Monday, October 19, 2015

An open letter to a little CarBar

To my dearest Carlie Barlie Boo,

There are two important things I need to discuss with you today.

Number 1: You are a ridiculously cute 1-month-old baby.

And believe me, you were ridiculously cute from your first second of life. I know. I was there. When the doctor pulled you out, even he looked overwhelmed by your cuteness.

(OK, to be honest, he looked shocked because you were bigger than we all expected you to be, but it could've been about the cuteness too. So let's go with that.)

(Lesson: Honesty is a good thing.)

That's you on your birth day, emanating cuteness.

I remember when your cousins Juancho and Martina were babies and I couldn't get enough of them either. I could watch you all day long (and I do, mind you) and never get tired of your face. Your squishy, perfect face.

When you get old enough to read this, remind me to teach you about 'bias'. It's mildly related to what I said above.

Number 2: It's your mommy's birthday today.

Long before you came into existence, about 8 years ago, I wrote a blog post about your mommy on her birthday. So if you want to have some idea of who she was before you, you can read all about it here.

But I want to talk to you about your mommy after she found out she was pregnant with you. 

Your mommy was so thoughtful that instead of being 100% excited, part of her felt a little bad because she knew that we wouldn't be able to do all the things we wanted to do on my US trip. I had really planned to visit her, even before she peed on a stick (Again, something I can explain to you later). She apologized that what was supposed to be a long vacation for me would turn out to be a babysitting gig instead. Not all people are selfless, Carlie. But your mother is.

Your mommy made this ze-raffe
(who's wearing your bib and foot flowers, btw)
Also, when I found out your mommy was pregnant, I wasn't worried at all. I knew she would prepare for your arrival like crazy. She took her vitamins and listened to her doctors and made sure you were safe and healthy inside her. You see those stuffed animals around you? She made those! She researched everything that you needed (and you needed/need a multitude of things!) and read up on pregnancy and all things related to it. She definitely knows more about pregnancy and early childhood than I do, and I'm a doctor! She can tell you about foremilk and hindmilk and the cause of frothy baby poop and why it's important to pace your never-ending feeding. I know you will always be able to rely on her. 

Your mommy is determined and competitive. These are not always good traits when she's on the opposing team (I know this from playing Wii and poker and made-up games with her) but because she will always be on your side, these will be your blessings. She successfully pushed all 8lb 12oz of you even when she was in so much pain from back cramps and intense heartburn (after an epidural!) because she's a fighter and she will do anything for you. If you need to pick teams someday, pick her first. I promise she won't take revenge on you for not letting her sleep during your first month of life.

Your mommy's great, Carlie. You're going to have a fun time knowing her, as much as she (together with your daddy) will have an unforgettable time knowing you. Pretty soon, she will be more than a food supplier or a diaper changer or a hug provider to you. 

To you, she'll be everything she is to me, and so much more.

So mark the date, Carlie. October 19. Greet her when you get the chance. Or when you start talking or something.

That's your mommy.
You're somewhere inside.

That's all. And have I mentioned how cute you are?

Mama Omie

One last thing:

(I know I said I would discuss just two things, but people lie. Take note.)

Your mommy calls you, among so many other nicknames, 'CarBar'. That's short for 'Carlie Barlie', which I called you when you were still a fetus and caught on. Interestingly enough, with two strategically placed E's, 'CarBar' becomes 'CareBear'. This is significant for no other reason except  it allows me to segue into one of my favorite childhood stories about your mommy.

The first movie your mommy forced the whole family to watch was the Care Bears movie. She couldn't have been older than 10 at the time. Just a few minutes after the movie started, your mommy complained and wanted to leave, and we all said something like 'NO WAY! WE ARE GOING TO FINISH THIS MOVIE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!' Which was ironic because the movie was about caring. And bears. The Care Bears. Look it up.

Lesson: Before asking to watch a movie, make sure you really, really want to see it. Your mommy has issues she's bound to take out on you.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Parents and fairy tales don't go well together

I shouldn't be surprised by this story, given that Mama has always had a clear grasp of fairy tales and similar stories, as well as excellent vision.

It was the night before Mama's scheduled operation (it was elective surgery and she's OK now, thanks for asking), and we were already at the hospital trying to make bedtime come faster. We settled on watching the movie version of Into The Woods.

Hi Chris Piiiiine.

Mama was watching it for the first time, so I expected (and got) a lot of questions about what was happening. During the opening song, I was explaining that it was a bunch of fairy tales merging into a single story.

Me: So that's Cinderella. 
Mama: OK. 
Me: And that's Jack, the one with the beanstalk. 
Mama: OK. 
Me: This baker and his wife are new – they were created for this story. And this is ...

[Here's what was on the screen, and for all my readers who haven't seen the movie, the character in question was in a red cape singing about going to grandmother's house.]

Mama: That's SNOW WHITE!!!


These are the moments that make my life bloggable.

I'd also like to point out that I so lovingly waited for Mama to be out of surgery and back home, recuperating, before I shared this anecdote. I'm a good daughter.* Sometimes.

Get well soon, Ma!

*To be fair, Red Riding Hood in the movie was extremely fair and had poofy sleeves, like Disney's Snow White. Like I said: Good daughter. Me. Sometimes.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The day I thought Dad got it

Shall we start with a spoiler? OK!

My little (let's get back to 'little' in a while) sister Mia is pregnant with her first child!!!


When she found out, she told me and older sister Apple first through Viber. Then we thought it would be a good idea for Mia (who lives in the US) to videochat with my parents the next day to tell them the good news so she could see their reactions. We planned it so Mia would call early Saturday morning, while Dad, Ma and I were at the tennis court.

On the morning of the call, everything was going according to plan: I had Mia on the phone and there were no other people on the court. Clear video, check. Relative silence, check. Parents' full attention, check.

So I showed my parents that Mia was trying to tell them something. And they focused intently on my phone's screen.

Then Mia held up her pregnancy test stick.

(Not the actual stick with my sister's pee on it)

And my parents looked even closer. And squinted. What is that, they whispered. And were quiet for what seemed to me like a very long time.

Then I saw Dad's face slowly light up.

This is it, I thought. Someone finally got it. I got ready to celebrate with them. And I heard my Dad shout happily, excitedly:


HAAAAAAhahahahahahaha. Kill the fatted calf because my daughter has an infection!!! Hahahahahahahahaha x 500,000.

Anticlimactically, I had to tell them the news in a clear sentence, and we all screamed in delight. Lame ending, I know.

But Mia is pregnant!!! (Just in case you missed it.)


[Update: The fever anecdote happened a very, very long time ago but I was warned not to blog about it early in the pregnancy. The baby is actually about 24 weeks along now. Little sister is not so little anymore, parents are super excited to have another grandchild and, thankfully, no one at this moment has a fever.]

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Because Apple is the new Mama

On the very first day of 2015, I had breakfast with older sister Apple and her family at my place. As it was turning out to be a lazy day, and no one seemed to want to go home yet, 8-year-old Martina suggested that we try out their new card game of Scrabble Dash.

Photo included here for your gaming knowledge

So everyone pretended to have acute-onset hearing loss. (I did say it was a lazy day.)

After a few more pleas from Martina, we all finally succumbed. Fine. Brain games. Whatever.

Scrabble Dash turned out to be a F - U - N game, which probably explains the box design. And by 'fun', I mean it brought out the shrieky competitiveness in us. Which is more than I can say for the Game of Life, which we played begrudgingly on New Year's Eve. (And PS, I have enough trouble with real life. Don't let me deal with life, in card form or otherwise, any more than I have to.)

No FUN on the cover ... or while playing

Towards the end, most of us (Martina, Tatay Jesse and me) were standing and shouting, one of us (Juancho) was writhing in laughter-aggravated back pain, and the rest (Apple) was ... well ....

In a nutshell, you play Scrabble Dash by laying down words as fast as you can based on an instruction card. So if the card said 'Proper noun', you can put B - E - Y - O - N - C - E on the table. Simple.

In one round, the instruction card said 'Three-letter word'.

So Jesse immediately put down three cards:

L - A - T

Me: What in the world is LAT?

Jesse (trying to demonstrate): Lat! Lat!!! Lat machine. You know, like at the gym.

Of course he was referring to something like this:

Me with a different race and body type. So, in effect, not me.

Me (without knowing what that machine is really called, but desperate to win): No way!!! 'Lat' is not accepted!

Apple: Lat??? No!!! And besides, that's spelled with a T - H.


What's a lath?

Presenting ...

... a lathe. With an 'e'. And a completely different pronunciation.
FYI, Apple.

And that's how my 2015 began: With a whole lath of laughs.

BOOM! (Season-appropriate ender)

Update: So I was informed by more than one person that there is such a thing as a lath. My apologies for not researching enough. I would still like to point out that Jesse was not referring to either a lath or a lathe. As my loyal friend Marie told me when she read Apple's defense on Facebook: "Too lathe!" Hahahaha!