I have been so bothered lately by all the stories I have been hearing on infidelity. It doesn’t help that the movies glamorize the mistress so much so that what was once a “bad thing” is now an “in thing”. And the mistress is haplessly portrayed as a victim, too. An innocent, pretty little thing. Well, excuse me, but it doesn’t really work that way.
For me, there is no excuse for infidelity. A nagging wife. A marriage gone sour. The sins of the father. The calls of the flesh. These are but excuses for one’s faults. Anyone else to blame but me. “It’s not my fault, it’s your nagging.” or “Our marriage is bound to self-destruct anyway.” Pathetic.
Marriages are not meant to self-destruct. There’s work to be done. It’s when one or both stop working that the bridge crumbles. It’s when the other suddenly expects his partner to think like him, act like him, breathe like him that trouble begins. It’s when we start forgetting the big picture and the reasons why we got married that someone else becomes more attractive and appealing. It’s when we choose to bear grudges and count the faults that we start to doubt our happily ever after. It’s when we expect her to be the right person and yet forget to be the right person for her. It’s when we keep our love tanks empty. Painful, really. But it happens. And no one wins.
Here’s two of Zoe’s latest LEGO creations. Hooray for LEGO! Hooray for creativity!
It’s so frustrating how I start writing in my mind but end up not getting my thoughts posted for (a) lack of time, (b) lazyness, or both. And so, tonight, while the hubby and the kids are asleep, and my mind is still wide awake, I’m taking this opportunity to ramble.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen my blog! I don’t even get to blog hop anymore! What has been keeping me busy you ask. Well, for one, my son is in his terrible twos, a description that fits him to a T! Phoenix Sebastian is my energizer bunny. He runs around the house like a mad man and shouts at the top of his lungs to get our attention. I think lately he feels big and strong because he likes muttering, “Piwix want to be a kuya na” and he wants to be called “Kuya PHX”. But then, every five minutes or so, he climbs on me and clings to me like a monkey, making a 360-degree turn from a big boy to a mama’s boy, much to his embarassment (I guess he can’t help it!) and to the delight of his Ate Zoe and hubby who enjoy teasing him for this. As much as I hate to admit it, Phoenix is really my boy. You see, he can charm his way a lot. I think he knows I have a soft heart as far as he’s concerned so he makes use of this advantage as much as he can, and hubby teases me about it. This is followed by a lot of denial on my end. “PHX a mama’s boy?! Of course not!”
Before you judge me as a parent and think PHX is a spoiled brat in the making, read on. I realized he knows he cannot get his way all the time when I heard him talking to his Ate, “you want mom to lock you in the bathroom?” I chuckle silently. He made me sound like an abusive parent. But really, kids need discipline sometimes, and we do it by issuing timeouts. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Who says parenting is easy anyway? It’s a challenge to achieve a balance. What’s more challenging is the fact that your kids are your lifelong guinea pigs. Sometimes I worry that the mistakes I make as a parent may scar them for life. I pray they don’t and I continue to pray for guidance that hubby and I are rearing them well.
As my kids are growing, I realize that parenting is scary stuff! It’s not for the faint-hearted, especially when you need to give a lot of tough love. It’s neither for the weak nor for the serious. You need strength and humor to keep you going, day in and day out. Thankfully, I have enough doses of that, thanks to my husband who never fails to make me laugh even at his corniest jokes, and my equally zany kids who inherited their dad’s funny bone.
I’m also glad I have this tiny little world in cyberspace I can call mine. This blog is where I can rant, rave, and just plain “talk” to anyone who dares to listen. Somehow this has kept me sane and, all the time, close to home.
I’ve been a bit stressed lately due to some family matters that are better off left alone. Although the problem does not directly concern me, I can’t help but be involved because I’m part of the family. It’s a one-for-all, all-for-one thing and, whether I like it or not, family means being in it together. “Walang iwanan”. Going through life during the good times and, most especially during the bad times. And this is what hubby and I would like to teach our kids. Family first, no ifs and buts.
I’ve seen how kids-turned-adults can forget family and take the people who brought them up for granted. I’ve seen parents being shut out of their children’s lives just because. I’ve seen kids falling and failing then crying for solace on their peers’ shoulders who offer them a bit of temporary comfort as they wallow over alcohol and drugs. I also see parents who are blind. Blind to the reality that their kids are growing up empty and lost. It’s depressing, really. I don’t want that happening to my family. I want my kids to know that wherever they are and whatever problems they have, they have a family to come home to. I want them to know that my hugs are free and that Mom and Dad will always be here for them no matter what. I want them to know that should some doubts arise anywhere in their journey on the tiniest issue, they can freely bring it up with us lest they find answers somewhere else and, Heaven forbid, get wrong answers that sound right. I want them to feel loved even in times when they have wronged, and to feel so much love that they will find no reason in their hearts to do wrong. I know my way is not 100% fool-proof, but with God’s guidance, I pray that I am on the right path.
I confess, I’m hooked again to another Koreanovela. This time, it’s Baker King! Almost all the Koreanovelas I’ve enjoyed watching revolve around one thing—food (Jewel in the Palace, Kim Sam Soon)! I didn’t even get to start this series and yet, here I am, waiting for the show to air.
I guess it’s my love for bread and my affinity to maltreated bidas who always become victorious come ending.
Bread comes a close second to rice. I love bread sweet, salty, bland, savory, moist, flaky. It’s really amazing how many kinds of breads there are. Baker King made me appreciate breadmakers more, from the panaderos to the pastry chefs. No, I do not aspire to learn how to bake my own bread. Eating is enough, thank you.
I have nothing specific to blog about today but I’ve decided to just greet everyone a Happy Chinese New Year as we welcome the Year of the Metal Rabbit. I’m a rabbit, so hopefully, this will be a year of abundance for all the rabbit-people, not just financially but health-wise and relationship-wise.
Cebu Pacific’s PISO fare is back! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to book a domestic flight for me and family. Their page is taking so long to load (it’s still loading as I am blogging), yet I’m not losing hope. Sayang din ito!
Haven’t you noticed? There are so many promos online? I don’t want to get myself too addicted to them but, really, those discount coupon sites, are so difficult to ignore! So far, I’ve tried Ensogo and Deal Grocer. I regularly check other sites, too, just in case. I try to limit my purchases to good eats and discounted hotel stays.
Well, what do you know, I was able to book a flight after all. Yipee! Four roundtrip tickets to a domestic destination for…drumroll please…Php620.16!!!
Looks like this year is, indeed, a glorious one! Hop, hop, hop!
Thanks to Deal Grocer, I was able to book our 7th wedding anniv date at La Cocina de Tita Moning at a discounted price. We’ve been meaning to try this much talked-about resto (it’s always included in Manila’s list of best restos) for the longest time but we always put it off, partly because dining here doesn’t come cheap and partly because we almost always go out as a family, with our kids in tow. Now that Phoenix is 2 and he doesn’t breastfeed as much, hubby and I can schedule longer dates, just us.
La Cocina de Tita Moning (LCTM), as they say, is not just a restaurant but a dining experience. We didn’t expect much for fear that we might be disappointed. But LCTM did not disappoint. The Legarda house near Malacanang is where the resto stands. It is actually the Legarda family’s ancestral house that was converted into the resto. After we parked our car, we joined the other guests for the evening in the open patio at the back of the house where we were served quezo de bola toasts and lemongrass iced tea. We were then guided to a tour of the house. The moment we stepped in, there was a whiff of antique. It was like traveling back in time, looking at the old books, old pictures, antique photography and radio equipment. It was amazing how the family was able to preserve the glory of the old days. After the tour, we were led to our tables.
Despite the formal table setup, the place didn’t feel stiff at all. The servers were friendly, but not too friendly so as to still give you the privacy you want, and the atmosphere was light and very welcoming.
We chose Classic Menu #2. La Cocina’s Gazpacho with Fresh Crab Salad was our starter. We both loved it! I didn’t even get to take a pic of this because we were too busy enjoying it! I love cooking and making my version of the dishes I taste in restos. Usually, I can detect the ingredients in a dish and tweak it at home, but this soup left me clueless. The ingredients blended so well together to make a whole, new enticing flavor.
After the soup, we had Paella Valenciana, which was served in solo paelleras, and Grilled Eggplant Salad. The paella was really good! Pairing it with the eggplant salad was a welcome surprise. They are a perfect match!
At this point, I was starting to get stuffed but, wait, there was more. Next course was the Slowly Roasted Pork in its Own Chicharon paired with Candied Sweet Camote. We also had Sauteed Ubod and Organic Brown Rice. The roasted pork was a revelation! It was heavenly especially when eaten with the camote. Hubby couldn’t get enough of it. Even the brown rice was cooked to perfection.
For dessert, we had Caramelized Saba with Vermouth, assorted fresh fruits, and Quezo de Bola Cheesecake with Fresh Mango Sauce. This was paired with either barako coffee, herb tea, or hot chocolate. The dessert was nothing much to rave about. I just don’t know if it’s because we were so full already from the main course. We didn’t get to finish our cheesecakes and the staff wrapped it up for us to bring home. The day after our date, I ate it with freshly brewed coffee and was able to appreciate it more.
Dining at La Cocina de Tita Moning was truly a memorable experience. Hubby and I had a wonderful time. Definitely so worth it = )
My husband and I are pretty simple people. He works and provides for the family, while I stay home and attend to the kids. I have a small business and take some editing work on the side for some extra moolah. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, we don’t get the latest gadgets, and we’re not into shopping much. What we do spend on are memories. Yes, we occasionally give in to the “good life”. Road trips, travels to nearby towns outside the metro, and overnight hotel stays. Others may find it a waste of time, or even a waste of money, to be spending so much for just one night or one weekend. But hubby and I agree on one thing: We’re planting memories! Memories that can go a long, long way.
Let’s face it, these days life can keep us away from life itself. Our day-to-day activities could take a toll on our relationships. Being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) does not make me exempt from all the stresses of the world. Some days I feel crappier. Some days I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and forget I have errands to run and kids to homeschool. Spending a night away from home is the perfect breather. It takes us all out of the routine and we get to hang out as a family and bond. We don’t do much, actually. We would try out some recommended restos in the area, but most of the time, the four of us would just hang out in our hotel room doing nothing. We treasure these moments.
Zoe and Phoenix love our family outings. Zoe would go on for days, recalling what she did in detail, as she would look forward to our next trip. She now dreams of living in a hotel. I secretly dream of owning one, hahaha.
The kids are growing up fast. Sooner or later they will have their own set of friends and would want to hang out with their peers. For now, they belong to us. Hopefully, they will look back at their childhood with a smile in their heart and they will face the world knowing they have a home and a family with them wherever they go.
Today you turn 6 years old. Again, I look wistfully at time and wish with all my might that time would slow down even for just a weeny bit, if only to keep you young forever. But then, we’re left with no choice but to accept the fact that you are now 6 years old! A big girl and a big sister at that!
Exactly 6 years ago, your dad and I felt so blessed as you entered our lives. I still marvel at how you came into this world. And yes, I still remember the moment I heard your first cry and how your dad was amazed when you turned your tiny head to the direction of his voice. The gift of new life is the best gift every parent could possibly ask for, and I thank the Lord for that.
Looking back at the years past and who you are now, I can’t help but have a proud mommy moment. Yes, at 6, you have come a looong way. No longer are you the shy, brooding kid who keeps quiet most of the time and spends a long time warming up. You’ve blossomed into someone who’s comfortable with herself, enough to create a bigger comfort circle by embracing new experiences and making new friends. People are discovering your gift of gab and crazy sense of humor!
You know what you want. You say no to ballet even if mommy tries so hard to convince you to try it because you prefer soccer and hate tutus. I’m still not giving up though. Perhaps in a year or two you’d change your mind? Kidding aside, you’re an awesome soccer girl. It’s incredible how you’ve progressed in the sport. When you were 3 years old I would sit in the circle with you and walk/ran with you as you did your drills! Now you just can’t wait for scrimmage time! You’re such a joy to watch and you make me so damn proud that you play hard but fair. And when you do stumble or slip, you get up as if nothing happened. Expect more stumbles as you grow older…just remember to get up every time.
Thank you for being a wonderful student. I know in homeschool we have our blah days, but really, you’re an awesome student and the whole world is your playground. I’m just so glad you are enjoying homeschool as much as I am and I am looking forward to more schooldays together. I’m also happy that you’ve made friends with other homeschooling kids. You guys are such a riot in art class! I know how much you enjoy doing art and spending time with your friends. I also enjoy bonding with fellow homeschooling moms, sharing notes along the way, as you kids do your thing. See, we’re both happy = )
Hats off to you also for learning how to ride your bike a few weeks shy of your 6th birthday. A pat on the back to your dad for teaching you how to ride a bike. I sure was doubtful that taking out the pedals and guide wheels would make you learn how to bike faster but, boy, you proved me wrong. Just take it easy on the curb, and of course, practice how to use the brakes. Whether you like it or not, you will need to step on the brakes every now and then. Going fast may be exhilarating but there are moments when slowing down works better.
Right now the grass on the vacant lot has grown past your height. You know what this means…no more hunting for grasshoppers. I know how much you like grasshoppers and how you don’t even care that the sun is striking hot just so you’d find your grasshoppers and bring them home. Reminds me of the days when I used to catch dragonflies, play with tadpoles, and eat aratiles. Why is it that I felt so safe then but now that I’m a parent I worry a lot? It’s your dad’s sentiments, too. I know we should lie low a little bit, but that doesn’t take the worry out of me. Perhaps when the grass gets trimmed I’ll let you, but right now, it’s a no. We got you a hermit crab for your birthday. A pet to keep you busy away from the hoppers.
Lastly, you have been an amazing, wonderful big sister to your little brother Phoenix. From Day 1 you were such a trooper, putting up with the changes around the house. Never did I hear you complain that you had to share the spotlight with a tinier being, and you have nothing but kindness, love, and more love for your little brother. Really, Phoenix is so blessed to have you as a big sister. Now that he’s starting to show his personality, and he isn’t the fragile tiny baby you first saw, I thank you for being more patient with him. Even when he messes with your paintings or the towers/robots that you painstakingly build you never lashed it out on him. Never ever did you use your strength or your “position” as an “ate” to your advantage. Everytime I hear you say, “it’s okay mom, he’s just a baby,” even when I know what he did would otherwise frustrate you, my heart melts. With that you make me and your dad so so proud. The maturity that I see in you now will bring you places as you grow older.
Having you made me become not just a wife to your dad, but a mom, a parent, and a child. You made me realize my strength as a woman and you made me discover how vulnerable I can be as I worry over almost everything, from the usual cold to a spiking fever, or if I’m being too lax or being too strict. You gave life a different new meaning, and with that, I thank you. I thank the Lord for you, our Zoe, which by the way means “life” in Greek. May God shower you with blessings as you grow a year older. I love you very much.
- Zoe loves soccer! She fell in love with the sport when she was only 3 years old. Painfully shy then, I would sit with her during soccer sessions and even run alongside her when she does her drills. It was frustrating for me that it took so long for Zoe to warm up but, eventually, warm up she did. Now that she’s 5, I just watch by the sideline as she and her friends do the drills and play the scrimmages. She has improved a lot and can now dribble the ball with more ease. Soccer has done so much for her self-esteem and she always looks forward to it. She has now made friends with her soccer buddies and understands teamwork and hard play.
Her coach’s text that Zoe was selected to be part of Futbol Funatics’ team for those 6 years and under for the 15th Alaska Football Cup came as a pleasant surprise. Of course, we would be there, even if it meant we had to wake up before 6 AM (something really hard for me to do!), and of course, Zoe wouldn’t miss it for the world.
When we got to Alabang Country Club, we were greeted by an enormous field and hundreds of kids wearing their respective soccer jerseys. It was a very welcoming site indeed. The mood was festive and I can tell that Zoe was excited. We headed to Futbol Funatics’ tent where most of Zoe’s teammates were waiting. After a few more minutes, all the players were told to assemble for the opening ceremonies. Seeing Zoe lined up with all the other players there just made me feel so happy.
They had five games for the day. They won the first game, 2-0, lost the second and third games, tied the fourth, and lost their fifth game. They did not make it to the finals but it didn’t matter. The kids had a blast! This tournament was actually the kids’ first time to play as a team. It was Zoe’s first time to even meet her other teammates, who were probably attending their soccer sessions elsewhere (Zoe’s attending at Tahanan Village in Pque but I know Futbol Funatics has venues in Alabang, Makati, and Pasig).
What mattered was the kids gave their all and put their heart and mind to each game. I felt proud watching Zoe running in the field. My heart would stop every time the ball would almost make a goal or each time their team would have the ball. Zoe wowed me when she would hussle and try to get the ball from the other team, and when she would fall and get up again like nothing happened. Indeed, she’s gone a long way from that shy 3-year-old and I can’t help but be one proud momma.