Showing posts from August, 2011


I can't believe I'm quoting Russell Brand here. I'm not exactly a fan but his words in the Elle Magazine interview are quite wise, to quote:

...You eventually know your place - if not in the universe, on the planet - is kind of irrelevant. So you are left with the choices. It's your smallest interactions that are very important - the way you treat the people that are around you.

...I can be quite selfish. But I feel that there are higher things; I feel there is a God, and I feel that there is a great purpose and great value in altruism and most simply, I suppose, in love.


toddler's sleeping problem solved

I've been having a good night's sleep since I got home from the hospital after my surgery. I can't say the same thing about hubby since he is temporarily fully in charge of our toddler while I am recuperating. Our dilemma over our son's sleeping problem stretched for almost two months.

Thankfully, our toddler has begun to sleep early and soundly since the night of my 30th birthday. What a gift! He now sleeps by 9 pm, rarely wakes up in the night for a feeding, and gets up at 5 or 6 am. Hopefully, he will stick to this routine for good. Husband on the other hand is having a hard time adjusting to the change in sleeping pattern. He's been so used to having intermittent sleep that he involuntarily wakes up in the middle of the night or early dawn. Kawawa.

Our son's pediatrician prescribed a vitamin called Mosegor Vita Syrup to supposedly help our child fall asleep. It's an Orexigenic Agent with Vitamin B Complex and it contains hydrogen maleate, thiamine, ribof…

home decor ideas for the future

As I've said, this blog will serve as a repository of great ideas, wonderful discoveries, bits of wisdom and what-not that I stumble upon in my everyday life.

One of our goals is to have (or rather, mortgage) our small dream house someday (hopefully, within three to five years) so i'm now collecting great home decor ideas, just in case. Dreams do come true! :-)

Magnetic chalkboard wall

I was browsing wordpress when I stumbled upon a post by cottage life living on chalk board wall. It seems like a good idea for a home (hubby is also fond of magnets). This is much like the chalkboard in Starbucks where they scribble the special of the day or something like that. But as a bonus, it is also magnetic so you can stick on anything attractive on it such as frames, fridge magnets or pictures with magnetic tape. It can also serve as a vandal board for the family.

eHow has instructions on how to do it.

Other ideas, which I got from deal grocer are:

Contemporary FLOS can can pendant lamp

The lam…

a powerful prayer

I'm not a devout catholic and therefore, I am not a prayerful person (in its strict form). I do pray, but of the free-form kind, mostly in a conversational form with God. But there is one prayer a friend of mine taught me (about 4 years ago) that I would like to recall to mind.

This prayer is special to me because praying it helped get me through a crossroad and a challenging phase in my life. The problem with me is that I have a bad memory and can no longer remember it, so I had to resort to google. This 'forgetfulness' reminds me to pray constantly and regularly, not only for selfish motives, but most importantly, to maintain a gratifying relationship with my creator.

The prayer I'm looking for is the Novena Prayer to St. Therese. The prayer is widely used by Catholics to ask favors from her. I especially liked it for its simplicity and power. After all, it helped me to successfully get to Dublin.

The prayer is done as follows:

1. Make the sign of the cross. Think of or …


The Buffett Bailout

For those who haven't seen it already, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to invest $5 billion in Bank of America this morning. The pop in stocks lasted all of 30 minutes.

But I wanted to discuss the last Buffett Bailout - of Goldman and what it may portend. My operating thesis is that WB has morphed into a completely political creature and will only make big, publicized investments for propaganda purposes. That certainly was the case with GS in 2008.

But like any actor, he has to receive something in return for the use of his name and image. That something is a political guarantee for his "investment" and the history of 2008 supports this. Buffett's deal with Goldman was announced before the US market opened on September 23, 2008. But behind the scenes a lot of political moves were being made that he obviously knew about but few others did at the time.

The Fed of course was involved. Over the next few days (through 9/29) they established or increased swaplines with a large numb…

and finally - the big 3-0!

And finally (drum rolls please)... the most-awaited day arrives! Today is my 30th birthday. Yey!

The past thirty days of self-reflection, leading to my birthday, was enriching and engaging for me. In a way, by the means of my blog posts, God has prepared me for the trouble that was to come halfway through my countdown. I would not have looked at my surgery in a positive light if I had not already started to view life through rose-colored glasses. In appreciating and dwelling on the good, I have learned to embrace the bad.

I must give credit to my doctor for saying that a birthday is just a day for it dawned on me that it has a ring of truth to it. We mustn't put our hopes and expectations of happiness and magic on a single day. The best way to look at a birthday is to take the product of the year that was and the sum of the other 365 1/4 days to come. It makes a birthday more special and lasting, rather than just being a 24-hour thing that fades when the calendar turns another day…

countdown 1: i'm 29 until further notice!

Finally got the surgical pathology results on my dermoid cyst today. I've waited with bated breath for this and at last, the doctor says its BENIGN. I got my birthday wish a day before my birthday. Sweet!

Two specimens were taken from my ovary. The smaller tissue (4.5 x 2 x 0.8 cm) appears to be brain-like material. Even my cyst has brains! Hahaha! The larger tissue fragment (9 x 5 x 1.5 cm) has attached tufts of hair. Sana sa ulo na lang tumubo!

The doctor who removed my ovarian cyst on her birthday told us araw lang yan. But to me, it's much more than just a day. It is a special day, a day meant only for me.

Just for fun, I googled "what's in a birthday?" and the search results were quite interesting. I decided to give some of the entries a try.

First up was a quiz: What does your birth date mean? The answer has some ring of truth to it.

Did you know that apparently, there is a bible verse specific to your birthday? Here's mine:

There's also some scienc…

Freezing Sweet Corn is Sweet Work!

This week a wind storm blew down three rows of our neighbor’s sweet corn. Luckily, the corn was ready to be picked. Now to be perfectly honest, picking sweet corn is hot work, especially in Iowa when the temps are in the 90’s and the humidity is in the 70’s. But here is what we have found to make the harvest enjoyable:  Do it with friends: Many hands make light work – as well as good conversation while doing the work.  Share a meal: We picked the corn at the farm, and then had a nice meal with FRESH (picked off the stalk less than an hour before eating) corn, with a home raised chicken, warm bread, great cheese and wine. And oh yes, a good desert before we started the shucking, cleaning, blanching, cooling, cutting and bagging of the corn.  Divide and conquer: It is just the way it works, but while the guys are shucking, the girls are cleaning, blanching and cooling the corn. By the time the guys get done shucking, it is time to start cutting the corn off the cob. When is it all cut, …

countdown 2: what's in a name?

No post for day three because i'm not feeling well. I'm down with colds and sore throat, which I hate much more than my surgical wounds. Let it remain a gap in my countdown to remind me that 30 days before my birthday, I had one really bad day.

I must admit, when I started the countdown, I was an energizer bunny. I was sooo looking forward to my 30th birthday celebration. I'm supposed to be in a picnic now with my family and high school barkada, celebrating the big 3-0 together with a cousin whose birthday is only three days earlier than mine. But i'm at home, nursing my colds, feeling old.

I remained optimistic even after the surgery but there are times that I feel like crying, especially now that i'm also suffering from headache and runny nose. I try so hard not to sneeze because my wounds hurt so bad every time I do. Ouch!

Enough with my rants. On with my countdown.

I remember when I was a kid, I found a little notebook my father kept to note details about me be…

countdown 4: same old me

I'm going over my previous blogs and notes and is quite amused with myself. Here are two of my previous posts:

August 8, 2010, 11:21 am

2 years ago I thought I was having a quarter life crisis. I think I still am. I think I always will be. The truth is, I'm crazy and disorganized and no amount of dreams coming true or milestones happening will ever change that. I am me, quirks and all. Well-thought decisions or rash actions. Mommy or not. Jobless or a raving workaholic. Single or married. Some old quirks just stay the same. I just must continue to love the fool in me. =)

September 6, 2007 1:32 pm

When so many good things are happening at the same time, I can't help but wonder what bad thing could be brewing for me, fearing that the fair wheel of fate will soon catch up and I'll find myself at the bottom again. The fear of the unknown and the uncertain sometimes keep me awake at night and make me think back to those nights I was bawling over in pain over a heartbreak or w…

countdown 5: circle of friends through the years

My most enduring relationship (aside from my family) is my friendship with my high school barkada. Even though I rarely keep in touch with them (blame it to my anti-social tendencies), they are omnipresent in my life especially during the moments that matter.

Oh, we used to have a lot of conflicts and a good share of teenage girl dramas - misunderstandings, taking sides, crying in the school stairways, puppy love, family problems, insecurities... akin to the then very popular teenage flick TGIS! But we did share a lot of fabulous memories together and we helped each other survive the awkward teenage phase and all its emotional baggage.

We parted ways after high school graduation, going to different schools in the country for our college courses. Here's an excerpt from a letter I wrote shortly after our graduation:

...With us, there's no need for any friendship pact because there's an invisible bond that bridges the gap and makes us realize that someone is always there for …

countdown 7: some drama after surgery

It's been a day after my laparoscopy and I'm now experiencing bouts of pain and moments of sadness. The doctor switched me to oral pain medication after discharging me from the hospital. But I couldn't complain, the pain is more tolerable than I expected. God is indeed good all the time.

My doctor said it would be two weeks before I can fully recover. The downside so far has only been that I could not play, cuddle and be with my son. His cries of mommy tear at my heart.

The upside is that I'm being spoiled by my mother. She's been cooking for me and serving my meals. I know this won't last long since she has work to go back to so I'm cherishing it as much as I can.

I'm not yet fully up to writing but it's better than moping and feeling the pain in my stomach for every small movement that I make.

I'm also keeping myself pre-occupied by reading the book Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto and I'm liking it so far. It brings back good memories…

countdown 8: the day I had my surgery

It was a warm day and I was running carefree on the grass. I came across a clear stream and dipped both of my feet in the shallow water. I was about to touch the water when I felt someone tugging on my shoulders.

"Wake up Lianne, we're done. The cyst has been removed. You're okay."

She also said something about suctioning and my lips being wounded but I couldn't fully comprehend what was happening. All I knew was I was rudely awakened from a nice-bizarre dream.

I remember greeting my doctor happy birthday then I was wheeled out of the delivery room. I was asked to wave hello to my husband and I did even though everything still seemed hazy.

I continued sleeping in the recovery room. I dreamt of palabok and shrimps and was shamelessly munching on them until I awakened and caught myself chewing on air. It's good the nurse assigned to me was busy with paper works and didn't notice me. Although I had a perfect excuse for being extremely hungry: I was put throu…

countdown 9: day 1 in the hospital

Day 1 in the Hospital

August 14, 2011

Before 6 pm today, I got admitted at St. Luke's Hospital for my laparoscopy tomorrow. It felt more like going to a hotel for a vacation rather than a hospital. I did not feel nervous at all. I believe I can tolerate anything that is less painful than a facial pricking. And maybe, giving birth two years ago gave me a courage I never had. Plus, after only one session with the doctor, I somehow knew that she will do a good job. She seemed a very competent doctor with a pleasing genuine personality (not the superficial joviality typical of someone who is selling something). I can not say the same of my regular obi-gynecologist.

Let me share the things I've learned in the course of the week since I found out that I had a dermoid cyst in my right ovary. The procedure that they will perform on me is called: laparascopic oophorocystectomy with possible laparotomy. We were given a choice by the doctor between laparoscopy and laparotomy. We chose the…

countdown 6: life's sweet surprises

Life is full of pleasant surprises!

Today, my husband successfully passed his oral comprehensive examination (OCE) for his masters in business administration. He was apprehensive about it especially because I was scheduled for surgery in the week of his OCE. He had to bring his laptop to the hospital to finish and polish his presentation. But he did it nonetheless, as I knew he would.

A few minutes ago, I received an email with the subject: Congratulations Good Housekeeping Survey Winner! Apparently, I won some nice prize in their Reader Survey. I honestly did not believe that I'd win something from answering the survey. I somehow did and this makes me believe in sheer luck again.

Yesterday in the hospital, we anxiously waited for the final statement of account, keeping our fingers crossed that our meager savings will be enough to cover for any medical expense in excess of my HMO card limit. To our surprise, despite of the doctor's estimate, we didn't have to shell out any…

That Seventies Show

There is a serious situation brewing that few people are talking about. This absolutely required a blog update.

One of the most dramatic features of the economic landscape during the 1970s was the disruption of the Oil Shock. Today, people are misled to believe that this was THE cause of inflation in that disastrous decade but that is a long way from the truth. In reality, it was more of a reaction to inflation. LBJ's creation of the modern welfare state combined with his escalation in Vietnam put the US on the path of permanent debt.

Accelerating inflation rapidly ensued for nearly a decade had already resulted in cumulative dollar inflation of over 50% before the Arab Oil Embargo and overnight tripling of prices. OPEC was using their market power and leverage to compensate for the falling value of the dollar and to get ahead of the galloping inflation our government and central bank had created. They noticed that they were being robbed via currency debasement and were in a positi…

some love and much happiness

I'm having lunch at Sbarro, enjoying my favorite baked ziti. I'm being more mindful now of the little things that bring me gladness. I love that there's free wi-fi and I was able to post my countdown blog for the day.

I am glad that we can afford (with the help of my and husband's hmo cards) to go to a very nice clinic and seek the help of qualified doctors. I can't believe I've been to 6 doctors this week alone - 3 ob-gynecologists for my ovarian cyst, 1 dentist for prophylaxis and pasta, 1 general medicine doctor for my pre-employment and 1 ENT doctor for my ears and tongue.

I am happy that we have a yaya we can count on to take care of our son and I can enjoy some guilt-free me-time even if it involves going to the doctor and not to the salon.

I am fortunate to have pinkpad with me always so that i can capture my thoughts and share them instantly.

I am grateful for the prospect of my mother and my husband's family arriving tomorrow to lend support and ta…

countdown 10: mindfulness

For a while, after giving birth to my son, I felt a sudden loss of my penchant for drama, a noticeable sense of emotional stability. In other words, I was steady and contented. And I often wondered what was wrong with me. Maybe I was so used to the roller coaster of emotions when the center of my world was just me that it felt weird to suddenly feel grounded. It used to be normal for me to complicate things, to inject drama to every aspect of my life, to be so conscious of what others will think or say about me. It could be that age and motherhood helped me become more matured and overcome such instability. Just some musings from a soon-to-be 30.

While waiting for my turn to the Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, I was reading an article in the August issue of Women's Health regarding Mindfulness being the new Happiness. A foreigner happened to sit beside me and noticed the iPad and what I was reading. He struck a conversation regarding happiness. He says there's this guy who …

countdown 11: family = comfort and security

I'm looking at the bright points in my current ordeal. One of the best part is being with my mama, who has taken a leave from work next week to be with me. There is something very comforting about having my mother near. Yey!

Ever since I started working, spending an extended period of time with my parents and siblings has been few and far between and is therefore a rare treat. I'm looking forward to bonding time with my mother.

I'm not a typical first-born. I rarely meddle in the affairs of my 2 brothers and 4 sisters. What I regret though is not being close to them, not knowing a lot of things about them, what they're currently going through, what their hopes are. I didn't wish to be corny and showy, we weren't really raised that way but I think I kept too much distance from them, which is quite sad. The good thing is the connection I have with my siblings is never lost no matter how long we are apart. It is something that is not forced. They are always there f…

Where to Invest in Turbulent Times

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 634 points Monday. Gold is at a record high. Farm land prices are high. There is uncertainty in the housing markets, stock markets, bond markets, international government debt, and the world-wide economy. The big question--where to invest? When the markets are so volatile, let it ride out and instead turn to make investments in what you can control: your time.
Now is the time to invest in yourself and time with your family and friends. It is time to reassess your skills, abilities, and how you spend your time. It is time to become more self-sufficient. Some ideas of self-investing in turbulent times:
• Grow a garden or visit farmer markets; can or freeze fresh vegetables for the winter months. Nothing tastes better than corn chowder or lasagna on a winter day made with fresh frozen sweet corn or tomatoes that you grew.
• Cut firewood. If you have a wood burning fireplace or wood stove, cut and stock up on wood for the winter. This can be a family event…

countdown 12: 90-second rule

I'm loving my magazine subscriptions on my iPad. They keep me company during waiting times such as this morning when I had my pre-employment examination. They give me new ideas and bits of wisdom and some common sense.

Of all my subscriptions, i love O, The Oprah Magazine best. Martha Beck's column in the September issue is very applicable to what I'm going through these days. It's all about adopting stubborn gladness despite of life being hard and scary.

What I would like to share is this approach to emotional suffering using the 90-second rule by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. It advocates that it takes only 90 seconds of feeling the emotion caused by negative event before the body finishes processing its stress hormones and returns to its baseline settings.

Any stress beyond one minute and a half is already the result of us (our minds) holding on to the negative emotion and willing ourselves to rethink and restimulate the stress and distress. This means we really have cont…

countdown 13: no matter what

Today is one of those days I would have rather spent 1) crying for a minute in the bathroom; 2) snuggling with my husband; and 3) playing with my son. When life deals you a bad hand, that's when you tend to refocus on the basics - faith, family and relationships.

I had to keep myself from breaking down a number of times today. The doctor was pretty good as she explained everything about the surgery but the gravity of it has not fully dawned on me until I parted ways with hubby. I don't wish to elicit sympathy. There are a lot worse things happening to other people. But I am just human and I feel bad for my body, for hubby who will bear the stress and pressure from all this and for little toddler who is too young to understand that mommy cannot play with him for a while.

I am scared and sad. But I am allowing myself to feel miserable only until tonight. There's really no point dwelling on the bad, it won't make things any better.

Tomorrow is a special day - the second y…

countdown 14: early birthday surprise

My obi-gynecologist said that I should have the surgery the soonest possible time and all I could think of was 'hey wait, i've got to finish the monthly tax returns at work and turnover notes first'. Insane!

I responded quite positively to the doctor's order. Immediately after she dismissed me, I went to the salon for eyebrow threading, pedicure and manicure. I would have asked for foot spa and hair spa too if not for my 6 o'clock appointment with the dentist. I want to look great on the operating table.

And I called hubby and asked him to do the dirty work aka call the HMO, find an accredited doctor and hospital.

This 7.7 x 8.9 x 6.2 cm dermoid cyst in my right ovary is proving to be a killjoy, spoiling my plan to have a grand 30th birthday bash (as if). It's good that we had an advance birthday celebration this weekend in Tagaytay, before I finally found time to go for a transvaginal ultrasound last Sunday and heard the grim news.

But I am definitely not le…

countdown 15: faith in Him who knows best

Yesterday, I received a not so good news and I felt that suddenly my life was at a standstill. I must admit I was a bit frightened but the emotion that prevailed was an urge to keep going, to get it over with as quickly as possible so that I can continue living my life.

I don't know what's going to happen yet but I have faith that things will turn out okay. Today, a number of things I fretted about yesterday was settled quite well. In fact, today is a happy and hopeful day for me. I got what I asked for, and more. And I thank God for continuing to shower me with blessings, despite of my fickle-mindedness and weaknesses.

These past days since I started my countdown to my 30th were quite eventful. August is indeed my special month. Our family had a memorable bonding in Tagaytay last weekend. I will celebrate my second year as a mom to my toddler this Thursday. I'm going to have my last day in my current job soon.

Last night, I did not pray that I be spared from troubles and …

countdown 17/16: like/ unlike (question no. 4)

I'm at Starbucks right now enjoying free coffee care of hubby's HSBC credit card receipt. Some good things in life are still free.

He's out there running while I'm here reading and writing.

Why do I like reading and writing more than I like running?

I don't force myself to run because I have learned from Martha Beck's Yours for the Asking article in O, The Oprah Magazine, that it is not good to try to like the things you don't (really) like.

I did give running a chance and I did like it for a while but I couldn't truly capture and sustain a passion for it. I realize though that I have to pick some form of exercise to keep healthy. But maybe running is not for me, not even after the good things about it I've said in a previous post. Or maybe it's merely a phase and I'll eventually take up running again. What I know for sure is it is not gainful to force it on me right now.

One more thing that I didn't really like is reading books on becom…

countdown 18: a love affair

Sometimes the city gets too crowded, polluted and noisy for me that I crave for the more serene rural life.

I can't believe I've been living here in the city for almost 10 years already. When I was a kid, my parents or an aunt would occasionally bring me here. I used to be amazed of the big malls but I hated the smoke-belching buses and the noise and pollution. I never dreamt of working in the city. My simple dream in college was to graduate, take the board exams, work in a bank (just like my papa did), get married, have kids and live happily ever after.

But God had other plans for me. I went to Manila to review for the board exams. On the night of the release of the results, I and my parents received one of the biggest surprises in our lives - I did not just pass the board exams, I also placed 13th!

I can still vividly recall my mama shouting at the top of her lungs. I think I really made my parents proud that night. And as my mother whirled me in her arms, I couldn't he…

countdown 19: taking responsibility

Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this room.

These words from the latest O, The Oprah Magazine I’ve read struck me and were ringing in my head since yesterday. I’m not sure if it was Oprah who said it but nonetheless, it is a mantra worth emulating.

Complaining a lot – GUILTY!
Heartily joining in lunchtime gripes and grumbles – GUILTY!

I am guilty of creating and harboring bad energy in this world.

It’s not easy not to complain. It has become a way of life for me - rooted from the stressful world of public practice in audit and accounting and carried over to my personal life and subsequent endeavours. And most of the people I’ve met and dealt with are no different. We merely fuel each other’s hang-ups.

I want these words tattooed in a conspicuous place like my hands maybe, so that each time I harbor negative thoughts or open my mouth to complain, I will be reminded that I am responsible for the energy I bring into this world.

Where I am going, I would definitely need a …

countdown 20 (again): a lesson learned

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank was hands-down hilarious! I did not know what to expect from an indie film but I did not leave the cinema disappointed. Husband and I almost doubled over laughing. But I actually left with a heavy heart and unshed tears. Sounds melodramatic but true.

The movie depicted the life of a widow with seven children living in the slums. The approach of the movie was unique but it brought to light the sad plight of the children of poor families in our country (At least, for me). Being a new mom myself, it broke my heart that Mila (Eugene's character in the movie) had to prostitute her son to a pedophile. And it is poignant to think that this happens in real life.

The movie tugged at the wall of indifference I've subconsciously built around myself through the years. I am aware that we have impoverished fellow Filipinos living in the slums but I have learned to relegate them to a different world removed from mine. Maybe, it was partly because I felt there was no…

countdown 20: food cravings

I was off from work early so I decided to meet up with my husband. I was famished and was craving for something sweet and something salty. We happened to pass by (more of walk by since we were on foot) Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City. Hubby said he's heard of a burgerhouse somewhere in the area that serves awesome burger.

We did find Burger Avenue in a cozy corner. And it comes with free wi-fi! Me and hubby are internet-addicts. Sort of.

I ordered their regular crispy bacon melt burger and strawberry milkshake. I added some french fries for the not-hungry hubby. A bit pricey at almost p400 but when i took a bite - YUM! - well worth it. I've always been a fan of crispy bacon and this one's a real treat.

crispy bacon melt burger + strawberry milkshake + hubby = bliss!

And because I forgot to ask hubby to take a picture of me biting into the deliciousness, I had to go for a second serving, this time the junior version, and with hubby finishing it off.

No nuggets of wisdom t…

countdown 21: some ambitious goals

I have the tendency to skim through things that's why through the years I have become a jack of all trades, master of none. I am competent with many skills but I am not necessarily an expert in any particular one.

As I turn 30, one of my goals is to specialize and be outstanding in at least one thing. I'll try to lessen instances of merely trying to get by which sometimes make me feel like a fraud.

Easier said than done. I know this is one goal that would require time, hard work and constant practice.

Let this post be a reminder to myself that on this day, 1st of August 2011, I have decided to become outstanding in 3 things: my career as a CPA, parenting and writing.

May I strive to be an expert in my field, able to share and contribute to the development of others.

As a parent, I don't intend to be an expert by the standards of societal norms but only in the eyes of my son. May I become to him the best mom in the whole world.

May I continue to kindle my passion for writing …