Sunday, October 31, 2004

Fall back

Daylight savings time starts again. We set our clocks back one hour. Good for me, I gained one hour of sleep.

R was going downtown and I asked him to bring RC to buy him a new pair of shoes. I coaxed RC to go as he really needed new shoes.
Mom: There's a hole on the bottom of your shoe and they're already getting quite small anyway.
RC: (threw his head back on the chair) But we have to go trick-or-treating.
Mom: You will be back home before we had to go trick-or-treating.
RC: But I want to buy new shoes in the Spring.
Mom: If you need new shoes in the Spring then I'll buy you another one. If your shoes break any day now, then you'll have nothing else to wear.

He didn't go. I told him that he has to go next weekend before all the runners are gone in the stores and replaced by winter boots.

RK got a good scrubbing when I gave him his bath.

The return of Darth

The kids and I left at around 5:30 pm. RG wasn't planning to come but RC said that he didn't want to share his treats with RG if he wasn't coming. That's why I think RG decided to come anyway. RK was dressed as Darth Vader, RC carried the Death's ax, and RG wore his Wizard hat. I wore my Witch's hat. I left R a bag of treats to give out, although I knew that he wouldn't open the door to the trick-or-treaters. It wasn't very cold that night but when we were halfway through the wind kept blowing my hat on my face. I just took it off. RK carried a UNICEF box and a few gave some money. We did the houses on our street, then we crossed and did a few more streets. We came home at around 6:45 pm. They got quite a lot of treats, sorted them and filled about 2 purple bins.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bitter cold

It was very cold, very bitter. When my taxi came at Superstore, a lady asked my driver if we could share the ride. I guess she must have been cold waiting outside. I couldn't understand what she was saying but she seemed like she was about to cry. She was going up the same street as I was and so I agreed. We dropped her off first. The driver asked me how much I usually pay for the cab. I told him around $5.50. He only asked for $5.00.

RC, RK and I had haircuts. After RK finished his turn, I checked out his hair cut and found libag behind his left ear. Oh, I hope Amanda didn't see that. When we came home, I reminded my children that they should scrub themselves, especially those hidden nooks and joints, when they take a bath.

A few days ago, I asked R to bring RC shoe shopping next time he goes out. R wanted to bring him now but RC didn't want to go. I told R that he's already tired anyway since he had catechism in the morning and they might not be able to get back before mass.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The curse of the bambi

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night. The curse of the Bambino (Babe Ruth) was finally broken. The last time the Red Sox won the world series was in 1918. People believed that the baseball team was cursed ever since Babe Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees in 1920.

RC and I had a lightbulb moment that morning when we were watching the sports news. We were trying to figure out what the curse meant. We also learned that bambino is Spanish for baby (Babe Ruth). RC said, "That's why Daddy calls RK bambino!" Oh yeah, of course, I thought. Then he shortened it to Bambi. It used to tick me off every time he called RK Bambi because that sounded like a girl's name or Bambi the deer in the Disney movie.

There was a lunar eclipse last night. This was the first time that a lunar eclipse happened during a Baseball World Series. The eclipse wasn't visible here since it was cloudy. The moon appeared red because of the dust in the air.

Downsides of working at home

I attended the townhall meeting at work. I first met up with my friend E and our other friend CD. I was teasing CD because she was starting a new position as a Claims Systems Specialist. She had also wanted to work at home but I guess she wouldn't be interested now. One downside of working at home is that I can't get promoted to a higher position. I will be stuck as a claims adjuster until I go back to the office. But that's okay with me because working at home is easier and less stressful for me while I raise my young kids.

The meeting had a Halloween theme. The first agenda was about fraud, then about the quarterly results. There was a Jeopardy game afterwards. It seems that everybody has been a fan of Jeopardy since Ken Jennings started winning game after game. He has earned over $2 million and he's still winning. After the townhall meeting, the Work-at-Home Staff had a meeting with Mike, our supervisor, and Jen. Jen and I used to be in the same unit before and she reminded me that I was her pass-up buddy. And here she is now, our Team Assistant. Talk about role reversal.

Char, one of the WAH staff and who was sitting next to me at the meeting, mentioned how her husband always complains when there's no supper ready when he comes home from work. "What does he think I do all day at home? Lay around in bed the whole day?" Char complained. I was in the same situation when I first started working at home.

When I was still working in the office, R would get home before I did. He would start supper since I wouldn't be home until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. I used to pick up my youngest son at daycare after work. So when I started working at home, there was this adjustment period that we went through. He didn't realize that although I was home, I was working. The first couple of days there was no supper ready when he came home since I was still working and I thought that he would continue doing what he had been doing before, prepare supper. But he was expecting that it would be ready since I was home. That's when I started to ask the kids to do more around the house. I taught RG how to fry meat. Sometimes I would start preparing supper during my lunch break or cook the next day's meal at night after supper.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sigh of relief

R finally went back to work. Sigh of relief! It's just that sometimes we couldn't stand each other and we bicker. Although, he was a big help when he brought RG to the orthodontist and RC to the dentist on two different occasions. At least, I didn't lose time from work during those two days.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Of drinking, self-esteem and careers

We went to Ramon's 50th birthday party. When we were in the car on the way there, R told us that Kumpareng B was caught by the police drinking and driving. His license was suspended for six months. That's what I kept telling R. He'd be out drinking and he would let his friends, who had drunk, drive him home. It's not just about having your license suspended. You aren't thinking straight when you've had even a little to drink. It just really upsets me. It's better if he just stays over and come home the next morning.

When I was a little girl, Papa had this motorcycle which we called scooter. He went to his friends' houses drinking. One night, he didn't come home. Mama frantically traced the path to his friend's house. She found his motorcycle in a ditch by the side of the road. He had an accident and had been brought to a hospital. Luckily, he wasn't badly hurt.

At the restaurant, Tito R and his girlfriend was seated in our table. Tito R mentioned that RC is the most handsome of the three boys. It irritates me when people compare my three boys to each other. (But of course, I didn't show my displeasure out of respect for the elders.) Kids, or people in general, shouldn't be compared, to their faces for that matter. Every individual is special in his/her own special way. When I was a child, I've heard people say that my sister was prettier, lighter(mas maputi), and bubblier (mas bibo)than I was. These comments made me recoil inside my own little shell. I was already shy and the comments just lowered my self esteem more.

Ramon invited about 150 guests. R saw some of his old friends. The invitation was for 12:30 p.m. but it was almost 2:00 p.m. when the food was served. We were already starving by then. This is what we call "Filipino time." Guests will come an hour later than what it says on the invitation. That is an annoying habit.

After the party we went to St. John's Music to have RG's flute fixed. There was a dent and the keys were leaking. RG also bought some music sheets. Mama asked RC if he was interested in music as well. She said that he should take up flute lessons too so that he could use RG's instruments and books. I told her that we can't force a child to take music lessons just because his older sibling did. The interest has to come from the child. I then learned that she told my sis to take up Commerce so that she could use my books. No wonder sis was messed up back then. I thought that she wanted to take the course because of her own will. Well, she didn't use my books anyway because she went to a different school. And she dropped out of college after 2 years, entered the convent and came out after a year. She went back to school, took up Education, but didn't finish it either.

At night, some of R's kumpares came over. Nag-inuman sila. I asked them to keep it down because the kids have school and I have work the next day. Somebody kept ringing our doorbell that night and every time they checked, there was nobody out there (???).

Saturday, October 23, 2004

More on letting go

RG went to flute lesson. He took the bus by himself. Last week I showed him where he can wait and catch the bus to go to his teacher's house. I was kind of worried, still having a hard time letting go. I hung around at home after he left for about 30 minutes before I did my groceries. I wanted to be there just in case he came back or called.

I thought that we could rake the leaves but it rained again.

R went to church with us (!!!) There was hardly any room for all 6 of us in Mama's car. RC and RK were playing Jeopardy questions in the car. We've all become fans because of Ken Jennings. We cooked the ulam when we came home. We ate a little later, but that's fine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's hard to let go

RG and I went to his school for the Parent-teacher interview. It was a very cloudy day, very gloomy. The brown leaves on the ground were wet and soggy. They didn't have that crisp crunch when you step on them. Some of the trees were already leafless. There were three guys in front of a high-rise apartment with leaf-blowers that also vacuum the leaves on the grass. That makes a back-breaking job easier.

RG doesn’t talk that much. We'd all be on the dinner table talking and he'd just be quiet. Sometimes I'd ask him something and he would take a second or two before he answers with a short response. Sometimes he wouldn't even answer, would just say "ah, um." And that would be it. When it's just the two of us like walking to school today, I'd break the silence by uttering something like “Before we go home, let’s drop by at Mac’s to see if they have Drano. That bath tub is clogged again.”

I had an interview with Mr. E, RG's Science and Homeroom Teacher. He said that RG was doing good and was above the average group in his class. RG mentioned that he already has a career, which is Music. Mr. E said that's good that he already knows what career he wants to pursue. He mentioned names of universities with good music curriculum that RG might want to attend, like our very own U of M, there's also one in Toronto, and even one in Texas. I hope RG doesn't go as far as Texas. He is such a good student and he gets good grades in his other subjects. I think that he would do as well if he pursues a different career in let's say Science or Math. But he is just so passionate about Music and who am I to hinder his dreams.

At night in bed...
RK: Mommy, where's my old bed?
Mom: We threw it out in the garbage.
RK: So where is it now?
Mom: The garbage truck took it in the garbage dump where they put all the other garbage.
RK: I miss my old bed.
Mom: But it was old and the spring coils were already poking your back.
(He started crying.)
Mom: Why are you crying?
RK: I miss my old bed. hoo hoo hoo
Mom: Oh RK. That's okay. Go to sleep now. I'll stay here a little bit more.

Friday, October 15, 2004

got in trouble

RK: Mommy, I had a five-minute time-out at school today.
Mom: Why, what did you do?
RK: Because Mitchell wanted me to look at this picture and I went to him. Then the teacher said that it's not my seat and I shouldn't be there.
Mom: Oh, then next time tell him no. Did you have to face the wall when you had a time-out?
RK: No, I have to go to my seat and put my head down on the table.
Mom: Ohh...

Later that afternoon, RC went to my workstation and I heard R calling after him.
R: RC, bumaba ka dito at inuutusan kita.
R was fuming mad, he went upstairs and grabbed RC by the arm.

That night at bedtime.
Mom: RC, why did Daddy get mad at you?
RC: I don't want to talk about it.
Mom: Ahh, why? Talk to me.
RC: No, mommy, I don't want to.
After a few more proddings, he told me that daddy wanted him to put the old rice on top of the newly cooked one, but RC wouldn't budge because he was writing something. I have that problem with RC, too. Well, I guess now, he learned his lesson.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

monkey hug

I was preparing breakfast in the kitchen when RC said, "I think RK is crying." I went upstairs and of course he was.

Mom: Why are you crying?
RK: Because you didn't call me.
I already woke him up 10 minutes ago and as usual I said that I'd come back to get him.
Mom: I was still preparing breakfast. I was gonna call you. You want to come down now?
RK: Yeah.
So I carried him, he hugged my neck with his arms and circled his legs around my waist. I call this the monkey hug. I don't even have to hold him and he won't fall.

Rain and wet snow. RK came home in the afternoon, his socks soaking wet. I made instant noodle soup for snacks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

something brown

RK had to bring something brown to school. I said, even if he forgot to bring anything, he could tell the teacher that he brought something brown. And he said, "I know, I am brown."

RK wrote on his wish list: marboos
Mom: RK, what's marboos?
RC: Oh, I know, he wants marbles.

Monday, October 11, 2004


RK asked, "Mommy are we having turkey?" No. I cooked spaghetti. RK kept saying "Mommy, you're the best," because he likes spaghetti. Binola pa ako ng anak ko.

In the afternoon, I pulled out the dying and withering flowers that I planted out in the front and the side of our house. My marigolds looked like this when I first planted them in June.

R heard me complaining about my back when I finished. "Hindi ka kasi nag-e-exercise." He didn't have the to say that. Siya nga itong tamad kumilos at laging nasa harap ng computer or TV. While sometimes, I feel like I'm a single mom. I'm the one who's always up on my feet, the one looking after the kids, going to doctor's and dentist's appointments. If I ask him to give RK a bath, he sometimes makes me feel like he's doing me a favour. Even my niece A was complaining that he doesn't pitch in in mowing the lawn. Nakaka-inis.

R was upset that I have asked Shaw to remove our free channels. We've had them since March. When I called Shaw last week, I was told that they haven't got the chance to remove the free channels in some areas. I felt that we were stealing from them. R said that there were lots of household that still have the free channels and it was not a big deal. Well, that's not how I want to raise my children. (And I'm also scared that if Shaw discovered it on their own, that I would have to pay a sort of penalty.) RC also wanted the channels back and even added that to his wish list. I told him to ask Daddy to pay for them and then we'll have them back on.

I clipped R's nails on his right hand since his left hand was weak due to his injured finger. It was the first time I did it. I cut my kids' nail, but never his. I noticed that his right pinkie is crooked. He said that it's been like that eversince.

At night, RK and I read Dr. Seuss' “Hop on Pop.” He read most of the words. I taught him how to read the rhyming words. RC was amazed at RK’s progress in reading.
Mom: That’s how you all were, when you guys were just starting to read.
RC: Even me?
Mom: Yeah, and Kuya RG, too.
I gave RK lots of pats in the back.


Christopher Reeve, the original Superman, died at the age of 52 on Sunday. He has such an incredible story and determination. When Barbara Walters interviewed him after the horse-riding accident that left him a paraplegic, he said that he believed that he'd walked again. "And if you don't?" Barbara asked. "Then I don't," said Chris. "You just play the hand you're dealt."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

of blankets and oo's

RC: Daddy, why don't you come to church with us?
Dad: You cook, and then I'll go.
RC: But sometimes we have food and you still don't go.

We had to walk to church today since Mama was out of town.

At night:
RK: Mommy, you're the best. Because you washed our blankets and they smell good.
Mom: Binola pa ako ng anak ko.

RK was reading the words good, soon , etc. correctly. But he was having difficulty with door, floor, etc. The double o’s make different sounds in these words.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A busy day

I woke the kids up at 6:10 a.m. We had a dentist appointment at 9:00 a.m. We needed to get on the 7:49 bus.

RK: Oh, I don't like that smell.
Mom: That's the grass... the dew... that's the smell of early morning.

The trees were turning yellow-green. A few were turning yellow-orange. They were lovely. Leaves have fallen on the ground.

After the dentist appointment, we went shopping for some more winter clothes. Then we had lunch at McDonalds'. When we came home, I asked R to bring RG to St. John's Music to buy music sheets that he will need for his flute lessons. I then went to Superstore and brought RC and RK with me. I was so tired when we came home. I took a nap on the couch. Myra and Ramon came and dropped off an invitation to his 50th birthday party. I was embarrassed because the house was a mess.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


R got hurt at work. The middle finger on his left hand got stuck with the metal posts that he was piling. He was brought to the ER. He had four or five stitches. He's looking at two weeks Compensation Benefits.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Of sports and tim

THE TWINS ARE WAKING UP IN THE BIG APPLE THIS MORNING says the walking headline at the bottom of the TV screen. It took me a moment to realize what it meant. Actually I thought it meant that the baseball team was winning over another team in New York. Until RC told me that it meant that the Minnesota Twins were practising in the Yankees Stadium that morning.

I didn't know much about sports until RC got interested about 2 years ago. (I tried to get interested in basketball before, but R didn't have patience with me.) First thing RC does in the morning is turn on the TV in the kitchen and put it on any sports channel or news. We fought over that in the summer, him watching too much TV, sports for that matter. Not harmless you might think, but when he started having headaches, I said that was because of watching too much TV and staying up late at night watching TV.

He asks me a lot of things that he hears on TV, especially when I'm watching the news and in turn, he tells me anything I want to know about sports. When we watch Jeopardy, his face lights up when Sports is one of the Category and he is happy when he knows the answers to the questions. When there is a Music category, he calls RG to watch with us because sometimes RG knows the answers.

I savour precious moments like these. They remind me of moments I spent with Papa when he would help me with my homework, when we played scrabble as a family, or just when I would ask him about anything under the sun. I thought he was very smart.

RG got his Annual Book from his old school. He wrote -- Ambition: To meet and work with Nobuo Uematsu. Fate: Will end up working for American Hi-Fi.

RK: Mommy, Tim (RG’s friend) is lucky.
Mom: Why?
RK: He only has 2 letters in his name.
Mom: (wonders) What letters?
RK: T and M
Mom: Tim is T-I-M.
RK: Oh. But September has tim.
Mom: Oh, that is T-E-M.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

My perfect day

Around 9:00 am. I was awakened by RK when he entered my bedroom and went to my side of the bed.
RK: Mommy, I want to eat breakfast.
M: Where's Kuya RG?
RK: He's eating breakfast.
M: Just ask kuya to help you.
RK: But I want you to help me.
M: Okay, in 10 minutes.

Around 9:20 am.
RK: Mommy, I want to eat now.
M: Okay, just give me 5 more minutes.

It was 10:00 am on the clock when I opened my eyes, got up, and wondered if RK was crying by that time. He and RC were coming up the stairs when I told RK, "Ok, let's eat now." To which he replied, "Oh, I already ate. I ate Cheerios and I helped myself."

Inspite of the above, I would say that this was a perfect day. On Sundays, I just want staying home. To RC, Sunday is cleaning day. I make them help me dust the furnitures, vacuum and wash the floors, and wash the dishes. We have a chores list on the fridge so they know what jobs to do when. I wash the clothes and they help me sort and fold them. Although they do help, I still do the most. I clean 2 rooms upstairs plus the washroom.

I asked RG to give RK a bath. RK came to me crying later because he said that RG pushed him. Sometimes I wonder if RG resents that I sometimes ask him to look after his little brother. R played ball in the house with RC and RK. They were giggling and laughing. RG was also giggling with his brother. The kids played Playstation games. RK cried when RG beat him in one of the PS games.

R and I didn't bicker today.

If only everyday could be like this.

Of kings and queens

After supper…
RK: Mommy, is this how you spell king? (he showed me the paper where he wrote KING.)
Mom: Yes, how did you know?
After a few seconds he came back to me in the kitchen sink.
RK: Is this how you spell queen? (He showed me the same paper where he added the letters QING)
Mom: Oh no, queen is spelled differently. It’s Q-U-E-E-N
RK: Oh! Then how do you read this? (pointing to QING)
Mom: Well, if I read it, it also says king because the Q has a K sound. You need a U to spell queen.
RK: Oh!

Saturday, October 02, 2004


RK, my 1st grader, is bringing leaves inside the house. He is learning about Fall in school, as well as the different colors and other things associated with this season.

I should have worn something on my head. The cold air gave me a slight headache.

It was a sight to see the trees with still dark leaves behind the trees with now yellow leaves.

I liked the crunching sound the dried brown leaves made under my black leather shoes.

Today was RG's first flute lesson with Lori. "I want to be a jazz flutist," I heard RG told her when she asked why he's taking flute lessons. Wow, I thought. He's really gonna pursue a career in music. "I don't like soft jazz, though," he added.

R came with me to Superstore (That was a first!) I've been complaining about how he doesn't help me with the groceries. Sometimes my back hurts carrying the heavy bags. I think he went with me today only because he had to buy this kettle for work. Let's see if he comes again next time.

I brought RK with us because he needed new shoes. He still wants to wear his Incredible Hulk shoes which were already a size small on him. The other day, he showed me the blister on his toe. He has another pair, a hand-me-down from RG, but I guess he didn't want to wear those to school because they were old. We couldn't find any that would fit him. Later at night, we went to Zellers and found one. I bought new sweaters for RG, as well. These kids sure grow up so fast.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Cold and windy. Temperature in the morning was 1 degree C. Wind 40G60 WNW. High 5 degrees C. I made the kids wear sweaters.

R came home from work before noon on Thursday. He said that he had a sore throat. He did not go to work today either.