Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Moving Stress!

Ah, there is nothing like moving from one side of the world to the other.

Today is Wednesday and we leave on Monday morning. We still don't know when the movers will come to pack our things and ship them home. My husband's company (please don't include the name if you leave a comment) has been very slow about getting things done. Dwayne is very busy at work. He works this entire week, we arrive in Houston on Monday; he has to work on Tuesday. What kind of mess???

Lucy is sad because she's going to miss the kids. She said Dwayne and I are okay but she's really going to miss Danae and Brayden. And then, she cried. I felt bad for her.

I'm a little sad about leaving but excited to go back to Houston. I can't wait! More than that, I can't wait to be settled into the comfort of my own home.

Please pray that things run smoothly and that we are blessed with safe travels on the long flight home.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Have I ever told you all how much our yaya (nanny) dislikes our driver Alex? Have I ever shown you a picture of him? If not, here he is holding my baby boy.

Anyway, Lucy doesn't like Alex. He doesn't care for her much either but he's still cordial to her. She's rude to him...very rude. There's really no basis for this animosity either. Dwayne and I believe she's probably attracted to him but prefers to be mean instead. You know, like the little boy who pulls the hair of the girl of his dreams. Childish, but likely because she acts childish at times. I don't know what it is.

I've tried to ask her about it but she doesn't really have a reason. She used to get angry if we were going somewhere and he didn't know quite where the place was. He knows how to find out but she feels he should know the entire area with no mistakes. She also thinks he's a player. Maybe he is, but it doesn't affect his job performance so it's none of my business. He says she acts uppity and that none of the other staff in our building likes her either. I believe him because he's extremely nice and likeable. And, I've seen her act a little snooty with other domestic helpers before. The employees of expats are in a higher class than employees of Filipinos. Have I mentioned that this is a very classist society?

So, we had a luncheon at our house today. There are 3 grocery stores within walking distance but Lucy needed to go to a specialty store for a couple of ingredients. They are not within walking distance. She decided to take a jeepney and then asked me to reimburse her for the fare. I declined. Why? Because we have a perfectly good car and driver available to take her anywhere. She doesn't like Alex so she decided to spend her own money for another ride.

Crazy, I tell ya. They provide me so much entertainment. I'm gonna miss those crazy kids.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Friendship Thoughts

I have a friend who has been my friend since we were babies. Her name is Kim. We spoke on yesterday. Actually, I called because she was supposed to email me pictures and I haven't gotten them yet. She's been occupied with other things like her 3 beautiful children.

Oh, and the fact that her doctor thought she had cancer. For some reason, I was in shock when she told me. And, I was surprised she didn't tell me sooner. She wanted to wait until they knew something for sure. For now, they say she doesn't have cancer. But, she has to get checked again in 4 months. Most of my childhood memories include Kim...and Javares. He's already gone and I don't know how I would handle her leaving too. Granted, we don't talk nearly as much as we used to. Life has us moving in very different directions a lot of the time. But, that's still my girl.

When I was home in February, I visited one of my mother's friends. I stayed at her house for hours. She helped me realize just what a good friend my mom was. I think I knew that because she had so many girlfriends. I just couldn't appreciate that aspect of my mom. All I knew is they tied up the telephone too much and laughed too loud. But, my mother was a good friend.

At this very moment, I'm talking to Ayana (via IM) about why I'm not a good friend. I guess I shouldn't say that because I am sort of good. I'll do anything for my friends. If they need someone to clean up vomit or slash tires, I'm there. I am really joking right now, by the way. I love to laugh and talk to my friends. But, I'm not good at maintaining friendships. I rarely remember birthdays. I don't call much because I don't like to talk on the telephone. I gotta do better. I'm good in-person but if there's distance between us, I don't do so well.

When my mom died, she was surrounded by her girlfriends. I used to be a little jealous because they got her last moments. But, I think that was probably the way she wanted it. She was surrounded by the women who knew her best...her girlfriends.

To my girlfriends, expect more phone calls and visits. I just might even go on shopping trips with you ladies...just as soon as I recover from jet lag. I'll be back in Houston in 11 days!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Farm

On our way back from visiting the missionaries in Mindoro, we spent the night at The Farm at San Benito in Batangas. This place was amazing! We intend to go back before we leave the Philippines.

This resort describes itself as a "center for holistic medicine, spirituality and living foods." This place is nestled way off in the forest. We arrived at night which was a bit scary. They serve only a vegan diet and the food was absolutely delicious. For breakfast, we had tofu scramble, lentil pancakes with coconut syrup, fresh fruit, muesli, fresh juices, almond milk (which Brayden loves), and several other yummy things. You'll see pictures from our lunch later in this post.

This resort also has a spa; we didn't try it so I don't have a review. They have several medical treatments including colonics, live blood analysis, detoxificatin, kidney cleansing, liver cleansing, and more. Again, I didn't partake in these services.

They also have several events during the day. Each day begins with meditation at 7 am which we didn't attend because it was a bit early for us. Dwayne participated in the rotational meridian exercise. We both attended the yoga class. There is a stretching class, tibetan exercise, breathing and walking exercise, and probably more. We were there for a brief time and didn't get to fully experience the resort. Hence the reason we will return. Here are the pictures.

We had a wonderful 5 course lunch. I know it doesn't look like much but we were very full.

We have reservations for next weekend...alone.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Just for clarification

In a previous post titled "Danae - The Chef", I wrote:
I've noticed that some expat parents here seem to consider their children a bother and want to get rid of them whenever possible. Sad!

An anonymous commenter wrote:
I always enjoy reading your blog but the part about parents feeling like their kids are a bother is such a negative accusation to make about someone you don't know. There are so many mental and emotional things going on in everyone's life that you may not know about. So maybe those kids having a chance to relax without their parents is a blessing for them.

I appreciate the comment because I know I can be judgmental and opinionated sometimes. However, I do want to clarify something here. I didn't make an accusation with no basis for the statement. I would just like to give quotes from expat mothers that I've met here in the Philippines:
"I've noticed that you spend a lot of time with your children. Nannies are so cheap, why bother."
"I love living here because I don't even have to be bothered with keeping the kids."
"Don't you just love that nannies are so cheap. I don't even see my kids sometimes until late in the evening."
"Oh, I can't believe the nanny couldn't come today. What am I supposed to do with the kids?"
"I could live here forever. I don't have to cook, clean, or even raise my kids."

These are just snippets from conversations I've participated in over the last six months. There are some excellent mothers here so this is not a sweeping generalization. There are also mothers here who live in the same building that I rarely see with their children. I have also taken advantage of having a nanny. It allows me to go to fashion school or go shopping. But, I would never refer to my children as a bother. Yes, they can get on my nerves sometimes but I love them and love spending time with them.