“Far from the Tree” by Andrew Solomon

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“FAR FROM THE TREE IS A BOOK WRITTEN BY ANDREW SOLOMON WHO EXPLORES HOW PARENTS RESPOND TO CHILDREN WHO ARE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THEM.”

The Colbert Report 24 June 2013

Saw this episode today and I can’t wait to get my hands on the book!

What caught my attention was in the interview, he spoke about Emily Kingsley and her essay “Welcome to Holland”. This is an excerpt from WIKIPEDIA about the essay:

“Welcome to Holland” is an essay, written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley, about having a child with a disability. The piece is given by many organizations to new parents of children with special-needs.

The essay, written in the second person, employs a metaphor of excitement for a vacation to Italy that becomes a disappointment when the plane lands instead in Holland.

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

The metaphor is that the trip to Italy is a typical birth and child-raising experience, and that the trip to Holland is the experiencing of having and raising a child with special-needs.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

In the end, however, the reader sees that the “trip” is still well worth it:

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

My sons don’t have disabilities but I want to believe that they will be exceptional adults when they grow up. Whether they grow close from the tree or far away I will be a proud parent either way. I want them to be their own self and not what society tells them what they SHOULD be.

Let me read the book first and I will share more of his insights soon. (I hope it’s available here)

“When I was a kid and we went to a shoe store, the salesman said that my brother and I could each have a balloon. My brother wanted a red balloon and I wanted a pink balloon. My mother said, ‘I think you’d really rather have a blue balloon.’ And I said no, I really wanted a pink balloon and she said that my favorite color was blue. Now, my favorite color is blue, and I’m still gay.” —Andrew Solomon

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Just call me, Mrs. Fix-it!

Being a stay at home mom I have to be an all around kind of gal. From cooking, to cleaning, to laundry, to taking care of the kids I’m indeed a renaissance woman. Today I had to take on a new role, being the house plumber.

Our kitchen sink has been clogged since last night. And although there are people we can call to fix these problems,for a fee of course, I thought I could just go ahead and take this project on myself. I watched how they did it last time and it wasn’t rocket science, it was actually more of common sense, it was clogged because there was something blocking it (DUH!) so he just reached in and grabbed whatever it was, I think after watching him do that without gloves, I got so grossed out that when it was time to pay up I doubled his fee out of pity.

Not ready to relive through that again, I seeked the help of some online guidance to help me fix the problem. These are the tips I found online: (I chose this one because I had the materials already at hand)

  1. Pour 1C of Baking Soda down the drain
  2. Followed by 1C of Vinegar
  3. Lastly, freshly boiled water

I repeated this procedure about 3-4 times this morning and it seemed to do the job.

It’s as simple as that! I’ve tried other chemicals available at the supermarkets before and to be honest the result was not as good as the Baking soda-vinegar mix. So why go for something that can be hazardous to our environment when a simple powder-liquid mix can do the job.

I’m very proud of my accomplishments today. Not to mention the money I was able to save not calling the fix-it guy.

Credits to: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/how-to-unclog-a-drain.htm for the tips


Event styling by Dinky C.

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Dinky C. is the brains (and beauty) behind Aden’s Circus party. A year ago if you asked me about hiring an event stylist for one of my son’s birthday I’d be like “What for?!” but now that I’ve experienced working with one, I can’t imagine doing another party without her. I once thought that party planning involved the food, the venue, and the guest list but now I’m officially adding event styling to the mix.

Dinky C., (I lovingly call her Ate Dinx) volunteered her services to help me plan Aden’s party and she has been by my side from conception to delivery. I loved working with her, we would bounce ideas with each other (special thanks  to imessage for all the free SMS) and she’d constantly check up on me if I had done my “assignments” which was a good thing because I have a tendency to procrastinate. I have to say she had this party in her head and no one can derail her from her vision. With any talented person, I feel like you just have step back and let them do their magic, you don’t teach a chef how to cook right?

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She hasn’t been doing this for a long time. She’s discovered a new talent and wants to practice her skills, I on the other hand am a willing guinea pig.  I really hope she pursues this. I will be her no. 1 FAN and walking commercial. I never thought “event styling” was necessary for a party but seeing and experiencing one made me change my mind completely. There’s something about a polished table that tells your guests

I put a lot of love and effort to this party and I hope you enjoy it!”

I really hope she starts to make this as a career and people start to hire her because she really is good at it and genuinely cares for your event.

Thanks again Ate Dinx! I cannot be more grateful.


Aden’s Circus Party

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The “big day” has finally arrived. On the way to the party I was a nervous wreck (just ask Arnie). I wanted everything to turn out fine that I was worrying about people coming on time, the food, even how the kids would behave was on my list of worries. If it isn’t obvious by now, I don’t host too many parties. My cousin Janice did tell me not to stress and enjoy the party, I think she knows me too well. But I’m happy to report that once the party started all my worries were gone and I just enjoyed every moment.

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Our venue, Fat Burger has a second floor with a play area which they can close exclusively for parties (which I love). As I anticipated the kids were out-of-the-way in their little play area and the adults were all in the dining area catching up with old friends. My Adrian had such a wonderful time with his passé, kuya Vhiggo and ate Czin that I didn’t even see him during the party. But because I know he had back up, I know he was safe. Even the birthday boy was also playing the gracious party host going from one table to the next (leaving me alone for once). But after a while I think he got exhausted from all the interaction and mommy was his only refuge and reconnect the umbilical cord we did.

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Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

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Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

 

With our Circus Theme Party  “the table” was the star! That’s where ate Dinx comes in she played the role of an event stylist and I just let her do her magic. And magic is what she did to that table, for never in a million years will I be able to put up that table the same way she did – if that’s not a talent I don’t know what talent is!!! Watch out for my next post about her.

Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

Another supplier who helped me meet the Circus Theme was FADGE CAKE who made the birthday cake. Mhin the owner/baker did such a good job. She promised me a “better” cake than the picture I sent her and she did not  disappoint! It was also a pleasant experience working with her she was very professional and that’s how I think every cake supplier should be. Funny story, her husband, I assume, was so used to the pick up thing that when we did our pick up he even told me to buckle up first before he gave me the cake in the car. It’s those little things that catch my attention and the things I remember the most. If you are in the search for a cake supplier for your next party why don’t you give FADGE CAKE a try, she’s very accommodating if you email her and will patiently answer any question you have and believe me I had LOTS of concerns). This is a link to FADGE CAKE FB page.

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Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

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Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

My giveaways were specially flown in from Manila which was bought in Divisoria. I’ve always love the appeal of the gum ball machine and I’ve always wanted one in my room ever since I was young. To be able to use it as a party souvenir for my son was absolutely a delight! At first we were thinking of putting a sub par chocolate inside but I figured why give away something I would not eat, so M&M’s and Skittles made its way inside.

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The cupcakes were made by my friend Carina. (Cupcakes by Carina-nice name for a future business venture wink wink) I got lots of praises for her cupcakes and even a couple of mommy friends telling me their picky eater kids loved the cupcake I think for picky eater kiddies to love your cupcakes is the highest form of flattery. I super appreciate Tita Carina’s generous support for this party, she even got Daddy Edwin to cover the party – which I think was out of his comfort zone since he’s a professional photographer and use to high fashion etc shoots not covering children’s parties. I just love this couple very much because although we don’t get to spend time with each other too often, I feel like my kids have a special place in their hearts. And to me friends who love my kids are the special kind.

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Last but certainly not the least, Party Boothcam came to our party to help us with the photo booth. I wanted them at the party so that the adults have something to bring home with them as souvenir. How many times do we get party souvenirs and think, “WTH am I going to do with this?” with the party booth they get pictures of their families that they get to keep, now isn’t that a nice party favor? This is owned and operated by sisters Dinky and Diane. I just love how their bubbly personalities radiate in what they do and show in their faces that people don’t get intimidated by the photo booth. I’ve been to parties where the photo booth people didn’t seem to like their jobs that they don’t even offer a simple smile and this just makes me turn off in the whole experience. But not with these sisters! They even have boxes filled with props for you to try on and they even help you put it on with such speed and accuracy just in time for the next “click“. If you are planning a party soon I HIGHLY recommend you give them a call, I’ve linked their FB page for easy access too.

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Photo Credit: Edwin Mendoza

In closing, This party was made out of love. Whether it be the love for my Aden, a love for event styling, a love for baking or a love to attend parties. All of this would not have been possible without any of it and I am truly grateful for all of you who helped me do this. I could not have done this alone. This is one party I will not forget for a long long time.


Seasons of Aden II

more greetings of love for our little bubba…

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Fresh hot bun from the oven

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This little pandesal that looks fresh from the oven is my latest baby boy love . No, I was not secretly pregnant for nine months and suddenly gave birth today. This is my sister Xyn and brother-in-law Alex’ first baby boy! And I am the proud Aunt, there’s something about your sister having a baby that makes you feel he’s one of your own. This is not my first rodeo, I’ve been an aunt before from my cousins and although I love all of them to pieces I know I’m just the aunt, but when it’s your sister’s, younger one at that there’s a feeling of pride. Pride that she did it and pride that he’s out into the world.

His journey coming out of his little oven was already a story that is going down in history. Believe me he will never hear the end of it! Especially from ME! Last night, I was texting with my sister and they have just come home from the Dr. when Xyn’s water broke, now I never had to go through that because I had two scheduled CS delivery with my two boys so naturally I was a panicking freak (good thing she could not see me or else she’d be nervous too!). I told her calmly to go to the hospital like NOW and have herself checked. She did say she was on her way and that calmed me down a bit but then there was a ginormous traffic jam all over metro manila that night because of all the rains and floods so again my heart was racing, it was like an emotional roller coaster ride, there were tears in my eyes praying for God to bring them safely to the hospital. With the help of my prayer soldiers (Mel, Tan, Sheils, Tony, and Cathy)  they finally got there. As soon as they were in the hospital I knew she was safe and that it was only a matter of time.

~Viola! Baby Miguel Alexander Baydo y Isleta was born at 8:15 AM Welcome to the family you little pasaway baby! We love you very much!

Congratulations to the new parents Xyn and Alex.


Birthday with a SPLASH!

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For Aden’s birthday, we decided to do something special and went on a field trip to Ras Al Khaimah. Ok! To be honest we had coupons for Iceland Water Park that we were suppose to use the weekend before but was not able to. And because his party is not until saturday I felt it would be nice to do something ON the day itself so I asked Arnie if it was possible for him to take a leave from work and for Adrian to skip school on a Thursday. He agreed to this and I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t like Adrian to think that it was ok to ditch school and go to a water park so I didn’t make such a big deal that he was skipping school. Honestly I don’t think he noticed but you know kids can remember everything so I didn’t want to risk him remembering being absent from school because we went to a water park. #spoiledmuch

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Weekday on a water park seemed sad, there were no cues, no people to bump into, no kids to tell off to stop jumping on the slides etc etc…I know! I know! If I went on a weekend you’d hear me complaining on and on of the cues and the people. There’s just no way to please me haha. Because it was the beginnings of summer and with a baby to think about we decided to rent a cabana. It was an extra cost but I have to say it was worth it. We had our own room with AC, free towels and free drinks cooling in the fridge plus you can have food delivered to your cabana at no extra cost. Now that I’ve experienced this “treat” I can’t imagine going to a water park not renting one anymore. #At the end of the day as long as the boys enjoyed themselves we have done our jobs right as parents. The birthday boy was happy crawling on the toddler pool and Adrian went on the water slide again and again and again (positive note of going on a weekday)

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Note to self: next time buy a waterproof camera (I was so scared that I’d drop my phone on the water!)