Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doctor Doctor

Reasons why we've been going to the doctor the past months:

To the EENT Doctor. This was after summer. Summer means too much swimming which means being  susceptible to swimmer's ear like my kids. Read more about swimmer's ear here. The kids needed to have their ears cleaned by a doctor after a week or two of ear drop application at home to soften the wax. 
The doctor's advice: have kids' ears cleaned at least every 6 months by a doctor to ensure clean ears  especially a) if they swim a lot and b) kids ears need to be cleaned carefully and thoroughly. The use of cotton swab can push some of the wax further down the ear canal so a doctor's expertise is needed to clean the ears good. 
Honestly, I'm curious about ear candling for adults. Has anyone tries it? Is it effective? 

Now, I know I need to buy ear plugs as well when the kids start their swimming lessons again. I also bought this ear cleaner with flashlight since cotton swabs are no longer recommended for ear cleaning. This is less than P100 per set. 
photo source  
After the ear draining sesson, the little boy wouldn't have his ears cleaned at home anymore. He wants the doctor to do it. He said it tickles and he enjoyed it so much. Haha!

As for me, here I am visiting the physical therapist again (I'm a suki of PT sessions, thank God for health care insurance) and this time was recommended to also see an Orthopedic doctor. 

Here's the story. 

I went to my usual PT doctor because of a recurring back pain. I was prescribed with 6 sessions of physical therapy including ultrasound, heat application and exercises concentrated on the painful area.
During my first session with the PT, the exercises caused more pain that radiated to my left arm. I have a recurring shooting pain in my left arm as well. 
To make the long story short, the therapists suggested we discontinue PT sessions since pain during therapy is not a good sign. The sessions should relieve me and not cause more pain. I consulted an Orthopedic doctor who gave me instructions to have an xray. I also saw a doctor who specializes in muscular rehabilitation. 

Here's my xray result. I have cervical spine straightening. 

See how straight my neck is? It should be bent a little forward or have more curve. Plus, I have bone spurs which the doctor explained as, additional bone growth which meant that I could've experienced trauma or injury at some point in my life. My body healed from such trauma and the result was additional growth of bones or bone spurs. With the bone spurs, my cervical spine is kinda crowded now and causes friction which causes the pain. At least, that's how I understood it. 

Honestly, I cannot recall any type of injury in my 30 something years of existence so I don't know what caused this. 

During my own research on the web, here are the major causes I found:
1. head injury/trauma - NA
2. bad posture - slightly guilty...
3. stress - this is my middle name
4. smoking - okay but just occasionally and occasions are rare now
5. usually occurs in adults 40 above - so my doctor wondered why I have this problem. Me too, doc. 

I figured stress is the number one factor plus the fact that I, on most times, sit on my office chair for hours without even noticing it. 
Also, I guess too much backpacking activities, too many sports to last me a lifetime, to much partying when I was single could be some of the reasons as well. My body got a beating from lifestyle then. Wear and tear as they say. Nobody can keep me still in one place, even now. 

Anyway, back to my consultation, I was given 2 pages of physical therapy prescription which includes ultrasound, exercises and traction. The traction aims to stretch my bones and add spaces in between disks to lessen the friction, and, (hopefully) resolve the pain. As for the bone spurs, I'm hoping and praying it will just go away.
But now, I feel the fruits of the pt sessions. The pain is less and I can do more physical work without the shooting or radiating pain.

When my therapist asked how my office desk setup is, I described it to her. Something like this but my PC has more height. This is a no no pala:

The typical typing position should be like this. Now I need to make use of the pullout keyboard.

photo credit

I'm glad the kids visit the doctor less (knock on wood) nowadays. I'm just thankful they're healthier now than when they were younger. Now it's mommy's turn to take care of herself. 
When was the last time you visited to doctor? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gadget-Savvy Kids

Guys, I introduce you to the two IT pros at home. Beware of these kids, they have this uncanny ability to decode your cellphone’s pattern lock, know the laptop’s password, fill your tablet with downloaded kids games and apps.

Husby recently bought a new phone. One time I borrowed his phone to check the features (we like to 'bash' each other's cellphone features for fun) but it's locked. I was about to ask husby the code when the little boy intercepted, 'Mommy, ako na (I'll do it).' He got Daddy's cellphone and swiped away. I was like, how'd you know that? When he saw my face he just went, ' Oh, 'di ba? I know that eh' Ikaw na anak ang expert. 

We leave our cellphone on the coffee table and before you know it, soemone's already playing Barbie dress up or Angry Birds. I didn't even downloaded those games. I sometimes wonder where all those smurfberries I so paintstakingly saved went and thought one tricky girl got into the game and went Smurf stuff shopping! Waahhh!

Either I'm feeding and entertaining a virtual pet named Pou or helping the little girl do a facial on a virtual customer. Where did that undescribable brown creature or that party girl came from anyway? I know, though, if I uninstall these games hearts will be broken so I feed or entertain or prick or dress up away.

So if you are ever near these kids, be wary unless of course, you want to get someone to download games and apps for you. That is, if you love dress up games, fairy land apps and fighting turtles.

But at the end of the day, I worry not. We make sure they use the internet only when we're around so their internet use is always supervised. As for the TV, we lock the channels that we don't want them to watch when we're not around.
They still do more of crafty activities and I think they enjoy getting their handy dirty with craft works and baking more.
Recently too, we rediscovered my The Flying House DVDs and the little girl love to watch them. Remember the cartoon series that retells Bible stories? Totally classic and timeless :)

Nowadays, you can't keep the kids from getting into gadgets. They see it in adults and they also need to be abreast with technology because it's inevitable. During a PTA meet with Sophie's teacher when she was in K2, we discussed how IT books should be updated as technology is constantly upgrading. Some of the lessons are already obsolete.

Nevertheless, it is also important that parents and adult guardians supervise the kids when they use the computer or watch TV to ensure they are exposed to kid-friendly activities and shows.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Finds

Here's sharing with you more tips and techniques I discovered while on a journey to weight loss. 

Kewpie roasted sesame dressing. This is the bomb! I found a small pack in 711 store for P9.00. It's easy to control the amount of dressing I put in my salad so I'm lovin' it. 
For my salad, I buy a pack of Dizon salad greens (I love arugula that's why I go for this salad pack) add some slices of fruits like mangoes, apples and nuts and it's good to go. 

Here's a sweet and plant-based alternative to sugar, ONLY use if you really need sugar in your drink or food. I try to stay away from sugar as much as I can. We only use brown sugar at home but I avoid that as well. Fruits are the best alternative to sweet stuff since they have natural sweetness in them.

Exercise is important in weight loss and to keeping an active body. However, the weather is really not conducive to running so I'm turning to Sony Wii. Oh boy! We spent whole morning on Saturday playing and my body is still a little sore from too much boxing and tennis. 

The kids enjoy Wii Sports too. This game brings out the competitive nature in people and keeps them moving. 

Have a safe Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Game Face On!

Two weeks ago we officially weighed in for the weight loss competition at work.

Okay, so maybe I don’t really need to lose that much weight to qualify in the competition. Actually, I'm still within my weight limit but bordering overweight. I want to go back to a healthier weight. Some were already protesting and want to oust me from the game hehe. But, hey, I want to attain my ideal minimum weight that’s why I joined. Not really for the price money (which is quite huge by the way) but really to help me achieve my goal. Losing weight with friends is more fun :)

From the time we weighed in, I already lost 4 lbs. Yay! That's 2 lbs. a week, a healthy and safe mark according to studies.

Everyone is so competitive ha, each has his/her own technique and diet to shed off the pounds. The weighing scale is about to walk out from over use!  The bashing and bickering never ends that's why it's really fun and challenging. Can I just say that those who are younger (in their early 20's) have more advantage, they lose weight faster! But this 30 something momma ain't gonna give up just yet.

Since the start of the game, I have befriended My Fitness Pal app and religiously input my meals for each day and eat within my recommended calorie allotment. I also want to keep on running but the weather is not helping so it's time to turn to Wii games now.

Fresh Summer Roll, a yummy healthy treat from Kitaro. Only 168 calories.
If you are also on the road to getting fit, here are some tips to lose the dreaded extra pounds:
1. eat more vegetables and fruits - instead of munching on muffin or sweets in between meals, munch on carrot sticks, boiled kamote, almonds or banana.
2. portion control - don't deprive yourself of eating those delectable dishes, just make sure you control how much of it you eat. Anything too much is not good anyway, right?
3. drink plenty of water - one thing good about the app I downloaded is that you can also input the amount of water you take each day
4. half rice please - again, another example of portion control. Those of us who cut down on rice have lost more pounds than others.
5. discipline - no one else can help you but yourself. friends and family will help you motivate and give you a hand to hold when you are on the verge of ordering a double cheeseburger with large fries but the final decision is in you. If you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, have the discipline and drive to do so.
6. discover the exercise for you - be it running, biking or swimming. Find the workout that you enjoy most so it won't be a task to get up and go. I love running. It's my way of destressing, of finding me time or just free my mind for an hour or so.
6. cheat days - treat yourself to a cheat day once a week. However, please note that cheat day means you can eat as you normally do and not really eat like there's no tomorrow. Also, do extra cardio workout like running or walking the following day to lose the cheat day calories :)

What's more fun with this game is that although we are competing against each other, we also share diet tips and techniques. So it's a game and a support group at the same time. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's Growing Nicely In My Garden

I just realized I haven't posted my garden update for a verrryyy looong time. So here's sharing with you what's nicely growing now. 

Chili. I like saving the seeds of the vegetables we buy from the market, dry them up, plant them and cross my fingers they grow. Such is the case for my tomatoes and other veggie plants in the garden. At first, I didn't know my chili has grown already because the leaves practically look the same as my basil plant (they were planted on the same spot in my mini garden) but while I was harvesting some basil leaves for my pesto, I noticed they're actually chili leaves. 
I love dahon ng sili especially in my tinola though I'm not a big fan of the chili itself but I found a good use for it. See below. 

I read that chili when mixed with water can become an insecticide for plants. I recently planted calamansi in my garden but had to cut off the body because it has become a favorite of creepy crawling creatures. On one hand, it's good for the kids because they get to see a butterfly cycle up close and personal and they get to be visited by grasshoppers.
On the other hand, it gives me a headache because these creatures eat the leaves and my calamansi plant won't grow well. My calamansi plant is growing again and looking better this time and now I have an organice insecticide right in the same garden :)

Pandan leaves which I use for my pandan chicken, as stuffing for my roasted chicken and as pandan juice. So many uses right ? 

Another thing that I love is how this santan plant gives me blooms all year round. The butterflies visit these now instead. 

These flowers serve as my indoor blooms when I don't have time to buy flowers in the market. The best things in life are really free hehe :)

And what to do with overgrown basil plants? Pick the leaves, clean 'em good, dump them in a blender with nuts, garlic, EVOO, salt and pepper and grind away. You got yourself healthy and yummy pesto!

You can mix the pesto sauce with cream cheese and you have an herbed spread or use it in your pasta as I did. 

Happy Monday everyone! :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Decade

A few weeks back, I received an email from our Admin dept. that a photo shoot is scheduled for the service awardees of the company. I'm part of the shoot being 10 years in the company (celebrated last February).

Woah! A decade? Had it been that long already?

Certainly, my journey in broadcast industry is one interesting, enriching, fun and, thankfully, a rewarding one. The heavens has been kind; guided me well with life decisions, personal or career. The good God gives me clear directions so I don't go dilly dallying and get to where I need to be. A purpose-driven life, if I may say so myself.

Of course, there's more that I need and want to do. I feel like there's more that I can do for my community to unleash my other passions and to pay forward.  While I work towards that goal, I'm happy that my work continues to be a place to learn and grow in a various aspects.

Although I am mostly googling about HD shoot technical specs, H.264 and all other codecs, about a new terms in this ever changing digital world, I find the continuous learning experience keeps my blood flow streaming. The Philippines needs to be digital ready in 2 or so years time and with that comes the need for broadcast industry to be ready as well. A lot of nose-bleeding terms here and there, a lot of new discoveries everyday and it's exciting! As the old adage puts it, only change is constant so we better keep up.

A few weeks ago too, I attended a birthday lunch for all Feb and March celebrants of the company and it's surreal to realize, the years that I celebrated my birthdays in this company? How long has this industry been witness to all my life-changing events like when I got hitched, gave birth to my 2 kids and aged out of the calendar days and into the lotto ticket. Coincidentally, when I gave birth to Sophie we were launching a new channel and when I was pregnant with Sam we inaugurated the new building. I was such a busy preggy mommy, I was all over the place and unstoppable in my very protruding belly! Thank goodness for healthy pregnancy :)

Looking at things now, I am proud, happy and thankful of where I am. My work requires me to be OC 150% of the time, to be assertive, to be resilient and to be a critical thinker. I was never OC and far from being assertive actually before I came to this industry so I give it a thumbs up that I am better person now with better discipline that I can also apply to my personal life.

The only thumbs down to that could be that I can spot a very minor glitch in CG (computer graphics) when we watch a sci fi or graphics heavy movie or an imperfection like a misplaced stand of hair so I'm criticizing work outputs even outside work, eeek. In general though, my career has transformed me in a good way.

I don't know how long I will stay, if I make it to the 15 years service awardee. I am also looking forward to life after being in the work force and I want (and hope) to be ready for that. I am carefully planning and prepping for the day when I say I'm ready for the next phase. How OC right? :)

Anyhoot, here are snaps of our shoot. Feeling showbiz lang :)

getting ready for the shoot. Ang concept, selfie shots and fave hobby. First to take a photo with my Ellemeno shoes on (a gift from a cousin in the States). 

More behind the scenes:
Dressing Room. I want something like this in my house someday, sarap mag make-up with all the lights.

Look up shot with my partner-in-crime/co-manager. Tingin sa No. 33 light panel :)

My fave hobby as you know :)

Have a fruitful and fun Thursday everyone!

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