How Do You Explain Falling In Love?

My seven year old boy saw some photos from my phone. They were pictures from my wedding day. One is when my father was walking me down the isle.  The other was when he kissed me and gave me away.

I explained to my boy how the wedding ceremony goes particularly that symbol of giving the daughter away. As expected, he asked me a lot of questions. I am really often amazed on what children ask. As a grown up, I appreciate their purity, their innocence and their curiosity.

He was asking these:

“Why kissing goodbye?  Why do they give the daughter away?”

“Where do the parents go after the march? Does the daughter go with them? “I explained to him that she has to go with her soon to be husband. And the parents will just have to be there to watch.

“How will you know who to marry? Who chooses the person you will marry? The girl? The boy? Both? or the parents?  But there are so many people in the world…” 

In my heart I knew one day he will know the answers to his questions. That is the time when he falls in love. I simply told him that when he is a grown up, maybe he will meet someone. They will get to know each other. They will be friends. And they will fall in love. Being together is a mutual decision.

“When I get married, will I go to another country too?”  My son knew my story how I left home. I told him that it depends. He may or may not go far away. Then he added,

“Can we stay in one house then?” And I said “No. I will live in my own house.” And I know (based on experience) that if possible, that’s what a new couple need when they’re starting their life together.

He added “Can our houses be close to each other? Can we be neighbors?” I replied, “I think that is fine…”

Then he stopped asking. I guess he had an idea, and he was satisfied with my answers.

 

 

 

UPROOTING

I am going to start off with some short definitions about the topic I am writing for today.

Choice. An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities

Decision Making. The thought process of selecting a logical choice from available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives.

For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.

Decisions can be made through either an intuitive or reasoned process, or a combination of the two. This means studying the facts and figures to make a decision, then see how you feel about it.

Do you usually find it easy to make a choice/decision or do you find it challenging?

Making choices has always been a part of life. There are simple decisions we make everyday such as what clothes to wear, food to cook, what things to do for the day.   On the other hand there are what we see as major or big decisions. These are the ones that have a huge impact on our lives and can affect not just just us but the people around us as well. I call it, life changing decisions.

Studying myself, I find it very exhausting and stressful whenever I am about to make a big/major decision in life (which is opposite of my husband who seems to be very cool with decisions).  It literally takes a lot of my time. A lot of thinking. Weighing things over. I tend to be very cautious. I have to jot things down writing the pros and cons, asking why, what, how, or even where (this time I typed them on an Excel file). I feel the need to see that I am a 100% sure of what I am about to do.  I am thinking my personality is affecting my decision-making skill  since I tend to be obsessive compulsive, detailed, and organized. I tend to be anxious too of changes and of the unknown.  Moreover, besides looking at the facts, I also take into consideration the emotions, the heart. I rationalize, and at the same time, I believe that the heart should agree too. The mind and heart should at least meet half way. So can you imagine how draining it is? I do this every time. At least in the future I know that whatever led me to that path, I gave my all to think about the decision I made. It might not be the perfect choice but it was the best one at that time I made it. So in the future, I have no reason to regret or think about what could have been (although it is inevitable to ask that question sometime).  This happened to me when my Dad passed away five months ago. It feels like just yesterday when I was hugging him goodbye. He was standing stiff and won’t even lay his eyes on me. It was a sad goodbye. He did not want me to leave but then I followed my heart. What if I did not leave home 9 years ago? I could have spent more years of my life with him. But if I did not go, I will not have my family now: my spouse and my children, who are the most important to me. I lost weight thinking about that decision and at that moment I had to do it.  As I lived my life, there was a yearning in my heart to save money and come back home for him.

I dealt with a few major decisions in my life: Who to marry, leaving my work, family, and friends 9 years ago, a decision we had to make when my Dad was dying, and something that we have to do SOON.

My husband expressed his intention to retire soon abroad. I knew this plan from years ago. His goal has always been to retire early.  I wanted it too since I wanted my Dad to enjoy his grand kids. We were thinking, usually parents are busy spending their lives working while the children are growing up. This is true since we need to provide for their needs everyday. But at the time parents retire from work, the kids are gone. They are living their own lives. I guess this what drove him to work and save more so we can retire earlier and be around our children while they are still young. And we lived a simple life, not big spenders. I know that it seems ideal and I worry about resources too, if they will be enough and if it will last until the kids are  growing up.

What perplexed me more was when my husband said he wants to do it very soon, like after a year or two. My panic alert was on. It gave me mixed emotions. How come I was not too excited and did not say yes right away? I always wanted to go back and be with my Dad but he just recently passed. Maybe I felt the irony that I see the realization of the plan and my my father did not see it happen (although he knew about it).  I told hubby to give me more time to prepare mentally for it. I told you I need to see the whole picture, all facts and figures. Remember how I approach a major decision?

Uprooting will not just affect him and me but our kids. Is this a smart move? Is this what is best for my children? I finished writing down points to discuss with hubby. Some of them have already been brought up and we have different views. We have more things to talk about.  I am sure when we ask family and friends they too will have conflicting opinions about this matter. Of course in the end, the decision is still in our hands. And as I said, I have to be a 100% sure.

I searched the web and I read that before moving to a different country, there are things to consider: family and friends, language, medical issues, safety, culture, financial, employment, shopping, and amenities. Ask yourself too why are you leaving? Determine if everything you will be leaving behind is worth what you are moving towards. He is saying back there our children will have more support group. We have brothers and sisters there, our kids will have cousins to grow with. And as mentioned more time to be with them while they are growing up. And yet, there are other factors to consider.

A fellow blogger, Tony Burgess (http://tonyburgess1969.net/)  shared to me once “Life is about change, flux, fluidity. Grace and peace in the journey.”  And I remember talking to some of my fellow bloggers about how to dance with the music or go with the waves, do not fight it or you will drown, just float, and relax. These reminders help me to relax a little bit more and not to worry much (which I naturally tend to do). I know that nothing stays the same. Change is only the permanent thing in life. Although I am afraid of changes and of the unknown, I should have faith. Home is wherever your heart is.

Saying goodbye is always sad. Especially now that I have learned to love my home now. After seven years of living in Carson CA, we moved to our new home on May 17, 2013. I took care of every detail, arrangements, and I consider it as my first home as a family woman. I felt very happy and at peace in here. I have invested emotions.  It is true what was said in the book, the Little Prince, “It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important…People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

Over the years, I have found lifelong friends who I love and I will miss a lot. I have loved the country. It has taught me a lot especially how to be independent. I  learned to do things on my own. I appreciate the culture how the people are responsible citizens ready to go out of their way to help if you are in need. I like the thought that people are not too self conscious or nosy. You can wear whatever and go to the grocery without being criticized if your clothes match or if your make up looks nice. There is freedom. I enjoy the conveniences: online shopping, the fast internet connections, the discipline on the road, less traffic, libraries and its books, the parks, and Southern California weather. I finally adapted. I adjusted and blended in.  But soon I will bid farewell.

I know if we finally make that choice, there is a lot of work/things to be done. I have already listed them down…  It will be a new chapter. Hopefully an adventure… I am worried but I am also hopeful. Pray for me. Wish me luck!

Airplane-luggage-travel

Photo credit: www.pointchaser.com

 

Winter Break

For stay at home moms out there, I know some of you can relate to this. Now that it is winter break, kids are home.  I hear voices always saying, “Look Mom, Look Mom!” All at the same time. Simultaneous. While doing chores : ) It can get crazy. Need energy boosters!!!

What Makes You Happy?

The other day I was all smiles

They delivered my new pet.

Zooming around the house,

I was singing in joy while pushing it around.

I felt very happy…

When I was a little girl I was thrilled with gifts like toys or new clothes

I felt equally the same when I got my new cleaning vacuum : )

 

This morning I had a “disciplining” moment with my boy

Just right before he went to school.

I do not like feeling mad and sad.

I felt my chest so tight.

And to relieve the stress

I started moving the furniture around.

My little girl asked, “Mommy why are you moving stuff?”

She was jumping on the couch and having a great time.

I rearranged the living room and gave it a different look!

 

Now I feel recharged.

I believe I am really getting old…

Vacuum and rearranging the house?

I feel it was unleashing my creativity.

 

Now I feel happy again.

Final Hour

Exactly four months ago at this very time the most terrifying thing in my life was happening. Standing outside of the ICU watching everything. My Dad’s final hour. 

Eternal rest grant unto Atty. Hermoso Tan Lazaro Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul rest in peace. 

Little Things That Make Me Smile

I am so amazed how my little girl (who is 3 years old and 2 months) has become potty trained! Remember around the second week of September I posted about focusing on her potty training? In three weeks she already know! So now we only use diaper at night time when she sleeps (just to be safe) and during times when I know we’ll be out of the house for a while.

At first I would regularly make her sit down, but now she tells me whenever she needs to go. I am just surprised because with my first born, it took a while before he learned. As I remember, it was almost a year for him.

Kids are so different (as most of the parents know) when it comes to personalities, learning, development. In terms of academics, my first born is way advance. Before he turned 3 years old, he already spelled, wrote, and read. As for my girl, we are still working on these things. But we are getting there : )

The little things that make me smile.

Hope something or someone is making your day brighter too!!!

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A Reflection From Potty Training

I would just like to record this milestone we have reached.This week, my daughter and I are serious with potty training. I saw the signs that she is ready, and so I pulled out the toddler potty I have been keeping in the garage. I bought it from last year. At first,  I tried to introduce it to her but she would always say “No!” I figured that she was not ready yet so I stopped pressuring her.

After she turned 3 last August 8 (the same day of my Dad’s interment), I once again introduced the potty to her. This time, she is more responsive. Since we are usually at home, I now try to make her wear some training pants. I would ask her to sit down on her little potty every now and then. Sometimes, she is actually the one who tells us that she needs to go.

cartoon-girl-sitting-potty-illustration-52776918photo credit: www.dreamstime.com

I recall when she was a year old until she reached her second year, she was just a baby. Now that she is 3, I can see and feel that she is growing too fast. Soon no more diapers (more money to save!) Soon, she will be in school, and she will be like her big brother, a big kid. There is no stopping time. It keeps going. It keeps flying fast. I wish it will slow down a little bit. I want to be in here and bathe in happiness and experience of parenthood.

Last night, my husband and I were watching the film, Up In The Air, a 2009 American comedy-drama film, starring George Clooney. There was a scene there when a guy got cold feet during his wedding. The following lines below just struck me. And I think of my journey. And I guess it is the same for most of us. How it all started and how it will end.

I don't think I'm going to be able to uh...
to do this.

  
Why would you say that...today?

  
Well, last night I was just kinda laying
in bed and I couldn't get to sleep.

  
So I started thinking about the wedding
and the ceremony,

  
and about our buying a house
and moving in together.

  
And having a kid,
and having another kid and then

  
Christmas and Thanksgiving
and spring break.

  
Going to football games, and then
all of a sudden they're graduating.

  
They're getting jobs, they're getting married.
And, you know, I'm a grandparent.

  
And then I'm retired.
I'm losing my hair, I'm getting fat.

  
And then the next thing you know
I'm dead.

  
I'm just, like...I can't stop from thinking,
what's the point?

  
I mean, what is the point?

  
The point?
- What am I starting here?

(From http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/u/up-in-the-air-script-transcript.html)

I Remember

Random memories of you often visit me 
Especially at times when I am still

Suddenly the rain pours down…

Discipline Challenge

For me, one of the most difficult challenges in parenting is imposing discipline on children.

I do not know how my parents did it. But I guess I turned out okay.  How do you really do it?  Raising good people.

I noticed that starting at age 6 (now he is 7), I am indeed tested in my ability to discipline a growing boy. Sometimes I am not sure if I am doing it right. All I know is I am doing my best to make him learn and understand things/situation given his natural temperament, his personality, intellect, and other factors that affect his learning. Sometimes it is stressful, draining my energy, makes me worried that he might dislike or hate me for reprimanding him. Generally he is a good and sweet boy. But there are really moments that he is getting on my nerves. I know it is part of raising children.  So help me God. And to all parents out there…Good luck and God bless!

disciplinephoto credit:pixgood.com

The First Month

I woke up this morning and reality hit me once more.  A lot of family and friends may forget as we go on with our lives, but as for me and my siblings, it will always be a constant mark. It has exactly been a month. Today is the 5th of September. It is hard to believe that he is really gone, and that I will never ever get to see or talk to him again. I miss him all the time. And I would always look back to that night of July 18, our last conversation. I replayed it in my head.

Everyday  I have “good” distractions. I take care of my children, my family, and my home. And I know he is very proud of that. He would always tell me that it is a very good thing that I am hands on with my children especially during their younger years. He has always believed of that important role of being a woman. My father lost his mother when he was seven. So I am sure while growing up, he missed her a lot. I hope he is now catching up with grandma, and that he is having the happiest/best time!

mother-kissing-sons-forehead-silhouette-sunset_320x170photo credit: www.bankrate.com