In Search of Brighter Days

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I haven’t written much lately and I haven’t bloghopped as much. Life has been a series of ups and downs and endless parties and potluck dinners. And baby showers and bday parties and get-togethers. Add to that the fact that we’re getting sick again. Tween2 started it first and then TheFisherman and then Tween1 and finally me. It’s going around, this flu. Everywhere you go the sounds of coughing and sniffling and hemming and hawing as we try and make it through. Winter looks like it’ll never end. And I hate to complain but enough already!

I look out the window to the backyard. And I see something that fills me with longing —
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The barbecue grill sits outside in the backyard, awaiting the next get together. It lies in wait for the hot charcoals and the group of people who stands around it as they all admire the food.  The aroma wafts in the air as smoke comes out. The barbecue grill basks in the glory.

I await barbecue days. For the kids to run around with the dogs, chasing them with water guns. The dogs cowering behind me, seeking refuge. TheFisherman a spectator to it all, as he holds his tong in one hand and an apron tied around his waist. He grins. This is the life.

Snapping back to reality, Tween1 walks up to me and declares he’s hungry. Time to feed him and get him his meds.

barbecue image credits: http://www.amazon.com

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm  Comments (9)  

Forever Young

There comes a point in your life when you’re officially an adult. Suddenly, you’re old enough to vote, drink, and engage in other adult activities. Suddenly, people expect you to be repsonsible, serious… a grown up. We get taller, we get older. But do we ever really grow up?

 In some ways we grow up. We have families, we get married, divorced, but for the most part, we still have the same problems that we did when we were fifteen. No matter how much we grow taller, grow older, we are still forever stumbling, forever wondering, forever young.

—— Meredith Grey——-

I have always thought that 30 was ancient. I was a teenager then. And I thought that once you get married and have kids, then your life falls into a routine where there are certain expectations for you to meet. Certain obligations, restrictions and responsibilities. And I thought you stop growing and hoping and dreaming.

Boy was I wrong! Now that I am in my 30’s, I don’t feel like I’m any different than I was in my teenage years. True, I know better now and there are certain things that opened my eyes and came to realizations about but I don’t feel any different.

Although my body tells otherwise – the weight that can easily slide off with just a simple diet and exercise now takes harder work, the 20/20 vision now gets eyeglasses for “night driving”, the flawless skin now gets slathered with moisturizers, the Glamour, Allure and beauty/fashion magazines now gets replaced with Better Homes and Gardens, Domino and Family Circle magazines, the perfume I used to love now gets replaced with the smell of sanitizer and baby lotion and the endless parties of drinking now gets replaced with family time and wholesome parties. But deep inside, I am still the same old 15 year old who sings at the top of her lungs in the shower, dances when no one else is watching and tries on models clothes I’m wearing to the next party.

Now I know that life does not stop when you turn a certain age. Life goes on. And you keep learning new things, experiencing new sensations and dreaming dreams you’ve never had back when you were younger. Life goes on. And you are forever young.

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 11:59 am  Comments (9)  

GA’s Back!

Omigod! My favorite show is back! Well, not until April 24th but still. It’s going to be back on. And my Thursday nights will not be empty anymore. I will have something to look forward to. Which sounds pretty lame but hey, what can I say? I love GA. I love living vicariously through the characters.

And this is one of those times when I wish I live in L.A. because the GA and Private Practice cast will be performing live for the benefit of the writers affected by the strike. Which makes me love them even more. For they’re not only pretty people on the outside but on the inside as well.

In the meantime, here’s my favorite scene from the last epi. :

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 10:09 am  Comments (3)  

Movies

Some recently watched movies as we try our very best to survive the winter.

Paris, Je t’Aime – subtitled movies have been a pain for me. I want to focus on the actors’ faces and not trying to speed read while trying to see if the emotions matches the words. The Fisherman though hearts foreign films and if this is one of those things I have to put up with, then so be it. This movie was a collection of short stories with an all star cast – Natalie Portman, Gena Rowlands, Elijah Wood, Bob Hoskins to name a few. The stories were entitled from the cities they were set in. Stories ranged from heartwarming to weird to what-the-heck-was-that? It was pretty interesting and the French language has always been nice to hear.

Good Luck Chuck – the one and only reason why I watched this movie was because I love Jessica Alba since Dark Angel. I still watch marathons on the sci-fi channel and hope to one day score the DVD (preferably at a yard sale). So for the movie itself, all I can say is that this is the stupidest, lamest movie I’ve ever seen in my life! The premise is that the guy, Charles is a lucky charm in that whoever he dates and sleeps with will find the man of her dreams as the next guy she dates will turn out to be “the one”. Definitely a guy movie, that’s all I can say. I am wondering about Jessica Alba’s choice of movie roles lately. Let’s hope the next ones will do her justice as she deserves more.

Antonia’s Line – another subtitled movie, this time Dutch that The Fisherman picked. I just sat through the remaining half of the movie and it’s like “The Godfather” on viagra as women were popping babies in this one. Story about family, love, betrayal, you get the idea.

Zero Kelvin – yet another subtitled movie, Norwegian. “Set in very bleak conditions” according to the Blockbuster site, the backdrop is depressing indeed. Based on 1920’s poet who went to work on a Scandinavian island for reasons unknown. This movie got me even more depressed and cold!

The Brave One – any Jodie Foster movie, in my opinion is very good. To start with, she’s a very good actress and she has so far made very good choice material for her movies. Terrence Howard co-stars and he’s very good too. Their chemistry is awesome even though they weren’t a couple in this movie. The storyline is basic and old school – Girl and Guy are happy and successful in their careers+Guy dies = revenge. I did not like the violence and had to walk out or look away during such scenes (the many benefits of watching a movie at home). But this is a must-see movie. Just make sure to be prepared for violent scenes. (Of course we watched this without the kids.)

I am sooooo ready for Spring.

Published in: on February 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm  Comments (4)  

“What a Waste!”

I was with some of my friends and in the course of the conversation , somebody mentioned a friend of ours who suddenly had to stop working. Here’s how the conversation went:

Friend1: Is she working right now?
Me: No. She’s staying home with her 3 year old. (she has another daughter who’s in school)
Friend2: She said she enroled her 3 year old at the daycare center and her daughter didn’t like it there.
Friend1: Really? What a waste!
Me: Well, that’s fine as it’s a temporary thing. (They were going to move so it wouldn’t make sense. But she didn’t want to divulge details)
Friend2: Yes, it’s fine by her. It’s her choice.
Friend1: Such a shame because she’s a nurse.
But Friend1 kept on saying that it’s such a shame that this friend of hers is staying at home and not working. She kept saying that it’s such a waste. I was deeply affected by this because hello! Number one, I am not working either. So does that make me a waste too? Does she feel that I am wasting my time staying at home with my kids? Doesn’t she understand that there are sacrifices parents do for their children? That it’s a temporary thing and one day she’s going back to work again? I was reeling from shock because I did not expect that this friend of ours had the audacity to say those things in front of me. I was the only SAHM present and I was too dumbfounded to say anything. I let it slide but told my husband about it that night.
Me: Babe, did you know that Friend1 thought that it’s such a shame that our friend is staying at home with her kids right now? She kept saying “what a waste” as if that’s a forever thing.
TheFisherman: Well, sometimes other people do not see beyond the here and now.

That was food for thought. And I had to agree. There are people who thinks that just because I’m a SAHM I have all the time in the world. The reactions usually is of :
a) envy – wow, how lucky you are! you get to stay at home all day and shop and do lots of fun things!
b) disgust – well, can’t you work part time? your kids are tweens now, they can handle themselves.
c) demeaning – oh really? I guess not all of us wants a career and earn money
I do not know how to reply every time because it’s none of their business. I do not feel the need to explain myself and enumerating all the reasons and stating all the pros and cons. Nor do I feel like going through the financial report of our household. But there are times when I am so tempted to step up to my soapbox and really tell them everything. But that’s a waste of my time and energy. 

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (12)  

I am Grateful Day

Today is I am Grateful Day in my book as I thank these awesome gals.

Bang gave me this award:

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I am passing this award to :

Cookie – for being such a wacky Mom, she seems like the Mom you get to have fun with

TeacherJulie – for being such a great teacher and homeschooling and making learning fun for her kids

 Lizzz – for being such an awesome rocker chic Mom!

TeacherJulie gave me these awards:

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I would like to pass this award to:

Bang – for sharing her yummy recipes and being chosen as one of the featured publishers at Foodbuzz. You make us proud, Bang!

Lizzz gave me this award. Thanks Lizzz!

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I am passing this award to:

TeacherJulie – you are a beautiful and sexy Mom inside and out.

FeistyMomma – need I say more? She’s hot, she’s sexy and she’s beautiful.

SweetbitesbyBang  gave me these awards:
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I am passing on this award to:

Maps – awesome pics and great posts. We share a lot in common.

Belle – such great Mom with a very talented daughter who most probably got it from her Mom.

Christianne – your blog sure is a treasure. Love your stories of Annika.

Let me just say how thankful I am for all of these awards. I feel like I don’t deserve them but hey, who am I to refuse right? So a big thank you to these wonderful ladies who shared and passed on these awards to moi. I am grateful.

Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 3:25 pm  Comments (16)  

The New Year

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 I am finally feeling better now. Gone are the sniffling, hacking, blown-up-head-like-a-balloon feeling. I can finally say that I am better. Two weeks was such a long time to suffer but at last I am well. And great timing too! Our social calendar is filling up again after about a month’s lull. The kids are happy again to go to the parties and get-together where they get their fill of sodas and sugary concoctions they sneak out when all the adults are busy. The Fisherman is happy to meet up with his buddies and share fish stories, if you know what I mean. And I will once again bask in the glorious companionship of women like me – sharing stories about love, life, motherhood, religion, politics and celebrities. We will all have a great time and it is once again a chance for me to try out new recipes for the pot luck dinners. I have gained quite a reputation as a good cook and baker and I will take whatever small achievements I can.

The weather’s nicer now. It has been unseasonably warm for a February even though Punxsutawney  Phil saw his shadow signalling 6 more weeks of winter. The Fisherman told me yesterday that he is still hoping for one snow day to which the kids agreed. I, on the other hand, am just lucky the sun has made an appearance delivering me from yet more bleak, dark and lonely days. The sun is finally shining and I am glad. I even brought up the topic of camping with friends and we will be discussing it on the next get-together. I’m making plans, a good sign, I guess.

I decided to re-name/christen my family. As you probably noticed, FishermanHubs is now The Fisherman. And since I was getting tired of calling my kids alphabets by their first initials, I finally settled on Tween1 and Tween2. The resemblance and similarity is uncanny with Dr. Seuss’ characters, I tell you. As for me, I did undergo one change and that has something to do (again) with my hair. I’m wearing it shorter now and it is straight once again. I will decide one day, probably in the spring, whether to get another perm or color it. For now it is stick straight and black. Just the way I want it. For now.  

I feel like New year is just starting for me. I felt like December and January was such a blur that it is only now that I feel the new year. Well, today is after all the Chinese New Year and I am part Chinese on my Mom’s side so my calendar is not off.

I am optimistic about this year. I decided to be pro-active and take charge of my life. Not that I haven’t been but I’d be more pro-active. It is such a wonderful coincidence then that I chanced upon Oprah the other day and watched Dr. Oz’s Anti-Aging Secrets  The tips were very informative that I sent an email to everyone I know.

I also decided my sedentary lifestyle is not going to cut it. I have been exercising daily now (at home) and have even ordered a new exercise DVD. My gym buddy and former co-worker called me the other day asking when I’m coming back and I told her we’ll talk about it over lunch next week. A lunch date with my girlfriends is way overdue and I always have a great time with Dee and Chris.

As for my diet, I am trying my best to eat less which is really hard because The Fisherman has suddenly gotten into Chef mode. He plays with my new toy too and as a result we have been eating crepes for breakfast every. single. weekend. I am grateful for his help around the house and all but there are times when I wish he’d lay off the kitchen. But hey, I still am lucky and I reminded my kids how lucky they are that both of their parents cook. They agree and Tween2even said: “Did you know everyone gets jealous of me? It’s because I always bring good lunch. Everyone wishes you’re their Mom”. Aaawww!

So I’m good. The sun is shining, the weather’s nicer, I’m all better now and life goes on.

Happy New Year!

Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 10:13 am  Comments (6)