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Heard Nate say these words while he was hugging his Dad, ” I love you Daddy, you are the best”. 

Kids have the best way of showing what love is, without artifice, without reservation.  What you see is what you get.  Every time they visit, he would say, “I want to stay here Nonna”  and I would tell him, “okay, tell your mom and dad that you want to stay here”.   Then he would say, “with Mommy and Daddy”.   How I wish that they could but he does not have a  minder and he will be in playschool come June. He took ten days of summer class last month.

Nissa posted several photos taken the other week  at the mall where they learn different roles and play with other kids. I love those lovely photos  where he was dressed as a chef,  a wait staff in a food chain and a doctor.  I asked him if he really wants to be a doctor and without batting an eyelash he said “yes”.  It probably would change in a month or two but for now, he wants to be Dr. Isidro.

Nate new 15

 

Nate new 16

I took a series of shots last Saturday while he was taking down his books from the shelf.  It was a  reading session with Nonna but that would be an update on my separate blog about him.

“I love you Nonna”, he said while he opened the car window before they went home.  Music to my ears.

 

 

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Feeling amused:)

This is funny. My mom has been hard of hearing for several years now. She didn’t get used to the hearing aid we bought for her years ago. I told her that she has several birthday greetings on my wall. She just smiled. A while ago, she came back to me and asked:

“Saan kamo yung maraming bulate, sa Pangasinan?” (Where are those worms that you are talking about, in Pangasinan?)

I laughed, she smiled.

Then I whispered to her ear (her right ear can still pick up sounds), “maraming bumati sa birthday niyo”.  (Several friends wished you happy birthday.)

She understood then she smiled. Nagkaintindihan din kami sa wakas.
(We understood each other finally).

 

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Yesterday was Sto. Nino’s Feast Day. It’s a very important celebration for all Catholics in our country. Josef and I went to Tondo, Manila to visit Nissa’s family and her in-laws. I am amazed of my daughter’s familiarity with the place since  she got married more than four years ago. Whereas before I only heard of Tondo, slowly I am getting to know the place now. We met Nissa in front of the Tutuban Center. She  takes jogging to heart and regularly frequents the place on Sunday mornings  to take Zumba class and jog. It was quite lovely to see joggers with their pets in tow. I also discovered that going via that route is easier than taking a connecting train ride.  We had a hearty breakfast at Jollibee before proceeding to their place.

The Feast of Sto. Nino is almost a week-long celebration in most areas where the image of the child Jesus is their patron. Dawn processions, masses held in His honor,  lots of food, programs and dancing at the town plaza and having so many balikbayans from all over the world add to the festive spirit of celebrating.  Yesterday was also our town fiesta where I was born.

In Tondo, almost all streets were filled with people and it was quite hard to take a commute going back to Tutuban  Center  to take another LRT ride home to our place. Josef and I walked from Tutuban To Recto, my first long exercise since the start of the year.

I finally got my two copies of Richard Paul Evan’s books left by a friend with Nissa before going back to the USA after a two-week vacation.  Got two more key rings , with the  Statue of Liberty depicted beautifully in them. It is my first time to have key rings from New York.

Seeing Nate again was the  highlight of our visit. He was afraid of the dragon dancers on  the streets but he was so happy showing off that he is a werewolf with matching sounds to boot.

Such a happy occasion for the family. How was your Sunday?

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I thought it would be easy to buy a gift for Nate now that he is turning three (next Sunday) but I was in a quandary what to buy for him, a choice between books, toys or something he can wear. I was like a top toy on a slow spin while choosing what to buy for him that I know he would like. He loves toys but those race cars would only stay good for a few days then it would just be the remote control that is functioning. He loves caps and bonnets and face mask toys for kids. Make them all represent his favorite characters this side of the planet.  Last year, his favorite was Mickey Mouse, he even had a Mickey Mouse designed cake on his second birthday then Nissa bought him a big  Micky Mouse stuff toy (bigger than he was) for Christmas. Next thing I learned he loved Spider Man then  it was Minion toys.  He has two favorites though,  two small plastic robots that he plays with when he is here. No harm with breaking except perhaps an arm twisted too much because he makes them fight each other. Next thing you know, he will probably be asking for an astronaut suit because being an astronaut is his dream at the moment. He was happy with the F1 racer suit that Nissa bought for him to wear last Halloween.

nate21

Sorry, I got lost there somewhere. After a few rounds of going here and there inside the children’s section of the department store, I finally found it.  I know he would love this , he can use it when they travel. It’s unfortunate though that he can’t  use it  yet when they go up to Baguio tomorrow for a three-day trip. Maybe, he would be able to experience pony-riding again and enjoy  a boat ride at Burnham Park. The cool weather there is just perfect for activities outdoors.

I was supposed to buy some Christmas gifts too for the family but I can’t stand Sunday when there are so many shoppers in all corners of the mall. I ended up buying  a birthday gift and a Christmas gift just for him. It’s one item off my list.

Celebrating birthdays and Christmas, the heart is glad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ah, to remember those days of old. They make you smile  and nostalgic of course. Taking a trip  down memory lane to the max:)

Nissa called me up early this morning looking for a box where she put some CDs, a copy of their wedding invites and baby pictures which their official photographer used during their wedding reception. All of our photo albums were flooded six years ago when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila. My son painstakingly wiped dry all our photos and collated those which can still be saved.  I looked at the photos she chose for the video, some are frayed at the edges but they evoked memories.

Nissa was around five or six here and Josef was 3.

Nissa was around five or six here and Josef was 3.

Then I found this too, mixed with their baby pictures.  A former office mate took this shot years ago when I was still with BPI.

Arlene1

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
– ansel adams

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♫♪♫Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as they gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset♪♫♪

It’s crazy. There is a particular song playing in your head for quite sometime and then you suddenly hear  it on the radio. You smile and remember and the good feeling remains for the rest of the day.

When my daughter and my son-in-law were just planning their wedding, my thoughts kept going back to this particular song. Those were the days – the days when you were so excited to hold her in your arms, the days that you watched her grow up to be a very smart lady, the time you cried when she whispered “This is it Ma, I found the right man for me”.  A caring, nurturing and loving mother that you are, you  thought that she was still too young to enter married life. Is 29 nowadays still too young to get married? We wouldn’t have our little Nate now if she didn’t.

You remember the journals she painstakingly filled up that were kept under lock and key. That tiny key was kept somewhere safe. You remember her fascination for collecting stationeries in all sizes, colors and shapes, the small notes and letters attached to the door that you eagerly look forward to when you come home.  Same goes through with your unico hijo. You wait sometimes at the gate when he fails to come home on time. You are anxious when he does not answer your text or message on Skype or Viber. Goodness you say, he is now 31. But such is a heart of a mother, always praying for the safely of her kids.

♪♫♪When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?♪♫♪

Yes, gone are the days when they were small but they will always remain happy memories that you treasure until you grow old.

You sing the song in your head once again and you smile.

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Can’t wait for tomorrow.

After almost two months of not seeing Nate, they are finally coming over tomorrow to celebrate Josef’s birthday with us. I suggested to Nissa if they could stay here overnight so she could rest, without thinking of cleaning and doing the weekend tasks in the kitchen.  Sometimes, two days of rest is not enough, the weekend should be stress-free and relaxing. Anyway, I am looking forward to playing with Nate again, discovering what he has learned the past two months and seeing how fast he has grown into a very active toddler. It’s a period of discovery and exploration for our kid who’s not so little anymore.

I had a long chat with my priest son this afternoon who is attending a mission summit in Letran-Calamba. We talked of his assignment in Calayan. Time flies, a year is gone and in a few months he will be transferring to another mission. “Where to next?”, I asked and he answered “Camiguin”, another island in the north which is still a part of the Babuyanes Islands. He said it is more laid back, simple life to speak of but as equally beautiful as Calayan Island. He is happy to learn that I am still active at our Catholic Community page  and still share my thoughts with  the world through my blog.  I laughed when he wrote back “OP Lay” meaning a Dominican lay preacher – preaching through mass media.  I’ve always said even when I started this blog that if I could inspire a single soul out there, then I am fulfilled and happy. Josef is blessed, a mass intention will be offered on his birthday this Sunday.  We are all blessed of course because  we are always included in Lovell’s prayers.  He always tells me, “bawal ma-depress at ma-stress”  I know all that but sometimes life is hard  and it is even harder to cope.  “Stay in the grace of our Lord”. What lovely words! What was I thinking, negative thoughts should have no place in my heart.

I’ve found some amazing blogs here today – some blogs I followed, clicked a lot of posts that I liked.  Inspiring words and  beautiful stories that warm the heart.  And here’s a quote for you today.

Quote

 

A blessed and happy weekend to all.

 

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