Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Happy BirthDay, Princess!!!

Miracle of Love
By: Linda Jones

Months have passed, the day is here
My little angel does appear
God's new masterpiece is done
And my job has just begun.

You are laid upon my breast
So content, you softly rest
My perspective now has changed
Everything's been rearranged.

Helpless eyes look up at me
A whole new world in you I see
Tiny fingers grasp my thumb
A whole new person I've become.

A brand new life I must help mold
From this pure innocence I hold
All of my thoughts are now for you
You have made a dream come true.

Unimagined love -- so much
Your smile, you smell, your laugh, your touch
I thank each day the Lord above
For you, my miracle of love.

August 28, 2009
Khloe Chantalle Rivera
was born

Happy 3rd Birthday, Our Beloved Princess.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Getting Anxious

I've been anxious the past few days... and I can't seem to narrow it down to a specific reason.
A lot of possible reasons...  and maybe drinking more coffee would help me out.

Maybe, I am just way too excited to see hubby again. He's coming in 3 days and we miss him so much. Although it's a quick visit (like, literally just a week and some days), I know father & daughter will bond like crazy. And the bonding moment is making me anxious because they're driving away without me for 2 days.

Maybe, it's because Khloe will be going with her dad for a long drive to see her Tita Yolly & Tito Danny in North Carolina without me. Although they're travelling with my sis, bro-in-law, and her cousins, I still can't get over the fact that she'll be travelling without me. I won't be able to join them until the 3rd day and I'm getting agitated. Atleast my sisters would be there... and I know they would be able to help hubby take care of her.

Maybe, it's because I'll be crossing the border as I fly to Myrtle Beach to join the family. Border-crossing has and always will be a HUGE factor for me to start an anxiety attack. I have enough share of border-crossing stress that facing another one is giving me frantic nerves. I'm hoping this one will go smoothly. Cross-fingers.

Maybe, it's because I am so excited to spend time with my family -- to bond with Ate Yolly again, spend quality time with hubby as we enjoy the beach and the sun, at the same time, with Khloe enjoying her cousins company in a different environment -- vacation mode.

Maybe, I am just stressing myself out for Khloe's birthday because of such a short time (hours?) between getting back home from vacation to her birthday party. I know I tried my best to prepare it in the smoothest way possible, but I always expect glitches here and there. I am just hoping I won't be too tired to fix the glitches and the kids will just have fun on the party.

And lastly, maybe because ..... I simply just wanna do something but can't seem to figure out what.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Multiply will be saying Bye-Bye

Just like Friendster, Multiply will stop hosting the social game Multiply users has enjoyed for long.

I have my own Multiply Account, and even if I haven't been using it that much as I used to, yet, it is with sad heart to hear them closing the social site. Good thing, this time I am warned in advance and would be able to save photos and videos.

Here's the letter:

Hello. Stefan here, writing you from Multiply HQ in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

As most of you are probably aware, Multiply's mission has evolved over the past year and a half to become the biggest and most beloved ecommerce marketplace in two very exciting markets, Indonesia and the Philippines. As our focus has shifted, we have reviewed all of our operations, and made some decisions that will affect everyone here.
  • From December 1st, we will unfortunately no longer be able to support Multiply in its current form - notably we will be removing the social networking and content sharing part of Multiply (photos, videos, blogs, social messaging, etc.). We have decided to discontinue providing and hosting these services, as we have concluded that other Internet sites who are committed to social networking services will do a better job serving you than we can.
  • For our existing users of social networking features, we will be providing easy ways for you to either download your stuff (photos, blogs, content, etc), or migrate it to other online services. We'll announce the precise details shortly. It will be your choice whether to download, migrate or just let your content lapse (and get deleted).
  • For our existing ecommerce users (both buyers and sellers) in Indonesia and the Philippines, there will be no action required.
  • Regarding any existing Multiply Premium subscriptions we will refund any unused balance, and apologize for any inconvenience this will cause. Please contact customer service to request a refund. Note that this is for Multiply Premium, not the ecommerce related Multiply Trust product.

I am aware of how disruptive this news may be, and understand the disappointment that it may cause. Ultimately this was a business decision, critical to our to success moving forward. Instead, we are excited to pursue our own mission to give the 350 million consumers in Indonesia and the Philippines a great way to buy and sell items online. Our singular focus now is for Multiply to retain its status as a vibrant e-commerce destination in Southeast Asia in the years ahead. 

I suspect that many of you will not like this news, and am sorry to have to deliver it now. I hope that you will be able to understand the reasons for our decision and thank you for being a part of the Multiply community over the past eight years. 


Eraseheads: The Only Band That Matters To Me

This blog was inspired by Eraserheads upcoming 2012 North American Tour.
For tickets & details see Schizo's Eheads Archives.

Some say Eraserheads is the band that transcends through generations.
Other say it's the band who defined their generation.

I'll say, it is the only band that Matters Most To Me.

Eraserheads do transcends through generations. For every fan, their music lives on forever.
You can move from Luzon to Mindanao, from Alaska to Antartica, but you will never forget an Eraserheads song. And whether you're a 5-year old during the 90's, or the groupie, years will pass, but you'll never forget an Eraserheads song? Even if Calla Lilly will revive it ten times and still not get it right, even if Aiza Segeurra will sing for you "With a Smile" and you'll think she owned the song with so much soul and more, YET, someone else will tell you, it is first and foremost an Eheads song.

They said Eraserheads music defined their generation. The elementaries of the 90's define them as the band who taught them how to swear with "Pare Ko". The high schools of the 90's would define them as the band who made them brought "Magasin". My generation would define them with an album title -- "Cutterpillow" and of course, the Sunken Garden.

Every fan has their own Eraserheads story.

My Eraserheads story is etched on my life, my first love, and how I become to be who I am. I don't need words to tell it. But I do have my song to define it. My life started "With A Smile"... and ended up with "Lightyears" away from me.

Eraserheads gave me song when nothing else matters. The song healed up my tortured soul. Then life mattered to me again.

Gave me my rainbow... my "Maselang Bahaghari"

Friday, 10 August 2012

Re-Use and Not Dispose

Part of my new found living with Mother & my daughter is watching the morning news about what is going in Philippines. These past few days of the week, I can't help but be sad as we watch the flood creating havoc to the lives of a lot of Filipino all over the northern part of the country.

Today, one of the news segment discussed about the campaign to practice not using plastics.

I definitely agree.

However, it is easier said than done.

When I was working in one of the biggest retailer in the US, they tried to start getting rid of the plastic bags by selling this reusable bags for 40 cents. Some customers were agreeable and purchased. A lot reacted otherwise and started complaining. The company pushed back the idea and when I visited last time, there's not much reusable bags in the counter. Proof that it was not a hit to the customers.

When I went home last year in the Philippines, I tried to purchase reusable bags every time I get groceries from SM. My nieces would complain because it was costly. I told them that except for the durability, it is reusable and a little way of helping save the environment. But for them, the cost defeats the environmental issue.

I definitely understand why Filipino who do not have the means cannot afford to campaign to get rid of the plastic bags. They have no choice but settle for the one which is FREE.

In my own little way, I help my family get use to this practice by sending them reusable bags. My mother would complain why I always buy new ones every time I go for groceries or shopping. She finally understood my reasons when she saw me stashed tons of them inside the balikbayan box we sent. I told her, this will help them a lot when they get groceries from town. The bags are durable and can stand weight or even rain.

In this connection, I also would like to commend the Ontarians (Canadians) who are really into this campaign which is very inspiring. I am still trying my best to bring my owns bags everytime I go for groceries. But it is remarkable that most grocery stores here charge extra if you want the plastic bags. This actually encourages customers to bring their own bags, at the same time, it helps the environment.

Until now, I still buy and collect reusable bags. Again, it my intent to send more to my family in Philippines.

(Khloe wanna be a part of this blog. She said "Me, too, Mom, blog, Mom!" So I let her model this one reusable bag I like the most. You can roll it into a little ball and won't use up that much space in your purse)

I encourage those who live abroad to start the practice of collecting reusable bags and to send it to your family back home. In our own little way, we can help.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Flying Comfortably With An Airline You Trust

Flying has become ordinary to me since I decided to explore the different places of this northern part of the continent. Well, not really an explorer, just a passer-by, I may say. Going back in forth, West to East, North to South, I got myself immune to flying. I could say, I may have tried most of the airlines, may that be before I became a Mom or even after that.

My worst experience was with American Airlines. I am not sure if I was just a rare case, but I discovered that they don't have family boarding. Very inconvenient for a traveller with kids, expecially a baby. I flew with Delta, Northwest, United Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Jet Blue & Southwest. My favourite so far is Southwest.

Why Southwest? I love the fact that they don't have assigned seats. And family boarding is next to Business Class. Their customer service is awesome. And your bags fly free (no baggages fees for up to 2).

Shopping for a good deal to fly to Myrtle Beach, I found this airline that fly straight to Myrtle. Spirit Airline. If everything is set up and I am able to fly with them, I'll post further of how I find their service.

For now, my most priority about flying is making sure my family members travelling with is comfortable. And that is equal to EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE which I never find lacking with Southwest.

Because believe me, I have my worst share of airport stories. Be that getting stranded, airport getting snowed-in and debating with boarding attendants.

Flying has to be comfortable!.PERIOD.

To Hat or Not to Hat

For weeks now, there's an on-going debate inside my head on what to give-out on Khloe's birthday party. With a Princess Theme & a thrown-in Tea Party, I was pretty intent on giving-out tea party hats as a souvenir.

Wouldn't the little royals look fabulous if they would be all wearing hats as they enjoy their tea?

But with an-hour of play-time prior to the party, I found the hat too-containing for them to enjoy playing around. So I scratched the hat idea despite the fact that I was almost ready to order the supplies for the parents/guardians to decorate their kids own hats. This is also because of the fact that the hosts of the party have allotted half-an-hour of craft-time for the kids. Who knows they might make their own tiara or tea-party-hat. LOL.

So what I decided is come up, surfed up and down for an alternative. Finally, I found something really close, looking-really-so-royal, and less-of-a-brim-hat-but-still-the-same-idea.

Can't describe it in words.... but I can make you picture it --- you'll feel like Princess Kate with this head-gear.

Downside, I have to order it in lot. But for the beauty I saw -- I can always use it for something.

So, NO, it is Not To Hat. Such a pity because Khloe can actually pull it off despite such a sour face. In fact, this photo is still featured in Halo Heaven's Tea Party WebPage. Wonder what made them choose this photo. Still a why for me.

Trying to Organize a Toddler Birthday

The thing about a toddler's party is, they know what they like.. and in their little brain, that's what they wish for their birthday.

My toddler started believing that she'll be a princess on her birthday when the dress her Aunt Yolly
sent her arrived in the mail, and the only way she'll take it off (after trying it) is by promising her that she'll gonna wear it again on  her birthday. And that was 3 months before her birthday. Then her dad have to fly back to California after his visit, and the only way for her not to be upset about him leaving, is by promising her that he will bring her a princess birthday cake.

What a Mom to do?

For long, I have always wished to be a party organizer. A  lot of ideas in my mind. But for whatever reason, I can never find the time. Especially for my own little princess. To think, I was very organized and creative prior to motherhood and being a wife. But still, I have to try. If not for my passion, but for my dear daughter.

Princess is a theme I tried to push away for her birthday. I've been saving it for her 7th. But I am that kind of mother who believes that a kid's fascination with characters are a timed-kind of thing. She was crazy with Barney on her 1st birthday, so I hired a Barney. The glee on her face was worth everything. On her 2nd birthday, I brought her back here in Canada to celebrate for the first time her birthday, with her co-celebrant, non other than her Aunt/GodMommy, Cherry. So now for the 3rd, it has to be something special. She is into Princess and she believes that Princesses and Tea Party goes together. Or maybe, I am just trying to use this as an excuse to plan something pink. (haha!)

Again, I firmly believe that this princess-thing and tea-party-thing will also pass. So I am going to indulge her because I don't wanna look back in the end and regret the fact that I let her missed the chance to enjoy this phase. Who knows, on her 4th, she'll be asking me for a Justin Bieber or One-Direction theme of a party. With the rate her cousins are training her, it's never far-fetch.

However, as I've said, TIME is never enough for me to attend to everything. I tried doing it myself on her 1st and I felt so beaten right after. I'm not doing that again. So hired help is what I did. With a Princess Theme, I booked a package for them to decorate and host the kids for fun & entertainment. The venue is part of the package, so all I need is to invite, buy the cake & loot-bags, and bring in the foods.

I will post my suppliers and vendors when all of this is done. I'm pretty excited, because this time I am able to purchase the supplies a month before the event. As I am not really into the usual loot-bags (unless I ran out of time like what happened to her 1st), I hand-picked all the give-aways and I am so excited about it. I wish I can post the photo's right now, but unfortunately, I don't have the right until I received the packages.

The food, pretty much, I am ordering. Because it is a Tea Party, it won't be the usual Filipino feast. I am sticking to the theme and the venue is limited for Kids schedule only. Also, added to that, we won't have time because my family will just be arriving back from a long trip. Just like my supplies, I post the  vendors, too, and throw in my own 2-cents.

Organizing a toddler's birthday party is no picnic.The good side though, she'll be running all through out, unlike the first birthday when she was just starting to walk. And to indulge her for that release of energy, the hosts, allotted the kids an hour of play time in the gym with princess theme games. Added more, they have a half-an-hour craft time. Then, an-hour party to celebrate.

All moms need help. Especially on occasions like this. So I am hoping, what I planned will all work out. Who knows next year, I might be able to have that PERFECT TIME to organize everything myself.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Valenzuela: Hubby's Hometown slashed by Typhoon Gener

Despite the frenzy events this past few days, added to that a sick toddler, the news about the recent Typhoon Gener slashing Philippines at it's worst didn't get unnoticed. Mother has been watching the news diligently, just to check out that our province is not that harmed. As the typhoon is more wreaking havoc in Luzon, my hubby's hometown is never spared. Historywise & geographically wise, it's always on the news. Everytime the news names his Elementary School & High School as one of those whose classes are still cancelled, I keep on telling our almost-3-year-old that it's her dad's school and hometown.

Khloe would watch the videos and photos for some minutes and say "Daddd school" or "Lola Mina". This reminded me of our journey last year when we stayed there for some days to visit.

Hubby grew up in Bilog, Balangkas in Valenzuela City. Although I visited and stayed there twice already, I do have my own experience of their flood, big and small.

Small is when you are still able to go from one house to another and the "padyak"(tri-pedalled transportation) can still bring you from place to place.

Big is when you stayed all day on the upper floor of your house and the only way to go places is a truck or a "padyak" with your legs leveled-up with your bum while sitting.

Both of these scenarios, I experienced. The big one was last year, when I stayed there with Khloe. Imagine my struggle.

But despite these events, I am still connected to the place in my own little way. Major reason is because it's my hubby's hometown and my daughter's roots. When Mama (mother-in-law) and I brought Khloe there to meet her Granddies, Aunts, Uncles & cousins - I felt really moved. She was only a year and some months then but she looks like she belongs. Maybe because she looks like her cousins. Most of Khloe's features where from her Dad's side.

And simply because of this that I feel really bad to watch news about how badly hubby's hometown got wreaked. I hope and pray that the residents got through this typhoon safely and would be able to spring back to their usual life with not much damage.

For more vivid information, visit this blog:

A Sick Princess

The month of July ended at work with its usual frenzy way.

Then I got home to find a sick toddler. I tried to calm my frantic nerves as my toddler tried her best to be her usual self despite coughs, dripping nose and sneezing. Next day is her doctor's appointment to follow-up her broken collar bone last month.

One of the most scary moment was when she woke up in the middle of the night claiming her tummy hurts. What a mom to do when stuffs like this happen? It was a first for her to say her tummy hurts, and it was a first for me to deal with this complaint now that she can actually tell me what she's feeling.  I found out she a little bit feverish, and gave her a tsp of medicine. This made her feel better and the turning side to side, up and down finally stopped. She ended up finding a comfy sleep on the couch in our little living room.

Her doctor's visit went on smoothly. Despite the fact that I dragged her out of her sleep to bring her to the hospital, she was actually very responsive and cooperative during her x-ray session.

With pride and joy, I brought her to Tim Horton's for her favourite chocolate chip cookie treat.

Then we went home so she can rest a bit more. Still coughing, sneezing and nose dripping, Khloe tried her best to play as if she's all fine. Of course, there's the jumping up and down, blocks and puzzles all over the place.

And for a sick baby, she looks like she is not sick at all, which is a normal Khloe-way of dealing with cold or fever. So I indulged her with one more of her cravings.... by honouring us with her royal presence.

And who am I to refuse....?