Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Graveyard Book

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

I love Neil Gaiman. I fell in love with his works during college when a friend lent me a Sandman comic. When I finally had the means to do so, I bought the entire Sandman collection (from 1: Preludes and Nocturnes to 10: The Wake) and if I find anything else out there, I buy and will buy them. I love reading stories about The Endless and in my opinion, they're the best stories that Neil Gaiman had ever created.

But I was wrong.

I first read about The Graveyard Book at Neil Gaiman's site last year. As I was not expecting it to be out in the Philippines soon, I forgot about it until I saw it at Powerbooks while I was looking for books to read for our KL trip. I started reading it at the airport while waiting for our flight and finished the book halfway during the 4 hour flight. I was surreptitiously wiping my eyes afterwards as I cried during the last few pages. It was the best book that I have read in AGES (after being disappointed by Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, it was a welcome reprieve)!

What I basically love about it is the premise of the story. It talks about a boy named Nobody Owens or Bod for short, who escaped from being murdered by the person who killed the rest of his family when he was a baby. He was adopted and raised by an old ghost couple living in a graveyard and he has an undead creature as his guardian who brought him food and taught him his letters. The ghosts and his guardian kept him safe inside the graveyard and forbade him from stepping out of his sanctuary with the fear that his life is still in danger with his killer still looking for him.

It was a great ending, with the boy getting his "justice" 15 years later and claiming the freedom to experience the world outside the cemetery. I don't know, but being a mother, I really found the last couple of pages really heartfelt and beautiful. Bod was leaving the cemetery and it was his adoptive ghost-mother who he last saw who bade him goodbye. She sang him the lullaby that she used to sing when he was a baby and she finally remembered the rest of the words which she thought she forgot forever. And my tears just started flowing when he tried to hug her but couldn't anymore.

As I write this, I keep on getting up and looking at my son. I know it's still a long way off before he leaves the nest to experience the world and as early as now, my heart is already crying for that eventuality.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haircut


Before the haircut



After the haircut


Is there a difference? Hehehe.

Basti had his haircut yesterday at this kid's salon at Festival Mall. It's a cute shop wherein the toddler can sit in little cars and they can watch their favorite cartoon. Everything started smoothly at first with Basti playing with the car and watching Hi-5, however, he began to freak out when he heard/felt the razor. Yaya had to hold him but he kept on twisting his head.

Fortunately, it was over in less than half an hour. The haircut's more expensive compared to an adult haircut but we somehow expected it. Their stylist was really patient and really knows how to deal with toddlers who doesn't seem to like to have their hair cut.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Basti!



My dearest Basti,

It's been a year since you were born and it has been one very eventful and wonderful year.

I never thought that I will be blessed with a baby but God is good to grant me my fervent wish. You brought more joy in the lives of your Daddy and Mommy and we are so proud to be called your parents.

We strive to provide for your every need. When you got sick, we stayed up almost throughout the night sponging you down praying to God that your fever will go down; praying that instead of you suffering, I'll be the one to suffer. My heart broke with your every cry. My hands soothing your brow and your back.

As you grow up to be a strapping, bright, intelligent and successful man that we dream that you'll become, I pray that we, as your parents, will be able to guide you to the best of your abilities. I pray that you will become a selfless man. Someone who will put other people's needs above your own.

And when the time comes that you leave the safe haven of our arms to find your own way in life, I hope that you will come back someday to at least give me a hug--the kind of hug that you have reserved for me.

May God bless you, my son. Remember always that I love you.

Mommy

Monday, January 25, 2010

Walking Basti

video

Basti is now walking. If I'm not mistaken, he took his first steps right after the new year. One or two steps and adding to it everyday. Pretty soon he was walking around his room.

This video was taken on Sunday, Jan. 24 when his cousins and aunt/uncle came over for a visit. He was very excited to see everyone.

My son is growing up fast!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sick Basti Part Three


Ever since Basti was born a year ago, we only had three unscheduled visits to his pedia. The first was when he had Upper Respiratory Tract Infection on his second month, next was early this month when he had a slight cough and cold. But so far, this recent episode was the worst. It was the first time that he contracted a fever.

The fever started yesterday early afternoon. Basti's yaya called me and told me that Basti's temperature is at 38.5. That's pretty high for his age. I told her to administer Tempra drops and I'll contact his pedia (Dr. Clemente) and Leo. The doctor said to just observe and give him sponge baths and continue with the paracetamol every four hours.

I slept in Basti's room and together with his yaya, we kept our vigil throughout the night. And boy, was it definitely the longest vigil I've ever done.

I slept at 1130 and set the alarm for 1230 for Basti's next medication. We woke him up and gave him his drops. However, he did not sleep afterwards and was very cranky. He wouldn't stay still on the bed and he kept rolling around and crying. He eventually slept at 3AM. We woke him up at 430AM for the next round but this time around, he threw up.

His temperature went down in the morning but we resolved to bring him to Dr. Clemente in the afternoon. What made me worry more was that he was throwing up everything that we were feeding him. When we got to the hospital, I think he threw up 5x already (twice on me).

According to Dr. Clemente, it's a viral infection and he could be sick of either of the three things: flu, tigdas-hangin or diarrhea. He prescribed paracetamol (even the suppository type in case he would throw up again), ibuprofen, plasil and pedialite. We tried the Plasil already and unfortunately, he still threw up even after taking it. We tried feeding him his solids and milk but he refused to take them. He even refused water. I'm at wits end already because if he still wouldn't take anything throughout the night, we have no choice but to have him admitted tomorrow.

It's already 7PM and I'm bracing myself for another long night ahead. My thanks to all those who prayed for my son and I entreat that you would keep him in your prayers. My heart bleeds with his every cry and I feel very helpless as a mother.

Free Boracay Trip!

I think my husband and I are the only two people left in Manila who have not been to Boracay.

Actually, I've been there before but that was way back in 1991. Based on what I've been told, it's definitely different now compared to what we've seen almost 20 years ago.

There's an ongoing contest now which I hope we'd win. It'll be great to go back and see what has changed.

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Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

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Vacation Package Inclusions:
- 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel
- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines
- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila
- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat
- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information: http://www.boracay-packages.com

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Second Overseas Vacation - Malaysia


I can't remember how we ended up with Malaysia as our foreign trip for this year and well, I can't help but compare the country with Bangkok and Singapore.

Though the guidebook indicates a lot of stuff to do in Malaysia, Leo and I were just in the capital which is Kuala Lumpur or KL. As Leo refused to go anywhere else outside of the capital, we opted to just explore the city instead. And what would you expect in a cosmopolitan city but malls--and lots of it.

Most of the malls that we visited are very high-end. First time that I saw an LV shop in each mall (well, except for Bangkok where the brand is also common). Price-wise though, Bangkok is definitely better. I can't help but convert to peso every purchase that we would make and though some of them are same if converted to peso, Bangkok is definitely cheaper. I can't wait to return there someday.

My feet also hurt from all the walking that we did. As we did not book a tour, we were pretty much left to our own devices. I don't know if that was better as we had to walk A LOT, but it made our time more flexible. I don't know though if I would want to do it again.

The hotel that we stayed, Hotel Maya, was also very impressive. It's known to be a boutique hotel meaning its furnishings are not what you would expect from a hotel. You would say that it was the highlight of our trip and I don't mind paying their rather pricey fee (it's a five-star hotel, I think).

I was taken aback though by some of its people. I bought a twister meal at a KFC at the Suria Mall and the cashier was almost rude. He was not smiling and spoke in an abrupt manner which totally turned me off. At the hotel, the person who checked us in was not very friendly. There was also no bell-boy present to help us with our baggage and show us our room. Heck, it took us a day before we found the mini-bar in our room (it was well-hidden and if my husband was not poking around, we would not have found it).

At least, we were able to experience Malaysia. For a country though that's encouraging tourists to visit their country, I can't find any reason to return.

Resolutions


Maybe my one resolution which I should've included in my personal projects for 2010 is to write more often.

2009 was pretty dismal in terms of uploaded blogposts. Not surprising as I was busy more with my baby and Facebook (I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes it's not necessarily in that order).

However, in terms of accomplished personal projects, it was the best year ever. I'm very proud of my achievements and I hope to continue them this year.

Life though is still not perfect and I don't intend it to be perfect. I'm content with the imperfections. These imperfections are what makes life worth living. What would life be if it was perfect? It would be definitely boring.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Personal Projects

Out of the 10 items in my 2009 Personal Projects, I'm happy to say that I was able to cross off almost all items except for45 #1 and #8. Not bad, not bad at all.

2009 Personal Projects
# 1. Eat healthier
# 2. Practice driving
# 3. Go back to school
# 4. Decide on my career
# 5. See old friends more often
# 6. Visit another place out of the country
# 7. Visit another place in the country
# 8. Finish our photo albums and scrapbooks
# 9. Give birth to a healthy baby
# 10. Celebrate our second year wedding anniversary

For 2010, the following our my Personal Projects:
# 1. Lose 20 lbs
# 2. Try to commute more to save on expenses
# 3. Cook more often
# 4. Successfully defend my OCE and get my MBA degree
# 5. Take up another language after my graduation
# 6. Visit another place out of the country that we haven't visited before (Hongkong or Cambodia)
# 7. Visit another place in the country that we haven't visited before (Cebu or Davao)
# 8. Take up a new hobby
# 9. Celebrate Basti's first year birthday party
#10. Celebrate our third year wedding anniversary

2009, My Year

My 2009 has really been an extraordinary year. One of the years that I will definitely remember throughout the rest of my life. This was my year in a glance.

January
I started the year with a bang by giving birth to my son on January 26. It was a life changing moment for me as I finally saw this human being that has been growing in my tummy for 9 months. I didn't really cry when I saw him but I was filled with awe that someone so beautiful can grow in me.


February
I finally learned how to drive this month. As I took driving lessons before I got pregnant, its just the matter of practicing what I learned. With Papa's permission, I took the Civic to church to fix Basti's baptismal requirements.

March

We had Basti's baptism on March 15. We only had two sets of godparents: my sister, Cheryll; Leo's brother-in-law, Chris; my good friends Cessna and Allan.




April
I decided to go back to school to finish my MBA. I drove to La Salle using my newly acquired driving skills and enrolled for the next school year.

May

Watched the David Cook and David Archuleta concert at MOA. It was one of the best highlights of the year. I've always been a fan of both Davids, especially Cook, and was an ardent watcher of Season's 7 AI.







June


Filed my resignation from SCB. I couldn't sleep the night before I spoke with my boss but I felt very relieved when I gave my resignation and he reluctantly accepted.





July

Started my new job at BDO. Had a two day orientation at Ortigas and I reported to work on July 20. I was an hour late on my first day. That was quite embarassing.






August


We celebrated our 2nd year anniversary two weeks earlier by going to Bohol. We stayed at Alona Beach Resort.Bohol met and exceeded my expectationS. It was too bad that I got sick before we went home and I had to fly with a horrible cold.


September
I finally started my STRAMA subject which is an MBA integrating course. The last subject before I defend my paper OCE and hopefully will lead to my graduation. I've already let this draw out for so long that I just want this to get over with.
This was also the month that I experienced being stuck in in SLEX for four hours due to typhoon Ondoy.

The rest of the year was a blur. Second year anniversary on September and preparing for our first Christmas with Basti and doing my Strama paper for the rest of the year.

Other than the first Christmas with Basti, Leo and I went to Malaysia after Christmas. It was our first time there and I crossed off another item from my 2009 To-Do List.