Tuesday, March 26, 2013

High 5!

Mi bebe Dos is 5 months old today, hooray! His age of transition starts here. He babbles a lot which sounds like words to us. He can roll over from his back to his tummy. He carries his head and neck more stably. He laughs at silly faces and never ceases to make us laugh. His grip is getting stronger, he can now hold his bottle. His sense of sight and hearing are improving. He cries when someone leaves the room and he looks at where the sound is coming. He sleeps through the night (good news for me). I am anticipating more remarkable changes on him in the coming days. 

Although Dos is my 2nd baby, I still cannot say I know it all. I still help myself to be knowledgeable enough by continuously reading motherhood stuff, baby development stages and related articles to guide me as if this is my 1st time. I always believe motherhood is an incessant learning process. You should not stop to learn and discover new things for the betterment of your kids. But just the same, I only do what is applicable with my kiddos. I always compare the book versus the actual. Plus I always listen to my instinct. And so far, I think I’m on the right track. 

Dos is only 5 months old today, but I believe he’s the best teacher I can get.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Emissary to Heaven

Do you have a father-figure in your workplace? I did, but our father-daughter relationship was a bit different, ours was a teasing, playful type. He was mi esposo’s officemate. I would make frank calls on him. I would shout call his name wherever I see him. He was my source of inside (their office) stories, we gossip like there’s no tomorrow. There was 1 time when I gave him a false story about myself and then laugh hard when I learned that he made a rumor out of it.
But I am not the only one who has a naughty side. He would screen my calls and would buy a lot of time before transferring my call to the right person. There was even a time where I had to hide my identity just so I’d be transfer fast. He also puts our car’s windshield up when parked. And yes, he spreads my false stories. Haha 
Our closeness was always noticeable. He would never leave my office without saying “hi”, which always lead to somebody (his body) dragging him out of the office. He would always ask my whereabouts and I would always check on him. I remember how I laugh when he told me how he met his 2nd wife at the wake of his 1st wife and almost cry with the story of how his 1st wife promised she would not let him touch their baby (and true enough, their baby died with the mother during the delivery). I will never forget his birthday, his birthday was my Papa’s birthday in heaven. He said he would be there anytime, too.
The news of his passing reached mi esposo while we were hearing Palm Sunday mass, the news said he had a heart attack. I felt pain in my heart but I didn’t even utter my usual “rest in peace prayer” for him. I was in-denial I guess. I wanted to cry but did not, I told mi esposo I might cry at his wake but I hope not. I want to remember our laughs more than anything else. I want to remember how good man he was.
Eternal rest grant to your soul Mang Baby Boy Tony, may your soul rest in peace. Say my regards to Papa, will you. And please don’t tell him how naughty I am to you.

Visita Iglesia - Manila Route

It has been our (neighborhood friends) tradition to do an act of sacrifice during holy week. During Maundy Thursday we gather and visit 14 churches in Manila. I was only 12 when we started and for more than 20years I only missed 1 year (that was last year when I was advised to take bed rest for my delicate pregnancy). Although we started young (my oldest companion was only 7 years my senior) we took it seriously and passionately. From Bulacan, we commute up to Blumentritt and WALK all the way up to Intramuros for our Visita Iglesia:

1. San Roque de Manila Parish (Blumentritt Church): we usually arrive here around 6-7 PM. The station of the cross is at the 2nd floor of the church, it is actually the main church. There was 1 year that the stations were placed at the basement but it was not repeated again. There’s a mass at 6pm, if you want to celebrate mass to jump-start your Visita, better be there at 6, otherwise come before or after that time. From there we take a short walk along the JP Rizal Ave. to Tayuman for our 2nd church which is the

2. Espiritu Santo Parish Church: the Stations were located either inside the church or at the parking lot (between the church and the school). Then we take the road to San Lazaro Hippodrome going to UST for the 

3. Santisimo Rosario Parish Church (UST Chapel): after a long walk, the airconditioned UST Chapel, where the Stations are situated, gives a comforting relief. Then we take the Espana Exit gate, cross the footbridge, squeez ourselves in the inner streets for our next destination in Bustillos, the

4. Our Lady of Loreto Parish (Loreto Church): the other half of the Bustillos’ Twin Churches, the way of the cross is stationed at the aisle of the church. We then take a few steps to 

5. San Antonio de Padua Shrine: a bonus round for us due to proximity. Their Stations are located at the garden side (right side facing the altar). Then we head to Mendiola for the

6. Our Lady of Montserrat (San Beda Chapel): they have organized pathways for entrants. The left (facing altar) is to enter and the right is to exit. Be very cautious though because they only open a small door which gives the pick-pockets an easy opportunity to sneak in. We had 1 companion who went out of the church cellphone-less. Then head Mendiola St. to

7. National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus: Jesus’ Way of the Cross is conveniently stationed at the Shrine’s parking area only. St. Jude is known as the Patron of Hopeless Cases and fishballs to die for. From there, we walk along the Malacanang Complex for our next stop, (there was 1 time, during Arroyo Administration, that the PSG re-routed visitors to Arlegui St.)

8. National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels (San Miguel Church): the Station of the Cross is actually challenging to locate but it is usually stationed outside the church, the garden if I may call it. There are many food stalls available outside the church, this is where we usually stop and rest our feet and recharge for the last half of our Visita. Although there are foods available at St. Jude Church, San Miguel food vendors offer chairs to sit-in while you eat. Then we take the side-street of Conception Aguila to

9. Basilica of San Sebastian: their stations are both at the parking lot for easier access and inside the church for more solemn visit. From there, we walk a few miles to Hidalgo St. for the 

10. Holy Face of Jesus Chapel: entering this small chapel is a sacrifice in its own rights. You'll crawl your way inside, but like magic, the crowd disappears at the foot of the door. Then will test your endurance with the humidity inside. The Stations are at the 3rd floor/mezzanine, but we usually stay on the 2nd since it’s also visible from there. Then we walk straight to Hidalgo St. and take the Carriedo underpass to the

11. Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church): the Station is inside the spacious Church. After, we'll take Carriedo St. going to

12. Our Lady of the Pillar (Sta. Cruz Church): their stations are situated within the Church vicinity. Then comes the longest distance of all, we take the Ayala Bridge, pass the Philpost and walk all the way to Intramuros for

13. Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion – Manila Metropolitan Cathedral (Manila Cathedral): the Cathedral closes its doors at 12 midnight sharp, so we make it a point to be there before the clock hits that time. The Stations are inside the Cathedral. A few miles away is the last church which for me is the farthest, the 

14. San Agustin Church: like the other churches, they also have Stations at the parking lot and inside, we always choose the latter, since this is the last church this is where we say our personal intentions.

Over the years, we already mastered this route and discovered a lot of shortcuts. During our Visita, we carry along a booklet which guides us in our reflections. We read the designated reflection on each church we visit. Our route maybe a little too tiring considering the distance, but it is just our little way of paying back, sacrificing, reflecting and doing penance. After all God is sinless yet suffered a lot more for us. But confession is much encouraged.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Terribly Fine

The “terrible twos” is a term used for a child's (mostly aged 2) developmental stage categorized by temper tantrums, saying “no” to everything, or refusing to do as told. My Uno is in that stage. Our nightly routine with her had changed significantly triggering mi esposo to tag her as a hard-headed kid. Her night baths becomes her crying den. Our dinner becomes a warzone. She traded our R&Rs and snuggles with her tantrums. She may have mastered the craft of being a terrible twos but I’m still elated to see what she’s up to next. Here’s why she can smite me with her shrewdness:
  • She’s affectionate. She’s not allowed to get off the bed after lights-off but would break all the rules, stand and say “no, kiss Eon first” (even if the price is waking him up) and will instruct me to do the same saying “Nanay next”.
  • She’s a charmer. The way she walks-out and the way she says “bala ka!” when not given what she wants is really something to look forward to and laugh about.
  • She’s a leader. She knows what she wants and her playmates submit; she’s our boss “ECON!” (aircon on, if you want her to sleep)
  • She can control her emotion. She’s crying from a meltdown and then dances with a smile automatically to the tune of Oppa Gangnam Style when she hears even a single note of it.
  • She’s so helpful. She knows better all the time and fight it off to do it for you saying “no, Yaya (that how she pronounces her name) only”.
  • She's a great student. She drags me off the kitchen during my cooking sessions to show me how she cooks in her kitchen, the result: half cook meals.
  • She’s apologetic. She’ll say “tsorry”  the moment she stood up from wherever she slummed at during temper attack, in case you didn’t hear it, she will repeat it in your face.
She’s terrible, but I’d rather embrace it than miss it when this stage is over and wish it hadn't gone so fast.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family M.E.E.L. Time

1 thing about me that I am not proud of is the fact that I don’t like sharing my good recipes. More so when people commend me of a good dish I made, that signals me to keep it all the more. I don’t know, but life has its way of teasing that after you’ve been praised for a good dish, the customary “how did you do it?” clause follows. My reply is always “just the usual procedure” and then makes a graceful exit to avoid further interrogations. I’m not sure of the roots of this attitude, maybe because I want to keep a family culinary heritage like Mama Sita or I want mine to mine alone. But the truth is, I am just shy to reveal my shortcuts. I feel that I am a cheater, I cheat and do a lot of shortcuts in the kitchen that I feel I’ll be judged by the cooking gurus.

But things changed, I realized that it is already acceptable to cook according to your preference and of your patron’s. I don’t like to pretend anymore that I strictly follow what’s in the cooking bible. I’d like to share my simple and realistic recipes to somehow help working mothers like me feed their families in the fastest way possible. Although I am no gourmet expert, I’d like to think my dishes are edible enough to fill anyone’s tummy. And most of all, I’d like to influence the world to cheat in the kitchen. Haha      

I’m cooking and I’m sharing how now. Visit my recipe blog ourmealtime.blogspot.com. Please?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oh, Sheep!

When I was canvasing for the airfare for our fancy vacation comes this June, I realized that we might face some technical problem pushing this plan. There is a chance that Dos’ authenticated birth certificate will not be available on time. In case you don’t know, it requires at least 6 months before our dear NSO can provide us with the authenticated copies of documents, if filed for the 1st time. In order to avoid untoward incident, mi esposo and I agreed to postpone it again for next year. He asked me to present a “Plan B”. Who says alternates should be of lesser fancy? Actually, my substitute plan out-do the original. We’re set to go to this luxury island playground. I’m so thrilled! 

Yes, it is already set. I already booked for our vacation today (just 2 days after we changed plans). I’m excited I told ya. Haha The price for this vacation is steep, yes, but luxury has its price, right? I’m sure the comfort and cosiness of this resort will compensate its price. I also think that staying in a secluded paradise would be best for vacationist with infants like us. We will not be compelled to walk, carry and stroll a lot. Relax and comfy vacation is what we all need after all. 

Mi esposo was not available for consultation while I’m booking, since I have to act fast, I decided for him. The vacation was booked when he returned my call, I proudly reported my accomplishments and he felt the excitement as well. Then I told him the total cost, he uttered “Oh, s---! Don’t say bad words my labs. hehe

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Room Nurse"

The term is all over the news nowadays and it greatly offended the Filipino nursing community, worldwide. Although the former lawmaker had retracted and apologized for using such terminology, I would still agree that there is such. But they are not the under-board nurses, not the caregivers, not even the nursing undergraduates, but they are us, mothers. Mothers are the room nurses.
Yesterday, my good friend/officemate had a good migraine attack. She was throwing-up and was hitting her head until she can no longer tolerate the pain and burst into tears. I suggested that she call her mother to bring her home immediately. But while waiting for her mother, I was with her the whole time. We stayed at the office’s pantry and there I tried to provide her comfort. I improvised an iced bag, monitored her vomits and massage her head. I also made sure she was comfortably in lying position. When she met the 30 minutes no-vomit requirement, I asked her to drink her medicine. That’s when she fell asleep. She was sleeping when her mother called-up to check on her, I answered the phone and reported the things I did, when I heard her told me that what I did was right and exactly what she will do, that’s when I realized that I am a full-pledged doting mother.
Of course I would not know what to do had I not had a hands-on training. I am glad my 2 years of experience as a mother was enough to take care of my sick friend. I believe that if you give your loving heart, you’ll provide the best care, nurse or mother alike.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dress Up, Prep Up!

My officemate’s son just had his Junior-Senior Prom. Stage mother as she is, she was the one who canvassed and bought the suit that he wore. She even took the half-day from work just to witness her son’s prom herself, she was as thrilled as a junior highschool. The next day she ecstatically announced that her son was chosen as the Prom King. We congratulated her as if it’s she who won. lol 

It is a lot easier to dress a man for formal occasions but it’s a different story for us ladies. There are a lot of factors to consider, from make-up, shoes, bags, accessories and most importantly the dress. I remember my Mama was also as supportive during my prom, the only difference was (and thank goodness) she was not there during the prom (she just fetch me right after. hehe). She also helped me choose the gown to wear, suggested an appropriate hair and make-up and gave me accessories that would match my gown. Although my dress was not as chic as the watters bridesmaid dresses (you know the gown trending at that time, hello puffy shoulders!), it still depicted my personality and helped me gain the confidence I needed to enjoy the prom. I may not be the Prom Queen but still my Mama was fulfilled. 

As a mother myself, I know my time to support my kiddos’ red carpet moments will come too. And I’m sure I’ll be more exhilarated than all stage mothers combined. I just hope it’s not about Weddingtonway right away. How about awarding ceremonies first, please?