Travel: US Visa Approved!

Throwback to the day of our appointment:

You can imagine our happy state as we walked away from the booth of the consul who said that our passports will be delivered in our address in the application!  My daughter’s got a twinkle in her eyes!

On exactly the 5th day after the appointment, we received our passports with our US Visas! We were all given 10 years! Great isn’t it?


So how did we do it?  Read on.

Be calm.  Be honest.  Two things to live by during this whole application process.  From the moment you fill up your application form up until the time of your interview with the consul, be calm and be honest.

Getting to the US Embassy
Lining Up

We had felt pity on ourselves as we lined up outside the embassy under the pouring rain, with 2 kids in tow.  That feeling was immediately changed as we went through a very easy process inside the embassy. 

Grateful to the staff attending to the lines outside because he gave us sort of like a Fast Pass seeing that we have 2 kids.  

There will be 2 security checks before you actually get to the Consular Building.

Once you get in, you’ll be directed to Step 1, the Pre-Screening.  No lines here.  At this window, the Officer will get your Confirmation Page, your Passport and your 2×2 picture.  Then she will ask the applicant his name and birthday, validate it against the application form you submitted online.  Takes about 5 minutes tops.

Step 2 is Finger Scanning.  There was a short queue for this.  There was also a hand sanitizer and paper towel for you to clean your hands.  Again, only the Confirmation Page and the Passport is needed.  The officer was very jolly and she interacted with the applicants well.  Her voice was loud so you’d think she was angry, but she’s not.  Finger Scanning is only for adults.  She asked us for our names and birthdays, then instructed us to put our thumbs together and had it pressed in the machine.  After the 2 thumbs, all 8 fingers were scanned together.

Last and Final Step is the Interview with the Consul.  We waited and were seated for about 8 minutes until we were called to stand in line.  There was a family in front of us, but unfortunately they weren’t granted the Visas.  

It was nerve wracking because the family before us just got denied.  While waiting in line, me and my husband were discussing our answers in the application form because that is the only basis of the consul.  

When it was our turn, we said hello to the consul and we were asked to wait first as he finished jotting down notes for the application of the family ahead of us. 

Be calm and be honest.

He asked for our Confirmation Page and the Passports.  He asked for our names then continued to interview us.  These are some of the questions he asked us:

  • What will you do in the States?
  • Where in the States will you be going?
  • Where do you plan to stay?  How long?
  • When do you plan to go?
  • What’s our occupation and how long we have been with our respective companies?
  • Who is going with us in our trip?

Right after he asked the questions, he just told us that our passports will be delivered to the address we stated in the application form.  He didn’t ask for a single document.

No fanfare.  No congratulations.  But in my head and in my daughters’ heads, there were fireworks!

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Family Mode: Neighborhood Game Cafe

Everyone or at least most of us wants a chill out place that is homey.  One that will make you feel like you’re still at home but you’re not.  I found the place in the Banawe Area along Ubay Street.  Tucked in the neighborhood is a new game cafe that will let you eat, play and feel at home all at the same time. 

All photos above are grabbed from Facebook Page of Neighborhood Game Cafe.  Credits to the Owner.

Went there with our 2 daughters so all the games we played are for their age.  Good thing there was a lot of choices.

1) Tumba

This is a match and stack game.  The little blocks are sized just right for little hands to hold and stack.

2) Tumblin’ Monkeys

The idea of the game is to not let the monkeys fall off the tree as you remove the different colored sticks.  The player with the most number of monkeys at the end of the game loses.

3) Sumo King Wrestling

These 2 wrestlers can be controlled just like an RC.  Too bad the kids weren’t able to play with them because the battery always gets drained.

4) Gassy Gus

Each player will be give Food Cards with numbers in it.  Players take turns pumping the corresponding number in Gus’ stomach.  His stomach gets fuller and fuller until he can’t take it anymore.  When he lets the gas out on your turn, then you lose.  

5) Frozen Break the Ice Game

The player hammers the ice surrounding Ana.  Don’t let her fall!

6) Gas Out

Just like Gassy Gus, this lets out a fart when it reaches the number of pumps.

7) Jumpin Monkeys

Have to make the monkeys jump onto the tree!  They have this little jumping board. Practice your aim though!

8) Battleship

The classic battleship game I played with my cousins when I was young.  Teaching my daughters this game is like a trip down memory lane.

9) Fun Farm

For younger kids, match the squishy farm animals with the card drawn from the deck.

10) Games I don’t know the names of.  Kids enjoyed these games as well.

So much more to play and spending 5 hours is definitely not enough. 

Follow this map to go to the Neighborhood!

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Family Mode: Visiting Tsim Sha Tsui Part 2

It was a very long day.  But kids weren’t tired yet so we decided to go the Avenue of the Stars which we discovered was already closed.  There was still a viewing area / deck near the Clock Tower though.

Kids enjoyed running around, taking pictures of the Victoria Harbour, and looking at the boats passing by.  Very picturesque sight to behold.

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There was a slight drizzle so it was cold by the harbour.

We capped our Tsim Sha Tsui escapade by boarding a ferry to go home.  Too bad though that plastic curtains were drawn down because of the rain and big splashes from the waves.

Can’t take beautiful pictures of the now lighted buildings by the harbour.

Oh well, there will always be next time.

Until then!

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Family Mode: Awesomeville in Gateway Mall

There is a new place in town.  It looks really nice in the picture.  Will definitely visit this place with my kids.

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Awesomeville is located at the 4th floor of Gateway Mall in Araneta Center.  Very competitive rates at only Php 200 for an hour of ultimate fun!  If that’s not enough, you could choose to stay for longer hours and pay only Php 400.  That’s like getting the 3rd hour free.

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What’s nice is their 1 guardian per child policy.  You can enjoy playing with your younger kids inside without having to pay for anything.

See you there!

SassyBiatcheMom

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Food Trip: Craft Coffee Revolution

In 1 week, I was able to bring hubby and kids to Craft.

Unfortunately, Chocolate Lava isn’t available.  We settled for Chocolate Fudge.  It is good but nothing can beat the Lava!

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It was already late so I didn’t want to repeat what happened to me last week.  I didn’t sleep until 4am in the morning.  So only hubby ordered a drink.

He tried their Piccolo Latte.  I took a sip and I know already that it’s a bit strong.  Oh by the way, you could check out their other coffees by looking at the super cool Drinks Menu found below.  It’s etched on a plank of wood.

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It used to be me and hubby only during Saturday nights out with friends.  Now, 2 kids join us and it’s going to be this way until they grow up.

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Disclaimer: I am just saying, not complaining.

Until then!

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What is Cellulitis?

About 2 weeks ago, my little D had an ordinary mosquito bite on her right lower leg that she kept on scratching, so the bite mark just kept on getting bigger and deeper.  We didn’t mind the bite that much as we thought it was just a regular bite.  We put cream on it and that’s it. 

No swelling, no redness, no fever, until noon of June 30.  Beside her previous bite was a tinier bite which immediately caused her fever and some swelling, or so we thought.

Within that 24 hours of the new bite being found, she continued experiencing redness, swelling in the same area, and her fever doesn’t go down.

Our pedia suggested we see a Surgeon who specializes in these cases. Immediately after seeing her leg, the Surgeon said that D must be confined at once. His diagnosis: CELLULITIS.

What is Cellulitis?

According to kidshealth.org, they define Cellulitis as:

“Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues that can affect any area of the body. It often begins in an area of broken skin, like a cut or scratch. Then bacteria invade and spread, causing inflammation, pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.”

The bite that D kept on scratching was already infected and we didn’t know. If she didn’t have high fever, we would have not seen a doctor and it might have been too late.

Her laboratory results showed that her white blood cells are high. It meant that her body has bacterial infection and her body is producing white blood cells to fight said bacterial infection.

Cellulitis, if left untreated, can result to more damaging scenarios.

Treatment
D was administered 2 kinds of antibiotics to kill the bacteria that have entered her skin. The fastest way to cure Cellulitis is through admission of intravenous antibiotics especially if the case is severe. She took Clindamycin and Unasyn through IV. If doctor’s diagnosis is just Mild Cellulitis, then taking oral antibiotics would be enough.

Antibiotics must be taken in a 5 or 7 day cycle to ensure its effectivity.

Prevention
Now that D is okay and we are likely to go home tomorrow, I would like to discuss what we could do to prevent a simple mosquito bite from becoming threatening cellulitis.

1) Be aware of the insect bites your children may have. Even little bites may be harmful. As long as there is an opening where bacteria can enter, it should be properly observed and monitored until fully healed. As our doctor advised, when there is even the littlest sign of opening, it is best to put some antibacterial cream like Bactroban. This is my new bestfriend from now on.
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2) Of course, children especially active ones will always get scrapes or cuts every now and then. That is normal. Just make sure that these are immediately washed with clean water and soap. After which you could apply some antibacterial cream. Cover the wound with some bandage or gauze.

Any wound can be infected if not properly treated, and we may not see it on the outer skin as the bacteria thrives inside the skin.

Let this be a lesson to all of us. And let’s not forget that this is applicable to both children and adults.

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When Disaster Strikes

This is how it looked like in our room tonight!

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Kids’ toys, books, crayons, and what nots all over our bedroom floor!  It took me a few hours before I finally sorted everything in their own places! 

And now my back is aching like crazy.  When it touched the bed, I couldn’t move anymore.  This is what I get from spending a whole day with my 2 kids!  Oh well, I’d rather feel like this than not spend quality time with them.

By the way, look at how happy they were with all their things strewn all over!

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Good night everyone!

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My funny kids

Last night, it was sleeping time already, so I went out of the room to get milk for the 2 kids.  About 3 minutes after, I went back to the room with 2 bottles of milk, only to find out that they have doodled and were still doodling and drawing lines some walls with their crayons!!!

Daphne’s holding a blue crayon and Denise has black in her hand!

I told them to stop immediately and asked them to clean the writings on the walls as punishment.  I gave them each a piece of wet tissue. 

A few minutes into the scrubbing, the kids were enjoying it already.  I even stopped Denise from doing it, but instead she got angry with me and still proceeded with scrubbing.

How funny my kids are!  They didn’t take my punishment as punishment per se, but they turned it into a fun activity.  Here are some pictures from last night!

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Something to cheer you up today!

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