Saturday, June 30, 2007

Best Summers

Before sleeping last night, Josh and I came across our old photo albums and decided to take a trip down memory lane. I opened our old photo albums which contained pictures of the places I've been to. As i went through the pictures, I could not help but wish I could go back - NOW, at my age, to experience everything all over again.

The year was 1989. I was 6 or 7 years old. My Aunt, who was working for the UN-FAO
back then invited me to join my 2 older cousins (who have been spending their summers with her) to spend the summer with her in Tanzania. I remember having to get a minor's permit to travel from our Social Welfare Dep't and having to get malaria shots. I was to spend the next 2 months away from home, away from Mom and Dad. So off we went, on one of the most exciting adventures of my life. I had no idea what to expect of Africa. I remember having one of the longest stop-overs at Schipol Airport. Our days were spent hanging around my Aunt's office and when we got too noisy and restless, she would bring us to one of the town's more popular resto's which served chicken and sweet potatoes. On other days, we would play with children of ex pats, on other days we would make quick trips to the library. Before leaving Tanzania, my Aunt brought me and my cousins on a week long safari to Ngorongoro.
If I remember correctly, we left Tanzania towards the end of April and made a short side trip to the Netherlands. We visited the Miniature City of Holland in Madurodam. I was so amazed. Today, I wish more than ever that I could go back to Europe and savor every moment of it. We proceeded to visit relatives in Canada. And then went on to Disney World in Orlando, Fl. Back then, there were only 3 parks open - Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom and Disney MGM Studios.

We traveled almost every summer after that summer of 1989. But one of my most memorable was our trip in the summer of 1991. I was in 3rd grade then and this time we were to go spend the summer with my Aunt in her new country of assignment. We were off to Sierra Leone. This time, I experienced living in the town of Kabala where there was no running water - we had to fetch water from a deep, deep well, had no electricity - we were all off to bed as soon as the sun went down and would be awaken by the man at the mosque who would wake everyone up to go and pray.

We met my Aunt's very close friend and office mate. Her name was Mrs. Razzak, she was Lebanese and supported a household of 11 children and a couple of grandchildren- all whom she "adopted." We would spend hot summer afternoons in their backyard, picking and eating ripe mangoes. We would go on picnics during the weekend and stay entertained by the children's dancing and singing. One time, my Aunt 'ordered' us to join the African women on a trip up country to collect vegetables from the farmers. Boy was that an experience. We rode on a very run down white big truck and rode on a very bumpy road. On our way home, we stopped by Freetown and enjoyed the beach there.

Shortly after my Aunt left her assignment there to move on to another assignment in Yemen,war broke out. We later found out that my Aunt's office, where we used to spend the day roaming around had been bombed. All of her workers were killed. Her driver was able to escape. We asked about Mrs. Razzak and her children. All of Mrs. Razzak's children were killed by the rebels. One time when Mrs. Razzak went back to their office to salvage whatever she could, she did not know there were rebels hiding there. They kidnapped her and held her hostage. She was released after 2 months - never to be the same again. The last we heard, she was brought to the U.S. to seek Psychiatric treatment.

As I look back, I cannot help but regret not paying more attention to what was happening around me back then. I was a child, unaware of how blessed I was to experience different cultures, to meet so many people from so many different places and different backgrounds. This just be one of the best spent summers of my life.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Part of my job includes facilitating orientations or conducting training sessions and I like it whenever I am asked to participate in such. This morning, I conducted an HR orientation with middle managers who were externally hired. They requested for this because they felt they needed to get acquainted with the systems and processes of the company.

So I entered the room with about 10 of them happily chatting away. And since a lot of people in the company only respect co-workers if they are "older" than them, I obviously did not get any. I went ahead and set up the projector and computer and had to speak in a loud voice to call their attention. Before we formally began, I decided to do a quick introduction thing so that I could get to know all of them. By this time, there were 2 employees who kept giggling. Quite annoyed I told them to settle down. Instead of stopping, they continued to give each other the look. One got a hold of her organizer and tried to whisper something to the other one and then they started giggling again. So I went ahead and introduced myself and encouraged the participants to do the same. As the others started to introduce themselves, these 2 gigglers continued with what they were doing. And when it came to the part where they were to say their names, they could not stop giggling in between.

I felt it was rather improper for those 2 to be displaying such behavior. Rude in fact. But I felt I was not in any position to say something or to correct them or something. So I just let it pass. Such behavior would be corrected, in time I guess. Just really made me wonder why such had to be done.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rockin' Girls!

I have been given this rockin award by Pinks and Blues Girls whose blog I think totally rocks too. So now, I believe it's my turn to name a few blogs I think totally rock me!

1. Gerah over at Baby Poop and Business Suites is a blog that I love reading. She has 2 kids and is VERY funny and witty.

2. That Chick Over There over at Jason, For The Love of God is a blog that I love reading. She always manages to knock me off my chair - from laughing. Love her writing.

3. Mama G's blog Chaos Control is also part of my daily reads. She writes about her son and her son's very cute insights. She's also pg and her stories about her pg experience are often funny.

4. SusieJ. What drew me to her blog was the fact that she has 4 boys. I am just so amazed at how wonderful a mom she is to her children. Reading her posts just make me feel so warm.

5. Shoshanna over at Unseal My Lips has 5 kids. Am still amazed. Haven't figured out how she does it! She's got lots of stories and pictures about her kids and her life. She shares great recipes too.

6. Loved Jenn's Living In Perfect Chaos the moment I started reading. Her girls are too adorable.

Rock On Girls!

Quarter Of A Century

I got to chat with a friend of mine yesterday and midway through our conversation, he reminded me about my upcoming birthday. And part of the conversation we had talked about things we have or have not done. He was a bit surprised to find out that I have actually not done a lot of things as he said "I thought you pretty much have done everything in this life already."

Funny. I didn't think others thought of me that way.

I have laid pretty much of my past before you but yes, I have pretty much a lot of things I would still want to do.

Set aside wild and daring things - I think I am no position to do such anymore. Having kids has completely changed my mindset about such things. But there are a couple of things I really want to be able to do - just for me. In just a few days, I will turning a quarter of a century young. Which is why last night, I got to think of more reasons why I would want to live life a little more.

So I asked my friend what he would want to try that he hasn't tried yet. First, he said he'd want to have kids someday. Hah that was pretty easy to think of. And then he said he would want to learn to play the piano. I almost fell off my seat - laughing. Just could not imagine this friend of mine actually sitting down in front of a piano and actually getting to play even just a nursery rhyme.

So I came up with a list of things I would want to try but have not yet tried.

1. Try photography.

2. Ride a roller coaster.

3. Climb Mt. Pulag

Photography and climbing a big mountain seems pretty easy to me. But riding on a roller coaster may take a little more time to get me to actually getting on one.

Have you thought of what you'd want to try but haven't yet?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Those Little Things

This morning, I got up, ate breakfast and took a bath. I got out of the shower and while I was changing, I started to see this aura at the side of my right eye. I knew right then that I was doomed. I see this right before the on-set of a migraine. and whenever I have a migraine attack it's always my worst nightmare.
So I frantically went through our medicine container and found my migraine meds -Imigran. I told my husband I was about to have a migraine attack and that I would be taking the half day off. I took my meds and decided to lay down with the door closed. I would open my eyes once in a while to check on the aura and when I saw it was getting smaller and smaller, I knew the headache was getting nearer. The only problem with Imigran is it makes me very very drowsy - which is a good thing - but not when part of my migraine cycle includes vomiting. So by the time the meds were taking effect, by this time my head felt like it was being axed right down the middle - I was also so sleepy but also so nauseous. I wanted to cry - as always when I have a migraine but I was just too tired. Too sleepy but still feeling the need to gag, I just put the trash can beside the bed so I could just lean over whenever I felt the need to do so. Horrible.
I used to have migraine attacks in high school almost once a week. One attack was so bad they had to rush me to the hospital. After a few tests, my neurologist came in and explained to me that my migraines were caused by (drum roll please) psychological stress. Perfect.
I was finally able to sleep peacefully around mid-morning and got up when hubby decided to burst into the room and excitingly ask "Honey! how's your migraine?!?!" Well thank you honey, I was just about getting the sleep I needed. It was around lunch time already and I felt much better so I decided to get up and get ready for work. And then while getting ready, I was reminded again of my Mom's ordeal.
Here I was feeling awful about my migraine and completely forgot about how shallow and petty my physical pain was compared to the pain my Mom and Dad felt during their last days on earth.
When we asked Dad's doctors how Dad what it felt like to have liver cirrhosis, they told us it was a burning sensation from within the body, so hot you do not know what to do with it. Our only consolation was that since Dad was in a coma, he probably did not feel the pain anymore.
And when my Mom died, her oncologist said that during her last days in the ICU, where her heart rate was always somewhere between the 152-175 range, it was almost like Mom was running a marathon race straight for 7 days.
Although terrible, painful and Yucky, I am thankful for that migraine attack I had. It reminded me to be thankful also for what I do not have.

Closing The Issue

i admit i was wrong in not putting my name on a hurtful reply. it was a moment of weakness. this blogging thing is supooosed to help you face days and not hide. i am desiree from chicago, a mom of one married to a wonderful wonderfulman who is a hardworking blue collar guy who my family will never accept is worth our acceptance. that is what i mean by "his reputation".
So to let me get my point across more clearly and compassionately what i mean is maybe look at it this wayi'll say your child likes bananas over apples because i care that she likes fruitsi'll say your child will only eat chicken because i care that she has what she likes to eati'll say your child has issues because this is about your child and not youi'll say that your child is afraid of the dark because i care enough to maybe offer that i can also be therei'll say that your child has fever because i care for your child just as much as you doso what i'm trying to say is that you are looking for enemies in the wrong place. your child is not only your own. you were not only your parents' child. maybe if i heard those words from my friends or nanny (dunno who you're refering to anyway) i'll be happy about it instead of taking it badly.
I was happy to read this when I opened my email a few minutes ago. Thank you Desiree for coming out. And I am sorry if I said a few hurtful and offensive things in my last post. Last week, someone close to me made me feel I was an incompetent mother to the point where the person was already dictating on me how I should treat and discipline my children. I felt - and I am entitled to my own feelings - like that person was trying to prove to be better than me, it was already out of the realm of love and care. It was way beyond the boundary line. I hope and I pray that you understand me better now. And I have always believed that before you judge someone, it would be better to get to know the person first before saying things like "and I hate it that you have such stupid problems." Thus my apologies for saying hurtful words.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Be Nice

Got this comment from an anonymous reader:
Anonymous said...
You are lucky that someone notices your child. I hate it that my child is treatedun worthy of attention because of my husband's reputation. I hate it that i worry that if i die my child will be brought gladly to the nearest shelter or child services. I hateit that my child feels she is unwanted and unloved. and yes i hate it that you have such stupid problems.

This is what I have to say:
Whoever you are, you are such a coward. Why not post your comment with your name instead of leaving your opinion anonymously? And even if I may think and feel that you have issues I may not fully understand, I will never tell you that you have stupid problems.

You did not get the whole essence of my post. You are shallow and could not think beyond. Before expressing your opinions and leaving a nasty comment, be sure to know who I am first.

Be nice. Life is short. I thought you do not want to worry about who will take care of your child when you die? So be kind, because if you are, many people will love the child you have raised.

He Is Mine

Don't tell me my child likes that T.V. show, because I already know that.
Don't tell me my child does not like beef or pork because he does.
Don't tell me he will only eat chicken because that is not true, he outgrew that stage 3 1/2 years ago.
Don't tell me he prefers bananas over apples, I knew that from the start.
Don't tell me my child is sick and has fever because he is not, he just has asthma and is already taking his medication.
Don't tell me my child is scared because he is not.
Don't tell me my child has issues because I already know that and I am trying to deal with it and with him as well.
Don't tell me my child is afraid of the dark because I know that already.
Don't tell me my child is smart because I noticed that already when he was around 5 months old.
Don't tell me how to raise my child because he is not yours, but mine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just Like We Used To

I wish you were here, especially at this point in my life. So many things I want to tell you, so many stories I want to share, so many questions I want to ask, too many hurts I want to release.
There have been a lot of things happening lately. One, I got into grad school and guess what?! Dr. Ray is my classmate. I entered the classroom and saw him but I could not quite remember where I saw him or met him. And when Dr. Ray saw me, he stared at me with his finger pointing at me and he said "Ma'am Lulu's daughter?" And I was like, "Dr. Ray!" I got all excited about seeing him there. And then one of my classmates asked me why I knew him and I told her that Dr. Ray was the one who did your lung aspiration thing and biopsy and that he was the one who found out you had cancer. I tried to be casual about it and all, but deep inside that day in February 2 years ago kept playing in my mind.
And then yesterday, I entered the classroom and saw Lyza. I know! She is my classmate! How weird is that. I did not approach her at first as I wasn't too sure how to approach her but then the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves to each other, so when it was my turn, I looked directly at her and said that I was Lou Ann and then her eyes opened wide and she just said "Oh the one and only" and then she gave me a very warm smile. I remember when she was still your student and you would tag me along to your classes and there would be times when you would leave me with her. Gosh, your students are now my classmates Ma.
Agh Ma, just been feeling so yucky lately. Many many things. My realization that no one will ever take your place is now a fact. Tell me, how can you say you love a person if you want to hold them by the neck? How can a person grow if you keep breathing down their necks everytime something not nice happens? How come only the bad in you is noticed no matter how small but when you do something good it goes unnoticed - no merit at all. How can they ever say it is love if the underlying tone is they want something back in return? And how can they ever demand for me to trust them if I just simply cannot - or will not maybe. I know there is a big difference, but! I remember when you told me that a child is like a handful of sand, grasp it tightly and it will slip away, open your palm gently and it will stay there.
It;s just too frustrating already. I know we don't have that much and I appreciate all the help but I wish it were given out of the goodness of their hearts. Plus what I don't quite understand is, why it has to be this way. I'm 25 - not that young but not old enough to be wise, I have a job, I am in grad school, I care for the boys, I am married, Jet is earning, we pay the bills and yet we are treated as children. How will we learn? Is it going to be this way forever? My point also is I guess, do I have to live up to their expectations? I don't understand. Give me a little perspective here.
Oh yeah been wanting to ask you about your chicken-rice recipe. Do you put tomato sauce and mix it with the rice? Been wanting to cook that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And They Just Keep Rolling Down

I totally suck when it comes to controlling my tears. My Mom once told me that I was such an emotional pool because when I was young, around 3 or 4 years old, she would read me the Little Miss Suzy book and I would just keep crying and crying midway through the story. And as I grew older, I started to slowly realize how much of an emotional pool I really am.

Growing up, there was no such thing as cable TV. I remember 2 or 3 channels with very very few shows to choose from. So nice movie specials on TV were indeed a treat. But I remember, I refused to watch Lassie because animal stories made me sick to the gut - they made me very very sad and made me cry a lot - even if they always had a happy ending. And the movie of Benjie? Never watched it too.

Aside from movies with animals as their heroes, movies of all sorts- which were not comedy in nature, made me cry. Remember E.T.? Agh, I could not stop my tears from rolling down my face but I was too ashamed to wipe them off in front of my cousins. Instead, I left the room and pretended I was more interested in playing than watching. And then Land Before Time became a hit. I cried until the end and instead of me being happy in the end, I cried even more especially when the "If We Hold On Together" song started to play. Movies like these stressed me out big time. I never watched The Lion King - I would have had a nervous breakdown at that point if I did force myself to watch it, so what did I do? I forced myself to sleep through the movie.

Goodbyes are also the absolute worst for me. I had 2 cousins who I grew up with although they were 8 and 9 years older than me, I loved them dearly - I loved bugging them. So when they graduated from highschool, they decided to study in universities 5 hours away from where we lived. They would come home on weekends - which would be such a highlight for me - but come Sundays, they would head back to their dorms. My goodness, everytime they would leave for the bus station, there would be this huge knot in my throat and my tummy would be turning. Although I was better in controlling my tears, there were times when I would not even say goodbye and instead stay in my room until I would hear the gate close.

Books make me cry too. I get too attached to the characters - even to the point of starting to believe they actually existed. I read the Joy Luck Club and could not stop crying. And then in college, we were required to read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea. The thought of an old man who would go out to sea alone just made me plain sad.

And the worst is when my pets die. I always had dogs as pets. When I was 1 or 2 years old, my Dad got me a boxer dog who we named - uh yeah, Ali. She was the kindest dog ever, with droopy eyes and short brown fur. I grew up knowing her as my pet and she did grow old with us. She got an ear infection and when it was treated, got another in the other ear. Anyway, the time came when Ali was just too old and the vet said the best option would be to "put her to sleep." This broke my heart and I just kept crying and crying. They buried her in our back yard and I made sure her collar was buried with her. We had to get another dog shortly after just to make the pain a little easier to bear, so my Dad got me a cocker terrier. We named him Bozzy. He had black fur on his body and brown fur on his paws (like he was wearing socks), he had big round eyes and a very cute snout. He lived with us inside the house. I loved him dearly. I would bathe him and comb his hair. And then one afternoon, he was able to run out of the house, having discovered his new found freedom, he ran to the road. He got ran over by a car. When my Dad got to his side, Bozzy no longer had a pulse. This was the worst time for all of us. I remember crying and crying and crying and crying and my Mom and Dad were crying too and we were all hugging each other. My Dad buried him in our backyard and again, I made sure his collar, favorite toy and food trough were buried with him.

I just totally suck when it comes to such things. But then, a good cry once in a while allows me to bring out whatever it is that is inside of me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Freaks Me Out

Been trying to avoid this, been living in denial for I do not know how long. Well, when I found out I was pg with Dash, I tried to prepare Josh for the eventual birth of his little brother. He did get pretty excited about the whole big brother concept. In fact, when I gave birth and when Josh came to visit me in the hospital, he was very proud to escort the guests to the nursery to take a look at his baby brother.

Anyway, as the little one grew bigger and more aware of the world around him and as he started to learn to assert himself, I noticed how much Josh would feel threatened by his little brother. Like Dash loves playing with Josh, even if Dash does not quite understand the concept of the game. So when Josh sits quietly in one corner to play with his blocks and build his "little town," Dash quickly sits beside Josh and topples them down - and shrieks in excitement of course. Josh of course ends up getting angry. Or when Josh is watching T.V. and lying peacefully on the bed, then Dash climbs up and starts crawling all over his brother thinking it to be so much fun. Again, pisses off Josh.

And then, Josh also does not like it when Dash is able to do things he cannot do. Like when he goes off to school and the little one gets to play with my Aunts. Oh this really makes Josh upset to the point of not wanting to go to school anymore so that he gets to do what Dash gets to do while he is supposed to be in school. Josh is also always concerned about what Dash does while he is in school. He always make it a point to ask the nanny what Dash did during the morning and if he finds out that Dash played outside or played downstairs with my Aunts, he gets even more upset! I have also noticed that there are times when Josh would try to find some fault in what Dash is doing - spilling water from his sippy cup, a messy place mat full of food.

I sometimes take a step back to just observe the whole situation and then it hits me - I do not want to have children who will not love each other when they grow big. I cannot stand the thought of "fighting" in my family. I know it may be a bit too early but a lot of times I end up worrying that these experiences may start planting seeds of resentment in his heart.

I am not perfect but I try my best to balance my attention between the 2 kids, especially now that the little one is a bit more independent. I talk to them if and when they both do something not nice or wrong. I try to spend alone time with Josh - like read him a book or sit down with him a few minutes a day to play with him alone - no Dash around but I still feel that Josh feels threatened. For 4 1/2 years, all the attention was on him. Seriously, he got what he wanted although I don't think we spoiled him because he is a pretty obedient little man but maybe we were not able to fully help him comprehend the whole "having a sibling" thing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

For What THen Are We Fighting For?

I was watching the morning news while preparing for work and saw that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has commuted the 2 life terms meted out to former Congressman Jalosjos who was sentenced to 2 life terms for statutory rape. I was shocked and wanted to know why this was happening. I googled on Jalosjos and got to read the court decision - which included all the details and which I have chosen not to put a link to as the details I read were plain horrible.

There are many reactions to this, some may choose to focus justice / legal part of it, some may want to wallow in the politics of the issue but I choose to ask why on earth will someone ever pardon a person for what he did? Is it enough for one to say that the criminal is too old to be in jail and so humanitarian considerations come into play? Is it enough to ever say that the accused will have to pay a big amount of money to his victim anyway? And how dare them even think that good behavior while in jail can merit the prisoner a shorter time inside! This is rape! He was even a former congressman - a public servant who people trusted and put into office. How can you ever say that certain good behavior will ever be enough to make up for such a crime. This time it is not an issue of "doing" but an issue of "being."

I read some more articles and became so disgusted. I came to know that the 11-year old girl was staying with a guardian who happened to also be a pimp. And so her guardian was the one who brought her to do "services" for the Congressman. Why, you ask? Poverty, yes. And one sad fact is that Filipinos who live below the poverty line often resort to peddling drugs, petty crimes and prostitution. Some, out of sheer ignorance, take whatever offer is given to them even for just a very very small amount of money. Is there still hope for us Filipinos?

Socrates once said "Nothing Is To Be Preferred Before Justice." What then is happening?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Meme- My 1st!

I love being tagged! Again, thanks SusieJ.!

“INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.”

1. Curiosity Killer

2. Ms Mamma

3. Relaxed Parents

4. SusieJ.

5. 3 Boys and a Lady

“Next select five people to tag: (if you haven’t done it already)”

1. Chaos Control

2. Life Is Just Around The Corner

3. Living In Perfect Chaos

4. Yadda Yadda Blog Blog

5. Pinks and Blues Girls

Now for the fun part — the questions: “What were you doing 10 years ago?”

I was in my junior year in highschool - rebelling against the whole world.

“What were you doing 1 year ago?”

I was on maternity leave, waking up at night every 2 hours and snuggling with the baby.

“Five snacks you enjoy:”

1. Chips
2. Strawberries
3. Oreos
4. Sushi
5. Pastries

“Five songs to which you know all the lyrics”

1. Real Thing - Kalapana
2. What Might Have Been - Lou Pardini
3. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
4. Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
5. After All - Peter Cetera

“Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:”

1. Buy an island resort
2. Travel the World
3. Build our dream house
4. Go on a shopping spree
5. Set up a business

“Five bad habits:”

1. I go on crash diets and then binge
2. I worry all the time
3. I complain all the time
4. I sleep too late and then complain the next day
5. I hardly apply good advise given to me

Five things you like doing:

1. Writing on my blog
2. Collecting seashells
3. Talking
4. Reminiscing
5. Taking Pictures

Five things you would never wear again

1. Baggy hip-hoppish clothes!
2. Chunky Shoes
3. Uncomfortable shoes - for the sake of fashion
4. Blouses with shoulder pads
5. High Waist Jeans

“Five favorite toys:”

1. My Digital Camera

2. My iPod

3. My Make Up

4. My FRIENDS DVD series - which I never mind watching over and over again

5. My Kids!!

On Continuous Learning

Last week, I attended a bridge program in accounting. This was needed for me to enroll in the masters program that i chose - Masters in Management. Being a graduate of Social Science (Psychology and Sociology), I was able to escape major Math subjects in college. My only hurdle was Statistics. I used to hate numbers and math since forever - we just never clicked but in recent years I have tried my best to love it - to no avail though. So when I attended this bridge program, I was pretty pleased with the first 2 days. It was all lecture on theories, concepts and principles involved in accounting. Although new to me, it caught my interest. Mind you, I have never been exposed to any form of business subject in the past. And then on the 3rd day, the professor introduced the balance sheet, ledger, terms like closing the books and balancing the entries.
Oh my God. That's all I could say. I sat there and tried my darnest best to absorb everything the teacher was saying. I had classmates who were store owners or who were working for the sales and marketing division of their company, I had a lawyer classmate. My Mom's Pulmunologist who discovered she had cancer was even my classmate - seeing him made me feel good. Anyway, there I was completely lost. I thought I would not survive the week.
But I did. And as I look back at last week's experience, I must say that learning should never stop. Out of school for more than 2 years has made my brain lazy - that is one major fact I have discovered. And although I have been comfortable the past 2 years, last week's experience made me realize all the more that most of the time, comfort is not always enough. My perception may change, but at the moment, what I can say for myself is, when I am comfortable, I am not doing my best.
Last week was a learning experience. To state the obvious would be for me to say that I have learned what accounting is - although just a slice of it. The more important learning is, I have learned to dream again - for me, for my husband and for the boys. It opened my eyes to many more possibilities, many more things I can be for my family.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tell Me

Thresholds of pain vary. Some take it lightly, some hurt much more. Whether physical, emotional or mental, pain varies. That is a fact.
And whether that pain is brought about by an illness, an accident, grief and mourning, betrayal or sudden loss - pain hurts. We can never escape pain forever, we may try to run away from it or hide from it but in the end, pain will catch up with us and will make its presence felt.
How does one battle pain? Do you drown yourself in whatever drug numbs it and get swallowed into yet more pain? The pain of addiction. Should you face it head on even if you are not prepared to? What if you have no choice but to do so but somewhere in the middle you lose yourself in the battle? Should you pretend that it does not exist? Resort to intellectual or philosophical theories to explain what it is you are feeling. Detach yourself from emotion so that you forget what pain is and end up forgetting what joy and comfort are.
Will we ever be ready for pain? Will we ever see or feel the signs? Do you build your wall around your heart so that you protect that which matters to you most? If you build that wall will you ever be able to tear it down later on?
In silence will you suffer or shall it be told?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

These Days

Having a 5 year old pose for the camera is becoming more and more difficult. He thinks it funny to make alienish, weird, rockstar faces once the camera is about to click. Shortly after, he asks us to show him the picture on the lcd and when he sees his face he laughs hysterically and says "coo-wool."
And oh yeah, he was so thrilled to see creatures under the sea and so he said "Mom! I saw a lot of sea archies!"
Now my 1 year old is starting to learn how to smile for the camera. Shortly after his first studio pictorial - where he refused to give us a smile, leaving me and Jet sweaty and tired from jumping behind the photographer and peek-a-booing in the hope of getting the little one to smile - he has learned to automatically smile for the camera regardless of who is taking the picture.
Evidence below:

Rock on haha!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Grand Adventure

We went on a 5-day grand adventure. I did not know what to expect, what to look forward to, what to be scared about or what to be happy about.All I knew was I was going on a 5 day trip to Palawan with my husband, 2 kids, 2 cousins and Aunt.

We left on the 11PM bus trip. I t was a 5 hour trip down to Manila where we were to fly off at 720AM to Busuanga Coron Palawan.

Jet with the 2 boys. The little one eventually sat with me.

We got to Manila a little past 5AM and met my cousin at the bus station. We headed off to the domestic airport and checked in a good 2 hours before our scheduled flight. At this point I was trying to anticipate how Dash would take the flight. Josh on the other hand was all too excited about reaching Palawan. We boarded the plane around 7AM. Dash had no problem with take off but once we were steadily cruising, all he wanted to do was walk around the plane! The 44 seater plane only had 11 passengers, thus:

This sitting down stint of his lasted for a good 20 seconds
The skies were overcast when we arrived. No sign of beach weather was in sight. We travelled 40 minutes by land to get to the port and hopped on a pump boat to get to the island resort we were staying in. We were welcomed by drinks and were assigned a 'tour guide' who would be our constant companion for the next 5 days. We had lunch and were told that we would be going island hopping at 3PM. By 2PM, the skies were heavy with gray clouds but nonetheless, we all went at 3PM. The waters were calm but shortly after leaving the pier, the rains started to pour. We continued on for a few more minutes but decided that the rains were too strong to carry on.
Protecting Dash from the rain and cold sea winds.

A few minutes after turning back, the clouds cleared. Geez. But we still decided to head back and rest for the rest of the afternoon and hoped that the next day would be better. We were fed dinner - yummy yummy food by the way and went to bed early. I woke up around 4AM and could hear the pitter patter of the rain! We woke up around 6, clouds still in the sky but we were still determined to head out and make the most out of the day.

Make the most of the day we did. We trekked under the rain, swam in the lake, kayakked, island hopped, visited the lagoons with beautiful limestone cliffs as its background and swam. The background limestone cliffs reminded me of the shots from Leonardo's TheBeach. We settled in and enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

Cayangan Lake

Kayaking in the lagoon

We prayed, oh yes we did. We prayed for sun. And so the next day, I saw the beautiful sun. Can't describe how happy I was. By this time, Dash was getting a bit more comfy with his surroundings, wanting to walk all over the place. All Josh could care about was swimming. We ate breakfast and headed out very early. Our tour guide was very very kind and patient. We went to the hot springs, snorkeling and then back to the lagoon. This is when I realized how high my kids would get with everything happening around. The beach for me equated to the sun, the sand, a book and a cold mango-banana shake. Not for the boys, keeping still is a big no-no. And that's when I told myself to brace myself for what is yet to come in the next few years.

No notion of fear

The next day, our last day, we decided to head out again and go snorkeling in one of the dive sites. It was a shipwreck of one of the Japanese boats bombed during WWII. It was a treat because rarely would you find such a shallow shipwreck (9m). We headed back shortly after lunch to rest as we were travelling back to Baguio the next day.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Third Day

We are on our 3rd day of vacationing in this exotic island of Palawan. So far so good. My boys have been such happy troopers. We have been trekkng, snorkling and kayaking. Man, I am prety sure I will be doing this for the next 20 years - my boys get a certain high with such activities. Ack!
Detailed stories and pictures when I get back.