Thursday, June 29, 2006

June 28, 2006 - Alaveet...

It was worth last night's sleep deprivation.  Rob had early morning meetings, which meant I had to care for Nicole pretty much solo.  It was totally fine, as my mom was going to be babysitting and I would have a nice day off.  I had lunch with a friend and spent the afternoon in the Greenbelt area (which was marred by my car's bumper getting scratched by another car as my driver was on his way to pick me up).  The day was peaceful... quiet... wonderful.

I enjoy days like this... the brain kind of shuts down... you're surrounded by the rain... and a mysterious, intangible but concrete force melds with you, making you feel nothing but unbridled, unadulterated happiness.  Go figure... a day, like any other day, doing just that for you.  Perhaps it's certain memories and experiences that come flooding back, enveloping you in a deluge of love.

And I just got emo on your ass.  Ha!

But in all seriousness... it's a day that made me feel alive, in spite of getting less than my normal sleep quota.  Or could it be the lack of sleep that's making me feel like this?  Who knows, and who cares... all I know is that I had a fantastic day, and hope for more like it.  Many, many more.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006 - How To Get What You Want

It's simple really... there are only two ways (that I know of) to get what you want:

1.  Ask for it
2. Get it yourself

Sounds very simple, doesn't it?  "Please pass the carrots..."  "May I have a can of Burnt Sienna?"  And yes, I AM tall enough to reach that book on the shelf (but it's nice when help passes by... lalo na pag guapo, he he he).

However, there are things in life that are not as easy to ask for or get: an apology if you feel wronged... the go-ahead from your folks to live on your own... your parents' blessing to marry the man/woman you love... forgiveness from your spouse/best friend/parent... a career you can be proud of... being able to do what you love for a living... an explanation for a sudden change of heart... a child (when all efforts have failed)... independence.  The last one was mine.

I'll be the first to admit, I was a sheltered young woman.  I was in my mother's care for a very long time, and I presumed that she wouldn't allow me to live on my own.  Well, to a point, I was right... but one day, I made the decision that it was now time for me to strike out and live in my New York apartment by myself.  It wasn't going to be easy... and at the end of it, the means with which I got my freedom were cruel.  We were in Singapore for a show I was doing, and it came time to book the flights with our  producer.  I booked mine for New York, I booked hers for Manila.  No permission... no discussion... I decided that I was going to live on my own, whether she wanted me to or not.  Once I got to my apartment (MY apartment) I packed up her stuff in Balikbayan boxes and shipped them home. 

The adjustment period to going from being practically served to serving myself wasn't an easy one, but one worth making.  From this point on, it was all me.  And I loved it.  Count your blessings if you're one of the lucky ones that has your independence practically handed to you on a silver platter; there are those of us that have to fight for it.

My mother would oftentimes say, "Anak, if you were normal, I'd gladly let you be on your own."  Here's a newsflash: I AM NORMAL.   I knew I wasn't going to get my independence by asking nicely, so I grabbed it by the balls and ran.  I think my mom's forgiven me by now for hurting her.

Life isn't always going to hand the things you want to you, even if you ask ever so sweetly with a cherry on top.  Sometimes, you just have to get it... grab it... and go.

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006 - The past is the past is the past...

According to one of my best girlfriends (who's now expecting her and her husband's 4th child), she lost blocks of memories when she was administered anesthesia for childbirth.  She no longer remembers her 7th birthday, relying only on pictures to fill in the gaps.  I was sure this wouldn't happen to me, as I have the memory of a steel trap, remembering things that other people would normally forget, to the point that I've often been told, "I can't believe you remember that!"  Yeah, my brain is cluttered with names and faces, incidents, memories... some great, some not-so-great. 

And I was right.  Everything is exactly where I left it.  The steel trap still works.  Sometimes, much to my chagrin.

There are things in my life that I would much rather forget... things I've seen and heard that I'd rather have purged from my memory... things, incidents, people that have in the past made me plunge headlong into sadness and anger... why can't I just remember the good, the fantastic, the joyful?  I know, life just isn't like that.

So I choose to conveniently forget... put away all those less-than-savory things.  I've found that it takes way too much energy to dwell on old hurts.

The past is the past is the past.  I leave it there, where it belongs.

Nicole Pictures (06-25-06)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 24, 2006 - What Is The Story...

I blame this one on Bobby!



1. Of your name?
- I'm named after my maternal grandparents, Leo and Carmen.  The Maria is arbitrary.

2. Of your parents?
- I'm not exactly sure!  I think my father saw my mother playing bowling, but I don't have a time line of any kind.

3. Of your last bday?
- LUCE LUCE LUCE!!!  Lots of friends, pata, calamari and alcohol.  Unfortunately I couldn't have the alcohol, but I vow to make up for lost time! 

4. Of your first love?
- Passionate and hot... but very, very wrong.

5. Of your room?
- It's now Baby Central: a bassinet, crib and rocking chair.  As for the rest of the stuff in there, just your normal, average bedroom furniture: a bed (with a fantastic pillowtop mattress), TV (I'm holed up for hours at a time, the TV'd better be in here), dresser, side tables and lamps, armchairs, a small fridge for storing snacks and breast milk.  Of course... my laptop and a printer, wireless router and cable modem.

6. Of last Christmas?
- Honolulu with my husband's family.  It was the first time I wore a bikini to the beach.  Naglakas loob si buntis!

7. Of last Valentines day?
- I spent it with Rob and my mother (his idea to invite her... que sweet).  We went to a fabulous restaurant called Red, and ate a wonderful meal.  I can't remember what I had... I think it was beef.

8. Of your current clothes?
- I can wear most of my pre-pregnancy jeans and pants, but not the shirts (boobs too big from breastfeeding).  I just bought a whole set of breastfeeding blouses and shirts from Mommy Matters (, and I also steal my husband's t-shirts for sleeping when I've run out of nightshirts.

9. Of the 1st time u saw your crush?
- Dedma... I don't remember feeling anything special.

10. Of you and your best friend/s?
- I have good, good friends everywhere I go, all of whom are special to me.  Each has a story, and it would take up way too much space for me to write each one down!  Suffice to say, many of these friends share a love for theater, be it as those caught in a story as members of an audience or as colleagues when putting up a show.  Some of us are also mates in mischief, bwahahahahaha!

11. Of the last place you went to?
- For work: The Bellevue Hotel for an interview... for fun: Luce for Jett's birthday... for food: Piquant (healthy but absolutely delicious).

12. Of the last time you cried
- Haaaaaaay, I'd rather not think about it. 

13. Of your greatest achievement so far?
- Maintaining a sense of joy, peace and humor with just about everything.  Life's just way too short to wallow in negativity. 

14. The last movie you watched?
- I haven't watched a movie in a while, so I can't even remember what the last one was.  Pathetic!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Nicole Chien Snapshots

Some photos of our daughter Nicole. Enjoy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Welcome, Nicole!

These were taken the day Nic was born. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006 - Things I've Been Through

I must thank 'Day for posting this on her Blogspot page... it never fails to make me cut and paste, and fill out.  Italicized comments are mine, where I feel like making them.


Things I Have Lived Through
Put numbers instead of x's (1, 2, 3, 4...).

[1] I have read a lot of books.
[] I have been on some sort of varsity team.
[] I have run more than 2 miles without stopping.
[2] I have been to Canada.
[3] I have been to Europe.
[4] I have watched cartoons for hours.
[5] I have tripped UP the stairs.
[6] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs...ok well not an entire flight
[] I have been snowboarding/skiing.  I'd rather stay in the warmth of a log cabin with a mug of hot chocolate in my hand.

[7] I have played ping pong.
[8] I swam in the ocean.
[] I have been on a whale watch.
[9] I have seen fireworks.
[] I have seen a shooting star.
[] I have seen a meteor shower.
[] I have almost drowned.
[10] I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear.

[11] I have listened to one CD over and over and over again.  Does iPod music count?  Galing naman din sa CD eh!
[12] I have had stitches.  Where the sun doesn't shine.  Ouch!
[] I have had frostbite.
[] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there.
[13] I have stayed up til 2 (and beyond) doing homework/projects.
[14] I have been ice skating.
[] I have been rollerblading.
[15] I have fallen flat on my face.
[16] I have tripped over my own two feet.
[] I have been in a fist fight.

[17] I have played videogames for more than 3 hours straight.  My husband knows this better than anyone. 
[18] I have watched the Power Rangers.
[19] I (try to) attend Church regularly.
[20] I have played truth or dare.
[21] I have already had my 16th birthday.
[22] I have already had my 17th birthday.
[23] I've called someone stupid.
[24] I've been in a verbal argument.  Don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

[25] I've cried in school.
[] I've played basketball on a team.
[] I've played baseball on a team.
[] I've played football on a team.
[] I've played soccer on a team.
[] I've done cheerleading on a team.
[] I've played softball on a team.
[26] I've played volleyball on a team.
[] I've played tennis on a team.
[] I've been on a track or cross country team.
[27] I've been swimming more than 20 times in my life.
[] I've bungee jumped.

[] I've climbed a rock wall.
[28] I've lost more than $20.
[29] I've called myself an idiot.
[30] I've called someone else an idiot.  And a dolt... and a nincompoop...
[31] I've cried myself to sleep.
[32] I've had (or have) pets.

[33] I've owned a Spice Girls CD/cassette.  Hey, their first CD was actually pretty good!
[34] I've owned a Britney Spears CD.  The one with Toxic is not bad at all.
[] I've owned an N*Sync CD.
[] I've owned a Backstreet Boys CD.
[] I've mooned someone.
[] I have sworn/yelled at someone of authority before.

[35] I've been in the newspaper.
[36] I've been on TV.
[37] I've been to Hawaii.
[38] I've eaten sushi.
[] I've been on the other side of a waterfall.

[] I've watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
[39] I've watched all the Harry Potter movies.
[] I've watched all of the Rocky movies.
[40] I've watched the 3 stooges.
[] I've watched "Newlyweds" Nick & Jessica.
[41] I've watched Looney Tunes.  But of course!!!
[] I've been stuffed into a locker/I have stuffed others into lockers.

[42] I've been called a geek.
[43] I've studied hard for a test and got a bad grade.
[44] I've not studied at all for a test and aced it.
[ ] I've hugged my mom within the past 24 hrs.
[ ] I've hugged my dad within the past 24 hours.
[45] I've met a celebrity/music artist.
[46] I've written poetry.
[] I've been arrested.

[] I've been attracted to someone much older than me.
[47] I've been tickled till I've cried.
[48] I've tickled someone else until they cried.
[49] I've had/have siblings.  Plenty of them.
[50] I've been to a rock concert.

[51] I've listened to classical music and enjoyed it.  I've also played it... wish I stuck with it...
[52] I've been in a play.
[] I've been picked last in gym class.
[] I've been picked first in gym class.
[] I've been picked in that middle-range in gym class.

[53] I've cried in front of my friends.
[54] I've read a book longer than 1,000 pages.
[] I've played Halo 2.
[] I've freaked out over a sports game.
[] I've been to Alaska.

[55] I've been to China.  Hong Kong counts, doesn't it?  Hi, Bobby!
[56] I've been to Spain.
[57] I've been to Japan.
[58] I've had a fight with someone on AIM/MSN.  As well as by text.  Now THAT'S challenging!!!
[] I've had a fight (confrontation?) with someone face-to-face.
[59] I've had serious conversations on any IM.

[60] I've forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
[61] I've been forgiven.
[62] I've screamed at a scary movie.
[63] I've cried at a chick flick.
[64] I've watched a lot of action movies.
[65] I've screamed at the top of my lungs.

[] I've been to a rap concert.
[] I've been to a hip hop concert.
[66] I've lived in more than 2 houses.
[67] I've driven on the highway/been on the highway.  Awwwww yeah!
[68] I've driven more than 40 miles in a day/been in a car that went more than 40 miles in a day.  Live in LA, you do this every single f***ing day.
[] I've been in a car accident.

[69] I've done drugs....uuuuh define drugs....antibiotics? : )  Tylenol!  Yeah, that's it!
[] I've been homesick.  Not really... everywhere I hang my hat is home.
[70] I've thrown up.  Damn those Luce kamikazes...
[] I've puked on someone.
[71] I've gone horseback riding.

[] I've filled out more than 10 MySpace/LJ surveys.
[72] I've spoken my mind in public.
[73] I've proven someone wrong.
[74] I've been proven wrong by someone.
[] I've broken a leg.
[] I've broken an arm.
[] I've fallen off a swing.
[75] I've swung on a swing for more than 30 minutes straight
[76] I've watched Winnie the Pooh movies.

[] I've forgotten my backpack when I've gone to school.
[] I've lost my backpack.
[] I've come close to dying.
[77] I've seen someone die.
[78] I've known someone who has died.

[79] I've wanted to be an actor/actress at some point.  DUH!!!
[80] I've done modeling.
[81] I've forgotten to brush my teeth some mornings.
[82] I've taken something/someone for granted.
[83] I've realized how good my life is.
[84] I've counted my blessings.
[85] I've made fun of a classmate.
[86] I've been asked out by someone and I said no.
[87] I've slapped someone in the face.  Aga Muhlach's for a movie.  I love my job.
[88] I've been skateboarding.
[89] I've been backstabbed by someone I thought was a friend.  The bastard ain't my friend no more.
[90] I've lied to someone to their face.
[91] I've told a little white lie.

[92] I've taken a day off from school just so I don't go insane.
[93] I've fainted.
[] I've had an argument with someone about whether cheerleading is a sport or not.
[94] I've pushed (thrown) someone into a pool.  Biiiig mistake... I should have checked first if he knew how to swim.
[] I've been pushed into a pool.
[95] I've been/am in love.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006 - The Nature of Love

I'm writing this entry with my daughter fast asleep on top of my lap pillow.  Her little body is comfortably nestled there, and she's off to dreamland.  One look at her, and I know that I love her with all my heart and soul.

This is the case with everyone and everything that I love... my husband, family, friends, work.  I love them all, with all my heart and soul.

"All my heart and soul."

It seems almost mathematically and logically impossible to love each and every thing 100 per cent.  Makes more sense to subdivide and love one thing 20%, another thing 10%.  But that's not the nature of love.  At least not the way I see it.

Love is inexhaustible... endless... bottomless.  Love cannot be quantified, counted or explained in terms that the mind understands.  Love doesn't always make sense, but it's always beautiful when it comes into your life.  It's something I've learned to not refuse or turn away when it appears, but to accept it, hold it, learn from it and care for it as best as I can.  Sometimes, I've asked myself why and for what purpose this love is in my life, but now, I take it as a blessing.  No questions asked.

"Wherever there is love, there is God."  'Nuff said.

June 21, 2006 - I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!!!

It's been 5 weeks since I gave birth, which means 5 weeks since I started breastfeeding.  What began as an extremely painful and frustrating activity has turned into a pleasurable bonding practice, one that I've found myself looking forward to.  Sure, there's the odd time that because of my physical discomfort I'm in no condition to directly nurse (that's when Rob takes over with a heated bottle of breast milk), but on the whole, it's something I want to do... and love to do.

From a practical standpoint, it takes far less time and effort now to feed from the breast.  The milk is always ready.  All I have to do is lift my shirt, undo the front panel of my nursing bra (if I'm wearing one... I forgo it when I'm home) and we're all set.  No bottles to heat up, no formula to mix.  It's empowering to know that I carry nourishment in my body.

There's also another phenomenon I've observed, one that a staff pediatrician at Asian Hospital made me aware of: at some point, when my baby's ready to nurse, my breasts will feel it.  Another friend said that the sensation can be likened to an army of ants attacking my nipples.  Well, they're both right.  Nic can be home and I can be out, and I'll know that she's waking up and ready to feed.  I once bounded up the stairs feeling this sensation, and got to the bedroom just as Rob was starting to bottle feed her.  How strange!  Alaveet!

Lastly... WEIGHT LOSS!!!  I checked my weight today, and I'm only a couple of pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.  And that's while I'm eating like a pig.  According to breastfeeding websites I've perused, a breastfeeding woman uses up an extra 300-500 calories producing milk.  Hmmm... knowing this, maybe I should just keep this up for a while!

I find myself blessed to be able to take care of Nicole this way, as I know that there are women who, either by choice or circumstance, can't breastfeed their babies.  My mother was one such woman.  We couldn't digest her breast milk.  I have to commend her though for being the best mother she could be.  Obviously, not breastfeeding us didn't make her any less of a mommy.

Having said all that, if you can breastfeed your child, you absolutely should.  It's one of the best things you can do for your baby.

June 20, 2006 - Mallrats

Today was the first day Nicole went to the mall.  No, it wasn't a huge deal... we stayed in a relatively unpopulated area.  I had a couple of errands to run, and it was nice that she could come with me.

Before the mall though, I had to visit my doctor.  There were a few post-natal issues and concerns I needed to discuss with her regarding my healing progress.  She held the baby for the first time in a month (Nic's 9 pounds now, a huge difference from when she was born)... my doctor still had the pampatulog ng sanggol touch; Nic was falling asleep in her arms.  Since I was her last patient of the day, I was able to stay longer to chat and hang out before heading to the mall.

As for my progress... everything's looking good.  However, there might be a part of my uterus that isn't healing as quickly as we'd like, so she advised me to take things easy for a few more weeks.  I haven't yet been cleared to perform strenuous activity (exercise, trapeze practice, walking a tightrope, etc.), but anything light is just fine.  In other words, nothing to worry about, but I will be observing things and listening to my body.  I'll just have to use my instincts and intuition as to what I should and shouldn't do.

It would be nice though to get some Tae-Bo or Yoga Booty Ballet going now to enable my body to get into great shape.  I'd love to one day wear a bikini on a Boracay beach and strut my stuff feeling totally confident and proud, with a flat belly, toned arms, great legs and a tight derriere.  Yeah... one day...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

June 19, 2006 - A much needed pummelling

My reprieve for today came in the form of my long time best girlfriend Steffi, who's been dying to babysit Nicole.  So today she got her opportunity.  I had lots of breast milk in the fridge for her (enough that there are still a few ounces left over, in spite of the baby's humongous appetite).  She came over at noon and promptly got to work.  She sent me off to have a good time and enjoy my day.  And I did.

My destination: Island Spa.  I was a virgin to this particular establishment, but I've heard nothing but good things about this place, so I picked today to satisfy my curiosity and get a long overdue full body massage.

Pros: the massage therapist's hands... a TV in the treatment room

Cons: noise bleeding from other rooms and outside the treatment area... a TV in the treatment room

Okay, I have to commend the massage therapist (I think her name was Mai).  She was a tiny little thing (hmmm... I think she was Nina's size), but with the hand strength of Mighty Thor.  Using a mix of swedish and shiatsu massage techniques, and handfuls of rose oil, she was able to untangle almost every single knot in my back (including those I didn't know existed), stretch my back and legs, relax my head and shoulders... in other words, she made me feel goooooooood.  I was used to strong massages (I needed them on a weekly basis when I was doing Miss Saigon, as that raked stage was murder on my body, particularly my hips and lower back) so I knew what I was in for... I was not disappointed.  I would definitely return... if I could be promised a more quiet treatment room.

In the room across from mine, the volume of the TV was turned up SOOOOOO LOUD!  It was a Korean channel (it sounded like a soccer game was on the air)... and there was a little kid in that room that was a bit too noisy for my taste.  This was supposed to be a space for relaxation, and unfortunately, the sound level sort of marred my experience.  I would have liked a more quiet room.  Sayang... magaling pa naman ang masahista.

Island Spa may be worth another visit, perhaps at a less busy time.

After the spa I made a beeline to Rockwell (with baseball cap and glasses on) in order to get a thank-you gift for my beautiful and sexy babysitter (heh heh heh).  I really appreciate her volunteering to take care of Nicole for the day.  I shall definitely return the favor.  Luce!  My treat!  Bring on the screwdrivers, mwarharharharhar!

Monday, June 19, 2006

June 19, 2006 - Argh!!!

Nic's having a growth spurt, which means that her appetite is insatiable.  She was bottle fed 4 oz of breast milk, then had to be nursed 2 hours later.  The last session was an intermittent one, going on and off for nearly an hour before she finally... finally... fell asleep.

I swear to God, my boobs are going to fall off.  Either that, or resemble those seen on National Geographic.  (Nipples, say hello to my belly button.)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

June 18, 2006 - Happy Father's Day!!!

A lot is spoken of about how a woman's life changes when she becomes a mother; I don't know that a lot is said about how the lives of men are altered forever by the arrival of their children.  On May 16 of this year, that's exactly what happened to Rob when Nicole was born.

On that day he was thrust into a life of diaper changes, twilight feedings and sleep deprivation... camera over-usage, cradling her to sleep and cute nicknames (he named her Kicky McChien because of how much she kicks!)... laughing at hiccups, burps and farts... and falling in love with her over and over again...

A life of school days and the eventual graduations... teaching her to ride a bike and drive a car... the "birds and bees" conversation from his perspective... screening teachers, friends and boyfriends (which will probably give him a heart attack)... giving her away on her wedding day... becoming a grandfather...

This is the woman he will love for the rest of his life.

So to Rob, from the ladies in your life, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

And to all my dad friends, a wonderful Father's Day to you too!

Friday, June 16, 2006

June 15, 2006 - My ME Day

Yes, today I had a ME day.  The good Abu came over to babysit Nicole for most of the day while I headed to my favorite salon for a cut-&-color.  First I briefly passed by Pipeline to pick up a baby blanket knitted lovingly by Cindy Oppen (the blanket is gorgeous... speaking of which, I gotta finish mine!), then off to Rockwell I went.  It was nice to get my feet massaged, my head fiddled with and my hair trimmed... I felt like a new person when I left.  I had to pass the mall before heading home for a few baby supplies (wipes, diaper cream and the like), then headed back to Alabang to meet Rob for Italian food.  When we got home, I was greeted by a baby that was in need of a nursing.  I missed her!

In as much as I love my family, I have to love myself too.  Self-rejuvenation is necessary in order for me to tend to and care for my loved ones better.  It's not so much "cabin fever prevention" as it is "mommy maintenance."  It's important for me to get out of the house once in a while and take care of myself... and take care of myself I do (and did).

On a side note, there's a bowl of cherries in the fridge with my name on it... I think it's time to pop one in my mouth.  Now.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June 14, 2006 - Random Thoughts...

I got my webcam to work again with Yahoo IM, finally!  After many frustrating tries, I reinstalled Yahoo Messenger, and voila!  It's amazing when tech works, and so fucking wrong when it doesn't.  I don't think I could live without tech for even a day... I'd be exhibiting heroine withdrawal-like symptoms.  Uh, let's not go there.


I celebrate every hour that Nicole is asleep... and lament every hour that I'm not.


My stomach is better!  I can eat normally again!  Well, within reason... I still need to stay off anything that could be an irritant to Nicole.  That means no pizza, ice cream, fruit salad (the kind with cream), cream-of-anything soup, milk shakes... and possibly no peanut butter sandwiches, soy milk and tofu.  But the good news is, I CAN EAT SUSHI AND SASHIMI!!!


Nicole turned 4 weeks old yesterday!!!


Stay Awake is playing in my headphones.  It just seemed like the perfect song at 1:30 AM, sitting at my laptop, alone.


I need a good, long hug... among other things...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

June 13, 2006 - Welcome to Avenue Q!

This is definitely one of my favorite shows on Broadway today.  I remember watching it a couple of years ago and nearly peeing in my pants from laughing so hard.  The only other show that's done that to me is Spamalot, which I watched a year later.

This is the one show I would dub "Sesame Street on Crack".  It's definitely not one you'd want to take your kids to, in spite of the loveable looking puppets.  I couldn't help but let out the loudest guffaw when I watched the two lead puppets having full-on sex on stage... and LOUD.

Here are the titles of the songs that either titillate me, make me think or make me laugh.  I listen to the cast recording often, and it puts me in the best mood ever:

The Internet is for Porn (never was masturbation so glorified!)
Loud As The Hell You Want (the background music to the all-out puppet sex)
Mix Tape (only because A Whole New World got a mention, which gave me a minor thrill)
Schadenfreude (a German word meaning "happiness at the misfortune of others".  Yeah, that IS German!)
There's A Fine, Fine Line (I couldn't wish for a better breakup song.  One sample lyric: There's a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.  Want more?)
The More You Ruv Someone (the more you want to kill them.  Oh how true...)
For Now (everything in life is only for now.  Yes, it is.)

If you have a copy and haven't listened to it yet, YOU MUST!!!  Let's see if you don't find yourself having a great belly laugh.  Mapapaihi ka sa katatawa.

June 13, 2006 - The Incredible Exploding Baby II

Yes, she isn't done yet...

It seems that she decides to let loose from the waist down with only two people: Rob and Abu (my mother).  It's almost as if a thought bubble pops in her head: "Ooh, it's Daddy changing me, I have a surprise for him," or "Ah, it's Abu... she's next."  She has peed unexpectedly with me, but not to the point of spontaneous explosion.  Not yet anyway.

Perhaps this is an omen of things to come: she'll be able to get away with anything with Dad and Abu, but not with Mom.  If that's the case, good.  Let's see if she'll ever be able to pull a fast one on me.

Yeah, she only LOOKS innocent.

Monday, June 12, 2006

June 11, 2006 - Bum Tum

Argh... I shouldn't have eaten that pichi-pichi with niyog.

Or could it have been that baked macaroni with heaps and heaps of cheese?

Whatever it was I ate, I am never eating that again!  My stomach hurts, making me double over when a cramp hits.  I'm starting to feel better now, after drinking lots of water, a little Sprite (I don't know what it is about that and 7up that helps, but it does), a banana and Sky Flakes.  I usually dunk the crackers into a bowl of baby food (Gerber's banana tapioca pudding) or Mott's apple sauce.  I've asked our cook to make some arroz caldo for tomorrow.  Yep, pagkaing pang may sakit.

I really, really should be careful about what I put in my mouth, as it could affect the milk I produce, so I think I'm going to stay away from the dairy for a while (as well as the peanuts and soy products... they could irritate my little one's very delicate digestive system).  I should concentrate on the high quality stuff... lean meats, vegetables (save for the ones that cause gas), fruits, brown rice and wheat bread... anything with protein and good sugars. 

Saturday, June 10, 2006

June 10, 2006 - The Best for Nicole

Rob and I are now in an ongoing, continuing discussion over what will be best for our daughter.  Part of that discussion includes this question: where are we going to live?

It's inevitable that, thanks to my career and the opportunities available to me, we'll have to return to the States for good (well, for a good long while anyway).  While Nic's still portable and not in school, it's something Rob and I both feel is the best for us to do.  There's an Asian tour of a musical being negotiated as we speak (once things are signed and sealed, I'll talk about it some more... pero hanggang wala pa, this is all I'll say about it), other professional issues that need to be established, taken care of, or resolved, family that we have to spend time with, etc., etc.  For sure, we'll be over there for around a year and a half, and then will return to this neck of the woods for that tour.  I'm hoping the tour pushes through without any hitches... I've never been on tour before and it'll be a fun time for our little family to go around this region before we're tethered to one place to establish our roots, wherever that is.

As for where I think that is, it's here in Manila.  Speaking as someone born and raised here, I would love for Nic to grow up here as well.  The support system for her would be strong, I would be assured of the school system being excellent, and I'd know that her peers would be well brought up and mannered.  Then again, one could always argue that the parents have a strong hand in making sure that happens, but it's far easier when her friends are raised in a similar fashion to how we intend to raise her. 

I don't know... decisions, decisions...

All I know is whatever we decide, at the end of the day, it'll be the best decision for our little girl.  Our lives now revolve around her (as I'm sure every parent's does around their children), and every choice we make will impact her future.  I'm sure that the end choice we make will be the right one.  Well, I hope so anyway.

Friday, June 9, 2006

June 09, 2006 - Heavy!!!

We just weighed her (using the makeshift method of Rob checking his weight first then carrying Nicole)... she weighs roughly 8 pounds!!!  Damn, she's heavy, and gaining quickly!!!  Her voracious appetite must have something to do with it.  Her face is rounder, her body longer, and those cute lines that form on the arms and thighs are there.  She was so wrinkled when she was born, almost like a Sharpei.

That's all from here... just wanted to write about how she's growing.  Damn... magulang na talaga ako.

June 09, 2006 - The Incredible Exploding Baby

Oh man... I wasn't home tonight when this happened to Rob... I was at my sister-in-law's birthday party.  I had a feeling something... eentehresteeng... took place while I was out, thanks to Rob's last text message to me as I was heading home.

It was time for a diaper change, and just as he was fastening the diaper on Nicole, she pooped, messing up the rubber changing mat she was lying on.  So, patiently he started over, removing the mat and got started on cleaning her... and that's when she exploded.  Poop and pee everywhere... EVERYWHERE... on her changing area.  Our main helper came upstairs, responding to the crying I presume was ensuing.  She then saw the mess, and proceeded to clean things up.  Rob bathed Nicole, as she was steeped in her own waste, poor one... by the time I got home, he had things under control.  He had just fed her, and she was falling asleep on his shoulder.  Oh boy... I really felt sorry for him.  I then washed up and got changed quickly to take over so that he could take a shower and get some sleep.

Parenthood.  What a trip.

I'm only glad that he didn't lose his mind as all this was going on.  He is a man of much patience, so I'm sure he'll survive more nights like this when they happen.

When the shit hits the fan, there's only one thing to do: clean up the mess and go on.  Will your day to be a good one, and chances are it will be.  One can't let a little thing like "poop gone awry" ruin an otherwise beautiful life.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

June 08, 2006 - Laugh, Clown, Laugh!

My little angel is now fast asleep, after numerous feedings and diaper changes.  Although sometimes the routine can be frustrating, at the end of it all I just have to laugh.  Find below a few of the things that make me go "hee hee" (sometimes preceded by an "argh").

1.  As I'm putting on a fresh diaper, she decides to pee or poop.  (Holy taba ng talangka!)

2.  Flatulence.  Man, this kid can fart.  Definitely her mother's daughter.

3.  Snoring.  Definitely her father's daughter.

4.  Her voracious appetite.  I seriously need another pair of boobs.

5.  Her "ooh" face.  Actually, ALL her faces.

6.  She sounds like a mogwai when she nurses.  Seriously.

7.  Her hair.  Flat in the front, spiky in the back.

On a day when I'm heavy with exasperation and sadness, I just have to take a look at her.  Every negative emotion goes away, and is immediately replaced by sunshine and rainbows.  It's amazing what taking a look at your child can do... its effect is nothing short of miraculous.

Monday, June 5, 2006

June 05, 2006 - Reality

The reality has sunk in.  My life has changed.

My life as I knew it to be no longer exists.  It has taken a 180 degree turn, and today, it got me into a funk.  I've realized that I can't just leave home at a moment's notice... I can't just leave without someone to watch the baby (we've decided to be 100% hands-on with Nicole until she's around 3 months old)... the spur-of-the-moment is a luxury I can't afford.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't resent my daughter and my new life at all.  It's just that the change wasn't a gradual one.  It was swift, sudden, quick.  There was no transition period, no easing into things.  I went from mallrat to houserat in no time flat.

It's something I'll have to get used to, I guess.  As my parent friends say, it gets easier.  I will find time for myself eventually, and I'll get my life back in spurts.  I guess these first few months are overwhelming and somewhat isolated... sa mga araw na ito, madali lang siguro akong mainis.

It will all get easier... it WILL get easier.  Parenthood is a journey that never ends.  I'll just have to be ready for it all.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

June 04, 2006 - No Cabin Fever

Two nights ago, I allowed myself a rare night out from home and baby to spend with my friends.  It had been such a long while since I was out alone.  Thank goodness Rob said to make a night of it, and to not worry about him and Nicole while I was out.  I've seen his paternal skills, so I was very confident that nothing untoward would happen in my absence.  So out I went (facing monumental I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out traffic from Alabang to Makati).  And a wonderfully perfect night it was.

I went to see a play, DOUBT, written by John Patrick Shanley.  It was a play that I had seen in New York (with the incomparable Cherry Jones as Sister Aloysius), so with great anticipation I headed to RCBC.  I arrived, energized after a trip to dreamland, prepared to see the show (and cheer on Chari and her stellar cast led by the inimitable Cherie Gil).  I was not disappointed, and marvelled at how wonderful this group of actors was in taking on this material.  All I'll say is that you MUST go see it at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC.  Pay a visit to a wonderful restaurant on the 3rd floor called Piquant while you're at it.  Healthy food, great price.  The Indian Spiced Chicken and their Tandoori Chicken, as well as their Chili-Ancho Pasta are my favorites.  Oh who am I kidding... I love everything on the menu!

After hanging out with friends post-show (and grabbing a plate of pasta with pesto sauce), I headed to Pipeline Studios to watch The Dawn rehearse for a bit.  It was certainly a treat to sit in a little room a few feet away from goodest friend and lead vocalist Jett and cohorts Junboy, Buddy and Kiko, watching them all do what they do best.  It was also cool to engage in mommyhood conversation with Beth (Jett's better half), Gina (drummer Junboy's better half) and one of Beth's colleagues from Microsoft... conversation I was also having with Menchu after watching Doubt.  I never thought I'd actually find myself indulging in mommy talk.  I LOVE IT!!!

I headed home feeling refreshed and renewed after spending the night out with people special to me... it was fantastic to remind myself of how wonderful it is being in their light, and how I need to do that more often.  Once Nicole is less fragile, it'll be easier to have my "ME" time... time away that is necessary and warming.  Like a hot bowl of cream of mushroom soup.  Yum.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

June 01, 2006 - Baby Blog

Went to the pediatrician's office today... she's gained nearly a pound in weight and 3/4 of a inch in length.  She got her BCG shot today (man, that little girl can scream bloody murder!!!), and is doing just fine.  The good doctor prescribed a cream for her acne, so hopefully that clears things up soon.  She also had a great bath, loving it when the warm water is splashed on her.  No crying, no complaints.  She just sits in the tub now, with this deadpan expression on her face, as if relaxing in a jacuzzi.  Rob couldn't help but laugh.  Gave him some energy after his very long and tiring day.

She had her passport pictures taken at the mall this afternoon... needless to say, she was fast asleep, which is a shame.  I love seeing her pretty eyes.  Anyway, the one thing that peeved me is the "subject must be wearing a shirt with a collar" rule.  EVEN FOR A NEWBORN???  Thank goodness the baby clothes stores were across from the photo place.  I bought her a little outfit with a collar just for this photo... put it over the clothes she was wearing, and we were all set.  The resulting pictures are hilarious... little Buddha baby, fast asleep.  My little mogwai, in dreamland.

I'm slowly getting the hang of things... there is certainly less of the frustration level that came with our first night at home.  But I'm sure that just as I think I'm getting better at something, another thing will totally take me by surprise.  Hey, that's the adventure we're on!  And so far, we are loving every minute of it.

It IS true... you don't know love until you have a child.  A love that is unconditional, selfless, patient, generous, and true.

June 01, 2006 - To keep or not to keep...

I am a pack rat.  It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated over the course of my life: old cards and letters, books, clothing, tech gadgets (many of which no longer work), adapters and cables, manuals (of said products that no longer work), magazines, and other knick-knacks that are now collecting dust. 

It's not always easy to let go of things that have made their way into our homes, and into our hearts.  A lot of old greeting cards carry many memories of wonderful occasions past... many knick-knacks are souvenirs from vacations... dog-eared letters are reminders of loves lost and found (well, the ones I didn't burn on an angry late night anyway)...

So... how does one determine what is kept and what is thrown away?  Simple.  If you love it so much that you can't do without it, keep it.  Period.