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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? 😉

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How do I expand my Joy & Love?

By filling up your self-love gas-tank, so you are happy and have more love to give…that’s how.
Yup! I mean…how else does One expand, right? 😀
(you eat more, you get bigger…you love yourself more, you have more love to give! same banana)

I engaged in a lot of self-care/self-love this past moon…
I went to the salon, on dates (the Skype & chai type), checked off stuff from my wishlist from LAST YEAR, went to a Yoga class, etc…
Now I know the things I mentioned are probably pretty normal occurrences for some…but I’m a working co-parent (versus single mom) that lives with her daughter in their own apartment, with no yaya/maid, ok?
Not that I am complaining…I LOVE our life!!! But sometimes scheduling in things like going to the salon or getting a massage can get complicated…

Things got even more interesting when Little A left for Papi-land, and even more so when I took a break from work!
You’d think I would pull my hair out not knowing what to do with all that free time…I almost did. 🙂 But I busied myself with work (before I actually went on vaca)…and then when I finally took a much needed respite…I busied myself with my Work in the World. ❤

First things first…go to a gig. 😀
I didn’t even make it to the bar though. (hahaha!) Half a beer in as I walked down the boardwalk, I was already woozy and decided against going alá 24/7-hardcore-party days. Instead, I just sat by the water’s edge, listened to the same old cover band, and when I was done with my drink…hit it home. Definitely not what I imagined my live-music-night would look like…but, very fulfilling all the same.

Next, catch up with homework time.
Aside from being a full-time working momma with no nana, I also have this thing for continuing education (currently enrolled in a Sacred Business program, a Conscious Parenting course, plus all other required reading for Yoga, etc etc).
Suddenly having 2 daughters (+ co-parent) around for a week was fun, but it completely changed the daily routine for a week!
So…a little bit of hustle was in order…but, I was still easy on myself. Performance-level was ideal, but no pressure to be perfect. This is how you ace the University of Life.

Lastly, increase oxytocin levels through self-pampering + girl-bonding moments.

I cannot stress enough how VERY IMPORTANT this is!
Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone in both males and females, and basically it is what your body secretes when you have bonding moments with friends/family, or even with just yourself. (Wiki will tell you more)
I am over-the-moon thankful for my girl-time last month…but giving myself the time + space + resources to tend to just me was so very healing!
Some days I did nothing, other 
days I sweat it out; some nights I had ice-cream for dinner, a couple of times I bought stuff I wanted (without necessarily needing it)…but whatever my Heart desired at that point – I gave it to myself…and I am so So SO soOOo grateful that I could!!!

I am counting the days till Anantita comes back…first because I miss her so, but also because I know days like these won’t last forever.

I hope every mom (dad, and non-parents too) gets to have at least of semblance of what I’ve been living for the past 21 days…even if it’s just by taking a 30-minute hot shower, a 5-minute massage, a long, full breath…

May all beings be happy…may all beings be loved…may all beings be free.
~ Namaste ~

Thirteenth Moon: COSMIC MOON OF PRESENCE
(June 27-July 24)          
Totem animal: Turtle
1. Share your expansive thoughts
2. Spread the Love by pampering yourself first – get a rad new do, look great and feel even better 🙂
3. Be there for a special someone’s big moment – Kuya’s prepa graduation!!!
4. Tell the world what you’re proud of – posted pics of grad night w/ new look on FB


5. Approach old wounds with reverence, and learn/re-learn the lessons from that experience (NO SHAME/DISDAIN)
6. Now is The Moment of power
7. REMINDER: Tat Tvam Asi (You are That)
8. Ask, and you shall receive
9. Value your alone time
10. Even if it hurt a bit, be grateful you’ve reclaimed your Time & Space
11. Catch up with a SSS (Super Soul Sister) – Skype date with Tala
12. Keep on upping oxytocin levels – chai latte date with a Momma Goddess
13. (just because doors were closed right at your nose)…don’t get snotty…get creative! 🙂
14. Discharge gracefully…or not :S
15. Be, with Family  – E + Citlali arrive ❤
16. Do every little thing from the Heart (THAT is service)
17. Let Love in ❤
18. Breathe…Respond…Re-create
19. Be who you were born to be – cumple-kin (red planetary skywalker day)
20. To receive Love & Support, love and support
21. Relish Family time – little A left for Gto with E + Lali
22. Know what makes you ~ turn on ~ tune in ~ drop out ~ (and engage it)
23. Sleep like a baby on its birthday
24. Fill up the well before sharing the water – before you give, you must receive
25. Re-connect, circle in
26. Make time for Momma Goddess bonding moments…it opens your Heart to the flow – chai latte date with S…afterwards, saw an abandoned/almost lifeless kitty and brought it home 🙂
27. Indulge your desires – hot stone massage from 2012 wishlist…check! (finally!!!)
28. Exert an extra effort to be of Service – 2 Yoga classes in 1 day = sore ass + legs (yey me)
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A&a’s first family vaca!!!

Around this time last year, I took a 3-week respite from work to go to Guanajuato, Mexico, where E (Ananta’s dad) is from. Days before leaving I was positively positive about being a mom, I hadnt even told my mom about the pregnancy yet! This year, vaca is only good for 9 days and my baby is a day shy of her 6th moon. Damn. Time flies!

Guanajuato 2009, about 10 weeks preggy

Im glad we came! Checking the temperature days before the trip I considered postponing to after Holy Week because it was just too damn cold (3C anyone???)! Thank Heavens (literally) it was only a cold front that made the temperature drop, and now that we’re here its not even as cold as I thought it would be (I remember last year to be colder). Ananta is still disguised as an eskimo though. 😉

Guanajuato 2010, waiting for Abuelo at Leon’s bus depot

Im even happier that li’l A is bonding with her tias, abuelo y abuela and especially her little cousins! I thought she would be more reserved since shes not really used to so many people around her, but she has been such a smiley and happy baby with everyone, and E has a big family!

In Vallarta, there arent many of us, its just my Mom, my brother Jo and my sister Angela and her family (thats 17-year old Carlo Barlo, my nephew, Alex, my cuñado aka bro-in-law, and Ani the hotdog dog). Of course we spend fun times in PV too! On Vaca Day 1 we slept over at mom’s to watch the Pacman kick Margarito’s ass, the enth Mexican hes beat. She didnt make it to actually watch the fight though, but we had a chill out start to what is now a chilly vacation. =)



Pacquiao vs Margarito
grocery trip with Abue & U. Jo the day after the fight

Being here is heartwarming though, because I grew up with my cousins and I have very fond memories of my childhood having such a big and loving family. I know she wont remember this trip, but the few pictures I’ve taken are already priceless treasures for me, and hopefully later for her as well. ❤
We’re already on Day 6 of this mini-vaca, the third of a 4-day visit, and I really wish we could stay a bit longer! But alas, work beckons, and more importantly Ming (my roomie) is leaving soon, so we absolutely have to be back in time for her going-away dinner (eggplant polenta, here I come!). Extended family is important too, you know! =)

So many things have happened in this past year..its amazing how personal stories unfold! I just feel so blessed to have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing that whatever happens, (biological, extended, legal or not), your family will always love you no matter what.