Monday, June 30, 2008

Virtual Birth Control

I have this new little guilty pleasure - TV shows that assures me that I have made the right decision to raise just one child. And grateful - totally grateful that I started parenthood at the age I did (oh, I wouldn't advise it to anyone else though!). Now that she is 23, in what seems to be selective amnesia, all I remember are the rosy wonderful memories of her childhood.  Watching TV these days therefore and being quite entertained by the day to day travails of a family with two sets of multiples (Jon and Kate Plus Eight) and the adventures of the British Super Nanny I guess the fun comes  from the realization I have survived the toughest (yet most rewarding) times of motherhood.

I would TiVo the episodes of Jon and Kate and when I can't sleep, would play one or two episodes until whatever was keeping me awake I would forget. The two year old sextuplets are just adorable - six little people already with their own personalities.  Sometimes the camera catches little moments that I, the attentive viewer would catch - any one of the siblings helping Aaden with his eyeglasses after a nap. Or her a how when a little squabble they would hug and tell each other "I love you".  It's how siblings are naturally, I guess. They'd kill each other but they cannot love anyone else in the world as much as they feel for each other.  Siblings, my mom would describe us, are "a piece of each other".

Supernanny and another show, however, The Baby Borrowers are what I call virtual birth control.  British Nanny Jo Frost is the child whisperer.  She comes to the rescue of family who are plagued by extremely difficult children.  Sometimes I find myself horrified that the children the show features are acting as themselves and I am relieved that I have the option never to go through that possible route in life again. Some kids would yell and be disrespectful, be suffering from computer or video addiction or are just not used to recognizing the authority of a parent.  In most cases you realize that problem children are the products of poor parenting more than anything else.  Inconsistency seems to be the most common culprit and so Super Nanny has to intervene and to stop the parents from rescuing their children when they are being accountable for their actions. 

Admittedly I have never seen an episode of The Baby Borrowers but the concept is to borrow small kids for teenaged couples who think they are "grown up enough" to start a family and to put them to the test.  It is a very interesting concept but I will have to put a report on it on another entry.  Otherwise I'd just be bluffling.

Jon and Kate Gosselin and their brood are on TLC, The Supernanny is on NBC and The Baby Borrowers is on NBC.  Watch one or all and I assure you that it'll make you reach for safety precautions next time you are romping between the sheets!  =)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My New York Summer

I love summer. But not as much as how I love New York in the summer.

The Hudson River is a parade of sailboats and ferries, kayaks and jet skis. Central Park’s sheep meadow transforms into a giant sun worshiping haven with sparsely clad city denizens sprawled on its vastness. The baseball diamonds, the basketball and tennis courts and the playgrounds are bursting with activity. Riverside Park is filled with skaters, runners and bikers and it seems the city is once more so alive.

I love that Sundays mean passing by the Gourmet Garage to get some baguettes and boursin cheese, a bottle of water and some juice and then heading for Central Park with the Times and a picnic blanket where the rest of the day would most likely be spent. I love that the street fairs become a regular weekend jaunt and the best way to figure out where they are camped is to see where traffic is snarled. I love that the fashion statement is beautiful with summer eyelet dresses, sleeveless blouses, flirty light skirts and shoulder-baring halters. I love that it is a city that lavishes everyone with compliments on the way they look, the dress they wear or the color of their polish. I love that everyone in the city during the summer has a smile on their face.

I love that I can wear my shades again – ALL of them. I love that I can wear lip gloss and get away without lipstick during the daytime because well, lipstick is just too heavy for summer.

I love that all my weekends are filled with activities all through September but especially in July when Nicole will be coming to visit. I love that every weekend I will stuff my face with the hamburgers and hotdogs and ribs that my friends will grill on the barbeque and that every time at the end of the day I will feel guilty because I know I’ve just gained 1,000 pounds. And then by the time we say goodbye we are excitedly making plans on who will bring the margaritas next week.

I love that there is daylight until 9PM and that it just encourages for more to get accomplished - strolls, shopping, movies, and just simply hanging out on the bench at the pocket park at Tudor City during lunch time.

And when the heat and humidity builds up, I love that I can come home to my micro-apartment of a home and chill in front of a humming air conditioning unit. And that later in the evening, as if nature’s way of balancing things out, with the roll of thunder and a flash of lightning, the city will be drenched in a summer storm to clean out all the built up remnants of our festivities and then by morning, all will be perfect again.

Yes, I love that New York is perfect despite all its faults. It is perfect.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Forza Azzurri!!!!!

Hellllo summer! (atbp)

Helllo summer!

Read that in the same purring tone as Carrie Bradshaw was cooing to a pair of Blahniks from the display window.

Today is the first full day of summer 2008. Two weeks ago, though we already went through our first heat wave which by definition is more than 3 days of temperatures above 90 degrees. I was not ruffled. Note that I come from the land of the eternal heat wave – the islands of the Philippines. I have mastered the art of staying cool in the hottest and most humid of days – a bottle of almost slushy frozen Gatorade AM. Hey, did you hear what the American Dental Association (ADA) has said about sports drinks and tooth decay? What they did not say in the study though was that these kids that were in the study are not as obsessive as I am about brushing my teeth. I brush my teeth so often and so thoroughly that my dentist has changed my toothbrush to soft bristles and has ordered me to keep it down to at most six times a day. Don’t ask how often I REALLY brush.

My landlord has sent my lease renewal early this month. Year and after year at about this time I contact my friends to contact their real estate friends because I always think that I am ready to stop paying rent and to buy my own place. Woohoo! Imagine me: getting my own mortgage, paying for home insurance, doing my own plumbing and all that grown up stuff. But year after year I would see one condo or coop unit after another and even some houses, I always end up unconvinced. Much as it is very tempting to live in a space that is more than 500 sq. ft., to have a real garden, maybe even a terrace where I can host my own barbeques in the summer I always end up sending back my landlord my lease renewal. A long-term commitment in just another form – that is truly overwhelming.

And the biggest reason of all, of course, is that none of the real estate options that I can afford is within the island of Manhattan. Though I’m sure there would be one or two apartments within New York, NY that is within my bank-approved budget, the value per square foot is not the same. In the end, it is a choice of buying a 650 sq ft one bedroom in the city versus a 1,200 sq ft in Hoboken, New Jersey. Trust me, nothing brings me joy than writing New York, NY on my address line. And so I mailed my lease renewal yesterday. I have a lease for another two years.

What I did instead was refurnish my apartment again. I posted on craigslist my sofa, my dining table and immediately sold them. I am still contemplating about the desk. Like Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’ I do believe that the desk brings luck. So far this desk I’ve owned for six years have brought me a lot of inspiration in my writing – not just my blog but some other personal and unpublished stuff. Maybe this one I will keep.

While searching for new furniture I feel in love with a luxurious mocha microsuede sectional sofa with chaise from The Door Furniture. After taking down the measurements, I came home and measured out space in the apartment and realized it would fit. I of course had intended to consolidate sitting and dining purpose with a big sectional unit. The decision however was vetoed by an interior designer friend. I was convinced to settle for something smaller and more suitable to the dimensions of my apartment. That is why I’m home today on a perfect summer Saturday afternoon – I am waiting for my new furniture to be delivered.

Two months ago the ex-boyfriend brought me two orchid plants. No real occasion but I think he mentioned he was giving me another chance to green my thumb after I instantly killed a pot of orchids he bought me last year. Well, proudly, the two orchids have survived and though most of the flowers have dropped, seems there is a promise there somewhere.