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Monday, May 31, 2010

Stressed but quite excited

The past few days have been so H-E-C-T-I-C that I'm afraid I've pushed some important things to the backburner. :( Things like my article deadlines, my daughter's first birthday party, even the payment of some bills (thankfully not the important ones). These are also very stressful times. I haven't checked but I believe I've lost some weight without needing to consult http://www.fastweightloss.net. Thing is, I also look stressed and haggard lately. Sigh and double sigh.

But the good news is that my son will be going to big school soon! I'm excited and at the time apprehensive. No, he's not going to a Chinese school. But learning Chinese has been pushed as a later priority too. Maybe in Grade School because La Salle Greenhills offers optional Chinese by then. Oh well. Another sigh. I'm happy enough that he got accepted. I really really hope he will fit right in.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My mom's several pairs of glasses

My mom needs her reading glasses. Not surprising, considering her age. But she also keeps on misplacing them. And she gets annoyed when she has to read something and cannot find it in a pinch.

Now since I'm an ophthalmologist and I could supply her with discount prescription glasses, what she did is order several of these, which she puts around the house. She has a pair in her bedroom, a pair in our dining area, a pair in her handbag...you get the drift. That way, she always has a ready pair nearby, so less frustration for her!

I think that's a great idea!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's so hot!

I wonder when the heat will let up. PAGASA says that it won't abate for quite a while yet. With temperatures going up to the high thirties (Celsius), it always feels like we are slowly being roasted on outdoor fireplaces.

While using the A/C is the most immediate solution, our startlingly high electricity bills do not really justify using it for long periods of time. We're stuck to using electric fans which only offer a little respite from the heat.

Which led me to thinking that maybe giving away fans during my daughter's first birthday party would be a great idea. It fits the Chinese/Mulan theme too. But I could not find a supplier near our home (I know Divi has a lot, but I don't really have the time to go there), so I didn't push through with this plan.

Oh, well. All things do come to an end. Before we know it, the rainy season will be here and we'll have something new to complain about!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vesak day 2010

Yesterday, we went to Mall of Asia to observe Vesak Day, or what is traditionally known as Buddha's birthday.

Align Center

My mother is a Buddhist while we basically just go along with her. We agree, however, with the teachings of Buddha because they basically echo the teachings that we receive from our Catholic school.

After the opening ceremonies and prayers, we bathed the statue of Buddha. Bamboo dippers were provided and we were instructed to pour water on the shoulders and the back of the statue, vowing to speak good words, do good deeds and have a good heart. The significance of Vesak Day is aptly explained here.

There were representatives of the CBCP (Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines), from the Muslim community, from the Hindus, and some other religions. The Ambassador from Sri Lanka also attended. It is heartwarming to know that there is effort in bridging the gap between faiths and making the effort for mutual understanding. For we all know that basically we all want the same things -- that good triumph.

In case you're interested in praying, making a small wish and bathing the Buddha for purification, or simply just want to see a Buddhist festival, do drop by the Mall of Asia today.

Photo: “Bathing Buddhas - Federation Square” by Alpha, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tired

I'm feeling very tired the past few days. I think stress has crept up on me and made me exhausted. The heat is not helping either. I'm always tired, lazy and uninspired to do a lot of writing.

The past few months have been a flurry of spending. Expenses for tuition, hospitalization, clinic rent and what not. I'm not spending yet for electricity but my brother is asking for help because the bill for this month is way beyond his capacity. We'll have to find ways to save, but how? We are not spending much more than necessary. There are also things we won't compromise on, and they're not even considered wants, but needs. Like my son's tuition. I want him in a good school. Or health. We can probably go with discount auto insurance, but definitely it's better to have insurance. Car repairs also crept in during the past few months because our cars are old.

Sometimes it's just so tiring when we always have to go around "chasing money" to live. The problem is that we don't have regular paychecks so we do not really know how much money we can expect at any given time, so it's not easy to do a budget when you don't know when and how much money is coming in.

Sigh...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cheongsam for my little girl

I'm pretty excited about possibly finding a red cheongsam for my baby girl. I'm thinking of having a Mulan theme for her first birthday. Although the cheongsam does not fit the period, I'd rather get something a little practical, so since it's Chinese themed, it would have to do. Also, my ama's 90th birthday party is coming up, so she could use it there too.

I've always loved the Chinese theme and the color red. During my wedding, I had thought of a Chinese theme. I envisioned my attendants in cheongsams. But then I wanted them to get a design that fits their personality. My cousin chose a spaghetti strapped design. Oh well, I just changed it a bit to Chinese inspired. I didn't want my attendants to be unhappy about their clothes, so I let it go. I do not want to be one of those bridezillas who want to impose their will on everyone. And I guess I made the right decision, because while my entire wedding was not entirely the original way I envisioned it to be, I was happy about how it ended up.

It's pretty difficult to find a cheongsam that's small enough to fit my baby though. But I was able to find one online. And it's not that expensive too! (Don't you just love the internet, where you can search for everything, including lipozene reviews?) I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my little girl will be the cutest little Chinese girl on her birthday party!

Monday, May 10, 2010

We voted!

My husband and I didn't bother to change our election precincts, so we have to vote in different cities. Anyway, we can't vote at the same time anyway, since somebody has to stay home with the kids.

He texted me earlier this morning saying that it's chaotic out there. So many people, no organization at all. He almost gave up voting.

My brother and I went to our precinct around lunch time. We were initially very confused as to where we would line up, but once we figured everything out, it was pretty smooth sailing. No need for wrinkle creams for us, LOL. It took us about 1 hour, from start to finish, which is not bad, I reckon.

I guess it has something to do with the other people. I have to admit that the voters in my precinct are mostly in the upper and middle class, mostly educated people. Which would probably account for the orderliness of the whole process in our place.

Next thing to hope for is that there would be no problems with the counting. Oh Lord, please make this election as smooth as possible.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day today!

It's mother's day today.

While traditionally, men are the ones that are given more importance in the Chinese society, most Chinese mothers are honored by their children, so the modern Chinese also celebrate Mother's Day.

While my kids are still small (I still need a good belly fat burner in order to get back into shape since my daughter's still 10 months old), I don't expect them to greet me a Happy Mother's Day yet. Since it's summer vacation, I won't be getting any card either, unlike Father's Day when the school initiates a card making activity (grumble grumble).

But when I look at my kids, I thank God for them. They are my treasures, I love them very much and I would not trade them for anything else.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my grandma, my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, and all the moms out ther.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our grocery "system"

As I've mentioned a few posts back, the chore that I love best is grocery shopping. It provides me with some retail therapy with less of the guilt, since I do have to stock up on supplies anyway. I actually enjoy doing it by myself. And since the grocery I frequent is near our home, my husband and I have come up with a system. I walk to the grocery, do the grocery, then call him up while the cashier wields her barcode scanner to add up my purchases, so that he'll come to pick me up. That way, he doesn't have to be stuck in the grocery, while I don't have to bring the car and spend on parking!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Golden

Some things are the same wherever you go.

Gold is one thing. Despite the fact that China and Europe were far away, even in ancient times, gold is being universally acknowledged as a precious metal of great value. Only the very rich could buy gold bullions and get a lot of things in exchange for it. It was a medium of currency as well. The value of paper money was in terms of how much gold could be exchanged for it.

It is certainly no wonder that gold is still pretty much valued at the present time. People still invest in gold coins and gold bullions. Unless you're an expert, however, it can be pretty difficult to spot a genuine gold coin from a fake one. That's why it's important that your source is a reliable one. Study the company first before you give your money up. The United States gold bureau is a company that I've found online. It seems legitimate. Of course, it's best that you do your own research before you start investing though. But the company seems to have a good track record. This is important for reliability.

My father used to buy gold coins for us in Hong Kong. Banks had them. They are pretty legit sources of gold. I'm not so sure if the HK banks still sell those gold coins, however. They're a pretty easy investment, relatively liquid and easy to pass on without much hullabaloo.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grocery

I am not a person who usually indulges in retail therapy. I window shop, yes, but before I actually buy something for myself, I usually think twice, thrice and three times. That's why I do not have many clothes, shoes or bags in my collection.

But things are different when I'm in the grocery. Since I do have to stock up on grocery items once in a while, it's a must that I go once in a while. And it's on those trips that I indulge my shopping tendencies. I compare prices, try out new foodstuffs and grocery items. And while I'm standing in line to pay for my purchases, I browse through the magazines on those pop displays near the cashier.

I guess I'd have to say that of all the errands/chores I have to do, grocery shopping is probably my favorite.