Sunday, 29 November 2009

Dreams: Ladder, Business Meeting, Hotel/Resort

I was able to remember the subject of my dreams lately. They did not appear in the same dream nor did they appear in consecutive nights. Here are the meanings of my dreams:

To dream that you are climbing up a ladder, suggests that you have reached a new level of achievement. It is symbolic of prosperity, hard work and your efforts. Consider also the phrase of "climbing the social ladder" in which you have achieved a promotion, a higher status, more power, or an important goal. Alternatively, it may indicate meditation and prayer. You are setting forth on a spiritual path and higher awareness. Each rung of the ladder is indicative of a stage in your spiritual awareness. You may also be looking things from a different perspective.

All dwelling places generally represent the dreamer's psychological, emotional, or spiritual condition. The dream may reflect a current reality, issue, or dilemma and attempt to bring the dreamer into greater self-awareness. Because a hotel is a transitory dwelling, it suggests a time away from one's responsibilities or routine. As a dream symbol it could reflect a need for rest and reflection. Depending on the details of the dream, specific information can be ascertained. For example, if the hotel is luxurious it suggests prosperity and positive decision-making. However, if the hotel is rundown and inadequate, it may reflect a time of uneasiness and depravation. Whether the hotel in your dream represented a retreat or escapism is for you to determine by examining your current daily reality. Finally, a hotel may refer to a temporary stage in life or be a form of compensation with which the dreamer eases the anxiety and stress experienced during the day.

To dream that you are in a meeting, suggests that you need to redirect your energies toward a more productive endeavor. Alternatively, you are learning to accept various aspects of yourself.

To dream that you are late or miss a meeting, signifies anxieties that you are not measuring when it comes to your professional life and toward achieving your goals. You may feel unprepared in some situation or challenge in your waking life.

Well, I don't what the connection of each dream but I could use the meanings in the waking life. I just wish that the hotel/resort dream is true :)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

My gift to Alexus - First Year Photobook

I want to share the photobook I made for Alexus for his first year. I was hoping to get him a studio portrait but we need to have an appointment and it's fully booked until Christmas. Anyway, I included the shots I took after our unsuccessful trip to the studio to complete his album which I started last October. Thanks to Ces and Sharyn for sending me the photos we left in the Philippines and also for Lito for letting me use his Paypal account (mine's already consumed in Artscow and online shopping hahaha). I'm so excited to get the printed copy. Here's Alexus' First Year photobook.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Jonah and the Sunday School kids

It was my second time to be a Sunday School teacher last Sunday. My first stint was just an assistant to the teacher. We just made crafts and taught the kids a song which they sang in the congregation. Last Sunday, I was the only one, my assistant forgot about it and I handled the 0-6 aged kids. It was 'nosebleed' (an expression that describes the situation where speaking fluent English is necessary). My previous work exposed me to training Americans and meeting with them frequently in web conference but the experience with the kids is different. Imagine, all of them want to speak at the same time and talking like a racecar in Canadian accent. I don't think I can survive another hour, good thing it's only an hour and a half LOL.

Anyway, I told them about the story of Jonah and I think it blessed me more than the kids before me. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell the wicked people there about God, to repent and worship God, but Jonah refused and went to a boat instead. A storm came and the people on the boat threw Jonah who was then swallowed by a big fish (or whale). He was inside for 3 days. Only after Jonah repented and seek God's help was he spitted out of the big fish and thrown into dry land. He then obeyed God and went to Nineveh. If he had obeyed God the first time, he would have not experience those terrible things that happened to him. I hope we can all learn from the story of Jonah.

After the storytelling, the kids drew, colored and made cut outs of a big fish with Jonah inside. I also taught them the song "Without God we cannot be" which they sang before the congregation. I feel proud but mostly blessed because I have spent some hours for God. I hope I can be used again for His glory.

P.S. One of the kids - a 3-yr old girl told me after I told them I'll be their teacher for the day, "You know Tita Irmee, You're so pretty" (o di ba it rhymes? hehehe). I wonder who among my boys she fancy?

Alexus turns one

It's Alexus first birthday today. Strange there's no big party but good thing we are not in the Philippines anymore. If I'm still there, I would have gone crazy by now, planning for the big party as early as 6 months and being Obsessive-Compulsive until the big day. We had a simple party, I made Spaghetti Carbonara, BBQ and baked chocolate raisin cupcakes for dessert. I bought a birthday cake because my first attempt in baking a big cake was a failure. We have invited our neighbor Lex ninong and ninang - Randy and Gina and the kids plus Wei - Lito's officemate, another ninang. Our guests brought cakes too, that's why Lex had 3 cakes and needed the help of his brothers in blowing the candles. Lex looked more handsome in Kyle's never-worn polo and enjoyed his gifts too - Nike Shox and Puma shoes.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Travel Photobooks

I just finished the first travelbooks I made in Artscow. So far I have only made the Bohol and Palawan books. I still have to finish the HongKong and First Year in Canada books. I might consider going back to Blurb for this 2 if I'm not happy with the quality of my Artscow books. Let's wait and see.

Looking at it online, I'm happy with the results. I just hope that the printed copy is much better. I can't wait to get hold of my books. Here's the preview: A Paradise called Bohol and Wonders of Palawan. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

First taste of chocolate

Alexus is almost one year old (only 5 more days to go). I have delayed giving him foods that might give him allergies because I might pass it on to him being allergic to some foods myself. When he was an infant, he was also sensitive to the formula milk we gave him so I was very careful in the food he should take. The eggwhites should be given to a baby from one year onwards but one time, Lex ate Miggy's leftover quail eggs with the whites. Good thing, no skin rashes. Other foods that I'm still not giving him are mangoes, nuts, oranges, pineapples and chocolates until he is 2 years old. Today, I just left him a few seconds in the kitchen and I didn't notice he was able to grab a bag of M&Ms from the pantry cabinet. When I came from the washroom, I couldn't find Lex in the kitchen and I just heard noise from the kids room. He was with Kyle, both of them giggling and eating their bags of M&Ms. His was still unopened but the chocolates ooze out of the bag from his bites. I was shocked to find his shirt and jumper stained and, his face and hands covered with chocolates. He looked like he's enjoying his first taste of M&Ms. This photo entitled "Napabayaan sa kusina" (Left in the kitchen) is telling me that giving him chocolates cannot be delayed anymore. I just hope he will not have allergic reactions to it.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Bottled Starbucks, anyone?

Starbucks coffee shops here are outnumbered by Tim Horton's which abound in strategic locations (just like Jollibee). I miss my coffee time with my girlfriends at Starbucks. The last time I was at Starbucks was when we went to Canada's Wonderland in summer and it's been ages for me hahaha. I used to have frequent visits at Starbucks when I was still working, we hold meetings there. There are other reasons - to meet my friends and chat, to unwind on a stressful day, to fill my sticker sheet to get the planner (I wonder what's the design for next year's planner?) or just enjoy the richness and aroma of the famous coffee. I'm so happy when Lito bought me bottled Frappuccino. He said it's his cure to my addiction (LOL). Of course, nothing beats the original Mocha Frappuccino but the bottled ones are not bad either. Now I can have my favorite anytime I please.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Santa Claus Parade in Downtown Toronto

At last I can feel Christmas! I miss the early celebration in the Philippines where the Christmas Carols are being played in shopping malls and Christmas shopping is done as early as September. Today, we witnessed the Santa Claus Parade for the first time. This event is an annual thing here and the kids/kids at heart look forward to come and see this. The parade marks the start of the Christmas celebration here. It is supposed to start at 12:30 so we waited for at least an hour before we finally see the floats. Good thing, we found a nice spot at the corner of Yonge and Shuter in front of Eaton Centre. The kids enjoyed watching the marching bands, the clowns, the floats and of course, Santa Claus. Oh btw, the Heritage marching band from the Philippine community is really good. I feel proud. I have here some of our photos. Alexus was wearing a Santa suit that's why in the video (oops sorry, only my FB friends can view in my FB profile, cannot post here),Santa was pointing to him. He doesn't know this yet but he will be happy when he finds out once he can understand. On our way home, Miggy and Kyle were still excited, talking about the floats they saw and cheered on the parade. I heard their favorites were Mr and Mrs. Potato Head, the Gingerbread house, Santa's workshop, Barbie and the three musketeers, Clifford, Handy Manny, the polar bear of Coke and also the clowns who exchange high fives with them and gave them goodies. It was indeed another memorable weekend.
Taken in front of Sears with the mascot

Irmee and Lex in Santa suit while waiting for the floats

At Yonge-Dundas Square after the parade

In front of Rogers Building in Bloor

Forty days until Christmas and the temperature's dropping too. Look at me, wearing winter gear and feeling cold as if winter when it's still fall hahaha.
HOHOHO! Merry Christmas

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sharing Kyle's ABC Book

I have been busy these past weeks doing the kids and our travel photobooks. So far I have only finished 3 and the other one for Lex is still in progress, waiting for his First Birthday photos. I wonder if he will ever have a party (ninu-ninu-ninu). It's already the 15th and no party planning yet. Anyway, at least I already have my gift. I also made one for Candy as birthday present. But here's my latest, an ABC Book for Kyle's Toddler Years. I hope I can finish the Palawan and Hong Kong travel books before the free 8x8 (39 pages) from Artscow expires soon.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

I hope this doesn't happen to me or else...

I have met and become friends with some mommies of my son's classmates but I don't remember their names. I only know their's son's or daughter's names so I call them Elman's mom, Rifath's Mom, Andrea's Mom, Soliman's mom. One morning, I saw Soliman and his mom kiss each other before the boy lined up. I was kinda envious at the sight because Miggy was not that expressive to show his affection to me or his dad. Then, I also remember seeing Soliman's mother and Teacher Coleman talking about an incident during lunchtime. The boy accidentally (?) pushed a classmate while playing tag. Miggy and Soliman was also playing tag after school but I didn't see him push. This boy is bigger, a regular-sized 8-yr-old so you can imagine how I would feel if he pushed Miggy.

Today, I was about to talk to Teacher Coleman regarding Miggy's Project but I stopped on my way because he was talking to Soliman's mother and another teacher. I noticed that Soliman's mom was teary-eyed as they were talking. I asked Miggy why and he told me the story. Soliman's seatmates caught him copying the poem they were asked to do. It's a poem about Remembrance Day (which we are celebrating today) but Soliman continued copying and the seatmates started complaining. There was already a commotion in the last table where they were seated and Soliman was heard saying, "NO! I am not!" then shouted "I feel like slapping all your faces!" This made the teacher call their attention and they were all called to his table to explain the incident. When they were finished. Miggy heard the teacher telling Soliman, "You're going to the Principal's Office" in a manner like a Policeman telling a criminal "You're going to Jail! (this was the exact words of Miggy LOL) That's the most dreadful words that a student wants to hear but what's more dreadful is that the parents being called in the Office with the student.

I saw the dismal in Soliman's mom while she was talking to Teacher Coleman and the other teacher whom Miggy later confirmed as the Vice-Principal. I hope that doesn't happen to me, I would have wanted to be buried right there so that other moms and dads will not look at me. It was so shameful. But I was told that this is not the first time that Soliman was called in the Office and that they were to return with Soliman's dad tomorrow at the Principal's Office (sounds like courtroom to me). I guess the verdict is either a suspension or expulsion depending on the severity of his other cases. I really hope and pray that this doesn't happen to me or else I'll go back to the Philippines and never return. On our way home, I told Miggy how I felt about this but he assured me, "It will never happen Mom." I hope so.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dream Interpretation - Shopping and Shoes

It was ages ago since I last remember my dream but this week was different. I dreamt of me shopping for shoes. I guess I am missing my shopping escapades in the Philippines that's why these two items were the subject of my dreams. Here are the interpretation I got:

Shopping: Generally, if shopping in your dream is not a source of great stress and confusion, it suggests that those things which you need are available to you. Your environment may have readily available emotional, psychological, spiritual or physical support. However, you may need to learn exactly where to look, how to select what you need, and when to make a wise investment. This dream calls upon you to know yourself. Before you can ask for or get what you need, you first need to accurately identify it.

Shoes: First consider if you are currently having problems with your feet that are being carried over into the dream state. Otherwise, we only wear shoes that fit us well. Thus, you may be expressing unconscious feelings of self assurance or confidence. You may have issues concerning your self-identity, but if the details of this dream are supporting, you may be reassuring yourself that you are on the right path and have mastered a degree of self awareness.

There was a resemblance in both the interpretation given - self-awareness. I know dreams help us in identifying or solving some puzzles in our life and I'm not sure what the dream is referring to. Maybe I'm not really confident with my status right now but the dream also gave me an assurance that I'm on the right path. Thanks for this, I really need it.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Getting ready for our First Winter

It's already November and I can feel the cool breeze up to my sleeves each time we go out and take Aloysius to school. This morning, the thermometer read 0 degrees and we wore double - our code for 2 jackets (or 1 jacket and 1 vest). By the time, it hits the negative, it's gonna be triple (thermal undies, fleece jackets then insulated jacket/snow suits(tops and bottoms)/vest). Aside from that, the gloves, bonnets and scarves are necessary.
Notice that the neckline is high. Once you wear this jacket, the part of your face up to the nose level is covered.

For my baby, aside from double, he should also be slipped into an over-all snowsuit. The ears, neck, hands and feet must be covered. We are also looking for a foot muff that can fit into his stroller to keep his legs and feet warm.

For the footwear, we already bought winter boots for the kids. I'm still waiting for a good bargain but I found one at Sportchek, I hope Ani can buy in my behalf. The boots are not the same as the fashion boots that we see in Sex Bomb dancers but those with little spikes to keep you from sliding and fleece material inside to keep your legs and feet warm. At first glance, it looks like a "bota" (rain boots) that I used to wear for floods but the materials are totally different. While the rain boots are plastic, the winter boots are suede or synthetic leather(?):
An example of a Winter Boots

Outfit-wise, we should be ready. I hope we are really ready to face winter.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A very touching story to share: Irreplaceable

I received this from email and it's timely because of impatience with the kids, sometimes I wonder how they would feel if I will be gone. Being at home is not easy much more the testing of your patience. I thank God that I'm still here, surviving the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom. (this is a long read)

Take time to read and realize that nothing beats quality time with your loved ones.

4 years ago, an accident took my beloved away and very often I wonder, how does my wife, who is now in the heavenly realm, feel right now? She must be feeling extremely sad for leaving a husband who is incapable to taking care of the house and the kid. 'cos that is the exact feeling that I have, as I feel that I have failed to provide for the physical and emotional needs of my child, and failed to be the dad and mom for my child.

There was one particular day, when I had an emergency at work. Hence, I had to leave home whilst my child was still sleeping. So thinking that there was still rice leftover, I hastily cooked an egg and left after informing my sleepy child. With the double roles, I am often exhausted at work as well as when I am home. So after a long day, I came home, totally drained of all energy. So with just a brief hug and kiss for my child, I went straight into the room, skipping dinner. However, then I jumped into my bed with intention of just having a well-deserved sleep, all I heard and felt was broken porcelain and warm liquid! I flipped open my blanket, and there lies the source of the 'problem'... a broken bowl with instant noodles and a mess on the bed sheet and blanket! Boy was I mad! I was so furious that I took a clothes hanger, charged straight at my child who was happily playing with his toy,and give him a good spanking! He merely cried but not asking for mercy, except a short explanation: "Dad, I was hungry and there wasn’t anymore leftover rice. But you were not back yet; hence I wanted to cook some instant noodles. But I remembered you reminding me not to touch or use the gas stove without any adults around, hence I turned on the shower and used the hot water from the bathroom to cook the noodles. One is for you and the other is for me. However, was afraid that the noodles will turn cold, so I hid it under the blanket to keep it warm till you return. But I forgot to remind you 'cos I was playing with my toys...I am sorry Dad..."

At that moment, tears were starting to run down my cheeks...but I didn't want my son to see his dad crying so I dashed into the bathroom and cried with the shower head on to mask my cries. After that episode, I went towards my son to give him a tight hug and applied medication on him, while coaxing him to sleep. Then, it was time to clear up the mess on the bed.. When everything was done and well past midnight, I passed my son's room, and saw that he was still crying, not from the pain on his little buttock, but from looking at the photograph of his beloved mommy.

A year has passed since the episode, I have tried, in this period, to focus on giving him both the love of his dad and mum, and to attend to most of his needs. And soon, he is turning seven, and will be graduating from kindergarten. Fortunately, the incident did not leave a lasting impression on his childhood memories and he is still happily growing up. However, not so long ago, I hit my boy again, with much regret. This time, his kindergarten teacher called, informing me of my son's absence from school. I took off early from work and went home, expecting him to explain. But he wasn't to be found, so I went around our house, calling out his name and eventually found him outside a stationery shop, happily playing computer games. I was fuming, brought him home and whack the hell out of him. He did not retaliate, except to say, 'I am sorry, Dad'. But after much probing, I realized that it was a 'Talent Show' organized by his school and the invite is for every student's mommy. And that was the reason for his absence as he has no mommy.....

Few days after the caning, my son came home to tell me, the kindergarten has recently taught him how to read and write. Since then, he has kept to himself and stayed in his room to practice his writing, which I am sure, would make my wife proud, if she was still around. 'cos he makes me proud too! Time passes by very quickly, and soon another year has passed.. It's winter, and its Christmas time. Everywhere the Christmas spirit is in every passer-by... Christmas carols and frantic shoppers.... but alas, my son got into another trouble. When I was about to knock off from the day's work, the post office called. Due to the peak season, the post master was also on an edgy mood. He called to tell me that my son has attempted to post several letters with no addressee. Although I did make a promise never to hit my son again, I couldn't help but to hit him as I feel that this child of mine is really beyond control. Once again, as before, he apologized, ' I'm sorry, Dad' and no additional reason to explain. I pushed him towards a corner, went to the post office to collect the letters with no addressee and came home, and angrily questioned my son on his prank, during this time of the year.

His answer, amidst his sobbing, was : The letters were for Mommy. My eyes grew teary, but I tried to control my emotions and continued to ask him: " But why did u post so many letters, at one time?" My son's reply was: " I have been writing to mummy for a long time, but each time I reach out for the post box, it was too high for me, hence I was not able to post the letters. But recently, when I went back to the postbox, I could reach it and I sent it all at once..."

After hearing this, I was lost. Lost at not knowing what to do, what to say....I told my son, " Son, mommy is in the heavenly kingdom, so in future, if you have anything to tell her, just burn the letter and it will reach mommy. My son, on hearing this, was much pacified and calm, and soon after, he was sleeping soundly. On promising that I will burn the letters on his behalf, I brought the letters outside, but couldn't help opening the letter before they turn to ash. And one of the letters broke my heart....

Dear Mommy,

I miss you so much! Today, there was a 'Talent Show' in school, and the school invited all mothers for the show. But you are not around, so I did not want to participate as well. I did not tell Dad about it as I was afraid that Dad would start to cry and miss you all over again. Dad went around looking for me, but in order to hide my sadness, I sat in front of the computer and started playing games at one of the shops. Dad was furious, and he couldn't help it but scolded and hit me, but I did not tell him the real reason. Mummy, everyday I see Dad missing you and whenever he think of you, he is so sad and often hide and cry in his room. I think we both miss you very very much. Too much for our own good I think. But Mommy, I am starting to forget your face. Can you please appear in my dreams so that I can see your face and remember you? I heard that if you
fall asleep with the photograph of the person whom you miss, you will see the person in your dreams. But mummy, why haven't you appear? After reading the letter, I cant stop sobbing. 'cos I can never replace the irreplaceable gap left behind by my wife....

For the females with children:

Don't do so much overtime. If you cannot finish the work, it must be some kind of problems within the company, and it is not your sole problem. Feedback to your boss. Endless overtime may not necessary be the answer to the problem. Take care of your health so that you can treasure and take care of your little precious.

For the married men:
Drink less, smoke less, cos nothing can replace your good health, not
even business nor clients.

Try thinking this way, are you able to work till your clients are
totally dependent on you? or your boss is totally dependent on you? In this
society, no one is indispensable. Take care of your health, so that you can take care of your little precious and your loved ones.

For those singles out there:
Beauty lies in loving yourself first.
With confidence and loving yourself, you will see the beauty in other things around you. You will be able to work better and happier. Don't let your health be affected by your work or your boss, so nothing matters more than your well being.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Halloween Weekend at Mississauga

We had a very busy weekend. First in our agenda: Lunch at Wei's (Lito's officemate). It was so nice of Wei to come and fetch us early morning to go their place. With the kids in tow, we had to bring their things for an overnight stay, Lex' stroller and car seat. Wei's car was what we needed. We had fun at Wei's - sumptous lunch (even lex enjoyed the mashed potatoes), the kids played WII (Miggy beating his daddy twice in boxing LOL) and more importantly, the camaraderie we had for our short stay. These two Chinese were very nice. We were blessed to have met them.

Next stop: Trick or Treating at Tito Nilo's. Lito's uncle and his friends - all seniors regularly hold "Paluwagan" celebration, and this month is Tito's turn to host. When we arrived, the kitchen was still busy and we're just in time to assist them. The party started around 7:30 but we were not there anymore because we already went for the kids very first "Trick or Treat" in Canada. It was around 7:00 p.m. and the cool breeze made us shiver when we stepped out. The kids enjoyed going door to door, saying trick or treat and thank you each time sweets and other goodies are being poured into their loot bags. The kids brought black garbage bags with them to collect more LOL. We saw many nicely Halloween-decorated doors, lighted pumpkins and costumes while we roam around the neighborhood. After going through 2 blocks and carrying heavy loots, Kyle got tired. He also fell down while crossing the street, tearing his Superman costume and bruising his hands. We had been walking for an hour but Miggy wanted to go on so we went to 6 more houses before returning to Tito Nilo's place. By this time, Alexus had already fallen asleep in the stroller and my fingers already numb from the cold. Dinner at Tito Nilo's place has just started by the time we arrived and the kids ate some before they gobble their loots.

In front of Tito Nilo's house

Trick or Treat (Look at their loot bags)

Next: Sleepover at Ani's Place. We had been planning to go to A ni's place eversince we arrived here but it's only now that it transpired. Jeri and Ani fetched us from Tito Nilo's place at around 10 pm and the kids already doze off as soon as they hit the Lapuz' sofa. Jeri, Ani, Lito and I had coffee and ate the food that Tito Nilo asked us to bring because we didn't have time to eat dinner properly. Our chat started when we arrived until the wee hours of the morning hahaha. I guess we hit the sack around 2:00 am and if not for Alexus already sleeping and Ani's turn to harvest in Farmville, we could have continued our endless chat. The next morning was another round of more chats and the kids enjoyed playing WII again in the basement. Oh btw, Ani's place is really nice and big for the two of them, I heard Miggy saying, "Sana sa ganitong house din kmi nakatira, me playroom". It was also nice of them to accomodate us. We enjoyed our stay.

After picture-taking, Jeri brought us to Square One. We were supposed to go to Sportchek to buy the winter boots but since it's the start of the Daily Saving Time (DST) today, we arrived an hour earlier and the store is still closed. The Bus terminal going to Toronto is just right there so we headed home. It was a hectic but fun weekend. The kids enjoyed the most, Miggy said "Another unforgettable experience worth telling in the Weekend News (an essay type school activity)".

Lex First Halloween in a bear over-all

The Kids loots (pwede nang ibenta)