Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Talk

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once and by car forever after. ~ Peter De Vries

Okay, so I guess it's inevitable and yup the moment finally came. I felt all gooey and antsy inside. It felt like a million butterflies suddenly decided to take up a rent-controlled lease at the upper east-side of my tummy. Did I look green? Probably. Were my palms sweaty? Leaking, dear. Can I do it? Doubt it. Should I? There is no better time than the here and now. Was I going to faint? Ahhh, most likely. It felt like I was going to deliver the most important speech of my life and dear me, I think I'm going to puke!

It was the moment moms and dads are dreading. It was time to talk the talk. About the birds and the bees and err if kissing could make you cough up babies. My nine-year-old daughter was looking at me strangely with raised brows, as if saying, "Well?". I swallowed hard.

I remembered the very same talk I had with my mom way back then. I thought she was going to faint too! She looked so uncomfortable and green that I wanted to spare her the trouble. You see for the longest time I thought I was err a-sexual (neither a boy nor a girl) but my mom thought it was time for me to realize that I was different from my brother and cousins. And that it was not appropriate for girls to outrun the male members of my family in a race and that it was totally unbecoming of a young lady to be better in skateboard and go-carts and yup even archery! No no no! It just wasn't done.

So I had to sweat it out in that wooden chair while my mom, struggled, ever so poorly to explain to me the wonders of the female body. When I told her, " I got it covered mom, you don't have to tell me anymore." She looked relieved and yes dear folks, scared! I looked at her eyes and read her every thought. How come she knows already? Who taught her? Does she--? Did she--? LOL! And before she suffers a heart attack, I told her "Mom, our science teacher told us about it. Don't worry I'm cool with it." It was only then that she breathed a sigh of relief. "Well okay, just let me know if you have any questions okay dear?". She kissed my forehead and ruffled my long black hair. Ahhh it was over.

"Mom?" my daughter's voice brought me out of my reverie. Here goes nothing! So I proceeded to tell her about er the wonders of the female body and her eyes were growing bigger by the moment. Nope, I did not tell her specifics. I just told her how to take better care of herself in case the time comes. And as I was talking to her, in a level that she will understand I begin to feel comfortable. My great love for her, took over. I wanted her to know as much as her little nine-year-old mind could fathom because I wanted her to be safe and ready for anything. Armed with information, well not too much information, but valuable ones. It was done I made it! LOL! And I did not faint.

I hugged her tight and she hugged me back. Awwwww! My little girl is growing into a young lady. And all of a sudden I feel sooooooo old and ancient.

A little girl was asked where her home was, she replied, "where mother is." ~ Keith L. Brooks

PhotobucketI love you mom!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Power of Prayer

"Seven days without prayer makes one weak." ~ Allen E. Bartlett

The family I grew up with is a family that prays a lot. No, they are not saints! It's just that I grew up knowing that prayer can sometimes - move mountains. As soon as my kids could speak I taught them how to kneel down and put their palms together and utter a prayer. Just like what my mom did when I was still a child. A prayer when I wake up, a prayer when you have meals, a prayer when you go to school, and a prayer before bedtime. And then studying in an all-girls Catholic school well, you can just imagine how many prayer times we had back then.

When I grew up, prayer has comforted me when I was weak and down. It has made me strong and brave too in the midst of aggression and I have uttered a lot of prayers of thanks for all the blessings that came by in my life. This is another e-mail that I received a few days ago, that I loved reading. I hope you will love it too.


Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"

Louise replied, "Yes sir." " O.K" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in you hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said;
"It was worth every penny of it. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs."

"God warms his hands at man's heart when he prays." ~ John Masefield

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marriage Advice - The 50/50 Myth

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. ~ Amy Bloom

Okay, so Valentine's Day came and went and I was not in the least bit surprised to hear some of my married friends lament that they did not do anything romantic on that day. Well, do you see the photo above? That's the bouquet of flowers that my hubby sent over to my office on Valentine's Day! I was sooooo tickled pink with it. I felt so loved and cherished. He took me out to dinner near the bay...just the two of us. And it was sooooo lovely to note that he can still come up with romantic ideas after ten years of being married to each other.

I received this in the e-mail a couple of weeks back and I thought I should write it down here for all my friends, married or not. This sure is an eye-opener!

Would you get frustrated after a long day at work and
as you arrive home you discover a house in total chaos
with your spouse sitting down with kids reading a book?
You've worked hard all day giving 100% to provide for
your family, can't she AT LEAST give 50% and keep the
house clean!

Would your response be different if your wife was
pregnant with twins and needed to rest most of the day?

Or have you ever asked your husband in a frustrated
tone to mow the jungle in the back yard only to
discover he had gotten up early that morning and spent
5 hours helping a friend in need move? Did you
complain that he's not doing his share in the family,
or quietly pitch in to help with the lawn?


Are We A Team?

When we participate on any team, the efforts are rarely
equally divided. For example, there may be 10 people
on a soccer team, but they all need to give 100% to win
the game, not a 10% effort.

The same is true if we work as a team on a project at
work. Based upon our skills and expertise, each team
member may carry a heavier or lighter assignment.
However, to be successful in the project, we each need
to give 100%, or our best effort, to produce the best
work product.

So it would be logical to assume that in marriage
relationships we would realize that it's never 50/50
just because there are two of us.

Sure it would be nice to draw a line down the middle of
the house and say "you clean that side and I'll clean
this side."; or do half of the laundry or mow half of
the yard. However, that is a bit ridiculous to try and
manage, let alone consider.

Then why do logical couples sometimes get caught in the
trap that marriage is a 50/50 relationship?


Give Your 100%

It's critical to realize that sometimes one gives 40%
and the other 60%. Other times both give 100% and so
forth. What may be a 100% effort for me on a bad day,
would be a 30% effort on a good day. The point is to
give all we can and communicate to our spouse if it's
going to be a "lean" or "queen" day.

On "lean days", our spouse will be better able to
understand their need to pull a bit more of the load,
or to not get frustrated if some of the load isn't
carried at all.

On "queen days", our spouse will know they can count on
us to accomplish certain things with ease. The key is
communicating if it's going to be a "lean day".


The Next Level

To take it to the next level, consider the peace,
contentment and appreciation that will flow in a
marriage where we are more concerned with the needs of
our spouse than our own needs.

I'm a mother of 5 kids, so my day starts very early
making lunches, getting my teenager to an early morning
religion class, having my personal devotional and
exercise time and then get the rest of the brood up at
6:10 a.m.

My husband gave me a wonderful gift a while ago. Since
I don't work on Fridays, he decided that Friday would
be "Mom's day to sleep in."

He gets up early to do all the "Mommy Duties", and
cooks a great breakfast for the kids. (Which Mom only
cooks on standardized testing days at school) They
wake up to the smell of sausage cooking and a dad they
don't normally see much of until the evenings.

The first week the kids were absolutely shocked...their
faces were indeed a sight to behold. As this special
day continued week after week, they began to get a
knowing smile on their face as they got ready quietly
so that Mom could sleep in and get much needed rest.
They not only saw, but participated in this family

Yet, this was not just a gift for Mom, it was a
wonderful gift for our children. It spoke volumes of
the love and care that husbands and wives desire to
show to one another.


What Gift Can You Give?

Not everyone has the time, or opportunity to change
roles on a weekly basis. However, there are many
opportunities to give both small and large gifts of the
heart to our spouse.

It's especially fun if you give a gift by doing
something that your spouse would normally, or
"traditionally" perform.

Ladies, the next time the shower drain is running slow,
how about getting on your rubber gloves, removing the
drain screen and getting the goo out of the drain.
(Especially since most of the goo is trapped because of
your hair.)

Men, when one of the light bulbs above your wife's
vanity burns out, take the time to notice and replace
it for her...without being asked. Besides, she's just
trying to look more beautiful for you.

Think of the welcome surprise by the person who
normally makes the bed each morning if they came out of
the bathroom to discover that the bed was already made
for them.

If you normally leave before your spouse, wouldn't it
be a simple, yet an appreciated gift, to scrap ice off
their car windshield?

These acts, though seemingly small, are HUGE in the
relationship bank and will pay great dividends daily,
weekly and for a life time.

So don't get sucked into the myth that marriage is a
50/50 deal. It's 100% all the time, and well worth the
effort. ~ Norie Hoover

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gifts of Love

love is a treasure
for which we can never pay...
the only way to keep it
is to
give it all away

I remember when I was a little girl I loved walking along gardens. It got me excited picking up petals, unusual leaves, weird stones and sometimes small fruits or wild berries. Oh and yes! I would catch dragonflies and lady bugs, it usually makes my mom groan when I get home with them LOL!I would put them all in a box and call them my treasures. I would keep it near my pillow and wait till morning until I could play with them again.

The next day the petals would all be dried up and of course, the dragonflies and the ladybugs would be dead but I don't know it just made me happy to go back again and look for these silly treasures. Now I could not recall what games I used to play, but I remembered pretending those things were real. Yeah, I know, those were the days...silly ones really. But I could not forget how happy I was when I was playing pretend. My mom and dad always told me I had such vivid imagination.

Today, I still like picking up things. Nope! not petals, nor dried leaves, nor strange-looking stones, well okay, a couple of dragonflies and ladybugs here and there - but only because I wanted to show them to my kids! LOL! These days I love to pick up quotes, beautiful words and nuggets of wisdom, if you must. From books, movies, poems, newspapers, sermons from the priests when I go to church, talks with my friends, wisdom from my mom and dad, lines from movies and other people. I guess from just about anything and anywhere and anyone. I have journals with quotes that catch my eye. If you noticed, there's always a quote at the beginning or end of my posts. For me, those few lines speaks volumes of experience and memories.

Tonight I was able to watch a very good film it's called
The Ultimate Gift - if you guys haven't watched it, it's a must see. And for those who already did, I hope you liked it too. It's a story about the death of young man's very wealthy grandfather. He anticipates a hefty inheritance instead his grandfather gives him a crash course on life through twelve tasks a.k.a. "gifts" sending him to a journey of self-discovery.

As for every film that I watched, even if some turned out to be crappy ones or a knock out bestseller I always try to get the good lessons or nuggets of wisdom from it, if any. And this film I got twelve gifts. Here they are:

1) The Gift of Work
2) The Gift of Money
3) The Gift of Friends
4) The Gift of Learning
5) The Gift of Problems
6) The Gift of Family
7) The Gift of Laughter
8) The Gift of Dreams
9) The Gift of Giving
10) The Gift of Gratitude
11) The Gift of a Day
12) The Gift of Love

The gifts are simple ones really, most, if not all of them we already have. I guess putting them into good use is what will make it work for us. But I think the last one is the most important, for it was the love of his grandfather that made him realize something he could never have discovered alone...the gift of love.
Valentine's Day is not only for lovers alone. It is a day we celebrate love in all it's form.
Happy Valentine's Day my dear dear friends!