Conversation #5

My daughter received a scrapbook as a birthday gift, and she was so excited. Seeing me doing my scrapbook, she always wanted to help, but I am afraid she would mess it up, so I would distract her to do other things instead.

Anyway, I provided the pictures and details, ask her questions (based on the scrapbook) and she was on the go! Her first day, we spent 3 hours on the carpet, she didn't want to stop and rest... until we run out of pictures. Then I ordered some pictures thru the internet and once we got them, we spent another 2 hours on the carpet and viola, here's her masterpiece!

I included the second picture in her scrapbook, taken in the 2003 Toronto Winter Festival. She looked at the ice maze --

My son (age: 6 years old)

My daughter (age: 2.5 years old)

and here's our conversation:

Patricia: Mommy, who is that? (pointing at the second picture)
Me: That's you.
Patricia: Wow! I'm still a baby...

Patricia: But mommy, how did I get out of the maze? I don't know how I did it?
Me: (Smiling) You were calling out to your brother and by following the sound of his voice you made it out of the maze.
Patricia: Ooooh! I am smart! (looking proud and happy, the look on her face was priceless)

She really did a nice job with her scrapbook, very neat for a 5 year old... So now I'm thinking of letting her assist me when I do her photo albums.

Then she look at another picture of her sitting in the potty:

Patricia: Mommy, who is that?
Me: That's you!
Patricia: No, it's not. It's ahiya. (Ahiya is a chinese term for big brother)
Me: See what you're holding?

I was referring to the Hello Kitty tea cups that she was holding in her hands. Then she look at the picture closely and recognizing her toys, she said:

Patricia: Ooooh! Yes, that's me.

Entry # 100: SAHM

I have never denied the fact that I hate household chores or I have never thought I'd be a stay at home mom (SAHM)! I am not a homebody. But choosing to live in a different country, I have to make sacrifices and choices.

So how do I keep myself busy at home? Some of you might find this boring. But I just have to look at it the positive way.

Year 1 and 2:
The first 2 years of our lives here were full of adjustments, not only on my part, but for the whole family. Adjusting to house chores... taking care of the kids fulltime without any help... to the cold weather and four season... the different culture and languages... the different religions and traditions...

Learning how to cook is the main thing! I couldn't even fry an egg without breaking the yolk. I don't even know how to cook adobo or sinigang, which later on I realize are very simple. I don't even know what "gisa" mean, honestly! Ganoon ako ka bobo sa kusina (that's how dumb I am in the kitchen). It's a good thing I got Nora Daza and Del Monte Kitchenette to help me. And I've come a long way...

I also did some volunteer work at my son's school and with a social worker. It was mostly administrative work, but I had fun, a break from my daily routine. Everything was quite convenient for me too as the social worker would drop off the work at my apartment and once I'm done, I will give her a call and she will come and pick it up. It doesn't require me to be away from my kids.

I also keep myself busy by journaling my kid's toddler years... all the "first" of my daughter... and the inquisitiveness of my son.

Year 3:
We moved to another city and I continued volunteering at my son's second school and also at the community center. We also started travelling domestically during spring/summer/fall as we enjoy the scenery of Ontario.

I have always hated reading textbooks back in my college days, so I was so relieved when I graduated. But here I am, hitting those textbooks again... this time it was to study and learn HTML coding. I've always been interested in building my own website since I discovered it 6 years ago, but I just didn't have the time then. So with the help of HTML for Dummies and, I finally came up with my own family website.

Later in the year, I went back to part-time school. I took a short course on Taxation which pave way to my first job.

Year 4 (this year):
I started blogging and this is my 100th entry... I can't believe I've reached this far.

Thank you to my regular visitors!

I worked as a contractual during the tax season. It was both fun and tiring for me since I work 6 days a week and on some days I have to work for 11 straight hours. But it was a good feeling to bring home a paycheck for a change.

Right now, I'm hitting those textbooks again studying about Digital Scrapbooking and Adobe Photoshop.

And towards the end of the year, I will go back to training (a refresher course) in preparation for the coming tax season.

We are also in the process of waiting for our Canadian Citizenship before the year ends.

Conversation #4

I make it a point to bring a small notebook with me whenever I go out with the kids, you'll never know what "funny" and/or "intelligent" things they would say! Actually I just started this recently after reading it in an article (which I can no longer find to link it here). Anyway, being a forgetful mom, I had to write it down so I would remember later on his/her "exact words." Here's one of them...

INTRO: On our way to a birthday party, I had to make a quick stop at the store to pick up some digital photos that I ordered through the internet. Hubby was at home studying for an exam to upgrade his certification. When we got there, my daughter was fast asleep in the car, so I ask my son:

ME: Can you go inside by yourself and get mommy's pictures while I stay in the car with Trish?
SON: Hmmmm... (thinking really hard)... No. I don't want to.

Then he offered me an alternative:

SON: But I'll stay in the car with Trish. I know how to protect her. Mommy, I'm strong, really strong. (referring to his recently acquired Tae Kwon Do skills)

This made me smile, he is so protective of his sister.

So I ended up waking Trish and we all went inside the store. It's a good thing that my son didn't feel like going in himself, because the store was a bit crowded. I would panic waiting in the car wondering what's taking him so long.

Optical Illusions #2

Click on the picture to see actual size

More optical illusion.

TAGay ni Goyong

Na TAGay ako ni Goyong, eto na po...

1. Jose Rizal
2. Andres Bonifacio
3. Emilio Aguinaldo
4. Melchora Aquino
(sila yung naaalala ko ba inaaral ko nung grade school)

1. Aga Muhlach (super guwapo kasi)
2. Martin Nievera
3. Apo Hiking Society (tunay na mga pinoy sa puso at kanta)
4. Basil Valdez

1. Boracay
2. Cebu
3. Coron, Palawan
4. Baguio

1. Banaue Rice Terraces
2. El Nido and Puerto Princesa, Palawan
3. Chocolate Hills, Bohol
4. Davao

1. Kumukutitap na mga Parol
2. Jeepney
3. Balikbayan boxes
4. Sungka (paboritong laro ng mga anak ko ngayon)

1. Kutchinta, puto at sapin sapin
2. Sisig ng Gerry's Grill
3. Mangga, atis, suha at avocado
4. Ginataan

*** naku sorry, di ko naintindihan ang tanong ***

1. Anak ni Freddie Aguilar (theme song ko daw ito sabi ng nanay ko)
2. Sino ang baliw? ni Kuh Ledesma
3. Nandito ako ni Ogie Alcasid
4. Batang-bata ka pa ng Apo Hiking Society

1. Sinta
2. Mahal kita
3. Irog
4. Iniibig kita

1. Liwanag
2. Masikip
3. Dilidili
4. Dimagiba

1. Juan Tamad
2. Patring
3. Yoyong
4. Jose Rizal (pangalan yan ng naging kaklase ko nung college, kawawa siya dahil inaapi siya)

1. Bahay-bahayan
2. Pataasan ng talon sa garter
3. Jack stone at pick up stick
4. Volleyball

1. Politiko
2. Pollusyon
3. Trapik
4. Ebak ng kabayo (laking Binondo kasi ako eh, daming kalesa doon)

1. Mga pamilya at kaibigan ko ay nandoon pa din
2. Noche buena tuwing Pasko
3. Paputok tuwing bagong taon
4. Tabing dagat (beaches, kahit di ako marunong lumangoy)

*** naku, di ko na pinangarap yan at baka ma-people's power lang ako... kahit naman sino ang ilagay sa puwesto, hahanapin pa din ng taong bayan ng masama... tsk tsk tsk ***

1. Ikaw?
2. Ikaw?
3. Ikaw?
4. Ikaw?

First step

Today is a happy day! We took the first step to be Canadian citizens. It's a good thing the Philippine law now recognizes dual citizenships. So we plan to keep it too, afterall, its our Motherland!

We got to the Citizenship office just in the nick of time, we thought we were late. But it turn out that we have to wait for 1.5 hours while the staff check out all our papers and IDs... the exam itself took no more than 10 minutes. Multiple choice, 20 questions.

Now, we wait to get our schedule for the oath taking ceremony (they said it will take approximately 12 weeks).

Thoughts #6

They say that envy is ignorance. Is it? It is if you let it rule/dominate your world... if you let it ruin the 'good' life that you have...

For me, envy is healthy as it helps me appreciates the blessings that I have... it reminds me to count my blessings and go an extra mile... it reminds me that there are people more or less fortunate than I am and that's ok because we can never have it all... it also tells me its okay to dream, realistically... and reminds me to say a prayer of thanks for what I have and where we are right now!

  • I envy a friend whose 4 kids are now in Florida for a 2-week vacation with their uncle.
  • I envy a friend whose mother is here on extended visits taking care of her grandchildren while both parents work to make ends meet.
Sometimes I wish someone would take my kids away for a day or two, so I will have some time to myself... time alone with hubby without distraction... On the other hand, I'm happy that I don't have to worry about my kids, that my kids are here with me, safe and sound, and in my tender loving care.

At times I feel that I need to get away from my kids, being a SAHM is a 24/7 job, there's no time for me to even get sick. I'm not complaning because it is the most rewarding job out there! All moms knows it.

  • I envy those who were able to buy a house of their own during their first year as immigrants.
On the other hand, I'm happy that my hubby is a good provider... and that we live comfortably especially since we have to rely on a single income. We are still able to enjoy some luxuries in life and get to travel.

  • I envy those whose home is always clean and free of dust.
I have a friend who cleans her house everyday... even when I am visiting, she would still be up in her feet picking up stuff, cleaning all the time. This is just not me!

I see my kids' toys as mess... A friend once said, "its just a book read by the kids and left on the floor. The house is not dirty." -- Am so glad other people see it this way.

Envy is a part of me... I won't deny it... but I don't live my life around it. And I will NEVER allow it to run and ruin my life. But I do want to live a life where envy is NOT a part of me. It is not part of my hubby's vocabulary, I hope that I could take it out of my vocabulary too.

How far would you go?

I attended a civil wedding recently and being a "tsismosa" that I am, I bluntly ask the cost of their wedding. I just wanted to get an idea about the costs, that's all. And frankly, I wasn't expecting that they would be spending that much $$$$$ since they don't have much savings (I personally know the guy) and both have "unstable" employments. Currently, the guy is making good money, the girl is a babysitter (her chosen career even though she had a degree).

Planning for our wedding, my hubby and I had to rely on how much we have and how much our family is willing to shoulder/contribute... I remember cutting my guests list three times! Choosing a more practical wedding ring (gold bond) instead of the ones with 5 stones to signify "till death to us part." I would never go to the extend of borrowing money for my "dream wedding." I'm a very practical and realistic person. It's just not worth being in debt for a one-day event in my life! Still, even with budget contraints, I had a wonderful wedding! And I wouldn't change a thing.

Would you? Would you borrow money to cover your wedding expenses? Would you used up your credit cards even though you know that interest rates are at 28%? Is it wise to start your married life with debts? Well, that's what these newlyweds did. They are actually the second couples that I know of who had to borrow money for their wedding.

I know that its a once in a lifetime event! But lets get real. Live within your means. You don't have to invite all the people that you've met (considering that they only have a handful of friends and no relatives when they first migrated 3 years ago)... you don't have to invite those you meet once or twice a year on social gatherings... you don't have to invite the relatives of your friends... or friends of your friends... And you can't expect to make money by telling poeple that you prefer "cash gifts" or even with "money dance." I can't help but wonder that the only reason they did the money dance was to get more money from their guests rather than as part of a tradition.

Proud. That's what these couples are! They want things to be grand even if they can't afford it. They live in a dream world. They're not thinking/planning ahead. To each his own... I just wish them both the best of luck!

My Top 5 Blogs

The top 5 blogs that I visit every chance that I get are --

Junnie's Memento ~ Canada
First of all, I am fascinated by the pictures in this photoblog. You will be mesmerized at how he look at his surrounding and capturing the beauty of the world. He has travel all over the world and shares his adventures online. His blog is also a "communication" blog. He would always have question/s to encourage his commenters to write about their views, their likes and dislikes, their experiences, and their unforgettable memories... little by little he gets to know these once-upon-a-time-anonynous-blogger as "online friends." He is a writer, an artist, a dedicated photographer... and a friend.

AnP's PinayExpat ~ Germany
A pinay expat who rants about her life in Germany. Her choice of topic is quite interesting and intriguing. I may not be a frequent "commenter" in her blog, but I am a frequent visitor. She is also the founder and editor of PinoyExpats.Org, "an online magazine providing practical information, news features and visuals for the Filipino expatriates in Europe. Our aim is to feature expat opinions, advice and ideas to encourage networking among the Filipinos." She is the first blogger that I know who is being paid to blog. (I wish I could do this too.)

Shai Coggins ~ Australia
I recently discovered this blog. A lady with a lot of talents and very compassionate. Her profile read: "Shai Coggins is a writer, artist, published author, professional blogger, podcaster, online instructor, consultant, publisher, wife, and mum with a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology. No, really." Her projects includes About weblogs, The blogging network and a lot more. I have yet to explore the rest... Another lady who is being paid to blog.

Suze's Muffled Thoughts ~ Philippines
A long lost friend from way back in high school. We found each other thru the web last year and eventually encourage her to blog. She doesn't blog as often as I do, but I love her writings and poems. A truly talented, witty (still undiscovered) writer. Suze, if you are reading this, please update your blog!

Evi's Butterfly Journal ~ Canada
I was looking at her family website when I saw that she also has a blog and since then I have been a frequent visitor. I find her blog interesting, compassionate, full of emotions and very real. Reading her blog I feel that we have a lot in common. I sure hope that I would be able to meet the lady behind this blog someday.

Of course, I am also a frequent visitor to the blog links on the right.

Who's your top 5?

Too much keyboarding?

My right hand suddenly feel sore for no reason at all. I have a hard time moving it, I can't even wash the dishes without feeling the pain. Hubby said I might have the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS from too much keyboarding. Do I?

Hmmmm... I discovered digital scrapbooking last July 28 and since then I have been spending a lot of time in my computer downloading the kits, blog hopping to see how other people design their scrapbook, learning adobe photoshop and eventually designing my own. Yes, I have been spending a lot of time in front of my computer the past 2 weeks!

I will have to give my hand and computer a rest for awhile. Anyway, I have to study for an exam for next saturday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Conversation #3

My son started loosing his milk teeth last year (at age 7), and he would get $2 from the Tooth Fairy every time he loses a tooth. This made my daughter envy, she keeps asking me "mommy when is my tooth gonna fall off? Can I have money too from the Tooth Fairy?" And I explained that her time will come.

Today, we just came from the dentist because she said her tooth is bothering her. But there's nothing wrong with her tooth, its just that one of her molar tooth is coming out. And here's our conversation --

Patricia (sounded very excited): "yeah, its coming out and then its gonna fall off."
Mommy: "its good that you still have your complete set of milk teeth."
Patricia: "but I won't grow up if I don't lose my milk teeth!"

As kids we always wish that we were older so that nobody will tell us what to do... and now that we were older, living in the real world with problems and worries, we wish that we were kids again!

:: :: :: :: :: :: ::

My son love having his own money. Given the pros and cons, he knows how to spend his money.

Lately, I've started giving him chores around the house, like putting away all the shoes, setting up the dining table, mop/sweep the mess he made... and he would always ask me, with a sheepish smile: "mommy do I get paid to do this?"

Mommy: "of course not!"

Patrick: "so how will I earn money if you don't pay me?"

Then he got an idea,

Patrick: "mommy, can daddy and I go out on winter to shovel snows and get paid?" (this made me smile)

Mommy: "first you need to learn how to clean up your own toys and your room before you can get a job."

and he would grin at me...

My Girl

My daughter trying out flower girl dresses... and we chose this one...

Click on the picture to see actual size.

Happy 5th Birthday to my baby girl!

It was an all day party for her and her 8 little friends... Her guests arrived as early as 8:30am and party ended at 10pm! Whew! What a day!

CREDITS: Digital Scrapbook Place

Playtime before bedtime

Since summer started, my kids would always play with their daddy right before bedtime... so by 8pm they are both in their pj's and all set to beat their daddy. Their choices are chess, checkers, dominoes, cards, sungka or the battleship.

Daughter vs Daddy - daughter always wins! (she's too young to really "play" so daddy has to let her win)

Son vs Daddy - son sometimes win! (coz he needs to learn how to accept defeat and how to show sportmanship)

Brother vs sister- brother sometimes wins! (he only loses when someone's coaching her)

Click on the picture to see actual size.
click to enlarge

This is my fifth attempt at Digital Scrapbooking. What do you think? Here's the first four that I made. I had fun doing this but it just take so much time since I am not familiar with both Digital Scrapbooking and Adobe Photoshop.

Time heals all wounds

Is it really true when they say the "time heals all wounds"? How long is long enough? As years go by, how do you patch up the lost years in between?

12 years ago, I made a life changing decision! It was a decision that despite hurting M and those that I love, I still went ahead with it. I followed by heart! I made my choice! And I know that with that decision it will takes years for M to forgive me. But how long is long enough? Isn't 12 years long enough to let M knows that I made the right choice/decision? That the life I have now is exactly what I want? That despite all the obstacles, I made it in one piece?

Pride. Its one thing that's holding M back. Its hard for M to accept that she's wrong and that she judge people before she gets to know them. I can't help but wonder that maybe if my life is a failure now, M might be more forgiving.

I tried to keep in touch. I was told that M kept all my letters/cards/pictures... I made invitations for M to visit us here... but I never heard a word. M cut off all communications. How do you patch up the lost years? It's been far too long already I wouldn't even know how to talk to M anymore.

Life is short... people are dying every minute... reality sets in when a friend from high school/college, a friend's mom/dad, a relative, a neighbor - dies. Some with unfinished business... some without saying goodbye to their love ones... others are just waiting for the right time to go... I don't wanna go without making peace with M. But I don't really know what to do. And those around us are not helping me as they are afraid to be caught in the middle.

More questions...

  • How could a mother/father not forgive her son or daughter?
  • How could a son or daughter be disowned by their own family?
  • How can one forgive and forget when the other party hasn't said "I'm sorry"?
  • How can one not forgive and forget when the other party already said "I'm sorry"?
  • How could a friend be your worst enemies?
  • How could some people still acts like he/she is still in high school and pushes people around?