reminder for first-time moms

30 May 2011

My friend is going to be a first-time mommy in a few months. She started buying baby clothes after the first ultrasound. They already borrowed the stroller, crib and baby furniture from families and friends. The money that’ll they save for those things will be added to the baby’s educational fund.

baby asleep

I have one reminder for first-time moms like my friend. You have to buy a new mattress for your baby. It’s alright to scrimp on other stuffs but not the mattress. Old mattresses can trap germs, from spit ups and diaper change accidents, that could cause serious health problems to the baby. A used one, very probable to not being firm anymore,  can also contribute to SIDS. You can search for crib mattress reviews for more information on how to choose the right mattress for your baby.

the brave girl

29 May 2011

There are 4 mass schedule here in the province, 5 AM, 7 AM, 4 PM and 6 PM. We took the 7 AM mass, were Roman Catholic by the way, because the kids were still snoring at 5 AM. The last two masses are a bit late already and the kids are usually lazy to get out of the house at those times.

squeezed toes

I wasn’t able to finish the mass because I had to rush my niece to a doctor. Her two toes got squeezed by the kneeler.  The kneeler must have not been pulled down properly. My sister, my niece’s mom, wasn’t able to go to church because of work. Because my mom was getting hysterical already, that’s how she is when she sees blood and I don’t have any idea how she gave birth to five kids, I had to bring my niece alone to the doctor.

My niece was crying, pale and scared that the doctor might pull out her toenails. I wanted to call my sister but the phone in the doctor’s office wasn’t working. Thank God it only needs to get cleaned.

Now she’s smiling and very proud that she was one brave girl.

Kneeler – a board attached in front of the church seating bench so people can kneel on them instead of the floor. Those that are permanently attached are often moved up out of the way when not in use.

for easy labeling

28 May 2011

I usually buy stickers, with RJ's name and school information, for easy labeling of his books and notebooks. He wants a Ben10 themed sticker this year.

Ben 10 collection

Speaking of Ben 10, my son received toys above for Christmas. He already has a list, an assignment of gifts, even before Halloween 2010. It was so funny that he wants to make sure he doesn’t get disappointed on Christmas eve. But I had to tell him that it’s not right to dictate, what’s important is that the person who gave the gift remembered him. And to have a smile and be thankful for each and every gift that he receive.

Back to the stickers. I'll just order from the printing store where I bought last year's Transformer stickers. I hope their pre-designed templates include different Ben 10 designs. If they don’t, I’ll just have to look online. Can anyone please point me to a reliable online sticker store?

colorful weekend

An Early Birthday Gift

27 May 2011

My birthday is on September 11. I'll be turning... let me count first. I'm turning 35 on my next birthday.

birthday card
My son surprised me with a birthday card last month. But there's an instruction with it, I can't open it before my actual birthday. He wants to make sure that he already gave me an early gift, in case he doesn't remember to give me one on the exact day of my birthday. Clever boy!

I may not be able to share, with you right now, what he has written in the card, but this I'm absolutely very sure - it has love, RJ on it.

Mommy Moments

Comfortable School Shoes

RJ's summer break will end in a few weeks. He's already enrolled before we even left Manila for a vacation in the province. His books and notebooks are ready to be labeled and wrapped with clear plastic. Pencil case, a box of pencil, crayons, scissors, and other school materials - check. Polo uniforms and brown khaki pants - check.

Steve Madden Black Shoes

Did I miss anything? Yes, I forgot to buy black school shoes for him. The bulk of our school spending every year, of course the tuition fee is on top of the list, goes to his shoes. Around two or three black shoes and two rubber shoes every school year. It depends on how fast his feet grows. Sometimes it's also because of too much use.

Next time I go shopping, I'll look for shoes like that on the picture. I wonder if they have it in kids size.

Pichi Pichi: My Favorite White Food

Amber's Pichi Pichi

Pichi Pichi is always present during family gatherings. In my family anyway. This Filipino dessert is made of cassava and topped with grated coconut. My son loves the version that has cheese toppings.

We usually buy at Amber's Restaurant but here's a recipe from my Mom's recipe box.

Pichi Pichi Recipe

2 cups grated cassava
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 bundle of pandan leaves or 1/2 tsp buko-pandan essence
1/2 tsp lye water
grated coconut or cheese for topping

1. If using fresh pandan leaves, boil in 2 cups water until reduced to one cup. Set to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and the pandan flavored water until sugar is dissolved.

3. Add the cassava and then add lye water while continuously stirring the mixture.

4. Pour in individual cup molds and place in a steamer for 45 minutes to an hour or until mixture becomes transluscent.

5. Allow to cool down then roll into grated coconut or cheese.

Wednesday Whites meme

i want a new TV

23 May 2011

We bought our 21-inch television 8 years ago. Since we live in a condominium, the bulky tv is taking up too much space in our small living room area. A flat screen LCD  television is on top of my to-buy list the next time I go shopping. I’m planning to have it wall mounted to maximize our small living room space.

I’m not exactly a handy-man type of girl so I’m not familiar with television wall mounts. While researching online, I saw some pictures of wall mounts and that made me decide that I want one that can pivot, tilt and pitch.

I can’t wait to say bye bye to our old TV. Maybe in a month or two. I have to save up for that dream television starting right about now.

free photo editing software

20 May 2011

I only have Microsoft Paint installed on my netbook when I started blogging two years back. I noticed that editing with Paint takes up most of my time, because it only has limited tools, so I decided to look for a more advanced photo editing software.

I found a FREE software called Photoscape. It’s what I use until now to create and edit images that I publish on all of my blogs.


Kids will have fun using this very easy to use software. My son likes downloading images of his favorite cartoon characters. He use Photoscape to edit and combine the photos.

What photo editing tool works best for you?

homeschool education

19 May 2011

The idea of homeschooling my son has crossed my mind more than a dozen times.

He joined a new swim club last month and some of the kids there are homeschooled. One mom was trying to convince me to homeschool RJ for a year. She said that her daughter’s curriculum is exactly the same with St. Paul, an all girl’s Catholic school here in Manila. She further said that if my son is homeschooled, just like with those enrolled in an online nursing degree, his study pace will depend on his capacity in understanding the lesson.

There are days when he gets bored in school because of the repetitive lessons that goes on for days. Traditional schools do this  for the benefit of students who doesn’t understand the lessons right away.

RJ with Auntie H

I want him to have more time with other activities, like sports, arts and music, instead of just concentrating on academics. But there was always the question of socialization. He’s an only child, he only gets to play with his cousins during weekends. How will he make friends if he is homeschooled?

What about you? Do you homeschool your kids? Why or why not?

jack sparrow, pirates of the caribbean


Here’s what RJ drew yesterday.


jack sparrow


He followed the step-by-step video from the YouTube channel of Shoo Rayner drawing school. That’s Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean.

natural treatment for allergic rhinitis

Our weekly trip to the doctor because of RJ’s asthma, it started when he was one year old, was very traumatic for me. We were a regular customer to a pharmacy in our small town. His asthma attacks have lessened since then, thanks to his Allergologists.

This summer break, allergic rhinitis is becoming a hindrance to his vacation. Although it is more of a minor illness compared with asthma, I still can’t help but worry when he can’t stop clearing his throat or complains of watery eyes.

warm water with salt

I found a natural remedy to help sooth his throat. Dr. Philip T. Hagen, editor in chief of the “Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies,” said that gargling with salt water can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less. A saline solution also loosens thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat.

I ask my son to gargle with warm water with salt before going to sleep. When he clears his throat non-stop during the day, I ask him to gargle every few minutes. I’ll research for more natural remedies that he can try because I don’t want him to rely on medicine anymore.

learn how to draw

18 May 2011

My son loves to draw. But the want-to-play-DSi-games is more powerful than the want-to-improve-his-God-given-talents. I already bought all the art materials that he wants, even an easel, but he finds more time playing handheld games and watching television than drawing.

He always borrow my mobile phone to watch cartoons on youtube when he’s bored with his DSi games and cartoon show reruns on TV. We made a deal, he has to show me one drawing for every show that he watch on youtube.

I found this Youtube Channel that I let my son watch to improve his drawing skills. It’s called Shoo Rayner Drawing School.

Best-selling British Childrens' Author and Illustrator of over 154 books. I've illustrated another 70 or so for great authors like Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, Rose Impey and others. I'm passionate about drawing and want to get the whole world to have a go. Every one can read drawings but they think they can't do them. Drawing is a language like any other - you need to learn the skills.

The video is from Draw Stuff Real Easy, Shoo Rayner’s other YouTube Channel.

The one YouTube cartoon show = one finished drawing deal was never followed. But I’m happy that he finds time to watch the above mentioned YouTube Channel everyday. I’m contented to see one finished drawing per day.

summer activity: piano lessons

14 May 2011

Today is my son’s first day of piano lesson, together with his cousin Ms. F. The piano teacher is my friend’s dad who’s also the organ player in church every Sunday. My friend is a priest but he does not play the organ on the church he’s in.

 practice makes perfect right ms. F?

Learning how to play the piano is a great way for them to exercise their fingers. But my son said that it’s more fun and more effective to just play DS all day long. He also said playing computer is good too. But in my opinion, computers and handheld games only destroy a person’s eyes. I only like it when he uses the computer for blogging, researching, creating home videos or creating and editing pictures on photoscape.

I hope he’ll become a great piano player. Maybe some day he will even become famous!

*My son wrote this by the way.

voting is now open for doodle 4 google

06 May 2011


Doodle 4 Google is a competition for K-12 students to exercise their artistic talents and creative imaginations in redesigning Google’s homepage logo. This year's theme is, "What I’d like to do someday…".

Doodle 4 Google

One winner will receive a $15,000 college scholarship and the student artist's school will get a $25,000 technology grant.

Voting will close on May 13, 2011 at 11:59:59 P.M. Pacific Time (PT).

Announcement of the winner is on May 19, 2011. The winning doodle will be featured on's homepage on May 20, 2011.

how to survive a boring rainy day

It's raining today and I'm not complaining. A rainy day is a welcome change on a hot summer month.

But RJ is very bored. "I don't have anything to do in the house." He'd rather play outside, under the heat of the sun, than stay indoors doing boring things. He doesn't like his Nintendo DSi's old games. He wants games similar with those found in a black berry tablet.

face mask
mask made by RJ
I made a list of things RJ can do today. Hopefully I won't ran out of ideas if Mr. Sun doesn't show up today.

1. Play with his toy figures
2. Continue making the Pirate Fortress
3. Read a book
4. Draw or paint
5. Origami
6. Play chess

What else can I add to this list?

UPLB's Baker Hall

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University of the Philippines, Baker Hall

You're looking at Baker Hall. If you're a student or you've graduated from University of the Philippines at Los Banos, I'm sure you're familiar with this place. This is one of the oldest building in the university and serves as the campus gymnasium.

Baker Hall was named after Charles Fuller Baker. He was the Dean of Agriculture during the pre-war era. The building serves as a Japanese Internment camp during World War II where 2,500 Filipino and American soldiers suffered for 2 years. The prisoners were released on February 23, 1945 when Hunter's ROTC Guerillas (an irregular military unit) seized and finally took control of the Japanese camp.

I was once a student of UPLB. Whenever we visit, my son swims in the pool. Can you spot him in the picture?

the 9 year old architect

05 May 2011

My 9 year old son RJ found this construction playset at Toy Kingdom, during SM Megamall's 3-day sale, last week. It's called "Pirate Fortress", a brick making and fortress building kit. This pirate building kit is not just for kids because older boys will surely enjoy this construction playset as well.

building plan

The kit includes : 2 bags of plaster powder, 2 bags of glue, mixing bowl, measuring cup, level chart, brick mould, carving tool, trowel, brush, paint, 8 pirates, 1 set of fortress scene accessories, popsicle sticks, building plan and instructions with fun facts. 

Pirate Fortress by 4M

RJ was busy the whole day being an architect. He and his cousin, Ms. F, watched their construction worker, Lolo N, mold batch after batch of plaster powder, mixed with water, into rectangular, square and curved bricks.

The molding of bricks are not yet finished. I, or maybe I can ask my cousin, will help them finish molding all the bricks tomorrow because Lolo needs to go to work. From then on, RJ can do the next steps by himself. Of course with the help of the Assistant Architect Ms. F. They have to glue everything together by following the construction plan. Once they're done with the tower, they then have to build the pier flooring using the popsicle sticks.

This toy will truly test their patience.

By the way, it's priced at around eight hundred Philippine pesos during the sale period. I searched online and found an online store that sell it for $30.

do you want to win $20 this Mother's Day?

02 May 2011


 brought to you by RJ's Mama

Join my Mother's Day contest and get a chance to win $20 and a free ad space for a month. Winning is as easy as writing a one sentence post. Really, I'm not kidding. Just one sentence.

What are you waiting for? Join now!

Advance Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

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