Thursday, December 15, 2011

Have you seen my puppy?

One fine day, my Nanay brought home this thing vibrant with all the colors from ROY-G-BIV and handed it to me while I was chillaxin' in my crib.

I figured, What a waste of money! They could have just gotten me some new clothes, since I was having a hard time breathing on those onesies that I had outgrown. But to give respect to my Nanay, I looked at it just the same.

It turned out to be a cloth-book (or at least that's what I call it). It's about the story of a boy asking help to find his puppy. Of all the topics they could have asked to me to read, they chose to bore me about a lost puppy. I would have enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo more, but well, let's see how this goes..

I started reading it.. and got so hooked 'coz the little boy kept on looking for his puppy at all the wrong places!

The plot thickened! Every time the boy asked if that was his puppy, the clothbook would ask me to do something, like lift the cover and see if the puppy was behind the refrigerator, or remove the cover from the bushes. And there would always be something for my developing senses, like a rough cloth for me to touch, or a button that would emit sounds, or a page that  sounded like crumpled plastic when touched.

Without me knowing, I was hooked! You see how I burried my face? I would leave no stones unturned until I find the poor boy's puppy.

I even brought it in my bed to read before bedtime. 

But my Nanay and Tatay and the rest of the Cristobal Pamileh were so chaotic in cheering for me, I lost my concentration.

These people! After they drove me nuts to lay my hand on the book, now that it got me going, they made all the loud noises and laughter that got me distracted. So hard to deal with old folks.

And guess what they did next? They took the clothbook away from me and said it's time to hit the sack. Seriously?! But i haven't found the puppy yet!!

And besides, do I look like a sleepy boy to you??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just like your Tatay

Just like your Tatay, I hope you turn out to be good in Math so you can ace your entrance exams and get admitted in good schools. Unlike your tatay, I totally sucked in numbers, - that's why I took up Law. I took the UPCAT and I tried solving those math problems, but the results of my computation were not included in any of the choices. It's either I got it wrong- or their questions were too much to handle for my arithmophobic brain. But your Tatay, he used to compete in math  quiz bees when he was in high school. Your Tatay loves numbers, emulate him as much as you can. 

Just like your Tatay, I hope you become a voracious reader. I  am not gaga over books -I  think your Nonna (my Nanay) has read more books than I have. But your Tatay- he breathes reading. I am a living witness to your tatay's excitement everytime  he  sees a bookstore and his persistence to find ebooks on the web to hoard on his kindle.  In fact, his heart sank when his books, especially the hard-to-find sort, were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy. And being a bookworm that he is, his vocabulary is a bottomless pit. I do not even trust him when he  answers "I don't know" when I ask the meaning or synonym of a certain word - I suspect that he's just trying to be humble. Your tatay has gotten so much from reading, emulate him as much as you can.

Just like your Tatay, I hope you fascinate yourself with literature and poetry. He would recite to me Edgar Allan Poe's Anabelle Lee as he drives on our way home. I don't get the kilig factor because he invariably does that just to annoy me. But then, who can recite poems like that these days? His first gift to me was a poem printed on a fancy blue paper and placed on a frame. He said it was the only thing he could afford at that time, but secretly, I know he did it on purpose because he knows I will be blown away. He is definitely not a romantic person (He is definitely not a romantic person, Emphasis Supplied). But he has a gift that you could put to a good use to swoon ladies, emulate him as much as you can.

Just like your Tatay, I hope you become a dedicated family man. Before we came to his life, he already was the "mama's-favorite" material. He never answered back to your grandparents save those times when he was pushed to study harder because his teachers thought that he could achieve more if only he was diligent. He sent your aunt to school even when his fledgling law career can only provide him a paltry sum enough  for his rent and daily subsistence; he is now doing this for your uncle. Also, he still punches your grandpa and your uncles for fun and he berates your aunts for wearing those trendy micro-minis. And every time he holds you and play with you like a doting father, I can see your grandparents beaming with pride in one corner. But please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you  should be biased against clothes that are too little and make-ups that are too much. He tends to overdo that one, so try to deviate a little :p Other than that, his love for family is unfathomable, emulate him as much as you can. (And make your momma proud, too).

Just like your Tatay, please strive for brain excellence without being smart alec. Your Tatay has a bouquet of laurel on his forehead.  I, on the other hand, can only show  you laurels on my adobo. (Waley?) I would love to go up on the stage on your graduation day and pin your Magna Cum Laude medal, just like how your lola did. I am even thinking of giving you a thousand tongue-lashings "ala-lola" if ever you  become a lackadaisical  highschool student like your tatay in the hope that you'll bring out your true potential and turn out to be an ace college student just like him. Your tatay was a genius, I was just a diligent student, so to spare yourself the effort, emulate him as much as you can.

Just like your Tatay, be resilient. I have had my share of troubles, and he has faced his own storms, too. But between the two of us, he is the "cooler" one. I tend to overanalyze every situation, worry too much about it, and then bask in the gloomy atmosphere of depression I myself created. Your Tatay knows how to laugh about it, no matter how tough the situation seems to be. I hope you don't turn out to be sickly, though. Because he can't stand illness and hospitals. I grew up bringing myself to the ERs and operating rooms by myself and coming out of it smiling, so I guess that's when I take charge. Your Tatay and I have gone through the days of half-order of munggo and one rice  to make do with what we had. I was sad and depressed, he was content and cheerful, emulate him as much as you can.

Just like your Tatay, please be a philosopher. Well, you may opt to become either a doctor, a lawyer, an artist, an architect, an engineer, or a stand-up comedian- choose whatever suits you! But be a thinking person. He will probably importune you with the idea of living your   life consciously and in accordance with your life's "guideposts". And I will gladly relinquish the rein in his favor on those "life matters" because he knows better. Remember, our conversation ala Before Sunrise, Before Sunset has gotten me, totally. He can be very intimidating to talk to, but sometimes, he is just the right dose of medicine one needs to be enlightened, emulate him as much as you can.

Just like your Tatay, please, for your own sake, be a funny man! I mean, your Tatay is a really funny guy. As in the makes-you-wanna-pee-in-your-pants funny. And I'd like to think I'm a funny person as well. So it would be so sad  on your part to be left out on our "laughing trips".  Oh, and we've gotten you a bunch of funny ninongs and ninangs, and your titas and titos are all kalog and makulit, so really, you'll be all alone on the other side  of the fence if you don't turn out to be funny.  So please emulate him as much as you can.

All my wishes may be too much to ask from you, but you must not lose heart.  You have his genes to begin with, so these things may not be that hard for you. Your Tatay is one of the most wonderful persons I have ever met in my life-- and I am saying this not as a wife, but someone who has come to know him before I have fallen in love with him.  he cajoled me into falling in love with him. It would be grand if you take after him.

After all, they say you already look like me, and I think I could live with that. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The day Zohan rolled over

I wasn't there when it happened. No glimpse, no proud-momma-moment, no leap for joy. None whatsoever. But that's okay. I mean, that's just rolling over. There would still be a series of first - first solid food, first walk, first day of school, recitals, graduation - a whole lot more meaningful than a baby rolling over to be on his chest. So, no big deal. Besides, it would not be the last time he's going to do that. There'll be plenty of it, and with more precision! So I figured I'll just wait for the weekend to come home and cheer him up as he impresses me with his roll-over moves.

I wish I can honestly tell you that's the way I handled it. But no.

It was November 18, 2011, Zohan's third month. It also happened to be our lawfirm's 6oth founding anniversary and the entire office was set for a big lunch over at Peking Garden. So everybody in the office was looking their best and mighty excited for this no-work-let's-just-party-til-we-drop day! I arrived early in the office to have breakfast before heading on to Greenbelt for the office-sponsored mass. While having breakfast, I texted my mother-in-law,
"Ma, happy birthday kay Zohan. I-kiss and hug mo na lang ako sa kanya."
And she texted me back,
"Oo nga 'nak. Ang regalo nya sa atin eh dumapa na sya ngayon lang."
Right then and there, I could feel my eyes swelling up, ready to part with that little tear I was trying so hard to control. The non-legal staff were there and I would not want to create a scene over my son's first roll over. But, as fate would have it, I cried. My secretary was asking me what happened, and I just said, 

"Dumapa na daw 'yung anak ko, hindi ko man lang nakita.. :(
Naku, tama na nga 'yan. Ang mascara, ang mascaraaaaah!"
But deep inside, I was wallowing in guilt and sadness. That day came and went. I celebrated with the rest of the staff, but every so often, I imagined my son trying to get his cute little butt to turn and lay flat on his chest. I imagined my mother-in-law beaming with happiness. And I wasn't there to share her joy.

That weekend, I was very excited to go home. I wanted to see it for myself. And yes, he could really roll-over now!

Look, I can do this now!

Tatay, where you looking at?

Oh, there's the camera. I should face here!

..and then smile just a bit to keep my mystery :)

That night, and the nights thereafter, he just kept rolling over like he's in a frenzy! All I needed was to lay him down and he would automatically roll over. And he would do that even at night when his hunger interrupted his sleep. So I would always have to get up and pick him up and lay him on his back again so he could go back to sleep. And if you leave him alone in his sleep, he'd roll over, eyes-shut and all. So cute! 

I'd like to think it's his way of telling his Nanay that it's okay if I missed one of his milestones.  There would still be a lot to look forward to. But babies could not be as thoughtful at that age. It's just feed-play-sleep for them, so, that's just my imagination. =) I just keep on reminding myself that motherhood is such a beautiful thing to ruin with all my drama. So keep on smiling. And hugging and kissing this little baby boy.

'Til the next milestone!

What Games to Play (Baby Shower Post, Part 2)

This is long overdue. But before we finally bid 2011 goodbye, which is the year when this Baby Shower was had, let me continue with my blabber in the hope that you can get ideas if you are, by any chance, hosting a baby shower for your friends.

Measure Your Waist

I call this game "Measure your waist", for obvious reasons! You will need a ribbon, band, or anything that can be used to measure your waist. The goal is to approximate the waistline of the pregnant momma, baby bump and all! I forgot who won this game, and I forgot what my waistline was. This was almost a month before I give birth and I haven't even been injected with anesthesia!

ME at 8 months! 
Here are the photos of the girls, measuring away!


I think it was Hannah who won this contest, judging by the way this photo was taken!

She looks like she's receiving a price here
List it Down!
The participants will be grouped and given a pen and paper. The host will announce the categories and the participants are supposed to write down all the items they could think of belonging to that category. For instance, BABY BATH TIME! We've got items like baby bath soap, baby oil, water, basin, etc. You know how it goes! Then the future mommy is supposed to check the items listed by the group and sum it up. The group that comes up with the most items wins. By that time, I have already stuffed my brain with all those information so I didn't have a hard time checking. Yeah, by that time, I already know what animal is a Desitin!

Fierce competition we got here!


And last, and the most fun of them all..

Eat the Poop-Ice-Cream
The person with the strongest gut wins.
Enjoy the rest of the photos!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's in a name?

We named our first-born Zahir Mohandas. It's quite a handful, right? Everytime I was asked what's my baby's name, I always had to repeat it for them. Always. And it would entail a long explanation why he was named such. So the next time I was asked, I just answered "Zohan". And then they would ask, as in Zohan the movie? And I'd say yes, and they would usually laugh. So, end of conversation. Short-cut, wasn't it?

We named him Zahir Mohandas for our own selfish reasons. Selfish because we are delighted by the name, while the poor boy will have to bear with writing his kilometric name in Kindergarten. And in the first grade, he might need to explain to his teacher and his classmates the story behind his name. And when he gets older and it's time to hit the chikas - I hope in God's name the girls are unaware of that movie by Adam Sandler -they might think he's one grossly funny guy who makes the perfect perm! But, if they dig funny guys, then maybe that's a plus. So, yeah, his name is our own selfish concoction.

Zahir was taken from The Zahir, a book by one of my favorite authors Paulo Coelho. (He's everybody's favorite now, do you notice?). It is a story of pilgrimage of love and obsession, a husband looking for a wife who decided to disappear, and in the process, was able to find himself. It is not even my favorite Coelho novel, but then, who would want to name his son Veronika, or Miss Prym, or Valkyries, or Witch of Portobello? (On second thought, Alchemist sounds cool.)

Grabbed from google images

Mohandas was a loving tribute of his Tatay to Mohandas Ghandi. I cannot talk enough of his Tatay's fascination to Ghandi. Like Ghandi, he is a lawyer who struggles to shed the dermis of worldliness and reveal the "atman" in him.

This used to be his Facebook Profile picture, but now, it has been
replaced by our version of Mohandas

Offhandedly, just by the sound of his name, our first-born seems like a kick-ass philosophy-driven bookworm who doesn't know how to have fun. 

But, of course, we do not want him to turn out that way. We want him to embrace the beauty of life. Personally, I would want him to be just like his Tatay - an incredible permutation of comic and depth who has the uncanny ability to make you pee in your pants with his humor and antics and - just by pressing a switch- to baffle you with his unorthodox but inspiring views about life and its purpose.

To make way for the comic part, we gave Zohan as his nickname. I hate to be anti-climactic, but yes, Zohan as in the hilarious Adam Sandler in You Don't Mess with the Zohan.

Our friends find our choice of nickname as silly, but in a cute way. Sometimes, I wonder if it was a mistake giving him that nickname. This happens mostly when I recall the scenes from the movie and I imagine him doing the same. But when you googled Zohan, after being directed to numerous links to the movie and Sandler's crazy photos, you'll learn that it is actually a Slavic name for a gift from God. Akalain mo 'yun?

But seriously, he is really one of God's most precious gifts to us. We did not wish for him, but he was given to us. Zohan came at a point that we least expected, but to God, he came right on time. And we couldn't be happier. :)

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