Month: April 2012

Things I Wish For Dad

I wish Dad…

could be more patient with the kids.

would always remember that the kids are still just toddlers, and well, they would act like toddlers.

would know that the kids look for him everyday when he’s at work.

would realize that the kids will not be toddlers forever and soon will not need us as much.

would know that (having said the 4th statement) he would lots of time for himself as soon as the kids hit grade school age, and more so when they enter highschool.

would listen to me more.

would think before he speaks.

would have more initiative.

would be more considerate.

would be more of a team player.

would read this, reflect and understand…

 

working from home during the holidays–not so bad

Lent

Lent (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

we currently have a long weekend here in the Philippines because we are celebrating (more like commemorating) the Lenten Season. the holiday started yesterday, Maundy Thursday and will end on Easter Sunday. however, i have scheduled make-up classes for one of my students yesterday and today. he won’t be able to “attend” class (meaning he won’t be able to meet me in Skype) for several days this April because of his business trip. i don’t mind though, because one class is only for thirty minutes. and it doe snot suck that much since i don’t even need to leave home and i can still be in pj’s or whatever. i guess that’s another good thing about working from home; unexpected schedules or responsibilities don;t really suck that much because you won’t need to prepare or adjust that much. in my case, when something comes up, i just have to go upstairs, turn the pc on and log in to Skype. after that, i can go back to whatever it is that i’m doing.

there are downsides though, when you’re at home and you don’t need to follow a lot of rules. during my “shift,” i’m always logged in to Facebook (and/or Twitter) because it’s not “firewalled”. i can send and read text messages from my phone. i can upload pics online while working…alright, i know i said downside. LOL. but what i mean is, it’s fairly easy to get distracted (except for class with one student who prefer video calls), especially when one of your girlfriends suddenly initiated a chat session. one time, i even feasted on ice cream while having class. (bad…)

surfing the net while working

taken from dailymail.co.uk

and it’s not fair for me to get distracted because these people are expecting me to help them improve their speaking skills. it is a requirement that i should be a good listener so i can observe which areas they need to improve on. that is why i do avoid getting distracted. i try to focus my complete attention to my students; and in the end, they feel that…and they appreciate it. i’m only in my second month but i feel that i’m really starting to develop a good connection with my students. they are more open now, and they are more confident to express themselves even though they still have some struggles with the English language.

what kind of job allows me to earn while i stay at home being able to spend quality time with my kids everyday, lets me work in pj’s, saves me commuting expenses and lets me check Facebook and Twitter (and my blog of course) every once in a while? well, my job. this, now. as a homebased English tutor. and i wouldn’t wanna waste this opportunity, would i?

working

ladyromp could not have chosen a better piece.

LadyRomp

A Mother has so many things to do,
From washing, ironing, cleaning to tying a shoe.
She scrubs, she mends, she cooks and sews,
She bathes the children and washes their clothes.
When they forget to wash their faces clean,
And their clothes are the muddiest you’ve ever seen,
Who repairs the clothes and scrubs them like new?
Of course, that is what a Mother will do.

Who becomes the doctor or the nurse when they are ill,
Applying a bandage or giving them a pill?
Who becomes a teacher when a child has homework?
She must never her duty shirk.
Who becomes a detective to find a toy or a book?
For missing things she must look and look?
Who becomes a listner to every heartache,
To every accompolishment that a child makes?
Who scolds their children when they are naughty,
Or remind them of God when they are…

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i’m not a washer, i’m a kid!

Me: you should wash your own plate.

washing dishes

from gomommygo.com

JBboy: why?

Me: ’cause you’re taking too long to eat and finish your food

JBboy: i’m not a washer, i’m a kid! somebody should take care of me, mom and dad!

Me: ……..

— later in the day, i recount the story to JBdad.

JBboy: diba? diba? (isn’t it)

Me: ………

i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife

i enjoy reading a lot of parenting blogs because it’s fun knowing how other parents handle very familiar situations and i also get a lot of tips and also, because it’s nice to know that you are not the only one who feels that way about something. however, i just realize now that it’s also great to read about marriage blogs; after all, i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife.

us in college

dad and me in college

i want to write about this blog and a particular blog post i really liked today by Pamela King. i’m so thankful that she found my blog first when she checked out my post “and just like that it was 2002 all over again” yesterday. i headed over to her blog Still Dating My Spouse and absolutely loved it! one post touched me though, it was Creativity in Marriage. sure, it was written beautifully by Pamela and her tips were great but most importantly, it got me thinking (don’t you love it when a post gets you thinking?)…about my own actions, about my complaints, about the things i wish that my husband would do, and finally, about what things i can do differently.

i realized that there are a lot of things i could be doing. despite our hectic everyday life, there are a lot of things i could be doing to have even just five minutes of sparkle with my husband. i have also realized that these tips Pamela mentioned…we used to do all of that. and somewhere along the way, we just lost track or we just started waiting for the other one to start.

out of town

out of town for our 3rd wedding anniv

recently, i have been spending hours and hours online. yes, i work from home but even after my work, i would still be in front of the computer for several hours more. i even think, the internet is now my bestfriend but then again, it would be very easy to delegate even just a few minutes from all those hours to sneak in some QT with hubby.

i am really glad i was able to find her blog around the same time hubby expressed his feelings about us and or family. that way, i know exactly what to do to add on to what he initiated: letting me know how much he still cares.

new yr 2012

dad & me new yr 2012

and just like that, it was 2002 all over again…

remember that scene from Sex and the City 2 when after being frustrated by Big‘s seeming preference for a couch-tv-and-takeout marriage, Carrie decides to stay at her old apartment for two days to write? at the end of day 2, she receives a call from Big asking him out to dinner and she discovers that he is waiting for him in his car outside her apartment; the same way he always does during their on again off again relationship. due to this “renewed sparkle,” Carrie was able to say, “just like that, it was 1998 all over again.”

(Photo credit: FotoRita [Allstar maniac])”]Sex and the City [in Rome]

i felt exactly like this when, during one of my classes, hubby started sending me this messages on FB (not exactly the most romantic venue but who cares). it was more like a letter although it was in parts and it is exactly what i need to “renew the sparkle.”

these past weeks (okay, months.) hasn’t been good for our marriage. we are nowhere near wanting to disown each other but we are a far cry from the romantic-comedic couple we once were. i guess we’ve been both frustrated with a lot of things: change in our financial situation since i resigned from my job several months ago, move from the apartment we used to rent to my father’s house when he left it, the severe lack of quality time together and the severe lack of “alone” time for both parties. these were all nobody’s fault and it’s part of the hardships one gets through marriage but we were taking it out on each other. instead of supporting each other through these bad times, we became watchdogs of each other, always looking fro something to gnaw at as if we weren’t already frustrated enough. the lack of money for recreation further makes the situation worse for we cannot even go out to have dinner alone together. as months passed by, we continually failed to be a team.

five days out of the seven in a week, we wouldn’t be in “lovey-dovey, partners in life forever” mode. so i was pleasantly surprised when i received the first part of his “letter.” it had been a very long time since he last wrote anything for me. and it’s not just the act of writing something, but the message was just what i need to remember that all is not lost; that we are going through a rough time when the kids are still young, money is not easy and we don’t have a lot of chances to spend time together BUT we still have each other.

of course our relationship will never be the way it was when we were still in college (i don’t even think i want it to be). but Hubby’s right. things change but not the love that we have for each other. and sometimes women do tend to hold on to every single mistake when we can just let (the simple ones) go.

i’m not saying that we will be all roses-and-chocolates from now on. i’m pretty sure the next mini argument won’t be too far away but i would like to commend him for expressing his thoughts this way rather than just being passive aggressive about it. at least now, i know what he’s thinking about, and i can understand where he’s coming from.

if you are curious about the “letter,” here it is. it’s not too fancy but it’s the straightforward quality of it that i appreciated a lot.

dad & me

??!??!!-rite of passage? taboo?

i was supposed to write a new post when i came across this page No Circ is WholeSon! from the blog Our Homeschool Journey.

now i’m not sure if i’m just stupid or if i have just unintentionally buried the knowledge in the depths of my mind about routine circumcision of baby boys. i mean, i was (for a lack of a better word) dumbfounded. i am in a state  of mind right now that i am still grasping at this concept that i am still not able yet to create or think about my own opinion about this issue.

taken from charmed.wikia.com

not that circumcision is something new to me; it is the exact opposite. i know it as tuli or pagpapatuli. it is actually a “rite of passage” for adolescent boys in our country. i have read that 93% of our males are circumcised. at least every man i know is circumcised; and every man that the men i know know is also circumcised. it’s just that it is done here when the boy is at an age when he can choose to do it or not (although they all choose to do it eventually, because, yup, everyone does it). a lot of times, it would be the boy who would tell his parents that he’s ready (maybe because he hears that his friends are all doing it already). and of course, there are all those local jokes about those that are past “the age” and have still not done it; it’s a guy thing here (so i’m not really one to talk about it and i never really planned to talk about it but here i am). i don’t have actual basis on what i’m about to say and in no way am i sure about this but i don’t think that a parent (especially a dad) would actually force his son to go through with it if he does not want to (or at least if he’s not yet ready). but it is not a without a lack of machismo commentaries.

(wow, this post is getting long for something i didn’t plan on writing about)

although i am not ready to make opinions yet about this matter, i guess i can speak for how i plan to go about it. i’m not saying that this is certainly what will happen because i have not yet discussed this with my husband (hello, our son is 3). i think though, that we would leave it to my son’s choice. (alright, in the spirit of not assuming, i would change “we” to “i”) i think that i would leave it to my son’s choice. i never really thought about this until now but this is what i feel that i want to do. of course, i will be sure to explain to him how our culture sees it and on the other side, what it’s really about (and not about) so he will be ready to make his own judgment and not just be influenced by tradition. if the only contest to go for it is the hygiene reason, then i guess there are other ways he can do aside from having a part of his body cut off. but whatever he decides to do, i would want to make him feel that this is his choice for it is his body, something not mine or his father to impose upon.

dad and son

related to this is the fact that we did not decide to have my daughter’s ears pierced when she was born. in a country where almost all baby girls have their ears pierced before being released from the hospital, it had been kind of weird for some (or most) of my relatives to see my very pretty daughter without earrings until now. my mother cannot keep her mouth shut about this, she would always pressure me to have JBgirl’s ears pierced as if not doing it is just plain neglect of a basic motherhood duty. but honestly, i just don’t see the need for my 2-year old girl to have earrings. she is beautiful (not only because toddlers are beautiful but because she really is) and she does not need any piece of jewelry for that.

The Grudge and Me: Parenting Politics

There comes a time in your life as a parent when you need to employ strategic politics.  It has come to mine several times already and one in particular happened some months ago.

Both my kids have always been so active, always lively and very loud. I know, most toddlers are like that and when I see a mild-mannered kid it can feel like, “oh, now that’s new.” But my kids are like most toddlers who can turn the house from tidy to what-the-hell-happened in seconds. My eldest is only a year and a half older than his sister so they would always be partners-in-crime or worse, they’d be rivals. Our house is always noisy, we can’t watch anything properly, it takes me forever to get work done because I’d always have to check what they’re up to when they’re unusually quiet or break them up from a riot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly complaining. I am very grateful that they are lively, healthy, happy kids. I am merely recounting events that have become “facts of our lives” as parents of these two active kids. Sometimes though, you need even just a few minutes of peace and quiet to finish something; or today’s episode of your favorite soap is just too juicy to miss; or you need the kids to sleep so you can have some time with your partner already.

So some months ago, I think that was September, JBdad decided to unlock our emergency secret weapon #1. After dinner, he made the kids watch The Grudge. (oops, stop. a disclaimer for would be critics: i’m not saying that this is a great thing to do and I am in no way telling other parents to do the same. and this is not a “perfect-parenting-blog). The objective is for them to get familiar with “The Grudge” and maybe the name can be strategically used in the future to get them to listen.

taken from trailers.apple.com

The actual movie watching was uneventful. They were pretty brave and sat through the whole movie quietly. JBboy (3) would ask occasional questions and JBgirl (not even 2 then) was either quiet or not at all that interested. But it has since then given us a great convincing tool; you know like, when they are getting too loud, when it’s way past siesta time and they’re still jumping about, stuff like that. I don’t really think they’re scared, I think they just take it to mean like “okay, they’re serious now.”

When I was a child, parents here used almost the same “strategic secret weapons” and a lot of them were scary creatures (our culture has lots of them that I wanna mention now but it’s 4am and I’m the only one awake). Others and equally popular were unfortunately a bit racist or derogatory, the most popular of which is the “bumbay.” During the 90’s, there were a lot of Indian nationals who ride around neighborhoods in their motorcycles and there are the go-to’s of those needing cash and fast. They were really friendly, tolerant and at times “abused-for-their-kindness” men who unfortunately, because of their wardrobe became an easy target for parents who need a convincing tactic for their kids. So popular tactic #1: Don’t get out of the house, the bumbay will carry you away in his motorcycle. I know, not very nice; but it worked really well for parents back in the days. (for possible Indian nationals that may come across this blog, please do not get offended, our parents loved the jewelry and the umbrellas and all the other stuff and they tried to keep up with the installment payment because you were all really nice and understanding. it’s just that, sometimes, parenting was hard and lack of imagination prompted them to do that).

"a man in need will cling to the bumbay." taken from geekofalltrades.wordpress.com

another one would be the neighborhood eccentric. i think this would be popular everywhere and each one would have their local version. ours was this young man (then) who used to walk around pushing his cart to collect pig feed (i was also scared of him).

neighborhood eccentric

taken from emilovesshushi.deviantart.com

I think using The Grudge is us staying away from the racist and the derogatory. I know you have strategic secret weapons of your own. Care to share?

 

every mom is also a daughter

i found another blog post i wrote years ago and i just wanted to share it…

ON MOM Sep 7, ’08 4:48 PM
for everyone

Written: 03 September 2008 17:19

I went back to Manda last Sunday night feeling a bit closer to my mother. I was sure then visiting was a great move to have done last weekend. Although my relationship with Mama still isn’t at its best, I feel that we both have greater respect and understanding for each other now. I can only imagine the pain she is going through as a mother to live each day with her family torn apart, not to mention all the lies, the embarrassment, the denial, and the betrayal of trust. She doesn’t realize how strong she really is to have gone through everything and to still have her spirits intact. It just hurts me that she still has to undergo more pain; it seems to me that there is still more to come until she hasn’t found enough strength to heal. As much as I try to maintain my respect for my father, I can’t deny the fact that he has been and is still being so unfair to my mother. Seeing Mama now, at first glance you’d see a strong, indifferent, even intimidating woman… but look closer for even just a minute and you’ll see that she truly is soft and still hurting inside. She has but simple wishes in life; she wants her family whole, her husband thoughtful, caring loyal…  she has her eccentricities  but who hasn’t? It doesn’t change the fact that she has cared so much for her family. I have gone through so much pain in the hands of my mother, but now, being married myself, I finally understood (almost completely). I now know where all the “hostility” had come from. It isn’t easy being a wife and a mother. You always have to give, give, give, and if you’re not careful enough, one day you’d realize you have nothing left for yourself. That probably was what happened to my mother. Now, slowly, she has found a way to experience the caring, the attention, and the “love” she so longs for… but for how long? I now know that it should be from us, her children. I wasted no time and texted her “I love you” last Sunday night. I didn’t expect the burst of emotions. Before I knew it, I was confiding to my husband about my guilt feelings. I regret having to leave my mom during the time she needed me the most. I could have been the one to support her, to pick her up. But now that I have a family of my own, I am pressed with my own obligations to be there for her as much as I would hope to. For now, I can only offer emotional support, which I do plan to give. I know that even if she tries hard to hide it, she embraces all the love and support we can give and appreciates everything. She is my mom, and I’ll love her forever.

 ================================================================================
mama is doing much much better now. she has been enjoying herself with her sisters, friends and of course, her grandchildren. : )

even superheroes need help

one of the things i swore not to make my children feel is that they would not be able to count on me when they need help.  i think more than anything else, it came from personal experience.

growing up, i guess my parents saw me as this smart, independent girl who can take care of everything by herself. while that may sound as a compliment, it was actually very hard. i learned early on in life that i should look for solutions to my own problems instead of asking for help. luckily, i made it through most, but that just showed them that i really can handle everything. on the few times that i did ask for help, my pleas fell on deaf ears. it was always like nobody took me seriously each time i asked for help because they were thinking, i could do it anyway. (god, the unshakable memories of school programs without presentable costumes, art projects that lack materials, figuring how to get home on your own because no one would pick you up). as a teenager and until now, it’s still the same. many times i have been let down from asking for help with people dismissing everything as something i could do myself.

people always tell me that i’m a strong person and that i can handle a lot by myself. while that’s true, i just want people to know that there are times when i need help too.

now as an adult, my husband has told me a dozen times that i have problems with asking for help or even assistance. he said, i try so hard to solve something myself when it would be much simpler to ask someone for help (like asking for directions, assistance from someone). but i’ve just so gotten used to that. it’s like i have learned that it’s better to work my ass off on doing something myself than asking someone for help and getting disappointed.

although there were a lot of those “feeling-overlooked-childhood memories” i know now that those experiences taught me to be strong and independent. i believe i’m pretty good at solving problems and that i have commendable analytic skills. i want my children to be just as independent but i do not want them to learn it the same way i did.

i want my children to be able to explore and do things on their own. at the same time, i want them to feel that if they ever need my help, then i am there to guide them. i do not want them to hesitate with running to me for their problems. i want them to feel that i am here to listen. i want them to be strong, but i don’t want them hard as rocks. i want them to feel that it’s okay to sometimes feel weak because there will be people to help them be strong again. i don’t want them to feel the pain of being disappointed or let down by the people who are supposed to have their backs. i don’t want them to feel alone.