Saturday, January 24, 2009

Birthday wish list

I don't have a habit of coming up with wishlists, but since Kaye sent me this birthday wish award, I don't see why I shouldn't.

So the rules say that:

1. Make a list of what you want on your birthday...
2. The list sho
uld be 15 numbers
3. Post the image of this award in your posting
4. Give it to 10 friends of you

Here goes... (not in any particular order)

1. a ring binding machine - I saw this Carl double loop ring binder last year at Times Trading in downtown. I was justifying whether to buy it and almost did for Julia's scrap and salon party. But when I asked DH if I should buy it, he said it wasn't practical. I was looking for someone to affirm me that it will be a good buy, but even my friends didn't agree. So, I took their advise not to buy it but that doesn't mean I don't want it anymore :-).

2. my own domain - I've just began to actively blog again so I don't think its the best time to get my own domain, but it is on my list and I hope to have my own someday.

3. South Sea pearl earrings - Actually, I already have the pearls. DH gave them to me for our anniversary a year or 2 ago but I haven't decided what setting I want for it so they've just been in the safe. I'm planning to see a jeweler soon to have it set.

4. Mediterranean cruise - This is on my list of "must do things". I'm hoping DH and I get to experience this before our 40's!

5. photography lessons - Steph's been planning to take some photography lessons and invited me to join but since I've already earmarked myself for some digital arts sessions, I had to pass. Maybe next time.

6. a masters degree - I've sort of thrown in the towel for my thesis-its just too demanding of my time as of the moment but if I could ask for a wish, I wish I'd get my degree without having to go through thesis work.

7. a set of pilot frixion pens - I've always loved pens but these Pilot frixion pens give me more reason to love them. When subjected to friction or heat, the ink becomes transparent so you can actually erase them. If you're not convinced, try viewing this short video of how it works. I got 2 in black and blue as they are the only colors available at Cosmos. I hope to get it in all 8 colors.

8. a new bathing suit - A few months more and its summer. When we hit the beach, I hope to be in this Victoria Secret tankini looking sexy :-) Too bad I missed the sale on the bathing suit I was eyeing a few days ago. :-(

9. leather checkbook holder - I was just writing checks to pay the bills a while ago and noticed that the zipper on the checkbook case I'm using is broken. I could use a really nice leather checkbook case, I think I found some at Fino.

10. bluetooth headsets - When I'm on the computer and chatting away with my girlfriend, it would be more comfortable if I were talking to her with my hands free. Problem is, I'm not sure if there's something like this available for landline phones. A friend of mine from a call center says, the one they use is attached to an amplifier and that its quire expensive. :-(

11. omega constellation watch - I've been eyeing this watch for some time now. But I find the diamond bezel too flashy. I prefer to have it mother of pearl with the semi-precious stones inside but the ones without a diamond bezel, do not have it in that design. I also find the 'mini'/quartz size appealing but for the price, DH says I should consider the automatic which i find a bit big on my wrist. I'm still waiting for the right one for me. I've waited this long so I can wait longer.

12. quality time with the family - Its never easy to balance work and family. I'm pretty fortunate I am able to work flexible hours and spend more time with the kids. I wish DH and I can also have more opportunities to bond together.

13. good health for everyone in my family - A cliche, but its really true - Health is wealth. None of the above will matter without good health.

14. adventure - our trip last year to Sagada/Batad was one of the most adventurous travels I've had. I'm not much of an adventurer, not even when I was in my twenties. But as midlife inevitably comes closer, you just feel like you have to take more action in making the most out of life. Trying out more unique experiences, tasting different food, looking at another perspective, all these I wish for 2009.

15. giving back - I'm grateful for all the blessings that I have and I wish to pay it forward in my own way. I wasn't able to concretize my plan last year but I wish I have the time and effort to be able to complete this for 2009.

Am passing on the bithday wish award to the sweet life, jhari, jenny and belle, sassy mom's corner, Franny, Wanda, Arlene, Misty signs, Debbie and For Thoughts.

I had a great time coming up and sharing this wish list to everyone. Maybe you can share yours too. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Manila Oceanarium

It must be the age, but as years pass, DH and I feel more and more averse to crowds. That's why, when we saw this big crowd at Manila Oceanarium last December '08, we decided not to push through despite being there already. Fortunately, we were tipped by the guard that the crowds usually have cleared up by night time. And since the park was open till midnight, we decided to go back after dinner. Turned out, it was a good decision. We didn't have to push and elbow people while appreciating the marine life, plus, there was enough time to take all the pictures we want- sans the flash photography as it was prohibited.

I've always been fascinated by the sea horse - the way the swim and coil their tails with each other. I particularly asked DH to take photos of it.
Nico, me and Julia on those luminous blocks while watching the fishes swim.
The blue spotted ribbon tail ray Nico and me at the "Fish Spa"

For some reason, the "doctor fish" didn't want to nibble at Nico's feet. Even when he switched places where there were more fish, they just ignored his feet. This irked him a lot. Julia on the other hand, got scared when the fish started to nibble. She put her feet up the whole time, refusing to dip them back into the water.

Our guide on the glass bottom boat ride told us that more attractions are being built for the park. Coming soon are dolphin shows and a hotel connecting to the Manila Oceanarium. Next time...

Money Matters

This is a pile of unfiled bills and statements I have accumulated from last year. As part of my goal to declutter the house this year, this is my first task of order. I hate the task of it really helped that I had some motivation to do this ( bank statements and credit card bills for the last 3 months are some of the requirements for Australian Visa application).

Julia wanted to help as usual, so I had her highlight the dates for easier filing. I didn't realize it was such a good opportunity for teaching her about money until she asked. " Mom, why are the checks you paid Enopi with you now?"- She saw the checks returned by the bank. I tried to explain the mechanics to her in the simplest terms until she was finally satisfied with my answer. Then she paused to ask, "Mom, how do you pay when you sometimes buy something on the internet?". "I use my credit card.", I answered. "Aah, ok. You know, before, I thought you scanned the money and sent it to them, then they go to the bank to get it.", she explained her theory. I was amazed at how she tries to come up with the concept of things-money in particular. So, I guess its not too early to try and explain complicated things to her now.

I took this experience further by training her to do the filing lol :-) - for future contingency plans he he he. Just today, when the phone bill came, I asked her to do the filing, and she was able to do it! Yey! I'm planning to retire early.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good Kids

Julia used to be a nerd. She hates it when school gets called off, loves to write and study and is the one to remind me of her homework (not the other way around). Nowadays, she has slightly shifted from that state. She now enjoys vacations more than school (she joins Nico is rejoicing for school holidays) and occasionally needs to be reminded to do her homework. I always tell friends that Julia has become "normal".

Julia does well academically. Honestly, I don't have problems with her at all. What she routinely does is to open up pages of her homework and assignment notebook and all I have to do is sign them. Last quarter, she was top 4 in her class and was in the honor roll. Yesterday, she gave me the good news when she handed me her honor card. Sigh! I know...I'm so lucky.

Nico is doing pretty well himself. Although not on the honor roll, Nico has a general average of 91 each quarter. This, he achieves all by himself, without me coaching him or a tutor. I know its not really a feat when you compare how we were in school before. But with kids these days mostly dependent on tutors, I consider it something.

Last year, from out of the blue, Nico told me, "Mom, thanks for teaching me and helping me with my homework." I became teary eyed when he said this because it means he valued the time and effort I spent in teaching him. How many kids would know and be grateful of this?

DH and I always discuss how lucky we are to have good kids. We feel really blessed and hope they become good adults in the future.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dashing Diva

Last Sunday, Julia attended a birthday party of her friend's held at Dashing Diva inside Beauty Bar. She was pretty excited as it was her first time to attend a party like this. When we got there, most of the girls were already on their seats having their nails done. Mommy Jeneen, the celebrant's mom, suggested I help Julia pick her nail color and also the nail art design that she wanted.

While waiting for her manicure/pedicure, Julia decorated her own cupcake with pink icing and "lipstick" marshmallows. The girls chatted away while having their nails done. Their smiles evidently showed that they were having a great time. I made Julia wear her flipflops so she won't ruin her pedicure. Some girls, who wore closed shoes were made to wear disposable slippers while they stay at the drying area.

When DH came to get us after the party, he only has one word about what he saw - "Kikay!" as he shook his head repeatedly.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas gifts

The Christmas tree and decors have been put down and this marks the end of the Christmas season in our house. The kids are back to school and I'm back to reality.

One of my goals for the year is to minimize the clutter in the house. But right now, while putting away gifts from Christmas, I realize that its more than material things that I need to declutter. I just checked the text box on my phone and it has 225 messages while the count on my personal email has 1348 messages (most of them trash). Anyway, I'm really seriously planning to change this habit so I'll be posting updates now and then to help me achieve this goal.

While lookin through the kids' gifts, I thought it might be interesting to post them here - their favorites anyway :-)

Julia got this Zip-It bag from Auntie Maleen. As the name suggests, its made of long 2 toned zippers that when zipped all throughout, makes into this cute small body bag. I actually had fun zipping and unxipping it. Felt it more like a toy than a bag :-)

Nico instantly loved this Mickey Mouse Mp3 player when he opened it. It comes with a silicon case and lanyard earphones. To switch on/off or adjust volume, you have to turn the ears of Mickey as knobs. Nico has his own playlist album on our ipod, so the very same hour he got this gift, he transferred the songs to his new mp3 player. Clearly, this gift is the coolest he got for Christmas. thanks mon and jen!