Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you all a Prosperous New Year!!!

This will be my last post for this year... see you in 2006!


NewYear.pps
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...oOo...

December 27, 2005

Here's my daughter playing the "big sister" to baby Lucas...

baby lucas

beeming with pride as she feeds and puts him to sleep.

...oOo...

Reading for today: 10 Commandments for Parents

Conversation #8

We were taking pictures when I told my daughter to kiss her brother...

my kids

and then later on told my son to kiss his sister... my son did it but said: "mommy, that is embarrassing, please don't show that picture to anyone!"

...oOo...

Since my kids doesn't go to a Catholic school, I just recently realized that they didn't know the "true meaning" of Christmas and that they (my daughter in particular) only know a few Christmas songs. :-(

We do read children's bible to them but I guess that's not enough. Going to sunday liturgy (for children) is likewise not enough... so my hubby bought this Little Bethlehem and we started telling them about the birth of Jesus.

our little bethlehem


My daugther's next question: "so Jesus will turn 2 next december?"

...oOo...

That's it for now, am going on a boxing sale, hopefully I would be able to buy some really good deals... just thought I'd blog while waiting for my ride.

Merry Christmas!!!

To all my blog pals:
May you find peace and happiness, today and everyday!

Merry Christmas
A Christmas song: The First Christmas Gift

... The first Christmas gift
Came from above
Wrapped in starlight, tied with love
Given with joy, a sweet baby boy
A gift for you and me ...

Pictures




Woodbine Mall



Square One



Cookstown.
The only kids playing in the cold weather!



Smiley face on the car window.



Patricia just love helping out.

Interesting Links

I don't feel like blogging today... so here's some links for you...

Amazing Race 8: Family Edition. After the Linz won the $1 million... the race is not yet over... click here for one final race for a GMC Yukon XL by the Bransens (2nd place) and the Weavers (3rd place).

Videos to share. Thanks to Raquel, I can now share some entertaining videos emailed by my hubby. My all time favorite is "torn," "sleepy baby" and "wizards of winter." Click here [there are 7 videos to see].

Dragon Illusion. Check this one out. It is simply amazing! All you need is to download the pdf file, a paper and a printer [colored is better but B&W is ok too]. Thanks to Lam for the link.

The Village People. Here's a tribute to their famous song YMCA [though its a Cantonese version, but I'm sure you're going to enjoy it too].

Invisible Cloak. Ever wonder how Harry Potter's invisibility cloak works?

Mind Reader. Do you believe in psychic?

Photographic Images of Me

Ever since I started blogging, I already saw this photographic interview in Junnie's blog. And I've been wanting to do it since then, but since I'm not a "photographer," I had a hard time coming up with my 20 photographic answers.

So, finally, I decided to sit on it and do it once and for all... get to know me a little bit more... click here.

Please take this challenge! I would love to see all my blog pals do this one. Please leave your permalink here if you decide to do it. Thanks!

"Mommy, there is no Santa Claus"

asked my son... in which my daughter answered: "no, there is! Don't you remember the gifts we got last time? (referring to the sled they got last year)" Turning to look at me, she continued, "mommy, is Santa Claus real?"

My kids believe in Santa, but when they see a Santa at the malls, they both know that it is not the "real" Santa... they know that the real Santa lives in the North Pole with elfs as his helpers.

And they both looked at me, seeking answers. I was taken by surprise, coz I would always buy extra gifts for them and sign it "From: Santa" every Christmas. The only answer I can give at that time is "Santa is real if you believe he is real... you have to believe it in your heart. Do you believe he is real?"

My daughter said to her brother: "See, I told you."

Now, my son is starting to question his existence because most of his classmates does not believe in Santa or the Christmas season.

So for this year, I made them come up with their wish list (for the very first time), and I am so happy to say that both of the items on their list will be granted. One coming from their Lola Marlene (grandmother) and another one from their Ninang Je (godmother) and the other 2 items will be coming from Santa of course!

I've already posted my daughter's wish list...

Now, this is my son's letter to Santa.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Mixed nuts #2

Poker night

Patrick's first poker game... and he got a royal flush! Now, that is what I call the beginner's luck!

click to enlarge

And he wouldn't stop bragging about it!

...oOo...


Yankee Santa!

I had dinner with some high school friends of mine last saturday (yes, we recently discovered that there's 4 of us here and got re-acquainted)...

Instead of the normal exchange gift, we played the "yankee santa"... this is my first time to play this game even though I've heard of this before. The rules are simple, you get to steal other people's gift!

This was initially what my husband picked... we have always wanted a massager! But sadly, it was "yanked" away from him.


But his next pick was almost the same product, even better! Yey!


It was T who yanked away hubby's gift... and the gift that hubby got the second time around was from T!

...oOo...


DVD movie marathon

We normally borrow DVDs from the library because its free! Waiting time for some DVDs are long... some are short... and sometimes they are all available at the same time... like this thursday, hubby had 9 DVDs waiting for him.

Here's what we've seen the past weekend:
  1. An Ideal Husband starring Rupert Everett and Julianne Moore
    (my rating: ***)
  2. Dude, where's my car? starring Ashton Kutcher
    (my rating: ***)
  3. Evolution starring David Duchovny and Julianne Moore
    (my rating: ***)
  4. An End of the Affair starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore
    (my rating: ***)
  5. The Hours starring Merryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman
    (my rating: *)
...oOo...


Free Movie Day

Rainbow Cinema is offering a free movie for 3 consecutive weekends which is sponsored by Toronto Star (a leading newspaper). They do require that you donate ($2 per person) for their Santa Claus Fund that started in 1906 to give Christmas gift to the less fortunate kids. At last, we were able to watch "Madagascar" last Saturday... And even though its a free movie, the theater was only half full.

Next saturday, we are off to watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

...oOo...


Tagalog DVD movies

I just discovered that our library had a small selection of Tagalog DVD movies... among the list are the Mano Po series, Sharon's Forgive and Forget and Cross my Heart, some documentary on the Philippines... and some unknown selections. Unkown (to me) because they didn't provide the names of the actors and a synopsis of the movie as they do with English movies.

Gifts For Friends

Just wanted to share this email I received from Kai. [Thanks Kai]


Gifts For Friends For FREE!

1) THE GIFT OF LISTENING...
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2) THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3) THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4) THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...
It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note could be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life (although it may cost a stamp if you mail it)

5) THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...
A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

6) THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7) THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8) THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it's not that hard to say "Hello" or "Thank You."

Friends are a very rare jewels, indeed. They make us smile and encourage us to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Cherish your friends, and your family... as they are what sustain us in our own times of need.

- Author Unknown -


Have a great weekend ahead!!!

Wish List


Click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Patricia's letter to Santa...
She will definitely get her first wish...
its already on the way from Ninang Je!

click to enlarge
and her Christmas Trees... she just love to draw!

When you thought I wasn't looking

Being the adult, we should always set a good example to our kids because believe it or not, they are always looking and watching...

I'm a coke addict.

I was deprive of drinking softdrinks/soda when I was a kid, we just don't stock up on sodas at home. So when did I start drinking coke? I guess it was when I started working already. The water in our office had a bitter taste, and since coke are cheaper than juices, I started drinking coke every lunch time. I also drink pineapple juice then, but I become acidic, and the cause (I believe at that time) was due to the pineappple juice and not the coke.

Back then, I don't crave for coke, I just ordered it over other beverages. So when I got pregnant, it wasn't hard for me to stop drinking coke and instead I drink lots of calamansi juice. I would bring a 2L of jug of calamansi juice to work everyday. But was back on drinking coke after giving birth.

When we migrated, there shouldn't be reason for me to drink coke since I stayed home most of the time and water is very clean. But then it started slowly, whenever the 2L coke is on sale (from $1.57 to $0.99), I will stock up on it. I only drink coke at night time, when my kids are in bed, as I don't want them to be a coke addict like me. A 2L coke would last me 3-5 days.

Since my kids were well trained already, I mean, they don't ask for coke even though they see me drinking coke, I started drinking coke during the day too. Last year, I noticed that I can drink 1L of coke in 1 day... which is not good! Definitely not good!

I told my son that my new year's resolution is to drink less coke... he started monitoring me... he bugs me everytime he sees me drinking coke... he reminds me of my 'new year's resolution'... and I've been setting up a wrong example! I'm a bad mother!

So, I am back to drinking coke at night when my kids are asleep... it also means that I drink less coke now... It was a hard habit to break! 3 months ago, I stopped buying coke. I realized that when I don't have supply at home, then I don't crave for it. Still, from time to time, I buy coke when I am expecting visitors.

Then last sunday, I am scheduled to repaint the apartment with the help of Junnie and Mitzi [thanks guys]... but before I started with my painting, I bought coke in cans. I told myself that I needed a treat after my painting... hahaha... After 3 hours of painting, I drank 2 cans of coke.

So anyway, my son made this comment: "mommy, you're not suppose to drink coke, remember? What about your new year's resolution? I know you've been drinking coke when I was sleeping... Because one time when you ask me to get your piglet mug in your computer table, I saw some coke in it... and I tasted it, its coke." (waving his point finger from left to right with a look of disappointment in his eyes) And here I am thinking I am getting away with it... who am I kidding, I'm cheating myself and my son!

My son is my voice... my conscience... my echo...

Any advice on how to totally stop this bad habit of mine???

Reading for today: When you thought I wasn't looking

1 year with 147 posts

I wanted to acknowledge my top 10 commentors: Junnie, Lam, Vangie, Denden, Evi, Atoy, Raquel, Agring, Analyse and Suze.

Words are not enough to express how much I appreciate all of your comments, inputs, encouragements and feed backs... and your never ending visits... THANK YOU!

To all my other visitors: Darlene, Vanessa, Kai, Lynn, Tin, Toni, Denny, Ka Uro, Duke, Cruise, Nao, TinTin, Linnor, Pao, Dops, AnP, Bless, Bugsybee, Fenny, Joey, Bea, Bethski, Ghie, Kadyo, the other Jo, Meeya, Husticia, Rachel, Teacher Sol, AnaPS, Bing aka Juliet, Diane, Ederic, Ethel, Eye, Hezel, Judy, Kaberns, Karen, Krit, Labing, Maila, Manussripts, NvyBlu789, Pia, Patrice, Pobs, Sassasfras, Shai, Yayam, Mama, Ima, J and Deepblue... and a lot more:

THANK YOU very very much for taking time out to read and comment on my blog. I have never thought I'd be blogging this long... [Sorry, I got tired of including links]

To my tagboard pals: Marhgil, Ethel, DarkBlak, Jenasarang, May, MayShella, Mmy-Lei, Nikki and Minnie:

THANK YOU for letting me know you were here...

And to all my silent readers: THANK YOU... you know who you are... but I don't know who you are... so please leave your URL so I can return the visit.

Mama Monday Challenge #2

I recently discovered a new and interesting site -- its called Empowering Mothers Online or eMothersOnline.com.

I decided to take part in their "Mama Mondays"... and this week's challenge is do something new with your child!

I've already blog about this, but I want this to be my entry for this challenge.



Do something new with your child!

I'm into scrapbooking and whenever my daughter see me updating my scrapbook, she would always offer to help. I never allowed her to help me coz I'm afraid she would mess things up. Instead I would give her something else to do with my paper shaper scissors. And that would keep her happy till I finish.

When my daughter turned 5, she received a 'Family Scrapbook' as a birthday gift. I plan to keep it till she was about 8 and up before I let her do it. I was really hesitant coz I was afraid she would ruin the scrapbook. But I can really see how excited she was and persistently beg me to help her do it.

So, I decided to help her do it. I provided the pictures and stickers, and ask her questions based on the scrapbook, and she was on the go! Of course, I have to spell the words out to her, but she did everything else on her own! She made a couple of mess, but it wasn't something that can't be fix.

Initially, we spent 3 hours on the carpet, she didn't even want to stop and rest... until we run out of pictures.

The second time around and another 2 hours on the carpet, and we're done! This is her masterpiece!

I can't believe that a child her age can focus that long. And I underestimated her talent, creativity, dedication and capabilities. My baby is no longer a baby... she is fast becoming a lady.

This is definitely something new that we've done together as mother and daughter. And will definitely continue on doing together from now on...

You've got mail

We all received a lot of "forwarded" emails and chain letters in our inbox... and the thing that I hate are those that includes the following at the end of the email:

  • If you love Jesus, send this to your friends.
  • Forward this message to as many people as soon as possible to receive goodluck.
  • If you delete this message, you will received # days of badluck.
  • Pass it to # of your good friends and be rich in # days.
  • ... etc etc etc ...
Do we honestly believe that these things will happen? If you have time to read it, then forward it to your friends, you should also have the time to delete this part of the message, right? It shouldn't take you more than 5 seconds to highlight this part of the email and press the delete button.

Do we honestly want our friends to have badluck because they chose to ignore the last part of the email? Or are we just forwarding it to them to share the stories and informations?

I don't mind receiving such emails, it gives me something to read and pick up a few lessons in life... I just hate the last part where it states one of the above points or something to that effect.

I admit that I "used to" forward these emails without verifying if they are true or fiction.

And I especially hate those who are fun of clicking the "forward" button without really reading the content of the (junk) email.

Chain letters goes directly to my "trash" folder. I can't believe people are still forwarding chain letters!

In fairness, some of the stories are really heart warming... so whether they are true or fiction, there are lessons to be learn and a good way to stop and reflect on our lives and many blessings.

So what do I do with these "heart warming" emails? Selected few, yes, I still forward them to my friends... but most of them are posted at One Friend, my other blog.

First snowfall

cherry tree covered in snow

walking home from school

snow

Today's temperature is around -10C but feels like -17C
with the wind blowing at 40+ km/h.

Aaaaaarrrrgh...

Today is a bad bad day!!!

After waiting for 3 years for my own DVD burner... hubby finally bought me one last November 6. Barely 2 weeks of trial and error in transferring our wedding video from VHS to DVD (which I haven't done successfully)... I decided to consolidate all of our pictures in CDs to DVD... and while transferring data from CD to my harddisk. I just shattered a CD inside my newly purchased LG DVD burner! $60 down the drain...

What are the chances! I read on the internet that this happen once or twice in every 10,000 discs. And it happen to ME! waaaaaah!

BEWARE: If you hear an intense vibrating noise or a bang from your superfast 48X CD-ROM or CD-RW drive, beware: your disc may be shattering.

My punishment for buying cheap CDs! Now my data in the shattered CD are lost forever! :-( And that includes our wedding and honeymoon pictures! huhuhuhu...

Tag: Getting to know me

Tagged by Ghie...

1. What time did you get up this morning?
on a weekend, its 10 am
2. Are you a morning person or night owl?
night owl
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I rarely go to movie theaters, I usually watch DVDs at home, last night I watched the 'Million Dollar Baby'
4. What is your favorite TV show?
Amazing Race, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Charmed and CSI
5. What did you have for breakfast?
hotdogs
6. What is your middle name?
A
7. What is your favorite cuisine?
chinese (obvious ba?)
8. What foods do you dislike?
spicy foods
9. Favorite day of the week?
Sundays
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
Mix songs from the 80s
11.What is your favorite sandwich?
McChicken
12. What characteristics do you despise?
hypocrite
13. What do you do most often when you are bored?
scrapbook or blog
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Europe and Egypt
15. Favorite brand of clothing?
Old Navy
16. Where were you born?
Manila
17. What is your best childhood memory?
tagging along my mama in Divisoria
18. Do you have pets?
Nope
19. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone?
our recently acquired canadian citizenship
20. What did you want to be when you were little?
criminal lawyer
21. Different jobs you have had in your life?
administrative assistant, bank teller and credit card officer... currently a part-time tax preparer
22. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
chicken (don't ask me why ^-^)

Now its time to pass it to all those interested... please leave comment/s so I'll know you took this tag.

Click here to copy and paste the questions, courtesy of Ethel.

Season change

The cold season is here to stay... well, at least for the next 3-4 months.... our days are getting shorter... sunrise is around 7:15am... and sunset is around 4:45pm... the temperature is dropping... and soon everything will be white...

I remember our first winter here, we were all excited to see the snow and looking forward to playing in the snow... but it wasn't a white christmas for us that year... it didn't snow until the 26th of december...

Here's hoping that its going to be a white christmas this year!

Conversation #7

My daughter enjoyed the days when I have to do grocery or run some errands, because it means that we have the car and she doesn't have to walk home from school. She also loves to go to the mall with me.

Friday was errand day. But I manage to do everything within the 2 hours that she was in school. And after picking her up from school,

PATRICIA said: "yey, we're going to the mall." (in her singing tone)
ME: Not today, mommy just did something while you were in school.
PATRICIA: But I want to go to the mall.
ME: We're not going to the mall today, mommy doesn't have money anymore.
PATRICIA: (she said proudly) I have money... in my piggy bank.
ME: Will you give mommy your money?
PATRICIA: ok, as soon as we get home.
ME: Really? That's so sweet of you.

When we got home, I thought she completely forgot about it. She never mentioned anything for the rest of the afternoon.

Later, we pick up daddy at the office, and I told hubby our little conversation.

PATRICIA proudly said: I'm giving mommy all my money!
PATRICK said: Nope. not me. I'm keeping all my money.
DADDY: Yes, you can both keep your money for rainy days.

Later that night, while I was washing the dishes,

PATRICIA came down and said: "Mommy I got coins for you on your desk."
ME: ok. thank you. (I wasn't really paying attention. I thought it was some coins she found lying around).

And true to her words, when I got to my desk, I saw some coins... she gave me 3 nickel and a penny from her piggy bank!

Ain't she sweet!

French Immersion School

It was hard for me to enroll my son in a French Immersion school as my husband and I don't speak the language. But with the help of Webster's french-english dictionary, I have manage to assist my son with his school work (which isn't a lot anyway).

I tried borrowing French cartoon movies for my son to watch so he can enhance his vocabulary. He doesn't like it very much since he said that he doesn't understand everything.

Last wednesday, I went to watch my son play bowling with his classmates. And I met his teacher for the very first time... I do communicate with her thru their 'school agenda book' and over the phone, but never in person.

Anyway, she said that my son is very good with the French language and loves to read. This made me very proud of him!

I don't know how "conversational" he is with the French language, all I need to know is that he is good at it... hmmmm... maybe we should take a trip to Montreal and test his French.

By next school year, my daughter will definitely be going to the same French Immersion School.

Conversation #6

Ever since we migrated to Canada, I barely bought my kids any clothes/shoes. Most of their stuff are either from their Lola (grandma) Marlene or hand-me-downs or birthday/christmas gifts... I can really count the items I bought for them here.

My kids just adored their Lola Marlene especially when they received packages from her.


This is how happy my daughter is whenever she got her stuff.

Anyway, I just told my daughter that Lola Marlene send another package for her and that we should get it by next week. Her face was glowing with excitement.

Then I ask her a question which is a little scary for me because I don't know how she would respond/react --

ME: Who do you love most? Mommy or daddy?
PATRICIA: (in a split second and without hesitation) Both!

Sigh... am so glad to hear her answer...

ME: Who do you love most? Mommy or Lola?
PATRICIA: (really thinking hard, with a sheepish smile on her face)
ME: (thinking: o-oh)
PATRICIA: (It took her about a minute before she said) Lola!

I know, I know... I shouldn't ask her that question as it might confused her. And, no, her answer didn't make me angry nor did I feel hurt.

It just makes me wonder why she would prefer her Lola Marlene when she lives thousand of miles away and whom she only sees once/twice a year?

Well, my conclusion is that kids will always be kids... they will choose the person who buys them stuff... and give them gifts!

Whether they are new stuff or hand-me-downs, my daughter loved them all!

Memento Around the World is here!

August 12, 2005. Junnie started this project...

"This is the objective of MEMENTO Around the World! It'll be your turn to show me your world through your eyes. We could've swapped .jpg's or digital albums but heck that's just too simple. I want you to share this with everyone else as we launch 5 (probably more, i'm just waiting for addresses) disposable cameras around the world and see how 5 friends who said YES first will capture their world in 2-3 images and pass the camera to another friend who then captures 2-3 images - of her going to school, of her backyard and how green (or brown) it is, bring the camera during a family gathering, or take a snapshot of yourself from the (bathroom) mirror, anything. We dont break any rules, because there aren't any.

Passing it on to the next friend may mean mailing or maybe knocking on the apartment door and say, please take 3 pictures and pass it on to another friend."
and now from 'the other Jo' to this 'Jo', the camera arrived today!

This is camera #3 ... and it started with 'Star' in Arkansas... to 'Vangie' in San Jose, California... to 'the other Jo' in Seattle, Washington... and now its back in Mississauga, Ontario.

And since we all know that Junnie takes better picture than me. I decided to let my kids to the project! They will each get 2 shots as I want to see the "beauty" in their eyes.

Say cheese!

Junnie, there's about 14 shots left... where to? I can pass it to Edith if you want.

Thoughts #8

2 weeks ago, at Martin's concert, hubby and I decided to take the subway instead of driving to downtown Toronto... the subway was crowded as it was rush hour (5:30pm), we sat at the end of the train.

As we near the Union station (one of the busiest station), on my way out, I suddenly notice a well dress guy, lying on the floor in the middle of the train. And nobody was even checking to see if he was drank, sick, unconscious, or dead? I don't know how long this guy have been there. But he is definitely surrounded by a lot of people. My guess will be that he was already there before we got on as I didn't hear any commotion or fuss during the whole ride.

I usually scan my surroundings where ever I go, but as I said, the train was really crowded when we got on... and the train became less crowded at the time we were getting off too. Anyway, as I watched from the outside, I saw a guy starting to inspect him but not touching him. I don't know what happen next as it was not on the news.

This reminds me of Tom Cruise' Collateral which hubby and I recently watched on DVD. In the movie, Tom Cruise as Vincent said:

"17 million people. This was a country, it would be the fifth biggest economy in the world. But nobody knows each other. Too impersonal. But that's just me...you know...

I read about this guy. Gets on the MTA, here, and dies. Six hours he's riding the subway before anybody notices. This corpse doing laps around LA, people on and off, sitting next to him, nobody notices." Full script here.
...oOo...

A friend (who took up Security classes) once said that if you come across an elderly who slipped, don't help the elderly by lifting him up, instead call 911. Weird right? The logic behind this is that this elderly can sue you later on for causing more injury. He may have broken something in his body during the fall, but if you help lift him up, you may have cause the injury to get worse, therefore it could be a ground for lawsuit!

Also, if you were the one who called 911, you are obligated to stay with that elderly until the medics and police arrived. Which can be a big hassle especially if you are in a hurry or late for appointment/work.

On the other hand, if you called 911, then the elderly suddenly stood up and walk away... 911 will charge you for sending medics/police when nobody was really hurt. For being helpful and caring, you will have to pay penalty.

Of course, there are also people who pretend to slip so they can sue someone else and profit from it.

So, do we go out of our way to help people we think needed help? Or should we just mind our own business?

Disclaimer: This is second hand information... and how I understand the system.

Please share your personal experience on this.

In helping others, we shall help ourselves,
for whatever good we give out
completes the circle and comes back to us."
~ Flora Edwards ~


Tag, I'm it! #3

Got tagged by Darlene. Here's her questions:

  1. Is it polite to stare?

    Of course not! How could staring be polite?

    Although I am guilty of this, sometimes, unconsciously, so when I know that I am already staring, I stop myself. I usually stare out of curiosity and not for anything else.

  2. What are your 7 favorite songs?

    My favorite OPM songs:

    • You are my song - Martin Nievera
    • Hanggang Ngayon - Martin Nievera
    • Maghihintay pa ba? - Martin Nievera
    • Nandito ako - Ogie Alcasid
    • Sino ang baliw? - Kuh Ledesma
    • How did you know? - Gary Valenciano
    • Take me out of the dark - Gary Valenciano

    My favorite foreign songs:

    • I will survive - Gloria Gaynor
    • I honestly love you - Olivia Newton John
    • Just once - James Ingram
    • Because you loved me - Celine Dion
    • Making love out of nothing at all - Air Supply
    • You'll never walk alone - Lee Towers
    • Father to son - Phil Collins

    These are songs that have meanings in my life...

...oOo...


Pictures:

Sunday night's pumpkin carving... please visit Junnie's blog for the pumpkin he carved for/with my daughter! Thanks (again) Junnie!

Video clip #1

Here's my daughter singing "sampung mga daliri."


February 6, 2003


Dancing to the tune of Asereje, a dance they've learned during their trip back home. Video taken at our first apartment in Canada.


February 7, 2003


Many many thanks to RAQUEL for teaching me how to do this video clip.

Happy Halloween to all!

English vs Tagalog

Friends would always ask me "do your kids understand what you just said?" I would say "yes, they can understand Tagalog, but they have a hard time speaking the language."

I usually speak Tagalog around the house. I know its hard for my kids to speak the language but I want them to at least understand it. And when I'm angry, I speak in Tagalog, it is easier for me to express my anger in Tagalog than in English.

My hubby would always tell me to speak in English because the tone of my voice, especially when I'm angry, is lower than when it is in Tagalog. More "pleasing" to the ears as he would always say. Does it really make a difference? My hubby believe so.

I'm beginning to think so too.

There are lots of blogs out there who uses our native language in their postings, and one thing that I notice is that I am able to "feel" and "understand" their anger, confusion, happiness, excitement, apprehensions, fear, being in love, loneliness, getting broken hearts... they are able to impart their emotions, perfectly.

And because we are so comfortable with Tagalog, postings can also cause friction, wrong interpretation of the message and emotions, misunderstanding and miscommunications. Hence, conflict arises.

I've been blogging for almost a year now and I've chosen to blog in English. That is probably the reason why I have a hard time writing down my feelings and emotions??? hmmmmm...

Of course, there are those who are able to convey their emotions perfectly in English (except me). No doubt about that!

My favorite answer when my friends ask me "do your kids understand what you just said (in Tagalog)?" -- "aba mahirap magalit sa ingles!"

Is it just me? Do I make sense at all? ^_^

Things aren't always what they seem

I had the unfortunate chance of meeting one blogger face to face. She was actually the second blogger I've met. The first blogger I've met became a family friend who I admired in the blogosphere and adored by my kids. This post is not about that friend. This post is about the second blogger.

Reading her posts, her portrayal of a demure, angelic and soft spoken lady turns out to be the total opposites of what I've seen in person. She made a mockery of my postings starting from this to this... etc... which I opted to disregard then because I am not here to please people, I am here to blog.

Not only that, she made a lot of mockery of other people's picture in their blog (people I don't even know), referring to one particular blogger (she had a bad encounter with) to even look like a katulong.

I caution myself from there on, I kept my distance. This isn't somebody I want to be friends with but at the same time I didn't want to judge her character based on one meeting.

She referred a couple of other blogs, which I am thankful for, cause I find them to be interesting, informative, very real and down to earth. And I find myself visiting these blogs rather than hers.

I was really surprised to learn that she was taking "credit" in being good at "promoting" other people's blog. Nobody asked her to do this. And she also said that because of her, I had a lot of "hits" in my own blog.

Is she right to take credits? Did you come here to read my blog because somebody told you to do so? Did you come here following her footsteps, everytime? She may have led some of you here, initially, but isn't it your CHOICE if you want to come back here or not? Or maybe you discovered my blog after I left a comment in your tagboard?

Yes, I admit that since I started visiting, not only her blog but some other blogs (in her circle of links), my hits had increased! Why? Because instead of just lurking and reading, I started leaving comments to let people know that I was there and that I have a blog too.

I'm not a good writer nor good at expressing myself, and my grammar is not perfect either. But what you see/read is the real ME. I am not pretending to be somebody else. I never leave "anonymous" comments. I am not exaggerating nor creating stories to get you hooked up nor take pity on my struggles with life.

This blog may not reveal the 100% ME, but it is still ME.

Reading for today: Things aren't always what they seem

Do you want a big family?

I only have 2 kids and I am already "complaining" how much work it is... don't get me wrong, I love my kids and I love being a mother. I love being pregnant, the feeling of a baby growing inside me, the excuse for eating without worrying about getting fat and breastfeeding... But its not an easy job and I am on-call 24/7.

I'm really glad that I had both my kids back home. I was telling hubby that if we migrated before my daughter was conceived, I may not have her anymore. Its just hard to raise kids here, with no help around, no family member to assists and daycare are very expensive. I know that 2 kids is too few. My mama have 9 brothers and sisters and my papa have 5. I have 4 siblings and hubby have 3. But at least (I hope and pray) I can 'guarantee' my kids with a good education and a good life.

Imagine my shock when I read about a couple who have 16 children and still wants more... "Little Rock, Arkansas (AP) -- Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again... Michelle Duggar, 39, had her first child at age 21, four years after the couple married. Their children include two sets of twins, and each child has a name beginning with the letter "J": Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2; Jackson Levi, 1; and now Johannah."

A date with Martin

Hubby and I with Martin and Pops Finally, hubby and I are going out on a date tonight!

It's a concert date with Martin Nievera... am sooooo excited! I have been a huge fun of Martin since his 'Penthouse Live' days...

Hubby and I got the chance to meet Martin and Pops in Boracay, 1996. Martin was very friendly with the crowd!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Fall Colors

October 16. We went for a drive to see the fall colors. This is my favorite time of the year. I just love to see the leaves turn yellow, orange and especially red.

We drove 2.5 hours to Lions lookout in Huntsville...

click to enlarge click to enlarge

and another hour from Huntsville to the Fire Tower in Dorset...

click to enlarge click to enlarge

It was hard climbing up... but it was much harder going down the Fire Tower. I can ride any type of roller coaster, but I can feel my knees shaking on this one. I was actually scared going down, so I was able to take a picture of my family from the top.

Both towns are located in Muskoka, Ontario.


My favorite fall color is red! It was hard to find a nice red tree, most of them are along the highways... I got lucky on this one as we stop for dinner at McDonalds.

More pictures here

Decisions

Junnie asked this in his blog: "What's the hardest choice you recently made?"

Thank God I don't have to make any such decision right now. But let me share LV's present situation. LV's brother had been diagnosed with Cryptococcal Meningitis early this year and is in a terminal stage right now.

"Cryptococcal meningitis is a brain infection caused by a fungus called cryptococcus neoformans, which is found mainly in dirt and bird droppings."

His brother is in his early 30s with a wife and 2 kids (ages 11 and 6). To date, medical bills have reached approximately PHP1.5M (roughly CDN$ 34,000+ or USD$ 27,000+) and they are financially in debt.

The doctor presented them with this situation: to continue medication (which they can no longer afford) or to let him go peacefully. To my understanding, even if they continue the medication, it will not "cure" him, it will only prolong his life. As of today, he can no longer communicate with his love ones.

I remember engaging in a debate back in college about euthanasia. I am pro-life. But in situation such as this, is it practical to continue the medication even if its a financial burden already with no hope of any recovery? or should we continue fighting and hope that a miracle can happen? what about the future of his children? how can they get proper education if there's no money left? is it selfish to think of the future of the surviving spouse and children rather than the sick?

To me, if I am in a terminal illness and a financial burden, I would readily accept being let go. It's no use leaving my love ones in debt.

But I wouldn't know what to do if I were in LV's situation. It's a much harder decision to make. You are putting his life in your hands. What would you do? How would you deal with this situation?

I think it's important for everyone (irregardless of age) to have a signed Power of Attorney for Personal Care so that in situation such as this, with instructions and wishes in writing, we can relieve family members from having to make difficult decisions at a time of great stress.

My prayers goes to the family of LV. I know its a painful and hard decision. Please take time out to pray for LV and his family.

Should I be happy or not?

I remember when I was in grade school, I have to bring 7-10 books and 7-10 notebooks to school everyday. My bag was really heavy then. I remember that our maid had to walk me to school just to help me carry my bag.

My school starts at 7:15am and ends at 12noon for lunch break... then resume again at 1:15pm to 2:15pm for my english classes... then from 2:30pm to 4:30pm I have my chinese classes.

I remember that my mama had to buy books every year, even though I have older brothers/sister, I can't use the books that they used since the school is using a different edition every year. I also remember that I have homework almost every night...

Fast forward to present time in Canada, school here starts at 8:45am and ends at 3:15pm, with a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes break in between. My son's backpack consists of: pencil case, an agenda book, lunch box/water, and personal items like mittens, scrafs, hat (during winter months)... and that's it! No notebooks, no books!

All of his notebooks are provided by the school and left in school. All books are also school property. I don't really know what books they used and what they do at school. They don't even have long test to prepare for.

Right now, my son (in grade 3) is given homework every wednesday which is due the following tuesday.

It's a good thing that hubby started reading to the kids every night since they were young so my kids love reading before bedtime.

So should I be happy that my son doesn't get much homework? or don't have to study or cram for an exam? or spent the whole night finishing a project? or that he doesn't have to carry heavy books to school everyday? and that I don't have to buy his school books and uniforms?

Or should I be worried that compared to his old playmates back home, he might not be as good as them? or like most kids here, he might end up not going to college/university?

Back in college, I would hear some of my "average" classmate/s who migrated to the States or Canada graduated at the top of their class. And I find that hard to believe. But now, I understand why. Because the education system back home is still way much better than it is in this part of the world.

We were trained to study and study and study back home. Here, kids were trained to be independent and to socialize with other kids and adults.

They say that kids who grew up here are "street smart" and can easily talk to adults... while kids back home are "bookish"... This, I have yet to find out.

A friend of mine recently migrated to Vancouver. Her children, ages 10, 8 and 5 are saying that all they do in school is play. Way too different from their previous school.

My friends back home are wondering how come I have time to blog, update my family website, is now into online scrapping and also get to spent time chatting when they don't even have time to check their emails? We are all on the same boat - meaning full time stay-at-home moms with 2 kids, housechores and they even have maids to help them and I don't.

The only thing that's really different is that they spent 1-3 hours everyday helping their kids do their homework, while I spent only 15-30 minutes on school related activities once or twice a week.

All in all, migrating has been good for our family! The education system is the one thing that I don't like about Canada.

My Favorites from A to Z

A is for Amazing race and Autumn, my favorite season
B is for Beaches and BBQ picnic during summer time
C is for Cuddling, digital Camera and Coke
D is for Desperate housewives, my new fave TV series
E is for the story of Encouragement
F is for Family Fun
G is for Gifts (I love surprises) and Gospel tract (a must-read)
H is for Home sweet Home!
I is for Internet
J is for Jeannie, my fave cousin
K is for Kris Kringle
L is for Love, can't live without it!
M is for Mike, Mango Moose cake and Mickey Mouse (Disneyworld)
N is for my Nephew and Nieces whom I miss so much
O is for my other blog, One friend
P is for the 2 P's in my life, Patrick and Patricia
Q is for "Que sera sera" - my mama used to sing this song to me
R is for Red Lobsters, our fave family restaurant
S is for Scrapbooking, my fave hobby
T is my love for Travelling (budget permitting) and Tobogganing
U is for the magical Unicorn
V is for Visa card
W is for Wal-mart and my family Webpage
X is for XoXo
Y is for Yahoo messenger
Z is for Zzzzzzzzz... (sleeping)

Tag, you're it!

Our Anniversary Celebration

Ever since we migrated, we have to drag our kids where ever we go! Gone where the days when hubby and I used to go out on dates and leave the kids with yayas or lolos/lolas. Though we have friends who I know are willing to babysit for us, we just couldn't take advantage of that (unless its a really important event that we can't take the kids with us). So for our anniversary, we have to think of something the whole family will enjoy. And the one thing that hubby and I shared and enjoy immensely are road trips!

Last Saturday we left the house at 5:45am and after 396 km, we reached Science North in Sudbury at 10am.

Science North is "a world-renowned science centre and Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction".

It was an all day fun for the kids... roaming around... touching and playing with everything in sight... trying out and discovering different things... They even have a special event (Lego Exhibition) for that weekend only.

Please check out some our pictures from the Science North and Lego exhibition.

10 years from now, I'm sure my kids wouldn't like to be tagging along on family trips like this... so we might as well take advantage of our "family quality time" while they don't have a say yet.

Memory Lane - the past 10 years

Our 10th Anniversary

"I thank you for bringing out the best in me
I thank you for ignoring the worst in me
I thank you for loving me for what I am
And for that, I want you to know 'I love you, truly!'"



Life is full of challenges and hardship, full of decisions to make, many opportunities knocking on our doors... through it all, what really matters is the choices that we made in our lives... right or wrong, we live by the choices we made. And I stand by my choices with no regrets!

Our wedding was a mixture of Chinese-Filipino tradition. It wasn't hard to organized though since me and hubby made most of the major decisions! And hubby always give in to my request [wink]!

Going down the memory lane --

1995
As early as February, we were busy with our wedding preparations... June, we announced our wedding plans to our friends during Hubby's birthday party!

October, we tied the knot... and off we go to HongKong and Singapore for our honeymoon.

1996
We bought and moved into our first townhouse in March... a place we called our HOME! Then we decided that its baby time...

I went on my first trip to Boracay/Iloilo/Roxas with hubby and my in-laws. We even met Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez in Boracay... and later on I found out that I was pregnant.

1997
January 8, Hubby just left that morning to go to La Union/Baguio City, I wasn't due in 2 more weeks, but I was up for a checkup that same day at 2pm... and the doctor said I had to confine myself to the maternity ward.

I checked myself into the hospital and got hold of hubby around 7pm, told him to come home the next day as I know I am not due yet... but he decided to drove back that same night (imagine he drove from Manila to La Union to Baguio City and back to Manila for 18 hours).

By January 10, my doctor had to do an emergency C section and at 2:22am, we welcome our son with open arms... the start of many sleepless nights... and the joy of parenthood...

He is the first grandchild in my hubby's side and the 5th grandchild on my side.

1998
Patrick's first plane trip to Cebu to visit great grandma and meet aunties and uncles and cousins on my side...

1999
Our second honeymoon was a trip to the USA (SFO, Chicago, NY/NJ, Connecticut, Boston, Orlando)...

Little did I know that hubby wants to check out the possibility of migrating and living in North America... and as soon as we got home, we started gathering the required documents and filled out the forms for Canada. We submitted our application forms within a span of 6 weeks... And the wait begins...

Later in the year, we went on our third "unplanned" honeymoon to Bangkok, courtesy of my MIL's free airline mileage.

2000
We received words from the Canadian Embassy to have our medical exams, since I was pregnant, I couldn't complete my x-ray until at least I was on my 7th month (this of course delayed the processing)...

In August, we welcome our daughter to the world... and my son was soooo happy to see his little sister! He even made a welcome sign for her.

She is the 3rd grandchild on my hubby's side and the 8th on my side. The youngest (so far) on both side.

2001
Marks the year we migrated to Canada... Hubby took up a 6-month full time course on Networking... And with lots of unfinished business in Manila, me and the kids went back home in time for my daughter's first birthday... and then we fly out to Beijing, China where my MIL was waiting. And finally back to Canada.

Yes, me and the kids (then 4.5 and 1 yr old) had been to 3 different countries in 1 year! It wasn't easy travelling with 2 young kids.

2002 to 2003
Courtesy of my MIL, we went home in December for a family reunion... Ahhhh.... There's no place like home! We maximize our trip by visiting Boracay, Roxas (to visit great grandma Payang) and Tagaytay Highlands.

And my son celebrated his 6th birthday with his old playmates. He remembers very little about the Philippines, so we took him around to see our old neighborhood and his old school.

2004
We went on a family trip to Orlando, Florida for 7 days and 6 nights with my in-laws (from Beijing, Manila and New York)... And on the day of our 9th year wedding anniversary, me and hubby celebrated it in MGM/Epcot/Magic Kingdom! Yes, 3 theme parks in 1 day! We met the whole family at Magic Kingdom later that night for Mickey's not-so-scary-halloween party!


It was a dream come true! We all love Mickey!

2005
Marks the year we became Canadian Citizens!

And our 10th-year wedding anniversary!


October 8, 1995
San Sebastian Basilica Church
The Peninsula Manila

...oOo...

By the way, its a long weekend for us in Canada... Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have really a lot of things to be thankful for, most especially for my family's good health and many blessings! Have a great weekend!

Parents Behaving Badly

Case #1: Toddler given whiskey

"...Rebecca Kern admits putting Jim Beam Whiskey in her son's bottle the day before a friend came to visit her..." Read the whole story here.

Case #2: Toddler given vodka

"...The nine-month-old had "somehow" been left in the care of a two-year-old, who obviously mistook the clear liquor for Pedialyte... a half-ounce would have been enough to push the baby over the legal limit - while slightly over two ounces could have killed him..." Read the whole story here.

Case #3: Mom wants to "de-flower" teenage daughter

"A woman pleaded guilty to second-degree rape for providing a hotel room and liquor so her 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old friend could have sex with two men they just met..." Read the whole story here.

Case #4: Toddler left in car because father forget

"...most parents do not "intend" to leave their children in a hot car. They just forget that they are there, which is the same for this case, and why the toddler's father may not be charged... No parent has been charged in Clark County yet for "forgetting" to leave their child in a car. One parent has only been charged when they intentionally left their child in a car. One child, 16-month-old Jozia Diaz, died earlier this summer after his father forgot him in the car..." Read the whole story here.

Case #5: Father killed infant girl because she won't stop crying

"...Panganiban admitted to police he was tired on the night of Aug. 13, 2001. His daughter would not stop crying, so he covered her mouth to keep her from crying, he told police. When that didn't work, Panganiban placed the back of his knee as many as 15 times over his daughter's face to stop her from crying. He later fell asleep and woke up to find his leg "suction-cupped" to his daughter's face..." Read the whole story here.

...oOo...

What's wrong with the world we live in??? Reading stories like this scares the hell out of me... If a parent could do these things to their own children, what more a babysitter or caretaker or strangers?

Reading for today: Mother's Path of life

ADHD checklist

On one of our regular visits to my son's Pediatrician (in Manila), the doctor mentioned that he is way too hyper and active for his age (he was 2 years old). And that she would like to continue on studying him if I would permit it. I said "yes" but never gave it another thought. The doctor didn't pursue it too.

When he was 3.5 years old, the doctor again noticed his inability to sit still and focus... but at that time, we were already planning on migrating, again, I didn't thought there was anything to it. I guess I just thought that he was normal and acts like any kid his age.

When he was in Kindergarten (in Canada), the teacher's would always comment about his inability to focus and his short attention span... and yet they all said that he's smart. I know he is a smart kid. But we (me and the teachers) couldn't see his full potential since he is easily distracted with his surroundings. When I ask our family doctor about this, she just said to wait and see, as it is way to early to say if it is ADHD or not.

When his grade 1 teacher told me that my son could be "ADHD" (again). I really couldn't believe it, or should I say I don't want to accept it. But it couldn't be just coincidental that so many people already noticed it... So I began my research and discover this ADHD checklist (which I have copied below).

BASIC RULES

  • a professional uses the symptoms checklist to make the diagnosis of ADHD
  • behavior has persisted for at least six months
  • to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level
  • must present with six or more of the following
HYPERACTIVITY
  • often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • often leaves seat in situations in which staying seated is expected
  • often runs about or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations
  • in adolescents or adults, may be limited to feelings of restlessness
  • often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • often talks excessively
IMPULSIVITY
  • often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • often has difficulty awaiting turn
  • often interrupts or intrudes on others (conversations, games)
INATTENTION
  • often fails to give close attention to details
  • often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • often makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • often does not follow through on instructions
  • often fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions
  • often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • often avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • often loses things necessary for tasks (assignments, pencils, books, etc.)
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • is often forgetful in daily activities
Checklist Copyright © Centers for Disease Control

I did the checklist myself and was surprised at how many was applicable to my son. On HYPERACTIVITY its 6/7... on IMPULSIVITY its 3/3... on INATTENTION its 6/12! And I would say that he is on the extreme side. This cause me to panic! It was hard to accept that my son could have a "disability". But then, knowing the signs of an ADHD explains a lot of his "weird" behavior in the past.

Here's one incident: we were lining up for a roller coaster ride, when all of the sudden he would put his hand beside his head and waving it at the same time shaking his head and his whole body while shouting "waaaaaaah..." in front of a boy we didn't know. The boy with his mom just stared at my son. I apologize and hold him by the hand and look into his eyes and ask "what were you doing?" He looked at me, puzzled, "I don't know mommy. Why?"

I ask my hubby to do the checklist too and then we compared our answers. Next I gave the checklist to his teachers. And then I brought all the checklist to our family doctor who in turn referred us to a specialist.

And that is how it all started. Now the question is whether to medicate or not.

To medicate or not to medicate

This is the second year that my son is taking Ritalin for his ADHD. And though I was skeptical during the first year, I didn't think twice this school year.

Yes, his appetite is still deeply affected especially while he is on medication, he NEVER eats his lunch at school... but once the medicine wears off, his appetite is also back. So I make sure that he eats heavy breakfast (i.e. rice, noodles or pasta) in the morning before he takes his medicine... and I have food ready for him (as his lunch) when he comes home from school at 4pm. And he also eats dinner again at 6pm. So he still gets his 3 meals a day.

What are the advantages?

  1. His grades have improved a great deal! No more NIs.
  2. He doesn't get into trouble at school anymore.
  3. Before, a task I would do in 10 minutes would take my son 3 hours or more (I'm not exaggerating, you can just imagine my frustration)... now, the same task would take him 30 minutes.
  4. When he was in grade 1 (not yet on medication), he loses his cap/scarf/gloves/sweater at school easily and wouldn't remember where he drop it (about 5 pairs of gloves, 3 scarves and 3 caps) ... last school year (already on medication), I'm happy to say that he only lost 1 cap and 1 pair of gloves.
  5. He can control himself at parties and at sunday masses. He doesn't squirm as much as before.
  6. Last but not the least, now HE THINKS BEFORE HE ACTS!
To Darlene's query: I don't know the case of your son. But I think I know what you've been going through, I was there and still am.

My suggestion to your ADD child is to try the medication and see how he reacts to it, note down his behavior before and during the medication. And see for yourself! With the right medicine and the right dosage, you will see the difference immediately, I guarantee you that. Try to send him to school one day with the medication without telling the teachers, and talk to the teachers at the end of the day and see if they notice anything different. Likewise, do it at home so you can witness it yourself. If you don't see any "major" improvements then you can easily stop the medication.

I'm not a doctor and I don't claim to be an expert on this, it's just a suggestion from a mother to a mother. There's no harm in trying coz we all want what's best for our children.

Me and my hubby were skeptical at first, especially my hubby, we don't believe in medicating children so that they would act/behave a certain way... but after doing my own research, talking to doctors, teachers, other parents in various ADHD egroups and my son's school principal who had an ADD child, I told myself that I should at least try and see if it would HELP my son. And it did!

I haven't tried behavioral therapy with my son. But I did implement a daily routine for my son everyday, I notice that without this routine, he is always "lost" and confused.

Routine is simply the schedule you follow everyday: once he got home from school, first thing he had to do is put away his shoes/jackets/bag, then he washed his hands and then eat his lunch. After that, he do his homework or if no homework, he get to watch 30 minutes of TV, then he takes his bath and as soon as his daddy comes home, we had our (early) dinner... Then it's either play time or more tv... They read books 30 minutes before bedtime. I notice that if I follow this routine everyday, we wouldn't have any problem at all. Simple task, right? Not for an ADHD child.

Its important to remember that kids like my son cannot do multi tasking, so mothers/teachers cannot give more than 2 instructions at one time. I used to give these instructions all at the same time: 5 minutes before we have to go down for the school bus I would say "it's time to go, put on your shoes, get your bag... don't forget your eyeglasses and jacket... let's go..." And my son would always shook his head in frustration and said "mommy I can't do all at the same time. You said shoes and now jacket, what do I do first?" But if these were given one at a time, he will be able to do it all with no hassle. So now I give him allowance, instead of 5 minutes, I give him 10 minutes to do all these things every morning.

How am I sure that he needs Ritalin? All I know is that my 5-year old daughter is able to do the little things that I also require of my 8-year old son. A simple task like putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, my daughter can do it without me reminding her... but with my son, his clothes will be on the floor beside the laundry basket all the time even with constant reminder. My son lost a lot of stuff at school, my daughter NEVER lost anything (yet). My daughter can sit for 30 minutes to 2-hour doing her activity books... my son will not last longer than 5 minutes. I hate comparing my kids, but it helps me understand that my son needs more help than my daughter. And the culprit is ADHD not him.

To help you all understand the mind of an ADHD child, here is a poem by Vicci Morris.

To blog or not to blog

I have been sitting in front of my computer all morning thinking of whether I should blog today or not... I am already running out of things to blog and after completing a post earlier and before I could save/publish it, it was lost! Blogger ask me to sign in and when I did, the post that I have just created was gone!

That was yesterday... obviously I decided not to blog...

...oOo...

Amazing Race 8: Family Edition premiers tonight on CBS at 9pm EST.

...oOo...

I am a night person, I can stay up as late as I want to (not partying though)... sometimes doing housechores, surfing, blogging, emailing, scrapping or just simply watching tv or a movie at home with hubby. And because I sleep late, I prefer to wake up late too. I'm definitely not a morning person.

On weekdays, I have to force myself out of the bed by 6:30am to get the kids ready for school. And on weekends, I tend to sleep till about 10am since hubby is here to take care of the kids... My alarm clock would be the screaming of my daughter out of frustration, the fighting over which program to watch, my kids jumping on my bed, or simply the loud tv.

The past week had been different though. The house was very quiet even on the weekends. I spent 10 days of sleepless nights waiting on my kids as they alternately got sick! Yes, both of my kids were sick!

They both have 2 different type of medicines to take and at different hour of the day... its especially hard for me in the middle of the night... cause as I was just dosing off, I have to wake up again. And once I'm up, I can't just go back to bed and continue my sleep. From midnite to 4am, I have to give the kids their medicines every hour. So I was basically up till about 4am (the next dose of medicine is at 8am)...

On the 8th day of this kind of schedule, I was beat, luckily it falls on the weekend. So hubby was here to attend to the kids and give them brunch. It's also a good thing that I left hubby a note (which I scribble in the dark at 4am) for the kid's next medicine time. Since both of my kids were sick, my normal alarm clock didn't go off -- no loud noise, no shouting, no fighting to wake me up in the morning. Hence I woke up at 12:30pm on saturday and at 11am on sunday.

Now everything is back to normal... they are both healthy and strong, active and hyper again! I'd rather have my noisy and messy kids anytime... rather than see them suffering from being too sick.

We Are Canadians!

Today marks the first day of Autumn/Fall... Today also marks the day we appear before the Judge to take oath of our Canadian citizenship!

We got there just in the nick of time, as we know that they won't let us enter the courtroom before the scheduled time. We were assigned seat number 108 to 111. And waited for about 45 minutes while the CIC staff checked all of our documents... Court in session at 2:10pm, Judge gave a speech and then we took our oath (both in English and in French):

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

By 2:30pm they started calling us one by one as they handed out our Citizenship card and certificate. Total of 134 candidates from 23 countries in our city became Canadians today! By 3:30pm, we ended the ceremony by singing O'Canada (our national anthem).

Tagging our kids along wasn't easy as my son has been sick since last Friday but is much much better today... likewise, my daughter is also sick since yesterday. Our kids are not required to appear before the Judge but because we don't have a babysitter, we brought them along with us.


Credits: ThreeScrapateers.com

After the ceremony, we had an early dinner at Il Fornello.

...oOo...

The Time Frame / Process

June 2004
We submitted our Citizenship applications to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

July 2004
We received acknowledgement from CIC. The letter said it will take approximately 8-10 months to process our application. Also attached is a book called "A Look at Canada" for our reference.

May 7, 20005
CIC started processing our applications.

August 4, 2005
We received letter informing us of our upcoming citizenship exam on August 20 at 1pm.

Hubby and I take turns in studying the book called "A Look at Canada" where the multiple choice questions for the exam will be based on.

August 20, 2005
We took our first step.

September 9, 2005
After 3 weeks, we received yet another letter - this time its a "notice to appear" before the Judge on September 22 at 1:15pm.

September 22, 2005
After 1,629 days of making Canada our home...
and 33 days after our Citizenship Exam...

We are now Canadian Citizens!

This doesn't mean that we are turning our back on our birth/home country... in fact, we have every intention of maintaining dual citizenships.

Countdown continues

Tomorrow is THE DAY!
We are all very excited!


Reading for today: Another Love Story... You'll definitely think twice about your blessings after reading this story by an unkown author.

Countdown begins

3 more days to go...
September 22 is a very special day for our family... details to follow...

...oOo...

Do you know your basic first aid? Could you do it if someone is choking, got burns, frostbite, or is bleeding? Would you know what to do? I thought answers to these are easy, until I took the Reader's Digest' first aid quiz!

Saying "I'm Sorry"

"Sticks and stones can break your bones,
but words can truly make or break you."

Why is it hard to say "I'm sorry"? Is it because we don't want to admit that we are only human and can make mistakes? Is it because we don't care if we hurt other people? Or is it because we don't know that person well? Is it because you don't or wont be seeing each other? Or because it is hard to swallow our pride? Or because we truly believe that we did nothing wrong?

On the other hand, there are people who do say "I'm sorry" quite easily. The question here is: Are they sincere or not? Is it because they make so many mistakes and hurt so many people that saying "I'm sorry" meant nothing anymore? I truly believe that if you care enough, you wont have to say "I'm sorry" because you will make sure you are not hurting anybody at all.

If you publicly accused someone of something, and later on found out that you were wrong, would you publicly apologize too? or would you apologize privately? If you were the accused, which would you prefer? To me, it doesn't really matter, as long as that person admits to his/her wrongdoing, sincerely, that is fine with me.

Let's talk about an incident with S. I don't "personally" know S, I just knew her face and name and we've been to the same high school and college. We got re-acquainted last year thru an egroup and I thought I found a friend (I'm so naive). One innocent question that I posted in our egroup turns into disaster! S said I don't have the right to ask that question since it doesn't concern me. She's right when she said that it doesn't concern me since I am here in Canada and the event will take place in the Philippines, but because I saw this as a trend I had to ask my question. Just because she can't provide a "logical explanation" to an "innocent question" doesn't mean that S have the right to call me an "egghead" or wanting to kick me out of the egroup! (Actually there's 3 of us here, so we are now known as the "tatlong itlog or three eggheads"). And worst, she spread it like fire... this "egghead" had reached HongKong, USA and who knows where else, before it reaches Canada! What the hell is that for??? Even those other members of our egroup whom I haven't talk to since high school would suddenly send me YM messages asking me what was wrong. If she has a problem with me, she should have confronted me. It was as if we were transported back to our high school days! Grrrrrr...

Some say she has always been like that... guess I found out a bit too late... Anyway, I confronted her, I guess she didn't know me well enough to realize that I confront people. Haha... And she was in total denial! She claim she never said those mean things about me... she only admitted on calling me an "egghead" and still she never apologize for it! Since then, I kept my distance... no sense in keeping in touch with people like S.

Sigh...

"Words can hurt you by what is said about by others. A false accusation can destroy a career, ruin a relationship, and end a marriage. Words are weapons and words used frivolously, callously or with evil intent can cause you immeasurable harm. Gossip is destructive. Backbiting is destructive. Rumor is destructive. Inaccuracy is destructive." by Dan Davies

Reading for today: The Cookies

Sand Sculptures #2

Artist Jose Luis Gonzalez returned for the third time to San Pedro this Easter weekend to create a sculpture of Jesus Christ at The Last Supper with his 12 disciples, breaking bread and drinking wine. "La Isla Bonita" was privileged, once again, to welcome the 26 year-old artist from Mexico who was most recently in San Pedro last January where he displayed other magnificent sand sculptures at Central Park. His most famous creations at that time were of "La Piedad" and Jesus Christ on Mount Sinai. Read more...


Last supper

Last supper

Here's more that I got from Google... from unknown artists.





Sand Sculptures #1

From street paintings... now comes sand sculptures... it must have taken these artist a long time to come up with these sculptures.


From letsdiscussjesus.org








From Easter Sand Sculptures in Benidorm






More to follow....

Interesting article

For those who are still single you might want to consider moving/migrating to Cap d'Agde, a small city south of France... read all about it in the Sept 13 post at Denny's blog. (Hi Denny, hope you don't mind me linking to your topic for the day.)

I have heard of people going topless or naked at certain beaches... but its my first time to hear about wanting to bank naked? Shop naked? Dine naked? Buy baguettes at a brasserie naked? Read all about it here.

Gift suggestions

The first "ber" month is here and it reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.

As a mother, seeing how my kids treat their toys, here's MY list of great birthday/christmas gifts to children (ages 4 to 10 years old):

  • I love scrapbooks and that's my number 1 gift item to a friend's teenage daughter. But seeing my daughter's excited face in doing her own scrapbook and her proud face when she look at her own masterpiece, I realize that its a great gift even kids her age. And I definitely appreciate this as I discover my daughter's "newfound" talent.
  • Books and Activity books. Always a good gift item. My kids hardly received them as gifts. So I make it a point to give these as gifts. Kids may not appreciate it at first sight as much as if its a toy, but eventually they would. A parent would definitely appreciate this too.
  • Board games are also a perfect gift especially for siblings as they tend to bond more playing together rather their own separate toys. Having a boy and a girl, they have their own different set of toys, and the only time they play together are thru board games (i.e. monoploy, chess, checkers, card games... or anything that requires 2 players or more). Of course, its also good for family "bonding" time.
  • Instead of the little legos which is messy and kind of hard to disassemble, I prefer those K'nex toys as you tend to make more out of it and the kid's creativity really comes out. My son had 3 sets of these and he still loves playing with it, and so does my daugther.
  • Educational games such as leap pads and v-tech that teaches reading, math and science. A bit on the expensive side, but I prefer these types of toys than gameboys/nintendos/xbox.
  • Piggy banks. Kids have keen eyes to find coins in the mall/grocery/streets... its a good way to teach them how to start saving and the value of money... Once, I hid some coins all over the house for my kids to find. The trick is they need to clean up their toys inorder to find these coins and all coins goes to their piggy banks. You should see the smiles on their faces when they shook it and knows that its getting heavier and heavier.
  • For boys, any hot wheel cars and matchbox, even though they got plentiful of it already; and for girls, any stuff toys, Barbie dolls and the likes are always a big hit. You'll never go wrong with these type of gifts.
These are the type of toys that I don't buy even for my own kids:

  • Playdough. The only time my kids play with playdough is outdoor! It's a great toy though, I just hate the tidying up because its messy and sticks on the carpet/rugs.
  • Action heroes (figures) and the likes, as they don't do anything but add mess... unless the kid is really into collecting these models for keeps. My son would only play with these type of toys for a day or two and that's it.
  • Puzzles. Once you lose a piece, its garbage. Once its completed, its garbage (I mean kids won't play with them anymore). Though there are some puzzles that are pretty enough to have it frame once you've completed it. This is a gift that teaches "patience" in kids and may be more suitable for teenagers.
  • Glitters. Anything with glitters equals mess that is hard to clean.
Just my two cents.