Someone read my post!

Jenn Satterwhite from BlogHer quoted and linked to my Nutcracker post on SV Moms Blog! How cool. I'm still new enough to all this blogging stuff to be flattered as hell when someone comments on one of my posts, let alone linking to one. It's hard to believe (but I'm happy anyway) that people are reading what I write. I guess that's why people blog in the first place -- they have something to say. Even if no-one read my posts, I would still blog. But it's nice that a few people do.

My Four Things

It's late at night, and I've been making my way around the blogosphere, lazily clicking on links and letting them take me where the wind goes. I found myself on a homeschooler's site in the Shenandoah Valley, and she had a great post about "Four Things". I thought I would write down Four Things of my own:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. GRO (Guest Relations Officer) at a disco -- sorry, everything I did was squeaky-clean and legal!
2. Dancer
3. Office assistant
4. Product Manager

Four movies I've watched over and over:
1. Gladiator
2. The Sound of Music
3. Balanchine's The Nutcracker
4. The Shawshank Redemption

places I have lived:
1. Manila, Philippines
2. Palo Alto, CA
3. Cambridge, MA
4. Sunnyvale, CA

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. House
3. Nip/Tuck
4. Food Network Challenge

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Maui
2. Boracay Island in the Philippines
3. Las Vegas
4. Paris

Four of my favorite foods (note how healthy they are):
1. Chocolate chip cookies
2. Mint chip ice cream
3. Beef fajitas
4. McDonalds Sausage McMuffin with Egg

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui
2. The Bellagio in Las Vegas
3. on a deserted white-sand beach in the Philippines
4. home, in bed

So, what are your Four Things?

My First Nutcracker

Today Natalie and I watched the Nutcracker. Her friend Evelyn invited Natalie and another little girl to the performance for her fourth birthday. We ate lunch at The CheeseCake Factory before the show, and joined the cast for a Nutcracker Sweet Tea afterwards. All three girls, decked out in their very best holiday dresses, were absolutely enthralled. The performance, done almost entirely by students, was really sweet. At the tea, they got to meet all the characters, have their pictures taken, and collect autographs. It was truly an afternoon to remember! Natalie has been to a Nutcracker before, but she was quite young at the time, so this is the first Nutcracker she will truly remember.

Over the years, I have watched many Nutcrackers, and at each period of my life my experiences have been a bit different. I can still remember watching my very first Nutcracker ballet when I was about five or six, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Like many little girls, my own included, it was my first ballet ever. I remember watching my aunt's Sony Betamax tape of Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov with the American Ballet Theater dancing George Balanchine's Nutcracker. We watched that tape again and again throughout my childhood. Even now, I can hum Tchaikovsky's score from memory. We oohed and aahhhed over Baryshnikov's turns and tried to copy all the dances. Even though I was a chubby, clumsy girl who hated going to ballet lessons, I always loved watching ballet, and I still do. In my teen years, I switched from ballet to jazz and actually started enjoying to dance myself. From my years dancing for Powerdance, I gained an appreciation for the technical side of dance, and began watching the Nutcracker with a more critical eye, admiring extensions, arches and turnouts, imagining myself doing all those fouettes and gasping with sympathy at how tired the sugarplum fairy must be.

Today was the first time I have watched the Nutcracker as a mother, and again it was a new experience for me. I enjoyed it as I always do, but I watched Natalie just as much as I did the stage. I kept looking over at at her, watching her rapt little face and round eyes, wondering if she was experiencing the same emotions I did so long ago. I wonder if she looked at the sugarplum fairy and thought she was the prettiest, most graceful creature in the whole world. I wonder if she wanted to run onto the stage and enter the land of sweets like I did. I wonder if she watched the Nutcracker and knew beyond a doubt that she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up, like I did when I watched it for the first time. When I was a child, I had fantasies of dancing in the Nutcracker every time I watched it. This time, I had my own little mommy fantasies. With each little angel, each little gingerbread girl that appeared on the stage, I imagined Natalie in her place and imagined myself in the audience, dying of pride and trying to sneak in a couple of photos when the ushers aren't looking.
Natalie is begging me to take her to another performance this year, and is already talking of going with her brothers next year. I'm glad she had a good first Nutcracker experience, because it certainly won't be her last. I'm looking forward to all the new Nutcracker experiences in store for us.

Beef Pies for Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving Day, and all I can think about is beef, not turkey. I'm a prize-winning chef! Earlier this week I threw together some beef and pastry and called it Mini Beef Empanadas, and sent it with Graham to his office's Thanksgiving potluck. Fourteen people brought dishes, everyone voted for the dish they liked best and mine came in third! Graham swears it should have come second because he thought he wasn't allowed to vote his own dish, then found out that everyone voted for their own dish anyway. Sweet, loyal Graham -- he thought the empanadas were a shoo-in because everyone was raving about them and they were the first to go. No wonder people like joining contests and winning tacky, useless blue ribbons. What a rush to hear people rave about your cooking! Here is what they look like in their raw state:

I'll take another photo later once they are baked and on their way to our Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully everyone will like it as much as Graham's officemates did.

Picky Kids?

Why do people think that children are picky eaters? Sure, most of them won't touch vegetables, but kids will eat things that most grownups can't even think about without feeling queasy in the stomach. Take sand, for instance. What baby hasn't tasted (and loved) sand? Or anything that has fallen to the ground. When the twins were about a year old, I could have used them to clean up the kitchen floor instead of a vacuum. Today I discovered Philip and James in the kitchen, taking turns drinking -- no, GULPING -- down a bottle of Nesquick Chocolate Syrup. Yesterday I caught James sampling some Play-Doh. It must be from Graham's side -- ketchup and rice was as weird as I got when I was a kid. Graham's mother, however, tells me that he used to eat coal.

On a more sobering note, however, this omnivore tendency in kids can be fatal. I actually know someone whose 1-year old child died from poisoning. When his mother and nanny were engrossed in a tv show, he crawled over to the kitchen cabinet and drank a bottle of Zonrox Bleach. So keep your household cabinets locked, moms, and remember that there are worse things than a child who eats only macaroni and cheese.

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About Me

Hi, all. I'm Bonggamom, and this is my blog. I started it in November of 2006 and I haven't stopped blogging since. Here's my "official" bio:

Despite attaining an MS from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard, Bonggamom is barely getting passing grades in her pursuit of an MFA (Masters in Family Administration) from the Universe-ity of Motherhood. Formerly in software product management, she is a stay-at-home parent to a daughter and twin boys, constantly looking for new ways to entertain them while doing as little housework as possible.

So why "bonggamom"? The word "bongga" (rhymes with "congga") is a Filipino term meaning glamorous in an ostentatious, outrageous, fabulous, over-the-top way. Bonggamom believes all moms can and should aspire to be bongga moms, but acknowledges that her own efforts to achieve such a state are hampered by her constantly stained jeans.

Want to know more about me?
Here are 100 random facts about me.
Here are six weird things about me.
View my Blogger profile
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See what I like on Pinterest

I also blog over at these sites:
Bonggamom Finds
Silicon Valley Mamas
The Savvy Source, SF Bay Area

I work behind the scenes at:
Cool Mom Tech
Cool Mom Picks
The Savvy Source

I'm proud to work as a brand ambassador for some great companies, including:
Playstation Family, Sony Playstation
Parents @Play, Nukotoys
Keep Going Blogger, Energizer
Shine on Now, American Girl
Creativity Club, Creativity for Kids

Panelist, "Social Commerce and Rewards", Social Media Week, February 2012
Panelist, Office Max Back-to-School Blogcast with Peter Walsh, August 6, 2009

Interview, on the Zhu Zhu Pets phenomenon, San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 2010
Interview on , July 23, 2009
Interview by Shannon Dinglee on, July 24, 2009
Interview by Maria Bailey on, July 25, 2009
Interview for Liberty Mutual's Responsibility Project, July 25, 2009
Featured guest poster on, August 24, 2009
Featured on A Byte out of Life: Is Separating Twins Really the Answer, July 30, 2009

I am proud to have been a member of these great blogs:
Silicon Valley Moms Blog
Filipina Moms Blog

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Welcome to my site

Hi everyone. I'm Ana and this is my new blog. Why have I decided to start my own blog? I'm already a contributing writer for an up-and-coming young moms blog, the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Far more people will visit that site and read my posts than ever will chance upon this humble little blog.

The thing is, SV Moms Blog is where people go to for funny, heartwarming stories about moms and kids that aren't so perfect. And believe me, I'm not perfect. And neither are my kids. When I feel like screaming and I want to pretend I don't have kids, I go blog on SV Moms Blog. But sometimes I have a day when I do feel like my kids are perfect, and I'm the greatest mom on earth. I want to celebrate days like these, sing my kids' praises from the rooftops. Well, this is my rooftop.

It's my hope that this blog can be a more personal story. I'm relatively new to blogging, so for now, at least, I want to k.i.s.s. (keep it simple, sisters) and blog about the main focus of my life, my kids. Later on, I'll start talking about other long-running addictions such as shopping (discount shopping in particular!), food (or avoiding it) or fledgling interests like jewelry making or cake decorating.

To all my family and friends, especially those who live far, far away, I hope you visit this blog often to see what we are up to. To passing strangers and random visitors, don't you think my kids are cute? Hope you come back and talk about your own cute kids.
Aargh, here are my kids, climbing up my lap and fighting for more computer time. So, gotta go. See you again soon.