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Ready for Advent

We're ready for Advent! More than the Advent wreath, the Jesse tree or any other symbols associated with Advent, let us remember that Advent is above all about preparing our hearts and spirits for the coming (birth) of our Savior and His second coming.

Happy Advent!





Hair Experiments

The little boy (who's not so little anymore) is experimenting on different hair styles. There are days that I like it. There are days when I wished he'd just be okay with being bald because I like it that way --shaved and clean, easy to manage, highlights his features and generally looks good on him.

But I see he's quickly growing and learning things, picking his own clothes, making little decisions for himself. That's how it's gonna be from hereon and I know I must get used to it somehow. I can't always decide for him -- and I shouldn't anyway. He is his own boy, and a few years from now -- his own man. I miss my baby boy but I will always be proud of him and how he's using everything he's learning to effectively deal with the world around him. He negotiates, inspects, criticizes, prods, observes and carefully navigates the grown-up world, trying as best he can to make sense of everything grown-ups do.

There are times I wish he didn't grow up so fast. Or maybe he didn't really. That's just how I feel.

And someday, I know he'd have a lot to teach me too... and I will listen intently, just as he does every time he asks me about things he cannot understand or don't know. My little boy is experimenting on hair styles today. Tomorrow, it just might be the next miracle drug, unexplored territory or bold idea. I have high hopes for tomorrow because I am preparing him today as best as I can..and if only for that, I know I need not fear nor feel sad. Wherever his curiosity takes him, I will be there prodding and supporting him like I've always promised.

Nickelodeon Fright Fest 2012, SMX Mall of Asia: An Almost Frighteningly Disappointing Experience

It's already November 5 and I'm happy to report that we made it to Nickelodeon Fright Fest 2012 held at the SMX, Mall of Asia last Halloween, October 31, 2012.

I was sure I made all arrangements necessary: costumes, check; ask Mr. Marmol to file for leave of absence (October 31 is not a holiday..oops), check. Leave early (2 hours early, that is), check; bass-thumping car music, check. Gas, check.

Ah, but destiny has its own plan of dampening our Halloween spirit (or at least it tried to).

When we got to SMX, I made a phone call to the Skechers event coordinator I was referred to via the email invitation. First try: unreachable. Next try: unreachable. 20th try: unreaaaaaaaachable! O-M-G. Mr. Marmol. The kids. We drove all the way from Calamba! I'm toast!!!

Call me maybe? 

I tried talking to the bouncers (Ultimate Bouncers) and asked them if I could talk to anyone from Skechers because I was told I had to call a certain person as soon as I get there so she'd let us in but that there seems to be no signal there. But no, he says. I'd have to text or call and wait for them to fetch us by the entrance. No other way, he says. So I called all the numbers of all the Skechers people I know but they can't be reached too. OMGWTFBBQ!!!

Both kids were staring at me with that sad puppy look in their eyes and I was like oh no, I can't bear to break their hearts... :(

So I tried again. I talked to these guys with 2-way radios and asked them if anybody could go in and ask somebody from Skechers to either fetch us or text us or anything... just please help the kids get in -- all to no avail. :(

After what seemed like hours (it was a little over an hour actually), I decided we can't waste any more minute: we better go home instead or go some place else where the kids can have a little Halloween party. While walking away from the SMX Hall entrance, I got a call from Michelle of Skechers telling me not to go home and that they're sorry about any inconvenience. As it turns out, the phone I was calling got stolen the same day -- and that we we're on the "PRESS" guest list in the first place.

Michelle saved the day! Yay!


Oh.

I could whine about how long we waited or that I had to talk to almost all the staff there but it's a free invite so I feel like there shouldn't be any sense of entitlement whatsoever.. But it was really a frustrating experience (at least during the first hour or so).

But as soon as we got in, we're just glad that we got there to enjoy whatever's left of the excitement. Turns out there were still a lot of booths for the kids to visit and explore. We still got our happy ending.

That was some experience indeed. Fortunately for me, I didn't wear that bloody-French-maid costume I was planning to wear, otherwise I'd be so embarrassed waiting by the door for an hour! Haha! :)

My son Emilio and niece Nini may not have been as happy as this.
Or sit smugly by the Skechers booth, which by the way was such a hit that barely a few minutes after we got in, they already ran out of free coloring books and paper hats. 
We could have gone home much, much earlier...

And not as late as this... past 7PM.
Mr. Marmol would have blamed me for another wasted work leave.

Emilio must have given me his signature oh so disappointed face.

And not this traffic-stopping post...err..pose.

Niece Nini would not have taken this photo with her beloved Winx Club.

These two kids would have been whining the whole drive back home to Calamba from  MOA.

"John Lloyd" may not have found himself lost within MOA.

And these plastic eggs... what are we ever gonna do without plastic eggs?

And oh yes, Monster High. 

We may never have found out about Petron's new line of collectible "Passion for Porsche" toy cars.

Which we bought the morning after (Cayman S).. and the afternoon after (Carrera S). Yes -- in one day.
There are 5 Porsche cars to collect so we're not even halfway there.   

They would have missed the giant inflatable slide.

And this Crispy Fry ad splashed on the big screen..

Emilio would not have reminded me of the Skechers Luminators he's been asking for since last year.

And if they missed Spongebob, Dora and the gang, it would have been a  gloomy Halloween for us all.

And did I already mention the huge inflatable slide? I did? Well, it's worth mentioning again.

Ah. And this unrequited kiss -- it would have been replaced by hair-pulling and all-day face-palming.
But yeah, we made it there. Thanks to patience, luck and Michelle of Skechers' call that ultimately cleared everything and enlightened me that we were on the media guest list in the first place. All those anxious waiting  by the SMX door and the frantic calls to a dead phone, SMX staff and guards, bouncers etc. turned out to be unnecessary had we known all along that the "PRESS" door to the left has been waiting for us. What's annoying though was that the people at the SMX lobby/information area were of NO help at all. I told them the circumstances of my being there so they could have given me the information I needed but no, they were all like, "Sorry, there aren't tickets here. Better text/call Skechers and wait for them to fetch you by the door." They could have suggested something like, "You know what, there's a guest list at the "PRESS" door, maybe you should check if you're on the list." Boy, that would have saved me a lot of pain!

Maybe next time I should just call waaay sooner. Lesson learned. Thank God that that almost frighteningly disappointing experience was averted in the "Nick of time". :)

Thank you Skechers! I'm sure you never meant for this to happen. I still love you guys. And your shoes. And Emilio still loves your Luminators. :)