December 24, 2011

looking forward

Today is the day before Christmas and I am filled with hope that next year will be a much better year for us. I am looking forward to 2012 because that is the year that we will be almost debt free. Yes, one of our major loans will be finished by December 2012 and we are doing the best we can to keep our financial status intact. 2011 has been a difficult year financially because of the economic regression, the U.S. recession and the calamities our country has encountered, and to be able to look forward to 2012 gives me hope.

Next year we will also be considering decisions with regard to our financial status, like there might be ways where we can cut off on our bills including credit card payments. We have been doing great and only using our credit cards for emergency purposes or much needed items that we need to buy. Since we are of very good credit standing, credit card companies are offering us balance transfer credit cards, which would allow us to transfer our balance from our existing credit card to a new one, at a much lower interest rate. I think it is a good enough deal to minimize our credit card debt.

I have been reading a lot of articles about money management and doing analysis on how we can pay off our debt early. I am very hopeful that it will not take long. We are working very hard and doing our best not to waste our hard-earned money and be on the road to financial freedom. Even though Christmastime means having to spend on so much, we were still able to stay within our budget and what I am really proud of was that we were still able to give to the victims of typhoon Sendong in Mindanao. And I think that is the true meaning of Christmas.

August 22, 2011

what little boys are made of

Even though little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, they can be the sweetest at the same time. My heart was filled with joy just the other day during one of my conversations with our son. He was standing on the bed as I was helping him get dressed when he clasped my face with his hands and told me, "Mommy, you are very beautiful!" I smiled (actually I grinned ear to ear) and said, "Thank you!" Then he added, "You're pretty!" I replied, "Awww...thank you, you're very sweet!" He was silent for a while and said, "You're also very nice and I love you always!" This time I hugged him tight and told him, "I love you always and forever."

I realized that he may be up to hundreds of roguishness each day and sometimes drives me crazy, yet at the end of each day he is a very sweet little boy and my heart just overflows with love for him.

August 17, 2011


My mind is blank of what to contribute for today's letter. You see, my son's school lesson is about the letter E and we are studying words that starts with letter E, so I can only think of preschool E words like elephant, engine, eyes, ears and eggplant.

Now why don't I share with you some unusual words beginning with E....

eigne - first born
emetology - study of vomiting
enosimania - pathological belief that one has sinned
eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious - good
ebriection - mental breakdown from too much drinking
encomic - having closely curled hair
epeolatry - worship of words
ergophobia - fear of work
exspuition - spitting
eudaemonism - ethical belief that happiness equals morality

I hope to educate my readers with these E words. Now I'm done and have an eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious day!

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday.

August 10, 2011

D for Dinosaur

My son has been preoccupied with Dinosaurs after watching this film. It is about an orphaned dinosaur who is raised by lemurs who then joins an arduous journey to the nesting grounds after a meteorite shower destroys his family home. His favorite dinosaur here is the T-Rex, and so since then, my days are quite filled with questions about Dinosaurs.

Did you know that.....

The word dinosaur comes from the Greek language and means ‘terrible lizard’. The word was coined by English paleontologist Richard Owen in 1842 and was meant to refer to dinosaur's impressive size rather than their scary appearance.

Dinosaurs lived and evolved for over 185 million years until they became extinct. The cause has not been proven yet, but many believe that an asteroid Over 9 miles wide hit the earth in the Gulf of Mexico.

For almost 90 years, T-Rex was the largest known predator to have ever walked on the Earth. It was not until Giganotosaurus was discovered in Argentina in the 1990s that T-Rex was beat by a larger discovered predator. Tyrannosaurus was one of the last Dinosaurs to die out.

Birds descended from a type of dinosaurs known as theropods.

Source: Fun Dinosaur Facts for Kids

I'm also looking forward to read to him this book about dinosaurs....
Image source:

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday

August 5, 2011

Mommy Moments - Superhero

mommy moments

I remember the first time Joaqui wore a super hero costume which was Robin of Batman and Robin. It was his first time to attend a super hero costume birthday party and at that time, he had no idea what a super hero is.

When he saw the movie Superman on HBO, he was hooked. He started to pretend he was Superman and asked that we buy him a toy Superman and then a Superman costume. So last year during their school's Family Day with a theme about heroes, he was no less than....

He used to wear this costume all the time, even when playing outside our unit. The people here in our condo area calls him Superman because he is always seen with the red cape on. He used to watch the Superman DVD everyday and his favorite was the helicopter scene. He has watched Superman 1-5 for countless number of times. He knew the main characters from Lois Lane to Mr. Perry White. It came to a point that when someone asked what his name was, he would reply "Clark Kent" and even asked me to buy him a pair of glasses and he wanted a hairstyle like Superman with the curly hair on the front!

This Superman phase lasted for quite a long time, and it slowly faded to be replaced only by Dinosaurs.

Click on the badge to read more about kids and super heroes.

August 3, 2011

B for Bagyo and C for Childhood

Bagyo means typhoon or storm in Filipino and since the letter for ABC Wednesday is now in letter C, I just thought it would befitting to associate childhood to bagyo or typhoon.

Last week we have encountered the 6th tropical cyclone for the month of July alone and when heavy rains pour, it can only mean one thing among school!

I saw this boy playing in the rain and reminded me of my childhood days, which also led me to put this poem here:

It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely -and why?

We're still reminded-: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.

And became as lonely as a shepherd
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us.

Childhood by Rainer Maria Rilke

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday.

July 29, 2011

Mommy Moments - Family Trips

mommy moments

We have had quite a few family trips and this one was not our last, but it seems to be the most memorable for Joaqui right now because he keeps on telling us that we should go back here. This was during the 16th Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga where we also celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary.

We stayed at The Oasis Hotel. It was a quaint cozy hotel and we enjoyed our stay.

Joaqui's chillax position...a proof that he really liked it there.

After watching the early morning take off of the hot air balloons, we spent the rest of the day watching flying airplanes and helicopters, kites up in the air and just relaxing on the lawn.

We're looking forward to more family trips like this soon. Join us at Mommy Moments.

July 27, 2011

A is for amusing

Seeing little children in food costumes is really amusing. This is our second time to participate in our preschooler's nutrition month program and every time I look at this picture, I am sometimes amazed on how far my creativity can take me in making a food costume.

If you have seen my previous post, you'll probably know what kind of food he is. It's actually his favorite....frozen yogurt. Enjoy!

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday Round 9.

July 24, 2011

our froyo boy

If you have a preschooler here in the Philippines, you may very well know that July is Nutrition Month, the time when our little tots will don on costumes from the different food groups. Joaqui's school had their Nutrition Month culminating program last Friday and since he is now in kindergarten, he is supposed to wear a costume from the Grow Food group. Last year he was a pizza from the Go Food group. I thought about what food he will be and decided on him being a frozen yogurt. His school encourages parents to make their own costume and this is what I have come up with.

I'm happy with the outcome and he looks really cute as a frozen yogurt boy. I never really thought that I could make a costume like this. I don't consider myself creative, but I guess when it comes to your own child, a mother's creativity will naturally come out.

July 22, 2011

a penny for your stocks

I have noticed that lines for those buying lottery tickets get longer and longer. Well, who would not be enticed to try their luck on the lottery when the prize money is so huge. People who buy lottery tickets are just waiting for their luck to strike and winning in the lottery is one of the easiest ways to get rich. Another way which seems easy is trading stocks. When I read about this, I thought that it is so hard to understand and such a big risk to undertake until a friend explained it to me. She got started in this endeavor by self-learning and she said that if I just read about these penny stocks, I would be able to learn the ropes of it, too. She is now earning from her stocks and all those money she initially spent on DVD guides totally worked out for her. Isn't it amazing?

My insurance policy segregates a portion of my premium payment for the company's investment called a flexifund and so far, so good. I have acquired a small amount of money from the insurance company's investment, but I guess if I get into trading stocks, it would be all a different story anyhow. They said that it's a big risk to take, but money will not grow if you just put it in a bank. There are now a wide array of options for those who wish to invest and I'm studying my options regarding that route. My friend who got into trading stocks said that at first it was really difficult, but when she developed her own strategy on how to trade, she got the hang of it. It is not a bed of roses for her and there were quite a few times that she lost, but her overall experience with stock trading is a pleasant one so far.


July 16, 2011

money management tool

I admit that I do not have the talent and the skills when it comes to money management, but I am trying and learning how to do it properly and stress free. I am always in the look out for tools that I could use in budgeting and managing our finances successfully. Thankfully, I am almost in the right track, especially in paying for our loans and credit card payments.

I know many people are in debt because of the different loans and mortgages that they have to pay. Although the process of applying for a loan is different here than in the U.S., it still pays to do your homework when it comes to the right kind of loan and the terms and combinations that applies for one's financial capabilities. Luckily here we do not make use of a credit report score, but it is always wise to analyze your cash flow versus the loans and credits you will be able to handle. In the U.S., people there can readily know their capacity of applying for a loan through a free credit report score, which will also let them know where they stand financially. Wouldn't it be helpful if somebody does the analysis for us and we are given the unbiased facts on mortgages, credit loans and debt to income ratio? These things about finances look difficult to understand, but if we spend the time to learn them and make decisions based on the data and information that we gather, I think a lot of people would think twice before making that credit card purchase or applying for another loan. Money is not everything, but if we make it work for us, then an inefficient money management will just be a thing of the past.

the winning smile

This was our entry for SM City Taytay's Backpack of Smiles contest and we won 1st Place out of the 200 who submitted their photos. I was really happy because this contest was not based on Facebook likes alone, although it is 25% of the total criteria. I gave it the title "Monkeying around with my Monkey Backpack and Monkey Lunch Bag." I am so proud of Joaqui for having that winning smile. : )

July 9, 2011

the dream home

Since video chat is available now in Facebook, I can't wait to chat with my friends from the U.S. whom I have not seen for a long time. I'm excited about one of my friends who recently got married and now his wife is pregnant with their first child. I never really thought that he would settle down because I've known him as a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He now lives in Los Angeles and currently looking for a bigger house. In one of his e-mails to me, he said that they have searched a lot of walnut houses for sale, but they have not yet found the one they really want. It reminded me of the time we were looking for our own place. There were a lot of considerations in choosing a new house or a new home. It would really depend on the family's priorities and of course, the financial capability of the future owners. He asked me for some advice and I told him that searching for their dream home is not an impossible task. They should keep in mind the qualities of a house that they are looking for. A trusted real estate agent would be of great help. Finally, I told him to try not to look at every house for sale. He could make a list of the areas where he would want to search, the price range, property criteria, etc. Well I do hope that my advice has helped him. Now I have to figure out this video chat from Facebook and soon enough my friend and I would share his experiences in his search for their dream home.


July 8, 2011

Mommy Moments - Parks

mommy moments

I love going to parks, but unfortunately there are not too many good parks to go to here in Manila. I like looking at the lush greenery, smelling the fresh air and just enjoying the natural surroundings when we go to a park.

This picture was taken when we went to Nuvali in Laguna. I don't know if it counts as a park, but it is open for the public. Air is fresh and the surroundings are clean. It is one of my favorite places to go to.

This was Joaqui's first trip to a park, which was in La Mesa Ecopark.

This was in Quezon City Memorial Circle. We went there past 6 p.m. already, but still Joaqui and his cousin were able to play in their huge playground. We even rented a bicycle and the three of us went around the bike trail. I like going to the circle also because there are a lot of things you can do, plus the huge playground is a fun thing for the kids.

I hope that there would be more parks to go to, especially in the midst of high-rise buildings and condominiums. It would let our children appreciate nature more. For more of this week's theme, just click on the badge above.

Happy Mommy Moments!

July 5, 2011

marketplace for odd jobs

All of us one way or another have been through bazaars to buy something that we have been looking for, but what if there is a bazaar for odd jobs? Wouldn't it be great if you could post a job, like cleaning your house, for a certain price and actually get the job done? Well, luckily Zaarly can do that for you - it is a collection of marketplaces in a particular area where people can post for the service they want while others browse for the job that appeals to them. Teaching your child math, fix a broken pipe, build a custom cabinet - these are just some of the jobs you can post after you sign up for the service. If the price you are willing to pay for a completion of a job appeals to someone within your local area, then all they have to do is contact you and get the work done.

Zaarly is actually a platform that connects buyers and sellers because it allows direct communication with buyers and sellers but still maintain a certain anonymity. It has a secure application with their payment processing partners, so you do not give out pertinent personal information to strangers.

Just as with other business transactions, good judgment and common sense are two very important things to keep in mind. Make sure to go over the Zaarly marketplace rules to have an enjoyable experience in a buyer-powered market.

July 4, 2011

drinking from a glass

This was one thing I forget to blog about and that is because I posted it on Facebook first. Anyway, I'm very proud to say that we've said goodbye to milk bottles and Joaqui is now drinking his milk from a glass. I was hesitant at first to let him drink milk from the glass because I was worried that he might not drink milk anymore. Thankfully, he liked it and now he's drinking milk from the glass all by himself.

This also prompted me to teach Joaqui to eat by himself using a spoon and a fork. At first it was quite difficult because it was messy, but after a few tries, he got the hang of it. Now I even send him rice and viand as his lunch for school. I think more than me being proud of him, I think he is also proud of himself for doing these things by himself. Makes him feel like a really big boy now.

June 21, 2011

a sane business advice

Last year my friend and I thought of putting up an online store. She will provide me with the merchandise from the U.S. and we will be selling it here. I had to research what products are more likely to sell online and came up with baby clothes, women's apparel, bags, etc. It was tedious at first, especially designing the website and uploading pictures, putting the prices and sorting them out. Since it is an online business, we need a reliable merchant account provider. There are many merchant accounts out there, but we had to find one that will cater to our business' needs. Good thing I found out about Free Merchant Account Advisor and it only took me 3 minutes to answer an online interview and I got the answers and advice I needed. What's best about it is it's for free!

I know that Paypal is a very popular merchant account provider and with the Free Merchant Account Advisor, I learned about other Paypal Alternative which could also be used in our online business. And now we are looking into an option to accept credit cards so that our customers will have an option to pay thru credit card. We were hesitant at first, but after a thorough research of the credit card processing companies offering credit card processing services, we are finally on our wary to making an online credit card processing. I really do hope that this will work out for us. With the financial crisis going on right now, it definitely helps to have an added source of income and I would definitely have to thank the internet for giving us the opportunity to have one. Now, that is a sane business advice.

first day in kindergarten

I think this blog hibernated for a week. It's because last week Joaqui started Kindergarten and I had to adjust my schedule, prepare the things he needed for school and ease him into going to school again. You see, my son is not that excited to go back to school again...hehehehe. Anyway, I had to label and cover his books and notebooks (yes, they already have 5 notebooks, 1 for each subject--can you believe it?), prepare art materials, personal box, fill up student information sheets, etc. Thankfully now he's kind of settled in our routine.

I took a lot of pictures last year when he started Nursery and I made a photo book from Artscow. Now I'm planning to do another photo book at the end of this school year, so I'm taking more pictures starting with his first day of school.

Before going to school:

Inside his new classroom. Parents and guardians were allowed during the first day. Joaqui seems to be talking to his new classmate here. It's only the first day and he's already being talkative. : )

Joaqui has matured since last year. I have a feeling he will do well again this year.

June 3, 2011

Mommy Moments - I am a Daddy!

mommy moments

After our wedding, hubby and I at first decided that we would not have children until after a year of our marriage. This was to give us both time to enjoy the first year of our lives as a married couple. But once while inside the sauna after a gym workout, I had spoken to a woman who said that we should try to conceive as early as possible because what if there was a possibility that it would be difficult for us to have children? She said it's better to know now than later. It had me thinking, and so Mother's Day of 2006 was a very special day because the pregnancy test kit showed a positive result. Hubby was elated and he was very supportive, always accompanying me to doctor's visits and took care of me after I gave birth via C-section. He was a very hands-on Dad and I must admit that I've learned a lot from him. He was even the one who taught me how to carry our baby properly! Up until now, he is still very hands-on with taking care of Joaqui, and an affectionate Dad to our little boy.

I'm glad to share my Daddy Story today at Mommy Moments. Read more of wonderful daddies here.

May 30, 2011

the challenges of parenthood

Last Thursday, Joaqui came home from playing downstairs near our condo's swimming pool saying that he had let a child dive in the swimming pool. I was surprised and I asked him if he pushed the child or he just asked him to dive (a mother's instinct really made me thought of that). He looked at me and said he did not push him. So I rest my case since I trusted that he was telling the truth. After a while, one of his playmates knocked at our door and told us that Joaqui did push a child into the swimming pool. I was not angry at first, but really shocked because it was the farthest thing that I would imagine him to do - pushing another child into the swimming pool. I looked at Joaqui and he just said, "Sorry mommy! Sorry mommy!" We went downstairs and I asked Joaqui to apologize to the poor boy. Good thing he was not harmed and two older boys were with him.

Of course I scolded Joaqui and explained to him of what could have happened to the boy if he drowned or bumped his head on the steps going to the pool. I was disappointed because Joaqui is a good kid and I could not remember seeing him fight or push another child, even in school. I asked him why he did it, and he said that "he wanted the child to become a fish."

As a parent this made me asked myself how could this happen despite our constant reminders about not hurting other people. And I realized that while Joaqui already has a big imagination, and as we encouraged him to be anyone he wants and to make things come out the way he wants them to be, this is the time for a reality check. Now we explain to him carefully the limits of his imaginative play - especially if it can be hurtful to others. We also lessened his time for watching DVD (he watches Superman 1 to 5 over and over) and now I only let him watch age-appropriate DVDs like Blues Clues or Hi-5. He is grounded for a week, which means he cannot go outside our house to play. And while this seems a little harsh to others, I already saw an improvement in his behavior. He is more calm and not as restless as he used to be.

Parenthood is such a challenge, but I am up for it to ensure that my little one will grow up to be a caring and well-behaved person.

May 25, 2011

TLC through car insurance quotes

Last Friday was a fun day for us as we got to spend a day with our longtime friends and their families by going swimming. It was nice catching up with what's going on with each other, plans for the future and of course reminiscing old memories. One of our friends was surprised to see that our good old car is still in very good condition, despite it being flooded. Other than hubby's tender loving care, we owe our car's good condition to a reliable car insurance. Many people think that finding the right car insurance is a tedious job, but with today's technology, you can get car insurance quotes via the internet. It is a fact that people are searching for the best deal for their money by shopping online, and getting a free car insurance quote is no exception.

And speaking of best deal, we got this promo for Splash Island on the internet through group buying coupons. We got the all-day pass with Mongolian lunch buffet. Was it worth it? Oh yes, especially for the kids and the adults too who got to experience the thrill of the giant slides. I know that it could be a long time before me and my friends get to see each other again, but I'm sure that we will pick up where we left off because we made new happy memories at Splash Island.

May 16, 2011

Hotdog Casserole

When we moved into our new home and I am the one who does all the cooking, I realized that planning a week's menu takes a lot of creativity and management skills. Even though I'm thankful that my son likes to eat Sinigang (Pork in Sour Broth), Tinola (Chicken Ginger Stew) and Nilaga (Boiled Beef and Vegetabales), I make it a point to add variety in our menu. I was browsing the Del Monte Kitchenomics website when I stumbled upon this dish and tried it. It's a very good way to spruce up hotdogs and make it a healthy dish, plus preparation is a cinch.

Here's how to cook it:

Saute about 1/4 kg of hotdogs cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices and 1 large sliced onion. Add 1 pouch (200-g) Del Monte original style tomato sauce (or Sweet Style spaghetti sauce like what I did) and 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup canned whole corn kernels and 100 grams diagonally sliced Baguio beans.

May 6, 2011

Mommy Moments - Preggy Tales

mommy moments


Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mommy bloggers! I hope that you have a great day planned for this day, although I think that it will be a little overshadowed by the Pacquiao-Mosley fight, I think all Moms deserve a special treat for Mother's Day. : )

This picture was taken on December 24, 2006 which was just 4 days before I gave birth to Joaqui. I had an uneventful pregnancy - no morning sickness, no dizziness and no cravings, so hubby was a happy husband to a very pregnant woman like me. The only thing I had to watch for at that time was my weight because I was gaining a little more that what I should, so even though I was pregnant I was on a diet. Up until a week before my delivery, I was doing my usual activities, even doing a lot of shopping because it was the Christmas season at that time. On December 28, I had a little bloody show so we went to our OB-GYNE and when she did an IE, she told me to go the hospital already. After trying for 1-1/2 hours to deliver normally, I had to give birth via C-section and the first thing I said when Joaqui came out was, "Hay, salamat lumabas ka din." It was as if all my worries, pain and fatigue had gone away when I first saw him, and hubby and I and the rest of our families have never been happier for God blessed us with a wonderful child.

More preggy tales here.