Archive for November, 2011

And now it begins…. The two-week countdown to our long-awaited Bacolod vacation. While the Babii counts the days (R already went ahead), I make a list of all the food stops I have to make to make sure I don’t forget any of them:

1. Bob’s on North Drive (I know the street is now called something else but I like calling it North Drive) for some Chicken Sate, Sate Babi, fruit punch, and siopao. I think I’ll need more than one trip for this one.

2. Apollo Restaurant (old school!).

3.Chicken House on Mandalagan – People say the ultimate inasal experience would be at Manokan Country at the Reclamation area, specifically Aida’s. I’ve been there and I agree, but I don’t like living dangerously =P

4.Kai Sei – The best value-for-money Japanese food in Negros, in my humble opinion. I used to take for granted the fresh, inexpensive seafood available in island life. Never again.

5. L’Sea – If Apollo is full (which it always is), this is a good alternative.

6. Mai Pao – It’s easy to take good Chinese food for granted in the Philippines. Where I am, however, is another story altogether. I intend to stuff my face with duck, dumplings and all sorts of stir-fry during this vacation.

7. Cansihan in Shopping – I know it has a name but it escapes me at the moment. I just know where it is. Assuming it’s still there. (Oh no!)

8. Calea – The list of things to eat here are endless, but the first thing I would order would be the cream puffs. Years ago they never advertised it on the menu, but we knew it was there. It still haunts my dreams.

9. Pendy’s – Only because I am tired of people giving me incredulous looks when I tell them I’ve never been there.

10. Jollibee – Gasp! I can’t believe I almost forgot this one. No trip home would be complete without a Chicken Joy meal. Or a dozen.

11. Ted’s Batchoy – Self-explanatory.

12. Kiss King of Balls – When R and I were starting out (read: unemployed), we would go on dates at the Kiss stall in one of the local malls. Ahh, nostalgia.

13. Roli’s – All these years I have never come across chicken sandwich as good as theirs. I wish it could have expanded in the same way as Bob’s, but I suppose the owners had other priorities.

I know I most probably left a lot of good restaurants out (senior moment), but I intend to comb every nook and cranny of Bacolod for good food. In Negros, that’s not hard at all.


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This is my sister’s dog Cooper. He is an adorable, friendly teacup Yorkie and is much adored by the Babii.

One night while in the shower, she prattled on about how Cooper was neutered.

“Oh? And how did you know that?” I asked.

“Tita Jamie told me! She said it’s to prevent Cooper from having babies and health problems in the future.” She paused. “Apparently…. when female dogs get older they start having health problems.”

“Cooper is male.”

That stumped her. “But. if Cooper is male, how can he have babies? Unless it’s the other way around for dogs…..”

“Nooo….” (Oh lawrdy, what have I gotten myself into again?) “You need both male and female dogs to have babies….”

Thankfully, the noise of the shower distracted her and that was the end of the matter. But I suspect it will crop up again the near future. She has seen the piggies do some funky stuff, and she will continue to ask uncomfortable questions.

And I haven’t even told her about Santa Claus! Or the tooth fairy! And now, babies?!?!

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This is it. It has to stop.

I don’t do anything but stare at you, caress you with my fingertips, and hold you close. You are the first thing I grab in the morning and the last thing I hold at night. Throughout the day I have to constantly check on you and in return, you give me a headache and watery eyes. I lose track of time and my husband and I are reduced to fighting over you in the most illogical manner.

“Get your own iPad!” “I don’t want another iPad, I want YOUR iPad!”

Yes, you are the third party in this relationship.

The end of my iPad love affair

I got you five months ago because I thought you would be easier for me to use when I am traveling or in bed. And now I find it so difficult because …. I use you while I am traveling or in bed.

(Oops, bedtime! Let me just check Twitter one last time…. and Facebook…. and Gmail…. and YM…. and my restaurant/bakery/farm/bug village…. and Gmail, one last time! And my friend’s blog. And this other friend’s blog. And WordPress… Yes, I exhaust even myself.)


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Going back to the never-ending saga of my eggs….

I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with a cyst on my right ovary which, apparently, caused it to stop functioning and render me temporarily infertile. Yes. Hmmm. Men who are uncomfortable with this topic, leave now.

You have been warned.

It appears that the first doctor I went to, yes the one of miscarriage infamy, had already spotted it last year but did not see fit to tell me. And no, I never went back to her again.

This time around I had two male doctors, both of whom came highly recommended by people I respect. The first one dealt with the miscarriage aftermath and diagnosed me, the second performed the laparoscopy under my health insurance.

What is a laparoscopy exactly? You can read the medical definition here.

In my experience, the doctors made three small incisions: on my left side, right side, and at my belly button where they inserted the camera (I know—gross—my poor belly button!). Then they proceeded to remove the cyst and a host of adhesions in the area using the camera to guide them. This method is supposed to be better than an actual laparotomy, where they make a big cut and expose your organs for the naked eye to see. (Ok, much too graphic now….)

R kept offering to show me pictures of what they would do to my belly button and I would go, NO. NO, NO, NO.

Ignorance is blissssss……

Perhaps as the universe’s way of making up for that entire medical fiasco a few months ago, everything went smoothly, from the pre-operation, operation, and post-op stage. The staff were very attentive and in 24 hours I was sent home with my stitches but no antibiotics and pain killers. Whatever they stuck into my IV must have been some kind of wonder drug. (There was a little pain but not enough to warrant pain killers.)

I know people’s experiences vary, but having undergone a C-section which subsequently popped open nine years ago (I fired the yaya and did the laundry less than a month after giving birth— let’s not go there), this was a walk in the park.

The hardest part was getting out of bed, going to the toilet and avoiding looking at the stitches. (Yes, I’m a wuss.)

The first few hours I had nothing but tea (it tastes fantastic when you’re famished), then later on graduated to yogurt, oatmeal, lugaw, arroz caldo, and finally solid food.

Of course, it helped that I was pampered by R and the Babii, and had an endless supply of ice cream, movies, and George R.R. Martin. Anyone wondering how I read the entire Westeros saga in two weeks, now you know.

And the biopsy verdict? Simple endometriosis. (Yes, I know it’s not THAT simple, but it could have been worse.)

Things I learned along the way:

1. Do your research before committing to a specific doctor. I made the mistake of going with Wonder Woman because “she’s with X hospital, so she must be good.” So. Over. That. Ask people you know about their experiences with their doctors. Google is your friend.

2. Prepare your home and work place for changes during your recovery time. This is an excellent way to ensure that your recovery would be comfortable and stress-free. Feel free to give overzealous work colleagues the evil eye when they try to dump work on you during your recovery. Invoke the RA 9710 Magna Carta of Women (Yes, women are entitled to benefits under this law). Or just lay off the email and mobile phone.

3. A one-day tea only fast can work wonders. 😀

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Tweet, Tweet

take home bird

The Babii brings home odds and ends from school. Sometimes it’s half-eaten bread (“I saved it for you, Mama!”). Sometimes it’s handmade cards. One day it was an injured bird that she placed on our Christmas tree.

Half an hour later, the bird decided it was well enough to fly around the house and perched on top of R’s computer. Bad. Idea.

R’s computers are his babies. At the thought of potential bird poop on the babies, the Babii, MJ and I spent the next hour or so running around the house waving our arms wildly about in a effort to chase the bird out.

Sigh. I really wonder how my parents coped with five children.

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Game of Thrones



There is no other word to describe it. Like many people, I am obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s epic series A Song of Ice and Fire.

A friend who had read the books and seen the HBO series had been telling me about it, so I decided to have a look at the TV series. The first episode I saw got me hooked. Correction. OBSESSED!!!!

And so I ran out to buy the books (yes, all four together!). Dance with Dragons was already out by then, but only in hardcover (it was humongous and so was the price). But I still read it thanks to a friend who lent me a copy. This was one helluva marathon reading session, and to think that I am not even a fan of the fantasy genre.

The verdict: EPIC.


It’s so incredible it makes Lord of the Rings look like a children’s fairytale.

Seriously, this series is not for the faint of heart, or for those who like rooting for the “good guy.” There is no good guy here. It’s a smörgåsbord of moral ambiguity that will leave you breathless and your head spinning. It is real life set in a fictional world.

Oh, by the way, it’s not child or work friendly. Just saying.

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So the Babii turns to me and says, “Can you explain to me again how Santa gets my letters?”

Gasp! (I know she’s already 9 years old, but what parent is ever ready for this question? Dammit, R where are you?!?! Wait, I know how to answer this one.)

“Magic.” (WTF.)

“But how does he know what I want?”


By this time I was trying very hard to suppress a fit of laughter. (Yes, I’m a bad mother and a bad liar. Dammit R, where are you?!?!)

The Babii looks at me with an expression somewhere between suspicion and amusement. You see, I’ve made it a habit to give semi-credulous/semi-fantastical answers to the simplest questions so that in instances such as these I can come off as being my usual slightly demented self instead of a shameless fibbing parent. It’s called foresight. You’re welcome.

(GAH! How am I supposed to answer questions like that anyway? Does anyone have a manual????)

So she gives me a stern look and says, “If you’re trying to trick me…..” (Leaves threat hanging in the air. The Force is strong in this one.)

She proceeds to fold a long letter she already wrote to Santa. “I’m going to put this letter where you’ll never find it.”

I’m in so much trouble.

I think I’ll just tell her Santa got our flight schedules mixed up and sent his gift to Israel. Or I can tell her it’s a “guy thing” and that only her father can answer. 😀

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