Monday, July 30, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Li'l Fart Is Back With Mom; We Have Belch

Li'l Fart's mom came back for him and he ran off with her. We followed and saw them turn into an empty lot where a caretaker was also taking care of some free range chickens and roosters. The dogs actually have an informal home there.

Li'l Fart had been having very loose stools since yesterday and we think he will be better off being with his mother and breastfeeding. He didn't like the replacement puppy milk we gave him. He ate the mashed dog food but it didn't seem to agree with his stomach. He also cried every morning.

Since their hangout is just around the corner, we will be monitoring mother dog and pup. When we saw them this morning, they were running around playing after Li'l Fart had fed. They looked so happy at the reunion.

When Li'l Fart is a bit older and weaned and independent of his mom, perhaps we can coax him into the car again to take to PAWS. They can then find him a home.

We had prepared our youngest daughter, C3, for the separation by getting her a dog that she could keep indoors. This was not an option for Li'l Fart because he would be growing to the size of our three other mixed breeds.

Booger (black), Barf (tan) and Poop (white) were housed in a grilled area about 5 ft. x 15 ft. This was just beside our outside kitchen. Technically, though, it was part of the back area of my Mom's apartment unit. When we let go of the unit, we also had to transfer our dogs to a new enclosure that's only some 3 ft. x 12 ft. The three dogs are quite frisky and the largest one, Booger, has the body and heft of a large full-grown bassett hound. The new enclosure will definitely not be able to accommodate another dog.

C3 misses being able to cuddle her puppies indoors. Now she could only pet them in their enclosure. They are too rowdy to be allowed inside.

She has always wanted an indoor dog. One that would always stay small. Since it was her birthday last Saturday, we got her Belch - a purebred three-month-old tricolor Shih Tzu.


Belch is the perfect puppy. So sweet and well-mannered. He barely barks. He loves being cuddled but doesn't complain when put back into his pen which is right in the hub of the household. He just entertains himself with his toy or sleeps. He didn't even cry on his first night with us. And when he sleeps on his back, he looks just like a teddy bear!

C3 still misses Li'lFart so much but Belch is a big comfort to her.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Puppy Love Episode 2: The Soap Opera Continues


We had a surprise visit this morning. A dirty white street dog came whining at our gate. I was carrying Li'l Fart in my arms and he struggled to get down while answering her cries. I put him down and he scooted out from under the gate and immediately began suckling even as the white dog was still standing. She's his mother!

Oh, she looks very photogenic but she's obviously a stray - dirt-streaked and with some sores. She would clean up very well, though, and she has a gentle look. If Li'l Fart grows up looking like a black version of his mother, he'll be a handsome dog.

The mother dog seems very much at home on the street, even settling down right in the middle of the road to nurse. B and I had to stand guard to redirect any oncoming traffic. She seemed bothered by our presence and moved to the side of the car. We continued to stand guard, though, because they could still be sideswiped.

After the pup had his fill, the mother dog only stayed a few more minutes then casually loitered off. We waited for her to come back but she seemed oblivious of the young one she had left behind. He was left to fend for himself on the street.

Of course, we took him into the house again. Another round of cleaning up with a moist washcloth plus checking for fleas that could have transferred from his mom. He then fell blissfully asleep.

We decided that it would be safer to keep him in the house and just give the mom visiting rights for breastfeeding. After all, we are breastfeeding advocates :D.

Here's another complication: my cousin texted us saying they couldn't take him after all because someone else will be giving them a labrador pup by next month.

Now we need to find another home for Li'l Fart. But we couldn't do it immediately because we'd like to maximize the possibility of extending his breasfeeding sessions with his mother. This will mean more emotional investment on our part and a more difficult separation later.

Now I understand why some people would rather harden their hearts for self defense. Being so open to loving can be quite painful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Puppy Love



A telenovela is unfolding in our household. It all began this morning when we found a puppy hiding under the sampaguita bushes outside our gate. We left it alone, hoping that the mother dog would come back for it since the puppy seemed to be a month old at most. By afternoon, no mother dog came.

We couldn't leave the pup out there hungry and thirsty. We were also afraid that it might leave the bushes and be caught by vehicles on the road. So we brought it in. We also let the neighbors know that if anyone came looking for a lost pup, we were temporarily caring for it.

The pup lapped up the milk and softened dog food we gave it. Since he was crawling with fleas, we sprayed him with Frontline - it's safe even for very young pups. Soon he was licking my hands. I then began to pick out his fleas. He loved it. After a while, he was all clean. I rubbed him all over with a moist washcloth followed by a dry one. He snuggled against me.

When a pup snuggles against you and looks at you trustingly with those puppydog eyes, how can you resist falling in love?

The problem is that we already have three dogs and there is no room for another one.

If no owner claims him, we will have to offer him to our relatives and friends. If there are no takers, we will bring him to PAWS for adoption.

My youngest daughter's heart is breaking. She has fallen hard for him already.

We have even given him a temporary name - one that fits in with our three dogs named Poop, Booger and Barf. We call the little one Li'l Fart!

As soon as my husband declared that there was no way we could adopt him, the kids said we should detach ourselves from the puppy. C3 didn't even want to call him by any name anymore.

I could understand her trying to protect her emotions and I feel for her. If only there was a way to keep Li'l Fart. After all, it's her birthday on the 28th and this little girl really, really loves animals. In fact, all our pets (3 dogs and 3 guinea pigs) were her requests. This time, though, it looks like there's no solution to our dilemma. We can only be a foster family for this pup.

I suppose the best thing we can do is find him a really good home where he will be just as loved and cared for. Hopefully, somewhere we can visit, too. I hope one of our close relatives living nearby will take him.

I'm not very hopeful that he has a legitimate owner who will come claiming him. The state he was in doesn't show that he was a house pet. I even have a suspicion that he might have been abandoned by someone whose native dog gave birth to a litter.

I will be asking many questions when someone comes to claim him. I want to make sure that we will not be handing him over to dog traders posing as owners.

In the meantime, I just can't keep my distance. I know I'll be hurting the moment we have to hand him over to someone else but while he's here I can't resist him. He's still looking for his mom and I'm only too willing to stand in for her. Look at him. How can you guard your heart against such a lovable furball?



P.S. Yes! It's just past 1 a.m. and we have already found a home for Li'l Fart if no owner comes to claim him. My cousin who's a real dog lover, and whose dog recently passed away of old age, will take him. They have another dog that he can play with. Of course, I think they'll give him a more respectable new name :D

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Schmooze Is Not A Sleazy Word



I always thought that "schmooze" was a sleazy word. Well, blogger Mike, creator of the Power of Schmooze Award, says the dictionary defines schmooze as "the ability to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” He adds: "When it comes to blogging, schmoozing is your ticket to making new friends, getting yourself noticed and building a reputation. "

I think I'd rather skip that "in order to gain an advantage" part, thank you. Otherwise, yes, schmoozing does seem to be the way to go to gain blog friends and create a blog network to interact with.

Mike and friend, Danielle, created the "Power of Schmooze Award" to "recognize those people that were exceptionally adept at creating relationships with other bloggers by making an effort to be part of a conversation, as opposed to a monologue...These bloggers have all worked hard to build a reputation for themselves by commenting on other blogs, participating in blogging communities, replying to comments left on their blog and overall just doing their part to interact with other bloggers."

Ah, that's more like it. All above board and wholesome. That's an award I would be proud to receive.

And I did! Thanks to AnitoKid. (Belated happy birthday to his talented daughter, Agi!) He's a master of the art, I tell you.

Our blogs thrive on blog friendships and being part of a blog community. It definitely pays to learn how to schmooze.

And so I give the Power of Schmooze Award to:

Manilenya: Is there a Pinoy/Pinay blogger who doesn't know her?

Culture Shiok: Being in the upper rungs of the Top10 Emerging Influential Blogs speaks for itself, plus try counting the number of rice bowls he has received in his blog

The Talking Fingers on the Web: Des has just moved to Kuwait and still doesn't have an internet connection at home, so her schmoozing is currently lying low. Before this, however, she has had a thriving and growing community of visitors and visits blog friends, too, regularly. Just wait till she gets her connection and she'll be back with a vengeance!

AnnaManila: Yes, I have just awarded her the Thoughtful Blogger Award, but I just have to give this to her, too. This lady blogger is irresistible. I just keep going back to her blog not only to read her posts but her replies to comments, as well.

Silkenhut: He's learning the art of schmoozing pretty fast and this blogger will soon be zooming up the blogosphere.

On another note, I would like to thank Claire of A Timeless Life for nominating me to the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs. I am far from the magic 10 but the mere fact of being nominated really warms my heart. Thank you again, Claire, and also to Gibo and AnitoKid for the nominations.

Work at Home Mom: Inspired

Sasha says I am an inspirational blogger and has given me the "Inspirational Blogger Award."

Thank you very much, Sasha. But as you have cited me for inspiring you to write romance novels through my own Maia Jose romance novels, please allow me to post the award at Maia Jose's Cafe Romanza. I'm always excited at seeing how my novels have affected the lives of my readers, and I chronicle these at Cafe Romanza.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Work at Home Mom: Our Youngest Daughter

As I promised in my post on My 5 Goals, I intend to spend more quality time with the family. I've been doing that lately.

Allow me my bragging rights as a Mom as I write about my youngest daughter, C3. She's the one who has watercolor, oil pastel, acrylic and mixed media paintings up at Paintings of a 10-Year-Old.

She began painting by herself, using ordinary crayons and watercolor. When we noticed that it was something that really engrossed her for several hours each day, we gave her access to my collection of art books and bought her a variety of media - acrylic paint, professional watercolors, oil pastel, watercolor paper, paper for acrylic paint, some small mounted canvasses - to do with as she pleased. The results amazed us.

Two summers ago, we enrolled her at painter Fernando Sena's summer art workshop. She has been going regularly since then and has finished all levels. He has invited her to keep going to his classes to continue her development.

We have not been able to upload all of her paintings at her blog, though. We need to scan those that are on paper and photograph those that are on canvas.

Lately, she has been focused on her academics. She transferred to the home study program last year after severe muscle pain and weakness caused her to be absent from the second week of school in June to the last week of September. We had a complete medical workup but the doctors couldn't find anything. Based on what I myself have been going through, we believe she has inherited my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. We have since then been trying some natural therapies. Despite this, she finished her 5th grade in the remaining six months of last school year.

This school year, after only going to school for 5 days (they go to take tests after doing modules at home) she has already cleared sixth grade Science and is just awaiting the results of Filipino for which she has also taken her finals already.

Her Kuya (elder brother) teases her for being OC (obsessive-compulsive) with her studies just like her Ate (elder sister). C3 also takes after him, though. Our only son wants to become a chef and - like all of us - loves food. Yesterday, as the three of us were left at home and they were doing their modules (Kuya is in home study, too, but is in his last year in high school), we took a break with the Lifestyle Network on TV . The Barefoot Contessa! We love mediterranean food and it was like torture seeing all that in gorgeous color. We could almost smell and taste it. After a while, C3 stood up. When she returned, she already had a bowl of fresh tomatoes sliced and marinated in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, salt and pepper! She was pouting a little because there were no olives left in the fridge. She then promptly texted her Dad: "Emergency! Please buy olives!" Of course he arrived home later with a big jar for the little princess.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Work at Home Mom: How Thoughtful of You!

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The Brown Baron of Brown Thoughts has made me all misty-eyed by giving me the Thoughtful Blogger Award.

Who wouldn't be touched when the award has the following criteria?

"For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others."

Brown Baron had this to say:

"MJ of Manila Mom - She brings the qualities that make her a great mom to her blog. All her visitors feel cared for. "

Wow! This means so much to me. I have always felt that as bloggers we consider our blogs our virtual homes and we should, therefore, extend the same courtesy to our visitors as we do at home. Conversely, when we visit blogs, we should be just as courteous as if we were visiting another's home.

But then again, we do lose our temper or patience sometimes. The key is not to write in the middle of a burst of anger or annoyance. Reread your post several times before hitting the publish button.

As I said to the Brown Baron - this means I can't suddenly turn catty on my blog then :D

It is not surprising that the Brown Baron was himself given the award. He is very hospitable to his visitors, replying to every comment. His posts also show him to be a thoughtful husband and dad to his own young family. I have always felt that visiting his blog was like visiting the home of a happy young family.

The Thoughtful Blogger Award is actually one of five Blogger Awards created by Christy of Writer's Reviews. When you receive an award, you pass the honor on to five other people. It can be five of the same award or a combination of the five different awards.

I am hereby awarding the Thoughtful Blogger Award to:

Jenny of Gus' Gang - After losing her baby to illness, this inspiring and courageous mom turned around and set up a ministry to reach out to families of chronically ill children, as well as families who have lost a child.

Sasha of Sasha Says - A very warm person whose comments section is always full of people who obviously feel welcome and very much at home in her blog. She has gone through a lot of life challenges but always has encouraging words for blog friends when she bloghops.

AnnaManila of Ode2Old - Her comments section is always a good read in itself because she truly takes time to reply to each visitor and is always gracious and full of wit.

Marhgil of Macuha.com - He always lends his knowhow especially to techie-challenged bloggers like me. I continue to learn a lot from him.

AnitoKid of The AnitoKid Chronikos - My blog bro may be quite overexposed here but there's just no denying the fact that he's one of the most generous bloggers I've met online, going out of his way to help fellow bloggers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Work at Home Mom: More Musings on Stigma and Being Filipina

Recent discussions among Filipina bloggers have led me to ponder more on the various stigmas cast on Filipinas.

At Cafe Romanza, I wrote on "The Filipina Bride Overseas - Not Necessarily A Mail Order Bride."

I expanded the subject matter to cover other types of stigma at Maia Jose.com with Stigma and the Filipina.

As I said in that post, "Stigma thrives on the unspoken. Like taboo, it is a child of darkness. It envelops the stigmatized and draws her to cower in hidden corners. To fight stigma, we need to throw light on it. Bright light. Glaring light. We need to expose it and subject it to scrutiny. Dispel the mistaken notions and innuendoes. Strip it down to bare truth."

So let's fight stigma this way: love and light!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Work at Home Mom: MyBlogLog Members, Please Be Aware!

I do love MyBlogLog. I have discovered lots of wonderful blogs through this social network, and many other bloggers have found my blogs through it.

Recently, though, there has been widespread concern over the abuse of a new feature in the network: the community message. MyBlogLog has always had a message feature where you can leave a public or private message for a member in his/her page. With the new feature, however, a member can send one message to all members of his/her community at one go. Yes, it's a spammer's fantasy come true, indeed!

Not that I'm saying all those who have been using the feature are spammers. Nope! Not me! I've been burned that way before - called a spammer without any such intentions on my part.

I can imagine many enthusiastic MyBlogLog members seeing the new feature on their pages. Surely, since it was installed by MyBlogLog itself, then it must be there to be used. And it must be safe to use. So use it they did. Only to be met with declarations from other bloggers that they will leave the community of anyone who uses the new feature. It must have been a shock, especially to those who merely wanted to thank their community members for joining.

No, I never used the new feature. But I wouldn't leave the community of a blogger that used it - not unless he/she sends a totally rude and blatantly spammy community message.

I'm a member of a LOT of communities and I have it set so that I receive email notices of messages. This is so that I don't miss anything I may need to reply to immediately. Since the new feature has been installed, I have been flooded with community messages. I must admit it has become quite annoying and I have been deleting many messages. So far, I haven't received a message so irritating as to make me leave the community, though.

But fellow MyBlogLog members, please be aware of the annoyance factor of this new feature. I am giving everyone the benefit of the doubt - I'm assuming that all community messages are sent without any intention of spamming. After all, the communities I have joined are owned by bloggers whose blogs I read and, therefore, like on various levels. Please know that using the community message feature may backfire on your sincere intentions to get in touch with your community members.

There may be some situations that merit the use of the community message - like maybe if you're closing down your blog and would want to inform your members? Or if you're transferring domain. Be very careful in deciding whether your message really needs to be sent this way. Otherwise, just write what you have to say in your blog posts and trust that your community members will come by it sooner or later. After all, they did join your community, didn't they?

Related Post: The MyBlogLog Community Exchange Will Bring In More Traffic

Work at Home Mom: Manila Mom, an A-List Blogger According to Kineda.com

I'm still in the midst of my fibromyalgia-CFS episode and I'm feeling so bad and down in the dumps, plus I have brain fog. Having said that, I now plead a case of temporary insanity in claiming this A-List Blogger badge from Kineda.com.

Aha! I know, a lot of bloggers out there will be sneering. Who am I to claim to be an A-List blogger? I've only been here a few months, I don't have that much traffic to show for it and - horrors! - I join those shady link trains!

I actually got to know of Kineda's widget from AnitoKid and, boy, did he get insulted for it. Well, bro, I think the widget's too cute to pass up so I'm joining the risk wagon, too :D

If anyone cares to know before passing judgment, Kineda.com's "Bloglebrity" categorization is based on Technorati stats. You key in your url and they get your stats from Technorati. If you have at least 500 blogs linking to you within the past six months, you're an A-List blogger!

I used my manila-mom.blogspot.com url to get the A-List badge, though. I have only very recently acquired www.manilamom.com and, unfortunately, Technorati does not recognize the redirect even if it's exactly the same blog also hosted by Blogger. Technorati still tracks manila-mom.blogspot.com and has a different tracking for www.manilamom.com which, of course, has lower stats.

For total transparency, I have indicated this detail beside my Technorati and Kineda widgets in the sidebar. I can already imagine someone typing in my www.manilamom.com url in both sites and then gleefully saying, "She's lying! She doesn't qualify!" Oh please.

These stats and badges and lists are just picker-uppers that help brighten a blogger's days. Please let's not take them too seriously and not stress on them. Let's keep blogging fun and friendly.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Work at Home Mom: This Manila Mom Isn't Just a Sexy Filipina, But Also Apparently a Rockin' Girl Blogger


I have been offline since the weekend with another bad episode of my chronic headaches, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It's not over yet, I'm still woozy, but something I read perked me up enough to get my fingers moving again.

I'm very late in seeing this, but Angie of Suncoast Scribe has named me a Rockin' Girl Blogger, complete with a badge of honor. Thank you very much, Angie!

The Rockin' Girl Blogger idea originated from Roberta Ferguson - Blogging Made Devilishly Simple. She has since made a list of those who have been named Rockin' Girl Bloggers.

If you're one of them and your name's not on the list, let me know so I can add you in. It would be nice if you could host the list in a post in your blog, too ;D This will help other bloggers discover these wonderful rockin' girl blogs.

Once tagged, you're supposed to add your five nominees to the list.

This is difficult because there are so many women bloggers out there whose blogs rock! Here are my votes to be added to The List of Rockin' Girl Bloggers:

Female Gamer
The D Spot
Touched By An Angel
Feisty Momma
Homeschooling In The Ozarks

The List:

SunCoastScribe
PfunkPocklock
Liz Strauss
MsDanielle
The Buzz Queen
Manila Mom
Vegan Momma
Jenny Up The Hill
Karen at The Pond
The Sassy Southerner
Crazy Working Mom
One Full House
Are We There Yet?
Desert Songbird
Scrappin’ with life
Coffee 2 Go
Rocky Mountain Retreat
Just Me Shann
Comedy Plus
Muffin53
Mags
Irish Blogs
Robin Lee Hatcher
Writing From The Inside Out
Absolutely Bananas
Fracas
Oh, The Joys
Layla’s Classic Rock FavesSzavanna Blog
Writer Mama
NowOut Of Focus
Wacky Mom
Organising Queen
ShortyBears Place
Dayngrous Discourse
Skittles’ Place
Devilish Southern Belle
Skeet’s Stuff
My Mommy’s Place
Maya’s Mom
Mom Is Nutz
Home School BloggerLittle WoolgatheringsThis Eclectic Life
Cindy SwansonPetroville
West Of Mars
Wonderland Or Not
Polliwog
MimiWrites
Suzanne Harris
Carma’s Window
FrenchKys
Malin at Infektia
Terra Andersen
Corrie Haffly

What are you waiting for? Come visit these rockin' girl blogs!

Let's all rock the blogosphere!


Related Posts:

Yes, Filipinas Are Sexy
Sexy Filipinas -Including Sexy Filipina Moms - Stand Up and Be Counted
Who's Afraid of the Sexy Filipina?
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