August 26, 2009

A Giant in the Making

Choychoy has always been big. We never met a single person who didn't drop their jaw each time we reveal his true age after they asked or guessed. Although we were always concerned about his being overweight, his height was also always above the normal values, so we just shrug it off, and give him another cookie.

I’m kidding!

One night anyway, the tape measure was easier to reach than the weighing scale so we took his height, searched the internet for the growth chart, put a point here and a point there, connect, and got this:
You must fall within the yellow line to be in the normal range, but his was up there. No biggy for me (yet). He is tall, alright. But a few more clicks though and I found myself taking the height predictor test and got this!

Yikes, quite a giant for a brown, don't you think?
Hay, Cherifer! =)

August 25, 2009


After 3 small happy birthday parties, Choychoy has finally turned two! Since they were just 3 house parties, most of the pictures are just not for posting. (use your imagination - it could be me on my worst house clothes engorging on the pancit or my husband showing off his hyperhidrosis)

So here are just a few I find passable.
The Birthday Cake:

The candle blowing, on Party #3:

The buntings I made - thinking they would make Choychoy shout "WOOOWWW!" (He didn't. Not even close, hehe...)

The cookie lollies Tita Nini baked.
Special acknowledgement goes to Ate Girlie for the crazy icing drawings of the teddy bears.

Now this, was from Party #2.
That's the original Mrs. Latoja, my mother-in-law, Ate Mylene and Geo. Don’t miss the very happy birthday boy on foreground!

Joni and the equally adorable Diego from Party #3:

Random faces, still from Party #3:

The beautiful gifts:

Dex and I are truly grateful beyond words. Our Franco's first two years have gone past very smoothly. He has exceeded our expectations BIG time, literally. Everyone has extra love to spare for our little big boy and we couldn't be happier.

August 12, 2009

Turning Two

In the middle of a book project, the thought of Choychoy's upcoming 2nd Birthday crossed my mind, and quickly like there's some sort of urgency, I opened the folder in my computer that holds my birthing photos.

It happens to me a lot of times. When everyday routine goes to a plateau and you're not expecting anything exciting to happen anytime very soon, nothing could make you feel better than to be reminded of the most blissful moments of your life like this. Apart from browsing through our wedding pics, it’s remembering the moment of seeing the baby you hold inside and waited patiently for to hold and cuddle for nine long months, that will not fail to make you feel proud and elated anew. This time though, it's to reminisce the past 2 years that has unbelievably gone too fast.
It was a rainy Thursday, our usual regular check-up day, when our OB decided to do the CS the next morning. The photo where I was wearing the yellow-green shirt was taken before we left for the check-up.

This is Dex of course, asking Choychoy to calm down because he became unusually restless that night. That was Tatay on the other line, early morning of Choychoy's birthday.

I was all ready for pick-up! Photo ops with the newly-shaved Dex and Nanay, the selfless caregiver.

Dex tending to an imaginary patient as Nanay takes his picture. Goofing around just before they prayed the rosary.

Being taken inside Genesis and the one with the tears of joy, hehehe...

The best first kiss! Flowers from Ate Girl and Ate Icon.

My boys! =)



The Changing of the Guards. =(

Last Room-in and we're going home!

At the Huggery...

Long shot by the Huggery door and at the lobby..

That's about it! The first (sleepless) days at home is worth another blog entry! =)

I can't believe how big he's grown...
and how long the sideburns have become.

August 10, 2009

My Queen

I’ve known Sandy for quite some time, having worked as her illustrator for the past 12 years. During that time, I forged with her a friendship that I consider the closest and one that I most treasure. To give you an idea of how close we are, I can tell you with absolute certainty what she had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as far back as a month ago.

I’d begin my description of Sandy with what I admire most about her. Sandy is one of the strongest people that I know. I can only imagine how much strength it must have taken to move her life from the States to a place so far away and so culturally different from what she was used to. Yet she was able to adapt well, even opening and running a school here in her adopted home. Even more remarkable though, is that she actually raised four of our most outstanding citizens today, two of whom are in the Senate. For an American woman to move to a different land and show us how to properly raise kids is just incredible. It’s but natural that whenever I need advice on just about anything, whether it be dieting, motherhood, marriage, or friendship, I seek out Sandy’s opinion first.

She fondly calls me her Princess, and I call her my Queenie, being the kind and regal class act that she is. That she calls me her Princess is a true reflection of how special she makes me feel. No other friend has ever treated me more royally, and it’s hard to put into words the profound effect that her kindness has made in my life. The treatment I get can only come from a woman who is herself very special. It sounds almost clich├ęd and unoriginal to describe a close friend as being sweet, thoughtful, and generous, but the truth is I think those words don’t do my friend justice, because she has taken thoughtfulness and generosity to a completely new level. She gives so much of herself and what she has. She takes time to ask me how I’m doing or to ask if I’m feeling ok. It’s actually hard for me to remember the number of times she has surprised me with gifts, taken me out to lunch at some really nice restaurant, or done the sweetest things when I was sick just to cheer me up.

But more than that, she doesn’t think twice about taking your problems and making them her own, and pulling all resources within her reach in order to help. She even goes so far as to extend help even to her friends’ friends and family. Being the good Christian woman that she is, Sandy is capable of giving until it hurts, so much so that she leaves herself vulnerable to people who sometimes tend to abuse her kindness and generosity.

I remember that she once got mad at a really frustrating staff member who couldn’t seem to get his act together. She called up the erring staff member to reprimand him. After talking to the guy, she noticed how somber the guy’s voice was, and it occurred to her that the guy was actually sick. I noticed right away that she couldn’t bring herself to be angry anymore and felt bad about feeling so angry at the guy.

Yet underneath the refined lady is a woman with the wittiest sense of humor who manages to crack me up all the time. Most people aren’t aware that despite Sandy’s high stature in society, she remains a well-grounded and fun-loving girl. She knows how to enjoy the simple things in life, whether it be a cute set of stationery, a fine cup of coffee or a good talk show. One time, when I visited her at a hotel where she was staying, she asked me to rub my toes under the soft bedsheets. It didn’t sound like much of a thrill, but when I tried it, it really felt good! Another time, we took ballroom dancing lessons, which we took seriously for a while. Although we didn’t end up becoming the dancing divas we had hoped to be, it turned out to be one of the most fun experience I’ve ever had.

I thank God for giving me such a wonderful friend in Sandy. She will always be my Queen, and there’s a special place in my heart where her throne will forever stay.

April 25, 2009

A Letter for Sachie

I'm reposting this cute and funny letter written by my husband Dex for Cha-cha's class recollection sometime last year, from Che-chie's Multiply.

FYI, Dex, my Totoy, is MAHAL to Cha-cha, Oyel and Miggy. Here it goes:

Hi Cha. Hulaan mo kung sino ko. Rhymes with AHAL. O, gets mo na?

Recollection mo na pala. Ang bilis talaga ng panahon. Parang kelan lang e hindi mo man lang siguro mai-spell ang katagang "Recollection of schizophrenic Czechoslovakians", pero tingnan mo naman ngayon, kahit paatras kaya mo na. Napakalayo na talaga ng narating mo. Dati-rati ay hindi ka ganong nakakalayo dahil natutumba kang mag-isa nang walang dahilan, ewan ba kung bakit. Ang nakakapagtaka pa e pumipirmi ka dun sa pagkakatumba mo, di ka talaga gumagalaw.

Nagkanya-kanyang teorya pa kami kung bakit bigla ka na lang nabubuwal. Nariyang pinaglalaruan ka daw ng mga engkanto na akala e ikaw yung nawawala nilang prinsesa. O baka nao-off balance ka lang talaga sa bilis ng mga dumadaang eroplano.
Marami-raming tumba pa ang lumipas at nariyan ka na, nagreready na para sa graduation mo at dumadaan na nga sa recollection. Magandang pagkakataon ang ibinigay sa inyo sa pagkakaroon ng recollection na yan. Kung nakinig kang maigi kay Mrs. Castro kanina (o kung sino man yung dapat na nagpaliwanag), ang recollection ay oras para suriin mong maigi ang sarili mo, para malaman mo kung saan ka nagkulang, tsaka kung ano ang kailangan mong gawin para mapunan yung mga pagkukulang mo.

Unahin mo nang balikan kung naging mabuting anak ka ba sa mommy't daddy mo. Masunurin ka ba sa kanila? Iginagalang mo ba sila? Ows? Dumadating talaga sa buhay ng bawat anak na nakakaramdam siya ng pagkainis sa mga magulang nya. Pero ang tunay na mabuting anak ay yung naipapairal ang paggalang at pagmamahal kahit ano pa mang inis ang nararamdaman nya. Maaaring tinatamad ka kapag inuutusan nila, o naiinis kapag pinapangaralan ka, pero obligasyon mo bilang mabuting anak na labanan ang katamaran at pagkainis at gawin ang gusto nila.

Mommy: Chacha tigilan mo na yang kaka-internet at mag-aral ka na!
Chacha: Mommy nilalabanan ko!
Mommy: Yung alin?
Chacha: Yung katamaran at pagkainis!
Mommy: Ha??
Chacha: Mommy I love you!

I-extend mo rin yung paggalang sa iba pang nakatatanda sa iyo, dahil lahat sila ay walang ibang gusto kundi yung mapabuti ka. Mga nakatatandang nasa school man o nasa looban, lahat sila entitled sa paggalang mo, at maniwala ka tataas ang tingin nila sayo at igagalang ka dahil don. Kahit korny pakinggan, sikapin mong maging mabuting Kristyano kahit nasa anong sitwasyon ka, ge-greydan ka man dun o hindi, may nakatingin man o wala. Tularan mo yung pagiging magpapakumbaba ni Jesus. Minsan, nung bata pa sya, sinabihan sya nung classmate nyang si Jeffrey, "Jesus, top 1 ka na naman daw a!". Ngumingingiti lang sya pag ganon, nagthathank-you, at ina-acknowledge na kay God galing ang lahat. Ganun din ang gawin mo Cha.

Alam mo na rin siguro by now na pinagkalooban ka ni God ng mga pambihirang kakayahan. Sana'y hindi mo i-take for granted yung mga talent na binigay sayo, at sa halip ay pagyamanin mo ng husto. Sayang
naman, diba, kung halimbawa imbis na maging superhero ay pinili na lang ni Superman maghalo ng semento maghapon, o kaya maghasa ng nipper. Pilitin mong abutin yung pinakamakakaya ng potential mo, para wala kang panghinayangan balang araw dahil hindi mo lang sinubukan.

Wala akong kaduda-duda na balang araw ay may babaeng titingalain ang mga tao at sasabihin ko sa kanilang, "A yang si President Chacha Reyes? Pamangkin ko yan no! Ano ka ba?" In the meantime,
panatilihin mo yung pagiging mabait at masayahing bata na nakakapagpaligaya saming lahat, at wag na wag mong kalimutan na may malaki at matipunong Mahal na palaging nandito para sayo.
God bless you Cha.

April 20, 2009

Bigger than the Biggest Heart

YES, I was actually given an award!

The biggest heart award. Awww... (applause) Thank you n@wie sis, Anna. I don't know what I have done to deserve this. *taps chest twice and pauses* Now I'm forced to make my first blog entry ever, 'cos you're supposed to pass this on to someone, and I'm taking the chance, to say my piece.

Well, quite frankly, it must really take one big heart to:
  • a stay-at-home-mom and juggle it with freelance work and some cooking.
  • ...restrain yourself from hitting a husband, who, upon seeing you after going home from work, would burst into laughter because your hair is all messed up, face pale and sweating, and panting from running your tiny household.
  • able to bear a helper, who insists that my Tatay's cancer is in Stage 5, sleeps early, wakes up late and takes 2 hours of siesta in the morning and 3 to 4 more hours in the afternoon.
  • ...not let go of a dog who eats his own shit, would rather starve to death than eat dog pellets for our convenience, befriends anyone who comes near our gate and would probably just lick a burglar's empty hand.
So am I saying I deserve this biggest heart award?
Umm... let's just say, aherm, I take great pride in saying that I survive not-so-ordinary domestic situations like these. But you see, none of you ever hear the whining and the complaining.
The truth is if it takes one big heart to live the life I'm living, it takes a bigger heart to make it easy for me.

I am therefore passing on this award to my husband. Yes, the one who laughs at me when I look wrecked, and say the sweetest things after. The one who patiently listens to all my complaints, laugh at some, but addresses them all after. The one who I know will always be beside me in this journey we're both new at. The one who I'll share laughter with, for the rest of my life. The one with the biggest heart of all, my husband.
And thank you, of course, to all my sponsors. *waves*

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