Archive for August, 2005

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My Life as a…Rockstar Mom Part 2On August 3, the h…

24 August 2005

My Life as a…Rockstar Mom Part 2

On August 3, the hubs and I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It was pretty neat. A few weeks prior to that, I was able to see the baby’s heart beat at about 7 weeks, but hearing it is quite different! I must say, it gives you a great sense of relief to hear the little bunny’s heart.

Today, I went to see an entirely new doctor. I decided to switch from my current Ob-Gyn to a doctor closer to home. Also, my old doc is slowly bowing out from the “ob” part of her practice so she may not end up being the one delivering. This new doctor’s office I went to is fab! I should’ve just gone to them from the get-go! It’s a practice of 4 doctors who rotate and see each patient individually. They were very professional and gave me a lot more information than my old doc. I was even given a folder full of articles and FAQs.

Speaking of FAQs, here’s a few I’ve heard so far.

Do you have morning sickness? –this is the first thing people usually ask me.
I’m happy to say that I don’t! I haven’t thrown up or anything. I got a little queasy the first few weeks, but it usually went away after I ate something. The only other time I get queasy is after I take my pre-natal vitamin. Blech. Other than that, I guess I’m lucky!

Can you give birth in NYC –this is from my mom (who wants to say her grandkid was born in NY)
As most of people know, I live by the border of NJ and NY. I live right by the George Washington Bridge so I have very easy and quick access to NYC. I had really wanted to the baby to be born at New York-Presbyterian (aka Columbia-Presbyterian) which is in NYC and the hospital where my hubs was born. However, I decided I didn’t want to be trekking back and forth NYC, especially during the later months where I’ll be too big. Plus it’s a hassle to find parking in the city. My new doctor is only 10 minutes away from me and the hospital is only about 15 minutes away from me with ample parking! So alas, the little bunny won’t be born a New Yorker. Too bad mom.

Are you going to find out if it’s a girl or boy?
The hubs doesn’t care either way, but I’d like to be surprised. I think it would be cool to know at the very last possible minute! Plus I plan on buying blue clothes for the baby even if “it” ends up to be a girl or boy! I also plan on dressing the kid up in cool rocker clothing! Hehehe…I’m already on the look-out for a Cure baby-sized shirt! And I’m definitely getting onesies from this joint (or one just like it).

Did you guys plan this? –yes, believe it or not, people ask this and will ask this
Yes, we totally planned this (see my epic below for more deets). We have been married for over 4 years! What we didn’t plan on was that it would take only 1.5 months to happen!

Are you going to continue working?
Yes of course! As much as I’d like to stop working and try my stint as a stay-at-home-mom, we can’t really afford it! I’m taking 6 months off then go back to work. But we’ll see, you can always make plans but plans change, right? I also plan on taking off and being there for my kids when they really need it: when they are between 11-14 years old. Studies show that kids really benefit by having a parent “grow” with them during these adolescent years.

Are you showing yet?
I think so, either that or I’m just really bloated! Starting just a few days ago, I have started to sport a definite pooch that no amount of sucking in can hide. So I think I’ve “popped.” But I’m in that stage where people can easily say “man, she’s letting herself go.” I feel like I should wear a shirt that says “I’m not getting fat, I’m just pregnant.”

Do you have any cravings for any kinds of food?
I don’t discriminate! I eat everything! I’m trying not to eat crappy foods, but it’s hard. For example, the other day, this is what I ate:

Breakfast: 1 cup of decaf coffee, a double chocolate donut, and 2 pieces of raisin bread toasted with butter.

Lunch: a cup of spinach salad and an entire can of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni (only cuz I felt like it). Oh, and 6 triangles of Toblerone.

Snack: a glass of milk and a chocolate cupcake.

Dinner: 2 slices of meatloaf and 2 cups of rice.

No dessert only because I felt bad about the crap I ate, otherwise, I would’ve finished off half a

Have you gained weight yet?
I actually don’t know. When I first started, the doc said I weighed 111 pounds which I know is blatantly wrong (because pre-cruise I was already 113). Then a month after that weigh-in, I was about 113. I haven’t been weighed since so I have no clue how much I weigh. Now that I’m past the first trimester, I’m supposed to gain 1 pound per week up until my due date. Egads! I’m supposed to eat 300 extra calories a day for the baby, but this is hard for me to figure out since I think I eat a lot already to begin with. I’m also trying to take in more calcium and fruits and vegetables.

Do you have a name for the baby yet?
I have the perfect name for the little bunny if it turns out to be a girl (but I’m not telling!) I thought I had the perfect name for a baby boy, but it’s hard. I really dig the name Joaquin as a middle name, but I don’t want anyone making fun of it. Don’t you think it’s cool? What do you guys think?

Song of the Day:
Blood by The Editors

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I’d just like to add a little plug for The Editors. They’re the best band ever! I highly, highly recommend their album (especially if you dig other bands like The Cure, Joy Division, Interpol, The Smiths, and Bloc Party). I cannot gush enough about them…I’m such a groupie…=)

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My Life as a…. Rock Star Mom – Part ISo here’s my …

18 August 2005

My Life as a…. Rock Star Mom – Part I

So here’s my big news of the week: I’m going to be a mom! How crazy is that?! It’s still so brand-new to me that I still have a hard time believing it!

But First, Some Background….

(Warning: there may be a bit of TMI here…too much information!)

The hubs and I have never really formally discussed the whole “kids” thing. We never really sat down and asked each other if we wanted kids in our lives. Both of us are the eldest kids in our family. We both just assumed that we would have them at some point in time. I would sometimes ask him “do you want kids? Do you want to be a dad?” And he’d just shrug, say “sure why not? Do you?” I’d shrug, say “sure, maybe, ” and that was that. The most detailed we’ve ever come to in terms of the “kids talk” is that I knew I’d like to pop one out by the time I was 30 years old (theoretically), and that I think it would be too old to have one past 33.* The hubs also said that after the age of 32/33, he thinks he’d be too old to be a dad. So the concrete thing we had to go on was that we both didn’t want to have kids after a certain age. He didn’t want to be an old dad, and I didn’t want to be an old mom. So that was that. Both of us would be fine if we had kids or if we didn’t have kids. Both of us would be happy with our life either way.

(*Sidenote: It’s not that I think 33 yrs old is an ‘old’ age. It’s more like, I’d rather have an early start and think about how old I would be once the kid hits college-age. The hubs and I don’t want to be 45+ and the kid not even be 10 yrs old yet. We’d like to retire early and still have enough energy to enjoy it.)

Then around March 2005, I announced to the hubs “Okay, I think we should start trying or whatever.” I warned him that I would stop taking the pill next month. The hubs just went along. He’s an easy-going guy. All he said was, “wow…seems kind of sudden that you decided this.” But that was that.

I started to read up on fertility cycles, ovulation, and other lovely, scientific stuff. This was mostly done on the internet and with a helpful chart I found in Glamour magazine of all places. So I checked out my ovulation cycle, but didn’t really chart it out or anything. Quite frankly, it was confusing shit. It was more like “I think I’m ovulating…”

In April, I bought a few pregnancy tests on-line. I bought them wholesale and they were these “dip-in-your-pee” sticks. I also bought a few ovulation predictor sticks which I never did end up using. Every few week or so, I’d take a test just to see. Well, truth be told, I took the tests usually prior to going out with friends to see whether or not I should be drinking. Hehehehe.

May: nothing happened. I took a test and was disappointed that it wasn’t positive. I told the hubs “aw…I’m not pregnant.” He said, “well what do you expect? We’ve only done it like 4 times!” hahahah…. Okay, he didn’t really say that. TMI! He said “well we just started.” Okay, he really did say that former…

The Day We Found Out

On June 28th, I took a pregnancy test in the morning. This time, I didn’t use those cheap-o “dip-in-your-pee” sticks. I took a “pee-on-a-stick” test. Lo and behold, it came out positive! 2 Purple lines!! I looked at it in disbelief. I took it primarily because I was having such painful cramps and kept waiting for my period (which was then about 2 days late). I showed it to the hubs who peered at it and said, “okay.” I was smiling, he was smiling, but neither one of us was really jumping for joy. We were both more in shock as opposed to anything else. And the hubs wasn’t inclined to get all emotional without further scientific proof. Talk about anti-climactic.

I called my doctor, told her the test was positive, but that I was having crazy cramps. I hardly ever have cramps. I’ve always been a 3-day period kind of girl. I was having these since Saturday evening (June 25). She saw me the very next day. She confirmed that yes, it was positive, and stated “Wow! What did you do?” I had just seen her in early April and told her that I was ready to start trying; then here I was, back at her office in June with a positive test! She then took a blood test to rule out any abnormalities (read: ectopic pregnancy) since I was having cramps and told me to come back on Friday. So for the next 36 hours, I was basically nibbling on my nails, worried about the outcome. I was scared to death that it would turn out to be ectopic especially since one of the symptoms was cramping. So it was really hard to be happy that I was pregnant during this entire week.

Then on Friday, my doc saw me, did a little test and checked to see if the newly formed kid was in its proper place. Everything was normal! Hurray!! I could breathe easily!! For now at least…I still had to go through the first trimester safely. But going through that first hurdle was very scary indeed and I’m glad everything went fine.

That Saturday, I left for my cruise and wondered how to tell my parents. I had to fly from NYC to Miami and my parents were picking me up. Bad news was t
hat when they picked me up from the airport, the airline lost my bag! So we had to wait there for the next flight out of JFK to see if my bag was on that plane. I got into Miami at 8 pm, but we ended up waiting until 12 midnight! In the meantime, we had dinner and of course, I was in a super-foul mood. So I just blurted “I have some news for you, you guys are going to be grandparents.” I basically scowled and shoved food in my mouth as my mom leapt out of her chair with joy. Everyone was happy (except me because my bag was still missing and I wouldn’t get it until 12 pm the next day!) She immediately wanted to tell everyone (the entire maternal side of the family basically), but I said no, not until after the first trimester. She asked why? Apparently, in the Philippines, there is no such thing as waiting for a “safe time” to tell everyone. So I’m sure she told other folks already (and yes, I did find out that she told everyone anyway even though I told her not to). In the meantime, the hubs told his parents back in NJ.

When I got back home from the cruise, I was on my 6th week (I think!). I basically just surfed the net for more info; bought a few books and read up on it; and kept this little secret. Now, that I’m 12 weeks today, I’d figure I share the news. My estimated due date is: March 2, 2006.

It’s still scary. Everyday I worry and pray about the safety and health of our little bunny (as I like to call “it”). I’m not even going to mention how scared I am that my life is going to change forever, but I just have to take it day by day. I still do my own thing, go out with friends, go see bands, etc. In fact, I don’t even feel pregnant except when I go see the doc and see the little bunny via ultrasound. Of course in the meantime, our family and friends are already hounding us with questions. My next post will be all about the kinds of questions I’ve heard so far, and the crazy ideas my mom has planned for me. Ye gods!

Song of the Day:

Rock the Casbah by The Clash
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Impromptu Vacation Our office building has been c…

17 August 2005

Impromptu Vacation

Our office building has been closed since Monday due to electrical failure. There was a big thunderstorm last Sunday and it damaged our generator. I was actually on my way to work today when I received a call that the generator blew up yet again. So I turned around and went back home.

I feel like such a lazy arse! All I’ve done is stay home, watch TV, and read for the past two days. I haven’t gone out since I don’t really want to spend any money. Today, however, I feel like such a degenerate that I’ll force myself to go out. I think I’ll buy some curtain rods and finally install curtains in our living room. Then afterwards, maybe I’ll do the laundry! Ah…talk about an exciting life!

Song of the Day:

Tortura (Shaketon Remix) by Shakira
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And the Way the Rain Comes Down Hard…That’s the Wa…

12 August 2005

And the Way the Rain Comes Down Hard…That’s the Way, I Feel Inside

This is going to come out rather cryptic, but there’s really no other way to write about it. At this point, I am just very depressed about a certain part of my life. Okay, maybe depressed is a bit too dramatic. It’s more like I am very disappointed with something. It’s a small part really, one that doesn’t really make up nor define my life, yet I care about it all the same. It’s something I am passionate about, and something that I find fulfilling. In short, it’s something that is important to me. I’ve always thought it would be part of my life for a long time, but now I am reconsidering the track that I am in.

A few days ago, I found out that I’m not really as good as I thought I was with this part of my life. But “being good at it” is not really the right terminology for it either. It’s more like, I was viewed to be less capable of something. Hence, a decision was made that I’m quite unhappy about. In the grand scheme of things, I know I shouldn’t take it personally. Yet of course, I do take it personally. Now, I’m just full of self-doubt and self-loathing.

My brain is wracked with thoughts of “I-should’ve-done-this” and “why-did-I-do-that” and self-deprecating statements like “maybe-I’m-just-plain-stupid” and “you’re -just-not-good-enough.”

At the same time, I try to analyze it from an objective point of view. I do recognize that there are some blessings to be had at being in this situation. Unfortunately, I think they are still outweighed by all the negatives that have come to light.

Sigh. Just breathe, I tell myself. It’s not the end of the world. I just have to realize that it’s not my time for it. Perhaps I’m destined for something else. Oh well.

Song of the Day:

All Sparks by The Editors
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Book Meme I’ve been tagged by Cat and Ms. Sassy (…

10 August 2005

Book Meme

I’ve been tagged by Cat and Ms. Sassy (respectively)! I’ve actually combined them into one book meme, so please bear with me if it seems a bit reduntant. Who knew this book meme would be so darn hard to complete? But it was fun nonetheless!

I love books! I read almost anything (well, except for romance novels where there’s a half-naked chick on the cover). But I usually read in phases. There will be months where all I want to do is re-read Harry Potter or check out the new “chick-lit” book out there. There are also times where I want to curl up with a new, critically acclaimed contemporary novel. So, it was a bit hard to answer this since my answers are everywhere! Here goes…

Total books owned: If this means all the books I’ve ever owned in my life…well then it would probably be close to a 800 or so. Maybe even a thousand.

Number of books on the shelves: Right now, it’s a pretty manageable number…I would say about 250 or so. I’ve donated, sold, thrown away, and given a lot away over the years. Also lost quite a few books during my many moves.

Those that I own/ bought: Over the course of time, people have bought me hundreds of books. Of those that are on my shelf at this moment, I would say I bought about 90% of them.

Last Five books that I bought:
1) The Gossip Girl Series Second Collection by Cecily von Ziegesar
2) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
3) The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
4) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
5) My Sister’s Keeper: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Book/s I’m reading now:
1) Raw Law: A Hip-Hop Guide to Criminal Justice by Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq.
2) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
3) The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

Last Five books read:
1) Gossip Girl Books #4-6 by Cecily von Ziegesar
2) Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
3) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
5) The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Types of Books I Read:
1. Fiction: Contemporary fiction; Chick-lit/beach reads –the kind you can finish in a couple of hours without even thinking; Classical literature from time to time; Fantasy (e.g., Harry Potter, etc.)
2. Non-fiction: Autobiographies; History; Reference books/guides

Five Books that I cherish/mean a lot to me:

1. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
3. The Weetzie Bat Series by Francesa Lia Block
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Favorite Filipiniana Books:

I’m not sure if these would be considered Filipiniana…but they are Filipino-themed:

1. Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
2. Gangster of Love by Jessica Hagedorn
3. America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan –love and hate it

I’m tagging: Girlie, Riss, Jey, Evi, Lady Charlie, and The Other Jo

Song of the Day:

Munich by The Editors
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Tales from Generation 1.5 – Part 1 Aka the Immigr…

2 August 2005

Tales from Generation 1.5 – Part 1

Aka the Immigrant Chronicles….here are some random thoughts of my experiences growing up in the U.S. This is a work in progress…

Coined by immigration academics and sociologists, the term “Generation 1.5” refers to that population of immigrants who move to their new country at an in-between age (i.e., ages 10-14). My family first moved to the U.S. when I was 12. I think it was around May 1988. Not entirely sure. You’d think that something this important would be ingrained in my memory, but surprisingly, the details of the “big move” are quite hazy in my mind. What I do remember are the more mundane details.

Like the fact that right before we moved, my mom “conned” me into getting a new haircut. She sold it as this new layered ‘do’ that would make my hair look thicker. She said that I wouldn’t even need to comb it. So like a tool, I sat there as my mom’s friend snipped, snipped, snipped away. When he was done, he gave me a mirror. I think I let out a blood-curdling scream. Gone was my shoulder-length hair. Instead, I got me a boycut. As in close-to-the-scalp, choppy, boy-like hair. And I certainly looked like a boy. I was by no means a looker back then (I would discover the magic of lipstick in the 8th grade), and that stupid haircut took forever to grow out. So for our big move, I remember looking like a freaking boy. I was miserable for weeks after that. I don’t even think I was speaking to my mom during the plane ride to the U.S.

When we first got here, we lived with my aunt’s (mom’s sister) husband’s sister’s family in San Fernando Valley, California (let’s call her Tita Tess). My mom and dad was never a big fan of imposing on other people (which is probably why I myself don’t like crashing with people unless I’m especially close to them). So my mom and dad basically looked for jobs ASAP. We lived in the Valley for about 2 months or so. It seemed longer at the time, but I remember living in Los Angeles by the time school started in July. What I remember about this time what is that my Tita Tess lived in one of those newly constructed communities. I have never lived in such a pristine neighborhood where all the homes looked identical with their freshly manicured lawns and 2-car garages. My most vivid memory about this time is my Tita Tess’ neighbor. In a house about 4 doors down from Tita Tess’, there lived a girl who had a great collection of My Little Ponies. She had them lined up against her bay windowsill with her pink plaid curtains. I would always walk over there and stare up into her bedroom window. I never did meet the owner of the bedroom, but I remember coveting her room, her My Little Pony collection, and had grand schemes about her life. I imagined her to have a perfect life, unlike mine where my family of 4 (at the time) had to share a room in someone else’s house.

Soon after that, my dad fortunately found a job with a law firm as a legal clerk in Los Angeles. We moved out of the Valley, and into our very first apartment on Ardmore and 3rd Street. One bedroom. No frills. I have no recollection as to where I slept. Can’t remember. I assume I slept on a pull-out couch in the living room. It wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t a tiny apartment. It was nice. I will always remember it as our first apartment.

And so began my very first concrete memories of culture shock and living the immigrant life. I had to learn how to cook rice, do laundry, clean the bathrooms, master public transportation, etc. All of which is not a big deal. But it was different to me because I had grown up in the Philippines and we had katulongs who dealt with all that household stuff. I never realized how spoiled I was until I got here. We clearly had to sacrifice and pitch in. We bought our clothes and furniture at Goodwill (which became one of my favorite stores when I was younger). I bought several books, toys, and clothes from there. My mom and I also frequented swap meets where you can get clothes at a discount, used or new. We walked everywhere because we didn’t have a car (eventually, my dad’s cousin lent us one), and had to scrimp and save.

I was miserable. I missed my cousins, my grandparents, my way of like. But I guess so did my mom and dad and my little brother (who was only 4 at the time). Like a lot of immigrants, my parents had great careers going for them back home. My father was an attorney and was counsel to the owner of ShoeMart. My mom worked for an international non-profit organization as manager of their personnel department. Now, everyone had to start from scratch. My dad studied for the California bar as he worked, and was usually so stressed out that he would yell at us for the smallest things. My mom and I had to do a lot of the household management. At the same time, they had a tight rein over me and were very protective.

I enrolled in Virgil Junior High –an inner city junior high near the border of East L.A. Virgil was on a year-round track system. This means they had school all-year-round versus the September-to-June academic system. The student body was divided into 3 sections: Track A, Track B, and Track C. I was in Track C, and our school year ran from July to May (or something like that). It was my first experience going to a public school. All my life before that, I had gone to Maryknoll (now Miriam College), an all-girls Catholic school from pre-school to the fifth grade. When we first moved to the U.S., I really thought that I’d be the only non-white person in my school and was absolutely terrified of having no friends. Little did I know, Virgil Junior High was basically an all-minority school with a large population of Asians, Latinos, and a few Blacks, plus 1 white chick named Stephanie. No joke. But Stephanie wanted to be Latina and clearly “acted” like one. Junior High was a riot! My first week there, I got “jumped” by these 3 guys who ripped off my gold necklace as I was walking to the bus station. Certainly learned my lesson: no jewelry or any nice things while in school! I also got singled out by this chola who I really thought was going to beat my ass up for looking at her funny. Ah fun times. But more on my junior high-jinks at a later post.

The first 6 months in the U.S. was certainly an experience. Had we not moved over here, I don’t think I would be half the person that I am today. Here’s what I appreciate.

  • My memories of growing up in the Philippines
  • My memories of growing up in Los Angeles
  • Learning to be self-sufficient in many ways (e.g, I learned how to cook, take care of my brother, do laundry, clean the house, etc.)
  • Learning to depend on myself
  • Learning to trust my own judgement
  • Being brave enough to explore places on my own (the bus was my friend)
  • Learning to appreciate my culture at an early age
  • Growing up with other cultures and learning about other minorities
  • Having friends from other cultures/ethnicities
  • Discovering indie and foreign flicks.
  • Discovering the music world (e.g., punk, new wave, hip-hop, etc.)
  • Getting my first job when I was 15 years old
  • Living away from home and realizing it’s not so bad
  • Independence

In short, I had to wise up in a short a period of time. I had to grow up in a span of months. But I can’t imagine it any other way.

Song of the Day:

Stop Me if You Think That You’ve Heard this One Before by The Smiths

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