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4 years in

4 days ago, 4 years of Motherhood.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Ananta Malaya…how you’ve grown!!!!

I still remember the day you were born…I always will.
A week past your estimated “due date” (as if you were some kind of scientific paper to be submitted, or a book to be returned), I was still very much pregnant!
But you knew better. In your own time, you came. You were out in 3 pushes…we made a good team!
I reckon the excitement of having watched your first movie with your Papi & I (Avatar) prodded you to come out…you are growing up to be quite the movie-buff just like him!


On your first year of life we celebrated you on the banks of the Nogalito River. A lovely Priestess honored us by officiating your water ceremony. You…our bouncing Buddha-baby, that same day baptized, were surrounded by a Circle of Love and Blessings from me – your Mami, Papi, your beloved family, and godparents. (The after-party was at your padrino Edgar’s pool.)


Year 2 came by quickly…no longer a baby for bidding the bottle and diaper goodbye, and yet, you were still barely a young child! This time we had lunch, cake and some pool-time in a cafe called Co-Exist. Indeed, as we opened our Hearts and Home to another, we learned how to that year.

At 3, once again just you & I, the world changed as words came pouring in. You could already speak your name, recognize 3 tongues, and you delighted in knowing what everything was. You had your first piñata party at day-care (with candy giveaways to match…so much sugar, oh my!), and just you and I…we swam with a dolphin and played at the (water)park.

This year you turned 4.

Four
The most basic measure of the natural cycles of time; the defining structure of any natural construct.

You are now complete within yourself, defining your own reality through fantasy and play. You now bring your creative visions into existence by defining the form in which they are to be constructed. Eg: This is how the game goes – the meerkat (whom you lovingly Zorrito, when it is really a suricata) is best friends with the cow (whose name is Vaquita, of course); or in this story, the kitten hatches from an egg and isn’t born from the Mommy-Cat.

My gentle, Little Warrior…you are growing up to be bolder day by day! You can discern between choices now, and have certain preferences sometimes different than mine! How lovely it is to see! (At this point, it still is…)

This year, as you decided to go to the waterfall instead of the pirate-boat party I originally planned for (good timing though, because it was cloudy and you had a cough)…I am continually amazed at how things turn out much better than I could have ever imagined them to be if I just follow your lead.

We went to Palo Maria this time around. Walking with a master-teacher of mine from long before you were born, I thanked the Gods once again by honoring your days in the Waters that bring Life.


Hold my hand now, Little One!
   Flesh from my flesh,
      Spirit from the Heavens
   My Living Prayer and Dream…
Lead us back to the garden from which you sprang.


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Contemplating Angels

So the Mother of the “Doobie-Brothers” that live across the office passed away the other day. That’s what we call the guys from out front that sell Herb and other stuff…thanks to them Sunday mornings smell sweet, making the day coast along like the waves.
God knows if they also consume the rest of the shit they deal; they’ve been busted by the cops a couple of times – white pick-up with  bright blue and red lights to match, but as far as I know they’ve never been disrespectful to any of us girls at work.

The day after the First Night of Mourning,  one of them was sitting on the stairs on the street leading up to our building. He was wearing the same black sunglasses he regularly uses to cover his blood-shot, sparkling eyes…that day, I’m sure that no matter how much he smoked there wouldn’t have been any glitter in them at all. 😦

As I walked up the stairs, bashfully asking for permission to pass, I stammered into asking about the Doña; he nodded and say yes. I asked about the little girl, his 4-year old daughter that his mother takes care off – he said she was fine; so I asked about him, and of course he said he was the same.Then, an awkward milli-second where despite deeply feeling his pain, all that came out of my mouth was “buen día”.

Really?

Good day??
How the hell do you expect him to have a good one on the day his mom dies of cancer???

Nice one, Andy! Whose smoking crack now? 😐
Geez.

Upon entering the office, I immediately asked the girls how one expresses their condolences in Mexican street talk. There were a lot of suggested formal expressions, but none of them seemed to convey what I would’ve wanted to say.
EPIC FAIL!

5 minutes after, still not being able to get over of how such an idiot I was, I clipped a fully bloomed yellow rose from one of the office plants, opened the gate and walked back to where The Neighbor was sitting…

“Perdón, no sabía que decir más temprano. Pero tal vez pueden poner esto en el altar de su Mamá…lo siento mucho.”
(“Excuse me, I didn’t know what to say earlier. But maybe you can put this flower on your Mother’s altar…I’m really sorry.”)

He said thank you, and I went back to work.

Nope.

Definitely wasn’t the typical neighborly exchange, but it was much more genuine and heartfelt than most of the conversations I’ve had all week. For a moment, their tabloid-worthy narco-story was a non-issue; all of a sudden the judgement melted away and they were just another family that lost a mother, wife, and grandmother.
So what if they have a not-so-clandestine illegal drug-store operating from home? 

At the end of the day, weren’t they just Humans suffering pain and loss?

At least for now, how they make a living is irrelevant.
RIP to the Doña from across the street.

~8~


My first experience of death within the family (that I remember about anyway) was when my grandfather died. Lolo – gramps in Filipino. Jose Molina Alberto.

I don’t remember what I was told about what was truly UP, or what was going on…what of Death, After Life. I do remember being SOOO chicken-shit about ghosts though.
(TRUE STORY! Parts of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen? I have learned to delete from my mind, but only after feeling intense fear of whatever the heck it was in the first place! :Ç)


~8~


I first had to explain death to Ananta at 3.
Our cat Pushkin died. (He was murdered, actually – by the biggest tomcat in the neighborhood. Another TRUE STORY)

I told her Pushkin died, which means we wouldn’t be seeing his body any longer. So what will happen is, his body Will Go Back to the Earth, and his Spirit? It will go to the Sky, where Great Spirit Is.

(Great Spirit is The One that gives Life to All – the bushes, bugs, birds, beasts etc…Everything that lives has a Spirit, and it all comes from Hunab Ku, where Great Spirit lives. )


So, we can be sad for a moment, but its more beautiful to remember our departed loved ones**, because that’s when they Live On Forever in our Hearts, and become Angels!

**This is what I love about Mexico! They celebrate the Day of the Dead – celebrate as in fiesta! Food, flowers, mariachi…it could be the whole shebang! Or simply, making a colorful altar with pictures and offerings to Nuestros Muertitos (Our Beloved Dead) – which they did in playschool, thankfully! Because I didn’t grow up with that tradition.

~8~


So today It Came To Me that remembering our Ancestors is a practice that I should be inculcating into my Little One…

Ancestors.
AKA Dead Loved Ones.
But also, The Living Elders.

Los Abuel@s
Si Lol@
(AKA Grandma and Gramps)
Including Ti@s. Padrinos. Madrinas. (siiii! lets visit the Madrinas!!!)

Which means, I think that’s what we should be doing for her birthday!!!! The idea is to do something for the first time, so it will be better remembered…

Her 4th.
(Already?! I know! Damn…)

On her 3rd it was dolphins, this year let it be the rest of the animal kingdom! A museum trip! And remembering my Abuelos, her bis-abuelos from my side.
(I´m so grateful that she´s met her bis-abuela Hilda from E´s side!)

Mmm…
It doesn’t hurt to dream out loud and ask for help from our Ancestors and Angels, right? 😉

5

My baby isn’t a baby anymore


My baby girl isn’t a baby anymore! :S 
J  

 
Ananta Malaya turned 3 on gregorian june 3rd…and 3, to me, means the official entry to childhood.

In my world I feel its important to mark important milestones in life with a “rite of passage,” so I celebrated her in a slightly larger way this year. And while it didn’t happen exactly as I originally pictured it to be…it was the perfect birthday #3. J

Traditionally, in Mexico, when a child turns 3 parents have a (Catholic) mass held in the name of the boy/girl; in some parts of the country it probably would’ve been a Temazcal. I am sure in other cultures there is some kind of celebration to mark the transition from infancy to childhood as well…maybe a naming ceremony, the first haircut, etc…
 
For the sake of comparison…moons before, I dreamed up throwing this big party in the garden-front of our apartment building, inviting all the important adults in her life along with her little friends from daycare; maybe even the neighbors we don’t know so well. There was to be games, non-candy giveaways (aka bolos), clowns and acrobatic entertainment…basically, the whole shebang.

Closer to the date, I instead planned for a Dolphin Encounter for Ananta & myself, where at the same time our housemates would be doing the Dolphin Swim Adventure. I imagined the entire PV family would be with us (which is not a lot…that’s just my mom, brother, sister, and nephew), all of us having some fun in the sun at the waterpark afterwards. This was to be on the sun-day before her b-day. I still kept dreaming about having a traditional piñata + choco-flan cake + bolos at daycare on her birthday itself…

Come the day itself though, this is what really happened: it was just Ananta & I that went to the waterpark, and when we were done enjoying the kiddie pool after our dolphin swim, my sister & mom picked us up. Later we all had lunch with my nephew, and Ananta blew the candle of her sprinkle-topped cupcake at my sister’s house. (I ❤ family!)

happy 3rd

 

blow your candle out, baby-cakes!

 

On the day of her birthday itself, I dressed her up in a long/princessy type dress. In school Ananta blew the #3 candle of a 3-leches cake a friend had bought her. There was also a Tinkerbell piñata and another clown one, filled with candies I would never have thought of buying myself (courtesy of a friend), while the bolos I prepared for the kids were filled with candies I chose myself. The ones for the teachers were specially made star-shaped cookies made by our Russian friend…with a note thanking them for being part of “A&a Village” (re: IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD)
 
the long, princessy dress
little fairies

 

–—***
After the piñata at daycare, I sat-in in Ananta’s class activities…seeing her in action/observing the teacher + their activities. I played with the kids…sitting on the mat, being silly, letting my daughter paint my face, joking around with the other kids, versus “just watching them” until cake was finally served.

 

It was a blast! To see how each child is different in the way they interact and participate was an eye-opener…and of course I was proud to see that my Little One is actually one of those kids that follows instructions, and even helps her buddies after she’s done doing her part! (I guess not all have developed the necessary skills to do the activity yet, or some kids just don’t do the activity at all!J)

***
 
Ananta’s bday #3 was a very made-up rite of passage…but it was very meaningful and important to me as I wanted to celebrate her in a way that I hope she will remember when she is older. But more than that…a celebration of 3 years of her life is, for me, is also a commemoration of 3 years of Motherhood.
 
So…a belated happy birthday to you, Love-Bug…and happy 3rd year of Mothering to me!

Thanks for being part of our village.J
 
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Dearest Ananta Malaya: on your 2nd rEvolution

Dearest Daughter,

You’re turning 2 today. You have grown so much in the last year, it’s unbelievable! (You now run, ride your tricycle, understand 4 languages, and we’ve since said goodbye to the daiper and the bottle!)
At this time (7.26am) you are still sleeping soundly on your bed…you’re not getting up till around 8.15 or so…or somewhere around the time zumba at the park starts.J
These days we live in Los Sauces, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in the apartment behind the park that’s close to Abuelita’s place. It’s a blessing to be so close to Abue, your previous daycare (recently you stopped going and Artyom has been taking care of you while I work at Mexico Fun), the “ruins” at the park, the bakery, the fruit place, the mountains etc…we love it here!
 
 

Today I wanted to write you about your birth story…it was a miraculous time! ❤ I can’t seem to decide where to start though…from the time we got to the hospital? from the first contraction? from the time I first spotted (which is sign that labor is about to start)?

I had already been waiting for you to arrive, you see. If I remember correctly, your estimated date of birth was gregorian may 28…so by the time june 3rd came around, I was pretty eager to finally have you in my arms instead of in my belly! It wasn’t uncomfortable at all…you blessed me with a very easy pregnancy! I just wanted to meet you already!
I worked at the office until the last possible day. If I am not mistaken, gregorian may 31st was my last day at Mexico Fun. After having stained myself as I was preparing to leave work, a co-worker named Wanda excitedly told me that that was the start of it. (She’s a really nice Puerto Rican lady who organized the bets for your birth date and weight among the girls, which Amanda eventually won.)
The next day I went to the IMSS hospital to get official about it…I had not felt any contractions at that point, so I felt a bit awkward being there knowing it wasn’t my/your time yet. A nice, young-ish male doctor checked me out, and told me to return as soon as the contractions start or if my water breaks etc. Still no you…bummer!
 
So your Papi and I tried walking around and other stretching tactics…nothing worked. So we decided go to the movies and see Avatar (please watch this movie!) to see if whether the excitement would help jumpstart you out of (down) there. Sure enough, at around 5am the next day, the contractions started.J
Let me tell you that I didn’t feel a lot pain during those early contractions. I’m not really one to have cramps when I get my period, so at that point it was just a mild discomfort. But being as excited as I was, as soon as I felt one I started to time them (as per doctor’s instructions), and since they started coming every 3minutes or so I started to prepare for the hospital. I double-double checked the bag was complete; I cut up a melon and made 2 sandwiches, one for me and one for your Papi. He was sleeping around this time, I didn’t want to wake him until the last possible minute that we had to leave the house (which, at that time was behind the Medassist Hospital close to work…no way I was having you there though!), as I knew he would get all nervous if I told him you were already coming.
After telling Abuelita it was time, we left and rendezvoused at the hospital at around 7. We waited our turn and eventually entered, and were again attended to by the same male doctor that saw us prior, who was surprised to see you still in there!JHe said it was still too early though, so we walked to Lucy’s house (Abue’s friend whom she met back in Manila), who happened to live 2 streets away from the hospital.
By then I could feel the contractions a bit more intensely…its still not painful, but I could feel the stretch inside, so that outside I had to do the same. Luckily, Lucy had these super comfortable light pink, suede-ish reclining chair she had brought back from the Philippines, which I completely owned for the next couple of hours while I texted friends from Manila (and elsewhere) that the show was about to begin. J
At around 9am Lucy drove us and we were finally admitted. A nice young nurse set us up, and wheeled us into the room where 2 other Goddesses are about to have their own little miracle. ❤
It was a bit of an interesting time. There were nurses, doctors in training, hospital staff, all of them going about life just like any other day, while us 3 ladies stretched out on the wheeled beds…waiting, feeling, breathing a new existence into being, one breath at a time.
One of the nurses tells me she is surprised to see a first-time mom like me so at ease all morning…I tell her living the first 7 months of the pregnancy on a house 200 steps up a hill (overlooking the Pacific) must have helped…but that also, the contractions stopped.J
Being a social security hospital where one doesn’t have to pay for anything (although a certain percentage is deducted off your monthly paycheck for this service), I think they were pretty eager to get the line going, so to speak. So at around 11 or 12 they added the inducer-juice into my IV line…and then the show really began!JJJ
Now that I am writing this…I come to realize that: Yoga, really IS, Life. You, the union of body and Soul, came into this world through yoga (hallelujah for pranayama). As I started to become aware of each breath, I listened to my body more and more…I trust my sacred body, She knows what to do was my mantra (thank you, guru Anna, for teaching me this)…and I flowed with each wave of contractions, opening myself more and more every time.
The same nurse that said I had been so calm saw I was ready. She told another nurse, they both looked at me looking at them, breathing, and they started to prepare the delivery room that was right across me. I didn’t realize I had been so close all that time.
Once inside…it was funny, but somehow they expected me to move bed,s already being 10cm dilated and experiencing bigger contractions, all by myself. Ooook :S
Once on the second gurney however, the one with the contraption to hold your legs up, it all happened pretty quickly.J
They cleaned me up and hovered around, I kept breathing, the resident doctor came in, congratulated me for doing a job well done so far, and told me to push ONLY when they said so.
Easy enough…you were out in 3 pushes!
No epidural, but they did cut me up…it took them longer to sew me back up than I did to deliver you!
 
Ananta Malaya. kg. 51cm.
Born on gregorian june 3rd2012, 1.55pm…
Crystal Moon 11, Day 5, Yellow Self-Existing Warrior.
Today, White Rhythmic Worldbridger.

 

Its 9.04am, you’re still sleeping. We will be having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Coexist Café, having cajeta cake from Suspiros (my favorite cake place!), with more or less the same Circle of Love that celebrated your first rEvolution and blessing last year. Then, in the evening…temazcal de mujeres at Rancho Madre Tierra…what a beautiful day this will be! ❤
 
Happy Birthday, Ananta Malaya!!!
 
Mom loves you with all her being, from the depths of her Soul…always, in all ways…to infinity and beyond.
1

First Holidays with Her: Birthday, Christmas & New Year (and Thanksgiving too!)

Ananta & I will be celebrating many of those this year..Firsts.

bald bold & beautiful @ 28

Twice now Ive shaven my head..and I realize..

Time ticks quickly..
2mm taller already! (me. SHE is now 8.5kg & 72cm tall!)

Because you either grow..or not, although as a Mother, you really have no choice.

–==+8+==–

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Cant really tell if I was naughty or nice this year..
F + B = a
😉

And as the new gregorian one starts, more new beginnings commence..

 
Here’s to more Adventures of A&a!
Bring it on, 2011!