I used to pride myself for being independent (aka loner). I don’t mind eating alone and I don’t mind doing things on my own. Heck! I even watched a movie on my own! (once). I am woman, I am independent, HEAR ME ROAR!!!
Aside from this, having the technology we have now, I can bug my cousins and sister anywhere and at anytime I want. So really having someone be physically beside me to talk to was not high on my priority list. Don’t get me wrong, I have individual relationships, I’m not a hermit! (FYI! nothing wrong with that) but I’ve always felt like it was better to keep my circle small. And by small, I mean one friend I have breakfast with every two weeks.
But when like-minded stay at home moms welcomed me into their fold, I discovered that I may be the flock, cult following kind of gal. I’ve discovered that belonging to a bigger circle means that there are more people to catch you when you fall and/or when one isn’t able to help, another one is there to do the deed. Or it can be as simple as having someone to always have coffee with when my hands start to shake and want to get that caffeine buzz my body craves for once in a while😉.
In just4 months, It amazes me how easy it was for me to blend in with this group. By being with these ladies I found an outlet to vent out frustrations big or small and by also willing to listen, I’ve found out that some of them also share my own. I have learned things I might have not known of otherwise and I wouldn’t have met such interesting people with such colorful lives. It’s always nice to know and be reminded that I am not alone in this struggle we call motherhood.
I always describe our group to other people as a mafia of moms who are kind-hearted and caring. But think twice before you cross any of their children and/or anybody they care about because these moms are lionesses in sheep’s clothing and although they look meek and mild, they can clobber you to death with just a stare. Let’s just say, I’m happy I’m on their good side.
I used to think that having my family with me is all I need but having friends that are loyal and treat you like their family, is one offer I simply cannot refuse.
Last weekend we attended our last playdate before we go for summer holidays. It was a playdate straight out from a United Colours of Benetton catalogue. We had delegations from Poland, Germany and of course the Philippines. You think that with the cultural diversity of Dubai we’d have more of these mixed nationality playdates, but we don’t. Firstly I think it’s because we Filipinos tend to stick together like “white on rice“. And with over 450,000 Filipinos living in Dubai alone we tend socialize and make friends with our own kind (most of the time). Secondly, and I think this is the main reason why…is because Arnie and I are not really sociable people (SHOCKER!). We like socializing with friends that we already have but to make the effort and go out of our way to make new friends…well (I can’t comment).
But with Adrian being 1 out of 3 Filipinos in his school, a diverse playdate was inevitable. I had to suck up and face any insecurities I have and take my child to any playdate he gets invited to. I’d like Adrian (and Aden) to grow up without any reservations on making new friends with people of different backgrounds. I’d consider it a personal failure if they don’t at least try.
We were asked to bring “whatever” we wanted and I thought what would the boys like to eat. Viola! Chocolate cake! Our table spread turned out great. Mommy A, or shall I say Daddy A made pizzas for the kids and mommy B brought a whole assortment of mezzes that she said we could eat for a week! She even brought a bottle of wine (shhhhh!) for all us to enjoy. While the kids enjoyed playing by themselves (Thank God Adrian can somehow swim) The adults were feasting on our “lavish” spread and socializing with each other. I’m sorry I have no pics, I’m so rusty with my social skills but I’m pretty sure checking on your iPhone every minute is not on the list so I kept mine hidden in my bag.
The kids adjusted well to each other since they go to school together but the more interesting and fun to watch dynamic were the adults easing in to each other. Aside from the polite smiles and good mornings while doing the school run everyday we actually don’t know each other so trying to find the right conversation topics took awhile to warm up. Nevertheless we made it work. Mommy A was such a gracious host I don’t think anybody felt left out. By early evening we had to cut it short since it was time for bed for our little ones. The boys didn’t want to go home, of course mine was extra vocal about his feelings even suggesting we continue this “party” in our house! We left the get together with such high spirits and positive energy (with a bit of a buzz) from the fun and relaxing afternoon. We made plans of doing this again next weekend but sadly we are leaving this week which made me regret it for two seconds 😉.
I do hope Adrian gets to see his nursery friends once again but the fact remains that they will all go to different schools come September. But if this get together has taught me anything it’s to always say YES to new experiences and open my doors to new possibilities and friends. Looks like in this scenario, my Adrian has taught me some important life lessons for a change.
Our weekend started out with an impromptu invitation for dinner to Ajman with friends from work. Our gracious host, Mr. and Mrs. M is an older couple than most of us that it feels like they are our older brother and sister. Their family has always opened up their home to all of us that coming over for dinner feels like coming to my lolo’s house for sunday lunch.
They are renting out a 5 bedroom villa out there for the same price as a 3 bedroom flat here in Dubai. But because they are a bigger family the 5 bedroom fits them perfectly. They even have a music/theater/entertainment room upstairs that houses all of Mr. M’s musical instruments and gadgets.
The kids were busy playing by themselves that they were in their own little world (my two boys included 😉), the bigger boys were engrossed on their conversations outside by the lanai and the women and I were relaxing at the dining room watching tagalog movies back to back to back and eating whatever Mrs. M serves in front of us 🐷. The dinner was so much fun we decided to stay the night at their place and stay until late afternoon the next day.
It felt like food was just coming out of the kitchen every hour I was already feeling sorry for Dara who had to was all the dishes again and again and again. But aside from this you know that this was my kind of weekend.
On the drive home it gave me a little time to be grateful to have friends from DW that also feels like family. In this place where sometimes it feels like it’s just the four of us, it’s nice to be invited for dinner just because they want to reconnect and see each other. We truly had a nice weekend at the M’s even if not one of us took showers and changed clothes for 24 hours.
Mental note: next dinner at Ajman, I'm going to be packing the boys and myself an overnight bag.
With two tots and no nanny, a romantic dinner for Valentine’s day is out of the question. But we celebrated heart’s day with the next best thing, a fun evening with dear friends. My Belles (related post: Saved by the Belles) spent the evening of romance with Mexican food and kids running all over the place. Definitely not your typical valentines night out.
I decided to keep the dinner simple with a Taco bar, which required me to buy the condiments and serve. Guest make their own tacos so I could just sit, relax and enjoy the evening (genius noh?). I wish I could take credit for this idea but this is how we had tacos with my cousins when we were growing up. 10 children with different palates this was how my tita Gilda✞ (miss her much) made all of us happy.
Sharon, was supposed to make the Guacamole but ended but bringing an ice cream cake which to any dessert loving, unhealthy eating mama like me preferred over guac any day! It’s a long story how the guacamole turned into a cake but that’s why I love Tita Shawie she tries her best but is honest enough to say “No!, I can’t do it! Let’s bring cake instead“. The talented and ever so posh Tita Carina made the chicken fajitas which I think was the saviour of the evening because Tacos alone for the boys simply will not suffice. She also brought red velvet cupcakes, which turned slightly pink but was yummy nonetheless. Plus I ordered Tres Leches cupcakes from Cakes Couture by Annie. She even made the cupcake topper of Mexican hearts with no extra charge!
Mexican food is often seen on food trucks and is generally thought of as street food in America so to host this type of evening just means “fun eating”. With the make your own taco concept it gave my guests the option to make as much as they want and however they like it. Because I was also not willing to wash a lot of dishes, this type of food made me get away with serving paper plates and plastic cutlery to my guests. Something which would make my dear Tita Gilda✞ turn on her grave.
The kids having their own room to play enabled them to have a safe and fair amount of distance from us leaving the adults to have some quality time chit chatting about nothing (hehe). Of course the little one still clings on me like moss to a tree but I did not let this bother me while I listen and join in on the adult conversation. I shy away from having people at the house because I feel like I cannot entertain them well with the two boys always on my tail. But with my dear belles I feel like I can just chill and be myself and they will definitely understand without judgement. It’s my first official hosting gig of the year and in this new house too. This venue made me relax more because the boys were in their own turf less stress on myself that they might break something of value.
We ended our evening planning our next gastronomical adventure which was going to be Thai themed. I volunteered to make the Pad Thai, Tita Carins will make the Tom Yum, even Tito Ed chimed in and volunteered to make pineapple fried rice our ever dearest Tita Shawie will bring the fish sauce! (hehe I kid tita Shawie because I love you!)
To end my post, I want to leave you with words from my friend Jane Austen:
My idea of good company is a company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.
And my Belles are definitely good company! Until next time my dear Belles. Much love.
P.S. Thanks to whats app, we can tease each other and share cheesy texts to each other almost everyday along with the founder of the group, Cynthia from Bahrain – which is the craziest one of the bunch (shhhhhhhhh!).
For the longest time I think I was in denial about the fact that our children will be a reflection of us, their parents. I wanted to believe that our children will be a better version of ourselves. That if I teach them the right way and all the good qualities I want from a human being, then they will grow up to be perfect people (molded by me/us).
But the reality of this is they don’t really fall far from the tree. They unconsciously copy our actions and words and unless we as their role models change ourselves they will always turn out as our mini me.
This has never been proven more true to me than today. I visited a friend who has children almost the same age as mine. Her eldest, let’s call her G (for their privacy) has always been very accommodating. Similar to the vibe I get from her parents when we visit their home. I remember one time we went to their house and she immediately set up their living room to a picnic like setting with real Oreo cookies and milk for her and Adrian. This was the first time I thought to myself that although maybe they don’t teach her directly to do this she mimics her mother and father unconsciously. Today as we were leaving their home she sets up a care package of sorts in a plastic bag, with juice, milk, crackers and biscuits for my boys. Again I thought to myself wow! she’s amazing and raised so well. I salute her parents for being who they are and for being a good example and showing this little girl how to be a caring and warm person. As one of her godparents, I am the lucky one to call her my god-daughter.
All this deserved admiration to G made me think of my own boys, what characters of mine will they unconsciously copy. My anti social ways, my OC tendencies (kinda too late for that Adrian has OC tendencies already), my procrastinating, etc (let’s not dwell on the negatives please haha). But seriously, this really made me think, maybe Adrian is who is because he gets it from me, maybe Aden is who he is because of me. Maybe the next time I point out my children’s flaws to others I should be careful because the truth is …
the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Today, Arnie has had the honor to be this baby’s godfather.
Choosing for our boys’ godparents we wanted somebody who was close to us and someone who we imagine would still be in touch with us in the next 10-20 years (Thanks to Facebook that doesn’t seem so hard nowadays). To be chosen as a godparent ourselves makes us feel honored and appreciated.
I think with living abroad, Arnie and I have somehow avoided being asked to be ninang or ninong of our friends children back home. So with the very few god children that we do have, we cherish them and love them like they were our own.
The latest addition to our family is baby Isaac, Ryan and Roze’s second son. I love the story where Z, their first born, out of the blue told his mama that the baby’s name was going to be Isaac and it was a very good name at that (I can only imagine Adrian given the chance to name his younger brother would probably go for OSO or Handy Manny or worse GUMMI BEARS!).
So in this very special day please allow me to say a few words…
We are very honored to be chosen to be a part of your life. Your ninong Arnie and I will always be here for you to help you and guide you to grow up to be an awesome man of God. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers and love you as if you were our own.
With much love on this special day,
Ninang Nix and Ninong Arnie