Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Had to Cry

After a visit to the doctor for a shot, MC proudly showed us her reward from Papa for being a tough girl. She chose a horse figure to go with her collection of horse and other similar items.

And then she came to me for a hug. 'I tried to be tough, Mama. But because I was really afraid especially when I saw the needle, I had to cry,' she said. As I repeatedly been telling her, it is okay to cry when you are afraid. The thing is that you were tough enough to go through the experience because you know that you need it.

She cannot resist to add, 'the people in the clinic said I was not so loud like IC's visit the last time!' Six-year-old IC heard it and she acknowledged that she was really loud the last time because she was afraid, too. Well, the real story was that IC doesnt want to go inside the clinic; after more than 30 minutes, we convinced her to enter. But she screamed, kicked and started boxing everbody near her so we had to get her away. IC saw the toy store near the clinic and wished for a big doll, and so bribery: she would get the big doll after the shot. She said ok. She entered the clinic bravely. Gave her left arm, and gave a much much louder scream before the needle got to her.

I know how loud it was, MC and I were both waiting in the parking lot by that time.

Anyway, upon knowing that the nurses remembers her; IC decided she would wear a wig and a costume when and if ever she would have to go to that clinic again! Brave, too, right?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Party in Our Bedroom

We just transferred to a new house. At since it is mostly a job between my husband and I, it took sometime for all the boxes to be unpacked and the furnitures and appliances to be up in their proper places. We were too busy wanting to have everything in place, that we have also excused ourselves from most playtimes with the girls.

Therefore, after finally having our bedroom in order, (we had a problem with our bed, it was too large and wont fit the narrow stairs leading to our bedroom so we had to ask someone to come and do something); we invited the girls for a celebration party, a sleep-over party. They were very excited upon hearing about the party they cannot wait for the day!

The day of the party, the girls got more excited because I told them it is a surprise party. They are not allowed to go inside our bedroom until I said so. After dinner, while the girls are getting ready for bed; I locked myself in the bedroom and prepared everything.

I placed a red table cloth in one corner, with four wine glasses and table napkins. Prepared fingerfoods of nuts and chips plus bottles of wine, water and juices. And lighted a candle, turned off the light and turned on the television to a kiddie channel. It is a party, right?

The girls came knocking loudly, and when I asked them to enter -- they screamed with delight. Oohed and ahhed when they saw the TV on and the food and drinks available. Of course, IC had to ask, 'But mama, you said we are not allowed to eat inside our bedrooms, right?' I explained that since this is a special party, some food and drinks are allowed :-D

We had fun watching TV together, talking during the breaks and munching and drinking away. It was real late when we closed our eyes because we also finished a board game.

But it seems the girls just cant get enough, the next day they already asked for another party date in our bedroom!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What could we do just in case?

The videos and photos of the earthquake and the tsunami and the nuclear crisis in Japan are shocking and overwhelming. But still, I couldnt help but sit still and listen to the news on the radio; turn on the television to watch everything, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.

Even if the news channels would repeatedly feature the ghastly images during the time of the destruction, I am glued on and repeatedly feel mixed emotions: shock, fear, pain, disbelief, acceptance and sometimes, calmness, too. But I also hurt everytime I hear a story about parents looking for their kids, especially the video of one man shouting his son's name in the rubble. That would always bring tears in my eyes.

What could we do just in case, something like that would happen to us? To be frank? I dont know. But as a believer, I know that prayers would help.

Yet sometimes I do panic. Should I start collecting candles and asking the priests to bless them? Should I start filling in plastic containers for blessed water to keep around the house? Should I collect all our religious figures and rosaries and have them be blessed just to be sure? Should I start going to the church every first Friday, and every Sunday at that? And I figured, maybe we would be blessed with survival because I have been praying the rosary almost everday. Those are my first thoughts just because I am raised to believe.

I admit to being practical, too. I would unconsciously run through our cupboard and the freezer, and would think about hoarding basic necessities such as water and non-perishable goods. In fact, I have also thought about buying goods that need not be cooked just in case electricity and gas would be rationed. Then I would shake my head and console myself and tried to be contented with just having enough for the whole week, the whole week for now.

Oh, didnt I tell you that my husband could just be one of the victims of Chernobyl? That day in 1986, since almost no information was given out and it was said that it is safe for the German people to move about as there would be no affect from radiation, he was working in the garden. He remembed that it rained that day yet he continued working outside. Is he a victim? He isnt sure yet some people who we talked to said they have throat problems, in fact, most of them have been operated on and they blame Chernobyl. And they did say cancer is one of the result of nuclear radiation? And that the cancer would only appear years after being exposed to radiation? If that is so, my husband is indeed a victim. We just discovered that the Big C is now in our house.

By the way, the old nuclear power plant of Philippsburg in Germany, which has been shut down until further notice; could be seen from our windows. Should I really, really worry?

And how could I complain and rant and whine about the Big C invading our home when I am always confronted with what is happening to Japan?

I cannot complain because my family are with me, we have enough food, there is electricity, there's water, we have the freedom to move around and enjoy the fresh air.

That is why I sit still and listen to the radio and watch everything on television and whisper prayers. I talk to my family, bond with them and we comfort each other and hug them with prayers in my heart.

After that, I close my eyes and let go and pray -- for healing, for peace, unity, and love all over the world.

And I specially pray for the faceless 50, the power plant operators, who are working to save Japan from natural disaster; and yet exposing themselves to danger.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My New Found Love: Gardening

I already blogged about our fruit and vegetable gardens. And talked on how we love the convenience of  picking fresh fruits and veggies in our backyard. And of talking walks to my father-in-law's bigger garden in the mountain near our place. I do love the fruits and the veggies.

You see, I never had any interest of doing the dirty work involved in making them flourish. It was always my husband, a hobby gardener, who would always do the job. I am always in the sideline giving him tips and suggestions, serving him snacks; oh I do volunteer to water the plants once in a while. But that was that.

And then we transferred to a new house. With a great view, encompassing our garden and beyond. Who wouldnt be inspired to make the garden an oasis of fruits and veggies; with a nook for relaxation and barbecues? Although the house has been renovated, the big garden was neglected for more than two years. Despite that, the girls found trees to climb; bushes to take cover into; and discovered there used to be fruit-bearing plants and trees.

Therefore, when the forecast was warm; I decided to help my husband start with the garden. He wanted to start a herb and spices corner for me in the corner near the kitchen. I wanted to clear the stone path down into the main garden.

At first, I had to ask my husband where and how to start; afraid that I would damage the garden further. He said to just use the scraper to scrape the mud and the thick, heavy leaves off plus the handbroom and the shovel. I had wanted to use the long brush, but it was the wrong choice because the leaves and soil were heavy. I also used gloves to protect my hands from some thorny plants.

I worked along with my husband, enjoying the sun and the different smell in the garden. Despite being dirty, it was fun! In fact, it was my husband who had to discourage me from working the whole day. Well, I gave in. Because to be truthful, I could already feel my body complaining from all the unusual movements it had to undergo while gardening.

Yet, I am raring to do it again. Next job is cutting the overgrown bushes. I cant wait!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Nine-year-old's Baked Potato Recipe

MC's intense love affair for cooking continues. MC's kitchen interest is more intense, after the Nutrition Month. In fact, I was invited during their graduation day wherein the whole class created a buffet and invited their families. It was well-attended and the food was good; all prepared and the buffet table decorated by the third graders.

And her six-year-old sister's following on her footsteps, too. Another favorite recipe is the Baked Potato, because it is easy and have very simple ingredients; yet very aromatic and delicious. We have served the dish two times during dinner with guests and they loved it.

Here's the Baked Potato recipe:

1/4 kilo cubed potatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Put into a big bowl. Add the olive oil, chopped chives, salt and pepper. Mix well then transfer the potato mixture in the oven pan. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Then place the oven pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes turned golden.

Oh and since MC and IC are cooking together, MC reminded her sister about the golden kitchen rules before starting their job in the kitchen which involves:
- jewelries of any kind should be removed
- hands should be properly washed
- an apron is a must
- a dish towel should always be ready
- gather all the needed ingredients together

Cooking is really fun for them. I am proud because it is also fun seeing them enjoying themselves.