Wednesday, January 27, 2010


You probably can't see the scabs and mud on these legs, but they're full of evidence of a very active day. I'm grateful for scraped knees, dirty shoes, and smudges everywhere else because it means my kids are energetic and happy and able to run around and do kid things!


The iPod Nano is the absolute best workout buddy, without which I am checking the clock every minute and feeling every breath and every effort, is S's Christmas/birthday present. I downloaded a bunch of video podcasts (mostly cooking and TED talks) and now have much better workouts!

Monday, January 25, 2010


The amount of my kids' excess energy seems to be increasing daily. A friend recommended a relatively new park. Tiny with just four swings, but clean and nobody else was there. Sunshine had a great time chasing me with the ball, while Sunbeam spent most of the time pulling up grass from the ground and banging on the benches. Pink cheeks at the end of the afternoon!


My kids are city kids. Great as our home is, it is still rather cramped and quite polluted, not to mention bereft of greenery and nature.
Having in-laws living in the suburbs is heaven sent when you've got a 4-year old and a 2-year old. The weather was great: breezy and sunny. We spent Sunday afternoon kicking around a mini soccer ball, climbing monkey bars, and watching some kids playing basketball. In between all that were lots of tickles, exploring among trees and dry leaves, and ogling a beautiful house by the park. Sunshine and Sunbeam had a great time. And since they were exhausted from all the running, they fell asleep during the long ride home, and S and I were able to enjoy a quiet, early dinner of steak, tomato pasta, and green beans. Then we had a home showing of Meryl Streep's It's Complicated. Nice way to end a busy weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


When I started having kids four years ago, I decided to close up my graphic design office and work from the house. I still do some design work but I mostly bake desserts, pastries, flatbreads which I sell at a weekly outdoor market. I've been selling there about three years and I've met some great people, made some really good friends.
We had a late Christmas get-together with a headgear theme. Here are a few snapshots of some of the people I work with, or rather, of their heads.
The one with the orange headthingie (it's her daughter's teddybear's hat), has recently become a close friend. She is a fantastic baker, and I'm hoping her meticulousness rubs off on me someday soon. The one in the luminous green wig, she is my image of charity, compassion, and long-suffering, not to mention one of the best put-together women I know. The one in the platinum blond wig is a great listener, an animated storyteller and always, always has wise words to share. The lady in the striped hat taught me how to teach my children faith and prayer. The guy in the haciendero hat (who lacked a cigar to complete the look) has given me lots of early morning cheer, with his always happy demeanor. I admire the one with the fuschia hat for her hard work and persistence.
Great people, great workplace!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Four-year old Sunshine painted this for me today. He used crayons and watercolor. I love the color palette he used!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The kids were wide awake, so we took them out in hopes of getting them to calm down and fall asleep in the car. Late at night, in their jammies, out for some frozen yogurt and orange juice - what a treat! And yes, we had touchdown 5 minutes after getting back into the car.
What's to be grateful for here? That we can give them treats like this once in a while, and that they actually fell asleep right away!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It's simple, small, and the developer cut corners, but we love it. We got some bonuses: golf course view, a playground/garden with paths to wander through, a swing set, some slides. And a taho guy yelling, "Tahooooo!" every afternoon. Two swimming pools! And some of the nicest neighbors you'll find anywhere.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Pasalubong is a Tagalog word referring to a present given by someone who arrives from a trip. I received a call this evening from our neighbor, Sunny. He and his mom had just arrived from a trip to Taiwan, and lo and behold, he brought me back a bottle of sesame paste.
A few years ago, Sunny and I searched Manila for this ingredient but never found it. We both waxed nostalgic over the Dandan Noodle dish in Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong Airport Lounge. I've surfed, researched, and even asked a flight attendant for the recipe, to no avail. Thick, soupy, spicy and soul-satisfying, the closest recipes I've found require a sesame paste.
I know what the next kitchen experiment is going to be! Whether or not it lives up to our CX Lounge expectations remains to be seen. Whatever the result, the thoughtfulness of friends is definitely something to be thankful for.
A side note: Isn't the logo just a reversed fat version of Safeway's?

Monday, January 18, 2010


I love that Sunshine's school advocates learning through play. Playing is called "work" at school. They even have "meetings"!
At a school event, the only toys brought out were these strips of cardboard, and what a BIG HIT they were. They kept the kids busy for hours. The kids made mazes, tracks, runways, costumes, colored on them, cut them up, wore them as hats... endless possibilities for their imaginations.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Saw this apt reminder at the Mary Grace Cafe.
This is for my very own S, especially when he snores.
And to my bouncing bundles of joy, Sunshine and Sunbeam, this DOES apply to you as well, even when you are cranky, whiny, messy, irritating, exhausting, exasperating, nagging.
I'm grateful (often in hindsight, but grateful nevertheless) because the alternative silence would be deafening.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Reading to my kids is a pleasure I often take for granted. Hey, I'm human, and an exhausted one at that! And reading before bedtime means reading many, many books, or reading the same book many, many times. Twelve is not an exaggeration.
But taking a minute to think about it, it's such a comforting, loving experience for both parent and child. The weight of a kid (or two) on my lap, the warm, wiggly body leaning against mine, the head tucked under my chin when relaxed and engrossed in the story, the arms entwined with mine, the hands holding my hands or sucking a thumb... And the questions and comments are funny, observant, and so imaginative!
Whenever S reads to the kids, he always takes the time to explain and ad lib with exciting details and cartoon voices and sound effects. He also correlates the stories with something in the kids' lives to keep things relevant.
I love the contrast between S's large hands and Sunshine's little 4-year old ones!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The world over, the thought of high-heeled slippers makes little girls feel like princesses. Little girls unsteadily clack-clacking across the floor in oversized plastic princess shoes. Here is my pink princess, twirling away. Frilly, swirly, swishy, girly!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We have our own dog, a noisy, aloof, headstrong, possessive, wonderful Corgi who thinks he is a person. He is our constant companion and bodyguard. Once in a while though, we enjoy playtime with our neighbor's Old English Sheepdog, Maxima. The kids often demand to visit Maxi. She is huge, friendly and has light blue eyes! Hugging her is like being engulfed in a fluffy ball of happiness, punctuated by the occasional slobbery kiss.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

Beautiful poetry soars to heavenly heights when set to Whitacre's ethereal music:

Author: e.e. cummings
Composer: Eric Whitacre
Choir: Ateneo Chamber Singers