Posts filed under ‘My life as a mom’

My youngest son turns 13

After mass on Sundays, our new parish priest will ask us to sit down and he’ll ask if anybody has any good news to share. Such as a birthday, anniversary, somebody recovering from a sickness, etc. Today, when he turned his head to where my sons and I were sitting, I raised my hand and I stood up when he nodded to me. I said, “My youngest son turned 13 this weekend.” “Happy birthday,” he said to the embarrassed young man beside me. This young man, who I look up to (that is because he’s now a few inches taller than I am, he he he), said “Geez” a few times. 🙂 He says that a lot to me, but I knew he was flattered by the attention especially when a couple of parishioners said Happy birthday to him on their way out.

So yeah, he’s officially a teen-ager now. I said officially because it felt like he’s been a teen-ager already these past couple of years. We’ve had our ups and downs. I think the downs have been caused mostly by how hard it has been for me to let him go. He used to be my sweet little boy. Well, he’s still a sweet boy, not so little anymore. But he doesn’t want me to hug him or kiss him anymore. If I do, he either pushes me away or gives me that deadly look. Or both. Then I feel hurt and rejected. And then maybe I’ll get snappy at him. But most of the time we’re good. He still tells me about his day at school, not always, but most of the time. And I’ll take that. Kaya lang ayaw na nya kong bunutan ng puting buhok. 😦 Those times had been great bonding times for us.

But you know what, I’m so proud of him. He has been through a lot this past year. We have all been through a lot. I know it has not been easy for him and his brothers, especially him being only 12 when all the big changes in our life happened. But he had been strong and he was able to stay grounded. He was able to keep focused on his studies. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. He received the Overall Achievement Award when he graduated from Elementary School in June. He’s my inspiration and I look up to him. And that’s not just because he’s now taller than I am. 🙂

Note: This was originally written on February 13, 2011


February 27, 2011 at 11:02 am 6 comments

My Minnesota Trip – On The Road

July 7, 2009, Tuesday 12:41 am

Dear Kitty,

I’m going on a trip from Winnipeg to Minnesota to visit Auntie D and Uncle Sparkie with Mama tomorrow, well it’s already tomorrow, so actually, in just a few hours. This is the first time I’m going outside of Canada in a very long time. 18 years to be exact. I would have loved to take a trip with the family. But none of them would want to come with me. Well, that’s mainly because Mama and I are taking the bus. She didn’t want to drive all the way there. I thought I could convince my youngest son, since he hasn’t been apart from me. But he didn’t want to go. I think because his brothers aren’t going.

I have been talking about the trip with them, a lot more recently since I have been reminding them to do their chores, and also mine, while I’m away. And please don’t forget to flush the toilet. I don’t want to come home to a messy and stinking house, I would tell them. 🙂 I’d ask the youngest one if he’d miss me, he’d say that he won’t. Of course, he’s only pretending. I know he’s going to miss me. I will miss them, especially my baby the most.

Tonight, before he went to bed, he gave me the longest hug. I thought he was going to cry. But he didn’t. He’s a big boy now.

I’m excited about the trip. I need to get away from TH, even if just for a few days. Sometimes I feel that it’s sort of a sacrifice for me though to leave the boys behind. I know it’s just four days. But this is the first time I’m going to be away from them. It’s true that the two oldest ones had been away on band trips. But still. This time, I’m the one going away.

It’s 1:02 am now. I better go to bed. I have to get up at 6:00 am.

9:48 am

The bus was supposed to leave at 9:15 am, but we’re just pulling out of the terminal now. And aga pa naman naming dumating sa bus station. Mama wanted to be there at 8:00 am. So ang tagal naming naghintay duon. Just before 9:15 am, the bus driver of Jefferson Lines came inside the waiting area. She was wondering why nobody was getting on her bus. Well, we were waiting for the announcement. We didn’t hear anything.

Last night my youngest one asked me to wake him up before I leave in the morning. Eh masunuring bata ako, so I did. 🙂 I said goodbye to him, hugged him and kissed him on the cheeks three times. Hindi naman tumangi. Because he usually does.

1:25 pm

So we arrived at the Canada/US border at Emerson at around 11:15 am. All the passengers of the bus had to get out including luggage and all and check in with the US Customs. It shouldn’t have taken up more than half an hour, but we learned from the others that one of the passengers was called right away inside the office for questioning. The bus can’t leave while he’s there. At 12:15 pm, we all got on the bus again. The driver drove around a little bit and brought the problem passenger at the Immigration Office. She came with him in there. After about half an hour, they both came back in the bus. Mrs. Driver dropped off Mr. Passenger at a nearby inn. At first, Mr. Passenger wouldn’t get off the bus. You can’t go to the U.S., Mrs. Driver told him. I called my friends and asked them to pick me up there, he said. But they don’t want you hanging out at the Immigration Office, she said. They exchanged some more words. I could feel the tension among the other passengers. We’re already about a couple of hours behind schedule and I know some of them have to catch another bus at the next station and some at another station. Then thankfully, one of the passengers at the back came forward and spoke to Mr. Passenger in his language. I don’t know what Miss Passenger told him, but he finally got off the bus and now we’re on our way to U.S.

4:50 pm

We’re just leaving Fargo. We switched to a different bus. I’m thinking of calling home at the next stop if there’s a phone there. I’m not even sure if I can call long distance from a public phone. It’s been a long trip. Naiiyak ako. 😦 I miss my bunso, the others too, but him most especially.

It’s now July 8, 2009, Wednesday 12:50 am

We’re here now at Auntie D and Uncle Sparkie’s place. Arrived at around 12:30 am. Mama and I are sharing a bed in the basement.

Flashback: It was around past 9:00 pm when Mama asked one of the Filipino passengers in the bus if she could borrow her cell phone. We were supposed to be in Minneapolis at 7:50 pm and we were worried that Auntie D and Uncle Sparkie might have thought that we weren’t coming and have left. How could we go to their place and it’s two and a half hours drive from Minneapolis to McGregor? Luckily, Mama was able to get a hold of her and Auntie D told her that she has been worried and had called Winnipeg a few times already. She had confirmed that we have left that morning and so they hung around at the terminal but of course they were worried.

It was already 9:30 pm when we arrived at the bus station. After a few hugs, I asked Auntie D right away if I could borrow her cell phone so I could phone home. She said that she already called home and had let them know that we had called from the bus and we were delayed. I sort of felt bad that I wasn’t able to talk to the boys, but also nahihiya na rin naman ako dahil nakailang long distance na siya. I know the boys would have understood. I can’t sulk 😦 now because after all, I’m a big girl now.


Next time: My visit to Mall of America

August 16, 2009 at 1:25 am 7 comments

My mommy guilt trips


I didn’t really like Megan Joy that much. Okay, I did like her when she sang Put Your Records On and Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. But after that she kinda went downhill. It’s Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert who have been my favourites since the auditions. And for the last three weeks, I’ve been swooning over Kris Allen. 🙂 But I was touched when Megan said goodbye last night on American Idol. When she said “Baby, Momma’s coming home,” and she started to cry. I got choked up, too. I knew that it has been hard for her to be away from her little boy. I didn’t like her ‘I don’t care attitude’ last night, but maybe there was a part of her, before the results were revealed, that wanted to go home anyway.

Well, you see, I have been having these mommy guilt trips lately. I have been working extra hours, staying late at work and sometimes working on the weekends, too. I am exhausted by the end of the week. Last Saturday, I thought I’d lie down for a bit when we came home from shopping. But I guess I was too tired and I didn’t budge when my 11-year-old son woke me up for supper. It was already around 9:00 pm when I got up to eat.

My son told me, “You slept long, mommy.”

“Yeah, I was so tired,” I told him. “Next time shake me harder when you wake me so I can have supper with you all.”

And also, the other night, I was telling my son that there are a lot of people away at work this week, most of them mothers.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because it’s spring break,” I said. “Maybe they have planned something with the family, or they probably just want to spend time with the kids.”

“Then why didn’t you take a vacation?” he asked.

“Well, I take all my vacation days in the summer when all of you are at home,” I said. “And then we could plan to go somewhere like when we went to Alberta that one summer.”

“Oh,” he said.

“Do you want me to take the week off on spring breaks?” I asked him.

“Nah,” he said.

Even with that answer, this conversation still made me feel kind of guilty.

I wonder if there would ever be an end to these mommy guilt trips.

April 2, 2009 at 8:43 pm 2 comments

Bahala ka

Although I have gone back to work at the office, I still prepare breakfast for my three boys. Even with my limited time in the morning, I try to have something warm for them to eat. They like rice and eggs and so they have that every other day, and in between, they either have pancakes, waffles, instant noodle soup or sometimes just cereal.

The other night, I was asking my 14-year-old son what he wanted for breakfast in the morning. I noticed that lately, he didn’t want rice and egg anymore. He also didn’t like the instant noodle soup that morning because it had been sitting for about 15 minutes when I called him down for breakfast. He wanted it just out of the stove, while it’s still piping hot and before the noodles had gotten fatter. But I was running late that morning and I wanted to finish what I had to do in the kitchen before I went upstairs to blow dry my hair and get dressed for work.

Me: So what do you want for breakfast then?

Him: Cereal. (In his usual irreverent tone.)

Me: Hmph. Bahala ka.

Him: Bahalaka. What does bahalaka mean? (He said it like it’s just one word. 🙂 )

Me: You’re on your own. Whatever you want to eat.

Him: Why do Filipino words always have h, l, k? It’s hard to say. And there’s always ka. Boo-lak-lak. What does that mean?

Me: Oh, you mean my beautiful flowers?

Him: Why do you even buy flowers? They just die anyway. (Ouch)

Me: To make the house look beautiful.

Him: We don’t even see them here inside.

Me: Well, so the people outside can see them.

Yeah. It’s getting colder here in Winnipeg and my beautiful flowers (bulaklak) are starting to die. He does have a point though. I spend money on those flowers every summer. They’re only good for about three to four months and then they start to wither and die around this time of the year.

September 15, 2008 at 9:59 pm 8 comments

A fun day of bowling

For school outings, my kids would usually go bowling once or twice a year. And at the end of every school year, the schools give out coupons for a free game of bowling at Rossmere Lanes. My youngest son had been asking me to go bowling since school ended. We finally decided to go last weekend. His brothers and dad didn’t want to go so it was just the two of us.

“I have a reservation for two for niceheart at 3:00 p.m,” I told the guy at the counter.

He checked his computer and then he asked,

“What shoe sizes?”

“Five and six,” I replied.

“Do you want bumpers?”

“What are those?”

“They’re railings for children under six so they won’t get the balls in the gutter.”

Okay, my son is already ten and I thought that we didn’t need those. So I told the guy, “No.”

“For how many games?” he asked.

“Oh I don’t know. It’s my first time bowling. What do you recommend?”

“A game has ten frames. And lasts about 15 minutes for two players.”

I thought for a moment and said, “Two games then.”

“You’re on Lane 6.”

So Ryland and I put on these ugly shoes.

I let him go first so I can watch him play. Because I’ve never bowled before. But I’ve seen how people do it on TV and in the movies. 🙂

Ryland was a good and patient teacher. He told me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. He’d even give me two thumbs up after I finished my turn even if my balls went in the gutter. I thought that I should probably have asked for those bumpers. 🙂

“Mommy, I think you should go closer to that line,” Ryland said.

“But I don’t want those people to see me,” I told him. “They might laugh at me.”

He even showed me how smaller kids do it and as a beginner he thought that I should do it this way. Spread my legs apart. And throw the ball from between my legs.

“It’s okay if you look like a fool, Mommy.”

He he he.

Although it was my first time to bowl, I had a lot of fun. Even if a lot of my balls went in the gutter. After two games, we wanted to play more. So we paid for two more games.

I was so excited when I got a spare, and then a strike.

But don’t be impressed too soon. There were only five pins and those balls were smaller than the regular ten-pin balls. They were not that heavy and they fit in my palm. They don’t have any finger holes.

We worked up a sweat. After about an hour and four games, we went to Dairy Queen and treated ourselves to these.

Banana split for me.

And strawberry milkshake for him.

More of our bowling video clips here.

August 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm 11 comments

Missing the little booger

It’s my middle guy’s turn to go away on a band trip. They’re going to Edmonton and staying there for four days.

On Monday morning, I let his dad drive him to school alone. That’s where they were to board their buses that would bring them to Alberta. I didn’t go because I still had to get ready for work. I didn’t shed a tear. Surprise, surprise. But I knew that I was going to miss him.

For those of you who have known me on-line for quite a while now, you probably know how I get emotional whenever my oldest son would go away on these trips. It must be true what blogger moms Belle and Noemi have told me that it gets easier each time. But this is the first time that this child has gone away. And I question myself, for just a second naman, why I didn’t cry. Is it because this is the one that always gives me a hard time? But even though, it doesn’t mean that I love him less. No, I don’t think so. And if I think about it, I always get concerned for this one and I make sure that he doesn’t feel neglected, him being the middle child. But this one wants to be left alone most of the time. And he seems happier being left alone, so I just let him be most of the time.

And also, looking back now, these last few years that my oldest son had to go on these trips, I would always go to see him off. But that’s because I was working at home and I had the time to spare. That’s also probably why I would get emotional, I had all the time at home to think about it. But now, I am working at the office and there are people around me and we’re busy at work and I don’t really have the time to think that much of it.

But even though I didn’t cry this time, I did miss the little booger. I know that his little brother also missed him. Somehow it seemed quieter in the house without him. I thought of him a lot while he was gone.

And speaking of boogers, I remember the time when I discovered the wall on his side of the bed got dotted with his boogers. It was so gross. I called it his wall of boogers. It was hard wiping off those dried boogers. And I told him that if he did that again, he’d have to clean it up himself. I also discovered that he’d wipe his boogers on the wall behind his chair in the kitchen. But I nipped it in the bud.

At around noon today, when I was at work, I called his dad to remind him that his son’s coming back at around 2:30 p.m. and please go to school to pick him up before that time. At around 2:00 p.m., I tried to call the school to confirm if they were arriving on time. Because it snowed this morning and I didn’t know what the highway condition was and I was worried that they might be delayed. But the line was busy. I thought that maybe the other parents were also trying to call. I kind of got frustrated when my call couldn’t get through and I started to get choked up. Delayed reaction? I was missing my kid and was anxious and excited to hear from him and I wanted to make sure that he gets home safely. I called home at 2:45 p.m. I talked to his dad. Yes, he is back home safely. The students arrived on time. Is he tired, I asked him. He is upstairs, he said. Okay then, I’ll talk to him when I get home.

He was sleeping when I got home at 5:30 p.m. I tried to wake him up at supper time. But he just changed position in bed. He must be really tired. They left Edmonton at 9:00 p.m. last night. He probably didn’t get any sleep in the bus at all.

It’s now 10:00 p.m. and he’s still in bed and hasn’t eaten yet. But that’s okay. My little booger’s back home.

April 24, 2008 at 11:34 pm 21 comments

One Fine Sunday

One fine Sunday after lunch, we were all still at the table eating our fruits and watching basketball on the small TV in the kitchen.  Yes, we do have a TV in the kitchen and we usually watch TV while having our meal.  I know some parents will smirk at that but it works for us.  It’s sort of multi-tasking in these very busy lives of ours.  We get to watch our favourite shows while having our meal.  Besides, the shows can be a great source of topics for us parents and these kids who won’t usually open up anymore when you ask them how’s school or what did you do at school today. 

Okay, so back to the game. The Houston Rockets were playing against the San Antonio Spurs.  This guy Finley made a long shot from the side. 

“That’s only two points? ” I asked my middle son, who’s the basketball fanatic. 

“Yeah,” he said. 

“I thought that would be a three-pointer. ”

“No, because you see that arc?  He’s still inside it.” 

“Oh, okay.  Now I get it.”

Then this other guy came on.  “Manu Ginobili,” I read from the TV. 

“That’s not how you say his name, mommy.  It’s Gi-no-bli.”

“It sounds like Italian.  But I don’t think it’s Spanish.  What country is he from? “

“I’m not telling. “

“Well, I’m gonna google it.”

And then the husband chimed in, “Argentina,” he said. 

“Yes, finally,” said my middle guy.

And then I saw Tony Parker.  I said, “I know that guy.  He’s married to Eva Longoria, one of the Desperate Housewives.” 

“I know mommy, you already told me that. ”  That’s my middle son again.

“And did you know that he speaks French? “

“Yes, because he’s from France.  Oh my gosh!”

“Oh, yeah, ) now I remember him saying that in an interview.”

And then he threw his head at the back of the chair, as if in frustration.  And my eyes grew wide at what I discovered.

“Oh Ryan, you already have an Adam’s apple.  I saw a bump there on your neck.  Let me see it again.”

“No.  . . . .  So that’s what it’s called?”

“Yes, men get to have it.  Kuya Reggie has one too.”

“He does?” 

And he flashed this smile that looks like he was proud to be a man now.  And I think I felt a sense of relief there.  He must have been wondering why he got that bump on his neck.

“I can’t remember now when I first noticed your kuya’s Adam’s apple,” I continued.  “But I still remember when his voice changed.  I thought he had a cold.  When I asked him, he answered me in this big deep voice.”

“How old was he?”

“I think he was 13 or 14.”

And he flashed another smile.  He’s at that age now.  

Now my youngest son joined in the conversation:

“You know that team we were watching last night, mommy, was it Xavier (Sa-vier)? ” 

We were watching the college basketball the previous night.

“Yeah. “

“I know a boy at school with that name.”

“You know, in the Philippines we would say that name as Javier (Ha-vier).  That’s also how you would say it in Spanish.” 

“Mommy, why are there a lot of Spanish names in the Philippines?”

“Because Spain colonized the Philippines for many years.”

“What does that mean?”

“That means Spanish people lived in the Philippines and they even ruled the country. ”

And then my 13-year old interrupted. 

“They’re called Spaniards, mommy, not Spanish.”

“Well, I know that.  But I’m trying to explain it to your brother and I want to use words that he can understand.”

And then my youngest son said, “I know they’re called Spaniards mommy. He he he. ”

So there you go. 

And then the youngest one asked me who discovered the Philippines. 

“His name was Ferdinand Magellan.  I think he was a Spaniard and he was sent by the king of Spain.”
“So who discovered Canada?
 ” I asked him back.  “Tell me.  Because I didn’t learn about Canada when I was still in school.”

And the two boys interrupted each other in telling me.

“Oh, I know,” started the 10-year old. “We learned that in Social Studies.  I can’t remember his name.  But I think he was named after a river.”

“A river was named after him,” corrected the 13-year old

“He was trying to find spices in China,” continued the 10-year old.

“They discovered that the world is round,” interrupted the 13-year old.

“But then he wanted to do a shortcut.”  That’s the youngest one.

“And instead of going east, he went west.”  That’s my middle guy.

“And then he discovered Canada,”  finished the youngest one. 

“Oh, now I think that Magellan was also looking for spices.”  That’s me. 

So now you see how a game of basketball started this conversation.  And before any of you history buffs give me a hard time, I googled Magellan the next day and found out that he was Portuguese and I told the kids of my mistake. 

And it doesn’t end there.  Here’s more.  When it was just the two of us at the table that fine afternoon, I caught my 10-year old son touching his neck.  I couldn’t help but smile.

“Mommy, do I have an Adam’s apple?”

“Not yet, Ryland.  When you get a little older.”

“When I’m a teen-ager?”


“When I am at puberty?”

I was surprised that he already knows that word.  “Yes,” I said.  )

April 12, 2008 at 3:02 pm 19 comments

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