Sacred corner

As I was putting N. down for her afternoon nap yesterday, I thought about all of the time and preparations we'd done in anticipation of what was to be our forever child with whom we hadn't been matched yet. 

Nothing has prepared us for parenthood as much as our adoption journey. Having to provide essays to questions such as: Why do you want a child? Why do you want to be a parent? How did you and your spouse arrive at the decision to adopt a child? If you could say anything to your waiting child and their birth parents, what would it be? How would you describe your childhood and how your parents parented you? How do you intend to parent/discipline your child? What are your strengths as an individual, and what are your weaknesses? What kind of parent do you hope to be? If your child decides they want to find their birth parents, what would you do or say? 

No, folks, no license required to be a birth parent. But much proof required to be an adoptive parent -- financial, physical, emotional, psychological, (non) criminal, etc. in addition to blue book responses.

Once we learned I was pregnant, I read voraciously on the natural childbirth/birth process, how to become a baby whisperer, nurturing in the first year . . . I still have the pile of books stacked up in our spare room. None of our 16 months with N. has gone exactly as the books have said. 

Nothing prepared us for parenthood as much as our adoption journey. The adoption journey with its highs, frustrations and meltdowns has definitely given us a lens through which to view parenthood. Even though our waiting child never came, we keep our hearts open to what the Universe has to offer.

As for our miracle daughter, she has taught us to accept possibility with grace and peace so that we might delight in our thoughts, in each other, and be renewed in Spirit.

My wish for you & yours -- May you pause and find that sacred corner in your heart, & may you be filled with Christmas all year round.


Time in (for me)

Various concerns race though my mind daily. Did N. eat enough? How can I get N. to drink more from her sippy cup? How can I support A. better? How can I make time to work on my resume to secure a part-time online teaching position? How can I be more positive toward the upcoming holiday events? Why am I so damn crabby when I'm PMS-ing? 

I desperately needed a time out. So in the midst of Electra, flurries afloat, I took a walk outside. No one else was out. A most welcome retreat from my constant worries, I stepped on the thin blanket of snow that would become a winter wonderland.

I headed on my usual path . . . down our street, up the hill past the homes always appropriately decorated for whatever holiday it happens to be . . . a mindful stroll overlooking the marshlands that hug the GSP. 

With each step, the wind blew. With each step, a tad bit brisk than the second before, the wind biting me to chill out. With each step, a less harried energy took over. No sun to make the snow glisten, but I tune in. With each step, just heathered stillness. 


Center thy self

Holidays acomin'. Need to feel centered. N. was up just a little earlier than usual this morning having awoken because she's soaked. Still haven't found a diaper that tells the truth and lasts 12 hours overnight.

A.'s working from home today. We've shared our breakfast omelets. I've had a little aloha coffee. N.'s down for her morning nap. I turn on the laptop and locate my go-to meditation. 

Despite the early biting cold outside, the mid-morning sun shines oh-so-warmly through the living room window onto N.'s alphabet mat. 

I sink comfortably into our couch. I gently close my eyes. 

Center thy self.

Another year is about to wind down. I have learned that mamahood is hard, real hard, real exhausting. But I wouldn't want it any other way. I have learned that I have many moments of frustration in the world of toddlerdom, and I have learned much patience. More patience than I thought I ever had. Moments when I tell myself to take a deep breath, N. also takes a deep breath. Amused, I smile to myself because she has actually learned how to take a deep breath.  

Thank you, Daniel Tiger and family, for reminding us how to take a deep breath when in the moment of madness, we just want to roar!

And yet another year is about to be full of possibilities. What will I do next to incorporate my working self into the new year? It's been a major concern as I don't want to have my skillset grow stale, yet not sure how I will find the time to be with N. and be productive in the world of (non-childcare) work.

Center thy self.

To keep my heart open to possibilities. My mind wanders . . . to online teaching . . . to freelance writing . . . to facilitating wellness workshops for women and youth . . . have to re-work my resume over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Center thy self.

I take a deep breath and remind myself to be in the moment. To focus on my heart. It is illuminated as I think of my Dad beyond. Two old family friends recently passed away, each of them fathers who have left behind legacies in their sons and daughter. I send their families comforting thoughts. 

I am warm in the morning's sunlight. My heart aglow, I am calm in the moment.

A moment of simplicity, patience, and self-compassion.


Unwanted: Widowhood

I don't want to be a widow. Yes, we've put into place all of the precautions should anything happen to either A. or myself. Our documents have been updated since N. was born. But it is ever so horrifying to have to actually have that discussion with my husband.

He asks me, Do you know what to do if I die?

This has always been a realistic discussion ever since his open heart surgery seven years ago. Only now, we have a child to consider.

And now, A. has diabetes. Sudden adult onset. His blood work was fabulous just three months ago. He'd been losing some weight which I attributed to having a one-year-old and average day-to-day stress. But A. thought he was losing weight too quickly without trying. 

A. is one of the most disciplined individuals I know, especially when it comes to his overall health. 

Doctor says it's nothing he has or hasn't been doing. Some gene has just turned on. 

Medical directives. Check. Living will and testament. Check. Insurance policies and investments. Check.

All of this comes at a time when A., having recently turned 45, struggles with having to get reading glasses as well as accept the reality of the end of our adoption journey and now high blood sugar. What is especially scary is that A. is aware of how diabetes can complicate his heart health if his blood sugar is not under control. Since learning of his new condition last week and having to manage it, A. has vigilantly worked to stable his blood sugar as he wants to avoid insulin shots and additional meds. 

Do you know what to do if I die? I don't even want to entertain his question. I already know I probably wouldn't stay in the area. I couldn't bear to. I'd move closer to family or perhaps attempt to restart life someplace completely different. A. knows this and wouldn't expect anything else. 

As A. works to accept middle agedom, I have had to dig deep and remain positive, strong and supportive while quietly hushing my inner voice, I don't want to be widow. Not now.

Having had to prepare for my Dad's death somewhat in advance, I know how important it is to think about the situation and have the discussion. God forbid it happens. Please let it be a long time before it happens.

How do I deal? My ongoing practice is constant gratitude. For my husband. For our daughter. For our life that is full of sweet moments. 


What now?

The adoption is not happening. Not right now. Our journey has been terminated. 

After more than four years of completing forms and clearances, responding in essay form to extremely personal questions, undergoing psychological evaluations, and updating our medical/financial records, our waiting child is no more. 

Almost two months since this hell began, we continue to come to terms with our decision to end our adoption process. It was not an easy decision at all. Though the transfer agency's recommendation that we just pretty much start from the beginning heavily weighed in on our decision. There was no way we could start from the beginning and once again pay out the service fees to a new agency. Absolutely not. Especially because we were in waiting mode. 

How an organization such as Peal S. Buck (PSB) with an amazing legacy could lose their accreditation and  have no accountability to their clients, I'm not sure.  A. & I requested an exit interview as we wanted to communicate how disappointed we were in their services as well as share in detail the various instances we found that PSB demonstrated insensitivities in their practices and culturally.

It wasn't a confrontational conference call. We were professional. However, I did want them to know every red flag we'd experienced in their services based on our interactions with them. From the pregnant facilitator in the homestudy training who didn't acknowledge her pregnancy while the women in the room stared in discomfort . . . to being asked to bring dessert as a guest at a PSB function where they hosted ICAB members (aren't they the hosting organization?) . . . to clearly demonstrating oversights in their management of our dossier and ongoing updates to keep our adoption application current. . . as well as frequent turnover in staff who never seemed to have read our file thoroughly enough . . . gave us cause to question PSB's competence -- despite the fact of having over 30 years of adoption success from the Philippines. 

Feeling like the only time we ever heard from PSB was when it was time to pay another service fee.

So incredibly glum it has come to an end. We just couldn't continue and start from the beginning.

But we never would have been blessed with N. had we not started the process. 

What now?
A bit of soul searching. A bit of dealing with a health crisis on A.'s end. A bit of trying to emotionally reconcile how a significant loss of our finances with no investment to show for it is part of the Universe's plan to show us a miracle.

ICAB rejects adoptive parents who have diabetes. Most recently, A.'s has had to suddenly deal with high blood sugar and try to get it under control, which means regardless of our decision to discontinue the process, ICAB would have halted the process for us. We would've been in the midst of providing our annual medical updates. A's current high blood sugar would been noted, and ICAB would've tossed our dossier aside right then and there. 
Where is our miracle? Sure it's the day-to-day with N. who graces us with her blueberry smeared face and playful toddler personality.

We haven't ruled out adoption. When we're ready, we may consider domestic foster to adoption if it feels right for our family. In the meantime, I'll mourn the loss of our waiting child and focus on N. in these early years. 

[In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, it has been difficult to watch so many images of Filipino families, especially children, seeking basic respite from the natural catastrophe. Sometimes I can't help but feel we've let someone down by not pushing through with the adoption. We continue to pray for the survivors and the dead among the ruins of Typhoon Haiyan.]

So what now? I seek reprieve in my own heart(break). I take a deep breath, quiet my mind, and know that we are where we are meant to be at this moment in time. 

Because every moment in this life . . . is a miracle. 



[We started our adoption journey in 2009. Since N.'s birth, our adoption dossier has been put "on hold" due to the mandated two-year nurturing period. Once N. turns two, we supposedly can resume our standing in the adoption wait.]

It's been a trying few weeks.  Make that some trying years.

In the larger adoption world, disruption means a failed adoption. On our adoption journey, it is a considerable problem that has interrupted our very personal process. Our adoption agency, PSB, recently lost their accreditation due to a disagreement with the central Philippines adoption authority ICAB regarding a case of siblings. PSB's disagreement has jeopardized all of the families waiting for their child matches in their Philippines program. 

And now there is no PSB Philippines program. After more than 30 years of successful adoptions as well as other Philippines-based support services, PSB no longer has an adoption program. 

Where does that leave us? Frustrated, angry, heartbroken not to mention a considerable amount of our finances completely gone.

I am in mourning. That we may leave a waiting child -- with whom we haven't been matched -- hanging leaves me incredibly sad. We know that our birth daughter, N., would have never been gifted to us had we not started the adoption journey. We so looked forward to growing our family through both adoption and birth if possible. That possibility has shrunk to the size of a pinhole.

While ICAB has recommended a transfer agency, it's not one that we've chosen or vetted. Nor has PSB assumed any accountability.

Yes, we've sought legal consultation. The attorney basically said this isn't uncommon in international adoption and basically, we've been screwed.  


As we recover from the shock, exasperation, and ongoing heartsickness, we push forward. We'll go through the process of having our file reviewed with a fine toothed comb by the transfer agency, who has already informed us of (unplanned) transfer agency fees. We'll consider their opinions. A. & I have our own concerns given how already heavily scrutinized our dossier has been due to our medical history.  

Not sure how much more of a leap of faith we can take -- emotionally and financially.  Adoption limbo is absolutely maddening. It just may not happen for us. Not right now.  

It's no wonder that foreign adoptions by Americans have declined by more than 60 percent.

I continue to discerningly pray that Spirit will guide us to the decision that is right for our family. Hard to not feel like Mama Interrupted.



N. turned one this month. I will always be 40 years older than she. Makes it easy to remember how old I am, and hopefully the math will come easy to her since all she'll have to do is add 40 to however old she is. This year, one plus 40. Despite my own desire to keep the festivities small and underwhelming, we threw her a big ol' one-year-young soiree with a whimsical garden theme. While planning the celebration went against every grain in my body and I stressed about every detail, in the end, Grandma was happy. And that's what matters most. 


Even though N. missed her afternoon nap and was exhausted from entertaining her 65 guests so much so that she vomitted when we arrived home and struggled to put her down that night. Even though the family pressure to have a grand party was so great that once it was finally over, my body physically collapsed, and I had to nurse a flare up of sinusitis for over a week.  

Worth it? Not so sure, but thankful it's done. 

Until N. and I went for a morning swing today. Afterwards, we strolled around the lake. I stopped and noticed the most unusual and beautiful butterfly I'd ever seen -- a black beauty, apparently a pipevine swallowtail. N. and I crept upon it as it softly sat on a bush flitting from flower to flower. 

"Kulibangbang. Mariposa. Butterfly," I said to N. A real one. Not just what she sees among her books and teethers.

An older couple stopped to see what awed us. We shared the moment - in the company of Spirit. Deep within, I thought, it just might be a visit from Lolo (my dad). Five years since he died. 

And we now have a toddler. A year goes by so fast. 

This morning's reminder? Pause meaningfully, and make every moment count. Sublimity. 



I haven't set foot in the city in a very long time (and actually don't miss it), and I'm thankful that my girlfriends who live there haven't outcasted me. Instead, they are agreeable to meeting halfway or even driving down to my locale.  

And our time together is still the same. While I'm still trying to get the hang of adult conversation while making sure N. isn't wreaking havoc in some corner of our home, my full glass of sangria waits patiently on the kitchen table.  The bottle's been calling me for a couple of weeks now, but I've been saving it for a special occasion -- getting together with my girlfriends. The ones who saw me through unrequited and confused twenty-something love, the ones who sat at the bar with me while I cried because of love jilted, the ones who have been my loves through my coming of age as I worked my ass off in the city for over a decade, and we griped over life & career challenges with the support of cocktails, dinners (French, Thai, Japanese, American diner, Indian, Malaysian etc.) & shared desserts. 

These are my girls. J. and L. I met them during my community arts/activism period, and we've been longtime friends since then. Our time together has included weeknight dinners catching up, mimosa brunches, and trips to Jillery, as well as our traditional birthday get togethers and treats. Whether it's a meal, a pair of new earrings, or new purse, I know J. and L. are my loves. Among the three of us, we've seen each other through -- my bruised tailbone having fallen six feet off while stepping on a loftbed bladder to relieve myself in a not-so-drunken state, more than a handful of boyfriends, two husbands and one serious woman partner, a new baby boy, a new baby girl, moves from Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan, and just keeping sane through it all. 

To hear "how are you" from either of them is a most welcome beginning of a heartfelt conversation. And I am grateful for these women, J. and L., who are blessings in my life. To girlfriends!



stroll bayside
summer's supermoon

and nighttime lavender
lull my little one
to slumber in the bud
like a trumpeting moonflower


This adventure . . . called fatherhood

I never thought I'd enjoy being at home with N. as much as I do for as long as I have. 

Frequent diaper changes, most of which are terribly soiled diapers -- sometimes with poop going as far up as her tummy or up her back. Then it's like trying to put a diaper on a fiercely flipping 15lb. recently caught bass fish. With all the effort at signing I try to teach her (which I'm still hoping she'll get at some point), she swats at my hand when she's done with her meal or decides to blow raspberries just when I've fed her a scoop of homemade veggies and fruits. She used to sleep through the night, that is until she turned nine months old. Growing, teething? Her 10-month-old refusals to go down for a nap. And then there are the loveliest of days when she takes her 90-minute naps and goes down at bedtime with no hassle. 

Yes, I still love being at home with N. 

I know I couldn't do this without A. and his support. Having worked my entire adult life, I feel terribly guilty about not contributing financially to our no longer combined income, about not having my own money. But with such logic, A. argues, then N. really isn't his child since he spends less time with her. N. is only my child. Of course, that's ridiculous.  While I know in my mind, my time with N. contributes so much to our family well-being and works for us right now, I still can't help but sometimes feel rueful.  

Not that being at home with N. isn't work. It is absolutely the hardest job I've ever had.  The responsibility for another's physical health and human development can be dauntingly overwhelming.  But I share that responsibility with a man who defines fatherhood in ways that he did not experience. I love how N. stamps her feet when she hears her Dad coming down the stairs from our bedroom as he goes off to work, and Dad gives her a kiss goodbye in her highchair as she eats her breakfast oats and fruit. I love how N. jumps up and down, her eyes darting, when she hears her Dad coming up the stairs from the garage and knows that he's home from work, and the first thing he does, is put his laptop case down and picks her up.

I know I couldn't do this without A. Motherhood and fatherhood are an engrossed partnership. Thank you, A., for your heart and willingness to be on this adventure called parenthood.

from Paul Simon's Father and Daughter:
I'm gonna watch you shine / Gonna watch you grow / Gonna paint a sign / So you'll always know / As long as one and one is two / There could never be a father / Who loved his daughter more than I love you . . . Trust your intuition / It's just like goin' fishin' / You cast your line and hope you get a bite / But you don't need to waste your time / Worryin' about the market place / Try to help the human race / Struggling to survive its harshest night

Loving thoughts to those who are dads or strong positive male models in others' lives, are waiting to be dads, or missing their dads (like I am). 


Lolo's light

dad's disposition - that determined focus
mama's merrimaking - those sudden goofy guffaws

anak (my child)

she is my beaming sun upon dawn

she is my blooming orchid haze upon dusk

the light in her eyes - must be lolo's smile

happy 74th birthday in heaven, Dad.


Everyday is Mother's Day

Mother's Day has come and gone. Doesn't matter much since everyday is Mother's Day. I didn't see my own mother on the designated day as we spent the afternoon with my in-laws, and my mom was in the midst of recovery from a recent trip to China and Vietnam. It's amazing to be blessed with my nine-month-old N. as a third generationer alongside Lola, Lola Auntie, and myself (Mama). 

A.& I have an agreement -- absolutely no presents for either of us on any occasion though I have to admit, he is the charmer when it comes to the little everyday surprises.  Like cupcakes and cookies when he comes home from work. Like softshell crab as my merienda from Keyport Fishery before Mother's Day lunch. Or his unrelenting insistence that I take a few hours for myself once a week while he has dad-daughter time with N. I never know what to gift to my own mother (or mother-in-law) for Mother's Day. What to give to a woman who seems to have everything? For A. & me, it's more about the time shared. 

So we spent the weekend following Mother's Day at Lola Auntie & Apong's in Connecticut, otherwise known as Casa El Greco b&b, and Mom joined us. An intimate homemade feast complete with the usual favorites - raw oysters (and pinot grigio), strawberry and mango & tomato salads, salmon sinigang, pampano, ribs, spaghetti & meatballs, and ice cream sundaes. Yum.  

With her doting lolas, N. crawled on two layers of comforters spread on wood floors. Every so often, she glanced gleefully at the surrounding sun room windows. Spring raindrops fell ever so peacefully against picturesque oyster gray skies embracing towering trees in the vernal garden bordered by the rivulet my cousins and I spent so many summers sitting at with our twigs, sea green yarn & bread dough balls trying to catch fish. And I, her mama, witnessed her squinty smiling-like-a-clam eyes . . . & fell in love all over again.


Their time

sun breaks
he wakes and goes to her upon her first stir
it is their time

she has missed him
the doorknob turns, 

the house alarm chirps
she looks
towards the stairs

she shrills in delight
and knows

who is finally home
who is it? dad!
nighttime begins to fall

as the moon makes its debut
he snuggles her to dreamful slumber

it is their time
he has missed her during the day
i witness their time
without a sound

i swell with gratitude


Shattered silence

shattered silence numbs me 
ten years ago
last when i saw my brother
he - still voiceless
part of me heartsick
part of me still broken
dutiful (love) from afar

Happy 44th birthday, M. April is Autism Awareness Month. Learn more at www.autismspeaks.org. A couple of other interesting reads:


08 months

a miracle gifted to us
like Maryland’s osprey eggs to Jersey’s shorelands
her hair downy like a newborn chick
she inhales and licks the lithe wind
every time spring breezes upon her
her teensy tongue hangs mid-air
and she cheeps in perfect delight

*happy 8-month birthday, moonpie!


Pop goes the . . .

For weeks, I've been obsessing about cake pops, researching various easy bake recipes - originally wondering if I could make them with a Star Wars theme in mind for my nephew's upcoming fifth birthday. Sadly, much too complicated for me - that is, the Star Wars head pops. Instead I decide to treat myself to a couple of pops. On the hunt for cake pops, we went. 

Coffee in my left, pop in my right alternating with pen in hand. 

Napping in her carseat as we're out and about, N.'s eyes open ever so slowly to the background sound of javagoers' voices. On our errand run earlier, an elderly woman commented, "Hi, baby. Oh, big eyes!"

Big, bright, brown eyes. 

Yummy love
oh, my chocolate bonbon!

her golden, morena skin
whose touch i never imagined
my cheek against hers

she, a collaborative confection,
between my darling and me
she is our yummy love
like a long craved cake pop!
round and brown
my life's delectable treat
oh, how divine!



My goddaughter is a junior in college. In a year, as her mama says, she'll be a grown ass woman, getting a job, and finding her own place to live. Wrapping up her senior year of high school, my niece is about to make a decision on which university to attend in the fall. A freshman in high school, my other niece sports a varsity cheerleading jacket as we take her out for a belated birthday brunch date. And my daughter is just developing her palate. Already a connoisseur of oatmeal, bananas, avocado and sweet potatoes, she's most recently tackled squash, yukon potatoes with a sprinkle of parmesan.

Making sure that I don't offer my own experiences too much, I watch as each of my goddaughter and nieces, who have grown into smart and strong young women, finds her way in the world.

Oh, to enjoy being a girl.

On a weekend visit, I supportively listen to my sister- and brother-in-law as they share their anxieties of their eldest, N., soon off to college. Her dad's biggest fear? N. will come home pregnant. I offer to be sure to send N. off to school with a jar of condoms and vaginal contraceptive film (VCF) - just in case. No doubt her mom has already prepared her with a confidential visit (that is, without mom during the exam) to the gynecologist. After all, she is a beautiful 17-year-old in a good ol' American high school. Having worked with high school and college students and their families for over a decade, I understand that my brother- and sister-in-law are in the midst of coming to terms with the end of N.'s childhood and the beginning of her adult life. Big sigh. While the greatest of parents stay connected to their children, it may be time to let go - just a little. Another big sigh. Who wouldn't be in a tizzy?

(I'm uneasy just leaving my seven-month-old with anyone other than my sister-in-law. I, too, must learn how to let go.) 

I occasionally send a tiny care package - sometimes a box of champorado (chocolate rice pudding) - or simple note tucked with coffee cash right before semester mid-terms to D., who studies at Hampshire College, to let her know that I'm thinking of her. When A. is on the road for cheer competitions, I text her good luck wishes and check in to see how her team fared in the overall standings. I'm cautious not to cramp their styles as I don't want to cross their young adult boundaries. I remember how rebellious (and sometimes nasty) I was in my coming of age years. Good enough so that my parents trusted me. Bad enough so that I felt I could mouth off every so often and say exactly what was on my mind. 

Oh, so trying to be a girl.

And now it's payback time. Because I have a daughter. She will probably give me even more heartache than I gave my parents. While a newbie at parenting, I hope to share some nuggets of wisdom (as I continue to learn more):

  • Always express love.
  • Do the work within yourself because it's the hardest work you'll ever do.
  • Laugh lots and if it's the bellyaching kind, even better.
  • Learn to please yourself because you can't depend on someone else to please you, plus it's safer.
  • Try all different flavors of ice cream.

My wish for the dear girls in my life? Enjoy being you


Inspired by Good morning beautiful

we gaze from behind 
a stained glass snowflake
march drifts along our shoreline
we patiently await Spring's arrival 
a violaceous crocus sits 
like a crouching surprise 
smiling you perfect you


My baby love

oh, how I quell her 
with kisses and tickles 
and zerberts too! 
oh, her meowful titters 
like fanciful february butterflies wooing 
in the midst of winter’s 
rain garden by the bay.
oh, my baby love!


We are the world

N. and I listen to two music channels all day long - soundscapes and the 80s. As a new mama, I often think of the life lessons I'd like to impart to N. As I belted along with USA for Africa's "We are the World," I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion, love, and protection not only for N., but also for other children throughout the world. Mostly, I blame my single gendered education and the Sisters of Charity and their code of conduct who raised me for 13 of my formative years. I sobbed as I rocked out with N. and Cyndi Lauper.  

As I sat there, I wondered why I felt so feklempt. PMS? Mother's burden? Perhaps a combination.

Truth is, it's in the lyrics:
There comes a time when we heed a certain call / When the world must come together as one / There are people dying / And its time to lend a hand to life / The greatest gift of all . . . We can't go on pretending day by day / That someone, somehow will soon make a change /We are all a part of God's great big family / And the truth, you know, / Love is all we need . . . We are the world, we are the children / We are the ones who make a brighter day / So lets start giving . . . There's a choice we're making / We're saving our own lives / It's true we'll make a better day / Just you and me

Indeed I'm a sap. But there certainly is a huge world beyond N.'s under-the-sea, ocean blue walls. I hope that one day, she'll choose to express her compassion, love and protection of others. 


My present mama neurosis

I waited a long time to be a mama. It's the hardest work I've ever known. More challenging than the pressure of meeting funding deadlines. Harder than working with the most difficult personalities in trying to pull a project together. Not to mention physically and emotionally demanding too, especially being an at home mama (at 40).  As a child, I was never much for napping. But now, love my naps - when I can squeeze them in.  When we created our wills & such, our attorney (clearly a grandfather for many years now) delightfully commented that it's certainly not easy having a baby in our 40s. And yet, I would have it no other way.

As someone who married and had children late (by traditional Filipino and perhaps socioculturally accepted standards too), I sometimes guffawed at those women who claimed "mommy brain" at work. Thankfully, most of my mama friends who've been moms for a long time now have been excellent role models. Before I had N., they've always returned my phone calls or emails within a reasonable timeframe. We've always managed to carve out time to catch up -- yes, even with kids.  

But yes, now I get it. The madness of the day-to-day with a child. And I currently only have one! The time gets away from me -- from the moment she stirs, wakes and smiles in the morning to each feeding, play, nap, bath time and finally bed. Then it starts all over again. And in between, I'm fretting about whether or not I'm encouraging her development enough -- physical, cognitive, socioemotional, language, sensory and motor skills. (After all, I spent all of last summer writing a 140-page funding proposal on early childhood development.) Am I doing enough so that she meets her milestones? This mama neurosis of mine can be exasperating.

I come back to my present. N. She is my present. 


Slow dance in January

january's bareless trees 
sway in soft step
time minuets 
of three-fourths cadence


2013 - Year of what?

Inspired by New Year's Meditation with C.

2013.  Year of what? For some it's the year of the snake. For others, it's the year of what's to come - new loves, new relationships, new careers, new ways of being. O sweet breath! I don't ever stop listening to my almost five-month-old's or my husband's breathing.  I'm constantly making sure that they are breathing when they are asleep, breathing fine when they are awake.  O sweet breath! They are part of my heart's Light.

Then there's the other breath.  To take a moment to breathe in, to refresh. 2013.  Year of what?  A new year seems to always be an opportunity to start anew.  Mull over our downs and ups and appreciate our growth in the past year.  (Forget who did what to us or what we did to others and move on.  Stop beating ourselves up for what didn't happen exactly as we would have liked.)  Appreciate how we can evolve in the upcoming year.  (Not let fear of the unknown overwhelm us.)  Make a commitment to follow our hearts.  

But what does that mean?    

Sit for a moment.  And just be.  Listen to our Spirit guide.  Maybe through intention, meditation, prayer. Or any combination. Do allow ourselves a sweet breath.  O sweet breath!  

My new year's wish for you?  Be graced.

A family friend, C., was generous enough to gift this new year's meditation, a most soothing mindful moment.  I'd love to share it with you - New Year's Meditation with C. (For more information, please visit C. at www.solazzare.com.)