Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November 1: All Saints Day

I think most of us forget to celebrate All Saints Day. We go trick or treating for Halloween (which I never did as a child, by the way. There was no such thing in my neck of the woods then. ;-D) and we visit the graves of loved ones for All Souls Day. So, what are we supposed to do for All Saints Day?? My post last year was titled "All Saints & All Souls Day" but I made no mention of the saints. I should just have called it All Souls Day.

What exactly are we celebrating on All Saints Day? 
All Saints Day:
          It is instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies int he faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. (source)
I like the "... saints, known and unknown..." part. :-)

I don't know if there is another feast for this, but I'm also remembering and affirming that part of the creed when we say "I believe in the communion of saints." I find it very easy to believe in the communion of saints, the union of the faithful on earth, the blessed in heaven and those in purgatory. I think it is a wonderful, glorious thing to share and be part of. :-) We are one with Christ as our Head.

How can we have a more meaningful celebration?
     1. Attend mass- It is, after all, a holy day of obligation.

     2. Remember and ask our saints to intercede for us- I entrust specific intentions (like work, health, country) and people (husband, daughter, son, etc.) to a specific saint. For example, St. Lorenzo Ruiz is for the Philippines (because he's our first saint), St. Joseph is for my husband and Saints Clare and Roque for my children because of their names. This is also my tattered prayer book with various novenas and prayers.

     3. Learn more about our saints- We had these books when I was growing up and it introduced me to many saints. I don't have a complete set but I got these from the St. Paul's Bookstore in San Antonio Village.

          With toddlers (like Marion), I think these pictures of saints, with quotes and short prayers from Happy Saints are great.

     4. Be like the saints!- They could serve as great role models and maybe... dress up as saints!!! For saint costume ideas for girls, click here.  And for boys, click here. The same blog has ideas for group/siblings/pair costumes also (click here). I'm already imaging the kids in saints costumes. St. Clare with a brown habit & monstrance and St. Roque with brown pilgrim clothes with a staff & dog shouldn't be too complicated? Or what about both in armor and so St. Joan of Arc & (not really a saint) Archangel Michael? What I'd really want is for them to be Diego & Lady of Guadalupe. :-)

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I tried telling Marion about the story of St. Juan Diego & the Lady of Guadalupe. She half-listened then said, "Mom, can you tell me the story of Diego the animal rescuer?" I'll try again another time. She's still more impressed with Diego saving Sammy the Sloth than St. Juan Diego finding roses growing in the snow. ;-p

Monday, October 29, 2012

A movie for Halloween


There are a few movies which my siblings and I would always remember from our childhood. Hocus Pocus would be one. I think my two younger sisters were inspired to learn how to play drums because of this movie (esp. that scene where the brother is playing drums and ignoring his sister). And I still catch myself singing the witches' song every so often,

The witches: SJP, Bette Midler & Kathy Najimy
Come little children, I'll take thee away, into the land of enchantment. Come little children the time's come to play, here in my garden of magic.

The kids are too young to watch this now. It'll surely scare Marion so I'll have to wait a few more years to make this into a family Halloween tradition.

Or maybe not. Maybe I'll watch it this year. :-)

In the news: 'Hocus Pocus' sequel rumors are unfounded, Disney says.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marion, 3 years old

Interviewed October 26, 2012

1. What is your favorite color? Rainbow color
     But what about just one color?
     You mean from the rainbow?

2. What is your favorite animal? Elephants because they're big and so strong and they can stomp really hard to make the ground shake.

3. What is your favorite song? Aloha.
     Are you sure? Hello?
     (Sings parts of Aloha e komo mai.)
     (I would say her favorite song is the "Hello" song she sings in school.)

4. What is your favorite book? Hercules & Tiny
     This book by Amy Shwartz

5. What is your favorite food? Soup!

6. What is your favorite drink? Mommy's milk tea

7.What is your favorite outfit? Tutu skirt
     (Like the one I made for her here.)

8. What is your favorite place? Balesin... Go to the island and swim
     But which one do you like more. Balesin or bookstore?
     Bookstore! Fully booked!

9. What is your favorite tv show or movie? Dora

10. What is your favorite toy? Play doh

11. What is your favorite game?
     Board game!
     Huh? Don't you like hide and seek best?
     I like board game! I want you to buy me some more dice and another board game. The old one is not here it's lost. Maybe the monster put the pieces down and he got it back to her cave.

12. What is your favorite thing to do outdoors? Bubbles

13. What makes you sad? Disobeying and sometimes when I fall down I cry, remember?

14. What makes you happy? Playing play doh, watching tv, being with mommy and drinking milk tea

15. What do you want to be when you grow up? I like to be a mommy!

16. What is your favorite thing about your brother? Playing lego.

17. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Ride on his shoulder.

18. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Stay and reading books

19. What do you like about yourself? Um... bubbles and shapes.

20. What do you pray about? Um, treats, marshmallow and chocolates too. I want to get ice cream, chocolate ice cream when I don't have virus anymore. Okay, mommy?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marion's 3rd birthday party: Monster Time!

We were going to celebrate her birthday with her classmates in school but we cancelled that the night before since we weren't sure yet how contagious her sores were. But this is what we prepared for her--

     * Printed out some monsters and put it together ourselves. There should have been a simpler way of doing this but since I had the print outs already, I just went ahead and did all the cutting, pasting and laminating. ;p

I paid for these monsters. Kinda regret the purchase and wish I could just do it myself. 
     * Below are better monsters and free. You could download here and here.


a) Book: Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett
     - We were hoping to read this with her classmates.
     - I considered using Sandra Boynton's Birthday Monsters book but the Tickle Monster's more fun. :-)

b) Puzzle
     - These puzzles were downloaded from here and printed at Intermatrix (Php1.25/sq. in.). This went in the kids' loot bags also.

Since its a really easy puzzle, she likes to play with it by mixing up the pieces to make a "silly monster".

b) Standee
     - These standees were downloaded from here and printed at Intermatrix (Php1.50/sq. in.) Some parts came out too sharp so I was actually a bit worried about the kids running around these.

c) Pinata
     - We got a Php150 pinata from Divi but covered it up with crepe, made it into a monster on one side and a jack o lantern on the other. Then filled it up with Flat tops. :-)

She helped me but was disappointed when I refused to give her a piece because "it was for the party".

d) Monster hats
     - We made monster hats. I actually just prepared everything so that all the kids had to do was paste/choose eyes for the monsters. For the eyes I used googly eyes, pipe cleaners and cartolina.

Your monster has so many eyes, Marion! She liked the googly eyes with eyelashes.

If all 10 kids in her class used this many eyes each, I wouldn't have had enough. Buti nalang we cancelled the party. Haha!

More of the monster hats we made that day.

Cake by Kitchen Kraft
     - I was very disappointed with how the cake tasted... both the cake and the icing. :-( I had such high hopes that it would taste like "birthday cake" (the birthday cake I had as a kid). This tasted different... and weird. I guess you kinda get what you pay for also? Oh well.

The only other thing we weren't able to cancel was the Baked Macaroni from Makati Sports so we picked it up, repacked it and gave it to street kids.

I learned how to cut cake this way after seeing a server at a Chinese restaurant do it this way years ago. ;p

Loot bag:
    Just a bunch of random monster stuff and some treats from Comfoods.

Kids Say: Things I Don't Really Want Her To Be Saying

Laptop on lap in bed

Just when I thought I could get away with multi-tasking with her, she reminds me I shouldn't. While she would watch tv, I would be on the laptop and just ask her what's going on every few minutes. When she's about to sleep, I'm on the laptop while she reads for herself (she finally started doing so this week!). Yesterday, I was at our play area with my laptop. She came and played with her blocks beside me. And then she says...

"Mom, I hate your laptop."

Oh my.
Where did that come from?
"Hate"? She knows that word already but I had told her we don't really use it.
I asked her why.
She looked at me, trying to put her thoughts into words but couldn't. (Or I should have waited a bit longer.)
Is it because I'm playing on the laptop and I'm not playing with you?

"Yes, mommy."

I closed the laptop.
You know, Marion, sometimes I have to work on the laptop and it is important. But right now it is not important so you are right. I think I should play with you.

"Yes, mommy."

(Thank you, daughter, for reminding me how to be a better parent.)
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Her favorite character (or at least the most influential one) from the show Jake and the Neverland Pirates is Captain Hook. When we play pretend she always asks me to be Mr. Smee to her Captain Hook. But even when we're not pretending she will say

"Blast" (with Capt. Hook's accent)

when she's disappointed. The tv is broken (we secretly turn off the cable), "Blast". Her lego tower topples over, "Blast".

Or sometimes she'll say

"No fair!"

So yesterday when I told her she couldn't have another cookie on our way to her school party she says "No fair!"

You can't have more. You already ate too many.
No fair.
(I got tired of giving my ususal spiel on junk food so,)
Life's not always fair, Marion.
Mommy what's life?
Uh... buhay. ;p

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Virus and Bacteria

This is part of my Halloween-themed posts this year...

Hand Foot Mouth Disease

Friday (Sept. 14, 2012): She came home from school with a notice that one of her classmates had HFMD.
(I later found out that the classmate was in school Wednesday, the dad informed the school on Thursday and so the school sent out a notice on Friday).
Saturday night: She got a fever.
Monday morning: I let her skip school.
Monday noon: No more fever.
Monday evening: Hello "unexplained" red spots!
(By Tuesday her school cancelled classes for her classroom for the rest of the week.
Her red spots looked a bit like whiteheads, tiny pimples. Others even just looked like red dots inside her skin. She didn't have too many and it didn't come out in clusters. One on each knee and elbow, maybe 3 or 4 near her mouth, probably also that many in her hands and a couple by her toes and soles. Thankfully nothing inside her mouth that affected her appetite.







She wouldn't believe me when I told her she was sick. She was as energetic as ever. But I reminded her to stop putting her fingers into her mouth (or putting anything in her mouth) and to wash hands often. Since she didn't feel sick, I think it just went in one ear and out the other.

There was really nothing to do about it so we just stayed home for a week. (But I had to be away from Marco for a few nights.)


After thinking that her "wound" on her lip was because she peeled a dry skin off her lip, then seeing 3 more wet sores and considering that perhaps it was another round of HFMD or maybe Herpes Simplex, Dr. Pia took a closer look and said it's Impetigo, a bacterial infection.

This is how I think it all happened:
     She was a bit dehydrated. She stopped drinking 4- 5 bottles of milk each day since she stopped drinking from the bottle. We couldn't get her to drink more water (or juice) to hydrate. We'd also gone a short vacation where she barely ate anything. Dehydrated and red patchy skin because of allergies. Those led to dry lips. Dry lips led to her picking on the loose skin.

     Picking on her lips plus that bad habit of touching her mouth or putting things in it led to those ugly sores on her lips. Her facial skin was dry (from allergies) so I think bacteria got to it also hence that sore on the side of her nose and some red spots.

Spots on her face :-(
Eyes puffy and red from allergies. :-(

     Then October 23 (Tuesday), the night before her birthday celebration in school would have been, I noticed that there was another sore on her arm. It grew beside a bug bite. And then another one on her thumb near her fingernail. We cancelled her party, kept her from school that day and took her to Dr. Pia who said, Impetigo. :-(

This was a bug bite.

A wound gets bacterial infection, bacteria goes to fingers, fingers get in touch with other parts of the body with broken skin (like scratching a bug bite or picking on a loose skin near the fingernails), then more infected wounds.

Her thumb which she picked on.
I googled Herpes Simplex and Impetigo, saw the images. Marion saw them too and she asked me to "please turn it off". I make her look at her face in the mirror to see her spots. This time I think she believes me when I say that touching her face and not keeping her hands clean will get her sick. She tries not to look in the mirror.

I also know it's kinda mean, but I said getting red spots and infections are ugly. Yes, I used the word ugly (and panget ;p). She caught me once staring at her sores/lips and before I could say anything, she beat me to saying something. She said, "Mom you're ugly." I asked her why and she said because I had spots. I told her I didn't have spots because I kept myself clean. Quiet nalang sya.

Not really contagious unless she transfers her bacteria to someone else's broken skin. We could have pushed through with her school party, but I feel better that we checked with the doctor first.

For this, we're treating it with--
Co-amoxillav (Natravox) 400/57 mg/5ml, 3.5ml by mouth, 2x/day for 7 days
Retapamulin Ointment (Altargo) applied to affected areas 2x/day for 5 days

Betadine 7.5% liquid cleanser as a body wash

And for her allergies,
Cetrizine (Zyrtec) 1mg/ml, 5ml 1x/day, as needed.

***** ***** *****
Things to work on:

a) Getting her to drink more
     - So far offering her more yogurt drink is helping. I would prefer that she just drank more water, but I think we'll try different kinds of juice and still try to keep it as healthy as possible.

b) Keeping our fingers off our mouths
     - Dr. Pia says it's typical for kids her age. I will nag her anyway.

c) More frequent hand washing or keeping hands clean
     - I have to confess I'm not very anal about this. I was always of the position that it would be better to expose her to germs. Well, I think there are just too scary germs out there. We will work on having this good habit now.

d) Boosting up immune system and addressing her allergies
     - Will be working with natural medicines for this.

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I am incredibly grateful that Marco's free from these virus and bacteria. Thank you, St. Roque!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

St. Pedro Calungsod

My parents, aunts & uncles are in Rome to witness the canonization of the second Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod. He was a teenager who was martyred in Guam. I know very little of him and it seems like very little is known of him but he's Visayan! :-)

I read up on his life and martyrdom-
The Martyrdom        Pedro Calungsod may only have been in his early teens (between 12 and 15 years old) when he went with Padre Diego to Guam in 1668. He was one of the young catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries to the Ladrones Islands to evangelize the Chamorros.  At that time, the Ladrones Islands were part of the  Diocese of Cebu. ... (source

I'd like to have this doll for the kids. :-)

There's more information about him and his canonization here.

There are days when I look at the world and people around me and I pray for more saints. The church is canonizing 7 new saints including Pedro Calungsod today. That's seven more role models on how to live our faith! :-)

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On a really babaw and "duh!" level--

a) I don't understand the Bisaya theme for his canonization: "Kinabuhing Gi-ula, Pagtuong Gimantala". :-( I had to google it-- "Life that is offered, Faith that is proclaimed"

b) I'm very curious as to who the woman who was healed through his intercession is and even more curious as to who the doctor asked him for his intercession.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A beach souvenir to remember a first for Marco

I know I shouldn't take anything that belongs to the seas but I wanted to have a special souvenir for Marco's first time to step on sand. I hope I can be forgiven for this exception. :-) I took home some sand and a few shells from Balesin by making a mold of Marco's foot (or just by digging a small hole). :-)

All I needed was plaster of paris (available in True Value). It was my first time to work with it and so wasn't sure if I got the consistency right. It has to be on the liquid side rather than pasty/sticky and so easy to pour but not runny. I also wasn't sure how fast I needed to work with it. No need to rush. Just get the holes/shapes on the sand ready before mixing the plaster of paris.

First attempt:

Marco's footprint. Too brittle and not formed too well.

Second try:

Better shaped foot. And I asked Rocky to put in the striped shells I found.

Notes to self:
     1.) I did this on my own, when Marion was sleeping. But this might be a fun activity for slightly older kids... who have the patience to wait for the plaster to harden.

     2.) Bring more molds/cutters. Perhaps the play doh or cookie cutters would do. :-)

     3.) Bring more plaster of paris and have something to mix it in like an empty milk can & maybe disposable spoon to mix.

Also, I got this idea from a blog I follow. Here.

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Beautiful Balesin

Chris T. had invited us to go to Balesin months ago. I was hoping the trip would be on November (a less hectic month than October which has birthdays & Halloween to take care of). When the date was finally set for October, I nearly backed out. It didn't help that Sec. Robredo's plane crashed recently. Good thing Rocky had finalized our plans before I had a chance to say No. :-)

The vacation started at the Alphaland hangar. We were early and got the chance to really get comfortable there. ;-p

Then it was time to board the plane.
(Marco was asleep for most of the flight going and coming.)

An umbrella for Marco

A leg up for Marion 
Some of us were nervous on the plane.

We sat right behind the pilots. The planes were nice & new.

Her version of "Are we there yet?" was "What's happening now? What's happening now??"

She wanted both her dad and I to hold her hands. (Daddy got kilig!) She eventually fell asleep.

After 25 minutes, hello Balesin!

We got our welcome leis.

At the welcome center.

Our villa right in front of the beach.



Rocky and I got to go in the jacuzzi for a few mintes... and then Marco started crying.

Marco's first time to step on sand and get splashed by the sea. :-)
(But this is his 3rd time at a beach. First two times were in Shangrila Mactan but only to breathe in the sea breeze. :D)

Mantha & Marion played together.
Hide & seek, sand castles, banging the drums.


We slept.
I got to lie down and look at the stars for a few minutes (probably just seconds).
I got to lie still outside the villa with the listening to the sound of the waves, feeling the breeze and the sun on my face (remembering Sundays at the beach while growing up while keeping worries over exposing my skin to the sun at bay ;p).

We went around the island.





The beach in Phuket.

In Mykonos where I posed and showed off my thigh.

We ate.
(For her, pancakes for breakfast. For her brother, lugaw, veggies, fish, udon.)
(I wish I had more of the soft shelled crab from the Japanese restaurant and more of the grilled prawns.)

We rode horses along the beach.

I was only brave enough to trot.

We hung out with friends.
(Well, I was on yaya duty so not really for me. It was nice to be around friends anyway. ;p)

My strong, little boy who went around the island with us on Sunday. He was tired on Monday which made me worry a little. But Tuesday came and he was all smiles again.

Thank you for inviting us, Tito Chris!

It is impossible to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time.

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

It was our first time to go on a trip with the kids. Going to Cebu doesn't count since I don't really have to plan or pack too many things. In Cebu, I know I can just go to the supermarket to get what we need. Also, my mom has kept a lot of the kids' toys and dvds to keep the kids entertained.

Since it was our first time, I was not very well prepared. Note to self: Next time bring--
a) more food and snacks for the kids
b) more books and toys