Purple rules

Preference for purple is a mark of old age – I read that somewhere.  The MM theme this week is no coincidence that my fave color is purple.   I am all bias making this post; I can risk associations with old. We are all getting there anyway.

Don’t even ask me what’s purple among my possessions. You will be bored to purple tears. Oh, and did I say I wanted to turn my dresser into an altar dedicated to purple? 🙂 Serious.

This driver was a darling when I played at Wilding two weeks ago. Purple rules.

It’s not obvious but one hit on this bay reached almost 150, courtesy of the hue.  Perhaps the next shot shows my island holiday paraphernalia in clear purple now –

And this is where I funnel funds for CJ’s speech and psychological therapy sessions, not to mention Mozart’s (my poodle) allowance.  Quite draining.  I am bleeding purple to be honest.  But being an Inatay (Ina + Tatay) is not something one can’t survive.  Add purple to that status and life is perfect!

Chris hosts Mommy Moments at The Mommy Journey.

>Leaving on a jet plane


“You took everything! You took Cj, you took Mozart, everything!”

“No, honey. I did not. You kept your real estate, your liquid assets and your golf clubs. I just took what are rightfully, legally and sentimentally mine: Cj, Mozart, and the photo albums.”

Thus went the highlight of our drama which culminated in a special trip (Mommy Moments theme this week), special in the sense that I was taking a family member home. Home to the Philippines with grandma. Poor Mozart is the final casualty of this divorce.

But let’s look on the lighter side. Everything went fine. Mozart’s immigration papers were sorted, although it was one of the most expensive trips we’ve ever done. Ex-hub, bitten by the nicety bug, drove us to the airport and took this pic

Mozart had to travel in the belly of the plane among the bags. I had difficulty explaining to Cj why Mozart wasn’t sitting with us. We submitted Mozart to the special cargo unit with Cj protesting all the way. When the door was shut, ex-hub was ashen-faced I thought he would break down right there. Came time to fasten our seat belts; Cj sat close to the window making room between us and said, “Mommy, Mozart sit with me.” I tried hard not to well up.

Five hours later the three of us were home. And it was christmas eve! The festive mood we arrived at made the trip even more special.

~ Mommy Moments is brought to you by Chris ~

>Mozart’s Birthday


~ brought to you by Alicia of More Than Words ~

The month of August has been filled with birthday celebrations of friends and family (read: mine and my canine). As I’ve already blabbed about people’s birthdays, I thought this FPF post would be about Mozart. He’s my toy poodle who turned 7 on August 2nd. I had him two years before my biological son arrived. This was taken on his first birthday in 2003, using my ancient Kodak camera. Like they say first baby, first birthday: big deal :D. So Mommy threw this cuddly guy a little party.

~ waiting for his guests ~

Actually there were only two invited guests. One didn’t make it to the fun because she overslept. Her name is Dawn, the youngest ‘child’ of our next door neighbor, a local film actress. Dawn’s mom handed a gift. Over the fence.

~ and this is Salapao, the other neighbor’s ‘baby’ and Mozart’s partner in ruining my alugbati patch every single week ~

They snobbed the cake, but had fun with their milk and other treats. Then they tossed their toys to and fro, jumped up and down, kicked my poor magazines here and there. The result was total chaos. I took it as their way of saying, “We love you, Mom. Thanks for the party.” Well, what did I expect? These two are naughty and equally spoiled rotten.

>Mommy Moments: Encounter with animals


Before there was Cj, there was Mozart (the very guy below Cj on my left side bar). Mozart is my “first-born.” I had him when I was a happy-go-lucky, brand new wife. When I started noticing that Mozart’s milk is more expensive than my coffee, his toothpaste quadruple the price of my Colgate, I began thinking I’d be better off having a real baby.

Little did I know that with Cj’s birth came along a tough job explaining to Mozart why I was spending less time with him. I gave him a toy saying it’s a friendship gift from Cj, but Mozart, the spoiled brat that he is, snobbed the toy. When Cj arrived, Mozart welcomed him with tiny, dry pebble-poo in groups of 3-4 all over the floor. I had to give Mozart lots of hugs to assure him he was still Mommy’s baby. That was the first lesson I learned on sibling rivalry. I had no prior experience on what it’s like to be insecure or jealous of siblings as I am an only child. I just learned it from my boys.

The chaos has just began. Mozart growls, Cj cries. Mozart asks to be carried as soon as I start feeding Cj. Mozart doesn’t want Cj to cuddle him. So much more drama ensued. I was losing hope of ever seeing my sons showing love for each other (tubig at langis ang dalawa). Til one night:

Cj (11 months old that time) was playing on the bed, Mozart was sulking in the corner and I was chatting with friends online. It must have been just a minute or 30 seconds, but the next thing I saw was accident happening live before me. My dresser stool was wheeling away with Cj’s hands gripping the edge while his feet are still attached to the bed. I thought I was witnessing a trembling infant acrobat. Instead of running to catch him from falling off, I froze on my seat. But quick as a dart Mozart prostrated himself right below Cj’s hanging body as if to cushion Cj’s fall.

Had Cj dropped, Mozart would have been crushed. But apprarently he didn’t think of dying. He just wanted to save his baby brother. A dog is indeed man’s best friend. That moment Mozart sealed his place in my heart forever. The bank account that I set up for Mozart’s monthly expenses in the Philippines is only a little attempt to repay his heroic act for Cj.

This was taken December 2007. We used the jeep to haul in food from the palengke for the christmas and new year festivities. My boys finally learned not to quarrel while side by side. This was their first jeepney ride and they didn’t want to get off.

At the Underwater World in Pattaya this summer. He was hesitant to approach the sharks

Cj’s first encounter with a working animal.

I have shown related photos in other posts. I consider this important as I hope Cj learns that animals, besides pets, are to be loved, protected and appreciated for their role in the environment.

Head over to the Mommy Journey site to view more children’s encounter with animals.

>Friday’s Fave Five: Say it with flowers


View more FFF participants at Living to Tell the Story

This week was just great. Here are my faves:

1. Just on time. If there’s one luxury I am enjoying nowadays, it’s TIME. Thus, all this blogging, all this net surfing, all this time in front of the pc. Lately though I seem to have forgotten that no matter how long the free time is, it still has to be managed properly. I have procrastinated on other important things that I felt alarmingly surprised to find out my work uniform isn’t ready and it was only a matter of hours til the requirement to wear it was imposed. Clock was ticking, ticking fast! I pleaded with the seamstress. It turned out Lady Luck was on my side. She finished the uniform just on time for me to go to work without having to cook up an alibi why I wasn’t wearing the prescribed dress code. *Exhale* That was close.

2. Lost and found. Aside from books, soft TV noise lulls me to sleep. That makes me very attached to the remote control. Alas, my son played with it and it got lost. To find it I had to clean the entire bed area. And found it I did. What made it one of my faves this week is the exercise which accompanied the moving of a king-size, iron frame bed. I normally don’t exercise and I’m glad I had one besides finding the remote. I also went looking for a certain book, and found it along with something I didn’t expect to find – a photo of Mozart. I have forgotten that I used it as a bookmark about 8 years ago. Ah, Sweetie, there you are!

3. New memes. Thursday Thirteen, Friday Fave Five, Wondrous Words Wednesday, and My World Tuesday – at last, worthwhile things to make use of the luxury in my hands. It’s time to think and think of time.

4. Clean fridge. I finally learned to prepare meals in small portions, which means no leftovers, no food wasted, and therefore, no guilt.

5. They say it with flowers. In Thailand teaching is not a thankless job. Every year a ceremony honoring teachers is done in schools throughout the Kingdom. Yesterday we had that ceremony. I am just fond of the way students are taught to express their respect and gratitude.

Happy Friday, everyone!

>Weekend Snapshot: He would have


It’s Father’s Day and in my case, it’s remembering-Papa day. Sweet things that remind me of him have a place in my heart, and in my palate. My father had a sweet tooth. When I was little Mama lectured the two of us about the hazards of too much sweets. Papa did the opposite and secretly allowed me to eat all the sweets I wanted. Sometimes he would take me out to eat ice cream until the tip of my nose was cold.

When he passed away in 2005, I lost my partner in crime. I made sure there was enough ice cream for everyone at the funeral reception. It has been four years of collecting memories of him, and the list now includes a weekend self treat that has become rather indulgent. Macadamia choco cheese cake and durian ice cream – phew! my old man would have loved these. This is my imperfect shot of a perfect indulgence:

Papa would have spoiled my boys just as he spoiled me. I just know he would have. History has a sweet way of repeating itself, doesn’t it? The eldest son, on his way out to take a walk, is much more sociable than the biological son, observing the crowd at a graduation ceremony. Of the two, it’s the canine who gets the lion’s share of my part-time profession – spoiling sweethearts. The biological is better off with a regular dose of discipline. But then Papa would have insisted, “oh, just indulge the little guy.”

I will, Pap… during weekends 🙂
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers and happy Father’s day weekend to the rest of us!

>My dog is now a cat!


This morning I received a text message from my mother about Mozart. Mozart is my 6-year old toy poodle. I had to fly him home to the Philippines when my divorce became final. He’s been staying with my mother who, I suspect, spoils him more than I did when he was with me in Bangkok.

Mother’s text message read, “Mozart caught a huge rat from the edge of the yard this morning. He wanted to munch it but I didn’t let him. Now he is a cat.”

I replied, “Not letting him eat the rat is a good decision. After all a rat is not his diet.”

Back in the pre-divorce days Mozart caught a bird from our tiny garden. With his mouth bulging, he ran to me. He was very pleased with his catch. I had to tell him firmly, “Mozart, drop the bird.” He obeyed and I ended up nursing the poor maya until it was ready to fly again. That earned Mozart a stern lecture about things he can play with and creatures he should leave alone. I emphasized the importance of being himself – a dog, not a cat.

Hours later I discovered death in my shoe rack. I was stunned: it was my favorite pair of Nine West. I was also proud: Mozart understood my lecture.

>Mommy Moments: Screaming suds


mommy moments

From the first spurts off the nozzle til the towel is pulled out of the hanger, my shower room turns into a vocalization nook for a Pavarotti score. If I am lucky I get a kick. Little Mr. Bath-hater struggles to master the art of not missing a breath while water cascades down his face. I grapple with the effort of making him comfortable while getting rid of suds the quickest way possible. The pic below shows him having a great time on the tub playing with his cousin in Digos city (I have to tweak it for obvious reasons) .

Anyway, how in the name of Thailand’s goddess of water and the Philippines’ own San Juan, did my ex-mom-n-law, my mother and all talented yayas bathe my kiddo without a single scream from his diaphragm? Three Fridays ago after work, I sat listening to Cj splashing. Number of screams: zero. He even emerged from the bathroom grinning with his proud yaya in tow. I turned purple with jealousy.

Bathing my other boy, Mozart is entirely an opposite experience. We are bath time buddies! His only issue is when the water temp is not adjusted to his liking. The little rascal is more maarte than I could ever be. Cj observes Mozart and me having fun with shampoo bubbles. Sometimes he gives me a look that tells me, “good job with Mozart, Mom; you suck with me.”

I’m learning; the TH (trying hard) mom that I am. Any tip from you, veteran moms out there? Meanwhile, the screaming continues.