Capes, Crocs, and “Lottytops”

Things I want to remember from this past Halloween:

How this boy REFUSED to wear his costume with every ounce of his might…

How his UBER-patient Dad got him to wear said costume in every way I couldn’t…

How he was ALL SMILES and nothing else once he was Batman…

How he did not take from the candy pile that was reserved for trick-or-treaters. How he did not care much for trick-or-treating and was completely satisfied with staying in his stroller and letting Mommy and Daddy do all the hard work of procuring sweet treats. How he just loved, LOVED, loved nothing else but the “lottytops” (lollipops), leaving all the–unbeknownst to him–better candy to Mommy and Daddy (yeah!)

How he brings so much joy to this family just by being his usual charming, goofy, showstoppingly sweet and funny self.

Miggz and Lolo (Grandpa) being silly.

How there are moments of ups and downs–at Halloween and any other given day–but what’s important is how you handle the downs, and how you manage to soar through the ups…

With ever-giving patience, unending humility, and a steady self-control.

Yep…that’s all I want to remember from this past Halloween.

That, and these photos from his Daddy’s mobile phone…


Travel Log: Our Philippine Homecoming…One Year Later / Remembering Lolo Ado

Last November 18th marked my Lolo Ado’s 20th death anniversary. It has been 20 years since he’s gone…20 years since he’s been with the Lord.

I was just 10 years old when he passed. I was in fourth grade then. My mom has just given birth to my youngest sister Kara. Daddy–as he liked to be called even by us grandkids–in his frail condition, still managed to visit us at our townhome in Valle Verde, climbing 40+ steps to see his last grandchild before he passed.

He was a gentle guy with an authoritative flair about him, one whom you know wouldn’t get mad but you’d be right not to disobey anyway. He had a great big pot belly. We always joked that he swallowed a whole round watermelon that’s why his stomach was that way. And he always asked us kids–two to three at a time–to sit and weigh down on his legs whenever he did sit-ups, not that it did much help to his belly…LOL.

As I look back now on the days leading up to his death, I realize that, like any other, it all just came too soon…the sickness, the hospital days, the passing. They took him home from the hospital after a while. He laid on his bed during his final days, guarded by a butterfly on the wall that departed only when he did. On the night before Daddy died, I remember standing by his bedside alone with tears streaming down my cheeks, knowing the inevitable, just not knowing when it would come. Then one by one the rest of the grandkids came into his room, all six of us, followed by his kids. We stood around him in silent, solitary tears for what seemed like ages. Finally, Tita Maila broke the silence and gently said, “o…magba-bye na kayo kay Daddy.”

The six grandkids fell in line and one by one and gave Daddy a kiss good-bye. The next day at morning, right before I went to school, I heard that he passed.

We don’t always get the chance to say good-bye to the ones we love. So as I recall that one sad night from the recesses of my memory, I smiled (well…I cried a LOT first, then smiled).

I smiled at the chance he gave us to say good-bye.


I have not published these photos anywhere else, but here are some snapshots of when we visited Daddy’s grave while we were in the Philippines last year…

Daddy Ado is Miguel’s great-grandfather. We visited him with Lola Vering and Kuya Terry’s family while we were in the Philippines last year.

We love you, Daddy. Your memories remain in our hearts forever.

Getting High Off the Cool Weather

Living in Arizona (at least, in the East Valley parts) means there is only so much cold weather you can enjoy–and endure–during the year.

For me, enjoying the weather during this time of the year would mean basking in the cool warmth of sunshine temperatures in the daytime ranging from the low-60’s to the upper 70’s. The Weather Channel says we would get that perfection come tomorrow (and the day after that, and then after, and then after…)

The past four days, however, have been more endurable than enjoyable, with clouds over our heads, and daytime temperatures only reaching the mid-50’s.

That’s COLD for Arizonans!

And it’s definitely COLD for me!!!

I like warmth, being under the covers, and snuggling in layers and layers of blankets and throws.

This is a sticky point for my husband and I, because for someone who self-proclaims as loving the Arizona HEAT, I think he indulges a little too much in the abnormal coolness of this weather. He tries to get away with going out in shorts, and–this I will never get–opens half the windows in the house so he can let the cool air in.

“It feels GREAT!”, he says.

Of course, I roll my eyes at him and blatantly protest.

“It’s TOO COLD!!!”, I say, and ask him to close back the windows.

He protests back. And brings our son into it.

Miggz, after all, takes after him body-temperature-wise. The little one profusely sweats when bundled up, and even in 60’s weather, we have to turn the fans on in the bedroom, lest risk waking up to a head-soaked pillow come morning’s time.

I make sure the boy has long-sleeves shirt, sweat pants, and socks on INSIDE the house. I see eyes roll at me from the man.

I give up on this battle and go upstairs to our room, light some candles–for the sheer enjoyment of heat given off, and, okay, the aromatherapy–put on a warm sweater, and go partly under the covers with book on hand, determined to study.

I quickly lose the motivation and blow out the candles.

I fall asleep instead.

The boys come up a couple of hours later and snuggle up to me. They linger for a few moments and bask in the heat-infused comfort that is our bed. I savor in the quiet moment and enjoy their cool embrace. I kiss the little one, and I hold the big one’s hand.

And then the little boy decides it’s time to play hide-and-seek under the pillows, and the energy that is his little body rocks the entire bed awake.

The window-opening. The protesting. The eye-rolling. I know all is forgiven.

I then go downstairs to a warm house, candles lit in the kitchen for the sheer enjoyment of heat given off, and, okay, the aromatherapy.

This is how I get high off this cool weather.

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