Thursday, October 27, 2011

A different Christmas this year

It's just a little over 60 days to go before Christmas. We're stuck at home because Bubbles is no longer allowed to travel, or even move much. She is almost due by Christmas time...

I have to get used to a new Christmas atmosphere. I have to tell myself that this is the new Christmas:

1. There will be no Christmas countdowns by local reporters.
2. There are no Christmas lights in September
3. "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" has become a reality
4. I no longer need to shout "patatawarin!" to people singing Christmas carols in front of our gate. And for one, we have no gate!
5. I don't need to worry about what to buy for the next category of "Monito, monita."
6. I don't need to wait for All Saint's Day to put up Christmas decors. We only need to put up decors on the 24th and bring them down on the 26th...
7. I don't need to worry about new crispy 20- or 50- peso bills for our "inaanaks" knocking on our doors early Christmas day.
8. I don't have to wake up early in the morning to attempt to attend mass, only to end up not attending because I was too sleepy. whoops. :)
9. I no longer have a 10-day holiday (from the 23rd to the 2nd of January). If I don't work, I don't get paid. Period.
10. I have to forget about the rowdy noche buenas and exchange gifts of Christmas Eve for the time being.

Bubbles and I will get the first hand experience of an American Christmas. It will be a totally different experience, but at least we have each other as our permanent monito/monita to exchange gifts with. And pretty soon, little Juancho is going to be helping us open gifts from friends and family. We'll miss the Pinoy Christmas, definitely.

Advanced Merry Christmas! Ay Halloween pa pala, then Thanksgiving. :)

Vacations, vacations...

The trouble with vacations is that it goes by so fast, you won’t realize it’s done until you wake up the next morning about to do your normal routine. That is how I felt a day after I took a 2-week vacation in Manila. Short and sweet: two words to describe our stay in Manila.
We have long prepared for this trip to Manila. Ticket was bought in April. Shopping for “pasalubong” began in May. Preparation took much longer than the actual trip!
With all those preparations, we almost weren’t allowed to fly. A month before the trip, Bub did the routine ultrasound/sonogram of our little baby, to find out if it’s going to be a boy or a girl! And we did find out. It’s going to be a boy! And we also found out another thing: the little boy’s placenta is lying lower than normal, or what doctors call a marginal previa. The doctor warned against strenuous activities, including TRAVEL. We told the doctor we needed this travel (to keep our sanity intact), so she advised for us to do another sonogram before we leave, which is around 3 days before departure. On October 5, we did another sonogram to check on how our little boy’s placenta is, and voila! It showed that it has migrated already, thus, we are clear to fly! Amen! Thus, on October 8, Saturday DC Time, we were on our way to the airport. Aja, our dear friend from way back in college, drove us to the airport, torturing herself into imagining that she is joining us on this trip, but only to wake up into the reality that she is just driving us there. :)
And so we flew. At 11pm on October 9 (Philippine time), we gazed at the familiar sight of the lights, that surround the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. We were home.
Days went by real fast. Bubbles and I needed to maximize our time so we decided to take time apart so we could do our individual activities. While Bubbles bonded with her sisters as they prepared for her eldest sister’s wedding, I also made up for lost time with my brother to play with his pasalubong, the Playstation 3. We played until the wee hours of the morning, as we exchanged victories one after another. Of course being an old-timer, I lost more, but that did not matter. What matters was that we were having a hell of a fun time together playing games and telling funny stories. Breakfasts with my parents all seemed so routine, just like when I was still single. Everything was a thing of the past, except of course the fact that I was 10 months married and about to be a father.
We didn’t go out much, we just stayed with our families. Bubbles stayed a couple of nights in our house so that my mom could have her share of pampering her daughter-in-law. We had a couple of homecoming parties, one with my loving aunts, uncles, and cousins, and another with my beloved colleagues from both my previous jobs. We were also able to attend the traditional Octoberfest, and as usual, it was held in my friend Mike’s place.
And of course, we spent a few nights in the hotel, to spend time with family as we celebrate our dear Ate’s wedding. It was a solemn, happy days for all of us, as we witness the much-awaited wedding our big boss, Concep, and her now bigger boss, Bogs. We were very fortunate to be part of the preparations and the actual execution, and also, the after-party. :)

Short and sweet. I never would want it any other way. No frills, just pure family, friends, food, and fun. What sucks about this vacation is waking up the day after it. I am still in the aftermath of that two-week blast. The trip just further stressed my resolve of going back very soon.