2nd Blogniversary and more

My very first entry was in December 1, 2004 and its about the word "BLOG".

The entry that kick off this blog with newfound blogger friends was this entry in March 2005. Prior to this, only 2 of my friends read my blog, they are Junnie and Suze. And then Vangie, Tin, Melissa, Denden, Toni, Vanessa, Joey [Techguy] somehow finds their way into my blog... and my circle of bloggers just keep on growing as you can see in this '1st anniversary' entry... and my bloggings hours have grown as well.

In December 1, it will be this blog's 2nd blogniversary! Yey!

THANK YOU to all of you who frequently and consistently visited my blog! And for being my cyberspace friends.


Goodbye and Hello

Our flight leaves in 15 hours... yey! We're leaving Toronto with this sunny weather...

Enroute to a place we will now call "home"... with tons of snow...


Tag # 12: A-Z -- Got tag by Rach...

A - Available/single? Happily married for 11 years!
B - Best Friend? There's 5 of them!
C- Cake or pie? Chocolate shadowed cake
D - Drink of choice? Just the regular Coke.
E - Essential item you use everyday? My computer
F - Favorite color? Lavender
G - Gummy Bears or worms? None, but they are my kids' favorite!
H - Hometown? Manila
I - Indulgence? Digiscrapping and pictures
J - January or February? January, the birth month of my son.
K - Kids & their names? Patrick and Patricia [3 links]
L - Life is incomplete without? My family.
M - Marriage date? October 8
N - Number of siblings? 4
O - Oranges or apples? Apples
P - Phobias/fears? Dying of uneccesary death due to street violence or terrorist
Q - Favorite quote? "Live today like there's no tomorrow."
R - Reason to smile? Reuniting with hubby tomorrow after 2 months.
S - Season? Fall, love the changing of the colors.
T - Tag 3 people? Any takers for this meme?
U - Unknown fact about me? I missed a lot of sunday mass since hubby's been gone. I'm a bad Christian!
V - Vegetable you don’t like? I don't like ALL vegetables!
W - Worst habit? Still a coke addict
X - X-rays you’ve had? Chest, part of normal physical exam.
Y - Your Favorite Food? Shrimps and crabs
Z - Zodiac sign? Leo


Delurking Week!

I will be offline for the next couple days or I may be back online before you miss me. Let's make this my second delurking entry -- please let me feel your presence here... and if you have been a silent reader, please let me know something about yourself or leave a link to your blog so I can return the visit... Don't be shy now!

Relocation Update #4: Job hunting

This is a continuation of Relocation Update #2: Moving on.

The one good thing about hubby's job hunting in Calgary is that almost all of the job that he applied for, he got a call for them, either phone interview or a face-to-face interview.

There were 3 jobs that hubby applied for the night before and the next day he got a call from them already. They really act very fast! It's a sign that employers DO read resumes.

Unlike here in Toronto, you don't even know if they received it or not... nor if they even bothered to read it or not... out of 10-20 applications hubby sent out, if he is lucky, only 1 will call and do a phone interview.

Someone once ask hubby if he can recommend someone for a job like his, he claims that he put up an ad on the internet for 1 day and received 600 applications for it. He didn't want to go through the resumes, so he decided to ask hubby for referral.

Anyway, it still took hubby 10 weeks, turning down 2 job offers, before he found the job that he really likes. The job description fits him perfectly, with lots of project line up, and definitely a lot of room for career growth. It is a big corporation and supported by the government. Very stable indeed. So even though we didn't get any relocation package, the offer is good enough for us to consider relocating.

Hubby received his job offer on a wednesday and started working the next day! He is that excited about his new job. It's been 6 weeks since he started and he is still enjoying it. This is hubby's fourth job in Canada and hopefully its for keeps.

For those who are planning on migrating... do consider Calgary... even if your relatives are all in Toronto. If I had known about this sooner, I would have not hold hubby back before.

Related posts:
Movers: Relocation Update #1 and Relocation Update #3: In Boxes.

Relocation Update #3: In boxes

All of our stuff in boxes... and ready for the movers.

These 3 black bins contains all my precious photo albums!

51 boxes/bins/bags in all [including the kid's bunkbed].

The movers came to pick up my stuff yesterday and now my home is almost empty. Based on my estimate, these are approximately 1500 pounds. Now, I just have to wait for the actual weight and quotation. Hope it doesn't exceed my budget.

Thursday Thirteen #10: Did you know?

More revelation in this entry...

Thirteen Facts: Did you know that?

  1. Hubby and I have lived in 5 different places in our 11 years of married life [including our new home in Calgary]!
  2. And 3 of those [including our new home in Calgary] are 5-10 minutes away from the airport!
  3. My kids and I have been in 3 different countries in the year 2001... from Philippines to [migrating] Toronto, Canada back to Philippines [to settle other unfinished business and to celebrate my daughter's first birthday], then to Beijing, China [to visit their grandparents] and then back to Toronto, Canada [our new home]!
  4. And I was travelling alone with the 2 of them, my son was only 4 years old then and my daughter just turned 1. It wasn't easy but we had fun!
  5. In Beijing, we climb up the Great Wall at SiMaTai and TsinShaLing in one day! Can you beat that? We also went to the Badaling station, the most crowded of all 3. [I had help though since my father and brother-in-laws were with me at that time, hubby can't come since he was in school at that time].
  6. Both my kids were born via C-section [one due to pre-eclampsia and the other by personal choice].
  7. So I never really did experience labor pain nor contractions since both of them were born 2 weeks in advance.
  8. We don't have any relatives in Canada.
  9. None of my parents nor siblings nor nieces and nephews and cousins have ever been to Canada. [They just don't like to travel as much as I do].
  10. My daughter loves to sing... in the shower... and in French!
  11. Both my kids are in the public French Immersion school.
  12. This is the only plant that I am able to grow. I recieved this as a birthday gift from my friend, E, 3 years ago. It had 1 leaf then, look at it now. [Sad to say, I won't be able to bring this chinese bamboo tree with me. But it had definitely brought us goodluck!]
  13. This is the longest time that hubby and I have been separated. [He had been in Calgary for a total of 38 days (during his first trip) + 56 days (second trip as of today) and still 7 days to go before we reunite].

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


I'm 95% done with my packing [except for Kitchen stuff that I am still using]. Movers are coming to pick up my stuff this Friday and this weekend will be our last weekend in Toronto.

I can relax a little more this week. So I am blogging my heart out!


Thoughts to ponder: Please take time to read this post @ Ka Uro's blog -- Blogging, Incivility and Negativity


Why do we wear our wedding ring on the fourth finger?


No one won my TT's True or False game! I would like to thank anyone who participated and especially those who spent time reading through my archives. ",) Here's the answers --
  1. Hubby is my 3rd boyfriend.
    FALSE - Hubby is my second BF.
  2. My first crush was a girl and not a boy.
    TRUE - They say you start to be a lady when you start to appreciate the beauty of another lady. I was in first year high school then and she was the cousin of my classmate who was a fourth year student. My friend told her I have a crush on her and she was pretty cool about it. She would always wave at me or say "hi" when we meet.
  3. I went to an all girl school back in College.
  4. My first real job in Manila was also my last job in Manila.
    TRUE - This is actually 2 companies that merge together, hence it is still 1 employer for me. I worked there for 10 years and have to resigned when we migrated!
  5. I have 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 4 brother-in-laws and 3 sister-in-laws.
  6. I took up Accounting in College.
    FALSE - I took up Lia-Com.
  7. I beat up a boy in grade school.
    TRUE! We girls were playing volleyball in the school yard, it had rain that day, so the ball was already wet with dirt. Then this boy started to bother us, and hit the ball directly to my eye. I ran after him and beat him up. Hahaha... And he never bothered us again. I was in grade 6 then.
  8. I had my first BF when I was 18.
    FALSE. I was 21... a late bloomer. It's a long distance relationship that didn't last very long.
  9. I never attended my prom.
    FALSE. I did attend my prom with my 2 bestfriends, we were without a date.
  10. I got married when I was 25.
    FALSE. I was 26.
  11. I'm a Cancer.
    FALSE. I'm a Leo.
  12. I have never been to Europe.
    TRUE. But I do wish I could go and see Europe soon.
  13. My maternal grandmother is still alive today.
    TRUE. And she lives in Cebu with my other cousins.

My new Digicam

I had dinner with some friends last saturday in downtown Toronto and my friend K bought me this --

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30

I love my new digicam! It is so slick and slim. I've been meaning to replace my old digicam for quite sometime but couldn't find the means to pay for it.

My old digicam only has a 128MB memory stick, and even though I am willing to buy a 512MB or 1GB memory stick, it is not capable of reading it. So I am always running out of space, especially if I have videos. Even the battery doesn't last very long and I have to buy a spare battery.

With my new digicam, I bought a 2GB memory stick this time. I think I will buy another spare battery for this one when my budget permits it.

THANKS K for my very first Christmas present!!! You're the best!!!


Can you please help me think of a "perfect gift" for the family who have "adopted"/accommodated hubby while he is in Calgary for almost 3 months?

Relocation Update #2: Moving on

We have been contemplating on relocating to another province as early as May/June... and yet we felt we couldn't really make the move with too much commitments and responsibilites... and the fear of being jobless longer than we anticipated... but life has to go on... we need to make the move, while we still can... Besides, opportunity knocks only once.

Final decision came the day of my birthday when a friend convince us to try our luck in Calgary... where --

  • Job opportunities are everywhere.
  • That salary rates are much higher because corporations don't want to risk having their employees pirated by another.
  • That small businesses are closing down because they can't afford to compete with the rate offered by the big corporations.
  • That employers don't really care whether you have Canadian experience or not! Equal opportunities for all! [Even if they don't want to admit it, employers in Ontario do look for Canadian experience.]
  • That "now hiring" signs and rates are continuously all over the streets.
  • That you can land a job, in your field of expertise, within a couple of days or in the span of 2 weeks, maximum.
  • But housing could be a real problem.
Next day, hubby tender his resignation, effective July 31... The timing was actually perfect since our car lease was almost up at that time and we have the option to just give up the car to keep our expenses to the minimum while hubby starts his job hunting.

Hubby wanted to resign for quite awhile now... he is no longer happy with his employer and work due to lack of career growth.

The next couple of days where spent getting a second [home] phone line and cellphone so we can get a Calgary phone number so he can start sending out his resume.

August 12... hubby flew to Calgary, Alberta in search for greener pasture [or should I say longer and colder winter days]... and the wait begins.

True enough, he got his first job offer at the end of his 2nd week in Calgary. But because the offer is almost the same as his salary here, we thought it wouldn't be wise to relocate just for that. So he decline the offer. The offer, the job description, stability/security of the job and opportunities for a career growth should be "worth" the move!

Second offer came on his third week, again he had to decline this as the job is 90% field work and that he will be on-call 24/7. Salary [though a little higher than the first offer] isn't as much as what he was expecting and the job isn't something that he will enjoy. And I personally don't like the idea of him being on-call 24/7.

Relocation update #1

To be continued . . .

Thursday Thirteen #9: True or False

I wanna try something different with this week's TT... let's make a game out of it coz I had fun the first time. UDPATE: The prize of Evi is on its way.

Listed below are 13 facts... Some are easy giveaways, that is, if you are reading my blog. If you are new to my blog, you may need to go through my archives to help you out. Please tell me which statements are true and which ones are false. The first person to answer this correctly will win a prize! Again, I am willing to ship it to any country.

So, game ka na ba???

Thirteen facts -- True or False?

  1. Hubby is my 3rd boyfriend.
  2. My first crush was a girl and not a boy.
  3. I went to an all girl school back in College.
  4. My first real job in Manila was also my last job in Manila.
  5. I have 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 4 brother-in-laws and 3 sister-in-laws.
  6. I took up Accounting in College.
  7. I beat up a boy in grade school.
  8. I had my first BF when I was 18.
  9. I never attended my prom.
  10. I got married when I was 25.
  11. I'm a Cancer.
  12. I have never been to Europe.
  13. My maternal grandmother is still alive today.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

How time flies

Patricia and Tiffany in 2001
Tiffany is 3 months older and is much taller for age too.

Patrick and Keith in 2001

These are my kids first playmates in Canada... they live in the building next to ours, they migrated almost the same time as we did and they are in the same age range. Me and their mom just hit it off too.

Meet the Watts', they are from Pakistan.
They were 5 and 2-year olds then...

Above picture was taken at the Christmas party organized by the Westhill Community Center in 2002!

You might ask why they don't look like most people from Pakistan, well, it is because their mom is from Pakistan but their dad is European. And they both look like their dad.

Look at how much they've grown! This picture was taken last week when they came to visit and bid us "bon voyage."

I wanted to scraps these photos but just didn't have the time... I miss my scrapping!

On Finances and Budgeting

In Junnie's post about Moving up, cutting down he asked: "What are expenses you think you can cut this coming year to give in to something? A planned vacation vs. a new TV? eating out vs. child's college plan? What are they? "

I have been working even before I graduated from College. And it is a great feeling having your own money to spent. Even then, I am not a shop-a-holic. The most that I spent on is food, bowling nights and movies. Then I got married and have kids. But this didn't stop me from working either. Hubby and I each have our own "assigned" bills to pay and we each have our own different bank account. But I have always been in charge of budgeting. We never hold any joint account until we migrated to Canada.

At the time that we were still in the process of planning our migration, we both agreed that I will stay home with the kids. And it was hard for me initially because I have to rely on him on all money matters.

Since we migrated, we rarely eat out, we can't even afford to eat at McDonald's... we rarely go to the movie house... we don't have any subscription nor membership of any kind... I'm not a shop-a-holic [I do spent on scrap materials and pictures, my only hobby!]... and I don't buy toys for my kids unless its their birthday, Christmas and a very good report card... I don't even have to buy them clothes or shoes because their grandma sends them packages every now and then.

We are able to manage to stay debt free [except for our mortgage in Manila]... and so far, we have never been a revolver on our credit cards.

Our monthly expenses involves high-speed cable internet [a must to hubby], cable TV [for me and the kids], home phone [we switch from a regular phone line to VOIP because monthly fees is cut in half], hubby's cellphone [which is partly company paid] and my prepaid cellphone [for emergency]... other necessities are rent, amortization for our car, car/life insurance, gas and groceries.

You might ask about our constant travelling and out of town trips... well, most of our trip to the USA is free [thanks to my in-laws], we just spent on gas and tolls. For our out of town trips within Ontario, they are usually day trips and I always pack lunch/snacks/drinks. In our 5 years in Canada, we only did an overnight outing twice [that's our skiing @ Blue Mountain and Tobermory trip, these were a group outing. If its not a group outing, we might have made it into a day trip too]. The farthest we've driven on a day trip was the 4-hour drive [one-way] to Sudbury in celebration of our 10th Anniversary.

Going back to Junnie's question, what else can I cut down? We don't have any "savings"! What am I doing wrong? I blame it mainly because we have to live on a single income for the past 5.5 years. During the past 2 tax season that I was working, we are able to put aside 70% of my earnings. Not bad eh? Bottom line is I NEED TO FIND A JOB!!! Because as far as I know, there is nothing else to cut down on our expenses. Is there?

And the winner is

the pretty Mom who owns the Butterfly Journal!

CONGRATULATIONS Evi! We have not met in person, and yet you were able to single me out. You're really good! Please email me your mailing address. Any request for your prize? I still couldn't make up my mind yet, but you'll definitely get your prize before Christmas, promise!

I am thankful that Junnie and Lam didn't spoil this game for me. They both knew me personally and could easily single me out in this picture. Thanks guys!

I am the one in the very center on the 3rd row from the bottom.

And just because the picture is in black and white doesn't mean that I am "old", hehehe. My grade school class picture was actually in colored, but our batch just thought that a black and white class picture would be more nostalgic in the years to come. And it sure did. Defensive ba? Ok ok, this picture was taken 20 years ago to be exact! No, I don't think of myself as "old"... I am still very much young at heart!

To Ghee, Bugsy, Joy, Dangkin, Raquel, Rach, Ralph and Meeya: THANK YOU for joining! Better luck next time.


I just became Toni and Rach's new neighbor at Gerbera Street! As you can see, I am not an artist, but this is my home and my 2 kids are playing in the garden!

Click here to draw your own home

Based on the drawing and the 10 answers they gave this is a summary of their personality:

Your house tells the world that you ought to be a leader. You are good at making friends and when the joyful moment arrives, you make the most out of it. You are shy and reserved. If you've drawn a cross on each of windows, you always want to live alone. You are very tidy person. There's nothing wrong with that because you're pretty popular among friends.

You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be.

You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. It also safe to say that others don't see you as a flirt. You are self-confident and happy with your life.

Thursday Thirteen #8: To do list

Happy birthday to my papa and my favorite cousin J! Love you both and miss you much!

To those who joined my contest, THANK YOU! We got a winner already! I will be making the announcement in my next post... I still have to think of the prize. I wonder what's on the wish list of the winner?

In the meantime, its Thursday once again, so here's my TT this week!

TT banner courtesy of Phoenix

13 things [and a lot more] to do before our big move

  1. I need to find a buyer for my Washer and Dryer and bunkbed!!!
  2. Clean up the apartment with unwanted stuff [this has been ongoing for the past 2 weeks already and I am still not done! I am such a pack rat!]
  3. Sort out things to bring and not to bring [I am almost half done with my packing, except for those that we still use everyday.]
  4. Update our new address with our credit cards, store cards, cell phones, bank accounts, insurance, loans, CCRA/CCTB/GSTC/OHIP/OSAP/MTO [all government offices].
  5. Sign up for the forwarding of mails with Canada Post that will be good for the next 6 months.
  6. Cancel existing tenant insurance policy, cable TV and internet services [done]. Also surrender our library cards.
  7. Drop off donation stuff to Goodwill on the 18th [I already made one trip to Goodwill last Saturday and I still have more stuff to get rid off.]
  8. Decide whether to pack my PC for the movers or carry it with me during the flight [if with movers, then I will not see my PC for at least 2-3 weeks, which also means no blogging for me for 2-3 weeks.]
  9. Make a complete inventory of everything for the movers and myself and weigh everything to make sure I don't go over budget. [2000 pounds will costs me around $2110+. Ouch!]
  10. Finish packing by the 23rd... Movers are picking up my stuff on the 24th [and it will take 2-3 weeks for delivery.]
  11. Find a French Immersion school for my kids.
  12. Start shopping online for furnitures/small appliances for our new home via Craigslist.org, Leon's and Ikea's website so that we would at least have a bed and a dining table before we get there.
  13. Arranged the pick up of my other stuff that 2 families have bought ahead of time on the 28th or 29th [these are the stuff that I am currently still using like the dining table, bed, microwave, vacuum, etc... that is why it has to be the last few days].
Did I forget anything else??? I know I still have tons of things to do and yet here I am, blogging! ",)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Guessing Time

Seeing Ghee's post on her grade school class picture makes me wanna share my high school class picture... can you guess which one am I?

Click here to view actual size

Whoever gets it right will win a prize! I don't know what the prize will be, I'll decide when I know the winner. And I am willing to ship them in any country.

This contest is open until Wednesday, November 15, 12mn EST.

Monday Madness #1

Instruction: Using the letters in your name (first, last, both, whatever), describe your life!

Got this from Rach... and thought I'd try it out.

Joy of Motherhood... ever since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to be a mother some day, and I hope that I could raise my kids like my mama raised me.

Overly protective mom... I feel that my kids will always be my babies, no matter how old they get, and I just have a hard time letting go of them. I know this should change because they are growing up right before my eyes.

Caring Mom, wife, daughter, sister, cousin and friend.

Energetic... I may not be athletic, but I always have the energy for outdoor activities/picnics and travelling with family and friends.

Love is what keeps our family together! Let us all embrace Life and Live it to the fullest!

Yearning for more romance... please don't get me wrong, there's no doubt in my mind that hubby loves me a lot, he is just not "romantic" enough ever since we had our kids and especially when we came to Canada! [wink] How could we afford to go on "romantic" dates with 2 kids in tow? Or even if we left the kids with friends, we just couldn't enjoy our time together without thinking of getting back to the kids the soonest possible time? I guess we will enjoy our "romantic" dates again when our kids are in college! The cycle of married life!

Nurturing in my own kind of way... my inlaws may not agree with me 100%, still it is my way of nurturing my kids.

Want to play along? Visit Monday Madness and join the fun.

The Birth Order of Children

Got this from my inbox. This is funny and sooooo true!!! It's a good thing I only have 2 kids... but you know what? I'm the fourth child in my family. So I was never pampered like my 3 older siblings.

I notice that during my first pregnancy, I never missed a single doctor's appointment and no matter how I hate it, I drink milk as much as I can... on my second pregnancy, I remember missing 2-3 appointments or delaying it for another week or two and I only drink milk if its chocolate milk. When my son was sick, even with fever only, I took him to the doctor immediately... but with my daughter, I monitored her for 2-3 days before taking her to the doctor.

Just thought I'd share this...


The Birth Order of Children

Your Clothes:
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

1st baby: At the first sign of distress-a whimper, a frown-you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to the ir knees.

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Bab y Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!

God's reward for allowing your children to live.

Mixed nuts #6

Even with the cold weather last night, my kids still enjoyed their 45 minutes of Trick or Treating...

Meet Patricia the fairy Godmother and Patrick the wizard

Lots of goodies!!!

I should really buy my son a costume for next year... he was a wizard 3 times in a row!


I don't think I will be able to participate in Thursday Thirteen tomorrow... I am so busy packing and arranging for movers. Anybody out there who had a bad experience with KMS-Royal Movers (affiliated with Atlas Van Lines)? Please let me know. I would appreciate your feedback before I book them.

My target moving date is end of the month! Hubby should be able to get an apartment/townhouse for us in Calgary within this week. Wish us luck!


Today was my daughter's first ice skating lesson. It is part of their school's extra-curricular activity. By car, I would have been there in 15 minutes. Since I don't have a car, it took me 3 buses and a 15 minutes walk to get there. My total travel time is 1 hour and 20 minutes!

I have always been there for son's first ice skating lesson, swimming, skiing... and my daughter was always with me during those time. So when its her turn and I told her I couldn't watch her skate today, she look sad.

And this is how she looked like when I showed up. PRICELESS!