Gabi singing Skinny Love


I Know That I Never Finished My Previous Post

I will get to it.
But first--as I prepare to run down the checklist of things to do before my niece Erica's wedding tomorrow, allow me to post a good article on relationships that I think would be most helpful not only for the about-to-be-marrieds but for everyone who values their relationships in life.





And Homemade Banana Splits After Dinner.

Today I hauled 9 bags of mulch (40 lbs each) from a pile in the store, into my cart and like a mule, pulled it behind me and loaded it into my car.
When I got home, I quickly got to work unloading and spreading it in my garden.
For anyone counting, that's now a total of 18 bags I've shlepped since Saturday.
Although the girls spread the first batch for me last Saturday, Kika did 7 bags and Gabi did 2.
(Perhaps Kika was doing preemptive work release/community service)

Nevertheless, I deserve this banana split.
Not only was it back braking work but I also saved a lot of money.
The first (and last) time I got a landscape service to mulch our garden they charged $300.00.
I spent $60.00 buying 18 bags of mulch and spreading it myself.
The stevedore muscles I've gained is just a bonus.

Today's lunch

Kika had a half-day today and this was the lunch I made for us.

Toasted Italian bread
Alfalfa sprouts
Sliced avocado
Sunny side up eggs
Topped with tomatoes
Seasoned with basil olive oil, salt and pepper.
(thanks to DZ for the Cooking Light Magazine)

Kika enjoyed it except for the tomatoes.
She also did not care for the cucumber/lemon water.
"the cucumbers throw me off," said she.


Last Night

All of these girls in this picture slept over Saturday night, but only four of them slept in our backyard in a tent all night long.

I appreciate the times that Gabi (and her friends) come up with creative plans.
(They paint, make videos, cook, bike, run, etc.)
Last night they decided to go camping right in our backyard.
When they asked to sleep outside, I tried to discourage them because it was a somewhat wet day.
Plus, the real crux of the matter is that we live right in the city and must sleep with our doors locked.
So I was hesitant about letting them sleep outside. (I am from Manila, need I say more?)

I seemed to be the only parent that was worried because when Gabi invited more kids to sleep in a tent with them, a couple more came over to spend the night. They survived the night despite the rain storm.

Earlier in the evening, while some kids were roasting marshmallows in our backyard, grown ups were enjoying an evening on the porch.
Then we decided to breathalyze ourselves to check our "reading."
It was a comical evening. Like a sit-com, really.
As the evening went on, anyone that set foot on the porch got breathalyzed too.

All of these girls in this picture slept over Saturday night, but only one of them is now under house arrest.

"We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance."
~Romans 5:3


This Post Is About Promposals, John Mellencamp and What I am Willing To Bet

Let me backtrack.

I was engaged and married in 1993.
When Steve asked me to marry him, I think it was the dead of winter, and we were in the back room of my sister's house in Rochester, New York.
As I recall, he sort of mumbled something about marriage and then unceremoniously handed me an engagement ring.
(In his defense, my visa was expiring...)

As the years went on, I would meet more and more couples who had an "engagement story."
Scavenger hunts through a park (granted, that couple is now peacefully divorced)
Rings in drinks,
Big signs,
Oceanside or lakeside even pond-side proposals, etc.
And like the whiner that I can be, I would turn to Steve with narrowed accusatory eyes wondering why he could not have been more creative.
He would shrug unapologetic.

The thing is, some chicks dig that.
The question is, when do you give someone what they want, even if it is not your true nature?
When should you honor yourself?

The other night, Steve and I watched John Mellencamp in concert.
We were worried that he would sing unfamiliar songs from his newest album and save his old hits for the end, but we were not disappointed.
Early in his set, John said something along the lines of,
"the next song I am going to sing, I don't really want to sing, in fact I don't know why I am going to sing it except for the fact that you all want me to sing it..."
Then he started to sing "Jack and Diane."
The crowd went wild. The entire place started singing along with him.
He stopped singing and let the audience continue....until EVERYONE (except Steve, who knew) sang the wrong verse!
So he stopped everyone and said: "that's not right."
(everyone ((except Steve)) forgot the 'suckin' on chili dog' verse.

It was extremely funny.

Anyway, I digress.
I bring this up because clearly John Mellencamp weighs what he wants to do with what is wanted of him, and apparently with the right balance--it keeps people loyal.

Let's set that aside.

Have you noticed the craze of promposals lately?
If you've not had a prom going teenager for the past 3.5 years then you would not know what this is.
A promposal is the current trend of asking someone to go the the prom in an extravagant, flamboyant and creative fashion.
I have had the "pleasure" of hosting one such promposal when K helped a boy (friend) ask a girl (friend) of hers right here in my foyer.

When I first heard of promposals, I admit I was initially scornful and dismissive of it.
And then I decided to look deeper into why I felt this way, and I realized that it touched something tender in me.
I think I was still carrying my own (this is embarrassing, I know) disappointment about not getting a creative proposal over 21 years ago! (WTH?!)

Well any drugstore shrink will tell you that you can not get over anything you do not acknowledge so I  take this as a sign of onward movement.
And as a result of upward mobility,  I have now decided to view the trend of promposals as some sort of a training ground.
The promposal type of teenagers today,  may become the more celebratory engaged couples of tomorrow (as opposed to the blase`-too-cool-to-be-demonstrative-types)--who may become the grown adults of the future that will honor their spouses/children/parents/friends in a way the recipients want to be honored.

I am willing to bet that the teenaged boy of today that steps out of his comfort zone to do a creative promposal will mature into a man that honors not only his own mother but  also his wife (if she is a mother) for Mother's Day in a way they would appreciate.

I ain' agin' it 

(that's my slang for: "I am not against it" please try to incorporate this phrase in daily conversations as I would like it to trend)

In the words of John Mellencamp:

"Hold on to sixteen as long as you can,
changes come around real soon
make us women and men...."



Life Goes On....

We will not get parents-of-the-year award since we opted to see John Mellencamp, (thanks to Simon and Denise) instead of watching G's band concert this evening.  We sent K to watch her for us, which she did begrudgingly
I noticed that although the concert crowd was lively, upbeat and about 10 years younger than the Neil Diamond crowd, I still felt confident that I could out-sprint most of them in the event of a bear attack.
Last week we were also unable to attend G's sports banquet due to life-
I asked G if people were beginning to ask if she was an orphan.
In my defense--she may be better of raised by a pack of wolves. 


Tonight's Dinner

Paul Newman brand (from the frozen section) pasta with Italian sausage.
Asparagus sauteed in garlic, onions and olive oil. 
Hardboiled egg and cucumber salad.
Lettuce wedge with hard boiled egg, tomatoes and fried cured meat.
(Not pictured) Sweet corn on the cob.


"Mother’s Day was not intended to be a source of commercial profit.”
~Anna Jarvis

I know this.
But do I want to be honored for being a mother?
Yes I do!
And I am not ashamed to solicit letters from both my daughters (or from Steve either for that matter).
You would think that I would not get any satisfaction from receiving letters that I bugged them to write, but no--the very reason I ask for it, is because I want it.
Maybe it is because I don't have many other fulfilling roles in life right now or maybe it is because I pour my blood, sweat and tears into motherhood. Whatevs.

A funny thing happened to me yesterday.
After a day of squeezing love out of my family which was punctuated by a 13 mile drive just to get a huge Dairy Queen Banana Split for dinner, a game of tennis was suggested at a nearby park.
While Steve and the girls drove, I decided to work off my Banana Split by jogging from my house to the courts (less than 2 miles away).
However, on my way there, I got a little bit disoriented.
Not wanting to run more than necessary through the hilly park, I stopped a young man at CMU to ask for directions.
The moment our eyes met, I suddenly realized that I knew him. ('tis one of my gifts)
"Max," I said.
"Are you Max?"
Completely bewildered, he nodded.
He had no idea who I was.
The last time I saw Max was ten years ago when he was a 4th grader at the school I worked at.
When I told him my name, he still had no memory of me.
I worked at that elementary school's extended day program for 12 years.
He must have felt sheepish for not remembering me because he so sweetly tried to make an excuse:
"I must have been so out of it when I was young," he started to say....(he is from CMU, I doubt that).
I just laughed and asked if we could take a photo to send to my friend Suzanne, who was the Program director when I was there. He so cooperatively obliged:

I take great pride in having connected with most, if not all of the children that went through that program--so him not having any clue as to who I was could have been a blow to my ego.
But as I ran the rest of the way to the tennis courts, I pondered.
A 9 year old male brain has no desire nor inclination to organize and store relationships not necessary for survival. (And come to think of it, it is no different for a 50 year old male brain either).
I also realized that when I left my job in 2005, I did that so I could focus all my energy and attention on being a mother.
And last night, when  K FINALLY deemed me Instagram-worthy of a Mother's Day post shortly before midnight,
I knew that I made the right choice.

#PMM (#proudmommymoment)