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    Charmed Life
    Thank you for visiting this blog. I have recently transferred all my post in my new blog. I will not be blogging here anymore. I hope to see you there.
    Life’s a Charm!

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Easter 2013

Matthew (6) and Mark (almost-3) with the Easter Bunny, Taken March 30, 2013

Matthew (6) and Mark (almost-3) with the Easter Bunny, Taken March 30, 2013

We boiled, dyed and decorated the eggs! They were hidden and found. And then, they were deviled, and topped with onion and bacon, for snacks.

We boiled, dyed and decorated the eggs! They were hidden and found. And then, they were deviled, and topped with onion and bacon, for snacks.


Smart One, Monitor

First published in Facebook, March 27:

Smart Mark

Smart Mark

So I was asking Mark (turning-3) to help me with some chores, to put some of the clean rags to its designated drawer. He has done it before, so he can do it again.

Me: “Mark, put these rags to the drawer please.
Mark: “Wait a minute.
Me, in a firm commanding voice: “No ‘Wait a minute’! Do it right now.
Mark, still not moving: “Ok. Wait a second.

Me, speechless.

Baby Monitor

Baby Monitor

First published in Facebook, March 25:

It’s the 1st day of Matthew’s one-week long spring break from school. Early this morning, while I was already awake in my bed but still resisting to get up, Matthew and Mark were talking in their room and I overheard them over the baby monitor.

Mark: “Brother, wake up! It’s morning time!
Matthew: “No. Today is my day off.

I love this baby monitor! It’s a gold mine for precious funny lines between the two of them!

(I’ve started using this baby monitor, on and off, since Matthew was born. Yes, I still use it even though Matthew is now 6 and Mark is turning-3. And I intend to continue using it until they are teenagers!)

Another Bus Incident

First published in Facebook, January 29, 2013:

Read “When I grow up…

And once more, Matthew had another episode at the school bus.

Yesterday morning, according to the bus driver, Matthew missed his stop at the elementary school. Matthew, since Kindergarten last year, just like the other youngest/smallest bus riders, sits at the front of the bus at the first or second row. So yesterday morning, after the bus completed its route from the elementary school to the middle school, then to the high school, the driver found Matthew at the front seat right behind the driver seat. Matthew was sleeping!

Matthew still made it to the elementary school in time. Thanks to the school bus driver who didn’t have a choice but to make another round back to the elementary school, just for sleepyhead Matthew.

Matthew (6) and silly Mark (turning-3), Taken Jan. 29, 2013.

Matthew (6) and silly Mark (turning-3), Taken Jan. 29, 2013.

When I grow up…

Matthew and Mommy

Matthew and Mommy

First published in Facebook, January 18, 2013

While waiting for the school bus…

Matthew (6-yrs old, in 1st-grade): “When I grow up, I’m gonna marry you.
Me, mortified: “No. Find a nice girl to marry.
Matthew: “How about my grandma in the Philippines? She’s nice and I love her.
Me: “No. Find a girl, who loves you, and you love her, and you are good for each other.”
Matthew: “How about Beth? She’s my best friend. Can I marry her?
Me: “We’ll see.

The bus arrived and I was left wondering – where this all came from; and if, when the time comes, when he truly understands what ‘marrying someone’ is, will he seek for my approval, will he even bother to tell me … I guess, we’ll see.

FYI, Beth is a 5th/6th-grader, who rides the same bus with Matthew everyday.

Added on January 22:

It seems like Beth is more to Matthew than I have previously thought. Matthew came home today from school, came down from the school bus – CRYING, because the bus driver didn’t let him sit by Beth … “I only want to sit by Beth …“, he said to me crying. I am heartbroken myself over this, and that he kept crying no matter how I tried to cheer him up. Until he found a letter addressed for him with stickers inside it. The stickers cheered him up!

Macaroni Salad


2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained, cooled off
2 bulbs celery, chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 pack radish, chopped
12 oz green olives, chopped
1 quart mayonnaise
8 oz cheese, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste


Is it Fall yet?

Originally posted in Facebook on October 15, 2012:

Matthew and Mark

Matthew and Mark, Photo taken on Oct. 14, 2012

While we were outside yesterday to catch some fresh air…

Matthew (6): “Do you smell that?
Me: “What?
Matthew: “I smell something stinky.

Then he came over to me and started sniffing – me.

Matthew: “No. It’s just a stinky smell in my imagination.

This morning, when Mark (2) woke up, he climbed to our bed, woke me up! So he and I had a few Mommy-and-Mark time in bed.

Me, pointing to his eyes: “What is this?
Mark: “Eyes.
Me, gently pinching his nose: “What is this?
Mark: “Nose and boogers.

I just love my boys.

Originally posted in Facebook on October 14, 2012:

Matthew and Mark, Photo taken on Oct. 3, 2012

Matthew and Mark, Photo taken on Oct. 3, 2012

Life With a Toddler, Mark

Originally posted in Facebook on October 8, 2012:It’s Matthew’s Fall Break, more than 1-week of no school. So he and Mark have been really cozy at home, mostly playing the Wii. Sure, they fight, don’t get along or together, they get in trouble. For causing trouble or for not listening to mommy, when I get fed up, I make the culprit(s) stand in the corner (for time-out) to think about what he/they did.This morning (right before this photo was taken), while Matthew and Mark were playing the Wii and not getting along (because Mark is pressing wrong buttons), Mark told his big brother Matthew to … stand in the corner! (Apparently, Mark is putting his big brother on a time-out!)

Mark is growing up to be such a character, and to think, he’s supposed to be sick. (For days, he has been coughing and have on-and-off fever.)

Mark (2) and Matthew (6), Fall Break

Mark (2) and Matthew (6), Fall Break

Originally posted in Facebook on October 8, 2012:As I was looking for my pen, I found new writings on the wall. I wonder who did it.It was Mark, as usual. And he wrote on himself too.

Mark (2)

Mark (2), Taken October 8, 2012.

Originally posted in Facebook on October 4, 2012:Mark (2) just sprinkled (cosmetic) body powder on my coffee. He must have thought it’s sugar. Sigh!The other day, he twisted open one of my perfume bottles, spilling its contents. So, through out the day, both Mark and I (and the whole first floor actually) smelled sweet and nice, more than usual, (sort-of) by accident!

Mark (2)

Mark (2)

Originally posted in Facebook on September 26, 2012I would REALLY like to tackle the playroom today. I don’t know where to start. Maybe I’ll start with Mark, by getting him out of there. But then, if he leaves the playroom, he usually takes the mess with him to other parts of the house. And then, if he stays in the playroom, it’s never going to get tackled. (Big sigh to this never-ending debate in my head.)

Mark (2)

Mark (2)

Originally posted in Facebook on September 7, 2012So Mark, 2 years old, was playing with my iPhone last night. He was seriously tapping on the phone, and then his demeanor changed. He made a face, and said, “Oh crap!” (It was so clear!)Me, in shock, “Oh crap! ” … Oopps!

Later on, I TRIED to blame this on hubby (about Mark learning bad expressions!). But he defended himself, saying that he doesn’t use that expression, and that he uses “Oh shit!” instead!

Way to go, Mommy and Daddy!

Mark (2)

Mark, Taken on Sept 6, 2012

Originally posted in Facebook on August 9, 2012:So I was on my laptop, then Mark (2) sat on my lap…Mark: “X it Mom.

Me: “What?

Mark took the mouse, navigated the pointer to the right-top of the screen, and clicked ‘X’ to close the browser. (He X-ed the browser, like he said!)

Me, dumbfounded!

Mark (2), Photo taken Aug 6, 2012

Mark (2), Photo taken Aug 6, 2012

Angry Birds, Matthew (6) and Mark (2)

Angry Birds, Matthew (6) and Mark (2), Photo taken Sep 1, 2012

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day 2012

Matthew (6) and Mark (2) with Grandma and Grandpa on Grandparents Day, Taken on Sept 14, 2012

Grandparents Day

Photo: Grandpa and Grandma visiting Matthew in school (with Mark) for lunch on Grandparents Day! (Photo taken Sept. 14, 2012)

Originally posted in Facebook on September 14, 2012:

As the weekend is winding down, and Grandma and Grandpa are on their way back to Florida, I thank them for coming over (to Alabama, and for their willingness to take that drive back-and-forth) for Matthew’s Grandparents Day in school! They are wonderful grandparents!

With my own family so far away (in the Philippines), I feel a deep sense of relief, gratitude and appreciation that my in-laws are so supportive, kind and wonderful people. I couldn’t ask for more.

Originally posted in Facebook on July 14:

Books from Grandma

Books from Grandma

“Best books reflect universal truths with clarity and artistry. Such books reveal that man is essentially good and that life is infinitely worth living.” ~ Margaret e. Martignoni, Editor, Collier’s Junior Classics Series, Copyright 1962

I am so ecstatic that my mother-in-law has let me have her collection of old books of classic children’s stories! I am not-exactly a book enthusiast, but I understand the value of these books and their contents. They are treasures! Nothing beats classic stories being told in detail with words more than pictures. I am excited to read them, and to read them to my boys!

Matthew, 1st Grade

The 2nd week of school is almost over. Matthew seems to be doing really well in 1st Grade! He’s receiving good-behavior remarks from his teacher consistently, so far. He has told me that, “1st Grade is easier than Kindergarten”, and that, “School is great!”. He has been mentioning a few names like Payton and Michael from his class whom he plays with.

Getting up in the early mornings for school is still hard, eventhough he has an eary bedtime the night before. Bedtime is equally hard, as he whines that he doesn’t want to go to bed yet! He still argues about doing homework. *Sigh! But other than these, which are normal stuffs with kids, it’s been great so far!

Matthew and Mark’s After School Play

Matthew (6) and Mark (2), Water Play

Photo: Matthew (6) and Mark (2), After School Water Play, Taken on August 30, 2012

More Photos

I think Matthew and Mark just miss each other during the day, that they play so well after school, not just this time with the water hose, but each time when Matthew arrives from school.

Originally posted on Facebook, August 21:

Last night, I was tucking Matthew early to bed. For his bedtime prayer, I told him to pray about going to 1st Grade. And then he prayed, “Dear God, I don’t want to go to school.” and gave me a pitiful pout on his face. Shaking my head, in m
y mind, “Here we go again.”

I ended up dictating to him my own prayer – for him to have a wonderful time, a kind and supportive teacher and a good friend in school.

Last school year at Kindergarten, there was more struggle than anything else I could remember. I sincerely pray that this time around in 1st Grade, Matthew will have a much better time.

Originally posted on Facebook, August 23:

Matthew's 1st Day of 1st Grade

Photo: Matthew (6), Taken on August 21, 2012, on the morning of his 1st day of 1st Grade

Yesterday was Matthew’s 2nd day of 1st Grade. After school, when he came down the school bus, the first thing he told me was – he has a new girl friend. He said with glee that – he told her a joke and she laughed at his joke. (This just warmed my heart!) When I asked what her name was, he said, he forgot. (Oh no!)

This morning to cheer him up, I told him to find his new girl friend, and tell her another joke. And it DID cheer him up. (Sigh! He’s growing up so fast!)

Mark misses his big brother! The first thing he does in the morning is look for his big brother. He passes the time cleaning the house and scrubbing the floor with me. (He really does! He picks up some toys while I’m cleaning, and yesterday, while I was scrubbing the kitchen floor, he got his own brush and scrubbed the floor with me. I wish I have a photo to show …)

Photo: Matthew (6) after 2nd Day of school

Photo: Matthew (6) after 2nd Day of school, taken on August 22, 2012 by Mark while playing with Mommy’s iPhone on his big brother Matthew.

Poem, Having a coke with you


Beastly (2011)

So I was watching Beastly (2011), Gothic, whimsical love story and actually – my kind of movie!

The movie included this poem by Frank O’Hara. I have never heard of this poem before, but it’s so striking, that I had to look it up. And I find it is more interesting than I first suspected.

Frank O’Hara is a well-travelled art critic and a modern poet. If only I’ve experienced being in those places he mentioned (in France, Spain, including New York), or having seen wonderful portraits and artwork he had seen. Just maybe, I might have a glimpse of his experience of having a coke with that someone. But then, maybe, what he is trying to say is that – partly because of love, a simple – having a coke with THE special someone is even more fun …


is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O’Hara

Father’s Day

Originally posted in Facebook on June 17:

Father's Day 2012

Father’s Day 2012, Daddy with Matthew (5) and Mark (2)

We got Hubby a hand-finger print painting of a tree for Father’s Day, made especially by Matthew and Mark. (I supervised by telling them where to press their painted little hands.) I think it’s worth mentioning that we made this while the babies were at the bath tub (for mess control!)

We are so blessed to have Hubby a.k.a. Daddy in our lives! Matthew and Mark ADORE him! He is … simply wonderful! He even got seafood (crabs and shrimps) for dinner tonight! 😉

Originally posted in Facebook on June 19:

Father's Day 2012

Pizza for Father’s Day 2012

or Father’s Day Dinner, Matthew helped me make this homemade cheese and pepperoni pizza! We had this with the seafood that Hubby got that day. #Summer2012-Dish9

Originally posted in Facebook on June 6:

I was listening so some opera music …

Me, to Hubby: “Isn’t it mesmerizing, this kind of music?

Hubby (makes a face): “Mesmerizing? Not really. It sounds like someone has a belly ache.

I just love him to pieces, even MORE these days on his Summer break, when he is home and around us more … to make conversations like this.

Originally posted in Facebook on June 5:

Awful night! Mark woke up in the middle of the night, again. But this time he was crying and very miserable,…

Then this morning, I woke up to an awful dream. I dreamt, Hubby kicked me out of the house and then I lived with Snooki and the other ‘Jersey Shore’ cast. :O (OMG, I don’t know where this all came from. Hubby and I are fine and I don’t even watch ‘Jersey Shore’.)

It going to be a long dragging day, but I hope not!

Mark, 2 Years Old

Mark, 2 Years Old

Mark, 2 Years Old (Photo taken on May 17, 2012)

Mark, 2 Years Old

Mark, 2 Years Old
Photo taken on May 5, 2012

Mark, at 2-years old …

  • has fallen off the kitchen counter a few times
  • has sprayed his mouth with Lysol cleaner
  • got his head stuck in between the banisters in the stairs on the same spot 3 times in a row!
  • got himself stuck on the baby gate …
  • can connect words to form sentence, like “Come Mommy.“, “Daddy here?“, “Matthew play“, “Am I a cow?“, “I want this. “, among many others
  • answers, with so much glee, “Yes!” to questions like, “Is Mommy pretty?”, “Is Daddy handsome?”
  • identifies letters like M, A, R, K, among many others
  • can put his shoes on, but most often with the help of big brother
  • loves band-aid! He makes up imaginary boo-boos just to get a band-aid stuck to his elbow or knee, his favorite spots; And when he is crying for God-knows-what-I-have-no-clue, I give him a band-aid and it never fails to cheer him up!
  • after tumbling on a chair and cutting his lower lip (oh, it was a bloody event) now has a scar uder his lip. His scar doesn’t look all that bad, honestly, that it actually adds character to his face! he pouts a lot more now to show off.
  • copies his big brother Matthew all the time, much to Matthew’s dis amusement
  • loves Daddy! He knows when Daddy’s home right before I hear the door.
  • hogs the TV, loves NickJr!
  • loves popsicle, but only half of it! He just don’t want to eat the whole thing.
  • loves rice, hotdog,…

Mark is such a big boy now!

Mark Trapped, Photo taken on April 24, 2012

Mark Trapped! 😉 [Photo taken on April 24, 2012]

Originally posted in Facebook on May 1, 2012:

I still use a fence to keep Mark in one area of the house so I can watch him better. At 2-years old, he is taller, and can easily climb OVER the fence, so I position the fence a little higher (to prevent him from climbing OVER). But having the fence higher, he still found a way to escape the room, or so he thought! 😉

Disclaimer: No child was hurt in the taking of this picture. Mark is crying, NOT because he is hurt, but because he could NOT move further towards the direction he wants!

Matthew (5) and Mark (2)

Matthew (5) helping little brother Mark (2) with his shoes! One of the many times they do get along. (Photo taken on May 17, 2012)

Originally in Facebook on May 20, 2012:

Most of the time they get along really well, but there are a lot of times, too, when they don’t. On Friday night, they were fighting over a mask! Mark pulled the mask off Matthew’s face (because he wanted his turn and Matthew wouldn’t let him). The mask slingshot to Matthew’s right eye. Matthew cried HARD, couldn’t open his eye, saw the doctor later on; and just as I suspected, Matthew has lacerations in his eye. On the next day (Saturday), I was concerned that he might get severe eye infection from the previoius injury and all the rubbing he was doing on his eye, but the prescription eye-drops must have prevented it as Matthew still has not shown any infection in his eye and it’s healing really well. But guess who developed an eye infection on his right eye out of God-knows-what–cause-I-have-no-clue on the same day? Mark did! It’s not severe and it’s nothing that a warm compress can’t treat, but … the irony with these two boys just blows my mind.

For all who are concerned, both Matthew and Mark are doing well, and their eyes are healing.

UPDATE: Mark had a slight fever (must be from the eye infection), but he is better now; and his pink (sore) eye is clearing up a bit!