Monday, July 26, 2010

Mondays for Marion: Good morning, Di-ku Joseph!

     Here are Marion and Joseph early this morning. I love mornings with both of them. :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday I'm in Love: Art Posters

     I had posters of these paintings in my room at some time in my life.


Edward Robert Hughes' Night and Her Train of Stars





Edvard Munch's Madonna





    Salvador Dali's Saint John of the Cross


I miss museums. I used to wander and get lost in them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Small Successes Thursday: Date Night

FaithButton

     Brides and wives are constantly being reminded not to neglect their husbands. And to still make an effort to be pretty. And we all reply, of course of course! But before we know it, ooops, we forget to shave and kissing him hello or good night becomes optional. (And I opt not to. :p)

     I have to say though that Rocky is pretty low maintenance. He has other hobbies, interests and activities to keep him preoccupied. And he hardly ever complains. I know enough that I shouldn't abuse his patience and understanding. So, date night.

     Date night means I wear heels. 
          Rocky: Hey! You're wearing heels! 
         Yen: Yes, because I know you like me wearing heels. 
          Yen: (O.m.g. my feet hurt, I hope we don't do too much walking.)
          Rocky: I never hid that fact. I just never complained.
          Yen: (O.m.g. He has not been complaining for more than a year. Haha.) 

     Date night means I put on something nice.
          Rocky (before we leave the house): Are you going to shower pa?
          Yen: Nope.
          Rocky: Are you going to change?
          Yen: Na.... Yes, I am.
          (Hoy! He was asking because he was checking if I had enough time to bathe/change, not because I was stinky... That's what he said. ;p)

     Date night means putting on some make-up.
          Yen: (Oh drat. I threw away all my make-up. At least I still have an eyelash curler and lip gloss. I better brush my hair,too.)

1. Dinner date: Mamou
2. Movie date: Inception
3. Play: Miracle in Rwanda

Tips for going out on a date.
     1. Plan ahead. Spontaneity is over-rated.
     2. If possible, stay close to home.
     3. Make sure yaya has load to call you in case she needs to.
     4. Do not call home while on a date.
     5. Talk and listen to each other.
     6. Hold hands. (For the husband, walk slower especially when wife is wearing heels.)
     

Miracle of Miracle in Rwanda*




     Last Monday Tito Jun A. recommended the one-woman play Miracle in Rwanda. The play created and performed by Leslie Lewis Sword is based on the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza who survived the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. Immaculee hid in a 3 ft x 4 ft hidden bathroom with seven other women for 91 days. I felt compelled to watch it because of: a) Lewis, b) Rwanda and c) Rosary.


     LEWIS. More than ten years ago, my mom had a book titled '"Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?": How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire' which she encouraged me to read. It is the biography/autobiography of R. Lewis. While the book talks about how he was among the richest African American in the 1980's, what struck me the most was his family life. He married Loida Nicolas Lewis, a Filipina lawyer, who he met on a blind date. In reality, I was (and still am) more fascinated by her than him. Although their story is filled with love and success, I figured he must have been a difficult man as well. The lesson that struck me then, served as an image of what kind of wife I wanted to be (long before I met my husband) and still repeat to myself now that I'm married is this-- She said that she wanted their home to be a place where he husband could rest from slaying dragons outside. She didn't want her husband to come home to fight dragons. (I'm paraphrasing.)


                        In a 1995 interview with the Philippine Reporter, Lewis expressed her belief that "it's just common sense" for a wife to support a husband totally, even if he behaves like a "dragon" to her, and in the Atlanta Tribune (May 1, 1995), she offered the following advice to women: "If [you are married to] the man of your life and love him . . .not only [for] what he is, but also for his vision, all you have to do is see to it that the home is taken care of, . . .so he can be free to soar out there. Out there is brutal. I always say monsters are out there waiting to devour him, put him down, stamp on him so that he won't succeed. When he comes home, it should be an oasis where he can . . .strengthen himself so that he can go out there again and slay dragons. He doesn't want to come home where there is another dragon, another monster that he has to fight." **


     I was too shy to talk to LNL, but she was the gracious host and personally took care of seating and accomodating everyone. I got to say hi and shake her hand. ;-)

       

     RWANDA. In college, as I was working on a minor in International Studies, I remember learning about the Rwandan Massacre in 1994. I pored over books on Rwandan history sifting through the relationship of the Hutus and Tutsis, tracking the shifts in power, trying to define genocide and then engaging in a long discussion on why the US was slow to intervene. It is indeed terrifying what people can do to each other. This was neighbors killing neighbors. With machetes. A million in a hundred days. 

     ROSARY. Watching Miracle in Rwanda is like watching the mysteries of the rosary being played out. Immaculee's father gave her his rosary right before she went into hiding. It was by praying the rosary and reflecting on the life of Jesus that she was able to keep painful thoughts away (and what a torment it must have been hearing the killers looking and calling out her name) and be able to forgive. The rosary truly is a very powerful prayer. It may be a mindless recitation of prayers, but it is something that brings us to meditate on Jesus' life and our own. It is every Catholic's anchor and life line. I read about Immaculee's mental anguish and how she prayed here.

* The title of this blog post was suggested by Rocky. 
     Since Monday, we were trying to get tickets for the Wednesday show. There were no replies from the contact numbers listed in newspaper articles and other write-ups. And Ticketworld wasn't selling tickets for the remaining shows. Since UP Women Lawyers Circle (WILOCI) had sponsored a show, I was finally able to get a number from them as to who I might ask for tickets. I finally got a reply which only advised me to try to get tickets at the gate.
     Thinking that the show was at 7pm (it was at 8pm), Rocky and I went around 6pm. No one was there. We had a quick dinner and went back. There didn't seem to be any tickets left. We were told to wait and see. And pray. ;p Rocky and I would have left and given up but we bumped into Dean Pangalangan and ended up chatting and catching up with him. 
     We checked the desk. No tickets. I asked if it was possible to just "bring your own chair". Desperate ;p And then Bernadette from San Antonio Parish Office arrived. Rocky and I say hello. Rocky asks her if she has tickets. She had extra tickets! The parish had some tickets but the priests couldn't make it. She gave Rocky and I the tickets. For free. :-) [Berns even had enough free tickets to give to four friends of our Aunt who were in the same boat as Rocky and I. Yey!]


Monday, July 19, 2010

Mondays for Marion: Signing for Milk!



     I tried teaching Marion how to do close-open with her hands a few times before, but she wasn't interested in learning. So I let it be. However, today I gave it another shot. Right before she nursed, I did the sign for milk (which is a close-open motion like milking a cow ;p) while saying "milk!". Then I held up her hand in front of her and said "milk!". I was surprised when she did the sign! Then I let her do it again, and she did it again! I'm pretty sure she gets the connection between the sound "milk!" and the sign. I don't know if she knows that it also refers to her favorite beverage. Maybe just so she doesn't get confused I won't teach her to do close-open anymore. ;p


     Here's a video of Marion doing the milk sign. (It's a bit difficult to take a video/photo of her because when she sees the camera all she wants to do is reach for it.)







     Is Marion a left-handed like Rocky? She might be. She usually tries to grab stuff with her left hand. Also, she can do the milk sign better with her left than her right. :-)





Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Clue on How to Change One's Behavior

     My emotional vampire is still on the prey. I struggle often, wondering how to change this person's behavior. Check out the video below on how they got people to take the stairs instead of the escalator.



     Maybe I've lost hope or maybe I've just grown wiser because I don't believe my e.v. can ever change. I need to live with it. I need to change. This video made me pause and take stock of the things that are difficult for me to do: not being sarcastic towards e.v., not rolling my eyes at e.v., engaging e.v. in conversation.

     Now how do I inject fun into it so I wouldn't mind doing it at all? :-)

     [Hmmm, I think I need more time to reflect on this.]



  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday I'm in Love: Personalized Wooden Puzzles

     Okay, I am so obviously a new parent. And you can sell me almost anything that's for my daughter. You can really reel me in if you can have her picture or name on it.      

     Aren't these just great? I've been drooling over these.






     When I saw this personalized puzzle bench at the AWCP Bazaar at the World Trade Center last Tuesday, my heart raced. ;-)



     They have other stuff too:




     I walked away.

     I browsed other stalls.

     It haunted me.

     I went back and ordered one for Marion.

***** ***** *****

Price:
a) Personalized puzzle bench- Php1,400 (You get to pick 3 animals/flowers you want to include)
b) Alphabet puzzle bench- Php2,000
c) Numbers puzzle bench- Php1,500

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Small Successes Thursday: Better late than never

FaithButton

     1. Our car stickers are due to expire today. Rocky's asked me to take care of it, including putting together the required documents (more than the usual as the village association is rebuilding their files after the Ondoy flooding). I dragged my feet (sorry, love.). I have my excuses why (not valid, but still enough for me to drag my feet :p). I finally submitted the forms today. Late, but I did it.

     2.  I renewed my driver's license! An LTO bus was parked at the village park and was accepting renewal for driver's license. Mine expired last October. Breakdown of total cost: Php500 to fill a cup half-full of pee ("Half lang ng cup", I was instructed.), Php20 for a bottle of C2 from the convenience store (my bladder needed a little help) and Php593 for the renewal. The catch: They could only accept change in address and not change in name (My new license still shows "King" as my last name. I'd have to go to Pasay with my marriage certificate to change my name.). Also, I got a major headache sitting inside the bus that teetered and tottered as people went in and out. Still: It was a convenient, hassle-free and fast way to renew my license. :D

    
    

Storms, Blackouts, Water Shortage and The Road

    During a brief chat on the phone with Rocky last Tuesday, he mentioned that a storm was coming in. I didn't think much of it. Storms don't really scare me and if the one coming in (Basyang) was anything like Ondoy, then Rocky would have sounded more concerned. So I carried on, glad that I had already bought and charged extra emergency lamps.


     Around midnight on Wednesday, I woke up with the power out. And the wind howling. Raining but not too hard. I couldn't go back to sleep. Okay, storms scare me now. It's because of Marion. It's because this house got chest-deep in water during Ondoy. It's because I'm worried about windows breaking and the roof flying off. It's because my car is parked outside and the last time it rained hard the water went up to the gutter. I worried about the meat in the freezer especially because I had just done the groceries.


     For the first time, I tried expressing milk manually. I don't know how well other manual pumps work, but the manual feature for Avent is useless. I really think I'm going to get carpal tunnel syndrome soon. Without the air con working, I was getting worried about Marion. I was not feeling warm, but I knew she would be. I sat up in bed and stared out and prayed.


     So as not to take any chances, Papa, Rocky and I moved some of the cars to another street, higher ground. When we got home, Marion was awake, hot and hungry. Poor darling. She spent the rest of the night between Rocky and I, tossing, turning, nursing and being fanned by her mommy who still couldn't fall asleep.


     To top it off, we didn't have enough water pressure to get water up to the second floor. So after our usual morning routine, I decided to take Marion with me to get some errands done. By the time we got home late in the afternoon, we were both tired and sleepy. And still we were without electricity. With no news on when power would be back, Rocky and I decided to check-in a hotel for the night. Rocky who was still at the office took care of reservations while I packed quickly.


     Marion was cranky during the car ride. It didn't help that we were stuck in EDSA traffic. It did help that the air conditioning in the car was working. :-) As we were inching our way to the hotel, Rocky called me up from the house to tell me that power was back. Ano ba! It came back a few minutes after Marion left. So I made a u-turn and headed home (at least the traffic going home wasn't bad). I should just have drove around the village. But I'm very happy and grateful that's we have electricity and water again.


     After Marion had settled for the night, Rocky put on the movie, The Road, before we slept. Neither of us knew what it was about. The plot: "A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible". Not the best kind of movie to watch after the other night, but I was transfixed. I usually go to sleep and not finish movies/tv shows because I try to get as much sleep as I could (still waking up in the middle of the night to express milk), but I watched it from start to finish. It is heart-wrenching, scary and opens up your imagination to all kinds of scenarios you don't really want to think about. 


     At the end of the movie, just as I was cocooning myself in cool blankets and grateful thoughts, Rocky goes: "I was thinking if something like that happened..." I don't want to talk about it. 






     Good night. I hope everyone is safe and comfortable especially the babies!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helping our helpers (also, I can only do so much)

     It is very disappointing when people, like our helpers, who I really care to help out do something crazy with their lives and/or just want to be miserable.

Mika
     She was our helper when Rocky and I were still living on our own. My mom sent her to me from Cebu. She's young, 19 years old. I sent her to cooking classes and pretty much treated her like a friend (younger sister). We talked about her family life (no father, mother & older sister here in Manila also but they really aren't close, 2 younger sisters in the province) and how she was very concerned about her younger sisters. I encouraged her to save.
     When we moved to Magallanes, I reminded her that there would be two houseboys and that she was to behave properly. Well, guess what, after we caught a houseboy with another helper in bed together, Mika came up to me to admit that the other houseboy was her boyfriend. I reminded her about modesty. Although I didn't approve of the relationship (or the guy), I didn't say anything negative (I thought the guy was "walang kwenta"). We talked often and I reminded her constantly that there was a proper time and place for everything. Despite our talks I would catch them on some serious PDA every so often.
      One day, Mika and her houseboy-boyfriend come back a day late from their day off and inform me that she's pregnant and they plan to get married. I would have kicked her out right then and there but agreed that she stay on for another month or so. However, the next time they went on their day off, they came back late again. I'd had it. I only request a text message from them to inform me that they'd be late and even that they couldn't do. Bastusan na. So I fired her. She apologized. I told her that she was being abusive and disrespectful towards me probably thinking that I would never fire her. I wished her well and told her to just get in touch if she had any problems.
     Last I heard: She is living with the boyfriend and his mother. Her boyfriend also has 10-month old baby from another woman who also sleeps over in that house. This was all known to her/us from the very beginning. She bragged to the other helpers that she had a lot of money in the bank. All she had was P5,000 and I have the records to prove it. The other helpers said the boyfriend is kawawa because he is now working in construction. I said, he's not kawawa at all. He needs to work hard to support his family. She called the house once but I was out. I tried to contact her through her boyfriend's cellphone but no one picked up and lately the line's been cut.


Liza
     When we moved in Magallanes, she was the nervous, bumbling helper who didn't know anything, and got flustered all the time. But I could tell that she just needed to be guided and taught what to do. I talked to her about having a bit more confidence and she improved greatly. She turned out to be our most hardworking, honest, thorough and reliable helper.
     When she asked to go on a two week vacation, I let her. I asked her to train a new helper (Mika's replacement) to do her job while she was gone. One day, I learn that she's sullen and giving all the other helpers the silent treatment. And she told me that she won't come back anymore after her vacation. I prod the reason out from her (it took a long time, I wanted to torture her just to get an answer out). As it turned out she felt dispensable and insecure about her job. So I had to tell her that we will make do without her while she's gone but that the house will be undermanned then. So that was okay.
     After she got back from her vacation, she told me she'd just stay until she paid off the money she borrowed from me and the educational allowance I gave for her daughter. I told her the money for her daughter was a gift and then I go through "career and life" counselling with her again. The reason that came out at that time was because she had a difficult time getting along with the other helpers after the way she treated them (silent treatment, etc.). Since she said she really liked working for us and she had no other job waiting for her, I told her not to make her life any difficult just because she wasn't comfortable with her co-workers. It wasn't like she was making any effort even. During her breaks from work, she wouldn't join them, too scared that "they might not talk to her when she talks to them". So we came up with an action plan and she thanked me for helping out.
     Today, she comes up to me to tell me that she will leave today. Since she still owes me some money, she'll come back in a few days to pay. She has no other work waiting for her. Again, I had to prod the reason out. As it turns out, her boyfriend (Liza's a young widow) hasn't been calling or texting her since... well, since "may nangyari sa amin". She is also worried that she might be pregnant. I talked to her about her cycle and told her that I was 95% sure she wasn't. She said she was nadiri with herself. I talk to her about just crying it out, not getting in touch with the guy already and moving on. Although she said she wasn't happy about leaving, she was decided on doing so. So I let her go. She still owes me two days worth of work, but I wrote it off. She borrowed transportation money from another helper. She has no savings.
     What I think of Liza: I think some people are just so used to being sad and miserable they know no other way to live. She doesn't know how to be happy or hold on to the chance of a better life. When I pointed it out to her that she was starting out with an utang, she confidently said that she will be able to pay it off. I told her that I am sure she will but that she didn't need to put herself or her daughter in this situation.


     I deal with each of our helpers' life dramas (a daughter who's making tons of money working in a bar, a daughter who isn't going to school, a mother who wants all her money, a sister who got pregnant, etc.) and help them think things through, etc. It can be very draining and frustrating, but I don't mind helping those who help themselves. Once they stop helping themselves, I'm done as well.

***** ***** *****

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the helpers we have. Help them to be happy, honest and hardworking. Watch over our home.

Amen.

On Teething, Teethers and Tethers

     I believe when Marion got a runny nose a few weekends ago it was partly because she was teething. It was also on that weekend when she shocked me by grinding her teeth. It must have been really uncomfortable. I checked and her two upper front teeth just erupted. A few days after, we noticed two more upper teeth were showing. Good thing she was only grinding her teeth for a few days. I was worried that she'd be a grinder (like her Auntie Golda).

     I have the Camilia Teething Relief (Boiron) in the medicine cabinet. I tasted it myself, it doesn't taste like anything. Marion's only had a few doses so far, I save it when she's really uncomfortable and bothered by her teething. I don't know how it works but she quiets down after I give her a dose.

     She doesn't like any of her teethers. She'd rather chew on these:



     I've been meaning to bake her some teething biscuits using recipes from here (also to use up the oatmeal cereal which I think I bought too much of), but haven't gotten around to doing it. (I have issues with our oven. Grr.) In the mean time, she's tried some of the Healthy Times teething biscuits and Teething Biscottis from Oh Baby. The Healthy Times maple-flavored biscuit has a strong maple (duh!) scent/taste that sticks to her fingers. Even after we've put the biscuit away, she would stare at her fingers looking a bit confused then tentatively try to bite it. Whoops.

      Marion can hold on to things quite well, but of course everything ends up on the floor too often (sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose). I think this Handy Bites Teething Tether would be very useful at this point. I want one!


    

Onesie Dresses




     I made Marion onesie dresses based on this tutorial. It's supposed to take only 10 minutes to make. It took me much MUCH longer than that. I had a difficult time pinning it together then sewing correctly (with the skirt part trapped in onesie fabric). 

     First try (with a yoyo accent):
          Good. 
  
     Second try (with an applique):
          Better. (It looks better when worn. ;D)

     Since I have a few more onesies to spare, I'll practice some more. :-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mondays for Marion- What she's been up to these days :-)

     She loves to be in the water! Since I've signed her up for classes with Aqualogic, she gets to be in the pool twice a week. What a happy baby! :-)


***** ***** *****

     And since she figured out how to move forward instead of backward (on land),



     (Sorry, Marion darling, you were so cute and funny I couldn't hide my laughter. :-))

she can move (creep) faster these days. She'll move the fastest if she spots any of the following: cellphone, camera, remote control or (haha) me. ;-)



     I'm not sure when she's going to get off her tummy since she's mastered moving around quite efficiently by leaning on her right elbow (which is going to get rougher than her left one) + pushing off with her left toe (bound to get a callous there) + reaching with her left hand (is she a leftie?) + using the right foot (still as soft as a little princess') for balance. :-D



***** ***** *****



     We started bringing her to the toilet to poop last July 3, 2010. Since she's been doing it somewhat regularly every morning, we just watch her for some signals that's she's about to make poo poo then carry her off to the bathroom. I don't know if it's just a Filipino thing, but we make "poo pooo, mmm mmmm!!" sounds to cue her (or simulate the sound of gushing water to encourage her to pee). Then she watches it get flushed away. ;p

     The little princess' throne:



     (Marion, I promise I'll never take  upload pictures or videos of you on the toilet. :D)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday I'm in Love: K. Cobonpue's Yoda Chair


        It's beautiful.
        It's comfortable.
        It's made in Cebu.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Parenting Websites and Magazines I Read

     Before I got married, I picked up copies of the local fashion magazines regularly. After I got married, I would buy the cooking and home magazines. When I got pregnant, I started buying all the parenting and baby magazines I could get my hands on. After a few months, I decided to pick just one magazine. I chose Smart Parenting which was the one I felt I got the most useful information from and got a subscription (to get it at a discount and delivered to my door).

     At the suggestion of a couple of relatives, I signed up with BabyCenter to receive email newsletters on topics corresponding to what stage/age we are in. This site gave me an idea on how my pregnancy was progressing. Currently, it gives me a basic idea on Marion's development and other concerns we may have.

     Another website I get email newsletters from is Parenting.com. And on my Google Reader is Motherlode, the parenting blog of the NY Times.

     The Lifestyle Parenting section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer today has an article on the Five parenting websites every parent should bookmark. Two of the parenting resources I mentioned above are included in their list. :-)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I am a Filipino*

     Collezione had the brilliant idea to put the Philippine map on their shirts. Now the Philippine map is everywhere. :-) I have a couple of dresses with the map which I like to wear especially when abroad.

 


     Freeway launched their National Artists Collectors' Series last year. I knew about it because they had a billboard on EDSA. First artist to be featured was Nick Joaquin (writer), then Ang Kiukok (painter) and recently Jose Garcia Villa (writer).




     I confess I don't know much about our National Artists. Among the three they've featured, Ang Kiukok's the one I know most about. Of course, I know Nick Joaquin. A few years ago, I wanted to read Filipino literature so purchased his novel, The Woman Who Had Two Navels. I can't recall whether I got around to reading it or not. And I'm really embarrassed to admit that I don't know Jose Garcia Villa at all. Sad. 

     I've resolved to read more works by Filipinos. I'll start with The Woman Who Had Two Navels. What should I read next?

     To inspire me, I bought a few pieces from Freeway's National Artist Series. ;-D [Please don't say I'm just trying to justify my shopping. That ain't true at all. I really want to be more Filipino (if there's such a thing). :D]


* You may wanna read Carlo P. Romulo's speech I am a Filipino. :-)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Praying the Hardest

     When I was a kid, I plugged our 110v tv without using a transformer. It went pop and then nothing. Nothing was like a nightmare. My heart went up to my throat and I was so scared to tell my parents. But I guess I was able to muster enough courage to tell my mom. So as they were bringing the tv out to be checked and repaired, my mom told me that it might not be such a "disaster" and she something else that stuck with me-- "Just pray."

      Looking back, I'm pretty amazed at how much I prayed that day. I stayed in their room, sat at the edge of their bed, faced the crucifix (and where the tv used to be ;p), gathered all of mom's prayer booklets and prayed/read through all of them. Some booklets weren't even really on prayers, but poems or just spiritual readings. And then I threw in x-number of mysteries of the rosary.

     When my mom came home later that day, she told me the tv was fine. This may have been the first time I truly believed that: a) praying helps, b) praying works, and c) I'm "malakas" with God. ;-p

     The other times when I'd say I prayed the most were during my bar review and during my pregnancy. While I was pregnant, I carried around a medal of St. Gerard Majella which was given to me by a friend. I prayed the novena to St. Gerard, a copy of which was sent by my mom. He is the patron saint of motherhood. Since I like to get to know our saints, I read up on his story. Take time to get to know him, he's pretty amazing and a model for obedience.

  
     My sister also gave me a booklet on 30 Favorite Novenas.


     This is always in my purse which also explains why it's pretty tattered. I prayed to the Sto. Nino for good helpers/yaya's asking that they be- "healthy, happy, honest, hardworking, constantly improving in their skills and will stay with my family a long time." I also included a prayer of thanksgiving for the help that I had around me. Our helper's aren't always happy, honest and hardworking. Marion's first yaya, Salve, didn't stay with us longer than we all would have wanted. But I continue to pray and thank God for the people who help me take care of my daughter and the house.

     I prayed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to St. Joseph (for my husband and youngest brother), to St. Pancratius (who I don't really know but I have a friend named after him :D), to St. Anne (to help me be a good mother), to the Guardian Angels & St. Clare (for Marion then called Goose). Most of the novenas in the booklet were dedicated to one intention or another. And, as I did during my bar review, I called on my grandparents who've already passed away.


  
     Praying always works even if things don't always work out the way I imagined it would. And praying helps me to surrender and focus on Him. It also keeps me happy and grateful for today regardless of all the troubles and difficulties. :-)

 

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Cancer-Fighting Juice and Veggies

     I had this typed out and printed on a sheet of paper. It's now creased, tattered and juice-stained. I'll put these recipes and notes in here to keep it on file. :-)

     ***     MALUNGGAY DRINK RECIPE
            (This recipe is actually from a friend's mom. I asked for the recipe primarily to have a healthy drink to support my milk production.)

     1/4 cup malunggay leaves
     1/4 cup camote tops or any green leaves in season
     1/4 cup peppermint leaves (gives cool and minty taste)- optional
     1/4 cup kangkong or spinach
     1 tsp ginger
     1 mango or 1 cup papaya
     As desired, you may add other suitable fruits in season (e.g. atis, guyabano)
     2- 3 fresh orange juice
     2- 3 dalandan or 1 lemon (optional- just add orange juice if not available)
     honey to taste or safe sugar substitute
     1/2 medium size carrots cubed

     Preparation: Wash green leaves, drain water and soak in apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes. (Vinegar may be reused up to 3 times for next veggie juice preparation). Wash veggie again to take out vinegar and squeeze out water. Blender veggie and juice to smooth consistency. Add honey, add 1- 2 trays of ice cubes and continue making smoothie. This will make one pitcher of veggie juice. May keep in small bottles and freeze and bring one bottle at a time as baon for office. You can decrease concentration of juice by adding ice cubes when veggie juice is thawed and ready to sip or drink.

     Notes: I didn't use apple cider vinegar. Since we were trying to cut out as much sugar from our diet, I didn't put in too much fruit- just a bit of orange and some guyabano. Be careful in putting bottles/jars in the freezer. These might break. This is a very yummy drink... or maybe I'm just used to taking "halo halo" (that is, throw in everything) veggie drinks so I didn't mind drinking this at all.


     ***     GREEN JUICE 
               (Mama Fay's cousin gave us this recipe. Good for one serving.)

     Ampalaya- 2 inches
     Cucumber- 2 inches
     Celery- 1/2 stalk
     Green Pepper- 1/4 piece
     Green Apple- 1/4 piece
     Tiny piece of ginger
     Kale (substituted with other green leafy veggies)

     Preparation: Vinegar wash. Then pass through juicer.

     Notes: Doesn't taste great at all. But you just gotta pinch your nose and gulp it down. It comes out kinda frothy and really green. Mama didn't like it at all so I threw in some orange juice to sweeten it a bit.

     ***     LEMON GRASS TEA

     Pound a few stalks and pour hot water.

     ***     ASPARAGUS
          (Our aunt also told me about this.)

     Puree a can of asparagus. Take 2 Tbsp in the morning and 2 Tbsp in the evening.

OTHER NOTES:

Good food: Guyabano, Prunes
Bad food: Sugar, Fried Food, Red Meat


Veggie with highest anti-cancer activity: garlic, cabbage, soy, ginger, carrot, celery, parsley, parsnip, cilantro
Veggie with modest anti-cancer activity: onion, flax seed, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, peppers    

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Small Successes Thursday: Cleaner and Healthier

FaithButton

Finally.

1. Trained the helpers to use the new vacuum. And discussed with them their work schedule/load that included vacuuming the house more often. :-)

2. Made my own cleaners using borax, baking soda, vinegar, water and various essential oils. And discussed with the helpers why we are slowly phasing out Pledge, Lysol, Domex and Toilet Duck. This is a new set of helpers and this is the first time I'm introducing them to homemade, non-toxic cleaners. I hope they will not come back to me in a few days or weeks saying they want to go back to the commercial cleaners.

3. (As of now, not yet.) I'm going to attend a trial Aqua Fitness class later. I've been coming up with excuses not to go. But, I'll make myself be there. ;-)