Bonggamom around the Blogosphere

My second post has been published on the Creativity for Kids blog! It's all about saving money on summer camp fees by organizing your own camp with a group of friends. I've done several "Cousin Camps" with my sister, her sister-in-law and all our kids and it has been a blast for everyone. Now that my sister is back in Manila, she will be sorely missed, but Curatrix and I can still get our kids together this summer... Cousin Camp must go on!

So let it be written. So let it be done.

Since I've made the resolution to get regular exercise this year, I've put my planning hat on and listing down a weekly workout schedule:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 1-hr Zumba class
Wednesday: 30 minutes strength training
Thursday: rest
Friday: 1-hr walk or 30-minute run or workout video
Saturday: 30-minute walk + 15 minutes strength training
Sunday: 30-minute run

Medicine cabinet or liquor cabinet?

Last week I had a doozy of a cold; I spent several days suffering from a sore throat, runny nose, hacking cough, buzzing ears and aching head. I know cough and cold medicines don't really help with the cold, but they sure do a heck of a job with the symptoms, so every night I took a dose of NyQuil. Who wants to cough throughout the night when you can take some vile tasting cherry-vanilla flavored liquid and conk out?

The other day I took a closer look at the bottle and noticed this:

On average, beer contains 5-7% alcohol. Wine contains 10-15% alcohol. And this cough syrup has 10%. WOW. I get tipsy with just a couple of sips of wine. No wonder NyQuil knocks me out at night!

I'm this week's Creativity for Kids blogger!

A couple of weeks ago Alfie pointed to the kids' window art and asked why I hadn't taken it down yet. "Christmas is over, shouldn't the decorations go back into storage?" "No, dear," I said patiently. "That's their window art. That stays up permanently." I know this stuff looks out of place in a Craftsman home, but hey, it's also a home with kids, and I think the window art gives our back entrance a warm, whimsical feel. I even wrote a post about how much I love them over at the Creativity for Kids blog, where I'm the Featured Blogger of the week. Check out my post, and don't forget to take a peek at my bio, which has my awesomely cute baby picture (garish 70's jumpsuit aside) and some funny facts about me.

Many Hands Make Light Work

I think I've figured out a way to cure childhood obesity. All you have to do is build all elementary schools on steep hills, put all the classrooms at the top of the hill, and put the parking lot, playground and cafeteria at the bottom of the hill. At least that's what it felt like a couple of weeks ago, as I was trudging up the slopes of Roosevelt Elementary School with a huge box of Leapfrog Tag readers and books. I was delivering the Tag Reader classroom kit that Leapfrog gave me to donate to a kindergarten classroom as part of their Tag. Give. Read. program. My friend's sister-in-law teaches fourth grade at this school, and she introduced me to a lovely kindergarten teacher named Jennifer, who was delighted to receive the donation for her students.

A Better Breakfast

When I was pregnant with the twins, I craved meat. I cringe to admit this, but for the first four months of my pregnancy I ate a McDonald's Sausage McMuffin every day for breakfast and a carne asada burrito every day for lunch. Ahhh, those were the days. Now I have no excuse to head to McDonald's and our local burrito shop every day, but I still occasionally get that craving for animal flesh. Since I'm currently participating in BlogHer's Jimmy Dean D-lites program, Jimmy Dean sent me some coupons for free samples of their new Jimmy Dean D-lites breakfast sandwich, and I have to say their microwaveable Turkey Sausage Muffins are a great way to tame those breakfast meat cravings. It's made with whole-wheat muffins, reduced-fat turkey sausage and egg whites so it's a healthier product, but it still tastes terrific. Ask my kids. Or try it yourself -- the BlogHer Jimmy Dean page has a link to a $1-off coupon, and links to 25 $100 giveaways so you can win the cash to stock up on your own Turkey Sausage Muffins. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received coupons for free samples of Jimmy Dean D-lites from Jimmy Dean and BlogHer.

Why I love California

I woke up today with a bad cold. My head aches and my ears are stuffed and my nose is running, and all I want to do is curl up with a bag of chips and watch cartoons. It's foggy and dreary outside, and it looks like we might be in for a few rainy days next week. I could sure use a couple of weeks on a tropical island. But when I think about all the winter storms the rest of the country is facing, I know I'm happy just where I am -- here, in California. Yeah, we're bankrupt. Yeah, we've got earthquakes, and when global warming causes floods to cover the earth we could wake up to discover that our home in Silicon Valley has become beachfront property. But I wouldn't live anywhere else. Here are just some of the reasons why I love living in California:

Taking back the decor

Last week Alfie banged his head on a door and split his forehead open. The only kind of bandage we could find was a bright yellow Spongebob Squarepants Band Aid. He almost didn't want to go to work the next day because of it.

Unfortunately, that's just one of the many hazards of parenting we've had to face in the last decade, and I'm not talking about Alfie's split cut (although the accident was a direct result of being a parent: he tripped over a gigantic foam moon that the kids had left in the middle of the room). I'm talking about the gradual erosion of the tasteful environment you built for yourself in the BC (Before Child) era. If you're not careful, garish cartoon characters like Spongebob, Barney and Dora will slowly take over your household decor, your appliances, your toiletries and your life. Not your kid's life, yours. I defy any parent to swear that he or she has not done at least one of the following:


Yesterday I attended my first Zumba class. For those of you who aren't familiar with Zumba, it's a cardio workout based on dance steps and music, mainly from Latin America. During the hour-long workout, we danced to salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, samba and hip-hop. It was smooth. It was hard-hitting. It was sweaty. It was shoulder-shaking, hip-swinging, shimmy-shaking fun!

How to save $250 when repairing an automatic car door

This morning I finally took our van in to check on a faulty automatic rear door. This has been a problem since mid-November, but I've procastinated -- and endured a month and a half of opening and closing the cargo hatch by hand (ugh, whatever did people do before remote controlled doors?) -- because I was dreading the cost of fixing it. $250? $400? Ugh. Man, it's such a bummer to realize that your once-cool-and-spiffy van is now seven years old, and starting to show signs of its age.

What finally broke down my resistance was just that: a breakdown. Or rather, an almost-breakdown. We were in Reno, and the car refused to start. Luckily, after a couple of frantic tries, it started, and we were able to get home, but a week later the battery was completely dead. We had to buy a new one. We figured the battery had run down because the kids are perpetually leaving the inside lights on, but we decided to have the van checked out to make sure the charger was working properly.

Getting a running start to 2011

I can feel it. Yes I can: this is the year I'm going to put running back into my lifestyle. Two years ago my plantaar fascitis hurt much too much for me even to consider it; it improved so much last year that I have to admit laziness was the bigger reason for me not lacing up my running shoes more often. So this year I'm going to work on running and walking on a regular basis. And because having an event to train for is such a powerful motivator for me, I've got my eye on quite a few races for 2011: