Finally, Issen's birthday kwento
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This is the long-overdue post about Issen's birthday, although I've posted the pics weeks ago on my Multiply.

I am happy because despite the distance and the Red Alert declaration of the military for the All Saints' Day holidays, all my brothers who aren't living with us (two of which are military officers) were able to come with their families.

Our eldest, Kuya Volt, even had to travel from Legazpi, Albay, where he is assigned as military bank manager. My second oldest brother, Kuya Cocoy, was assigned at Clark Air Base in Pampanga and on his way to our house, he picked up my third brother, Kuya Kris, and his family who were living in another military base, Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga. Then they went to Tanza, Cavite in the south to pick up Kuya Volt's family. My last brother, Kuya Jess, came home that afternoon with his family from Batangas, where they paid respect to my SIL's father.

Of course they're not happy. I disturbed their tong-its session. From left, Kuya Volt, Kuya Kris, Papa, and Kuya Cocoy.

Two of Mr. Frost's best friends from high school, his only friends who are not part of our "common friends" circle, came early afternoon and helped us put up the balloons (which we bought from Market! Market! and inflated ourselves) and mini-banners. They're both Issen's godfathers, but only Nhap was able to come to the baptism. This is actually Eric's first time to see our little boy.

Ninong Mark goofing around, Ninong Nhap, Ninong Eric, and the birthday boys

And of course, my beloved former teammates at work were there with our former boss, Mark, who is also Issen's godfather. Mark actually came earlier than the rest because he was bringing the food from the caterer, who was his girlfriend's aunt (Hi Mai!). He brought spaghetti as well, which everybody loved. And Nielsen, one of my teammates, brought yummy ube (purple yam) for dessert. Of course, Ninong Alex has no excuse to miss the party.

From left, standing: Tito Nielsen, Tito Topps, and Tito Gi. Seated: Ninong Alex, Tita Hazel, Tito Julius, Tita Mai, and Ninong Mark

By the way, I love the cake from Goldilocks. Their pricing scheme was kinda misleading, but the cake was really delicious.

The Incredibles birthday cake

I chose this The Incredibles design because it has two figurines on it, Mr. Incredible and Dash. I took Dash away, though, and placed my toy Jack-jack instead to make the figures more appropriate and represent Mr. Frost and Baby Issen. See Dash on the sidelines, on the right side of the pic?

My other relatives came around early evening, as they came from Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Resting Place) to visit my late Uncle Julius, my father's only brother. We all had great fun sharing the simple meal we have prepared and we enjoyed each other's company. It's been a while since the last time we all got together.

The funniest thing happened, courtesy of my brother Jess. Issen was already tired and sleepy so I had him cleaned and jammied up. We did the rounds to thank those who came and say goodnight, then his Papa Jess volunteered to bring him to the room. Instead, he brought the birthday boy to his cake. Guess what happened.

The Revenge of Papa Jess

Some officemates weren't able to come because it was the scheduled ingress of our company's biggest event, which will take place that weekend. We just saw each other the next day and they greeted Issen at the event.

I almost forgot, here's our family picture during this happy day.

Surprised birthday baby didn't have time to smile coz he can't wait to go down and walk

Now I owe you a post about the event, where Issen was a celebrity in his own right.

More birthday pics at my Multiply account.

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Portable music, sans the bulky pack
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It used to be walkmans and cassette tapes. Then came discmans and CDs. Now the "in" things are mp3 players and, well, MP3s.

No more bulky packs hanging on your waists or bags. No more cassette tapes and CD cases to lug around to make sure you won't run out of music to listen at the office or the gym. No more skipping of tracks when jogging in the park or when passing through a bumpy road while in a vehicle.

There so many models available in the market, with features ranging from compact designs, gigabytes of storage space (store up to 600 songs! ), and long battery life. Some even have voice recorders and some even come with speakers.

Don't fret if you can't decide what to buy or what feature suits your lifestyle best. You can check what's the best mp3 player for you on sites like Save Buckets. You can compare different models and make sure that you get what suits your personality, lifestyle, and budget.

Ain't that a cool way to get your money's worth and save buckets of moolah?



Luzon hit by earthquake
The earthquake that we experienced very recently here in Makati actually stemmed from its epicenter somewhere in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the tremor occurred 12:26 p.m. and measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale. (Courtesy of GMA News)

The quake, which was caused by the movement of the Manila trench, was have been felt at Manila and Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte while Quezon City experienced intensity 2. It was also felt in Baguio City, La Union, and Pampanga.

So far, no reports of damage and injuries have been reported.

Chek out GMA News and Inquirer for full details.

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Earthquake in Makati
Okay, that was a strong earthquake.

We were in the 11th floor of the building so the swaying of the structure added to the impact of the earthquake.

It started at around 12:35nn and lasted for about 5 minutes. And had it lasted for a few more seconds, I would have experienced a full-pledged panics that includes a screaming pregnant psycho.

On with life now.

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I am such a sucker for boots.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Oh yes, I am.

Like I told Morrigan in her Multiply post, BOOTS is my middle name. I just don't have enough moolah to live up to that name that's why right now I only have one pair left.

But not for long! Thanks to Mr. Frost and Christmas, I'm getting a pair soon! And they have other pairs that I want to buy as well!

I actually found out about this online store several weeks back through Spammer, my uber shopaholic officemate/friend/future godmother of Baby Frost #2. She showed me this site and we went crazy over the same pair. We already placed our orders for this one.

Very nice, eh? I opted for this flats since it's not advisable for the pregnant me to wear heeled shoes. There's a waiting period of two months because the stocks will come from the States, so we'll get our nice boots by end of January.

The 2-month waiting period is actually good enough for me. It gives me enough time to save for the balance payment and of course, for more pairs. I already have three pairs waiting in line, pairs that I can wear as soon as I get them because by that time, I've already given birth. Yey!

The pair on the left is sooooo me! I love it! And I gotta find the perfect pants for the one on the right! It's drop-dead gorgeous, isn't it?

This pair is so irresistible in black.

Now, those boots would look wonderful on some clothes I found in another online store. Time for some window shopping!

Good lord, I'm turning into a shopaholic myself. Must be the pregnancy hormones.

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Reminiscing recent struggle
Sunday, November 25, 2007
As most of you know, we experienced specially hard times that lasted for several weeks just recently. It started with the delicate first stage of my pregnancy, when I was forced to take a month-long leave without pay, with hospital bills, laboratory fees, and pricey medicines adding to the damage.

Then, the very first day I went back to work, a couple of weeks before his first birthday, Issen was hospitalized for about a week. That means, I didn't go to work again and got nothing come payday. That left us with practically nothing for Issen's and Mr. Frost's birthday.

Those were really trying times and literally, there were days when we would wonder were to get the money for the next day's expenses. Unfortunately, we weren't familiar with any establishment here in the country that provides payday loans or any kind of emergency cash back then. And we lacked the necessary documents that banks usually require for personal loans. We did apply for government loans, but they didn't make it in time. Actually, we haven't received them yet. Don't ask me why, I don't want to talk about it.

Now that I'm back at work again, we're still struggling with our finances, but at least we're having better days. And I don't regret going through that experience, as I learned many things with regards to handling finances. I'm no budget expert now, but I can say that I am a bit wiser.

Just a bit.



Advertising revolutionized
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Note: This post may sound too hard-sell for most of you, but hey, if you want to get the most of your blog and make it earn for you, you better read on and find out how you can get paid to blog.

It's amazing how imaginative entities come up with a service that is beneficial to many people. Take blog advertising for example.

There are millions of people who blog on the internet. There are thousands of businesses who wish to make their services known in all corners of the earth. And then there are those who make these two groups and benefit from each other.

Smorty is a service connecting advertisers with bloggers. It is one of the creative businesses who make bloggers and advertisers meet and benefit from each other. And they make sure the needs of both parties are met with their efficient system that helps bloggers write something they are interested in while advertisers reach their target market.

Those who get paid for blogging are oftentimes individuals whose 9-5 jobs are not enough to support their lifestyle or simply their cut-down-to-the-core expenses. Or stay-at-home moms (and dads) who wish to contribute to their families' financial stability.

And of course, the companies who advertise on blogs get the results of effective but usually difficult to achieve word-of-mouth advertising. They don't have to spend millions for an advertising campaign that won't even extend to the people they want to reach.

And this is absolutely good news to those who have been whining about not earning enough while sitting in front of the computer all day. This is absolutely good news for me.



Tag of 5
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here's my long-overdue post from Liz's tag.

5 Things Found In My Bag:
- Lots of receipts
- Issen's medicard (I forgot to put it back in my wallet, it's in my bag's side pocket right now.)
- Cologne
- Wallet
- Hair doctor

5 Things Found In My Wallet:
- More receipts
- My medicard
- ATMs
- Loyalty cards (Suki, SM Advantage, Metro Rewards)
- Money (but it won't stay there for long )

5 Things Found In My/Our Room
- Our bed
- Issen's crib
- TV
- Computer
- Toys for my boys (Mr. Frost, Sikei, and Issen )

5 Things I’ve Always Wanted To Do
- Stay at home with the kids
- Put up our family website
- Try a certain kind of hair waxing
- Have a haircut and my nails done
- Buy a Perfect Grade Gundam for Mr. Frost (and myself heheh )

5 Things I’m Currently Into:
- Blogging
- Maintaining my mojo at work (Pregnancy hormones making it hard for to concentrate )
- Reading (Am finally catching up on this)
- Sesame Street Home Videos (I watch it every morning with Issen)
- Rock music (Always have been and always will be. RAKENROL! )

5 People to Tag for This Meme:
- Rica
- Kitty
- Myla
- Toni
- Mai



Two Francises
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I was bloghopping and came upon blogs of several Filipino celebrities. (Thanks for the links, Liz! I'll do the tag soon! )

Incidentally, the blogs that made me lose track of time were both owned my musicians. Another coincidence, they're both named Francis.

a Free Mind
I've been a fan of Francis Magalona as far as I can remember. Yes, he looks good, really good, and he makes equally good music and songs, but what I admire the most is his patriotism. It's his image, his whole life. His music and his business (the FrancisM Clothing Co.) proudly proclaim his nationality.

And this guy has been in the industry for how long? Twenty, thirty years? His career may not always have been up in the sky, but all those years, nobody really forgot his name and who he is. I believe it is his song "Mga Kababayan Ko" ("My Fellow Citizens") that engraved his name on the Philippine music industry.

I also believe that he's a good family man. He and his wife Pia have been together for more than twenty years. He is a doting father to 8 kids, and get this, he's an adoring lolo (grandfather) to baby Zoie, child of his eldest daughter Unna.

I'm so glad I stumbled upon his journal. It would be nice to "hear" straight from the FreeMan himself.

A variation of an FMCC man on mic design (the one on Francis' shirt on the photo above), done by international comic artist Whilce Portacio. Courtesy of a Free Mind. I love this design.

In respect to those who have religiously followed The Dawn ever since they started, I am not considering myself a "fan" of the band. I like their music, but I do now know all their songs by heart. I've seen them perform during our Christmas party and at one of our company events, but I've never been to their concerts. I haven't even had the chance to see their movie at Cinemalaya, "Tulad ng Dati" ("Just Like Before").

I may not be considered as a "fan", but I have high respects for the band.

Now this is not the official blog of the band; they have their own site. I believe this is the personal blog of their guitarist, Francis Reyes.

I admire how Francis Reyes expresses his opinions. The man has a way with words. And may I remind everyone that I absolutely love a person with a great sense of humor?

Amusingly, one of his posts made me almost fall from my seat. In "The Sour Stench of Success", he said he decided (in bold letters) "To leave The Dawn." Read the post yourself and fall from your own seat.

Photo of Francis reyes above courtesy of watdat?.

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Of fancy lights and cotton candy
I find it fun to know how things are called, especially those that are considered the finer things in life. Like simple yet classic lighting fixtures that give a fancy house or restaurant its elegant ambiance.

I tried to learn more about what these fixtures are called, trying to make myself feel more "cultured" and sophisticated. It sometimes feels good to be in a classy place and being able to tell your friend or companion, "That Murray Feiss really gave this room its Tuscan Villa feel." Or "My boss has this same exact George Kovacs lamp in his office."

Once, a couple of days after browsing through lighting fixtures, I went to the mall with Mr. Frost. I was bored, so when an idea came to my mind, I dragged my reluctant husband to a lighting store. I spotted an young, innocent-looking salesman, walked to him, and asked "I'm looking for something from Hinkley Lighting's Vanderbilt Collection. Do you have any?" I made sure I spoke extra fast.

Both my husband and the salesman looked at me with their jaws dropped. As my "victim" (Mr. Frost calls them that, I wonder why ) tried to recover from shock and stammer an answer, good ol' Mr. Frost apologized to the poor guy and literally dragged me out of the store.

"You are an evil, evil woman, making fun of that poor guy." Mr. Frost said, shaking his head in amusement and disbelief. He added, "And I'll buy you a bucket of cotton candy if you can repeat to me what you asked for from that store."

I went home happy with a bucket of cotton candy and an amused husband, who felt I cheated him, in tow. You see, it really pays to know how some of the finer things in life are called.



LIttle Frosts' Playpen
Friday, November 16, 2007

I've changed the title and color scheme of my Multiply site. This is because that is not really my turf - it is my kids'. Everything you find there is mostly about Issen. Sikei demands I feature him more, and soon, Baby Frost #2 will claim her rightful space. So it is only appropriate that I give them what they deserve.

On the other hand, I will continue to document my journey through life, including parenthood and pregnancy, in this domain. I will be posting more stuff here. Everything I post on my Multiply, I will also post here, But now everything I post here will end up on the other site.

And yes, I know. I still owe you an update about Issen's birthday party, although I have uploaded the pictures here a couple of weeks ago.

I also owe you the story and pics during our company's biggest event of the year, where Issen was a celebrity in his own right. The official photographer took the cutest picture of Issen, and I can't wait to show it to you so here it is!

Isn't he adorable?

More pics as soon as I sort everything out!

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