Monday, May 17, 2004

When life picks up, I can't keep up.

Goodness, where was I last? I don't think I've written for a week and it's because we've been on the go.

The car is giving us issues again. Besides the leak in the evaporator pan (which we're still trying to figure out if we need to order a part and now would be a good time to do it, or if a part can be gotten here, or even made), periodically the van now decides not to start. It seems to be a battery issue but I can't figure out what. Sometimes the car starts. Sometimes it starts and stalls. Sometimes the lights are on but it doesn't start, sometimes the lights don't come on at all. Sometimes it tries and fails, sometimes it clicks, and sometimes it just sits there like a giant dead metal bug. Frustrating? A bit.
Anyhow, dealing with that, movin' on.
I learned Thursday afternoon that the doctor at the clinic is out of town until the middle of next week, which means that Katherine's physical won't be completed until then and her re-enrollment isn't complete. I told the office, they promised they'd make a note so there won't be an issue with it. One thing the people here don't handle well is having their procedures messed with, so I'm taking a gamble that all will be well. I've already told Katherine that since I missed the Friday deadline that she won't be attending school next year. I figure this way if there is a huge problem I'm covered, and if there isn't then she gets a surprise. I do wish she wasn't so glib about telling her sister though, you'd think she didn't like school. And of course she -will- be enrolled but if you know us, you also know that we make nothing easy on our children.
Saturday was a hectic day. After talking to my parents in the morning, we were at Seafront by 8:15 so Ian could kick a soccer ball around with some friends. I took the kids over the pool and while Katherine played soccer as well, she joined us soon thereafter because it was so very bright and hot on the field. Once Ian joined us I was able to swim a bit in the big pool which is always a nice treat. Katherine worked on her breaststroke as well and aside from sinking with every stroke, her form improved. Is the sinking a sign of no body fat? It's going to take more practice to get the forward motion smoothed out so she's not coming straight up whenever she needs a breathe.
Rebecca is still attached to whatever floating device is nearby and Jonathon thinks he can do everything but had the lifeguard blowing his whisle and jumping into the pool because the kid kept going under. Nicholas wears goggles and arm floats so he'd just dandy.
Around 11:15 it was time to leave. Katherine was invited to a birthday party at TGI Fridays. It was a last minute deal, with the mom calling me Thursday evening with the invitation. But we made it right at noon, stopped in Tower to pick up a quick gift and realized there was no wrapping to be had. Fifteen minutes later, after I'd already gone to the restaurant with the other kids and ordered for us, Ian and Katherine arrive with gift secure in a Hello Kitty gift bag. It's an interesting choice for an 8 year old boy, but oh well, it's what was available. The kids all ate and we sat at a nearby table so Nicholas, Jonathon and Rebecca wouldn't feel completely left out, only to learn as we finished up that the party host had picked up our tab. The Filipino way of inviting everyone who shows up (she had offered to let the other 3 sit at the table with the big kids) had blind-sided us. Perhaps we should have sat in a different part of the restaurant? I have another thank you to write. But desserts were so yummy... mocha mud pie and a 3 layer brownie sundae.
The party was ending and we were off to the next activity, which was Katherine's First Communion rehearsal. It was to start at 2 p.m. and the party was wrapping up at 1:45 so there was plenty of time. In fact, it was planned this way because the birthday boy was headed to the same rehearsal. All set and we're ready to go when I realized that there was a child yet uncollected. I told the host that we would stay with her, expecting her mom to show up right at 2 when even I had thought the lunch ended. Two came and went and I told Ian that he had to take Katherine to the church. It's all of 5 minutes away from Glorietta so she wasn't too tardy, but at the same time we were supposed to be taking the boys to a birthday party for a preschool classmate. I asked Ian to take the boys with him so he could drop them off at the party, but he declined and it turned out to be for the best even though we'd be terribly late. As it turns out, no one noticed.
So we waited for Tierney's mom. Soon it was 2:30 and we were still hanging around outside the TGI Fridays, riding the escalators up and down and playing hand games. I called up Ian who was now at home picking up the gift for the boys' party and told him that her cell # was in the kitchen. He called her up and 10 minutes later her yaya was there to pick up Tierney. Ian swung by Glorietta to pick us up and we were off to the next party. Arriving an hour later I was surprised to see Tina and kids arriving at the same time. And all the worry about being so late melted away. Somehow I'd thought this was a preschool party. In reality it was a birthday party for all 3 of their kids combined with a going away party for the whole family, and done in the clubhouse in true Filipino style, games prizes, MC, ice cream, food, cotton candy and about 100 people. We had not been missed and with the boys getting worn down we decided we'd keep this party short. But not before both Ian and I were subjected to party games worthy of a baby shower.
Ian was called up to do the infamous "drink liquid out of a baby bottle" race. He won. Not sure how. Then it was time for some moms and we did the gag where, behind a paper we're holding up to our faces, we draw our own face parts. Guess what.. by virtue of applause, I won. Cool. When I got a chance to see my drawing, it wasn't even half bad.
Nicholas was on his second ice cream and had already picked up a bag of cotton candy, so it was time for us to depart and pick up Katherine from church. I thought it ended at 3:30 and we arrived at 4. Late again. What a day. She'd gone through rehearsal and accomplished her second Confession. Next Sunday is the big day and I'm so proud of my girl for this step she is taking in our Faith.
Home. Quiet. Peace. Jonathon had fallen asleep in the car and would not wake up. It was lousy timing as I knew he would wake up right about bedtime for a while, but this evening it wouldn't be my hassle to deal with. Saturday night was a night out for the adults, thanks to Laura and Ryan who came to babysit. We drove over to Greenbelt for a movie and coffee since lunch and dessert were still sitting heavy in our stomachs. The movie of choice, well the only movie out that seemed interesting, was "Troy". Ian disagrees with me, but I thought it was pretty bad. There are several points where I simply couldn't watch and it wasn't because of excessive gore or violence. Yes, it was violent, yes it was kinda gory, but I couldn't watch because the acting was mediocre and the script awful. There was so much potential, but the actors didn't have much to work with and what they did, fell flat. I can't watch anything (ask Ian) where I feel the people involved are making fools of themselves. Survivor is the exception, but sitcoms, news programs or movies where people just seem foolish, and I find something else to do.
After the movie, we stopped at Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man, where all the male employees are required to be bald, and Ian learned that shaving day is Monday. A tidbit you never know might come in handy. I had a hot chocolate that almost had to be chewed it was so rich and Ian had a frozen chocolate something with a splash of vodka. Yes, I was driving home.
Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man is kosher chocolate and can be found in it's home in Israel, Sydney, Singapore, at Harrod's in London, and right here at Greenbelt in Manila. They have these amazing hot chocolate mugs, made for wrapping your hands around and taking little sips once it's not scalding. There's a second cup called a Suckao that is just charming. If you're curious and it sounds good to you like it did to us, check out ChocoSphere.
It had been a long day and we were exhausted. Home we trotted, relieving Laura and Ryan and sending them off to Seafront. Thanks guys! Overall, it was a nice day and evening. The next few weeks will be just as full I fear. I hope to get it all down, but forgive me if I don't. I'm already missing so many things the kids are saying and doing, some of them priceless. Believe me when I say the kids are doing great and saying cute and funny things every day. I hope to start catching snippets again so they aren't lost forever.
Oh, and tomorrow is our 8th wedding anniversary. That's why we went out Saturday night. Ian got me a gorgeous gift, a Citizen watch. I see myself wearing this one for many many years. Thank you, dear. Love you!

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