coffee break ver. 1.20

What characteristics of a school are you looking for?

Thanks, Jan, for this very timely question. My husband and I decided to send our little son to toddler school this school year. My reasons are stated in another post.

My main criteria for choosing ICBB (Innovative Center for Beginning Beginners) as my son's first school:

Their track record - Like most other moms, I asked around for good preschools within the area. There are actually a lot near us and sometimes I got a little confused when asking people, since different people will give different recommendations. I decided to try ICBB out when I was told that ICBB kids didn't have problems shifting to a more traditional system when they go to big school and actually thrive and perform very well when they do.

Their teachers - I had the pleasure to observe the teachers with the children, including my son (since I enrolled him for summer school). I love the way teachers relate to the students. They were very patient with the small children and they actually were able to make the kids listen to them. My son learned to line up for his turn at washing up, learned to get his own snack bag, learned to sit still at the table for his snacks. All without raising their voices a bit. These may be small things but I think they matter in the long run.

As for the more academic stuff, they teach children via storytelling, singing, art, playing. Even rest time, and snack time is an opportunity for learning. And the kids all seem to be having fun, but at the same time they are already learning.

My son's class is going to be consisting of only 8 students to 1 teacher. There is also 1 teacher aide to assist the teacher. The school assures me though, that if there is a particularly hard to handle student, they sometimes add another teacher.

My son -- He's happy! He learns! He now has friends :). More about that on this post.

Tuition fee - Let me first state that the tuition fee here is quite hefty. But when I compared them with other small schools in the area (and some other areas as well), it seems to be within the range and even seems to be at the lower end.
Although I am very willing to spend for a good quality education for my kid, I want something I can sustain. I do not want to send him to a school wherein I the tuition fee will be higher than what I can afford and which will have me going into debt.

Distance - Very near. This is always an advantage. My son does not have to have a big lead time when going to school so he does not have to wake up VERY early. It will be easier for me or my husband to drop him off at school and pick him up later. There is less fuel usage, which in turn translates to a lot of savings, especially in these times of high fuel prices. In times when school is suddenly called off, especially with weather changes, it would be easy for someone to go and pick him up.

Chinese lessons - This is really a bonus for other parents, but for me, I really want my son to have Chinese lessons since I'm of Chinese ancestry. I am planning to send my son to Chinese-Filipino big school later on so I do want him to have a head start already by then.

Location - It is inside an exclusive subdivision. It seems to be safer since not just anybody can go inside the village. I'm a bit paranoid about kidnapping incidents especially since my son really looks Chinese (you know kidnappers have a predilection for Chinese). Also, the road outside the school, since it's a village road, is not as busy as other streets, hence there are less incidences of accidents.

My criteria for his big school (later) is slightly different. I will probably tackle it at a later time, since big school is about 2 years away.

Additional plugging: Watch out for the 2nd edition of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival, which tackles on the issues of school. I'm still working on the roundup.

Trying To Lose Those Excess Flabs

A lot of mommies complain about not getting back their slim figures after giving birth. Truly, pregnancy may be a time in a woman's life when it's difficult NOT to pack on the pounds. However, in the quest for weight loss, one should not go for fad diets or unrealistic claims but instead go for healthy diet plans and weight loss tips from the experts.

A current favorite weight loss program is the South Beach Diet. A lot of people swear by its effectivity, although I would think that there is really no one diet that fits everybody, that's why we have to do our research. Also, we should complement a good diet program with the right exercise. We need to get rid of the excuses for not doing exercises and as a popular shoe ad states, "Just Do It". We should also know about the common weight loss myths so that we do not fall victim to them.

For myself, I believe that what I need is a good exercise for toning my abs. You see, I have approximately the same weight as the time before I gave birth, but my tummy has never been the same. People keep asking me if I'm pregnant with my second child! Looks like I really need to work on that!

First And Last On The Last Day Of The Workweek

Participants: 1. Me and Mine 2.Creative In Me 3.Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6. All Things Me 7. Because Life Is Fun 8. Mind Bubbles 9. Something Purple 10. Stripe at Yellow 11. Vanity Kit 12. Em's Detour 13. Big Eyed Gal 14. The Chronic Shopper 15. Vital Sighs 16. Maver 17. Joey M.D. 18. The Working Mom 19. Practical Tips and more


First real job: Doctor (only job actually, others are just sidelines)
First screen name: eyedoc (at Pinoyexchange, I'm now inactive though)
First funeral: An uncle's
First pet: My own? A pair of lovebirds yata
First piercing: Ears -- Baby pa ako noon,
First tattoo: Nada! Unless yung sticker type
First credit card: Fareastcard (defunct na!)
First kiss: I assume yung romantic -- hubby! He's my only BF kasi.
First enemy: Lack of confidence


Last car ride: Dinner last night.
Last kiss: My son :D

Anybody can grab!!! Late na kasi ako eh :)

Let's Shop for Christmas...this June

My family is very much into techie stuff, but unlike other people, we do not really go out to buy the latest electronic "toys" since these tend to be expensive. We are trying not to spend too much because of the current economic situation. But with the current promo code deals for digital cameras, camcorders, desktops, audio receivers, surround sound systems, TV projectors and DVD movies, it may be a good idea for us to look at what's available since there's a discount for all the stores that are affiliated with them. And with the current rate of the dollar, it's actually cheaper to buy abroad rather than buy the same items locally.

Although Christmas is still half a year away, it might be a good time to stock up on gifts, like an educational toy for my son, a laptop for my husband, an Ipod for my brother. Still have to think of what best to give my mom and other members of the family. I still have to ask them what they want because I cannot think of any suitable gift yet. At least, I started getting ideas early before getting caught in the rush which makes me buy useless things that they would not even appreciate.

PPBC 2nd edition is delayed....

...because I got busy. I'm currently finishing a report for my Master's.

I'll work on it as soon as I finish with my current work.

Sorry for the delay.

2008 Presidential Election and Celebrities

Do celebrities campaigning for candidates make a difference at the polling booth? Hmmm ... it does help the candidate grab headlines ... we have seen more in the news about Oprah campaigning for Obama, than his health care plan. And there seems to be a resounding lack of celebrity supporters for McCain.

Well, here in the Philippines, we do get plenty of showbiz people who don't just support politicians, but ARE actually the politicians. The most famous personality of which is Joseph Estrada, who became a president on account of his popularity as an actor.

Garden Tools for Hubby's Mom

My mother-in-law loves to putter around in her garden. She says that it's what makes her happy. She loves it when her chicos and macopas begin to bear fruit, and her orchids start to bloom. I never had a green thumb myself. I told my husband that it's ok if our future house does not have a garden, because I do not really know how to take care of plants.

I'm always at a loss to what to give her during Christmas and her birthday. She's one practical lady who can live without what people think are essentials. I think something that will help her in gardening would be something she would appreciate, and I found the perfect online website where I can browse and see if there's anything she might like.

I am an Afternoon Person

You Are an Afternoon Person

You can find energy any time of the day ... or night!

You prefer to be out and about when most other people are.

Very early mornings or very late nights aren't really your thing.

You're practically solar powered, and the afternoon is when do best.

I was kinda surprised by the result since I always thought that I was more of a night person. But come to think of it, it was right. I have difficulty waking up in the morning, and I do not really like going out at night. I do surf the net and do some work at around midnight, but that's because my son's sleeping and I could do what I want uninterrupted. So, I guess, I AM an afternoon person.

Black Friday

Christmas is still a long way off, but savvy shoppers plan ahead. The Christmas season is the time when a lot of people spend lots of money on gifts. While we would want to give nice gifts that would make the recipient happy, there is no denying that we are oftentimes limited by the time that we have for shopping and the budget that we can set aside.

Traditionally Black Friday, or the Friday after Thanksgiving, usually kicks off the Christmas gift buying season, at least in the USA. Lots of stores give deep discounts. A lot of people start their Christmas shopping during this time, especially since they get better deals. For black friday 2008, savvy shoppers search online and sign up for email alerts so that they get good deals ahead of everybody else, and even buy them online. This makes shopping so much easier!

It also makes searching for the right gift easier since I believe it's easier to just sit in front of the mouse and search for good gifts for one person on one site rather than go through a lot of different stores with the whole crowd looking for gifts for your whole Christmas list.

Ethan's Going to School

Ethan's now 30 months. Next month he will be going to toddler school. It was one of the most crucial decisions that we made this year.

I was not a fan of early childhood education. I thought that kids should be taught first by their parents at home and sent to school at age of around 3 or 4. And we tried to do the things that other parents do. Unfortunately, the results are not the same.

The downside of comparing your kid with other kids of the same age is that if your kid lags behind in some aspects, you become worried. It may be a good thing, though, because sometimes you catch some problems you otherwise would not have. That's what happened to me. When my forum mates with kids around the same age as Ethan started to say that their kids are already speaking in straight phrases or sentences, I became worried. My Ethan was still at the single word stage, and it was not even a lot of words. We had him evaluated, and true enough, he does have a slight expressive speech delay. Because of this, we did a 2 pronged approach and brought him to a speech therapist AND sent him to a toddler school within the vicinity for 6 weeks of the summer, just to see how things work out.

It worked! His learning accelerated! He learned a lot more words and is already starting to use phrases. He learned to follow instructions. He learned to deal with other children his age. He learned to wait his turn. He is still continuing speech therapy once a week but even his therapist noted that he has improved greatly! More importantly, he LOVED school. He actually looked forward to it. When we have to wake him up, I just have to say, "Ethan, you have to get up or you'll be late for school" and he won't linger in bed. He is a very slow eater but just tell him that he will be late for school and he will eat faster!

Separation anxiety? After maybe 2 weeks, he has ceased to cling to us. WE are the ones having separation anxiety as his dad and/or I hover around his classroom trying to peer in and see what he's doing.

It is because of all of these that made us decide to send him to school this June. He'll be going to the same school he went to during the summer. He'll be having the same classmates and the same teacher. And he's learning that learning is fun!

As to what school I'm sending him and why I chose that school, I've detailed them here.
This is my own entry to PPBC 2nd edition.

Circus Camp

I cannot remember the last time I saw a circus, but it never ceases to amaze me. Although it was never my dream to become a circus performer, I always it would be awesome if I could do some of the things they do. Unfortunately, I have not heard anything about a cirus school until recently, when I heard about Circus Summer Camp New York. I probably would have enjoyed it. It may not have made me a career circus performer, but it dould probably build up my confidence, it may have improved my flexibility and my sense of coordination. I have always been a shy girl, up to now I have this fear of speaking and performing before a crowd. This might just have been the answer for me.

I haven't brought my son to the circus yet but I might if one comes to town. I wonder if he will have the same appreciation for circus arts. If he does, I might consider bringing him to the Circus Arts Camp New York, if I can afford it. It's a pity they don't have something like Circus Camp New York over here, though. It would definitely be something I'd strongly consider aside from the usual swimming, art and other summer class offerings.

Describe Yourself Today

got this tag from Pheng. :) thanks for the tag sis. I need the break

1. list 6 things that describe yourself today.
2. add your blog to the list. feel free to add all your other blogs.
3. tag other online friends you know.

today, this is me.
1. Busy! In the midst of my 5-day summer classes for my Masters.
2. I'm supposed to be doing my report right now, instead here I am on the net. After I'm done with this tag, I'll be working on my assignment :)
3. I miss playing with my son. Oh well, it's only until Friday anyway.
4. I'm on leave from my clinics because of these classes. Kinda miss work and also miss the chance to earn (no work, no pay)
5. I'm back to being a commuter, at least temporarily. I don't like driving the car to UP Manila, so I'm taking the LRT.
6. I didn't bring my regular cellular phone today. I just left it with my husband and just brought a VERY old model phone with a prepaid SIM. Baka masnatch if I'm not careful eh. :)

inks: creative in me little peanut me and mine pea in a pod sugar magnolias bloggerhappy berry scrappy changing lanes pit stop kapturd and so i am princess bela our journey to life my planet purple women xplore life. love. family. work. travel.,,,

I'm tagging Lissa, Sheng and Lorie

It's Daddy's Turn Next Month

This month, we have mother's day. Next month would be Father's Day. We used to give small gifts to my Dad when he was still alive. Since my son is still very young, I guess it's up to me to choose a gift for his dad on his behalf. I always think that buying gifts for men is harder than buying gifts for women. Let's see, there are promotional discounts for online diet programs. But since he has already lost a lot of weight I do not think that he needs it right now! I think I'm the one who needs that! Anyway, back to the gifts. I can pick something for him to wear like a sports shirt. He'd appreciate that. Or a toy train that he's been wanting to have since he was a child. That would make great daddy-son bonding moments with Ethan. Or maybe a family trip? He's been wanting to have some time off for quite a while already. There is still about a month for me to decide what to give him. If you have any suggestions, do tell me. I do not want to splurge a lot as we are spending quite a bundle on tuition fees this June, so I would prefer buying something quality but not too expensive. But whatever we (my son and I) pick out, I'm sure Daddy will be more than happy to receive.

Coffee Break ver. 1.10

How would you spend a rainy day on a lazy afternoon?

What I would like to do:
Laze around with a cup of hot drink, watching DVDs with my husband
Play with my son
Surf the net
Sleep :)

What I would most likely do:
Work in the clinic
Work on my sideline

What I should do:
Tidy up my room, my closets and my desk!

Thanks, Jan!

Choosing a Webhost

Whether you are serious about blogging and want to get your own domain name or you want a website for any business or personal purposes, you need to research on the different web hosting solutions. There are many hosting providers available, which offer different packages for a variety of prices. You need to ascertain what your needs are and pick out the package that will best answer your needs.

The first step in getting your own web site is to reserve a domain name. Most hosting packages already offer the domain name for free, so it's best if you could choose a package when you have already decided on what domain name to use. What is your primary consideration? How much disk space do you need? How much bandwidth do you need for data transfer? Do you need assistance in setting up your webpage? How good is the customer service of the different hosting providers? And of course, what is your budget for maintaining the website?

Look for websites which review and compare the different web hosting providers, ask others about their experiences with a particular webhost, and search for feedback online and offline. A good web hosting solution, like any other product or service, would have a lot of satisfied customers and positive reviews. The opposite would be true for bad ones.

Happy webhost hunting!

Next week's a busy week

I'm currently hosting 2 carnivals (the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival or PPBC) and The Blog Rounds (medical blog carnival -- this is at my other blog) AND I have to show up next week at PGH for my master's.

So next week is pretty busy, but I'll still endeavor to do as many tags, comment replies, bloghops and xlinks as possible. If I'm a bit slow, do bear with me.

If you're a Pinoy Parent and would like to join our blog carnival, please do so. The call for articles for the 2nd edition is here.

Tagged again!

Was tagged by Pat. Thanks so much!

I’m tagging Abie, Ging, Monet, Dowa! Sana masagot ninyo ito :)

Participants: 1. Tere-Blessing in Life 2. Yen- Me and Mine 3. Thea is bloggerhappy 4. Thea is berryscrappy 5. Tricia-Tricia’s World 6. Shopaholic Pat 7. Joey, The Working Mom

1. What do you want for your birthday? I'd say cash. I'll save it for E's educational fund. Nothing for myself, but thank you anyway.
2. Who will be your next kiss? It's a toss up between C and E. That's my husband and my son.
3. When was the last time you went to the mall? Last Wednesday.
4. Are you wearing socks right now? No. I don't usually wear socks.
5. How did you spend your summer? The usual -- work & home. Enrolled E in summer toddler school, though.
6. Have you been to the cinema in the last 5 days? Nope.
7. What was the last thing you had to drink? water
8. What are you wearing right now? pajamas!
9. What was your last purchase? A magazine.
10. What was the last food you ate? last night's dinner. Shrimps.
11. Who would be the person you would call if you were up in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep? I wouldn't call anybody. I'll just surf the internet or read a book.
12. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? Nope.
13. Do you have a pet? None of my own. But my family has 3 dogs.
14. What made you laugh in the last 5 days? My son's kakulitan
15. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? Home :)
16. What is the last thing you purchased online? Diapers for my son
17. One thing you hate about yourself? My tummy. My clumsiness!
18. Do you miss anyone? My Dad, My grandpas, my maternal grandma, my uncles, my cousins (they have passed on)
19. What are your plans for the day? go to in-laws' house
20. Last person you msg’d? hubby, asking where he was
21. Ever went to a camp? Yes, back in High School, for scouting and CAT
22. Are you a good student in school? I guess. I'm a doctor right now, see? :)
23. What do you know about the (your) future? Nothing definite, actually.
24. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne? Nope
25. Where is/are your best friend/s right now? Nandito pa rin naman sa Manila :)

Have fun and tag as much blogger friends you have!

Customer Service or Customer No Service - Part 3 & 4

This is part 3 of the Customer Service Survey series.

It is fair to say that customer service has changed since the web 1.0 days. Empowered customers of today want to make their own choices in the way that they interact with companies they do business with.

I like giving tips to people who go the extra mile for customers. However, I have encountered some people who actually hint that they deserve a little something more because they have done more for you. I still give them a little something extra, though. I just wish that they don't ask for it.

It's almost June, and here in the Philippines, June 9 heralds the start of the new school year. As parents, school is one of the major decisions we have to make. I know I've been thinking about my son's schooling ever since...hmmm....he was born? So whether or not you have school age kids, do join us in this round of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival!

  • What are your considerations for choosing a school?
  • All boys or all girls? Or Coed?
  • Public or Private? Or would you go for the emerging trend of Homeschooling?
  • Traditional or Progressive?
  • How do you do research on the school choices?
  • Yes or no to toddler school and why? What age do you think is most appropriate to start school?

Do share your thoughts! And as usual, do not limit yourself to the above questions! Remember, these are only guides.

And click this link for the guidelines, if you just want to be reminded of them. :)

Deadline is on May 24 and the roundup will be on May 28, also here on The Working Mom.

You can submit the link to your entry by either commenting here on this post, or emailing me at ethanmama[at]gmail[dot]com.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents who have participated in PPBC 1st edition: Becoming a Parent. Do keep up the good work!


I feel so bad! Yesterday, while hurrying off to work, I backed up my husband's car too fast and hit another vehicle! I feel so stupid and so careless! It was my fault, and worse, we don't have comprehensive auto insurance which would have taken cared of the damage repair! Needless to say, my husband got mad at me. He did not speak to me much the whole day. He is a good handyman and tried to repair the damage himself, but even with his best efforts, he could not make it look as good as it did before the accident. Today, he's actually cooled off a bit and even went with me as we went about our errands and our work. He's been mumbling once in a while about having his car repaired though. The problem is, we use that car to go around, and bringing it to the shop for repairs would mean that we could not use it for one to two weeks! I was thinking of calling up someone who does automotive dent repair at our home's garage, instead of having to bring it to the shop. I believe that this would be more convenient for us. Not to mention faster, since the professional who would be handling the job would concentrate only on our car, unlike in the shop when they have to work on several vehicles that are brought in.

Because of that accident, I have been wary of driving today. I was supposed to bring my mother's car to LTO for vehicle registration since I was also due to renew my driver's license, but I couldn't do it since I still have some residual trauma. My husband ended up bringing me. Good thing we had the same clinic time today so I just went with him and didn't have to bring a separate car.

PPBC 1st Edition: Becoming a Parent

Becoming a parent is a major milestone. It's probably the most difficult job ever, but it is also the most fulfilling. A helpless, defenseless little human being is entrusted to you to nourish, to raise and to teach. Unless you take on the responsibility of adopting a parentless child, the usual way is giving birth to your child.

Not everybody goes through the same experiences when their child is born. It's all different, it's all exciting and we all want to hear about it! It's like a movie, with all the elements of drama, action and some comedy.

Action! Normal delivery!

Mommy Leah shares that she gave birth to Erin Chloe the all-natural way, without drugs and WITHOUT EPISIOTOMY after a long labor! I am so in awe! She was assisted by a midwife, but a doctor came later to repair the lacerations she got from the birth.

Mommy Tricia got her early Christmas gift when Zoe made her appearance 20 days early! She too had a drug free normal delivery, which is what she wanted, but she almost gave up her wish to deliver normally and almost asked for a CS because she had a hard time pushing Zoe out, but eventually she did what she initially wanted and she is so proud of having accomplished that.

Mommy Pat related that her obedient little Tina followed her Daddy's wish to be born on January 8. She also had a normal delivery, although she had already prepared herself to have a CS birth, since she thought that her pelvis was not adequate enough. She related how the epidural helped her deal with the pain of labor, but made it difficult to tell if she was pushing hard enough, but she eventually came through. Oh yeah, this kikay mommy showered, powdered her face and trimmed her nails just before going to the hospital! And just 2 days before, she even remembered to go to a foot spa!

A little drama...the CS Moms

Mommy Jeng was already on the delivery room table trying with all her might to push her little Joaqui out, but after 1 1/2 hours of pushing, her little boy still couldn't get out. So finally, the exhausted Mommy consented to a Cesarean section. Joaqui finally made his appearance!

Mommy Joey (that's me) also gave birth via CS to Ethan after almost 10 hours of induction and the cervical dilatation remaining stuck at less than 1 cm! Since my bag of water has been leaking for close to 24 hours already, we (my OB and I) knew that we could not wait any longer or my baby would risk infection, hence I consented to the surgery!

Mommy Jigi
unfortunately did not progress to more than 4 cms, even after 20 hours of painful labor (by my calculation. This does not even include the pains before that) and the breaking of the bag of water. They finally had to resort to Cesarean section to bring Baby Zech out into the world.

Unlike the other CS moms, Mommy JoyD underwent a scheduled Cesarean section when she gave birth to her boy Braiden. It was Mommy Joy's first operation in Australia and she and her husband Joe, who was with her in the operating room, was apprehensive before Braiden finally came into the world.

More drama...

Mommy Melisse underwent emergency Cesarean section when she gave birth to little Vin. They had Abruptio placenta -- a rare condition in which the placenta separates before the baby the baby is born. Read about their struggles here. Oh, this article is written from the point of view of Vin.

A little humor...

A tuna sandwich and an annoying nurse -- prelude to the "Bu(R)sting Out" of Pinay MegaMom's...TRIPLETS! A very engaging birth story! Don't miss this!

Mommy Jo Ann, also relates how, 9 months pregnant with her third child and ready to give birth anytime, she commuted from her home in Fairview to North Edsa to Meycauayan, Bulacan...and back...ALONE! The bloody show appeared while she was still in Meycauayan but she was still unruffled and still went on with her meeting! She promptly asked her husband to drive her to the hospital once she reached home and gave birth the next day!

Mommy Monet (Maver), relates the comedy of errors that led to the birth of her Haligilet. She was 34 weeks pregnant, her bag was not packed yet, and her husband was out jogging when she was hit by premature labor! She notes that one is never really 100% prepared for parenthood

All of the previous moms would agree that their children's Dad played a very significant role during the time that they were giving birth.

Daddy Angel is a very involved father who relates the financial difficulties he and his wife faced when she gave birth to their eldest child. He lost his job just 2 weeks before the birth! To add to their problems, the newborn baby developed an infection! But they have since pulled through and the baby is now a 12 year old little lady.

Mommy Earthlinggorgeous, while celebrating the birthday of her 6 year old girl, reminisced about the circumstances surrounding the birth of her Anastacia. She was able to go through the whole natural, no anesthesia experience with the help of her mother, her siblings and her friends. The father, contrary to the others mentioned above, was not around during the event, and was not around afterwards.

Reflections on becoming a parent...

Mommy Mec in a sentimental post, wrote about all the challenges and changes that she faced and still continues to face while becoming a parent. She reminds all of us that becoming a parent is a continuous work in progress.

Mommy Janet also notes in that becoming a parent is full of surprises and that what you cannot always be too idealistic with your kid. You have to face challenges head on as a parent and the reality may not be the same as the ideals you have set before your kid came along.

I loved ALL the posts, and I hope you enjoy this initial episode of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival. It was so great seeing you all here!

I hope you will continue to participate in the future editions of the PPBC. In fact, the second edition is already up! Call of articles is here.

Coffee break ver. 1.9

How would you teach the virtue of kindness to your child?

I think the best way is still by example. If you tell your child to do as I say, and then proceed to do something else -- the child would be more likely to follow your (bad) example.

I say the best thing is to show acts of kindness to other people, so the kids would know that that is the right thing to do.

Another great question, Jan! Thank you very much. I was stumped for a while.

Backup Your Files

Being in the era of digital information, we store a lot of files on our laptop's hard drive as well as removable media such as DVDs, CDs, SD cards and flash drives. But what the hard drive crashes and we cannot find our backups on the removable media? Printing everything out as hard copy may be one solution, but I do not think that anybody would care to store a lot of paper clutter. Offices are starting to go paperless in fact. One solution that may be viable is Online Backup. I looked through their site and they have plans for every need, from the most simple economy plans that cost only $9.95, if you do not need a lot of backup storage, to the more hefty plans for the workplace.

I believe that most people and most companies would really need a service similar to this because you can never predict what could happen to the important files stored in the computer. They could be corrupted, they could be destroyed, or they could be infected by a worm or a virus. Having a backup system would ensure that you have another copy of those important files that you just cannot afford to lose.

Customer Service or Customer No Service - Part 2

Customers are becoming more and more savvy and more aware of their consumer right. Hence they demand more and better customer service than ever before. Are you the type of customer who's easy to please and would not mind if the customer service is a little below par? Or are you the type who would complain loudly about it?

Thoughts About Wedding Preparations

Anybody who's ever planned a wedding knows about all the pre-wedding planning stress that comes with the whole package. Despite a bride's best efforts, she can't oversee her own wedding herself and attend to all the wedding day problems. I should know , I was a bride myself.

There are just so many details to a wedding. If you haven't personally been a bride yourself, you wouldn't know about the different types of print on an invitation, for example, or the types of skirts and necklines to a dress, or the different kinds of bouquet. I didn't know that you had to give your attendants gifts, and I just didn't have any idea what to give them, at the start.

A bride needs all the wedding planning help she can get. There are a lot of resources available nowadays, from websites, online forums, magazines, professional wedding planners, not to mention the good old fashioned network of family and friends, and most importantly, the GROOM. I would say that today's brides are luckier because they it's easier to look for help and there are a lot more choices so that she can let her own personality shine through during her wedding day and have the kind of wedding she wants.


Leah tagged me with this fun meme.

For the instructions, add your name on the list and simply spell out your name using the given Japanese letter- translations below. Tag six of your friends and inform them of the tag. Have fun.

TRANSLATION:A - ka —– G - ji —– M - rin —– S - ari—– Y - fu —– B - tu —– H - ri —– N - to —— T - chi —–Z - zi —– C - mi —– I - ki —– O - mo —– U - do —– D - te —– J - zu —– P - no —— V - ru —– E - ku —–K - me —- Q - ke ——W - mei —– F - lu —– L - ta —— R - shi ——X - na

1. OSWALD - moarimeikatate (sounds like american and states har….har…har…)
2. JUNELLE - zudotokutataku (Thank God I’m a Filipino! sounds like sadako. nyay! hehehe)
3. JACQUELINE - zukamikedokutakitoku (Ayay!! Unsaman ni perti mang taasa..wa ko kasabot nyahahaha)
4. LIRA LUZ - takishika taduzi ( sounds like a title of an anime show) it’s cute!
5. Gracey - Katakamikuari (oh my, i’m glad i’m not japanese. Nothing sounds like it!
6. Vannie - Rukatotokiku (huh? ruka sounds cute!) hehehe
7. Farah - Lukashikari (hahaha! it’s cute!)
8. Patricia - Nokachishikimikika (ang haba naman! ) : )
9. Leah - Takukari (buti na lang maiksi lang name ko. hehe!)
10. Joey -- Zumokufu (nickname pa lang yan ha!)

I'm curious to see your Japanese names -- Monet, En, Mari.

On Bedbugs

I used to suffer from bedbug bites when I sat on old benches in a
hospital that I used to rotate in. Our uniforms then consisted of
a white blouse and skirt and ensemble, so even with stockings they
can easily bite my legs. These bites are very itchy and produce
red welts on the upper portion of my legs. If I forget and
scratch it, it gets even worse. I don't know if the current trend
of using scrub suits for hospital duty would have lessened my
chances of getting those bites. But I sure know that I would have
loved to get rid of those annoying bugs who've caused me alot of

10 Random Facts About Me

En tagged me with this. :)


1. Each blogger starts with ten random facts/habits about themselves.

2. Bloggers that are tagged need to write on their own blog about their ten things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 10 people to get tagged and list their breads.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

  1. I am a homebody. If I have free time, I'd rather spend it at home rather than go out.
  2. I finally learned to handle a car on my own at the ripe old age of 26 years old. Although I new the basics by the age of 18, kulang sa lakas ng loob na i-drive ang kotse sa daan na walang kasama. :)
  3. I never really learned how to ride the bicycle. I hope my husband teaches my little boy.
  4. I love to sing. But not in public. I'm not very confident of my voice.
  5. I am kuripot. I do not like spending money unless talagang kailangan. But...
  6. I am not good in haggling. But I still try, kahit papaano.
  7. Even if do not haggle, I get around looking for the best price.
  8. I do not like going to the wet market.
  9. My favorite chore is going to the grocery. I stock up on necessary items and satisfy my need for retail therapy at the same time.
  1. I am a good cook. At least I think I am. :)
Let's see. I'm tagging...

Christian Cruises

I have always dreamed of having a vacation in Europe and the Mediterranean areas. I have heard that these places are beautiful and exotic.

While browsing through the web for some vacation ideas, I chanced upon this site offering Christian Cruises. This is a different kind of vacation wherein believers are sail on a privately chartered yacht and visit significant areas in Bible history. It's a Bible cruise wherein Bible teachings are held both on board and in the places significant to Christians.

I remember the Catholic retreats I used to make when I was still in high school and college. They are usually held in serene, cool Tagaytay in quaint retreat houses. They usually make me feel a lot more recharged spiritually, afterwards. Although I have not done a similar retreat for several years already, because of family and work obligations, I would still like to do that someday.

I think a Christian Cruise in the Mediterranean would probably do a similar thing for me. I would love to recharge the spirit, relax the mind, rest the body, all in exotic places I would love to visit. Having such beautiful places tied up to history and to my faith would be so much more of a lovely bonus.

From one mom to another myspace graphic comments

Thank you to Maver Monet for passing this tag to me. Hope you have a Great Mother's Day!

1. Just choose any Mothers' Day graphics from zwani to greet the mommies you know.
2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your blogs.
3. Tag other mommies you know.

Gossip Gehl
Confessions of a Supermodel Wannabe
Shopaholic Ties The Knot
Changing Lanes
Pit Stop
Practical Tips and More
The Working Mom
Joey M.D.

I'm passing this tag to all the PPBC (Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival) Moms! (Psst! Reminder that tonight is the deadline of the PPBC, to those who haven't submitted their entries yet :) ).

Driving a Dream

BMWs are the dream car of a lot of people. They are sleek and beautiful. They tell people that you have reached a certain status. But BMW Body Kit and other parts are sometimes hard to come by, especially here in the Philippines. If you need replacement parts, you may have to wait for a new order. Fortunately, you can now buy it online, so if you go and buy yourself your dream car, you won't have to worry about potential future repairs.

Customer Service or Customer No Service

Is customer service rare in today's capitalistic society? According to a survey in USA Today, Customer Service is the #1 reason people choose to stay with a company long-term. Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction. That is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.

Here's a survey:

Although customer service is not the only determinant whether or not the customer will be happy. There are also considerations on price and product quality and the convenience. However, all things being equal, this is usually the one factor that will tip the scales.

My Favorite Reality TV Shows

My favorite Reality TV Shows are The Amazing Race and Mythbusters. I miss watching Amazing Race because I do not have time to watch TV nowadays and follow a series, but I really love that show. I’m glad there’s always the internet to update me. Mythbusters is new for me. My husband and I love it because it tries to prove or disprove a long held belief. So we end up knowing whether or not a certain saying is true or not.

My son's routine -- Mommastuff question 2

Mommastuff asks:

Do you have routines for your kids? Care to share? Does it really help?

Ethan always has a routine, but it has not really been strict as in there's a set time for each activity. Of course the routine is different for weekends or if there is some special activity, but this is what we basically follow.

This is his routine for the past six weeks, since he went to summer school.

7:30am Wakeup time, then breakfast

After finishing breakfast, he takes a bath and changes

We bring him to school, which begins 8:30 (but we're often late, unfortunately). This goes on till 10:30. The school, by the way, has a more or less consistent sequence of activities.

Go back home, have some snacks. (School is near home.)

Playtime or Elmo DVD -- indoor activities like crayons, books, playing with train set, etc.


Naptime -- we let him wake up on his own.


Playtime -- roams in the garden. If it's raining, it's indoor activities again

Dinner time




Lights off at around 9:30 pm .

I believe rountines are helpful since children need to be used to a certain system. I do not believe however, in being very strict with time at this age (he's 2 years 7 months). We'll get to that later :).

Dreams into Reality via Loans

I know many of us are dreaming of getting our own house someday. But we know that most of the time, it is hard to just save up for such a big, big purchase. Most people resort to loans in order to make their dream house a reality. But not everybody can be granted loans? Why is this? It may be because the prospective debtor has a bad credit history. Never borrowed money before? No credit history is almost just as bad. Most banks and financial institutions would not even consider people with less than perfect credit rating.

But, there are actually some institutions which actually give prospective borrowers with a less than sterling loan record a second chance and offer bad credit loans. There are a number of then which give loans for different purposes. All you need to do is do a comparison of these companies and the loans they offer and see which of them best fits your needs.

The Parents of PPBC

I have made a blogroll of the parents (mommies mostly) who have expressed interest in joining the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (PPBC). I have also included those who have expressed some interest but are not that sure yet.

If you have already joined and do not find your name here, please tell me (and if possible, please include the URLs of your submissions). Tao lang po, I might have missed some of you. :)

Update (9/16/2010): There seems to be a malware on blogrolling, hence I've decided to remove the links for the meantime until the problem is resolved.

Thinking about a European tour

Something I would like to do when I have the time and the budget is to travel, Visiting and experiencing different places. A European trip is something I'd like to experience one day. Family and friends who have been there are one in saying that one should see the Old Country at least once. But we know that a trip to Europe would be very expensive. A lot of research, however, can reveal the best ways to minimize costs while maximizing your itinerary.

I think it would be a good idea to visit the Europe mainland first using their Euro rail, go through the usual places like Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, then from there Book European ferry tickets from France to Great Britain, then another ferry to Ireland. I guess that would cover everything. They say that it is possible to travel through Europe on a budget if you know what to do, so I'll do a lot of research before planning that trip. Of course, I'd like to bring my family along to experience the diversities of European culture and sights.

Sounds like a great plan, right? Now all I need to do is to find some time to get a month off for a grand vacation.

The Birth of My Son

The first time I remembered being hospitalized was actually a very positive experience. Because the very first time I was admitted as a patient in the hospital was the time I went to give birth to my son. Here is the story of his birth.

I went to the hospital at around 11PM because amniotic fluid was already leaking. Since it was my first pregnancy, I was hoping for a normal vaginal delivery. But I already knew how I wanted to be anesthetized, and my choice was an epidural. I wanted the pain muted, but I wanted to be aware of the whole process of birth. I want to remember the experience. I want to see my baby when he finally got out.

The OB residents did an IE (internal examination) on me and determined that I was not even 1 cm dilated and that there was already some fluid pooling. Oh boy. I knew that I was due for a long wait. I also knew that I could not be given the epidural unless I was at least 4 cms. But I was prepared to endure pain. My baby is worth it.

By 8AM the next day, my obstetrician did an IE, and I was still less than 1 cm. I was already having contractions but they were not very regular yet. She decided to start induction.

With the start of induction, my contractions became more regular and more painful. I didn't cry out at all, however. I was a visiting physician in the same hospital and the any of the staff -- nurse, nursing aide, intern, residents -- they all addressed me as "Doktora" whenever they check on me. It would be so embarrassing! Also, I knew that I should save my strength for the actual pushing when the baby finally decides to come out.

However, after 8 hours of induction (and 20 hours since my amniotic fluid started to leak), my cervix only admits my OB’s fingertip! I knew then that my OB was going to do a CS. I can’t be leaking for more than 24 hours. My labor is inefficient. I do not think the another 4 hours of induction would make my cervix suddenly dilate to 10 cms. I said "yes" to to CS, not knowing that my OB had already previously asked my husband and he had already given his consent. He, nevertheless, told my OB that she had to tell me about the situation since he knew how much I wanted to go through this the natural route. Of course, I had to decide on what was best for my baby, and the best choice at that time is a CS.

I underwent the Cesarean section. I curled up like a shrimp for the epidural and I was very still because I did not want my anesthesiologist to have problems with me.

I was awake when I was cut open and I heard my baby’s first cry. I looked around for him. They cleaned him up and brought him to me.

He was so beautiful! I said, “I love you baby” and kissed him on the top of his head. He stopped crying.

My husband was with me in the operating room. We had our first family picture together. :)

Originally posted in Joey M.D. by the same author and reprinted with some revisions.

This is my entry to the first edition of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival.

An Interesting Site

I've heard about people talking about SocialSpark, but it's only now that I got to really sign in and review the site. It looks like a really great opportunity to earn more. My only problem is that I cannot understand how to navigate the site yet since I just joined, but I'm sure that I will be able to learn it in due time. Just give me some time to study it further.

What is it? As far as I can see, it's a cross between a paid blogging platform and a social network. Most paid blogging platforms do not have interactions among its bloggers, but this new site seems to encourage it.

The mom with brownies is one member of Social Spark who sounds like she is an interesting person, and a mom like me. We share some characteristics like being moms, being married to our best friends and being bloggers. We're different in that she has 5 children (I only have 1 so far), we come from different areas and she's a homeschooling advocate (I don't have the confidence to do homeschooling).

I would like to explore this site further. It seems very interesting. I’ve been a member of some fora and mailing lists and I learn a lot from interacting with other people, so I’m sure that I will also learn a lot from the people over here. The extra earnings add points to it, too!

Paid for this.

I am quite overwhelmed but nonetheless very happy by the show of support and by the number of Pinoy parents (mostly moms so far) that have signified their intention of joining the blog carnival. I will post all the links of the participants later (once I get the time).

In the meantime, in case you haven't noticed, there is already a call for articles for the 1st edition. Topic is about Becoming a Parent. Details in the given link. Deadline for submission of articles is on May 10, 2008.

Other guidelines are here!

Thank you so much for joining, fellow Pinoy parents!

Silver is a good investment option

My husband and I have been looking at various investment vehicles because we are aware that money kept in the bank loses its value over time since the rate of inflation is greater than the bank's interest rates. This means that we could buy much less for the money in a few years' time. But, it's difficult to find an investment which gives a high rate of return as well as easily converted to cash whenever you need. We are looking into silver since this very important metal is being used in all industries. Supplies, however, are running low, which means that there is a great possibility that in the future, the demand would greatly overtake supply, driving the prices of silver up. As an investment product, it's available in coin or ingot form. It's also more affordable than gold or platinum, so we may be able to afford to buy some right now and add to our investment as we go along.

Coffee break version 1.8

The topic for this week is: Recall the most treasured conversation you had with your mother.

I'm afraid I cannot recall any specific conversation. My mother is pretty old school and sometimes I'm afraid to go to anything really deep in our conversations since I'm always afraid that she would criticize me. Whenever I converse with her trying to confide something in her, a lot of times, she would always say that I should change something in me or my actions. Which is sometimes not what I want to hear. I want to hear support. I want to hear that I was right. Or at least that I had a point.

But later on I realized that she really means well. Her point really is that we cannot control what others do or say, so I might as well modify things from my own end. Of course, that would be after I've calmed down and would see things in a different light. I would feel a little bit down if I'm still emotional about the topic.

I guess all mothers want the best for their children. Mom wants the best for me, she just has a different way and a different view on things.

If I want people to agree with me, I can go to friends, who usually have the same wavelength with me. But if I want a fresh opinion, I have to go to mom, even if I know I won't always like her answer. But a lot of times, she's actually right. Not always, though. :)

Extra Cash

Give us cash, and we will shop. That's the idea behind the U.S. government's save-the-economy tax rebates, which are starting to hit checking and savings accounts of cash-strapped consumers. What are you going to do with the money?

Wow! 600 US dollars in cash rebates! That's more than around 25000 Philippine pesos! Here in the Philippines, that would be a substantial amount already especially for daily wage earners who earns less than half of that amount in a month. Of course, we don't have the same standard of living. It's supposed to be more expensive to live there in the United States than here in the Philippines.

I wonder if we would experience a similar rebate here in the Philippines, considering the rice shortage crisis and the other problems that we're experiencing right now. My guess? No, of course! But one can always dream. :)

Some Gift Ideas for Mom

Mother's Day is almost here, and I haven't bought any gift yet for my mother. I’m thinking of buying her flowers, because they are always a hit, but I may also consider other gifts if I have the budget for it. A bottle of perfume would be something she would appreciate much longer than flowers, although designer scents can be quite expensive. But no worries, since I can get discount promotions and deals like $5 off, $10 off or free shipping at Best Discount Coupons without having to register.

What I'd really like for both myself and my mother, is a vacation getaway package with the whole family, since we haven't done that for a long time. I'm sure it will be a great bonding experience for the whole family. Maybe, in time we will get to do that, but now, we are simply too busy and we don't think my small son is able to appreciate traveling and sightseeing at this point. When he’s older, we'll take him places, and of course, bring his grandmother (my mother and mother-in-law) along so that they can also bond, not to mention that there will be more people who can take care of him. My mother-in-law, I'm sure, would love to get a travel package as a Mother's Day gift.

Gosh, I think even diamonds may be a great Mother's Day gift. I know I'd love to receive them. Because they last forever, unlike flowers or perfumes.

I guess it all boils down to what we can afford. And, being a mother myself, I know I'd appreciate anything my son would give me, even if it were not an extravagant gift. It's really the thought that counts!

In celebration of the birth of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (PPBC), I thought it would be appropriate if we share stories of our children's birth -- where most of us truly become parents.

If you are a mommy, please share your experiences regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Guide questions:

  • Did you have a normal vaginal delivery? Or a Ceasarian section? If you underwent CS, what was the reason for that?
  • What kind of anesthesia did you have during the delivery? Or did you go through a drug-less birth?
  • Was your husband present with you when you delivered your child?
  • Were you able to room in your baby immediately?
  • Here in the Philippines, the usual birth attendant is the Obstetrician-Gynecologist. Did you have one when you gave birth? Or did you have somebody else attend to you? For example, a midwife, a nurse, another doctor (not OB), a traditional hilot?
  • How was your labor? Can you describe the course?
  • How was your post partum recovery?
If you're a daddy, you may share your wife's birth story. Or you may just blog about your experience while awaiting your child's arrival.

Remember, the following are just guide questions. Please don't feel limited by them and exercise your writing creativity. You may write a poem, post pictures or whatever. :)

You may post the link to your entries in the comments section of this article or email me at ethanmama[at]gmail[dot]com with PPBC submission as the subject .

The deadline for entries is on May 10, 2008, 12 midnight. :) I will post the PPBC 1st Edition on May 14, 2008. Please watch out for it!

For more guidelines on the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival, please visit this page:

Thank you very much for your participation.

Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival

Proudly announcing the birth of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (PPBC for short)!

Any Pinoy parent may join the carnival. You know who you are, Pinoy parents!

Please signify your intention to join by replying to this thread. I am currently working on a webring or blogroll so that it will be easier for us to know who's participating. I will also post it here when it's available already.

Oh, and if you know other Pinoy parents who blog, feel free to invite them to join by directing them to this page.

What is a blog carnival? Here's a definition by wikipedia.

General guidelines:
  • The Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival will be a biweekly carnival.
  • There will be a designated host blogger of the month. He or she will host both carnivals of the month.
  • He/she will post the two topics for the month on his blog, with the corresponding deadlines of submission and the day when that Edition of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival will be up on his/her blog. Topics deal mostly around parenting and family life.
  • Blog articles for carnival are due by 12:00 midnight, the 10th of the month for the first carnival, and the 24th of the month for the second carnival.
  • The host is expected to organize and post the carnivals on the 14th and the 28th of each month, respectively.
  • Send to the predesignated host- blogger for that week, the link to your post, the title, and a brief description of that article.
  • One entry per blogger. Any post regarding the designated topic or theme, new or existing, may be entered.
  • The host blogger has the sole authority and responsibility of choosing the topic, announcing them, receiving the contributions, proof reading it, and posting them as he/she deemed fit for his/her topic of choice. Other host guidelines here.
  • Please provide a linkback to this page.
What are the advantages of a blog carnival?
  • Interesting, relevant topics to write on.
  • Increased links.
  • Increased traffics.
  • Increased sense of community.
  • It's really fun!
  • More knowledge and opinions?
I will host for the month of the May as a start. :) I will also post on this blog the schedule of the blog carnivals, their hosts and topics, if already available. So check back often!

Latest Edition:

PPBC 9th edition (September)
Topic: Birthdays! (posted October 24, 2008)
Host: Joey of


PPBC 10th edition (November)
Topic: Picky Eaters - Click here for the call for articles.
Host: Jenny of
Deadline for submission of entries: November 10, 2008

Previous Editions:

PPBC 1st edition:
Topic: Becoming a Parent (Posted May 14, 2008)
Host: Joey of

PPBC 2nd edition:
Topic: On Schools...Where, When and Why (Posted June 3, 2008)
Host: Joey of

PPBC 3rd edition:
Topic: Parenting Through The Generations (Posted June 18, 2008)
Host: Joey of

PPBC 4th edition
Topic: Our Children Do Love Us (posted July 2, 2008)
Host: Joey of

PPBC 5th edition
Topic: What would you like your children to be when they grow up? (posted July 15, 2008)
Host: Guardian Angel of

PPBC 6th edition
Topic: The Kind of Parent That We Are (Posted August 3, 2008)
Host: Guardian Angel of

PPBC 7th edition
Topic: Discipline (Posted September 3, 2008)
Host: Joey of

PPBC 8th edition (September)
Topic: Values (Posted September 17, 2008)
Host: Leah of

Message to my child

The moment new life is formed in the mother's womb, her life is completely turned around. A mom ceases living just for herself when her child is born.

My child, you probably do not know how much I truly cherish you. Your coming to Daddy and Mommy is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. You have made our marriage even stronger. Yes, Daddy and Mommy vowed to love and cherish each other till death do us part, but, you, my son, is the perfect symbol, the perfect fruit of our physical, emotional and spiritual union.

Your presence has given us joy. Every little smile, with those cute little dimples. Every little step taken. Every little look of love. Every milestone. When you're happy, we're happy. Our world now revolves around you. We make decisions on what is best for you. Because you are now our greatest priority.

You have made me realize even more what a truly good man your Daddy is. Well, even before you came along, I already knew that my husband was truly a gem of man. But when you came into existence, he showed what a great daddy he was. He was willing to do things other men wouldn't, like change your dirty diapers. He kept his cool when Mommy was all moody and hormonal because of the pregnancy and childbirth. He kept me company when I was cut up for the C section. And, he took over mommy's clinic and took care of mommy's patients while I was still on maternity leave, and later when either you or mommy were sick.

You made me understand my mother, your grandmother, even more. True, we still argue on what the best foods for you are, and I get some flak because you never were the chubby, commercial worthy baby most people seem to like. But we agree that you are the cutest, most lovable child there is on earth. Of course, we're biased, but who cares?

You made your lola, your dad's mom, a very happy grandma. She always looks forwards to your visits and always reserves all of your favorite foods. Woe to us if we visit lola without you in tow. She now has another apo to spoil.

You have made me do things I wouldn't dream of doing before. Changing diapers was an "ewwww" task, but you made me willing to do it. I never thought I would have breastfed past 1 year, but we reached 1 year and 10 months -- because I knew that that was the best food for you. When we had to end our breastfeeding cum bonding session because Mommy got sick, you cried like you never did before. And that broke mommy's heart, even though I know that it had to be done. I was never a spendthrift, but for you, I'd spend for a new pair of pajamas or a cute little shirt (Good thing your grandmas love to spend for you too, or I'd be broke!). Daddy, on the other hand, spends on your toys. :)

When you were sick, our world seemed to be crashing down.

My son, you have taught us a lot of things. You have taught us to rediscover simple joys. You have taught us to be more responsible. You have taught us to be more tolerant and more patient. You have taught us to think beyond our own needs.

But, I believe, the greatest gift that you have given me, your mom, is the realization that I am capable of loving unconditionally. Because, my child, I love you always and forever, whatever you may turn out to be. That is what I believe is the best thing about being a mom.

But, of course, we do hope that in the future, you will be an upstanding member of society, a good and moral man that your children will be proud to call daddy. :) Because now, that is our greatest responsibility.

This is my entry to the Free Mother's Day Photo Session Contest by Ging Lorenzo.

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Marriage in Trouble?

One of the best decisions I've made in my life is to get married to my husband. I am much happier now that I'm married to a great man and that I am a mother. We've had some rough patches, but we've compromised on a lot of them. These trials have only made our marriage stronger.

I feel sad, therefore, whenever I hear of failing marriages or a seemingly great couple deciding to split up because of various issues. Unless there is violence involved, I believe the couple should still try marriage counseling to save their marriage.

Another thing the couple has to consider is the impact of their breakup on their children. Children are always the innocent victims of dad and mom’s problems. While it's true that sometimes the relationship is so toxic that it's better for couples to split, that is often not the case. A lot of issues are based on misunderstandings and lack of communication. A third party who’s an expert in such situations may help them come to terms and compromise in some issues besetting them.

A lot of couples on the verge of breakup, however, are reluctant to do formal save marriage counseling, since they believe that it's tantamount to exposing their problems and shortcomings in their marriage to another person. If that is the case, then they should at least try online marriage counseling. A marriage is too precious to just let go. It's even more difficult for children. So do think twice before throwing in the towel.

Identity -- You (a survey)

Even if you grew up with the same background, with the same age, even with the same set of parents and the same experiences, you would find that you do not have the same opinions all the time. That's what's exciting (and sometimes problematic) about human beings -- that we don't see the same way.

That's why a lot of arguments, when seen from the point of view of an uninterested third party, is actually not black or while but rather with varying shades of gray.

The only way that we can live in peace is for everybody to accept that we all think differently and to "agree to disagree". Nobody is perfectly correct all the time, and nobody is always wrong. There's always a middle ground, and compromise is almost always the order of the day.

Used vs New Car?

My husband's family has always been practical. Maybe it's because my mother-in-law is half Ilocano, half Chinese, which makes for a lethal combination when it comes to being frugal. But she is also very practical. She helped my sister-in-law buy used toyota a while back. She knows used cars are real good value for money -- if you do your homework, that is. Luckily, she has her brother to turn to for advice on these matters.

My mother is also a practical woman but she does not generally buy used cars because she does not have such a person to consult. She had a bad experience many years ago buying a second hand car. However, she later spent a lot more in repairs when it turned out that the car had a lot of problems. From then on, she just decided to buy brand new, unless she knew the previous owner of a pre-owned car and trusted him to have taken good care of it.

If you feel that your budget is not enough for a new car, a good quality pre-owned car from a reliable seller may be the thing for you. It does help if, like my mother-in-law, you can have someone inspect the car for you prior to purchasing it, but if not, stick with a reliable seller and don't just go for a car because it's cheap. You might spend more in the long run.

Post Labor Day Musings

This is a short work week for me. I only worked up to April 30. May 1 is Labor Day. I do not have work today because we have a convention and our clinic is closed because most of the doctors are presumed to be going there. The staff, too. My husband and I chose not to go, though, because it's located in Legaspi, Albay, and it's quite difficult to bring a 31 month old toddler on such a long trip. We can't leave him at home either because his grandmother, who looks after him when we're gone, is out of town. We're too paranoid to leave him with just his nanny. So we're here. And, anyway, he has school today.

I kinda found it weird that GMA could move even holidays like Independence Day (June 12) to weekends but she couldn't do the same thing for May 1. Well, I suppose that's because she might get flak from the huge labor sector if she did so. Oh well.

The problem of us not having work is that we don't get paid. You see, unlike employees who have fixed income monthly, we only get paid when we see patients. So, no work, no pay. Nevertheless, a little down time is nice, too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or Jill a dull girl)!

When You Know You Did No Wrong

Whenever a crime is committed, the victim deserves his or her day in court. That is his right. But sometimes, the situation is not as clearcut as what the superficial facts make other people believe. Time and again, we have heard of people who insist on their innocence. What if we get accused of a crime that we did not commit? How would you argue a "driving under the influence" charge when the required test, for example, is not done immediately? This is where a very good lawyer like these Criminal Attorneys in Los Angeles | DUI Defense Lawyers in Southern California would help.

From Home to Work

One reason why we're now still living at my mother's place is the short commute that we need to go to work. Living near our place of work is really a very big convenience on our part, especially with the morning rush hour traffic that we have here in the Greater Manila Area. It saves gas and saves us time (we get to sleep in a little later than if we have a longer commute). Ethan is now attending a toddler school very near here (in fact, in the same village). In fact, I'm dreading the time when Ethan has to go to big school, because the school I have in mind is quite far from where we now live. Oh, well, we'll just cross that bridge when we get there.