Jul 31, 2009

magic show

Actually, "magic show" is what Bear calls this building facade projection. Chicha just agrees. Called 555 KUBIK, this outdoor art extravaganza was produced by Urbanscreen. The creators explain, this is... How it would be, if a house was dreaming. Even Pappy who is rarely impressed by anything was impressed by this. Watch it!

555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.

Kids will really dig this, but be prepared to answer how they made "all that building magic". Or something like that. Just do some further googling and you'll be fine.

When I stumble upon things like this, I realize how the internet makes the world one giant, mind-expanding art-fest for you and your kids to enjoy. Now that is even way cooler than 555 KUBIK itself.

Jul 30, 2009

good stuff from indigo baby

Who would not want to receive a Jar of Love? Monica of Indigo Baby just sent some love and good vibes our way after stumbling on us Viva Mamas - a sort of baptismal gift for this baby of a blog. So sweet.

Monica is actually a very good-vibes-kind-of-person, being a yogi and advocate for breast feeding and attachment parenting.  I met her when I tried Indigo Baby products when they had just started the business a few years back.  Now they're quite the success story. Viva la mompreneurs!

Indigo mamas Monica and Denise with their cuties.

My personal favorites: Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me, a deet-free, sweet-smelling insect repellant I have on-hand for the kids. The Yummy Mummy Stretchmark Oil feels really good slathered on post-shower. Their massage oils smell great and are not sticky-icky. And I am kinda OC about my massage stuff....

As for the Jar of Love Healing Gel, I have yet to use it as a rub for coughs, colds and flu as the product description explains. We've all been good and healthy lately thank God! But it does have a potent peppermint smell that seems to me could help relieve a nasty cold. Besides, did you know that ingesting too much camphor found in commercial cold rubs can be harmful to babies? As in toxic. 

Their all-natural, no-chemical baby and bath products can be ordered from the Indigo Baby website. They use their stuff on their own babies so you know it's all-good.

Jul 28, 2009

at the movies

So we thought we'd try something new. A first. The plan: movie outing with the Mak-Tatos. But first... a little research on the computer by this girl scout nerd. Is my child ready to see the movies? I typed. For real. Leave your judgement and amusement at the door, please. Lo, and behold. A checklist! Thank you, Google. You really do have the answers.

Exhibit A
Is your child above three? CHECK. Can he sit through a movie at home? CHECK. Wonder if that would exclude multiple pee breaks? Does the movie have familiar characters? CHECK. This is Ice Age. And every kid loves a dinosaur. Bring drinks and snacks. CHECK, CHECK and an extra CHECK. MacDaddy was armed and ready for war. Popcorn, smoothies, nachos, quesadillas, you name it. Explain what the movie is about. Half a CHECK. I did. Apparently, MacDaddy told them it was about penguins.

Conclusion...Throw out the survey, take the leap of faith and see for yourself. This is real life, after all. There are no cue cards or a script. Or even a guarantee of a happy ending. Four seconds after we sat down, Tato wanted to be anywhere but there and chose to stay by the entrance. Popcorn in hand, we both sat on the carpeted floor figuring out the plot by relying on the audio and absolutely no view of the screen. MacDaddy, MacYaya and Mak enjoyed the feast and the film... in that order. All went well until Mak noticed, an hour into the film, that Tato was gone too long. And realized he missed his brother more than he cared to know how the story would end. And... that was Sunday at the movies.

Exhibit B

Jul 27, 2009

good read - alice in wonderland

I have yet to share this classic Lewis Carroll story with Bear and Chicha. Though I definitely will, I thought I would wait it out until they're older, as it can be disturbing to younger kids.

Alice in Wonderland

But now, I may just read it to them before this comes out in 2010. Feast your eyes on Tim Burton's next movie....

Thanks to Ira for the heads up!

I think Burton did great work with Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Ed Wood and James and the Giant Peach. I wasn't too happy though about his stab at Batman and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

While he may have come short for Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka (just my opinion), I have a feeling he's the man to make a Lewis Caroll book come to life.

Besides, Johnny Depp is the Mad frikkin' Hatter. Anne Hathaway is the White Queen. Red Queen is Helena Bonham Carter... of course. Looking forward to this.

Now, if this becomes a hit that calls for the sequel... imagine the craziness Burton could come up with doing Through the Looking Glass!


I told Chicha we needed to get potted plants with her big brother who has a greening-the-school project. Aside from a letter from his teachers, big brother Bear explained to me: We need plants Ma, so we get more oxygen in school. Me: Oh, who told you that? Teacher? Bear: No. A scientist on TV. We should get 10 plants okay... so, so there's more oxygen.
On the day we get ready to buy some potted "oygenators", I put on a pair of shorts, a yoga tank and flip-flpos for the trip to a nearby plant nursery. Bear and I are basically in house clothes, but she put this on:
Me: Cheech... told you we're just going to buy plants. Chicha: I knooow. Dressed for the plants. Literally. As if she knows how bright, colorful flowers entice pollination. Or maybe she knows how this will make her pop amongst all the green?
Now here's Little Miss Tropical Floral Explosion knocked-out after plant shopping. Her Tita Faye made the fetching flowery dress especially for her.

Behold fetching dress... against my drab yoga tank and shorts. I am so blah next to my 3-year-old girl. Haha!

Jul 25, 2009

a homecoming of sorts

I am loving the trips down memory lane. In case you're  wondering where all this nostalgia is coming from,  here's an explanation a confession. Remember I mentioned in my very first post  that the Mak-Tatos would be attending  the  same school i spent my preschool years? They're there now and it's opened up a floodgate of memories.  All good.  No worries.  

This was my home for eight years, two blocks away from the preschool. There are new owners, the exterior  has been given a nip and a tuck  but its still the same old place where I spent some of the best years of  my life.  I would love to take a peek inside.  Should be a trip.

This is the street where I ran, criedcried while walking,  walked every morning to school. I learned how to bike there.  I learned why I shouldn't  skateboard  there. 

And here is the school's walkway leading to the classrooms.

Last night, at the parents' orientation organized by the school, I sat in the very room where I once did... ready for a whole life ahead  and stubborn, feeling all grown-up at four. Three decades later everything still seems so familiar.  Like going back home. There I stood. Still ready for life.  Still stubborn. All grown-up. Way, way past four. 

And so indulge me one last more time. Here's another oldie. Genius,  trippy and, interestingly enough, about remembering your way back home. 

Have a memorable weekend. 

Jul 24, 2009

more sesame street nostalgia

In response to Nana showing some Sesame Street love and a reminder from Barni, here's another classic Sesame Street vignette.... rich with the most whimsical 70's acid-induced? imagery and metaphors. Yes, we remember Daddy Dear! We love it too!

and those great lyrics....

D, D, D, D
Daddy dear, oh daddy dear
Do dogs dream dreams, do ducks have ears?
Do dragons dance? Why do gophers dig holes?
Do gophers dress up in their dirty clothes?

D, D, D, D
Dogs dream of meat and their dreams are delicious
Ducks do have ears but they don't do the dishes
Gophers dig holes to hide their candy bars
Dragons don't dance and they don't smoke cigars

D, D, D, D
Daddy dear, oh daddy sweet
Do dandylions roar, do daisies have feet?
May I have a drink of water and a dish of tadpoles?
Daddy how deep is a doughnut hole?

D, D, D, D
If dandylions roar then your daddy is deaf
The daisies drank the water so the tadpoles left
Your eyes are droopy darling daughter and you're dizzy in the head
Tho toads are eating dinner so it's time to go to bed

Little dolly go to bed
Now here's Capital I and Lower Case N back-to-back to cap this moment's dose of nostalgia.

Hope you enjoy sharing these with your own new-generation kids. My kids' current fave, by the way, is the Operatic Orange singing Carmen.

We know there's just too many but, what's your favorite Sesame Street moment?

Jul 22, 2009

the people in your neighborhood

When Sesame Street: Old School Volumes 1 and 2 DVD set was released two or so years ago, my heart skipped a beat. Finally! I so loved Sesame Street back in the day. I still do. I knew who were the people in my neighborhood. I knew the alligator king had seven sons. And yes, I could do the ooohh ooohh , pigeon. Like visiting your ancestral home with your little ones in tow, I couldn't wait to take the Mak-Tatos down memory lane with me on this street I adored and the 'friends' I grew up with - Ernie, Bert, Oscar, Grover. Each and every one of them. And then word on the street was that the DVD was not suitable for pre-school children. Huh?

(Place picture of Bert's mono-brow here. Pipe in sound of thunder and the Count's evil laugh here)

Here is an excerpt from Virginia Heffernan's article for the New York Times , Sweeping the Clouds Away.
Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia. Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”
Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. ''What did they do to us?'' asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar's depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn't exist.

And in conclusion:
People on “Sesame Street” had limited possibilities and fixed identities, and (the best part) you weren’t expected to change much. The harshness of existence was a given, and no one was proposing that numbers and letters would lead you “out” of your inner city to Elysian suburbs. Instead, “Sesame Street” suggested that learning might merely make our days more bearable, more interesting, funnier. It encouraged us, above all, to be nice to our neighbors and to cultivate the safer pleasures that take the edge off — taking baths, eating cookies, reading. Don’t tell the kids.

You can read the New York Times article in full
here .

One commenter on a thread made me laugh out loud. " Where I work there are a lot of Oscars and gluttonous monsters. I'm so glad sesame street prepared me." And so we ponder.. should we expose our little ones to Sesame Pre-Elmo times? I say YES! YES! YES! And to prove it, here's a video from way back when, from a certain street I called home. Now go, gather the pre-schoolers.

Jul 21, 2009

it's raining wellies

And they're pink, with extra pink bunnies too.

It has stopped raining outside for now, but she still wears the wellies... indoors.

Officially snapped for the annals of Chicha Pambahay Style 2009. As usual, the curious outfit is completely HER idea. Thankfully, get-up is just for inside the house.

This is one reason why she may eventually ask me to stop blogging about her antics. In the meantime, check the Chicha out!

She was so pleased with herself coming up with this ensemble.

Jul 20, 2009

weekend warriors

We packed and unpacked our bags again. This one was brief. There was a long-overdue reunion with family we missed like crazy. There were birthdays to celebrate.

Impromptu Easter egg hunting.. in July

We laughed too hard, slept too little, ate too much, cared too little. A typhoon came our way but we carried on in the dark. And swam in the rain. Just like we did when we were little. In a compound we all called home. For the weekend, we were grown-ups being children with our children. A great one - storm, power outage, some questionable 80's tracks and all.

Jul 19, 2009

marriage and the hot, sexy dad

requisite photo for post about love and marriage

This is not about Brad Pitt. Or our hot dad at home. Aaron Traister is the hot, sexy dad I'm referring to in the title. He wrote this very raw, funny, honest ode-to-marriage for Salon, where he even went as far as over sharing about his sex life. He says he had to because apparently, married people are considered baduy these days. But no way he says. Not ALL married people are lying about being happy, or doomed to a life of misery because bad marriages exist. I have to thank him for so eloquently speaking for the happily-marrieds. Here's a taste of Aaron Traister's piece, It's Hot! It's Sexy! It's... marriage!

My wife and I have been married anywhere from seven to 150 years (I'm not good with dates). During those years we have moved six times, and each move was like an exotic gift that happened to be covered in shit. We have each had multiple jobs, and multiple uniforms with name tags. We've been broke, we've been well off, we've been broke again. We've bought our first house together, and it has a giant hole in the kitchen ceiling and sparks come out of the third-floor outlets if you hold anything metal too close to them. We have fought, raged, nearly cheated, and been totally out of sync with each other during chunks of our time together. We've also produced two enormous redheaded babies who are as terrifying to us as Mothra and Godzilla were to Japan in the '60s. We have been depressed, we have wanted more, we have wanted different, we have wanted out. The years since we got married have been the most challenging and at times most frustrating years of my life.
They have also been the most productive, happiest and most hilarious.

This part made me go awww...

Nowadays when my wife looks in the mirror all she sees are stretch marks and soft spots. I don't see these things with the clarity or critical eye she does; if I do notice changes in her I chalk them up to a life full of laughter, good food and fat babies. In my mind, my wife wears those marks with as much style and beauty as she wears everything else. In her mind it is a different story.

It gets better. Read the rest here.

This also made me wonder if any Dads/Married Men actually read this blog? If only they did, I think even full-blooded martian men can get sexy dad's sentiments. Martian.. because men are from Mars, women are from Venus...

Traister's essay is also my official male-voice-version to Barni's classic Love in the Time of Marriage. And you're right Barn, Salon rocks!

Jul 17, 2009

kids, kids, kids

A little trip down memory lane.

Kids posing above are (from back to front) my baby brother Matisse looking kinda gangsta, and cousins Niki and Paolo. There's a big age gap between them and me, so I was their big cousin babysitter. They were sort of like my practice kids before I had kids.

They're not kids anymore though. These photos were taken years ago by our Tito Cholo, which I stumbled upon while sorting through old family pictures. Reminded me of when I used to take care of them when they were small, during my summer visits to New York or LA and thereabouts. They're my Fil-Am family.

Tito Cholo lets go of the camera to join this picture.

I think Matisse did the shooting this time, which is why he's missing in the shot. These days, Matisse - the young man - is pretty nifty with the camera himself. He's turning out to be quite the artist too.

They were a handful as little people. Loved them! Love them still. Flashback to an entire stay in Martha's Vineyard, a toddler Niki would only go potty with ME. No one else could put on her shoes but ME. Memories! Look at that cheeky little girl....

I really miss them. Now I can never huggy-wuggy and kish them or zerbert their tummies like I used to. That would be weird. Kids just grow up so darn fast.