Learning Something New

With the recent economic downturn, everybody is feeling the pinch of the recession. Although people are saying that my profession is considered to be "recession-proof" since people will still seek medical help in any type of economic situation, the truth is that people tend to hold off going to the doctor while they still feel that they can manage the situation themselves. Thus, we see fewer patients in clinics, except those who are covered by HMO's and who'd want to maximize their benefits. I'm also looking at a maternity leave 3 months from now, which means that I won't be bringing in any income from my profession during the 2 months that I will be full time mom to my newborn daughter.

I've been having some ideas about an online business for a few months now, but what's keeping me from taking the plunge is the indecision regarding the best webhosting for my needs and the fact that I'll be risking some of my hard earned money. Well, they do say that you have to risk something if you really want something badly. There is a lot to learn, including how to use Fantastico, but I'm confident that I'll be able to learn this if I really really put my mind into it. Good thing there are sites like webhostinggeeks.com which really gives me a lot of information.

Another SpitzTunes Survey

Chistians All

I've always been taught in my (Catholic) school that all Catholics are Christians (since we all believe in Christ) but not all Christians are Catholics. There are various sects, the Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses etc., just to name a few. These are basically "Protestants", meaning those who protested against policies of the Catholic Church way back in history. What makes us different and what makes us the same? I think a conversation in the Christian Chat Rooms should be interesting.

Hubby's Hobby

My husband is a do-it-yourself person at heart, while I'm more of the hire-the-experts-to-their-thing person. When going out, he finds himself drawn to the Builder's and Hardware Stores while I am more likely to be pulled towards the bookstores and the baby shops. He already has a collection of tools, (including Pneumatic Tools) which he has collected through the years. Since tools don't come cheap, I've told him to hold off buying some of them, but he always retorts that he's been planning to get one for the longest time and that it will serve us well in time. Oh well, that's different personalities for you.

Exciting Week in Review!

Last week was a pretty exciting (and busy) week for our family. It's especially significant since Ethan figured prominently in those (but when has he not? :)

It started on Sunday, March 15. My cousin's wedding. My son was the bible bearer, and he gets to wear a suit for the first time! It's not his first time to be a bearer. He was ring bearer during my brother's wedding last July (where he also looked very cute in his barong). The difference is that this time he actually walked alone! Sayang lang (It's a pity) he kinda spoiled the effect by turning back down the aisle just when he was about to sit down. Still, I thought that was a milestone for him.

Tuesday, March 17, was my son's moving up day. He actually delivered his lines well! This surprised me because although we were given the lines that he was supposed to sing so that we can try to practice at home, he never really wanted to practice with us. During the impromptu dress rehearsal just before the actual performance, he didn't really get his lines well either. Oh well... But when the time came for him to actually say them, he sang those lines clearly! My heart literally swelled with pride. :)

Their class also did 2 other numbers, both dances for little kids. The first involved 2 sticks and the second involved pompoms. He actually memorized the steps! This was more of a surprise since I didn't really know that there were other numbers aside from the group singing that they did. I loved the performance, but my eyes were mostly glued on my son. Proud mama moment!

Oh, and he got an award -- Excellence in Science! Actually all the kids had some sort of award but he was the only one whose award was different and unique. Nobody else got the same award as he did. The teacher said that it was because he is very interested in their science works and really excels in it. Way to go, son!

I took a leave from work that morning, and it was so worth it!

On Thursday, he had his usual speech therapy session and did very well, according to the speech therapist. She suggested that when his "real" therapist comes back from her maternity leave, we have Ethan reevaluated and then seen by the developmental pediatrician. She feels that Ethan's speech is now at par with his age, so there's a possibility that he may be discharged from therapy soon! Oooh, that made us so happy and so hopeful!

Friday was the PTC (parent teacher conference) day. It was a pity I was not able to go since something came up at the last minute. I did ask my husband about it. The teacher thought that my son had improved so much during the past year. He is now more sociable, he talks more audibly and clearly and he actually participates in his classroom activities. The teacher also noted that Ethan is more of a kinesthetic learner who learns more by doing. We should keep that in mind!

The rest of the week was a blur of work...I've added another clinic schedule since there was an opening. I believe that Someone is watching over us. We truly needed it since we are saving money for my expected CS delivery in June AND my son's tuition for the next year. Someone was watching over us and giving us opportunities in order to do those...I'm grateful for all the blessings that have come my way.

Interracial Chat

It's interesting to meet people from different backgrounds. Learning about them firsthand makes us understand them more, what customs and traditions they keep and what makes them tick. It's nice to know that there are already Interracial Chat Rooms available so that people of different races can get together and chat about anything under the sun. I firmly believe that understanding each other is truly the key to peaceful relationships, both within our own little sphere and the world as a whole.

The Three Question Personality Test




Your Personality Is Guardian



You are sensible, down to earth, and goal oriented.

Bottom line, you are good at playing by the rules.



You tend to be dominant - and you are a natural leader.

You are interested in rules and order. Morals are important to you.



A hard worker, you give your all at whatever you do.

You're very serious, and people often tell you to lighten up.



In love, you tend to take things carefully and slowly.



At work, you are suited to almost any career - but you excel in leadership positions.



With others, you tend to be polite and formal.



As far as looks go, you are traditionally attractive. You take good care of yourself.



On weekends, you tend to like to do organized activities. In fact, you often organize them!

Auschwitz

If you've watched "Schindler's List" before, you'd only have a brief inkling of the horrors the Polish Jews had to undergo during the Second World War. They lost their lives. They lost their families. They lost dignity. They lost everything. All because of the hatred of one race over another. Why there's such hatred is being analyzed and reanalyzed repeatedly. For people who are history buffs or who just want to revisit the places where the Jewish prisoners were taken and maltreated, there are now Auschwitz tours available. I believe these are must visit places for people who have family members who were victims of that Holocaust. In a way, it finally served to unite a people who were separated by distance but one in faith.

Big Beautiful Women

As the temperatures rise this summer, more and more people are heading to the beach to cool off. It's nice to have a perfectly shaped female ideal body shape, but the most attractive feature is really feeling that you are beautiful whatever you look like and no matter what the world's standards are. There's a BBW Chat Room for "Big Beautiful Women" -- now that's a great term!

What Utensil Are You?




You Are Chopsticks



People see you as exotic, unusual, and even a bit intimidating.

You are a difficult person to figure out.



In truth, you try to live a very simple life.

But most people are too frenzied to recognize the beauty of your simplicity.

Another Social Networking Site -- With a Twist!

There's facebook, friendster, myspace, multiply and many more. Who doesn't know about social networking sites nowadays? Well, there's a brand new one which promises to be unique -- Acobay.

It's still in beta release. Unlike most social networks which utilize the friend of a friend of a friend connection, this is a social network where people share their stuff and get connected with each other with the things that interest them -- the books they read (via the book network), the movies they watch (the movie network) , the pets they keep (the pet network), the cars they drive (the auto network) and many more! You're sure to find different interesting people who would share some of the interests that make you (and them) such unique individuals! From around the globe! What a cool idea!

Survey on Rap

I've been very busy (again!) this week and I've hardly had time to visit my own blogs! Anyway, I found an interesting survey. You can answer it too! (and earn a little moolah...

Oh, Wow!

A 5 million advance for a novel...in a time of retrenchment and economic uncertainty. Wow!

This was supposedly the amount given to Audrey Niffenegger, author of the blockbuster novel "The Time Traveler's Wife".

Full article here on the NYTimes.

No To Spam!

Most companies today have already realized the power of internet marketing. It is no accident that you and I get loads of spam email in our inbox. That's because there are some advertisers out there who try to utilize the ease of email marketing, albeit illegally. There are better and more legal ways to do marketing utilizing the power of the net and ensuring that your emails don't end up in the spam folder. You could opt for an opt-in email marketing system with an email newsletter tool. This means that the people who get your emails actually decided to be part of your email list and have the means to later opt-out if they choose to later on. This is a more ethical and acceptable approach than just collecting email addresses and blasting bulk email.

Survey About Health

T-Shirts

T-shirts used to be very fashionable during my high school and early college days. The fashion then was oversized white cotton T-shirts with prints. That's why screen printing then was big business, but that soon faded when T-shirts no longer is a hot item.

But T-shirts are now back, and they're better! You don't have to follow the crowd...you can have your design, your own fit, your own colors to express your individuality, even have one made especially for you!

Today is World Glaucoma Day



Click here for more information about this dreaded eye disease.

Sexy Preggy

People keep commenting that I look much bigger than the usual 5 month pregnant woman, but most commented that I look nice, actually pretty for a pregnant woman. This really does wonders for my self esteem. I do think that despite the fact that wearing sexy lingerie is the furthest from a pregnant woman's mind since our primary concern now is comfort and practicality (of course things are different if we are not), we could still feel beautiful and sexy even while carrying a new life in our womb.

Of course being pregnant is no excuse for not looking good. It's a good thing preggy clothing nowadays are no longer frumpy and are quite fashion forward. After all, women do deserve to look good at any stage of our lives.

What Kind of Superhero?




You Would Be a Upstanding Superhero



You are alert and observant. You can see through people easily. You know who's evil and who's good.



You get bored easily and need excitement in your life. You like having problems to solve.



You understand people quite well and often know what others are thinking. Because of this, you can get people to do what you want.



You tend to feel apart from the rest of the world. You don't really fit in, and you don't try to!



You are a true intellectual. You are thirsty for knowledge, and you are curious about the world.

My Ugly Phase

I used to suffer from bad acne back when I was in my early to mid twenties. I believe I looked my ugliest then. I had bad skin, braces and I was perpetually sleep deprived (I was in medical school, and later, clerkship, at that time). It took a few years before the acne eventually got licked, and even then the scars still remain with me until now, albeit they're not as bad as they were before. I wished that more effective Acne Products were around that could have made the acne better, prevent future scars and generally make my skin better looking. It would have done wonders for my self esteem too!

Are You Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter?




You Are Facebook



You are social, outgoing, and excited to connect to your friends.

You are interested in your friends' lives, and you enjoy adding your opinion to the mix.



While you enjoy sharing online, you don't want everyone to know your business.

You value your privacy. Your life is an open book to those you know but not to strangers.

Cosmetic Surgery?

Making people look better is big business, and there are many medical groups jumping on the cosmetic surgery bandwagon. It has also become more acceptable for people to undergo surgical modifications to enhance their looks. There are caveats though. People should always remember that:

1. The surgical enhancement they want may not suit them at all.
2. Such procedures are still surgeries, and hence there may be a chance for complications to occur.

There's now a Cosmetic Surgery Forum for people who are interested in having some cosmetic surgery done. It's best to be well informed before actually getting it done. Of course, it does not give you ALL the answers but at least you'll get more information before actually taking the plunge.

He Didn't Cry!

We went to Medical City last Saturday, both for my prenatal checkup and for our little boy to have a follow up check up with his pediatrician.

My prenatal check went ok. We had E go into the consultation room when my OB placed the Doppler probe over my tummy. He was able to hear the sound of my baby's heartbeat. Now, he sometimes lifts my shirt up to kiss it. Then he would point at it and say "sound hoo-hoo-hoo" (the sound of the heartbeat that he heard from the Doppler). :) Aliw :) (So amusing)

We then went up to his Pediatrician's clinic. He was actually better already from the cough that he had suffered from about 2 weeks ago, but we just wanted to make sure that everything's ok. He seemed fine, and even gained back the weight that he lost when he got sick. Since it was already due, we also decided to have him get his annual flu shot. It's been quite a while since his last vaccination, so we were almost expecting him to cry, like the last time he had his shots. Surprising, he didn't! He just made a face and when it was all over, my husband and I applauded and praised him for being such a good boy! His pediatrician placed a band aid with a picture of a fish (looks a bit like Dory from Finding Nemo but not really). After we went home, he keeps telling everybody that "tusok diyan Ninang Zeka" (Ninang Zeka poked me there with a needle), "Ouchie", "Sticker fish" and "Galing Ethan" (Ethan is so good!).

He turned our doctors' visits into such a nice experience! Way to go, E!

Follow The Rules!!!

Last Friday, while travelling along EDSA, my husband and I noted a three way accident involving 2 cars and a truck. The drivers of the 3 vehicles were arguing over who was responsible for the accident. My husband noted that he encountered one of the cars earlier. He was a bit irritated because the driver was not observing the rules. He said that he would not be surprised if that particular driver was the cause of all the trouble, since he seemed to be reckless and mindless of road rules. I know all drivers aren't the same, but sometimes there are some people who probably got their license through some "hocus-pocus". That probably would not cut it in another country. For example, driving test Brisbane would require that you know the rules AND FOLLOW THEM! Hmmph!

The Other Side Of The Coin...

I remember when I was getting married, most discussions I've had with people who were also preparing for their weddings didn't really take into account the dilemma of parents.

Since I've been down that path before, I truly understand it if the invitation does not include the kids, since reception food is expensive and the wedding couple would not like to spend so much money on kids who would waste their food and run around the venue. The same applies to yayas. Instead of feeding the yaya, the couple would much rather feed another friend or relative who they've had to strike off their guest list because of budget and/or space constraints.

But now that I'm a parent myself, I do understand the dilemma of parents. I've gone to some weddings with my husband but without my kid, and some weddings without both of them. I've attended my brother's wedding where my son is a ring bearer. My brother understood however, that the yaya has to come. Nevertheless, even with the yaya, my son still proved to be quite a handful.

Now we have been invited again to another wedding, and the invite says 3 people. That means my husband, my son and I. My son is a bible bearer so he really has to be there, both for his duty and because the groom happens to be my cousin. However, since only 3 are invited in my little family, that means no yaya. Unfortunately, pregnant me has some contractions whenever I exert too much, so that means no running after the kid and no lifting the kid. I guess that means the Daddy has to exert more patience and more effort. Oh well, I guess that is really part of being a parent.

Dneero and Twitter!

If you haven't joined Dneero yet, you can join through this link.

dNeero will now be igniting conversations inside of Twitter ... and you'll get paid for responding.
Twitter's about micro blogging ... dNeero's about conversations ... dNeero in Twitter is about micro conversations.
Our lives are an aggregate of a gazillion things we do ... and those that follow us would like to know ... "had a rough day", "boss is on my nerves", "my stocks are up - YAY!", "had an accident ... at emergency room ... I'm OK", "connected w/ Tom on Facebook ... he's my grade school squeeze", dNeero asked if I made a stranger smile this morning -- "Heck, yes, it was John, the bus driver."
NOTE: This is an Access Code only conversation. To get the Access Code you need to

1. follow us on Twitter
2. reply to one of the questions that starts with "Q:$0.10:"
3. add your Twitter username to your dNeero account (in Account Settings)
4. sit back and wait an hour... we collect Twitter answers every hour or so

Once you do those things you'll see the Access Code just after login on the 'Your Account' page.

Choosing a Web Hosting Plan

Although I've been thinking about getting a new website for my online business, I've been hesitant to take the plunge because I am aware that having a good host is very important. I'd want one with a reasonable price, good service, loads of pictures and less down times. I'd like one which is also easy to use since I might not have the budget to hire a website designer and might have to do it myself, even with my limited knowledge. I've been doing some hosting comparisons because I am still not very sure about which host is best for my needs.

If anybody has a good recommendation, I'd be happy to hear about them.

Court Reporters?

I've only been to court once, when I was still a medical student and my professor in Legal Medicine wanted us to see a live court proceeding. We arrived early, so we were able to observe some other cases before our professor was called in as an expert witness to some medico-legal case. It's pretty interesting, actually. Some cases are even funny. I was (and is still curious) about the people in court. Of course, there's the judge, the plaintiff with his lawyer and the defendant and his lawyer. We don't have a jury system here so no jury. I wonder what the so-called court reporters actually do? Do they type up everything that's being said in court? Do they describe the appearance of the people involved?

Is it advantageous for somebody to actually hire somebody to record the proceedings? This last question is because I've come across a site that says that you can hire court reporters. If you're as curious as I am, or if you need one, check out the link.

San Francisco

During our family road trip to the US back in 1991 (that was such a memorable family vacation!), we stopped by San Francisco for one day. It was such a quaint and charming city. Too bad we didn't really stay for long, because there are plenty of places I wanted to see. We were able to pose for some souvenir San Francisco pictures, mostly on Lombard Street.

Come to think of it, I have to dig up our old picture albums and try to scan the (film-based) pictures. These memories are priceless and I really would not want them to be destroyed by time.

I certainly hope I would be able to go back for a longer trip next time, so that I can do more sightseeing. Maybe when my kids are bigger.

Shall We Leave?

Yesterday, I had a patient who's companion turned out to a mother to a doctor who was a few batches ahead of us and is currently practicing as a neonatologist in New Jersey. She asked us why we chose to stay instead of looking for more training and greener pastures abroad. Work conditions and pay are apparently much better there. I'm not closing my doors on possibly going abroad in the future, but I'd like a more laid back, less hectic lifestyle than what she's describing about her daughter. I'd like to live somewhere where it doesn't look like I'm always in a rat race. With real estate prices at an all time low, it might also be a good idea to check out what's on sale, whether or not we have plans to move. Wilmington NC Real Estate looks perfect for what we want, if we do decide to make the big move later on.

Girl!

In the midst of the week's hectic schedule, I totally forgot to answer the question: Are We Having a Boy or a Girl?

The answer: It's a girl! Of course, unless the baby is actually born, we really are not 100% sure. Anyway, what's important is that my baby looks healthy and normal.

Ultrasound pics are here. :)

We are now looking for E's old baby stuff. What's nice about a second baby is that there are actually a lot of stuff that you can hold off buying, since the old baby stuff are still good and sturdy.

3 and a half months more to go, and we'll be holding another bundle of joy!

Car Shopping

A friend of mine is looking at new car prices since she now feels the need to have a car of her own rather than to depend on public transportation. She prefers a new car rather than a used one since she is not mechanically inclined (like me) and would rather not risk having problems with a used car. She has a limited budget though, so she wants to get more value for her money. I'm think she should use some of the online tools that are now present, like car classifieds, so that it would be easier for her to screen the ones that she would like more before taking the trouble to actually go and see the car. After all, a few clicks would help you pin down the car that fits your needs and your budget.

King Sized Beds, Etc.

If we could do it all over again, my husband and I would probably look at king sized bed instead of the queen sized bed that we eventually bought just before we got married. I always thought that our babies would sleep in their own crib, but we ended up co-sleeping, so the queen sized bed just seemed a bit cramped. I like the designs of the King Size Sleigh Beds as they are very nice and sturdy looking. Also, another thing is that the headboards are solid, no holes for little hands or legs to get caught in.

We're planning to eventually build a house and maybe set up a small home based business, so I'd probably require some home office furniture in addition to the usual living and dining room furniture. There are just so many designs online that shopping for furniture online is such a breeze nowadays.