Feb 28, 2010

Pepakura - Weekend Projects

by Linnor

Cutting the parts to their exact sizes was therapeutic, I discovered. It's my favorite part in doing these "pepakura" projects because my fingers were quite big to make the paper heads or the hands perfect.

After finishing 4 characters, we all became more adept. Each succeeding project took a shorter time to make and each piece looked better than the last.

So imagine hubby and 13 yo Kyle cutting the paper pieces and me taping and pasting the parts together. That's pretty much how our weekend at home was spent. Geeky but cool!

Feb 26, 2010

Handmade Bumblebee

by Linnor

Son #2, Kyle's patience, which is usually short (ha!), was tested last night as we cut and glued together the paper pieces for this craft.

It may not be as perfect as we wanted it to look (rough edges, imperfect head, missing piece, etc), but it was the best we could do as 1st timers.   This was actually fun and I enjoyed doing it with him.

Thanks to a colleague who introduced us to this, we'll have more projects this weekend.

Feb 20, 2010

Dear Darla

by Linnor

Have you tried it or even heard of it? For those who haven't, here's the lowdown. First, you put a layer of arugula. Second, you sprinkle some alfalfa sprouts. Then you roll the pizza tightly to secure the greens. And voila! That's Dear Darla.

Hold the roll and sink your teeth to taste something new. I guarantee you'll find it quite a novelty. The first time I tried, I immediately liked it. Maybe you would too if you like greens.

Of course, before all that, you have to order it from a Yellow Cab pizza outlet nearest you.

Feb 19, 2010

Getting By

by Linnor

To get through this extra busy day due to planned and unplanned tasks,
I found myself accepting an offer from a colleague...

... and reached for a piece (and then another) of the choco-vron he
was holding.


Feb 16, 2010

Inanimate Nanny

by Linnor
Thank heavens for colleagues who are fond of Legos and other toy
figures! Yep, good thing it's a hobby for most IT experts. These
could keep Jake preoccupied for hours while I go about my day and
while Jerry goes from one meeting to the next. :)

"Woosh! Bam-bala-bam... Woo! The pirates have landed! Bsssh!"

I'd gladly choose listening to make-believe pirate stories more than
hearing a whiney kid who's already bored stiff. Wouldn't you?

Feb 14, 2010

Salmon Two Nights in a Row

by Linnor

The restaurants in the malls are full. Some even require advance bookings or reservations. Good business actually for retail establishments and food outlets, with 2 special occasions falling on the same day: Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year. Add to that the fact that it's payday. And you have the perfect mix for a happily chaotic weekend. Hehe.

For us, lunch was spent at home, after hearing mass. But come 6 pm, we were part of the crowd jostling for space in one of the restos in the mall.

Dinner was at Sizzling Pepper Steak. And compared with La Gondola (last night's venue for dinner), tonight's fare was better in more ways than one.

Now we are here having tea at the bar of Gustavian (and enjoying free wifi). Dinner has been 2 hours ago and am still full. I know now where to get my salmon steak fix for P300.

And it's definitely not from La Gondola.

Feb 13, 2010

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

by Linnor

To treat the boys to a dragon/lion dance and fireworks display in celebration of the Chinese new year, we brought them to Waterfront Hotel where we had dinner at La Gondola.

Being the restless kid, Jake was walking around engaging everyone to a conversation when I caught this:

Jake (to chef): Is Ratatouille in your cap?


Jake (to the same chef who's making pizza): Are you making bread?

Jake (seeing the round dough): Oh! That's not bread. Is that siopao?


Kung hei fat choi!

Happy Hearts' Day!

by Linnor


Our preschool boy came home last Thursday and excitedly exclaimed: "I have something for you Ma!" and proceeded to hand me a project they made in school. :)

It was a paper cut-out shaped into a heart and pasted in 2 layers. As you open the 1st layer, this message is written inside: "I love you Mom and Dad! - Jacob".

I looked at it and imagined how much effort he put into it. Then I looked at him, smiled and gave him a hug as I thanked him. It's now ranked high up there together with the love notes handmade by my elder sons when they were Jake's age. 

Small reminders of their child-like days when their full focus was on family and they were not preoccupied yet with teenage stuff like friends, school, going out, crushes, etc. My heart ached a bit and longed for those times.  Our elder sons have grown now.  They no longer make paper cut-outs in the shape of hearts. 

I sat in reverie until my thoughts were interrupted.

"Do you like it?", Jacob asked. "Of course!", I replied.

It's priceless...

Happy hearts' day!

Feb 10, 2010

Early Riser

by Linnor
Out of necessity, I'm usually up by 515am. That is, if I don't wake
up ahead of my 2 set alarms. I instinctively barge into the boys'
room to literally pull them out of bed and coax them to get ready for
school. Then I try to go back to sleep.

Recently, I added a new routine to my lethargic mornings to allow for
some fitness regimen. Ahem. Hubby bought a "twist and shape" stepper
which is, more than anything, for making tv watching more productive.

So by 7am, after seeing the boys off, I'd be hooked on Unang Hirit or
Umagang Kay Ganda while working the mini machine until it registers
200 calories burned!

The happy hormones would power me to go about the rest of the day.
However, right after lunch at home, I try to squeeze in about 10mins
of downtime (aka nap) or else, I'd look like Jake's favorite cartoon
character in this pic.

The end.

Another senseless blabber just to tie the pic to my post.

Feb 7, 2010


by Linnor


After the boys' haircut at about 5pm, we were choosing between having snacks or early dinner. Thinking it was a
healthier option to eat before 6pm, we decided to have the latter.

We checked on the menu display of Gustavian, Cyma, Siam, Hola Espana and Mesa. We even thought of going to Casa Verde. However, upon seeing the crispchon picture at Mesa, we didn't go any further.

We had crispchon the first time we ate there and greatly enjoyed it. This time around we tried a different fare altogether and zeroed in on their inihaw sampler, 2-way laing and my seafood pasta.

Except for the seafood pasta which wasn't the marinara I was expecting it to be, the inihaw sampler and laing were just delish! To go with the main dish, we had tinapa rice. The food was more than enough for 3 hungry boys.

"Ah, we're sooo full", exclaimed our eldest when they were done. Ha! It's only 630pm, I told them. We're in the mall anyway. Go walk it off. :P

Choco mousse dessert is waiting at home.

Feb 5, 2010

With Gusto

by Linnor 

For snacks, I normally buy Jake KFC's Wow Steak or Jollibee's
spaghetti, batchoy, burger steak or chicken. These food outlets are in
the same building where my office is so it was rather convenient.

Yesterday, after sleeping for 2 hours right in Jerry's office and
perhaps getting tired of the usual fare, Jake wanted something
different - tempura and rice.

Off we went to Rai Rai Ken (not my favorite of Japanese restos) and
gave Jake what he craved. I could only shake my head at the way he
ate his rice and battered shrimps and almost drank the tempura sauce.
He even wanted to eat a portion of my ramen!

Hay... my boy is growing faster than I want him to. He'll be six in a
month. :)

Feb 3, 2010

No Time

by Linnor

It totally slipped my mind. The time I remembered to check on Jake's
preschool notebooks for assignment was past midnight! And guess
what? The assignment was for them to bring to school a home-made clock.

Instinctively I ran a list of materials in my head that would be
needed to make the clock. Paper plate, marker, scissors and bolt and
nut. Ever the procrastinator, I decided to sleep instead of do the
project. Can you believe it? It was way past midnight after all!

So by 530am, I was like a headless chicken running about gathering the
things I needed. Thankfully, after completing the clock at 615am, Jake
said: "Ma, that's nicer than what other Mamas made." Hehe.

What do you think?

Feb 2, 2010

Now Showing

by Linnor

After dinner, Jerry took the kids and I to La Marea for dessert.
Elder boys had brownie cups while I had a small cup of brewed coffee
and half a blueberry muffin.

We sat there just enjoying the dessert and each other's company. Jake
watched Ice Age 3 while eating the other half of my muffin and Jerry's
ice cream. Hehe. And the whole time his eyes were fixed on Sloth.

I love relaxed moments like this.

Three's Company

by Junnie

It is peaceful and quiet now. Had it been this time 3 weeks ago, we'd probably hear incessant dogs barking as if not able to eat for days, the roaring sound of airplane every 10 minutes and maybe an animated discussion between my Mom-in-law and Tita Lola discussing things in the dining table.

It was always filled with sound and a lot of energy.

And from the recollection of my mom when we had an hour's call for the first time in 2 weeks, it was never the same after we left. Meals were quiet now. There were no pitter patter sound of footsteps running around the marbled floor nor the ruckus of flying plastic bricks from the play room to the living room.

Yes, we left the Philippines last January 20, arrived in Canada on the same day. Thus, this day became the longest day of our life as a family. Settling down, a week has passed, I could barely recall how our lives would have been different had the lil master of the house wasn't here with us.

Now our routines are in check. The past 10 days was tumultuous with changes in settings and environment disrupting sleep patterns and schedules. There were bouts with cough and colds, which are part and parcel with the change in temperature. There is the lack of energy to see people nor to be with other people. Hibernation was setting in. And it wasn't looking good.

So we broke the patterns one by one. I went out to watch an NBA game live. The wife started to visit her former shopping places and as a family we started to answer some phone calls, replied to emails and went out once in a while.

This allowed us to be out of our funk at least quickly as possible.

But those are physical changes, manifestations of usual transpacific travel, everyone calls as Jet lagged.

The best change we've felt lately is the fact that we were able to get out of everything as a family- us, three. The emotional high riding on fever subsiding or our bodies recovering was made more pleasant by the fact that we healed together as a family. Now, we wake up at the same time, we take turns to be with Gabriel, we watch TV, play outside in the snow and do things with an extra pair of little hands.

If you ask me if there was anything we wished for when we celebrated our Wedding anniversary last month, I'd just smile and tell you that the Lord has blessed us so much, sometimes I've forgotten to ask anything else. The only thing and prayer we utter these days are words of gratitude.