July 31, 2007

My Butt, My Aching Butt!

I’ve got real pain in the butt, and, nope, it has nothing to do with “aging.”

The day I turned the big four-o, some little imp got hold of me and jogged me into revisiting that old friend, Wanderlust. Now the idea of a long, long ride proved too tempting, and I just had to say go.

The thing is, packing is not the haphazard thing that it was. A backpack was no longer enough, what with the baby bottles, the sterilizer, the formula and all. Midway, when it was clear that Gianna would not let me pack in peace, I thought of calling the whole thing off. But then again, the little imp whispered “open road, open road,” and the hassles of organized packing were forgotten.

It was around midnight when the discomfort started. To her credit, Gianna is an A-one traveler. She doesn’t whine, doesn’t whimper. She’s a sound sleeper, too. And since she used my lap as her pillow, I was constrained to sit still and not shift position for the better part of 12 hours.

When we reached our destination, my butt was so sore from sitting. For a while, I couldn’t move without grunting, and the idea of sitting yet again was an agony.

It was the same story on the way back. But the three days in between were just so wonderfully different. There were no deadlines to take me away from Little Miss Cling-Wrap, we had all the time to bond, and she had a blast singing “Tomorrow” on rain-drenched streets.

So okay, I have an aching butt. But I have a spring in my step as well, and I am perfectly fine.

July 26, 2007

Forty and Feeling Fine

I am forty years old today.

In the days leading to my birthday, I had been on the lookout for telltale signs. Aching joints, perhaps? Unsightly bulges? White hair? Memory lapses? Strangers calling me ale?

After conditional exes and a couple of hmmms, I have decided that I am nowhere near old. Thirty-nine may seem formidable, but 40? Heck, it’s nothing but a number!

For how can I be “old” when I shift to Dora the Explorer mode at bedtime? My TV viewing fare includes Little Bill and Out of the Box. By the bedside are The Valiant Little Tailor, No Jumping on the Bed, Blue’s Art Day and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?

Sure the e-groups I have enrolled in have sections for “old photos.” I am getting too old for Starstruck and the Young VIP Club. I have memory boxes brimming with, well, memories of 19, 23, 27 years ago.

But “old?”

When I turned 29, with marriage and a family nowhere in sight, well-meaning (hah!) relatives nagged me incessantly about hurrying up because “malapit ka na mawala sa kalendaryo.”

Well, 29, 30 and 31 passed, and they weren’t so bad. True, you won’t find my age in the calendar anymore. But it’s still in lotto. And in ten years, it’d still be in Bingo.

July 24, 2007

The Name Game

Over lunch today, two friends who decided to go back to school were talking about assignments and computations. The conversation would have totally escaped me, until one mentioned a classmate named "Beautylynn." I almost choked on my okra. "Beautylynn?"

The name sent me searching my inbox for a forwarded email written by an expat. "A Rhose by Any Other Name," is a humorous take on the many inventive ways we Filipinos deal with the business of naming our kids. Some of the naming styles:

1. Door-bell names such as Ding, Ding-Dong, Ping, Ting-Ting

2. Repeating names such as Let-Let, Len-Len, Jun-Jun, Mai-Mai. The repeating names can be written as Let2, Len2, Jun2, Mai2 and so on...

3. Composite names such as Jejomar (for Jesus, Joseph and Mary) and Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao). Ha ha on this one! I know someone named Rofebar (for Ronando, Fernando and the fact that Ronando and Fernando passed the Bar exams on the year he was born). Or how about Jemelvic (for Jean, Rommel and Vic, the kid's aunt and uncles)

4. The concept of the randomly-inserted "h." As in Jhun, Jhimmy, Ghemma. I have cousins--unmistakably '70s kids--whose "groovy" parents made sure that their nicknames have the requisite, if useless "h": Yeyoh, Dhing, Rhey, Dhan...well, you know the drill...

5. A creative sense of humor creeping its way purposely into names. Examples are: Edgar Allan Pe, Washington Dy Sy, Magic Chiongson

6. Parents sticking to a theme (names that begin with the same letter, a whole line of fruits, desserts, etc.) Mortifying, but my folks are guilty of this. The names of the two elder daughters—Anna Carmencita (me, me me) and Emma Concepcion—are quite fine, considering that they were named for their patron saints. As for the other four, well, Dad and Ma must have spent many a sleepless night figuring our four-letter first names starting with a vowel and ten-letter middle names starting with the letter C.

Funny, too, how generations gravitate toward almost the same “generic” names. In confirmation rites last year, it struck me how just about grade-five pupil is invariably named Nicole Anne or Katrina Mae or Anna Mae or Princess Mae or Ruffa Mae or Christine Mae. One name is forever etched in my book: Khryztynn Lynn.

And now, Beautylynn.

The name game encompasses family pets as well. Because the dog was considered “part of the family,” the De Leons named their dog “Keempee.” As in Keempee de Leon. Somewhere in the neighborhood is a dog named “Kagata,” which, in Bicol, loosely translates to “go ahead and bite.”

And then there’s the dog formerly known as Berta, which now goes by the name of “Princess Mae.” The new name was given by Krystalla, the help whose original name is not Krystalla. In any case, Princess Mae’s owner was wondering why the dog wouldn’t do so much as lift an ear when she calls. Out of frustration, she yelled “Fren-theth Miii,” the way Krystalla says it.

What do you know, the darn dog did a doggie somersault!

Princess Mae, it turns out, is Frentheth Mi after all.

July 23, 2007

Girly-girl Talk

When I was single, I scoffed at mothers who overdid the ribbons-and-frills stuff. No girly stuff for my future daughter, I swore. No all-pink ensemble, no dressing her up like she was one big meringue.

Call it the universe mocking me, but today, I have one kikay of a daughter. Her wardrobe is mostly pink, with a sprinkling of purple and the occasional powder blue. She is so into Barbie and the Disney Princesses. She raids her cabinet for constant "wardrobe" changes, making her nanny wail at the pile of laundry.

It is my youngest sister who must have absorbed most of the kikay blood in the family. When she found out that she was having a daughter, she painted the nursery walls Tinkerbell green and baby pink. She brought in unmistakably girl layettes, just stopping short of swathing the entire room in gossamer drapes.

Alas, Sam is no 100% girl. Ribbons trigger fits of hysteria, and just the thinnest film of after-bath lotion prompts her to yell "tanggalin, tanggalin." The kid is no fancy dresser. Skirts are okay, but dresses are a no-no. She doesn't like pink, either. Pink is for Ate Gianna: for Sammy Girl, it's yellow.

To mark Sam's 2nd birthday, the mom threw a princess-themed party. She went through the hassle of commuting to Legazpi to buy just the right party attire and spent two days convincing the kid that the dress is wearable.

No success there, though. And so the kid who is no princess showed up at her party in a yellow skirt, a Tweety shirt and, yes, pink rubber shoes.

This just goes to show that we can't force our kids to be just like us. Of the same mold,perhaps. But entirely different.

July 21, 2007

Been There, Done That

Does having a kid make me an expert at the whole parenting thing? Some people seem to think so. Or why else would they seek my "expert" advice at the grocery aisle, in the comfort room, in church, or in the middle of a busy street? One kid, and suddenly I am a member of the "been-there-done-that" sisterhood. Licensed to start sentences with "When I was pregnant..." Forgiven for lugging around pictures, pictures and more pictures of the "pretty, pretty kid." Considered resource person on pregnancy matters (matters of pregnancy?) and things that have to do with mommyhood. :p

A friend, a mom-to-be in six months, sought my--ahem--"expert" take on what it's like to be pregnant. I won't even claim to have stock knowledge on trimesters and pre-natal charts and all. But there really are issues. Burning issues such as:

1. Constipation. Ugghh! Talk about long, long (and most often, futile) hours spent in the can. I did stock up on prunes and prune juice, and once or twice tried the old lactose-intolerance trick. To no avail. If anything, pregnancy is--for me--a moving experience. Literally.

2. Hormones. Have you ever bawled your eyes out while watching a documentary on emperor penguins on National Geographic? Or gone totally teary while Lolit Solis did her trademark "speaking-in-tongues" routine to wrap up Startalk? I did, and it had nothing to do with extinction or the state of local showbiz.

3. Blood sugar. I was in my late '30s, and my doctor wanted to make sure that she had all possible health concerns covered. She sent me to the lab with a request for oral glucose test. I had no idea that she was sending me to hell--and back. Downing a glassful of barely watered-down sugar--and hanging around in the lab for around four hours while they took hourly blood samples--was pure and simple torture. Barf, urine, puke, tears and cold sweat are just some of the things that came out of me in those four hours.

4. "Infanticipating." Now, that's one word I totally dislike. Along with "forlorn" and "nincompoop." For lack of an exact word, though, let me take that to explain my aversion to anything fried, to cologne and to a particular group of people at the office and my craving for this unusual combination of dark chocolate and dinuguan while playing round upon round of Text Twist.

5. The human touch. Weird, but when I was already showing, people I barely know would reach out a hand to pat my tummy. I was assured that this was a "normal" reaction, inexplicable though it may be. Still, I didn't like it one bit. Especially after I had already given birth and there would be this offending hand with an equally offending mouth asking "oh, how far along are you?" Hah!

As for pointers in raising a kid, okay let's call the bluff. Truth is, I'm just as lost. This whole mommy thing is forever a work in progress, a hit-or-miss, trial-and-error affair that is at times pure harassment and most times pure bliss. So there.

July 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 4: Random Music

Thirteen Things about ANNA

Around a month ago, a friend tagged me for a seven-favorite-songs meme. Coming up with seven from a long, long playlist is something of an ordeal, so the meme continues to languish in draft. I decided to do something similar for this Thursday Thirteen. Instead of getting a headache from choosing, though, I put the i-pod on shuffle and listed down 13 songs, starting from song no. 13, progressing to song no. 26 and so on until I got to song no. 169.

My random list:

1. Over and Over (Wilson Phillips)Reminds me of dorm life in the '90s!
2. This Land Is Mine (Dido) Poetry in pop? With lines like "So find your home and settle in/oh, I'm ready to let you in/just as long as we know, this land is mine... this certainly is one of the best-written songs ever!
3. PM's Love Theme from Love, Actually (Craig Armstrong)
4. A Fifth of Beethoven (Walter Murphy, from Saturday Night Fever)Think John Travolta and mirror balls and grooving down the streets of New York!
5. Against All Odds (Phil Collins) Ahh, the '80s! What would it be without Phil Collins and Genesis!
6. Guilty (Blue)Sappy, sappy!
7. I Love You (from Barney & Friends) To my two-year-old, few things can beat the thrill of a singing purple dinosaur. To me, nothing beats the thrill of the kid singing--and acting out--this song!
8. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Ray Conniff Singers) This one puts me on Christmas mode even on the hottest, hottest day!
9. Baby, You're Mine (Basia) Bouncy, feel-good song!
10. Head Over Feet (Alanis Morisette) "Jagged Little Pill" is my album of choice whenever I feel the need for murder :)
11. Officially Missing You (Tamia)
12. Never Too Much (Luther Vandross) Cool, cool voice!
13. Whenever I Call You Friend (Kenny Loggins & Stevie Nicks)One of my favorites!

These are, of course, but 13 of the 1,597 songs on the playlist. I wonder, would any of these make your list?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

July 17, 2007

Little Miss Cling-Wrap

I was blog-hopping last night when Gianna sidled up to me and said, ever so sweetly, "Mama, enough work na."

For a moment I was speechless. It didn't matter if I was working or not. To the two-year-old, any amount of time spent doing something else is time spent away from her.

Recently, the kid has been quite clingy. I'd go to the bathroom, and she'd stand outside the door. Sometimes she'd even ask her nanny to go get the keys. Each working day becomes a matter of high drama, so much so that I have taken to sneaking out the side gate. On weekends, she refuses to take a nap. She has, in fact, quite become an expert at fighting off sleepiness.

Times like these, and I really envy the moms who have all the time in the universe to be with their kids. How I wish I wouldn't have to zip through each working day thinking about Gianna when I'm at work and mentally ticking off my to-do list when I'm with Gianna. Times like these, and I wish I didn't have to wear too many hats.

But there's college to think of. And bills. And retirement. And all the (in)conveniences of parenthood in the 21st century. There's also the matter of "genes." I come from a long line of women who wear their "working mom" badge with just the right amount of pride and pressure.

And so, whenever Little Miss Cling-Wrap pulls me away from whatever it is I'm trying to do, I relent. Seasoned moms tell me that the clinginess is a passing thing. In no time, I will be the one doing the whole clingy routine.

July 16, 2007

Santa Gabriella

There are times when I feel like I’m raising a saint.

When she was one, Gianna would cringe at the thought of anyone unfamiliar touching her. Distant grandparents, uncles and aunts would offer their hand for the requisite mano po, but the little girl would turn away, ignoring the extended hand. With priests, though, it’s another matter entirely. At the end of the mass, she’d have to go up front to “bless father.” And then she’d have to go up the altar to touch Mama Mary’s vestments. Once, the nanny forgot to go through the after-mass ritual. It was the biggest mistake ever: the little girl’s yells rang from here to kingdom come.

When she turned two, she refused to have a party. She asked for a big Santo Niño instead.

In “choych,” she’s a little picture of piety. She doesn’t step on the pew, she kneels when all the others kneel, she "nods" the sign of peace and she extends her arms for the “Our Father.”

At home, her pretend plays usually revolve around the mass. And Maria. The other night, to entertain Lolo, she took his cane for a mic and started singing. First, it was “how dya sola caga like Mayia?” [How do you solve a problem like Maria?] Then, for some reason, she kneeled, stood up and wailed: “Espiyitu. Wala na simbahan na katol likô.” It took awhile before we realized that she was doing the Tagalog version of the Apostle’s Creed: the part that professed faith in the Holy Spirit and the holy Catholic church (banal na simbahang Katoliko). There, too, are times, when she goes around the house carrying a book in front of her and singing the Bicol version of "Lord have mercy."

And then there's her fascination for nuns. Call it an extension of her fascination with The Sound of Music: it thrills her no end to see "mothers," in person or otherwise.

Just when I'm convinced that I might be the mother of a saint, bam, Gianna swipes at her cousin Sam. Then throws a mean tantrum. Despite our "no hitting, no pinching, no scratching" policy at home, the kid makes it clear that she is no saint.

So much for Santa Gabriella Onna.

July 10, 2007

Lost Brands

The upside to our office cleaning frenzy is that we made a lot of discoveries. Or, to put it in the proper perspective, re-discoveries. On a long-forgotten hospital cabinet were bottles and flasks that could very well be the stuff of Shabby Chic. One look, and conversation shifted to Choco Vim and Melon Milk and the brands of thirty something years ago.

Remember these?

1. N-Nut coated peanuts
2. Prawn Curls
3. Mini Mallows
4. Manor House chocolate
5. Lem-o-Lime
6. Mountain Dew
7. Big Boy Bubble Gum
8. Veto Deodorant
9. Prell, Pretty Hair, Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific and Halo shampoos
10. Stayfree Feminine Napkins
11. Life Buoy soap
12. Kao Biore facial wash
13. Wakasan Komiks
14. Funny Comics
15. Jingle Extra Hot
16. Kislap
17. Lasting Songs Digest
18. The Daily Express
19. Bic, Kilometrico and Haba-Haba Ballpens
20. Spartan, Bantex, Mighty Kid and Grosby Shoes
21. Made in Heaven fashion
22. Syvel's Department Store
23. My Melody, Tiny Poem, Patty and Jimmy and Kokuryo characters
24. Beautifont

If any of these ring a bell, you and I are nowhere near old. But if they don't, well, you probably won't remember Lala Aunor and Arnold Gamboa and the Apat na Sikat either. :p

July 9, 2007

Talking Trash

Today, we did a lot of cleaning. Eleven offices moved out of our building and into the new city hall. That's about seven kilometers of distance between our offices. Which means that they can no longer be bothered by the cleaning up. As a result, we were left with three truckloads of trash and four cussing utility workers.

Looking at other people's trash, I wonder if we're ever going to really get down to the waste-segregation thing. True, there are trash cans marked "nabubulok" and "hindi nabubulok," but their contents are still a confusion of plastics and paper. Of bottles and left-over baon. Tucked in corners and little-known crevices are folded biscuit wrappers and stuff. It will probably take the same amount of time throwing them into the trash as the time it took to meticulously fold and insert them someplace. But I suppose the latter has much more appeal, huh? Surreptitious, for some, is far more thrilling than doing the obvious.

One other thing about the mountain of trash unceremoniously dumped on our department is that some of the things aren't really trash to begin with. It could be that the "movants" just got tired of the business of packing up and moving that they decided to give up midstream. From among the "legitimate" trash, we found boxfuls of printing paper, thick deposits of substance 20 bookpaper, fasteners, paper clips--our tax-paying money in the guise of office supplies. And to think that we had endless discussions with the Bids and Awards Committee as to the lack of supplies...

July 8, 2007

B- Traveler

My Lakbayan grade is B-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

P.S. The first time I took the test, my score was A+. As it turned out, I interchanged the columns. I guess I have to bone up on my domestic traveling skills, huh?

July 7, 2007

Here We Go Again

July is a crazy time when you're in government. In an election year, it is time for reinventing and "reinventorying". For terminating job orders and issuing new appointments. For revoking old office orders and issuing new ones.

Election-year July is when you see new faces widowing their way through old office routines. When college graduates are initially given tasks of opening doors, answering telephones, mixing instant coffee. When terminated contractuals join the throng of new hopefuls, wishing for another stab at employment.

In measurable terms, all these translate into around a hundred reams of bond paper. Fifty reams long bond for the inventory forms, for purchase requests, for the personal data sheet to be accomplished in "triplicate." Fifty reams short bond for application letters, office orders, office memoranda, resume, memorandum receipts, etc. etc.

On a non-election year, July is just as "paper consuming." It is when mid-year reports are due, when next year's budget has to be submitted, when outstanding cash advances have to be liquidated, when performance evaluation reports for the first half and performance targets for the next half have to reviewed by the Personnel Evaluation Review Committee.

Never mind if the PERC is non-functional, or if the reports are carefully calculated so that every employee merits a "very satisfactory" rating. Never mind if the computations don't tally. There is, after all, the Productivity Incentive Bonus in exchange for the three copies of four back-to-back pages that takes the better part of two working days to accomplish.

Needless to say, exasperation fills the bureaucratic air every July. This is especially so in the case of Officemate A, who has recently decided that government work is not for her. In the process of "clearing," she found out that she has unliquidated cash advances for travels and seminars. To settle these, she needs tickets, official receipts and certificates of appearances.

Now, Officemate A really attended these seminars. Problem is, all her supporting documents were destroyed along with the old city hall.

"Why don't you just tell them that you lost everything?" someone clueless as to the bureaucratic paper trail asked.

"Because they want you to lie," was the ready answer. Because the rules and regulations say so and not a word more. And because government won't be government without the "here we go again" syndrome that is the theme every July.

I wonder: was Sisyphus--he who was forever condemned to roll a rock uphill--a bureaucrat?

July 6, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 3: Coffee Quotes

For the 100th edition of Thursday Thirteen (and my third post) I thought of putting together two of my favorites: coffee and quotes. Here are 13 coffee quotes that will (hopefully) fuel warm, heady coffee-clouded thoughts.

1. Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven--Jessi Lane Adams

2. I had some dreams; they were clouds in my coffee--Carly Simon

3. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons--T.S.Eliot

4. Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis - a good hot cup of coffee--Alexander King

5. Coffee makes us severe, and grave and philosophical--Jonathan Swift

6. Without my morning coffee I'm just like a dried-up piece of roast goat--Johann Sebastian Bach

7. Black as the devil, Hot as hell. Pure as an angel, Sweet as love--Perigord

8. No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness--Sheik Abd-al Kadir

9. The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce--Oliver Wendell Holmes

10. I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee--Flash Rosenberg

11. Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised--Star Trek: Voyager

12. He was my cream and I was his coffee--and when you poured us together, it was something--Josephine Baker

13. Given enough coffee, I could rule the world--Anonymous

Have a great brew!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

July 5, 2007

Life Begins at 40...

Patrick, my high-school classmate, is getting married on Saturday. When he made the announcement three months ago, our high-school egroup suddenly came alive. Reactions ranged from "why only now?" to "who finally snagged you?" to "it's about time." Two crossing-Continents chat sessions and countless email threads later, one thing became clear: 40 is just as good an age as any for starting something.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude when he was 40. At 40, Albert Einstein gained scientific renown for his theory of relativity. Somewhere around forty was when Mother Teresa started Missionaries of Charity, Madonna came out with "Ray of Light" and Jane fonda started her workout mania. Nicolas Cage became a first-time father at 40.

For some, though, 40 is "old." It may be because the marrying age around here is "just a little after college," sometimes even in college. Given such, the equations can be astounding. While most of our batchmates, for example, are grappling with the reality of raising teen-agers, Patrick and his Vivian won't be there until 2021, at the earliest. Even as Patrick and Vivian are tying the knot, others are untying theirs. And while Patrick and Vivian are reading up on Dr. Spock, others have enough in them to write their own parenting books.

But "old" isn't something you'd associate with Patrick and Vivian and all the others who have the courage to start new adventures. Even if the adventure is, as the invitation says, "growing old together."

So here's to you, Patrick and Vivian. May the road to "partnerhood" at forty be just as beautiful...

July 3, 2007

New Beginnings

New beginnings. That's the phrase of the day. I must have heard it a hundred--make that a thousand--times today that it's already losing its magic.

Before today, I associated "new beginnings" with Closing Time and PowerBooks. I particularly liked the line from the song that capped many a late '90s night at the mall: "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Today, however, as I sat through opening and closing remarks and the endless messages in between, the phrase has taken on not-so-positive notes. As if the past was so bad it might as well be erased. As if one can go barging into the future without considering the lessons of the past.

I understand that new management means new programs and new thrusts. I know that there's inexplicable thrill in fresh starts, such as when I write on a new notebook, or open the pages of a new book, or open new doors. But to brag about "new beginnings" when you know that it's just a turn of the wheel? That in no time, it will be back to the same old grind? Different times and different players, perhaps. But the same old story all over again.

Ahh, leave it to politics to take the newness out of "new" beginnings...

July 2, 2007


The past week has been a blur. Between rushing and dashing, between beating deadlines and meeting schedules, all my blog ideas just plain disappeared. Early this week, I meant to blog about the view from my backyard and about how this office wrap-up thing is driving me crazy. I mind-sketched ideas for Thursday Thirteen and I so looked forward to Friday's Feast.

Alas, intentions and ideas do not thread words and sentences into a post. To blog, I need to think. Then write. But since thinking requires energy--and I am just so drained at the moment--I'll skip the thinking part and just ramble on.

Here's a slice of life from my little pocket of earth:

Monday, while I was silently berating myself for not sorting my clutter when there was still time, I got a tempting job offer. I looked at the filing cabinets that needed my attention, at the files that needed to be put away and I thought I could walk away from them all. That is, after getting three speeches done. At home: It's back to the '80s as the precious two-year-old discovered Vanilla Ice and "Ice Ice Baby." The kid sure dances funny. I swear, I laughed so hard I got teary.

Tuesday, I crossed out speech numbers one and two off my to-do list. Even as I did, rush-rush tasks cropped up, and I had little time to get to work on my clearances. Much less think about moving. At home: I heard the kid scolding her doll: "Time out ka sa crib. Pasaway ka kasi." Uh oh. A case of "My Mother, Myself"?

Wednesday, I walked an officemate through a panic attack. Her filing system was a lot more disorganized than mine, her lovelife was "complicated, as usual" and her desk was a not-so-happy mess. At home: The kid's fascination with Maria has reached "imaginary friend" proportions. She "texts" Maria, she talks on the phone with Maria and she asks me to leave a space on the bed for Maria...

Thursday, I finally turned in speech number 3. I also (finally) decided to stick it out at the city hall. I just realized that for most of my working life, I have been following an invisible template: when the boss leaves, I leave as well. I'm no longer the footloose and fancy-free me of ages ago, and I figured it's time I settled for some permanence. At home: My decision to stay on has a lot to do with the little girl. True, the paycheck would be an improvement, but then it means I would have to cut down on the bonding time.

Friday was a no-work day in Sorsogon, as it was the feast of Sts. Peter & Paul. Fiestas are still the big things that they were, and for once, traffic was really bad, with people packing the streets. In the afternoon, we took Gianna and Sam to the park. I wanted to buy cotton candy to complete the fiesta picture, but the mommy in me said no. So much for the fiestas of my youth...

Saturday, I woke up really early for the city day mass. Then, it was off to the capitol for the oath-taking, to the clinic for Gianna's checkup (she must have taken something that didn't quite agree with her tummy, and she had runny poo-poos), to a friend's house for lunch and to the office for the final fixing up. Whew!

Today, I thought I could breathe easy. And for a while, I did. Gianna had clean diapers all through the day, and despite our little spats, things went well. At the chapel for the 5pm mass, though, she tripped on something and took a fall. It wasn't serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER but it was serious enough to merit an ice pack, which we got from the convent. Three minutes later, she was running like crazy again, making me one crazy mom. :)