lola has been chafing at the bit, wanting to go to her youngest daughter. Unerstandable, but really, there is nothing for her to do there. She can only visit Tita San in the ICU for a maximum of 30 minutes to an hour twice per day. That's it. As for the rest of the hours left in the day, she'll be bugging everyone else as to what she CAN do instead of resting. Sigh!

Once she gets her passport and her visa, then she can go, probably with either me or Rondic. But I'm hoping that we will be able to bring Tita San back home sometime next week.

{WEDDING UPDATE}

Randy and Stella are, I think, winding down on their wedding to-do lists. Most of the small details have been ironed out. All that needs to be done are the fittings for the suits and dresses, the guest list, the invitations to be sent, and the the seating arrangement. Other than that, I think everything's been done. Oh wait, they need the arrhae and the wedding rings, hehehe. But those shouldn't take too long to make.

They are also having my old room in La Vista renovated. It's a bigger room than what Randy has right now, and obviously, they'll have their own bathroom (they'd be sharing a bathroom with Rod if they stay in Randy's old room).

So they are having the room repainted --- no gold anything, thank goodness. The pouffy curtains and the valance boards are going to be taken down and replaced with more modern fixtures. The queen-sized bed will have an extension to make it a king-sized bed.

With them staying on at La Vista, that will be 3 Mr & Mrs Dizons living in the house. I wonder if they should each have a separate house marker of some sort to differentiate their mail? Hehehe. I wonder what they can do, short of having the maids deliver their mail to their doors? What if the letter or whatever just had "Mr & Mrs" on it? That would be so funny!

TTFN!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Finally! I Scrapped!

Ack! Three whole days of NO scrapping! Can anyone say drought? :) It was so good to finally lie down in front of my laptop and open up Photoshop. Of course, to get out of my funk, I had to scraplift someone...so off I head to Susan Pacillo's Lifts with a Twist for some inspiration.

And I did this:
SNORKELS & SPONGEBOB
Ranger playing with Papa's snorkels...and the last time he would be in his Spongebob floaters (swimming lessons to follow 2 weeks later)

Credits: the following by Gina Miller: background paper - Inky Notes, May 2007 Surprise Box; blue alpha, glitter - Under the Sea, Andy's Collection; doodle frame - Color Me Funky, a collab kit with Kate Hadfield; negative cluster - Don't Be Negative Clusters; glitter strip - Trendy Strips; glitter alpha - Shimmerbet; arrow rub on (with Inky Notes paper) - Mr Retro by Eve Recinella at SSD; "and" word - a Snip from Scrumdidliumptious by SSD designers
eye (colorized to look like Spongebob's eyes) - by Lauren Reid; font - Adler

Isn't that the cutest layout ever? Hehehe. Of course I'm biased! But I just love it and I dipped into my old Gina Miller stash, too, using a very old kit of hers, Under the Sea.

{COLOR PICKER}

The Color Picker by Ades Design does just that: picks the colors that YOU want. Even right on your desktop. As a scrapper, I've always relied on Photoshop to exactly copy a shade of a color that I want. Only thing is, I have to open Photoshop to do it and maybe even save or copy an image on a website that I want because I wanted to emulate the color combination.

Well, it seems that this awesome $9.90 FULL download of Ades Design's software can pick the colors anywhere on your computer screen! For a web designer, web developer and YES, for a scrapper/digital scrapbook designer (!!!) this is such a powerful tool!

Imagine surfing the internet and a website or advertisement catches your eye, mainly because of the colors or the combination of colors on it. How easy is it to launch the Color Picker tool and save these colors for future use?!?!

Right on your desktop, click on the eyedropper to launch the program. Click Activate and then start clicking on those colors that so entranced you. From the floating menu that can hold up to 10 colors, you can then load these colors in the Color Library to store them for future use. The colors that the Color Picker saves can be output into RGB or HTML colors, so yes, even us scrappers will be able to use this program! Cool huh!

Well, off I go to try and keep my mojo going. I'm going to scrap some more, just as soon as I get back from Paul Cabral's to fit my Matron of Honor gown :)

Appreciative Coaching, i.e., Positive Reinforcement

Sometimes, when life just seems too much, I think back to the days of when I was still in school. No major worries except for tests, quizzes, group work, etc. Barely a financial worry since Mom and Dad took care of everything. :)

The quest for higher education always intrigued me. I remember when I was in Grade School, it was one of my goals in life to get my Master's Degree. In what, I didn't know then, just that I wanted to have one. Ahhh...the simplicity of life then, eh?

Even as "responsible adults" one should still continue our education. There are still a lot of things out there that we don't know. Things are always changing, evolving. In the business place, there is talk of Appreciative Coaching. I've come across this term in the sports world first. While dragon boating and rowing (sweeps and sculls), I was lucky enough to have male coaches who knew how to coach women.

With women, it is easier to get results if we are reinforced in a positive way. No screaming-in-our face, no swearing methods will work. Maybe on men, but definitely not on women. For women, we like to hear the positive things that we are doing. Things like good job, looking good, and way to go, are things that we women like to hear.

In my work in the HR department, I find that I can easily apply the principles of appreciative coaching as well. We help the employee focus on his or her goals and how he or she can follow a path to attain those specific goals. We don't dwell on the negative aspects (although they should be touched on and learned from, definitely) but instead reinforce the GOOD things that a particular employee has done. This in turn, makes the employee more productive and more conducive to working....all because of a few choice words of "great job you're doing."

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.