Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Are you looking for genuine parts?

It’s undeniable! The Italian sports cars look slick, sporty, trendy, cool and expensive. Not everyone would like to drive one though as its maintenance can be pretty expensive and mechanical parts a little bit harder to acquire. But think again. Ricambi America is unique in the world of Italian sports car because of its being a one-stop supplier for genuine Ferrari parts. They are the specialists when it comes to providing highest quality parts for your Ferrari. So don’t look elsewhere, go straight to the experts.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Filipinos in the area

I have mentioned that there were several Filipinas living in Mt. Home area. As a matter of fact, three of them just live in the neighborhood. One Saturday, I was invited to a little gathering at Ate Loreta's house. She just lived 2 houses behind us. I had a great time. All of them speak Bisaya. We had some pork sinigang, fried bangus, inun-unan, pork adobo and some desserts. I'm not sure when will be the next gathering but I've looked forward to seeing them again.

This was the week before I realized I was pregnant. Looking back, I think I was already 6 weeks pregnant here.

Meet Brandy, the 5-year old pretty daughter of one of my Filipina friends. She simply loves to pose in front of the camera and I had fun taking her photos.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Who needs it?

Is colon cleansing necessary? What is its purpose? Colon cleansing has been believed to remove toxins from our gastrointestinal tract that may cause a variety of health problems. Although some critics say it’s generally unnecessary and at times may even be harmful. They believe that the digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria, thus our body does not need special diets or pills to do this. But if you believe on the advantages of colon cleansing, take the time to read several colon cleansing review out there. It may help you choose the best product for you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is it even worth the risk?

Losing weight has always been a tough battle for some people. There may seem to be a quick route to the goal but it’s never without questionable effects. I’m talking about diet pills. While natural ways of losing weight have always been proven safe and effective, it may not always be the quickest, so some people consider taking weight loss pills which seem to offer risks and danger than healthy benefits. The side effects of diet pills are always there clear and glaring but when one is desperate, anyone can easily ignore the obvious. It’s sad but it’s true. Many have already died because of these side effects but still people want to risk it. Is looking good really that important to make one's self happy? Well, it obviously is to most people. I just don’t see the reason why you would eventually hurt yourself in the process.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Doctor's visit and eyeing for my first vehicle.

Today is a pretty busy day for us. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. I was actually a bit apprehensive with this doctor because I've heard that even if he's a pretty smart one, he seemed to lack good bedside manners. But the visit actually went pretty well. He appears to be approachable, professional and most importantly, he answered all of our questions really good. The doctor confirmed that I was already 9 weeks in the family way. He prescribed me some prenatal vitamins and reassured me that everything that I have been feeling lately is just normal including the mild cramping that I experience sometimes. My blood pressure is normal. They also did some blood work for further analysis. My next visit is on May 28th and I am scheduled to have a pelvic examination done. We might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat on our next visit as well so we're pretty much excited about that. I felt relieved to have been able to talk to a medical professional. Now I won't stress too much about my morning sickness. I'll try to savor the experience, after all, it's a wonderful blessing from above.

On the way to DR's appt.
(Kutob nalang ta ani tapad sa treadmill, mura dugay dugay pa jud ko kagamit ani ug balik)

After the appointment, we shop around for my first vehicle. It was part of our plan to get a new vehicle once I get pregnant. The baby definitely have no room in our truck. And I need a vehicle to get around especially in my condition. I don't have any particular car in mind actually. What matters to me really is that there must be enough room for the future baby, so a slick 2-door sports car is not an option, haha! A real nice small, girly and compact SUV such as Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Honda CRV and maybe the small Ford Explorers would be good options for me. I'm also looking into Nissan, Ford and Chevy cars. I saw a 2010 Ford Taurus in Cherry Red and a Nissan Maxima this morning that I have kinda liked so far. We're not yet done looking so we're hoping for more options in the next few weeks. Of course, we have set a budget range for the price that we're willing to pay so it's not a "sky is the limit" thing here, haha! Having a baby tends to be expensive so more than ever, this is the time that we need to be very wise and practical with our spending. The last thing we want to happen is to be burdened with financial problems. We don't want to be indebted up to our eyeballs so we're taking things easy. I trust hubby in that aspect. He seems to be pretty good with money and saving than me, hehe. So I know he'll make good financial decisions for us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

No longer a priority

I know that most drugs and medications are harmful for the baby when you’re pregnant so I had to minimize my usage of facial products now. It’s a good thing that my acne doesn’t flare up pretty bad lately. I still have a few but they’re tolerable. It goes away after a few days. I’ve heard taking vitamins for acne might improve mild to moderate cases but I care more about my baby’s safety than my own so I only use gentle facial cleanser lately. Anyway, some pre-natal vitamins would actually make your skin and hair healthy and pretty so maybe it won’t be that bad even if I stop using my acne control skin care.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maintenance care of the family van.

I have not been acquainted with technical vehicle terms until we bought a van for my family in the Philippines last year. Yes, there were tons of public transportation in our country but we feel it would have been more convenient and safe if my family owns a private transport. My sister and I shared for the cost of the vehicle and for whatever maintenance and repair the van needs. My dad used to be a jeepney driver so there were no arguments made as to who will be driving it. He had done some oil change on it already and while we were there for a vacation last year, he had been bugging us about a tune up as well. Well, we thought if it will make the life of the van longer and improve its efficiency, then why not. Unfortunately, the car mechanic of the auto shop that he went to told him the van didn’t need any tune up yet. It still was in good running condition. Well, that’s good to know. We just used the money to change the oil filter and some other maintenance stuff that needed to be done.

I'm not certain if Cebu City has good auto care service like Houston auto repair in Texas. Whether we like it or not, vehicles experience downtime. Hot, humid air in the summer can adversely affect our vehicle. The same thing is true in the Philippines. So I think it's important for them to find an auto shop that they trust. My dad told me he likes to bring the vehicle for maintenance check at Casa (not the full name), because he's assured that the mechanics are great. They ask for a bigger rate for their service though as compared to the common repair shops you'll see in the sidewalks but I think it'll save us money if we go to the trusted experts right away.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hormonal Changes

The different kinds of changes that my body has been experiencing lately are kinda overwhelming. When I could no longer understand the changes that are taking place, I resort to crying. Well, I've always been emotional, alright. But it seems like it has gotten worse lately. I try not to be depressed for baby's sake but I can't help but feel sad when I start to feel extremely tired and nauseous and no hubby at home to comfort me. That's the gist of our phone conversation at lunchtime today. I told him I wish he was here and he assured me he'd rather be here at home to take care of me. But I understand that he needs to work for us. Besides I don't really feel extremely ill that needs to be taken care of. So I don't need him to skip work unless it's really necessary. Probably it's my condition that's making me feel OA lately, haha!

But apparently, hubby didn't think I'm just over-reacting. He understands the crazy hormonal changes that I've been going through and in his own little way, he probably wanted to make me feel better by showing he cares about me. How else would you explain the delivery of a fresh bouquet of a dozen pale yellow roses an hour after our phone conversation? Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised and happy by the gesture! It comes with a note that says "You are not alone." Of course, it automatically puts a smile on my face, hehe. In the middle of doing mechanical stuff, he managed to order flowers for me. Aaah! The loving gesture melts my heart. I can't wait for his third phone call for the day so I can thank him for the lovely flowers. I love my hubby so much! I love his little surprises too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a better and healthier alternative it is

It’s quite a dilemma when you don’t really want to gain weight but then you crave for food more frequently than usual. I guess it’s something that has to be dealt with when you’re pregnant. I know it’s not a good time to diet when you’re pregnant, but of course you don’t want to overindulge to the point of hating yourself because you can’t seem to shed the extra pounds off after you give birth. Finding the right balance is really hard. This is just my first pregnancy and I’m completely clueless about a lot of important stuff. Pregnancy books and websites have helped me so far. Advices from friends are very much welcome as well. The other day, Ate Loretta (Filipina neighbor) phoned me to ask if I’d like to take a little walk in the neighborhood for some exercise. I’ve been very lazy lately so I have not even thought of using the treadmill at home. She said it might help my nausea problems if I get out of the house every once in a while and get some fresh air and just take short and slow walks. I’m glad I went with her. It really helped me not to focus too much on my nausea and lightheadedness. I enjoyed all the greens that I saw in the neighborhood. I was invigorated. Not to mention it was indeed a good form of exercise. No matter how some would say there are diet pills that work out there, I’m still not taking anything that would endanger me or the baby.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A weekend like no other

We have just moved in this area 5 months ago and naturally we have yet to find medical practitioners that may help us with our future health needs. Jeff and I were very frustrated as we've spent almost an hour on the phone trying to get a hold of either a general practice doctor or an OB-GYN. Most of them don't accept new patients. We belong in a small county so there was never really a whole lot of options to begin with. It was really frustrating for both of us especially to Jeff since he was the one that diligently went through every physician's name and clinic in the phone book. I had to excuse myself and lay down in bed because after like an hour of sitting with him, waiting for somebody to finally make an appointment with us, I felt nauseous and light-headed again. When it looked like he's not making any progress, he finally decided to give our insurance company a call and ask for some doctor recommendations. The insurance guy gave us a bunch of numbers to call and thankfully a certain Dr. John Elders will see me on Friday.

Nothing has changed since I last blogged about my condition. If there's anything, the symptoms I've been feeling were getting more pronounced each day over the weekend. I'm grateful I didn't have to go through it alone since it's hubby's day off. I threw up big time this morning. Sorry guys if I gross you out. I didn't make it to the bathroom. I made a mess on the kitchen floor. Hubby had to mop it clean for me since I'm practically useless after that. I pity hubby for doing all the housework this weekend. I just can't do anything without feeling dizzy, light-headed and nauseous. So I spent most of the time in bed, either napping or reading a book. I just get up to eat which is at least every 2-3 hours. I find that eating 6 small meals works on my favor. I don't have the appetite really but I at least try to eat a little bit as I noticed it helps tone down my nausea problem.

If there was any doubt in our minds about my condition, after what I've been through over the weekend, I think we're both now convinced that I am not feeling myself lately and that it's got everything to do with my being pregnant. So besides just wanting to get a confirmation from a doctor, I'm now more interested on knowing from him which pre-natal vitamins is good for me and probably some advise on what's safe to eat and to avoid. I've been reading a lot about pregnancy on the internet but I believe it's still best to get it from a health practitioner. I know the first trimester is critical and I can't help but worry about it. Gosh, I even had nightmares about it. I just hope and pray that everything is going to be okay and we're going to get through this until the end of the line. It will be another struggle for me tomorrow since hubby has to go back to work. But he bought me a lot of healthy foods to snack on and I'll just have to call him anytime at work if I need him to go home or something. I hope tomorrow will go on smoothly though. I'm fine with a little discomfort but what scares me really is when I feel like I'm going to faint which happens to me quite a few times for the past week. I didn't realize being an expectant mom can be this hard. But we want to have a baby. We've prayed for this and now that God is giving me that chance, I don't see the reason to complain.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Think I'm Pregnant!

I couldn't be positively sure because we haven't gone to the doctor yet for a confirmation but I think I am pregnant. I've been feeling hell lately, lol! I don't usually take naps in the afternoon but for the past week, I can't bring myself to stay up all day. I've been feeling nauseous. I get hungry all the time. I have headaches almost every day for past few days. I've missed a period. My breasts feel so sore, tender and swollen but it could also be a sign of impending menstruation, right? So even if I'd like to think I'm pregnant, this might just be a delayed period.

However, the changes in my body that I've been experiencing lately seemed hard to ignore so we bought some home pregnancy test kits. EPT says when you get a (+) sign on the round window, it is positive. (-) horizontal sign on the other hand means negative. I tried it three times on different days and it looked like a faint (+) sign to me, don't you think? So I think it's positive. Hmmm, am I really pregnant? I've read that sometimes these kits tend to give false positive results that's why I'm still having second thoughts about everything. I wish it's that easy to see a doctor for a confirmation. I tried to call an OB Gyne's office today for an appointment but I only get an answering machine. Are they really that busy? I'll try again tomorrow and probably just leave a message and see if they'll get back with me.

Oh boy, am I excited! Haha! Jeff and I were ecstatic and we started thinking about baby names, already, haha! But I don't want to keep my hopes up and be told by the doctor that I'm not actually pregnant. If I'm not pregnant, I may have been just having some serious medical condition to feel this ill as of late. But I'm really hoping that I'm pregnant. Dear God, just let me be pregnant! Gosh, I wish I could get some accurate blood test right away to verify everything.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nothing fancy but very functional and dependable

We only own one vehicle but it has been surely enough for our needs. We’re thinking of getting another one though if we were to consider that I may get pregnant and having another vehicle will make life easier for us and the baby. But right now, we’re still shopping around. Jeff was more eager than me to get me a car. I thought I should need to practice more and be confident with my driving before I’ll have my own vehicle because I think it would be impractical to just have it sit in the garage. Whenever I feel ready to drive alone, I’ll drag hubby to a nearest car dealer in town, haha! Our current vehicle is a Chevy truck and hubby has been using it for almost 7 years but it has proven to be very dependable especially with our mini-trips and travels. Not even once that we were in need to pull over because of any breakdowns. Although I’m sure 24 hour towing service is just a cell phone away. But I imagine it could be such a pain to stop on the interstate shoulders in the middle of a long distance drive. Hubby thinks it’s time for us to replace those tires as they started to look old and worn out if we don’t want to have any road problems in our future travels. And I completely agree with him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Retail barcode scanners

Before I graduated from College, I have worked part-time as my aunt’s assistant in the purchasing department of a retail merchandise store in Cebu. She was the head purchaser of the company and I often helped her with price revisions, price mark-ups and product inventories. Sometimes, we would have problems with price discrepancies and it’s my task to verify these errors. I had a working relationship with the people in the selling area and I had quite noticed the outdated barcode scanners that the store uses. It would have made the life of those girls in the check-out counter if they learn to use ls2208 scanners. It looks professional and very durable. It’s a bit pricier but it sure would solve a lot of problems and maximize productivity.

Change of goals

It looks like I’m not gonna need any supply of the best fat burners at all. It’s not like I even consider using them in the first place anyway. But if I’m really pregnant, then I’d be expecting some weight gain in the course of my pregnancy which I really wouldn’t mind at all just as long as the baby and me are healthy. That’s what’s important than desperately trying to lose weight. There’s another time to do that I believe.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Just weekend ramblings

Yay! It’s Friday. No work for hubby which means I won’t be alone in the house this time. We have so many things to do this weekend. He’s gonna have to mow our lawn. I can see a little problem with it though. He’s messing with the lawnmower right now because it won't stay on. It hadn’t been used in 6 years. We might have to end up driving to Walmart today to get a new one. We’ll see. I hope it’s not something that he can’t fix though, to save us couple of hundred bucks. But if we really need to get a new one, that’s fine. That thing looks ancient, anyway! Also, hubby needs a haircut and I need to get more books, so sometime today, I’m gonna have to drive us to Mountain Home. It will be another good opportunity for me to practice driving. I also get a call from my Filipina neighbor this morning, she's inviting us to their house tomorrow afternoon as she and some of her other Pinay friends are gonna have a little get together. I'm sure there will be lots of Filipino foods too. I'm excited!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A wonderful memory I would never forget

It's never too late or too early to talk about Filipino Christmas celebration. It used to be my favorite time of the year. Yes, past tense. Alright, I'll explain why. There is something different about how Filipinos celebrate Christmas. In a spiritual point of view, we also believe of its real essence which is the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ. But somehow, Christmas is also a time about renewing family ties and rekindling broken friendships. If you work in the city and your whole family is in the province, Christmas is one of those times when you need to go home and celebrate it with the family. During Christmastime, people are more forgiving and lenient when some things go awry either at home or at work. Everyone seems to be in their jovial mood. Many tend to be extravagant in their spending because of the 13th month pay at work. As early as September, you can hear Christmas songs being played in shopping malls, restaurants and other commercial places. Christmas parties are everywhere. Food is abundant on Noche Buena. Devout Catholics go to a series of "Simbang Gabi" masses 9 days before Christmas. Some people welcome Christmas by using fireworks. There are just too many things going on during Christmas in the Philippines. So when I move here in the U.S., I really miss those things. For a while, it is no longer my favorite time of the year because Christmas painfully reminds me of the things I've been missing back home.

When we had the chance to get married in the Philippines early this year, I purposely chose a date close to the holidays. I didn't mind the outrageous prices of plane tickets. We could have chosen to go in the summer when the plane tickets cost lesser but I want to re-experience Christmas in the Philippines. And I was not disappointed. My family usually pick a color motiff and wear something in that color on Christmas Eve. It's a personal family tradition that we've been doing for years. Year 2009, we've decided to wear something Red. It's actually the 3rd time we used red in our celebration. It was one of my most memorable Christmas experience because my family was together and complete again. It will probably take a while before I can spend Christmas with them again but until then, I'll hold on to the wonderful memories from last year's Christmas celebration Filipino-style.

A giant Christmas tree in Ayala Mall

My Family

The yummy food for Noche Buena

With my cousin Libby right outside our apartment

Monday, April 5, 2010

Recent Me Shots

We took an out-of-town trip to Little Rock over the weekend. It was Jeff's niece 1st birthday and we were invited to the family party. It was a 4-hour drive but the beautiful scenic route that we took made the drive refreshing and fun. It was also nice to see Jeff's Dad, Mom, his only brother and his family. It feels great to get out of the house and be with people who accept me and doesn't judge me because I am an immigrant and I look different from the rest. If you've read my latest entry on my travel blog, you would know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I get over it and I believe there are so much things to be thankful for. Spring is the perfect time of the year to go out and do something fun. We did just that. Before we hit the road, we had a little photo session outside the house. Sorry if the photos are all about me, hehe. If you want to see how April Genevieve looks like, you can view it here. I wish I have some Easter egg hunting photos to share with you guys but unfortunately, we didn't go to an Easter egg hunt party this year. So in lieu of the egg hunt photos, let me share with you some recent shots of myself courtesy of my favorite personal photographer "sweetiepie", lol!

Enjoy the beauty of the spring season

Oh, how I love the springtime! Everything around you is colorful. When we took an out of town trip last weekend, I was in awe with the beautiful colors of the flowers that we drove by. The spring green color of the grass and leaves gives a calming effect when you look at them. Not to mention the weather was to die for. The daughter of Jeff’s brother celebrated her 1st birthday on Saturday. It was a 4-hour drive from our place but the scenic route that we took was worth it. Then, while we were there, most of the time we spent it in their backyard and frontyard. Spring is indeed beautiful so it’s a shame to stay inside the house and not appreciate the surroundings. It made me think investing on some outdoor d├ęcor would give a boost to the already perfect spring effect. Who wouldn’t want to sit on the patio, read a book, drink a glass of juice or even chitchat with friends while you listen to the chirping of the birds and the sound of the crickets and cicadas. Perfect, isn’t it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thank You!

First, let me say thank you to everyone who extend their condolences to our family. My mom has been handling the loss quite well. She still goes emotional on the phone when we talk but I know the reaction is normal. After all, there’s really no easy way to handle deaths of any family member. She and 2 other siblings are going to Surigao on Saturday to pay last respects for my late uncle. They would have wanted to go sooner but neither planes nor vessels have schedules for Holy Week, so they were left with no choice but to wait till Saturday. For the past few days, I have been feeling blah myself. I’ve been worrying about my family back home. I didn’t want to do anything lately but think and read to temporarily divert my thoughts to other things. Even using the treadmill didn’t seem an option for me as of late. I hope everything is going to be better soon.