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Sunday, November 7, 2010

So long, NU.

I felt compelled to write something, somehow.

Tonight saw Tibs and me huddled in the little corner of our bedroom listening to NU 107.5 jocks bid their final farewell. After Huling El Bimbo was played we listened till there was nothing but static.

It was the first time that I never got tempted to cut the silence off and babble. I just let the silence linger. I guess Tibs was having his moment too just like me. When static hit, I felt like I was seeing the last 15 years of my life flash by. NU somehow summed up the best years of my life.

It was my Uncle Totie who introduced me and my sister to rock and roll. Although, he was more of the BON JOVI kind still he was kind enough to show us that we could crank up our radio dial to the farthest right and have a blast listening to better music.

NU kept me company throughout my angst-driven teenage life. It also provided me with enough music knowledge so that the shy me could reach out to people of my kind and make friends.

In college, NU kept me sane on afternoons I'd wake up swimming in melancholy due to a bad hangover. It served as my caffeine when I had to cram for exams. I don't know why I associate UP with NU but this sign off somehow brought back memories of my final days in UP. It was sad. It felt like I am closing a chapter in my life.

In the first few years of my working life, it was NU that somehow kept me away from drowning in depression while struggling to make it the corporate jungle of Makati. I just had to bring a radio with me on each of the apartment moves I'd make so I won't miss home so much. Listening to that side of the dial somehow chased the homesickness away. It always felt like I was close to home. The songs they'd play would somehow always bring a fond childhood memory. And it always made me feel like I was being hugged by my dear sister. Drama no?

I never learned to play any musical instrument. But NU made me realize how important music is to my life. I've made a lot of friends because of music and I even met my husband because of music.

Now that I've thought about it, NU was a force that drove all the major turning points in my life. That should make me really grateful then, shouldn't it? I am. GRATEFUL. And I feel lucky to have been a part of that era when the HOME of New Rock kept the airwaves alive by providing listeners with the choice of better music.

I hope though that in Maia's generation, a new Home of the New Rock would emerge. Because I would love it if she would also learn to appreciate music. The way that NU 107 taught me how.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I'm Missing on Weekdays

I've been stuck at home for two days now. Doctor's orders.

And these past two days are one of the most memorable days I've spent at home. For one, it was just me, Maia and Yaya. I felt like I was king and queen for two days. With no Tibs butting in to contradict my orders. Kidding.

What really made these two days memorable were these chance:

- to watch Maia go straight to the potty trainer after waking from a nap and successful empty her bladder with out our prodding. Added bonus was her cheering "YEY! GALING!" after rising from the potty seat.
- to learn that Maia loves to eat cheese. We used to think she only likes those ensaymada toppings that she likes to pick but I thought of handing her a few cheese slices and she devoured them instantly. There's even a matching, "yummmm sarap sarap!" when she finished the cheese off her plate. I don't know yet if the liking would take her as far as one week. But at least we have alternative calcium source for the next few days since we're really trying to wean her off the bottle.
- to listen to Maia respond to her dad's call. Usually, when I'm on the other line she'd just keep quiet and listen to me talk. But these past 2 days, she'd immediately say 'dad?dad?' when I hand over the phone to her. Now this somehow convinces me that this little girl is a Daddy's girl. *sob*sob
- be around when Maia's on her extra sensitive/attentive mood. Or maybe it's because yaya kept telling her Mom's sick so she has to behave. Entire Monday, she kept to herself. Played while I rested. And easily took a nap when we asked her she needed to. She demanded to be read a story only once in the afternoon. Today (Tuesday) was a bit different though. But she really only demanded for a few minutes of tickle, tickle with Mommy and a couple of hours of playtime. I felt better today anyways so I'm glad I had the energy to give in to her demands.
- to have the luxury to really pick a time to explain to Maia the reason why she can't do this or do that without going really negative on her. And I could see that she's also paying a lot more attention when I talk in a patiently manner (slowly probably and without raising my voice).
- to finally get to remember how wonderful it was to really nap luxuriously in the afternoon. I forgot that feeling a long time ago (I think I last had the same wonderful experience during sembreaks in college way back...hehe nevermind).

I'm going back to work a lot more energized tomorrow. Today I can say with conviction that everything do happen for a reason. Even if you're forced to miss work on closing week. Wehehehe.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Emptying an Overfilled Bucket

I am suffering from 'writer's' block for so long now.

But there are mornings when i feel like my head's going to explode if i don't write down my thoughts. Often though, I'm caught sitting inside our company shuttle when this happens. And I have no choice but to weave the thoughts into stories that get stuck in my head. And end up written in air.

I wish somebody would invent an automatic mind reader. One that would transcribe every single thoughts that go through one's head. I would definitely be the first in line when this goes on sale.

Today, I have to sneak in and take some precious minutes off just to empty some of this thoughts out because i really feel like an overfilled bucket already. I tend to snap at people when I'm overfilled. The thoughts are somehow translated into emotional baggage, I guess.

I wish i had more than 24 hours to do all the things i'd like to do. Sigh. then again, i think a lot of mothers wish the same. it somehow goes with the job description. double sigh.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sharing: Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy

A good read from Zen Habits


If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Many days, I try to humble myself and hold a 2-minute gratitude session. I simply sit or kneel, with no distractions, close my eyes, and think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful for.

I don’t do it every day, but let me tell you, on the days I do it, it makes me very happy.

Why should that be? Why should the simple act of thinking about who and what I’m grateful for make such a big difference in my life?

Just a few reasons:

Because it reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.
Because it turns bad things into good things. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have work. Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.
Because it reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is a roof over your head.
Because it reminds you to thank others. I’ll talk about this more below, but the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.
What do I give thanks for, privately, in my little gratitude session? It varies every day. I thank all the readers of this site, for the encouragement you have given me, for the donations you’ve made that have made me that much closer to realizing my dreams, for the criticism you’ve given that has made this site better … for the time you’ve given me, just reading the articles when you have the chance.

I thank my loved ones, for all they do to me. I thank strangers who’ve shown me little acts of kindness. I thank God, for the life he’s given me. I thank people around the world for the things they’ve done to make the world better. I thank myself, for things that I’ve done (it’s important to recognize your own accomplishments).

How to Live a Life of Gratitude
The thing is, simple acts of gratitude don’t cost you much (especially once you get over the initial discomfort some people feel with thanking others). But they can make a huge difference.

If you’re interested in living a life of gratitude, here are my suggestions:

Morning gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes each morning to give thanks, to whoever or whatever you’re grateful for. You don’t have to do anything, other than close your eyes and silently give thanks. This one act can make a huge difference.
Say thank you. When someone does something nice for you, however small, try to remember to say thank you. And really mean it.
Call to say thanks. Sometimes you might think about something nice that someone did for you. Perhaps you remember during your gratitude session. When you do, pick up the phone and call the person, just to say thanks. Let them know what they did that you’re grateful for, and why you appreciate it. Takes a minute or two. If it’s too early to call, make a note to call later. Even better is telling them in person, if you happen to see them or if they’re on your route. Almost as good is a thank-you email — keep it short and sweet.
Give thanks for “negative” things in your life. There’s always two ways to look at something. Many times we think of something as negative — it’s stressful, harmful, sad, unfortunate, difficult. But that same thing can be looked at in a more positive way. Giving thanks for those things is a great way to remind yourself that there is good in just about everything. Problems can be seen as opportunities to grow, to be creative. See the prayer below for more on this.
Learn a gratitude prayer. There are many prayers, religious or not, that can remind you to be grateful. Find one you like, and print it out or make it your desktop wallpaper. Here’s a religious one, and here’s a collection from a multitude of religions. You can find many others on the Internet, or write your own. If you’re not religious, make one that doesn’t include the concept of God. A good one is below.
Let me leave you with a prayer of gratitude that I’ve always found … well, perfect:

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Baggy Confession

I have a secret love affair with bags.

I say secret because you can never tell that by looking at me. Or by looking at my lousy bag collection.

I do not own a pricey bag. Or a flashy bag. My bag acquisitions were always fueled by the demise of its predecessor. You probably get the picture by now.

Now that I've become a mommy, my love affair has shifted to diaper bags. I'd ogle at diapers bags I'd see online or while window shopping. But despite this over fascination, my attitude hasn't changed yet. I still am the same ol stingy Faye that I was before I became a mommy.

But I think I am going to be a convert soon from being the stingy diaper bag crazy mom that I am. And I think Manilababyshop has a lot to do with that. And even without my financial advisor's blessing (a.k.a. The Hubby) I'm starting to save my allowance to buy maia and myself a piece of this multi-functional, stylish and very affordable diaper bags.

And since they have a contest going on, I am trying my luck as well :)) Head on to the Manilababy Shop's multiply site and check out their collection. You might find one that you'll like too!

Please see contest mechanics here. Good fellow mommies! :))

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A nosy and scary surprise!

I am the eldest among a brood of 5. My mom is the eldest among a brood of 7. She was the first to have children. That makes me the eldest among cousins now counting to 29. I witnessed almost all 28 grow up. I guess that led me somehow becoming so maternal at an early age.

Despite having seen my siblings and cousins go through accidents in their childhood - may it be major, minor or in-between, I've vowed to be even more careful when I become a Mommy.

So I babyproofed as much as I can when Maia started crawling and cruising and walking and now running. I padded sharp edges and floors so falls are cushioned. I kept all sharp objects away from her reach. Despite all these efforts though, I've still witnessed Maia fall down our bed several times. The feeling of seeing her fall and not being able to catch her in time is heartstopping. I'd swim in an ocean of guilt for days after those incidents even with Tibs comforting me and telling me none of that is my fault. Mothers are supposed to protect their children and I failed on mine. But those thoughts started disappearing a few months back when Maia started to walk with ease and balance. She'd run without tripping. Most often, she'd refuse my offer to carry her. She's starting to be independent.

With that, I've started embracing the idea of letting her be. I afterall wanted her to have the freedom to explore the world on her own as much as possible. I wanted her to discover things on her own because that was how I was when I was a kid and I really appreciated that from my parents. I wanted to be the same parent with my daughter.

Yesterday though, I got another wake up call.

Coming home from a running event, I was quite exhausted. So afer lunch we just had a short picture flash card session and then I called her into the bedroom so we can nap together. That's when she grabbed my hand and pointed to her nose. I saw her a few minutes earlier picking her nose but I fought the urge to slap her hand away because I was just too tired to do so. At that point though, she really looked irritated so I went to look what's making her nose so itchy. And voila, guess what I found stuck inside her nose:

Panicked enveloped me instantly. My voice was shaking while I called for help from Tibs and Ate Inday. I was so scared she'd suck this thing in even deeper I wanted to stop her from breathing. Good thing my panic did not rub on Tibs. He got that thing out of Maia's tiny little nose in no time. Thank God too that Maia never panicked as well. She stayed still the entire time her Dad was pulling that thing out of her nose.

Till now, we don't know where she got this thing from. I still don't know what it is. But I did discover one of her electronic toys broken with some parts missing. This could be attached to one of those missing parts. I already took all the tiny parts on that broken toy away. I wanted to throw the entire toy away but if you have a toddler you'd understand how clingy they are with things they've grown attached to. And I have yet to ask her permission to throw the toy away. So initial solution is just to take all the tiny parts away.

Sigh. Parenting is such a complicated task. I wish I can always prepare myself for the worst. But then again, learning is a step by step thing isn't it? It's always when things are difficult and complicated that we retain most of the things we're taught. So I learned a major lesson yesterday. I'm starting to dread the coming lessons though. **Double sigh**

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One day more

I woke up feeling a little woozy. I would like to think that this was because I was overworked the other day and went home around 9pm already. For the past few months now, my eyes have been sending me signals of how abusive I have been of them. I've always taken for granted my eyes. And many times, I've thought of stopping on some eye center to have them checked but I always tend to forget the last minute. Anyways, my point is there are days when everything just seem blurry and the nausea just intensifies. I just close my eyes and it goes away.

My doctor told me another reason why I've been feeling nauseous is because I've been spending nights and nights and nights thinking too much of things that are still too early to worry on at this point. But I can't help it. Can you blame me?

Last week, I wanted to shut myself out from the world. This week, I've improved a little. I started talking to the hubby already. The burden lightened a bit. But the worry didn't go away.

Tomorrow, Thursday I will take that test again. And I can almost picture what I will see. I am ready. But again, if it turns out to be the thing that I worry the most these days I would like to be happy. I really do. I hope I will be.

Dear God, I already lifted everything up to you. I know you will take care of us. You always do.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My vote is in!

So after very, very frustrating experience at my precinct assignment early this morning, I was finally able to cast my vote for this year's elections. Returning to our precinct at around 2pm when the sun is at its fieriest, we were surprised to see a 'pila-free' room. Happppyyyy!!!!

After I've verified my identity by signing and thumb-printing, I received a white folder with the ballot inside and I went to find my seat inside the almost dilapidated classroom. It's been awhile since I last exercise this right and I feel like a first timer yet again. I was excited to vote but was quite anxious that the PCOS machine might reject my ballot for some weird reasons. After waiting for about 30secs though, I was so happy to read "CONGRATULATIONS! Your vote has been registered!" on the machine.

I guess this year's elections has already made it's mark since the polls opened this morning. The fact that the fear of a nationwide failure of election was hurdled is already a milestone on its own. And at 7pm tonight when the precincts close and the votes are read, we are one step closer to realizing the success of this automation experiment. And finally when the winners are announced tomorrow or hopefully later tonight (?), this automated elections will finally take it's place on our history books.

I know a lot of people are still skeptical of this automation thing. But change always does bring some sort of struggle with it. Not everyone is a fan after all. I have high hopes for this on the other hand. I believe that give or take 2 more elections, this move to automate will eventually bring about a cleaner and more trustworthy elections.

Residing in Salawag where a lot of low cost housing is situated, poverty is almost visible everywhere. But I can see hope in the faces of the people I bump into since this morning.

Now that I've cast my vote, I can only hope that whoever emerges as the winner in this elections will go back to his/her promise of a corruption-free, poverty free Philippines. And I do wish too that all the others who won't get that most coveted seat in Malacanang will continue to fight for a corruption-free and poverty-free Philippines. Because politics is not the only way to serve the people.

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