GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD EATS

IMG_7392

Appetizers for one! | 21 March 2016

While I spent the rest of last week being around the children (with comfort food at Max’s in UP Town last Friday, and getting Laz’s things ready for the new school year), the weekend was filled with adult time with some dear friends, Sunday lunch with family, tons of work (polished off 2 reply-affidavits in a row!), and good food.  Oh there were rages still, no doubt, but times spent around the table were the highlights of my weekend.

I had a very late, and very long, brunch in Barcino with my best sisses, and Matujang. Barcino in BGC offers this fully loaded brunch menu until 3:00 p.m., and while the appetizers were awesome (as seen above), my paella was so-so and the crepe was a mess.  It was a great afternoon, surrounded by people I love – dear friends who knew me well before all the hoolabaloo. Then in the evening my Neigh picked me up for dinner in nearby Forget Me Not.  The spaghetti with meatballs was too sweet, but I loved my caesar’s salad, the molten chocolate cake and tea we had for dessert, and the pep talk.  The next day, the boys and I had Sunday lunch with my folks, who ordered pizza before we all settled down to watch another episode of Miss Marple, and one episode of Band of Brothers (at Laz’s request).

And over in virtual space, there was also my ever-present accountability partner, JPA, and my 1-Magalang group, who never fail to lift my spirits.  It’s still tough going, but it’s a relief to be enveloped in the warmth and safety of a very different, but equally satisfying, kind of love.  Thank you, God.

IMG_7394

Monsky, Matutrina2, Matutrina 1, and Momsy | 21 March 2016 (in Barcino)

IMG_7397

Demolished! | 21 March 2016 (in Forget Me Not Cafe)

Advertisements

MORE COLOR, PLEASE

11:30 in the morning! Surprisingly, even Manong Laz (brown as a nut from swimming) went down for a morning nap with Alo. | 19 May 2016

I’ve always been a little obsessed with making sure my kids get to try different things, and collect as many wonderful memories as possible.  I had a great childhood with very hands-on and very intentional parents who exposed my siblings and I to J.R.R. Tolkien, trips to Batangas and to see the Mona Lisa, art lessons in Vaalbeek, music lessons, no TV on a weekday rules, picnics in Parks and Wildlife, Archie comic books, and chores at home.

I guess I just want to make sure Laz and Alo can look back and feel secure about their childhoods  too.  That’s why I had all those categories in my old blog – exploring Manila, art attack at home, little field trips.  I know our lives have taken a little detour these days, and it’s a bit jarring to discover your supposed life partner was not as interested in the children or the family as much as you thought.  But life goes on, you know?  My kids are still kids, and I need to go back to planning to try to inject more color into their lives. Aaaand since I am a relentless list-maker, here’s my list of things to do with the kids each year:

EVERY YEAR, WITH THE KIDS (Pick 12 out of the 20 activities below; at least 1 activity per month):

  1. hit the beach at least once a year
  2. watch a play, musical, or show for children
  3. visit a play area or indoor interactive fun/educational park
  4. visit a museum
  5. visit a zoo, an aquarium, a butterfly farm, or any place with animals (including dinosaurs, teehee)
  6. staycation in Manila
  7. try something new with the kids (like go-karting, RC or driving range, bowling, throw a pot)
  8. take a class or have lessons in the summer – not necessarily related to school!
  9. visit a historical or memorial site
  10. attend a sports event
  11. have an outdoors adventure
  12. visit a park or green space in the city
  13. go to an amusement park, carnival or “perya”
  14. go to an art exhibit, art fair, craft fair, or art gallery/museum
  15. explore a new city or town in the Philippines
  16. spring clean and sort their toys and clothes, and personally take their donations to an orphanage or children’s home
  17. travel abroad at least once a year
  18. day trip or overnight at a swimming hole
  19. go to a bazaar
  20. have an “appreciation” day for someone in the family, with the kids preparing everything for this little celebration

I think the list above is more doable than actual weekly field trips, especially since some weekends Laz just really prefers vegging out at home.  I hope the activities above will create a lot of bonding moments with Laz and Alo, but I’ve also been reading up on how to be more intentional (like spending 15 minutes a day at least, focusing solely on 1 kid each time).  I know being intentional is a day-to-day thing, and not a once a month thing, so I hope I can rise to the challenge.  I’d also like to create some traditions, for birthdays, New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, etc.  I mean, who doesn’t love traditions?!

Here are a list of resources I found and liked online, on what to do with your kids, and how to be there for your kids:

There are still Easter, last and first days of school, and Halloween traditions!  We’re going to be busy!

We can do this, my sons! | 16 March 2016 (in Rancho)

MASTER’S BEDROOM: The Bookshelves

masters-shelves1

A week ago I posted in IG a photo of my book shelves slash “entertainment unit” in the master’s bedroom.  I’m using quotation marks on that because I have my television set there and dvds, but I actually am not big on watching TV for entertainment.  I’ve since swapped out the sweet little crystal vase where I kept the mums I got for Mother’s Day for that green glass candle stick, but basically everything else has remained the same.

I think it looks neat (as in tidy), and I’m satisfied with it for now, especially since there’s still the rest of the house to move, pack and unpack, but there are a bunch of things I want to add and change.  Oh and please excuse the flap of brown sticking up on the left second shelf – that’s brown cartolina!  Hehe.  I’m always paranoid with putting down books or dvds on newly painted shelves, so I have them lined with paper for the first few months or so.

What I am most enjoying about moving in to this new house is that I get to really declutter and weed out the things I no longer like or use.  I want to make sure every corner, every single object, in this home sparks joy (as this blogger who did the Marie Kondo clean up shared – love that post!).  So I’m taking my time (or as much time as my parents will allow me, as they’re rearing to sell the old house where I used to live).

The thing about these shelves is that they’re the first thing I see when I wake up, and the last thing I see at night, so I especially want to fill up this corner with all things I love. You can see my To-Do List still for this corner, right after the break:

Continue reading

REDUX

I’m back.  We’re back.  I’ve had a hell of time.  I’m not out of the woods yet, but the urge to write again confirms that I have finally begun to move forward.  I got hit hard; most days, I find myself still bewildered by the cruelty and wickedness that hit my family, my marriage, and my life.  There are things I want to put behind me, but there are also things I do not want to forget.

I refuse to shut down our family memories, especially for my kids.  There are still so many stories to share, big and small, and so many milestones in spite of the ugliness recently.  Like Laz learning how to swim this summer, and Alo joining his first toddler class, and moving into a new house I love.  I don’t want that cloud to keep hanging over our lives, defining our present days or our future.  And these days have been lovely, and blessed, in spite of everything.  I want my kids to still have this space online, so that my boys can laugh, and giggle, and reminisce about how we once were.  I want my sons to remember that we continued to love and to thrive – that they did not break us.

Thus, Blue Roundabout.  Roundabout because life has been circuitous lately.  And Blue as a tribute to our old blog; it doesn’t quite feel right to revive it.  After all, that world is not our world anymore, not exactly.  Our family has changed.  So this is something new.  Not precisely a rebirth, but a continuation of sorts.  Altered, but still here.  Just like my family.