Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's EVE!

The very LAST day of 2007. This is it! We say goodbye to the year of the Pig, and say hello to the year of the Rat. Ewww. I hate rats! Grossness!!! But look at what the Chinese Zodiac says will happen to me, born in the Year of the Rooster, in the year of the Rat:
Financially too there’s good news for Roosters. Your tremendous popularity and good relationships with others is likely to have positive ramifications on your income also. Rejoice, Roosters; you have the best financial luck of all the zodiacs this year. So even though it is not really your year for investment, you could and should take your chances. Go ahead and invest if any opportunity presents itself. Your good luck will surely rub off on your investments too.

Some more Rooster things to look out for:
In general, none of the Rooster's traits appeal to, or are well tolerated by the Rat. After the Horse, the Rooster is the sign most likely to have a challenging year. There will, nevertheless, be a few opportunities. A cooperative attitude, and winning allies. are likely to be keys to your success. On the other hand, if you succumb to the Rooster propensity for arguing and quarrels, you could have a very difficult time. It is up to you to minimize the damage by displaying the right attitude.

The Rooster in a relationship needs to take care and avoid missteps, as small problems have the potential to erupt into larger, uncontrollable ones this year.

As it is not the best year for relationships, you must be particularly careful when the added stressed caused from relationship problems could be detrimental to your health. The best thing for you to do this year is stay active and use the physical activities to reduce the added stress levels you are experiencing. Remember, the mindset of the Rat can be particularly aggravating to a Rooster, so take care of yourself.

If you have not already created a budget for the year, now is the time to do it. When you do, make sure to plan for the unexpected as heavy expense may occur and have you dipping into your hard earned savings. Take care when shopping and spending, as the temptation for something new could come back to bite you down the road.
Ooookaaaaaay. That creating a budget part is screaming my name, for sure! Hehehe. Gotta watch out for that!

Let's see what the kids' chinese horoscopes say about them. I'm sure they're going to ask once they hear me spewing this stuff at their father, hehehehe.

Raegan, year of the Tiger:
The Rat year is likely to present more challenges than the Pig year, for you. Do not be surprised if you occasionally find you cannot get your way this year. In fact there are likely to be many of clashes of wills. The better you can keep your emotions under control, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. The Rat is comfortable with logic, not passion. You will have to carefully pick your battles, as you probably will not be blessed with many, good opportunities.

Your best option this year socially is to get together with people who share your same interests or hobbies. Social networking events and organized groups are a good way to meet new people. You should be able to garner much love and support from your family and friends.

Those Tigers that hunger to conquer more things than your body can handle could find themselves susceptible to sickness or injury. In addition, too much work and non-physical activity could have your Tiger physique resembling that of the Pig.

Keep a careful eye on your budget, and watch expenses, as over-extending yourself could result painful shortfalls at the end of each month. It is a good idea to review your long-term financial plan, or to write out a financial plan if you do not have one.
Rogan, year of the Rabbit:
The scratchy Rat often takes the Rabbit out of its comfort zone. So, this year is likely to be a lot more challenging than last year, especially since the Fire Pig year is one of your most favorable. The middle months of the year are likely to be the toughest. Although you want to avoid risk throughout the year, it is especially important during those months. You will best be able to take advantage of the good times if you can keep your emotions under control, especially when things don't go your way.

Your time is best spent with loved ones engaging in your favorite activities or just plain relaxing. In times of stress, your loved ones could prove to be your best ally.

he optimistic outlook from your relationships does not seem to carry over to your health. The fast-paced action from the Rat year could play havoc with your delicate Rabbit constitution. Your jangled nerves may cause you to be more accident-prone than normal. You may want to take more precautions, like being a little more alert and conscious of your environment. It is a good idea to bolster your immune system by getting plenty of exercise.

Along the same lines as your health, your wealth situation may have a dim outlook. Be vigilant in this year of the Rat, as you could be an easy target for swindlers and con men.
Raine, year of the Dragon:
Hopefully the Pig showered blessings on you last year. If not, don't worry. This year promises to be even better with your good friend the Rat in charge. You could enjoy success but this is still not the best of years, as Earth does not favor your luck. This is a year for avoiding risk. As a Dragon, you could be something of a dreamer. If so, this is the perfect year for you, since Earth promotes practicality. This means you have a good chance of realizing one of your big dreams.

The good-will of the Rat towards your career sector will likely overflow into your relationships. If you are able to come down from your lofty perch and express your emotions and love to your friends and family, many happy moments will likely follow. The Earth element of this year favors family, humble actions and heart-felt gestures. Your social life should be rather active.

You may feel like you are getting a double shot of espresso with the combined energies of your very active social life and the high-octane fuel that is derived from the year of the Rat. One word of caution: Although you may feel like a superhero, you are definitely not one. Take the same precautions that a normal human being would.

Although your health is in very good shape, your financial fitness may not quite be at the same level, as the Earth element favors conservative actions over risky ones this year. Try not to overlook financial planning and savings.
Ranger, year of the Monkey:
The Monkey, of the 12 signs, is the one most likely to have the best year. Fortune smiles upon you with your big Rat friend in charge. If you are a typical, mentally quick and multi-talented Monkey, opportunities there will be aplenty. There is only one, major concern: The Achilles heal of both the Monkey and Rat is overconfidence. This could make you forget that the Tiger rules the first month and won't do you any favors. As good as the year is, therefore, a slow start is advisable.

Your chi levels should be persistently higher throughout the course of the year. This means a year of generally good health. You should see progress on any existing long-term illness as well. Take this as an opportunity to increase your care and further your progress. With increased activity and social life, just make sure you get some rest along the way.

Finances should be generally good this year. Expect to see positive changes from 2007, as the year of the Earth Rat should be more stable for you. This is one of those years that bodes well for savings and those savings could pay off big in the years to come.
There you have it! It's blogged for posterity now, and for easy reference *wink*.

Off we go to have the Eve mass at Celebrity, some late dinner at Ayala and some fireworks, and then to Apitong to count down the end of 2007 and the start of the new year.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Almost the End of the Year

The last few days of 2007. And here I sit pondering what went on this past year. As is always the case during the tail end of any year, we wonder where the year went. It always goes by super duper fast, doesn't it?

Let's see if I can do some sort of spontaneous recap on some milestones:

turned a precocious 3
went to school for the first time ever
talking oh-so-clearly now
swimming star, winning the majority of her events and always medaling
invited to the sparring and school team for Tae Kwon Do
discovering that she seems to be a natural athlete
loves kid's band (doing the guitar)
joined the varsity chess team at school
can beat his Ate at freestyle
had his First Holy Communion
swimming star, medaling in all her events
has beaten 2 boys in her age group in the IM
has emerged as a natural leader in dance, choreographing her class' presentations
started wearing 'trainers' for her teeth
joined even more Creative Teams
scrapped like heck the latter part of the year
went on a kid-free anniversary trip
started exercising again (this is VERRRRY major!!!)
had some physical therapy sessions for an increasingly healthy back
getting more fit than ever
made some investments, including stocks, bonds and land investment for mining purposes
is on a mission to keep the kids fit for the rest of their lives, hehehe.
Not a bad year, eh? Here's looking to more good things happening in the next year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My 2008 Calendar

Here it is!!!

I used Shabby Princess templates of course, although I had a little bit of difficulty doing these this year. Somehow the templates were a tad bigger than the CD cases (which I used last year), so there was some cutting to be done.

I did them on the iMac and I used the Bluetooth feature of the apple computers to transfer files from the desktop to my new macbook pro. You have to love the technology of fiber optic cables, eh? Or are they just some sort of airwave technology? Hehehe. Sorry, I'm not a techy person when it comes to these kinds of terminology! But anyhoo, I *am* using the Bluetooth devices as I'm typing now. Cool huh! Now THAT is multi-tasking!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Ok, NOT Quite Over

I was wrong when I said the holidays were over. We're right smack in the middle of it still. Sigh. Christmas is over, yes, but we still have New Year's Eve and Day to prepare for. Not that I have any major preparation to do, since I've already mentioned to Mom that I absolutely canNOT have the New Year's Eve midnight mass here in Abada. I am just too taxed and stressed out from playing catch up with everything to have my home ready for the mass and the feast after mass. I just CAN'T do it this year.

Is it age that's making me feel like this? Or just because I'm generally tired? Hopefully, it's the latter, hehehe, and not age! It has been extremely stressful this holiday season. Seems like I'm always in a rush. Most of the time, especially when I'm wrapping gifts, I find myself thinking that I wish I could stop time, even for just a little bit. Not so I can wrap leisurely, not so I can shop some more. No, I just want time for MYSELF.

I have NOT scrapped in close to a week and I'm stressed because of that too. Scrapping is my ME time. My time. I find solace in that and it makes me find peace somehow in this chaotic world of ours. Chaotic world made even more so because of the mad holiday rush. Sigh! Lately, I've been wishing that I just want to stop everything and curl up in a recliner and stay there. Fine, and maybe scrap a page or two.

I just *NEED* to scrap to relax. But I can't find the time!!!


Check this out. Is this really ME????

You Were An Angel This Year

You Were 15% Naughty, 85% Nice

You know you've been a super good girl this year
So good, that you may have missed out a little...
Don't worry, Santa will make it up to you!

Whatcha think? Hehehehe. Do these blog quizzes lie? :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And it's OVER

Well.....not quite over, but Christmas is done. Finished. Over. And I can rest. A bit. Major preparations are done and over with. Most major parties, the majority of gift wrapping, the stress. Almost over. We're over the hump and just a little bit more of gift wrapping frenzy left. Yes, and some shopping too, since I never had a chance to really go out and shop when practically the WHOLE family were in the States.

Don't get me wrong. I LOOOVE Christmas and the holidays. I usually thrive on the preparations and the general hustle and bustle of the season. But for some reason, everything just seemed to pile on me this year, which made it hard for me not to enjoy the holidays thoroughly. Maybe a lot of it has to do with my family not being in OUR home---I'm sure that would have been a major improvement and a stress-beater in the sense that I could have done all my wrapping a whole lot earlier.

No, it wouldn't have worked if I had wrapped in La Vista. I did NOT want to transport all my gifts to another house just to wrap them. Besides, I had to search for some gifts, too, from my stock cabinet, hehehe. I'm sure anyone reading this blog will understand that.

And horror of horrors! For the first time in a long time, I resorted to the store-bought To-From cards! Ack!!! Hahahaha. I had absolutely NO time to do anything digital homemade cards. At ALL. So yeah, the horror and shame of it all. Oh well. There's always next year eh?

So what did everyone get for Christmas? Amidst the various food and clothing gifts I got, guess what I got??? No, no women's lingerie of any kind (besides, I'd look horrible in those right now, hehehe) or appliances (thank goodness).....some of the most useful gifts I got were a GC for The Lilypad (whoohooohoooo!!!) from Randy and Stella and.....drumroll please......a brand new macbook pro from Japa!!! Yeah!!!

He did try to surprise me with it, but I guess I know my dear husband too well, as I saw right through him. He asked me if I REALLY knew about the whole thing and I told him that his actions pretty much gave him away. Hehehe. Of course, it was still a pleasant surprise to open the laptop during Christmas eve. Yes, I have some photos but it's too much to wade through right now.

Yes, Christmas is over, but I've got a few things to do still. Scrapping has been the LEAST of them too! Sigh! Gotta make time for that SOON.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Movie Wait...

We....well, the KIDS......are waiting to see this movie:
Yes, it's probably a cheesy movie, one that would most likely earn a B-movie rating from moi, but they seem to be excited to see it. Maybe because it's the holidays? Sigh. But the stupid MTRCB has ruled that during the holiday season (from around Christmas I think to New Year's Day) ONLY Filipino films can be shown. Hence, the Manila Film Festival. I'm all for helping local industries, but really, forcing the general population to watch certain genre? Puh-leeze!

Another rant over, hehehe. It's nearing Christmas and the stress is just about killing me!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ranger's Christmas Program

This is the first real proof that my baby is now in school!!! His Christmas program somehow makes it all official!!! Sigh! Ranger did really well, when compared to his siblings. Raegan, Japa says, was another one who actually danced and sang during her very first ever appearance on stage, hehehehe.

Ranger looked quite dashing in his long sleeves, vest, necktie and jeans costume. He had a single large Christmas bell tied to his wrist and his class danced and sang to Jingle Bell Rock.

He was swaying a little bit in the beginning, then he saw us in the audience, stopped, waved and yelled "Mama, hi!". Hehehehe. The girls and I then did the actions for their dance (following the other kids) so that he would follow suit. Thankfully, he did!
Isn't he a cutie? Yes, I am allowed to be biased since it's MY blog!!!

Another blog quiz for a Sweet Reward Point over at the SSD Blog:

Your Holiday Stress Level is Moderate

The holidays sometimes stress you out, but mostly because they wear you down.
Take it easy! You can have a fun holiday without running yourself ragged.

This is probably an understatement, because I am HIGHLY stressed!!! Aaargh!!!

Ok, vent over. Now to resume gift wrapping. Yes. Still.


Friday, December 21, 2007

My Handwriting

This is SO me, I think :)

What Your Handwriting Says About You

You are a laid back person with rather low energy. You aren't lazy... you *are* sensitive and empathetic.

You are somewhat outgoing, but you're not a natural extrovert. You think first before you act. You tend to be independent, rational, and logical.

You are balanced and grounded. You know how to get along well with others.

You need a bit of space in your life, but you're not a recluse. You expect people to give you a small amount of privacy, and you respect their privacy as well.

You are somewhat traditional, but you are also open to change. You listen to your head and your heart.

You are a decent communicator. You eventually get your point across, but sometimes you leave things a bit ambiguous.

Taking this quiz for a Sweet Reward point over at SSD :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wrapping Frenzy Part 3

Well, I did finish ALL those gifts for the Marytown kids. I've been wrapping alllllll morning, trying to wrap the gifts for the office staff. It's our office Christmas party tonight and I'm STILL wrapping! Hehehehe. I have yet to look for gifts for my baby and mommy/daddy for the Kris Kringle AND wrap those, too!

To top it off, I have NO idea what I'm going as, or what to wear. Futuristic theme. Hmmmm...Need to think about that and it's already past noon! I've got a few hours to rest my back, finish wrapping AND figure out what I'm going to be! Aaaargh! It's the holidays!

I canNOT believe Christmas is just around the corner. With all the things I still have to do, can someone stop time? Or at least SLOOOOOW it down?!?!? Please???

Ok, gotta go. I'm at mom's right now since we don't have stupid internet connection. Again. I am SO hoping that it comes on sometime today. I'm in withdrawal!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trip Cancellation

Dang it! France is out for this year! At the Relics meeting, it was deemed that we did NOT have to accompany the Relics from Lisieux to Manila anymore. Apparently, we may not even have to bring the Relics back to its home! I have NO idea where the thought came from that we had to go with the Relics. Sigh!

So all that coordinating with the travel agencies and rushing to have passports renewed were all for naught. So are the thermal socks and gloves I just bought yesterday, dang it!!! And I can't return those either since I bought them in Green hills! Aaaargh! I just KNEW there were forces at work AGAINST our trip to France! The extremely difficult time we had trying to get the flights confirmed should have been indication enough.

Next trip to Europe I plan, I want to go back to Great Britain. It's almost been 20 tears since I've been there and I'm sure there are a LOT of things that have changed. UK Holidays is also more affordable now from Manila, with the advent of flights from Hong Kong via Virgin Airlines (or some such name...I forgot what it is).

After we visit London, I want to be able to go to other areas of England. The coastal areas will be easy to plan vacations to through the network of Haven Park resorts. They put a lot of emphasis on environmental friendly vacations AND family time, so that's a good fit for us. Of course, I don't picture the boys and I communing with nature all that much, but Japa and the girls are going to be all for it, I'm sure.

Ooooh! And I just checked their website and they have activities planned for kids every single day just in case the parents want to have some time for themselves. How cool is that? Hehehe. Planning a family vacation and already planning on leaving the kids somewhere, LOL! A few hours won't hurt though, right? Haven parks seem a good fit for us with sports activities, and water water WATER activities! Pools and seaside places! That is SOOO calling us! Need to check it out more!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day of Preparation

Stuff I need to do today:
1. 75-85 more gifts to wrap for the Marytown kids
2. finish wrapping and labeling gifts of the kids for their classmates
3. wrap gifts for teachers
4. prepare/shop for Christmas party food for the kids' classes
5. finalize food for the Marytown kids for the 23rd
6. wrap gifts for officemates (and my baby and mother for the office Kris Kringle)
7. try and figure out what I'm going to wear for the office party (has to be "futuristic"---HELP!)
8. coordinate travel plans for January trip to France
Ack! Looking at this list and I just want to throw my hands up! Everything except the last one is Christmas related and the big day is Tuesday next week! But really, all the preparations MUST be done by this weekend right? I mean, who wants to keep wrapping up until Christmas day?!?!? Mom! Hehehehe.

Ever since I started this wrapping frenzy, I have not stepped on the elliptical machine or the treadmill. I have not scrapped. I haven't done anything for ME, pretty much! Sigh! I need to go to the parlor to have a manicure and pedicure. I need to go somewhere other than Greenhills or to La Vista just so I can practice putting on make up, hehehe. I think I've forgotten how to do this!!!

It's been 4 days since I've scrapped last and I want ---I NEED--- to scrap to preserve some sanity. That, and I've got CT stuff coming out of my ears that are screaming "scrap me!!!" And I want to, but my cough has been irritating the heck out of me......but this seems to be getting better (knock on wood!) so hopefully I am able to churn out a few pages today. Yes, in the PLURAL. Like I said, I MUST scrap! :)

Ok, leaving with a short post and a few more scraps.

This page is a nostalgic one. It has Tita San in it (on the left). This photo was taken in 2001; we lost her to cancer this past July.

THE PAPA WOMENHere's one of Raegan with one of her absolute must-have toys for that year. That IS a smile on the girl's face on the right, hehehe.

Ok, gotta go and have another bout of wrapping frenzy so I have an excuse to scrap while I take a break! :)


Monday, December 17, 2007

Gifts Bought and Wrapped.....Sort Of

We did it, we did it! *sing to the tune of Dora the Explorer, hehehehe*

Mom and I bought ALL the toys we would need for this Sunday. All 250 or so. I bought some extras just in case. It took us 2 hours at that ONE stall, but we have the toys for 200+ kids. When we got home, I wrapped like crazy. I took advantage of the fact that the kids were at swimming. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped. And a few minutes before I started posting, I only have 75 presents to wrap! WHoohooohooo! I was a wrapping machine for a few hours this evening, yeah!

Thank goodness I had wrapping paper at home. Some leftovers from the annual gift-giving for the Marytown community. Some were a little bit yellowish, but I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind or SEE the yellowness; they'd be busy ripping that wrapping paper before you can say GO!

So yes, quite a productive day today. Gifts bought AND wrapped. I just need to finish off that last 75 gifts tomorrow. AND I still have some gifts to wrap for Raegan's boy classmates (got those this morning, too), figure out what food to share the kids need to bring for their class Christmas party and review the kids for their exams, which start tomorrow. Sigh!

{Office Stuff}

It always happens every year. My office stuff is neglected because of the AMOUNT of things I need to do for Christmas!!! Aaaargh!!!!! Had a long, almost-shouting conversation with Boydee this evening about stuff I needed to do. Long story, I don't want to get into it here. The short of it is that just as long as I am able to get things done, it shouldn't matter HOW they get done. Sort of. Hehehehe. Grrrr!

Aside from coordinating the January trip to Paris to pick up the Relics of St Therese, I have YET to do the office website. Ugh! Can I use as an excuse the fact that I'm waiting for my Mac laptop? hehehehe. Maybe I should set up the iMac where my laptop is right now. The only thing is, every conceivable surface in our room either has another computer on it, or gift wrapping stuff. Sigh! cough medicine seems to be working now. I've had to literally give myself a shake or two in order to finish this post. Can't seem to keep my eyes open now, hehehe.

Need to post some catch-up scraps though (maybe this will help jumpstart my seems-to-be-lost scrapping mojo!!!):

TTFN! And to all a good night! :)

Blasted Cough!

I hate this dang cough of mine!!! I am forced to get up in the middle of the night NOT to change Ranger but because I am coughing up a storm! Then I get my butt up and out of bed to drink some cough medicine WHICH makes me so drowsy, I end up sleeping until about 930 or so! And that's super duper late for me...especially since it's Christmas season and I've got TONS of stuff to do.

Like I *have* to go to Greenhills to buy toys for some 215 kids. 215!!! I check my email first thing, and surf the internet. I barely had time today since Mom called me to tell me she was going with choice for me since I wanted to use her driver and car, hehehe.

Gotta go, as Mom's waiting as I finish this post, hehehe. Have to make sure I have my cellphone. Check. My list of kids. Check. My breakdown of the number of boys and girls. Check. The MONEY. Check. I guess I'm done. Off I go.....wish me luck!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

La Vista Bazaar Take 2

Yup, I went back to the Bazaar, as promised! :) And YES! Almost NO people at 930 am on a Sunday! Thank goodness we had gone to mass yesterday evening, so there was nothing else to do but shop :) I did have to drive, though, as Romy had the day off today.

So I went with Raine again, and the first order of business was to make sure I had my Christmas list with me. I bought some gold-plated jewelry for gifts; I knew this was top-notch quality since it was from Korea, and would take almost forever before it tarnished. So in one stall, I was done with the gifts for the girls in the office and *maybe* some household help. Yeah!

Then we went to some Pokemon store where Raine had helpfully put aside some action figures for Rogan. We were able to amass some 30+ characters. I swore her to secrecy, as this was going to be Rogan's Christmas present :) So gifts for the boys are done, girls to go! I tell you, these bazaars are helpful. However, they are a definite cash drain. I was lucky the jewelry lady accepted checks, otherwise I'd be out of cash in a major way! Hehehehe. Bazaars can be a good thing, but they can also be a dangerous thing! :)

Raine spied some more of those funky necklaces that girls seem to be wearing nowadays. We picked up some for Raegan, Reese and Rielle. We were at that particular stall for a loooong time, as Raine wanted to get everything she saw!!! *roll eyes here* Sheesh! The frivolity of this 7-year old! :) She wanted bracelets, necklaces with humongo pendants, silver bangles, gold bangle, earrings.....anything and everything that screamed "bling" to it, she wanted! Sigh! It sure was an EFFORT to drag her from there! But drag her I did, since I was sweating up a storm again (see previous post for an explanation of this one, hehehe).

We picked up Riley at La Vista for some lunch at Pancake House. People were kinda staring as we went in.....maybe they thought I had 5 kids who looked like they were born one after the other? Hehehehe. We ordered our usual of chocolate chip pancakes, shakes, hot roast chicken and tacos. Yum yum! We had fun stuffing ourselves :)

I attempted to scrap again today, but.......nothing again. Maybe it's this STUPID cough that has me out of mojo. I feel just awful and irritable, having to cough every once in a while. I have to resort to taking some cough medicine, which I really don't like doing because it makes me really drowsy, but it's the only way to control my cough! And my poor CT requirements! :( I have *some* ideas of what I want to do for layouts, but I can't bring myself to open up Photoshop! Sigh!

Japa has been texting up a storm while in Singapore. Apparently, he's run into a mall with a Mac store, a Sony store and a Nikon store. All sorts of electronics. And he texted me to go online and look for prices in the States for comparison. We did the same while he was at Toys R Us for some kids' toys. :) Nothing beats technology, hehehe!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

La Vista Bazaar

I find it hard to go to sleep nowadays. No idea why. I did fall asleep pretty early last night as I had to take some cough medicine for this infernal cough I have. Still have. Not sure how many days now, but it is bugging the heck out of me!

I woke up really early---think 330 am!!!---today. Which was good, because I saw Japa off at the door as he left for the airport. He's taking some of our top sales people to Singapore for a few days, and their flight was at an ungodly hour of 6 am, hehehe. So when Japa left, I did some more downloading and tried to scrap. But I guess it was TOO early for some scrapping mojo to enter my brain, and I ended up playing a lot of Snood.

I did go back to sleep for a couple of hours. Then it was lunch and to the doctor's for Ranger's follow up check up. I totally forgot to get him a tuberculine test, but I told the doctor that he was eating well now and that his bout with pneumonia was almost nonexistent. And he had gained 1 kilogram in 3 days! :) Yes, I didn't want to take him to the hospital for a series of test that involved pricking.

After the doctor, I was dropped off at the La Vista Park where a bazaar was ongoing. I did some shopping for my poor, neglected Christmas trees, buying a lot of gingerbread ornaments. I also got a few gifts for people on my list, as well as kikay necklaces for the girls. A lot of eccentric stuff were being peddled for sale, like Coca-Cola and some movie memorabilia, some "skins" for your electronics like iPods and cellphones, which were cool, but I didn't want to take the risk of subjecting my expensive electronic device to *their* "skinning" device, and some humongo jewelry! I mean, are 5-inch hoop earrings the trend again?!?!

Wouldn't the kids DIE to have something like this somewhere in their room: A poster --- a SIGNED poster of the High School Musical cast?!?! What a find that would be eh?

I told some vendors I was going back in the morning when there were less people, and newer batches of product :) Yes, I like to shop earlier than most people because I detest all the jostling that goes on in crowded places.

So yeah, a pretty slow day, but at least I got some shopping done and crossed off a lot on my list!


Friday, December 14, 2007


A plug for one of our companies.....Golden Ridge Ranchos. Randy has been hard at work negotiating some deal involving a huge chunk of land that we want to develop somewhere near the California-Nevada border. Seems the other side is trying to hold off on higher prices (of course), while we're negotiating for lower prices and/or a much longer term to pay it off.

We are going to be developing this land tract into a small community, built like the communities of old.....stemming from a main church in the middle of the community. The Mission seems logical since there is a very, very strong Catholic, i.e., Filipino and Mexican at the very least, population in the area. The Mission will be built in a sprawling fashion since it IS a desert we're going to be constructing on. And yes, of course it will have a columbarium area, since we seem to be quite successful in this area of business. :) Hmmmm....I wonder if we can branch off a real estate franchise for this business? Mom and Dad have done it with their port services business, maybe we kids can do it in this aspect? Food for thought, boys! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, BRIC!!!

It's Bricky Boy's first Birthday!!! Happy birthday!!!

I miss him since we went back to Abada :) I don't see his smiling face anymore each morning, I don't hear him screaming so early in the day, I don't get to let him sit on my lap in the car from the front door to the gate, hehehe.

We went to La Vista for dinner and were greeted by two towers of balloons alongside a huge Winnie the Pooh banner greeting Bric a Happy Birthday. Like Rogan when he turned one, Bric never indicated a character that he liked (or knew), according to Bang. Then when they were in Shoppers to order a cake, and Bric saw Pooh, he started shouting and moving his body towards Pooh! That's why we have Pooh as Bricky's character for his first birthday :)

And the FOOD. Oh. My. God. The food was more than plentiful....we were practically swimming in it! Boydee and Bang had hired good ole Jack the chef from Zensho's who did a great job on the misono. His fried rice was exactly the way he did it at the restaurant and we ate a LOT of it!

The steak, the tempura, the noodles (didn't touch the crab, I was too stuffed!) And oh the desserts! The strawberry thingy and the chocolate cake (from new suppliers) were incredibly delish!!! Ahhhh! When I got home, I *HAD* to take some poopoo tea just to feel better! Hehehehe. Gluttony, I know, but what's a girl to do!?!?!

Then it was back home...home to our own bed, own room :) New wooden floors, which means no more vacuum cleaners, no more stuff to sprinkle to get the carpet clean. It's just mops and pledge now :) And the kids can breathe so much easier, too, which means less incidences of asthma attacks. Knock on wood! :)


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In the Land of the Living

...the Online Community that is. Going back home has it's perks for sure, but I had to endure a couple of days of NO INTERNET!!!! Que horror, eh? Ugh! That was a tad bit difficult, definitely. I canNOT believe how so out-of-touch I felt! Hehehe.

But it feels so darned GOOD to have internet again! It feels FANTASTIC!!! WHoohoohoo!!! I've been busy uploading a couple of layouts that I finished (at least I was productive, hehehe) AND downloading a TON of new CT stuff! So I'm hoping to have some time to actually sit down to scrap while having the internet humming in the background for some ready-access to challenges and inspiration.

So this will be a short post, as I've got some gift wrapping to do while my files are being downloaded :)

Some {SCRAPS} to leave you with:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Harana Night and Christmas Bazaar


I sweat like a P.I.G. tonight. Totally gross. The Eastwood tent was totally PACKED and it was a HOT night. Ugh, ugh, triple UGH! Yes, I know sweating is good, but I just felt totally disgusting and grimy by the end of the night. Actually, WHILE the sweat was running like rivers down my face and back, I wanted to go home.....except for the fact that I had some shopping to do.


Every year, the kids at school make some products to be sold at the annual Christmas Bazaar. All proceeds go to their favorite charity, Bahay Mapagmahal (House of Love), a charity for kids. What are these products? This year was one of the best ones so far.....the products were done beautifully, especially considering the fact that the kids did them (for the most part, hehehe). I'm sure there were some parents out there who did some retouching on a few things :)

What did I get? No pictures as of yet, since they're all in Japa's camera. Kocet had my camera, but I hadn't downloaded anything yet. As of weeks ago. Yes, I'm bad.....but there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do it, not to mention the SPACE in my laptop!!!

Anyway, from Raegan's class I got:
1. beaded serving spoons
2. beaded bookmarks/book bracelets
3. some hot chocolate mix
From Rogan's class I got:
1. a memo holder
2. handmade solid soap (in these gross colors, but hey, my son molded them, hehehehe)
3. linen spray
From Raine's class I bought:
1. lap pillow
2. chocolate chip cookies (very yummy and chewy)
Although I thought the prices were more expensive this year, I still spent waaaaay less than what I expected. AND, I was able to get away from NOT purchasing a product or 2 that the kids made. I'm not a mean mom....just practical. 3 kids having multi-products will kill anyone's budget!


The program wasn't too bad. Although with the space constraints, the school should have done the program at some other night...or not have it at all. It was just JAM-PACKED! Think SARDINES here!

The classes of Rogan and Raegan combined to dance to Tuloy na Tuloy Pa rin ang Pasko. Raegan was obviously one of the dance leaders of her class....everyone was looking to her for the steps. Despite her height and size, she was at the second line where people could look to her for guidance. Rogan was seated at the front of the stage banging on some native drum....with all the "bad" boys of both classes, hehehehe. Or I guess those who weren't very keen on listening to instructions for the dance steps.

Raine's class danced to Christmas in Our Hearts. Their Grade 1 class paired up with a Grade 4 class who, in my opinion, didn't do much for their bit of the program. Everyone, including the Grade 4 kids, were looking at Raine as she pretty much led everyone in the dance. Like her Ate, she was huge for her class, but she was put in the middle, in front, so everyone could look at her for the next dance steps. And boy, did she deliver! She was totally exaggerating her steps; what a HAM!


After the program, we all proceeded to the nearby Teriyaki Boy....along with a TON of other kids and their families. Hehehe. Good thing we left right after Raine's class' performance as we easily got a table. Then in trickles, other families came in, starting with the families of the kids' classmates. So it was like a mini-school meeting in Teriyaki Boy that night!

And......I am just plain POOPED! Tired. Exhausted.

But I need to post some scraps first :)....some pages for our ever-expanding East Coast album and a Halloween page:


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Proud Communicant

Sunday, and yes, we still had to go to Sunday mass :) Rogan was again oh-so-excited to receive Jesus; he said it was his first "official" mass after receiving Holy Communion. He behaved very very well in church, which was really very surprising, and totally touched me. He seemed to have grown up in this aspect, taking to heart everything he learned and was taught for this occasion.

However, he attempted to take the host in his hands and not by mouth. Which was fine, but the only thing was, he was never taught how to do it properly! Sigh! I guess he was looking at everyone before him and since they were adults, the majority was taking the host in their hands. I was able to whisper to him to take it in his left hand, but didn't have time to tell him more than that. So what did my boy do? He cupped his entire left hand towards his mouth to take the host. Hehehe. Not very subtle, but it was better than him dropping it. I did tell him how it should be done though, after that.

Rogan loves to sing during mass, especially when he knows the songs being sung. Even more so this morning, when he knew several of the songs by heart. Bang and Boydee could distinctly hear him singing behind them and he was even swaying to the music. Ahhhh....Japa's artistically-inclined son. Hehehe.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holy Day

Today is not only the Immaculate Concepcion, but it is also the day that Rogan receives his First Holy Communion! Blessed day, truly, and the children are doubly blessed for receiving Him on this holy day!

The day started off REALLY early, hehehe. Got up at 630 am (didn't turn on my laptop to ensure that I DID go straight to the bathroom!) to take a shower, iron my hair and apply on my new Bare Escentuals make up that Mom brought home. Aaaaah! You don't know how LOOOONG it's been since I've put on proper make up ever since I've been home with Dad! Hehehe. I mean, really, why put on expensive make up just to go to my physical therapy session, eh??? Hahahahaha!

Anyway, since today is a holy day of obligation, Raegan, Reese and Rielle were all woken up so that they could get ready. Raine had a promotional test for her Tae Kwon Do and was going to that instead.

Rogan looked really cute in his barong tagalog and black pants. He told Bang over breakfast that he was SO excited today to receive Holy Communion. Isn't that cute?

No photos today, as my poor laptop is full yet again and I haven't backed up anything yet. :) But trust me when I say my eldest son looked quite the looker all gussied up. It's my blog, so yeah, I can say that, hehehe.

So we go to Pentecost early enough to have our family picture taken, and for Rogan to have a solo photo in front of the Lady of Pentecost. At least we looked fresh and un-sweaty in our photo. Then we ALL lined up in front of the church, parents at the sides of the first communicants. It was a mess, hehehe. 55 kids knew where they were going to go (more or less) but the hundred or so parents didn't and a lot were wandering around. Since we knew more or less what would happen (from Raegan's communion last year), Japa and I just waited by the front doors until Rogan's turn to walk down the aisle.

The whole ceremony took 2 hours, but it was ok, since the kids were part of the program. Although Rogan wasn't picked to say a short part during the entire thing, he was one of the handful of kids chosen to sign one of their closing songs. Mama got picked to lead the parents' prayers though! Good thing I had taken the time to fix myself a little bit more than usual since Teacher Tess forgot to tell me! :)

Everything went well, although I know I didn't get a whole lot of photos of Rogan as he was pretty much running all over the place distributing his souvenirs to his classmates. He gave away a stampita and a tiny little prayer book, perfect for little hands.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Traveling Mom and Company

Well, not only Mom but the rest of the boys. She went with Boydee and Bang to the East Coast where they met up with Dic and Lai. Rod and Zhar were on a cruise, Randy and Stella stayed back home after their honeymoon in Europe.

Me? Was left with Dad at home. *pout* Make that MAJOR POUT!!!! I swear it will be MY MY MY MY turn next time!!! So boys, if you're reading this, that time will be this vacation time!!!!!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, hehehehe, Mom, Bang and Boydee told tales of their trip. They also went to Colonial Williamsburg. As expected, Bang and Boydee absorbed what they could during their day there, especially Boydee. The funny thing was when they went to the De Witt Museum. Huge museum. Boydee and Bang were taking their sweet time, and when they finally reached the meeting place, they found Mom lying down on one of the sofas, and Dic and Lai sprawled elsewhere in the lobby. Turns out these 3 were just sitting and waiting. For a loooong time. Hahahahaha! Apparently, museums aren't their cup of tea!

They also stayed in Zendell's and Patrick's place in Washington, DC (sister and brother in law of Zhar). They said the place was just gohgeous dahling and that it was straight out of some Wilmington NC real estate magazine or Beautiful Homes or something. Awesome house, great layout, and they even left their cook to tend to the needs of Mom and company. How cool and generous is that! Ummm......pssst! Zhar! Next time, can you come with us so we can stay in DC too? Hehehehe. Can't wait to see pics people!

Come to think of it, no one told us anything of the sights they saw in DC! Hmmmm! Maybe all they did was SHOP?!?!? Please someone, tell me that isn't so!!! What a WASTE of time!!!! *wink* But knowing mother dear, she was itching to hit the outlets and the low-tax states while she was there, hehehe.

And you think Mom's travel plans are going to be put on hold since she's home? Uh....nope! She has to be in France (or is that Frahnz? hehehe) early in January to pick up the Relics of St. Therese! Speaking of which, I need to go and make some travel arrangements!


Mom's Here!

Yayayayay!!! Mom has finally come home from the States! This means one thing for me: TIME! Time to wrap Christmas presents, time to DO Christmas presents (hehehe) time to shop for the poor kids, time...precious time!

Not that I minded staying with Dad, but I never realized how much time it took to keep him occupied and to make sure that he was in a good mood to attend his therapy sessions. Moving in to La Vista was the ONLY feasible thing to do, otherwise it would be impossible to be on top of things pertaining to Dad. Yes, there are some care homes out there, but nothing beats the tender loving care one always gets from FAMILY, right? And that's what we do best.

With me living here, I am able to oversee the nurse and caretaker in their daily activities and interaction with Dad. The cook submits the week's menu to me and I can go over it to make sure Dad's diet conforms to his diabetes-controlled environment.....or at least, I try to. There are days he would be difficult and insist that he can eat anything. That's his way. And I totally understand that and deal with it.

In the month or so that Mom was away, Dad has fallen into his schedule of physical therapy three times a week and just recently, a session of occupational therapy once a week. We have tried to add the OT into his daily routine with some success: we've done a few activities that his therapist has deemed Dad's "homework" for the week :)

I love the days when Dad doesn't complain or frown and just does his different therapies because he WANTS to do it, sometimes I like to think he ENJOYS doing them. For him, the challenge is makes him exert a little bit more effort both physical and mental. Yes, he gets tired, but that's to be expected and I always anticipate it.

He has complained about not being able to take longer naps the past few days, and I told him that maybe that's his body's way of telling him that he does NOT need as much sleep anymore! Which is a VERY good sign, indeed! Now......he just needs to show off a little bit to Mom so that she can see the progress in his daily routine.

Hopefully, with Mom here, I can finally get caught up in work and more importantly, the Christmas stuff I should have had done last month! Hehehehe. Oh yeah, and I absolutely NEED to scrap, too! :)


Monday, December 03, 2007

Doctor x 3

What a day! I went to 3 different doctors today.....and not for me! Hehehe. Good thing all the cables are working: a-ok and no problem with internet connections!

{DOCTOR #1: For Robyn}

Brought Robyn and Riley to their pediatrician at Medical City. Very sosy pedia, hehehe. Rimrod thin, she was very nice and told me that Robyn was mad at her. True enough, all the pedia had to do was touch Robyn's dress and she started wailing! Effect from the traumatic hospital stay, poor baby.

Anyway, Robyn was there to show the doctor her rashes in her peepee. As in RASHES. All caps. When the yaya showed me, I told her that I was itchy just looking at those little red buggers! Man! And they looked like they hurt!!! So the doctor prescribed some antibiotic cream to be applied three times a day. In between nappy changes, there was a different non-antibiotic cream to help ease the sting. Wash with warm water only, NO soap. And air that little bottom! Take out the diaper and let her play in her playpen in the nude for a change. Freedom! :)

Riley was there because he had a slight cough. The doc said it was likely allergies and just prescribed ventolin. Speaking of allergies, looks like all your kids (except Rielle) have some sort of skin asthma, Lai! Uhm.....from your side? Hehehe. She said sometimes the skin asthma MAY turn into full blown asthma of the lungs or something. How to prevent? Exercise to get those lungs going!

Robyn had her chicken pox vaccine today, too. She may need another one, because chicken pox has different strains now and has been known to hit even those who've had the vaccine the first time. When the booster will be given, I forgot, sorry! Ok, Prevenar. Yup, that dreaded expensive vaccine. Turns out Robyn needs FOUR shots!!!! Yikes! BUT and this is a HUGE but, she said that since the first shot of Prevenar was given when Robyn was 11 months 10 days, she can consider that as if the shot was given at close to a year and then Robyn would need only ONE more Prevenar shot. I told her I'd tell you first and then you can decide and tell the pediatrician.

Also, Robyn needs to have a urinalysis and some blood tests done. The doc was expecting us to have it with us when we visited her. She said you probably forgot...or that you mentioned that you'd have it done when you got home. Let me know if you want me to bring Robyn to the hospital to have her tests done....or we can do Clarkmed if you want :)

An aside from the doctors......Haydee rushed Riley out of the clinic before us because he had an exam. Apparently, on the way to school, Riley realized he had left his Tootsie Roll bank and candies in the van and he was demanding that they turn back because he wanted to give the remaining candy to his best friend. Well of COURSE they couldn't turn back: Traffic was HORRENDOUS!!! Haydee was asking Riley whether he wanted to go back home, or get the candy, or go take his exam. He said candy and exam. Hehehehe. Poor guy! They made it to school with 2 minutes to spare. Whew!

{DOCTOR #2: For Ranger}

Well, we got the confirmation from the pediatrician that Ranger has acute pneumonia. Again. Sigh! No wonder he was so out of it and looked so pale and sad. :( Poor baby. Anyway, I told the doctor that after the second dose of his second generation antibiotic, he was up and about, smiling, and jumping all over the place. There was some color back in his cheeks and he was eating more. So whew, whew, whew!

She said it was a good thing that she already knew us, otherwise, she'd be having Ranger admitted to the hospital right away! Yikes! Didn't want that to happen, no way! It was the same thing with Rogan 7 years ago and we ended up taking care of him throughout the night just so he'd get better. Good thing Ranger responded very well to the meds!

I mentioned to the doctor that despite Ranger being in the 90th-95th percentile for his height and weight, I was concerned that he had awful eating patterns. Sometimes he'd eat a lot, sometimes, not at all. And rarely did he eat rice! So we are scheduled to have a tuberculine test done in about 2 weeks' time just to rule out the possibility of tuberculosis. Ugh ugh and double ugh! In the meantime, we just need to concentrate on getting Ranger's immune system strong again..

{DOCTOR #3: For Dad and Me}

Ok, not a doctor, but therapists. Hehehe. After Ranger's appointment, we rushed to the Orthopedic clinic so that I could get my much needed PT session today. My back needed it and I wasn't going to let today's session pass me by!

So there you have my day. Doctor Day would have been an appropro title to this post, too! :)