Moving Day

Posted On 3:02 AM | 3 comments

Given that it has taken me a third of a year to post something new, there is not much to see, but check out my new digs!
As always, a work in progress.
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March Madness

Posted On 11:56 PM | 1 comments

The first day of March starts a 5.5 week whirlwind in our home, with all three kids' birthdays being celebrated during that time.  With my mind constantly busy with party plans, March Break and bad hair, please forgive that this is a summary in pictures of the month we had.  Or, rather, the food we enjoyed last month.

My big girl turned twelve, and celebrated with a big girls/young ladies dinner party.  Complete with younger siblings serving their meal.  Caesar Salad ~ Four Cheese Tortellini with Pesto Cream Sauce ~ A mountain of cream puffs with strawberries and a birthday candle on top
The next day, four out of five of us sisters went on our traditional pre-labour girly date.  (My sweet, sweet nephew Mr. D arrived two days later)  A delicious dinner at one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Real Thailand.

The day the five of us rented and watched Food Inc. we enjoyed a nacho platter made with happy beef.  It is absolutely true: you'll never look at dinner the same way.

The March Break was sweet and cold...

...and apparently tastes better in 3D.

And the home stretch was celebrated at good ol' Chuck E Cheese, with cheese pizza and a cake that unfortunately doesn't taste like it used to, but was still super festive.

With spring shaping up to be unusually mild, I predict the next food photo album to include some barbecue...
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Dire Straights

Posted On 11:09 PM | 1 comments

It's not looking good.

A few weeks ago, one side of my flat iron died, rendering the whole appliance useless.  And my world a BIG, FAT, FUZZY MESS.

I don't think you understand.  I am being held captive in a humid cave by what I believe are the evil cousins of Hungry: Thick, Coarse and Unruly.  And I have had little success with ways to disguise my suffering.

After watching the Oscars last weekend, I thought perhaps my hair is in.

 Maybe it's cool to stay with the half-pulled ponies (a la Ms. Watt, my faaaaavourite math teacher in high school), with the added baby hair mane flying freely along my entire hairline.  (Can't pull the ponytail all the way out, or BAMM - ugly cotton candy thing following my head all day)

I have decided that NO it is not cool.  I spent the majority of my life with my hair pulled back.  So, in the last year or so, I decided to be a little more grown up and wear my hear down more often (time permitting).  My little ol' iron, purchased for $40US in 2006, made me the woman I was two weeks ago.  And now it's gone.  And it costs a lo-ot these days to replace it with something I can trust.  But when your front door deadbolt breaks, your 12 year-old daughter outgrows her pink-tassled Barbie bike, and another soccer season is around the corner (ie. registration fees are due soon), you need to start thinking of better ways to make the mop look deliberate for just a few weeks longer, while you save up for that worthy replacement.  (I've even recently taken the bun off the Do Not 'Do list {did you see the high school reunion episode of King of Queens?} out of desperation.)

Because, too, when your Hubby is bald, he just won't understand that the $149 one will undoubtedly make you a better woman than the $25.99 one.

In the meantime here I am, waiting.  And tying back.
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Donor's Eye View

Posted On 11:51 PM | 0 comments

  • Because 22 years ago this week my mom lost her battle with leukemia
  • Because in the last two months, 3 family members have needed blood
  • Because I'm giving thanks for my daughter's twelve years of life
  • It's just a nice thing to do for three people
Pick a reason, any reason.  I had them all in mind when I went down to the Air Canada Centre this afternoon to join The Big Save, Toronto's largest donor clinic event this year.  I took the above photo with my left hand while lying on the bed giving blood, right on the ACC floor.  It was pretty cool, looking around from an angle I will likely never have again...following the walkways above the rafters, seeing that the Leafs have, in fact, not won a Stanley Cup since before man landed on the moon (the city is overlooking this for a few weeks, still riding the golden Team Canada high), and scanning the sections for Hubby's and my seats for next week's date with Alicia Augello Cook, aka.....  The actual collection of my blood took only 7 minutes.  The sweet nurse who worked with me, Rosario, said I filled the bag so quickly, because I'm small but juicy.  **blushing** 

This event drew a lot of first-timers (ahem, I've got two donations under my belt now), possibly because Maple Leaf Sports tossed in a few raffles and appearances by athletes, members of the Raptors Dance Pak and mascots.  And this guy:

This is Carl Gunnarsson, a Maple Leaf.  I only know this because I looked him up on the team website.  I was the only soul at the recharge-snacks station who was not staring, getting autographs or trying to pose for a photo with him.  In fact, all I did was call my sister to tell her I saw this NHL dude, and was so engrossed in my own world that I failed to notice the chick next to me at my snack table had keeled over onto the seat beside her.  So, no, donating blood is not for everybody.  (I suspect, in hindsight, that she was below the minimum weight of 110lbs.  After a bit of commotion, and me feeling totally crappy for not seeing her faint, she woke up and I was assured she would be fine.)  But, if you have ever contemplated giving blood, I highly recomment you look into it.  Toronto uses more blood than it collects and has to import quite a bit from other provinces.  No, you don`t get money for your donation.  Instead, you will be thanked by every nurse and volunteer who comes within 10 feet of you during your visit for saving a few lives.
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My foot twin

Posted On 9:35 PM | 1 comments

My Big Girl is turning twelve in six days.  And we now wear the same giant shoe size.

Today especially I have developed a silent hunger to crawl under a rock and stop time for just a wee bit.  One blogging sister is in the final stretch of her waiting game and has talked about the hopes she has for herself as a mother.  Another thinks she hasn't already figured it out, but I think she has, simply because of her crystal-clear awareness.
My reflections about parenthood this week are more in the past tense.  Big Girl has long since passed those all-important first five years, so on some levels, I've done all I can to help form the woman she is going to be.  But have I done enough?  Have I equipped her with the right decision-making tools as she approaches independence?  Has she learned from my example more often than my nagging (because I know that's what it is sometimes)?  Have her dad and I given her the world without handing her everything?  Will she turn to God in her times of both adversity and joy, which I have learned is a fail-proof life strategy?

Celebrating her twelfth birthday with her is a big deal for me because mine was my first celebrated without my own mom.  It began a stage when I felt alone, too old and too young at the same time, and chose friends over family more often.  And I know this is just part of the whole teenage thing, but as a parent, it is requiring immense effort for me to loosen my grip and let her step out that little bit farther than my arm's reach.  I just don't want to miss a thing.

She is a good kid.  She can see me as her greatest adversary sometimes, but she is also dangerously protective of me.  She is respectful, she's a pretty dancer, she's artsy, she's mastered the long bang sweep, she is thoughtful, smart, funny, she still lets me kiss her on the lips (ooh, how embarrassing for her) and she can't wait to sit in the passenger seat on the way to school on Monday.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give 'em hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

- from 'Let Them Be Little', Billy Dean
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Oh Canada

Posted On 9:39 PM | 0 comments

Inspired by my lil' sister's and her friends' party theme, we rounded up some siblings and kiddies at our house to watch the Vancouver opening ceremonies on Friday.  In recent years I stopped feeling un-Filipino and embraced my Canadian-ness - I am among a small fraction of my father's side born on foreign soil, and growing up I felt pretty crappy that I was so much the Anti-Filipina.  Perhaps it was parenthood that did it - you figure out what is and isn't important - I became a firmly-proud Canadian (and I apologize for that also meant I was also a tad anti-others).  I do not see myself ever moving from this country (unless for love, and my dude's from here so...), and you might as well shoot me right now if you're going to deny me Swiss Chalet sauce, maple dips from Tim Hortons, Smarties, 'favourite', project (pronounced prow-ject, not prah-ject), or my beloved and world-renowned "eh" from every sentence that emerges from my mouth. 

And so, I outfitted my hands, Hubby and the kiddies with Vancouver 2010 gear, cooked up a few true north delights, and cheered on our home.

Oh my, aren't we so patriotic?
Team Festive: 2 Team Not-In-The-Mood: 1

My big girl and niece

Humpty Dumpty Ringolos

Lay's Ketchup Chips

Poutine = dinner, midnight snack and breakfast

The peameal bacon sammiches were so yummy I forgot to take pictures.
Gold medal treats

My big boy has temporarily set aside his Michael Jackson impressions and memorized Nacho Libre script in favour of Olympic themed activities.

Alexandre Bilodeau's gold medal-winning moguls run

Below: the Olympic torch
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Posted On 8:37 PM | 0 comments

The last week was a roller coaster to say the least, but prayers work, my friends.  Thank you.  It seems, though, that this week my mind is only capable of some really random thoughts.  Wanna hear 'em?  Here they go:

  • Five nicknames I could have had:
    1. Nora
    2. Lily
    3. CLLA (say it like "killah", like if I was in a gang)
    4. Cece
    5. C. Loner - Oh wait, I actually did have that one.  Seriously.  Boys can be so mean.
  • I'd love to have a really good staple gun.
  • I lost my fonduginity on Saturday.  It was so good.
  • How does yeast work?
  • If I ever need eyeglasses, there has to be blue on the frames.
  • How many words end in -ject:  inject; project; subject; interject; uh, uh, that's it.
  • Serendipity.
  • What do cool people wear these days?

Wrote a little something new on Marriage Write
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