Saturday, January 31, 2009

When I was 20 and fresh out of college, I never really understood why more mature women would not want to talk about their age or why they would conceal their real age. I couldn’t exactly figure out what the fuss is all about. They’re mere figures. Why be afraid of them?

But how time flew. It has been seventeen years since I had that frame of mind. Now that I’m in my late thirties (yikes!), I’m a little apprehensive of celebrating more birthdays and adding more and more years to my current age of 37. My son is only 2 years and 6 months old now. Doing the math, I’ll be 55 by the time he celebrates his 21st birthday. Boy, I’m old enough to be his grandmother by then.

What are my fears exactly? Anything and everything that has to do with getting old: fading beauty, sagging flesh, wrinkled skin, poor health, disability, dependency. But these things we can’t escape, and so I’ll just console myself with the thought that I’m not the only one who’ll experience these. Misery loves company, so they say.

For the moment, I’ll enjoy what life has to offer, live my life to the fullest, and feel forever young. And here’s my birthday wish: That I live long enough to witness all of my son’s firsts and to see him settled and content with a wonderful family of his own. Oops, lest I forget, today is my birthday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

mommy moments

I browsed through all the earliest photos of my son and noticed he wasn’t really smiling during his first few days/weeks with us. I was actually wondering if smiling is a skill that babies learn to master after a while. I was also not discounting the fact that perhaps, we just weren’t able to capture this precious moment on film.

Oh well, I managed to find one somehow, and this is a photo taken of my son when he was 29 days old. It was his dad who took this picture. I actually used this photo already in one of my previous posts, “Justin and Mommy’s Baby Pictures,” but I’m using this again for this week’s meme.

If you want to join Mommy Moments, please visit Chris' The Mommy Journey.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I’m still too young to be thinking of retiring, getting old and becoming a senior citizen, but not too young to be preparing for such things.

Being the eldest child, I have the responsibility of providing for some of my parents’ needs (foods, medicines, etc.). I don’t earn that much, but I manage somehow. We can’t really be prepared for emergencies, however. If any of my parents gets sick and needs to be hospitalized, for example, I don’t really have an emergency fund available for that.

This was exactly what happened when my mom suffered a mild stroke in 2007. I had to borrow money from my best friend. That was the first time in the 14 years we’ve known each other that I asked her for monetary help. I was too embarrassed (or maybe too proud) to ask! It’s a good thing that my younger sister and brother helped me pay off that debt.

This leaves me thinking of what the future holds for me and my husband when we reach my parents’ age and what will become of our son when that time comes. Of course, we wouldn’t want to burden him with anything. We only want him to love and respect us, his parents.

It’s a good thing that my husband thinks of our future this early. He’s recently purchased a life insurance, which he says, will help us if anything happens to him (knock on wood!). He also has a retirement plan in his office. What we don’t have right now is savings. What’s left of both our salaries is spent entirely on our bills and things we need in the house.

I hope we can start saving this year. Little amounts we save today will surely come in handy when we’re old and gray. That’s not a guarantee that we won’t be asking our son for help, but at least that will lessen the load somehow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Justin has some very peculiar habits when it comes to the foods he eats and how he eats them. For a toddler, he likes ketchup, gravy and sandwich spread.

Justin likes to smother his rice with ketchup and gobble up the combination with gusto.

When we’re eating at either Jollibee or Kenny Rogers Roasters, Justin gulps down his gravy straight from the tiny plastic container and he would request for countless refills.

Justin also likes to get a spoonful of sandwich spread and devour it without bread. This is when mommy and daddy take over. We’re the ones getting the sandwich spread from the bottle and we give it to him little by little. We then hide the bottle of sandwich spread when we think he’s had enough.

Do your kids have food quirks, too?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yesterday was Justin’s first time to be inside a movie house. It wasn’t planned, though. We were having a leisurely walk in the mall, and we happened to pass by the cinema area. What piqued Justin’s interest were the big numbers near the entrance of each cinema. He wanted badly to get inside the theater, so his dad yielded and bought tickets for Adam Sandler's film Bedtime Stories.

I still had to do my grocery shopping, so I begged off, leaving Justin in his dad’s care. I did not leave the two of them immediately, however. I asked the lady guard if I could get inside the theater to see my little boy’s reaction.

Father and son occupied two seats initially, but Justin was uncomfortable in his, so his daddy scooped him up and placed him on his lap instead. I left the two of them in that position. I took advantage of this time alone to do some shoe shopping for my mom and for myself before heading to the supermarket.

After two hours, there was still no text or call from Justin’s dad. I texted him while I was lined up at the cashier to pay for my groceries. When I saw the two of them, I excitedly asked how Justin’s first movie theater experience went.

From the look on hubby’s face, it wasn’t very successful. Why? Hubby recounted that Justin couldn’t stay still in one place and wanted to roam around the theater. Perhaps, he thought it was just another play area where he could do what he wanted and play all he wanted.

And what’s worse? My son pooped. He isn’t potty-trained yet! And that was the end of the story. Father and son only lasted 30 minutes inside the theater, that after having paid Php300.00. We learned earlier that children one year old and above should also pay full flick fare.

What was your kid’s first movie theater experience like?

Friday, January 23, 2009

mommy moments

This is my entry for this week’s theme.

The pictures were taken during the celebrations of Justin’s second birthday. I say “celebrations” because we actually held two birthday parties for him.

The first party was held on a Monday, July 7, 2008, his actual birthday and we had his godparents as guests.

Justin's first birthday cake

Justin about to blow the candle on his first cake

Justin and Mommy with Ninang Jing, Ninang Remie and Ninang Charm

The second party was held on July 12, 2008 with his grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Justin's Barney-inspired cake, a little messed up already

Justin blowing the candle on his second cake

Justin with his birthday gifts

Both parties were held in our small condo unit in Ortigas.

If you want to join Mommy Moments, please visit Chris' The Mommy Journey.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I can’t help but notice the way we, parents of this generation, care for our little ones. (I’m not generalizing here, though.) In our attempt to lessen the amount of work that we need to do while attending to the needs of our children, we like to take shortcuts.

1. We order takeout food instead of cooking for our children.

2. Instead of making our kids eat on their own, we much prefer feeding them, saving us the trouble of having to clean their mess afterwards.

3. We sometimes get irritated by their nonstop blabbering and questioning, so to make them stop, we force them to play or sleep.

4. Instead of reading bedtime stories to our kids or teaching them the things they need to know, we make them watch TV or VCDs/DVDs.

5. We leave it up to the nannies to do everything for our children, which makes our kids wonder if their nannies are their mothers. Ugh!

These things may be due to any of the following: (1) we’re tired from work, (2) we’re too old to keep up, or (3) we’re too lazy.

So, which of the things listed above are you guilty of doing?
Justin can now recite numbers 1 to 20 in the blink of an eye. He can only identify numbers 1 to 8, however. Last night, while going through his Brainy Baby book on numbers, I asked him a question.

Mommy: “Baby, where is number 6?”

Justin’s eyes were actually fixed on numbers 9 and 10 at that time. He then turned the book upside down.

Justin: “Number 6, Mommy” (while pointing to the inverted number 9).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chris of Mommy Journey gave me two awards: the Noblesse Oblige Award and the Honest Scrap Award. Thanks so much, Chris!

This Award is presented to bloggers who display consistency in any one or a combination of these conditions:
1. The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.
2. The Blog contents inspire, strives to encourage and offers solutions.
3. There is a clear purpose at the Blog, one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.
4. The Blog is refreshing and creative.
5. The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:
1. Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
2. The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.
3. Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts to support.
4. The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.
5. The Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.

I am happy that my blog's stats has improved considerably since September of last year. This is due largely to my regular Entrecard droppers. I’m also glad to be meeting other mommy bloggers. I am passing on this award to Yin, Rachel, and Kaye.

The rules for the Honest Scrap award

A. first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!
B. pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

Here is my list:
1. I’m not very fond of flowers and chocolates.
2. Rice is my comfort food.
3. I’m not a techie person, but I’m willing to learn.
4. I’m poor at remembering friends’ birthdays.
5. I’m a paranoid mom.
6. I’m an Entrecard dropaholic.
7. If I have all the money in the world, I won’t work anymore. I’ll just take care of my son and blog.
8. After my open-head surgery, I became more afraid of doctors, hospitals and medical procedures.
9. I’m afraid of dogs. If I see dogs wandering on the streets, I always think they’re going to bite me.
10. I get really upset when I don’t have Internet connection for two reasons: (a) I can’t work and (b) I can’t blog.

I’m giving this award to Wenchie, Chateau, Cookie, Gigi, Ibyang, Mitch and Phoebe.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My son Justin, now two years and six months old, is more clingy than ever to mommy. This shift in behavior actually started when his yaya (nanny) went home to the province last December and never came back. Perhaps, he felt he lost a mother figure there.

In the morning when he wakes up, the first person he seeks is me. When he rouses from sleep without me by his side, he cries and desperately looks for me. At night, when I’m still doing some household chores and it’s his bedtime already, he throws a tantrum, wails violently and wouldn’t stop until I come to his rescue.

I’m a work-at-home mom, and I’ve been working in our bedroom since July of last year without my son’s knowledge. This means I’m able to overhear the conversations going on in the living room between my son and his grandparents. Every day, he repeatedly asks his lolo and lola if I’m arriving anytime soon even when I’ve just been gone for a few minutes.

I know my son loves me very much, judging from the way he always wants to be with me. And I don’t have a problem with that because I love him to the hilt and there’s nothing I want more than to spend most, if not all, of my time with him. But this extreme “clinginess” has its downsides, too, such as I can’t do anything for myself anymore.

I can’t stay long in the bathroom because he’d be pounding on the door nonstop. I can’t take a nap when I want to because he’d try his best to open my eyes and make me watch him as he plays or urges me to play with him. I can’t talk to anybody for longer than 3 minutes because he wants my full attention.

My little one simply knocks the life out of me sometimes. Not that I’m complaining.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

mommy moments

I have joined Chris’ Mommy Moments with the January 16 theme of “First Picture of Your Kid/s.” I saw the first pictures of other blogging moms’ kids, and I also wanted to share my son’s first photo.

Here's Justin Edward Figuerres’ first picture taken a few minutes after I delivered him via caesarean section. He was born on July 7, 2006, 8:16am, weighing 5lbs. and 10 ozs.

And here was Justin sleeping snugly afterwards.

If you want to join Mommy Moments, please visit Chris' The Mommy Journey.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We went to Justin’s pediatrician this morning because of a viral skin rash. This was the second time this week that we paid his doctor a visit. We first dropped by his doctor’s clinic last Wednesday because Justin had fever and colds the previous night. Dr. O. said Justin was suffering from upper respiratory tract infection. We brought home a small bag of bottled medicines we bought from Mercury Drug Store, consisting of an antibiotic, an analgesic/antipyretic, a nasal decongestant and an expectorant.

While waiting for his turn to be examined, Justin walked and ran at the hospital’s hallways. When he got tired, he stayed put where his Daddy was seated. That’s when he spotted a boy his age toying with a PlayStation. Justin walked towards the boy, stood beside him and watched as the boy played.

“How old is he?” I asked the boy’s mother.


“Justin, say hi to kuya (older brother),” I told Justin.

“Play Justin.” Justin mumbled wanting very much to borrow the boy’s PlayStation.

The boy did not answer. That’s when I noticed that there was something different about him. For a three-year-old, how come he’s still not talking? He was also salivating, which told me he had no control over his drool at his age.

It turned out the boy’s mom contracted Rubella (German measles) when she was pregnant. And the boy became a mental retardate because of that. That was rather a sad story, but one that could have been prevented had the mom had a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Then I remembered how it was when I was pregnant with Justin. I was too paranoid of what I eat, what I smell and what I get exposed to. Because I was too afraid of having gestational diabetes, for example, I limited my sweets and carbohydrates intake, although I didn’t really know if those are the things that really cause the disease. I think this explained why I only gained 21 pounds from my prepregnancy weight of 115 lbs to my weight of 136 lbs on the day I was to give birth.

I also avoided paints, fumes and even toilet cleaners. In fact, I switched to using vinegar to clean my bathroom back then. I never missed my vitamins and prenatal checkups. I did everything my OB Gyne told me. I asked a lot of questions every time I visit my doctor to make sure I wasn't doing anything that will jeopardize the life inside of me. All for the sake of my baby.

What I’m telling here is we, as mothers, have an obligation to take care of the baby inside our womb by also taking care of ourselves. We should take all the necessary precautions to ensure that our baby is safe and healthy. And when we’ve done our part, we say a prayer to the One Up There for a safe delivery and for a healthy and normal baby.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I think we’ll be having bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow. That’s because we ran out of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) today, and the supplier said they had already ran out of stock of our brand (M-Gas) since last week, and there’s no way to predict when supplies will be coming in.

I haven’t kept abreast of local and international news lately, but I needed to check if this problem will last long.

According to GMA News.TV, “The supply of cooking gas remains tight for small retailers even as the Energy Department’s inspection has so far cleared some suppliers from allegations of hoarding.”

Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association (LPGMA) President Arnel U. Ty said in a phone interview that the supply situation is expected to ease on Saturday with the influx of LPG imports.

It was earlier reported that there was no LPG shortage, and the problem was actually with the distribution of the supplies.

I hope our LPG supplier is not one of those guilty of hoarding, or else!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Have you noticed my blog’s new look? I now have a blog button up for grabs, which I was able to upload last Friday (check my sidebar). Last night, my header also had an overhaul. Thanks to my former officemate and friend, Ricardo (Ricky) Lat Jr., a computer analyst/programmer who’s now working in Dubai, UAE.

This is Ricky’s first attempt on blog designing and we processed the whole thing through Yahoo! Messenger Instant Message. It took around four hours of revising to finally get the look that I want. I was such a demanding client, and to think, this was pro bono work.

Pensive Thoughts was Ricky’s first blog project, so I was actually a guinea pig here, but I didn’t mind. He promised to refine it (the header or the button? I hope both) when he has more time on his hands. All the better since I have a lot of ideas in mind and I don’t know where to begin. For the time being, what I have for now will do.

Thanks, Ricky. You’re really heaven-sent!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I finally experienced what it's like to have pouting lips. It’s not the seductive type, though, a.k.a. Angelina Jolie lips, but the swollen/inflamed/enlarged one. The fact is I was bitten by a bug, not the laziness bug (although I think I’m showing symptoms of this; blame it on the long Christmas vacation), but a real insect, a very pesky one, when I was most vulnerable, that is, when I was asleep.

I was working on one of my essays yesterday when dreamland beckoned. I could hardly keep my eyes open and I couldn’t think straight. So I gave in. Since I work in the bedroom, it wasn’t hard getting into bed. I plopped onto it facedown and decided to take a 15-minute nap.

When I opened my eyes, I was back to work and didn’t feel anything unusual. It was only when I was having dinner when my tongue instinctively touched my upper lip that I felt something new, something strange and something out of the ordinary. I went straight to the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and lo and behold! An instant makeover!

I couldn’t say I was pleased, though. The nettlesome bug who smacked my upper lip might have smelled something fishy, err…beefy, as I had just finished my simple lunch of rice and sautéed corned beef when I dozed off. Or could it be that it caught a wisp of the strawberry lip moisturizer I applied early on?

The moral of the story is: Wipe your mouth (lips) after eating or better yet, keep your mouth closed while napping.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We simply couldn’t resist my parents’ offer to tend our son Justin while we (hubby and I) are both working. That’s because I still haven’t found someone to do that. Yesterday afternoon, Nanay and Tatay arrived with their things (because they’ll be staying with us for an indefinite period of time) and a lot of pasalubongs (goodies), like ginataang langka (jackfruit in coconut milk), burong ampalaya (pickled bitter gourd) and chocolate cake and chocolates courtesy of Justin’s Tito Dennis who got home from Dubai four days ago.

Justin was so glad to see his lolo and lola. He went riding the elevator with his lolo and they played throw-and-catch-the ball game. Because he was too excited to play, he lost his footing, causing him to fall on his face and chipping his left front tooth. Hay!

Before Justin went to bed, he hugged his grandparents, kissed them on the lips and told them “Good night” and “I love you.” He was actually finding it hard to drift off and he even went to where his grandparents were sleeping to check if they’re really asleep. That’s the only time he decided to go to sleep himself.

I hope this temporary arrangement turns out okay. I hope my parents won’t be worn out from running after our hyperactive son not until I find a worthy babysitter/all-around helper. And I hope that happens soon.
Justin always associates cakes with birthdays. Yesterday, Justin’s grandparents brought him a few slices of Red Ribbon’s S’mores Chocolate Cake. When he saw the cake, he immediately sang:

Happy birthday, Justin
Happy birthday, Justin
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Happy birthday, Justin!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You might be wondering why I named my blog “Pensive Thoughts.” One of the definitions of “pensive,” according to, is “expressing or revealing thoughtfulness, usually marked by some sadness.” Does this mean that I’ll only be posting cheerless, despairing, melancholic articles here? Certainly not.

Please don’t be misled by my blog name. I will be writing and posting in this blog whatever I feel like sharing, ranging from the mundane to the most profound, which may be happy, sad, funny, whatever.

The thing is I like how “pensive thoughts” sounded the first time I ever laid eyes on this phrase, which was eons ago. So I decided to name my blog after it.

I’d like to focus more on what the word “pensive” is synonymous with as they more realistically capture the essence of my blog. “Pensive” here means “contemplative,” “reflective,” “meditative” and “thoughtful.”

So there, welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy reading my Pensive Thoughts.

Friday, January 2, 2009

As I was peeping through our screen window to see if it’s raining outside, I spotted what looked like a crumpled bill on the ground just below our clothes hanging on the line in our terrace. I initially ignored what I saw; for all I know, my eyes could be playing tricks on me as I wasn’t wearing my eyeglasses at the time.

When I finally gathered our dry clothes, I looked at the thing again, and there it was, a bit torn and tattered, 1 Turkish lira. I picked it up and instinctively looked upward for a hint on where it came from. From the look and smell of it, the thing seemed authentic.

Someone from the upper floors might have dropped it accidentally. Or it could also be dropped deliberately with a wish of good luck for someone who’d be able to pick it up. That lucky one turned out to be me.

And to think I had been feeling ill at ease these past few days because I’d be returning to work this Monday, only two days from now, and I still haven’t found someone to look after my son.

(Note: Our all-around helper who left for the province last December and promised to come back won’t be returning after all, that after giving her financial help for her operation, which, after seeking second opinion, turned out wasn't really necessary.)

Now, I’m not really a superstitious person, but I’m vulnerable to believe anything right now, even something as giving this Turkish bill a meaning. This thing came out of nowhere, but it landed on my back doorstep.

Perhaps to remind me that all hope is not lost, that I’d be able to find someone better able to care for my son, that I’d still be able to work and in the process, continue to support my parents, and that I’d be reaping greater financial rewards this year.

I tucked this bill neatly into my purse and smiled. My heart swelled with hope.
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