29 December 2011

Meet My Nephew Gieves

Thought I'd introduce the newest member of the family to all of you.  Hopefully with Gieves around the earthlings will stop asking for a dog.  At least for a while.

28 December 2011

Holiday Stress

22 December 2011

Will The Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up

When I was 6 my older cousin, Enrique, told me the devastating news that Santa wasn't real.  He wasn't just talking the talk about Santa he had the proof as well.  You see his younger sister's birthday is close to Christmas and every year she had the best parties ever.  It was a costume party and since it was December guess who came to town? Yup jolly old St. Nick.  He came with his rosy cheeks, a sack full of gifts and a mighty, booming HO! HO! HO!  The way I remember it we used to sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town to prepare for his, um, sleigh ride into tropical Manila and he used to ring a bell to let us know he was coming.  It wasn't exactly a sleigh bell, more like an ice cream vendor's bell.  Looking back now, how could I not have figured it out.  No way in hell Santa would have the same bell as mamang sorbetero.  As soon as I heard the faintest sound of the ringing my stomach went all woozy and I thought my heart would leap out of my chest.  Every single guest got a present and I always got what I asked for.  It was perfect.  Until 1980 that is. 

Turns out that Santa was the grandfather of my cousins on the other side of the family.  Enrique was likely in on it since he was always picking on us younger cousins which must have put him on the naughty list every year.  So I figure rather then him throwing a tantrum every year over not getting a gift they made him Santa's little helper.  I guess they forgot to make him sign a non disclosure agreement. 

Gael is 6 so I had a feeling the whole farce of Santa was coming up soon.  I had a stinking suspicion it was coming immediately when I caught his friend punching the Santa on a stocking hanging on the stairs repeating "You're not real, you're fake.  You're not real, you're fake." over and over.  There are a few older boys in Gael's neighborhood pose and I am sure the younger ones were enlightened by the older ones.  The older kids stop believing, stop receiving gifts so they destroy the fantasy for the younger ones so they aren't alone in their Santaless giftless misery.  Infant conspiracy theory at it's finest. 

That very afternoon Gael asked me the big question but it wasn't exactly the question I was expecting.   Instead of asking me if Santa was a fabrication of desperate grown ups in an attempt to curb the rotten behavior of kids he gave me an even better option.  He asked me "Mama, is Santa real or is he the spirit of Christmas?".  Hallelujah! I don't have to break his little heart by telling him I am the one who buys the presents, I am the one who delivers them on Christmas eve and that I've essentially been fooling and blackmailing him about the non existent Santa all along.  Gael gave himself the best answer.  I would have had said something along the lines of Santa being a result of the commercialization of Christmas exploited by various industries.  I'm beginning to like his version much better.

I on the other hand was a stubborn kid.  It didn't occur to me that when Enrique told me Santa wasn't real it also meant the Three Kings were just as fake.  I still believed in the Tooth Fairy and was the weird kid convinced Thumbelinas lived in my garden.  Seriously.  I was a late bloomer in the cynicism department. 

16 December 2011

School Break

The earthlings are on Christmas break and they are loving every minute of it.  They are making the most of all possible play, cartoon, activity time they can.  You'd think they spent the first half of the schoolyear writing a thesis.  You know those videos of the college girls and boys going wild, flashing their boobs and getting shitfaced drunk on spring break?  Well we've got the preschool edition going on over here.  Substitute the PG items with popcorn, chocolates, ice cream and Phineas and Ferb.

The past three mornings have been crazy noisy with the earthlings, their cousins and the neighbors playing police or fire fighter or superhero.  Whatever the game is Aiden is never in the title role, he is either the villainous bank robber or the boy caught in the fire with his chameleon.  I played fire fighter with them yesterday and had to save Aiden and his imaginary chameleon about half a dozen times before I finally got him to play something else.  They take turns playing in each others' houses,  raid each home's Christmas loot of cakes, cookies and candy.   

Since every night now is not a school night they are taking full advantage.  Aside from bedtime evenings are usually uneventful for them.  But now their nights are exciting and they sure feel like they are taking a walk on the wild side.  They get to go out and play in the street and playground after dinner, we can read two books each at bedtime and they get to sleep past 9 pm.  They are so into their new decadent and wild night life even if after dinner playtime only lasts half an hour tops and they're eyes are drooping by 8.

They remind me of my guy friends who felt so wild during the summer of 1986 they ended up singing Duran Duran's Wild Boys in the street on their way home from the village park to one of their homes. With fist pumps in the air to show anyone and everyone that was looking they meant business. 

15 December 2011

14 December 2011

You Snooze, You Lose

On mornings Aiden gets up before us, which is almost always, he comes into our room, climbs into out bed and smothers us with hugs, kisses and cuddles.  The perfect way to start my mornings.  But the Hallmark morning moment doesn't last very long.  He is that sort of person that wakes up, jumps out of bed and is ready to start the day.  I don't know where he gets it, I am so not a morning person.  I'm not ready to start the day until the afternoon.  After he has done what seems like his routine cariƱo and gets his fill of hugs he quickly asks to watch cartoons.  If it is before 6:30 am I always give in and sleep another half hour more.  I know what you are thinking, I totally rock this whole mothering gig.  I totally do.  Without a doubt.

Lately though he hasn't been asking for cartoons anymore.  And no, it isn't to get on Santa's good list.  It's because of the iPad.  Aiden does the usual climb into our bed and the smothering but disappears before I hit the snooze button the second time.  I find him in another room entertaining himself with YouTube videos of Old McDonald or Five Little Monkeys in Spanish on the iPad.  So like any good mom I tell him to just stay in my bed and watch cartoons.  Of course he refuses since the iPad is his new best friend.  After many mornings of seeing him walk out of my room all by his lonesome self clutching the iPad I feel so sorry for the poor guy.  He has to go to another room all alone and wait for me to finally quit snoozing the alarm and haul my ass out of bed.   The very next morning when I hear him creeping out of the room I tell him to just use the iPad on my bed.

He smiles at me and says "It's OK Mama, I need time alone with the iPad."

08 December 2011

Let's Play!

Whenever one of the earthlings gets into this position and says "Let's play!" I know it involves a trip down the rabbit hole.

06 December 2011

Mr. Out Of The Box Steps Into The Box


The earthlings are into things that are fancy.  Or at least what is considered fancy in their 6 and 4 year old worlds.  Yes, they live in separate worlds these two.  I have no idea where they get it because if you see my family and home we are anything but fancy.  Weird and strange for sure, but fancy never.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, the event is assessed based on levels of fanciness.  Something certified fancy is the equivalent of a quadruple thumbs up.

We love to eat out and they are thrilled when we are in a fancy restaurant.  They get that kilig smirk and they swell with the feeling of being mature enough to set foot in such a fancy establishment.  Restaurants that made it to their shortlist are Bizu, Cafe Ysabel, M Cafe and any restaurant in Edsa Shangri-la.  Ironically their favorite places like CPK and Sumo Sam are not on the fancy list.  A restaurant that serves water is stemmed glasses gets plus points for letting them use fancy glasses.  Bread is another fancy indicator.  The usually dinner rolls are yummy but braided bread sticks are definitely fancy

Dressing up or down is also subject to the fancy meter.  They are used to seeing me in ratty shorts and dresses but if I wear a maxi dress, max skirt or a silky top, I definitely enter the fancy zone.  Rompers and harem pants not only are a fail in fancyland but they always get the "why are you wearing those pants?" reaction.  When they see me getting dressed, they take a look at what I am going to wear and if they like what they see they ask me if they should wear their  fancy clothes.  Their fancy wardrobe consists of three crisp button-front shirts.  One of them is actually a floral Hawaiian beach shirt but since it is not a T-shirt it's fancy enough.

Even words have various degrees of fancy.  Fancy words are mostly sourced through foreign cartoons found on You Tube, especially those with English or French accents.  Aiden discovered that supper is the  fancy way of saying dinner and trousers is a fancy term for pants.  The fanciest of fancy words is too fancy for me to ever use but apparently not too fancy for Aiden.  According to him the fancy word for good is glorious.

01 December 2011


It's December 1st and as promised I'm going to get with the Christmas program.