Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Couple's Corner - We're In-Love!

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, October 28, 2009 17 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Rodliz’s Nest

Four years of roller coaster friendship and flirting and breaking dating rules, we finally became sweethearts in September 2005. But had to be content whispering mushy coos over the phone and e-mails since he was working in Saudi and I, in Batanes.

I know we didn't have a good start but I am hoping we can make this a commitment, Rain said in one of his e-mails.

Asking me to be committed? Boy i think i have devoted my feelings to him since he walked in in that dimly lit pasta bar. It was absolutely, horribly love at first sight. But I won't be boring you my dear readers with another lengthy essay. Instead, I am sharing the songs that summarizes our love affair :)

1. Atomic Kitten's Whole Again
I played this song over and over again until i finished Rain's profile for TEEP Newsletter. Ironically, the lyrics goes...“Looking back the way we first met, I cannot escape and I cannot forget, Baby you’re the one, you still turn me on…” and I was writing for somebody I dislike very much.

2. MYMP's Tell Me Where It Hurts
It should be REM's Everybody hurts but another friend made it his natiopnal anthem so i made this mine. I am not a morning person but Rain's messages arrive cruelly at this time of the day (Pinas is four hours ahead of Saudi). One morning, i read his message, remained noncholant about it and went to the gym. After treadmills and sit-ups, i re-read it and decided to text back. I took a shower and read his reply. I sat numbly at the edge of my bed.

I marched the day with my Carrera sunglasses and was told by a friend to swim my way to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Know more of the Poison Ivy.

3. Norah Jones' Those Sweet Words
"And before the night is done, I just have to hear those sweet words, spoken like a melody."

Rain said, if i started swimming the day i was told, i would have reached KSA just in time for their National Holiday.

4. Anne Murray's Nobody Loves Me Like You Do
He heard this song while crossing the desert on his way to a project site. He texted to say he was thinking about us...aaaah. I just had to leave the PRC meeting.

5. Marc Velasco's Ordinary Song
New Year 2006, Rain sang this to me over the phone complete with guitar accompaniment. Then I received a snail mail from him all the way from Saudi. After two years of waking up like a lost soul, I felt all my wounds were healed. Nobody has loved me the way he did :)

6. Jon Bon Jovi's Thank You For Loving Me
I was never a big fan of this rock star but when Rain borrowed this particular song for the five beautiful red roses he gave me on my 26th birthday, Bon Jovi made it to the shenanigans of my rock musicians.

And then came the confession that this was the first time he gave flowers to a lady :)

7. Sting & The Police's Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Eeeyo-eeeyo-yo-yo. I listened to this funny love song right after he asked me to marry him.

8. Tracy Chapman's The Promise
"Although I traveled far, I always had a place for you in my heart."

We were office mates so it was courtesy to invite his department to my Uncle's wedding. They did not make it. A few days later, he came up to my desk and apologized for not attending the celebration. I said nothing but gave him a smile to acknowledge what he was saying. Then he quickly added, "But I will be there on your wedding day."

True enough, he was there on my funny strange wedding. That night, he asked for the band in Ayuyang to play this song for me.

9. Diana Krall's S'wonderful
"You made my life glamorous..."

Thank you Rain, for my jewelries :)

10. Imago's Akap
Sasamahan ka sa tamis
Sasamahan ka sa pait
Sasamahan ka sa dilim
Sasa,ahan ka hanggang langit..

Last week, before he got to read my first two entries for CC, I asked hubby what was he thinking the first time he saw me.

I wanted to go to bed with you. (Ughh men!)

But I was seated the whole time. I was wearing an old jeans.

You were wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

I asked at what point exactly did he knew he was in-love with me.

Before I left for Saudi, I was already confused. Why are you suddenly asking all these?

Till next Couple's Corner!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Poison Ivy

Posted by Kero at Monday, October 26, 2009 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
We had no communication for almost a year.

For that whole year as well, i tried to busy myself with work and books and friends. I revamped my closet - suddenly feeling like a lady. I traded my baby-tees for romantic blouses. I opted for blazers and business like suits - instead of my girly uniform. I kept my hair long, savored my strawberries and cream Avon lipgloss, and wore my heels at every chance.

Before calling it a day in the office one afternoon, i decided to clean my in-box. I received an e-mail from A saying he is a friend of Ceasar. He was asking if we could be friends as well.

I felt insulted. Maybe it was all over TEEP Region that i was single and available but nobody in the office had the right to set me up. I inhaled deeply not wanting my fuming to get the better of the situation. if this was some sort of a game, then we all play. After all, I had nothing to lose. A and I happens to be oceans apart. We exchanged further e-mail pleasantries and forwards until A asked for my mobile number.

I never told anybody about A. But if I were to choose between A and The Pilot (my friends from aviation industry are trying to set me up for), I would rather pursue a friendship with A. He seems polite so far. We all know that pilots have girls anywhere there is a landing strip.

But before giving A my number, i needed more background info about him. The best person to ask would be Ceasar. I remember adding him to my almost dormant chikka account so i texted this :

A is asking for my number. i don't know anything about him except for his e-mail. If you think this guy can be trusted, then give him my new number ......

Rain replied :

A is married. Last time i heard, he is happily married and content with a kid.

I was furious! I was just starting to open up with another male specie and the first one to catch my attention decided to sign his marriage contract waaay before he knew I existed.

Rain said no further about A. But as he got hold of my new number, we were exchanging sms again - and then e-mails. It only took a week and we were back right where we left off.

I would tell him about my gym sessions. I would text him my new pasta recipe. I would complain to him about work. He in return, shared desert stories - how he would cook spaghetti for his campmates. He would tell how lonely it is to be away from his family. he would mention how he looked forward to coming home and that he thinks about the times we shared beer at Shanedels.

I was just regaining my strength and I refused to think he was falling for me. Our friendship survived for years and nobody was to blame if he had grown certain fondness for me. I accepted the fact the it will never be us. I actually begged him not to flirt with me further. And that I think i earned my place in his wedding entourage - for keeping my hands off him hahahhaaaa!

I went on with my life happily. I met plenty of interesting people. Sometimes Rain would be so intrigued with them he would ask if there was any "interesting" to share hihiihihi. Maybe there was something missing but i managed to enjoy myself.

Then he texted that his relationship failed.

My reply : Why would they dump a hottie like you? Remain strong. God bless!

After pressing sent, I decided to back off. I knew he needed somebody on the other line but I am not willing to play that part. I could only offer him friendship. Nothing beyond that.

I did not speak to him or replied to his messages for the next three days. On the fourth night, I texted to ask how he was coping up - the same way he asked about my own break-up. He texted he was doing okay and I cried myself to sleep. I wanted to be with him and hug him. I wanted to comfort him and hold him close, tell him everything is going to be fine...The thought of him being alone in Saudi tore me to pieces.

I donned my Carrera sunglasses the next day. A friend commented : Now you could swim your way to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the tears and the beers, I managed not to communicate with him for a week.

The following weekend, I decided to open the ignored messages from Rain. One was a quiz that promises to end your single life. Feeling amused and with nothing better to do online, I answered all ten questions. Two of them I answered with the name Ceasar. I clicked submit excited about my result only to be told that all my answers were sent to Ceasar!

I freaked and panicked and i was hysterical. I wanted to die of embarrassment. That night, he texted that i must have been very honest with my answers. I think i even saw him grinning. I never, ever wanted to wake up again.

That's when he started to pursue me online. He began referring to me as his Poison Ivy.

For days, I could not get over my embarrassment. I would be drinking straight from work and come home drunk and too tired to remember my online blunder. One night, just as i was about to collapse from another drinking bout, he called and said "I love you." Before I could fathom clearly what was was going on, I heard myself reply " I love you too."

I shook myself for some seconds but the alcohol got the better of me and I fell in a deep slumber.

Mawning, I checked my phone for alarm only to be confirmed that I was in a relationship status.

The Response To CC

Posted by Kero at Monday, October 26, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
As expected, Hubby teased me to death on my second entry for CC. I omitted two major catastrophe (but will be revealed in due time, don't worry hihi), that if included, we would have landed an episode in Maalaala Mo Kaya :)

The next theme for Couple's Corner is to talk about the time the you were boyfriends and girlfriends. Since my entry had no insinuations of courtship, I have to fill in the story how we became sweethearts. As i have said also, this is the first and last i will be writing our story so bear with the details and the drama harharhar.

To my dear readers and visitors, the next post is for your bedtime reading :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PBW - Al Nassma Camel Milk Chocolate

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 25, 2009 13 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Pixel Bug weekend button 1

We enjoyed our first Camel's Milk Chocolate last Sunday. Al Nassma LLC launched the Godiva of the Middle East in an unassuming coffee shop at Mall of the Emirates.

According to the Filipino guy attending to us, the chocolate store is owned by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai

The hollow-form Camel is available in 130 and 730 grams. How's that for souvenirs?

The Camel Caravan in wooden casket has 18 chocolate formed camels with creamy macadamia nut and honey filling.

Displayed in pure gold plate, the exquisite chocolate squares have three different fillings. The dark one has Arabic Coffee Cream (my favorite), the gold tone is filled with hazelnut nougat, and the one with greenish tint has pistachio marzipan.

Look closer to the serving plate and you will see an engraved poem of HH Sheikh Maktoum. Again, the engraving is 24K gold. Al Nassma Chocolate Bars comes in five flavors. Camel Milk Whole Chocolate, Camel Milk Chocolate With Spices Arabia, Bittersweet Camel Milk Chocolate Cocoa 70% (immensely loved it!), Camel Milk Chocolate With Dates, Camel Milk Chocolate Macadamia with Orange Zest ( i recommend this too).

Thank you so much for the visit. I am excited to see all your weekend adventures as well.

Join the fun on Pixel Bug Weekend hosted by Sassy Mom.

OWM - "Silverado"

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 25, 2009 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Our Weekend Memoirs

We saw this vintage car while driving down Jumeirah Beach Road. I don't know what you call this but I saw "Silverado" emblazoned on its back :)

Share your Weekend Memoirs here.

Yummy Sunday - Quick Weekend Brunch

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 25, 2009 7 sweets for Kero Links to this post

We stayed late at a weekend birthday party. It was soo much fun meeting up with friends again, gossiping and singing to the top of our lungs that we finally drove home around 4 a.m.. I woke up nearly at noon so i had to make a quick brunch since we scheduled to bring our little boy to Zabeel Park. We wanted to make the most of what's left on the weekend so we devoured steamed rice and all of these hihi.

Spam, Cabanossi (Pork Sausage), and tomato & capsicum omelet.

Thank you for the visit! I am excited to see all your yummy entries as well.

Join the fun on Yummy Sunday here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Couple's Corner - The Day We Met/Dined Out

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, October 21, 2009 16 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Rodliz’s Nest

Breathe. I don't exactly remember the date but it was the month of September 2002. Evening, I was in a small pasta bar watching Kylie Minogue's concert.

He walked in wearing a simple white shirt, tucked in black jeans. He asked for a  cup of coffee. He was the only other customer. We shared the only table pushed against a wall. And we were only a seat apart. I indulged him in a small talk.

You are new in town.


Where do you work?


I see. I smiled and spoke no further.

He must be the driver for TEEP, I thought. I was on-leave but before that, I heard a new driver from the mainland was coming for the Nissan Frontier service. I turned my back on him and proceeded to watch Kylie strut her stuff. I thought he was cute. It was dark though but I could tell he had a very fair complexion. A pin light and the blue ray from the tiny screen were the only stuffs to brighten the shop.

I could feel he was watching me but I ignored since I just started to date the owner of the pasta bar.

Then I heard he asked for pasta carbonara. Sosyal na driver, I thought.

After two weeks, I was back in the office and I heard this sexy, loud laugh coming from the other room - the TEEP Department. At that moment, I was dealing with another TEEP employee. I asked the owner of the laugh.

Ceasar. He is the new Lead Engineer for Batanes.

Major red alert. I raised my brow in disapproval but made no further comment. Engineers from the mainland are notorious for being a womanizer.

Lunch time and I saw a guy passed by our window. The one who went to the pasta bar.There's the driver i thought! He was wearing the same shirt and jeans. I smiled at him and he stared for awhile before returning a wide smile. I thought he was really cute. I bet ladies will be all over him in no time.

Soon, I learned that the guy was the Engineer. And that he is not married but he has a girlfriend. I didn't know which part made my heart sank because I should not be affected at all. Heck, i was in a relationship. And I don't even speak to him!

I decided to simply avoid him. He must have sensed my indifference and he ignored me as well. Apart from my dialogue "Sir, the Superintendent wants you in her office." and his "Your Enya CD is great," -- we kept out of each other's way.

But somehow fate has his way of doing things. After a year, I wanted out of the current relationship. Suddenly, i was not sure of myself. Maybe i was bored, maybe I miss having that nerdy conversations, and maybe i was tired of being told what i cannot do or what i cannot wear.

Late November evening. Rain was pouring hard. I just had his number and I decided to text him. I knew it was beyond stupidity but I needed to talk to somebody. And sometimes, it is much easier to talk to a stranger.

I asked what's keeping him busy.

He replied he is enjoying himself listening to the raindrops. Crash. Boom. Bang. It hit me he was the perfect guy to talk to. If he has that sensitivity to the rain then he would understand how i feel.

From then on, I called him Rain. We texted every night talking about our families, relationships, work, and everything else trivial. He was smart and decent and funny and he made me feel very comfortable. I confided in him things that I never told anybody. He was my virtual best friend.

I say virtual because in the office we continued to act as if we both did not exist. We manage to sneak out a snack date one afternoon. And one of those nights, we met at Shanedels where he showed me how to drink San Mig Light. Yeah, he gave me my first taste of alcohol.

I was finally free in 2004. But i chose to stay out of the dating world. By then, Batanes was his oversight so most of the time he was out of the province. In one of those trips, he asked to have dinner. We met again at Shanedels. I knew this was some sort of a goodbye. I hear rumours that his contract was about to end so this was probably the last time i would see him.

I wore my favorite red blouse,with my favorite Old Navy jeans. I slipped on a cute red and white ballet flats. When I arrived at the place, he was still wearing his office attire - jeans and long sleeves (now untucked) except that he replaced his shoes with rubber slippers. He made no effort to be presentable but i thought he still looked cute.

We talked over a bottle of beer. We talked about our favorite read Angela's Ashes. We talked about politics and relationships and how i was coping up with the break-up. I wanted to ask him why we are having these conversations but maybe it was best not to.

He walked me home.

I could not tell him how happy I was to meet him, or how much I appreciate having him in my life without breaking down in tears. So to cut the drama, I said goodnight and kissed him on the cheek.

I knew he was meant to go further and i did not want to hold him back. I want him in my arms yet i love him enough to know he has yet to fulfill his goals.

Little did i know that the innocent kiss meant to him a lot. He was now working in Saudi but he would call and e-mail once in awhile. I was falling for him further. I would be freaking and shouting in excitement talking to him on the phone. But still has his girlfriend. I need to respect that he gave his word to another woman.

So i decided to end my insanity by changing numbers and e-mails. I needed the feeling to go away. Maybe i will never forget him. Maybe a part of me will always love him but my grandmother is freaking out I am turning into an old maid. Sooner or later, they are going to set me up for a blind date if i don't pull myself together. I need to choose a guy to date. Rather than enduring the guy they picked for me.

Continue here

Couple's Corner - Meet Mr. & Mrs. Pinkihan

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Note: We have Mommy Moments to talk about our precious tykes, we have Yummy Sunday to talk about foodies, we have Our Weekend Memoirs to share our photos, and now we have Couples' Corner to talk about our significant other and our marriage.

Rodliz’s Nest

The theme last week was to introduce yourselves. I thought about skipping it and moving on to today's theme but I think the first part is essential before I can write about how we met :)

This photo was taken 2003 months after I met Ceasar. I thought he was going to be at the event so i had my hair done...but he didn't make it waaaah hahaaa

Well, this Mommy used to work as Human Resource officer for the government in Pinas. I was born in Mindanao, but I grew up in Batanes (my mother's province). I finished my journalism degree at UP Diliman. And like any isko and iska, I wanted to serve my country and was given a chance to work for the Department of Education for five years before moving to Dubai.

My Ceasar is also from the north Luzon. He is half Mt. Province and half Ifugao. He spent two years inside the Philippine Military Academy before getting his degree on Civil Engineering in St. Louis - Baguio. He used to work for the DepEd program Third Elementary Education Program or TEEP. After his contract, he went to work in Saudi Arabia and started to specialize in Structural Design.

This is one of the photos he sent when he was working in KSA. (Sorry i cannot upload anything older than this because our external hard disc had been disconnected)

These days, he is now employed as Design Manager for United Precast Concrete - Dubai. We celebrated our third wedding anniversary last April and our marriage has been blessed with a 20-month old Andreas.

Join the trip down the memory love lane on Couples' Corner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snack Box Wit' Love

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, October 20, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
A well-loved wifey looks forward to doing anything for her hubby. Especially when he gives hints he is going to buy her an iPhone. kidding!

Hubby refuses to pack his lunch for office saying it will put too much stress on me to cook. Like with his other office mates, he orders from a Filipino caterer. But the servings are hardly enough for him he always comes home hungry as horsie. One Indian even commented how Filipinos eat very simple. A regular Indian meal I observed is comprised of salad, yoghurt, and biryani. Filipinos are only served with a cup of loose white rice and 5 pieces of beef steak for lunch. They have no choice because that is the only Pinoy food supplier in Al Quoz area. On those occasions when hubby goes to meeting in Abu Dhabi or Sharjah, I would sneak biscuits and cookies in his bag. Yes, in some ways secretly wanted to pack him a lunch box.

Upon hearing that UPC revamped their office settings and and that it gave each of the managers an amount of privacy, my mothering insticnts jumped to buying two snack boxes. I told Hubby he will be bringing food or snack at the very least starting today, now that his office is hidden enough from the 30++ design engineers. And i would not take no for an answer.

I enjoy mothering him because he can be very independent. He is soo used to taking care of himself alone that the minute i could see something I could do for him, I nail it down. I don't think he has any idea at all that it makes me very happy when he comes out of the bathroom and asks what he is going to wear hahahaa. Our clothes closet is my territory (and it's chaos in there yay!).

Anyways, going back to the title of my post, i packed him slices of fruit bread, water melon, and grapes yesterday. Last night, I packed home-made oatmeal & raisin cookies ( i will be sharing my recipe soom) and slices of cucumber. I made a batter of crepes today and pack them for him tonight. I love being married!

Monday, October 19, 2009

PBW - Last Look at Summer

Posted by Kero at Monday, October 19, 2009 7 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Our weekend afternoons are usually spent at the rooftop pool. Just before the sun sets, we gather our gaggles, the little boy's floater, robes, and we hit the elevator to go up. But judging from the cold wind and the chilly chlorinated water last Saturday, we might have to go up earlier when there is enough sun to warm us. Fall has finally dawned and so i share with you our last summer pics for 2009.

My 20-month old always excited on water.

Oh little show-off!

My favorite sight in the whole wide world. This summer had been a blast for all of us :)

Join the fun on Pixel Bug Weekend!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

OWM - Safety Seatbelt Campaign

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 18, 2009 4 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Our Weekend Memoirs

We said goodbye to summer and the heat to go off-road is once again on top of the list of must-do's on weekends. Dubai's Road Transportation Authority gave out a gentle reminder over the weekend to buckle up for our safety. Hubby got his driving license from Emirates Driving Institute and he obliged to join the demo at Festival Center.

Seatbelt Save Lives. Buckle Up!

Share your weekends with us on Our Weekend Memoirs.

Yummy Sunday - Walnuts & Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 18, 2009 9 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Happy Sunday visitors! This is my first entry for Yummy Sunday. Here you can share the food you, your hubby, or any family member has cooked. Yes, you may also share that delish you had at your favorite restaurant.

For today, I am sharing my first attempt on cookie making. Hubby likes 'em and in preparation for my toddler's baon three years from now ("_"), I thought i should learn to make a decent cookie. I love those that they sell on supermarkets and Mrs. Field's but sometimes they are just too sweet for my liking - and yes expensive as well.

I made about 12 huge pieces and I was thinking it will last as snacks for the whole weekend. However, we could not stop munching that they never made it to the cookie jar :)

Walnuts & Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(Makes about a dozen)


8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolates
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Here's how:

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees. Melt 1 square of chocolate in the microwave and set aside. Cut the remaining squares into large chunks; set aside.

2. Beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in chocolate chunks and walnuts.

3. Drop dough by heaping 2 tbsps, about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake foe 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Happy cooking!...and till next Yummy Sunday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Peace Prize

Posted by Kero at Thursday, October 15, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Does Obama deserve it?

I, for one was astounded when I read the news. He inherited a war in Iraq, then he drag the US to a war in Afghanistan, and then he had the nerve to ask for Middle East countries to go easy on the over-spoilt Israel. I do not see any promotion of peace so far. I do not disagree that he deserves it but i think the prize was given too soon.

But after reading the article below, i am now convinced the panel picked the perfect person. In fact, they should have awarded it the day after he took his oath as the most powerful man on earth. I hope President Obama lives up to the Peace Prize for the remaining years of his presidency. And his second term as such :)

Beyond the Nobel Peace Prize

Barack Obama just acquired another artefact to display in his future presidential library. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, which critics insist was not earned, was probably awarded to help bring back a United States many are nostalgic for.

Was this an example of preventive peace by Norwegian elites who care neither for cowboys nor Bubbas?

Unlike Henry Kissinger, who believed in, and assiduously practised, hegemony and balance of power, President Obama recognises that "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War" no longer make any "sense in an interconnected world".

Addressing the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting a few weeks ago, Obama declared: "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation," which upset warmongers. This carefully written sentence, with a very loud "can or should" in it, seriously disturbed those who sell hegemony for a living. Even worse, the president quickly altered the industrialised countries strangulation — to use a favourite Kissingerism — of the globe, by upgrading the G8 into a G20. While five countries still sway international power through a largely outdated UN Security Council, the G20 is meant to gradually replace the current Western alliance monopoly, in an increasingly multipolar system where several rather than a few decide.

Norwegian panellists may well have wished to recognise hope and aspiration — two beliefs perfected by Obama — rather than achievements nine months into his presidency. In fact, the recipient accepted his award "as a call to action", which acknowledged his incomplete record. Similar hopeful awardees included the 1991 laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy champion in Myanmar who was elected prime minister in 1990. Her heroism and near-20 years house arrest have not reversed Yangon's repulsive human rights violations. Likewise, the prize to Mohammad Younus from Bangladesh barely solved the problems of world poverty, since he received it in 2006. Aggressive credit mechanisms that take from the poor to give to the rich are still in place, though Younus is held in high esteem because his vision continues to inspire. Even Kissinger and the Vietnamese Communist leader Le Duc Tho, who jointly received the prize in 1973, are not ridiculed for failing to eradicate war. On the contrary, they accelerated it, with Kissinger advising George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to invade, destroy, and kill in two simultaneous campaigns.

Naturally, it may be safe to argue that Norwegians are fed up with these records, and would very much like to empower — perhaps even shame — a recipient to live up to certain standards. If the United States wants to be a world leader, they seem to be saying, then it must take into account the desires, as well as needs, of a planet resigned to Washington's influences. In the post-9/11 world, much is asked from those who can easily condemn millions to their deaths or, at least, to limit killings in the name of security.

Clairvoyant Europeans, who continue to cunningly devise international relations theories that trickle down, are thus hopeful that Obama will stand up to lunatics who mould the views of a large number of poorly educated consumers.

Under the circumstances, will Obama manage to add options to the slew that are presented to him on a daily basis, insisting that no recommendation, no matter how efficiently devised, is so air-tight that it could not be tweaked further? Time will tell, but the American President surely knows that the US is mired in two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), and must avoid a third (Iran) even if a wily ally (Israel) is eager to start it.

That is where the Norwegians come in. They, and billions of others, hope for a peace president rather than one for whom war was a badge of honour.

Obama is of course a pure product of American society though many of his detractors question his citizenship, policies, as well as other alleged shortcomings. The man ran a brilliant campaign and won a majority through sheer talent. He earned many accolades from Wall Street that perceived him as a knight in a shining armour. Remarkably, Obama did not disappoint bankers and other captains of the economic engine, given that the estimated trillion dollars stimulus package rewarded them. Still, even if his beliefs in core US values transformed his nation into the proverbial "beacon on the hill", human rights, freedom, and prosperity were all secondary values to the military-industrial-financial complex that guide Obama's actions. Therefore, how he manoeuvres on home-turf minefields will literally determine whether he will be a John Kennedy, or a Richard Nixon.

Nobel peace prizes are always politicised and seldom deserved as a slew of recent awards amply testify. The mere fact that the world has to recognise such an incentive, when the search for peace, not the promotion of war, should be a given for any self-respecting head-of-state, speaks for itself. Yet, Obama's mere election was a small miracle, some would say a four-year reprieve from mayhem, and that he amply deserved the award on that score alone. He may well earn his prize over time but it is also useful to remind him that it would be so much better if visitors who go to his presidential library will have an opportunity to admire something more than a mere medal.


The Author -- Dr. Joseph A. Kechichian is a commentator and author of several books on Gulf affairs.

Sippy Nipples

Posted by Kero at Thursday, October 15, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
When did your toddler started to drink his milk straight from the cup?

I am trying to train Andreas to drink his milk from the cup but I haven't been successful. He will drink his orange juice or water from a glass or plastic cup but he will refuse his milk if i do the same. We did bought him a sippy cup when he was six months old but i removed the nipple since I read it is best to train them drinking staright from the cup. Andreas learned that skill early. These days too, he enjoys drinking from straw.

Over the weekend we visited the revamped Babyshop at Mall of the Emirates. There is a play area where kids and Daddies can play while Mummies do their thing at Splash or Lifestyle. Looking around, i saw an Avent Sippy Nipple so we bought four - one for each Andreas' bottle.

Soft non spill spout fits all Avent baby bottles turning them into a sippy cup and thereby helping with transition from their baby bottle. This spouts has a valve to provide consistent flow helping prevent gas and colic.

Excitedly that night, I tried giving him his bottle with the new sippy nipple. After two sips, my 20-month old let go of his bottle and cried loudly feeling soo betrayed hihihi. I explained to him it is the new way of drinking milk because he is a big boy now. It took another two minutes of cajoling and he did try again. I don't know if he was really hungry by then or sleepy but he made no further complaints until today. And it's been a week :)

I see 2 - 2 1/2 year old kids still sucking their bottles with the regular nipple so for now, I am consoling myself Andreas made an easy transition. Maybe not straight to the cup yet but we are getting there :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Basic Crepe Recipe

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Who likes some French snack?

It's officially fall. We will be spending weekends at the park so I thought of home-made snacks that we could easily pack aside from cupcakes and brownies. Crepes come perfect as we can have it for breakfast with tuna filling (yes, we sometimes spend ours at the park) or i could sneak in slices of peach, strawberies, or banana for a healthy snack. You could even store it frozen for three months. Separate crepe pieces with waxed paper and wrap airtight.

I share with you my fool-proof recipe.

Basic Crepes
(makes about 30)

Choconana & Cashew Nuts Crepe

3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Here's how

1. Beat eggs and salt.

2. Add flour alternately with milk, beating with electric mixer until smooth.

3. Stir in melted butter.

4. Allow crepe batter to to stand for 1 hour or more in refrigerator before cooking. It should have the consistency of a heavy cream.

5. Heat non-stuck skillet. With one hand pour 3 tablespoons batter and with the other hand, lift the pan off the heat.

6. Quickly rotate pan until batter cover bottom and return to heat.

7. Cook until light brown. Turn and brown the other side for a few seconds.

Happy cooking!

This is what i made of our left-over crepes for breakfast :)

Lovin' Lenka

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, October 13, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Why oh why just now?

Apparently, Lenka's music debuted late last year but i only got the chance to hear it on Arab FM like last month. Well, i stopped watching the tube since Andreas was born so maybe we will bring back our subscription when he turns 2. For now, the music lover in me is satisfied on radio and socialite life.

This Australian singer makes Trouble suddenly a mood enhancer. Watch the video and you may catch the last song syndrome as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

OWM - Stingray Says Cheese

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 11, 2009 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Our Weekend Memoirs

Do smile back at this baby stingray. He gladly obliged posing for my camera :)

Weekend Sapshot # 61 - Swarovski Fashion Show

Posted by Kero at Sunday, October 11, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post

A model decked out in Swarovski crystals at Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mommy Moments - Special Trips

Posted by Kero at Thursday, October 08, 2009 11 sweets for Kero Links to this post
mommy moments

Hello Mommies! It's good to be back again on this special meme. I share with you this week the special trips or events where we took our little boy to. Actually, Andreas tags along wherever we go so i am only showing those events where he actually enjoyed himself.

Al Ain Aerobatics February 2009

Andreas enjoying himself on the ground before the event.

Snapshots of what we witnessed

Gulf Bike Expo March 2009

The annual event is a hit with the family. My two boys are huge fan of wheels

The Renault Road Show, April 2009

This is my favorite of them all. I am actually thinking of having this photo framed hihi. Andreas riding a real F1 car. He is the only kid chosen to try it.

These are just some of their breathtaking, deafening stunts. In preparation for the Grand Prix event in UAE come November, Renault brought their famous F1 Roadshow to Dubai after exhibiting in countries such as Germany and Moscow.

Thank you so much for the visit! I am excited to see all your entries as well.

See more Special Trips on Mommy Moments.

Candylicious Opens in Dubai

Posted by Kero at Thursday, October 08, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Here's another reason to visit Dubai Mall.

Candylicious -- the world's largest candy store, recently launched its branch in Dubai. Malling with Andreas gave us an excuse to visit the store in its second day of opening. Boy, it was a sweet fantasy came true!!! Candy dispenser that reaches the ceiling, chocolates of every brand, gourmet cookies, lollipops in all shapes and sizes you can imagine, mouth watering smell of popcorn, ice cream bar, and there was a bakery called Hot Blondies -- who can resist such?

In the middle of this 10,000 sq ft store, is a chocolate tree decked with lollipops. It even boasts of the world's larget pick and mix. Photography is not allowed but being a rule-breaker that i am, I share with you some photos. They are not of quality since i worked without flash and everything had to be taken discreetly - while smiling at the security guard.

You won't miss the store because it is located right in front of the Aquarium. This li'l vintage car was displayed at the entrance. By now you could smell the apple-cinnamon popcorn.

Of course, the novelty M&Ms flew all the way from US :)

My two boys are speechless.

So what did we buy? Jelly Beans in all flavours - it was our first to taste such. It costs around 9 AED but we consumed it all before i could even take a photo.

Expat Donations For Typhoon Ondoy Victims

Posted by Kero at Thursday, October 08, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
October 2, 2009, Reef Mall.

The family helped out in packing donations for Typhoon Ondoy victims. LBC and Makati Express Cargo were kind enough to provide free boxes, free air, and sea freight. Filipino Community clubs such as Digigrapika, ComputerClub, Cordillerans - UAE, and Holy Trinity church members were among others we met at the event.

It was tiring to be standing for hours, folding thousands of clothes, packing hundred pairs of shoes, and plenty of canned goods, with Marry Brown for dinner but we all had a blast! It was fulfilling to help out, meet new people, and a proud moment for Filipinos here in Dubai. I share with you some photos hubby took.

Of course our little boy was there as well. Being so active and constantly running and climbing, Andreas gave out an enormous help by sleeping half the time :)

The rented place for receiving the donations was only open from 6pm to 10pm so we all had to hurry.

Bayanihan in Dubai


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