Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Menu

We all went to the grocery yesterday to buy the stuff that we need for tonights'  Media Noche. I expected not to cook much on the eve of New Year but my husband wanted something special to send the old year off. He requested me to cook Paella, and Chow Mein while the kids requested for fruit salad. We bought a quarter each of edam and blue cheese for the "mini" festive dinner.  And to complete the menu my husband also requested for gelatin which he volunteered to prepare that is if I successfully get him to wake up before I start getting busy in the kitchen :) Will make sure that I get pictures of our Media Noche dinner and post it as soon as I can. Happy New Year to everyone! May we all have Peace in our hearts!

Thursday, December 30, 2010 Retrospect

picture borrowed from

If the Year 2009 has been kind to us...this year has proven even better! I say this because everything started with a simple dream and my husband is a mighty dreamer...once he does, he puts them into full fruition. My husband has taught me how to dream even against all odds.  When he left for Saudi Arabia more than a year ago, it was a sacrifice that we all needed to embrace in exchange for a better life. It was so hard for us to be apart as we have always done things as a family. Most weekends were spent home or somewhere else together. So when my husband went back to the Philippines for a vacation we began to dream again.  My husband and I would talk about this "dream" of ours even after he has gone back to Saudi after his month-long vacation. Then we began to plan and again everything else fell into place. 

Of course there were trials as well but not so much as the blessings that we received in return. And we have always been thankful for the trials that has made us stronger and every ordeal worth the wait. So as 2010 is about to end its course, our family would like to give thanks to having celebrated another year of the gift of life, of having new friends and the rekindling of friendship, of having our parents alive and well amidst adversities; and the greatest blessing of all...having one another...a husband and a soulmate, and children who surrounds us with laughter and so much love.

Our family acknowledges the greater force behind all these; as our Creator, only He holds the blueprint of our lives. There has not been a day that our family has not given thanks and we continue to thank God for the blessings, the trials and the miracles...

For 2011 my family and I pray for soldiers all over the world to finally be able to come home, for women to give their unborn child a chance to live, for broken families to reunite, for the rebuilding of severed friendships, for hearts to heal, for forgiveness, for sons and daughters to take care of their aging parents, for homeless and hungry children that they may know what it is like to have a home again and be able to eat three meals a day, for the hopeless that they may be able to rise above their hopelessness, for worldwide peace. For our family...the Lord knows what's inside our hearts...once again we entrust our life to Him...His plans will be ours  and His path will be the road that we will continue to traverse.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2011 bring us new beginnings and whatever our heart desires! And may we also work hard for a better and peaceful life this coming new year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Post Script

I just want to share with you the letter that my son wrote to Santa, he was in such a bad mood during the early part of Christmas eve. I was surprised to see this letter attached to his Christmas stocking...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Claus returns

We forgot to bring my children's Christmas stockings and I did want to make our first Christmas in Saudi Arabia a happy and memorable one albeit the absence of Christmas decorations. Hence, at the last minute I thought of making them their Christmas stockings with whatever material I have available. :) Then I asked my daughter to make a name plate that we can tape on the stockings. I also asked them to post their letter to Santa next to their own stockings. Here take a look... :)

I used plastic bags which I asked my daughter to shape into stockings and I used aluminum foil as a trimming to make it look a bit "Christmassy." These are the gifts that they received from Santa :) Waking up on Christmas day to find Santa's gifts even without a tree is always one of the best Christmas memory for a child! I remember my own Christmas memories with fondness and I would like my children to have their own treasure chest filled with nice ones!

Ally received a Spongebob stuff toy, Alloy got a Ben 10 robot, while my youngest got a Ben 10 gun with watch plus chips and chocolates :)

Noche Buena

This is a bit late but I just want to share what we had for Noche Buena. I prepared two kind of salads - fruit and macaroni which is always present on the tables of most Filipinos during special occasions. I also cooked chicken siomai (chicken dumplings), Spaghetti Tomatina and my own version of tosta dulce (it goes well with Spaghetti Tomatina). And we had dates for dessert... :) dates are common here in Saudi Arabia and there are different varieties. My favorite are the ones that are not too sweet... Yum!

Primary complex

We had to bring our son early this morning for a Microbiology, as the Pedia who saw him, called it. We brought him yesterday for check up because of his cough and to find out what medicine we can give him as his Isonaizid is about to run out. When he was 3 years old, he was diagnosed to have primary complex and this recurred again now that he is 7. He may have acquired this from our previous maid. In this country there is no such thing as Primary Complex, in fact, most of the nurses we have come across with would ask me to clarify what it means. Primary complex is Pulmonary TB and there are no other subtle term for it here. I am just happy with the way the doctor is handling my son's case. Pediatric doctors here have their own specialization, and the doctor we saw is a Pedia in Infectious disease. She recommended the tests to be done to my son to check if his liver is still okay from the medicines he has taken for his primary complex and also to check the source. 

For this particular test, a small rubber "tube" was inserted inside his nostril, it was done pretty quickly, but because my son did not expect it to be done that way, he cried an awful lot. Right after, I gently explained to him why the doctor needed to do the said procedure as he felt very negatively about it.  We need to go back for 2 more consecutive days for the same procedure. In the end, he understood and am sure he will brave tomorrow's task.

My husband was not allowed to leave the office if even for an hour; he was supposed to meet us in the hospital and bring us back home. So, we had no other option but to take the cab alone... i mean without him. We have been here for more than 2 months but this was the first time my son and I rode the cab without my hubby. Fortunately, when we got out of the hospital we spotted one. My husband warned me early on about the cabs that we can and cannot ride. So after checking out from a distance, I knew I hailed the right one. I told the cab driver where he needs to bring us and asked him "Malum? (i don't know how exactly it is spelled but it sounded that way, and this means "do you know?") in fact i was asking the driver whether he knows how to go there if he says "mafi malum" then my son and I have to look for another cab driver who knows the direction. Good thing he knows the way, bad thing though, is he is one of those "la parfum concentre"  oozing really and once inside the cab did not know which direction to turn my nose lol. If i could only reach down I would have placed my nose between my own armpits haha. It was a quick ride though and was just happy that we got home safely. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The night before Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse

And that is exactly how it is at this very moment...the kids are sound asleep. It's a good thing my alarm went off at 12 midnight i did not even set the alarm before I fell into a deep slumber earlier. I was so tired as I had to wake up early to prepare the food for Noche buena. This morning I prepared macaroni and fruit salad which I kept inside the fridge to cool. Then after lunch I prepared siomai and the pasta sauce so that by the time we partake of the Noche buena meal I would have enough "mommy time."  

So the socks have been filled and I was wonderfully surprised that our flatmates bothered to put some of their own little surprise inside my children's stockings! God bless them! :)  I mislaid Santa's letter though, a couple of days ago I asked my husband to print out a copy but I seem to have place it somewhere so safe that I've forgotten. So, I had to do a handwritten one good thing that the copy is still in the recycle bin. It was mighty hard though to change my handwriting and make it legible at the same time. 

Merry Christmas to everyone! And a Happy New Year! Spread the Love! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Bliss

Just one more more...and am off the hook! Hooray! Yipee! Yahoo! Yaba daba doo! My children's holiday break makes that 2 tasks less than my usual. Starting tomorrow I can wake up a bit later than the norm. And that is 12 days of bliss!  

More time to watch movies using WD TV Live Plus... I just love this little gadget it's a type of electronic media that you can connect to the internet or where your flash drive can be attached to watch movies, view photos, and do your fb, flicker stuff and more! I read from somewhere that this little gadget is pegged at around US$100 to US$150 but we got  ours for free through our collective Etihad air miles I remember how excited my husband was when he found out that the parcel was already at the DHL branch, that instead of it being delivered to his office, he went to DHL himself to collect. :)  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mi-hihihinced Lamb

Am still awake and letting my tomato based pasta sauce simmer... I actually used minced lamb instead of the usual ground beef. I bought 6 packs of minced lamb for a song last Friday when my husband and I went to Panda supermarket. Imagine each pack contained 250grams of lamb and I bought 6 packs for only SAR 10. Amazingly low price! Lamb meat is one of the staples here in Saudi Arabia and is generally more expensive. I tried eating lamb once back in the Philippines and I think I went more for the roast beef. My husband dislikes both beef and lamb but encouraged me to buy the latter so that our kids would know how it tastes. So, for dinner, I cooked lamb meat spring rolls. Surprisingly my children loved it and even had seconds. I, on the other hand, did not like the taste. And for the first time in my entire "dining life" I felt like finishing my food without savoring it further. It has a distinct taste much like goat, although I like goat. I like it cooked ala caldereta and my dad has this killer caldereta recipe. It's a good thing that my kids don't feel the same so the lamb I bought won't be put to waste. I just need a couple more recipe and a bit of creativity to get the darn thing off our fridge. lol. It's not too bad really I just don't think I would ever want to try it again. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We experienced heavy sandstorm from Monday up till yesterday which, I guess, caused our internet connection to work intermittently. I did not get any messages from my parents nor sisters which caused me to worry in fact I only received their messages today! The day before the sandstorm we experience our first rain in this country it was actually short and sweet... My husband said that this normally happens when the weather is about to change. And change it did! It's colder now...we don't even have to turn the AC on, we don't have any heater so we stuff ourselves in oversize jackets. I kinda like the weather though. I just have difficulty looking for a place to dry our clothes as I do not want to take the risk of hanging them outside lest they get soiled again by the sand brought by the strong and cold winds. So this is what the real sandstorm feels like....hmmm...  Just like rain, it has its own distinct smell.  In my other blog From the Diary of a Call Center Mom, I had a "sandstorm" experience... click the link and read through... :) that was one helluvan experience! haha

Friday, December 10, 2010

I love Math!.... I do????

I had a "trying time" with my eldest son yesterday afternoon as I tutored him in Math. For those who know me....yes I was the one who taught him yesterday, not my husband who is so so far better in this subject than I am hahaha. And such put me in the crabbiest eldest son is actually very bright, he is the one who keeps bringing home the medals. But I was so stupefied yesterday when I came across his Math quiz and he got all the answers wrong except one. Normally his lowest score would have to be a quiz with either 1 or 2 mistakes most times none at all. So I drilled him with Math and what was quite irky was the fact that he would often stand up and make bathroom breaks as an excuse to prolong my ""mathematical agony". I was not a good math student back then hahaha believe me, when I was in school I would rather write long essays than solve math problems. I would always tell my classmates that I already have enough problems that including math in one of them would prove fatal to my health :) And back home, there was always their nanny to take over when she feels that I am about to go berserk. Yes dear old nanny was also my children's tutor when we were still in the Philippines. 

Anyway, imagine...! I started teaching my son at around 1:30 pm and we finished at around 9:30pm (well this is because I had to cook merienda for them and dinner too in between). His challenge is with subtracting 3 digit numbers, with and without regrouping. He seems to find it difficult to understand that when he borrows a digit the next number should be 1-digit less. Am not sure how his Math teacher explains the process to them, my son normally gets the idea pretty quickly but this time he has a "major-major" difficulty in the "comprehension department." not really blaming the teacher, my son probably is not focusing enough but come to think of it most of his subjects are okay except this particular Math topic. 

Well, today we will have another Math session and hopefully he knows and fully understands the principle already.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Last night my husband and I went the rounds of Khobar to look for small items that we can give our children. I have dropped feelers during conversations over dinner that Santa might not be allowed entry in Saudi Arabia since Christmas is not celebrated here. My husband, would not agree however, and told our children to write a letter to Santa. Of course we had to tell them the disclaimer that not every request is granted due to some "legal" constraints haha as Santa cannot just go flying around the country on his magic sleigh with Rudolph and the rest of the reindeers to give out gifts. 

Well, let me share with you the letter that they prepared... not really good shots as I used my cellphone :)

from my eldest and only daughter to Santa

my eldest son's wish is a Buzz lightyear robot

my youngest son's illustrative letter, he wants Santa to give him cans and cans of Anchor milk :) and a Ben 10 watch

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Therapy for boredom...

My kids are still asleep as it's the end of the school week (not the same back home though since weekends here are on a Thursday and Friday). And my back seems to be glued to the bed, however, I do have to take care of our week-old laundry, and my husband still has to report for work, so waking up late (for me, anyway) is not an option. Argh! I hand wash smaller items like my children's shirts and undies everyday, so those are done. Thank goodness for that! However, crazy it may seem or sound; hand washing has been a form of therapy for me albeit tiresome to my perennially dry hands. With so much time and nothing more to do, domestic work has been the answer to my boredom. In a way it is good that we are unable to go out that much as this curtails any unnecessary expenses. Though at times I must admit that I have this great urge to run outside our flat with a broom in my hand raised up high, and shout "Freedom!!!" ala Mel Gibson haha!

Oh please don't misconstrue I don't feel like a prisoner it's just that Filipinos like us are used to noisy surroundings. You know the sound of tricycle passing by the street, the barking dogs and screeching cats, the call of  manong taho and manong balut, the sound of barkers, the bus and jeepneys' incessant honking... I just miss those. Here you won't find any dogs walking around nor cats scattering the garbages. There aren't any jeepneys that ply the streets nor bus stops only cabby lanes and cabs do not need barkers to get passengers. So, it's kinda silencio around here. But as I told a friend of mine who suggested that I talk to the walls haha, I can't do that because even  the walls here talk back in Arabic. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deja vu

picture from
Hmp! This morning I sounded like a raving lunatic hahaha yep I can laugh about it, now that my kids have gone to school. But earlier there was the feeling of "deja vu" at the back of my mind while I ranted like a zombie on a rampage. I realised I was saying my early morning sermons like my mom...oh please don't get me not saying that my mom is like a raving lunatic or a zombie on a rampage. That bit part is uniquely me...and my husband can attest to that; he was my sole witness this morning. Well we woke up this morning the same time we always do on a normal school day. And whilst I put my multi-tasking skills to test in the kitchen (cooking cum washing the dishes, packing their lunch boxes, and preparing their breakfast) my kids were exceptionally slow! This drove my mouth to run at the same rate as my hands and legs were doing. And while everything was going topsy-turvy, I noticed how my husband tried his best not to cover his ears lest he earns my ire too! lol

Back to the "deja vu"...i realised how I have adapted much of my mom's usual morning sermon. Back then words like "ako lang ang gumagawa dito" (am the only one who does everything around here), "hindi naman kayo makatulong" (no one even bothers helping me), "ang babagal ninyo kumilos" (you're such slowpokes), "hindi malayong atakihin ako sa inyo" (it's not a remote possibility that I may suffer a heart attack because of you) formed an "integral" part of our usual "breakfast"....haay the list is endless. I just felt weird saying those very same things and to think that when I was their age I would always remind myself not to say the same verbiage to my "future" kids. But now I catch myself doing much of the same hoopla. 

We all come from the same mold I guess, and there's not much that we can do. Except be more careful with what we say to our children. I have to do some editing and make a couple of revisions though as sometimes I feel that I may be going overboard. But for now let me just get a breath of fresh air and laugh about it... haha

Disclaimer: this particular article was not done to sully my mother's good name. It was written to admit that I am my mother's daughter and that a mother's life is like a movie we always have the tendency to do a remake! Good day everyone!  :)