Motherhood Year One

t was a spur-of-the-moment experiment. I saw my little one stumble and fall from cruising the furniture quickly. While I heard the thud, a part of me waited for the cry of pain; a part of me resisted the urge to run and help. What would he do? He laid there for a couple of seconds. I stood still. And then - to my surprise and relief - he picked himself up, smiled at me, and laid his hands on the couch to cruise once again. It's all right, Mom, he must have thought. 

Was it a showcase of bravery? Could it be credited to him being a boy? Maybe it just didn't hurt at all? I've seen this happen, over and over, in different contexts and situations. Then I figured it out. He's just doing what babies do: experiencing life and then responding to the newness, to the rawness of it all. Perhaps we need a redefinition of babies? In my one year of being a mother (oh so short but also oh so long!), my son has showed me that he is not a helpless creature. Yes, of course, they need to be carried, fed, bathed, and changed. But for all that they cannot yet do, they know how to learn…

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Islands Away: El Nido, Palawan

I stood in the middle of the boat surrounded by nature's masterpiece. We were adrift in the middle of the big cerulean ocean, the boat bobbing as we asked them to stop for awhile. There were only limestone cliffs as far as one could see, mountains so lush with green that is absent in the urban grit. This is what life looks like when it is stripped off of worldly dealings and ramblings -- so simple, so unadulterated, so quiet. In the midst of it all, I was not wife, not mother. It was just me as me. I am beholden to you, I thought to the islands that simplified the world at that moment…

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Classy Musings 2.0

I stared at the screen and struggled to wrap my heart around it. It did not fit me anymore. I tried to write on the blog that once was but it felt like it belonged to a woman that once was. It was beautiful; it was pristine. It was perfectly styled and classically cursive. Scrolling led to images worthy of social media virality. There was so much cooking and entertaining and traveling; there were clothes and flower arrangements and baked goodies. I scoffed at the blog, at the woman. Out of jealousy, perhaps? Or nostalgia? Both, probably. 

My days now consist of changing nappies, cleaning up baby food, and pushing a pram. I wake up to a baby that wants to be picked up and it is non-stop action from there. By the time I put him to sleep, it is time to be a wife and cook and clean…

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Coming Home

The truth is I am deathly nervous. It’s been a while; it’s been so long since I last sat down alone with my thoughts. Listen, writing is not easy. It’s like a wrestling match in my head. I’m in the ring trying to pin down each fleeting memory, each sacred moment. Sometimes I find myself literally banging my head on the table, forcing a word, a sentence out. Or I close my eyes and place my hands over them to block out everything around me so that I can feel the entirety of the thought. It’s easier not to write; it’s easier to say I can just live through it all…

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New York City: Culinary Playground

What's there to do in New York when you've done everything else? Eat.

There'll always be something new to try or something classic you'll always go back to. NYC's pretty darn good at food, if you know where to go. Here's a list of some of my favorite finds. 

Classy Musings' (Foodie) Guide to NYC

1. For an al dente cacio e pepe (and if you want to be surrounded and by and stuffed with everything from the boot-shaped country): Eataly 

2. For no-frills, fun-sized, delicate cheesecakes: Eileen's Cheesecake

3. For crispy-on-the-outside yet soft-on-the-inside fish tacos (absolute must-order), milky Horchata, and a sighting of a restored VW van: Tacombi Nolita

4. For an Asian fusion kind of brunch: Talde Brooklyn

5. For outstanding service, thoughtful food, take-home goodies, and a surprise trip to the world-class kitchen of the World's Best Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park

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