Gratitude

“You asked for a child, and there she is. You have her!” my husband would always tell me this when I complain of not having energy to get out of the house and do any activities with her. 
I am beyond grateful and I am reminded how faithful God is when the little one came after being told by my doctor that I can’t conceive. 
Today, is her last day of summer since school will be tomorrow. My body and mind is set to stay in the house and to accomplish what’s on my to-do-list. But she wants to have fun. 
Life as we all know is not always about us. It is hard but I learn to be flexible, manage my time, manage to smile and watch my attitude when my plan is interrupted. 
I was cranky at first, while planning and looking where we can go today. 
When she came to me, and said, “Thank you Mama for thinking of me,” it just crushed my heart in a good way. 
Switching off negative attitude results gratitude. 
I am not giving credit to myself but it is good to think of the ones you love first amidst a list of household chores because there should be great memories (at least try the best we can) in every moment that this life brings us. 

Blessings to all the Mama’s and Papas!

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17 

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Reading, The Struggle Is Real

I never like to sit and read. As soon as I notice how thick and how tiny the words are written, I get bored already. But I taught her to read, and I learn to put dramatic effect on my voice when story telling. That was when she was little, and I can’t do it now, because she doesn’t want me to ruin the story. She would push me to read. She will leave the book right where my seat is at the dinner table. I know it is due to be returned but she won’t do it. She would check if the bookmark has been moved. I told her that I don’t understand some words, if everything is written in basic or simple English I will probably read a lot.

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Reading one of Ben Carson’s book. She thinks, he is a brilliant genius.

I find it boring and not interesting because I struggle. It happened many times, when she have tears rolling to her cheeks (literally) or laughing and I just keep on reading without realizing we’re on the climax of the story. Climax, I learned that from her. I would probably use “height” or “thrilling part”. When I hear her say with a look of disappointment , “Mahhmm!”, I probably mispronounced the word “people” as “peepool”.

And since I let her check this journal right at this moment where she is standing beside me, she wanted me to add that the climax is the turning point of the story. Another learning point for me with this kid. She does what I asked her to do and that is to check my grammar and vocabulary.

By the way,  I finished the two books she recommended me to read. She must be proud. LOL!

(She asked me to delete the word LOL because this journal is formal writing not informal writing, according to her, and I don’t need to write slang words. “What if the President of the United States read your journal or whoever the readers are?” She currently is doing formal writing about chocolate milk if she is against it to be banned in school.)

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Her way of relaxing.

 

I was inspired to write this journal after I googled the word epitome which was on one of my friend’s comment on my Facebook post. I realized that if I read more, I would probably develop good grammar and increase my vocabulary.

“You Can Make A Way Because You’re A Mom”

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In between her Kuyas in her Filipino way of sitting during dinner time.

Our daughter said that to me today after she heard me worrying what to cook for dinner.
I have to change the meal I planned since her Kuya is coming and I want to make sure that we would have enough for the four of us (or maybe five when the other Kuya come along). It was her big brother’s birthday yesterday and I did not know he was planning to come. And when it is someone’s birthday, it is a tradition to have a home-made birthday cake which we won’t be having because I don’t have the time to bake.
So while I was driving on our way to her piano lesson, I was stress what to cook and she heard me talking to myself. She said, “You can make a way because you are a mom.”
It sounded really good. Music to my ear. It was encouraging. It was kind of her to say that. It was a pat to my back and a reminder that I can do anything. She probably think I am a superwoman in some way.
What she said may not be a big deal for any mom out there but it was for me. I do consider and take heart what she say especially when I am stress. She knows how to pick me up.
I am not a perfect mother but I try to do the best that I can. She would tell me, “Mom you seems stress.” And would ask, “What’s wrong?” I have my days.  I try not to forget that those keen little eyes and ears and her not so little but huge mind absorbs the things she notices.
Whatever made her say that statement today could be from the goodness she found in some things that I am working on to be good at. Maybe she was impressed with something I did that seemed impossible to be done. I don’t know. I remember though that I caught her little noggin so perfectly fitted right onto my palm when she slipped as she ran to the door to greet her dad. I was facing towards the door to unlock it while I heard her fast “tippy tappy” sound and I noticed my husband’s face with his eyes and mouth wide opened (he was standing outside waiting to get in), for some reason I turned around and quickly stretched out my other arm and catched her head. That day I would say I was a super woman. I made a way to save her head.
I know a lot of things that only a mom can do and understand. I may not recognize my strength until I am right on that particular situation.

With Kuyas

But when our kids speak out something like that, it comes from their heart and they believe in it. Where else that statement is coming from?
Yes I am patting my back but it really is heartwarming and encouraging when I hear it from her in the middle of there’s so much to do with too little time and I’m going crazy.

We Have A Name (No Bullying Song)

This is a plain song I wrote while alone here at home. The lyrics are not fancy. I played this to my daughter when she got home from school and I hope she understands what it means. I believe that as a parent we have to teach our kids that name calling is a form of bullying, it is not funny. Each one has its own name and shall be called by it. Labeling or name calling base on looks is humiliating. One heart, two ears and a pair of eyes simply means (and a hope) for our kids to be empathetic, listen and see what’s going around them.

CLICK HERE: We Have A Name (No Bullying Song)

The boy has a name
The girl in that corner too,
You have a name,
Me too.

Don’t call him like this,
Don’t call her like that,
We have our names.

Flat nose, pointy nose, curly hair,
It doesn’t matter how we look, we’re all the same.
Sparkly dress, ripped jeans, outdated clothes,
It doesn’t matter what we wear, we can try their shoes.

Don’t call him like this,
Don’t call her like that,
We have our names.

One heart, two ears, a pair of eyes,
We can look around, we’ll find a friend, don’t be surprised.
Small voice, loud voice, let’s make a sound,
Grab a friend, laugh out loud and dance around.

I’ll call you as you,
You call me as me,
Let’s say our names.

– Chelle G. –

I Am Just Being A Mom

I do yell and I scream
Because my heart breaks
When I am disappointed.
I can’t pretend how I feel
When our disagreement is real
We are living, this world we
have so much to learn.
It’s okay when you see me cry,
That’s the depth in me I cannot hide.
Life did not promise perfection,
But when it hits you hard,
Watch out yourself,
Don’t be drowned by frustration.
I don’t wanna see you hurt,
I wonder what will be your reaction,
When you grow up,
There is so much destruction.
You see it first hand life’s imperfections,
My mistakes and failures.
You learn the meaning of forgiveness,
This, we will choose
To live happy and have peace.
I am telling you these,
So you will not wander,
To look for an answer
That could put you in danger.
I am just being a mom,
When I tell you something,
When I am firm and sound I am scolding,
You know there’s a reason
When I oppose to your doing,
I still love you and will always do,
But there’ll be no pretensions
that it is acceptable
The wrong you do.
You may say I am mean,
It’s not how it looks like,
I am just being a mom
Who cares and loves you.

 

See You Tomorrow

I told some of my friends that I would love to write a children’s book; but tonight I wrote a poem instead.I choose the tittle See You Tomorrow because it sounds very positive that kids can actually be great friends not only on their first meeting; and gives the new kid in the block something (hope) to look forward to the next day.

See You Tomorrow

Boys and girls make some friends,

Say hi to him, give her a wave.

Smile is free, give it away

It is better than a penny.

She is new, please don’t ignore

Let her come in

Open the door.

It’s more fun when you’re not alone

When you can talk,

Play and walk and

Share a laugh with someone.

Don’t take his lunch,

His only brunch,

Ask nicely to enjoy a crunch.

Remember your please and thank you,

Wish her a good day,

“See you tomorrow”.

You made a friend,

Today, someone is happy,

It is easy,

It did not cost you a penny.

All you need is a smile,

A simple hi,

And a great heart

To live by.

– Chelle G. _-

Scent And Music Takes Me Back In Time

There are things that take me back in time – images of events, places, and people. It could be from a photo, fashion, a scar (physically or emotionally), somebody’s cooking, gestures, scents or somebody’s situation where probably I was before. It could be a happy or sad memory, or something worth sharing and to laugh about, inspiring or embarrassing.

But scents and music are the two things that quickly trigger a lot of memories in my head.

I can see the image of my mom playing her guitar sitting on a Banig (native sleeping mat) on the floor using an improvised Lamparilla to lit up our living room and help her read her song book. Her favorite hits were Obladi Obladi by The Beatles, Boulevard by Dan Byrd, Changes In My Life by Jed Madela – she played this song hundred times and she even taught me to sing it with action, Paper Roses by Marie Osmond – this is the very first song I heard her play with her guitar and mind you, if I give her a guitar now, she will do this song in a heart beat. I can see mom’s fingers forming the basic chords and her strumming. She played well. Her voice was music in our home.

We did not have electricity growing up. You would know which one was our house because the only household that is not bright at night was ours; and we lived right at the corner of the street. At least, the street light gives off light thru our two windows. My mom had a battery operated radio, she would turn it on for weather forecast and when her favorite soap opera, Matud Nila, is on.

See, this is what music do to me. This reminds me how much I have to be thankful for. We grow up poor. Those were the old days when my Dad pursue college while working in his parent’s rice field, and at the same time, him and mom have the five of us. I used to carry an empty pot to my grandparents’ to be filled with rice and sometimes come home still empty. I remember my mom would tell me not to swing the aluminum pot when it is empty as I walk home so that our neighbors would not know that we don’t have rice for dinner. The lid would come off down to the unpaved road and would make noise and probably caught our neighbor’s attention.  We would end up eating Saba  (Plantain Banana) served with Kalamay (round candy that taste like molasses) to make it taste better.

When I was a baker at Dunkin Donuts, the smell of Sour Cream Donut reminds me of my mom’s deep-fried donut. It brings me back to those memories where I had to crack the Bagol (coconut shell), pile it up in a certain way to start a fire in our Sug-angan (cooking pit). My mother did not know how to cook until when my father left to work overseas. She leaped for joy the first time she cooked Pancit (rice noodles). She was so proud of herself. When we had a Carenderia (local eatery), I was her helper in the kitchen. I was 12 years old and we would wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning and walk from our house to the eatery. We had to wake up that early so Mother can get fresh meat in the market and we had to cut the freaking meat depending on what recipe she have in mind.  I said freaking meat because I hated cutting 10 to 15 lbs. of meat. Unlike here, the meat are already cut. We would start cooking as early as we can, when we’re done I would go back to sleep with sore muscles in my shoulder, wake up and get ready for school. I got a break from being a cook when I went to college, but when I am home particularly on weekends, I had to help. I have four siblings but she preferred to have me as helper because I know how to cook. Growing up, my chore in the house was more in the kitchen that includes cleaning, washing the dishes and cooking our meal. While my sister was with the laundry and ironing and cleaning the living room.

During my Dad’s vacation, we would cook together too. We would listen to music and play guessing game. We would guess of who the artist is from the song we were listening. Up to this day, I can see my Dad and I in that old “dirty kitchen” (extra kitchen outside) cooking together and competing to that game. He love to lay down, shirtless, on our concrete floor as he listens to his loud music. The red concrete floor was a good spot for us inside the house when it is too hot out. When the temperature “goes down” especially in the afternoon, we would ride a moped (motorbike).

Music has been part of me growing up. Dad got me a keyboard but I was not good at it. Maybe we live too far from the city where I could have gone for a piano lesson. But I love playing the guitar (I still do). I really did not care much about going out with friends in the weekend. As kids, plus I am a girl, I should be learning to do chores in the house according to my parents. The break I could get was playing the guitar, sing-a-long with a minus one tape and pretend I am a song writer. I did join a singing competition once where I forgot the lyrics and heard the crowd oohed. It was embarrassing. It was nuts.

I have a lot to write. I do have sad memories too, but I prefer the good ones. Something that makes me smile.

And by the way, when I smell the Christian Dior Poison Perfume (aInay Nenita Jan 2014 present my mom used to get when my Dad would come home from overseas), it reminds me of my mom and I at the Pawnshop lending her piece of jewelry when money is short, and we would ride the public bus going home with lots of food for my brothers and sister, and I would tell her, “Nanay , you smell like an angel.”

Frozen-Like Birthday Party

She is grateful to have her friends around and celebrated her 7th birthday with them. She decided to have it today since her BFF will not be able to come on her actual birthday, plus my husband and I were home.

One week before her party, I asked her what she likes or want for her birthday and she answered, “I don’t know”. She really does not make a list or  ask for a special gift on her birthdays; neither on Christmas time.

Since, I (traditionally) bake our birthday cakes, I wanted to know if there is anything particular she likes for hers.  Not to my surprise, she requested a cake that resemblance Elsa from Disney Movie, FROZEN.

I made her request. It was not a perfect Elsa cake, but I tried. She was very happy about it. I baked cupcakes as well for her friends to take home with their goody bags.

They hang out in the house. Play whatever toys my daughter have. Rainbow looming. Animal-Poly. Made a hide out under the dining table.

It was a very simple party. The kids had fun. I’m glad they came despite with the cold breezy weather. We’re glad we did not cancel the party.

Here are some clips of her FROZEN-like birthday celebration.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24