The Great EIGHT

Today, December 18th, Dear Hubby and I are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary.  The Great Eight!  Has it been that long?!  We didn’t even notice we’re past the seven-year itch.

He has learned to love my cooking, I have learned to put up with his snoring.  I keep the toilet seat up as its default position for him, he gives up more shower shelf space for me.  He likes his sunny side up firm, I like mine runny.  He’s athletic, I’m… uhm, fabulous 🙂  Well, you cannot find a perfect partner.  He/she doesn’t exist!  I guess Dear Hubby and I are imperfectly perfect for each other…  We’re different AND the same.  It gets difficult sometimes and the road gets bumpy but in any challenge, it helps to have a reliable team mate.  Thank God for giving me an amazing partner in this great adventure called marriage.

By the way, the non-techie that I am made this video as sort of a gift to Dear Hubby… We both know that he’d be the one paying for whatever gift I’d get for him from the mall so I didn’t bother buying any 🙂

We’re actually celebrating mostly inside a plane as we go on a homecoming trip.  Free wine, baby! 🙂   Cheers to the great EIGHT!!!

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FROM GLOOM TO GLAM

I’ve been busy lately that’s why I’ve been remiss from sprucing up our house with Christmas décor.  Last week, I finally had the time to bring out the  dusted décor box  and prepared myself  for the Martha Stewart task.  I excitedly ran down the drill on my mind:  set up the tree,  put on the lights, then the ornaments, then the star.   Easy peasy.

I recalled fond memories as I was taking the parts of our one year-old Christmas tree out from its box.  We got the tree last year along with a complete set of bling  as we were to spend our first Christmas season here in Indonesia.  You see, we used to live in  my mom’s house in Manila so the tree and the ornaments in that house were hers.  This one is something we can call our very own.  It was so special to us that we documented every step as we decorated our very first family Christmas tree in our very own (well, rented) home.

My sweet flashback went to a halt when I noticed that there’s a missing part on this tree.  A very important part.  You know that part on the tree base where you insert all the branches into?  It’s NOT IN THE BOX.  Imagine a tree with its upper portion intact  and just a metal pole on its lower portion.  See Exhibit-A for reference.   Apparently,  our  previous helper took care of dismantling and re-packing the tree while I took care of re-packing and labeling the decor last year.  I never noticed that there was a missing part.  And since she’s no longer with us, there’s no way to find out where it has gone :(.

Exhibit-A: Ooohh Christmas Tree…

My stint in the Marketing field trained me to solve ANY crisis.  I was wired to make things happen.  So even when Dear Hubby decided that it’s already useless and just put everything back to the closet, I gave myself a couple of more days until I avert this Christmas tree crisis.  Okay,  I never had any home decorating experience but I watched a lot of Lifestyle Network, Urban Zone and Special Agent Oso so I think I can rock this.

The apartment owner has two home pieces that we never used.  A bronze bowl of sort that’s filled with dried cut flowers and potpourri.  It never served its air freshening purpose but it succeeded in collecting dust.  Another one is a glass vase with plastic flowers.  No offense but, except for Christmas ornaments, Dear Hubby and I were never fans of  artificial plants.  See Exhibit-B.

Exhibit-B: The potpourri bowl that we hide in a dark corner shelf and the artificial flowers that we place on top of the fridge.

A little mixin’ and matchin’ did the trick.  Our home now has a more Christmasy atmosphere! I was happy with the outcome and Dear Hubby was impressed.  As they say, the show must go on and our home is all glammed up for the holidays.  I’m taking back the Martha Stewart influence, Gwyneth Paltrow is more like it! 🙂  By the way, I’d appreciate suggestions as to how I can recycle our poor tree.   Enjoy the holidays everyone!!!

In lieu of the nativity (no Baby Jesus here in Indo) I'm making do with this. I know someone is out of place but Humpty Dumpty is better than the dinosaur my Little Boy previously wanted.

Probably the BIGGEST CHALLENGE in Santa's gift-giving career!

RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU THINK SANTA CLAUS IS REAL

With THE guy... in the flesh!

Like many kids, I was a Santa Claus believer.  We would wake up on Christmas mornings and find candies in our stockings.  Gifts were already under the tree waiting to be opened.  Never mind if I saw the same wrapping papers on my Mom’s dresser, maybe Santa and Mom just happened to shop in the same stores in Anson’s Cubao or SM Escolta.  Hey, maybe my mom knew the guy!  After all, didn’t Michael Jackson have a song about his own mom tickling Santa Claus?  After interrogating her about it, my mom said she hasn’t seen him and I believed her, she further said that Santa Claus NEVER shows himself to anyone.  That became a challenge to me.  Nights before Christmas, I would fall asleep waiting for him on the couch beside our Christmas tree.  I’d tell everyone to leave the front door unlocked, we didn’t have a chimney and the poor guy’s too old to climb on windows.   I just gotta see him!  I wanted to speak to him and find out if he really was multi-lingual.  How did he understand my letters written in Tagalog?  Okay, if he wouldn’t show himself and wanted to be mysterious, fine.  Maybe I could just catch a glimpse of the reindeers?  Yes, reindeers would be fine.  I wanted to see if Rudolph’s nose really glowed in the dark.   I always made sure that our garage was clear from any mess for the sleigh’s parking.  This would be my mission impossible year after year.

Then the horror of horrors happened one Christmas season when our helper got possessed by the combined spirits of Mr. Scrooge and The Grinch and decided to tell me that “Santa Claus is your Dad.”.  Huwaaaattt??!?! I felt sorry for my Dad… How could she squeal my Dad’s little secret!  He worked so hard to grow that belly…  I didn’t want to hurt Dad’s feelings so I never told him what I just found out.  I told our helper “Wag mong sabihin sa kanya na alam ko na ha”  (Don’t tell him I already knew).

Things became clearer to me as this development unfolded.  For example, this could be the reason why we had a garage but never had a car.  It’s for the sleigh! There were times I’d be curious and would sneak to my parents’ bedroom and look for that red suit inside my dad’s closet.  One time I asked him, “Daddy, can you say ‘Ho-ho-ho!’?”  but he gave me a puzzled look so I just dropped it.  Besides, no one should hear him do the Santa laugh while he’s wearing his favorite puruntong shorts. I just gave him my reassuring look and in my mind I was  saying “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”  The more he looked puzzled.  My gosh, he is good!  Knowing “the secret” felt like being in the CIA or something.  I enjoyed being part of the “connivance team” so much that I would have this all-knowing look over my playmates. “Hah, you better be good or I will tell my Dad not to give you gifts!”   I just had some questions though…  Where did he keep the reindeers?  He knew I always wanted to see Rudolph!  Who were his elves?

photo by: thefunnyblog.org

Fast forward to 2011 and I now have a 5-year old boy who believes in Santa Claus.  He gets a small treat in his stocking everyday with Santa’s little note reminding him to study hard, always be polite, eat his vegetables, etc.  This routine has been encouraging the Little Boy to get up every morning without any prodding from me.  I’m aware of this argument among parents and experts that this “myth” glorifies lying, deception, materialism, etc.  My take is, kids should be sat down by the parents and be told about the truth when parents feel that their kids are ready to handle it.  Kids can keep on believing as long as they know the REAL reason for the Christmas celebration.  After all, Jesus’ birthday is a great, interesting and inspiring story by itself.  Meanwhile, let kids be kids.  I don’t think this will make a traumatic impact on them when they become adults.  I turned out well… I think. 🙂

BACK TO THE GRIND

Yes, it’s back to regular programming for me!  Thanks so much for your sweet “get well” messages, they gave me comfort when my taste buds were not working and my skin burned from too much wintergreen ointment.  I knew I’ve recovered from the bug when thoughts of  working in the kitchen suddenly appealed to me (!), anything that will get me out of the bed :).  I am just so glad that I feel better now to attend to quite a number of important events: a recording album launch one evening (not mine of course!), parent-teacher meeting and play date the following morning.  Too bad I didn’t get well soon enough for a very dear friend’s surprise birthday party.  Nevertheless, this domestic diva has managed a balanced life this week.

IMELA KEI’S ALBUM LAUNCH

We met Imel because she’s married to a half Filipino-half Indonesian guy, Marko (of Mike’s Apartment band).  Both have established strong ties within the Filipino circle in Indonesia.   Imel, who is a member of the Ten2Five band, a composer and arranger, recently came out with her first solo album and we’re honored to have been invited to its launch.  ‘Twas my first time to watch her in action (I just see her on dinners and parties :)) and I was blown away by her voice! Imagine Amy Winehouse, Adele and Alicia Keys rolled into one petite frame!

Here's to the "White Lilies" launch!

Marko and his band, Mike's Apartment, opened the launch.

Not only does Imel have a powerful voice, she also has a mean piano prowess!

That night was also Imel's birthday celebration!

Cheers!!!

PARENT-TEACHER MEETING I might just post a separate article on this.  My discussion with Little Boy’s teacher was so interesting we nearly went overtime (each parent was given 15 minutes).  Had there been more time, I would have taken some photos.  I know, I’m weird that way hahaha!

THE PLAY DATE

My co-parent, Irene Connolly, once again opened the doors of her lovely home for a play date.  Their house is an ideal place for kids to run around and get busy in.  It’s spacious enough to have bicycles, toy cars, scooters and skate boards running simultaneously INSIDE the living room area .  She has two little girls but the collection of toys can likewise be enjoyed by the boys.  The tent and the trampoline are always a guaranteed hit with the kids too.  I don’t know how she remains calm and composed when kids play on her white couch and eat spaghetti on her equally immaculate carpet!  And because she’s such a gracious host, her kitchen is a favorite cook-out “playground” among the moms too 🙂

The calm before the storm.

Aaaand the chaos begins...

Girls just wanna have fun!

The kids having a blast...

Getting all the kids together for a group photo was a challenge!

See you again soon, moms!

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