Kitchen ideas

It’s been awhile since I put any thought to the family project. But as we made a very bold leap recently, my mind began to shift focus again. I am both giddy and fearful as the dream became much nearer than we had initially anticipated, thanks to my parents’ support and of course, our nerve and daring.

To soothe my apprehensions (and to escape a bit), I went back to scouring the net for ideas for the house. Previously, I have posted some of my dream living room and bedroom ideas, now, I am browsing through various kitchen looks. The house that we are moving into (ohhh I like the sound of that!) doesn’t have the biggest of kitchens. It looks more of a nook than anything but it all adds up to the quaint charm of the home. Gone will be my vision of island or center counter tops, breakfast nooks, pantries. Instead I have to content myself with a cozy work area with which to prepare nourishment for my family.

As with the other parts of the house, this for me, should be cheery, happy and inviting!

On this rainy day

My head is swirling from thoughts about anything and everything under the cloud-covered sun. This unexpected weather for a November day has my mind and body longing for my bed and the warmth of my baby’s tight embrace. As soon as I woke up to the patter of the rain on our roof, my spirit decided that I am not up for the cold, wet gloom. While I have tons of things to accomplish, my hands, feet and eyes do not seem to want to move to finish them.

Instead my mind is interfering and wandering. However, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the jumble in my head today. Thoughts keep on coming and going, but not staying long enough for me to do something about them. Yaiks. Among them:

…providing inputs to the Philippine Youth Development Program and the role of the overseas Filipino youth

…scouting for pre-schools for next year

…potty training the toddler to save on diapers

…reserving for Palawan trip next year

…drafting the Secretary’s speech on mobility of Filipino health professionals

…achieving target donations from abroad

…finding legal basis for exchange program

…deciding on paying the house downpayment in full (major consideration if we are going to start early on the amortization)

…visiting the banks and putting my affairs in order

…improving my wardrobe big time

…mulling about where to spend Christmas and New Year

…buying and splurging on make-up (this is so not me)

Need to focus, focus!

A childhood at the foot of Mt. Maculot

The mountain sits majestically and looks over the sleepy town of Cuenca in the province of Batangas. It seems almost stern as the great green foliage look unmoving. More often than not, a cloud of fog covers its top. On its other side is the renowned Taal Lake, where a huge part of the town make a living. This is where my family was born, my grandfather having hailed from one of its lakeside barangays.

Mt. Maculot bore witness to my own childhood. It watched as my father and mother brought me there to be raised and nurtured by my grandparents while they earn their keep far away in Manila. It saw and listened to my cries at night, and stood still as I learned to crawl, sit, stand up, take my first steps with trepidation and eventually run. Like a doting parent, it soothed me and kept an eye on me as I slept. It heard me as my coos turned into babbles and endless tattles. The mountain is the first thing I see as I look out the bedroom window when I wake up. It always bodes promise of better days. And while I don’t see it at night, I know it is there looking over us with omniscient eyes. It shaded me from the harsh rays of the sun as I merrily and carelessly played in the streets of our town, and made friends with other kids who I sometimes wonder where they are now. I observed curiously as mountaineers of every sort-seasoned, amateurs, backpackers, etc. trekked the mountain’s trails. Since my grandmother operated a huge sari-sari during that time, they normally pass by and stop over for a drink and a minute to catch their breaths. It was an idyllic life, one that I haven’t lived in a while, having lived in the suburbs for most of my life since leaving our ancestral home.

It made me sad when I had to bid my beloved Lolo and Lola goodbye as I embarked on living with my parents and little brother by the time I was five. Truth to tell, I was the favorite apo. In that house and in that town, I was the star, the princess, the apple of the eye, and whatever else you can call it. I felt a little out of place as I started a new life with my family. My mother sometimes resented that I would always compare my life at home with the one I had with my Lola, she would tell me years later. I would always try to say bakit kay lola pwede ang ganito? bakit kay lola kung ano gusto ko kainin yun ang lulutuin? I eventually adjusted but I never really forgot that different feeling of belongingness and acceptance in my grandparents’ care. I terribly, terribly missed them, especially my grandfather who absolutely doted on me. Although I regularly visited when I was younger and my grandparents were still alive, now, I get lucky when I can swing by in a year.

Going back last undas made me wax nostalgic as I brought my own daughter “home”. I was transported several decades back as I looked at her and saw myself in her. She could have been me, only prettier and brighter. My Tita Ana, the one who took care of me and served as my second mother growing up in that old house, never fail to regale us with tales of me, a.k.a. Ineng, as I messed up the place back then, akin to what Mischa the terrible is prone to these days. She is so my mini me. I wished she could have met her great-grandparents, they would have been proud. Of her. Of me. And they would again shower her with the affection they never failed to give me.

I love Lolo and Lola. I miss you.

Some of her daily dose

Part of the kiddo’s daily routine is watching cartoons in the morning. Mind you, while Nick Jr. offers several programs one after the other, and the television on the whole time, Mischa really doesn’t spend much time glued to it. This is the fear of many anti-TV behaviorists (?), that kids would have attention deficit if exposed to too much television. I just like it turned on so Mischa can glance from time to time and in between doing her blocks, poring over books, coloring, and dressing up dolls.

Plus I like that she somehow gets to hear more English conversations. I’m not with her 24/7 right? And the grannies, whatever instructions and pleas I give, are not inclined to make English her primary language. Big, big sigh! These are some of those times that I really, really wish I could stay at home but alas, I have to make a living. I trust that I am doing enough my best on weekends. Anyway, watching and hearing the cartoon programs would hopefully instill something in her. Many of these are educational, too. And I absolutely forbade them to watch noon time shows and sitcoms so Mischa wouldn’t be picking up gross stuff from those.

Here are her favorites:

The Backyardigans

Team Umi Zoomi

Bubble Guppies

Yo Gabba Gabba

Nihao, Kailan

And of course, the staple…Dora the Explorer!

Going to My Big Bed

Some friends warned me about toddlers getting too hooked up with toys, books and other materials. Like adults, they tend to have favorites. But as they do not know how to temper their feelings yet, they hardly put any masquerade on when showing to the world what they like and adore. Sometimes, it takes them awhile, at least with my own kid, to realize that they love something and continuously shower the thing with much affection. Like this particular book, which we bought during a book sale in the hospital when Tito Ninong had an operation a few months ago.

During the past two long weekends, mommy had to humor the big baby at home and had to read, like 500 times, Sheryl Berk’s Going to My Big When we were at home, she would get from her stack of books this particular one, push mommy to sit on the couch, climb on her lap, and say cutely “Read mo Emily!”. Emily is the little girl in the book who had to transition from sleeping in a crib to having to her own big bed. I figured this book is one of several Barney books, which provide little lessons to toddlers. I have to go and hunt for the other ones since my babe seems to like this one so much. After a while though, I felt like I have memorized little Emily’s story, and the baby girl has still not gotten her fill of the story. I was torn between laughing and a little exasperation but in the end, had to give in to her demands for the book. She didn’t even other people in the house to read to her, mommy lang, reminiscent of days when she would always tail me. She still does this, oftentimes tugging at my hand whenever she wants me to stay with her, and not do anything else. The mommy in me, of course, always wins. Mischa’s need for affection and attention always comes first.

Edit: Now I remember when Mischa was between six and twelve months old, and she wants to me to sing Barney’s theme song of “I love you, you love me…”, she would stand in front of me and say “ahhhhh…”

Baptism of fire

Prior to the long weekend last week, our office held one of its socials. We used to do this every month but of course, things got in the way, people changed, some traditions were slowly being forgotten, etc. It was resurrected again to 1) celebrate Halloween, 2) do some sort of fundraising for families of two of our colleagues who have kin who are in need of medical attention, and 3) do a tradition for new employees – the Baptism of Fire.

We normally do this during our annual teambuilding, but did it now since we have had a spate of neophytes in the last few months. During the “baptism”, newbies are made to sit in rows or circles (depending on situation and venue), and are blindfolded. Everybody else are given strips of paper and can/should write what their initial impressions of the people who are in the hot seat. At least, that’s how the original game went. In the last two or three activities, this became some sort of entertainment for everyone where anybody can write anything under the sun. These now ranged from dedications, notes, and other whatnots. I myself didn’t go through this tradition as it was our batch who first experimented on a group of newbies a couple of years back.

I remember when it was hubby’s turn, though. We were newly dating then, and kind of a hot item. lol. People just found it amusing how fast he made us a couple so people wrote “matulis“, “chicboy”, and other descriptions that made allusions to his abilidad.

Anyway, we had about ten people (or more) this time, three of them my own staff. Here are some of them:

Welcome to the crazy jungle of CFO!

Good morning

These are just random photos that the hubby again took one morning some few weeks back. I just love ’em since my little babe looks so adorable even in the wee hours of the day. Reminded me of this post a couple of months before she turned two. I don’t look half as pretty as Mischa ๐Ÿ™‚ Every morning, we get to play and fool around on the bed before we finally get up. I so treasure these moments when I get to cuddle and tumble and sing and let her jump around and whatever else we can think of.