My Little Heart

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Lookie what arrived in the mail during the weekend! Thank you so much Kuya C. for the Christmas present. Elmo was quick to claim it for himself; he calls it The Baby Heart Book.๐Ÿ™‚

And in many ways, he is the “heart” to his parents’ “brain” personas–our *tangible* source of joy, hope and excitement in the otherwise bleak and boring world of “adulthood.” ๐Ÿ˜Š

Heart and Brain are characters from The Awkward Yeti webcomics by Nick Seluk. They represent the constant struggle between reason and emotion. Although technically~~physiologically that is~~both reason and emotion reside in the brain; the former in the neocortex particularly the frontal lobe, and the latter in the… limbic system! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Ah, but then, that would make Brain be more Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, which is kinda freaky. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Or more dismembered body parts, i.e. frontal lobe and amygdala having a conversation, which would be more esoteric. Either way, I don’t think it’s cute. So for all creative intents and artistic purposes, Brain is reason (ego) and Heart is emotion (id). ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are other organ characters in the series (a second book is already out; entitled “Gut Instincts”, it features the digestive system and its components). But Brain and Heart are the most memorable and lovable, respectively (pun intended there! ๐Ÿ˜‰). From having to get up early for work and paying taxes, to chasing butterflies and slaying dragons, the situations of Brain and Heart are soooo relatable, especially at this stage of Elmo’s toddlerhood… and my midlife crisis! ๐Ÿ˜›

Thankful Tuesday

Just came back from a week-long trip in Manila. Attended a convention for 3 days, but we extended our stay to spend time with Elmo’s paternal side of the family.

Haven’t been out in a while, so it was a much needed vacation for me! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving Week. So allow me to just reflect on the things I am thankfulย for:

  • Opportunities for travel
  • Opportunities for learning
  • Rest & relaxation
  • Creature comforts
  • A placeย to call home
  • My wonderful husband
  • My sweet and darling son
  • Salvation
  • God’s provisions
  • God’s protection

* * * *

This post also filed under “Top Ten Tuesdays” of The Broke and The Bookish, which is also Thanksgiving themed.

Our Own Little Walk of Fame

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Took this picture of Elmo’s footprints. I did mention in previous posts that we were having works done on the house, one of them was a covered walkway connecting the garage to the side door (which leads to the kitchen). As the workers were already paving the walkway, we requested that they allow Elmo to stamp his footprints on the cement while it was still wet. ๐Ÿ˜›

Would have wanted for handprints as well, but he was being fastidious at that time and didn’t want to get *dirty*. ๐Ÿ˜› He is pleased with the “finished product” though and would point to his foot prints, exclaiming “My feet!”

When he’s older, I intend to take a picture of his much bigger feet beside his tinyย footprints.

Christmas Wishlist 2016

The Christmas vibe came early this year for me.๐Ÿ™‚ Unlike last year when political ads andย jingles pervaded the air, I am hearing more Christmas songs this time. Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas album is playing *en loop* in the car, pero hindi sya nakakasawa.๐Ÿ˜› I personally like “The Sound of Life”and “Mary’s Boy Child.” Elmo likes listening to “A Wish on Christmas Night”, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and the carrier single “Christmas in Our Hearts”! Sometimes, he’d let me sing those songs to him. Buti na lang Jose Mari Chan’s songs are so easy to sing along–no birit required. And they are soothing too, actually.๐Ÿ™‚

It’s also colder now.ย (Cue music: “Malamig ang simoy ng hangin… Kay saya ng bawat damdamin…” ^_^)

The Christmas spirit was only slightly dampened by Super Typhoon Lawin, but was immediately restored. And after that storm, I am just grateful more than ever that my loved ones and I are alive and unscathed (because one can be alive, but still broken๐Ÿ˜ฆ ), and our house only sustained minimal damages (the northeastern door of our house got ripped off). This renewed sense of gratitude and the recent reminder ofย what matters mostย has made me look forward to Christmas all the more.๐Ÿ™‚

But that doesn’t mean I am not participating in any exchange gifts this year. So for the sake of my Secret (and Not-So-Secret) Santas, here’s an updated version of my wishlists from Christmases and birthdays past! Just so you know what to get me whichย I will definitely find useful.๐Ÿ™‚ NO MUGS PLEASE, except if they are Cath Kidston.๐Ÿ˜› No clocks and picture frames too! And lest I be considered choosy or an ingrate, allow me to explain: We still have a couple of extra clocks we don’t know where to place. Same goes for the picture frames. I’m still figuring outย our wall layouts. Dapat final na when you decide to bore holes on your walls and hammer the pegs, hence the indecision.๐Ÿ˜›

My Christmas Wishlist for 2016:

  1. FunKo Pop TV toy figures ofย Mulder and Scully.ย FunKo POP dolls are so cute! I’m contemplating whether or not to include Harry Potter as well, but I would have to throw in the whole gang into the mix. (Because I’m a completist like that.๐Ÿ˜› )
  2. Scully’s crucifix pendant
  3. These anatomically correct heart, ribcage & ECG pendants,ย from Bijoux de Lou.
  4. A small and cute Korean “perpetual” planner. Or–and this goes our to the usual suspects–the Starbucks Blue Siren 2017 planner.๐Ÿ˜‰
  5. A large and pretty desk calendar
  6. Lip and cheek tint from The Body Shop
  7. Virgin coconut oil
  8. Washi tapes
  9. Label-maker, Brother brand

I didn’t include books coz I’m still doing some “Konmari” onย my little library. Will probably come up with a separate blog post on my “Book Wishlist” in the future.๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope in Uncertain Times

And just like that the storm has passed. We’re still dealing with the bands, but at least the worse is over. Thank God for the Sierra Madre which broke the winds.

Terci woke up in the early morning, and together we kept vigil as the eye of the storm passed over us; it was a momentary period of calm. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Elmo got awakened by the loud banging of the doors and windows, but was consoled back to sleep. I was also able to sleep already after that, but only for a couple of hours.

Woke up this morning to find puddles outside our room.

Terci: Oh there’s water on the floor.
Elmo: Yes. It went in through the windows. Because it rained for forty days and forty nights! โ˜”๏ธ๐Ÿ˜…

Aww Elmo, our little ray of sunshine in this stormy weather. ๐Ÿ˜Š I realized that although kids are dependent on adults for their physical needs, they are not useless. In fact, they are a great morale booster! Their seeming “helplessness” is overmatched by their hopefulness.

And during these interesting times (and I don’t just mean this typhoon, but all the other uncertainties in this world right now, i.e. terrorism, wars, political instability, disease epidemics, climate change), when I start succumbing to worry and fear and anxiety, I look at my son. His innocence and carefree ways are a source of cheer and strength and encouragement. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ No wonder children hold a special place in Jesus’ heart; they are a tangible evidence of God’s love and grace and promise that everything is or will be alright in this world. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

What Matters Most

I am writing this on the occasion of our 7th year anniversary as a couple. We are holed up in a hotel room. Elmo is soundly asleep. Terci is asleep as well; he is trying to stock up on strength and energy, but I can feel that he is restless with the way he keeps fidgeting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

As for me, I can’t sleep. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I hear the wind howl outside and the windows rattle against it. Neither of us imagined that seven years from when Terci first asked me out that fateful morning, we’d be spending this night na nag-alsabalutan, with a toddler in tow, on preemptive evacuation from one the strongest typhoons (literally! ๐Ÿ˜›) our relationship would have to face.

Super Typhoon Lawin is expected to wreak havoc this side of the country. At sustained winds of 225 kph, it is weaker than Yolanda which devastated Southeastern Philippines in 2014, but it has stronger gusts at 315 kph and has a wider range 800 km vs. Yolanda’s 600 km. It is predicted to make landfall in a couple of hours in neighboring Cagayan, and storm signal no. 5 has already been raised in our province. NDRRMC has been regularly sending SMS updates, warning us of a “severe danger” and to prepare for a “catastrophic event.”

Better OA than sorry.

So last night, we packed our things. One large luggage to hold 4-5 days worth of clothes. Not even my favorites nor most fashionable clothes, but those which are comfortable and practical. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ (And they are few! Coz I wear dresses and skirts more often, and my “pambahays” are so ratty! ๐Ÿ˜›)

In a smaller bag, we placed our “valuables”: legal documents, a hard drive of pictures, “The Life Application Study Bible” which was Terci’s first gift to me when we became a couple, and Elmo’s little devotional book.

Elmo thinks we’re going on a holiday. I caught him slipping in our luggage some choice Star Wars space ships ๐Ÿš€ and the book, “Guess How Much I Love You.” ๐Ÿ˜Š

And as for today’s gloomy weather, he has this to say “Today, the sun went to sleep. Tomorrow, it will wake up again.” ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Life and death situations (whether brought about by calamities or terminal illnesses) can force one to examine what is most important. And in the grand scheme of things, apparently my library (and for Terci, his Lego and Star Wars collection) do not mean much.

And what matters is Faith and hope and family. โค๏ธ

Tawas

“Mommy, sing Tawas song.”
“Huh?”
“Get Tawas book.”
“What?”
Enunciates it loud and clear, “TA… WAS!”
“Ah. Star Wars.”
“Yes!”๐Ÿ™‚

* * * *

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far away in a nearby room, Daddy Vader was listening and amused by our exchange. He immediately understood what his son meant. Slow si Mommy!๐Ÿ˜›

* * * *

The Tawas song, according to Elmo: “ten… ten… tenenen…”

Ennui

Attended last Sunday’s service and was pleasantly surprised to find that a former schoolmate is now a pastor of one of our Church’s “branches.” He was smiling at me before the start of the service, but I thought he was just being courteous. Even when our pastor introduced him onstage, I didn’t recognize him immediately, as he now goes by the name “Ptr. Sky.” Only when he started talking did I realize that I know this guy! He used to be a scrawny little kid, with hair ala Jose Rizal, and I know him as Kuya E. He was already a good boy back then, an altar boy even, I thought he’d become a priest.

His message comes at a most opportune time. Lately, I’ve been feeling… I don’t know, hollow? The feeling’s akin to being tired and bored. It seems like things are just routine and meaningless.๐Ÿ˜ฎ If there is a book in the Bible that describes the rut I am in, it would be Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” That would be Solomon, the wisest man on earth, waxing poetic and philosophical about it. In my current pilosopo-ical state, I am wont to ask “Anong point?”

Anong point kumayod, kung yung mga bagay na ipinupundar mo naman eh hindi mo madadala sa hukay?
Anong point magshopping ng damit, wala namang bagay o kasya?๐Ÿ˜ฎ
Anong point magsuncreen, kukulubot den naman ang balat mo?
Anong point magpakabuti, kung maraming gumagawa ng masama?
And sometimes they are even more prosperous and powerful because of their bad deeds.
Anong point mag-invest sa relationships, umaalis den naman ang mga tao? Whether by choice or circumstance.
Anong point ng buhay sa mundo?ย What is the meaning of life?

I am neither sad nor suicidal, so I don’t think this is depression… at least, as per DSM IV criteria. Could be Seasonal Affective Disorder coz it’s been raining the past several days and I am in dire need of some sunshine… Or a vacation. Or perhaps I just have too much “thinking” time on my hands to mull over things.

Anyway, listening to the message sure jumpstarted my mood. I hope things continue looking better and brighter soon.