Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Best of 2007

1. Favorite gifts received – Hunter, our Labrador from Davao from Didoy. The Mango Bravo from Thom & Joy when they visited after I gave birth. For Christmas - the Clinique Happy perfume set from Ches, the huge cookie jar with dog prints from Malen, and the tote bag from Apples that said in front “one less plastic bag”. By far the most heartwarming gifts were those from Babette, who still remembered to give despite all that she had to go thru, the pasalubongs for Yoshi from the US (eventho Jack was in the hospital most of the time), and even more thoughtful gifts when she visited before moving to the US – the coin bank for Yosh (in memory of the one we gave Jack for Christmas last year), red and yellow Hello Kitty utensils for me, and even a Got Milk body suit for little Boots. (I will so miss Babette …)

2. Funnest movies – Yosh replaced me as Ches’ designated companion for his MTRCB pass in 2007. Those two saw easily 20 movies this year while I got to see only a handful. I loved the hilarious Big Time (thanks to Regie whose favorite this is) and the melancholic Sa North Diversion Road (both seen from Indie Sine in Galleria, a cinema which shows indie films year-round). Also immensely enjoyed Stardust (tho I can’t remember Neil Gaiman’s book much anymore to know whether the movie was faithful to the book). Lust Caution was riveting too. (Must see Foster Child soon …)

3. Best-loved books – wasn’t much of a bookworm this year, since I spent most of my time blissfully doing all that nesting. And when I read it was mostly What to Expect When You’re Expecting, followed post-partum by What to Expect the First Year. Of the few that I read tho, Harry Potter 7 was a satisfying end to the series, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris was a riot (and reminds me I have to get in touch with my dear friend Randy soon), and Father Jerry Orbos’ Just A Moment (a gift from our new lawyer Lizelle) is very inspiring.

4. Sweetest discoveries – Snickers cheesecake from UCC, caramel fudge cake from Banapple, and dark choco cake from Chocolat. Yum. (Thank you Lord I’m not – or at least not yet – a diabetic.)

5. Happiest shopaholic havens – The Block, which is a nice place to do our groceries in, with a spacious lounge that has comfy couches (finally, a refreshing addition from Mr. Sy), and a special exclusive CR for the handicapped, which I was allowed to use when I was pregnant, hence exempting me from all those lines. Trinoma, which is huge and airy like Mall of Asia, but even better bcoz it’s more accessible (only 15 minutes from home). It has all my favorite stores and many new restos to try out, plus a lot of greeneries and fountains and all these elegant trimmings Ayala malls are known for. (Ahem. Proud to be a part of the Ayala group.)

6. Most heartbreaking motherhood moment – I was kissing Yosh goodbye one afternoon before he went off to school, when he suddenly decided he wanted me to take him instead of his Ate Ann. I explained that I still had to take a bath and eat my lunch and all that, and he added, “And you have to take care of the baby?” He saw right thru me and my pathetic little excuses, yet understands and finds it in his young heart to still love me and his little brother anyway. This little guy breaks my heart all the time.

7. Most rollicking road trip – Travel was restricted in 2007 bcoz of my delicate condition. All we managed was Clark for Ches’ birthday. (Altho I was in HK for a couple of days. Not to mention the 60 million business trips to Cebu.) The best junket is hands-down our family road trip to Ilocos, from Paoay to Laoag to Pagudpud to Vigan. This one will be difficult to top for a long time.

8. Laugh-out-loudest jokes – “Nosebleed” jokes from email and texts, about this maid who speaks straight English with flawless grammar and extensive vocabulary. Inday invariably makes her bosses’ noses bleed when they listen much less try to respond to her. It’s probably just me, but these jokes never fail to leave me teary-eyed from laughing too hard.

9. Best 2007 moments – finding out I was pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby, Jen’s and Teody’s homecoming, being a part of our classroom project in Cebu, staying in touch with old friends (like Kaye who never tires of emailing, Mr. Mc Cormick who’s been my client and friend since my first year in QT, Gay who I last saw when Yosh was only a few days old, and my QT batchmates who I manage to see four times this year, thanks in part to Chuchi’s wedding), watching my dearest friend Rhoel perform in Romulus and seeing him fulfill his passion for acting and entertaining, my favorite boss standing up for me and making the others see I could actually bolt out of here anytime, when he didn’t have to lift a finger for me at all (I love quoting the villain from MI 3 who said, “You can judge a person by the way he treats other people to whom he doesn’t have to be nice”, or something to that effect.)

10. Greatest blessings for 2007 – my boys, definitely. Ches’ mastery of the role of a hands-on daddy and ever-patient husband, Yoshi being happy in his first year in school and waking up everyday even funnier and more matakaw, Boots who breastfeeds every hour and smiles in his sleep. I can’t ask for more.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Motherhood Leave

Lately I’ve been wondering, whatever happened to truth in advertising? All these diaper or baby lotion or fabric softener commercials where the baby is perpetually happy, cooing and giggling, and the mommy is always looking good and smelling fresh, and even the house is immaculate, with the white curtains flowing in the breeze and all that crap – they are so not real life.

Boots and I have been out of the delivery room for more than a month, and there have been bad days, worse days, good days, happy days. It’s a bad day when Boots doesn’t let Ches and me get any sleep, and we take turns baby-sitting way into the night, me nursing and him rocking, the two of us trying every trick in the book, and after five hours Boots is still crying as tho he’s the most anguished little human being on earth. Ches and I do not even have to utter the words, but I know he’s also thinking – tell me again why we wanted another baby? It’s a bad day when Yoshi gets into major sibling rivalry mode and does everything to get into my nerves – trashing the poor, abused Christmas tree, slamming every darned door in the house, tearing up my magazines, throwing around his food and toys, messing up his discs and books that I put back in place for only the 60 millionth time that day. People have told us to love him the same way as before, to spend time with him and pay attention to him. And I’m always tempted to snap back, hel-lo, you think that’s a very original idea, something that’s never occurred to me and Ches? Last time I checked, we were just sleep-deprived, not dumb. Duh.

It’s a good day when Boots falls into a deep sleep while kuya is in school or sleeps early at night, and I can have some time to use the phone in peace, talking to old friends like Jon and Mayie, catching up on all the latest office gossip from Paula and Thom, or do mommy things like write on Boots’ baby book or put some semblance of order into our closets and shelves that I’m always so OC about, or do stuff for myself like write on my diary, check my email or update my blog. It’s a good day when good friends like Thom and Joy, Babette and Regie, Malen and EJ come over to visit, and for a change I can have someone to talk to other than the newborn, the pre-schooler, their father and nanny. It’s a good day when we can go to social events with family and friends, like Jana’s baptism, our annual QT batch party at Jon’s, and Allan’s wedding where I leave Boots with Mom and he finishes off without a fuss the breast milk I pumped, and Yoshi looks like a little congressman in his barong and forgets for one moment that he’s supposed to be in a stage of rebellion and reverts to his former happy baby/overly friendly politician/matakaw na piglet self. It’s a good day when Boots and I go to our one-month check-up, and he weighs just a little less than Yoshi at two months, and I’m only 6 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. (Woohoo!)

My days being stuck at home and being a full-time mom are far from perfect, but who wants to live in a commercial, anyway? Chester’s getting up every time Boots stirs and letting me sleep despite his having to go to work in the morning, Boots’ intoxicating baby’s breath, his little coos and giggles, and Yoshi’s commentaries and caresses more than make up for all the sleepless nights, day-long tantrums and back-breaking diaper changes. I wouldn’t trade any of it to being back in the office, pretending to be a lawyer and churning out page after page of legal documents like you won’t believe how boring. Nah, not by a long shot.