Monday, January 12, 2015


After some praying and reflecting, I chose the word BUILD as my one word for this year. Build health, wealth and relationships.

For this year, I will build to feel strong and abundant. I also want to be able to help others feel strong and abundant. I found a most fitting verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

I was even more thrilled when the random saint that came up from Saint's Name Generator was St. Louis IX. I didn't really know anything about him. And so I read up on the only French monarch to be a saint. And to tie it all up with my one word and one verse, he is the patron saint for (among other things):

* against the death of children- I continue to pray for my friend's son, Dax, who has gone to heaven. I also pray for all parents with young children who are sick.
* builders- I pray for the family's business including the real estate business.
* construction workers- I pray for everyone who works for us.
* difficult marriages Rocky and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary this year. We joke about the 7-year itch.
* kings- I pray for my family.
* needle workers- I want to learn how to crochet this year.
* parenthood- And, yes, this.

* Inspired by Truly Rich Mom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

From the Kitchen- XO Sauce

We were in Hongkong earlier this year and stayed at 99 Bonham (Sheung Wan) in the area around the Dried Seafood Market. And so I bought a whole lot of scallops and dried shrimp to make this XO Sauce. After looking around for a recipe online, I stuck with the one Marketman posted since it was the simplest.

Garlic, onion, dried scallops, dried shrimp, chinese ham, 5 spice powder, achuete powder, white pepper, chili flakes, sesame oil and lots of vegetable oil.

This batch made so much I shared it with friends and family. Pasalubong from HK. :-)

I really is just a whole lot of prep work. I'm glad I have a food processor. The most difficult part for me was outside the kitchen--- choosing the dried scallops. I really didn't know how to choose among the big ones to the bits and pieces of scallops. I didn't want to spend so much but didn't want to get really poor quality either.

Marco: Two years!

He really likes watching Diego and dvd. He will insist on setting it up himself. And now that he has his preferences, he has to take turns with her sister with the tv (she prefers to just watch Disney Jr.)

He likes raiding the kitchen! We have to watch him because he'll go in there, open the fridge and insist on getting stuff (Yakult, Dutch Mill, apple, etc.) We usually give him guyabano juice or whatever he wants but I put my foot down about having more than 1 yakult or yogurt drink at a time.

For his birthday, we did a transportation themed one.

By Tazzy Cakes

I ordered these.

Hat from amazon.

Balloons from a guy who delivered it.

Stickers from Auntie Ann.

Rug from Ikea HK

Inflatables from Amazon

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26- Long good night with Marco

Marco took a long time to fall asleep last night. Maybe a long hour after lights out. He was such a chatterbox. He pretended to be a baby bird and I was his nest. Then he was a baby bird and I was a red Mama bird. He was a growling, angry bear who liked honey, but not bugs. I told him he was just a hungry bear. "No, angry", he said. So I called him my hungry angry bear cub. And he was a puppy.

Intermission: "Dede please." Stay in your space, I answered him. "Okay." Close your eyes, I instructed.

"Okay." I prepared his milk, he drank, I checked FB. And then, "All done!"
Then he went back to rolling around the bed. Until he said, "Toh-ee, Mcqueen, Holly, Mater, Guido..." Huh, whut? Poor kid had to say it over and over until I got it. He was asking for a STORY! So I began a story about Mcqueen driving on the highway with a crescent moon in the sky and many twinkling stars. He insisted that there be a sun. I stood by my original night time plot. After a short story he asked for another. I told him to go ask his dad for a story. So he rolled the other way, grabbed his dad's face and asked for a story.

Intermission: "Dede please." Stay in your space, I answered him. "Okay." Close your eyes, I instructed. "Okay." I prepared his milk, he drank, I checked FB. And then, "All done!"

"Tummy ache!" That's because you drank too much milk. You want me to rub your tummy. He nodded. I rubbed. Do you need to go to the potty. Another nod. Daddy, please, can you be the one to go with him. (Thank God for husbands like Rocky.) After a few minutes, Marco ran back in the room in a state of undress, diaperless and pajamaless. We got those back on and rolled around in bed.

He said he was cold so I fixed the comforter around him. He invited me to go under. I said No, I don't like being under the covers. He insisted. I relented. Bats. We were bats. I offered some bugs. He said, "No thank you.... only foods." Foods? Fruits? How about an apple? "Okay." And he was a happy bat pretending to eat an apple then a banana.

I love you, I told him. I coaxed him to say I love you. His best attempt sounded like adieu. I ask him to say it again. He's in a playful mood. "Juju", he said. Okay, I juju too, Marco.

I pretended to sleep. I slept on my side facing away from him. He tugged on me to roll to the other side to face him. I rolled around by pretended to sleep. "Mom? Mom!" He kissed me on the cheeks, on my forehead. He did his best to run his fingers over my forehead, to mark a cross, "God bless you." "Mom! Mom! Mom!" Until finally he gave me a kiss and whispered, "Mom, smell good." 

(I will treasure this in my heart.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Marco: One year, 11 months

January 9- February 8, 2014

* January 9, 2014
     - I took him to Dr. Cricket for a cough that started on January 5. We started giving him Cinnabar and Eupatorium.

* January 21, 2014
     - I took him to Dr. Pia for vaccination (MMR + Varicella) booster. And we were reminded about his Calcium and Vitamin D requirements.

* February 6, 2014
     - Took him back to Dr. Cricket for a slight fever. His medicines are now the Pneumodoron 1 and Pneumodoron 2.

He's been taking (and loving) his star vitamins:

He also takes Biobita and cod liver oil (Child Life).


He loves doing finger painting and we have to hide the paints from him so we would stop. (When he starts making a huge, huge mess already). I think I'll start introducing him to watercolors and paintbrush since he can really use up the finger paints really fast!

These are some of his scribbles/drawings:

As with Marion when she was younger, the "this little piggy" on his toes really calms him down. When it's bedtime and he still crawls, climbs, jumps around the bed, I offer to do "this little piggy" and it gets him to lie still. He would request for another round of "this little piggy" on his other foot, then another round on the other and so on. I change the words, like-- "this little piggy rode a train, this little piggy rode a horse" or "this little piggy drank juice, this little piggy drank milk", etc.

We've also been toilet training him. For some reason I think we're not having as many wet accidents on the floor during the day as we did with Marion. Maybe we (the adults) are just better at bringing to the potty before it happens. But, when the lights are already out at night, he'll say "poo poo, poo poo, poo poo". So I'd take him to the potty. Sometimes he really needs to poo. And he makes me sit right in front of him and insists I make the "poo poo" sounds. If I start making the "wee wee" sounds, he'll correct me and make the do the "poo poo" sounds. However, there are many nights that he just needs to pee so I try to convince him to just pee in his diaper but he'll fuss and cry until I have to get out of the bed and bring him to the potty.

He has these Disney Characters toys:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

Rocky and I were supposed to go to the Travel Fair together but I had a meeting at the office. He scored us some tickets for HK. :-)

Then we got to watch game 1 (of 3) of the baseball finals Admu vs Dlsu. Admu won! :-)

Took a pic of Leandro Banzon from my office window.

Then we went to the stadium.
The kids and I prepared this for Rocky:

And this for Marion's class:

We decorated the garage with these:

I worked on this.

The kids worked on this.

Rocky got me this (Yey!)

Marco asked me to get him some balloons (he asks every time we're in National)

We were planning to just stay in to avoid pay day and Vday traffic but we snuck out to have dinner nearby:

Mitsuyado Sei men
We ended the day at home with some-- 

Chinese New Year 2014

As usual, we went to the mall for the dragon dance. Marco was nervous at first and hesitated to go near the dragon and lions. But when he saw his sister rushing towards it, he became more curious and wanted to go nearer as well. Marion immediately noticed that the dragon was not following a ball...

Rocky's cousin, Ronnie was in town with his wife Jade and children. There was a children's party.

We brought soft shelled crab noodle salad.

I should make this more often.

My mom gave us tikoy--

We got this from DEC and missed Ama who always gave us one.

And I finally got our own dragon mask-- Jaja got it for us from White Gold, Php1k

***** ***** *****
Fried Soft Shell Crab with Sesame Seeds

Soft shell crab- 8 pcs
Egg whites- 2 pieces
Cornstarch- 2 cups
Garlic- chopped
Adobo Spice- 1 Tbsp
Chicken Powder- 2 Tbsp
Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Ground black pepper- 1 tsp
Black sesame seeds- 1/2 cup
Cooking oil

     - I don't put in all the spices/powders. I just use whatever we have in the kitchen, but make sure to have the black sesame seeds.

Noodle salad:
Egg noodles (boiled)- 250gms
Pea sproud (sauted in garlic)
Salad Tomatoes (sliced)- 2pieces
Yellow onions (sliced)
Yellow capsicum (strips)

     - I also just use what's available. I've omitted the pea sprouts and yellow onion.

Salad dressing:
Parsley (chopped)- 30 gms
Cilantro (chopped)- 30 gms
Red wine vinegar- 1/2 cup
Kikkoman soy sauce- 1 Tbsp
Honey- 3/4 cup
Soya oil- 1 1/2 cup
Sesame oil- 1 Tbsp

     - I've tried using much more parsley and cilantro than that. Also, I've tried using less cilantro since I don't really like cilantro. However, the times when I used cilantro I was surprised that it actually made the dressing taste better.