Too Much Makes Me Want To Puke

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Toilet run!!

 

Things have been pretty hectic at work. It also does not help that I have this stomach flu/ bug/virus that makes me run to the toilet as if bees are coming after me. What I do at the toilet..well, it’s not a pretty sight. Let’s just say it comes out both ends. Every few months, I seem to contract a weird stomach virus. I think it’s how my digestive system says “Stop eating,bitch!” It’s really annoying.

You know what else is annoying? The Vhong Navarro – Cedric Dee- Deniece Cornejo issue. It’s just too much. It was fine when they went on TV and all. I mean they have the right to air what happened to the public but having the DOJ and NBI investigating it as if it’s a matter of national security is just a wee bit too much. My opinion on all this: They are all lying. Really. It makes me want to throw up.

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I hope the girl would at least share the number of her plastic surgeon to the man.

For those who are not familiar: Celebrity (Vhong) gets mauled by 6 men including this Cedric Lee at the condo unit of this starlet Deniece while he was basically answering a booty call. Vhong says it was extortion while Cedric and Deniece say he tried to rape her and the other guy was trying to save her or her virtue or God knows what.

 

It seems the CCTV cameras had the answer all along and coincides with the celebrity’s (Vhong) story but the other side stands by it’s story of rape. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/01/28/14/cctv-supports-vhongs-story-nbi-source 

Again, I think they are all lying. Anyway, this whole brouhaha has taken over Philippine media and overshadowed the signing of the Bangsamoro Peace Treaty and more relevant news. It’s so bad that the news sites crashed. Everyone has their opinion on everything and everything these two people have done in the condo unit the past few weeks has been revealed. How the guy Cedric is part of some Chinese mafia, how Deniece wears too much blush and need her nail polish fixed.TMI overload.  

This whole thing makes me want to the toilet and puke too.

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Brave Naked Runs, A Fact Of Life

Last month, we were discussing if we should get a CCTV camera for our new place. We have been a bit paranoid ever since someone broke into our unit last year. The burglar climbed into the balcony like Spiderman, forced the window open and stole valuables. He was playing ninja in the middle of the afternoon, way up a building. Anyway, we felt we should get a CCTV camera and maybe one of these days  send footage of Ninja Spiderman to the police if God forbid he follows us when we move.

My little girl said no and gave her reason:

“No, that would mean we can’t do brave naked runs anymore!”

The Brave Naked Run

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Born Free and Butt Naked

What is it?

* When you don’t have a towel in the bathroom and you have to make that sprint to where towels are kept with a wet trail behind you.

* When you think you’re totally alone and run to answer a phone that has been ringing non-stop.

* When you change in your room only to realize you left the stove on.

* When someone suddenly opens the door to your room and there you are pretending to be Eve…or Adam.

* The bravest of all is when you run from the shower to answer the doorbell and run back just when you open the knob. Zip and go!

I think we’ve all done our share of brave naked runs. It’s exhilarating. The adrenaline rush, the heart palpitating, the sound of your rushing footsteps. The thrill of not being caught naked. Hey, some people just run around bravely naked at home. Which gives them very lucky neighbors…or not.

P.S. Try not to Google the word “naked”. I made the mistake of doing that for this post and it was pretty traumatizing. I also bet my inbox will be filled with unsavory spam email tomorrow.

Zee

Beware The Cranky Mom

I really don’t mind being busy. In fact, I love having a certain level of stress. I used to thrive on a professionally stressful day. I love it but I hate what it does to me. I head home tired, cranky and closed from interaction. My brain just wants to shut down and stop thinking. I don’t even want to sleep, just lie down catatonic.

Today was one of those days. Thus, I bought myself Krispy Kreme. I thought it would perk me up. I was wrong.

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I went home cranky to a happy, perky child who asks me daily “How was your day?” in a sing-song voice. I force a smile and talk to her. I always do even if I just want a quiet home and a soft bed.

But she knows. A child always knows when their parents are not a hundred percent okay. Don’t even think they don’t know. Children can sniff out bad vibes like a pig searching for truffles. They know the way you know that they are up to no good or lied about eating half a dozen cookies. You can pretend all you want and receive a Grammy for your acting but those little munchkins watching Nickelodeon know.

This isn’t new to me. It’s not something new to working moms everywhere. It’s painful to see yourself turn into a cranky woman who wants to snap at them and say “Stop jumping around!”, “Turn the TV volume down!”, “Will someone please stop the dog from barking?!”,”I don’t want to talk!”, “I don’t like the dinner!”, “Why can’t you answer that Math problem? Don’t you listen in school?” So, you really try your best not to do it. Some days, nice mom wins and for other days, cranky mom takes over. Momzilla from the depths of hell.

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Beware The Cranky Mom

It would be easy to just lock the room, not let anyone in and just keep to yourself to recharge and to not harm anyone in the household who gets in the way of cranky mom. It’s easy but doing it will just make you do it again next time, and the next time and the next. Until you’re left with a child, husband and dog who are too scared every time you get home. I don’t want that.On days like this, I try to do the following to feel better:

  1. Take a walk – Walking helps to take away the stress.
  2. Have alone time – Grab a snack (a donut might work for you too) or pray.
  3. Take deep breaths – Try to get back into that relaxed state like a dog (Yeah,I watch too much Dog Whisperer).
  4. Count your blessings and think happy thoughts – Cliche but yeah, this too shall pass.
  5. Go home and hug – Hugs are for healing. Hug your child and husband until you remember that NOTHING in this world is worth hurting any member of your family. Words and being ignored hurts.

I don’t want my child to ever stop asking “How was your day, mom?” I don’t want her to grow up with memories of cranky mom. I tell myself : Beware of the cranky mom. She’s the mom I don’t want to be.

As I work and go home from a stress-filled day, it will always a battle with the dark side and I pray I win everytime.

Zee

Bento Moms, The Overachievers

Mondays. Ugh. I really live for weekends nowadays especially with this freakish cold weather here in Manila. 24 degrees in a tropical country is rare. I just want to be snuggled in bed and sleep all day like a hibernating bear. This morning, a scent wafted from the kitchen and woke me up – bacon. We love bacon in this family but I had to do a quick note to self before going back to sleep: Remind Yaya (the helper) not to keep cooking bacon for Bea for her lunch even if she requests it.

I try to inject some nutrition in this family. The operative word here is TRY. In my head, whatever lack of nutrition my child has, her multi-vitamins will take care of it. Well, that’s how I try to make up for my feeling of inadequacy and I think some other mothers do. Ads on TV also have something to do with that but that’s another story. My daughter’s definition of eating vegetables is eating the lettuce from a Big Mac. Though she’s starting to eat carrots and others..slowly (and I’m proud of that feat already). So, her daily lunch  box is filled with food she likes eating. Nothing breaks a mom (and the yaya’s) heart than seeing a half eaten lunchbox.

You know what else makes me feel inadequate? Bento Moms. There, I said it.

Those moms are in a totally different league:

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 How they can do these wonderful works of art?! The effort, the creativity, the number of ingredients stocked up in the kitchen! If I were a kid with a bento mom, I wouldn’t even eat my lunch! I would show it off at school then frame it until it turns into a petrified version that I can keep forever!

I read this article last week and she is awesome. Mom Turns Her Kids Food Into Awesome Plates Of Art:

http://elitedaily.com/envision/this-mom-turns-her-kids-food-into-awesome-plates-of-art-photos/

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How can you eat such cute, smiling innocent pandas?!
Pic from seekingshade.com

 This Bento Mom phenomenon makes the rest of us feel like underachievers and I hope my child will not correlate the extensive artwork lunchbox to how much I love her. I really hope not. Am I the only one feeling this strange insecurity?!

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Get enough coins, find the Princess or Game Over before eating
Pic from superradnow.wordpress.com

Pop that vitamin,child. There is not enough nutrition in that chicken nugget you’re eating. Chicken nugget stars, shapes and animals is the most creative lunch my daughter can have in the meantime. That and maybe alphabet soup.

Some Bento Moms also make lunches for their husbands. How awesome would it be to open the lunch box your wife lovingly made and see the entire cast of Star Wars complete with a Battle Star (batteries not included) in the board room.

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Perfect blend of protein and carbs.

All your officemates would die of envy as they eat their 2-piece chicken meal from KFC. The lunch possibilities are endless, actually!

You can have Sadako coming out of the lunchbox too! Awesome!

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Can't wait to open that! 🙂

I wish I were a Bento Mom but I can’t. It’s hard enough to keep track of the meals in our house and planning the menu to make sure the people in the household are not malnourished. I will flush down the feelings of inadequacy (like the bodily remnants after a meal of a beautiful bento box) and keep trying to do that. I can’t be a bento mom but I’ll be the mom who will keep trying.

Late Steak Date

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Here I am outside Santis. Waiting for my husband. I can’t go in because I have Vader with me. I don’t really understand half the things sold here. I will not pretend to be a foodie or connoisseur of anything.

I just like eating them. Eat all of them like a pregnant woman on her second trimester. So yummy!

The guard finds it quite amusing that my hubby and I are doing sign language as to what to purchase. Nice guy..even offered to hold our dog.
We just wanted to get nice steaks for dinner and just laze around at home doing a marathon of Breaking Bad (awesome show). Much cheaper to have steak dates at home and we avoid the crowds and noise of restaurants. Plus we’re saving for our new place and everytime we spend much, it gives us buyers remorse since we could use it for a piece of furniture we need. 🙂

Got to go! Late steak date coming up!

Zee

The Impulse Buy Who Now Rules Our Home

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She cringes everytime she remembers that story. Haha.

<<  This was my daughter’s reaction when I told her that I posted about our Singapore disaster. Haha.

It’s Friday so I  just want to talk about our dog. I have unfortunately turned into “that woman with the dog”. The woman people try to avoid at parties because they just want to talk about their dog, show you cute pictures of their dog, tell you their latest dog adventures or worse yet, shove the dog at your face and say ” Touch him! He’s friendly!” I am the woman with the dog bag walking around the mall. Correction: walking proudly.

I used to scoff at that woman. I thought it was silly. I always have been an animal lover, a dog owner. Now I am the dreaded dog parent to Vader, a black teacup poodle a.k.a. The Impulse Buy Who Now Rules Our Home. We parents can be such suckers. “I want a pet!”, “My pet died!” *sad face* and we just give in and get some furry thing that just turns your life upside down.

You better learn how to take care of him, okay? A dog will teach you responsibility. He’s your dog.” Said every sucker of a parent. We know this hardly ever happens.

“The Impulse Buy Who Now Rules Our Home” needs as much attention as a baby. Sleepless nights? Check! Cleaning poop? Check! Feeding at 3 am?Check! Occupies bed space at night? Check! Limited places to visit for recreation? Check! Let’s just say that going to the cinema is a rare treat for us nowadays. What the heck did we get into?

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The child & dog as bestfriends utopian image. How heart warming.

He’s a child’s best friend, you rationalize. If he is, then what is your child’s bestfriend doing staring at you and wagging his tail while you’re butt naked in the shower?!

There’s a study that says that people are hardwired to respond to respond and love pets. Something about it being a response dating back hundreds of millions of years. A part of your brain called the amygdala (not Amidala) . You can read about it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/hardwired-respond-animals-people-love-pets/story?id=14517339. Yes, you can blame your amygdala.

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Padme Amidala

So after the nth dog poop you have picked up and you realize your house is now in shambles and you have gotten immune to the dog smell of your home, you give in to the little ball of fluff prancing around obliterating what looks like your childhood stuffed toy (30 year old toy). “Maybe I can learn from Cesar Milan.” you say. I read in a book that you have to look the dog in the eye to discipline him, you think. And you did stare into its eyes..bad idea. His cuteness just overwhelms you and your amydala turns into Amidala dictating that you love the furry thing. Yes Queen Amygdala, I will turn into that woman with the dog. You are a slave forever to little “Impulse Buy Who Rules Our Home”. Eventually, it’s okay. Especially if he looks like this:

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Look into my eyes, human.

We love Vader. In our hearts, he’s the cutest bully in the world.

Travel Disaster Of The Century!

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Universal Studios Singapore: It seemed like a normal trip at first.

What happens in Singapore stays in Singapore. Until now.

Only a handful know about this story because:
a.) It’s so unbelievably stupid.
b.) It’s unbelievably embarrassing.
c.) It should not be attempted by anyone else.

I present the “Travel Disaster Of The Century!”:

The week before school started last June 2013, Bea and I decided to have a “Mom & Bea Adventure!” in Singapore. I love traveling with Bea. She packs her own travel bag and brings it around on her own, reads the map. We’re like a well-oiled mom and daughter machine. She brought along a backpack for water, iPad, face towel, extra shirt, etc. I brought my trusty old Y-3 messenger bag that I use often for travel because it’s huge and has lots of pockets. That bag was around 8 years old and has been repaired professionally and by my own hands so many times. The lining was torn at the seams but I kept using it.

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Jurong Bird Park: Birds! Birds! Everywhere!

Our last day was a trip to Jurong Bird Park. Before leaving the hotel, I had problems with my bag’s zipper. “It’s okay, I’ll just make sure it’s in front of me. We’re heading home anyway” I said. So off to Jurong Bird Park we went! I had my travel bag in front and backpack with both our clothes on my back. Mom and Bea having an adventure with our backpacks like Dora and Boots!  We loved the fluffy and colorful birds but of course we had to buy water as we walked around and that’s when the trouble started.

The strap of my bag snapped and broke. It had no zipper and no strap. So I had to lug it around with both arms. David HASSLEhoff.

I didn’t want to be a drag and kill Bea’s mood (she was starting to worry about our things and my backpack was starting to feel like it had rocks in it) so I said, “We’re going to ION Orchard after this to go to Sephora. I’ll just get a bag at H&M to replace it and I want you to try Popeye’s! It has chicken like Jollibee!”

So off to ION Orchard we went with our backpacks on our backs. I had on shin-length oxblood patent leather Doc Marten’s, jeans, and MAC Russian Red lipstick.

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The scene of the crime. Popeye’s.

Sephora… Check! Buy a bag at H&M… Check! Popeye’s for a snack, rest a bit and change bags…

So we ate chicken and said hi to some Filipinos who seem to like it there. I moved all the things from my Y-3 bag into the H&M bag, double checked, folded the Y-3 bag and placed it inside the H&M plastic bag and searched for a trash bin.

“Are you throwing that out?” I asked the Chinese bus boy with the full trash bin who seemed to know a little English. “Ah, yes!” he said. So I placed the H&M plastic bag on top of the garbage bag. He tied it up and carted it off.

We quickly left since the H&M and Popeye’s pit stop was not in the schedule and asked this nice Filipina at the concierge where the taxi stand was. Off to the airport we went!

Halfway through the ride, I decided to prepare our tickets and travel documents to save time. The next words I uttered were, “OH MY GOD!” It was so loud that the cabbie asked what happened. “Uncle, we need to go back to ION Orchard!” was all I could say and I just calmly told Bea Baby, I forgot something at the mall and we really have to get it.”

All this while I sent a message to my Mark saying “Babe, I left our passports in the bag I threw away. Don’t worry. I’ll try to get it back. I’ll just update you if we can make it to our flight.” I don’t think that reassured him.

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One thing you should not lose when traveling.*face palm*

My head was whirring. I knew time was of the essence since I knew the garbage bag was off to God knows where.

The taxi driver brought us back to ION Orchard. I dragged Bea to the Concierge and spoke to the Filipina girl “Hi, we left our passports at Popeye’s and I really need to get it. Can I leave my daughter and luggage with you?”

“OUR PASSPORTS?!” Bea said.

“I need you to listen to me carefully. I’ll leave you here with the woman, she’s Filipino and I’ll just quickly run and get our passport from Popeye’s okay? I will leave the Samsung tablet with you and you can text and call me anytime. Trust mommy,” I answered in the calmest mommy voice I could muster.

“Okay, Mom.” was all my poor daughter could say. Her anxiety-driven head must have been stressing.

I ran fast, 3 stories below, past shops and corners, and got to Popeye’s. I went to the same Chinese busboy and asked him where the garbage bag was and he just stared at me. He didn’t understand what I said and I had to revert to sign language. He called his manager who spoke English and they talked to discuss the situation. “Aahh… it’s with the uncle. Old man uncle who gets the garbage,” the manager said.

“Where is he? Can you call him? Where do they bring all the garbage?” I asked.

“We don’t really know but uncle comes by several times a day. Maybe you can wait for him,” she said.

“I CAN’T WAIT! I HAVE A FLIGHT TO CATCH AND A DAUGHTER ALL ALONE AT THE CONCIERGE WITH A STRANGER!” I screamed in my head. “Okay. I’ll try to wait,” I said.

3, 4, 5 minutes passed… I call Bea and to check on her while praying for a miracle. Then I see an old man walking. He could have been a mall customer but I just felt he was the “old man uncle who picks up the garbage.” I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. I pull the Chinese boy from the counter and asked “Is that uncle?”

“Yes, uncle!” he said. I ran towards the man and explained. I repeated my story to the man who knew less English than the busboy.

So I challenged my sign language skills. Garbage – documents – where put garbage?

He looked hesitant and signaled back : Me-no look garbage. *swimming motion and shaking his head*

Me *I point to myself* look in garbage… and his eyes light up and he points to a door marked “Authorized Personnel Only.” I ran while dragging him with me and we went 3 floors down a flight of stairs and into the basement.

THE BASEMENT

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Left: How it looked like. Right: How dirty and gross it was

The basement was more like a docking area. It was where deliveries were done for the stores and restaurants. It also had rows of garbage compactors. Huge garbage compactors where you just throw in the bags 10 feet up the air and they land inside waiting to be compacted and ready for garbage truck pick-up. Uncle brought me in front of this kind of compactor:

“Inside,” he said. Well, more like me flailing my arms asking if it were inside and him saying yes. So I went to the Indian operator and told him what happened. He looked at me crazy and said no. I said “YES! I can’t leave with my daughter if I don’t get it!” and proceeded to just unplug the compactor (big-ass plug) looked at him and said “For safety,” then climbed up the slippery, slimy, garbage-ridden compactor in my jeans, red lipstick, shin-length red patent Doc Marten’s and thanked years of National climbing competitions for training me for this day. He had no choice but to watch or I think he was in shock.

I plopped into a sea of garbage bags and garbage. Hundreds of them.

It smelled like hell. Seriously. I didn’t know where to start so I started from the very back end left then dug into every single garbage bag. In my head, I knew I was looking for a Popeye’s garbage bag then it would be a fastfood bag with red-orange paper containers and plastic cups and chicken remnants. I tore open part of the bag, peered in or pulled out the contents, checked and moved on to the next bag on the right. Food remnants, kitchen garbage, bathroom filth with toilet paper, innards, paper, and every single disgusting thing you can think of. I wasn’t thinking at that point. I was just zeroing in and doing what I needed to do until I reached the last row of bags. By this time, I wanted to give up and just cry. Nobody offered help, they just watched from outside and kept shaking their heads as if I were crazy (which was actually true at that point).

By then there was already a crowd of maintenance people watching and I was already crafting plan B, which was to go find a hotel and contact the embassy the next day. I was already there so I kept on. Half of the last row of bags was already eaten up by the compactor and lodged on its teeth. I moved to the left side and started there and moved to the right. As I opened each bag and saw nothing but filth, my heart sank. Then I tore into the last bag on the right but it was already lodged tight into the compactor but I just had to try because there were red orange containers in it!

I tore and pulled and tugged and threw out chicken remnants and half chewed food and rice and finally a cream colored H&M plastic bag emerged! But I couldn’t pull it out because it was already half compacted and there’s no way to reverse the compactor. So, I just opened it and saw my old, trusty Y-3 bag and kept tugging and opened the pockets trying to feel for our passports. Then, I decided to check the torn seam and yes, they were there. The passports went through the torn seam (no wonder I didn’t see them) from the pocket and I easily pulled them out and raised them up. “I found them!” and this time I screamed aloud. It felt like winning the Olympics, I tell you!

Up the slimy, stinky, slippery compactor I went and jumped on the pavement of the basement in the middle of a crowd of maintenance people. I was covered with garbage. There was disgusting, dirty rice all over my shoes, my jeans were all covered with garbage slime, there was lettuce all over my hair. And everyone clapped! What. The. Heck. I’m glad I seemed entertaining.

 “Uncle, I found them!” I told “old-man-uncle-who-picks-up-the-garbage” with a big smile on my face. He just looked at me crazy. “I have to go to my daughter!” I said. I got $100 from my pocket and gave it to him, said thank you for the help and ran. I paused for a moment because I wanted to take a picture for Instagram but changed my mind because my hands were covered with the puke of hell. Though in hindsight, I wish I had.

I went up the stairs, passed by a toilet, and quickly washed my arms. The stink was bad and I really wanted to throw up but I had to rush. I ran back to the concierge and just in time because Bea had this “I’m about to cry look” on her face.

“Hey, babe! I found them. I told you, I’ll get them,” I said calmly. I wanted to hug her to feel better and cry after the ordeal but I was filthy.

“You were gone for 45 minutes, Mom. You scared me!” she said and gave me a smile. Wow… 45 minutes. It felt like hours.

We rode another cab for the airport and I told her everything that happened. We laughed about it and she said “Mom, you’re crazy but this has been the best adventure ever!”

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Singapore Art Museum: Mom & Bea Adventure
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At the airport after: Sweaty, filthy, stinky, tired but on our way back home.

Moral of the story:

  1. Do not use broken bags when traveling.
  2. Do not leave your children with strangers.
  3. Do not climb inside a garbage compactor but if you do, unplug them.
  4. Do not bully people especially if you’re not in your own country,
  5. If you lose your passport, call the Philippine Embassy.

I had to share to everyone and when I have grandkids, I’ll just print this out because this is one long epic story about grandma’s travel disaster of the century.

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Until now, I fear of a CCTV video popping up on YouTube of a loony woman searching garbage bags at ION Orchard, and I still can’t stand the stench of garbage.

Zee

No To Resolutions Without Action

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Flowers from the hubby are the best.

The first month of the year is halfway through. I had my birthday last week and it was definitely different from my past birthdays- No party, no fancy gift, no travel, no fancy dinner. I spent it with my little family with pizza at home, beautiful roses from my husband and greetings & messages from friends and family. Simple but I felt so loved.

I love being a January celebrant. It gives a sense of a new beginning every year. January, start of year as well as another year older. It just gives the OC person in me so much pleasure. It allows me to introspect as well. I am one of those people who writes down New Year’s Resolutions and at times, break them. Well, I’m 37 and I better shape up and follow through. I’m definitely not getting any younger.

Here’s my list and I’m keeping it simple and achievable. I think resolutions without action just means you like using big words :

Water Pouring into Bottle
Two liters a day of this pure goodness (ugh), should do the trick. Goodbye Coke Zero!

1) Drink more water-  I hate drinking water. In fact, I end up not drinking water for days at a time. My usual beverage would be a Coke Zero or iced tea. Not good at all. I don’t have to cite the value of drinking water because everyone else knows better than me.

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I can be a drag queen everytime! Love it!

2) Find a sport I will seriously get into I hate gyms but need the exercise for cardiovascular health. I was thinking if either going back to rock/ sport climbing or dance sport. I mean, I am moving towards the ballroom dancing age, why not have a head start? Good idea, yeah? And have you seen those costumes?

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This is just the November 2013 stash..I don’t think the rest if the year will fit. I think I have 50 or so tubes of lipstick. 😦 *guilty*

3) No make-up purchases I have too much make-up at home and I only have one face. I used make-up as a crutch when I got sick but when the make-up counter girls have your name on speed dial, you have a problem and an addiction. I will write about it, review it, receive gifts (Ehem..) but no buying until 2015.I really feel bad about this but it just gives me so much joy..the packaging, trying it on..*sigh*. Worst of all, I don’t wear make-up all the time. 😦

I’ll stick to three resolutions and will try my best to stick with it and update people if I made it. I know it’s a trivial list but it’s really difficult for me. I would love to hear about your 2014 resolutions!

Happy 2014!

Zee

Single Mom In The Relationship Circus

I get the “How hard was it to date as a single mom?How did you handle it? Do you have tips on single mom dating?” question a lot. I rarely answered it seriously since I was right smack in the middle of it and it’s not as easy as it looks. Now that I’m married, it’s about time I answer it.

Relationships can often be like the circus. There are juggling acts, lion tamers, tightrope walkers, or all of the above, depending on where you are in the relationship.

A single mom in a relationship involves all of the above, almost all the time. It isn’t easy at all. After coming from a bad relationship, you really don’t want your child seeing you go through another one. There really is no need to introduce every frog you date to your child but if you do find a special person, like I did with MDJ, they deserve to meet your child. This is when the circus begins.

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THE TIGHTROPE: You walk a tightrope, not knowing if you can make it. Worse yet, you have to carry a big- ass piece of wood.

THE TIGHTROPE

A budding relationship with a single mom is always full of uncertainty. The common dilemma  is whether she should be in a relationship to begin with, or just stick to happily being an independent, single individual with a funny little child in tow. You have your little household and your life working like an efficient little clock and when you meet someone special, the first thing that crosses your head would be “Oh God, my life is complicated enough”.

When I met Mark, it was difficult and a bit scary and I had heard so many judgmental statements about single moms, it deserves a separate entry. Yet for him, it seemed like loving someone with a munchkin tagging along seemed the most normal thing in the world. I actually found that odd but it was his nonchalant treatment to the entire situation that made me feel like everything may work out.

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LION TAMING: It takes a man to tame a lion.

TAMING THE LION

Introducing your child to your future partner and the adjustment that follows can sometimes feel like one is being fed to a lion. Who the fresh meat is exactly,I don’t know. It could be your partner-to be who tries to make a good impression, it could be the child who is facing so much change and generally would have normal reluctance to accept someone new in your life or, it could be you who is right smack in the middle of a volatile sea of emotions. Either way, the words attack and swallowed up whole cross your mind. Bringing in someone new in your life can be threatening to everyone unless you can tame that big ferocious lion.

I asked Mark to meet my little girl before I would even think of committing to the relationship and he did. It went like this:

Zee: Is it okay if Tito Mark will be my boyfriend? He wants to talk to you.

Bea: *has this emotional, shocked, panicked look on her face* (whispers) What if he wants to get married?

Zee: *has this emotional, shocked, panicked look on her face* Err..not too fast. I said boyfriend. He just want to get to know us more and he says he loves mom. Will you talk to him?

Bea: Okay.

*Mark comes in*

Mark: Bea, is it okay if I’ll be your mom’s boyfriend?

Bea: Okay but are you going to want to marry my mom? What if you go down on your knees and propose? I don’t think I can handle that yet.

See? That’s a lion, right there. I can’t continue the conversation because everything turned into an embarrassing, scary blur after that sentence.

But, here are some tips to taming lions:

1) Set ground rules: Being a responsible mom is the top priority. Dates have to be set when all obligations such as homework, study time, prayer time and play time are done and over with. This doesn’t leave much time,huh? It doesn’t, but that’s something you and your partner have to accept early on. Draft a schedule if you have to, in order to manage the expectations of both parties. What you don’t want to happen would be, to have a child feel like she has been replaced or a partner feel like you really don’t have time for him. In our case, we make sure I’m home on weekdays or if Mark wants to spend time, he goes to my place and we all spend time together.

2) Involve and gain trust: Be open and honest to both parties about the situation. You would be surprised how children can understand and appreciate honesty. Involve your partner in your activities. It will make him know you more. Being a mother is part and parcel of who you are and you really can’t hide and pretend you’re single and carefree. It will also allow your partner to know your child.

At first it was awkward to involve Mark knowing that her hasn’t been exposed to a lot of children. It was awkward to bring him in during prayer time and letting him have his say his part of the prayer of the day. It was awkward to ask him for help for Math homework but heck, God knows needed help there. I got over the pride of being independent and running the household on my own, the awkwardness and just gambled. If he was happy with it, then he’s a keeper and he passed with flying colors. He became part of the family and my two fluffies get along tremendously. It helps that he has the humor of an 8 year old and Bea thinks like an adult. In fact, they gang up on mom who they feel can be such a kill joy. Well, that’s what moms are sometimes.

3) Maturity is key:  Your child is the child in this whole scenario. Not you, nor your partner. Any act of immaturity like tantrums should be limited to children. It can be hard to expect too much from each other.

In parenting for example, I had the privilege to get used to have a child around, Mark had to face all of this with zero experience. I did not expect him to be a parenting expert. Heck, there is no such thing as a parenting expert. Please be sensitive and don’t leave your partner with a baby that just pooped and expect him to know how to change a diaper. I left Mark and Bea alone with eggs to crack open and I come back to two people with eggs all over their face and hair. I can’t be all anal about that, it was kind of funny. Mark could have just walked away and say that he had no idea how to do it but he tried.

Bea was sick a few weeks ago and started puking. I run and calmly clean up the vomit all over the floor and tell her it’s okay while Mark peeks in, sees the vomit, has a shocked look on his face and runs back in the room and shouts

“Babe, if you need anything, I’m just here okay?”

That could have been annoying but I didn’t mind. Projectile vomiting children takes a lot of getting used to. Bea said the next day

“Did you see the look on Tito Mark’s face when he saw the vomit? It was priceless!”  Yes,it was.

To be honest, it takes a real man to love a single mom. Boys cannot handle the lion.

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JUGGLING: Sometimes it requires more hands.

A JUGGLING ACT

Once in a while, something pops up to just throw things off and everything goes haywire. A juggle could be conflicting schedules of equal importance like a school program and a scheduled travel or something as simple as watching the latest Bond movie or watching Madagascar 3. It can be a juggle to just simply want to rest but your child wants to play and your guy wants to talk. Maybe it can even be a juggle when one wants chicken nuggets and the other one wants adobo for dinner and you can only have time to prepare one. It can be anything, sometimes the juggle can even be imaginary. You just stress because you want to give the people you love,the best of you. It can feel like you’re being pulled in all directions and everything will just drop and break. This is when your luck in selecting the best partner comes in. The right partner will never be a burden and will always be an extra hand. There are times when Mark has to put up with hours of talk about My Little Pony and Bea  eventually learned to appreciate James Bond. The only way to juggle many balls was to act like a team.

Team. That’s it. It takes teamwork to be a single mom in a relationship. Forget the single in single mom. You don’t have to be alone anymore.