#milaOOTD: Wearing Hearts (and Dad Says No To Boys)

We attended a cousin's Christening last Saturday. It was just me, ate Joy, Tita Paullette and Mila. No Dad. He was still at a work-related event and he keot bugging me for pictures so I sent him this:


His reaction was simple but it got me rolling in laughter.



1st Studio Photo Shoot Session at Nice Print Photography

We have thousands of Mila's pictures on file. Most of them, I was able to sort into folders of "for printing",  "for editing", and "for keeping". More than half of it, I still haven't managed to really take a look at and it falls on the "backup" folder.

A few weeks before Mila turned one, I was trying to choose a few photos I want to include in the tarpaulin. What I thought was a 30-minute project turned out to be a thousand times longer. There was just too many to choose from. And each picture brings out memories that makes me stop and smile, then I'd end up just wanting to play with Mila. Job was never done.

We were pressed for time and Hubs suggested to just have a Pre-Birthday Photoshoot. I wouldn't say no to more chances of dressing up my doll so it's a yes. I wanted a professional photographer to do this so it stands out among my pedestrian shots. It was just a matter of having the money for it since I really did not put that on our birthday budget.

Event: Baby Sign Language and Understanding Your Toddler Workshop

It's never too early to prepare before the "terrible twos". Mila is just 13 months but she is showing signs of frustrations and has the same temper as her dad. Which we both agree that's not a good thing. Most of the time, it's easy to deal with. Other times, we just don't know what she wants. As of now, we're taking a cue from Daniel Tiger's mom. Whenever Mila is starting to show irritation and gets mad, we sing "Use your words". I'll be surprised if she stops whining and start elaborating her feelings with words. The song calms her down though. Enough to distract her and that generally stops her from a full blown outburst. No incident yet of public tantrums and I will work my ass off to keep it that way.

I'm so excited to attend next week's workshop: Baby Sign Language and Understanding Your Toddler hosted by the MANILA WORKSHOPS. This is a half-day event that will guide us on understanding our babies better. I had been reading on sign language even when I was still pregnant and wanted to practice it with Mila. I just felt overwhelmed by a lot of things a new mom needs to know and had been putting this off. Now is a great chance to learn new skills that will help me better understand, take care and bond with Mila.

Registration is still open. Hope to see you all there!

Click here to register




CALL FOR HELP : A Benefit Dinner For Carlisle and His Battle With Brain Cancer

When I found out I was pregnant, the prayer that I always whisper to God's ears was to give me a healthy baby. I still do. I can't stop thanking Him for keeping Mila healthy every single day. The worse Mila had was a few days of loose bowel movement and slight fever. It was the first time I saw her without energy. The spark on her lovely eyes was gone and it drove me crazy. It turned out she was just overfed. The failure of a clueless, newbie mom.

I was already imagining all sorts of horrible things. I imagined her lying in a hospital bed with tubes stuck on her arm. Constant barage of nurses with needles as big as a pen, hurting my baby more. The water works just kept on coming. We really were thinking of the worst.

That's when I really understood the horrors of dealing with your children's sickness. No parent wants to see their kid suffering. There's constant vigilance on making sure she is protected against virus, bacteria and other diseases. You spend thousands on vaccines and vitamins to build her immunity. But life really is full of surprises. It just has a twisted way of challenging us. One day, you have the happiest most beautiful baby, the next day he is suffering from the worst pain you will not wish on your enemy.

Mommy Marie of warriormomandcraniokid.com is living that nightmare. Read on for her story and how to help her little fighter Carlisle:
Carlisle Von Patrick was born as a healthy bouncing baby boy on the morning of March 31st, 2012. Being a single mom who carried him for the whole nine months by myself, I was so overwhelmed that he came out as healthy as I prayed for. Crying out loud, rosy cheeks, birthmark. Everything seems to be perfect. I make sure that he'll not be hurt, no insect will bite him. He was present on monthly check-ups, up-to-date with his vaccines.

On his fourth month, my world froze when we rushed him to ER due to viral meningitis. I thought that would be the end of my unexplainable happiness in life, but thank God that my boy survived.

Series of follow-ups and tests were done and since then, we were in and out of the hospital due to his inconsistent nausea, vomiting, and fever. Doctors thought that his meningitis came back, until one decided to do cranial ultrasound on him, and everything weakens me after that.

Carlisle Von Patrick has been diagnosed with Craniopharyngioma (brain tumor) last February 2013 after his MRI procedure and went on brain surgery to remove the tumor last June 2013 at University of Santo Tomas Hospital. His life was saved, but his eyesight wasn't. He's undergoing constant follow up checks to maintain healthy living. Last update that we had is he needs to go for another surgery because the tumor is getting bigger again.



On September 27, 2014, Buffet 101 Eastwood branch will be hosting a dinner-for-a-cause event for Carlisle. The #DinnerForCarlisle buffet is priced at Php 1,100 for adults and Php 600 for kids 3.5 ft and above. Children below the height limit is considered free of charge. Part of the sales will be for Carlisle's hospital funds. Dinner starts at 5:30 PM.



#WearGreyForCarlisle shirts can also be ordered for P400. Sizes ranges from XS to 3XL. 

You can also deposit your donations through these channels under Account Name: Marie Ruth C Berma: 

• BPI - Account# 0489653699 
• BDO - Account# 005000045298 
• LBC Pera Padala (details by request) 

We also have setup a GoFundMe account for him, which is http://gofundme.com/CarlisleVonPatrick. 

For more details, please like www.facebook.com/HelpForCarlisle or you can message Mommy Marie at berma.mr@msn.com or 09398836164.


Of Excessive Sweating and Morning Sniffles


This is what I came home to this morning. I couldn't help but laugh. See how covered her Ate Joy and her Tita Paullette are? Now where's Mila? She is already on the corner nearest the AC and she managed to get her pajama pants off, but she's still sweating like a pig.

As with almost everything else, she got that from her dad. They both get hot easily and have high tolerance for cold. It's always a struggle for me specially when she was just a few months old and too little. We co-sleep and I breastfeed. So the AC is on full blast, sometimes with the fan also on, and there I am freezing to death, almost half naked to get the Princess free access to the liquid gold. Who am I to deprive my baby of the comfort a cold freezer room will give her.

Now that she is a little older and alot more active, her sweating is on a whole new level. Her whole body sweat is manageable. It's really her head that drives me crazy. The little amount of hair she has can drip salties with just a few minutes of play. The oldies say it's because her brain is too active and it's a sign of intelligence. I know Mila is smart, sweaty or not.

A few months ago, my mom gave me a big bag of powdered tawas (Potassium Alum). She said I can use it to minimize Mila's sweating. I was hesitant at first because I'm not sure if it's safe. Until I got desperate. Based on Medical Health Guide, Tawas is safe for use even for infants, lactating and pregnant women. It is hypoallergenic and I even use it as a mouthwash when I have mouth sores.

So one specially hot, sweaty day, I added a tablespoon of tawas to a small basin of water. I used that for final rinsing during bath time. Lo and behold, she's still sweaty. Haha. I should have known since tawas is not antiperspirant but a it's a good deodorizer and antibacterial. Mila as usual, had tiny beads like raindrops on her head but she still smelled nice. No wet dog odor at all. Well, I don't think she smells that bad, but you get what I mean.

I 'm still using tawas to keep her smelling like a baby. To keep her dry and fresh, we use baby powder - Tiny Buds Rice Baby Powder. Talc can settle on baby's lungs and cause all kinds of respiratory issues and more. I'm very careful about eliminating talc around Mila since we have a history of asthma in the family.

Tiny Buds Rice Baby Powder is a talc-free biodegradable powder that is an absolute delight. Because it is made of rice starch, it's safe even if inhaled. It effectively keeps Mila dry and fresh. I use it on my face too as a setting powder. I breakout easily and the natural ingredients not only keeps the oil at bay, it does not block my pores. When Mothercare opened in Glorietta, we bought a tube of their liquid powder worth P400. Our first Tiny Buds Rice Baby Powder only cost about P99.00 from Landmark. Great value!

 Rice Baby Powder and Cold Rub

Speaking of Landmark, I recently found another gem in there - the GIGA display shelf. I'm not sure if they had been selling GIGA for a while now but it's the first time I've noticed that one shelf near the escalators next to the Human Nature display. GIGA products are locally made and all natural. They have soaps, aromatherapy oils, pet care, and baby products. We had been using the GIGA Tea Tree Cream purchased months ago in a stall in Megamall during. It's way too far from us so I didn't know if I'll be able to buy more. Then I chanced upon them in Makati, right across where I work. Yey! I got a small pot of GIGA Baby Cold Rub. Right in time when tropical storm Mario is wrecking havoc and the whole household got slight colds. For P115 (10gms size), I find it a little expensive though.

I wish this will help with Mila's morning sniffles. Almost everyday, she got runny nose when she wakes up. There are nights too that she just can't sleep because of her colds. Her pedia said it's allergies and suggested higher dose of vitamin C. I think it's because the room is almost always too cold. It's hard to balance really. I don't want her sweaty and uncomfortable, but the cold air can cause her sniffles. Vicks helps her breath better yet I find it too strong. GIGA Baby Cold Rub seems to be delivering as promised. I'll pose a more thorough review when we get to use it some more.

Product Shot
This is why our GIGA Cold Rub label had been partially peeled off. Those teeth will gnaw on anything.

For mommies (or daddies) who had to deal with excessive sweating and mornings sniffles, any suggestions to a noob mommy like me?









2 Easy Squid Recipes

This weekend was Hubs' birthday and we had an impromptu party Saturday night. Most of the food we served was either pork or beef. I ate too much, I felt like I developed an instant coronary blockage.

I want to stay away from meat for at least a few days. When I went outside, I saw our neighbor selling fresh Tilapia and Squid. The tentacles seemed to be calling me so I bought 1 kilo which is about 7 pcs of medium sized squid. It's too much for 3 people to eat in one meal so I decided to split them into two meals. Here's my 2 easy Squid Recipes: Ginisang Pusit and Malunggay Calamares. I served the ginisa for lunch and the calamares for dinner.


Ginisang Pusit and Calamares


A Letter To My Husband


Dear Mic,

You said you don't need a celebration on your birthday. I planned on booking a staycation for us, you wanted to just snuggle at home. I want us to indulge on a good buffet, you said you'll just cook great food.

Honey, you changed so much within those 6 birthdays we celebrated together. Remember the first one? That was the time I met most of your cousins, the WTC group. You wanted to have a big party, lots of food and booze. Even if it was your day, you didn't leave my side knowing I was too anxious on how the family would accept me. Needless to say it was a happy birthday.

Last year was the most special. We had our first night out together after a while. It was in Bluewave where we welcomed your 32nd with great kebab and some beer. That was the same place we used to talk for hours drinking coffee, when you were still trying to make me fall in love. But that's not what made last year special. Mila did. Your 32nd was your first birthday with Mila, our greatest gift ever. So I guess you are only two years old today. Because Dad, you were reborn when we were gifted with our wonderful Mila Alessandra.

You stayed the same and changed a lot at the same time. You grew up. We both did. We knew how to love. We learned how to love unconditionally, selflessly. You always knew your priorities. Mila put everything in focus and I can see hard you are now working to achieve our goals.

My heart gets filled every time I get home in the morning and see you and Mila sleeping peacefully, with our little girl's head on your chest, feeling so secured. I couldn't help but be proud everytime she shouts "DAAAAADDDDDD". That just means I picked the best dad for her. Someone who is present in her life and will be there everytime she needs someone to protect her, love her, spoil her. She knows you too well and she knows how much you can't resist her charms.

You always say we are your inspiration. Thank you dad, because you inspire us too. Even if I hate Lebron, I get to love him for you. It's contagious how passionate you are. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, workmates, they do look up to you. The confidence you have is matched with actions and reliability. We know you walk the talk. You are not only a manager, you are a leader.

There maybe a lot of times when we don't seem to understand each other. We are both hard headed and got too much pride. When I'm just about to give up, you stand your ground and hold on to me. If you were not man enough to swallow your pride, maybe I will not have a little girl who had clearly stolen from my heart. Thank you!

A strong woman needs an even stronger man to guide her, to inspire her, and allow her to bloom. You are that man for me. 

silly face
You are the only one who can put up with my craziness. (photo: 11/10/12)
To my source of strength, my competitor, my inspiration, my husband, my partner, Happy birthday Baby!

Love,
Pau



PS.

Dear Dad,

To my Kamukha, I love you so much po. Thank you for taking care of me even if you sometimes make me cry. Thank you for loving mom the way you do because that makes her happy and it makes me happy too. 
When I do something naughty, please remember that my first work id DAD, so you can't be mad. That's because you are my favorite (just don't tell mom). 
Happy Birthday Dad! Mom and I love you more than I love boob milk. And that's plenty!

I love you more than I love Boob Milk


Love,

Your Cupcake MILA

#milaOOTD: 10 Holiday Inspired Outfits


Let me do a #ThrowbackThursday post. I miss dressing up Mila. It's been a hectic week and I don't really have a decent camera to do new outfit shots. I kept getting reminders from Dropbox to upgrade my account so I decided to revisit my photos uploaded in there.

It's mid-September now and most of my Mommy friends are busy planning for Halloween. That time last year was our first ever holiday dressup. We were supposed to attend my office party. We had to turn back midway due to heavy traffic. Mila was only 10 weeks old then and we were really too afraid to travel with her. I got too inspired planning her outfit that day, I knew I want more. So our playtime began.

1. Halloween

Our little skeleton girl. I designed the custom print onesie then added felt bones on black stockings. The headband was a last minute add on. I just drew the girly face on a skullhead felt cutout. 
Halloween Costume
Halloween. Oct 31, 2013

2. Christmas 

Her Dad specifically requested an elf costume. Pics turned out very nice, we decided to turn it into our Social Media greeting card.

Pinakbet. Eat. Pray. Love.

On any normal day, it's hard for me to think of what to cook. Most of the time, we end up just buying cooked food and Mila will just eat one of her pre-prepared meals we have in the freezer. These past few days, Mila had been getting picky and does not like her mushy food. So I decided I'll cook something fresh to start our Monday.

Mila loves her veggies and I had been craving for some so I decided we'll have Pinakbet for lunch. I used to dread cooking this because of too many ingredients I need to prepare. And I always end up cooking way more than we can consume. I try to avoid leftovers because the veggies get overcooked when we reheat it and we don't really like to eat it anymore. After a few tries, I found the best portion for us. It's really very easy to cook, not to mention very healthy too.


Crystal Beach Resort - Mila's First Beach Experience

Hubs and I love going to the beach. That's our best way to recharge: a relaxing day or two with nothing to do but swim, eat, drink beer and be merry. Of course this time, I want to take Mila too. I just knew that the fresh ocean breeze would do wonders for her. It had been bothering me that Summer 2014 passed without us seeing a single drop of ocean water and sand. I already gave up on going this year since two planned outings with our families got cancelled already. Until Hubs said his team is finally having their much deserved team building and we can go if we want to. Of course it's a big YES.

I had been to Crystal Beach before with Hubs and our WTC group. It was not as well known as it is now. The past few years, they had been hosting big surfing and music events so I've been wanting to go back.

Mila was a trooper. She was on her best fun self. It helped that she has her playmate Ate Ruby Rose with her. Our almost 4 hour travel time was full of laughter from the two kids.

Before checking in, Hubs decided to look at 2 other resorts nearby. They were hoping to find a good alternative that will allow the team to rent a Videoke Machine. Neither came close to the beauty and value of Crystal Beach. The team willingly gave up on singing their hearts out in exchange of a good, relaxing feel that this place can offer. It's lucky we went on a weekday and we were the only guests since we were loud enough even without the Videoke.

We got there around 5pm. Almost in time for the sunset. Even before settling down, I immediately dressed Mila in her rashguard and cute Gingersnaps bloomers and off we went to get our feet wet. She kept on trying to clean the sand off her feet until she got frustrated and wouldn't want to walk anymore. I'm glad I got some photos before the dark set in.

Mila's first sunset by the beach 

Monday Morning Surprises

I love Monday mornings. That's because I don't have to go to work until evening. I can sleep until late in the day while the rest of the world is battling the rush hour traffic and wishing they can extend the weekend. This Monday morning is extra special. We got two surprises. Well, Mila did.

Mila Alessandra
We just woke up so please pardon our troll hair

Free Home Service Vaccination 


Hubs and I had been thinking of checking out our local health center to get Mila's vaccinations. I know that most of the vaccines are given free. Come to think about it, we are paying for it with our ridiculous taxes, so why not utilize it, right? But we don't know where our local health center is and we don't even know if they will recognize us as residents in our barangay since we're not registered voters here. Those I know can be solved easily when I ask the right person. If I do and when I do. We had been putting it off and prefers the convenience of going to our pedia in San Juan De Dios. All our consultations are free because Mila has her health card but it does not cover the cost for vaccines and it can cost a lot.

It had been in the news that a national campaign against Measles-Rubella and Polio had been launched by the government. Unicef had donated millions of vaccines to be administered for free for all children 1 to 5 years old in local health centers. I wanted Mila to take advantage of that so I told myself that Monday morning will be the day I finally sign Mila up. At 10 am, Yaya Joy woke me up (I mentioned Mondays are for sleeping so don't judge) She said there are doctors looking for Mila and I had a microsecond panic because I thought she said Mila needs to see the doctor.

I'm glad I decided to check it out instead of just going back to sleep. It turned out that doctors from our Barangay Clinic are going door-to-door to administer the free vaccine. They can only give the Measles-Rubella vaccine if the last dose was more than a month ago. Mila had hers last March so it's a go. Surprisingly, even if I had to force her to wake up, she was not cranky and barely cried when the injection went in her left arm. Then the Polio drops seemed like juice for her.

Measles-Rubella P800, FREE. Oral Polio P200, FREE. 
Helping Mila stay healthy is priceless. The extra shopping money is a bonus. Within a few minutes of waking up, we save at least P1,000. Yey!

Airmail


For the second morning surprise, Mila got her first hand written card. Receiving an air mailed letter is surprising enough, then I'll see it's hand written, and it's for my Mila, totally unexpected. I am jealous. And shamed. I wrote Mila letters on this blog and even mentioned that I promise to teach her the art of traditional letter writing. Yet I don't have a single paper with my words written on it to give her. Hay, another thing I've been neglecting.

The mail came from Mila's Tita Ninang Mimi who stays in New Jersey. The two had not met yet except through Skype. They adore each other. I love that Mimi continues to send hand written cards and letters to family and friends. She sent us one when Mila was newly born. She also sent a Christmas Card and a Birthday Card to Hubs, her cousin. That's when I said I should be teaching Mila to appreciate the love poured over a letter that is personalized by touch. Thanks again Mimi. We love you!

The first Air-Mailed letter we received. 

Mila loved her ice cream cone card. She even read it a few times. And there's a pin that came with the card that she loves to eat too. Yum!
Cutie card for a cutie baby
Sweet letter from sweet Ninang


Post Mistress

Post Mistress. Is that what you call a lady postman? Should it be postwoman? Postlady? Either way, I got my own Monday Morning Surprise from the lady who delivered our mail.
Upon entering our gate, she handed me the envelope, then took my chair without asking or being asked. She told me to sign the acknowledgement sheet and before I was done, she said in a voice that's a little demanding: "Hindi mo ba ko bibigyan ng tubig? Kailangan ko uminom ng vitamins ko. Pakisiguro na Mineral Water ha." Wow! I'm glad I have Mila with me and was still on a good mood. I just teased her, "Sosyal naman si ate, mineral water lang iniinom." And she turned condescending "Mineral water lang hindi mo mabili? P35 lang naman yun. Tubig gripo ba iniinom ng baby mo?" She went on her litany about why people do not buy or drink mineral water when it is a necessity. By then, I already decided to leave and just keep my happiness. 

Mondays are My Days.

Mila Went to: Food & Drinks Asia 2014

FOOD & DRINKS ASIA 2014 and FOOD FRANCHISING 2014 is happening at the World Trade Center, Manila from September 4-7, 2014. I got 2 complimentary tickets and decided to go after my work on Saturday, Sept 6. It was suppose to be just Hubs and I. When it was time to go, it was too hard to leave Mila since Saturdays are suppose to be our day. So off we go with a cutie in tow.




I'm glad we went Saturday since Sept 4-6 is open for Trade Business Visitors only and Sunday will be open for everyone. There were less people that what I normally encounter when we attend Christmas Bazaars in WTC. Mila was in her stroller the whole time and there's enough space to easily navigate around each booth as I sample all the food that I can. It may not be the same tomorrow. And on that note, don't bring your kid's stroller because it's not allowed. The grumpy guide wouldn't even let Hubs get inside the building with the stroller like it was a bomb. We only got in because Peter from Fly Ace said we can just leave it at the booth when he gave us our tickets, so thank you.

I lost my phone which I use to take pictures so I assigned the task to Hubs. Our first order of business: eat lunch. There are alot of choices but we opted for the one with big space snd comfortable sitting which is at the back of the venue, right next to the stage. We had 2 small cups of newly cooked spaghetti given by Hunts to sample. Mila finished it off with a bottle of milk. With a full tummy, I knew Mila is ready to snooze off and Hubs and I are ready to roam.

From the first to the last booth, we were awed by the great products and discounts available. I don't think I skipped a single booth offering free taste. There were coffee, cheese, chips, juice, hotdog and ham, popcorn and candies. I could have skipped lunch and I'll be full by the time we get out.

We had been talking about having our own business. Food is on the top of our choices but we both know there's a lot we need to know about the industry. Franchising will allow us to get started easily with a well-established system and support group that can guide us for success. If we choose wisely, it will have a lesser chance of failure.

Out of hundreds of exhibitors, Hubs was most Tapa Out. He loves the word play with Tap Out and I think it's because of how manly the whole setup is. He said he'd be the cook and hed do it with flare. My favorite was Barangay Burger. It's like Angel's Burger except it has rice meals, siopao, hotdogs and even pizza. I think the variety and it's price point will work well for consumers. I also like the nice pretty lady on their booth.

There is a series of Entrepreneur Technical Seminar offered daily. The topics are (1) Starting an Enterprise with a Business Idea, (2) Wanted Perfect Market, (3) Getting The Best Person For You, and (4) Effectively Managing Your Cash Flow. All these will be helpful for handling our future business venture. I wish we were able to attend all four.

As it is, we decided to get as much flyers we can so we can discuss them at home. It took us about two hours to cover the whole venue. We didn't get to buy a lot since we had Mila with us and we have no car to put everything in. Just when we were ready to go home, Mila decided it's time to wake up. So she really just game mom and dad time to shop peacefully. I guess she also wanted us to be able to focus on our possible future business venture.












Our IDs are valid for next week at the Asia Food Expo and we'll be back.

Mila Alessandra's First Party in Pictures

Mila Alessandra, Birthday Party

It's been more than 2 weeks since we celebrated Mila's birthday. I just want to share some (ok, it's alot) of the pictures here . I couldn't be anymore proud.

This party was challenging but equally fulfilling. I started wanting to DIY the whole party. I couple of month into the preparations, I realized I needed some help since I couldn't possible do all I wanted to do while I have a fulltime job. And when everything was settled, the week of Mila's party, Hubs, Yaya Joy, Mila and I got sick. Most of our family and friends who could have helped out are either too far or has work commitments. So a full checklist scheduled to be done in one week was all cramped up in one day. Friday was Mila's actual birthday and we planned on having our little staycation before the party next day. I ended up having no sleep from Thursday night until Saturday morning working on the decors. Thank you to my slave workers, my sister Paullette, cousin Jerome (who traveled from Libis to Cavite and as soon as he got there, traveled back to Pasay to help me out), and to Yaya Joy.


I know I still have a lot to learn to make a wonderful party. Lucky, I got alot more of Mila's birthdays to organize and practice on. Maybe next time I'll have more luck and DIY as much as I want. Looking at all the pictures and seeing the smiles on everyone's face tell me everybody enjoyed. And that's good enough for me.

'Til the next party!


Lost and Found: The Story of Ms. H.T. Cones and The Wise Samaritan


milastolemyheart, HTC One X
Ms. H.T. COneS 

One Sunday afternoon, my little family went to SM North Edsa in Quezon City for Mila's pre-birthday shoot. It was a fun, exhausting day that had me knocked out as soon as I hit the back seat of the cab. It was a 45 minute ride from Quezon City to Pasay. Mila was with her dad and Ate Joy was there too so I felt safe. As soon as we were home, I wanted to check any missed messages, and I couldn't. My almost 2 year old HTC One S is missing from my pocket. That was a sleepless night.

CLUES


After One Week

I was in denial. I still won't get a new sim. I had high hopes I'd see Ms. H.T. Cones again. See, I have her set to automatically upload photos on my Dropbox account. I had a slight hope that someone will use her camera and take a selfie. Then they'll go online and I'll see who kidnapped Ms. H.T. Cones, just like in the news. I was not wrong. One week after Ms. H.T. Cones got lost, pictures of this couple and a high school kid popped up on my Dropbox. But those were just pictures and I still had no clue how to get her back. Do I post their faces in Facebook and shame them? I don't want that, not yet at least. And what if they find out and just dispose off Ms. H.T. Cones? What if they just bought her from someone else who pretended Ms. H.T. Cones was his?  Wouldn't that make them innocent and blameless on this?

Another Week Passed

Ron, my manager, called me and said he had good news/bad news for me. Go ahead, start with the bad: he confirmed someone else is already using Ms. H.T. Cones. That's not news, I know that already. I got their pictures too. So what's the good news? He got the plate number and name of the cab whose driver is using Ms. H.T. Cones. Oh wait what? Really? How?

THE WISE SAMARITAN


Ms. H.T. Cones is set to alarm daily at 7:30PM and would continue to do so for 30 minutes unless you know how to properly turn her off. Mister Poor Taxi Driver happened to be on the road with a passenger when Ms. H.T. Cones started her wail. He panicked and asked Mister Nice Passenger to switch her off for him. Mister Nice Passenger is The Wise Samaritan. He felt that Ms. H.T. Cones does not belong to Mister Poor Taxi Driver. He started asking questions just to strike a conversation. All the while, he was looking at pictures, thousands of Mila's pictures, for clues on the real owner. He found an unread Viber message from Ron, took his number, and gave Ms. H.T. Cones back to the driver. Since Mister Poor Taxi Driver said a passenger sold him Ms. H.T. Cones for just P1,500, The Wise Samaritan wanted to purchase it so he can just give it back to the owner once he finds me. He didn't for the fear of being the alleged thief.

THE JOURNEY HOME


The Wise Samaritan has Ron's number (who by the way almost did not answer the call), the cab's information, and the resolve to help out. He called and gave Ron the good news. I reached out to him immediately and showed him the picture from Dropbox - it was not the same guy. So maybe Mister Poor Taxi Driver really brought Ms. H.T. Cones from someone else. I've noticed too that his taxi company is different from the one where I last saw Ms. H.T. Cones. But any information is helpful in finding someone that's lost. I still could not be thankful enough someone was willing to help a stranger, even if it was not solicited. Turns out The Wise Samaritan and I work in the same area. Same building. Same company. Two floors apart. But we are strangers. Who would have thought? He had lost a few good phones himself and just knows how it feels. If there is something, one small thing he can do, he did it. He followed his guts and used his wits and that got me Ms. H.T. Cones back.

It took a couple of days after that, a trip to Reparo Quezon City, a very tense hour of interrogation, a few minutes with a fair manager, and a whole lot of moral strength from hubs, my phone, Ms. H.T. Cones, finally found her way back to me.

-THE END-


So the moral of the story? Don't be stupid! Haha. I'm laughing now but I really was stupid. I was too negligent. I knew how important my phone was to me and realized it most when it was gone. I guess that goes for everything, whether it's phone, memory, friendship, people, anything. More importantly, realize that a small effort to help out may do wonders for someone else. Be aware of your environment, there's a lot of things you can do to brighten someone's day. Be proactive on lending a hand. Maybe a smile is just what a person needs to lighten his burden. And when you get help, pay it forward.

To The Wise Samaritan (I haven't talked to him so I'm not sure it's ok that I publish his name) this is my long overdue thank you! Really, I wish more people will think like you do. If I was on you place, maybe I wouldn't even bother. I still owe you lunch. Or a drink.

PS.
This is not the first and last time my phone went MIA. I left it at our pedia's clinic and they thought there was a ghost when it kept on ringing. I got it back the next day.
The story above happened almost two months ago. Yup, it qualifies for Flashback Friday.
Yesterday, someone stole my phone. This time I feel it's gone for good. I'm still hoping but not waiting this time. Darn, I'm gonna miss it.

PPS.
I guess no Blogger/Bloggeroid posts for me until I get a replacement. It's high time I start using my dusty laptop. Or steal Mila's tab for a while. Did I mention I'm gonna miss my phone?

In The News: Proposed House Bill 4691 - Paid Leaves for Working Parents

In the news: 
Solon seeks 3-day leave with pay to allow parents to attend school events
from: congress.gov.ph

House Bill 4691, filed by Rep. Evelio R. Leonardia of Bacolod City, aims to provide 3 extra paid leave per year to employed parents and guardians. Leonardia said about the proposed bill that will benefit parents and guardians:
"The grant of leave with pay will give them the opportunity to attend to the school programs, meetings and for their children or ward where their presence is indispensable and necessary for the educational and moral development of their children,"

Initial Reaction
House Bill 4691

Looking at it's face value, I love House Bill 4691 already. Hubs and I are working five days a week. He has a more flexible work schedule but I always have to report to work Mondays to Fridays. Although I work at night, it will still be hard if I need to attend school activities or Parent-Teacher Meetings which are usually done on weekdays. Part of the bill states that a proof of school function requiring your attendance is needed to avail of the paid Parent Leave. We are still a few years from having Mila go to school so I may not be able to utilize this privilege yet. I'm hoping my company will be more lenient on the rules. Mother and Daughter bonding is necessary for the educational and moral development of Mila so I should have that extra moment with her on days when I really need it. Which is almost every day.

Parents Getting Involved in School

Either way, this news got me thinking how important it really is for parents to get involved in your kid's school?

Recipe: Good Life Bam-I Canton Sotanghon Medley

I mentioned on my post yesterday that I will try the Jolly Fettucine A la Carbonara recipe this week. When I was at the market earlier, I saw someone eating Pancit Canton. It whet my appetite so I decided I'll make some myself.

Did I mention I like to experiment in the kitchen? This will be one of those days. I don't cook pansit because I'm lazy. It has too many ingredients and I need to chop a lot of bits and pieces. I also have a hard time getting the right texture for my noodles. Today, I'm feeling adventurous, hungry, and ready. Plus I got an easy recipe that will surely be worth the effort.

I'm gonna cook this yummy Good Life Bam-I Canton Sotanghon Medley recipe:

Picture not mine. I wish mine would turn out looking as great as this.

Trending Now: Hello Kitty is Not a Cat

Hello Kitty is such an iconic icon, it transcends generations of fans. That's why millions got shocked when news came out that Sanrio announced that our beloved Hello Kitty is NOT A CAT.

Hello Kitty is a happy little girl as per ww.hello-kitty.sanriotown.com

Yup, little Ms. Kitty White is apparently just a cartoon girl who happen to have a snub nose, whiskers, and pointy ears, just like a cat. As a quote from Christine R. Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific,
"That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty." ¹ 
As a character, Hello Kitty's appeal is universal. If you've noticed, she does not have a mouth. So why is that you ask? As per Yuko Yamaguchi, the current Hello Kitty designer, during an interview with Time Magazine:
"It's so that people who look at her can project their own feelings onto her face, because she has an expressionless face. Kitty looks happy when people are happy. She looks sad when they are sad. For this psychological reason, we thought she shouldn't be tied to any emotion - and that's why she doesn't have a mouth." 
And that's part of her charm and timelessness. I myself had a love affair with Hello Kitty. I've never been a fanatic and as I grew older, I lost much interest. Yet I cannot deny that Hello Kitty was a big part of the girly little me (and that little girl is screaming pink right now). With our favorite girl being front and center in social media these days, let me share 5 things Hello Kitty reminds me of: