Wednesday, December 20, 2006


We spent the whole day at Legoland today! We had a total blast with our family and Dic's family. We simply walked to the park from the hotel since it was right across the street :)

I took a peek at how much wheelchairs were being rented out for. $10 for a regular one, and $35 for the electronic one! Ummmm.....I just walked. Hehehehe. It wasn't too bad actually. The night before, my cellphone had been programmed to go off every 3.5 hours to remind me to take my pain medication. With this round-the-clock care, my leg was ok in the morning, although it needed some heating up a bit to loosen the stiffness from the cold weather.

All throughout the day, my cellphone kept ringing to remind me to take my meds. So far so good, and my leg was good for walking throughout the park as well. That, and I think the cortisone has been taking effect as well. So this is definitely good news!

Since the park closed at 5 pm, we brought the kids back to the hotel, had them settled in having dinner, while we adults drove down to the nearby outlet mall (about 3 minutes away). Japa and I got ourselves some new Oakley shades, as well as some new underwear for the kids :)

Short and sweet trip. We were at the outlets for less than 2 hours before we headed back to the hotel.

Some pics to follow....either raw pics or in layouts, hehehehe. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Longer Than Usual Drive


Picked up my steroid meds at Rite Aid. I had a feeling my dang leg KNEW that I was going to get some new started acting up in a MAJOR way and was twisting this way and that! Sheesh! I swear, I could have chopped it off if I didn't know any better! Bum leg. Phooey!


For the FIRST TIME in history, I did NOT pack a single thing for a trip. Dear Japa did it, with the help of the kids. Of course, it took a little bit longer than usual (hehehe) but I did NOT do anything except rest my back and leg. Nothing! The kids packed their own stuff, while Japa packed for the both of us, prepared some foodstuff that we were going to bring, AND stowed everything away in the van. Whoa!

Thank goodness I married such a guy, eh? I know he's going to be reading this sooner or later, so best not to go all mushy and all *wink!* Hehehe. He knows I love him.....but he's gotta be thinking that I am totally taking advantage of him right now, with my leg and all. *huge grin here* Teehee!

I do try and help, but most of the time he just shoos me away and tells me to stay put. When I don't feel like it, I don't, obviously. Or when he's sick and tired of doing everything else, he doesn't bother telling me to NOT do anything. Hehehehe. We know each other too well, I think.

Anyhoo, I still did the driving into Carlsbad. For some reason, I feel more secure driving in the States...especially with the kids in the van. :)

After about an hour driving, I felt really really sleepy. I told Japa we had to stop just so I could catnap; a 5-minute catnap would do wonders for my system. He couldn't spell me at the wheel because he was feeling sleepy as well. So we stop at the parking lot of a Yum Yum Donut place, hehehehe. Of course, he HAD to get a whole BOX of donuts....which we practically demolished and inhaled 3/4 of. Aaargh! But the chocolate covered donuts were totally yummy!

So after our little merienda, we took of for Carlsbad and got there in close to an hour's time.

Unpacking? Didn't do anything. Japa had the kids do it, as I was in pain from the long drive. I just rested a bit while everyone else unpacked. I did make myself useful by loading and running the dishwasher, so I wasn't a total bum.

After Japa had had a short nap as well, off we went to one of our fave restaurants as a family: the SOUPLANTATION!!! Yay! The kids were excited for sure, and we were looking forward to having a grrrrreat meal!

And a great meal we had! Even Ranger enjoyed snacking on corn kernels, macaroni and cheese, and chicken noodle soup. The kids feasted on clam chowder, mac and cheese, pizza and of course soft serve and muffins galore.

However, the Souplantation isn't as cheap as it used to be. For the 6 of us (2 adults, 3 kids between 6-12, and a baby), we spent $40! Sheesh! Considering the amount we ate though, this wasn't TOO bad. But it wasn't cheap either. But hey, we all had a grand time stuffing ourselves from the variety of food!

We got to the Palisades pretty late. Since my leg was aching so badly, Japa drew up a steaming, HOT bath and I soaked in it. Ahhhhhhhh.........bliss! :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Doctor, Doctor...and Gift Wrapping

Doctor, doctor yet again. Went to see Dr. William Costigan in Pasadena. A spine doctor, referred by Valerie. Yes, a cutie, hehehe.

Anyway, he basically said the following:

1. I have only a 30% chance of having surgery....whew! What a relief!
2. He is going to give me cortison, i.e, steroids, to help me overcome the pain from my back and leg.
3. If the pain does not go away, an epidural (spinal injection) will be necessary to ensure that the pain DOES go away.

4. After the pain is gone, physical therapy will ensue. Ummm...yeah. Sigh! Thought I was going to be able to do away with that!

5. The DRX-9000 that I really wanted to a bunch of crap. His words, not mine. So I'm still unsure whether to pursue this option.....but I am still open to it.

The one thing I learned? That the pain MUST be gone in order for me to do physical therapy PROPERLY. Makes total sense! Don't know why I didn't see it this way before, but I do now!


In the early evening, I went to the office to wrap some gifts from the Big Old Bearded Guy from the North. And lug away some gifts from the office to Polaris so I can wrap them. I CANNOT believe that I am STILL not done with everything Christmas! Ack! This is so pathetic, I swear! The only excuse I can come up with is that I can't be moving at anywhere near my normal pace for this time of the year because of the pain in my leg. Which really pisses me off because I really WANT to be done. Like 2 months ago! Grrrr!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

What a Trip.....and...I'm FAMOUS!


Sigh! Traveling on a plane for 12 hours with a bum back and leg is definitely NOT something I would recommend to anyone. I've been telling Japa to give me childbirth ANYTIME over what I have now. Argh!

Anyway, for most of the plane ride to the States, I was alternating between sleeping, stretching my leg, crying, standing, stretching. It wasn't all that awful, but it wasn't exactly the best conditions to be while traveling to the States. The trip that normally doesn't seem like such a long time became totally arduous at best. Sigh!

Add that to the fact that we had seven kids with us: Reese, Rielle, Raegan, Rogan, Raine, Riley and Ranger. Ages from 2 to 9. Hehehe. You don't even need a vivid imagination to just KNOW that we were in for a wild ride, to say the least.

The best part though? The kids were zonked out from the very beginning....and I didn't even have to give them cold medicine! Yup, yup! We had barely left the ground when practically all of them went to sleep! Only Reese and Raegan were a little bit awake for dinner.

Obviously, Reese was ultra-disappointed with the airline's child meal. Note to self: call the airline to request that my kids NOT be given the child's it just NOT enough to satisfy hunger! Sheesh! Anyway, since the other kids weren't going to be eating, I ate their spaghetti and gave Reese my dinner which had the all-important ingredient: R.I.C.E. hehehe.


I could literally FEEL everyone's eyes on Japa and me as we moved through the line with all 7 (yes, SEVEN!) kids. Hehehehe. I just knew they were sizing us up and at the very least thinking to themselves that we had too many kids, and that they were born one after the other! Hahahaha! If they only knew!

To make matters even more confusing, all the kids were calling us Papa and Mama...not even Tita or Tito, or Ninang or Ninong. Hehehe. Those poor people; what must they be thinking!

Another thought struck me as the immigration officer asked me a simply worded question while pointing to Rielle: "Is she your daughter?" I answered that she, along with Reese and Riley were my brother's kids. But I was thinking...OMGosh! This guy thinks that I have MY own kids while Japa had his own kids and we got married, etc. etc. etc. WHAT?!?! Cheaper by the Dozen Part 3 or something?!?!?!? Hahahahaha! No wonder we didn't have any problems at all! Hehehehe.


Why am I famous? Check out these links:

Gina Miller's Blog: Live, Laugh, Love
DST Thread
Guest/Team Inspiration at GMD

Scroll down to the part where we show off our layouts and you'll see at the very bottom, the 2-page spread I made using Gina's Classique Kit. Pics are from Mom's 60th Birthday in Hawaii, when we all surprised her BIG time!

For a closer look at those pages:

As always, click on the layouts to see the credits.


Check out the RAKS' December Newsletter, fresh off the presses. Click HERE or HERE to get it and view it. Then scroll to pages 10 and 11 I think, where you will see in "print" a couple of layouts showcasing our wonderful Formal Thanksgiving dinner :)




Gotta go.....I have company!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just Scraps Today

Just posting my recent layouts....this will have to tide you faithful blog readers over until I reach the States :)






Tomorrow we fly to the States!!! It is also the last day of the kids at school, last day of their 3rd quarter exams. They are SO looking forward to the holidays --- and so am I! :)


The kids went to training today mainly to get their medals. I don't have an exact tally, but all of them came out winners! Yeah!

Biggest haul was Rogan, who had all golds and 1 silver. Raine had all bronzes, while Raegan had medals in gold, silver and bronze. From what I understand, Raegan had the most number of medals.

I will be posting their times and events for their medals just so I have a record of sorts. Who knows? They may come in handy for a future layout! *wink! :)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Welcome Little Bryce!!!

And with that, Rafael IV is born. No details yet....just got a text message from Rondic that all is well, and that little Bryce is with his Daddy in the recovery room. Awwwww..........

Can't wait to meet my little godson-to-be! Hehehehe. I BETTER be a godmother!!! Hehehehe. Actually, I'm EXPECTING to be one of Bryce's godmothers :)

Just a little update to my previous post :)


Say A Little Prayer

My SIL, Bang, Boydee's wife, is being wheeled into the Operating Room as I type this. She is pregnant with their first baby, and, apparently, her cervix has gotten so soft that she needs to have a caesarian operation.

So please, if you're reading this, please please say a little prayer that the CS goes well, and that the baby and both parents are well, or will get through this (Boydee may yet pass out at the sight of blood, I'm not sure how he will hold up).

I'm sure thousands of prayers are already being said right now, as other family members have passed on via text message the need to say a prayer for this little family of theirs that is just beginning.

Bang carries inside of her Rafael IV. He took a while in being conceived, waiting 2 years to even begin to start he is much awaited for sure. And everyone is all agog waiting for him to actually come out into this world.

So Bang and Boydee and little Rafael --- when you all read this, know that a LOT of people are thinking of you guys and are praying along with you.

I love you all and can't wait to see you on Friday!!! Of course, I am assuming that I am going to be adding little Rafael IV to my list of godsons, hehehe :)


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Day of Sleep

Oh yes. Sleep. That's what I've been doing the whole day. I'm not exactly sure WHY I've been sleeping the whole day; chalk it up to any or all of the following factors:

1. I really am sleep deprived, sleeping in the wee hours of the morning the past few days
2. the pain killers I've been on make me sleepy
3. I was really pooped from the kids' Christmas Bazaar and Harana Night last night

I woke up at 10:30 am!!! Egads!!! I haven't done that in a loooooong time!!! Sheesh! Half the day right there, already gone. Ugh. (I did mention that I am a morning person, right?). Anyway, when I woke up, I felt totally stiff, and my back and leg felt they had twisted muscles inside. So since then, it's been heat packs and pain killers the whole time.

It's 7 pm now and it's STILL the same! Aaaargh!!! I hate it when I can't do anything productive (except scrap of course, hehehe). Even scrapping actually, has slowed down considerably. I find myself scrapping and then in the middle of a layout, I'd lay my head right down and doze off! Weird, huh? If anyone out there know what the problem is, I'm all ears!


The kids' Christmas Bazaar last night was a huge success! It was held at Eastwood, since the school grounds were just waaay too small for the number of expected people. Despite the bigger venue though, it was mighty crowded last night! There were press people as well, as they were invited to the official launching of the school's project, M.I. Kids Can!

The project calls for the school's kids to make products. All profits from products sold will be turned over to Bahay Mapagmahal, a home for children with special needs. Definitely a worthy cause, and all the children were so INTO the making, the marketing and the selling of whatever it wa they made!

I got a lot of stuff, considering the number of people there:

1. 4 sets of beaded napkin rings --- these were my BEST buy of the night! I hung out at the Prep table just before 5 pm. The kids were instructed NOT to sell before 5 pm, and they totally refused buyers before that time! Hehehe.

2. 5 bags of brownies --- again from the Prep table. Yummy, chewy. Reese dug in once it hit her hands, hehehe. Delicioso!

3. 2 bottles of Linen Spray --- boy, I was THE buyer at the Prep table, for sure!
4. 1 Fortune Pillow --- Grade 2
5. 1 CD clock with the face painted by Raegan --- which isn't working very properly now :(
6. Pizza rolls --- tried these out, and gave some to Rogan who was getting very hungry
7. 2 boxes of Chocolate Flakes --- yummy, too!

I wasn't able to get the beaded bookmarks I was eyeing, as well as the handmade paper-covered journals from Rogan's class which I helped the kids make! I felt bad about not getting anything that Rogan made, but I didn't have a lot of time because I was rushing to get the stuff I really REALLY wanted. I had made a pre-opening round of all the products and mentally marking what I had to have. Maybe teacher Kitkat still has some left; will find out tomorrow.


The traditional program performed after the Bazaar. Raine's class was first, with their dance number of We're Happy Happy Helpers and Santa's shop. My child was easily the BIGGEST in their class. No question. She was at the back, and I could still see her head and shoulders clearly! Hehehehe. Everyone else was just tiny! They all looked so cute though!

Rogan's class played Rudolph, the red-nosed Reindeer with the traditional anklu. The highlight? Rogan was Santa (for the 3rd year in a row, I think!) and he got up to act out his part with Kiel, who was Rudolph. Then they sat right down to play the rest of the song. hehehe. That was it.

Raegan's Grade 2 class had THE best and liveliest performance in my opinion. They were the 9th to perform and after Raine's class' dance number, the majority of the classes played the anklu or just sang. So Raegan's class was a welcome respite. They dance to a medley of fun Christmas songs. AND, Teacher Tess, who was so tiny, she blended in with the rest of her class, also danced! So people were screaming and cheering for her and the kids. Totally fun!

Obviously, we left right after Raegan's performance....I couldn't wait to see the rest of the program because my leg was in absolut h.e.l.l.! It was all I could to sit still for Raegan's number!

As we were getting ready to leave, all the parents of our class were gushing that "ours" was THE BEST number ever! And Teacher Tess dancing was an added bonus. Hehehehe.


The kids wanted to go out to dinner SO BAD. But I told them I really really couldn't, that I had to go home to lie down. So we had a compromise: KFC. Hehehe. We bought a bucket, went home. I went straight to the room, the kids to the dining room to have dinner. All in all, it was a good night :)

I found pictures from March of this year on my old Compact Flash card. This was during the time we wanted to surprise Mom for her 60th birthday, and we all flew in to Honolulu to do it. So expect some pics from that time to show up in my next few layouts! :)


Monday, December 11, 2006

Brotherly Love

Lest my 2 other brothers (and SILs!!!) complain that I have not been fair in making layouts featuring my brothers, that's just what I did. I've done some layouts of Randy and Rodney fairly recently --- from our fabulous Thanksgiving feast, with nothing to show for Boydee (and Bang) and Rondic (and Elizza).

Ahhhhh....but if my SILs have been checking my galleries, they'd see the pages I've made recently:
This one contains the CUTEST poem:

Lord how do we thank you
for all that you've done?
You have blessed us with a dear son.
The love that we've shared
in the gift sent by you
Is now growing as a part of us, too.
Our love for each other
as husband and wife
Grows much stronger
as we create a new life.
As our child grows up,
we are planning to be
An example, for him, of a great family.
This child of ours
will have reasons to know
That the love of his parents
continues to grow.
A new baby boy will soon join our clan,
Another small boy to mold into a man.
Another small soul to hold close and enjoy
A new job as parents...a new baby boy!

Here's another one:
Great quote on this one:

`Uo `ia i ka manai ho`okahi,
which translates to
Strung like flowers on the same lei needle. Married.

Cool, huh? As always, click on the images to check out the credits! :)

See you guys? I'm FAIR! :)


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Scrumptious Thanksgiving

Yes, we're back to Thanksgiving. I still can't stop bragging about what an AWESOME Thanksgiving we had, hehehe.
As before, click on the image to see full credits. Journaling for this layout reads: Rodney and Zhar were the ultimate chefs du jour for Thanksgiving. They shopped for ingredients for dinner’s cream of pumpkin soup, spinach & artichoke appetizer, and walnut and grape salad. Rodney even looked to Martha Stewart for a recipe for garlic-mashed potatoes! All in all, this pair came up with fabulous, delicious, and utterly scrumptious additions to our memorable Thanksgiving dinner!

Food photos:

Here's the YUMMY cream of pumpkin soup made from SCRATCH by Zhar and Rod:
It kind of looks like Gerber food here, hehehe, but trust me when I say it was very very tasty! I wasn't able to take a photo of our Spinach and Artichoke Dip. We were oh-so-hungry when we started dinner (after much picture-taking), we just dug into the first dish that was served!

Here's Zhar's Walnut and Grape Salad:
Again, we weren't able to take a picture of the untouched salad, hehehe. This I think was Raine's, after running her fork through her salad in search of the frozen grapes. Yum!

And if we have SALAD, ie., GREEN stuff, there are some who would rather NOT eat it. Proof:
See how Ate Reese looks really pissed? We told her that she could NOT have a piece of turkey before the adults. That we were going to do the proper thing and eat our meal course by course. All the kids had the audacity to announce that they wanted to skip soup and salad altogether and start on the turkey! Hah! No such luck! We forced them to have at least a TASTE of everything.

This is Raine just eating the frozen grapes off of her plate. She may have squeezed a leaf or 2 in her mouth, but she was happy with the grapes and the walnuts, hehehe.

This one is THE classic I-hate-salad photo:
Yes, this is Rogan, just posing with his fake i-love-salad smile. After he had taken a few bites of his salad, he promptly threw up. Hahahahaha! Thank goodness he had the sense to take his water goblet, which was where he threw up his salad leaf. As in singular salad leaf. *roll eyes*

Oh wait, I have a couple of photos with the Spinach and Artichoke dip. These are my girls enjoying the appetizer (er, when did they NOT enjoy the food? hehehe)
The main courses:

Turkey a la some chef (sorry, I forgot). We paid P6,000 for this bird with all the trimmings. And can I just say how PERFECT it was! I only eat the breast, and even THAT was juicy! Sorry, photos are incomplete again; we forgot to take pics of the side dishes. The only thing that we all agreed we did NOT like was the stuffing. It was some gross sweet potato thing. Give us Tita San's stuffing any day! No comparison!

Here's Japa having the honor of carving the turkey because he was the oldest person present. The bird was about 16 pounds, I think.

Take note of Ranger.....looking ravenously at the turkey. Hehehe. With his mouth hanging open, to boot!

The other main course, the Prime Rib:
Yes, Mom, we only had Melinda cook half of it. It was a bit on the salty side. So some of us requested rice to tone down the saltiness. The garlic-mashed potatoes were a yummy complement, though!

Here's Ranger enjoying his
And then the desserts!

This is some cheesecake leftover from Boydee's party the night before:

Here are the staple desserts Brazo de Mercedes and Chocolate Cake:
And our Designer Cupcakes (yes, they were on the menu!)
And that should be it for this post!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Raegan's First Holy Communion

Finally, Raegan will be walking down the, not to get married (she's only 8!!! hehehe), but she is walking down the aisle to receive Jesus for the first time. Holy Communion. The kids have been preparing for this for a month or so. Mrs. Canon from school has drilled in them the desire to learn about Jesus, what sins are, what confession is, and most importantly, how to receive Jesus with all your heart and all your mind.

Communion rites were at Pentecost at 8 in the morning!!! Normally, I wouldn't be complaining about the time since I'm a morning person; however, with this back and leg, it takes me FOREVER to get ready!!! Which meant the alarm clock was set for 630 am. Oh well.

The great thing about M.I. is that there were only a few kids who were going to be receiving Communion for the very first time. Ony 49 of them. Compared to 120 in Assumption (morning session) and 80 (afternoon session).

However, the only weakness about M.I. for this particular occasion, was that there were NO sisters running the show. Hehehe. It wasn't as organized as Rielle's First Holy Communion rites, definitely. Although I'll give Mrs. C the benefit of the doubt since this year was the first time she held the Rites at Pentecost (it used to be at della Strada).

Not that it was totally disorganized. The kids were fantastic in everything! They knew when and where they were going to go. They were coaching parents right and left as to what to expect next. Hehehe. Too funny. Some parents were totally lost, I think. Those who were just "going with the flow". Probably didn't attend ANY orientation meeting for the parents. Sigh.

Another different thing between M.I. and Assumption: the parents at AA were TOLD to be dressed nice. And everyone was. At M.I., it was a different story. There were parents in jeans, for pete's sake!!! In jeans AND walking their child down the aisle! Que horror!!! LOL :) But seriously, it would have been soooo much nicer and a more solemn atmosphere would've been attained if everyone had used common sense and dressed properly. Oh well -- chalk it up to another lesson to be learned for next year.

One thing the parents could NOT take away from the kids: the look of joy and radiance when they were walking down the aisle: both when entering the Church and when they were walking to receive Jesus. Even though we were right behind Raegan, with our hands on her shoulders, she had on a very serious expression on her face. Okay, maybe a small smile for the cameras, who knows. :)

Before mass started, Mrs. C announced that the host would be dipped in the wine. A murmur of shock went through the kids, with various expressions like "ewwww" and "what? wine?" sort of things. hehehe. I told Raegan to NOT make a face when the blessed host was put in her mouth. She said "why should I?"

So when we were lining up to enter the Church at the beginning of mass, I remarked to the parent behind me that I had reminded Raegan to avoid making any weird expression if she didn't like the taste of the wine. Next thing I knew, the same reminder was being passed down to all the kids by their parents! Hahahahaha!

When I was printing out Raegan's stampitas for the occasion, I asked her if she wanted something specific to be printed on the back of the card. After thinking for a little bit, she said, "Mama, please put there: This will be the first time that I will be receiving Jesus into my heart."

Isn't that sweet? Those are her words and not mine. Goes to show that children DO know Jesus. And that they're so much closer to Jesus than adults will ever be.

Oh another major difference between Rielle's and Raegan's First Communion Rites: At AA, cameras were highly discouraged all throughout the ceremony. Of course, that didn't stop some parents (us included!) from brining their cameras and taking photos. Luckily, Japa and I were near the side exits, so it was easy for us to stand and take a photo of Rielle.

At M.I., holy cow!!! Flash here, flash there. Again, some parents didn't even bother REMOVING the flash to avoid distraction!!! Aaargh! Oh well. At least they weren't blocking the way of the kids at all! Again, common sense and all I think. *roll eyes here*

The good thing at M.I., when the kids were posing at the end to have a group picture, the school was very accommodating for the parents. There were no announcements of "only the official school photographer is allowed to take pictures, etc, etc". So the parents were standing with the school photographers, happily clicking away with their digital cameras. Thank goodness for digi, eh?

Mrs. C had made a huge effort to try and get more kids to participate in the actual ceremony. Raegan was "child 2" reading the Prayers of the Faithful. As such, she was seated in the second row. Which was perfect for us, as we were also in the second row on the other side :)

After the ceremony, there was a rush of congratulations amongst parents and kids, and the kids excitedly exchanged stampitas with their classmates. Oh, a new thing to note: not only were stampitas being exchanged, but there were token gifts as well being distributed, such as small rosaries, small prayer books, crosses, etc. At least for next year, I'll be better prepared :)


The Rainforest Cafe

I have always meant to scrap this particular project of M.I.'s Prep class, but never got around to doing it. It is such an awesome project of the class that I wanted to give it special attention.

Teacher Ma-anne's Prep class wanted to make a difference in the protection of the environment. This, by the way, was the class' theme for their Portfolio Night last quarter. Anyway, the class needed to raise funds and the best way they could do it was to put up a RAINFOREST CAFE.

For one hour in school, the Prep class would be selling food for recess. The class made their posters, the visited other classes to invite them to come to the Cafe, they even did the cashiering! Raine was a cashier since she was Math-Smart :)

Journaling reads:

The Rainforest Cafe was staged by the Prep Class to raise enough funds to buy seedlings for donation to the La Mesa Dam Project and the Haribon Foundation.The children used their art smarts to draw posters; their people smarts to invite other classes to the Cafe; and their math smarts to do the actual cashiering of the Cafe! With the whole school’s support, the Prep class was able to donate 3,000 seedlings to help our environment!

The Prep had several food items lined up for their Cafe! And the best part was that the ENTIRE school participated! The kids from other levels were clamoring to line up and buy the interestingly-named food from the Prep class :)

Journaling reads:

The pictures on the left show the food available at the Rainforest Cafe. There were Frog’s Eggs (siopao); Insect Cupcakes; Worms in Dirt (Gummy Worms); Mammal Cookies; Chocolate Chip Cookies; Snake Gum (bubblegum); and Beetle Wings (potato chips). Not shown are the Banana Split, Tree Bark (Nova chips), and Rainforest Juice on Ice (snowcones). The Cafe was SOLD OUT in 30 minutes!!!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Church, Work, Scraps


Today is a Holy Day of Obligation. December 8. One of only three holy days of obligation in the Catholic calendar. The other two are Christmas and New Year.

Today is the Immaculate Concepcion. I went to mass at Pentecost. I completely forgot that Japa had said we were going to mass together. Whoops! Sorry, sweetheart! But I went because I felt that I may not have the time in the evening.

Of course, my leg was hurting when I went, and it progressively got worse during Mass. We had a pretty good homily, although I wouldn't quote it now since it involved dates. The priest counted when the Virgin Mary conceived, the Annunciation, and the Birth of Jesus.


I went to work after mass! FINALLY!!! After two whole weeks, sheesh! I had to go mainly because I needed my notes of the Board Meeting. I absolutely NEED to do the minutes and send it out as soon as possible since we are going to be having another Board this month, in the States.
Anyway, the office is looking very Christmas-y now. With a theme of First High, kind of like High School Musical, the staff were given a budget and told to decorate their respective areas for the holidays. They did a great job. The office is definitely looking festive :) The winning team will be announced during the Staff Christmas Party next week.

I did clean out my desk, yeah!!! Even Letty was impressed by how fast I did it. Hehehe. Actually, even I was impressed with myself for doing it in record time!

Of course, since I was there, the staff took advantage of my presence, most especially Accounting. Check after check was prepared for my precious signature, hehehe.

The BEST part of my stay in the office? I was actually SITTING in my chair for several minutes before I realized that I was sitting down! No major pain in my back or my leg! Whoohoohoo!!! I am hoping to God that the steroids finally kick in!


When I got home, I was feeling the strain again. I had to lie down to stretch my leg. Major heat packs piled on. Anything to keep the pain from radiating further.

And I scrapped. Catching up on my CT requirements. *sheepish grin* The really really good thing about me being on a number of CTs? Nah, not the free kits (although they are a plus, for sure!), but the PAGES of layouts I get DONE! And I am super duper grateful for the designers who let me play with their stuff!!! My kids' albums will be overflowing for sure!

Of course, getting layouts done are completely different from having them printed out, hehehe. THAT'S the harder part! Gotta shell out major bucks each time I have something printed. Why? Because I wait until I have a huge BUNCH before I actually go to my local Fuji! Sheesh! You'd think I learn my lesson eh?

Some scraps using Rina Kroes' Light Up the Night:

For credits, just click on the image to be brought to my DST gallery. But I want to post the actual poem I used for my BELIEVE layout here on the blog, for posterity:

Believe in a man in a suit of jolly red,
Believe in a man with a stocking cap on his head.
Believe in a Spirit, one so kindred dear,
Believe in one who visits when Christmas time is near.
Believe in a bunch of reindeer who leap to take their flight.
Believe in the magic of a very special night.
Believe Santa was appointed by the Good Lord above,
As another blessed carrier of His good will and love.

---Tracie Watson

Isn't that a COOL poem? I think it's just perfect!

Again, click on the image if you want to see all the credits for this page.

Life will be our treasure box, filled with the sparkle of laughter, the gleam of adventure, the shine of discovery, the flash of magic. And through all these jewels streams the steady glow of love.
--- Nora Roberts

I will have you guys know that this particular layout has now been commented on by 21 people over at DST. Whoohoohoo!! They love it! Hehehe.

And for those of you in Polaris, yes, this was how we looked during our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Totally dressed, even the kids were excited about getting dressed! Hehehe.

Okay, I have to stop here. It's Raegan's First Holy Communion tomorrow and we've got to get up early.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


I know, I know, I haven't gotten around to posting layouts at ALL these past few days, weeks even! Posting now.....until I'm updated with everything, ok? Just click on the image if you want to see the layout up close, or want to see the credits, or want to LEAVE ME A COMMENT, which I looooove! :)


Got these pics of Raegan from Rodney's compact flash card. Gorgeous shots of a gorgeous girl! *wink, wink!* Love thy own, eh? Hehehe. The next 3 layouts are from our wonderful FORMAL Thanksgiving dinner. Told you all we were dressed to the nines! Don't we all look fabulous?!


Raegan looks totally grown-up in this layout, doesn't she? Hard to believe she's only 8!!! Ack! My little girl is growing up! Too fast, in my opinion! This kit by Eve Recinella called Camelia shows off a PERFECTLY matched gold paper for Raegan's dress!

As for the lovebirds featured here, Eve's Resplendent kit was another PERFECT match! Don't you just love it when a kit and a photo just sort of come together seamlessly?


The kids rode these ATVs at the Assumption fair. Obviously, they had a blast. And my last layout could very well end up in my personal faves folder, hehehe. I just love how bright and cheery it is! And can you tell I totally Photoshop-ed the picture of the kids? Hehehe. Christmas layouts, here I come!!! :)


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spinal Injection Update

Well, DANG it all to heck! If you know me, you KNOW what epitaph I really want to say eh?

Anyway, here's how my day yesterday and today went:

Checked in at the Operating Room at 630 am sharp. Filled out some forms, got into the prescribed hospital gown, and waited for Dr. Benigno Sulit to show. He was on time at 7 am.

Said goodbye to Japa, and went into the O.R. I stretched out on their tiny, NARROW thing called a bed and had an I.V. put in, along with a million other monitoring things. Some local anaesthesia was injected via the I.V. and we waited for half the prescribed dosage to enter my blood stream before proceeding.


Dr. Sulit came in and he is one funny guy. And talktative. And a little bit deaf, hehehe. I had to actually raise my voice (!!!) to get him to hear me clearly.

Anyway, in the time he was prepping me and giving instructions to his underlings as to what he wanted to see before he did the procedure, he was giving me a rundown on what was happening, along with some side comments about his life, his kids' life, etc. Like I said, funny. And entertaining. I did appreciate the fact that he was telling me what to expect out of this whole spinal injection procedure.

And yes, I was AWAKE the whole time.

He finally tells me to lie on my left side. I was a bit concerned because I knew this was an epidural procedure. With my epidural experience limited to that of childbirth epidurals, I thought that the medication would pool onto my left side.....but it was my right side that was hurting.

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I felt the GRINDING of something INTO my spine. Not once, but three or four times, if I'm not mistaken. Ugh. Goosebumps yet? Hehehe. And I had local anaesthesia to boot! After the grinding phase, Dr. Sulit tells me to lie on my back.

Then the cool part: This X-Ray machine is wheeled into position, on top of my abdominal area. This, I believe, is the fluoroscopy (sp?) part of the procedure. Meaning, he uses a camera or some sort to look into the spinal cavities to make sure he is putting the steroids in the correct place. The doctor injects a dye into the catheter that is inserted into my back....and I see on the monitor where the cavities are. Is that cool or what?!?! :)

So he tells me that this space is so and so, and that we should be putting the steroids here because so and so. Blah blah blah blah...medical jargon although I try to make heads and tails out of it. I am pretty smart, after all, hehehe, that I could piece whatevet it was he was saying.

After a few minutes, he asks me to lift my right leg. Lo and behold, I could lift it, with SOME twinge of pain in my lower back. But NONE at all in my leg. Wonderful! But then again, he did ay that it could also be partly due to anaesthesia.


Thirty minutes after I entered the O.R., I was out and into the Recovery Room. Ahhhh...blessed sleep! :) Close to an hour later, the nurses woke me. Asked me to sit and then stand. Always the obedient patient (yeah, right! hehehe), I followed their instructions. I was walking a little bit and felt fine. Then I stopped moving and just stood there, trying to FEEL what was going on with my back and leg.


Then it happened. BOOM! My leg felt like it was swelling to 10 times its size. Fast. I started hyperventilating and muttering, "It hurts! It hurts!" Wildly, I looked around for what I COULD do at that point. Then I yelled, "I have to lie down!"

Hehehehe. Now I laugh, because I can just imagine the faces of these nurses: here's this HUGE girl floundering about and we can't do anything to help her! The nurses weren't tiny, but they weren't bulky either. Only one of them seemed strong, but I doubt that she was strong enough to catch me if I fell. There WAS a male nurse, but I discounted him as too thin, hehehe.

Anyway, as I started swaying with some purpose -- I was going towards my bed -- I could feel the nurses start to panic somewhat, not knowing what they could do for me. Then I lunged for the bed and started screaming. As in SCREAMING. It was that painful.

Although I couldn't see them, I felt the nurses running around. One to try and talk to me, another rushed out to call the doctor, another just standing around waiting for instructions. And I continued to scream. The screams slowly became muted as I realized -belatedly- that there were other patients in the R.R. Oh well. But I was thrashing about, trying to find a position.

I finally settled down on my own, and went to sleep, from sheer exhaustion. It was 10 am.


When I woke, Dr. Sulit was there, with concern in his face. Apparently, I was the ONLY patient of his to come out of the O.R. still feeling the P.A.I.N!!! Just my luck, eh? But he was positive he had put the steroids in the correct places. He started asking me a series of questions like when did it hurt? Where? How bad was the pain, etc.

All I said was that it HURT. Badly. And was I supposed to feel pain right after the procedure?

I actually felt sorry for Dr. Sulit. He looked so disappointed that I wasn't pain-free. So was I, actually, but through the haze of pain, I was pissed that I was still feeling pain. Grrr.

I was asked to stand again, to see if there were any changes. By this time, the anaesthesia had completely worn off, so I had some feeling in my leg at this point. Again, attempting to walk around was fine. It was when I stopped and was just standing, was when the wave of pain hit again. I was expecting it, but it still hit with surprising force.

No, I didn't scream this time, but I did forcefully say something like "Get out of my way, I have to go lie down." And I promptly threw myself on my bed. Zonk, out again for another hour.


I woke up feeling the pain. I asked the nurses if it was okay for me to take some pain medication. I told them I had brought some and they were with Japa, who was waiting oh so (im)patiently in the waiting room.

Dr. Dave Cabatan came in to see me. He said that steroids are crystals and will cause some discomfort in the beginning. I wanted to say, "SOME discomfort? Try SOOOOOOO MUCH discomfort!" Hehehehe. Anyway, he was a patient guy and kindly explained everything to me.

The full effect of the procedure would not be felt for at least 2 days to a week. (!) In the meantime, I shouldn't do anything, even physical therapy, for my back. Just rest it. Okay, easier said than done, I guess, but ok.

Pain meds? I said that the Dolcet was not doing things for me. It didn't last 8 hours, not even 6. Four hours was pushing it, but it was okay. He said 4 hours was fine. I also mentioned that the night before, I popped in a total of 1600 mg of ibuprofen because I felt extreme pain. He did some calculating in his head and said this was ok twice a day, inconjunction with the Dolcet.

Fine, I said that I wanted to go home to rest. That I did NOT want to be in the hospital anymore. He said just as soon as I was okay and could stand, I could go. I said I was fine and stood up to show him.


The nurse walked me to the waiting room where Japa was. By this time, my leg was feeling the strain, and I knew there was an explosion of pain about to happen. But I had to get dressed in street clothes still. I told Japa we needed to hurry befor the pain started again.

Just in time, as I put in my left leg in my jeans, the tingling was starting and the pain was beginning. I rushed out of the cubicle of a restroom and plopped my big wide self on the narrow thing called a sofa in the waiting room. Ahhhhh...bliss, I tell you!

I asked the nurse if I could be brought to the lobby in a STRETCHER and not a wheelchair since I couldn't sit down at all. It had to be a supine position or nothing at all. So she called for a stretcher, thank goodness!

What a sight I made, I think, as I was wheeled down to the lobby. Hehehe. I couldn't see people because I was lying face down, with my face in my arms. Not that I cared what other people thought. I just wanted to go home.


I got out of the stretcher, took one step on the ground, another into the van, and down I went on the van's back seat. Stretched out all the way home.


Today? I was on my stomach for most of the day. Finishing up some project of Rogan's class for their bazaar; I need to to go school tomorrow to demonstrate to the kids how to make a journal. I hope to God my leg lasts an hour for that.

I scrapped. I ate. I wrapped notebooks. All on my stomach. The whole day downing pain killers. What a life, eh?

I pray that this can only get better. I have a week before we leave for the States. I'd be in a LOT of trouble if the pain keeps up. Yes, I offer my pain silently to Jesus. But it still hurts. It really does. I'd go through childbirth again at a drop of a hat compared to the pain I am feeling right now.

But I'm praying it gets better. A day at a time. That's all I can hope for, all I can wish for, all I can pray for.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Off to the Hospital!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I will be going to the hospital in a few minutes for my procedure. It's called an epidural --yes, Mom, the same as what they give during childbirth, only this time its with steroids.

The spine doctor has scheduled me for an OUT-PATIENT procedure. Means I get to go home today, too, and NOT stay at the hospital!

I am hoping to walk out of the hospital relatively pain-free, but I know it can't be THAT instantaneous, eh? It'll take about a week for the full effect of the injection to be realized. In the meantime, yes, Mom, I will be at physical therapy faithfully :)

I desperately NEED this injection if I were to travel to the States on the 15th. Otherwise, you'd see me sprawled on the aisles of the plane screaming with pain, just to get relief, hehehe. You CAN picture me doing that, can you?

Ok, gotta go. I'd appreciate a few prayers here and there! Thanks all!


Monday, December 04, 2006

New Blinkie!!!

With my excitement the other day, I totally forgot to put up my new blinkie!!!

<--------Check it out on the left side!! I am officially a FOXXY lady!!! Hehehehe.

Will post more in a bit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I've been Outed!!!

Check this out, dear blog readers:

Me!!!!! On the CT of GINA MILLER!!!!!!!!!

Dream come true!!! Whoohoohoo!!!!!

Short post for now. Will blog more stuff later. I'm just TOO EXCITED to keep this in!!!! Yay me!!!!!