Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm fairly certain that it was a happy birthday for Josh...take a look at the boy when he saw his present (I think you can see his tonsils)....

Aside from the Spiderman lunchbox in his hand, we got him this....

The mask can be inverted to the black spiderman costume and comes with a web shooter canister that shoots webs and darts. I'm actually jealous, it looks like so much fun to play with, which is why I sneaked a sample of the mask...

I'll give you three guesses what my Halloween costume will be this year (assuming Joshua gets tired of it, by then).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday morning bits and pieces

Have I blogged about how much I don't like Mondays??? Don't think so.

Well, I don't like Mondays. Always feel disoriented and grumpy and frumpy get the picture. Thought I'd write down some bits and pieces, some from the weekend and some that happened this morning...

It's Joshua's birthday today!!!! He's five! I am wishing I could be with him the whole day today. And hoping that the weekend we spent together was enough (which I know wasn't -- to me, at least). I can't wait for Joshua to see his Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles cake!

I almost hit a man on a bike this morning. Hence my foul mood. The freaking idiot was on a death wish -- the light had been green for some time when he went careening out of nowhere on his bike (which shouldn't be allowed on a main street anyway!) trying to beat the oncoming cars. The car brakes squealed as I furiously rammed my foot on the brake. I missed him by a couple of inches....%^&$^$&!!!!!

We saw Shrek 3 with the kids last Saturday and I thought it was the funniest of the three. One and two were ok but most of the jokes I thought were a bit slapstick and I hate slapstick and jokes that deal mostly with bodily functions.

I already know how the Pirates movie ended -- I made my brother tell me. Now I'm thinking whether to still see it cause I didn't like the ending. Not mentioning how it ended here because the hubby will kill me when he reads this and I put a spoiler here. *zipping mouth shut*

The other day Faith was being a gremlin in the car on the way to church. She kept growling hard and swiping Joshua with her hand (she was pretending to be a dinosaur) while he was peacefully playing with this Spiderman toys. I was shaking my head and telling the hubby, "look at your daughter...she's being so naughty!" . He looks at me, smiled and said point blank, "don't you see yourself in her?"...well, I never! The nerve! Hmp! Hello??!! I never growl and swipe at the same time!!!

Did you know that I work for a food company? Today I went to a coffee tasting -- my very first food tasting experience. Don't know if I made a very good test subject as I never take my coffee black -- everything tasted bitter and sour to me. Now I wonder when's the next food tasting for pizza??

It is customary to kill a chicken on the day of one's birthday - a life in exchange for continued good health. So for Joshua's birthday, my dad bought a live chicken yesterday and chased me and my sister around the breakfast table with it under his arm. My husband said the screaming might have passed the phobia to the kids -- I don't really mind, at least they won't be bringing home any stray chickens!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Date Night!

It's not my typical Friday night. I find myself in the rare situation of being free to do whatever strikes my fancy. My parents have taken the kids out of town for the day and won't be back till tomorrow. I've already been to the boxing gym three times this week and my knuckles are a bit sore so I'm laying off it tonight. Hmmmm....what to do??

a. Shrek 3 -- Nope. I'd prefer to see with the kids this weekend.
b. Pirates? -- It's Friday night (albeit a rainy one) and the first weekend so it's gonna be crowded. Plus I'm color coded (plate number ending not allowed on main thoroughfares from 7am-7pm) so can't leave till late. We might be able to catch the late night show but I don't relish getting home at 2am. *gasp* sign of old age????? nooooooooooo!!!!!! I just need my beauty sleep...*hmp!*
c. Dinner and shopping for hubby -- Possible. He needs new work shirts (and my expertise, of course, :D). But...raining, not so in the mood to shop (maybe I'm sick), crowded mall.
d. Dinner and a video -- Liking this. Plus I can always read a book if I don't like the movie.

Of course, this is totally crazy but I miss the kids already. Faith has been especially affectionate lately, repeatedly kissing me and saying she loves me every time we lie down in bed.

So typical of me. One night in two months without the kids and I still feel the guilt.

Have a good weekend folks!

Monday, May 21, 2007

It rained hard yesterday afternoon, signaling the end of one of the hottest summers we've ever had. School starts in a few weeks and it's a new school for my two kids and Faith's first time.

I remember grade school when the first thing they made us write as soon as school starts is an essay on "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." I'd rack my brain for what to write and end up writing inanely about some trip to the beach on a half sheet of writing paper.

It's typhoon season again (we've already got one!) so time to put away the summer stuff -- the wading pool and toys, swim goggles and bathing suits. Haven't been in school for years and no vacation for me and the hubby but here's our summer, in pictures.

Above is where we spent the most part of the Lenten break -- three lazy days with the whole family just being alternately noisy and quiet, blowing bubbles on the terrace and enjoying our dad's cooking. Some weekends are also spent here but these trips are quick ones given the different paths our lives take which is why pictures like the ones below with my siblings, are rare. Well, rare also because we hardly agree on a picture we all like enough to show people -- what do you expect with three girls?? These two are the only ones that passed muster.

Then the amusement park trip which the kids and I loved. It was a hot and sticky morning till afternoon trip but we didn't want to go home.

Our first family ferris wheel ride. The kids were beside themselves with excitement, while the hubby and I had a death grip on each one of them. These pictures were taken just before the hubby realized he was afraid of heights and before the kids started wriggling, hence the death grip and tense warning to sit still or else!

We rode all the kiddie rides (where the hubby and I could fit) from dinosaur eggs to the carousel, Joshua liked picking the gorilla's nose and you could see from the third pic taken after the water ride how much I enjoyed it while Josh hated getting wet!

And of course, what's summer without spending some time by the pool? It took me a while but I finally figured out how to keep bored, hyperactive kids out of trouble and away from the television on lazy Sunday mornings when we have nowhere to go.

So that's how my summer went. How was yours?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Questions and Answers and a Happy Birthday!

First off, Happy Mother's Day to all my mom blogger friends! I hope you had a fabulous Mother's Day like I had. And thank you to all who sent greetings my way, you guys are so sweet! :D

It's been crazy busy the past few days and I've missed blogging so I thought I'd do the Q&A meme that I first saw over at kj's. She has graciously provided me with five interview questions about myself. If you like this idea and would like me to ask five questions of you, let me know and I will send them to at least the first three people who respond, by way of email or blog comments.

So here goes:

1. What aspects of your work do you enjoy most?

I like finding solutions to problems and that is the aspect I enjoy most about work. I especially like working with groups of people and brainstorming ideas and making the process fun for everyone. My former colleagues used to enjoy my staff meetings so much that they looked forward to it every week.

2. If you could plan a dream vacation, what would it be and who would you include?

I've always wanted to take a tour of Europe with my husband so that would be my dream vacation. I would love to experience Europe the way a local would -- so, no quickie tours for me! I'd hate to have to be on a schedule -- two days in France, one day in Vienna, etc. Places I would linger at would be Tuscany, Hildegarde promised me a walking tour of Flanders so I can see firsthand all the awesome places in her photographs and then lots of time in Greece and Rome.

3. What is it like to live in the Philippines and how have you been influenced by Filipino culture and traditions?

I found this to be a really tough question to answer. I like living here because it's home, I've never lived anywhere else. There are a lot of things to like...the weather, the people are warm and friendly (and have no difficulty communicating in English -- just in case my blogger friends from abroad are thinking of visiting), the food and all the beautiful places and beaches to go to. The culture is a mix of Spanish and American but still retains some aspects that are purely Filipino. It's a predominantly Catholic country so most of the religious norms and traditions that I grew up with are Catholic. However, we have a very rich folklore that has seeped into our everyday lives so completely that sometimes we're not even aware of it. I believe Ces wrote a post about some of the predominant superstitious beliefs that a typical Filipino child would grow up with.

Family is held sacred and while a lot of other cultures also have this value, Filipinos take it one step further with our extended family system. It is not unusual for grandparents, siblings, in-laws, cousins to live under one roof. A child is not expected to leave the family home when he/she turns 18 and grandparents are taken care of until their dying day which means we don't have a lot of nursing homes in this country.

That being said, it is still a third world country. Corruption is rampant in all levels and basic services like hospitalization and good schooling for those who cannot afford to pay are barely adequate. More than half of the population do not get to eat three full meals a day and politicians' children go around with a police escort in luxury cars just to go to the mall. On the last election alone, millions are spent on print and tv advertising for their campaign when thousands do not have enough to eat. It's really sad but it is understandable why most of the educated population want to leave the country.

4. What do you do when you are really mad and disgusted?

I have a colorful vocabulary that gets unleashed when I'm really mad and disgusted. You wouldn't want to be in the same car with me when I'm driving and get cut by an idiot driver or stuck behind another politician's brat on their way to the mall.

5. You have just been awarded $ 2500, no strings attached except you can't save it or use it to pay bills. How will you spend/what will you do with the money?

My family and I used to travel when we were younger and I really miss the extended time together especially now that my sisters and I are busy with our own lives. I would love to treat my family to a vacation in Boracay and spend several days just being together.

If you'd like five questions from me, here's how it works:

1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address or I can list the questions on your blog.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So let me know. :D

Incidentally, it is my daughter Faith's 3rd birthday today!!!!! :D

Friday, May 04, 2007

Why, when I see and interact with the kids everyday, did I suddenly find myself thinking I missed them last night while I was sitting on our bed, in the middle of a scuffle between the two?

So last night, I wallowed in their noisy presence, touching and kissing as much skin as I can, inhaling their smell and gripping their fingers and toes whenever they came near me. Faith kept tackling me from behind, wrapping her arms around my neck and forcing me to lie down. Then proceeded to sit on my head -- and I didn't even mind 30 pounds of toddler parked on my face. Until I couldn't breathe anymore, of course, at which point I would tickle her bottom and she would scramble off, shrieking the whole time. And then she would do it all over again.

I kept telling Josh to give me a hug and he would come over (he was watching cartoons), give me the tightest hug and go back to the couch. The evil mom in me kept asking him to come back and give me another hug, waiting to see if he would get tired of the game. But he never did.

Then Faith started eating my hair (she really likes it) and making me eat hers (I just put it in my mouth and pretended to chew it off in chunks -- makes her giggle every time).

We were all in our nightclothes and so noisy while their dad took an unscheduled nap (one minute he was sitting on the bed, the next he was fast asleep). He didn't even wake up at the worst of it, the poor dear. He finally got up when it was time to read the bedtime stories (we read one book each), then he kissed the three of us (and Faith's toes) goodnight.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back for more Torture

Last weekend at the video arcade I got distracted by this game where bulldogs come out of a hole and you hit them with a hammer to score a point. Faith was too small to play so I had a go at it. And then another one. At which point while I was determinedly wielding the hammer with two hands and hitting the dogs with all my strength, my husband sauntered over and remarked, "I wonder who you're thinking of?" Honestly? No one. It just felt so good to hit something.

Which is probably the reason why I loved my boxing session last Monday night. It was around 6:30 by the time I was changed and the trainer (a short, rotund Visayan guy who insisted I called him Ferrer) wrapped my hands and put on whatever they called those mitts that you have to hit. And then I was in stress release heaven. This is what I've been looking for. Nothing I have tried before matches the sheer physicality of boxing. My mind was blank except for listening to Ferrer's instructions...jab, hook, straight...again...and again. He kept asking me if I was alright since he knows it's my first time. And I just kept nodding...the three minute intervals between rounds with 30 seconds of rest and a drink of water was ok. For the first half hour, at least.

The next half hour was spent rotating among the different boxing equipment. My arms already felt like lead, then he handed me a skipping rope. I was utterly conscious of the fact that I couldn't do the boxer type skipping rope thingie. So I skipped rope like a little girl does which was the only thing I knew. Hey, at least I knew how to skip rope, right? I couldn't look at myself in the mirror for fear of laughing hysterically at how ridiculous I looked while skipping. I had to stop at intervals to catch my was hot and I felt like I had sweat buckets.

It was during the mat work (for abs) that I thought I was going to die. Really. There were crunches while doing the bicycle with your legs, crunches for the obliques and about five other different types of ab related torture designed to wring the last vestiges of strength and energy you have. When we finally finished off with stretches, I didn't think I could drive the car to pick up the hubby. I had to sit down for 10 minutes because I was sure I was going to throw up.

So it's two days after the torture, my whole body still hurts and I can't even put on my bra without wincing. I have no idea how I can even do the rudiments but guess what?

I am going back there tonight.