Saturday, June 25, 2011

Watch what kids watch

As Rocky had mentioned, we recently watched Sleeping Beauty. Marion's too young to sit and watch an entire movie and except for the scene with the owl and the squirrels, she really was not interested. So it was Rocky and I who watched the entire thing. Aside from now being bothered that Briar Rose/Aurora looked and sounded like she was 30 years old instead of 16 (why'd they make her that way?), I was bothered about her "mature" concerns at a young age.

For example, after Briar Rose tells the fairy godmothers that she'd met someone, not a stranger, but someone she'd met once upon a dream they realize she's in love.
     Fairy Godmother: This is terrible.
     Briar Rose: Why? After all, I'm sixteen. (Yen: That's why! ;p)
     Fairy Godmother: It isn't that, dear.

There are many, many other things in Sleeping Beauty which I find inappropriate. Which has led me to wonder, will I let my kids watch this?

Here's the thing. I watched it when I was younger and to show to you that I watched it a lot of times, Once Upon A Dream is a song I catch myself singing out of the blue even after all these years. However, having just watched the show, I realize that there were so many things that were way over my head. I didn't really internalize everything I heard or saw. Like Sleeping Beauty's age. I don't recall paying attention to her age or even wanting to be like her when I turned 16. All this leads me to think that I need not worry too much or censor what my kids (kid, for now) watch.

This is my plan:
     1. Preview shows before showing it to kids. (I'm actually putting a list together, of shows I watched as a kid, excited to see if I catch anything I find inappropriate... but even more excited to find one that's totally fun and wholesome. What'll be on your list?)
     2. Watch shows with them. (I'd be nice to be there to process or talk about the shows... or just observe their reactions. This parenting thing is a never-ending getting-to-know-you process with my kid.)

     3. Pick and censor some shows. (I'm still very, very likely to ban some stuff. You can't downplay the influence of media on behavior. Watch kids learn aggressive behavior here- Bandura's Bobo doll experiment.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things to do on a rainy day

Go to her dad's office

Try out painting
     We were supposed to use our fingers but she didn't like getting her fingers messy. So we used the brushes instead. Today Marion learned that not all brushes are supposed to go to her head. But check out the glob of orange paint on her hair.

Discover the forward roll
     I taught her to roll like a log, but the forward roll she discovered herself. Nothing can beat watching a child's face when she's discovered something for the first time. She was pretty amazed at herself and wouldn't stop rolling.

Of mice and marion

First, lizards. Then, mice. I'm probably going to have to write on ants and mosquitoes soon. But for now, mice.

Do you guys have any ideas how to keep mickey mouse out of your homes? I need some suggestions. 

Anyway, we had some unwanted house guests last week. They didn't come in through our front door, but through a hole in our home-office room (on the 2nd floor).

Here was my first encounter. Hello there, Mickey.

Run back to your hole, Mickey.

And then they gnawed through another entrance. (Rocky was using the computer just a few feet away while the mouse gnawed its way out of this hole. When it saw Rocky it just jumped right back in.)

This was no longer an isolated "visit". They liked our home-office just as much as we did and came and went, gnawed the masking tape we used to cover the holes.

So, we set up the sticky boards with Marion's cereal as bait.

I was a bit impatient and just wanted to deal with the problem so bought some rat poison pellets also. I figured I'll deal with the stinking dead rat later. Instead of dropping the poison into the mouse holes, the helper placed them on our floor near the hole (as per package instructions). (Marion doesn't come into this room so there was no chance she'd pick it up and put in her mouth.)

Day 1 after setting up the traps and poison-- Mouse goes running off our stairs and I didn't see where it went. By that night, one dead mouse in front of the tv. Eeeewwww!

Day 2- Mouse running from home-office to Marion's bathroom and back. Two squeaking mice stuck to the sticky board. (All mouse encounters were during the day.)

Day 3- Lucky me, I was fixing some boxes in home-office and found a dead mouse. One mouse still running around the house but we'd sealed off its hole.

Day 4- One mouse stuck to a sticky board.

And now it's been quiet. No more mickeys running around. No more gnawing sounds.

Okay, we were lucky this time that we didn't have to deal with a stinking dead mouse under our floors.

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

I picked up the rat poison from True Value. Bayer's Racumin ready-made bait (rice with blue poison stuff on it). It's supposed to cause dehydration in the rats which makes the rats look for a water source which probably explains why the rodents were out and about even during the day. And a dehydrated dead one isn't supposed to stink as much. Again, I'm so happy we didn't have to deal with a dead mouse under the floor boards.

I'm so worried they'll come back.

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

Coincidentally, Marion's favorite right now is Good Night, Moon. She loves pointing out things in the pages, but her favorite thing to point out is the mouse. She'll go through the pages just looking for mouse. Every night, that's what we do-- go through the book looking for mouse.

In one page the mouse will be on top of the book case, then on the floor, then in front of the fire place, then by the logs, then on the table beside the bowl of mush, then by the windowsill, etc.

She had already pointed the mouse to me in every page before I took this video. I asked her to do it again but she was already a bit distracted by the time I started recording.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Post: On Princesses

By Rocky :D

Two weekends ago, I came across the concept of the “Disney Princesses”. It was a bonus question asked during the Luke 18 Annual Scavenger Hunt. When I looked it up, I found that there was an “Official” list of Disney Princesses. Even more oddly enough, there was an “Unofficial” list as well.

In order, the Official Disney Princesses are: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tiana, with Rapunzel from Tangled to be  "officially welcomed into the Disney Princess Royal Court" during a promotional event at Kensington Palace in London on October 2, 2011.” Um. Ok.

The Unofficial Disney Princesses are: Alice, Tinker Bell, Esmeralda and Giselle (and the only reason she’s not official is because Disney would have to pay royalties to Amy Adams in order to use her likeness.).

The day after the scavenger hunt, Yen and I spent the morning playing with Marion downstairs and, possibly due to the influence of the Disney Princess question, I decided to pop in a video of Sleeping Beauty for Marion to watch along with her parents. Marion probably watched an aggregate of 10 minutes while Yen and I finished the movie.

On more than one occasion during the movie, I distinctly remember asking myself if this same version of Sleeping Beauty, released a little over 50 years ago, would ever see the light of day if it were to be made today. Without going into too much detail, I would venture to guess that a lot of the themes and situations portrayed by the movie would not sit very well with the notion of the modern day woman. After talking about it with Yen a bit more, I realized that my observation extended not only the earlier Disney Princess movies, which, granted, were from a simpler time, but also applied to some of the more modern Disney Princess movies.

Cases in point:

Having a daughter of my own, I’d like to think that she’s my little princess. But I’m not too sure that I like the idea that she would think she is one. Now I have nothing against all the little princesses out there, but I think that, as parents, we have the responsibility to make sure that they don’t buy into the whole notion hook, line and sinker.

Thankfully, even Disney has come quite a ways from the likes of Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella.

Take Tiana from the Princess and the Frog. While she does get her happy ever after ending with her prince, her ultimate happiness is borne out of self-fulfillment in the opening of her restaurant in the end. Same with Mulan, Pocahontas and Rapunzel. They’re self-worth was never tied down to their “prince”, and they definitely don’t fit the mold of your typical princess. They’re strong willed, capable, responsible and have dreams bigger than having their happy ever after.

So, does this mean I deny my daughter the chance to get acquainted with the Disney Princesses or to forbid tiaras and long puffy gowns in the house? Probably not. I want her to make her own decisions based on what she sees, both the good and the not-so-ideal, and I pray constantly that she’ll get Yen and I involved in the process.

But if it were up to me, I think I’ll stick to the Pixar stuff. J


Friday, June 17, 2011

Celebrity moms

My favorite celebrity moms. Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani.

Jennifer Garner with daughters Violet Anne (2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth (2009).
Gwen with sons Kingston James McGregor (2006) and Zuma Nesta Rock (2008).


I'm scared of lizards.

There were always house lizards in Banawa. Lizards that would kiss the floor at 6pm while we prayed the Angelus, lizards that fell off from the ceiling onto my lap, lizards that would leap off bathroom walls to bathe with me, lizards that snuck in the seat between my sisters on our way to Sunday mass. There were lizard eggs inside the wall switches. There were lizards that ran off and left their tails wriggling on the floor. (*shudder*)

It wasn't just the lizards, tuko would join us in the house, too. You can tell it's a baby tuko and not a lizard because of its striped tail and bigger head. Tukos are quite territorial. We'd have the tuko living behind the speakers brought out of the house and guess what after a few days or weeks you'd here it "tukooooow, tukkkoooow" from behind the speakers again. The houseboy would always talk about ways to free yourself from a tuko if it stuck to you-- you'd have to smoke it away, you can't just pull it off. Worse, a tuko bites as it did the electric meter repair guy.

I think the only one among my siblings who's not really scared of lizards (and would play with the baby ones) was Golda. David's had the worst encounters with them-- a drowned lizard found at the bottom of his mug of Sustagen (eeew!) and um, ants in your pants? How about lizard in your pajamas? (nightmare!) My more recent lizard encounter that had me jumping out of my skin was pulling down the car vanity mirror and finding a lizard there. I am just so lucky it wasn't a leaping lizard, it just stayed put and let me run out of the car.

Here's the thing with lizards. Yeah, yeah, the lizard's probably more scared of me than I am of it. The thing is, I don't trust the lizard to know to run *away* from me when it gets scared. It's scary to have a panicking lizard run towards you!

A few nights ago, a lizard walked into Marion's door (through under the door). It surprised me but I didn't want Marion to be scared of it so I encouraged her to touch and play with it. She wasn't sure what to do so I showed her (to the extent that I could). I went halfway towards the lizard and invited Marion to touch the lizard again. Just when Marion started walking excitedly towards our direction (I believe she'd have gone all the way to where the lizard was), the panicking lizard ran towards me (no kidding!). Instinct, I leapt backwards. Marion quickly picked up on my reaction and stopped on her tracks.

Here's a video after that. I'm back safely on my recliner while giving Marion mixed signals about the lizard (Don't be scared, but I'm scared of it.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrity dads

My celebrity crushes ;-D

Hugh Jackman

     How can anyone not be in love with this guy?

He can dance.

(Lipton Ice Tea Ad)

He can sing and dance.

(Tony Awards 2011)

     Or watch him during the Oscars 2009.

He is Wolverine.

He is married to his wife Deborra-Lee Furness since 1996 (an older woman :D).

"Every person I’ve ever worked with has ended up liking Deb more than they like me. I’m a little behind in the wit department, and she’s always, ‘Come on, Hugh, keep up! Keep up!’ She looks a lot like Kim Novak, but she’s from the Ethel Merman school with her humor.” (source)
He has two children (both adopted).
     Ava Eliot (2005)
     Oscar Maximillian (2000)
 "Everything is exposed with kids. There’s no artifice, because they see you exactly what you are. You can’t pretend. Actors fool people about the kind of person they are. You wear whatever mask you want to put on. But it doesn’t work with kids.” (source)

Patrick Dempsey

He went from dorky...

to dreamy.

He is married to his second wife, Jill Fink, since 1999.
     (He is divorced from his first wife, Rocky Parker, who's 27 years his senior and the mom of Corey Parker. They were married for 7 years.)

"I am romantic but I think it takes more than just flowers. Marriage is great and blissful, but it takes work and understanding. You have to make time to spend together and to work through your issues. The more we grown and learn, both as individuals and as a couple, the closer we get." (source)

He has a daughter, Tallulah (2002)
and twins sons Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen (2007).

"Being a father makes you look at yourself. You look at your marriage and go ‘How do I improve this? How do I keep growing and create a stable environment for my children?’” (source)

Patrick Dempsey on his household habits here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Recipe: Basil Pesto

I wanted to have a tasty, healthy dip to go with a pack of Tostitos and so decided to make pesto. Fast and easy, no cooking. :-)

Recipe from the Food Network.

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Serves: 1 cup


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (see Cook's Note)


Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.
I didn't pay too much attention to the proportions of the ingredients. I had bought too much basil so I tried to use up as much as I could (up to know the cook is throwing in the basil in all our dishes ;p). I toasted some pine nuts (for a couple of minutes only! Watch it otherwise you could end up with dark brown burnt ones.) and threw in some pumpkin seeds also. Some garlic (I thought I threw in too much, but I think I could get away with putting in more). EVOO, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Most of the pesto's in the freezer until I find the time to make something good to eat pesto pasta with...

Marion had Tostitos with pesto yesterday-- maybe around 6 small pieces. I gave her more today.

She didn't want this one. So I fooled her by giving her Tostitos with pesto smeared at the bottom so she couldn't see it when I popped it into her mouth. And I had maybe a teaspoon full mixed into her dinner. 

Sigh, I have to resort to sneaking in strong flavors so she'll take them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Prayer of Rupert Mayer

Prayer of Blessed Rupert Mayer
Music by Manoling Francisco

Lord, what You will let it be so
Where You will there we will go
What is Your will help us to know

Lord, when You will the time is right
In You there's joy in strife
For Your will I'll give my life

To ease Your burden brings no pain
To forego all for You is gain
As long as I in You remain

Because You will it, it is best
Because You will it, we are blest
Till in Your hands our hearts find rest
Till in Your hands our hearts find rest

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I made Marion a pinwheel hair clip based on the tutorial from The Mother Huddle. Click on the photo below to go there.

I pretty much had all the supplies needed except for:
     a) Fusible web (cannot find it anywhere around here) but I had this (bought abroad) so this is what I used. It was a bit too thick and stiff, but worked alright.

     b) Fray check sealer-- I just used my clear nail polish

My sister had given me this quilting kit which I hadn't opened yet so I decided to use the pre-cut squares for my first try. The squares were a bit bigger than how I wanted them to be, but since this was my trial piece I just went for it and used a bigger alligator clip.

But oops I made a mistake in cutting so I ended up with this instead of a pinwheel. (I used an extra barong button ;-D)

For the second one, I used these:

The new glue gun popped. (Grrrr!) No glue in the nozzle, the glue melted in the body of the gun. 

Good thing I had a spare and was able to finish the clip.

Here's Marion in a pinwheel print dress.

Pinwheels make me happy! :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

On Guardian Angels

Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God's love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

I believe I've been helped by my guardian angel so many times. Some times I ask for help and other times I just know my guardian angel was at work so I whisper thanks. Big things like keeping our place dry when all the other units around us were flooded. Not so little things like close calls and avoiding accidents. It's not unusual for me to blurt out a thank you to my guardian angel.

A few days ago, I was driving home and instead of taking my usual route I took another one. It was probably just my second time or so to drive down this route. Then I noticed that an orange light was on in the dashboard. Odd, that wasn't there this morning. Better tell Rocky about it. No big deal. I wasn't concerned and moved along as the traffic light turned green. La di dah. I glanced down again and noticed the fuel gauge showed empty (actually below empty). That can't be right. And right at this point I was by a gas station. Just to be safe, let's put some gas. I pulled in Petron and then the car died. Don't panic, count your blessing, you're off the road. This is the best place to be right now. In fact, the perfect place to be. Our friend's (Chips') car repair shop was just, like, 4 doors away. I called him and his mechanic came.

My friend and his mechanics were "guardian angels", yes. But I really believe that each of us have our own personal guardian angel.

Psalm 91: 11- 12For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 18:10
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

I remember a teacher in high school suggested that we give our guardian angels a name and so we don't forget, to use our own second (or third name). That's how my guardian angel's name came to be Ruth.

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

A little archangel trivia:

The angels who are named in the bible are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Read the Book of Tobit, the angel Raphael (the Healer) is there. 
     Tobit 12:12-  It was I who offered your supplications before the glory of the Lord and who read them; so too when you were burying the dead.

Read the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel announces the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. I was surprised to find out, Gabriel also appeared to Daniel in the Old Testament. 
     Luke 1: 30- "Fear not, Mary."

And Michael is mentioned in Daniel 10:13 and Reveleation 12:7.

Feast of the Archangels: September 29
Feast of the Guardian Angels: October 2

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Changing tracks

From MotherlodeOvercoming a Parenting 'Sabbatical'

Barbara Hannah Grufferman was in her late 30s when she married and had children. She was in her mid-40s when she made what she describes as the “heart- and stomach-wrenching decision to quit my job as president of a small but growing international conference company to be a full-time mother of two daughters.” Seven years later she looks back on the decision and says: “The challenge … that many women — including me — didn’t think through was this: If I decide to remove myself from the workforce for a period of time, will I be  able to get back in?

Grufferman lists ten tips on how to get back to work after being on the "mommy track in the article,  Life After 50: Derailed by the 'Mommy Track'? 10 Tips to Get Back to Work.
1. Create your own "Board of Directors".
2. Network, network, network
3. Review your clothes, hair and make up.
4. Know who you are.
5. List your skills.
6. Learn new skills.
7. Research companies.
8. Talk about your "sabbatical".
9. Write a winning resume
10. No regrets. 

This is a real concern for women.

I've kinda found a way to avoid this challenge by deciding to use my sabbatical as an opportunity to change careers. Hopefully it works out. :-)

First day of class and I'm wearing green.

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

When interviewing job applicants (for household help or any job), I have a strong bias against those who were unemployed for some time. I form judgments such as lazy, can't keep a job, likes to have a good time. I would just toss out their application form. However, becoming a wife and mother has made me more careful about making quick judgments and to take time to hear their stories.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Mondays for Marion: Conversations with her Daddy

Please excuse Rocky's very comfortable shirt.

I was very surprised when Rocky told me Marion answered correctly. :-D

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: Walls

We used to have a red wall.

I've considered having stripe walls.







And almost had a mural painted for Marion's nursery. (Too expensive and I wasn't too impressed with the sample work the guy sent me.)





How about a wallpaper your could color and doodle on?



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

A few months ago, I found myself at MC Home Depot in Fort and couldn't help but go into the store of Corea Wall Design. I probably tossed out their calling card already, but here are some photos of their wall paper.