Saturday, January 31, 2009

She Knows

IC declared that knows that when girls grow up, they would be moms. And she knows, too, that boys would turn out to be dads.

And she is so relieved that she's not going to be a dad in the future. She specifically pointed this out while observing her papa shaving.

She smirked and said, 'I am so glad I wont be a papa in the future. I am so afraid of using the razor. The blade is too sharp and I dont want blood in my face.'

I told her papas need to shave so that they wont have a lot of hair in their faces.

She kept quiet, left the room and came back with a bunch of hair in her hand saying, 'here mama, I have cut my hair as they disturb me, too.'


Well I did tell her she must always ask me if she plans to cut her hair. I could help her keep the disturbance away, like, with a clip or a pony tail :D

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Love It When Kids Tell the Truth

I just picked up the kids and walking home.

We were behind a bush near the bus stop when a huge snow ball almost hit me on the face.

I was shocked and a bit angry. What if any of the kids walking behind and in front of me were hit?

I noticed the group of boys on the other side of the street. They were chuking themselves with snow balls. I had to do something.

I approached them quietly. I asked if one of them just threw a snow ball across the street. They started to shake their heads. But one of them decided to be honest and admitted what he did. He said he didnt know that people where there behind the bush. He said sorry, too.

I told him I was almost hit. I told him it was good that nobody was hit from the group of kids walking home with me. But since he was honest about it, I simply tapped his shoulders and told him to be careful next time.

I love it when kids tell the truth.

Purple Baywalk Bodies


Isang lila na CD na binitbit ko pa mula sa Pilipinas, ang Baywalk Bodies. Kahit hindi ko sila kilala ay hindi ko sila matanggihan. Bakit ko kanyo sya binili? Para suportahan ang galing ng Pinoy. Sikat na sikat tayo sa buong mundo basta musika ang paguusapan, di ba?

One CD in purple that I brought from the Philippines. You see, I support the local talents by buying their CDs, plus, I know that the music would be good.

At sempre, espesyal yang CD na yan dahil nakipagEB din ako sa isang tao na nagcompose ng isa sa pinakasikat na kanta sa CD na yan, ang 'Appear Disappear'. At dahil dyan ay may otograp pa. Kita nyo? ;D

I also met with one of the composers in that CD, see the autograph?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Cold Winter Day

IC's showing off the empty ice bucket :D
A few days ago, the kids have had enough of the snow and the cold. They simply wanted to stay warm inside the house.

And I agree with them, especially after the slips and skids we experienced a few days ago as we traversed the steep hill after having lunch with opa. It was an experience being helpless as you see the kids slipping and sitting on their bottoms, crying and I couldnt do anything because I was also waddling like crazy. But we survived with the help of a friendly neighbor and because we hold on to the bushes on the side streets until we reached the street down.

Anyway, so I told myself am going to make this day something special. To erase the bad memory of that not so good Wednesday. As MC was also worried saying opa shouldnt drive nor walk when it is too slippery outside. I am amazed that she worry about him when she's still got tears from her fall.

So what did we do to keep us busy on one cold winter day?

1. I gathered blankets in the living room and created a picnic of ice cream :)

2. Played board games.

3. Watched the television together, snuggling in one blanket

4. Tickled ourselves warm and then gave each other a massage ;D

5. Barricaded ourselves in the kitchen, cooking warm soup for papa

6. Then MC read a short story for us

We soon forgot about the bruises of the skids and slips and yes, we were warm all over.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Stranger in McDonalds

There is this McDo tv ad in Germany that shows kids playing alone with a ball and then being joined by a 'strange' man who caught the ball they threw.

That strange man is actually a well known tv host but that doesnt concern MC. All she wants to know is why are those kids allowed to play with a strange man?

Well, I want to know, too :)

I told her that those kids know the celebrity that's why they played with him. But I told them that if a stranger, or even someone they know, wanted to play with them and they are not comfortable; they could always stop playing and excuse themselves.

After all, they should trust their feelings and the actions that they think should go with it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Orange Steps

Kahel = Orange

Ang kama ng aming panganay na anak ay mayroong kulay kahel na hagdanan. Sa tingkad ng kulay na yan, talaga namang hindi sya madarapa kahit na madilim :D

The bed of MC's got orange steps that glows.

Pagmasdan ng malapitan.

Here's a close-up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Black Forest Winter Weekend

I am not really a winter sports fan, well am not also a summer sports fun. But I am a vacation aficionado ;D

So despite knowing that we'd be walking like robots with our thick winter gear for this winter weekend, I'm really excited. First because it's still a weekend away from home. Second because I am liking sledding and I've big hopes I'd soon fall in love with skiing or even snowboarding!

Drove early afternoon. Kids were excited. Parents, too. Should have been there after 2 and a half hours; but we got lost three times! In the end I was joining the girls asking the Papa, 'are we there now?' There was even a short scare because although we were driving up in the mountains, we couldnt see any snow! We thought it would also be green up where we booked our hotel.
We were driving to Feldberg, Hochschwarzwald (Black Forest) where we booked at Hotel Waldeck.

We reached our destination and were very glad that it's white up there! Look at the snow covered streets. This photo is taken from our hotel room's balcony.
And here is the back area of the hotel which became a private sled area for the kids. See them flying on their sleds? They got tired after a few minutes as they had to pull their own sleds alone, though. So I showed them a very good solution: use their bottoms as sleds! And we all did :D

Just right in front of our hotel. The kids need not walk as the snow on the streets are good for their sleds.
What made the kids really happy, and us parents, too was really this magic carpet. A ski/snowboard/sled lift. It is only in Feldberg that they have this kind of thing. Meaning, no real effort needed to pull the kids up. What a relief :D
The trio: papa with the girls ready to bring the mama down :D Well, I am amazed that MC enjoyed sledding alone. In fact, I saw here pulling her sled higher and higher and higher!

The resort area was not so crowded. There are enough area to move around and get sledding crazy. Which we did! I played a game with the girls called 'catch the sled' in which I pulled the sled around and they would try to catch and sit on it. Well, that game was more tiring than sledding, let me tell you.

After a few tries on the slope, the kids wanted to try another slope alone. Well, we let them. And do you see them up there? Getting ready to barge on us.

This time I did enjoy the sled rides. MC got irritated with me as I didnt want to slow down and she wanted me, too. Hahaha.

Plus, I got interested with skiing, too. I watched a group of beginners and tagged along with them, that was, as long as I could get near them and hear what's being said. I learned a few tips and I am ready to break the ice! Let's see if that spark of interest wont die down on our real winter vacation this coming February :D

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Girls are Sick

And so we have our sleeping re-arrangement :D

IC requested to cuddle with papa, so they stayed in her warm futon bed.

MC wanted to be with mama, so I got her as my warm bottle.

Then my husband made a 'date'. When the kids are already sleeping; we're to meet in the living room for our own cuddle time and a glass of wine. Hmm, cozy!

And then MC wanted to talk, despite heavy interruptions of coughing and blowing her nose. And I also heard IC and papa still giggling like crazy.

Finally, MC slept. I creeped out and waited for my husband. But after an hour of watching uninteresting things on tv, I decided to sleep, too.

An hour after that, I heard my husband turning on the lights in the living room. But I was already far into dreamland and I dont want to leave MC's warm side. So, that was our cozy date.

It turned out we'd be up all night making warm tea for the kids, changing sheets as IC threw up, running to the bathroom with MC's nose bleed, and and and...

We brought the girls to the doctor to be examined late this morning. Just ordinary virus. That's good to hear.

And our cozy date? Maybe tonight, in between changing the sheets and bringing the girls to the bathroom to pee :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Are your kids satisfied with their gifts?

Here's what we usually do before buying presents:

1. We ask the kids to tag along from store to store to window shop and show us what they wanted
2. Whenever an advertisement comes on the television, they would inform us of what they like
3. They tend to gather those toy brochures and pamphlets and would cross out what they love
4. And we checked what toys they have at home and buy those that would compliment them, such as with legos and playmobils

We did all that before shopping for their Christmas gifts, and yet, they still complained.

'Mama, I didnt ask you to buy this,' said IC. 'Mama, this is the wrong one,' MC informed me. I could have told them otherwise, but I tried to understand.

I think those words came out because of the excitement of the moment, plus, they received too much toys that they dont really know anymore what they really wanted. Too much is sometimes, well, too much.

In order to bring them back to reality, I told them to think about the poor people who didnt get anything at all this Christmas. I told them they could still help by sharing what they have. They nodded.

I told them to gather their old toys; especially those that they dont want anymore. I prepared a balikbayan box that I would be sending before Easter to a charity house in the Philippines. And I asked them to put all those 'dont want anymore toys' inside. After a few minutes, the big box was half full.

And I rummage inside their closets for old yet usable clothes. I added them inside the box, too. Before we'd send the box out, the girls and I agreed to buy some sweets as surprise gifts to the kids in the charity house.

Before the day was the done, the girls were already deeply engrossed playing with their 'unwanted toys' again. Yes, my kids are satisfied with their gifts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blue Jeans

Asul = Blue

Ito ang aking mahal na Levi's Blue Jeans. Nag-ipon ako ng aking allowance sa kolehiyo para lang mabili ko sya sa SM North EDSA nung 1988. Sa tumataginting na 888 pesos na presyo niya ay pikit mata ko syang binili. Kasi luho talaga sya sa aking paningin.

I love this Levi's Blue Jeans. I saved my allowance in college so I could buy this pair which costed 888 pesos. A lot of money during those time, thus, this jeans is a luxury for me.

Matagal na rin kaming magkasama, kahit na saang sulok ng mundo na ako nakalakwatsa. Halata naman sa itsura nya di ba? Huling nagkasya sya sa akin nung 2007 pa. Kahit na may dalawang anak na ako :D Nitong nakaraang araw e sinubukan ko ulit sya isuot. Alam nyo kung ano ang sabi nya? Oras na daw para ako mag-diet at mag exercise :D

The jeans and I have a long history. The last time I wore it was in 2007, and I already gave birth to my girls at that time. The jeans is telling me to diet last week, it simply wont zip anymore :D

Monday, January 12, 2009

A relic from the past?

The big discovery that made the girls eyes pop during our Black Forest winter vacation last weekend was... tadaaaa!

Surprise! The common telephone. Well, the common dial telephone of the not so long past :D

I didnt know it was a strange thing for them. Really! But it is.
the dial telephone is strange :D

MC excitedly entered our hotel room and fixed her eyes on the phone with IC hurrying to get a better look as they both screamed to me, 'Mama, mama, what's this? We havent seen anything like this!' I guess, that's true. They know the push button phones, the portable ones and the cellullar phones, but a dial telephone. It is indeed rare!

Imagine their disappointment when they learned that this 'relic' is only a common telephone. But when I showed them how to dial, they were back to being amazed. They wanted to try it, and again, and again.

Please dont ask me how many times I had to tell them to stop playing with the telephone during our holiday.

To do's after a vacation

Well, we're back home.

But if you ask the kids, they'd be happy romping around in the snowy Black Forest until the snow melted. Melting isnt a possibility as they are now adding articial snow to maintain the already fast fading 'real' snow :D

It was another relaxing but active weekend. And it's a great end to the school Christmas break. MC would start school today, IC's started with kindergarten since last Wednesday.

And today is a Monday. The day after our weekend get-away. Papa is working. The kids are in kindergarten and in the school.

What about mama? At home, busy with the household chores.

This is a big puzzle: Why is it that we've only been away for three days and yet I've loads of work to do?

- The house needs fresh air - open the windows and the doors for a few minutes :D
- Laundry. I've cleared the laundry before we left, and now I have tons of them again!
- Grocery shop. The cupboards and the ref are empty.
- Clean the winter booties and the house shoes we used in the hotel before putting them back in the storage
- Air the ski suits
- Clear and clean and air the bags and baggages we used
- Make sure all the medicines are back in the medicine cabinet
- Read the news in the net and yes, blog hop!
- Download the photos. So I could share them to you :D

Am thinking about cleaning the house but that could wait. I need to bring the kids to their gymnastics classes first. What an excuse :D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What to bring for a short winter vacation?

winter vacation a year ago in Austria

It's a last minute decision. And am okay with it. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of the cold temperature here in Europe and look for the real snow fun?

We are going away on a weekend winter fun -- an almost one hour drive to Hochschwarzwald (in Germany's famous Black Forest).

It wasnt easy finding a room for four of us. After all, it is still Christmas vacation in some parts of Germany.

But we pursued. First in the internet and then by calling the hotels. When all failed, we asked for the tourist office in the area to help us find a hotel. Here's what we found: click.

What to bring for a short winter vacation then? Aside from the usual clothing and toiletries, here's some more.

1. The whole winter gear for the whole family: ski clothes, ski booties, gloves, mittens and caps.
2. The sleds, nope, we dont have ski nor snowboards. But we could rent those things.
3. Sun protection cream, sun glasses, and lip balm, for the whole family. The sun is stronger in the mountains after all.
4. The usual medications, plasters and creams.
5. Snowchain, warm blankets, flashlights and warning vests ready in the car.
6. And for my mommy bag? Snacks, extra clothes for the kids, and the anti-motion sickness homoophathy Nux vormica D4 that I always give to the kids before we go for a long drive.
7. Papa is responsible that the car's got enough gasoline, that he's got the map of the area, plus the video and the digicam :D
8. The kids have packed their favorite toys and some pencils and papers so they could draw.

We only need to turn down the heater at home and empty the garbage bins before we go.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to store your Christmas decors

It is a bit of a sad occasion when it's time to put away those glitzy Christmas decors, right? But that's something we have to do.

I usually ask the girls to help me so they would have the chance to say goodbye to the holiday season. And because I wanted this to be as special as putting up the decorations.

Here's what we do?

- I would usually line up the sturdy boxes that I have collected and labeled accordingly
- We'd collecting the decors in one room, until we reach the last destination which would be the Christmas tree
- To avoid tangled Christmas lights, try the empty kitchen rolls trick.
- Wrap the breakable pieces in newspapers or tissues, if you werent able to keep their original packaging which is really recommended
- We'd start putting together the related items re: Christmas balls and other Christmas tree decors together; wrappers and ribbons together, etc
- For bigger items, such as our Christmas teddy's; we've kept their plastic covers to avoid dust.
- What we do with our gift wrappers and ribbons? We put them together in one bin.
- For our Christmas tree, it is collected by the volunteer fire brigade that would be turned into compost
- And last yet the most significant, toth girls would have their turn in taking down the star of Bethlehem on top of the tree - that's a tradition already
first IC
and then MC

And now the decors are out, MC suddenly turned to me and said, 'Mama, wow, there's a lot of space to play where the tree used to be.'

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Red, red wine

Pula = Red

Isang araw na pumunta kami sa isang vineyard. Unang inalok ang aking si IC ng 'pulang vino'. Tuwang tuwa namang tumango ang bata. Kasi daw nauhaw na sya sa biyahe. Tungga agad.

We visited a vineyard and IC got the first taste of the 'red wine'. She said she's very thirsty because of the long drive.

At isa pa raw. Halata ba sa kanyang mga labi? Huwag mag alala. Hindi pulang vino na nakakalasing ang ibinigay sa kanya. Kundi ang kanilang espesyal na brand na 'kinderwein' (pang batang vino). Ito ay gawa sa purong katas ng espesyal na ubas.

After the first glass, she asked for more. Look at her red lips as a result. But dont worry, she got the 'kinderwein' ( wine for kids ); which is a juice made from a special grape sort.

Get the kids 'snow' busy

And we thought it would be another no 'snow' winter. In our place, winter is really mild; thus, we tend to drive to the mountains to experience the snow. Yet this year, especially for the past few days -- it was really freezing!

In fact, as I am writing this down, it's -10 degrees already! I told my husband am not looking anymore, or else I'd freeze on my seats just thinking about it!

And what about the girls? Well, snow is fun! They got up early, ate a hearty breakfast and dressed up without any dramas as they were afraid that our neighbor would be shoveling the snow in front of our walkway before they got out.

Then I got the kids' 'snow' busy with such things as:

1. They shoveled with glee, but only in one area. I had to drag them to another area :) The trick is, we have two kiddie shovels for them ready.

2. A chance to run around in the garden, especially to check the koi pond that's covered in snow. 'Mama, would our kois freeze?' asked IC. I told them no as Papa's got a tube on top of it that would help air circulate.

3. Snow ball fights, as long as nobody cries :D

4. Sledding, we've a good slope on the way to the garden. They should only stop before reaching the sharp needles of MC's tree (Chilean fir tree).

5. Creating snow angels, and this, despite the fact that the girls hate to have wet hairs! All for the snow fun, of course.

6. We also walked around the neighborhood, umm, simply hearing the crunch of the snow beneath our shoes! But for IC, she had to collect her ball of snows around the neighborhood, promising to come back for them later :D

7. And yes, I pulled the sled on the streets with the girls laughter in the air. Just be careful when you do this, our street isnt a busy street.

8. Snow man! Small snow men are now guarding our street :D

Oh, and make sure the kids are warmly dressed, with the whole gear.

And afterwards, as we dont have a shoe rack for dirty, wet boots -- I prepared a newspaper towel to leave those wet boots to dry. What else did I prepare? Warm tea and a big lunch, snow fun creates big appetites, too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Unwritten Rules

...yet I am writing them down :D

1. No houseworks and gardening during Sundays and holidays.
2. Wear a suit or your best dress during Sundays and on special ocassions.
3. Be on time or better, be early
4. Bring something with you if you come for a visit
5. Always call before coming for a visit
6. There are many ways to say 'thank you' - a card, a call, a gift
7. Aperitifs before dining or sekt before starting with the real party
8. Always make the bed, and dont forget to plump the pillows, please
9. When answering the phone, always say your name and not 'hello'
10. We greet everyone we meet on the street not with a 'hello' but with a good morning/good afternoon/good evening
11. We acknowledge the other driver who let us pass first

And there are some old ones I got from my husband

1. Saturday is bath day. Other days would mean wash or shower day :D
2. Expect potato soup and damfnudel (steamed noodle, something like siopao without the filling) every Saturday
3. New Year's Day menu? Potato salad and wurst
4. Always eat everything on your plate, or else...
5. Friday is fish only day

I dont know if I missed anything, I dont have any guidelines on it. They are supposed to be unwritten rules after all :D

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Father's Way

Tatay during our visit in 2008

I've decided not to have a list of new year's resolutions this year because I noticed I've been writing down the same resolutions over and over again for the past, hmmm, past years!

But you know what, I am doing a monthly resolution thing. I got the idea from my 71 year old father.

My mother wrote me a letter a few months back, proudly telling us that my father has finally lost his beer belly. Wow, I was happily astonished. My father's got his beer belly ever since I can remember. You know what he did? He maintained a regular regular jogging schedule of jogging two times a day for 30 minutes each.

For him to have the enthusiasm and the strenght to keep up with this rigorous fitness schedule at 71 -- I salute him! Actually, it is also because of health reasons and I know, his love for his family that made him do it. He is diagnosed with diabetis a few years back. He's got a real sweet tooth. And now he is really watching his diet and yes, after loosing his beer belly, he's stopped the two times a day jog and stuck to running in the mornings.

Of course, I told my husband about it immediately. To give him a bit of inspiration. What happened next? He went home with a diet plan which he's been following strictly for almost two months now; even throughout the holiday season. Plus, he's been running regularly and enjoying the results. He is indeed happier as he feels lighter (which he is) and feels more confident. And yes, the beer belly is almost gone, too.

Well, I am loving my husband's dedication, too. And you know what, it is my turn to follow my father's way. I am facing the challenge presented by these two men I love most.

My goal? Slowly but surely :D

Friday, January 2, 2009

Now you see it, now you don't


Now you see it...Now you dont!

'Yan ang istorya ng gansa na handa namin nung bisperas ng Pasko. Aminin ko sa inyo, ako ang nag request sa aking asawa na ihanda yan. Para maiba naman, kasi halos parati na lang isda ng nakaraang taon e. Pero nung nakita ko na sya, at nung naluto na sya? Hmm... hindi ko sya kayang kainin pala :) Mabuti na lang at andun ang aking papa in law at ang aking asawa! Ubos din sya.

That's the goose that my husband cooked last Christmas Eve. It's a change from the usual fish. And I really thought I could eat it, but nope. As soon as I saw it, I realized I cant. But that didnt stop my husband and my father in law from enjoying it.