My cousin, who’s staying with us at home now that we will be starting a business together, amuses me with a story of Zoe while we were out working. Kristine pours beer in a glass filled with ice on a hot summer day while Zoe looks on, amazed at the bubbles she sees on my cousin’s drink. Suddenly she comes out with her statement, “Zoe, bubble bath; Tita Kitin, bubble drink.” Now it got me thinking, when I run out of Zoe’s bubble bath, can I use beer instead?” : )
Just today I found out of a hostage drama unfolding somewhere in Manila. Apparently, a bus loaded with kids aged 3 to 5 years old, along with their teachers, were taken hostage by a man (dunno if he has company). They were supposed to go on a field trip and then this nightmare happened. I cry for the kids and I cry for their parents who are, for sure, in anguish this moment, praying for their children’s safety. Let us say a silent prayer for them. Let us also pray for these hostage takers, that they may be enlightened to spare the kids from harm. How ironic that the hostage taker(s) demands for better education for the children when he’s keeping them hostage. Please, if you are mad at the government or angry at the world, don’t take it out on innocent children.
And this, my friends, is one more reason why I choose to homeschool…
Zoe is a spoiled lot, but not in a bratty sort of way. I say spoiled because she’s been blessed with generous uncles, aunts, and grandparents who love her to a fault. I say that because they splurge her with the latest signature dresses any mother would want for her kid (RL, GAP, Old Navy, etc), get her the cutest toys, and buy her the best books. Not to mention the shoes. This early, her aunts are teaching her to be a shoe addict. I delight seeing all the stuff she gets and consider myself lucky that I don’t have to spend much on these things anymore, but sometimes seeing what she has just makes me cringe. I worry that Zoe won’t grow to appreciate what she has and would take everything given to her for granted. This young, I make it a point that Zoe knows what she has and what she’s getting. And I hope she does. Sometimes she even remembers who gave this or that. I make sure she appreciates the many blessings, big or small, that come her way. It delights me when I hear her say “Thanks!” even though I doubt if she grasps what it truly means. But then again, she’s only a kid, and kids don’t really care if what they’re wearing carries a designer label or if their toy is brand new or purchased from a yard sale. They just show you when they’re happy, and seeing the smile on their faces is enough to make your day. I know this because I see my daughter and know her joys.
One time I almost got carried away. I saw this cute little Winnie-the-Pooh tent that I was so sure Zoe would love. It costs more than a thousand bucks ($30, which is a lot of money here) and I was sooo tempted to buy it for her. I reasoned that I hardly get to buy her toys anyway since most of what she has are gifts, but my ever so practical husband talked me out of it. And it was a good thing he did because I got creative. I got myself an old balikbayan box and told Zoe it’s her own house. She was delighted! I got her crayons and watercolor paint and she doodled inside and outside the box. The following day, I cut out uneven squares on both sides and stapled cloths over it to serve as windows. Zoe loved it! She would stay there with her stufftoys and play without a care in the world. It didn’t matter that her box was a rundown balikbayan box ready to be thrown out as trash. To her, it was something special, a place where she can let her imagination go places.
At night, before we turn off the lights, Zoe would play with the blanket as a make-shift tent and pretend it’s her house. She would cover herself and call out to me and her dad to come inside and play. She would get creative, too. Showing us where the kitchen was, where the bedroom was, and where the bathroom was, all while the three of us are lying down squeezed in one blanket. Sometimes she would whip out dishes, chicken being her favorite, and would let us eat them. Really, with kids, everything and anything can be their playground. Just last night, she discovered, by accident, that a piece of paper, when thrust in front of the airconditioning vent, can fly somehow. And so she repeatedly threw this piece of paper up in the air as she jumped in bed. When I asked her what she was doing, she replied, “playing basketball.” Now don’t ask me why she ever thought of that. I myself am amazed at how her little mind works.
Sometimes I get tempted to send her to toddler schools because I know she will love it there, but then again, my erratic schedule and my budget could not allow me to do so. I worry (unreasonably so) that she may be missing out on something, but when I see her painting on a manila paper taped on our bedroom wall, putting her stufftoys to sleep with her bimpo as blanket, spreading her hands while dangling on the bed to be an airplane, or reading her books out loud, I am assured that she’s getting the best this world has to offer, for the world, indeed, is her playground. Nothing fancy, but everything priceless.
…”owee an teris onda tino!”
That’s what Zoe would say when you ask her who she is. She’s into sentences now and her latest addition to her vocabulary is saying her name. She’s gotten so fond of saying her name that last night, upon calling her attention at the mess she’s created and saying in my warning “Zoe” tone, she unhesitantly followed with “an teris onda tino!” Apparently, she was unaware that I was giving her a stern warning and not asking for her name! She also knows my name (“Tisha”) and her dad’s (“Werte”). We also get a laugh when she says boowaboo. Boowaboo is actually what we call the ride where the kid gets to sit on our feet as we bend our knees up and down. Zoe loves it so much and I pray that my bulging thighs would get somewhat toned by this exercise. Anyway, boowaboo for Zoe is “putaputayou.” Ask me how in the world did that happen, I dunno. But it just got to be putaputayou, and the silly, wacky part of me even taught my daughter to say boowaboo with her finger pointing at whoever she’s facing. “Putaputayou!” Aaah, the wonderful world of parenting…
As much as possible, I try to remain apolitical, meaning I ignore the news and anything that has to do with politics. But try as I might, the election fever is up and running, and everywhere I go, I see posters or hear catchy music jingles of aspiring senatoriables. Ugghh, yesterday I had to sit through the traffic with Migs Zubiri’s boom-tarat-tarat playing from a nearby vehicle. Instant headache and a terrible last-song syndrome were what I got. And then there’s showbiz cum politics. Everything gets so murky you can’t distinguish between the two. The actors try to prove that they’ve got what it takes to be in politics; the politicians act by performing a song or dance number to win votes. Then there’s the typical dirty and not-so-dirty tactics of the different parties. It gets a little bit crazy, and the country suffers one slap here and another slap there in the process. Millions are spent in the campaign funds. Millions more are silently spent “buying” votes. Heck, let’s face it. The elections, try as they might to keep it clean and honest, will always be run by money, unless there’s a sincere effort by the government and the people to do something about it. I wonder now, if a candidate spends millions just to get himself a political seat, would those millions spent be just a sign of goodwill to his sincerity in serving the nation? Haha, is there still a public servant out there dedicated enough to serve, as in really serve? Sadly, you see the same faces running. Sure, there are new faces, younger ones, but still coming from the same ol’ system that rots. It’s sickening, really. What’s downright disgusting is these politicians believe they can make a difference when, deep in their hard hearts they know they’re all in it for the money, the fame, and the glory that comes with being in the circus. I say let the circus begin. What say you, let’s send in the clowns!
You just know it’s summer once again when beads of sweat start to break out right after you’ve just stepped out of the shower. As much as I love the warmth of the sun on my skin and I wouldn’t mind walking under the sun without some sort of sun shield, I’m not at all too excited about summer. I guess being out of school for too long and staying trapped in the office everyday of my life have zapped the season I used to look forward to. Gone are the days of literally doing nothing, of spending the whole day reading novel after novel, and of vacations to my mom’s hometown where we would make the whole backyard our playground. I can still vividly remember the trips we took, my cousins and I, to the river a few meters from my lola’s house, and the times we were just unruly kids being chased around by the geese. I still feel guilty about the goose’s egg that I dropped when I saw the goose lowering its neck and charging toward me. Or the day my cousins and I staged a “picket” demanding that we go swimming at a nearby town. Summers meant having fun and getting as sunburnt as a lechon and eating the mangoes freshly picked from a tree. Where have all those summers gone? Sadly, being an adult comes with having responsibilities, and having responsibilities means watching the summer pass by as an spectator. Makes me think that summer is, indeed, just kid stuff.
We don’t plan any outings during the summer because the places to go to are usually jampacked. Aside from rates being higher than usual, who would want to swim skin to skin in a common pool filled with people you hardly know? What if one of them was just plain lazy to go to the bathroom to pee? I shudder at the thought. Beaches are the same. Who would want to share the beach with the gang renting a hut beside yours and their stereo speakers blaring as if summoning all the creatures of the sea to walk on water? Just not something I’d look forward to.
But if there are some things I don’t look forward to come summertime, there are also things I can’t wait to enjoy:
- Razon’s halo-halo. Gosh. This is, by far, the best halo-halo I’ve ever tasted! I’ve never been a halo-halo lover but after Razon’s, I’ve been a convert. I would always look forward to trips to Pampanga just to have a glass of Razon’s halo-halo and a plate of their pancit luglog. The good news is Razon’s has expanded and can now be found all over the metro. Nearest to my place is the one in Mall of Asia. The place is full the whole-year round, more so when you just want to beat the summer heat. I’ve never liked the fancy halo-halos that were filled with a dozen or more sangkaps. With Razon’s no-frills halo-halo, you get just 3 ingredients to add to the ice shave—sweetened saba, oh-so-creamy leche flan, and slivers of macapuno. Truly unforgettable!
- Jollibee’s Ube Ice Craze. I’m not really a huge ube fan. I love Tamtamco’s Ube from Baguio and would eat too much of ube halaya if there was one in the fridge, but I’m not too thrilled of having ube in my ensaymada or eating ube ice cream. Basta, I’m kinda finicky with how I want my ube eaten. Anyway, I decided to try this ice craze. I recall, it wasn’t even summer when I tasted it for the first time. It was yummy! Zoe wanted it all for herself! They also have new flavors out for the summer: Mango Crema and Saba con Yielo, though I haven’t tasted them yet.
- Sunsilk Summer Fresh shampoo. Before you think I live just for food, here’s something that cannot be eaten. I just love Sunsilk’s limited edition shampoo with it’s watermelon scent. Makes me giddy for no reason, even if it does nothing to tame my mane. I liked it so much I stocked up on it just so I get to use it on last September’s Boracay trip.
- Fruits, fruit shakes. Any fruit shake will do. My fave flavors would be mango, watermelon, or kiwi.
Tank tops and summer dresses. I just love those frilly summer dresses or skirts. When you’re stuck in the office all-year round trying to look as serious as can be, this is the perfect breather! They go so well with summer than with any other season. Perfect match would be the ever dependable flip flops.
- A good pedicure. Flip flops go with clean feet. It’s my perfect excuse to get that spa pedicure I’ve been too lazy or too kuripot to get for months.
Midway through March and I’m bracing myself for the hot summer months. But then again, I’m thrilled and thankful just the same that we’re living in the tropics, where the sun shines and the people are warm.
I’m sharing the link to Daphne Osena-Paez’s flickr site. She shares her first-hand experience on how her 4-year-old daughter’s Crocs got caught in the sidings of the escalator. Thanks to Daphne for warning everyone about what could happen. Word of caution to all parents out there to watch their kids especially while in the escalators. If it’s possible to just carry the kid, then do it. If not, avoid the sides, stay in the middle where it’s safer. I’ve been deliberating on getting Zoe a pair of Crocs, too, but I’m not sure if there’s one her shoe size. They look so cute in kids and they look comfy. I might still get her a pair, but with extreme caution in escalators. Better to be safe than sorry.
I have always dreamt of having my own business. I think it’s because my mom started me really young. She would ask me to sell brownies at school and convinced me to sell yummy polvoron, too. Of course, I had fun because I get to earn extra. As I grew older, I would daydream about my business ideas. I never run out of ideas. From opening up a daycare/preschool to putting up a supermarket to building a party venue. They were just that, ideas that never left my mind or ideas that would pop into my head and out of my mouth. It’s usually my husband who gets to know about my next “business.” Somehow I amuse him with my ever-creative mind. If I knew of someone who would be willing to pay me just by thinking of business ideas that might click, I’d probably be rich (money-wise anyway) by now.
A series of events at breakneck speed has turned my comfortable world into a rollercoaster adventure. Now I will be plunging into the unknown because, finally, I will be living my dream of having a business to call my own! Well, actually, I’ll be teaming up with a cousin. Just a month ago, this cousin left for Boracay to look for possible business sites there. She went back home unable to find any. Boracay has a lot of potential to open up shop, she says, but it’s hard to find a space at a prime location there. And if you do find one, you’ll be wondering if it’s worth all the trouble especially during the lean months. She also realized that Boracay was not for her when, after staying there for 2 weeks, she kinda felt lonely. My cousin and I grew up together and we’ve been brainstorming on putting up a business since we graduated from college and we were eager beavers ready to take on the world. I got married and became a mom, while she went out to conquer foreign shores. And now, after 9 years, destiny brought us back to where we started. We thought of going into the food business, but were hesitant about it because it entailed getting up early, too early for the both of us because we are both known to sleep til 10 AM. A trait which, I think, runs in our family. A trip to a nail salon “nailed” it. It was the “a-ha!” moment she’s been waiting for. She wanted a nail salon. I was beaming. I wanted her to say that. So that settled it, and on we went to search for the perfect location. They say that when starting a business there are only three things to consider: location, location, location. We found the perfect place in a strip mall that’s about to open in two months. I call to make an inquiry. Gulp, the cost to lease the place is no big joke! And the smallest space available was still too big for a nail salon. So we did nothing. We still thought about it but we kinda gave up on the perfect place. But then I receive a call informing me of an update. The layout they forwarded to me has been updated after all and there are two smaller spaces available, perfect for a nail salon! That got us rolling. To cut the story short, we got the space (it wasn’t that easy, I tell you) and we’re off!
As I write this, I’m still trying to sink everything in. It’s gonna be a tough job, I know. And it definitely involves tons of sweat and tears, not to mention, money on our part, but we’re bracing ourselves and we’re ready for this whole new adventure. My husband is very, very supportive of my new project, and I’m really grateful that there’s someone I can turn to when things get to be so stressful. Sometimes I get carried away too much when I’m so preoccupied with mundane things that he snaps me out of it and wakes me up.
I’m anxious, yes. Excited, yes. Happy, yes. But not scared. Knowing I have a loving husband who’s beside me all the way, an adorable daughter who looks up to me as if to say I am her world, a caring family to support me no matter what, and a God who gives me life, who has time to be scared?