Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Tired. Hungry. Feet aching. Trick or treating is done and over with. We survived! It was fun. I've never seen Steven enjoy trick or treating this much. Even those passing out candies welcome his enthusiasm with big laughs. He is definitely a ham. Alexis had fun too. I bet next year she'll join her friends trick or treating. I'm not against it, as long as they stay in our subdivision. I know she'll have more fun being with friends her age.

Anyway, time to hit the sack. I'll attack the loot tomorrow. :-)

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving is the single biggest day for the SALE junkie in all of us. People camp out outside the store the night before just to be able to get in and be the first to lay hands on the goodies. It is the perfect time to get that new computer, LCD or Plasma TV, or any other electronic gadget you've been wanting to get. The ads are kept secret until the day of but you can expect really good deals. It is the perfect time to do your Christmas shopping...if you can brave the throng. I know, I used to work for the military's biggest retailer.

I don't really have to time to get in line at the wee hours of the morning just to wait for stores to open. I have two kids and I'm smart not to take them with me for fear of getting squashed in the store. There's a lot of crazy people out there who'll won't think twice about pulling your hair when it comes down to it. So what's the alternative for people like me who'd rather stay home or work on Black Friday? just might be the answer we've been looking for. They offer direct links to each product so you can purchase the items online on Black Friday without having to stand in line at the store!

Getting ready

Getting ready for trick or treating.....Alexis will dress up as a chinese kung-fu fighter. We tried looking for chopsticks in the store so I can stick them in her hair (bun), but no luck. Maybe I should have tried stealing some from the Chinese fastfood joint. But that won't work either. I don't want to be a bad example to my kids hehe. Stevie will be dressing up like a soldier. Hubby bought him a soldier uniform. This will be cool. Im excited!

Monday, October 29, 2007

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New beginnings

Yesiree!! I signed up for PPP!! It's long overdue, but I've finally mustered the courage to take on new tasks. A lot of things are going on with my life right now, and I was afraid to start something I might not be able to finish. Pro-blogging is something I don't take lightly. It is a commitment. No matter how busy I get, I still find time to sit on the computer and blog.

How did I get hooked with pro-blogging? Let's just say, I finally gave in to hipncoolmomma's advice. She is one cool blogger that I admire and I'd like to follow in her footsteps. One time she reported that her pro-blogging gigs paid for a China trip. Isn't that exciting? It sure is rewarding to get paid to blog. I mean, we all have our opinion about something or somebody, right? So why not get paid for it? Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Anyway, as I am still a newbie, I'll start small. I might not earn enough to pay for a vacation trip (yet), but I bet yah I can earn enough each month to send to my grandma in the Philippines!!! This is going to be great!! Thank you PPP!! Cheers!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Loose Lips

Home makeover extreme edition came on TV while I was looking for munchies in the fridge. I don't know what triggered it, but all of a sudden I blurted out "I'm sick and tired of hearing about people getting more than they deserve!!". Hubby was appalled at what came out of my mouth but he was able to come back with "c'mon, don't be too cynical". I realized I was wrong. It was wrong of me to act like a sourpuss (I swear I was not meaning to) when God has showered us with blessings all along. It's selfish. It's inexcusable. He's right, so I didn't argue with him, which by the way doesn't happen too often as I love to have the last word. I kept my mouth shut and watched the show with him. I admit I get that warm fuzzy feeling every time I hear about their stories. I cry (snot and all) tears of joy every time I see their happy faces. These people have been through awful times and they deserve the break.

It's just that sometimes, I do feel the producers/show goes way overboard in their make over projects. They live up to the name "EXTREME", and it can be overwhelming. And we all know TOO much of a good thing sometimes lead to bad things. I've read of a family who after being given a grand home make over still tried to sue the show because things didn't turn out the way they wanted it to. What the..??? I want people to still appreciate the beauty of little things. It doesn't have to be grand or fabulous, but for people who are in need, just knowing that somebody out there still cares can make the BIG difference.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Every year, I make a promise to do my Christmas shopping early. Every year, I fail. I always wait the last minute. I enjoy the rush. This year, there are 12 kids and 15 adults to buy gifts for. It's going to be big....and expensive. I still need to put up a package to send to Germany. Just thinking about it gives me the headache *chuckle*.

Anyway, I have my little list of things to buy. Gift certificates to Build-a-bear, ToysRus, Restaurants, Kohls, JC Penny, Borders, are just but a few I have on the list. Sweaters,personalized pens, Sports Jersey, Wall plaques, pajamas, truck accessories, are good gift ideas for the man of the house.

Gosh, I really need to get my butt off this chair and start shopping!!!!!!! I'm running out of time!!!


Botox for migraines?? Like you, I'm a little bit skeptical. I'm not really sure what to make of it. Afterall, isn't botox generally used for aesthetic purposes only? Botox is a muscle relaxant, used by people in Hollywoodlandia to fight the aging process. It's the modern-day fountain of youth.

So how does it help with migraine? According to Dr. Alexander Muskaup of the NY headache center, "the only possible explanation for the way it worked was that it relaxed tight muscles. It is true that during a migraine attack muscles go into a contraction and many patients find some relief by massaging their temples, back of their head and neck. Botox prevents the release of CGRP (a chemical messenger - neurotransmitter) from nerve endings and stops painful messages from being transmitted along the nerves. It appears that relaxing muscles may be less important than stopping nerves from sending pain messages to the brain".

Well, what do I know? I guess I'm pretty convinced that botox is not just for vanity anymore.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Smart Credit

You know what's almost as bad as having bad credit??? Having no credit at all. We learned that the hard way back in the days when we thought paying cash was the only way to go. My thinking goes something like this..."If we can't pay for it cash, we might as well not buy it". Or "if there's something we really really want, we need to save the money first then buy it". I swore off credit cards even before I got the chance to have one. I didn't like it because I've seen a lot of people get in trouble because of it. When you are careless, you'll find yourself in deep waters where there's no other way out but to apply for bankruptcy. For some, credit card consolidation is the salvation. Apropos consolidation, Mint credit card is offering 0% on balance transfers until 1 December 2008 (2.5% balance transfer fee),0% on purchases until 1 May 2008, and 0% bonus offer until 1 August 2009 on balances transferred during February 2009 (2.5% fee). Visit their website for more details.

Anyway, one particular incident that changed my way of thinking happened in 1998 on our very first military move from Germany to Ft Stewart GA. Our flight arrived in Savannah late at night, and the person who's supposed to pick us up was late. We were tired and impatient so we figured we'd just rent a car and drive ourselves to the military installation. Well, we didn't get that far. The airport car rental office wouldn't allow us to rent a car because we didn't have a credit card. We had more than enough cash but it didn't matter. Rental vehicles are secured by credit card. To make the long story short, we waited for hours for the driver to show up. I was very cranky, more so than Alexis who was just a little toddler at that time.

Needless to say, I've learned my lesson. I am now a proud owner of a platinum credit card. But I'm still playing it smart. I still pay cash whenever I can. When I charge on my credit card, I make sure I pay it off within the grace period so it doesn't incur interest. It's there to build up my credit and not to ruin it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In the car with Steven after school...

me: how was school baby boy? did you have fun?

steven: YESSSSSS!!!!!! mom, there are 2 bad girls in school!

me: really?? why?? what happened??

steven: one girl said a BAD word!

me: what kind of bad word??

steven: I can't say the bad word! Only you can say the bad word!

me: well honey, what was the bad word? you can tell mommy....

steven: NO! I can't say bad word. You say it!

me: ok.....did the girl say STUPID?

steven : nope! the other one....the other bad word! (exasperated)

me: ok steven, mommy doesn't can say the bad word this time....mommy's letting you say the bad go ahead and say it....just this time though, ok??? what is it???

steven: she said....(pause)....she said....(whispers) shut up.......(silence)



Watched Mr. Brooks last night. It was very interesting. I didn't fall asleep....yes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Family matters

We had a surprise visit last weekend from Uncle John and his wife Sandy. Uncle John is the oldest and only living brother of my mom-in-law (middle bro passed away in 97 due to a heart attack). They live in Tennessee, about 10 1/2 hours away from Michigan, so we don't get to see them often. The last time we saw them was summer of '99 (we only had Alexis then), so imagine our surprise when he showed up at our doorsteps with my parents-in-law. He hasn't changed a bit, well except for his hair that seems to get thinner as years pass. I jokingly suggested looking up provillus, a good resource for guys "like" him. He's still the gentle giant we knew. He's still full of jokes and loves to have fun. His laughter is infectious.

It was a short but good visit. We were able to touch base and we're also able to thank him personally for doing us a big favor in the past. There were some issues with our house in Georgia at that time and we were getting conflicting statements from the tenants and our property manager. We weren't sure who to believe anymore and it was physically impossible for us to handle it because we were still based in Germany. Uncle John came to the rescue and drove 6 hours from Florida to Georgia just to check on the house. We'll always be grateful for that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Virus 2

Alexis woke up complaining about a headache and her temperature is a wee bit high this morning. I was debating if I should send her to school today. They're doing MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program) in school and attendance is very important but she was already sent home twice last week (because of fever) so I decided to just let her stay home and rest. I made an appointment with the ped last week, but cancelled at the last minute because she was already feeling better. Ahhh, mistakes parents make!

Hubby left for Cleveland at 2:30 this morning. He's not feeling good either. He was running a fever last night, and his throat is hurting but he has to accompany a recruit to the Battalion testing center. Little Stevie was also sick last week, thank God his little body was able to fight it off with the help of children's tylenol and mom's TLC.

There must be a virus going around. It's that time of year. It sucks because I hate seeing my kids sick. They can give it to me, for all I care. I'd rather be the one suffering than my kids.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Computer downstairs is still infected with the virus. I haven't got the opportunity to tinker with it. No one is allowed to touch that computer until we are 100% sure the malware is gone. For now, we are using Alexis' laptop (thanks to the free WiFi signal in the house). I purchased/downloaded Norton 2008 antivirus, keeping my fingers crossed that this computer doesn't end up like the one downstairs.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


F'in $hit! My computer downstairs was attacked by a malware. I'm still figurin' out what to do....

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lets go to the movies, NOT.

With the rising costs of movie tickets and snacks plus gasoline, watching a movie has now become so ridiculously expensive. The last time we watched a movie (Ratatouille),we paid $12 per person for the ticket ('twas a matinee so it's cheaper). Popcorn bucket/Soda combo was $12 too. So for a family of four, an average theater cost is $84 (4 tickets & 3 popcorn/soda combo). Ay caramba!

Whoever thought of inventing the home theater popcorn machines is a cool dude/dudette. Just imagine having your own popcorn machine right at the comfort of your own home. It's neat!
Now you won't have to go far or spend a lot of money just to enjoy the movies you love. Pop in a DVD, dim the lights, and enjoy your popcorn right out of your own popcorn machine!


I wasn't much of a TV addict growing up, I'd much rather be outside engaging in fun-filled physical activities until the sun goes down. I wasn't a girly girl. I loved playing rough. I climbed trees and rooftops to fly a kite (that I made). I was a tomboy who got into several fistfights. Boys know not to mess with me nor my bro because they'd be talking to my fist. I was a tough nut to crack.

But I did have my favorite TV shows in my early teen years. And I had my favorite teen actors and actresses (mostly from That's Entertainment hehe). I remember skipping our graduation ceremony rehearsals so I could watch Pardina with my friend. I remember saving my allowance because I wanted to buy a Swatch watch after seeing Mikee Cojuangco in her equestrian riding apparel in a Swatch commercial. I remember hating Kris A. because I didn't like the way she talks (I kind of like her now and her kikay ways). I remember going gaga over tall dark and handsome Richard Gomez and the boy group Menudo (Ricky Martin, I still heart you).

Those were the memories....

Sunday, October 14, 2007


MIL's birthday is not until tomorrow but since it's a Monday and a work day, the family decided to celebrate it today (Sunday). Steve volunteered my "culinary expertise" as part of her birthday present. She requested some Pinoy foods so I made lumpiang shanghai with sweet and sour sauce, pancit bihon, and shrimp fried rice. It was a hit! Even great grandma couldn't stop eating the lumpia.

SIL brought cake, plus 53 candles as instructed by Steve & I. Object of the gag was to light all candles secretly, call MIL to the kitchen, and hand her the fire extinguisher while we all sing "happy birthday". We all got a good laugh. MIL was a good sport.

Too bad I forgot my camera at home.


A debt was paid to us today. This is money we weren't really expecting to get back but we did so our tv mount project might push through sooner than planned.

Friday, October 12, 2007


We were still stationed in Germany when the very first High School Musical was released in January of 2006. Although it was a phenomenal success in the U.S., we weren't really exposed to it until Christmas of '06. I was just looking online for more stocking stuffers when I chanced upon the HSM DVD. Alexis fell in love with it right away. She watched it over and over and over again. She even made me promise to get Disney channel on cable when we move to the States.

I didn't really care to watch it, as I was born and raised in the "Grease" era. Surprisingly though, I was one of those who anxiouly awaited High School Musical 2's August 17th debut on Disney Channel. I did enjoy the movie. I thought Sharpay's pink golf balls are hilarious! It was a good bonding time between me and Alexis. And that's what matter to me most.

I'm still a Grease fan, but HSM rocks too!

Play time

Lookie lookie!! You wouldn't guess who's wrapped in that pink comforter. I guess you did. Yup, that's Alexis in there all wrapped up like a "human taco". They both thought it was funny, so did I....that's why I took the picture!

It's really nice when siblings get along (for the most part). They bicker and fight but they can play nice too. They love to watch the same TV shows, they both enjoy jigsaw puzzle, and they both love to eat! I can only pray that they grow up to be as loving and caring to each other as they are now. I'm pretty sure they will.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

mixed nuts

Had an early meeting at work today. Something about the employee survey they had the 1st quarter of this year. They discussed a few key points such as job satisfaction, employee engagement, empowerment, etc. I didn't have a lot to say, as I wasn't employed with them at that time and I really don't have an opinion (as of yet) because I feel it's too early to have one. I need to get to know them first, erase all the hang-ups about the pay cut and start on a clean slate. It's only fair.

One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to truly believe the company's mission statement. They all seemed happy, and content, and proud of what they're doing. Maybe if I give it a chance, I'd be happy too.....and content.....and proud......


Mamita informed me that she already booked the flight for her April-May vacation just in time for the kids' birthdays. She was here the whole month of September (oh what bliss!), and the first thing she did upon her return to Germany was book her next trip back to the US of A. My bro and his family are also planning to visit us in April. It'll be fun! I'm excited!!!


It's officially "fall" now on this side of the earth. We've been blessed with summer like weather up until Tuesday. From temps in the 90s, we are now down to 50's. The weather is C-R-A-Z-Y. But I shouldn't complain. We had a good summer after all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Thank you my sweet (ex)neighbor thekya babe for the postcard straight from Thailand!!!! I was happily surprised when I opened my mailbox ;-).

danke nochmal!

Monday, October 08, 2007


My little boy......loves to pout....he's so cute when he does this.....


ate marie and girlie both did it's my turn to show......

My simplistic work station, after it's been decluttered.

How's yours????

Money woes

Financial advisers suggest to have at least 3 months worth of emergency funds. It means that if you typically need $2000 a month to live off of, a good cushion would be $6000. My ex boyfriend, a Chinese businessman used to tell me "pay yourself first". He said I should keep 10% of whatever money I earn. It's a pretty simple concept, right?

But how many times do we actually follow these advises? What about those who live paycheck-to-paycheck? Sometimes circumstances just prevent us from saving for that "emergency fund". And what do you do when an unexpected emergency arises and you are not prepared for it? Who can you turn to?

Payday loans might just be the answer you are looking for. Loan processing has never been easier thanks to the internet. Loans are completed faster and if approved, monies are wired to your savings or checking account overnight.

Be prepared for the unexpected. If not, so be it. There's still hope.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Women are vain........

TRUE......but.....Men can be vain too, thus the term "metrosexual". I see more and more men becoming more and more worried about the aesthetic. Facial, Spa, Gym, Waxing, etc. Gone are the days of barber shops, it's beauty salon nowadays. Not that there's anything wrong with it.......but's a little that there's anything wrong with it.

Women love to shop.......

True.....but so do MEN! And theirs can be more expensive. Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Harley, Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, signature clothes, cigars from Cuba.....the list goes on and on.

Why the comparison? Because I'm tired of the stereotype. Like "all Asian people are good in Math and Science". Yeah, right. I'm Asian, and i'm neither. Had my diversity class last week. And I've learned something new from an exercise we did. No matter the differences- looks, background, cultural origin, education, age, gender,etc.- there's something, even just a little speck, that is common amongst us.


It's well into October and we're still enjoying summer-like weather. People here say it's unusual to have temperatures in the 80's this time of year, but who am I to complain?? I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!!!! Even if it means running the a/c again so we can sleep comfortably at night.

Thanks to Columbus day, we are afforded a 3-day weekend. Lexi will still have to go to school and Stevie will go to his preschool. That means hubby and I will have the Monday to ourselves. Yahoo!

We've been invited to a fishing trip near the Canadian border, but I had to decline. Yeah, call me a wimp but I'm the first to admit I'm a real scaredy cat when it comes to water (and heights, and spiders, among other things). Sis-in-law and her husband recently purchased an 18-ft boat and they want to "test drive" it. I suggested checking out this particular marine insurance website for their boating insurance needs.

Happy Sunday everyone!!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Travel plans

I miss my old job. I miss the people. I miss the environment. I miss the money. I got my first paycheck two weeks ago and it's so small, I thought it was funny. I knew I took a huge pay cut when I accepted this job but the severity of it didn't really hit me up until the time I got paid for my two weeks work.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining and unhappy with my current job. I like my job and the people I work with are awesome. The benefits are top notch in this company. There's lots of room for career advancement, and considering the fact that the job market here is not all that great, I was lucky to have gotten my foot at the door. It's just that shifting from a high tiered position to an entry level one is sometimes hard to swallow. My pride sometimes get the better of me.......

Anyway, my short-term goal is to continue what I'm doing, save some money and go to Rio Las Vegas next year. Mom is planning on coming over again in April/May, so maybe Steve & I can do a short weekend trip to vegas. That'll be cool.

Little baby, no more

It's little Steven's first day in pre-school and he was too eager to leave the house this morning. He kept on telling me to "get dressed" so I can take him to school. As soon as we got there, he immediately joined the rest of the pre-schoolers and forgot that I was still standing there. He was all too busy that he didn't even tell me goodbye when I left, I doubt he even noticed.

My little baby is not too little anymore. He's becoming more and more independent as days go by. Gone are the days of baby bottles, formula, diapers, baby clothes, and such. I can't help but feel melancholic on days like this.

And don't get me started with Alexis. *sigh*