7 Big Family Moments of 2012

1. My daughter entered preschool and gave us a lot of stress. It was hard the first time but ended very well. Now, she knows how to write and draw on walls, on sofa’s, on floors, on their body parts, on my body parts and everywhere. She knows how to reason very well and she has developed in a very good way I must say.

Lesson learned:  Preschool is the start of everything in a toddler. So I have to guide her carefully and I have to release my hold a little bit and let her discover her new world. It’s frightening but I trust her. Reassuring her that we’ll always be there for her and we love her so much somehow makes it easier for all of us.

2. Wacky entered preschool too (for a month). He’s always the target of bullying because unfortunately he didn’t know how to blend in. He thinks he’s a super hero or a pirate or an animal. So, the kids were kind of startled whenever he raised his hand and shouted “I am Spiderman!” I will never forget this “geeky” boy who told my Wacky that he can never be Spiderman because he’s fat. I wanted to tell that poor boy that he could never be Spiderman too because aside from being arrogant he doesn’t have the qualities either (though he’s wearing thick framed glasses or he’s thin too); but I just smiled and grit my teeth instead.

Lesson Learned:  There still a lot bully out there and right now I’m thinking of how I can protect my kids from these types of insignificant creatures. All I can do right now is educate my kids about it and let them know that it feels bad to be a target of bullying but not as bad as being a bully.

3. We got our very first car.

Lesson learned: Having your own car means having extra expenses. Hahahaha! So that’s a lesson learned the hard way.

4. I’ve learned to love Singapore so much. Just like our second home, I’ve learned it ways. I’ve realized how beautiful it’s culture and people.

Lesson learned:  Not everything written on the paper/internet telling about a country is true.Singapore has bad qualities but not that much. People were not racist and a lot of moms are not “kiasus” and in fact very friendly. So, don’t judge a country according to what is printed but instead see and feel it yourself.

5. My husband got a job offer in Bergen, Norway and as little as two months we went back in the Philippines and my husband move to Norway. It’s like a dream. I don’t know what type of dream. Maybe good, because of the opportunities or not because we’re established in Singapore and did I mention that I heart SG?!

Lesson learned: There is no constant in life but change. We never expected this break but we believe that opportunity knocks only once so we might as well open our door and let it in. We are young and strong so why not take chances. Risking our comfortable life in Singapore is hard but we want to grow and experience a new life. Besides, it’s my husband’s dream ever since; way back when we were in Malaysia four years ago.

6. We were separated with my husband for three months and lived the Philippines’ life which is sweet and at the same time bitter. Lot of transitions stressed the hell out of us. Ecka moved to another preschool and as I was watching her embracing the warmth of big family, new friends and environment, I realized that we have raised her well. Snoot… Tissue please!

Lesson learned: I’ve realized that we can’t live far from my husband. We missed him terribly and I awfully regret those moments that we fought when we’re together. We can’t function well when we’re apart because I’m a terrible spender. I need his guidance in terms of expenses and we constantly argue about it. So there, I’ve learned that budgeting and hubby is my weakness.

7. We’re in Norway!  We travelled 24 hours and I must suffer the adversity of a travelling mom with two toddlers. It was nightmarish but at least we’re here together with their dad.

Lesson learned:  Don’t expect a peaceful travel when you have toddlers, no matter what it won’t be easy. Don’t bring heavy carry-on bags, it will kill you.

To sum it all, our 2012 was like a roller coaster ride. It almost made us throw up but we ended fine. White Christmas isn’t that good and dark winter is dreadful but I have a beautiful family by the fire heater celebrating Jul and welcoming another year of hardships and happiness.  So here’s to another year! Cheers! May God bless us with good health, good mind and May we have his Spiritual blessings all the way.


How do I look today?

This one time my kids and I went out, I spotted a mom with two well behave kids walking by her side and a sleeping baby on the pram. I was really stunned by the scenario, because I have two wailing kids with me.

One is in the pram (Wacky-age 2.7), crying, munching or spilling whatever he has in there.

The other one(Ecka-age 3.9), holding my hands, tugging my short until it nearly falls or grabbing the hem of my shirt revealing all the flab that I planned to hide carefully and sometimes she’s crying too, asking for everything within her sight.

Looking at that mom and then looking at myself shushing and trying to shut them up, I felt envious and bad. I felt inadequate and everything related to that word. Why can’t I be like her, smiling and compose or like Katie Holmes spotted by paparazzi carrying Suri with a mock or is that a smile on her face. Like Jennifer Garner, walking with her kids complete with a beautiful hair flowing in the air, flat tummy peeping on her equally nice shirt. And here I am the complete opposite of everything good in them. Attempting to achieve that look once made my daughter said: “Mom, you look like a girl!” It’s been years and my kids thought I was indeed a guy. Yes, like a daddy called mommy. To my skepticism, I checked myself in the mirror and see how do I really look.

Well, I still have the pretty face (whoosh) but meh!

I wear my husband’s t-shirt trying to hide the bulge from my post baby weight, which by the way is 2.7 years after I have given birth and yes, it’s still there and I still call it that way. I wear a short exposing all the cellulites, and a flip flop the whole year round just because it’s comfy. My hair is either wet after shower or wet because of sweat. Sometimes, I’m the walking epitome of a zombie with kids that so healthy, people will ask why I haven’t eaten their brains yet.

That’s just me and my kids were cutesies, physically speaking. Though they’re always trying a fit, they do it with style. Their hair were well combed and tied properly. Dress and shirts are neat and cute. Branded footwear and in time with the season and despite them trying to ruin the look, I’m there wiping and combing and arranging the mess repeatedly. Should there be emergencies, I have extra shirts, undies; name it I have it on the largest bag I could carry. Unlike me, spilled ice creams, chocolates, oil, or milk can be seen on my shirt and a woman in the elevator will ask me if they were my kids because unfortunately I looked like their nanny.

But that’s fine, because I’m not running for Mrs. Universe or a celebrity. I always don’t give a damn. I’m just going to school, grocery or fast food. Why should I be dolled up? Sometimes, I do put a lipstick on and drop my normal clothes in exchange with a nice jeans, a mommy top and nice flats but it’s for the rare occasions like shopping in the city, going to church, having a nice dinner out and meeting with friends. Other than that, I find it hard to lift even a powder to hide my blemishes. Lazy you think, but no. I just don’t have all the time and energy to do it.

What I was really hoping (and achieving) is just walking with two behave kids. Smiling or laughing. Just like that. As simple as that. Sadly, it’s not anytime soon. These two are still enjoying this moment of crankiness and scruffiness. This is by the way, also fine with me. I just allowed myself to be jealous a little bit because I think it’s healthy. Daydreaming that I am either Katie or Jennifer is an indulgence to me, waking up that I am Mommy Gem is reality.

These kids make me the mess I am today, and surprisingly this is the best that I am. Though not obvious actually, inside I’m that happy soul with two not perfect kids and a husband that supports and love me the way I am just Mommy Gem and for me that’s more than well. It’s great!

Mommy Status: It’s complicated

“Why are you always mad at me and Wacky?! You and daddy, you and daddy!” Then she ran into her room and slammed the door. For the first time in my life I was left speechless. I know she’s hurt and I don’t know what to do. I told her to come out and I will explain her why. She followed and sat in front of me with folded arms and pouty lips. I looked into her eyes and try to open my mouth to start but I can’t find the right words. I just don’t know what to say.

How can I tell her that when I say “NO!” it’s because those things or actions were bad for them? It’s either they will be hurt or they will get sick. How can I tell her that scolding or telling them what’s right, is for them to be good individuals someday? How could I possibly stay cool, when I saw them fall and get hurt? How can I be happy when they don’t eat or sleep or take their meds when they are sick? How do I tell her that I don’t intentionally ruin their days, it’s just that I want the best for them? How can I make her understand that Mommy is still a human with bad days and sick moments? Mommy sometimes gets tired, so weary that playing tea party and sword fight are almost impossible. How do I tell her that not buying all those toys is not because Mommy and the Daddy is being selfish, it’s because we want them to learn the value of money and the importance of being contented? How do I tell her these? Will she understand me? How can I say that we’re not mad? We just need ‘that voice’ to render a little authority.

After contemplating, I finally told her that it’s because we love her. We love them so much. I hugged her and I felt that her resentment is settling. I know I still don’t give her the answer that she wants and that she still doesn’t understand but for me it’s enough. At least for myself, I know that it’s the only reason why.


Preschool Drama

My daughter Ericka just started her nursery at a preschool learning center just across the street and a few blocks away from our unit. At first, she’s all right with the idea of going to school, meeting new friends/playmates and teacher. We were so excited and happy. We left the house full of positive feelings and high hopes. She didn’t cry at first but after a few minutes she cried so loud that everyone in the whole preschool vicinity can hear it. I was so disappointed and at the same time anxious. It’s the first time that she’ll be away from me for more than five minutes since I stayed at home. I know it’s just a little separation anxiety because we’re not used to be apart but it’s so sad hearing her cry for hours and pleading to open the door. I can’t do anything about it because the school has strict policy that parents can’t join their child inside the classroom. Sadly and patiently I waited outside until it’s time. She came out bursting in tears and hugged me so tight. She’s so pitiful, that was my initial reaction. She cried harder on our way home. I was shaking because I was so tired from waking up so early to prepare and I was maneuvering a more than 60 lbs stroller (chubby Wacky is there, of course) using one hand and the other hand was holding her hand while she resist.  FML! I want to scream but I can’t because I know she didn’t understand what is happening either. I know she’s not listening but I still tried to explain that going to school is important.

As soon as I closed the door, I burst into tears. I told her to stop crying. I don’t know if it’s because I pitied her, exhaustion or maybe I was hungry since its lunchtime already and I haven’t had my breakfast yet, or maybe it was all of the above. It was so hard for both us. I called my husband to cool myself and to hear some assurance that everything will be ok. I so thank God I have him because he understands everything and he managed to calm me.  She finally stopped crying and I was feeling a little better already.

The next day and the following days, until it’s been a month was the same scenario. Every morning she’ll wake up crying and struggling and I became used to it. I just waited for the day that she will not weep or dread every school day. Yes, it finally came. While I was writing this, she’s in school and having fun. No more morning dramas and everything is under mommy control again. I’m so relieved! I have three hours in the morning looking for one child only, just Wacky. Three fight-free hours! Can you imagine that?!

By the way, I remembered why Ericka don’t want to go to school. She has her reasons, but I don’t get it. Take a look if you’ll take it into consideration.

  • Of course, “mommy’s not there!” Followed by “I miss mommy already!” I’m touched but no I still don’t buy it.
  • Teacher‘s sandwich has no filling. C’mon, as if it’s really the reason.
  • They’re just talking there and she’s bored.
  • Classmates accidentally hurt her and never said sorry. 😦
  • Teacher doesn’t allow her to use the teacher’s laptop?! I think she said that because she is allowed at home to use (or break) my laptop whenever she wants.

In conclusion, I learned that no matter how much your kids cry or resist school, just keep on going. Ignore the whimper. It will be less day by day until she’s adjusted. Finally, you must have a tough heart. Be brave and don’t give in. Stay outside, and don’t ever knock that door and asked the teacher if you can come in and hope that you can make her stop crying. No, she won’t and will never if you keep doing those things. You will just show her  your own anxiety. Be assured that everything will be fine. Take it from me; take it from a mom who suffers more fright than her daughter.

By the way, Wacky will be going to preschool next year and maybe it will be another story but I hope it’s not a drama. Anyhow, I think I know what to expect!

She’s really happy now! 🙂


Four years and forever to go!

I don’t know what I did in my past life and God gave me a wonderful husband as a reward. Maybe, I helped the street children or maybe saved extinct species like dinosaurs which apparently shows that I’m not successful but Thank you God for giving him to me. Four years ago today, we got married and promised to stay together forever…

Through thick and thin, though it seems that I’m the only one changing from thick to the not-so-thin stage and you remain slim. So unfair!

For richer and poorer, though still we haven’t experienced the first word.

And in sickness and in health, though I’m the only whose always sickly and nutty.

Five years ago, we met and who would’ve known that we’ll be married. We landed on the same office for reasons that only destiny knows. I remembered your first smile and the first time you sat beside me because you have nothing to do on your first day. Government offices were just like that, hiring staff whenever they get bored. Before we went home, you can’t resist my charm and asked for my number and I reluctantly gave it to you (which is a lie). I’m waiting for that moment actually, and when you asked I almost jumped and planned to give you my home phone number as well.

On that day, I know it was you, though you probably don’t know it yet. I carefully planned how will you know it but stalking you after office hours and hiding behind the trees just to get a glimpse of you driving wasn’t part of it, I promise! Sigh… Time passed by so quickly. I wish we had more but we had it fast forward. Three months after we met, we dated. And after a year and a half in a relationship, we got married.

I remember our wedding day so clearly, you were crying as if I forced you, and I was so tired because I didn’t know I was pregnant. And that was the start of our roller coaster life together.

We’ve been through it all. Through every up and down, through happiness and tears and we’ve made it this far. And I know, we’ll reach forever and we’ll still be together. And so I’m licking up the cheese here because it’s overflowing, how cheesy eh?!

On this day, I just wanted to say thank you more than I love you.

Thank you for sharing a life with me and for teaching me things I never thought I’d knew.

Thank you for understanding me and my complicated ways. Thank you for supporting me, financially and emotionally. I’m just handicapped like that.

Thank you for giving me Wacky and Ecka. They’re just the best headache I ever had.

Thank you for always pretending I’m right and for listening to my endless stories and rants.

Thank you for being a husband, a lover, a best friend and a father to our kids.

And thank you for loving all of me.

Of course, I can’t end it like that because I still wanted you to know why I love you so and how much. Maybe 10 things I love about you won’t be enough, or 10 reasons why I love you this much won’t be as much. It’s tough to detail especially when I love everything about you and so I would say…

Stand in front of me, I love you.

Fart carelessly, I’ll kick you but still I love you.

Snore to the max, I’ll scold you, wake you up but still I love you.

Forget to take a bath on weekends, I’ll stay away from you but *sigh* I still love you.

Forget the trash, I’m mad as a tiger but with *teeth clenched* I still love you.

Hug me from behind while cooking, I’ll squirm but I love it and again I love you.

Kiss me goodnight, hug me tight while you are drenched with sweat, I’ll move away but still I love you beside me, I love waking up seeing you and the kids you know.

I just love you like that! And just like that, I love you more and more.

Happy anniversary Hubby! See you later… 🙂


Seriously inlove

Last night, I watched Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary once again. I’ve been watching this kind of films from time to time whenever I had the chance because it reminds me of that ‘delicious feeling’ I ‘often’ had years ago. I described the feeling as delicious because it is so sweet and tangy at the same time and often because I always fancy love. Moments from these films were classic. It made me smile and cry a little bit and wished that I have the same love story.  I wanted to be Bridget, and I wanted to be Ana. I wanted a guy who’s as serious and handsome as Mark Darcy and as carefree as Will Thacker. Though I’m wishing, I know that having a similar love story will be surreal. I have my own and it’s just as beautiful.

Then all of a sudden, I realized that there are two kinds of feeling involved when you are in love.

The first one is the feeling when you have those “butterfly in the stomach” thing whenever he’s near. You’re wishing that every phone call was him. Those exchanges of glances make your heart skip a beat and your palms were cold and sweaty the first time you hold hands. You are thrilled every time you met him and sad whenever you parted. Whispering “I love you’s” from time to time. Cuddling, kissing and some intimate moments were certainly the best. Remember that? It was heaven isn’t it? Like you were walking in the clouds and everything is so colorful. Scribbling your name with his surname is an epic and then you suddenly realized that you wanted to share the rest of your life with him.

Fortunately and unfortunately maybe, he proposed. Awesome. You got married and soon after you have kids, a house to build, a car to own and expenses to be paid.

Suddenly, holding hands is the most normal thing on earth. Kissing will be during goodbyes at morning or goodnights. Sometimes it happens, oftentimes not. Weekends, can be no shower days and dressing is an effort. You’ve come to the point of being “dangerously comfortable” with each other. You know, farting and then laughing after. Peeing while he’s brushing his teeth and vice versa. You fight like there’s no reconciliation after but yes, you still love each other like mad. In other words, that ‘spark’ is lost. Well, this is the second feeling.

The first one always feels so good because of the thrill and honestly, I miss this kind of thing. But the second one is where you have your heart at peace. Everything is calm. Your love for each other grows deeper, further than that ‘moment of excitement’ thing. It’s unconditional and beyond imperfections. You see through him and you have responsibilities to nurture each other.

But which do I prefer? I choose the second one. I opt to be in love in a mature way. Not that I’m saying that the first one isn’t established but that feeling can’t go on forever. It’s only momentary because it is a fact that you can’t be thrilled all the time. Women in general always complain about missing the spark but little did I notice that it is a sign that your relationship has improved. And imagine having that feeling everyday for the rest of your life, won’t you feel tired? It is normal to miss that feeling but you just can’t force it. So, watching romantic and rom-com films might help. I’m just saying.


Life’s little pleasures

Years ago, I find it hard to have pleasures in simple things. I want just so much more and work so hard to get it. But now, things have changed. I found happiness in the littlest thing. I believe that contentment is the key to realizing your true happiness and eventually peace of mind. It’s a constant struggle maybe because today is not the same as yesterday but what matters is how you face each day with a positive mind. What surprises me are the following odd things that gives me so much bliss and it sometimes warmth my heart I could grill something on it!

  • A whole day with my kids without throwing tantrums. I can feel the heaven on our home. I can almost see their wings and finally realizes that they are indeed angels and the doubt that they come from another planet, vanishes. And so having tantrum free kids, makes me free to surf the net all day, lay in the couch half-dead and read all I want. I could almost hear myself saying “this is life!” loudly and thank God I stayed at home.
  • A clean house! Yeah, that’s it. When I was single, I don’t bother cleaning our house because my mother does the work and I just mess it after. So I guess, it’s a bad karma. After cleaning for hours until I can’t move because my back felt like hell, my kids will just need 5 to 10 minutes to throw the house upside down. So seeing my house clean is a total bliss.
  • A weekend of shopping and dining out. Even a stroll in the mall will do. I love it! Who doesn’t?! Well, unfortunately my hubby doesn’t like it as much as I do. He prefers to stay at home, watch whatever and play whatever computer and downloaded games.
  •  A perfect dish for dinner! I love cooking but sometimes it doesn’t love me back. Whenever I’m trying something new I found it bland, too salty or just not edible. Arrgghh! So when, a perfect dish comes out of my talent, I really felt good and so proud of myself. I will ask my hubby if it’s bad because I know he will answer that it’s first-rate. Talking about feeding your ego while feeding your tummy, that’s me.
  • A long conversation with my Mom back home. We can talk for hours. I remember when I was in high school I don’t love talking to her because we can’t relate that much but things turn out unexpectedly. She and my sister are the best of friends now. The end of our conversation will be my mother telling me that the phone felt too hot.
  • The last but not the least is a bit materialistic kind of happiness. I found myself so happy having an iPhone. I really love it, though everyone owns it ever since, having an iPhone this late is far better. While everyone is tired and bored with their gadget I’m happy downloading free apps like Archie Comics and I’m using Instagram as if it’s Twitter. So if you want I can follow you just pm me but be sure to follow me too, it’s a deal.

These things make me so happy these days. I know it isn’t a big deal, in fact it was just small things but I’m just silly and simple like that. So, having a fridge full of dark chocolates will be so much for me. Maybe I will find myself jumping but it won’t happen so I’ll just dream of it. An iPad2 will be luxury for me, but I’d gladly use it if my husband gives it to me as a present for our wedding anniversary or an iMac will do! Hahahaha! Yeah, that simple things that cost a lot! But seriously, I found myself easy to please nowadays. I think I’ve learned to finally appreciate everything even it’s too small for others. For me, it’s definitely worth it and absolutely something to be thankful for. Just waking up healthy and sound is a true good thing.

Oh and lastly, I think you have to find happiness in what you’re doing. You’ll never be happy if you complain as much as you work and sigh as much as you smile.