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Friday, July 30, 2010

Parental Advisory: Explicit "Lyrics"

It's no secret that I had a difficult childhood.

I'd rather not go into a detailed exposé of my childhood woes and family secrets, but I will say that a lot of my insecurities stem from my childhood experiences. My childhood was NOT all about rainbows and sunshine. According to each of their (my parents) separate accounts, they had a very rocky marriage. It lasted less than three years and they separated before I was one year old. My father was in and out of my life as I was growing up. He tried his best to be around, but he wasn't always there for us (my sister and I) when we were growing up. My older brothers (from my mom's 1st marriage) were the primary male figures in my life, but they were only 10 and 12 years older than my sister and I. As for my mother? Oh where do I begin? It's tough being raised by a single mom on a fixed income. Stress was high and money was low and that leaves plenty of room for parenting error. But, despite it all, I know she tried her best too.We had a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our back and I'm grateful for that.

I know how to make lemonade out of lemons so I try my hardest to derive whatever happiness I possibly can from my childhood experiences. It's not that I'm ungrateful, but I'm being brutally honest when I say that sporadic weekends together and supplying bare neccesities don't complete the total parenting package. I fell victim to egocentric parenting. Don't get me wrong though...I LOVE my parents. I just don't love some of the memories that I associate with growing up the way I did. With some of the choices they made. But hey, that's just how I feel and at the very least you have to respect my candidness.

My parents have failed me just as much as they've done good for me. Every parent fails their child at some point in their upbringing. I learned in Psychology that you learn about relationships and parenting by observing the example your parents set. Well, my family structure didn't exactly give me much insight on the world of love, relationships, and parenting, now did it? We (my brothers and sister) became a product of our own environment. We're a snarly pack of fighters -- my brothers, sister, and I -- but we stick with each other through hell and high water. We're unconventional, but I wouldn't have it any other way. A very sweet person once confided in me that some people thought we (my family) was "ghetto". And that may be true to some degree being that I came from a "broken home", but I like to believe that experiencing hardships builds character.

And in that case take the term "ghetto" as a compliment.

It means that we're stronger than most because of the environment we were raised in. I am a more resilient person because I was thrust into an environment that required resiliency in order to survive.  Believe it or not, I can be a total "thug" if you push my buttons long enough. And, I'm embarassed to admit that there are a few people out there who've witnessed my wrath. John's cousin and my neice D come to mind...oh, and of course, John too. But as tough as I was raised to be, I turned out to be kind of the runt in the family. I was the youngest (ie: the most picked on) so even though I was raised in a household that would make anyone hardened beyond caring what-the-eff anyone thinks, I tend to care too much what people think.

The length of my fuse is freakishly long and it takes a hell of a lot to make me blow up.

I know how to keep my thoughts to myself NO matter how much someone has hurt me. The runt in me makes me try my best to make everyone around me happy because their happiness gives me emotional security. And, 99.99% of the time I'm as sweet as a lamb because I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I don't want to regret the consequences if I were to do things out of anger. I do this not because I'm being fake, but because I'm a meek -- all bark with no bite -- and usually, I know how to bite my tongue very well.

So why am I writing about all of this?

Well, this is my blog, my diary, remember? And f*ck censorship -- I say what I want on here. ;-) Besides, the last time I tried to be vague about my personal woes --  the last time I was naked for all the world to see -- my words were misconstrued and gossiped about. And I can't stand it when that happens because I'm a damn good person. Whether you wish to believe so or not.

As an adult, my life hasn't been very easy. Some of the "bad things" that happened to me were completely my fault while others I had no control over. I've made mistakes. No one is perfect. No parent is perfect.
Children don't come with owners manuals, but if there was anything that was a blessing about my fucked up childhood, it was the fact that it showed me exactly how I DON'T want to raise my kids. I know my parents tried their best, but sometimes their best wasn't exactly what I would have selected for my kids.

Again, it's not that I'm being ungrateful, I'm just telling the truth. Baring the inner depths of my soul.

I know my parents read this blog, but how I feel is no longer a secret to them. Sometimes, people who are supposed to love you the most, hurt you the most too. And once that damage is done, no amount of apology can take away the pain that was already inflicted. If you've hurt someone, it's your responsibility to acknowledge the pain you've inflicted.

Right now, I'm just venting. I feel better now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kev & Boo's Surfer Dude Party...

This past Sunday (7/25) was Kevin and Anthony's birthday party. Their birthdays are only one month apart so why not have a joint celebration, right? To be honest, John and I weren't sure if we could pull it off. We neglected to do any real planning for the boys' party because we weren't sure if Niki would still be in the hospital. When it turned out that Niki recovered sooner than expected, party planning continued to stay on the back-burner as we all adjusted to the wonderful world of port access.

I handed out invitations prior to Niki's surgery (I'll post a pic some other day because I don't think I have any spare invites), but everyone else was invited via Evite a few days before  the party. Talk about procrastination!

But somehow, with the help of my lovely in-laws, John and I managed to pull this party off in less than 3 days! Two days to be exact. My SILs and I *seriously* threw the party bags together on Saturday. John and I ordered sandwiches and spam musubi on Friday. My sister and her MIL helped too. My sis made super delish 7-layer dip and spinach dip while her MIL made bibingka and strawberry leche flan. Oh, and my BFF K's cousin Deb made some really yummy blue velvet and marble cupcakes for the kids. Meanwhile, my MIL cooked up a storm while my SFIL made his infamous BBQ.

If it weren't for all of the help, we wouldn't have been able to pull this party off. The boys deserved nothing but the best birthday bash after all of the stress and separation anxiety they went through with Niki's back-to-back hospitalizations. A special handful of guests made it to the party and as far as I know, everyone had fun.

Party success is the best, but MOST IMPORTANTLY of all, my boys had TONS of fun. After all, the party was for their special day. :)

The Lion King and the Cubs
Ryder Park
The Goodies...
The Grub...
 Summer time fun!

Cupcake Time!