Thursday, June 30, 2011

Its Essence

Today officially marks the end of the first half of the year. Whenever I have my own quiet time, I always find myself thinking of how I have been spending my time. I think I give a lot of importance to how one's time is spent. When I was younger - carefree and self centered, I could sit around for hours and hours and hours doing nothing, thinking of nothing. My goodness, I cannot go back to those days and imagine how much time was wasted on absolutely nothingness (if there is such a word)!

Soon, Christmas songs will fill the air. My kids will soon turn a year older again. The rainy season will end and we will welcome summer into our lives again. We will welcome a new year again.

Time goes by. Our lives go by. I want to make it worth looking back on.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tid Bits

Words that come out of my mouth most of the time when at home:




Talk about being more positive!!!


I just realized that I have a fascination for names that start with the letter "D." I was watching a show and the name of the baby was Daxton. I loved the name. I initially wanted to name my second son Dathan - but I realized that Dathan in the Bible was swallowed up by the earth. I believe in the importance of a name. So I decided not to name him that. I still gave him a name that starts with the letter D.  I also always liked the name Dustin as in Dustin Hoffman.


I can't help but wonder why after more than a month of jogging, I haven't lost weight! How many minutes and how many heart beats per minute must I maintain in order to say that my workout was "successful?" On the other hand, I must also control my food consumption!! Argghh.


I am starting to seriously potty train my toddler. He is now 2 years and 4 months old and I feel he is ready. He is the youngest one among my 3 boys who started potty training. My eldest took the longest to train at 3 years and 4 months! Getting rid of diapers will cut down a lot on my monthly budget. So, wish me all the luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eastern Parenting : How It Was For Me

I would love to read this. Why? Because I can relate to it although I cannot say that I have had the same exact experience as the daughters of the author but in a way, I was raised in a family where we were never to settle for nothing but excellent.

Perfection is something not foreign to me. It was my goal for many years when I was much younger. Although my dad was careful enough to stay away from directly telling me that he wanted nothing but perfection, I could read in between the lines. The way he would make me repeat things if he didn't seem pleased with the way it was done, to his facial expressions that painted disappointment when I would present him with my scores of schoolwork / homework that weren't perfect or his rhetorical dispositions when he would be intoxicated where his tongue loosened up and finally expressed his desire for perfection in everything.

My parents always made me feel loved. That is not a question and never will be. But please don't ask me why love and acceptance do not quite add up - in my case, that is. I always felt loved but I never felt that I was good enough. When I would do something wrong, I would never hear the end of it. If I did something good / commendable / that deserved recognition, I would never hear appreciation. Like it was nothing special.

Criticisms never ended. When I was criticized for something and would do my best to improve on it, my Dad would move on to the next. It never ended. He would tell me that he always believed in me, that I was talented, that I had so much potential. As I look back on those times, those things he told me is what I believe carried me through. I may have used those to build my confidence.

I know my parents wanted me to have a normal childhood as possible, given that I was an only child. My playmates were mostly my cousins. Unlike kids in my 4th grade class, I never owned a Nintendo. I only had 1 Barbie doll while my other classmates had at least 5. I also took piano lessons. I was enrolled in ballet and taekwondo. When I got to highschool and felt a bit too old for ballet, I wasn't allowed to stop until I reached toe class. In taekwondo I got my blackbelt as well.

No matter how much my parents would tell me how much I could achieve, there would always be the phrase "if only you would be..." attached to it. So despite the slight morale boosts once in a while, I was more insecure than confident. I always found myself unsure of myself. I always craved for assurance that what I was doing was right, that what I was doing was correct, etc. And when I would "fail," instead of taking it on as a greater challenge, I would tell myself "that's what you get because you don't deserve it anyway."

For years I have been battling with so many insecurities.  I find it difficult to believe in myself even when people around me say otherwise.

It's a choice I guess on how a child will take on how his/her parents raise them. I chose to rebel although not intentionally. I found myself drinking and smoking at the age of 14. I skipped school. I got myself pregnant at 19.  And in my mind I thought, there, see? I am really not perfect.

So maybe the choice I made is one of my bigger regrets. Young and impulsive, I chose not to see it as something for my own good. I didn't choose to find happiness in how my parents were raising me. I decided to go the other way. The road usually traveled. I ended up lost. And there, I brought more disappointment to my parents, my Dad especially. And in a way, I paved my own unhappiness - at that time.

At almost 30, I am just slowly starting to shake off the excess baggage. I have so much. I am slowly trying to accept myself for who I am. I want to be able to say that I can do so much but I am taking those steps rather slowly. I know I don't have much time to wallow in my past. I have 3 kids to think of. I need to discover how I will raise them. Hard as it is to admit, I have developed some "Chinese Mom" characteristics (more on that in another post) and I am battling with whether I should try dropping those practices altogether.

I really don't know if it has done me any good. I would want to believe that it has.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This Is It

How I wish I could be like most people who happily say that as they look back on their life, they have no regrets whatsoever about anything. Wow. I have tons of regrets which I am slowly coming to terms so that I get to let go of so much anger and bitterness bottled up inside me. A few years ago, I would say that I had no regrets but after years of reflection and realizations, I told myself that I had to be true to myself.

On the few occasions where the kids complaining & whining die down, the rants of the husband seem to tame down and I find my world quieting down, I get to listen to my heart - to its rumbling and its tears rolling down and there I find myself in touch with my more human side. I am able to pour out a lot of my "oh how I wish" feelings. I no longer cringe at those thoughts. Instead I choose to come face to face with it and look them in the eye. They scare me sometimes but I choose not to pack them away in an old chest and hide it away from my heart. I'm stronger now, older now and more determined. When I feel my heart about to break, I don't hold it back anymore. I allow it to- because that what will make me more and more of a person. I know it will heal.

So here I am trying be more of myself day by day. This time truer. More human.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Their Dad

The boys look up to you
They like copying you
They enjoy it when you rumble and tumble with them
There's never a dull moment spent with you
But no one ever said you were perfect
Yet, they love you
You are for them, the best

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When It Rained, It Poured

I promised myself that part of my going back to blogging included my being true to myself and since this blog is open to the public, I understand that whatever I write here may be read by anyone in the world. But again, this blog is for me to express myself and write down whatever it is I feel.

Almost more than a year ago, the storms came. They came without giving me any time to recover from the previous one. They left broken branches, piles of pine needles and they left scars in my heart. Unable to recuperate fast, I found myself slowly withdrawing from my own self starting drown myself in my own sorrows and slowly spiraling down into the dungeon of self pity. Months passed and the rains got stronger and the winds blew harder. I was beginning to accept the fact that I would be living in a stormy world, one where I would never see the sun shine anymore.

People could not sense I was being battered by so many storms. Maybe I was that good at putting up a front. But inside, in my little secret world that I built I was drenched in the rain.

On New Year's Eve, my eyes tired of crying the truth dawned upon me and that when I realized that I did have a choice. I could decide whether or not I still wanted to see the sun. Not for the sake of my kids nor my husband but for myself.

Coming out of the rain was not easy, in fact on some occasions I still feel a little drizzle once in a while and still hear the soft clapping of the thunder. Every once in a while I still fear that the storms may come again but for now, at least I see the rainbow.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I've been trying to decide whether to start giving my 9 year old 3rd grader an allowance. Since he started school, I have always bought him his snacks which he brings to school. Since he started gradeschool, I have been hearing more and more stories from him about his classmates buying their snack at their canteen. In fairness to their school, they are strict about the food their concessionaire sells. No junk food and chocolates. I have been to their canteen and have seen the food they serve. For his lunch, I buy lunch stubs which he uses to buy his lunch.

As far as I can remember, when I was younger i always had an allowance. It was always my choice whether to spend it all on what I wanted to buy in school or to save a part of it.

I really don't know why I never practiced it with my son wen he started school. Sometimes I think I should start giving him an allowance so that he starts appreciating the concept of saving. On the other hand, I am also a bit apprehensive for reasons I am not really sure of.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Of These Puhleeeezz

I've been on leave from work since Monday. I have been lovin' every single breathing second of it! This week, I did the laundry leisurely without rushing. Just plain enjoying the whole soaking time, washing time, rinsing time and spinning time. I also got to do some gardening which for me was sort of symbolic especially when I was pulling out the unwanted weeds. Just like pulling out the unwanted weeds in my life! I got to meet up with our Pastor as well. I have been bringing my children to school and picking them up as well. Last Monday I was able to make lasagna and this afternoon I got to prepare guacamole with corn chips. Very simple things I give so much importance to because when I have work, it's as if there are so many things going on that I always find myself rushing to finish things because i feel like there are a million other things to do after I finish one thing.

Aside from those I have mentioned, I was also able to go to the grocery at 9 freakin' o clock in the morning!! How awesome is that? I usually run to the grocery during my lunch break, so much as I love doing the grocery, I am always as usual rushing. I also got to watch X-Men First Class - cool movie which has gotten me very interested in this whole Professor X - Magneto thing which never appealed to me in the past! And then I also got to watch The Rite. And am half way through The Hangover 2.

Ahhh. I have 3 more days to go and I plan to make the most out of it. And oh yes, because I am home most of the time, I have decided to start trying to potty train the littlelest one! So far the peeing has been v. successful (knock on wood I don't want to jinx myself!) The pooping can come later.

I Love This.

Friday, June 10, 2011

On Keeping Toddlers Busy

How far would you go to keep your toddler quiet and behaved especially when in an important situation. Today the husband and I went to meet with our pastor and we had to bring Arrow - the demanding 2 year old with us. Even if we knew it would have been better not to tag him along, we had no choice. As usual, at the beginning Arrow was well behaved probably still warming up. Half way thru, he started to get restless. So I gave him my cellphone which kept him busy for a nano second. Then i tried talking him to him properly and politely but to no avail. While whining, he discovered the pack of facial tissue in my bag. Thankfully, he kept quiet. But it was because he kept pulling out and pulling out sheets and sheets of tissue. When there was a whole pile in front of him, he started tearing them into strips. My husband who was sitting in front of me started to widen his eyes as if trying to tell me to do something to make Arrow stop. But our Pastor was in the middle of sharing something important and Arrow was keeping quiet with his wonderful activity of making a mess in the pastors office and so I didn't want to disrupt him because I also wanted to listen to what our Pastor was saying. It kept Arrow busy for a few minutes and when he started to show signs of boredom again, I taught him t make tissue paper balls! The Pastors table was full of tissue paper balls. The floor was scattered with tissue paper balls.

Sometimes in the restaurant it's all about allowing him to gulp down his iced tea or lemonade even before the food arrives just to keep him seated. Other times its opening a pack of forbidden chips when having to keep him behaved during a long car trip.

With 3 kids down the lane, I always have something new to learn.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In The News

Watching the evening news is a routine for us. We automatically put it on news at 6:30PM. I am beginning to wonder if I should just stop watching it because I get so annoyed, irritated, affected and most of all depressed by everything I watch!

With the opening of classes this week, a lot of the news stories focus on the current educational situation of public schools in the country. The public school system in the Philippines is like no other. Yes tuition fee is about 100% or more cheaper than if you enrolled your child in a private school but you get your moneys worth. In a class, there are about 65 pupils crammed into a classroom good for 40 students. Because there are too many pupils, there are not enough tables and chairs and books. A book may have to be shared by 4 children. This evening, they featured a public school somewhere in metro Manila where there were just too many pupils in a classroom that the chairs had to be crammed inside leaving no floor space. So the teacher was actually standing on the arm chairs of the children! It totally broke my heart. And then in one school in the Visayas, located far from the city proper they only had 3 teachers so graces 1&2 had to be combined, 3&4 together and grade 5&6 as well. I do not want to get into the news feature on the current condition of the bathrooms of the schools. Too sad.

What is this? How do we expect the next generation to create a brighter future? It breaks my heart so bad. I wish my children would appreciate what they have instead of taking it all for granted.  I can't help but wonder if there is a chance for things to change. Education is so important but how can one learn properly if the environment for learning is not conducive? This a problem that needs to be addressed and there should be a follow through. If our President is serious about reforming the country,  I hope he realizes which areas he needs to give primary focus to.

There must be hope.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweets Galore!

We had lunch over at my in-laws today. My MIL was there, 2 of my husbands aunts, 2 of his uncles and a few of my kids' cousins. The grandmother of my husband was there too- the great grandmother of my kids. She is a very sweet lady who loves her family and who gets so excited about seeing all of her grand and great grand kids. She is starting to become more and more forgetful though. Like every time we pay a visit to their family home -  which isn't very often - she can never remember who we are! Going back, I said she is a very sweet lady who enjoys seeing her family together.

But each time we go visit her, she always has these handful of candies and sweets for my kids! And worse, she likes seeing them gobble 'em up down even before eating their meals! Sorry. I love it that she loves my kids and I love seeing her so excited around them. But over flowing candies and chocolates? Eat them all up at once? No thanks please! She can't hear that well anymore as well so polite as I want to be, I sometimes have to speak a bit louder just so that she can hear me saying, "Please for crying out loud stop with the sweets! Tonsillitis galore!" "Please lola, not to much candies for the kids. We don't really allow them that much sweets in a month!" Oh gosh. So I glare stare at my husband waiting for him to say or do something to save my poor kids' appetite and tonsils! We tried to hide the can full of sweets from my grandmother - in - law and when she couldn't find it, she went to her room and got more unopened packs of candies!

Now that it's over, I find myself laughing at how silly we were a while ago. But when it was happening, I was irritated / annoyed / panicky especially since the littlest one could not be talked out of not shoving down eating all those candies. Thank God he forgot about the other sweets his great grandma stashed inside his pocket. It's really difficult to be straightforward with other people about the rules you impose on your kids since Pinoy culture gives very big importance to respect for elders PLUS, we have the tendency to agree just so that. Ugghh.

I hope the 2 glasses of water I made the little gulp down will keep the tonsillitis away!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Laid Back

Lately, I have been blessed to have enough time to sit down and watch movies. Wow I never thought that day would finally arrive! With the 2 year old becoming a little ore dependent - and interested in sitting thru a movie, I have been able to start catching up by watching DVD's-- v. happy!

So, I got to watch Rio. I found it to be a very cute movie. Very colorful and with a beautiful message. A simple reminder that could, if we do take it seriously, save the world. I also got to watch Kung Fu Panda II which I found to be funny and light. I love sarcastic humor by the way. So I was laughing practically throughout the whole movie. This afternoon, I also finally got to watch Little Fockers. It turned out to be quite a disappointment for me - a bit too shallow and not that all funny. I was expecting it to be hilarious - was actually looking forward to an afternoon full of laughter.

I'm on a straight 5 day leave from work - woot woot! - so I am looking forward to watching more movies! Maybe I will get to watch X-Men First Class. Hopefully Cars 2 comes out soon. I got the DVD of The Rite as well, hopefully I'm in for a good scare.

Any other movie suggestions?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6 Months

Half of the year has gone by. Or there is still half of the year to look forward to. I find myself wondering if the past 6 months have meant anything or if the next 6 months will mean anything. It should. As the saying goes, time flies. Too fast. I need to constantly remind myself about how giving more importance to even the littlest things because in the years to come, we will then realize that those little things we paid too little attention to were those that left the deepest mark in our hearts.

Life has become too complicated, too complex that we often even want time to go by faster just so that we can get over the complexities we are faced with. Much as we would want to simplify things, sometimes it is just impossible to do so. So we wonder what to do. Nothing. I'm coming to realize that I should take things as they come, as they are. Struggling to change things into how I want them to be will leave me exhausted and frustrated and may even push me to the brink of hating life. And why should I make myself reach that point?

I believe that it's never to late for anything. I must learn to stop regretting things and instead take them as learning lessons and move on from there.

What will the rest of this year bring, I wonder. So far, it has brought a number of heartbreaks but it has a also warmed my heart a couple of time. I will believe that the past 6 months has made me a better person. And the next 6 will make me even better.