Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy Nikky

Happy Nikky, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.


My creation, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.

We've been doing a lot of walking
and running and skipping and hopping
and scrutinizing and collecting
and tripping and falling down and getting scratched and standing up and dusting off and running again
in the sun

We've been going on a lot of everyday adventures, eating pizza on the corner, flying with birds and catching planes
and befriending bugs and climbing dirt mountains and dodging buses and cars
lots and lots of cars on the busy, busy streets

We've found ourselves new company
which is the best part in all this
because all the walking and skipping
and hopping and scrutinizing and collecting and tripping and falling and getting up and running in the sun
becomes twice as nice when done in the company of fun.

Same time next week?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

My Thirteen Alka Seltzers To Help Digest My Daily Chews

1. My creative breaks at the library (thanks, Marge!)/bookstore/Starbucks/movies
2. My date days with Hubbyluvy ;-)
3. My daily morning walks with the kids
4. My coach, Julie
5. My once-a-week nanny, C.
6. My blogging life
7. My coffee-in-the-morning
8. My Oprah, Ellen & Americal Idol
9. My Canon 300 photos (thank you, Daddy!)
10. My Photoshop - the itsybitsy bites that I know
11. My Canadian galpals, BaharMargeMariam
12. My cyberpals - that would take another T13 (dozens) to complete
13. My swimming or yoga

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

just curious

just curious, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
~ Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Kids' Treasures (from our morning walks)
Canon 300E

Thank you Sun, thank you Spring
Thank you bright and shiny things

Thank you coffee, thank you games
Thanks for keeping me this sane

Thank you kids, thank you laughs
Thank you silly, thank you snacks

Thank you walks, thank you talks
Thank you pebbles, thank you rocks

Thank you tv, thank you 'toons
Caillou, Barney, all you loons

Thank you yoga, thank you pool
Thanks for keeping up the cool

Thank you pals, thank you gals
Thank you for the daily calls (and emails)

Thank you date day, thank you Nanny
Thank you Hubby, once-a-weekly

Thank you Wal-Mart, thank you Chapters
Thank you for the books and stickers

Thank you journals, thank you Coach
Thank you for your kind approach

Thank you Synchronicity
Thank you for your Love for me

Thank you Sun, thank you bright.
Thank you Spring, my Soul's delight.

Always in awe of You,


Friday, March 24, 2006

Mommy, I want a wabbit

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

From The Velveteen Rabbit

I hope to be the one who understands.

I hope to be the one who does not break easily.

I hope to be the one who does not need careful keeping.

Most of all, I hope to have the love of children rub off all the sharp and unreal edges on me and I don't really mind the hairs that have began to fall out from childbirth, my eyes that are often popping out of their sockets from lack of sleep and you bet I am all loose in the joints and sometimes feel as shabby as an old sock.

All for the love of family.
All for the sake of becoming real.
All so very worth it in the end.


From My Coach Julie: If you say She did not live her life in authenticity and you saw and learned that in some way, would you risk creating the same scenario for your children?

Hell, NO!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Back to the future

ChiquiBaby1.5.jpg, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.

My Dad took this photo. I was one and a half. And just to prove that my kids are mine - well, at least ONE of them! - and I am not just their Asian nanny, I present valuable evidence right here:

Kat 1.5 & Joshim 1

SEE. We even have the same dribble-me pose.

I rest my case.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

One Afghan Engagement

mishgancake.jpg, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.
Click on pic for more photostories

Another love story unfolds
Albeit long distance for now

Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday, Bloody Monday

Choking the Chicken originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.
Canon 300E

10:00 a.m.

I force myself to stop and take stock.
This is my sanity break.
I need it. Require it. Absolutely can not function without it.

In the last three hours I have cleaned the kitchen, made three phone calls, breakfast for the kids, yelled, washed two bums and three pairs of hands, yelled, had coffee and a fish fillet, wiped down two counter tops, two drippy sneezes and one bloody nose. #3's. YELLED. He fell down hard when we were playing the Run to Mommy & Gimme A Hug Game. :-(

In the next three hours I will give three baths, get one ready for school, make lunch, put one to nap and do home-school for the other, and tidy up the mess. Right now my whole life feels like a mess. Tidy up the mess. In three hours. How the hell do it do that? How. How. How. How. How.

In the middle of all this I will need to remember one thing and one thing only: To breathe in and out. In and out. In and out.

That, thankfully, I still know how to do.

11:07 a.m.
It took me an hour and seven minutes to write that.
Thanks to the interruptions of washing one more bum, setting the shower temperature, yelling at one to not make confetti out of tissue paper, picking up the confetti - I mean, tissue. Trying to be coherent amidst the chaos is a hurdle. There's so much mess. Tidy up the mess.

Let's hear it again, folks. This time with feeling. How. How. How. How. How.

Usually the folks who think life is hard, Kat, are just plain messin' with the cursed hows.

Heck, I'd think it was hard, too, if I forgot there was magic, didn't believe in miracles, and thought I evolved from the ocean as an amoeba.

See you on easy street -
The Universe

P.S. Don't get me wrong, Kat, I love amoebas.

There are days when I just smile at the messages.
There are days when I smirk and blurt out words at the screen like - "What a load of crap!"
Then there are days when Mike Dooley a.k.a. The Universe's self-styled scribe nails it and I am bawling like a baby in a crumpled soaking heap.

Hell, Mr. Dooley, you got me today. Got me good on this Monday, bloody Monday.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Home is where the heart is

My heart of hearts, originally uploaded by iKat Kreations.

Canon 300E

I never thought I could have my heart of hearts outside my body until I had my kids.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thirteen Things About This Mama

1. I've always known as early as highschool that I wanted kids and wished to have two or three. Voila...3!

2. It's true what they say about the first born being washed and wiped and wrung every two minutes, the second one wiped every two hours and the third one... oh don't bother. Let em eat off the floor if they wanna.

3. My choosing to be stay-at-home-mom was not a difficult decision to make

4. Yet it is getting harder and harder to keep.

5. I find motherhood all-consuming: body, mind, spirit.

6. And I thought I'd just breeze through it with my manicured nails and blow-dried hair.

7. My nails hardly know polish anymore, let along the nail-file, and my hair is simply there to keep my head warm during the winter.

8. The best times of the day for me are when baby J comes over to caress/massage my stubbed toe, elbow, knee (with 3 kids running around, it's bound to happen a lot), when they sit side by side either watching tv, doing arts/crafts, peeling boiled eggs...quietly, and bedtime. Shhhh...bliss!

9. I take pride in raising kids who not only know their ABCs and 123s but are respectful of others and more importantly, themselves.

10. The three things I consider important to share with my children are ~ to follow their hearts, to honor themselves, and to always be God-centered and aware of their spirituality.

11. I believe it was the best decision raising the kids myself.

12. I still wish for a full-time housekeeper/nanny to help me in the day to day.

13. I believe my kids are going to thrive when they see their mommy thriving first.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. OwlHaven
2. NellyONello
3. TNChick
4. Denise
5. Colleen
6. Kimmy
7. Shelly

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mr. Dumpty should have had kids

Broken at breakfast

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great wall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

There are days when I feel all down and broken. Days that make me ask painful questions, Did I do the right thing? Is this really where I'm supposed to be? Will I ever have proper sleep again?

Then out of nowhere I see something - a faint glimmer from a candle held up at just the right moment: a bunch of innocent hopeful voices, an unexpected hug from tiny, pudgy arms, a line so simple yet so true it takes my breath away. It is familiar but always surprising. And lovely. Like a warm whisper from heaven that everything will be alright, just you wait and see and believe.

The story of my life. Cracked and broken in so many places but glued together by giggles and hugs and sweet syrupy lines from the chocolate-covered mouths of babes barely able to put sentences together.

And I am back together again.

Surprise Love Post-Its from the S & O, closet door on my bedside


Everyday HeartArt

Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.
~ Hasidic Saying

Imagine my surprise when this all too familiar symbol emerged.
I simply intended to slice off the bruised, nibbled-on part of this left-over apple.

It's all a matter of perspective.
It's all a matter of attitude.
It's all a matter of heart.



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Image Game

Swiped this fun idea from Leanne who got it from MommaK

who got it from aka_Monty

who got if from . . . oh let's just play, shall we?

Them’s the rules:
1. Choose a search engine (I use Google Images) and click on “Images”
2. Choose a 5 random blogfriends (or not random, your choice)
3. Think of a word that you feel best describes your blogfriend
4. Do an IMAGE SEARCH on that word
5. Pick the image that best fits your pal & post it.

Them's my picks:

Jen: Pioneering Spirit

Lena: Vulnerable

Dylan: Searcher

Leanne: Adventure

Leonie: Light

Your turn. Would you like to play along? Yes?
Great- leave me your link and I’ll post it below.
Playin’ Along:

picked this one for me! Love it, love it, love it!

Tabo or Not Tabo, That Is The Question

Warning: This blog may contain offensive language and foul-smelling bits and pieces of information. Literally. So if you are turd-queasy, get off the page. Now.

Our weekend Filipino nanny shared with me some not-so-palatable info about her employer's kids. Apparently it is common practice among these youngsters to pick their noses and eat their boogers. Not only that, one of them has actually developed a taste for the stuff that comes up when one has a hacking cough. I believe the clinical term for it is phlegm. I don't want to sound snooty and all but my kids are banned from this kind of sport. Besides if it happens behind my back (which I'm sure it does) they don't go around saying "But it's delicious!" Now if this has not grossed you out yet, let me go even further. When they go, and I don't mean to #1 (or is it #2) they simply get some tissue and wipe when done. Wipe! No water, no wetnaps, no nothing. To add insult to injury, the kids only take a bath twice a week and when they do bathe, they stew in their tub and don't even rinse after.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

I've heard about the Dry-Wipe method story from a friend of mine, a flight attendant which gives her access to interesting varying poo stories from around the globe. The practice of dry wiping is apparently wide-spread and accepted. With all due respect to each culture's hygiene (or lack of it) practice let me say: Not in my book blog, it's not!

In the Philippines where I grew up we had a tabo in every toilet and bathroom. A tabo, in my opinion, is a hygiene-conscious genius's creation.
  1. Tabo. All-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket _ and help the true Pinoy answer nature's call. Helps maintain our famously stringent toilet habits. From

Even the public restrooms had at least one. Being a third world country (read: very poor) most homes don't have those sprinkler-tinkler things built into the loos. (Aren't those things just a dream?) There is a joke about the Filipino who travels. Most seasoned travelers have clothes, shoes, perfume, books and things to bring to their loved ones abroad. The humble Filipino will bring dried fish, dried fruit and a dozen tabo for their families abroad.

I noticed that the tabo is not sold in stores here in North America nor is there anything which serves the same purpose (which makes the theory of dry-wiping as the accepted practice in these parts even more Ew-able.) So what are we immigrant tabo-users to do? Need is the mother of invention or in our case, the lowly tabo needs to be re-invented. Enter hybrid tabo a.k.a milk pitchers sold for a dollar or so in almost all supermarkets.

The blue pitcher not the glass, silly!

Though there is a tendency to drip water onto the floor as it is not ergonomically designed for hygienic purposes. The closest alternative are those synthetic watering cans from IKEA that have long spouts the length of my arm which, on second thought, may injure the user. So scratch that.

So the question remains: Are you to Tabo or not tabo?

All I can say is, thank goodness my husband's family belongs to the first group! I will not stand for skid marks in my laundry.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Andy & Adobe

My lovely sister, Leslie, (Hi, Mumzylove!) sent me a fresh batch of beeyootiful photos of my sweetheart three month old niece, Alleanda. With a little help from a software called Adobe Photoshop, I came up with this.

I'm crazy in love with this little bunny!

Andytot, I can see your Mommy's eyes slowly taking their rightful place in yours. Yay! And I thought we lost you to Pappy Pet altogether. mwahahaha!

Miss you guys so much!

Ate C.


Sunday, March 12, 2006


I coined the word a year or so ago after watching the cartoon Monsters Inc. 2,125 times. Sol was the first to get hooked on the movie. Something about Sulley sounding like Sollie, his nickname when he was a baby and Mike Wazowsky just having the same name as his favorite Uncle Mikey. I have to say it is an excellent movie. I'd put it on my Top 10 List of Kid Movies if I had one.

Then it was Oona's turn to get hooked. She was always so cute and gigil to bits whenever she would hide behind the couch everytime the opening scene came on. You know, the one where the scary but clumsy monster-in-training comes into this mechanical boy's room, falls and sticks his butt full o jacks. That's always good for a laugh.

Nowadays, it's one of Joshim's favorites. I say one of because I still believe nothing will ever take the place of his beloved Barney which I think is a karmic debt I'm paying for saying all those hateful things about this creepy, annoying dino when I was still childless and did not rely on cartoons for my sanity.

Gotta go. They're calling from inside the shower where I've got them all trapped just so I can blog this morning. I gotta line them up, wipe them dry and slather the Vaseline. Then I will boil the corn which is the Munchsters' present favorite food to munch for snacks. Oh boy. I will soon be oohing and aahing over how the humble yellow kernels can magically appear gloriously intact in the toilets up to two days later.
Ah, the little perks of motherhood.

"Okay! Okay! Coming!!!"

My Munchsters Sol, Oona & Joshim getting clean

The Munchsters pictured her are neither strange nor frightening - except, of course, when they start screaming at the top of their lungs at each other or threatening your life with "I'll tear you!" statements. They are lovable to the core and may wear you out with the constant request for sandwiches, oatmeal, yoghurt, eggs, bread, cheese, cookies, gummies, pancakes and the list goes on and on. Requires short-order cook, preferably a someone who answers to "Mommy" to serve them the munchies from sun-up to sun-down or may wreak havoc and cause mental illness to those in the vicinity.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Worst Nightmare

Today, one of my worst nightmares came true.

J. is helping my 5 and 3 year olds get ready to leave for their grandparents. There is the usual blissful chaos. On this morning, I choose to be oblivious to it all.

J: Bye, honey.

Me: (annoyed and whiny) Oh, God, please can i just take a BREAK from being mommy today? Please, please, please, just for today. I just wanna be by myself today. My selfish self pleeeeease. Hon, umm, can you take Joshim with you, too? (Joshim is our baby. He is one and a half.)

J: Honnnnn?!?!?

I knew the answer to this one even before I asked the question. My grumbly self gets off the computer and walks over to the center of the storm. It is time to do the proper "kiss, walk-to-elevator, bye" morning routine.

J: Can I ask you a big favor honey? My laptop's on the dining table. Please?

Me: Sure, hon.

As I walked back to give the computer to my husband, I hear my 3 year old girl shrieking in the hallways.

PANIC. Did she fall and hurt herself? Why the hell is she out there all by herself to begin with?

"EeeeeeehhhhhHHHHEEEEKKKKKkkkkkkEEEEEEEeeeeekkkkk!" was all I could hear through the crack of our apartment door. I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. OHMYGOD. Oona's stuck in between the elevator doors?! We race out the door and find Oona standing alone in the hall.

It was there and then that I realized it.

I asked screaming, "Where's Joshim?!"

Oona points to the elevator doors and she slowly says "Sorry, Mommy. I pressed the button and he went inside."

Intense fear gripped my heart immediately. I started to shake and tear-up. He was out here?! My 1 year old boy, all alone with my 3 year old girl out in the hall? I wanted to run and stay put all at the same time. How are we going to find him? What if a bad person found him? Where could he be? What if someone takes him into their apartment and makes him their own? What if. What if. What if. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. Help. Help. My mind was racing. All this time my other two kids were stunned and mumbling "Joshim. Joshim. Poor Joshim" as m y daughter repeats "Sorry, Mommy. Sorry, Mommy..." beside me.

J who was much calmer than me says to us three: "Stay here. I'm going to find him." Just like that he was gone.

Eldest son mournfully says, "If we don't find him mommy that's the last time we see of him." Gad, the honesty of children. I felt angry but I reel it in, grit my teeth and simply said my standard reminder as gently as I could put it: Hey, watch your words, Sol. Remember your words are powerful. Is that what you want to happen? With fear in his eyes he says to me, NO mommy. I had to clench my jaw even harder as I remember just a few minutes ago how I was using the power of MY words "not to be mommy" for the day.

I try to breathe deep breaths while saying out loud to my kids and myself, Relax. Don't panic. It's going to be okay. I am still mommy to my other two kids who are as terrified as I am. I am hardly able to breathe or be mommy or be ANYTHING.

I decide to lock the apartment door. My heart is pounding in my chest, We take the elevator and ran to the ground floor reception area where security is to alert everyone who could help. It is empty. Nobody there. Damn it. I see the security monitors on the counter and feel even more terror. What used to be ordinary screens suddenly looked all sinister in the light of this situation. So many electronic eyes. So many dark, unknown spaces in the building and not one image of my lost son. Just gray, dark, empty spaces and gray, dark strangers walking around. Gray. Empty. Strangers. Walking. Around. All the faces of the child predators on the Oprah show must have flashed before my eyes. I also noticed how I was blocking them out as fast as they came. I was replacing the horrible thoughts with visions of people finding him, good people, and taking him back to us.

We ran again. Come on guys, stay close to mommy. I have never seen my two kids so obedient. They are constantly at my side focused as their mom is to find their little brother.

I alert everyone I see in the corridor on our way back to the elevator doors.

"My 1 year old boy just walked into the elevator by himself."
"If you see a little boy, please take him here. He's 1 and a half and he walked into the elevator alone."

These were the words out of my mouth but what I was actually thinking was:
"I'm dying here. Please help. Please help. Help! Help! Help!"

The look on my face must have been of complete and utter desperation. All three people I repeated my pleas to jumped into action without a moment's hesitation. One father who before running off to search for my lost boy said that this exact thing happened to his 2 year old son. At that moment I felt some relief from his shared experience, his calm sureness, his command for the three of us to stay put. A command from a complete stranger. Then he, too, was gone.

We sit quietly, thinking, praying, wondering where J and my baby are. I don't know how long I was squatting helplessly, my two kids on each side of me when the cleaning lady, pushing her big cleaning cart before her, comes out of the elevator with a smile on her face.

"My little boy walked into the elevator and ...." I haven't even finished my fourth desperate request to yet another stranger when she said:

Oh, don't worry. We found him already! Your husband found him.

Oh God Almighty Halleluiah! Those were the most beautiful words I have ever heard from a stranger. I was too stunned to move. I started crying fresh tears and thanked her. I must have asked her one hundred questions and thanked her over and over. Finally I just stood up from my pathetic squatting and hugged her tight. I didn't care if she was covered with 12 floors worth of dust and a dozen cleaning products. I was simply grateful beyond words. I held my other two kids and waited, feeling relief and gratitude. My husband walked out with my precious son in his arms. He was holding onto his dad so tightly with his back towards me. They found him on the 10th floor crying with a young couple. I gently took him into my arms and felt the fear in his embrace. He was still clutching onto his little Mickey Mouse toy I gave him just a few minutes earlier. He quietly held on to me in an embrace I have never felt before. Soundless and clingy. My poor, poor baby. He must have been so scared. I held on to him in the same way and tears just kept coming. I hugged my other two kids. The helpful father came to the floor and was happy for us. We thanked them over and over. Things are back to normal. THANK GOD ALMIGHTY.

This whole thing must have spanned 10-15 minutes but it felt like forever.

My wish "not to be mommy for today" came true in those fifteen short minutes because in that span of time, I lost my child and consequently, myself. In fifteen short minutes I wasn't mommy to my little one. I felt what it was like to lose a child. He was lost. LOST. Time felt like an eternity. Not knowing if I was going to see him in 5 minutes or never was more agonizing than anything I have ever felt.

New tears are forming as I remember how relieved I was when he was brought back to me. I could not stop thinking of how precious these tiny creatures are. MY tiny precious creatures. This whole experience put things in proper perspective. There is absolutely nothing more important to me in this whole world than my children. This whole trauma is a nightmare and a blessing at the same time. Never, never ever again will i wish to take a break from being mommy. Not for a day. Not even for a second. I would much rather be dead than not be mommy to my precious kids. God, I love my children so much. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH IT HURTS.

Please remind me of this little incident when you hear me complaining about how hard it is to be mommy in the future and say to me Be careful what you wish for..."

Here are my other realizations/learnings from this experience:
~ I am in complete awe and gratitude for the kindness of strangers.
~ Visualization worked for me that morning but so did the power of the spoken word or more appropriately, the spoken weird.
~ Never, EVER open the front door unless a grown-ups goes out first. (Glaring at J now.)
~ Practice the block-hand-or-foot-in-between-elevator-doors drill 100 more times with the S and O.
~ Heartfelt
thank yous to my darling hubby J - even if I wanna smack his bum for leaving the front door open - for having the presence of mind and quick-thinking to block-hold the other elevator doors with the help of our other heroin, the cleaning lady, Kathy.
~ And again, with feelings, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

Joyfully, things are back to normal ~

Grateful Mama and Lost and Found Baby

Back to normal/Booger baby central

Precious Baby J with his favorite Barney from Papa and Mama Gramps and his new buddy, Mickey, who stuck it out with him all through the ordeal.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Case of the Giant Woman

I could not find a picture of the giant woman that will do justice to her "giant-ness" so I picked one that represents her in my mind: a giant glass of bubbly, sunny, vitamin fizzy.

Family love rules.

It was overwhelming in the beginning. All the mandatory kissing - at least twice, one on each cheek. If you were really fond or want to be extra respectful, you kissed three, four, five more times. I know! It weirded, no - freaked me out. Hello. We hardly kissed in our family and when we did, it was hardly a kiss but more like an ever so slight brush on the epidermis of one - ONE cheek.

I married into an Afghan-Canadian family which, although modern and more open about their beliefs, still had their values deeply rooted and practiced during the more formal occasions.

"A salom a laikom, chuturasti, hoob? Shukur... which is all the Farsi I know and means HelloHowareyouI'mfinethankyouHow'syourfamilyMother,father,brother,sister,cousins, nephews,nieces,petdogcatgoldfish.....?

...and the list can be as long as you allowed it to be. No breaths in between, by the way. Oh, no, no, no! If you took as much as a tiny whiff of air in between any of these sentences - oooooh, nooooooh - you just committed a most disrespectful act (interpretation: I'm bored so I have to actually pause to take a breathe in between sentences) and risk disinheritance. You could actually turn purple from lack of oxygen while doing the greeting routine, remember you have to do this with each and every person in the room so by the time you reach the last guest on the floor, you should be ready to dial 911 or at least have someone around know CPR.

Then I met her. This tall, giant woman. All 5'10", 20 years of her. If she wanted to she could look like she just stepped out of a magazine and I'm not talking about National Geographic. This woman I'm talking about is my sister-in-law, B. She had the kissing routine down to an art form. She was a mandatory kissing machine complete with the greetings and the pleasantries. I was amazed. I was in awe. I said to myself, for somebody so young and inexperienced in the politics of life, now that's award-winning acting worthy of a couple of Oscars and throw in an Emmy just for kicks.
As time would have it, I got to know my SIL a little better every year. Each year, I got less and less awed by the acting and more amazed at the possibilities: What if all this was genuine kindness and familial camaraderie? What if she meant every word, every kiss? Okay, human impossible, I agree. But taking away the days when you have real reason to be a bit down, y'know, migranes, PMS's, break-ups, she still had a great batting average. It's been six-going-seven years of getting to know B and here's my verdict: She's the real thing, people. I'd like to thing my faker-sniffer radars are still working perfectly fine. I've proven it over time. Either that or there's gonna be a very big therapy expense coming in giant woman's mail! What I'm trying to say in this blog is: I love my SIL to bits. I have six years of family sleuthing to prove it and if you knew me well enough, you know that no amount of awards in gold, silver and bronze can convince me to fake anything, period. Maybe a couple dozen books but I digress. Also, I did put on my list of what I want in s husband the following things among others ~ Passion. Affection. Expression. I got it alright. All of it and then some more - in him and his family!

Honeybun, you taught this grumpy, snooty Mama well. I will always be in awe of your your experienced smoochers and amazing personality. (Zits? Who cares! She's got a great personality! LOL) You have shared with me the finer points of your very passionate culture and threw in a dozen laughs in between which makes me love you even more. By the way, Chip & Dale's is not a cartoon, babylove, not the one we're referring to anyway. Name the time and place and I'm there. LOL Just make sure you folks will not disown you or me for this one!

Family love rules.

It not only rules, it ROCKS!
Hard and long and true and
Bahar jaan, I love you, bebeluv!
*six kisses on each cheek and a breathless how-you-doing-jigar-nafas-makorbon-e-shawam

******** peace love joy ~iKat ********

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Power of Now

"Shift your consciousness from thinking to feeling." ~ Suzanne Deason, Yoga Intructor

On Discipline: "People who work out every single day have no problem talking about it. He (Mario van Peebles) and I agreed that we have to get up and go immediately to the gym, pool, wherever our workout is, without doing anything before. "If I get up and think, 'Let me have a cup of coffee first,' it ain't happenin'," he said. Anna Deavere Smith, Letters To A Young Artist

"If you really want to know your mind, the body will always give you a truthful reflection, so look at the emotion or rather feel it in your body. If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth. Not the ultimate truth of who you are, but the relative truth of your state of mind at that time.

So observing our emotions is as important as observing our thoughts. Make it a habit to ask yourself: What's going on inside me at this moment? That question will point you in the right direction. But don't analyze, just watch. Focus you attention within. Feel the energy of the emotion. If there is no emotion present, take your attention more deeply into the inner energy field of your body. It is the doorway into Being." Eckhart Tolle

Best web find: Pandora
Thanks, Momster


Sweet & Sour Sunday

Last night's exchange with Child #2, 3.5 yrs:

O: (hands on waist) "Mommy, if you don't let me watch Christmas Caillou again, I'm going to tear you."
Me: (in kitchen making dinner) "Bella, we agreed, one cartoon before dinner. And what do you mean by tear me, honey?
O: "Tear you like paper pieces, like this..." (proceeds to show me shredding motion)


Ten minutes later, over dinner:
Oona: Mommy, you make the best food ever! I love you as big as a flower. (big grin)

Moral of the Story:
Don't back down on your rules just yet, Mommy. They always come around sooner or later, especially after food.

This morning's exchange with hubby:
Hubby: (pissed off) "I don't want to be with you today (Date Day) if you're going to be like that."

Me: (grumpy in the morning) "Whatever. I'm going to work-out"

Two hours later, post work-out:
(All smiles and endorphin-happy) Let's go honey. Where do you wanna go today?

Moral of the Story:
WORK-OUT. No matter what's going on in your world. It's good for you. It's good for him. It's good for everybody.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Flash Photography Tip #01

This one's from my dear brother and photographer par excellánce, Pat Frias:

Hi guys!

A simple tip to make your pictures stand out from the ordinary...hope
it helps...



Thanks for the laughs, Tito Pat!

(And there I was so excited to get another picture trick from my photo guru. I got a TRICK alright!


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Say Cheeeeeese....rolls!

This one's special for Tita Marge and Tito Edmund:

Thanks for my cheese that pleases!

YUMMMMMY to say the least.

Meron pa? LOL


Thursday Thirteen


(Pick 1 or 13...thanks, y'all, in advance for sharing! :-)

1. How do you know which topic/idea/issue to blog about for the day?
2. How do you prepare for blogging?
3. How long before you started your own blog? I know someone who "researched" for four years, FOUR years! I, on the other hand, took one look at Jen's blog and started mine the very next day. Talk about taking the leap!
4. Do you ever delete blogs that you've already posted?
5. Regrets?
6. What's your favorite topic to blog about?
7. Who do you think reads your blog?
8. Do you feel the need to blog everyday?
9. Do you ever want to quit?
10. What was the best comment you've ever received?
11. The worst?
12. Who's your all-time favorite blogger? Why?
13. Do you think it's important to have your own website or is blogger/livejournal/etc. just fine?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1.Coolie Colleen (check her blog-d. it's the coolest lay-out!)
2.Animated Anne (i think i feel a new fave coming along...;-))
3."plagiarizing" Portland (hey, guy, YOU said it. check him out. he's hilarious, baaad - a good way, and Brave ;-), me thinks.)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Now Showing: Nanny McPheeME!

The day I've been dreading all my mommy-life finally happened.

Gym Girl: "Hi! Are they yours or are you just watching them?"

McMe: "Oh, they're all mine. Oona, don't climb that machine, it's too high for you! Joshim, you too, DOWN!!!"

GG: "(Still smiling) I wasn't sure if you were their nanny or their mom. They're so cute!"

WHOA-ah-AWWCH! Not the slightest sign of remorse or even a hint of embarrassment on GG. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Like it was the most normal thing in the world to mistake a kids' mom for their nanny.

I knew I had to face it sooner or later. The truth of the matter is, I don't look any like my children. I've been in denial of the fact from day one. Who doesn't want their kids to look like them, right? Even the fugliest person on the planet would still secretly wish their kids would look like them, even if it was only one eyebrow that they can pass on to the next generation. In my case, I have passed on the following body parts to my offspring: Sol - dimples and lips. Oona - squat nose and pudgy feet. Joshim - chubby cheeks. Those, sadly, don't make for any resemblance factor. At all.

My kids all look more like their Dad, darn those ultra-strong Middle Eastern genes - and I, thanks to the declaration of Gym Girl, look like their Asian nanny. I KNOW. Like it's not bad enough that they don't look like me. I have to look like their @#@$%-ing nanny, too! No big deal, you say? North Americans have been baby-sitting since they were in their teens, you comment? See now, I grew up in the other side of the world where being a nanny was so not cool. "Borgeous! Middle-class-wanna-be Borgeous!" you scream? Yup. That's how it was, that's how we were raised and I will not apologize for it anymore. We had maids and nannies and drivers, not because we were filthy rich but simply because it was dirt cheap. My beloved Philippines is still after all a third world country. Tear.

I guess it's Karma. Karma for that time when I burnt my nanny with a ladel when I was 7. Karma for when I broke my nanny's leg when I pushed her down two flights of stairs when I was 10. Karma for when I slit my nanny's throat when I was. KIDDING. I didn't really do any of those. Although I can attest to the fact that I am related to one who actually did the first thing. Maybe, by close proximity, I am paying the debt for his crime. (Rands, bro, that sucks. lol. Does that mean all the cats I meet will scratch out my eyes for your bebe/pellet gun toting years?) With my present situation, it seems like I did all of the above and now have to pay for my sins. Wait, I did torment my nannies and maids by being prickly and prissy and biatchy all those years. Do those count as major offenses?

Flashback: Inside Goony Gym Girl's brain: "Oh look at those adorable kids with their squat-nosed, pudgy-footed, bedimpled Asian cute!"

I think the answer to my question would be a resounding Uh-HUH. Oh well, at least I can proudly say that I am nanny to the cutest, most adorable looking kids in our building. Sigh.

I think I need to get a new nose or something. That'll fix things, alright. Then people can mistake me for their nanny who had the nose job.

My munchsterloves of my life

Oh, this old thing? I had to redeem my flailing, bruised ego somehow. Somebody, tell me it isn't that bad...pleeeeeease!
Nanny McMe on GoodHousekeeping Magazine Feature with Baby #1, Sol at six weeks. December, 800BC.

On a happier, insecurity-free note, THANKS AND BIGLOVE to BFG Marjorie and Edmund for chowing down some fine Chinese and AI with us last night. Looking forward to Part 2, guys! There are more very interesting "long stories" to tell. ;-)