Archive for November, 2004

All good things come to an end

When I woke up Ryland and kissed him, he said that he didn’t want a kiss, only a hug. Sometimes when I kiss him, he would wipe his cheek with his palm. I’m glad that he still lets me hug him. The other two don’t. Sometimes I’d stare at him while he’s sleeping. His skin is so smooth and he has this soft tiny moustache. He has been hairy since he was a baby. I’m trying to savour this closeness since I know that before I know it, he will grow up and start to pull away, like his older brothers did.

I mailed my Christmas cards today while the kids were having lunch.

It snowed in the afternoon.

After being a 74-day champion on Jeopardy, Ken Jennings finally lost with winnings of $2,520,700 to Nancy Zerg. Ryan and I have been following Ken and wondered when he’d finally lose.

The category: Business & Industry
The clue: Most of this firm’s 70,000 white-collar seasonal employees work only 4 months a year.
Nancy’s answer: H & R Block
Ken’s answer: Fed Ex
Alex Trebek called Nancy the giant killer and commented that all good things come to an end.

Before the final answer was revealed I knew that the answer must have something to do with taxes. (I once worked with the Taxation.) I was right. How could Ken not get it? I was kind of sad to see him lose.

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November 30, 2004 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

I knew it!

I decided to start work early, 6:30 a.m., since I had to leave at around 5:00 p.m. for my dentist appointment. The phone rang at around 7:00 a.m. “Gaudie is not going to school. He has been throwing up since last night. Can he stay there with you?” That was Mama. “I think he had too much pasta last night. He threw up. I gave him warm milk. Threw up again. This morning, I think we didn’t warm the soup up really good. He threw up again,” she added. Yan na nga ba ang sinasabi ko. She probably let him eat as much as he could. You can’t do that to kids.

Seven-year old Gaudie stayed with me while I worked. I let him take a nap in Ryland’s bed. Later, he went downstairs and I gave him some arrowroot cookies. That was the closest thing to crackers that we had. (I didn’t realize that we had Skyflakes.) I knew that crackers are the best thing if you are throwing up (like when you have morning sickness during pregnancy). I gave him water to drink, from the Brita, not cold. He was fine. He didn’t throw up. I let him watch TV until around noon. We went to their house and waited for his siblings. Then he asked for his bucket and begun throwing up. I decided to call Dr. D. It was a good thing that we got an appointment at 1:00 p.m.

Dr. D told me to give him crackers (I was right), diluted apple juice, ginger ale, Powerade, or 7-up (I knew that too).

The sidewalks were very icy. It can be very tricky walking on ice. I tried to avoid the shiny ice as much as possible. But kids just slide through ice as if they’re skating. I see them sliding through the ice gracefully on their way to school. Sometimes, I still slip.

I left at around 5:00 p.m. for my dentist’s appointment. It was already dark outside. Houses and apartments were lit with Christmas lights.

I had a root canal. I asked the dental assistant how long it would take. She told me about an hour and a half. She placed the rubber dam around my mouth, which would be open for the entire procedure. I wasn’t looking forward to that. Dr. J told me to open my mouth as wide as I could. He started poking and probing on my tooth. I held on to the armrests for my dear life. Sometimes he would squish my lips really hard. That felt uncomfortable. We were done in an hour. Dr. J couldn’t finish the root canal because it was complicated. There was not enough room in one of the canals for him to get through. He referred me to a periodontist, a specialist who will finish the procedure.

November 29, 2004 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

The Greatest

I watched the final showdown of “The Greatest Canadian.” I have been following the show and watched the documentaries of the top ten finalists. It was very interesting to learn about these Canadians. It’s like studying Canadian history.

Top Ten (in order):
1. Tommy Douglas, Father of Medicare
2. Terry Fox, ran the Marathon of Hope, fought cancer
3. Pierre Trudeau, the charismatic Prime Minister, promoted bilingualism and multi-culturalism
4. Sir Frederick Banting, discovered insulin
5. David Suzuki, a scientist whose cause is to save the planet
6. Lester B. Pearson, won the Nobel Peace prize for creation of UN peacekeeping force
7. Don Cherry, hockey commentator
8. Sir John A. MacDonald, the first Prime Minister
9. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone
10. Wayne Gretzky, The Great One in hockey

I have been rooting for Douglas ever since the show started. Without him we wouldn’t have free visits to the doctor and free hospitalization. At first, Ryan was rooting for Gretzky because he’s into sports. Later, he switched to Fox, probably because of the yearly Terry Fox Run at school. Today, he said that he was rooting for MacDonald. He said that they were discussing about it at school and they voted for their favourites. He changed his mind. He learned that MacDonald united Canada. That was a good choice. Although, the majority of his class voted for Douglas.

November 29, 2004 at 10:00 pm 1 comment

On leaving, overtime and trimmings

Sis, F and Carus left at 5:00 a.m. Carus was cranky because they only had a couple of hours of sleep. Our friend T drove them to the airport. Mama and my niece A also went. Mama said that she overheard A telling her 14 and 11 year old brothers, “Guys, if you don’t obey me, it will be really hard for me.” Poor A. She’s only 16.

I remember the first time Mama went abroad. I was only 15. Of course, this was a different situation. Mama left sis and me with my aunt so that she could work in Canada. I was crying the first time she phoned us. I couldn’t talk. I was sobbing.

I worked 5 hours overtime. I would have done more if I didn’t have to do my groceries and leave at 5:00 p.m. for church. The other day when I was talking to my friend E, she told me that she told the girls how we were discussing about overtime. I told E how it came up in my yearly evaluation with my Supervisor earlier this year. I felt guilty that I didn’t have any overtime last year. It’s hard enough to pull a seven-and-a-half workday as it is. So overtime during weekdays can be really tough. Overtime, in our yearly performance, falls under ‘team effort.’ Performance looks better if we contributed to the team.

I always carry a small notebook in my purse where I could write ideas that pop in my head, or when I need to write a phone number, address or notes. When we are in church, Ryland gets bored and I let him write in my small notebook. Tonight he wrote, “I like Christmas because of all the presents.”

After supper, I brought up the Christmas tree and asked the kids to help me bring up the decorations. We set it up in the living room by the window, where it always has been during the Christmas season. They put up the trimmings. Last year, I bought gold and silver ornaments. It’s nicer to look at if there’s a motif. The kids can still hang up the decorations that they will make at school.

November 28, 2004 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

News travels fast

It was Ryland’s and Ryan’s Parent-teacher meeting. They didn’t have school today.

At Ryan’s room.
Mrs. M: I heard that you are looking after the kids while your sister is gone.
Me: Oh no, I will just be helping them out since we live next door to each other.
Mrs. M said that she didn’t know until about a month ago that Ryan and Angelus were cousins. She also said that the two always want to be the first. Well, that’s Ryan. He is improving in writing and speaking. “And he is just so cute,” she added. She mentioned that we seemed to be a good family. “That’s good parenting,” she said. I beamed.

At Ryland’s room:
Mrs. S: I heard that you will be looking after the kids.
Me: Oh, no. I’m just helping out. My mother will be staying with them.
Ryland is learning very well at school. I told Mrs. S that I’ve noticed that he’s been reading very well. He does a lot of reading and writing at home.

At night, I went over next door. Sis and F haven’t started packing yet. It was a good thing that sis was able to apply for passports for her and Carus that quick. F already has a passport since he went home just last May to celebrate his mother’s birthday.

I told my niece A that she wouldn’t have to come home at lunch. I would come over to help the kids. Sis mentioned something about a WILL. I told Mama jokingly that if anything happens to them that we would take 3 kids each. I would take the girls. I didn’t want any more boys as I already have 3.

I was over there for about an hour and a half. I would have stayed longer but I haven’t had supper yet and I needed to get the kids to bed since they have catechism in the morning.

Ryland: Mommy, I missed you.
Mom: Oh, You missed me. But I was just next door.
Ryland: I cried when you were gone.
Mom: Oh!

November 26, 2004 at 9:53 pm Leave a comment

You learn something new everyday

At noon, I went to Pharma Plus and mailed a request for a sample copy of a magazine. This is part of my assignments for my course. I also went to Royal Bank to buy a money order for back issues of a U.S. magazine that I ordered a few weeks ago. I confirmed with the teller that I can’t pay a U.S. company with a Canadian cheque. I have to buy a money order for that. The guy told me to go to my own bank. He thought that my bank wouldn’t charge me for it. So off I went to my bank. The lady at the counter told me that there was a charge of $6.00. She told me, “If you buy the money order at the Post Office, they will be cheaper. You can buy them at any postal outlet. Pharma Plus has one.” “Oh, I was just there to mail something,” I said. I went back to Pharma Plus and bought my money order. I paid Cdn$7.26 for the US$6.00, plus $4.00 fee. All that trouble just to order that US magazine. It was also a good thing that I called the telebus for the bus schedules, or I would have been out for a long time.

November 25, 2004 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

banished

On the Dr. Phil Show, Rachel was on. She was a 16-year old who got pregnant and her parents, especially her mother, weren’t too thrilled about it. The day after she told her mother that she was pregnant, her mother sent her to a maternity home. Apparently, Rachel and her mom weren’t getting along. Mom thought that Rachel was rebelling ever since she met a boy, and was furious to learn that it wasn’t the same boy who got her pregnant. Mom sent her away because there were two little sisters at home. She was “protecting” them. Rachel felt betrayed to be yanked away from her family just like that. She missed being home and being with her sisters. Mom felt that she didn’t know how to deal with Rachel’s problem and so sent her to the maternity home, which was a good facility and would help Rachel during this difficult time.

This reminded me a lot of when I was 17 and a girl my age got pregnant. Let’s just call her P. P’s older sister was the first one to notice her bulging stomach. Their mother didn’t even notice, or she was probably just in denial. P run away from home to her friend’s house in Bataan. P’s family asked the police’s help to find her. When they did, P was made to stay at ‘Auntie C’s house, where sis and I were also staying. P wouldn’t tell them who the father of her baby was. She told them that she was raped. But P told my cousin T that it was actually her high school teacher who got her pregnant. Her teacher was married and has a family.

P’s mother sent her away to ‘Auntie C’ because she didn’t want their neighbours to know about the family disgrace. Her mother also made arrangements to have the baby adopted. She said that if P didn’t know who the father was, how would she know how the baby would turn out. P was helpless. The baby was taken away from her right after birth. She didn’t know who adopted the baby. She didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl.

P is now married and is trying to have a baby. I’ve always wanted to ask her about her first baby. Did she ever try contacting her child? He or she must be an adult by now. But I don’t know how she feels about that. I don’t want to stir emotions that she probably wants to forget.

November 25, 2004 at 9:46 pm 1 comment

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