Friday, January 27, 2006

Just hangin'

Candle Care, At Barefoot's
Canon Rebel 300D

Got a goodie book from a very dear friend today.

Which means I'm not hangin out around here much tonight.
Tonight, this girl is gonna read her birthday book.

And yes, my clean enough is clean ENOUGH. >;-(


BIG THANKS, ga. Luv ya to bits!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


My three fort builders, Oona-Sol-Joshim, Jan. 2006

I built a fort with the kids today.

A high table, a few pillows, toys, crayons, paper and a whole lot of imagination.

The idea came to me after breakfast. I didn't want them vegging-out in front of the tv all day long, my poor kids stuck indoors most winter. It this were back home in Manila, this would not be a problem. Unless there was a typhoon.

This long TV watching. It's been nagging at me for some time now. I made an executive Mommy-decision and cut them off right after I cleared the breakfast stuff. Ooh how they complained but it lasted a few seconds. As soon as they saw what their fabulous Mommy was up to, they got so excited that they stayed under the dining table which they magically transformed into the dragon's den complete with knights and a princess and a joker for a whole hour!

I got the fort inspiration from cyberpals Leonie and SARK who swear by the magic of building them. It could be anything really. Blankets on couches, boxes, closets, cabinets...anything that your child-like imagination can come with is excellent enough.

I don't remember ever building one as a child. I do remember a lot of climbing though. Climbing pillars at our grandmas, climbing bookshelves, climbing hills and sliding down on dried coconut branches. That's a whole lot of climbing. I was born on the year of the goat after all. Maybe mine was the mountain variety.

Come to think of it I don't remember much about my childhood games and this makes me a bit sad. I envy those who can write marvelously detailed memoirs from when they were five complete with names and colors and scar stories. What I do remember very vividly is the music from my past. The records my mom played and danced to when she was home with us. (Lots of salsa and swing) I remember dancing to Tiny Bubbles at three years old. I remember playing the theme to Police Woman on my Yamaha organ at eight. And painfully so, I remember the John Thompson Books 1-4 that my piano teachers had me practicing daily all through out my childhood years. From the very beginning I've always been more auditory than visual. Which is probably why I don't remember the games as vividly as I want to.

Maybe if I listen to the music from my childhood, it will all come tumbling back - rather, "climbing" back to me. And it's never too late to create more childhood...child-like! memories. As long as there are forts to build and kids to build them with me.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Solomon's Wisdom Take 1

Sol having breakfast, Boracay

"It's easy to stand on your head if you have a big head." ~ Sol, Age 5
(In reference to a cartoon character named "Dragon" standing on it's head. Yes, it's one big head alright.)


Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Pretty Picture

Pretty gifts from pretty pals, Bahar & Carol

In my experience
Everything is a choice.
(Ok, Anal Person You, almost everything)
In moments of clarity
I know this to be true
And if I sometimes forget
Or at times deny it
No worries.
It always bites me
In the derriere sooner or later

The way I feel about something or someone ~ my choice
The way I will act or not act right now ~ my choice
The way I will react or not react to someone ~ my choice

What I will say, watch, pick, throw, cook, clean, buy, give, take, make ~ my choice
Who I will love, hate, accept, ignore, thank, piss-off, tickle, prickle ~ my choice

Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.
All choices. All mine.

Knowing all this makes me feel so privileged
To have been given so much power by The Source of All Power
To do what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want

My question is:
Why in the world do I sometimes forget all these
To be more accurate about it
Why do I choose to forget
Then proceed to complain, cuss, cry = feel crappy
About not having enough of this and that
Or regret, rant, rage = feel crappier
About why this is all happening to poor me

If I know I have all the power in me
To choose the reactions, the feelings, the emotions
That have a dramatic impact on my hour, my day, my life!
Why am I choosing the hard way around it?

I guess those are my choices, too.
Quite the lame powerless choices alright
But just the same
All choices. All mine.

Did I say
Everything is a choice yet?
You betcha!
In my experience, anyway.

Right now I choose:


G R A T I T U D E & B L E S S I N G S
Thanks for those beauties, Beauties!
See ya later, 'gator.

The ultimate form of giving ~
To bless all without distinction is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from whence came the sudden ray that burst through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely be a witness to the sunlight in their lives.

When something goes completely askew in your day, when some unexpected event upsets your plans and you also, burst into blessing. For life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called forth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and hosts of angels follow in their path.

Activating the law of attraction To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden from material eyes; it is to activate that law of attraction which, from the furthest reaches of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need to experience and enjoy.

Pierre Pradervand
(Compliments of my new cyberpal, Vayubouvin - Bless you back and my heartfelt thanks for sharing this one. It's perfect!!)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Sunshiny Precious Bits on My Rained Out Birthday Parade

Words to come back to when things are not so bright and shiny in my world.

My deepest, biggest THANK YOUS to all who gave these wonderful (read: uber ego booster) comments.

(Edited for content/privacy of authors)

From my cyberpals and friends-to-be all over the world:

Your formal intro. mamakat is by far the most bodasciously
suculent, funny, honest, long thought about post I have come
across in the 3 months I have been living here.
You are very most welcome in my book. doesn't it feel impowering
to out our faults, shortcommings, and insecurities. Bless you (in the
spiritual sence) and your beautiful family.

I just love you! You were one of the very first pple on the *** to welcome me way back when. You radiate kindness and love in your posts and pics.
I am always in awe of pple with rich roots as I myself dont really in comparison. It's like a multifaceted jewel person.

Thank you for sharing so much about you and your family!!! You've always been welcome here you know ~ The pictures are great....I simply LOVE the one of your entire family. Everyone looks so natural and so happy!

mamakat! You are beautiful, honest, intelligent, hilarious, positive, succulent and have a gorgeous happy family.
Please come to my ***.

Darling i-mamakat
you know i adore you muchos
and DANG i loved reading your introduction
so freaking succulent and awesome and inspiring
just the way i know you!
hey, can we be snaily friends?
lots of love,

Hiya Mama-Guns... just wanted to pop in and give your bio a nod (altho through the *** I've already had a chance to experience your glow) *** Keep being you, miss dishing with you on a regular basis, oh and wear red often that photo of you in the red gown was oo... la... la...

Mmmmmmmmmm..... What a delightful taste of MamaKat-ness!!! (((((((Kat))))))) You are so beautiful, inside and out... And I have a sneakin' feelin' that you're going to set the world on fire this year. And I can't wait to see it.

wow ~ how wonderful that you were brave and put yourself "out there". your spirit dances with such energy! your family is absolutely beautiful. that picture of you all together is stunning - so filled with love
thank you for introducing yourself as there are soooooooooooooo many people here, i know sometimes people feel like they get lost. bravo to you for taking charge and wanting to reach out.
i look forward to getting to know you better.

You are really, really beautiful and this thread made me smile deeply and warmly.

I have that Tank watch too!!! You rock!
Mamakat is VERY TALENTED. I recall her photos previously - I accidentally had mistaken them for another photographer. She is VERY TALENTED!
I grew up with many Filipino friends - so I'm very familiar with the culture. I always loved my friend Ann's mom - she would cook lumpia just for me - and she'd always say "Kat-er-yn, when are you going to learn to make lumpia for yourself?" She was so damn cute. And... she was a nurse!
Anyhow, thanks for sharing. Mamakat ROCKS!

Hi MamaKat!
I have had your blog bookmarked for a while and I enjoy peeking in. You are beautiful, warm, and inspiring. I loved reading your intro- I'm so glad you posted it!
Love from RAE

gorgeous, it's sooo good to see you!
Folks, I had the pleasure of seeing (and hearing) Kat at ***
and let me tell you, this woman can belt out a song!
*** don't let her go till she sings for her supper.
It's wonderful to connect with you again, Kat; hoping we can get together at the ***, you owe me a hug bigtime, babe!
an smooches to you and your gorgeous family, Roni xoxo

Thank you for taking the leap and posting all about your wonderful self!
I loved reading all about you ... you have a very fun and captivating writing style
Maybe one of these days I'll follow your lead, throw caution to the wind and put myself out there too... you've given me some inspiration to be a bit bolder.

Lovely one.
I smile as I see the radiant bean you have become/are becoming.
Blessed Be,
VSD "skydancer42"

And I can't WAIT! You're already flying, MamaK.... I can't wait to see what you bring into being this year!

What a beautiful introduction!
Thank you for sharing all of
those beautiful pics and for
being brave and making the post!
I really enjoyed it and I believe
you look beautiful in your new job
at home too!

oh my goodness.
you are beautiful.
you are a wonderful writer and EXPRESSOR OF SELF.
expressor is a new word.
thank you for BRAVELY sharing.
it was fun getting to know you. i find you very interesting, colorful and courageous.
i like your latest look the best, btw...elle naturelle!!!

Ahhhh...the joy of friendships!!!

My heartfelt gratitude to all of you who care.

May I say with all sincerity that I will do my best to be here for you, and you and you
As I know now how important soulful connections are in this life!

Again, thank you for blessing me with those beautiful words



Thursday, January 19, 2006

No Story Excuses

So what's stopping you from going for it*, Kat? (*the projects = the book, the songs, the productions, the website/community...)

I don't have time.

I'm too busy.

I'm too tired.

I'm overwhelmed.

Getting what I want will make me more busy, tired, overwhelmed.

I don't have enough money for the project. Yet.

I don't have enough information. Yet.

I'm not ready. Yet.

I'll do it tomorrow, next week, next month... (A variation of I'm not ready yet.)



"The only thing keeping you from what it is you really want is the story you have about why you can't have it!" ~ Anthony Robbins


So, what's your story?


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Case of the Crappies, For The Moment

WARNING - - - To Mom, Dad and right-winged Christian friends and relatives: CONTAINS UN-FOLK-SY, UN-CHRIST-LIKE LANGUAGE and BEHAVIOR!
Stop reading now or risk losing our friendship...forever! (Don't tell me I didn't warn you.) :-p

Right now I accept myself for who I am completely.

Right now I honor myself and those I love without any judgment nor cynicism.

Right now I accept the love and joy that the Universe continues to shower upon me and my family.


I wrote those pollyannashitbars just a couple of days ago. I was feeling, rather, was trying to feel all goody-goody about myself because it was pre-birthday day. I refused to go into the self-pity-I'm-all-by-me-lonely-self-on-my-b-day mode (family in another country or your good old immigrant story) so I was doing my cheerleader bit. (No, I was never a cheerleader so that did not work well either.)

That was then. This is now. And the big news this morning is all that goody2shoe crap just got flushed down the toilet where it rightfully belongs. For the moment.

Here's the crapcase: I just gave my one and a half year old baby boy not one, but two, TWO swift swats on the bum. He was kicking and screaming as I was changing his diaper in his crib and I was obviously losing my mind over it. The spanking left angry red marks on his sweet behind, for crying out loud. Yes, HE was crying OUT LOUD. And yes, I did it in anger and there is no, absolutely NO excuse for that. (Did I hear anyone say: nervous breakdown?) I am a beast of a mother. I am the crappiest, lowliest mother in the whole of the universe. I am as horrible as HORRIBLE can get. And more so because I preach no bum smacking until they can go to the potty by themselves which means they have some semblance of right or wrong already. Preachy, psycho, crazy mom-I-am! For the moment.

My poor baby has the sniffles (which makes me a hundred times worse than all the horrible-ness I already mentioned) so he has been very cranky (read: whining, clinging, kicking, biting). All three kids have been under the weather for the past few days which translates to three very needy kids the past few days. I've been PMS-ing and finally got my period in full force today. You combine the two scenarios, and you've got the perfect recipe for disaster. The Middle Girl (MG) who already got her own couple bum-smacks a few minutes ago, was not helping in any way either. (Middle children, why the hell are you such attention whores?!) Eldest Boy has been nothing but amazing today. He put on the school clothes I prepared on the bed all by himself and sat by the door to wait for Babajaan (grandpa) who takes him to Kinder class daily. (God bless grandparents everywhere!)

Me: "Babajaan's not coming for another 20 minutes, Sol."

Eldest Boy (EB): "It's okay, Mommy. I'll just wait here."

He is obviously staying away from the crazy-zone which covers the living room, kitchen and kids room right now. Little One is already half-way to dreamland with his milk bottle and sore tooshie, thanks to his mommy-beast.

Me: "Okay, my love. I'll make your snacks now. What do you want?"

EB: "Cheese and jam sandwich, please." very calm, polite, and dignified. Very unlike how Mommy has been acting this morning.

This, of course, is making me feel more and more guilty by the minute. MG is sensing the peace and calm over at big brother's area by the entrance door and so makes her way there. Smart MG. They can be attention whores but damn, have they got the street smarts, these middle children. A game of "I Spy" ensues between them and all is calm. For the moment.

I am still worlds away from what the media calls the Real Monster Moms who drown, drop, or dangle their kids. But I can surely understand and even empathize with them as I grow more into my mommy role which is not so unlike monster-y at times. I am no longer judgmental of the mothers who I used to criticize for being so weak and think of as plain stupid. I am less critical of those women who choose to medicate their stresses away (although I still have a lot of doubts as to that many people really needing all that medicating but that's another tale for another time). I no longer question those women who do crazy things like attempt or commit suicide during their menses. I'd have killed myself a long time ago, if not for my solidly Catholic upbringing and although now a recovering-Christian am still scared shitless of burning in Catholic hell. Even that "crazy, evil" woman in the grocery who called her son tanga!(stupid) doesn't look so crazy or evil to me anymore.

In my moment's crappiness, it all simmers down to this: Motherhood (x3!) really has a way of sticking one's nose down to one's crap and teaching to drop shit in one's own poopy place. There is no point judging, criticizing, questioning how others deal with their crap because I have a load of my own to take care of, thank you. It had to take three very energetic (read: LOUD), passionate (read:LOUDER) kids to put me in my place. To the singles Moms-to-be out there doing the same thing I did, watch out! The more critical, the bigger the crap case ahead. Stop while you're ahead and keep to your own shit instead of judging others'.

Which is the just the right metaphor for how I am feeling right now, I am such a dirty bitch of a dog for doing what I did to my son today. How could I?!?!?!

How could I? Because I am human and NOT SUPERHUMOM after all.

I think I'm going to take some calming meds now. Don't worry. It'll only be one extra-strength Tylenol.

And just for the moment, The Breathing Room looks very much like the The Shitting Room.

Honey, come home already, damnit! HAAAAAAAALP!!!!!!!!! aaaAAAAAAAArrrrrrGGGGGGGHHHHHH! %@#1@#21!!!!@@@!!!!

Image hosted by
Little One and Not-A-Monster-Mommy, during calmer days


Monday, January 16, 2006


Marjorie/Bestfriend G., Birthday girl, & Babyluv Bahar*
Milestones, Yorkdale

Thank you, Marge and Bahar, for making my simple but soulful birthday dinner one that I will always remember.

You ladies are gems in my book!!!

My day did have lots of sunshine afterall. :-)

* my darling sister-in-law, definitely not of the cluttery kind!

Bahar "Aunt Badaw" with the kids, Summer 05

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Lebanese artist & poet in US (1883 - 1931)


Sunday, January 15, 2006


Happy Freaking Birthday to Beautiful Me!!!

HA! I love me! I adore me! Heck, I AM THE BEST ME I COULD EVER BE.

There I was.
Good ol me.
38 years and 11 minutes old.
So very tempted to wallow
In the pit of the emptiness
That seemed to envelope me these days
With family so far away
And hubby on a mission quest
I was to celebrate this year's birthday


I was having fantasies of surprise birthdays
Of beloveds coming unannounced
Imaginings not unlike those on tv
Where the clueless birthday girl
Is sitting with her lonesome
Weeping to the tune of Elvis' Are You Lonesome Tonight
(never liked Elvis so why am I using this example?!)
And suddenly out of nowhere
A hundred and three people appear
With balloons and cake at that!
Singing Happy Bday To You
In soprano, alto, base and tenor.
Of course, the 20-piece orchestra
Is right there as well
How it got there, I don't care
It's my fantasy, so let it be!

My parents are weird
So weird that they had me, the eldest
My brother after me
And my sister after him
All on the same day of the year
You heard me right, sista
All three siblings
All in one family
Born on the 15th of January
Freakin weird, huh?
Ok. Technically, my bro was born on the 16th
But since he came just a little past midnight
He was lumped together with us girls for the 15th

Birthday parties were a pain growing up
See, when you're a kid
You are at the peak of self-centeredness
The mantra for every kid is:
Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.
So imagine having to share your birthday
Year after year after year
Not with one, but two, TWO of your darling siblings
And, of course, there would be those cheap-o relatives
Who would bring just one gift for all three of us
Gad, some of them would even give a X'mas slash New Year slash Bday gift
All in one
What a load of crappy logic, I say

Which explains why I am so down during the birthday season
Especially when I don't have my cake and balloons
I missed out on a lot of Me-only birthday lovin growing up
And yes, I am still allowed my self-centerdness on my own birthday, damn it!

Fast forward to tonight.

My birthday hour was coming closer
11:30 p.m.
Hubby calls from top-secret-location
(Yes, Virginia, he had to be there on my birthday, MY BIRTHDAY!)

Hubby: (Half-asleep) Happy Birthday, honey. (It is 5 a.m. there.)
Me: Oh, hi. (Half-interested. Why the hell are you still there, I am thinking vengefully.)
Hubby: How are you, baby?
Me: Fine. Fine. Go back to sleep, k? Call me in the morning.
Hubby: Happy birthday, again, my love.
Me: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Bye.

And that was that.
The temptation for a pity party was at its peak.
Until I remembered a couple of Asti champagne bottles left over from New Year's
Hmmm...what if I...

Celebrate alone I did.
Yes, I was by myself, but celebrate I did just the same!
It was not 5-star hotel accomodations and trappings
But I had a huge revelation just there

I call the shots when and where and how I deal
I make the decision whether to pouty-pout on my birthday or to pop-cork instead
I choose to be sad about the fact that I don't have the fantasy birthday (not yet anyway)
I've always dreamed about since I was five
Or create new fantasies based on my own reality
Besides, my day is just beginning.
I believe I've got two really amazing women
Taking me out on the town tomorrow.
I can still create the day I want!

We cannot choose what life puts on our plate
But we can certainly choose how we are going to eat it!

I will eat mine with bubby Asti in hand, thank you very much.
And pouring two extra glasses just yet ~~~ for my dearest dear sister, Leslie and my coolest cool bro, Randy.
I'd take shared balloons and cake anyday.
Even all-in-one lump-sum gifts will do just to be with you.
And swear this early that next years birthday, we will all be together again.

That's a solemn promise.

Now I shall stop all this pretending
And cry myself to sleep
Hoping that tomorrow brings
More sunshine than rain



Friday, January 13, 2006


What is it, really?
This phenomenon that occurs
At a particular tender age of our children
When the fascination for the derriere ~
Better known as butt, bum, and behind
(not excluding substances that emerge from it)
Reaches a level of epic proportion
That they think it, speak it, "eat" it
Every two seconds

1:00 p.m.
Lunch Time

Eldest boy (EB): Who has the stinkiest butt?
Middle girl (MG): Me!
EB: No, me!
MG: No, me!
(peals of laughter)
This goes on and on and they are thinking this is the funnies routine on planet.

4:00 p.m.
After-Nap Time
EB: (breaking in song to the tune of Barney's Songs from the Park)

"If you gotta poopy, it's the greatest thing of all.
You smash it, you press it, you put it on bread (repeat twice)"

All of this, of course, while dancing and jumping around the living room.
MG is doing her back-up routine repeating a word here and there
And dancing even more energetically than EB.
She need not focus on the singing parts, that's why.
Little One (LO) is smiling in awe of the genius and talent of big brother and sister.
(more peals of laughter)
This goes on and on and they are thinking this is the funniest song on the planet.

4:30 p.m.
Snack Time

EB: Mom! Look what I found!?!
(With his excited tones, you'd think he'd just found a piece of gold.)
Me: (turning from slicing the green tops off strawberries for the LO)
EB: Mom, doesn't it look like a butt?! (grinning proudly from ear to ear about his precious find)
MG and LO: Wooooow! (huddling closely together over the one-of-a-kind specimen)
Me: (joining the huddle and looking more closely at the said specimen) does look like a butt.

At least this fascination with butts and poop generates some creativity and imagination!

Now see for yourself

Bumberry Angle 1

Bumberry Angle 2

Bumberry Angle 3


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Boobs & Bellies

[Note: this is not an endorsement]

There it was.
The day of the inevitable finally came.
Jiggling tits and asses on daytime tv.
Not that it hasn't happened before.
But this was a first on the quite GP-kid-friendly
Ellen Degeneres show
With my three children right smack in front of it.

The Pussycat Dolls
are currently the most popular girl group in the pop music world.
They have this really bouncy hit Don't Cha that's catchy enough
To make my five, three and one year old
Stop and look up from their drawings
And turn to the boob tube (pun intended)

I was trapped between getting my mid-day entertainment (I love Ellen)
And being conscientious, protective mommy to my brood
But even before I got to the remote
My one and three year olds were bouncing along
With the littlest one shouting
"Booby! Booby!" while smacking his lips
Reminiscent of his breastfeeding days
The six ladies shook, sashayed and shimmied
Bodies gyrating with hankies for tops
Oh, yes, they sang, too.
And not too shabbily, if I may add.

My five year old was unmoving,
Fixated on the boobs on the tube, I thought amused.

Me: You like that, Sol, huh? (Ahhh, my boy is turning into a young man too soon...)

Sol: (eyes still glued to tv) Why are they doing that, Mom?

Me: Um...what do you mean, honey?

Sol: (face serious) That's belly dancing they're doing.

Me: was running out of vowels. I am not sure what to say at this point. Did he mean to say that as an innocent question or as a judgment call? Isn't he too young for that? Now may be a good time to change back to the cartoon network to avoid further discussion.)

Sol: They're thin. They don't have bellies.

Me: Okay....? ( five year old is talking about half-nekkid women's body parts...) Um...who wants some snacks?

Sol: You got a belly, Mommy. (referring to the jelly-belly pouch they just love to pinch and poke and pat while listening to stories of where they came from)

Me: ( he going to start comparing his Mom's perfectly imperfect body parts with these perfectly perky jiggly dancing bits? How do I start lecturing about inner beauty to a young boy? I knew I should have grabbed the remote sooner!)

Sol: (eyes lighting up) YOU should be doing the belly dancing, not them. You've got the belly for it, they don't!(triumphant AHA! look on his face)

I am falling off my chair at this point, laughing so hard. My three kids are laughing along with me, wondering what Mommy thinks is so funny. I am relieved that my son's innocence was still intact.

I have absolutely no idea where he got the absurd notion that belly dancing required jelly-bellies like that of his mommy's.

Ahhh....the jiggly and belly-less, Pussycat Dolls CD: $4.95
The innocence and adoration of a child for his beloved Mom and her "belly-dancer" jelly belly: Priceless.

My dear gorgeous friend, Vivienne, graciously shares this photo with us.
Now, Sol, THIS is a real belly dancer, okay. Just for your future reference, honey.


Super Mom

GLAD ClingWrap Ad

"Super Mom"
I refuse the title.
As much as I am tempted to grab it.
I am looking for trouble everytime I do so.
But lately I've been feeling really good about my SAHM (Stay-At-Home_Mom) self.
The house is tidy.
And I mean down to the Swiffered (miracle gadget) corners.
Thanks to
super cleaning products

The food is fresh.
No more left-over mania except for chicken sandwich spread. (Yes, from scratch!)
The kids are clean.
By 8 p.m.
It would really be useless to hose them down before that.

Something happened between 2001 and 2006.
It may have taken a long, and I mean looooong, time
But it was surely there
It was a most unnoticeable shift.
Like the glaciers melting in the North Pole.
By the way, can you believe this weather.
January is not even over yet and the snow is melting fast.

Clean house
Home-cooked food
Clean kids
Sanity still intact
The domestication procedure is finally complete

I shall claim my other title now
Not of Super Mom
But that of Domesticated Diva.
Thank you.
Scepter and crown optional.

That would be extra clutter to dust and polish.
Give me a couple days with the my super nanny, Carol, instead.

Hooray for transformational miracles such as these.


I love the smell of a clean house.
Oh how the floors sparkle.
Well-not really.
Sparkling floors would mean slippery surface.
Slippery surface would mean multiple bogs.
A bog is a bump usually found on the head.
{From Azimi Family Dictionary of baby terms.}

I am the Domesticated Diva in the flesh.
Bow to me and pay homage.

Or just babysit for me a couple hours, will ya?
Domesticated Divas need their beauty rest, too, you know.

Diva, circa 1996

Domesticated Diva, circa 2006


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

No Ordinary Egg

Image hosted by
Egg a la Bella

7:45 p.m.

Oona: Momeeeeeeeee! I wanted to peel that myself.

Me: I don't want you to make a mess. It's hot, too.

Oona: But, Mom...(pouting)...I wanna do eeeeeeet...(bouncing agitated on the chair)

Me: Okay. Okay. I'll let you peel mine, later. Stop bouncing already. I don't want you to fall off.

Oona (3 seconds later) Can I do it now?

Me: Later, honey.

Oona (5 seconds later) Can I do it now?

Me: Later.

Oona (10 seconds later) Now? Mommy, I'm boooooored.

Me: Okay. Okay. Here. (As usual, she wins the tug-o-war as I have no more patience for any arguments at this time of the night.)

Oona: (humming while peeling the egg which I am sure will be smashed into 378 pieces in the process.)

Oona: (2 minutes later) Here, Mommy.

Me: (Slightly stunned and pleasantly surprised. It is a perfect egg. Not a single nick, scratch or tear on it. I am a proud mama.) Oh, my darling's perfect! Good job, Bella! (I examine the egg more closely. How'd she do that?!)

Oona - You're welcome. (jumping off the chair with her "No-big-deal" attitude...back to humming)

I will never underestimate my child again. In anything. EVER.
It's worth risking having smashed boiled eggs, anytime.

Mantra: I am a patient mom. I am a patient mom. I am a patient mom.

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Oona Bella, 3, clowning around. (Yes, those are my pajama pants!)


Sunday, January 08, 2006


Sun Fruits
Original photo

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Sun Fruits
"Recycled" enhanced photo (c/o Adobe Photoshop)
Canon 300D

9:34 a.m.


"Hello, Front Desk."

"Hello, good morning! It's Kat from Unit **5. (confident and bright and sunny.)
I was wondering if we currently have provisions for proper garbage disposal for . . . um, for . . . ah . . . you know, garbage that's . . . um...non-perishable . . . garbage for . . . um . . .


"Yes! *big sigh* That, too. (confident and bright and sunny disposition wavering slightly)

At this point, the kind and very patient concierge gives me a detailed explanation as to where and when and how to go about disposing my garbage for "RECYCLE". I vaguely remember hearing a Recycle Room and needing to wait for the city to give the right labels. But I am largely off to la-la-land...wondering...embarassingly - how in the world I'd forget the word "RECYCLE". Me, the wordy one. Me, the book-lover one. Me, the voracious reader one. Me, the forgetful one.

*Flashback to one year ago.*
Conscientious Me: "We have to do our part, honey. No more excuses since we know more about how important recycling is now. We simply need to do our part."

Hubby Jack: "Oh, don't worry about it, babylove. (Yup. That's his pet name for me. *blush* It is a ploy, of course.
Deep inside, my darling hubby is doing his eye rolls at wifey thinking to himself "I wonder which guest on the Oprah Show talked about this one today.) Our one-a-day bag won't hurt the environment. What do you think these manufacturers are doing with their gazillion tons of garbage?!"

Me:"But, honeeeeeey, we just got to. I don't care about those big shot manufacturers. They can burn in karma hell. I, on the other hand, don't want to. I will do my part for Mother Earth! End of discussion."

And I finally get to do it today. And I forget what the heck it's called.

Maybe, I need to recycle some of my brain cells with a cup of coffee.

Yes, I use recycled coffee paper. I mean, filters. Which is actually made of paper. Of the recycled kind.


More coffee, please.

Next Day Recycle Story Update:
Since that call, we have found posters around the building giving instructions to the residents about how to manage the recyclables for recycling in the recycle bins which are, of course, in the Recycle Room. Just making sure my highly unrecyclable brain cells can remember this time.

I am able to do my part for dear Mother Earth after all. I think she is smiling her glorious blue sapphire-green jade smile at me underneath my feet.



From Environment Canada

Go to an Informative AND Fun on recycling.


Date Night

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My Oona Bella's Strawberry Shortcake who is "Queen for the Day"
Canon 300D

Photo inspired by Jen Gray's
beautiful photography

Date Night.
Or Afternoon, or Morning, or even Wee-Hour Dates

It does not matter what time of the day
Or what we do as long as it's fun for us

Once a week, at least
Preferrably dressed fancy-shmancy
If we look good, we feel good.
If we feel good, we do good.
If we do good, we DO good.
Comprende, eh?

Married life was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Surprise, surprise.
Especially with three kids bouncing around,
In front, beside, behind every two seconds
It's so important for me to be able
To reconnect, bond, hang-out with good ol' hubby on a regular basis
Without the kids tugging at my sleeve, hair, the proverbial apron strings
Oh, it's so easy to be swept away (tugged away?) by the current of married-with-children life
So I would say it's a top three on the priority list to go out on dates
It's the advice I give to my sisters - blood related or not

"Let's just rent a movie and it'll be like date night, only the food's cheap and the bathroom 10 seconds away."
"I'm too tired, honey, let's just sleep in."
"Baby-sitter's too expensive."
"I don't trust baby-sitters."
"We're married anyway, who needs to go out and have to make all the effort."

And the list could go on and on.

We've tried all those excuses.
When you're a novice at this thing, you get antsy-neurotic easily and forget the important stuff
Like romantic dates, bonding with your spouse
Heck, sometimes you forget you have a spouse!
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
There will be times when you're actually too tired to the point of feeling sick.
(Especially with the new mommies out there - Hi, Mumzyluv!)
And yes, baby-sitters can be expensive.
Especially in North America.
The rate for at the current $10/hour(!)
Say 9to5 equals 8 hours equals $80 dollars
That's already a month's salary for a sitter back home.
Criminal. Just criminal.
But it's a small investment compared to the actual gains from bonding with the lovey, sweetie.
You don't trust baby sitters...leave the kids with the in-laws.
You don't trust them either?! Hmmm...
You say you're married anyway so why bother?
Oh, come on, that would be the worst, dumbest excuse of them all.
Sorry, baby, it was OUR dumbest excuse. Look how far we've gone!

Now listen up you novice you
This is your captain speaking!
You're being married is the very reason why you ought to take your wifey out on the town
Treat her like the queen, YOUR queen, that she is, show her appreciation for taking care of the home so excellently
(Okay, even if it's not so excellent, heck, she's doing her darnest best!)
And bring on the romantic side of you, guy.
Come now, you still got it in you, don't you?

I remember someone saying:
Before all this came
The kids, the family life, the dog, cat, bird, fish, iguana, gerbil
Everything that goes with carnival ride called marriage
There were only two,
Just you and your beloved
The kids will leave you one day (um, hopefully!)
And there you'll be once again
Just you and your beloved
You'll find yourself face to face with your most significant other
(Assuming you actually make it that far.)
If you did not make the seemingly tiny weekly investment of romantic dates here and there
You'll end up faced with a stranger and where will you be then?
Limbo hell.
And don't tell me you'll start making up for it then.
*Ptooooey, spit, sputter, spew!*
By then, you've wasted so much precious time already.

Mom and Dad go out at least twice a week!
I think more now that us kids are not in the way.
(I think I just heard a sigh of relief from my folks)
They've been happily and not-so-happily married for 40 years.
Now they're like young lovers again.
(Ewww. Must stop. Choking. Gagging. Again.) :p
God bless them.
For being my best examples
Of what to do and don't.

It's done a world of good for our marriage.
Date Night.
Which is why I do it.
We do it.
Doing it is good.
Doing IT is good.
You do good, you feel good.
You feel good, you look good.
You look good...

Well, you know the drill.
Forward and backward, yes?


Now, you DO it.

Thank you, honey!
By the way, you looked really good tonight, baby.

P.S. For today, Date Night was a movie, (Dick & Jane - 1 star, and I'm being generous!) a visit to my favorite bookstore (100 stars, as always) and a dinner party with the Filipino Community Which turned out to be lots of fun. Thanks for the invite, Marge and Nelo! Nice to see you again, April and Atan! Got to dance the swing after a loooong time. Thanks to Marge's Edmund who's got the moves on the dance floor. What a lucky lady. They must have some awesome date nights, those two! My dance partner's got the moves elsewhere. (Now it's my folks turn to gag! mwahahahaha!!!) The kitchen! He's got the chef/cook moves in the kitchen. Kayo naman, o! ;-)


Friday, January 06, 2006

Fulghum Wisdom

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup-they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned-the biggest word of all LOOK.

~ Robert Fulghum, All I Really Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten


All I really needed to know I learned in Kitchengarten

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Paper Carnival
Collage collaboration with Oona Bella

I fell in love with Robert Fulghum's work because of that book. I've been thinking along the same lines. I've come up with something similar and call it:

All I really needed to know I learned in Kitchengarten. My blog, my word.

Kitchengarten is where one learns how to do domestic stuff like cooking and cleaning, among other things. You know. Stuff you learned in Home Economics. Of course there's the children which is central. It's really like kindergarten, just dirtier. And frumpier.

Here are some of the things I learned so far:

~ Clean as you go. Dishes, pots and pans do not get clean by themselves, not even if you leave them on the kitchen sink for three days. Same applies for laundry, floors and kids.

~ Separate colors. When I mix colored clothes and white clothes in the wash, I get clothes with the most unappealing colors you could think of.

~ Be appreciative. Be grateful for help(ers). It is possible to miss one's helpers more than one's family.

~ A good cook is made, not born. It is possible to live on "left-over" food. In fact, it is the only way to exist! Batch cook, batch cook, batch cook. And better make it BIG-batch cook - or you might as well live in your kitchen. Don't worry about bloody chickens and crunchy potatoes. Practice does make perfect.

~ Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Doing household chores is such a pain in the butt, however, bearing the pain of not being able to breathe because of shit lying around- and I'm not only speaking metaphorically here, is so not worth it. Better to go through the housework pain than see, trip on, or breathe shit all day long.

~ Diets don't work. Domestication is an excruciatingly painful process (one of the most painful experiences especially for an ex-diva-spoiled-bratty biatch that was me) and the best way to ease the pain is to drive to the nearest Mc Donald's or Burger King for a big dose of tummy lovin'. Emotional-eating Syndrome my ass...I say, Whatever-Works Syndrome for the moment. There's always kick-boxing when I do get out of my depression. And you know what, you do get off the pissy pot sooner or later.

~ What does not kill you makes you stronger. Just when you think that it can't get any worse, it does. But then just when you think you can't take it anymore, you do. And you are stronger and a better, more beautiful, well-rounded human being for it.

~ Love, for kids especially, is made up of three things: patience, patience, and patience. My kids are not the perfect little creatures I envisioned them to be nor will they ever be but as I learn to accept my own imperfections a bit more everyday, I become a better mother to my perfectly imperfect angels. And I love them anyway. Unconditionally.

~ Love for life-partner is no different from love of kids. My husband can be the strongest ally I can have one day and be my worst enemy the next. I may be head-over-heels totally in love with this perfect man I married one minute and pulling-my-hair-out and screaming like a banshee at the insensitive bastard the next. At the end of the day, I love him just the same. Unconditionally.

~ Yes. Divas can become domesticated.

Domesticated Diva of the Kitchengarten Kingdom, out! (to put little one to bed...then tidy the kitchen sink...then tuck the not-so-little-ones in bed with a story or two...then...get the picture?)

10:13 p.m.

(Adapted from entry Domestication Of A Diva


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Five Things

I was putting the little one to nap the other day
And there it was right in front of me
The five things that mattered the most to me at that very moment
Kids'eye view version (except for the book, of course)
I grabbed my camera and took a shot just the same
It would have been just another ordinary scene
Out of just another ordinary day
But nope
I chose to make it special
Because, hey, it is SPECIAL
If only I choose to make it so
And I did!

The Five Things
1. My kids
2. Food (Joshim's 3rd bottle for the day)
3. Appreciation (Oona actually gives that to me with a sweet "I love you, Mommy" each time.)
4. Entertainment (Sol's favorite pocket dino toy)
5. A good book ("You, The Owner's Manual)

What Five Things matter the most to you at this very moment?

and yes.... 6. Sleep!

Which reminds me, I better get some, pronto!

('s 3:19 a.m.)

The most important thing she has learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.

~ Jill Churchill, O Magazine, May 2003

For great quotes


Happy Holiday Day Today

Kids being kids...on the way to watch Narnia movie with Baba
Canon 300D

I haven't written in...forever!

What's my excuse? Nothing! I was just plain lazy to write.

This whole holiday season blitz is making me so tired.
Well, now that it's over - thank goodness - life can go back to normal.
(Normal...hmmm...what's that, I still haven't figured out.)

I remember my parents saying that Christmas was for kids
And I used to think - bah! what a kj (kj=kill joy) thing to say naman.
Now that I'm the parent I understand.
The holiday spirit tends to get lost for us adults
In the horrible traffic and the fights over parking
At the mall where everybody magically
Appears two days before Christmas day!

So what was there to really enjoy during the season of giving
Hmmm...let me think about that
There were the gifts
Some I liked and needed, others just plain clutter
One I loved to bits! (Thanks, Dad!)
The visits with the families
Some I liked and needed, others just plain clutter.
Kidding! I was kidding.
(No I wasn't.) =)

Oh, I got one!
The fact that people are nicer
Whether they are for real
Or just mimicking everyone else
For the sake of the holidays
Just the same I believe that by the sheer volume
Of folks actually saying the words
"Merry" or
"Happy" or
"Joy to the World!"
The very thing is created.

If it were up to me
I'd make up a law stating
That everyday was a holiday
Then everyone would have to say
Happy Holiday Day to you today!
(Hmmm...that sounded quite redundant, didn't it?
Must still be in recuperating mode)
Then everyone would start acting happy-happy
And everyone would actually get happy-happy
Get it?

As long as we didn't have to do
The shopping bits
Too magastos
And the visiting the families bits
Too magastos!
(And I'm not only speaking monetarily here!)
Ack, if my in-laws ever read this, I'm *bleeped*!
Oh, well.
Part of my New Year's Resolutions.
To be bolder and more honest with my writing.
Maybe actually get people to read and comment
On my blog for a change.

(Now if only I could get over the fear of
My in-laws of the "cluttery" kind
Being the one to comment
On what they actually thought
Of me! Yikes!!!)

*insert shrieks here*

By the way,


P.S. Of course, the real KIDS had a great time. Thanks to all the in-laws for all the goodies. Ahem!I better post before the guilt monster gets a hold of this!

Thanks you! Thank you! Ang babait ninyo, THANK YOU!

You all know I was just kidding, right?

(No, I wasn't...Shhhhhh! already.)