Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Finally Scrapped

OMGosh!!! It's time to throw a PARTY!!!! Heehehe. I finally opened my computer to s.c.r.a.p!!! Hallelujah!!! Seriously, it has been FOREVER since I opened up Photoshop! Sheesh!

Dad's being given sedatives for some reason, and so he's been sleeping most of the day away. Good sleeps, at least, since I'm pretty sure he goes into deep sleep mode when he naps. His "power naps" are from 1-2 hours, several times a day. With the TV on (there's been marathon sessions of NCIS, CSI Miami), I started to scrap. It was slow going at first, as I tried to get the hang of it, but I did it!!! Whooohooohooo!!! Yay me!

Can you tell I'm totally excited?!? Check out the gazillion exclamation marks I've used in the few paragraphs I've typed in this post, hehehehe. Someone should bottle this excitement up, slap some labels for barcode scanners to read, and SELL this feeling! It is sooo good! A mixture of relief, excitement, determination, satisfaction. Ahhhhhhh!

Here are my creations, after a one-week drought:


Again, it feels SOOOO good to scrap again!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chow Time

Dad is getting better, most definitely. We had a productive day today. I got him up and into a chair. All by myself! Then I changed his linens, rushing to and from the nurse's station with the sheets in hand, because Dad was in his chair all alone in the room. Didn't want Mom to kill me if Dad leaned over and fell t the floor now, did we?

The doctors have said that Dad is looking god, and his numbers are going down. Thank goodness!!! His pneumonia is pretty much gone, we're now working on getting the congestion in his lungs minimized.

His foley catheter came off today, to be replaced by a condom cath. We're hoping that this would help his infection disappear sooner; at least there won't be a foreign object in his body to impede his progress. Although the doctors have said that the foley won't have anything to do with the infection, we just like to make sure, ergo the justification. Whatever.

Anyway, Dad is scheduled to have a colonoscopy tomorrow, which is why he won't be getting any feeding via his tube, and laxative was poured down his tube. There is some bleeding in his rectum, so maybe this is the reason for the colonoscopy?


Richie and Joyce invited us to their house for dinner. And man, was there a spread before us!!! I asked Mom if she could send Mike over to the hospital by dinner time just so I could go, hehehhe. Turns out *she* stayed with Dad so Mike could eat....and celebrate his birthday. Happy Birthday, Mike!!!

I chowed down on the Korean barbecue ribs. Yum yum yum!!! I must have eaten at least a pound's worth of beef! Sheesh! I totally dug into the meal like there was no tomorrow; I chomped on strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert. Man oh man oh man! What a meal!!! My mouth is watering, just sitting here and writing about it!

Needless to say, I was a VERRRRY happy camper who is going to be sleeping VERRRY well tonight! Hehehehe.

Oh, on a sidenote, Rij is a ginormous boy! Eighteen years old and solidly packed at 220 pounds! Yikes! Raj, on the other hand, has also grown, but is a lot softer than his older brother. At 12 years, old, he's almost lost his baby fat, but is still huggable as ever--a total teddy bear! :)

Tito Ricky was there as well, babysitting Ryder and Reed while Ram and Val went on a vacation. He regaled us with hilarious tales about how he is TRYING to take care of the kids; he wakes up each morning only to look at his watch and wonder how long it will take until 230 pm, when Rij and Raj come home from school to help him take care of the 2 toddlers! Bwahahaahhha!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Long Day?

Sure, you can say that. At 11 pm last night, Dic, Stef and I went off to the Charleston outlets. As we were exiting the freeway, we saw TRAFFIC. Red lights were everywhere, which translated to so many people out tonight to do some shopping. Yup. Black Friday was starting a few minutes early!

We finally got a parking space (or rather, we MADE a space for us in this dirt lot right next to the outlets) and moseyed on over to the well-lit, CROWDED outlets. Yes, it was barely midnight and already people were milling around, forming lines for certain shops. Sheesh!

I shopped for some undies (no line there, so I just breezed through) before finding the Nike store. It was very crowded inside but I figured I'd look around to see if there was anything I could get the kids. Sure enough, after searching through the crowds, I came across some cool shoes for the girls where they could change the swoosh colors! Cute! I couldn't find 2 pairs of the same size, so I grabbed a 7.5 and an 8 and I just hope they'll fit! :)

Good thing I did go into the Nike store and veered off into the men's section. I found what Japa wanted (I think), and after a phone call to him to verify that it was, I grabbed a couple of the training shirts he liked wearing. Grabbed a couple of caps that *I* wanted and stood in line.

Close to am hour later, I was STILL in the freakin' line!!! Aaaaargh! Turns out some %^&* lady bought 70 plus pairs of shoes!!! She was obviously going to resell them, but I sure as heck wished that she had done her pre-arranged Black Friday buy in a separate cashier, preferably somewhere in the back of the store instead of joining us mere mortals who counted every precious minute we were in line!!!

I rushed to the Disney store to stew in a line for a short bit; bouncers were posted in the front of the more popular stores to control the number of shoppers. Dic and I met up here and sifted through the mountains of Disney shirts that were only $4 after the early bird special discount. Worth it, sure it was! :)

At 3 am, we all left the outlets to go to Walmart, ready to do a stake out if necessary when it opened its doors at 5 am. As it turned out, Walmart was open for 24 hours and we excited went in, ready to grab the stuff that we wanted. Ummmm....wasn't going to happen, since Walmart employees were stationed at the early bird specials to make sure that no one was going to get to the goodies earlier than 5 am! Man-oh-man!

Anyhoo, we went around, doing some regular shopping. I was able to get the towels that were on sale when I wandered into the towel aisles. Specials were placed on the middle aisle for easier access for customers. With my towel "contraband", I pushed my full cart into some obscure corner where no one was going to get it (area rugs and other houseware)......and went to the place where the portable DVD players were on sale. I *WANTED* one of those as a back up plan for when Ranger's was going to go on the blink (which I'm presuming is going to be soon, judging from the looks of things).

I squeezed through the bodies and found myself standing somewhere in the front of the line, hehehe. The poor guy guarding the DVD players was nervously looking at the huge crowd eyeing the merchandise that was going to be GRABBED from behind him in a few minutes. Hehehe. Too funny. And in the front of the crowd were large women. I mean, I wasn't even considered large when compared to some of these women! hahahaha! Think chunky, muscularly built, tall, large, DETERMINED-TO-GET-THEIR-HANDS-ON-A-PORTABLE-DVD-PLAYER type of women. Bwahahahahaha!

Most of the women were pretty nice, and we struck up some shallow conversation about staying up all night and Black Friday horror stories. We tried to make the whole distribution of the DVD players have some sort of semblance of order; I have NO idea why Walmart didn't have us form a line or something. Anyhoo, I just wanted to grab my first 3 units before passing on what I could to my newfound "friends" behind me.

As we were counting down the minutes, I remarked to another woman how I felt like everyone behind us were slowly inching towards the front of the line until I pretty much could feel the breathing of the person behind me! Anyway, the clock struck 5 am and the surge began, bwahahahaha!

Good thing I was in front; I rushed forward and put my arms around 6 units, hehehe. I clutched 4 to my chest and handed another 4 or so to the lady behind me, who passed it on to others. Then I got out of there, squeezing through the bodies of people still surging forward. I took a deep breathe when I broke from the crowd, sighing in relief to see that I still clutched 4 units. Whew! :)

Then it was time to break through even more crowds as I wandered through the aisle in search of more deals. I grabbed some $8 jackets for the kids for when they arrived here in a couple of weeks. I figured for that amount, no big deal if they weren't ever going to use them again.

Stef also had her own baptism by fire, waiting for the toys she wanted. Being the smart cookie that she was, she went on the INSIDE of the perimeter of specials to grab 3 BOXFULS of Hot Wheels cars among other toys. When I saw her, her cart was stuffed full of toys and she had on this flushed excited expression on her face, hehehehe. Looks like she had fun and was running on pure adrenaline!

Rondic was waiting for us by the TVs. I guess the mostly-men crowd waiting for the TVs were a lot less boisterous and less demanding than us crazy women all over the store! We assessed our carts and redistributed the goodies we had gotten for each other. This is how Black Friday shopping should be done: divide and conquer! :) Made it less strenuous and less hassle for sure!

And we were done. Rondic "lost" that prized portable DVD that I had clawed for (hahahaha!) but thank goodness Stef decided to take that extra unit I had grabbed, so she offered to give it Dic instead.

On the drive home, we were quiet: exhausted, sleepy, hungry. We got home, we stuffed ourselves with leftover rice and salpicao, I took a shower and I went to the hospital.

Told you it was a long day! It was close to 10 when we got to the hospital. i ordered the largest sized coffee ever, just so I could stay up. And I did, for the most part, although I did tons of catnaps the whole day, sleeping when Dad was sleeping :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving! Spent the day with dad at the hospital, but for some reason, he was very agitated. He would insist on getting out of bed (which I totally refused of course) or even sit up and hang his legs over the bed (no orders from the doctor yet). Then he'd mouth off, mumbling under his breath about people's stupidity and thick heads. Aaaargh! Yup, Dad sure is feeling better! hhehehehe. These are all good signs, signs that he really is feeling much much better! :)

Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for sure, most especially seeing Dad getting better. It's a slow process, yes, but like I keep telling him, at least he IS progressing and getting better, getting stronger. It's okay if it's slow-going, just as long as it's happening.

In the early afternoon, Mom figured correctly that Dad and I were at loggerheads, hahahahahaha! A very correct assumption for mother dear! I tried explaining logically, pleadingly, sarcastically....nothing worked! Ack! This is what happens when he doesn't get proper sleep the night before!

We finally sat down to dinner with Mom at 9 pm. Stef and Noj were there to complete our table. We had turkey (Mom did a decent job for her very first turkey!!!), prime rib (Roc surprisingly came out with a winner, hehehehe), salpicao (courtesy of Noj, who poured on the garlic for a totally delish dish which I used on my salad), some fish, mashed potatoes, salad, yams (Roc burnt the marshmallows the first time around, so we scooped those off the yams and tried a second time, hahahahaha!), cranberries, the works! We finished off with chocolate cake from Christina (Stella's cousin from here).

All in all, it was a GREAT meal, I was stuffed! Aaaaaahhhhhhh. The only thing that would have made it perfect? Dad at the table and our entire family together for this meal. Not that we've EVER been complete for Thanksgiving, but it would have been nice to have the kiddos there :)

Ok, off to SHOP. Yup, you read right. Shop, not sleep :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

At the Hospital

I pretty much spent the entire day in the hospital today. From around 10 am to 1030 pm. Stayed with Dad, making sure he was comfortable. He was awake for a good part of the time, and I brought him up to date with general stuff about the kids and the rest of the family. The day passed pretty quickly, with dad drifting off to sleep every now and then. But his body seemed to have gotten its regular schedule back and he was sleepy when I left him in the evening.

In a nutshell, his doctors (who I met in the course of the day) said that Dad still had some infection in his body from the pneumonia, but his numbers were improving with each day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off to the States

The day sure passed in a blur. It was a busy morning, finishing packing and doing last minute stuff for the household, bills, and kids' extra curricular activities. I interviewed a prospective employee at Starbucks; I moved the venue just so I wouldn't have to go to the office.

The interview went well and I was off to the airport. I did make a stop to get the girls some Twilight hoodie shirts. Then I made a little bit of a detour to drop by the site office to look at their Christmas decorations. I had heard that they did a great job and wanted to see myself before we voted for the winners in our office's annual Christmas decorations.

At the airport, all I can say is that thank goodness for Letlet! Not only did I get advanced seat reservations, I was up for an upgrade, hehehe. Yeah!!! At the very least, my trip to Las Vegas will be in relative comfort :)


It is so dang cold here in Vancouver! We had to deplane and we're waiting until the flight leaves in an hour and a half. Brrrr! I do have my pashmina in my bag, but I'm just too lazy to bring it out, hehehehe.


When I got the Vegas, we went straight to the hospital. I talked to Dad on the way there, and I told him NOT to go to sleep until I got there first :) The first piece of good news I got was that Dic, Randy and Stella told me that Dad was extubated this morning and that he was awake. Apparently, he had gotten over the anaesthesia the nurses had given him for the intubation process and was awake and alert.

We got to the hospital and Dad was looking bright-eyed. His face was still sunken and he had lost a lot of weight again, but he was awake and was talking. And I understood pretty much everything he uttered. No slurring at all, and he talked in a soft voice, but hey, those words sure sounded like music to my ears!

After the limbo-like state I was in the past few days figuring out flights and schedules and operating on autopilot, seeing Dad alert and talking was a GREAT thing to arrive to! I was left with him for a few hours, as the others went home to have dinner. I crashed onto my bed after a hurried dinner and a little bit of chit-chatting; I was tired!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Draining Day

Got a call from Rondic at 530 am. Any call at that time you KNOW isn't good news. Dad was going to be intubated in a few hours because he couldn't breathe very well anymore. Additionally, he was going to require at least 3 hours of dialysis to remove (?) some unclean fluids in his body and/or lungs. At the very least, the dialysis should filter these liquids and make them cleaner for him.

Mom called a few minutes later. In tears. Apparently, Gigi had called her a few minutes before and had broken down; she was really sad for both Mom and Dad. Mom told me the same thing about Dad that Dic did and she held the phone to Dad's ear.

Voice cracking, I said hello in the best gung-ho voice I could muster. Surprisingly, I could hear Dad AND understand his words clearly! He was speaking through an oxygen mask, too! Recovering a little bit, I asked him how he was feeling (okay), and that he should force himself to get better (a little laugh and an okay). An I love you brought an a responsive "love you". And that was enough for me.

After I put the phone down, I called Boydee to tell him to call Dad as well. I wasn't sure if Dad was going to be able to talk once he was intubated, so it was best to get our phone calls in when we could, right? Then I tried to call Rod, who was having second mini honeymoon of sorts in Thailand. Several tries later he wouldn't answer (hmp! turns out his phone was on silent for a spa the night before) so I texted him.

The rest of the day was sort of unreal. Everything seemed to be happening so fast, but not. Confusing I know, but that was the best way I could describe it. I went to the kids' school to talk to the principal and to ask for a little bit leeway for the kids to take their exams early because it looked like we were all going to fly to the States for the holidays to be with Dad. I broke down in front of her (hehehe) when I first launched into an explanation of why I was requesting for early exams for the kids.

Then it was time to try and get a flight out. Today. No direct flight to Vegas though today. Tomorrow was my best bet. Next it was trying to juggle schedules and fares to see what the WHOLE family was going to be doing WHEN. A nightmare! But with Bang and Elizza with me at the lunch table (of course it'll be over food!), we firmed up schedules and stuff. Sort of. Totally up-in-the-air skeds were Japa, Boydee and Rod.

Thank goodness for The Sisterhood. They kept me sane throughout the whole day. Kept me focused. No, we didn't avoid talking about Dad; in fact we talked about him and his illness. We put everything in perspective, I think, and it made things easier for me. So thank you, Lai and Bang, for being there/here. I know you guys always are, but more so yesterday :)

Then it was time to break it to the kids. What made it easier (i.e., without breaking down in front of them) was that I was able to do it one by one. When I got home, Raegan was already home, since she couldn't swim just yet. So I told her we were going to spend the holidays in the States and why. To her credit, I think she had an inkling of why; she's really my mature child :)

Next was Raine, who was ready to leap for joy (you could totally tell by her face) when I told her. I rushed into an explanation of why we were going and her face dropped. At least she understood. Rogan took it stoically. Typical of him. Ranger? No news for him, hehehe. He didn't need to be told just yet.

I stressed the importance of STUDYING to the kids. Studying especially early in the next few weeks because they were going to take their exams earlier than their classmates. Almost a week ahead, I think.

I also made a last-minute decision to come back for Raine's First Holy Communionon the 13th. We had already made her miss her preschool graduation, we missed her 7th birthday, I wasn't about to miss this next milestone in her life. So yeah, it'll be an interesting next few weeks, but we'll get through it I'm sure.

Ok, time to pack.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is HILARIOUS!!! Elf Yourself!

I just about died from laughing viewing all these. Seriously!

Classic Version:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Disco Version:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Charleston Version:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Country Version:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


And of course I had to try ALL versions, hahahahaha! I showed these to the kids and they were laughing at "their" antics!

Nina: Designer Spotlight this Week

Nina of Nina Scraps Designs is going to be featured in the Designer Spotlight at Oscraps this week! She's giving away her kit, Winter Dreams, featured in her ad here:

Here's a layout I did using Winter Dreams:


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Starting to Wrap for Christmas!

Oh yes! The tree is out at the very least, and our front door is decorated. And that's it, hahahaha. But I have started to wrap the toys we bought for the Marytown kids since all age groups are complete. All gaily wrapped are ages 5, 6, 7, and 8 years old, boys and girls. Just the 9 and 10 year old age groups to go. I wanted to finish it, but my back wouldn't let me. It was a good thing I unearthed some wrapping paper from a few years ago. No, they weren't yellow and crispy, hehehe. They were still fine and useable. And hey, in this time of economic crisis, I *better* be using those rather than buying new wrappers!

When I took a break, it was natural I'd be in front of my computer of course, scrapping.


Friday, November 21, 2008

What A Stressful Evening!

I spent the morning at school helping the kids out with their bazaar stuff. Yes, it's almost Christmastime, and I've always found myself giving more of my time at this period of the year than any other. Consciously or sub-consciously, I have no idea. But when I think about it, I seem to barely have enough time for me than usual! Hehehe :)

In the aftrnoon, I met up with Lai and Bang at this warehouse to buy some supposedly cheap branded toys. And there were some great bargains, but when I was wandering the uber crowded narrow aisles, it struck me that practically the only child that I had left that was a kid-kid was Ranger! *sob sob!* Where did the time go??? There was no need for me to go to the aisles containing megablocks, pigeon bottles and accessories, crib bedding and stroller toys. I mean I couldn't fathom grabbing a doll for Raegan or Raine, nor some Hot Wheels cars for Rogan! And stupid me forgot my faithful black notebook that had my Christmas list! Sigh! Oh well.

The line was winding through several aisles, so we left one of the drivers to line up and pay for our few purchases while we went to SM Marikina. I wanted to look for cheap toys to give to the Marytown kids without having to go to Divisoria to do it. Not at this time of the year, no way! And we found some great sale items in the toy section! Whoohooohooo!!!

While we were paying, Chee, the mom of Bea, Raegan's classmate, called to tell me that Raegan had been burned. I almost dropped the phone, if not for the fact that I thought I didn't hear her correctly! Aaargh!

Turns out that Raegan was feeling cold at one of the cold pools at Ace Water Spa and decided to get some hot water from the hot pool. Her friend suggested the water dispenser and they both got a cup from the HOT dispenser. Oookay. They walk back to the cold pool and sit down. Thankfully, Raegan splashed SOME cold water onto her cup (which I think she was holding in the water) before she tilted the cup halfway to her face!!!

Can you hear me (and her) screaming now????

Thank God they were required to wear caps. That was both a saving grace and a curse for her face. Major saving grace because the cap pretty much stopped the hot water from dripping towards Raegan's eyes, and a curse in a way since it stopped the water, it burnt a bit of her forehead and hairline. Sigh!

Scream here again. Aaargh!

So I come home to see her on my bed, under the covers. And I thought to myself, "Do I even want to see my child's face??? I hope I don't freak out the way she did when she was hurt!" Apparently, she had started crying and refused to come out of the cold shower because that was the only relief she could find for her forehead!

I take a deep breath and turn her around and see a purplish line across her forehead. And this purplish line was SWOLLEN. Think of those aliens from Star Trek...the Klingons (I had to think quite a bit for that one!), the ones with the fleshy foreheads. It wasn't TOO bad, really. This, coming from someone who had 2nd-3rd degree burns on her entire left hand (from attempting to cook!) which resulted in a blister that rose at least an inch (I kid you not)!

Raegan did have a very small blister pop at the right side of her forehead, but she would live :) I was just more concerned that this was all happening on her FACE! Her face!!! I told her anything but the face! :) Hehehehe. But really, not the face, can I stress that enough??

Ate Becca, a derma, came to see Raegan. She prescribed Flammazine to soothe the burn and bring down the swelling, Bactroban for the open blister and Duoderm to keep the Bactroban in. Burns were cleaned, blisters were dressed. Everything was fine. For Raegan.

As we were saying our goodbyes, the lamp fell towards me. I know I caught it before it hit Ranger, who was sitting on my lap. But he was crying so hard; I thought it was all an act because he was so sleepy. After a little bit, I looked down to wipe his tears and noticed that his tears on my chest weren't clear; they were brown. Ooookay. That looked like blood!

I tilted his head up and saw a cut very very near his eye. The lip of the lamp hood HAD hit him, the poor baby! No wonder he was crying up a storm! :( So I screamed so that Japa would hear me and that brought him and Ate Becca back up the stairs to look at what was causing the ruckus, heheehehe. A swipe of opthalmic ointment and a small bit of duoderm later, and all was quiet in the house.


And as a stress-reliever, I scrapped this:


and this:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Researching Medical Terms Again: Aortic Stenosis

Mom texted me and asked me to research Aortic Stenosis. This is what Dad has, according to his doctors.

Roc and people with medical know-how out there, please correct me where I'm wrong! I'm simplifying this as much as I can so that *I* can understand the meaning underneath all that medical jargon!

Aortic Stenosis (AS) is the abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve. The aortic valve is what controls/pumps blood from the aorta to the arteries of the body. AS occurs when this particular valve narrows; this can be caused by birth, by age, and by rheumatic fever.

Symptoms of AS are chest pain, fainting (called syncope---pronounce the e (ee) in the end), and shortness of breath. Dad has exhibited ALL these symptoms, most especially in the past few months. In a small percentage of AS patients, sudden death can occur during strenuous exertion.

Chest pain symptoms are described as a pressure below the breast bone brought on by exertion and is only relieved by rest.

Fainting (syncope) symptoms are associated with exertion or excitement.

Without effective treatment, the average life expectancy is less than 3 years after the onset of chest pain or syncope symptoms.

Shortness of breath from heart failure is one of the worst signs for an AS patient. This shows the heart muscles' failure to compensate for the extreme pressure load of aortic stenosis. Shortness of breath caused by extreme pressure in the blood vessels of the lung is due to the increased pressure required to fill the left ventricle.

In the beginning, shortness of breath happens only during activity. As AS progresses, shortness of breath occurs even at rest. Without treatment, the average life expectancy after the onset of AS is between 6 to 24 months.

To diagnose AS, doctors use the EKG, chest xray, echocardiography and Cardiac Catheterization. This last one is the BEST thing to use to evaluate the gravity of AS in a patient. In this procedure, small hollow tubes (catheters) are advanced under xray guidance to the aortic valve and into the left ventricle.

Valve infection (endocarditis) is a serious complication of AS. Patients are given antibiotics before any and all procedures in which bacteria may be introduced into the blood stream. This includes routine dental work, minor surgery, and other procedures that may involve traumatizing blood vessels such as colonoscopy and urologic examinations.

When symptoms appear, prognosis for patients with AS WITHOUT valve replacement is not very good. The use of diuretics to reduce high lung pressure and remove lung fluids only give temporary relief to the patient.

Patients with symptoms are recommended to undergo cardiac catheterization.

A diagnosis of severe AS requires aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery. Overall mortality rate for this type of surgery is 5%.

SOOOOO, from the above, I can infer and ask the following:
1. Dad should limit his exercise, i.e., physical therapy, to limit any extreme exertion. But should he take out his PT altogether? Wouldn't the lack of exercise make him even weaker? Is there a balance between the two?

2. Dad should see a cardiologist every 3 to 6 months. - No ifs, ands or buts for this one. His heart MUST be monitored religiously.

3. Surgery to repair/replace the aortic valve is the preferred treatment for patients with AS. - But can Dad's body take this kind of invasive surgery??? Is it possible for him to undergo a less invasive surgery for AS, called Balloon Valvuloplasty, instead? This is where a balloon is placed into an artery in the groin, then advanced to the heart, placed across the valve, and then inflated. This may relieve the obstruction caused by the narrowed valve.

4. Remember when Dad's doctors told him to always take antibiotics before going to the dentist? I guess he was already being treated for or was being prevented from developing AS.

5. Some statistics I found:

  • Approximately 35% of patients with aortic stenosis present with angina. Of these, 50% die within 5 years unless aortic valve replacement (AVR) is performed.
  • Approximately 15% of patients present with syncope; of these, 50% die within only 3 years unless the aortic valve is replaced.
  • Of the 50% of patients who present with symptoms of congestive heart failure, 50% die within 2 years without AVR.

  • And that's the end of my research. Things don't sound so good overall, but Mom will be asking for a second opinion, and Dad needs to get rid of his pneumonia before we can even consider surgery for him. How soon does he need to have this done? Not sure. But he NEEDS to have the AVR surgery, no question about it!

    The good thing about all this is that Dad has developed a sense of understanding his body, and staying attuned to it. He has never done this in the past, but he's become better at it in the past few months. So at the very least, he can tell if what he's feeling is normal, or something else entirely.

    Please remember to say a prayer for Dad! He needs all the prayers he can get right now. Thanks much!

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Starting December Activities

    I've just typed the list of the poor community right behind our house, divided into kids ages 5-12 years and their families. I'm not sure if I'll take out the 11-12 year old kids from the list, but I've started buying stuff for everyone else already.

    I went to Greenhills first thing in the morning (well, 1030 am!) to scout around for toys and other knick knacks that we can give out. The Everything P50 was full of crappy stuff, so I skirted around them and REALLY started looking. Sigh! I finally spotted a stall that sold silverplated jewelry from Korea, so I knew it was going to last. I settled on some cute Hello Kitty bracelets for girls in the 9 and 10 age brackets. At P80 per bracelet, it was higher than what I expected to spend, but since we had a much smaller list of kids this year, I figure it was ok.

    From Greenhills, I went to the office to spend a few hours there signing checks, talking to people and finalizing Rogan's passport application. I have GOT to send that off tomorrow so I can keep my hopes alive that I get his passport BEFORE the year ends!

    Then I rushed out at 230 to bring Raegan and Ranger to the pediatrician. Ranger's going to be on antibiotics yet again because of phlegm-y cough (ugh!) and Raegan got her DPT booster shot. The kids left to go to swimming while I waited to see MY doctor. I *had* to have my leptin shot to burn more fat from this body, hehehe. The good news is that upon measuring, I had lost 1 cm off my thighs, 2 cm off my hips and 3 cm off my waist!!! Whoohoohooo! The bad news is that my arms and calves remained the same. Oh well. Those are my hard-t0-get-rid-of-fat places really, especially my darned arms!!! The answer: exercise. Oooookay. Moving on....

    Japa and I went on a date! Yeah! Hehehe. Nothing like us-time once in a while, eh? We watched the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

    Summary: Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organization which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

    Forensic intelligence links an Mi6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organization.

    On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world's most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.

    In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene's sinister plan and stop his organization.

    Very very COOL and FAST movie! So fast in some scenes that my head was spinning! But it was the first time I've seen Daniel Craig in action as James Bond; I actually refused to see him in his first Bond film because I was protesting the removal of Pierce Brosnan who was my definition of the quintessential Bond, hehehehe. But after Quantum, I think I'm going to go look for that first Daniel Craig bond film. I LOVE him as Bond! Not as refined looking for sure, but I like the fact that he's not perfect, he can get hurt AND show his cuts and bruises on his face, he's got a great bod (hot hot hot!) and he can be downright tender when it came to it! Gorgeous and sexy man, he is!

    Oh, I scrapped tonight, but I can't post it just yet...the kit I used on it will be coming out this Friday, so I'm sitting on it til then!

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Just Working Today

    Not even scrapping (yet). But I was at VWL the whoooooole day. Working on the darned job descriptions! The whole day! So after I type up this post, I do NOT want to see words for a little bit, hehehe. Just pictures, thank you very much!

    Speaking of which, I am glad to report that I finally found my 2006 pictures! As in the WHOLE year! I had been searching high and low for them for at least a couple of days now; I needed them for the sequential photos required by the US embassy to renew Rogan's passport. Yes, it would have been a lot easier to renew them in the States, but his passport will be expiring in February of next year....which would mean that he wouldn't be able to TRAVEL to the States to have it renewed! Aaargh! Such a hassle, but I guess it is one way to ensure that the child is really the child in the passport.

    Anyhoo, I am stoked that I found the pics. They were in an almost-forgotten ehd! So I am now downloading everything and transferring it to the Time Capsule. Then I'm going to burn them to DVD for posterity. Yes! Crisis averted! :)

    And with that, I am going to see if I can still scrap!

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    It's a Small World After All!

    it's a world of laughter, a world or tears
    its a world of hopes, its a world of fear
    theres so much that we share
    that its time we're aware
    its a small world after all

    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small, small world

    There is just one moon and one golden sun
    And a smile means friendship to everyone.
    Though the mountains divide
    And the oceans are wide
    It's a small small world


    Don't you just love this ride and this song? :) The kids always complain whenever I suggest going on this "boring" and "slow" ride, but once inside, they'd still gaze around in wonder and point out dolls for me to take photos of. And yes, they'd be singing at the top of their lungs (well, almost) during the ride.

    And so in honor of this ride, and the fact that I need more pages for our Hong Kong Disneyland album, I scrapped TWO pages:


    It was a pretty uneventful day in the office today. However, the office was looking might spiffy when I entered this morning. Apparently, the staff had been divided into groups and they had started their Christmas decorating contest. The theme this year was royalty. And boy, did the office look very different! I love seeing different aspects of creativity!

    I settled in and booted my laptop. My whole day (and then some) was dedicated to the seemingly never-ending job descriptions I had to do. The employment industry sure is a tough one! So much documentation, so much paperwork, so much filing! Sigh! And it goes on and on and on! Glad to say that I'm slightly over HALF of what I need to do, not counting performance appraisal forms. Yet. 'Til tomorrow!

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    I've Got Mojo!

    Oh yeah, oh yeah! The mojo's back! I'm scrapping again, yes! Finally, after a 10-day hiatus! Whew! I thought I'd never get it back! Thank goodness not only for templates but some of the best kits in digiland....made by the designers I CT for!



    We went to mass in Greenhills where it was refreshingly COOL inside the church! I think we need to make it a habit to go to mass here, especially since everyone else in the family go here. Japa just raises a ruckus when I suggest going here since he thinks it's so inconvenient to travel here, as opposed to a few blocks away from the house. But the airconditioning is sooo worth it!

    After mass, it was lunch in Ayala where Japa feasted on, shall we say, EXOTIC, food. Ugh. I don't know how he can bring such things to his mouth! Blech!

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    A Party, Some Scraps and a Movie

    Happy Birthday to Seve! We brought the kids to Fun Ranch at Tiendesitas to celebrate. And boy, did they have a blast! For a couple of hours, the adults were pretty much free to converse in relative peace and quiet, and have some sane, adult conversation. Ryan was there with Anne and their 2 daughters. It was great to see them; I think the last time I saw them was a couple of years after their wedding when Angela was barely a toddler!

    I also insisted that the kids a photo opp with their Tito Ryan, the famous swimmer! That should serve as inspiration enough for them to swim harder, stronger and faster, yes? :)

    After the party, we all went home and I scrapped, of course:



    The whole fam watched Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in the evening.

    Summary: Left marooned on the distant shores of Madagascar, the New Yorkers have hatched a plan so crazy it just might work. With military precision, the penguins have repaired an old crashed plane - sort of. Once aloft, this unlikely crew stays airborne just long enough to make it to the wildest place of all -- the vast plains of Africa itself -- where our zoo-raised crew encounters species of their own kind for the very first time. While discovering their roots, they quickly realize the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Despite long-lost relatives, romantic rivals and scheming hunters, Africa seems like a "crack-a-lackin" great place...but is it better than their Central Park home?

    Although not very kiddie-ish in nature, it was still funny, and the kids enjoyed themselves throughout the movie. There was barely any questions or whispering, so I gathered they pretty much understood everything! Even Ranger was quiet and did NOT take a nap, hehehe!

    One of the most memorable characters of the movie was Moto-Moto, Gloria the hippo's love interest in the film. The best part was because they were hippos, fat was in for them, ROFL! Loved the mating song of Moto-Moto, hehehe. Those 2 and their posse probably had no need whatsoever for the best fat burners on the market! Love love LOVE them, hehehe. Yes, for obvious reasons! :)

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Scrapping for a Disney Album

    I only have a few pages for our Hong Kong Disneyland album. I'm trying to convince myself that I'm going to have enough before the year ends AND have it printed in time to have an album for myself! :)

    Here's a page that I practically forced myself to do, just to get my scrapping mojo movin'!

    Thank goodness Japa took these made this layout come together fast. Bummer he didn't have one with Ranger though, just so I could have all of the kiddos on one page! Sigh! Oh well, at least it's jumpstarted my mojo, eh?

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Happy Birthday Robyn!!!

    Robyn turns 2 today! And I invited myself to her party, hahahahaha! Thanks, Lai! It *was* supposed to be just the kids, but when I heard the 3 magic words: Kentucky Fried Chicken.....I just HAD to be there to savor my all-time fave fast food chicken! :)

    I had just enough time to go home and throw a bunch of clothes ("dame-e-e-e-t" in Robyn's words) into bags, label them from each of the kids and us and voila! Gifts galore for the birthday girl!

    When we entered Apitong, we were greeted with balloons floating from little chairs. On each kid's place was a loot bag (more like a plastic container!) stuffed with yummy candies and chocolates. As if Halloween wasn't enough, hahahaha! And Robyn's cake featured Barney, BJ and Baby Bop. Cuteness!

    It was a delish dinner with KFC, spaghetti, chicken ala king and pasta with crab fat (yum yum yum!!!), i.e., taba ng talangka, hahahahha. And dessert was cake and moist brownies. Ahhhhhh! What a perfect meal! :)

    Good thing I did invite myself, even if the kids were a tad bit more than the adults, lol. It was fun, noisy and WORTH it!

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Oh So Sleepy!

    Ack! I couldn't last the whole day at work today. My eyelids were drooping of their volition. So by 230-ish, when Lai had to go, I willingly went with her. And I napped for a couple of hours. I couldn't help myself!

    At least, when the kids came home from school and swimming (the girls to swimming, Rogan from school) I was there, refreshed a little bit and could help with homework.

    Oh, and before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to RIJ!!! He is one of my very first godsons and he's in the States now. Yes, Ninang owes you a LOT of birthdays and send me an email!!! :)

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    It Is SOOO Good to be Home!

    Ahhh! My own bed to sleep on! Yes!

    It's been a long day, what with getting up around 7 am (was awake at 530ish and chatting with Raegan), breakfast before 8, checking out of the hotel and THEN spending a few hours at Disneyland. We had a late lunch, rushed back to the hotel to collect our bags and took a taxi to the airport. Arrived just in time for the check-in counters to open, and did some the Disneyland store! Hahahaha!

    The kids were all over the different kinds of Disney pins! In fact, the entire morning was practically spent following the kids around as they stalked every cast member they could find so that they could trade pins! Sigh! No wonder I'm tired!

    Tomorrow, it'll be back to work. And I know the first thing on my desk will be the bill of our attorney to charge for the case we're going to be filing against one of our former employees. An expensive lesson and example, but it's the principle of the thing, I guess. Just so we get our message across. Good thing we know the law firm who's going to be handling this case; this sort of thing should be up their alley.

    It's always a good thing to look for a firm specializing in certain cases, I guess. Criminal lawyers for criminal cases, cerebral palsy lawyers who know how to look out for the causes of their clients, divorce lawyers for divorce and annulments, immigration lawyers for visa and residency stuff.....and the list goes on and on. No wonder we've got lots of lawyers in the world!

    Ok, time to supervise the unpacking of some of our bags, and time for a much needed shower. It's been a looong day!

    Enjoying Hong Kong Disneyland!

    Sunday, November 09, 2008

    Swim Meet in Hong Kong

    We're at the Mantas Swim Club Invitational! (hopefully racing fast enough to reap a ribbon or two, hopefully a medal!)

    Wish us luck, and send us prayers and good wishes for a great competition!

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    Swim Meet in Hong Kong

    We're at the Mantas Swim Club Invitational! (hopefully racing fast enough to reap a ribbon or two, hopefully a medal!)

    Wish us luck, and send us prayers and good wishes for a great competition!

    Friday, November 07, 2008

    Off to Races in Hong Kong

    We're off to Hong Kong with most of the team.

    The kids will be practicing in the afternoon in the Shing Mun Valley pool.

    Races are tomorrow!

    Thursday, November 06, 2008

    Time to Pack and One Last Scrap!

    Before I started packing, I did squeeze in one last scrap, late last night:

    And here's to getting very little sleep tonight, as is always the case when I stay up to pack the night before a trip. No matter how early I *try* to pack, I always end up getting barely enough sleep! Aaaargh!

    Anyway, this is probably the last you'll hear from me, as we're off to the kiddos' swim meet. Say a LOT of prayers and send some good wishes our way from wherever you are!

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Pre-Trip Scrap!

    Whoohooo! I got the LAST of the 7th month series in The Sisterhood Challenge done!


    How's that for scrapping BEFORE a trip?!?! Hehehe. Yeah! It sure feels SOOO good to scrap again; it's been 5 whole days! :)

    Tuesday, November 04, 2008

    Packing List

    My dear daughter reminded me before she left for school that I *had* to make a packing list and give it to their yaya so that she could start packing for Hong Kong. Ummm, ok ma'am! Hehehe. Raegan, ever the organizer and oc-oc kid! And she does know that they're supposed to check everything that's been put out to make sure that they still fit and that they want to wear it.

    Before coming home, I went to the Speedo store to get Raine's racing suit. The saleslady sure came through, procuring a size 28 suit! Not the black with white stitching that I REALLY wanted (to match Raegan's), but a dark blue with blue stitching. Close enough! At least it was better than the horrendous rose/maroon suit which was the alternative. I shudder to think about how Raine's tummy would totally be highlighted in that color! Hahahaha!

    Ok, I just NEED to try and scrap something before we leave for Hong Kong! I'm pretty sure we're NOT going to have time to go get internet connection nor have time to scrap. I'm anticipating just spending time with the kids and attending to their MANY needs *roll eyes in a MAJOR way here!* But I will be bringing my laptop, no matter what....just in case! hehehe.

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    Sem Break is Over!

    Can you hear the kids crying? Hehehe. But seriously though, a few days into the break, they were missing school! Not kidding at all! I think they're just complaining about NOT wanting to go back to school because it's "the thing to do" or something like that. *roll eyes here* Typical kids, I guess. I didn't expect anything else ;)

    Well, with the kids going back to school, it was back to grindstone for us parents, too! I mean, during their break, I did try to spend a little bit more time with them, going to movies, eating out, giving them a home version of Kumon in Reading, hahahahahha! Yeah, they sure loved me for that! :) Rogan even had a Filipino workbook to work on! Yes, when I found that baby, I bought it so fast, even the girls (who were with me) were surprised!

    Anyway, the kids came in this morning bright eyed and ready for school. Not groggy at all, nor claiming that they lacked sleep. They just went! :)

    Note to self: write an excuse letter for the teachers that the kids will be missing Friday, Monday and Tuesday because we are going to be going to Hong Kong for a swim meet. I know, I know, so soon after the semestral break, but it's been scheduled! Sigh!

    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    Chinese Food

    We had lunch with Japa's family at some Chinese restaurant......and it was good! :) See, even I will admit if I eat something yummy...even if it is Chinese food! The restaurant, Ahong, was in this obscure corner along Mother Ignacia (?) road. Almost a hole in the wall place, except that the inside was pretty well furnished.

    There was soup, fish, peking duck (yum!!!), eel, and birthday noodles, to name a few. We were very belatedly celebrating Doods' birthday, so the whole gang was there. To cap off a perfect lunch, we had mango sago for dessert! Aaaaaah!!! Very refreshing! And probably one of the very very few reasons I break my self-imposed ban on eating mangoes!

    After lunch it was homeward bound. To nap off our lunch! Hahahahaha!

    Saturday, November 01, 2008

    At the Garden

    The Garden of Memories is where we all gather to commemorate All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. It has always been a pain in the neck, truth be told, because it is soooooo hooooooot and we seem to stay in the cemetery the whooooooole day!!!

    However, in the past few years, we have all noticed that we our stay in the Garden has been getting shorter and shorter. No idea why, but hey, we're definitely NOT complaining! We've also avoided bringing the kids here, since I really do NOT want to deal with their incessant whining of "it's so hot!" and "when are we going to eat?" and "what time are we going home?" You know what I mean.

    We did leave early to go to the Columbarium though. Great excuse was that we were going to attend mass there instead of at the Garden. Give me the columbarium anytime! It's airconditioned, lesser people and the mass is in English! hehehehe.

    As expected, the columbarium had a lot of people roaming around. I took notes of things amiss or things to do or improve for next year and passed those on to our people. It was a teensy bit of work, but at least I commented on stuff, right? :)

    Went home, relaxed, and scrapped:


    Not my usual style, but I kinda like the clean look here, eh? :)