Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rounding Up February

Getting the questions to the Round Up from Katie the Scrapbook Lady:

Round Up: February

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I finally did some reading this month! Yeah! It helped that the kids went to Serendra at The Fort for their late Christmas gimmick, and we spent a few enjoyable (at least for me!) hours going through Fully Booked, this 5-floor bookstore at a corner street there! I picked up ---and read--- two Jodie Picoult books:

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Good thing we watched it at the very start of the month, since we didn't have a lot of spare time during the month.
For TV, we finished Monk last month and started on NCIS. Finished NCIS in a few days, I couldn't stop watching it! Started on Numbers as well.
What special days did I celebrate and how?
February: we celebrated the birthdays of Reese and Rielle with dinner. Valentine's Day was at La Vista, starting off with Tito Rey's lechon baka. There was also school's Family Day and we went to Enchanted Kingdom to celebrate.

We had a special all-girls' trip to Hong Kong where we ate, slept, ate, shopped, and ate :) Yup, that's all we did!
What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Swimming towels for Reese and Rielle. Nerds candy for the kids' Valentine's Day. Pooh and friends stuffed toys for Teachers' Day. Nope, didn't do anything scrappy-fancy for Valentine's Day this year. It was sooooo much easier and stress-free to just give away the boxed candies! Yeah!
What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Migraines, during periods. And a little bit before, a little bit after. Barring all the walking and shopping we did in Hong Kong, my back was fine. Except during those days of the month. Bugging the heck out of me, too! Grrr!

Ranger had to have some antibiotics again. As usual. Sigh! For some bronchitis or near-pneumonia. Again. I better pack some pounds into the little runt, he's too sickly!
What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Hong Kong all-girls' trip (with a chiko, Rod)
Math Quiz Bees for all the kids. Raegan got 4th, Rogan 2nd, Raine 3rd.
Iron Chef for Raegan - didn't realize it was such a big deal until I saw it in school, lol!
Rogan's Trumpets play where he sang a solo.
Everyone except Rogan joined the Ateneo Aquathlon again this year! Mama and Raine did the entire thing, while Japa and Raegan did a relay. Reese and Avic did a relay, too, and so did Matec and Franco. Rielle did the entire thing by herself, which was just AWESOME!!!
What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
Cappricciosas (sp?), a new Italian restaurant in Greenhills. Almost everywhere we went to in Hong Kong was a new restaurant for us. With Bang in charge of food, each meal was an experience.
What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Nothing special was bought this month, including Hong Kong shopping. Probably the only stuff I did buy for *ME* were scrapping stuff, hehehehe. Shhhh!
What were my scrapping accomplishments this month?
Only 15 pages scrapped this month. Ack.
Anything else noteworthy to record?
Raine passed her taekwondo promotion test and is now a Blue Belter. She also won a GOLD in a mini-competition during the promotion test! I was off my time for the Aquathlon this a minute! Grrr! Oh, and I am guesting for the wonderful Jacque Larsen this month!!! Love love loooooove her paper pieced designs!!!


Squeezing in this last pager for the month:


Can you believe it's going to be MARCH tomorrow?!?!?! Sheesh!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Exam Writing

Yes, I have work to do. Lots of it. And I have the "other" work, which involves the kids and ALL their activities. So I'm taking a breather before I actually start typing up the reviewers for the kids' exams. I've found out that this helps them a LOT. I get their books and go through the pages for the quarter. I pretty much include definitions and fill in the blanks to make sure they remember what they've read. And yes, I mix up the words, too, hehehehe. Not to confuse them, but just to make sure that they're not remembering words and definitions based on the positions of those words on a page or something.

Then I ask them to answer my "test." It's guaranteed to be tougher than their actual exam, which should be the case while reviewing, right? :) And it HAS proven worthwhile, based on the past quarters.

So, some steps to exam writing:
1. Get the kids' books and prop them open next to the laptop.

2. Get the kids' Pointers for Review and keep them next to the laptop at all times. Better yet, make a copy or 2 just so I have a copy and the kids have their own copies.

3. At this stage (elementary level), just go through whatever is in the Pointers. Trust me, most teachers won't surprise their students at this point in their young school life :)

4. Identification - this one's a basic test item. Definitions galore. These are usually found either in the first or last part of a book chapter. Invaluable resource for exam writing, hehehe. I rarely include dates because really, who memorizes those things??? Except the REALLY important, famous ones.

5. Fill in the Blanks - Here is where I put the dates in, but as part of the question and NEVER for the child to answer. I found it helps the kids retain the dates more effectively because they read it and see it in the sentence; they now relate their answer (hopefully the correct one!) to the date written on the test paper.

6. Essays, Problem Solving - This teaches the kids to think. And it shows you how much of the lesson they understand enough to apply it to a real-life situation. Most of the time, I am surprised by the kids' insights. These aren't the usual from-the-book answers, but something they really think of!

7. Illustrations - Most of the time, especially in the younger grades, it's soooo much easier for the child to DRAW what he or she means instead of writing about it. Besides, writing takes forever to do, and illustrations on the paper looks so much prettier, lol!

8. Quizzes and Tests - Make SURE you have these on hand! Even if the answers come up twice or thrice, it's okay. At least the kids get a feel for what the exam may be like. And the best part, you don't have to think of how to do True or False, Modified True or False, Matching, and Multiple Choice. Not that easy to write a test you know! Besides, with the tests and quizzes in hand, it's soooo easy to change things around! Then you'll see if your child has studied or not!

9. When you type up the questions, MAKE SURE YOU TYPE THE ANSWERS right after the period!!! Trust me on this one! You don't want the child to ask you after he or she takes the test and you come up with zilch on this one! :)

10. When you're done with typing up the test, DELETE all the answers and SAVE AS the exam. This is what you'll print out for the kids to answer, and you'll have your answer key safe and sound.
Hope the above steps will help you in making your own exams for review! Sure beats having to pay a tutor to do it, eh?

Okay, now that I've inspired myself by going through the list above (hehehehe), off I go to type up some more exams!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Projects, Projects, Projects


I am up to my eyeballs in kids' projects!!! We always always ALWAYS attemp to NOT cram, but so far it's been impossible not to. For some strange reason, no matter what our intentions, we will realized that we only have so many days to complete so many projects!

It sure doesn't help either that I found out the kids have their exams NEXT WEEK. It sure wasn't in the "dates to remember" note I got from their teachers!!! Aaargh! So, with projects galore AND their exams coming up next week, it will NOT be a good week from now until then! Harsh? Not really. I'm just saying. Throw in Kumon and swimming training, and there really is NO time to give!

I've said from the very beginning that I wasn't going to be taking out Kumon and swimming especially because the kids had to CRAM for a project or a test! Valuable lesson to be learned here is time management. Including for me!

Ok. off to make reviewer exams in Science and Social Studies for the kiddos. AND force them to finish off their drawings for their projects and start on the research. I do NOT want to do their project for them, no siree.

Yeah right. Famous last words. LOL.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent Starts Today

Ash Wednesday. Start of Lent, and days of repentance, in preparation for Easter.

A short history of Ash Wednesday, and what it stands for, courtesy of Wikipedia :)
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty-six days (forty days not counting Sundays) before Easter.
Well, no WONDER we always count it as more than 40 days of sacrifice! LOL! See what a little bit of research can do? We definitely learn more everyday! I never knew that we shouldn't count Sundays as part of the 40 days of Lent! Hmmmm...
Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of repentance.

At masses on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful. The priest marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until washing it off after sundown. The priest or minister says one of the following when applying the ashes:

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return - Genesis 3:19

Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. - Mark 1:15

Repent, and hear the good news. - Mark 1: 15

We attended mass at the office, where Father Al of PACEM said mass. Then it was a relatively light lunch, since we all mark the day with fasting and abstinence.

What are we giving up this year?
Japa - just fruits and protein during the weel
Me - no beef or pork and no really bad swear words (trust me, this is sooooo hard for me!)
Ate - no rice at dinner
Kuya - not doing bad things (this is from him. We'll see how it holds, lol!)
Dete - No seconds (rice) at all meals
Ranger - well, he's a baby, so he doesn't understand the concept yet.
Technically, the kids don't have to do anything since they're all underage for fasting and abstinence, but we did give them a choice if they wanted to do some form of sacrifice or not, and they all chose to do something. So that's good :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Showing Off More Scraps

Just catching up on uploading layouts on the ole' blog:




I'm pretty sure I've used the photos in the last layout at least a couple of times, but aren't the girls just sooo cute here? Hehehe. Lai, we have GOT to have more of these girly stuff just so we have more kikay pics!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dad's Out

Yay! Dad's been released from the hospital and went home this afternoon! Clean bill of health? Not really. I know he still has some antibiotics to finish, and of course he's weaker than when he was admitted, but he was in high spirits because he was going home. His bed sore was debrided and it looked nice and pink. Still gross looking but it looked way fresher than with all that dark green and black stuff around the sore. Ick.

And for all of us, it was with another sigh of relief that Dad has hurdled yet another obstacle.

Ok, here are some scraps that I haven't had a chance to show off yet:



Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Aquathlon and The Artiste


Bright and early and Japa, the girls and I were off to Ateneo for the Aquathlon. Second year in a row and here we are! Yeah! Hehehe. For me, it was just the perfect excuse to get off my arse, hehehe. Call it my annual bout of exercise, bwahahahaha!

My goal wasn't to come in first, obviously, but to beat my time. This year, the organizers borrowed this thing called the RFID. Made the whole event feel so.....professional, hehehe. They gave us this band that we wore on our right ankles. That was on us during the entire 600m swim, and the 5k run. However, it was only activated when we stepped on the starting mat AFTER the swim and AFTER the run. It therefore recorded only the run part; the swimming part was still tallied by the event's organizers.

This year, the damn Lipovitan I took with my medicine overwhelmed me. I don't know who of you take Lipovitan, but for those who do, I'm sure you understand what I mean when I say I felt this rush of blood going through my entire body, making me almost hyperventilate. Which technically, wasn't too great if you were in the water trying to avoid gulping in globs of water as swimmers splashed around you.

After getting over that Lipovitan feeling, I started to feel better and stretched out my strokes. I finished the swim in 18:20. Should've been better if not for that drink, I swear, hehehehe. I think I was a tad bit faster last year.

And let's not even get started on my transition time, LOL! It took me 3:10 from the time I got out of the water to the time I started my run. Don't these people know how HARD it is to put on a b.r.a when you're wet?!?!? As it was, for the second year in a row, I ended up NOT wearing my support BECAUSE I was having such a hard time putting it on! Sheesh!

And then the run. I felt pretty good. Maybe it was the Lipovitan finally kicking in properly? I don't know. But I knew m,y body was fine. And yes, that pain reliever Roby prescribed for me (Arcoxia) was truly heaven-sent! My back was fine, my ankle was fine, my breathing was fine. Cool! I finished the whole thing in one hour and eighteen minutes. One minute more than last year!!! Grrrrr! Must've been my transition time, you think? :)


Ah, yes. Our Artiste in the family had a performance today for their final Trumpets play. He had the minor lead for the boys; the whole play centered on the girls, who comprised 98% of the entire cast, lol! Yup, 2 boys, Rogan and Nathan. Rogan had a few solo parts and after a rocky start where he started off higher than his usual voice (hahaaha) he quickly lowered it and everything pretty much went smoothly.

He looked just darling up there on the itty bitty stage. So big, yet so shy. Hehehehe. He did well, although the stage was a bit cramped with all the kids crammed on there, and he was in the back too. Good thing he was pretty big, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten to see him during all the dancing parts.

He was sooo excited to be on that stage. You could see it in his eyes, in his movement. He was a little bit consious in the beginning (who wouldn't?!) but he warmed up pretty quickly towards the middle, even directing the other kids to where they should be standing!

And he's already talking about Trumpets during the summer!

After the play, Rogan and Raine rushed off to attend Kiel's birthday party while the rest of us brought Mommy Nena and Doods home.

What a day!

Heck, what a WEEKEND!!!! :)

***Trying to upload a video of Rogan singing, but it is taking FOREVER! So forget it! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


TKD. That would be Tae Kwon Do.

Japa and I were at Amorante Sports Center to support Raine in her Promotion Test from Yellow belt to Blue belt. We arrived at 730 am and entered the air-conditioned hall. All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR AIRCONDITIONING!!!!

This would be our hang out place for the next.....are you even ready for this???.......c'mon, sit down and get ready.......

We were inside the Amoranto hall for the next ELEVEN HOURS!!!! Egad!!! All this waiting sure ranked up there with...with.....CHESS! (spit that out when you say it, and you probably get how I felt the whole day, ROFL!)

At least with chess though, with Rogan, it was only about 4 hours or so. Excruciating 4 hours. But hey, it was ONLY 4 hours.

Today was just unbelievable! I mean, all I can do is just LAUGH about it since it's done! Sheesh! We waited a couple of hours maybe before Raine was finally called for her promotion test.

Check her out:

Take note of the high kick, pointed toes, and FILTHY feet! Bwahahahaha!

After successfully completing the test, (we assumed she had gotten promoted to the Blue belt since Coach Allan didn't send her home, hehehe) we waited and waited for the mini competition to begin. And waited.

Did I say we waited yet? LOL.

I don't remember anymore what time the competition started, but suffice it to say that all the parents were relieved that it was action time. Guess again. Yup, we waited some more.

Finally, Raine was called. She was one of the last ones called from her school. So off she went to the stage to get ready. After a few more minutes of waiting (it was a LOT of minutes, actually), her name was called, asking her to step up. She did, excited, and grabbing at her gear. Only to be told that she was advancing to the next round since her opponent was a no-show.


After sort of celebrating that she was going on to the next round for all of 2 seconds, Raine was pissed. She practically shouted, "What?!" , turned her back on the announcer and stomped off the stage. LOL. A real athlete, I like to think. She was so looking forward to actually doing some competing during the competition!

A few more hours of waiting and the EXACT same process happened. By this time, Raine I think was pretty weary with all the waiting and just nodded and sighed when told her opponent was yet another no-show and that she was advancing. In the meantime, little did I know that my competitive (not-so-little) daughter was, in fact, watching the OTHER group of competitors in her category and looking to see who was advancing. Sneaky, eh?

Another few hours and news got to us that Raine was actually in the GOLD medal round!!! Hahahahaha! How's that for a FIRST time competition in a new sport for her??? Hey, after all that waiting, we were going to TAKE the opportunity! :)

And finally, oh finally, the blessed time came. The gold medal round, and of course, the one and ONLY round for Raine. Raymond, husband of Joy, remarked to us that he sure wouldn't want to be Raine's opponent. I asked why and he responded with, "are you kidding, after seeing Raine's reaction when her first opponent was a no-show, you just KNOW she's got everything pent up inside!". LOL.

There were 2 rounds of 1 minute each, with a break of 20 seconds in between. You get points when you kick your opponent in the body, 2 points in the head. Don't worry, they've got armor. And so it started. From the start, Raine was down by a point. Then it was 5 to 3. Yikes. I was getting a little bit worried, but was cheering for what it was worth. And yes, the whole hall could probably hear me, hehehehe.

Then Raine delivered the crucial blow: a kick to the left side of the head. Although Raine's opponent was seemingly stunned for a second, it was enough. She was wary of Raine from that point; I like to think Raine was buoyed by the fact that I was practically jumping for joy at the sidelines and cheering her on, hehehe.

Raine started charging and gave her opponent a few more semi-strong kicks. I knew she was getting tired. There was an accidental kick, though, when her foot slipped and hit her opponent's groin area or upper thigh. Ouch! Then it was break time. One of her coaches talked to her, pumping her up. And all too soon, it was time for the second and last round. My poor girl sure was getting tired. Her kicks were getting lower and lower, but she was still being aggressive and charging forward. Like I said, the damage had already been done, since the other girl, although taller than Raine by a little bit, was all weepy, especially when she glanced over at the monitors and saw that she was down by a couple of points and that there was barely any time left.

And yes, just call my Mama Banshee when the buzzer sounded. Hahahahaha!

At 630 pm, after 11 hours and a GOLD medal, we went home. FINALLY.

Congratulations, Raine!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Settling In

Jet lag? From Hong Kong? Hehehe. Nah. Just resting a bit. Resting my back actually. All that walking and standing in Hong Kong were NOT therapy at all for my back. I did have Mang Romy come over to give me a massage.


I sooooo needed a massage after several days of walking, commuting....and eating! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

7 Chikkas and an Unico Hijo

7 Chicks and a Guy. That was us, traveling to Hong Kong. Mom, Lola, 4 sisters-in-law and me......oh, and Rod, the Chikko. Hehehehe.

It was supposed to be an all-girls trip, but Rod maneuvered himself in and thank goodness he did! At least he did the guy-stuff, like get most of our bags from the baggage conveyor, lug the bags in and out of the airport bus, carry the ton of stuff we shopped.....and ate the food that no one else could stuff inside our already-full selves!

Yes boys, this is the barest minimum of what is expected of you when you go with the girls.

I'm stealing this pic off off Zhar's blog since I don't have any pics. I (wisely) didn't bring a camera, big OR small. Stella took tons of pics and Elizza brought out her camera when we insisted she did (probably because Stella's cam had run out of batteries). Hahahahaha.

And what a trip we had! The main purpose of the trip was twofold: One, to force mom to have some R&R, what with all the time she stayed at the hospital watching over Dad, AND two, to eat authentic Chinese food. This CRAVING for REAL Chinese food started with Bang and Elizza a few weeks ago. We didn't get our fill of real Chinese food during the Chinese New Year, and it's been a topic of conversation ever since.

So....our Hong Kong trip was filled with tasty, authentic Chinese food. For ALL meals except breakfast. We had our regular breakfast at the Executive Lounge and it was quite filling, really. However, with Bang in charge of food (O.M.G!!!), our tummies were streeeeeeeetched out to the max with 3.5 days of appetizing, heavy, oily and yummy lunches and dinners!!! Heeeeelp! hahahahaha!

It was a FUN-filled trip, too, with the laughter, the secrets (that weren't really secrets since everyone knew what it was before the hour was up), the kikay stuff, the shopping....and the eating. I took pics with my phone for my photo-for-the-day, but that was it.

I leave it up to you to click on my sisters' blogs on the right for a full-blown account of where we ate and what. I don't think I remember everything!

All I know is that we had delish Peking duck, dimsum and the uber uber yummy lobster in some creamy buttery sauce, on the last night that Tony (friend of the twins from Taiwan) brought us near the racestrack. Oh my oh my oh my! That was just DIVINE!!!

It was the FIRST time I remember us being gone from our hotel room the WHOLE DAY! From after breakfast to AFTER dinner! Whoa! And we had Lola with us, too! Whew! By the end of the trip, my back was so sore from all the walking and the standing. Foolish me forgot to bring a gidle to act as a brace of sorts. Tsk, tsk!

I did manage to scrap, though, so my bringing my laptop wasn't a total waste! Hehehehe.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hong Kong Still

still eating......

and eating.....

and eating..........

ok, throw in some shopping too! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still in Hong Kong





Monday, February 16, 2009

Off to Hong Kong

In Hong Kong......

checking in at the Holiday Inn....


making chika.......

Sunday, February 15, 2009

HS Reunion

Out of about 45 girls in Section 5, 17 or so showed up to our little reunion. I'm pretty sure we were a little bit more than the girls in this pic, but hey, of COURSE I posted the photo where my largeness is covered! Can you see me? Bwahahahaha!

Let's go through the list:

Seated: Gina Beng looks pretty much the same. Quiet, but can sport a loud laugh :)

Becky is the same as ever, I don't think she even ages! Hmp! Hehehe :)

Pia Abe, looking radiant and downright glowing for a 40-year old preggy lady! Oh, too have looked like her when I was lugging around the kiddos! LOL!

Lizzie and Isabel, both soft-spoken as ever. Not moving a muscle unless needed.

2nd row: Michelle H, always with her ready smile, was a delight to talk to. Chitchatting about anything and everything.

April. O.M.G. As hilarious as ever. It was nonstop laughter and talking as soon as she stepped in the room.

Girlie. Love that riproaring laugh, although she was a little bit subdued tonight.

Mariza. Always a lady, and a girl scout to boot; she had a small notebook and some markers which she passed around, making sure everyone put their updated information on it. To be turned into a directory of sorts. Great idea!

Pia Barb. Hehehe. Gotta smile when you talk about Pia! She always has a huge grin on her face.

Alou. We did have this reunion just for her (and Guia). It's been 5 years since she's been back in Manila and did she demand we have a reunion of sorts because she wanted to see everyone! Looking lovely as ever, Mrs Cross was talking a mile a minute and flipping those locks around :) Hey Alou, I'm holding you to that offer to stay with you in San Diego!!!

Martini was the ever-efficient one, rounding up everyone (with Malou Gamboa) and making everyone pay for tickets to some fundraising event :)

Jing was as tiny as ever, looking slim and thin (darn it!, hahahaha!) in her black halter and white pants.

May Ann. Was May-Ann :) Gregarious, asking after everyone and everything in everyone's lives! Totally miss this chick, and yes, I owe her second son sooooo many years' worth of gifts! (he's my godson)

Next one's moi.

Vicky, the TV girl. Newscaster diva. You would think all the fame's gone to her head, but nope. This soft-spoken lady gal was still very lady-like, prim, proper and.....I could barely hear her talk, hahahahahha!

Last of the bunch is Lally. Cousin-in-law, believe it or not. Looking HOT in her little blouse, hahahaha! And yep. Same as ever Lally! She was a little bit on the quiet side (not too much though) because she had left a very sick Allana with Bacolod!

It was a raucous few hours....enough to give me a headache with the nonstop noise and chatter. I expected it though; that IS what you'd get if you throw more than 15 women who haven't seen each other in years in a room! :)

I did have to leave early to go to Reese's brithday dinner though. Where I ate a LOT of stuff (as usual). HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY, Reese-y poo!

Ok, gotta PACK for Hong Kong tomorrow!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ahhhh yes. The day of L.O.V.E.

Traditionally, lovers express their love for each other by sending gifts, cards, flowers and/or chocolates (yummm!). We haven't celebrated this particular day in the truest sense since it has been way too commercialized everywhere. Restaurants are always full AND traffic is just horrific!

Besides which, if you really think about it, do we honestly need this day to remind us to tell the people we care about we love them? I didn't think so. :)

I did, however, scrap a page in honor of today, hehehe.


We all gathered at La Vista for dinner. Tito Rey had ordered lechon baka and it was delicious! Mom of course, arrived late, coming from the hospital. Dad was in pretty good spirits because he was in his "regular" room, so that made Mom feel pretty good as well.

As usual, it was eat-til-our-insides-were-full time, and we pretty much rolled out of La Vista going home! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Presidential Suite

This is Dad's room. The Presidential Suite of the hospital. LOL. Standing joke of the family, when it comes to Dad and his choice of rooms while at the hospital. I will never forget the expression on his face when he was wheeled into a "regular superior room" after his stint at the ICU or at the Telemetry Floor a few years ago. He looked around, frowned and spat out "I don't like this small room!" Hehehehe.

And with Dad's luck, of COURSE the Presidential Suite was available!

Good thing Dad transferred out of ICU this afternoon, too. I was bogged down at work and didn't leave until about 730 pm, I think. No wonder my back is still stiff, with all the sitting down I've been doing.

And no, I have NOT finished with the insurance stuff, nor the ID numbers stuff OR the Appraisal forms. Aaargh!

Oh well. Tomorrow will be a new day. Maybe I can finish something while I'm at the hospital first thing in the morning to relieve Rod and Zhar. Mike the nurse was struck down with fever today and couldn't make it to the hospital.

Tomorrow, Dad will be having a debrieding (???) of his bed sore. Gross, really, but it involves the scraping of his dead tissue around his sore. Eeewww. But it has to be done, otherwise it will never heal. The main thing we're concerned about is that he has to be sedated for the procedure. And if the past is any indication, Dad is always in this lethargic state for a long period of time every time he is given a sedative.

So again, the family thanks you in advance for all your prayers and well wishes. Keep them coming!

Oh, and yes, I scrapped! FINALLY, after a week!!!


And I am DONE with the ALL the kids' 8th month pages! WHoohoohoo! Hey Sisterhood!!! Have YOU guys been doing your pages??? Hehehehe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nerdy Candy

I left work early so that I could wrap gifts for the kids' teachers; not only is Valentine's Day happening this weekend, but it was Teachers' Day at school. For all FOUR kids. With a minimum of 2 teachers each.

I rummaged through my stock cabinet and stock boxes and surfaced with some Pooh and Friends little bean bag dolls. Whew! The day was saved, hehehehe.

For the kids' classmates, I was able to buy Valentine's Nerds candy before we left the States. Good thing Walmart was selling these early:

They had space at the back with a To: and From: and the kids wrote their classmates' names on there. Not an easy task, with close to 90 names to do, but I made the kids do the writing since I was wrapping gifts for their teacher.

As usual, I did NOT have the time to do something creative and artsy :) Sigh! I keep meaning to do a project for this particular occasion, but time somehow always eludes me!

Maybe next year! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scribbling at Work

What with going back and forth between the main office and the site, it is so hard to keep organized! I'm usually an organized person, making lists and keeping tabs on that list, but this splitting-myself-between-2-offices is a tad difficult, hehehe.

I'm attempting to organized what I can, but I'm still at the lower rungs of the ladder. Finally, not relying on what I could put onto the computer, I grabbed a steno notebook and WROTE. Yup. As in pen and paper, with my HANDS. Heheehe. Awful handwriting for sure, but that scribbling worked! Sort of. Enough for me to jumpstart my brain in thinking of ways and means to better organize the stuff that I need to do.

So next week---or rather, in a couple of weeks---I will be armed and ready. Hopefully. There's something about actually using your hands to do something; and I'm not talking about just typing at the keyboard here. Really making something with your hands. Like writing :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Hate Numbers!

Ugh. There was a reason why I did NOT take Accounting while in college: I couldn't stomach the plethora of numbers and to deal with them. Another ugh.

And what did I do today? I was haunted by numbers! First was the family's health insurance. O.M.G. The amount we have to spend for insurance!!! Mind boggling. Exploring different options, and desperately trying to narrow it down. I just found out that we have to have new policies in place by the end of the month!!! Panicky? Ya think???

Excel and numbers. And vice-versa. I was ready to puke numbers by the end of the day, and I could feel a migraine coming on. Aaaaargh!!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Dad's Progress

Here's what's happening to Dad:
  • Dialysis was done last night. To clean his blood.
  • He is on antibiotics to help him fight infection.
  • He is becoming hypotensive. (whatever that is)
  • Despite all the fluids being pumped into him (IV, food, meds), he has very low urine output.
  • Blood pressure is very erratic.
  • Levofed being given to him to stabilize his blood pressure. However, this medicine constricts his blood vessels and isn't helping his kidney any.
Until his blood pressure is stable, Dad will be in the ICU. Dialysis is being scheduled for 3 times a week.

Please continue to pray for Dad.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Family Day at Enchanted Kingdom

It was the annual MI Family Day. Good thing this year, we didn't have to go out of town to do it. This was a major issue last year, and why we did NOT go....there simply was no time!

Sadly, our little family had to be divided: with 3 kids in grade school, everyone was participating AND had to be with their grade level. Of course. Raine had dibs on me, and we wore green. Rogan had dibs on Papa, and they were in orange. Raegan gladly had yaya (and Ranger---she wasn't *that* glad to have him, heheehehe) and they all wore red.

And because we were all in separate places for most of the day, whoever had the camera was the only one who had pics! Heheehhe. See, Japa? I just KNEW we had to hang on to your old camera!!! Oh well. Good thing Japa never got tired of taking photos! I haven't looked at the photos yet (sorry, they're still in the camera as of this writing!), bt I'm pretty sure there are tons of Rogan. Raine has a few, since I had the camera for an hour or so. Raegan, probably nothing since we were never able to pass on the camera to Coset. Ranger had a few.....when he told me to take a few pics of him with my cellphone, hahahahahaha! Wise kid!

He was eating his ice cream and asked me to take a photo of him eating it. I told him Papa had the camera and he looked at me like I wasn't thinking and said, "No, Mama, with your phone!" Hahahahaha! Now why didn't I think of that???

Bright and early, we were at Pancake House, stuffing ourselves with breakfast. Good thing we did, too, as we had our own version of the Amazing Race until 1 pm! And the kids sure were hungry! Thank goodness we had pre-ordered meals, so we got those fast. But of course, a burger and a drink wasn't going to be enough for the kids and their bottomless pits of a stomach, so Japa ordered a huge cheese pizza for all of them.

Raegan was officially a tween: she didn't eat with us, and she went with her friends for the remainder of the day. Oh well. She's responsible enough and obsessed with the time, so I had no problem with her whatsoever. Rogan on the other hand, was another story. This boy has NO concept of time. At all. And there was no way he was going to be left on his own, hahahahaha! Actually he was, for an hour or so, but thankfully, the park was small enough that Japa found him: at the Laser Tag area. Raine falls somewhere in between her Ate and Kuya. She could be responsible, but when she's having too much fun, she'd willingly forget the time! :)

So our estimated departure from the park at 4 pm was actually just that. An estimated park. After several snacks and waiting for all the kids to show up, we started moving towards the exit at around 5 pm. Right before the exit, we went on one last ride: the Rio Grande Rapids. Um yeah. And *I* was practically soaked to the skin! Right before we had to leave!!! Aaargh!!!

The kids changed in the car. And so did I. But I had a slight problem: I wasn't actually planning on getting wet or even sweaty for that matter, so I didn't have any extra clothes! Luckily, Japa had an extra pair of cargo shorts. Right. And an extra shirt WHICH, as it turned out, was really Rogan's. Double right. And if you know me and my largeness, you just know it was going to be a TIGHT SQUEEZE (yes, pun pun pun!!!) from that moment. Hahaahahaha!

But hey, I guess I *did* lose some weight! I literally squeezed myself into Japa's shorts, but I got the zipper to close. A tight fit across the thigh area, but hey, at least I was dry. Now the shirt. When I found out it was really Rogan's shirt, I said no way was I going to fit in a men's SMALL. Not with these arms and chest! Good think Raegan said she had one of her Big Dog shirts---a Youth 16-18.

Are you screaming with laughter yet?

It was a Pepto-Bismo PINK shirt. And it was dry. Sighing, I ripped my wet shirt off of me and twisted and turned until I got myself into that shirt. And I didn't look TOO bad, bwahahaahahha!

And NO, there was NO picture taking of me in that dubiously sexy outfit! Japa's camera had no battery, and there was no way I was going to use my cellphone camera to remember this particular event! Hehehehehe.

All in all, it was a fun day. Raegan's team won 3rd overall. Grade 6 took second and the champions this year was the Prep team.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

So Sleepy!

I have no idea why, but I was just really tired today. In the morning, I was at the hospital with Dad, bright and early (9 am-ish). I stayed a couple of hours because I needed to get home before Japa left for Chie's son's baptism; I had yet to wrap a gift. I meant to do it last night, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Laziness, yes. And now I'm paying the price! Not that I didn't get enough sleep last night.....I think I've gone by on way lesser hours of sleep. But, oh well.

After the hospital, and rushing home to look through the stock cabinet for gifts, wrapping and sending Japa off, I lay in bed. My laptop was on, hoping against hope that I'd be able to scrap something. But NCIS won out and I started watching a few episodes.....only to nap. For at least two hours! Heheehhe. I just simply fell asleep!

Good thing the kiddos weren't there....after their Saturday morning activities of swimming and Kumon, they went to La Vista to play with Bric. Then to Apitong to hang out. They were back by 430 pm so that we could all go to the hospital chapel for our anticipated mass. Best to do it today than be uber tired tomorrow from Family Day.

Since we were early, I dropped by to see Dad. And was in time to see a (minor?) procedure being done on him: an inter-jugular tube (???) to give access for the dialysis machine. The doctor advised against him having the access point in the leg again, to avoid it being infected so easily. So Dad had his neck cut open to insert the tube. Ugh. Bloody procedure, obviously, it being a major artery!

* can you FEEL my hair standing on end yet??? *

I actually wanted to be in the room with him when the doctor did the procedure, but they shooed me out! *POUT* The nerve! hmp!

After mass and another short visit to Dad upstairs, we brought the kids to Omakase for dinner. And did they dig in! Like they hadn't eaten for several days! (it was more like hours, if the truth be known). I guess they missed their favorite restaurant, hehehehe.

Ok, am not even attempting to scrap tonight. We need to be up REALLY early tomorrow to go Enchanted Kingdom for Family Day.


Friday, February 06, 2009


No, not another tv series. Dad had to be rushed to the ER yet again....only 3 days after they arrived from the States! Sigh! Is our air quality that horrible here? Most likey. Dad said that he was having difficulty breathing; Bric went to Mom and heaved his little chest up and down to demonstrate how he saw Lolo Boy. Luckily, Mom did go and check on Dad and found him taking unusually deep breaths.

So off to the hospital they went. Bang sent a text to everyone and we made arrangements to go to the ER.

When I got there, Dad had all sorts of tubes attached to him, he had had an xray or some scan, and he had an oxygen mask on. He looked pale and thin on the hospital bed. Soon after, he was transferred to the ICU. We were pretty much chased out since it was in-between visiting hours. Mom of course insisted that she be let in, and the nurses had no choice but to let her in. If they didn't there'd no be stopping Mom, so they did the smart thing, hehehe.

The initial diagnosis: Dad may have sepsis, some sort of blood infection. He will be needing antibiotics to help fight this infection. Additionally, his blood pressure had to be monitored because it was dipping below his normal reading. A good thing that came out of the start of battery of tests being administered is that Dad's lungs are CLEAR from liquid (relative to what he already has in there) and he does NOT have pneumonia. Whew! Thank God for small favors!

But like I said, Dad didn't look all that great in that hospital bed. Hoping and praying he gets lots better soon.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

NCIS-ing It

I have a new obsession, er, series to watch: NCIS. Love love LOVE this show! The mystery, the humor, the bantering between the characters! Did I say I LOVE this series??? Hehehe.

And Mark Harmon was my first ever teenage crush I think, hahahaha! I forgot what that movie was (The Merchant something or the other) but man oh man, what a MAN! :)

I wouldn't say move over to CSI just yet though. I think they're totally different things. Love the closure on each episode while leaving us bits and facts of certain characters. Would love to know everything about each interesting character! Fast paced and although concentrating mainly on the Navy, I don't care. I have fun watching it.......

......which is most likely the reason why I have NOT scrapped in several days! I can't watch and scrap at the same time because I might miss a clue or some crucial piece of evidence or conversation or scene! Obsessed? Sure, you can say that. But I'm loving it! :)

Ok hush, off to watch some more until I fall asleep.......

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Quiz Bee, Iron Chef and Teacups


I was in school bright and early. At 815 am. Sigh. The things you do to show support for your offspring, hehehehe. ALL 3 older kids were one of the representatives of their class for the Math Quiz Bee! To get chosen is a big thing! So yay for all of them!

Raine was first up. As usual, she looked extremely LARGE on top of the stage, as she sat next to her classmates. Hehehe. Her face was expressive enough that I could tell whether she got the right answer or not. And when she didn't, she'd scrunch her face or roll her eyes up, hehehe. Although she flubbed a bit on the Roman Numerals, she got THIRD place!!!

Rogan was next, at 915 am. I pulled him aside before he went up the stage and told him good luck, and did he know his Roman Numerals? :) My son confidently told me that he had studied for the Quiz Bee and that he wasn't worried at all. Hmp! And he cockily sauntered up the stairs to take a seat at one of the rear desks!

I had needlessly worried after all. He was supremely confident all throughout the quiz bee, hehehe. Can you see the grin on my face as I proudly type? He breezed through to SECOND place!!! Now, if ONLY he had circled his expanded numbers and gotten a couple of points for that, he would've been champion! Next year. :)


While Rogan was having his quiz bee, I was running back and forth between the covered court and the HELE area of the school. Raegan was in the Iron Chef for her class and was getting all flustered and mad at her groupmates. The boys were EATING what they were preparing and my daughter was having a major fit! Her face was as red as her shirt and I'm guessing it took all of her control to keep from screaming at the top her lungs to tell the boys to stop dipping their hands in the wok and shoveling the Yang Chow Fried Rice into their mouths! My poor child! She definitely did NOT need to be stressed an hour before her quiz bee......but it sure was funny to see! Hehehe.

But can I just say that it was ONLY their group that did NOT have a parent or a yaya helping them cook, clean up and decorate the plates for presentation. I mean REALLY! Sometimes parents have NO sense at all!!! For stuff like these, people, leave your children alone because they will and do cope with whatever happens! Sheesh!!! Pissed me off royally. Pretty soon, I could've joined Raegan in her hissy fit because of some people! Grrrr!

Good think I *was* running back and forth between Iron Chef and Math Quiz Bee, hhahaha. Forced me to relax as I took in gulps of air. Couldn't miss a moment if I could help so I could snap lots of photos! :)

I waited in the covered court for over an hour for Raegan's Quiz Bee to start. Although home was very near, it was useless to waste gas to go back and forth. Plus, Ranger had to be picked up anyway, so I had the driver wait outside instead.

Anyway, back to the {QUIZ BEE}

Raegan of course was a nervous wreck going up the stage. As usual. This girl sometimes has no confidence in her abilities and it pisses me off! Anyhoo, she sat down and chit chatted with the other representatives. Well of course she did; when she's nervous she can talk a mile a minute!

I couldn't follow or even remotely GUESS what the answers were to most of the Grade 4 questions. The numbers just sounded TOO big! Hahahahaha! And this is Grade 4?!?! I didn't even hear of some of the terminology they were using until I was in high school, I think! My goodness!

Anyway, by the middle of the Quiz Bee, I was hoping Raegan would squeeze into third place, but she faltered some on the difficult questions. But hey, FOURTH place is pretty good, too! That coupled with her stressful Iron Chef period, made for an overall productive day!

What a haul for my kiddos today! Whoohoo!!


Katie Nelson asked me to scrap with her newest kit, Natural Spring:

And when I saw it, I automatically thought of the Mad Hatter's Teacups:

Whew! What a day!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Appraisals and Scraps

Back at the main office today. Working on performance appraisals. I need need *NEED* to get a base appraisal for all the employees sometime yesterday, hahahahaha! As in ASAP! Like late last year. Sigh! But hey, again, my word for the year has been working magic and is actually enabling me to finish what I need to do!

And what with all the words on the computer screen today, it felt GOOD to just have to look at pictures for a change!


Our Hong Kong Disneyland is looking pretty good --and fuller-- with what I've been scrapping. Hopefully, I will finish this album sometime this year, hahahaha. Seriously. I'm doing our September 2008 trip....and we still have a November 2008 trip to HK Disneyland that I have yet to start on!

Posting this early.....I can't wait to try and fall asleep. Is this what age does to you: requiring you to function on less hours of sleep in a day?!? Sigh! Seems I've been going on an average of 4-6 hours of sleep the past few weeks and it's making me miserable. I try and take longer to wake up, but nothing's doing the trick! I wake up at the slightest noise, or lack thereof, like when our airconditioning turns off automatically, hehehehe.

It does help that we have a brand new 4-inch memory foam mattress. It took a while to get used to how thick it was though, but now that I have, my sleep has been pretty good. My back is cushioned and I can feel myself SINK in all that thick memory foam stuff. Of course, I could also do with a sleep number bed, like the one we have in the States. The girls love that mattress, too, allowing us to have a softer or firmer mattress as we wish. Ahhhhhh!

Ok, off to bed!

Before I forget, a very HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to RIELLE!!!!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Site Work

Spent the day at the site, working on rate sheets, among other things. Boring day at work, in general. But at least I'm still sticking to my word for the year (work), right?

I know, a month late, but hey, mine really did come out as WORK!

What with the "birth" of Rex the Suburban, it's going to take a lot of hard work making ends meet. Which is why I'm always on the lookout for whatever small business opportunity there is out there. I'm willing to explore anything, but so far I'm enjoying earning some scrapping money by blogging! :) Totally easy, and so up my alley! Now, it's just a matter of keeping to a schedule and actually blogging everyday.

Oh and watch out too, I'm promising myself I'm going to catch up on my Project 365. Soon. Hehehehe. I know I have the photos, it's just a matter of narrowing it down to a few and then one. And then scrapping with them. THAT'S the hard part, the time-consuming part. But I want it done, and so I'm going to hold myself to that promise :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Benjamin Button:
"I was born under unusual circumstances." And so begins "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man's life can be.
Japa and I finally got to see Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button. Beautifully, touching movie. Dramatic for sure, but with many lighthearted moments. Loved it, and would probably see it again if I had the time. I was surprised that it was close to 3 hours long, I was so engrossed in it. Brad Pitt was very very good here, as was Cate Blanchett. Classic? Most likely. :) Hmmm.....maybe I should look for the book? Probably more details.

* * *

We had lunch at Capricciocas, an Italian restaurant along Connecticut Avenue. Yummy food, everything we ordered was good. Unfortunately, I think my tummy is acting up, what with all the cheese and creamy sauces that I filled up on. Yuck. Oh well, you think I'll lose a few pounds? Hehehe. I sure hope so!