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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby acne

My niece (my brother's baby girl) is now almost a month old. The parents and the grandma (my mother) was understandably concerned when they saw that she had some tiny red "pimples" on her little face.

I remembered that both my kids had the same "uncute phase" (well, compared to their other phases) when they about that age, so I told them that they should not be very concerned about it. It's normal at this age, and even without any acne home remedies, these "baby acne" will clear up on its own and you'll even wonder if they ever went through that.

Of course, the acne that crops up at puberty is another story entirely.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Computer games

I think it's kinda ironic that my brothers and I were never really hooked on video games when we always had them when we were younger, despite the fact that it was the Martial Law era.

We "inherited" my uncle's Atari when he got tired of it. It was funny. The "tennis game" had these big pixels. A few pixels joined together was the "player" or racket and you were supposed to move the controls to block the large (square) pixel "ball". It's such a far cry from the PC Games that we have nowadays.

Since my parents go to Hong Kong often, we have a lot of those Nintendo game and watch. One unit is only 1 type of game. We had a lot of fun with them, but of course, if it's only 1 game, you eventually get tired of it.

We didn't go through the Family computer. But we did play some games on the old green monochrome desktop PC which was considered "hi-tech" at the time. My mother also bought a Nintendo Game Boy, probably one of the earliest versions, but we only played the Brick Game. Which was a pity, because later there were stand alone Brick game consoles which cost much less.

Now we really do not get to play those computer games anymore (except maybe for Solitaire :) ) which is just as well.  I didn't even buy a PSP for my son, and he hasn't gotten around to wanting one and asking for one.  I'd rather that he doesn't ask for a while yet. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Family history of cancer

My family has a family history of cancer. More notably lung cancer. Both my grandfathers had this disease. Both were smokers, and heavy smokers at that.

My maternal grandfather passed away from that disease. I never met him in person.

My paternal grandfather chain smoked. He always had an ashtray full of cigarette butts. He then got cancer in the eighties. It was then that he fully stopped smoking. Everytime he craved for a cigarette, he would eat a hard candy. If there was such a thing as an e cigarette before, I guess he would have used that. He was one of the few cancer survivors I know because he lived until around 15 years later. But he suffered from emphysema and chronic bronchitis the rest of his life.

My Dad, on the other hand, was not really a smoker.  Sure, he may have smoked an occasional  stick or two at the egging of friends or companions (if there was a thing called "social smoker", he was it), but he was never the smoker that his father was.  So we never thought that he would have the disease -- and eventually die of it.  We realized, however, that there was heavy smoking among his acquaintances, and he was probably inhaling all their second hand smoke all through the years.

I really wish that people would just stop smoking.  They harm not only themselves but also other people around them.  I wish they would soon realize that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My techie mom

My mom is very techie for her age. She's more advanced than we are when it comes to the latest gadgets. Imagine, her laptop is a Mac, she has an iphone and an iPad (a gift, actually). I'm glad, because it does give her something to do (I guess it does prevent Alzheimer's since she gets to use her brain more often!

Before she got her IPhone, she was using an HTC touch phone. Here's the catch -- it's in Chinese. So was her old laptop (the one that preceded her Mac) -- the Windows was a Chinese version. Which causes problems when she encounters some technical problem (for example, needing to use a scanning software) because while my brothers and I know Chinese well enough for everyday use and conversations, we're not very good with the Chinese Tech-speak.

So, it's a good thing that her present gadgets are mainly English but Chinese can be used. She needs the Chinese for her work and conversations with friends, but for the tech stuff, English is much better for all of us.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Too close to TV

You remember the threat: Huwag masyadong lumapit sa TV pag nanonood, baka masira mata mo. Sige ka, magsasalamin ka pag ganyan. (Translation: Don't stay too close to the TV screen when watching, you might damage your eyes and require prescription glasses.)  My parents and other caregivers have issued this warning over the years, and many more parents my age are issuing this same warning now to their kids.  I get kids whose parents blame the TV for their childrens' error of refraction.

Actually, it works the other way around.  You should be on the alert when your children have the habit of veering too close to the TV, or a weird head position when watching TV.  I'll tackle this issue in my medical blog.  Watch out for it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vacation injury

Years and years ago, my family was vacationing in Hong Kong. There was a big sale event at one of the major department stores which we frequent whenever we were there.

There were so many people everywhere we look! The escalators were full, everywhere we looked there were people. Then the descending escalator stopped...but only the "stair" part. The "handrail" part kept moving. And my mother just happened to be at the bottom. All the people on the escalator fell on her, she fell and injured her arm. She lost her expensive bracelet too.

She tried claiming from the department store. She consulted a lawyer who assured her that they have a good chance of winning. However, she needed to stay in Hong Kong while the case was being processed, and she didn't want that since she needed to come back home after the scheduled vacation. So she never got compensated for her injuries and the loss of her bracelet.

Is it the same in the USA? If you're a tourist and met some accident in say, Austin, Texas, would an Austin personal injury attorney (like this one: O’Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath – Personal Injury Lawyers – 808 West Avenue, Austin, TX. 78701 – 512-494-9949) be able to file your case for you even if the time came for you to leave?

I felt that my mother had enough hassles incurring the injury. Sure it was an accident. But the department store should have at least offered to help my mom, which they didn't.

While my mom never got to press charges, our family never went to that department store again. We were just too disappointed with it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thinking of a summer getaway

Summer is almost here. The hubby and I want to have a vacation! Preferably just the four of us and maybe the yayas (or maybe not) so that we can really experience being on our own as a nuclear family. We've always lived with our families (with my in-laws for a very brief time and then later, with my folks) -- yes, Westerners would probably laugh at us but it's actually a practice that many Chinese families do. It has its own pros and cons, of course, and for now, the pros outweigh the cons, that's why we're still here, although we tell ourselves that this should not be a permanent thing.

Anyway, since we have a very small budget for the vacation that we want, we would probably not plan something as expensive or elaborate as one in the Outer Banks (although I hope I'd be able to afford that sometime in the future). We're thinking of something a little simpler, reachable by land, travel should not be too long and accommodations should be affordable.

We're really just after a getaway, something to take our minds off our routine, something to remember as a special bonding time with our kids.  We're thinking Tagaytay for now.  Hmmm....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waiting for our baby niece

My sister-in-law is due anytime. Her expected date of delivery was last Sunday, but she still does not have any sign of labor. Yesterday, she had a biophysical scoring ultrasound done. Everything's a-ok so far. So my brother and SIL are home, waiting for some sign that their baby is finally ready to make an appearance.

This will the first "nai sun" (grandchild from a son--the one which will carry the family name) of my mom. If it turns out to be a boy, it's as if my mom has fulfilled her obligation to her ancestors to make sure the paternal line is continued. My kids are "gua sun" (grandchild from a daughter -- which won't carry the family  name).  Unfortunately for us girls, Chinese value males more. I think that it's not just for Chinese but for most people around the world. Even in the Western world where there is supposed to be more gender equality, fathers would distribute monte cristo cigars if the child turns out to be a son but not if turns out to be a daughter.

Frankly, I'd just be happy if the baby comes out healthy. From an earlier ultrasound, it looks like a new niece for me, but in the last 2 ultrasounds, the baby just refuses to uncross his/her legs, so even the OB sonologist isn't so sure about the gender. :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My little girl is so vain!

My little girl is now into imitating what I do and wear. So kikay talaga! (She's so vain!) And to think she's not even 2 years old yet! She loves slipping her feet into my cloth slippers (or anybody's slippers for that matter). When I leave my shoulder bag lying around, she'll be sure to get it and tote it around like a little lady. And when a comb or brush just happens to be lying around, she'll actually get it to "fix" her hair!

Come to think of it, I did have a stage like that but I believe I was a bit older because I already have memories of getting my mother's high heeled shoes and wearing them when mom is not around! (Thank goodness I never suffered any accidents during that time or else I might have needed ankle braces -- stilletos in the seventies were about as high as the ones in fashion right now!) I also remember locking mom's door when she was away so that I can play with her makeup and perfumes. Mom would then smell me reeking of some designer perfume when she gets home!

Well, now that I'm an adult, I never wear stilettos, which is just as well as my daughter wouldn't be tempted to slip her tiny feet into them. I wear minimal makeup too. Well, maybe the stage will take a long time to wear off. Maybe one day I'll come home to find her smelling of perfume and lips looking just too red for comfort. :D