Thursday, September 27, 2007

Inside Thoughts

Sometimes, I look around me. I take a look at the people around me. The environment I am in. 25, married and with 2 kids - not your 'typical' 25 year old girl here. People around me are choosing to marry later and later, concentrate on their careers, focus on their personal life by going after their dreams of conquering the world. I ask them if they have started to think about settling down, they say maybe in a few years. I ask them how at what age do they plan to start having kids, they say max would be when they are 30. Interesting, I think.

Sometimes, I wonder. What would my life be now if I did not have a child so early? Or if I didn't get married. Or if I didn't have a second child. I would probably be engrossed in my career, saving up as much as I can. Travelling the world and enjoying my earnings. My responsibility would be myself, me. Just me. I probably would have found a certain sense of happiness in doing so. What problems would I face? Certainly not milk bottles or stinky nappies. I get caught up in daydreaming, having to jolt myself back to reality.

Is it bad? I think not. We all have the tendency to think of the what if's, the could have's. But then again, we remember the "but then."

When I get caught up thinking of the things I do not have, the circumstances I am not in or the reality opposite of my reality, I find myself appreciating what I have, what I am in, my present reality. It's not easy, it isn't. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to bail out because no one ever told me it would be this tough. It is a life I never thought I would be living. But even so, if someone did warn me, I still think I would have made the same choices.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I totally jinxed myself when I said the kids were getting better. Come Friday at lunch time, after picking up my 5 year old from school, I noticed his eyes were teary and he looked pale. 2 hours later, his fever reached 39.5 degrees Celsius. I gave him paracetamol, put him in cool clothes, and made him lie down. No effect. By this time, the baby had a sore throat - he was losing his voice . It was actually cute to listen to his voice - BUT poor baby. And I still had that ball - golf this time not baseball- in my throat. Susie left me a comment and I gladly took her advice. Now I totally am for home remedies. Try them, no harm in doing so, and if they work for you, then good. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into a whole glass of water did the job for me. I took 2 glasses of this. I was feeling much, much better. So I was off to care for the kids.
It is a difficult time - when the kids are sick. It is especially difficult for me because of the stress of worrying about them that I always go through. I was thankful that the baby was up and about, doing his normal daily stuff - messing up their playroom, eating everything, shouting and running about. But my 5 year old looked bad. All he did was lay down and look so pitiful. His fever did not want to go down. It was a pretty rough night, because his fever was so high, he was so uncomfortable - he couldn't sleep.
The next day, we got the 2 boys ready and brought them to the doctor. Antibiotics it is, for the 2 of them.
Setting aside the tiresome activities brought about by sick kids, it was a wonderful experience for me and Jet as well. I dropped everything on Friday, I took the half day off and stayed home. In between temperature takings and sponge baths, I played with the baby and was able to enjoy cooking for them. I enjoyed every snuggling, complaining, whining, cuddling moment with them. After all, it's not everyday that your kid gets sick, more so, the 2 of them. I was also able to realize more things about myself. That I am capable of doing more things than I actually imagine myself to be able to do.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Real World

Kids are getting better. Now I'm the one sick. I woke up yesterday with this baseball in my throat. Could not swallow anything. I made the soup and we all enjoyed it. Except that I had to eat mine like a baby - softly mashed. I am so hungry but I can't eat. Am on antibiotics and will be for the next 5 days. I wish I felt better the soonest.
On to more important things. 2 days ago, my 5 year old came home from school and told me "Mom Steiner punched me." "WHERE?!?!" I demanded. He said, "here (pointing to his neck). I asked him what he did after he was punched. And my 5 year old, being who he is said he didn't do anything.
Last year, almost same incident happened, incidents actually. There was this guy who kept hurting my son. Either pushing him or scratching him or punching him. I informed the teacher on all those occasions and requested the teacher keep a close eye on that bully. And since my son is the type who does not fight back, he did nothing. UNTIL one day, he probably got so fed up and fought back - yes, he punched the boy back. That same day, I got a note from the teacher telling me that my son and his classmates had a brawl. I was mad. So I demanded a meeting with the teacher and the parents of the boy - unfortunately, they said they do not encourage confrontations with other parents. But I met up with the teacher. Necessary disciplinary actions were taken.
Going back to what happened 2 days ago. Deep inside of me, I felt very bad for my son. He is not the type who fights back. He is the kind of boy, who - sadly - allows himself to be bullied. Yes, that's how he is. Even in playgroups, he really is that way. Not the leader type. Not the aggressive one. Not the initiator. He is such kind spirited boy.
So when he was telling me about the most recent incident, deep down inside of me, what I really wanted to tell him was "Never be the first to hurt but if they hurt you, defend yourself." I had to reword it of course. I just told him never to allow anyone to hurt him, that he will have to also defend himself. Why can some children be so mean?
What do you think?
We will never always be there to defend our children. In the long run, they will have their own lives. And they will have to stand up on their own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sick Kiddos

What could be worse than a baby with colds and a pre-schooler with asthma? I know, there are a lot more things that could be worse. Am sorry. Shouldn't have asked that question in the first place. But sick kiddos are never really a fun time. Never.
Maybe if a one year old knew how to blow his nose then life would be much much MUCH easier.
Last night was spent positioning and re-positioning my baby because he was having such a hard time breathing. The paci would not help because it made his breathing all the more difficult. And he wanted his back rubbed - constantly. Or else he would start to whimper.
So yeah, I am a zombie now.
It has been 15 months since my 5 year old's last asthma attack. Pretty good if you were to ask me, compared to his every 3 months attack when he was younger. But an asthma attack is never a good thing. But the good thing, again, is he likes his nebulizer already. It once was a terrorizing item for him. The sound made him freak out. And then I came up to convincing him it was like wearing the mask of Darth Vader. Today, he knows it makes him feel better - it is his friend.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Taking The Time Of His Life With His Big Bag

At 10 months. Sweet and Innocent.

My patience is being tested. My 5 1/2 year old boy is becoming the boy with this big invisible bag of excuses and has developed an extreme love for dilly-dallying - in everything he does.


While everyone is rushing in the morning, I call on my older one to start taking a bath, I tell him the shower is running already. Take off you clothes and jump in I say. I turn my back and focus on putting on a fresh new diaper on my little one. I sit down to feed the little one - run after him and feed him actually - expecting that my 5 year old is taking a bath already.


The shower running for a good 10 minutes, I see that he is dragging half his body across the hall way with his hand stretched across the wall, as if wiping the dirt of the wall. I freak out and ask him why he isn't in the shower yet. (Enter big invisible bag of excuses) He says he was trying to reach for his towel but couldn't. I tell him I always get his towel when he calls for me when he is done. (Enter invisible bag again) He says the water is cold (which isn't). I refuse to prolong discussion and just tell him to get in. He does.


His food prepared, I tell him to sit down and eat. (Enter very long dilly dallying ritual) I need water first he says. I give him water. I need tissue to wipe my mouth. Hubby gives him tissue. I want my other place mat he says. We change his place mat. Finally, he eats. We're half done by this time. After 2 or 3 spoons of food, he has this need to start babbling away. Questions, stories, more questions. I tell him we can talk after he eats. He is the last one on the table. Always. He is a good eater but the eating process itself just takes forever (unless we say he will be allowed to watch TV after he finishes his food, then he finishes his food in a flash).


I tell him to get into his PJ's. I forget about him and remember, so I check on him. He's playing in his playroom still in his day clothes. Why have you not changed I ask (enter bag of excuses please), I forgot he says. Goodness, for a 5 year old, memory excuses won't work for me. I tell him to go change. He says he is scared of the dark. I open the light in his room. He finally gets changed half an hour later. What he was doing? I don't know.


And this is the absolute best.

I come across one of his play sets, a set which the little one is not allowed to play with because it is a toy set for bigger boys and everyone makes sure the little one does not get his hands on them. I notice that some pieces are missing. I keep telling him never to lose the pieces, take good care of this or I won't buy this for you, I remember telling him at the toy store. He said he would take care of it. I ask how come the pieces are missing. (Enter big bag of excuses), he says ask my little brother. The room is a mess, I ask him what they were doing why it got all messed up. He says "It's because of Dash." Goodness, even when he farts, he says "That was Dash."

I suddenly remember those days when I was young, when I could put the blame on my dear imaginary friend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Much Needed Bath

Washed him while his bestfriend was in school. It was a glorious sunshiny day so the bear dried just in time for his bestfriend's arrival.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


You know what I enjoy doing? Talking about my kids. Well if you have not read through my blog, then it ain't that obvious yet, but if you have been a constant reader, then there you have it, me stating the obvious.
I think all parents enjoy talking about their kids. Sometimes in a show off-ish way, sometimes in a ranting way, most often in a complaining voice - but the bottom line is, we love talking about our kids. Because we love them.
So bear with me.
So far, this having 2 kids has been a very very fun, tiring, funny, interesting experience. It has been filled with a lot of love.
I can't help but "compare" my 2 kids. Not in a bad way, not so that I will love one more than the other - goodness, no - but because it is very interesting and fun to look back (for me 5 years ago) and remember how different this one is from that and that was from this. Sometimes, I find myself laughing, often times being thankful.
This second one of mine was born smaller that my first but has ended up being bigger at his age right now than my first when he was a year old. Being a hand me down baby, we have found ourselves bringing out clothes of my older one that had been kept when the older one was about 3 but fits the little one just fine right now.

My older one was and is someone who is slow to warm up. In gatherings with a number of people, he always preferred to sit back, watch and assess the whole situation before joining in the riot of kids playing and running around. When people would go up to him and make funny / silly faces or would try to talk to him, he would stare blankly or would cry. By the time he got himself to warm up, it would ALWAYS be time to go home. But the little one, he is always all over the place as soon as we get to anywhere. He will easily find himself comfortably trying to "play" aka pester older kids by pretending to know what they are playing. He walks around, clapping his hands and stomping his feet smiling and bringing out his dimples and - charming everyone, without him even knowing it. My older one, on the other hand knows it when he is charming other people.

The little one seems a bit slower when it comes to his speech development. I browsed through my older one's baby book and just kept laughing while reading the words he used to say when he was 10 months. This little one has a vocabulary of 5 words and still mixes up mama from dada - he sees hubby and with a very big smile says, "mama!" and then looks at me and says "mama!" But boy, this little one is very physically active. He climbs, he jumps, he runs, he trots, he stomps, he tumbles, he rolls. The older one could stay in his playroom and busy himself with his ball set or a book - the whole afternoon.

My older one was when in the company of family and familiar people, always a happy baby - laughing and smiling. When he was a bit older, you could see it in his eyes - he was a joker. Everything for him was a game. And until today, he still is my little joker - sometimes sarcastic though - ahem. Ever since he was a kid he always had the tendency to decide impulsively - ahem again. (I am my son's mother after all!). Now this little one seems to be the more serious one, It is very hard to make him laugh - even when he was a baby. No sense make all those silly sounds and faces - unless you tickle him, then you will get the baby to laugh. The only other person who is able to make him laugh big time is his older brother. But other than that, of the two boys, he is the more "thinking" and serious one.

The little one is a destroyer. He tears up books, breaks crayons, crumples my important documents. He destroys. The older one never had that issue. I could give him a book with paper pages - not those baby books that have really thick pages - and would return it in perfect shape. The little one eats anything. He can eat food, clay, glue, tissue paper, lotion, powder, his diaper, his poop - anything, I tell you. Which is laso why he is easier to feed. The older one outgrew his oral stage very early. I did not need to worry about him choking on anything - ever.

Both are independent. Both have a temper. Both are very loving but show their love in different ways.

The little one is the cuddler. He loves resting his head on my shoulders or my chest. He sneaks up to me when were both lying down and he cuddles. And he loves it. The older one cannot stand it - he always tells me he feels hot (when I embrace him). His love expression is by words. He says I love you and as mentioned, does it through his charm.
Such brings joy. And make us realize how beautiful life is because we are all different. That we will never be completely the same. That part of life's beauty is in knowing that, no matter what people say or do or think or make us feel, we will always be unique. And it that uniqueness, we are special.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Person That I Am

I left the office 30 minutes before 6 - 30 minutes before the event. Rain greeted me when I stepped out of the building, I hailed a cab and headed home. I had no idea what I was going to wear plus, there was another pool of mixed emotions going on inside of me the whole trip home.

I took a quick bath and just decided to wear nothing really special. I, Jet and my 2 aunts all went to attend the ceremony - my grandfather was to receive an award too so my Aunt (their eldest) was to receive it for Gramps.

As I entered the hall, the smell of alcohol greeted me. Media men were standing around the bar and sipping their scotch or whisky or brandy, chatting away - a common practice amongst the media men of our city. As one journalist stated it - "alcohol begins to sharpen the brain and loosen the tongue, or the other way around. ." And suddenly this GIGANTIC, really HUGE knot formed in my throat. Jet and I took a seat in the back row. I looked around and observed and saw a lot of Dad's fellow media men. One of them passed by and I greeted him - a very close friend of Dad. He asked me why we were not getting any cocktails and I just replied by saying "Oh if Dad were here, he would have been at the bar since forever." To which he replied "Oh, you know your Dad." I wanted hug him and cry.

The event started a good 1 1/2 hours after we arrived. They started with the awards for media men who have, as my Dad always termed it, "have gone to the great newsroom in the sky." Seriously, I was surprised at how many of them have already gone. Sad. And when they called my name to receive the award for my Dad, I totally felt I was going to breakdown. Given the chance, I would have grabbed the mic from the host and would have given a short speech. Control is what took over me. I walked up the stage and got received the award from the Mayor. A few names after, they called my Granpa's name and I found myself clapping very loud. Damn proud.

Before we left, I approached one of Dad's best friends (one of the 2 people we called to the hospital when Dad was dying because Dad did not want ANYBODY to see him on his dying bed). Uncle Ramon is his name. I said my hello's and how are you's but felt he wasn't warming up that much. Before I left, I whispered in his ears "Uncle don't drink too much anymore." And that's when he held me very tight. Oh god, again, I wanted to embrace him and cry. I didn't. I told him to take care.

When we got home, I cried it out. I was happy and proud and lonely. And I missed my Dad terribly. I sorta started to talk to him (my Dad) - I do that sometimes. As if he were there with me in the room.


What are such occasions for? I wonder. And I realize. When people are alive, they are lucky if such recognition is done - to make it known to them that what they are doing is truly appreciated. Is truly loved. Is truly important. But such are done when they are long gone. When their human ears are no longer around to hear them. When their human hearts are no longer pumping with passion eager to feel that their passion has touched the lives of others. It is a sad fact. And often times it fills one with guilt and regret.

The living can only look back and fondly remember- as it warms our living hearts.

If I may say, my father venerated my grandfather. I look up to my mine with reverence too.

As my eldest put it 2 nights ago, "Mom, I wish Grampa Steve were still awake." I do too, I do too.

Below is the eulogy my Dad's best friend delivered during Dad's funeral.


Dacawi: For Steve By Ramon Dacawi

MIDWAY into our seasons in the sun, Steve Macli-ing Hamada, my editor for over a decade, and I paused from beating deadlines and sobered up to the inevitable. We discussed how each of us would want to go, something many people don't talk about. We ended up with pact: Whoever stayed longer on this mortal plane would not deliver a eulogy or write an obituary for the other.

That deal was never brought up again. Not until April 7 last year when Steve suddenly reported to the Supreme Editor. As news of his passing on spread, some colleagues in media started asking me for an obit. It was understandable as Steve and I worked together for more than a decade bedding the Baguio Midland Courier and, later, the Baguio-Cordillera Post. But I was out of my bearings, confused and groping to make sense of the sudden transition.

I made a mess of myself with booze.

Steve understandably didn't tell his wife Lulay and daughter Lu-an about the unusual pact. Given the morbid thought it would evoke and the hurt it would inflict on those dearest to us, I, too, didn't reveal it to Becky and our kids Beng and Boogie, or to anyone until Domcie.

On the second night of the wake on a Maundy Thursday, Lulay saw me without a jacket. She immediately took out Steve's favorite and had me wear it against the evening cold. She asked her daughter if she remembered me. Lu-an, the toddler I saw now grown into a comely 22-year-old answered, "Of course, he's the uncle who fell from our roof while trying to gather guavas!"

Lulay asked if I could say something after the funeral mass, before Steve was to be laid to rest beside his father, the venerable Sinai Carino Hamada, at the city's public cemetery. The Baguio boy that he was, and is to us, Steve, I thought, would understand why I had to accede. A funeral is also for the living, for those who mourn, and a word or two won't hurt but help console. After all, Steve, with whom I shared secrets of the soul, relished narrating how he tried, and failed, to follow the rule of silence in a spiritual retreat he underwent in childhood. "After two days of silence, I went to the priest-in-charge and confessed I had to utter a word."

The worst (or best) punishment you can mete media is to make them silent. They speak out their truth, even beyond the regular broadcast or the printed page. Here in Baguio, we speak our pieces late into the evenings, not in unison but often at the same time, especially when alcohol begins to sharpen the brain and loosen the tongue, or the other way around.

We learned to speak our pieces, sometimes with lips frothing, through the bullhorn in college. Willy Cacdac, Joe Dacawi and the rest who preceded us in the parliament of streets, did the live broadcast of those protests that they actually helped hatch for us. In the wake of their coverage, they lost their jobs and eventually joined the establishment, in the same rut I'm in right now. Steve came home from a promising but highly competitive career with IBM advertising to help live out the four guideposts of community journalism that his illustrious father established - fair, fearless, friendly and free. He inherited a staff in Oswald Alvaro and my brother Joe. He found the two friendly and struggling to be fair, fearless and free.

He took me into the Courier in 1980, a cub reporter expected to earn his wings. He saw through my burden of having to fit Joe's shoe and guided me on, despite putting up a front of being tough and stern, as editors are known to be. Later, I realized he was in a more unenviable position. In the words of younger generation newsman Frank Cimatu, Steve struggled to climb Mt. Sinai, whom he venerated.

We discussed and argued a lot, before, during and after press work. Curiously, I can't remember now any of those things we debated on. What I can't forget was that time we fell asleep on our desks and woke up to a nightmare. Without waking us up to proofread the editorial Steve had labored on with his antique Underwood, the printer ran almost all copies of the opinion page. The editorial, which was set on linotype, was garbled beyond any sense. Steve was visibly aghast, only to be devastated when the printer turned into a Job's comforter. "Saan ka kadi nga madanagan, ading Steve; ammom met nga awan to agbasbasa ti editoryal (Don't worry, ading Steve; you well know nobody reads editorials)," the printer offered to console him.

In 1985, Steve, with nary a stripping knife or table, much less a printing machine, started out on his own and launched the Baguio-Cordillera Post, another weekly. He took me in to the Hamada home in Camp 7 where we labored within the limited givens. We had his mother, Ma'am Gerry, wife Lulay, sister Briggs and even nieces Dooly and Tanya as our cooks. I also had him as my driver aboard his brother Lionel's 4x4.

The Post folded up after more than five years, but not after serving as the training ground for Rene Acantilado, Norris Falguera and other younger journalists molded by Steve.

Steve later wrote a column for the Sun.Star Baguio Daily, served Baguio in other capacities, including being director of the local water district. Together with Peppot, Willy Cacdac and Gerry Evangelista, he ran for the City Council and the four newsmen lost.

Steve repaired back to Camp 7 and turned to painting while serving as nurse to his grandson, Joshua, now three.

With this, I've broken our pact again. ( for comments)
(April 11, 2005 issue)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Nope, Not Complaining! At All.

Am extremely sleepy. Apparently, the husband decided to crash on our bed last night - early this morning I should say - 3 AM to be exact. We have not slept on the same bed (except during family vacations when we stay in hotels) since Josh was born because we practice co-sleeping. SO when Josh transitioned to sleeping alone on his bed, a few months after, the little one came. So anyway, apparently the husband was having a bad dream and was scared to death and said he wanted to be beside me.

NOT A GOOD IDEA to have 3 people in one queen size bed ESPECIALLY if the baby boss is used to gobbling up 3/4 of the bed space.

So, the remaining time from 3 AM to waking up time which is 6 AM was spent listening to this one big loud snoring machine beside me and trying to calm down a very angry, upset, disappointed baby who could not move around much because of constrained space.

And me being a very light sleeper would wake up every time the mad baby would whimper and complain. He even for a time, got my hand, put in on his head and started to make the stroking motion (done with his eyes closed, very clever baby) and when I would stop stroking his hair or head or whatever, he would start his whimpering again.

The next thing I knew or heard was a baby who just kept saying ma-ma-ma-ma-ma while forcing my eyes open with his fingers. The sun was out.

Got an invitation yesterday. Addressed to "the heirs of the late Steve Hamada..."
My Dad is going to be awarded the "Nany Rosa Journalism Award" given to journalists who have passed away but who have contributed to mass media in the City.

Am one proud daughter. I may cry at the event later.

Good morning everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Before Meals

Dear Lord,

thanks for Mom and Dad and Dash and me

we pray for protection and blessings

and respectful

and toys

and Lola and Lolo (grandparents)

and patient

and school
and Pooh bear

- and I remind him about the food-

ah yes, thanks for the food


That Knot In My Tummy

That's how I have been feeling for the past 2 days. Well since I got the call from the new company I will be working for. Here's the deal, I will NEED to get some training in Manila, (a good 5 hours away from where I live) and I will probably have to be there for a month. A whole month. Hotel accommodations will be paid for BUT I will not survive 5 whole days without seeing my husband and kids (because I can go home on weekends). I may be jumping to conclusions or stressing myself out over nothing because I have not expressed my need to bring my family with me yet. Which I plan to do.

But seriously, I really cannot leave my family for that long a time. It will not be good for them and for me. I need to be able to be with them so that I do not get dysfunctional. Really. I am that way. 2 or 3 days is fine, but 5 days for four weeks? No way. I am going to go crazy! I have been thinking about this and have been praying that things be ironed out and will end up for the good of everyone.

Change and adjustment is really something we all have to deal with. But sacrificing too much, like family, should not be put on the line.

So here's to praying for the best and keeping the faith that things will work out just fine. Here's to hoping that knot disappears soon. I dislike this feeling. Very Much.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Climbing and Blankies

If I had a magic wand, I would doing some magic so that their liking for such will change roles.

Why do my kids hate them? Blankets, I mean. It has always been a problem with Josh and looks like Dash is disliking it very much as well.

So, I wait until they are in deep sleep and that's when I pounce on them and wrap them warmly in their soft blankies. And then begins the struggle. Josh can do it in a much simpler fashion. What he does, he just needs to give it one big kick - and then it's off him. But the little one, the struggle lasts a bit longer. So as I said, I cover them when they are in very deep sleep - or so I think. So I put his blanky over him, just up to his chest. Look away and count to three. And then there is kicking - lots and lots of it. Then turning and turning - on his belly back to his back and onto his belly again and even gets into crawling position, done with his eyes closed of course - deep sleep, remember? And then grunting and whimpering. More kicking. Until, I finally give in and remove the blanket.

What's up with that?

It is getting cold around here. As we approach the "ber" months, the air is getting cold and crisp and the cold really bites. No such thing as heaters in the house so we totally rely on warm clothes - one on top of another and warm blankies.

And their love for climbing. What high do these kids get when climbing?

Seriously, we have a mountain a few minutes from the house and would gladly have Jet drive them up their and climb all day long. I mean they climb tables, chairs, shelves, stools, drawers. Josh has been attempting to climb the wall. And they are way too happy when they are able to escape our arms and climb. I understand that climbing encourages the development of this and that but talk about the heart attacks I never fail to almost always get. Geez. Well talk about my motor skills development, I can catch things - almost anything, including 1 year old kids - very fast even if I see it at the corner of my eye, I have become a very fast runner and have come to love the adrenalin rush.

And again, that magic wand. How precious it would be if climbing in the house on almost anything be quite disliked and blankies covering them on a cold night be well liked. Ahh.