Well, naughty or nice, Marcus got one this December from Santa Claus. It’s from the Santa Claus who bought the stuffs last year and waited for the right moment when he runs out of idea on what to give next. And it happened.
Yesterday, Santa skipped our home, or didn’t get the opportunity to sneak his way to Marcus’ red sock, so this morning he makes up for it with an F12 Berlinetta.
I don’t know if Santa still has more left but I heard Mrs. Claus said there’s one more. Let’s see what Marcus gets in the next days.
There is good news. Shell Corp. eventually pulled out its Arctic drilling activities after realizing there is no long term potential in the area or probably after encountering radical Santa’s elves who got annoyed by the noise and threatened a lifetime of zero gifts for the sons and daughters of all Shell employees. Now we wonder if we will soon see the return of Lego-Shell partnership. Make the answer ‘yes’ please.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (The building game begins tomorrow. This isn’t Minecraft this time but it could like a villager’s house.)
The two front teeth had to go. At the age of seven, Marcus’ set of teeth had been all strong, almost perfect, with no sign of degrading until one day my wife found one new tooth coming out behind his upper front teeth. So yesterday, the two front milk teeth finally got extracted to let the new one take its normal place.
Just like his first trip to the same dentist, no tear whatsoever was shed on his first teeth extraction. Props to the pediatric dentist who took time to explain to Marcus on what to expect during the whole process—that’s on top of our similar discussion while on our way to the dentist’s clinic inside the SM mall. It would have been a better if his cashier gave us PWD discount.
The experience was more awkward than painful for Marcus as he wouldn’t want to be seen toothless in school. The good news, or bad news, he won’t be inside a classroom together with his classmates anymore.
It was Monday, last week of October, when he asked us if he could stop going to school. We saw it coming as we observed lately that he finds it more difficult to wake up, let alone rise on his own but we decided to wait until he tells us about it because we can see back then that he still likes being in school despite his condition. While his request made it official that there will be no more sleepy trips to school, for both of us, his teacher and the school’s principal were kind enough to allow him continue studying at home if he wants to. Last week he took his last exam and said goodbye to his classmates. Most of them cried, yes, including the boys and his teachers.
With the absence of worries about grades, something easily took over his study period. Minecraft. Other than his XBox, Marcus now has his Minecraft PC. This PC version of the sandbox game is actually a whole lot better than its XBox 360 counterpart as there are free maps and mods that can be downloaded and installed. Surprisingly, in a matter of weeks since I purchased this game as a reward for his good grades in school, he can already install the mods and maps by himself. He was quick to learn to remember and type the path AppData.minecraftsaves (and mods where he can extract his mods) to install his maps. Well, it lasted until he broke the HP laptop keyboard’s S key, and X, and A, and a couple of other frequently used game keys. So just like his two front teeth, he lost his HP laptop. The latter should teach him a lesson to control his emotions, to take good care of his prized–in this case, pricey–possessions.
To be honest, parenting Marcus is now tougher. A whole lot tougher, trust me. We figured that ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ approach is now out of the question. Disciplining him has to be done the other way and sometimes it gets frustrating. The heart and muscles of kids with DMD are sensitive and are degrading faster over time. This means that we are doing our best not to upset Marcus. We do our very best not to make him trip or fall, we don’t want him to stress nor hurt his muscles and even his heart and especially his emotions. So how do you parent a child with such condition, one whose body is frail but with a personality so strong? Sometimes I wish it’s the other way around.
If the tooth extraction went well, as if nothing happened, the recent blood extraction result was the complete opposite. While he seem able to take the pain of the pierce of a needle, we soon found out that Marcus’ dystrophin is leaking wildly relative to normal level, and it is worse than before. In April this year we were looking at 15,000 U/L and in October it has elevated to 30,000 U/L. The normal level is 150-150 units per liter (U/L). It’s that bad and the current dosage of CoQ10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements seem to be of no help. If only there’s a way to patch up this one. This Christmas we all want more than just his two front teeth.
We just learned that our version of Mrs. Wilson is sick and in the hospital. Get well soon, from Marcus a.k.a your Dennis The Menace.
Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I don’t know if I should be happy to once again skip the opportunity to watch this Everyday I love You movie with wifey.)
Everyone could already smell the yuletide season. It is almost here. Well, at least for most Filipinos who start to feel Christmassy as soon as we flip our calendars to the first ‘ber’ page of its year. Yes, it’s as if September is just a blink away from the time we celebrated the New Year’s Eve. Time does fly. But this year I bet that Marcus and I were ahead of everyone else.
By the early days of August our car’s CD player has been on repeat mode. Marcus’ latest discovery was the repeat track menu. I had to reveal it to him after I got tired of pushing the back button to play Bebotover and over again for him as for some reason he became a sudden fan of Apl.de.ap which makes me wonder if his seemingly serious resentment of the Chinese activity in the West Philippine Sea influenced him–surprising for someone his age. Things changed though when he brought back home the BEP CD so that he can play it on our audio player. Since then the next most-abused disc is the one by Alvin, Theodore, and Simon. Yup, you got it, it’s the Chipmunks and their Christmas song album. The unmistakable voices of Alvin and the Chipmunks played in our car—in the middle of August, every day, every trip to school, every time he gets to be in the front passenger seat. And among the Chipmunks songs, Frosty the Snowman became his favorite driving song.
I have tried but my negotiation skills were of no use and so to join the band, so to speak, I would sing the the song while driving–my attempt to annoy him. So far Frosty the Snowman continues, either I can now sing like a Chipmunk or he just opts to ignore my strategy. Chances are, it is the latter. To concede, and to share my last song syndrome, let me share the song’s lyrics (thanks to Metrolyrics.com).
Why don’t you tell the kids about your ice cold friend?
Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe
And a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal
Frosty the Snowman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow
But the children know
How he came to life one day
There must have been some magic
In that old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around
Ohh, Frosty the Snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say
He could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me
Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said, “Let’s run
And we’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away”
Down to the village
With a broomstick in his hand
Running here and there
All around the square
Saying, “Catch me if you can”
He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler, “Stop”
Oh, Frosty the Snowman
Had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye
Saying, “Don’t you cry
I’ll be back again some day”
Thumpety, thump, thump
Thumpety, thump, thump
Look at Frosty go…”
Frosty the Snowman ends with “And he waved goodbye, saying, “Don’t you cry I’ll be back again some day” but thanks—or no thanks—to the stereo’s repeat track feature, Frosty returns faster than we realize that it is September all over again.
There’s another thing that makes us one more step ahead of the others—our Christmas lantern. Kudos to procrastination, our lantern and the Christmas bulbs we placed outside our house are still out there since last year. I really can’t wait for September to start so that we won’t be getting weird stares from our neighbors unlike when we accidentally hit the lantern’s switch in the middle of March.
Mood: 3/10 Honks (They should have shown Pixels in Christmas.)
The most awaited start of the ‘ber’ months is here. It is the time when us Filipinos begin to feel the spirit of Christmas. Like today while waiting for Marcus to finish his class I heard on the radio Band Aid’s It’s Christmas Time. What’s more, the station will now play one Christmas song every hour until December.
It is also to be expected that any time soon people will see malls with Christmas decorations and yuletide tunes playing in the background and in effect, like a subliminal message, entice more people to spend and splurge.
But one doesn’t need money to enjoy what we claim as the longest Christmas season. In the name of tourism–local and foreign, spectacular giant Christmas trees and sparkling lights are expected to illuminate streets of major cities and business centers–Makati commercial business district, Rockwell, and Nuvali are places to be. Petron gas stations have likewise held their annual Christmas decoration contest which I hope they continue this year.
A better way of course to feel the real spirit of Christmas is to start as early as now to realize the true reason of this celebration. Admittedly, however, in the midst of strong influence of commercialism, to see Christ in the middle of it all is a big challenge. For most of us, we get lost when we have the material things that give us that Christmassy feeling. It therefore helps to reflect regularly each day and recognize that there is deeper reason behind all these. God bless everyone, it’s Christmas time.
I bet that among the dreaded moments for most people ending their vacation is when it is time to pack up. Whether that be from the separation anxiety that comes along with it or just the thought of finding stuffs and figuring out which one goes where back inside the bags. There are others of course who worry about having excess baggage because of the new items that they have accumulated over time such as due to impulsive shopping or, for lucky ones like me, stuffs received as gifts or hand-me-downs from people from tate. But nevertheless how these things were acquired all of these could get someone in trouble at any airport’s check-in counter. And I’m not letting this extra stress happen to me especially that I’m traveling with my ever restless 4-year old.
So yesterday after buying some pasalubong for folks back in Luzon, and suddenly remembering that other than the box of BongBong’s delicacies I just got is an additional big Samsonite luggage (this is among my freebies and majority of its content also hand-me-downs) at home, I rushed to the mall’s Handyman store and purchased the cheapest analog luggage scale available.
This early morning, after packing almost all of our stuffs, I got to test the scale and I think that it’s probably picking up close to the exact weight. I also discovered that this one has a 39-inch tape measure that could come handy in checking waistlines overall dimensions of luggage that anyone plans to hand carry. The luggage scale can weigh up to 34 kilograms (75 lbs.) and costs only P325 (approx. $8).
Part of making sure that Marcus’ stuffs are intact is the tedious task of checking that his new Lego bricks (from my sis), not Duplos which means these are smaller, are all accounted for. And I’m now giving myself a pat on the back for sticking to my decision not to open his other Ninjago kit while we are still here in Bacolod.
Mood: 2/10 Honks!(I can smell breakfast. I’m expecting more excess weight.)
I think that most people would agree that December vacations are never enough as these usually happen so fast. At some point, the holiday activities, no matter what these are, just seem to overwhelm everyone and the realization that they have missed doing something comes always too late — any effort to recover from it is usually futile. And I just woke up feeling like so, just like how it felt back in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009…
Christmas vacation days are once again almost over.
Today, our parents’ house will be one less family in the evening and couple days later Marcus and I will be on our flight back home. The bedrooms will be once again unoccupied. No more humming of air-conditioners or the rickety sound of the electric fans. Home sweet home will be empty once more — their fat mongrels will have their space back. But I hope that there will be always next time which at the very least, about 300 days from now.
Bon voyage Ron, Jing, Megan, and Arisrei. And to quote your ex-governor, ‘hasta la vista, baby!’
I can’t remember the last time I got something pricey but I won’t even try to recall when or what it was. For now, I appreciate the fact that I now own my first Apple, albeit a hand-me-down. Thanks to you my Santa Clauses, it made me feel I wasn’t so naughty this year.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (First blog entry from my first iPad.)