Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Halloween didn't go exactly as planned...

I had a specific criteria for Noah's Halloween costume this year. First, I didn't want to spend so much (after all, I no longer have a monthly salary). Second, I wanted him to be comfortable (I didn't want him to feel hot in thick, full-body covering). Third, I didn't want his costume to be very common. But most importantly, I wanted Noah to want his costume - to love it.

So I started by asking Noah what he wanted to be this Halloween. He answered, "Captain America". Okay, I admit, like Pat of 101gramsofeyecandy here, I love crafts but 90% I do in my head and only 10% actually get done (okay, maybe just 5%). So off to the department store we trekked. Noah wanted the hard-plastic mask and not the soft cloth-mask the commonly available Captain America costumes come in. He also didn't like the readily-available costume because it was light blue, not dark blue (as you know from here, Noah is quite a perfectionist). Since the mask cost about as much as the costume, I was quite glad the Captain America plan didn't work out.

So I searched Noah's cabinets for something that would work and found his eyeglasses and Harry Potter wand (which my brother handcrafted for him a while back). Then I searched the web for photos of Harry and found this.

Perfect! Coz I thought younger Harry's cape & Hogwarts uniform with the tie would be too hot to go trick-or-treating in. Plus, Noah had this Old Navy shirt in his closet already! I thought, how comfy it would be to go trick-or-treating in a t-shirt!

Armed with my internet photo, I successfully convinced Noah to want to dress up as Harry Potter. I just needed to get him round-rimmed glasses (as I said, he's a perfectionist). Just the cost of play glasses, I was fulfilling everything on my criteria!

Then... I got the call from my mommy-friend C. Turns out, another mommy-friend hatched the idea of making our boys come as Ninjago masters (the characters of the Lego Ninja show on Cartoon Network).

My mommy-friend C is a true crafter - actually doing the crafts instead of just in her head. So she made these unique costumes for the boys.

Noah's the white ninja.

Oh, and I just had to show you this. Isn't this the cutest Sensei Wu ever?

So that's how Halloween this year didn't go the way I planned. I ended up spending on a costume and Noah did not only end up going trick-or-treating in a long-sleeved shirt & vest, he also went around in full headgear! But he didn't care about the heat. He had the most fun at the back of C's pick-up with the rest of his Ninjago friends. Just posing at PhotoMania's photobooth seemed like a lot of fun!

I did tick 2 things off my list. It was a unique costume - the boys won a prize for it and one kid even approached me to ask where Noah got his costume. And Noah absolutely loooooved his costume. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.

What about you? What did your kids come as this year? Did you make the costumes yourself? Or did you go for a store-bought one?

Photos are my own and from nyctaughtme, here and here.

Click here for the costume Kris of ocmominmanila made for her daughter (yes, Kris has more DIY-genes in her than I do). Click here for previous Halloween posts.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

oops, my neurosis is showing...

Signs that my candy obsession might be a tad neurotic:
1 I always have a plastic pouch of strawberry tape in my bag. And they're for me, not the kids. In fact, I have to admit I secretly wish the kids don't ask for some. Haha, selfish!

2 I truly believe my tummy has a separate compartment for candy. No matter how stuffed I am -- as the hubby would say, "kapag kasing-tigas na ng ulo ko yung tiyan ko" (cannot be translated for my non-Filipino readers so just read as "No matter how extremely full I am..."), I still have space for candy.
3 A trip to NYC is not complete without a visit to the M&Ms and Hersheys stores. I've had photo ops with the M&Ms mascots, I drool over the huge tubes of uniquely colored M&Ms (in unique pastels, easter colors and even different shades of neutrals)...

... and I struggle with the decision to NOT buy a pair of M&Ms earrings...

... or Hershey's memorabilia (and I go through this tug of war in my head every single time!).

4 I have a Bubbleyum messenger bag that I use as my office laptop bag. I shamelessly bring it to the boardroom amid my colleagues' Prada and Furla laptop bags (Don't worry, my direct-reports still respected me, or at least they acted like they did. Hehe.).

I first spotted it in FAO Schwarz but the tug of war in my head went towards not-buy. Months after though, I regreted my decision and purchased it online.

Oops, is my neurosis showing yet again?

Photos from annnniegirl, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Oops, My Neurosis Is Showing... series.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Isabella: then & now

I was quite captivated by this series of photos. Later, I realized that I was drawn to them because they perfectly depict how Isabella is these days.

She tends to shy away from the camera.

She keeps to a little nook in the room, so quiet, you wouldn't even notice she's there...

... reading either downloaded fanfic or, like last night, The Mark of Athena.

Pretty ironic because I remember how she used to love the camera, how she would gamely pose...

... always animated & gregarious - certainly not quiet...

... and hardly ever alone. She was so sociable and desired company so much, I don't remember her ever engaging in solitary play as a child.

Truly, 15-year-old Isabella is remarkably different from her 6-year-old self. One thing that has not changed however, is her love for company. Yes, my once-chatterbox now tends to read quietly in her little nook, but it's a nook in my room. We may not be doing the same thing together like we used to, but I am perfectly happy doing our own thing - me, blogging or watching a DVD and her, reading, but both of us - in the same room. I love this...

... especially when she glances my way every once in a while.

Photos from acupofjo.

Click here for a previous post on how I get my now quiet teen to bring back the chatterbox in her.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a waiter's view

How do you treat your waiter? My mom taught me to always say thank you to the people who wait on me at restaurants. When they refill my water, I say 'thank you'. When they hand me the salt, pepper, Splenda or spoon I asked for, I say 'thank you'. But I realized I hardly ever look up at them. My eyes are glued to the menu when I order (I might as well hand them a card with my order written on it like in the photo). Or glued to my glass, my food or the person I'm eating with when I thank the waiter for refilling my water.
So a couple of years ago, when my friend B told me about this book she was reading about how waiters are always overlooked, I felt really bad. B talked about how people never look waiters in the eye, how people tend to look past them - like they were invisible. I found this really sad. Especially since I was guilty of it. I realized then that the thank-you's I was so proud of were empty if I didn't so much as looked at the person I was thanking!
Since then, I've made an effort to look waiters in the eye. When I thank them, I make it a point to also make eye contact and smile at them. I am determined to make them feel they're people and not machines, to give them some human contact in the course of their workday. I am hoping that by doing this, waiters will no longer feel invisible and overlooked because no one deserves to feel that way.
So please, look your waiter in the eye. Smile at them. We can do this. One waiter at a time.
Photo from garancedore.
Click here for a previous post on how to talk to little girls.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Today, I am unloving...

Today, I am unloving... a particular motherhood routine (see previous post about my favorite motherhood ritual here)... Because Noah's yaya (nanny) left us in June and I haven't replaced her. Am thinking 7-year-old Noah no longer needs a yaya (am afraid having one won't teach him to be independent). So I'm doing all the mothering chores these days. And the motherhood routine I've been so unloving is cutting Noah's nails. The white edge of his nail starts so low (vs. starting at the very tip of his fingers) so he mutters "ouch!" a lot when am cutting them.
And for some reason, his nails seem to grow so darn fast! I seem to need to cut them every couple of days!
To make matters worse, they're not only long, they're also really dirty!
And yes, it seems Noah is literally willing to get his hands dirty! I don't know where Noah goes or what he touches, but there is often a black line of dirt where the white edge begins. No, not close to the nail tip, but the other end of the white edge -- where the nail touches the finger, making it even harder to clean.
Gah! These days, I am unloving... cutting my little boy's nails.
Photos from i'mjustsaying.
Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am unloving... series.

Friday, October 5, 2012

dear woman whose chair is in the way

Dear woman sitting so near a wall or another chair that there isn't enough room for me to pass behind you... While I appreciate that you make an effort to lean forward,  I thought you should know that "leaning forward in your chair when someone is trying to squeeze behind you isn't enough. You also have to move your chair."* This is one case where the thought doesn't count. Even if you lean as far forward as the woman in the photo above, it's the chair that's in the way and it's the chair that needs to be moved forward.
*Quote lifted from Ellen DeGeneres' Seriously... I'm Kidding
Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

too far for comfort

As you might already know from here, when I was still working, my nightly route home included a service road that crosses the NAIA runway. The sides of the road are barricaded with runway lights. Sometimes, the traffic build-up on the service road would put my car in that exact spot and I would experience that awesome feeling of being right under a landing airplane. I just love that sudden rush - with the plane's overpowering presence with its enormous wings closing in on me and the thunderous booming sound of its engine - right overhead. The feeling is just so surreal that I looked forward to chancing upon being in that right spot on my way home every night.
But now that I've taken a break from work, I no longer have that nightly chance to feel the wonderful rush. Now, my view of an airplane is much like the photo above... from a distance. Sadly, it is just not the same...
This is definitely one of the little things I will miss about my old job that I completely forgot to include in my list here.
Yes, nowadays, the planes I chance upon overhead are just too far for comfort. 
Photo from acupofjo.