Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bric Floated!!!

This afternoon, after a full lunch, I wanted to move around just to shed off a few calories. I was thinking of walking outside to buy sweet corn for tonight's dinner. Before I was about to go out, I played with Bric. Then decided to take him for a swim. Melchor bought the corn for us. Hehe...

Bric changed into his trunks and we put on his floating vest. We dropped by our room to show Daddy Boydee while I changed to my swimsuit. I urged Boydee to at least watch Bric in the pool because it isn't often Boydee's here when Bric and I take a dip. I told Boydee he doesn't even have to swim, just watch. He said he'll follow. I took his word for it.

Bric and I went inside the pool. His floaters went up to his face. It was too big for him but he didn't mind. He kept on giggling and smiling. After a while, I decided to switch his vest to arm floaters. So Yaya Mila and I took his vest off and put on his Pooh arm floats. He loved it. It was then that we saw Daddy Boydee come up wearing his board shorts. Daddy was joining us!!! Yehay!!! I was sooo happy!!!

We played around in the water and Boydee held him. When I did one lap, he let go of Bric. And to my delight, he floated!!! On his own, and he was still smiling!!! He would spit the water out of his mouth or cough. But he was treading water and kicking and giggling and smiling and laughing. Oh what joy I felt! I was soo excited and proud! So was Yaya. She couldn't contain her excitement and took A LOT of pictures!

So today is a milestone for Bric. Our baby can float on his own without fear! My! Maybe I'll enroll him in swimming class. :)

Happy Easter

Just finished 'celebrating' easter with the family. Our Easter Egg Hunt started at 3:30pm. This year was different. Instead of the eggs all hidden in the garden and with a particular color assigned to each kid, Japa made it scavenger hunt style. That way, the kids had to work together. They still had assigned colors but they had to help each other. First was the sample egg with clues inside that would lead to the next 'eggciting' destination which was the garden. Other venues were the nursery, the living room, movie room, game room, chapel and swimming pool. The hunt left the kids temporarily eggshausted! Hehe... But the lootbags Lai, Rejy and I prepared were so well worth the effort (I think!). I, for one, enjoyed playing with Bric's toys. And I'm sure Yaya Mila and Yaya Sharlyn will have a field day eating Bric's candies. Hehehe... Rejy set up the photo corner and we had our usual pictorials before and after the hunt.

Dinner was Kamayan with an all Filipino menu consisting of JT's manok and liempo, Melinda's prawns sauteed in garlic, palabok and lechon sponsored by Tito Rey. Halo Halo was the only dessert for that night. When all the guests left, and the tables cleared, the kids, or was it Tita Zhar proposed to play sack race. All kids joined and the 'adults' did cameos. At first, the kids were grouped in 2 teams of threes. Then, Zhar and Lai challenged the winner. I had no choice but to join since it was women vs the kids. Embarrassingly, we lost. Couldn't believe how slow I was! Lai was fast but mid way she couldn't resist the urge to pee. That's the result of having 4 kids. Hahaha... Go figure! :) Zhar, well, Zhar didn't finish because she kept complaining that the sack wouldn't fit her. So much so that she actually fell! Hahaha... It was a fun 'first round'. The next round, our men challenged the kids. It was Rod, Rondic and Japa. My hubby sat beside Dad and kept him company. The men won. Third round, it was adults vs kids. We won!!! Whew... We, the women, redeemed ourselves. There were many rounds thereafter but it was just kids. We grown ups were too tired already. It's just great how our kids have so much energy!!! The momentum waned when Mommy Lai asked the kids to help look for her missing gem from her shoe. She promised to reward P50 to the kid who'd find it. None of the small kids could find it in the garden. By that time, all the action of the running races caught up with the kids so they decided to rest. I found Mommy Lai's Nine West gem in the living room floor. So I earned P50 for tonight. hahaha... After a while, it was home bound for the Gavinos and Dizons and Carbonells.

Now, Boydee and I are in our room waiting for Mom and Ate Rona to arrive from their brief France trip. Today was a fun day. It's supposed to be the biggest celebration of the Catholic Calendar but the preparation and the hype isn't as big as Christmas. But it doesn't matter. What's important is what happens inside each of us. For kids, Easter is cool because of the Easter egg hunt and the prizes. My Dad used to hide eggs in the garden too and we'd get P100 for each egg we'd find. As I grew up, I learned more about the significance of Easter. It is Jesus' resurrection. Today is the day Jesus conquered death and sin and rose to heaven. With His sacrifice, we are saved. We have hope of going to heaven, of living forever. Today, we rejoice and celebrate Christ's resurrection and our salvation. Today, we thank Jesus for making that ultimate sacrifice of giving up His life to save us from eternal damnation. We better make His sacrifice worth it by doing our part too. Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Scraps, finally!

After a pretty extensive hiatus from digiscrapping, I've finally returned to creatively keeping memories through these scraps.

Some are old pictures of Bric, some new ones. Kits are freebies from ikeagoddess' finds. I have to thank all these wonderful designers who give their beautiful kits so generously. Their kits alone inspire me to scrap again. Well, here's what I've done so far.

Credits: Kit: Shabby Princess' Promise Collection

Papers: Landscapes by Fran
Kathy by CanDesigns
Elements: Flower doodles by SJWright
Sun and clouds by Foxy Designs
Chick and Tulip by Coralee Evans
Bird by Spring Caprice by Cinnamon Designs

Credits: Just for You by New Life Dreams

Credits: Scraplift from Miam Miam by Gwadatiti
Papers: Bluish by Fei Fei's Stuff

Credits: Papers: A Work in Progress by Vicki Parker
Polkadots Papers by D'nia Stella Acauan
Circle Tags from Jump Kit by Digitreats
Hand Cut Paper Alpha by Lili
Template 014 by MadeByMitzie

Credits: Relax kit by Summer Driggs
Template 101 from Templates N More by Trish Heffner

So far, these are what I have. :) Hope I can scrap some more this Holy Week. It's Thursday night and we just went to 7 churches for the Bisita Iglesia and had early dinner at Gloria Maris Hotpot. Burp...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Precious Moments

There are those moments when you are just happy with the world... and content with your life. Moments when your heart is just exploding with overwhelming joy; or instances you want to capture in your mind and heart forever. Priceless moments. And yet they don't even cost a thing.

These moments are what makes life worthwhile. Moments like:
- an unexpected wet kiss from my darling hubby. Even after 3 years of marriage, this one still doesn't fail to give me butterflies in my tummy.
- Bric hanging on to me while taking our first shower together since he was a few months old. This happened today and he wasn't scared of the water drops anymore. In fact, he loved it!
- swimming or water time with Bric in the pool!
- my hiking sessions around La Vista with my party of 3 or 4 namely Yayas Mila and/or Sharlyn, Melchor, Rod or Oca... and of course, Bric on his stroller or in our arms.
- morning cuddling sessions with Boydee underneath the comforter. This is rated PG :) Just hugs and more hugs with a shower of butterfly kisses. :)
- Jesus time. There are times when even if the world outside is noisy, it is silent within me and it's just me and Jesus. There aren't even words in my thoughts. Just feelings in my heart which I know Jesus "reads". It's like lifting to Him my heart and knowing He knows what's in it.
- 'connections' with my family, individually or collectively - with Mommy Nonie, Ahia Jojo and Dhia Louie. Even if we talk on the phone, it's still different not being with them physically so I am just thankful that when we're together, the bond somehow is still there, or if not, we're rekindling them and building new memories especially with Ahia and his family whom we've missed for a couple of years.
- Daddy Boy's 'thank you's'
- Daddy Boy's big, big smile when he sees Bric. His face literally lights up and I'm just so thankful that our son is so loved by his Lolo Boy and that Bric can make him happy.
- bonding sessions with our family (the Dizons) who are like barkada: the sisterhood, the brotherhood, the parenthood... and all of us together!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Little Way

Therese's relics just left our country. She was here for 58 days travelling all over Luzon and Visayas, performing miracles, touching hearts, inspiring lives and renewing faith. To those whose lives she has affected, her relics may have left us but her spirit, her miracles and most especially her teachings will have definitely stayed.

I may not have been as attached to her Pilgrim Relics as the entourage was especially the likes of Mario, Allan and Oel, but in her own little way, she has reached out to me. I do not cry tears of joy because of enlightenment, nor tears of sadness because of her departure. What I have is a quiet, humble joy. Joy at understanding her little way to spiritual childhood and at the renewal of her doctrine of the little way.

LOVE. The past few days, especially when we were busy with the preparations of the relics' farewell, I would find myself doing 'manual' labor like making flaglets, staying up late at night for some last minute stuff, braving the dust and pollution at the shrine (due to construction) and going up and down the stairs in heels just to make sure everything went well and errands had been done. Ate Rona and Elizza had their share of crunch time as they painstakingly 'designed' the photo exhibit of the Philippine tour of the Relics. Boydee and Japa went beyond the call of duty just to ensure the success of the relics visit. Our staff worked hard, doing overtime, handling tempers of bosses who were tense and stressed of the job ahead. But we all pulled through and with smiling, happy faces. That's because Therese was working her way in us. We did it out of love - for her, for each other, for our company, for our work.

I adopted a work mantra some time last year: If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well. Through St. Therese's teaching, I have added an 'ad lib' of this mantra. "And doing it out of LOVE."

Any little thing that you do out of love is "like a petal, a flower that you offer to the Lord," this is what St. Therese's Mom, Zelie, instilled in her. I will try my best to offer petals to God by doing things out of love. I hope I will not stray nor forget this resolve.

Sacrifice and Suffering. When I was in elementary, our Christian Education teacher told us about St. Therese's teaching: that of offering your suffering to the Lord. She said, if we had a tummy ache, for instance, to offer it to Jesus if we love Him. At that time, I couldn't understand why I would want to offer or give or pass on to Jesus my tummy ache, but I did it anyway because I loved Him. I was thinking what kind of gift am I giving Jesus and if there were a lot of people who had tummy aches and offered it to Jesus, how tough it must be for Jesus to be suffering for us. Would it mean that Jesus would forever have some kind of ache?!

For years, that's how I thought. Give your tummy ache to Jesus so it will go away. Give your head ache to Jesus. Offer it to the Lord. Would you believe that it is only now that I fully grasp the concept of "offering" our suffering to the Lord?!? (blush blush).

To offer it to the Lord isn't to give it to Him. It is to embrace the suffering that our aches and pain entail and give to Jesus our sacrifice for bearing the pain. We take and endure the pain and dedicate it for our petition - be it for conversion of sinners, salvation of souls, healing of a loved one, or peace in the family. The pain will not go away but it will have made the suffering worth it.

Anything done out of love is an offering to the Lord. Love. It is the most important thing of all.

God doesn't call all of us to be heroes, martyrs or missionaries. He has different plans for all of us. Our universal calling is to love.

Therese said, 'My vocation is LOVE.' So is ours. Any simple thing, done out of love. That is her little way. To love God with abandonment like a child totally dependent on his parent. To use every opportunity to praise God. To be humble, to be little, to be selfless.

This is her path to God. It may sound simple but it is hard. There will be temptations. It will be a struggle. But I will try to live her teachings.

St. Therese may not have performed a great miracle in my life. But she showed me, taught me, made me realize the child-like, relatively do-able and accessible way towards going to heaven. This young girl who became famous only after her death; who was proclaimed Doctor or an Authority of the church even when she didn't earn a degree in her life; whose life story and teachings reached the whole world even if she was a cloistered nun from 15 years old til her death at 24. She taught me this.

More than a hundred years after her death, she is still very much alive, working her miracles in our lives. Thank you St. Therese for visiting us and sharing your Little way.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bric's Bag of Tricks

Bric is now One year and Three months old. He's growing up to be a big, happy, talkative, curious, smart, healthy and lovable boy! There's hardly a dull moment with him. He is just so full of energy. I am also very impressed at how fast he can pick up on things. Just for my remembrance (and his too), I'll be constantly updating my blog for the latest things Bric has learned and does.

At 1 year and 3 months, Bric:
- can get his diapers from the drawer so that he can change
- can get his shoes so that he can wear it
- knows how to "love"; he leans on you in a lambing manner
- waves Hi and Bye on his own. He waves to animate and inanimate persons, statues and posters with people.
- points at his ouchy if he has any and when we ask him to
- knows his nose
- loves to ride in his stroller and go walking around the village with Mommy
- looooves the water and swimming with Mommy
- calls "Dada" everytime he sees Daddy in pictures
- knows how to call Melinda "Da" and Mirafe "Pe"
- sits still and behaves well when he sits on Lolo Boy's lap while Lolo is on his wheelchair
- mimics us
- knows the animals dog, horse, cow, cat, bird, duck, pig and sheep
- doesn't cry during vaccinations and blood samples
- still knows 'nam nam' for eat and 'nana' for banana
- says 'no more' when things get 'lost' with matching twisting of hands
- likes Barney and music and songs
- loves to dance
- made a walk like Lolo Boy's walk (on his own!!!)
- loves to clap and be applauded (actually solicits applause!)
- pats himself when asked 'who's guapo?'
- pronounces dog 'doog'
- moves his forefinger when we say 'no' or 'hala ka'
- favorite words "nam nam", "baby", "mam"
- favorite food: pancit or any kind of noodle

Out Where the Action Is

We just got home from the Welcome Mass of the Miraculous Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese at her Shrine in Manlunas. Before that, we joined the Procession starting from the Barangay Hall towards her shrine.

It was well attended and joining it gave me an insight of the Filipino culture. We walked ahead of the Therese mobile with the Wang wangs, the Talulot Winners contingent with their festive drum beating and the pick up of GMA's Jessica Soho Reports (no, Jessica wasn't there, only her crew).

As we were walking, we distributed white and yellow flaglets to represent the colors of the Catholic Church. This was so that when the relics pass, the people would wave at her as a sign of our warm welcome.

As a group of children passed by me, I gave one of them a flaglet. All of a sudden, like piranhas eating their prey, my flaglets vanished in a second as the rest of the kids grabbed them from my grasp. A girl, perhaps around 10 years old, belonging to their group, asked if I had any more. I told her I had none anymore. She then curiously asked me what was happening. I told her the relics of St. Therese had arrived. She gave out a grin and said, "Oh I thought there was a fire!"

I guess we Filipinos always go where the action is. Just like a band of blind mice, we go where the tide takes us not knowing exactly where we're headed.

We also more than always are curious if there's anything happening. I remember when I was a kid. A factory that was several blocks away from the house was on fire. As if there was anything I could do to stop the fire, I still went out of our gate just to see what was going on.

Lastly, we are a festive people. If there is the slightest reason to go out and dance, we would. With the coming of the relics, people were out on the streets. They were standing with their candles and flaglets. The kids were shouting Viva St. Therese. The people were dancing to the beat of the talulot drummers. A group of kids even followed the GMA pick up just shouting, "GMA, GMA" (not the president, but the tv station).

It is all these characteristics and more that make our people unique; and make planning a procession easier. You just know our kababayans will not hesitate to stop what they're doing when they sense a commotion or a parade and come out in the streets. What more the coming of a great Saint as St. Therese?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Brainless Activities

The title should've read 'Brainless Activities but Enriching Nonetheless' but it would've been too long. I'm talking about what I do when I come home from work and stare in front of the computer. By then, Bric's already asleep and Boydee's already into his game, all attention on his PC.

Since I don't like lying on the bed by my lonesome, I try to extend my sleeping hours to coincide with Boydee's. Sometimes, it works; most times, I still end up going to bed ahead of him.

Ever since Ate Rona introduced this kuripot-digiscrapper's dream site 'scrapping with ikeagoddess', I've replaced playing Bejeweled 2 with downloading freebies found in this site. This is one of those brainless activities, a past time used to do exactly that - pass the time, but after all the downloading is done, I get folders of new kits and templates to work with when I'm in the mood for some 'brain-ful' activities.

Patience is needed though especially since downloading can be s-l-o-w because of the internet connection. But otherwise, it's a great past time when my brain is too drained from working or thinking; or if I find the allowable scrapping time is too bitin.

Dowloading songs from Limewire is also one of those activities; and surfing the web. Less brain activity is needed but it's still an enriching activity.

It's a great way to pass the time. For now, I am going to bed since my DH has decided to call it a night too!