Friday, July 8, 2011

Proven fact - I see food and I gain weight

So, get this... I get up and weigh myself.  Wow, 127.8 lbs!  Awesome!  I keep it to myself till Miche wakes up and weighs in too.  I wanted him to see the numbers on the scale and give me a high five for going sub 128.

The little luvvies wake up, I prepare their breakfast and serve them up.  Miche and I go to the scale, me so excited for his reaction to my 127.8 lbs!  What?...a mere 30 minutes later, with me not having ingested anything but air,  staring back at me was 128.2 lbs!!!!  What the heck happened here?????  I had not eaten anything, not even a sneak of a single mini-wheat that the girls were having, and my weight changed?  Someone out there, pls explain!  I weighed myself 3x each time just to be triple sure!

Okay, so the good news was that at least I still did not gain weight but the bad news was that, I so wanted it to be 127.8 and not 128.2.

It's official - I think food, see food and I gain weight!

On other topics, since Rowe's Room is not only about the $700 bet with Miche...

Miche celebrated his 39th birthday last Wednesday (July 6th).  For his birthday, I gave him a pair of super cool cargo pants/skinny cut.  I told him that he needed to get his European side back on the dressing, I miss the Euro trash...este, I mean flair.  And, as a big surprise, on the evening of his bday, I delivered the news that his other bday present, the coolest of all presents he's ever wished for, is going to be his - a round of golf at Pebble Beach in Carmel.  Golfers know this is a big one!  Never mind that it's $$$ to play there, but it is almost impossible to get a tee time!  Thanks to the fruits of being nice to people, they are nice back.  Someone did me the huge favor of pulling strings and got me a tee time for Miche within 2 days of his bday!  How awesome is that?  Round of golf, caddy, cart at Pebble.  I'm a major star in his eyes right now!  (I better win this bet to cover the cost...LOL.)

39 years old he turned.  I met him when I was 36 and he was 28.  Meeting over the internet back then (2000) was not usual, more so meeting someone in another continent over the internet!  Remind me to tell you that story sometime, it's quite the material for a book, the kind you read by the pool or the ocean.

Yes, 8 years apart.  Cougar, you say...absolutely and proudly!  Hahhahahahaha.  I remember a comment he made at my 39th birthday party at the W, I was talking to Nelson Galang, an old friend from hs days in Manila.  We had not seen each other since we were in senior year hs (1981).  I turned to Nelson and said, "wow...last time I saw you was your grad ball in 81."  Miche then remarked, "1981? guys graduated from hs in 81?  I was all of 8 years old then!"  NICE.  Imagine, I was graduating from hs and he was in 2nd grade?


Tomorrow, we celebrate his bday with some friends over drinks in Palo Alto.  Next year, we celebrate his 40th in Stockholm.   Woo hoo!  Anyone headed that way next year?  It'll be a fun time to visit Stockholm so you might want to consider!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sharing an email I received from a fantastic woman.  Hip, cool, smart, fit, fierce! I asked her if I could post her message and she said that I could, if I believe her ramblings would mean anything to any of us.  (Hmmm...Rowe's Room is all about ramblings anyway, isn't it?)  I wanted to post it because, first and foremost, I would never have thought she would relate to the challenge I'm facing.  She surfs, she cycles, she swims, she is the epitome of athleticism (and being skinny)! Not that my misery loves company (okay, sometimes it does), but just shows us all that we all have our own little (and not so little) battles with ourselves.  Might not be about trimming down (big example - Miche's battles with his hardship on bulking up), might not be about eating less (there are those lucky ppl out there who "just can't seem to put on weight"), might be about wanting more "me" time, or more "together" time - we all have something that just displeases us about our lifestyles, our habits, okay, our bodies (or faces).  We all have something.  It is just a relief and nice reminder that even the people we view as "ideal" have their "stuff" to rant about.  And, it's great to collectively be able to joke about them or ramble on about them every so often!

How to age gracefully, my friend "M" says below.  I think the first step has been made - let's laugh along the way!!  That's more attractive and graceful than frowning and fretting.  Besides, I don't want to spend my $700 win on botox!  (Okay, that's another blog posting waiting to happen.)  Just sayin!

Perhaps,  the reason  why I've fallen in love with Zumba more than I expected to do so is because of the fact that it brings so much "gracefulness" to working out and to fitness.  I don't mean it in such a way that we are all so super graceful dancers at Zumba!  From what I've seen, experienced for myself is that there is a side of me that Zumba just brings out even for the one hour I'm doing it.  That side of me that is free, young, fun and yes, happy! For one hour, I have permission and reason to just dance in reckless abandon.  That one hour when I am not "mamma" nor "asst to the chairman" nor 47 years old.  We all know that our surroundings/environment/roles in life dictate and shape how we behave and carry ourselves.  But at Zumba, I have every reason to! No one is there to judge, and we take on the attitude of "there is no wrong way, just "your way."  If that is not "grace" then I don't know what is! 

So, M...thank you for letting me post your message.  Please keep reading and maybe your next comment will be directly on this page!  I'd love that.

(On the $700 bet front - today has been a good no-snacking on bad stuff day! Woo-hoo!)
"hi rowe... hey gorgeous momma, how are you?

i took a look at your blog...and i will say, it hits so close to home in so many ways.  you are a gal after my own heart...athletic, smart, fitness minded....everything is good until perio-menopause steps in...what????  i am young and invincible, right?  um, but my body is not syncing up with my mind the way it did when i was in my 20's....suddenly, i find myself hit with a bod that is not the one that i was so well acquainted with in my 20's and 30's....really???  everything s-l-o-w-s down and does not recover the same as it once did in my teens, 20's, 30's and (god bless you, all the way to my early 40's)...i am not happy (at all!!) about it, but our bodies do change as we reach perio menopause and beyond....

that is the blog i want to follow....the one for women like us, that take care of our bodies above and beyond, and yet where o where is that range to age gracefully?  we need a forum for when our bodies begin that foreign (and most heinous) stretch of do we move gracefully through this time???  

m. "

Monday, June 27, 2011

The $700 bet - slip slidin' away.....

I stepped on the scale last Friday for the weekly weigh-in.  Not to my surprise, I was at 130 lbs.  I was hoping that the kick-butt cardio kickboxing class I took on Wednesday would have made up for the no workout on Tuesday.  I was hoping that the run with Holly on Thursday, would erase the pop chips I ate, not once, but twice that day.  I was dreaming that the bloating from all that salt I ate, and the monthly cycle we women go through, would magically not matter on Friday.  I am sounding like Wimpy ( and certainly feeling like one!) in Popeye cartoons aren't I?  ("I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.")

Monday of last week started off wonderfully, as always.  Expectations were high of myself.  Taught my Monday evening Zumba class and salsa'd, cumbia'd, samba'd,  hip-hop'd up a sweat and took the heart rate up.  Tuesday came around, didn't even imbibe in champagne and cupcakes at Firefox Five Release Day at work.  Holding steadfast.  Miche called me to say he only had one client that afternoon and that switched my mindset to "stay home" kind of evening with family.  No workout.  No regrets though - I had such a great time being an audience to the little luvvies' impromptu performances.  It was so nice to not rush that evening, to not hurry them up, to just sit on the porch and watch them play, dance, sing.  The weather was perfect for just a time for us to "be."

Wednesday found me craving salt, sweet, salt, sweet.  One small bag of pop chips.  Deliriously and deliciously evil!  Bloat and blow up feeling, so quickly.  As if the sodium in that bag grew like gremlins in my pooch.  Okay, no worries...going to try out Nikki's cardio kickboxing class after work.  Cardio off this pop chips party in my belly feeling.

Thursday - that wonderful feeling of DOMs!  Soreness on the shoulders, soreness on adductors, soreness on lower back and glutes!  Yes!  Must mean that I seriously did damage to those pop chips.  Hey, why not treat myself and have another one today?  Besides, I'm going to be running  in the evening, PLUS, it's my first day of the cycle anyway and I'm already retaining water!  Uh huh...the kind of thinking that this chomp-chomp queen musters up each time.  The run...was so sore from cardio kb that the run was quite sad (but had wonderful company at the run, I must say).

Then Friday rolled in.  I was expecting it.  The scale would not go the right direction.  There it was...back to 130.  The opponent was quite gallant about it - reminded me that a pound, during the cycle, is not horrible.  I think he's trying to brainwash me so that I'll let my guard down!

Pop chips..I love you, I hate you. 

Team Rowe - I need your comments...I need your rah-rahs on this page!  Come out of the woodwork and support!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Men In My Life

In honor of my dad, the man of very few words (except on paper), I have this to say: Thank YOU for the many long hours we shared silences together, only needing to "be" to become. In honor of my husband, whose ability to smile and find joy in everything: THANK YOU for seeing the good and the light in me, even when my silences can be loud and painful. Happy Father's Day to the two of you, one watching over me from somewhere and everywhere, one loving me and our family in any and every way.
- by Rowe Hoffer on 06 19 11

The very first man in my life who showed me the importance of exercise and fitness was my father Col (and Atty) Diosdado Garcia Lapina.

The man I chose, choose and will always choose to spend my life with, the man who takes fitness to levels I never thought was even possible, my husband Miche Hoffer.

What a lucky girl I am to have (had) you in my life to inspire and challenge (and in Miche's case, to try and beat me on the bet).

From  Rowe's Room, growing up, it was usual to wake up to the sounds of my father hitting the punching bag at 6:00 am, the speed ball work, the jump ropes for quick feet.  All these, after he had already done his 4:30 am run of about 4 to 5 miles (sometimes, in bare feet).

Dad lived to 92, the only times ever having been hospitalized in his life were from an appendectomy in his 50s, then when he was 86 (when we realized he had diabetes -for decades!), then finally at 92 when his body was just plainly tired.  Even after his first serious diabetic seizure when he was "gone" for several seconds, after he had recovered and was able to walk about, I would find him doing wall pushups out in the front yard or doing punching moves.  He even talked about starting up his law practice.  LOL.

My girls, Ynez and Kajsa (aka Little Luvvies), have grown up to hear, see and know exercise as a lifestyle.  Thank goodness for our fitness gym being on the premises of our home.  They have been living a life of  our clients, classes every single day.  They have no questions about why we exercise, all they know is that people do.  In turn, as early as 3 years old, these girls have known what pushups, core work, pull ups are, among other things.  I pushed them around in their double strollers at our Monday and Wednesday Circuit classes around the Stanford sports complex as early as 4 months old.  They would then crawl around on a blanket at the end of the sessions when it was time for core work and stretches.  They know the layout of a track like it was their own yard, having watched Miche for years, every Sunday, training young athletes.  Now, it's not unusual for them to get on a lane each and do laps around (Ynez can actually go a full 400 meters without stopping).

I don't know whether sports and athletics will be something they'll do, or whether they will have theater in their system (like I did).  We will leave that up to them.  They have the good fortune, just as Miche did, to have two parents who are supportive and will not deny nor discourage them from trying things.  Whatever it is that they choose to pursue, whether it be athletics or theater or I don't know,  animal husbandry (couldn't think of anything else to say), one thing is for sure - that they are starting off with a strong understanding of the fact that everyone MUST exercise (in however way, shape and form).

Friday, June 17, 2011

The $700.00 bet - one week later

Weigh in day today: 129 lbs.  Okay, at least that's towards the right direction on the scale, no?

Thank you to all of you who posted comments on this blog page.  If you are reading this on my blogger page, I would so love to have you post here vs on the FB page.  You see, I leave this page open all day, every day!  Each time I hear the call of Pop Chips all the way from the 2 snack areas at work, I just look at my post and your comments and I get jolted to the fact that, holy crap, I just publicly announced my dress size!  Nervous laugh.  There is something to be said about baring it all (remind me about that when I've won the bet and won't be too depressed to remember the days of South Beach and Paris shoots) to hold you accountable for your actions (in my case, the chewing action).

So how did it go this week?  The one major thing that I removed from my eating habits (plural in a huge way) the past week was the snacking after dinner.  That was the hardest for me as for the past year, the logging on at night to do some work triggered off the munching and typing.  They just went hand in hand.  Clicking of keyboard, crunching of chips or whatever I find (with kids in the house, there is always bound to be something to munch on).

It was tough, it felt like something was definitely missing from the evening's routine.   To keep me from giving in, I started going to bed earlier than ever, I'd be in bed by 10 pm!  So, two good things happened -  no snacking and getting a good 8 hours of sleep!

Did I have any slip ups on the night snacking? Yes.  One night (tonight actually).  6 pieces of these yummy yogurt candied fruit thingies that the girls got on their Double Blessings Day from a friend at school.  Why did I slip?...who knows.  Maybe the one pound less fooled me into thinking that I could afford the sugary treats?  Maybe because of the disappointment that my Friday night, which I was so ready to get to and spend at home after a long and stressful work week ended up being the sh!t$?  Maybe PMSing...maybe all of the above.  Regardless, none of the above should become permission to fall back into the nasty habit, I know.  I KNOW...but...but..but...

So, after a week of working out everyday, of not snacking at night (cept for tonight), the scale went below 130.  Was hoping for more than that, but I know at my age, it's going to be one long, bloody, painful Iron Man.

Speaking of Iron Man, my opponent is doing extremely well and has gained 2 lbs.  So come on Team Rowe, keep the postings of comments coming please?  Let me have something to read and serve as reminder of the fact that there is no backing out of this!

Thank you for reading...and posting.  Thank you for the handful of private messages letting me know you're out there, with your own weight challenges too. 

So, this is no longer just my Iron Man. I share it with so many of you!

Thank goodness that tomorrow morning means 2 hours of Zumba.  I could pretend to feel sorry for myself for that but the truth is, 2 hours of Zumba is heaven to me.  So, 6 yogurt will be burned off tomorrow morning.  Now to just remember NOT to imbibe at lunch (just cuz I had 2 hours of exercise in disguise).

Good night, yes...I am tempted to have just one more best to close up shop and head to bed.

Ciao (not chow)!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The $700.00 bet

Age: 21.  Weight: 90.  Dress size: 2petite (no muscle, just thin, no idea about endurance).   Activities: Partying.
Age: 25.  Weight 95.   Dress size: 2petite (no muscle, but lots of endurance).  Activities: tennis (lots)!
Age: 30.  Weight: 100.  Dress size: 4petite (toned, not muscular, great endurance).  Activities: tennis, beach volleyball, grass volleyball,  indoor volleyball, high impact aerobics.
Age 35: Weight: 100.  Dress size: 4 (toned, more muscle, great endurance).  Activities: beach volleyball, grass volleyball, indoor volleyball, hiking Yosemite trails, partying (tsk-tsk).
Age 40: Weight: 123.  Dress size: 4 (toned, muscular, in squatting 135 lbs for 3 sets of 10 to 12, no kidding!).  Activities: kickboxing, weight-lifting, Circuit training. Workout warrior!
Age 41. Pregnant with twins.  Weight at end of term: 175 lbs.  Dress size: could only wear Miche's sweats. Activities: NONE - bedrest on 1st and last trimester.
Age: 42.  Weight (a week after delivery): 123. Dress size: 6.  Activities: feed, burp, change/clean babies for first 3 months.  Circuit training slowly comes back after.
Age: 44.  Weight: 125.  Dress size: 6 (toned, strong, muscles are back except for the twin aftermath tummy! Still, for a 44 year old mom of twins, no complaints!).  Activities: running, Circuit, weight lifting.
Age: 47. Weight: 130.  Dress size 8.  Un-f..-believable.  Activities: Zumba (lots).  Eating (lots, more than Zumba can cure).  Cocktails (yep, kinda lots too).

So a few things have happened between 44 and 47 (now).  Injuries that keep me from running at the pace and distances I did at age 44, falling in love with eating (anything at all times), and of course, getting older.  I'm not going to say less time to work out, however true, it is what it is and I manage to carve out as much time as I possibly can.  Besides, I would not trade being a mom for the body I had pre-kids, even if it means not being able to workout 3 to 4 hours a day like I used to.

The $700.00 bet with Miche - shook hands over the dinner table tonight.  The deal is that I lose weight and he gain weight. It's pound per pound.  Whoever has more, wins.  The bet is super hard for each of us.  Had it been the other way, that I win by gaining weight, it would be a sure shot.  I can outeat my 6'3 Viking hubby on any given meal.  However, he loses weight when he does not work out.  I gain a pound if I sit for two minutes.  He struggles to finish his plate of food.  I am thinking of what to eat next while I am still eating my food.

My mom would be so confused about this state of love affair I have with eating.  You see, up until I was 18 years old, I so disliked to eat.  At 1st grade, when all my friends were having lunch at the school's quad, I was in my mom's car, being fed hot lunches, prepared fresh by my mom (an exceptional cook) every day.  She, along with the driver and my "yaya" (nanny) would come to my school every day at lunch to make sure I eat.  When that became too painful to do (from both sides), she put me into the "half boarder" program and I had to eat lunch every day with the nuns of my school, at their cloister.  Man did that suck.  I can't remember how long I was there for, but most likely, even the wrath of the nuns did not help in my gaining any weight as I most likely did not eat even with their threats or guilt-trips.

Up until a year ago, it was not so bad that I had this "affair" with eating.  I kept thinking, as soon as I'm back to the kind of running I was doing, I'll be shedding pounds easily.  Here's the thing, the nagging pains are constantly with me that I don't know if I'll run THAT way again.  And here's the even worse part of it, instead of me curbing the amounts of food I gobble up each day because I'm not getting the same intensity of calories being burned, I even doubled up my eating.  Mental isn't it?

So, those of you who say (and thank you, bless your kind hearts!), "you look great!" and "wish I look like you at 47"..... that's all very much appreciated.  I love hearing that and it does make me not feel so "too far gone."  However, I know what I am capable of being (and I'm not "reflecting" to Age 30 either), realistically, at this age.  I know the state I am in is not because of "I'm 47" or "I've had twins" or "I'm injured."  The sad, basic truth to all this is that I need to EAT less, and eat well.  No, not starve myself by whatever diet du jour is out there  (so not the way to sustain), but just to break my patterns and habits of snacking at all hours I'm not asleep!  Literally, I'm like pacman (and no, not Pacquiao), my mouth is chewing at each step of the way!

Tomorrow morning, we weigh in.  And the tracking begins.  6 months of pound for pound competition.  Iron Man, pshaw.....that's nothing compared to what I have to endure.  The thought of the snack walls at Mozilla, filled with pop chips in that zesty barbeque flavor, the bags of Pirate's Booty, the vats of Peanut Butter M&Ms and Rolos...all for the taking any time of the day!

$700...cold cash, in my pocket.  That'll come in handy for when I shop for a hot, little number of an outfit to add to my future new closet!  A closet full of, right now, cute clothes that don't fit right.  So, the question is, will they fit right again and I get the $700?  Or do I pay Miche the $700, and I spend 5x that amount for bigger clothes for my new closet?

Let the games begin....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 years ago - what was going on in Rowe's Room?

I had mentioned in my last post that I found the online journal that I had started the day we found out I was preggers.  I am posting (below) the first two entries from May 15th and 20th of 2006. 

Wow, was that really 5 years ago when this house was big enough, pristine (think Pottery Barn catalog) and without anything out of place?  Was it only five years ago when  sleeping in did not mean till 7:30 am? 

Fast forward - Pottery Barn looking house is not back.  Kosta Boda collections all tucked away somewhere in the back shed.  One piece of furniture in the living room, a sofa that that does not match anything but serves up hours of fun and laughter as a play structure, high jump pit and whatever activity is thought of. The house looks more like an aisle at Toys R Us after a rummage sale. But know what,  I have not known "fullness"and happiness like this.  Nothing can compare to the love of a parent for a child.  The kind that literally fills you up, heart and soul, mind and body.

5 years ago, I learned I was pregnant..... (note: not knowing yet that there would be two and double everything!).  

(April, mentioned below, just gave birth to her 2nd child a few days ago!  Yo also now has 2 kids!)


"Monday, May 15, 2006 Mamma called Dr. Hua's clinic to ask about whether her lab results had arrived. It was confirmed to her that she is indeed pregnant and I am in her tummy! Pappa and Mamma are very happy, although they are trying to not go overboard just yet. They are remembering how it was last pregnancy of Mamma's, so they are just going to keep this pretty quiet for now. "

"Saturday, May 20, 2006 The feeling of being worn out is starting to hit Mamma. Today, we were supposed to go to 2 celebrations. Tita April Saenz's graduation party and a party at Yo & Rob Berry's. But we only made it to April's as Mamma was too tired afterwards. Pappa took her home to rest and just stayed in for the night"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Balancing Acts Article - perfect for today.

The other day, I managed to track down an online journal that I started on the day I found out I was pregnant.  Not the day I found out about having twins, the Double Blessings Day (which I had blogged about last time), but the day I took the stick test.  I'm so glad to find this journal as I thought the site was gone and so were my musings and updates written in the voice of the baby(ies).  What a kick to read through the many months of carrying the little luvvies (tadpoles, I called them then), and the next two years after they arrived.  As you can imagine, a busy schedule kept me from keeping the journal up, which is truly a shame.

In one of my entries, I found an article I had written for a featured column called "Balancing Acts."  This newsletter is circulated to the twins club we belong to.  I wrote this in November of 2008, so the girls were just about to turn two.

Here it is, I thought I'd post it in honor of the day of moms.  Let's not forget the things we learn from our kids, whether they are 2 or 42 years young.

Happy Mamma's Day!

Balancing Acts
By Rowe LapiƱa Hoffer

Just yesterday, a colleague and friend of mine were chatting in my office about how crazy and frazzled we had been feeling. She and I are both moms to twins (mine are 2 on Dec 21), and both working full time at corporate jobs that require us to be “moms” at the office too. We were “gabbing” about the routines we have, the schedules to keep (and sometimes, break) and the endless planning ahead day in and day out. We tired ourselves out just by talking about them!

Then within the same breath, we talked about how insanely happy we were as moms, and to twins at that, and how we feel so blessed to have double the joy.

This article is about balance, being moms to multiples certainly require skills of balancing (picture: on one’s head, while reaching out with one hand to a distant object, carrying a heavy load on one foot – same time giving lots of kisses to our luvvies).

As I write this article on the day before Thanksgiving, and feeling some relief that our plans for tomorrow are quite easy and low-key, I am finding myself changing the content of this article from how and what I do to balance (a corporate job in high-tech, running a family fitness company, ramping up my own styling biz, keeping to some form of fitness regimen, keeping the house from becoming unlivable) to actually writing about how I am recognizing that my children are the ones that give me and teach me balance!

Becoming child-like again, rediscovering the simple joys and pleasures, appreciating kind gestures and displays of affection, these are traits I have relearned from my girls. These are wonderful traits that keep me from losing sight of what to be thankful for, even when I am constantly faced with “things” and events that exasperate and frustrate. These little creatures of joy, without them even knowing it, balance out the +s and –s of being an adult, and the responsibility of having to be an adult with kids added.

When we shriek with laughter as we play in a puddle balances out the hassle of the chores to do (oh the many loads of laundry!). Looking up at the sky while we lay on the grass, pointing out birds and clouds as we sing a silly song balances out my weeklyinconvenient visits to the allergy clinic (I’m allergic to a lot of things, grass being one of them - might as well roll in grass with them since I’ll be getting 4 needles anyway!). Coming home from the office in time to be there as they wake up from a nap balances out the working late every night after they have gone to bed to catch up on the work. The rewards of hugs and kisses and faces that light up each time they see me balance out all the frenzy, chaos, stress from strings of days and nights when you are just exhausted and feel like everyone wants a piece of you.

There are so many wonderful/difficult days and nights and I continue to look forward to new ones each day. If not for them coming into my life, I wonder if I would be "well-balanced" enough to be able to look up from my computer this morning, look out the window and think to myself, “it’s raining…ugh!  But with rain comes puddles…yipppeee!”  I don't think that would have been my reaction to rain before my kids had given me the gift of seeing things through their eyes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"There's a fact, there are two!"

In a few more weeks, we will be celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the day we found out that we were going to have twins.  I so remember that day like it was just last week.  I was worried about "the" baby as I was not feeling too well, so in I went to have my wonderful doctor check us out.   Afer she uttered those words above, I remember a loud scream of "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!" in the exam room, and realized that the sound was coming from me.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having my little luvvies.  I love being a mom to my identical twin girls.  But 5 years ago, the thought of 2 kids was so beyond, so far beyond what I was prepared to think about.  In fact, even a few months prior, having 1 kid was NOT even a thought!  I had no doubts in my mind and heart that I did not want to be a mom.  It was no secret and it was one of the first things I laid on the table when Miche and I met.  He knew it, my friends knew it, my family knew it, my ob/gyn knew it (since she kept getting the same answer from me for almost a decade!).

What changed, you ask?  Honest answer, I don't know.  When did it happen?  I can't tell you.  It was not like this huge moment that I can think back to and say, "that was when I realized I wanted to be a mom."  I do remember sitting in our little window seat in our little kitchen, looking out to the front yard and talking to Miche about how our front yard's plans should be, and pointing out something along the lines of "when we have a child...we would want more lawn space."  According to Miche, that was not the first time I said "when" but I don't remember other instances.  I remember it being a Saturday afternoon, and that when Monday came, I called Dr. Hua to tell her that after all those years she's asked, my answer is now a yes.   She told me I had to get my eggs checked.  LOL!  My eggs checked?  Yep, they do have a shelf life, just like the eggs out of a carton at the grocery.  So, off I go to see if mine were still within the "sell by" date, so to speak.  Blood tests came back and I was good to go!  Turns out, I had super turbo-charged eggs as I was preggers after the first "try."

Fast forward to May screaming, "Nooooooooooooo!"... was I ecstatic?  Won't lie, I was not.  Was I scared?  You bet your omelet I was!  Did I take it well?  Of course I did.  Well, I was in a daze for a good week and walked around mumbling "two of them?...two?....twins?...."

First person I called was Chatsie (my niece, who was also preggers with her first) and told her.  "Chats, I'm having twins."  Silence.  Then the sound of the phone being placed down.  Then hystercial laughter on the other end.  I think she laughed for a good 5 minutes.  She was happy for me and also thought it was truly hysterical.  Me, Rowe, going to be a two at that!  Next call, Nicole.  One of my dearest friends and a mom to twins plus one.  I calmed down a lot after my call with Nicole.  She's always had that effect on me and boy, did I need some solid reassurance at that moment.

My little luvvies...back then, I called them my tadpoles.  I may not have jumped up from the exam table in undeniable and sheer joy when I found out, and Miche could only say "oh my god."  But one thing for sure, I thank my lucky stars for the news I got that day.  I don't think motherhood is for everyone, and I certainly did not think it was for me.  Wow, how I've changed.

Ynez and Kajsa, you are the air I breathe.  You are the gift that I did not even know I could ever be worthy of receiving.  My double the work, double the joy, double the patience required, double the love to give and to receive.

I am looking forward to another celebration of your day, the day I've been calling our "Double Blessings Day."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hey boss...

I've had the fortune and honor of working with wonderful executives since becoming an Executive Assistant.  "Becoming" is kind of an odd word to use.  It sounds like I had prepared, planned, or even thought to be one.  Back then, during my days and nights spent as a younger person in Rowe's Room, what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do for a career was nowhere near being an EA.   I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a performer, I wanted to be on stage.  And those of you from way back when, you  knew I was actually good!  Who could forget sophomore year's fantastic production at dramafest when we took home most of the awards (including yours truly's "Best Actress")!

Getting back to being an EA...

If you're still thinking of an EA as a "secretary" then you need to pull your head out of the ground (or get a job where there is actually an executive who knows how to use an EA).   I'm not going to explain the difference here, you either get it, or you don't.

So, if you do have one, or work closely with one, take note - it is Professional Administrator's Week.  Don't let the week go by without letting your EA know that you paid attention -greet him/her!  I know you all say "thank you" each time she/he hands you a bottle of water in between meetings (or stocks up your fridge in your cube with water for your consumption), I know you say "thank you" each time he/she reminds you that  you can not travel on that certain day or that you can't take a dinner meeting because it is your anniversary or your kid's recital, I realize you say thank you when she spends 3 full days on the phone looking and searching for those window blinds that you dropped off somewhere near your flat in the city, but you can't remember where exactly.  Thank yous each time your EA helps you get through your day without any major blunders are nice, we appreciate that you were taught good manners and remember to say "please" and "thank you".  However, don't kid yourself and think that you can rest on those.  Say an extra "thank you" this week and make it be known that you are capable of remembering something that she didn't remind you of or noted on your calendar.

And while we're at it..beyond "Admin Week," please don't forget to show your EA you took the time to buy her a card over the holidays.   Imagine how it feels like to be the one making sure your contacts all receive their cards, yet we don't even receive one!  (And no, the generic card from the company, with your signature at the bottom does not count!)

I have had some really thoughtful and very generous CEOs and executives in my career.  I'm blessed and privileged to have worked for these classy bosses (and their classy spouses)!  I have no complaints as the record of 11 "thoughtful" bosses to 1 "not so much" in my over 15 years of being an EA is very, very good.

And hey boss, remember...this is the person who holds all your personal information at the tip of her fingertips, has a network of other EAs that would put the "illuminati" to shame.  So, hey boss, this say a proper "thank you for all that you do for me" to your EA!  You don't want your spouse's big bday to be "forgotten" do you?

(To my fellow EAs...Happy Admin Week!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guess what? I AM "Rowe's Room!"

I was so determined to find who owns "Rowe's Room" ..... well, lo and behold, I AM ROWE'S ROOM! LOL.

Apparently, I set this site up back in 2009 but never got around to posting anything! So, my dear followers (all 6 of you)...please follow this blog site. In a way, I'm glad I wrote my first post under the notion that I did not have "Rowe's Room" as I immediately had something to write about in retrospect.

More soon....
I wanted this blog to be called "Rowe's Room." Unfortunately, it's not available and I could not pull up who/what it is being used for.

"Rowe's Room" makes me think of so many wonderful things and yes, I'm bummed that I don't get to use it. When I was a teenager and living in Manila, my friends loved to hang out at our house, in my room. Our house was located near the entrance of our gated "village" (what we called our private communities) and residents pretty much had to drive by our house to go in/out of the village (for those who lived in the Annex side). My room was a common venue for lazy afternoons and those rare Saturday nights when I was not out at some party (or parties) or event. Yes, there were those Saturdays, believe it or not. Of course, no boys were allowed in Rowe's Room, it was my parents' home after all, and hello...I was a good catholic girl. (Okay, no snickering...I was, truly!) The boys allowed were friends who had girlfriends with them - definitely not MY boyfriend(s).

My room was like a "lounge." Airconditioned (remember, Manila location), tv, music, and an abundance of yummy snacks, hand-made and from scratch, cooked and baked by my awesome chef of a mom. Ensaymadas and sans rival and chocolate cakes were typical at my house, all at the same time. How I was not 300 lbs back then, I don't know. Perhaps the bountiful presence of food made me less interested.

Apart from mom's yummies available to us in Rowe's Room, I had makeup, accessories, cool stuff that made hanging out for hours fun (okay, not as fun as being out to parties..but fun enough).

Rowe's room was also on the corner of our lot. Windows faced out to the street. Friends driving by would see my lights on, or my car on the driveway, and next thing you know, there are 5+ ppl stopping at the house and trotting up to Rowe's Room. Good memories...

In Rowe's Room was where I wrote and wrote and wrote for hours and hours. Journals, letters, poems. I still have my red spiral-bound notebook with poems and quotes. The letters (I kept copies of letters I wrote to people), I don't have anymore and I can't recall when I decided to let go of them. I grew up watching my beloved dad, a beautiful writer who used a fountain pen and a ledger for a journal, write for hours as well. I wish I had his journals. I used to sneak in and read his entries..I used to get lost in his words. For some reason, my mom says she does not have my dad's journals. I get so sad thinking about how his legacy in words are now just lost, and I will not be able to read about his last days, last years.

A few people have told me to blog. For the most part, they want me to blog about my being a mom to my little luvvies. I wonder why anyone would want to read my words about anything. What is it to anyone, why would it be interesting? So, if you are out there, reading musings, I wonder why!

It's almost midnight now. I am quite tired after an uncomfortable 1.5 hours at the dentist's for a filling, then a day at the job (Mozilla), then the rush of getting the little luvvies from school, bathed and then hauling myself to my first dance class (where I was humbled by chacha and samba). Miche has gone to bed and so should I. A Zyrtec (for my allergies) is part of each night time routine, leaving me groggy for the first 10 or so minutes upon waking every morning.

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up and will give my luvvies their goodmorning/wake-up kisses as I always do. And then it begins all over again. Go, go, go...rowe. That's me.