Thursday, December 04, 2008
These TVs also had scrolling tips, to give more value to the bored commuters, I suppose. Yesterday's set of tips was for better hair. And this is Tip#2:
When going shopping or running errands, take some time to stand outside nearby salons.
Um. OK. That makes perfect sense. Will try that some time soon.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
My heart stopped beating for a moment. The Hubby and I did not see her come out of the house.
I've read about the rise of young children's accidental deaths caused by SUVs. They said that as SUVs get bigger, the visibility--of the ground and those blind spots, I suppose--goes down. The drivers just don't see the kids--toddlers mostly--and they get backed up on or hit, usually in their own garages or driveways. Musician Steve Curtis Chapman's daughter, Maria, died because of this. But I was thinking, hey that happens only in the States. It wouldn't really happen here. And not to us.
Wake up call! I am so thankful that nothing happened to Raine. I realize that we have to be more vigilant, more conscious of where she is and what she's doing. While I am a staunch believer in independence, I have to temper it with caution, with prudence.
Thank you, Lord, for watching over Raine.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I was about to get up and check on her when she came tottering in, burbling non-stop in that breathy, high-pitched voice of hers that she uses when she's excited. She took my hand, pulling me to my feet, then led me out the door. She proudly pointed to the wall and beamed at me. And this is what I saw:
Raine had scribbled on the entire wall with her blue, purple and black crayons.
When I finally reattached my jaw, I launched into the full "crayons are only for your paper you don't write on the wall or the floor or the appliances or your books or on yourself no no no no".
Raine's proud smile changed to her pouty, lower-lip-trembling-I'm-about-to-cry-but-I'm-holding-it-back look. She sniffed--then reached up her arms for a hug from Mommy.
As I held her, her face buried in my shoulder, I gently explained again why I reacted the way I did. Deep inside, though, I thought it was adorable (as did her Daddy, when he came home that night). She's a quick learner, though, our Raine. She never wrote on the walls again after that.
We didn't wash the walls immediately. The Hubby wanted to keep her masterpiece up for a few more days. And every time Raine would pass by, she'd pause slightly, and give a little smile.
Ah, Raine. Someday. Someday, your work will be admired by many. And it won't just be on the wall outside your Mommy's bedroom.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Dinos Alive! World Tour is a purported traveling exhibit cum theme park, complete with sound and light effects to highlight the said 30 dinosaurs. They also have lots of activities, and I'm looking forward to the Fossil Dig. You get to pretend to be paleontologists! Of course Raine will just want to stuff the sand in her pocket, but who knows what future career it could inspire!
The Inflatable looks like fun (but check out the line!) but I don't think Raine's ready for that yet.
They have games, activities and puzzles at Dinos Alive. I don't know what kind of food they'd have at a dino-inspired cafe--T-Rex Steak perhaps?--but they do have one, should hunger strike you in the middle of the Jurassic Period.
Dinos Alive will be set up beside Mall of Asia from November 28 to January 11, 10am-10pm on weekends and 12pm-10pm on weekdays. Tickets are available for purchase from Ticket World by calling 891-9999 or online at www.ticketworld.com.ph Ticket prices for adults are Php 600, kids below a meter are Php 450 and the family package costs Php 1,750 (2 adults+2 kids+1 free ticket).
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The past year-and-a-half, I've been a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) and though the situation is workable, there are still some things I'm not happy with. Like the way I get all grumpy with Raine when I have a deadline looming. Or how the meals are not too well-thought out because I'm too busy or tired to prepare a proper menu. And--maybe a little selfishly--how I don't get to blog as often or write me stuff because there's always something else I need to get done first.
I'm not sure what will happen next year though, when I'm a SAHM. The Hubby once said in exasperation, "Take away all the deadlines and things you have to do and you still won't bake!" Or make soap or make cookies for gifts or (fill in the blank for whatever activity that I always put off).
But there's always hope for the not-so-domestic goddesses. I'll just take it one step at a time. And the first step is to make a list of all the things I want to do.
- Clear out the house. Big task, I know. But basically, I want to get rid of clutter. Maybe have a garage sale, even. Weed out the closet and the cupboards and the piles and piles of stuff.
- Fix the house. Get new curtains, placemats, stuff like that. Add some personal touches. After all, we plan to stay here a few more years.
- Have a weekly menu and grocery list. Make sure that the food is healthy and yummy. In line with that, I'd like to try out at least one new recipe a week. Or every other week.
- Bake cookies, makes spreads. Make a cake! Maximize our fantastic oven. I'd like to be that kind of house where there's always something freshly baked (and that way, I can make sure that there isn't too much sugar in our goodies, and like spike the muffins with carrots and that kind of thing).
- Make my flavored oils and vinegars that I can give as gifts (I bought the bottles for it a year ago!).
- Wean Raine from videos. This is my ultimate I'm-such-a-lousy-mom issue. I always said pre-Raine that I would never let my kid get hooked on TV and videos and computer games, but I find myself relying on videos to keep her busy while I go do other stuff. I want to do stuff like go on nature walks, bring her to Museo Pambata, make homemade clay and finger paint.
- Look into homeschooling. I know it's a bit early, but I want to stimulate Raine's mind. And this dovetails with #6.
- Exercise. Kickboxing or swimming--I just need to get into the groove. I want to lose that final 16lbs that's been hanging around for over a year!
- Revamp my wardrobe. After I see the effects of #8.
- Make soap again. I want to make that Oh Baby! bar for Raine. And The Hubby wants that Great Mornings bar. I want that Rix Trix and people are looking for Honey Oatmeal. So even if I don't sell them anymore, I can just make for my own use.
I better stop at ten for now. Otherwise, it'd be unmanageable. This blog post also happens to be my entry to the Moleskine Philippines Giveaway. I hope to win! That gorgeous paper! I am so addicted to notebooks and Moleskines are the best.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
While I didn't drop to my knees in awe, I did pause my vigorous shampooing, "Are you talking to me, God?" A heartbeat later, "Or am I just talking to me?" It didn't help my confusion any when the soundtrack in my mind started warbling dito baaaaa ang sulok kong takdaaaaa sa ilalim ng araaaaaaw... (semi literal translation: is this my spot under the sun?); which made me think that either my inner jukebox is a closet baduy or the neighbor's YesFM is more insidious than I originally suspected.
The past three months have been hectic, and in the midst of deadlines, coordination, hunting down writers and photographers, conceptualizing editorial lineups, proofreading, researching, writing, editing, counting words and counting toes (when Raine insists on sitting on my lap), I received two very flattering offers (and no, they weren't from The Hubby).
The first was from this huge magazine publishing company. I'm doing a mockup issue for them, a sort of Magazine Lite--all the articles without the ads--to see if it's a viable new title. They offered me the Editor-in-Chief position when the mag goes to print next year. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Mine anyway. I've been working, thinking, breathing, writing, conceptualizing magazines for nearly a decade. To be EIC of a real magazine, a commercial-sell-to-the-public magazine (my magazine work has largely been custom magazines, not consumer) is wow. I've been wanting to head my own magazine, to give it direction, to share my passion with readers. And working with this publishing company is a great opportunity.
But. Yup, there's that big but (and I don't mean mine). It will take all my time and energy. I know it will. Friends who work in that company (or even in the publishing industry), much as they enjoy it, admit that there isn't much of them left for anything else. So where would that leave The Hubby and Raine? Sure I'd be making good money; I'll be in a creative (but cutthroat) environment; I'll be doing things I'm good at and I enjoy--but what are my priorities?
After much prayer and discussions with The Hubby and playing "What Ifs", I said no. And it felt good, sort of, turning down that fantastic opportunity. I could feel a sense of reassurance, a sense that God has something better planned for me. Then came the second offer.
This time it was from my long-time client, whose annual watch magazine I've been doing for more than a decade. He knows that I don't want to work full time, so he offered me a full time-part time job. I'd report to the office once or twice a week, and I'd work at home at my own discretion the rest of the time. I'd be working on the magazine, and basically the other stuff that he regularly farms out to me. I'm pretty much steeped in the watch culture, so while I'm no expert, I am passably knowledgeable. So the work wouldn't be that hard. And I like my client; he and his company are one of my favorites. They're generous, easy to work with and we respect each other's capabilities. Again, it would be a great opportunity. While it will still take up a lot of my time and energy, it wouldn't be as deadly as the EIC position. And it would help with the finances, cover the tuition and school fees of Raine (been thinking of sending her to play school twice a week, but The Hubby said we can't afford it yet).
I was discussing this new offer with my mom last night, and I wondered if I just am looking for opportunities (or excuses) to not be a full time SAHM (stay at home mom). And I wondered if I'm not really built for pure domesticity. I have all these domestic plans in my head--I'll bake cookies and make flavored oils and vinegars for gifts; I'll make soap again; I'll organize the family finances; I'll revolutionize the way we do the grocery; I'll homeschool Raine--but I never do any of them because there's always something else for me to do. Some article I had to write. Some expert I had to interview. Some book I had to read to unwind (it IS crucial to have some me time). In theory, if I quit my writing gigs, or at least did less, I'd have more time to act on all these plans. Theoretically. And so If I accepted this offer, it goes back to having no time to do anything.
I suppose I was still subconsciously playing around with these possibilities in the shower this morning, when I heard that voice in my head. What about the things you really want to write? Because if I'd have no time for SuperWife/SuperMom stuff, what more for those personal things that I've been dreaming of writing? Right now, I write for a living. I write what people tell me to write. And what I want to write for myself--the children's stories, the essays, the short stories, the novel, the blog post even--they've withered into vague, colorless ideas at the back of my head.
What about the things you really want to write? Is that God reminding me to wait on his perfect timing? Because He promised that I would write something great. Something that will be remembered. And I wrestled a promise out of Him that I would publish a book of my own.
I guess it's hard to shake off that saying that 'God helps those who help themselves'. He doesn't really. He helps those who have faith in him. It's a fine, fine line between helping yourself and acting in faith.
So what do I do now? What about those things that I really want to write? Are you talking to me, God? Or am I just talking to me?
Friday, August 15, 2008
The Hubby says it’s obviously styled—the fact that it looks so artlessly windblown is proof. And that means I’d have to have it cut often (I guess one reason I can never develop a lasting relationship with my hairdresser is that I’d prefer to see him or her like once a year—that’s all I have patience for). And it will eventually get into my eyes and be all over my face. But I think it looks fab. Where can I go for something like this? How much will it cost?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Oh joy joy joy. We've been taking scuba diving lessons together (thanks to my uber generous seester, who gifted both The Hubby and me with the lessons) and I am having loads of fun. For one thing, getting my diver's license has been on my to-do list. First it was on my list of Things To Do Before I Turn 25. Then I had to move it to my Things To Do Before I Turn 30 list. Then it got bumped off to my Things To Do Before I Get Married list. Then finally to my Things To Do Before I Die list. So thank you, seester dear, because I didn't have to move it my Pros and Cons of Raine's Education list or my Things To Ask God When I See Him list.
Next, it's been quite a while since The Hubby and I did something new together. When we started dating, we went wall climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, food tripping and all that. Now our lives mostly revolve around domesticity. Not that I'm complaining, but I truly miss that adrenaline rush and those adventures we had together. I'm so glad he agreed to go diving with me. I hope, after we get our licenses, that we actually go diving!
But back to my birthday gift. Joe, our instructor, brought it last night and asked if I wanted to try it on. The Hubby had to sort of stuff me into it. It's even worse than squirming and jumping into skinny jeans, because you have to get it all the way up to your neck. And it definitely is the most unforgiving of all outfits. I looked like a PVC pipe with a thick layer of vulcaseal somewhere around the middle. Or like a butete. After our pool session and it was time to strip off, and The Hubby unzipped me, I could actually feel my flesh spreading. On a more positive note, when I wear it like divers do between dives--with just the legs on and the top unzipped and folded over by the waist--I look passably good.
I've told The Hubby it's time to launch Operation Wetsuit, where the objective is to get into a wetsuit in less than 15 minutes and actually look sleek in it. The Hubby actually thought of going for a run yesterday. So we're off to a good start.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Sure, this seems so inconsequential. Silly and useless even. Or stroke-inducing, for the OC people and neatniks out there. But what did I really teach her? Well, I hope she learns that life is meant to be enjoyed, even while working. That she should stop and savor those moments of accomplishments (like getting the brownies in the oven), before moving on to the next task (like cleaning up after). I want her to know that she shouldn't take herself too seriously; that's it's OK to be messy once in awhile. I want her take pleasure in the mundane. I want her to see the joy in everything. I want her to be grateful that God gave us such a rich, gorgeous world, and he gave us the senses to experience it fully--from the rich aroma of baking brownies to the warmth coming from a lit oven on a rainy day to the decadently fudgy chocolate melting on your tongue.
I want my daughter to live life to the fullest, knowing that there is a God out there who cares enough to think about the little things like enjoying freshly baked brownies on a cold day.
I pray that Raine will appreciate and come to love all the brownie batter bowls (and I mean that literally and figuratively) that life will send her way. That's the life skill that I want her to learn.
Monday, June 30, 2008
We lived near the Buendia end of Leveriza, and Harrison Plaza was a short jeep ride or a calorie-burning walk away. We were aimlessly wandering around Harrison one day and we saw "Buy-One-Take-One" on mountain bikes at Toby's and I still have no idea how she did it, but Rix convinced me that it would be a fantastic idea to get ourselves bikes. I think she used lines like, "Think of all the places we can go to!" and "It's good exercise!" and "It's fun!" and "It's cheap!"
Let me digress here a moment--so we got the "cheap" bikes and soon after, we were becoming regular customers at the Cartimar bike shops; so much so that our bikes were hardly the ones we started with. And eventually we traded in our bikes and added twice what we first paid for them to get spiffier bikes. By then I realized that I would never be Lance Armstrong, and I refused to spend a single peso more on my bike. Rix, though, really souped up her bike and used to bike to and from UP! And as with the motorcycle, I settled for vicarious biking thrills. I would say, "Oh my sister bikes to school and back," in such a way that you'd think I was there pedalling with her.
So from Harrison, we biked back to the apartment. And I remembered that the last time I biked on anything with only two wheels was a decade ago. And that was in a controlled environment, with no silly pedestrians who think that the road is the place to be; no maniacal car drivers whose sole mission in life seems to be terrorizing those on vehicles with half the number of wheels; no oops-did-I-just-run-into-something jeep and truck and bus drivers; no biker-unfriendly things littering the road, like parked cars, trash cans and sign posts. But we made it home safely, and began to plan our next trips.
We biked to church (Union Church on Rada St.), and it always made for a more worshipful experience--I fervently thanked God each time for still being alive. We biked around the CCP Complex; we even went around Intramuros several times. And one time I got a flat right outside Intramuros and we couldn't find any vulcanizing shop and I had to walk my bike all the way home while Rix biked in circles around me.
Once, on impulse (naturally), we decided to meet a friend one afternoon at our Kuya's gaming shop in BF Paranaque, passing Roxas Boulevard, then the Airport Road. We figured it couldn't be that far. I guess in our minds we were thinking of Merville, not quite realizing that BF is way, way, way past that. And on the way we encountered more of those silly pedestrians milling around the road. I sort of almost ran down one guy--not my fault; I called out 'excuse me' and he didn't listen!--and he kinda got surprised and possibly to save face, he yelled at me something like, "Gago ka! Bulag ka ba?" and I felt like getting off my bike and yelling back at him, "Hoy, ikaw ang bulag, GAGA ako!" But stopping gracefully and getting off the bike was something I hadn't quite mastered yet. We made it to BF in two hours. I think. And we made our friend drive us back home.
But the most memorable by far--and the most fun, in a weird way--was when we biked along Manila Bay in the middle of a typhoon. Fine. At the tail end of a typhoon. It was one of those slow moving storms, and we were cabin-fevered, cooped up in the house for days. On the third day, we peeked out (like Noah) and saw that the wind had let up a bit and it was still raining, but not as hard. So what's a little rain, right? We headed out to an eerily empty Buendia then on to Roxas, where we saw the waves slamming against the wall, sending massive sprays of sea water onto the sidewalk and street.
We felt like we were in some kind of man-against-nature movie. I mean picture it. We were the only ones out (only brave ones or only foolish ones, you decide) on the road. The rain was coming down in sheets, the wind whipping us, monster waves out to get us--stopped only by that wall--and further drenching us. We were screaming our heads off each time a wave hit the wall. We felt invincible! I would have raised my arms over my head as we biked down Roxas, or spread them out, like Meg Ryan in City of Angels, except that I would have most likely lost balance and toppled over.
We were thoroughly enjoying pitting ourselves against the sea. Then we saw it. First it was one supot. Followed by another. And another. Then we saw tsinelas. When we got to the end of the wall, we saw a whole mountain of trash being spit out by the sea. We continued screaming our heads off--this time with a different tone, and as much as possible, with our mouths closed.
I think the sea and Mother Nature had the last laugh.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I wish I knew why there always seems to be a shoe in the middle of the road. Drive anywhere here in Manila, and sooner or later you will see a shoe. A single, forlorn shoe. Sometimes it's a sneaker; sometimes a serious leather lace-up type; often it's a sandal or slipper. Whatever kind it is, it makes you wonder how it got there. And why, oh why, is there always only one?
Did the person wearing it dart across the road, like foolishly lazy pedestrians are wont to do, and the shoe just came off and the person was too scared to run back to the middle of the road to retrieve it? Or maybe he was riding a motorcycle and a pothole jerked the shoe off his foot. Or perhaps, like Hansel and Gretel, she was just leaving a trail her star crossed lover could follow as her furious parents carted her away?
The Hubby and I also have this theory that it's all part of MMDA's "Bawal Tumawid. Nakakamatay" campaign. These solitary shoes in the middle of a busy street subliminally underscore the message. As in, see--all that's left of the pasaway crosser is this shoe...do you want this to happen to you? We have images of the blue MMDA trucks making midnight runs, dropping shoes at strategic points; and of MMDA enforcers radioing the base, "Wala nang sapatos sa EDSA-Magallanes, over."
Naturally, my mom and sisters find this hilarious, and have quickly adopted this MMDA-shoe theory as their own. Once, my mom texted me, "I think MMDA has been training the people here in Baguio...we saw a shoe on Kennon Road."
Is it a conspiracy for road safety? Is it a mystery that will never be solved? I wish I knew.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sometimes I wonder if I have any depth or substance to me at all. I have minimal interest in current events unless it directly affects me like, right now, here where I am standing. I can't knowledgeably discuss politics, economics or give an intellectual analysis of such. I can discuss in detail, though, the pros and cons of ProKids vs Huggies Pull-Ups; and I can identify a goony bird on sight (at least I think so).
Sometimes I think the world revolves around me. And everything is about me, and what I do or don't do.
Sometimes I wonder how I can call myself a writer, when I don't sit down everyday and write. Maybe I'm really a dreamer, who dreams of being a writer. Or I'm just a plain reader who dabbles in writing.
Sometimes I feel like I'm such a fake Christian. A poseur who goes to church regularly and prays at mealtimes and spouts things like "God bless you," and "Be still before God." But if you look deep inside you'd find something dark and sinister. The amazing thing is though, God loves me just the same.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Inspired by Stef's Truth Thursdays prompt.
I worry that I'm not a good enough mother. That I'm not stimulating enough. Not patient enough. Not loving enough. I don't teach her enough. That I don't discipline enough: she'll grow up to be a spoiled brat like those spoiled brats that I hate and whose parents I blame for their lack of discipline and now I've become one of them. I worry that I don't put enough sunscreen. That I don't feed her right. That her knees are dry and her legs full of bruises from bumping into things as she walks around (so like me!) and marks from mosquito bites because I don't put enough insect repellant and she'll grow up and won't have the chance to be Ms. Universe because her knees are dry and her legs are spotty. I worry that she'll grow up vain because I can't help but exclaim, "Oh you're so pretty! You're so cute! You're totally adorable!" because I can only tell the truth and I'm her mother and she really is. I worry that she isn't speaking yet because I don't talk to her enough and I'd rather read a book by myself than read to her sometimes and I can't keep up a running commentary on every single thing we're doing like the books say I should. I worry about her character. That she won't get it about the fruit of the spirit because maybe she doesn't really see it from me. I worry about her relationship with God: how will she believe me when I tell her we should put God above all else, and that we should rely on Him totally when I run around trying to solve everything myself. I worry that her teeth are going to get cavities because I still let her breastfeed to sleep and she still wants milky in the middle of the night. I worry that it will be hard to get her to sleep in her own bed because she thinks that she belongs in our bed, with her Daddy and me, and I shouldn't have agreed to let her co-sleep with us in the first place since she was doing so well in the crib. I worry that she has dandruff because she loves pulling her hair and scratching her head. That when I trim her hair, it will grow back straight and her beautiful curly hair will be gone forever. I worry that I'm forcing her to be independent too soon. I worry that I won't let her go. I worry, I worry, I worry.
Friday, May 23, 2008
My body is holding back energy and a lot of productive output. My body is a firm believer (or marshmallowy believer, if you want to be more accurate) in Newton's first law of motion. Inertia has become my enemy.
I have so many plans and ideas--most of them brilliant, really--but not much comes to fruition. Say my mind has this fabulous idea on how to fix the house, and all these images of tastefully decorated rooms float around my head, and I can picture Real Living magazine giving me a call, they want to shoot the house for their next cover, and I can hear everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautifully done interiors and I'm raring to go get started, and my body says (aided by a traitorous part of my brain), "Wait, there are about 50 billion more pages to surf, you have to get more tips on how to decorate the house, and besides you need the budget to get all the stuff you want, so you have to go shopping, if and when you get the budget, and that means you have to get a babysitter for Raine, and of course, that all depends if The Hubby does give you the budget...so just stay in that seat and surf." And my body just won't budge.
Same thing happens with my cooking gourmet meals, baking scrumptious cookies and cakes, taking lessons for driving or cooking or writing, writing my next blog or short story or article, or whatever amazing thing I have in mind. Sometimes I do get mind over matter (if you don't mind, then it doesn't matter--hee) and I manage to accomplish something, then I run out of momentum. Newton's law again!
I need an outside force to continuously keep me in motion. Help!
Friday, May 16, 2008
My body is holding onto its former glory. Or at least the memory of it. Gone are the days when I could (and would) strut around in short shorts and mini skirts, in belly-baring tops and unforgiving bodyhugging catsuits. I no longer turn heads as I pass by. Fortunately, people don't turn tail and run away yet when they see me coming.
As The Hubby would say, women reach their peak at 25, then it's all downhill from there (so it's a good thing The Hubby and I hooked up when I was 25). Eight years and about 25 pounds later, I'm still sliding down that slope, silently screaming.
But my body has been through a lot, the most recent being childbirth and breastfeeding (and I maintain that five of those excess pounds are all boobs and milk), sleepless nights (and days) and everything else that comes with wifehood and motherhood. So while my body looks back fondly, and sometimes sadly, at its old self, it's learning to adjust to its new self, and learning to look at it with a new sense of pride. From beach goddess, I am now a domestic goddess.
Still, losing that extra poundage wouldn't hurt. Oh well.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
So far, in my pile I have:
- New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. Recommended and lent by my sister Ro-Ann. It's book three in the Twilight series, which will soon be a movie. Fine, it's sort of a teenybopper series, and I sort of cringe reading some parts, but it is intriguing. I'm not sure I'll enjoy this third book though, since I'm rooting for Jacob, not Edward (get into the Twilight craze to see who I'm talking about!).
- Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins. Lent by my sister in law Lelay. She got it from her dad before her son Third was born. He's now 6 years old, and she hasn't read the book! Let's see how old Raine will be when I do get to finish reading this.
- Practical Soups; Practical Wok & Stir-Fry; Pasta; Curries & Tajines; Spaghetti; Appetizers; Chocolate. A plethora of recipe books, also from Lelay. I love reading cookbooks. Sometimes, I even try out the recipes! The one I'm really checking out now is the soup book, since Raine has developed a liking for soup, and I sort of am getting nilaga/tinola/sinigang/Chinese soup/instant mami fatigue. The other day I modified one of the recipes and made a luscious, if rather watery, carrot and potato soup. Raine loved it! I want to try making truffles (from the chocolate book) next.
- The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century edited by Isagani R. Cruz. Gift from The Hubby last Christmas, and I've been reading it slowly. It's a really hefty book, so it's hard to read while lying down in bed (or on the couch or wherever), and it's hard to haul around in your bag for emergency reading. Now I leave it in the bathroom, where I can read a few pages during "library time". Now The Hubby gets to enjoy it too.
- The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. Another gift from The Hubby. And again, another hefty book. So after the short story anthology, this goes into the bathroom next.
- What to Expect in the Toddler Years. Finally got a copy in Booksale at less than half the price in National! Yet another hefty tome. Then again, it's meant to be read in stages. So expect this to be on my bedside table for months to come (couple of years, actually).
As for recommendations, Djong has suggested The Girl with the Pearl Earring. Will try to look for a copy.
Any other suggestions, donations, gifts or books to lend?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Got a text the other day, telling me I have some raffle points and the prize is a hundred grand shopping money at SM. That got me thinking—if I won (though my chances are slim, since I didn’t join the raffle), what would I buy? Well, here’s my shopping list:
- Bed for Raine. We still co-sleep. Last week, I was sleeping in between The Hubby and Raine, and I had to lie there like a log, with my arms growing numb raised over my head. I haven’t quite figured out how to move Raine into her own bed though, and if it goes into her own room…Forgot where I saw this bed that’s convertible from crib to toddler bed to full bed. It also has built in drawers and desk. Kinda pricey. Estimated cost: P15,000.
- Vacuum cleaner. Definitely need one. Looks like Raine has inherited my dust allergies. The wet-dry, heavy duty one looks like the perfect one, so we can clean screens as well. Estimated cost: P9,000.
- New mattress for us. Of course I’d love that Tempur-something that costs as much as a house. But I’d settle for a nice Uratex one. Our current mattress has permanent dips; it’s like a hill, with a peak at the middle and down slopes at each side. Would love some new sheets and comforters as well. Estimated cost: P20,000.
- Car seat for Raine. She’s rapidly outgrowing her current one. Estimated cost: P15,000.
- Mirror for our bathroom. The Hubby comes to the room to shave. Enough said. Estimated cost: P3,000.
- Curtains. So we can change this set which is wash-and-rehang-immediately. Estimated cost: P4,000.
- Bakeware. I don’t really know how much these things cost, and I have no idea what I really need. But since I’m fantasy shopping anyway, I will set aside a budget and see what I can buy with it. Silicone stuff most likely. Estimated cost: P8,000.
- Clothes for me! I haven’t bought anything fashionable in ages. Last article of clothing I bought was a pair of shorts. I need shoes! Dresses! Tops! Pants! Skirts! A new bikini! A bikini coverup! More tops! More shoes! Estimated cost: P10,000.
- Clothes for The Hubby. Though I shop for The Hubby’s clothes more than I do for me (me – 0; Hubby – 4), I’d still want to get him some stuff. Estimated cost: P6,000.
- Clothes and toys and stuff for Raine. Ehehe. Can’t help it. Love getting her stuff, even if she has tons. Estimated cost: P5,000.
- Stuff for the rest of the family. Share the blessings! Estimated cost: whatever’s left. Ehehe. Am I bad?
More space for new books then. I welcome donations. :D
Hmm. Let's make it a game. Send me a book (or at least suggest a title of a book) you think I should read. :)
Friday, April 25, 2008
- Angel Toothbrush. This is like a cross between teether and toothbrush. It can, according to the packaging, clean 10 teeth at a time and clean all six surfaces. Since Raine only has three teeth, and I never knew teeth have six surfaces (I can account for only five), I am duly impressed. It's also easy to use, since Raine likes it and I don't have to force her to use it (unlike that finger brush I tried before--had to force my finger into Raine's mouth, which is scary to do now because her teeth are really sharp). I stick it in the freezer to help soothe her gums. She just has to bite it to clean her teeth. Now my main challenge is remembering to make her brush her teeth.
- Jar of Hope Gel. 100% organic and created by the mompreneurs of Indigo Baby. My kind of thing! I use Jar of Hope for everything, from diaper rash (well, almost rash--I put this at any sign of reddening) to insect bites. I also put it on bungang araw, scratches, Raine's gums and any bumpy skin. Works pretty well. My only complaint is that it's more watery than gel-like, but they said they're reformulating it to deal with that (they reply immediately!). It's best kept in the ref--feels good when you put it on sunburnt skin.
- Shoo Fly Insect Repellant. I love the smell of this. Also from Indigo Baby, this is 100% organic as well. Works well, isn't sticky and makes skin feel smooth after.
- Praise Baby Collection VCD. I try not to let Raine watch TV (though we both watch American Idol. Ehehe. Now, when I sing to her, she claps) and I limit her videos. Among her allowed videos, this is her favorite. It has well-loved praise and worship songs, and it shows stuff she loves--babies and kids playing, furry animals, balls and fish. She can pick her video out of a pile. She gives it to me than she starts dancing--her sign that she wants to watch.
- Huggies Pull Up Pants. Makes diaper changing so much easier! At night, or for long stretches between diaper changes, I still use Pro-Kids, since Huggies doesn't absorb as much.
- J&J Top-to-Toe Wash. I love the smell of the yellow one. And it's so practical for traveling--no need to bring shampoo, and no worries about sticky bars of soap.
- Mommy Matters Nursing Tops. I still breastfeed Raine up to now. It's healthier, saves us a bundle, and makes going out and around so much easier, without tons of equipment to haul. Nursing tops make the whole breastfeeding routine more discreet, especially in public. It's hard to look for decent and affordable nursing tops though. So I'm pretty happy with Mommy Matters. Not only do they have stylish tops, they also do home service! For a minimal fee (which is waived if you make a minimum purchase), they deliver a whole collection to your house, where you can fit and choose at your own pace, and they pick up payment and whatever you didn't get after a few days. Talk about service. I wish they had dressier tops though.
- Bugaboo Headband. I don't know what this furry, antennaed headband is called, but it sure made Raine get into kikay stuff. From detesting anything on her hair, she now asks to wear the Bugaboo, clips and hats.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
- Gift certificate or voucher for a manicure and pedicure. If you can throw in a foot spa, that would simply be divine. Having your toes look pretty and well-tended, even in your pambahay tsinelas can lift your spirits, especially after a trying day. Even better, throw in a couple of babysitting hours while we grateful SAHMs go for the pedicure.
- Gift certificate or voucher for a massage. Carrying the baby, doing chores, running after the toddler--all these take toll on your body. A massage will be utterly orgasmic. Really. Again, add a couple of babysitting hours (or arrange for someone to do so) to make it perfect.
- Gift certificate or voucher for a foot massage. This is a totally separate item from a body massage. Mommies' feet take a pounding all day. Enough said.
- Home cleaning/organizing/decorating service. Especially for SAHMs with no helpers. Or if not a cleaning service, then some home organization or interior decorating service. I am not artistically inclined, so even after two years in this house, it still looks bland. And now that there's a baby to look after, prettifying the house is at the top of my want list but at the bottom of my to-do list. It's easy to look for someone to do the service these days, and people like Marilen Faustino-Montenegro of Color My Space even have an online store.
- Ready made meals. Again, for moms with no help, prepared meals are a godsend. Whenever The Hubby brings home take-out, I melt. Even if it's just Chow King. It doesn't have to be fancy, or from a restaurant; even overruns (not week old leftovers though) from your kitchen will be fine. My sister-in-law, for example, sometimes sends over some of whatever she's cooking, and I totally adore her. What can I say, the way to my heart is really through my stomach!
- Clothes. Not like SAHMs go anywhere much. But some nice stay-at-home clothes or more fashionable pambahay would be really appreciated. So when the husbands come home, we don't greet them in ratty shorts and t-shirts (the modern equivalent of the daster) covered with drool, spitup and crayon marks. And some going out clothes would be good too, since pre-preggy and and pre-SAHM outfits would probably not quite fit.
- A joyride. I really appreciate it when people give me a lift to wherever. I don't drive (something I must remedy) and The Hubby has the car anyway. So if I have to get anywhere, I commute. And I bring the baby. So it's a big deal when I get to hitch a ride with someone. And an even bigger deal when someone offers to take me wherever I need to go.
- A day-off. The Hubby lets me take a day-off once a week. We get our trusty old Aling Lourdes to watch Raine, I hitch out with The Hubby, and I wander around the mall to my heart's content. Alone. No baby. Pure bliss. And The Hubby gives me spending money too. In case a day off isn't feasible, then some alone time at home will suffice. Take the kids out for a walk and let the SAHM have extra time under the shower, or time to nap or just stare at the ceiling and contemplate life.
- Decent conversation. There are only so many times you can say, "Where's the baby?" and keep sane. And in cases like mine when there's only you and the baby for the entire day, adult conversation is like manna. So drop by your favorite SAHM's house (check for a good time though) and be prepared to listen (even if it's all about the quality and quantity of poop for the day). Adult companionship is highly appreciated. Bring a treat if you like. Oh, it would also be great if you don't expect to be served and waited on like a guest. Roll up your sleeves and help out, even if it's just to pick up toys scattered around, or clear the table of breakfast, or entertain the baby while we wash the dishes.
- A little hobby or project to indulge in. Be it a cross stitch sampler, a knitted scarf, a scrapbook or a decadent bobo book--any bit of free time doing something enjoyable and non-SAHM-related is a great break. Sure, it may not got done immediately (maybe when the last child turns 18). But it's nice to know that in case we do get time (and energy), it's there.
- Something kikay. A few months after I had Raine, we had some guests over for dinner. One of them, Maricar, brought me a little kit from Ling Cosmetics, with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and a couple of cleansing masks. "Most people bring something for the baby," she explained, "I thought that you could use something for yourself." I was so touched. Maricar is single with no kids, yet she was one of the very few who understands that yes, you are a mommy, and you adore anything for your baby. But you still want to be babied yourself, but you most likely will not get anything frivolous for yourself because you'd want to spend that money on your baby.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
In public, I surreptitiously tear tickets. You're supposed to give in the entire piece, so I gently work the middle part, leaving the pieces of the ticket connected only by the last two perforated dot things at each side. I love those receipts generated by dot matrix printers--continuous forms are pure delight. And after I tear off the hole-y edges, I fold them into an origami chain. Each and every time. No matter where I am. Or whether I'm running late. I have to, otherwise some cosmic balance will be disturbed.
At home, I eagerly wait for my Readers Digest subscription. Not only because I read the magazine from cover to cover, but also because they are masters of perforated things and beyond.
If any of you subscribe to RD, then you'd know that they have this yearly raffle, and you have to send in some form that you tear off from their letter. Oh joy. More than that, you have to put stickers on the appropriate box to guarantee your raffle entry. Even better are the stickers that indicate your choice of BMW color, or whether you'd like to take your 15M in one go or over 5 years. Sometimes they have this rub-off portion, which reveals the secret number that will let you win an additional P250,000. Of course, most of the time they're also peddling something, like vegetable cookbooks and trivia books and the best romantic songs of the century all on one CD! And since I love reading brochures (and RD brochures are always well made), I enjoy that as well. It's nearly orgasmic.
The peddling I love best is when they send a whole catalogue, which comes with a sheet of product stickers and you have to tear off the product you choose and stick it on the order form. I tear the entire sheet and neatly lay out the stickers on the table as I contemplate which ones I'd like to order. Sometimes The Hubby helps me. If I'm feeling generous, I let him choose his own product (the order form is limited to maybe four items). Then we discuss our winning options, whether we'd like to receive the check privately or at a big party in a posh hotel (my choice--might as well get a free dinner out of it as well). Then I tear, sticker and scratch away. I put everything in the "Say Yes!" envelope, making sure all my documents are complete and I seal the envelope. Then I put it in my recycling bin.
I wonder why I never win in that RD raffle.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We're in the guestroom. I put her down on the floor and hand her a book. I search through the shelves. When I turn back to her, she's sitting comfortably on the sofa bed, reading. As I look at her, amazed, she looks up at me, as if to say, "What, you never seen a kid reading before?"
Raine and The Hubby are lolling around in bed, on opposite sides. The Hubby reaches out with his hand. "Raine, come kiss Daddy," he says. She looks at him. "Come on, Raine. Please come kiss Daddy." With as little effort as possible, she rolls over a bit and kisses his hand. Who da bum now?
Raine loves going through my underwear drawer, ostensibly weeding out my ratty undies. One day, I find the drawer open and not much mess. Raine is playing nearby. "I see you threw out only one panty today," I tell her as I fold and put my poor does-not-meet-Raine's-standards underwear away. She looks at me, crawls back to the drawer, flings out the panty I just put back in plus one more. Then she crawls back to what she was doing.