The “Perfect” Birth

The road to motherhood is often riddled with unsolicited advice, criticism, and guilt-trips. Often from people with the best intentions. It was fortunate that my husband, mother, mother-in-law, family, and friends were ever supportive and tactful during the nine months of pregnancy.

But that didn’t mean that I didn’t get my own share of flack from well-meaning people:

“Look at how fat you’re getting!”
“Are you sure you’re going to eat all that?”
“You’re not eating enough! You should be eating for two.”
“You shouldn’t walk around! It’s bad for your baby.”

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Life with the Cat (Initial Lessons)

Six months of living with a cat has taught me a number of things. Here’s a partial list from my notebook.

Lesson 1: You are never a cat “owner”.  Your cat’s relationship with you is a feudalistic one—you have the honor of feeding him, bathing him, amusing him, and cleaning up his poop and pee. In return, he will acknowledge your existence and allow you to bask in his furry glory. Oh and your house? That’s actually his territory. He just lets you live there.

Lesson 2: Dangling ribbons, curtains, fringed bags, and bootlaces all exist for his entertainment. All will be torn to shreds in five minutes flat.

Lesson 3: Any newly-purchased pieces of furniture (especially those covered in vinyl) will be used to sharpen his claws.

Lesson 4: You will wake up at exactly 6:15 am to feed your cat (or when he starts meowing, whichever comes first.) Failure to do so will mean that at exactly 6:16, a three-kilogram mass of fur and claws will catapult (pun intended) itself onto your bed and start pawing at your face to remind you.

Lesson 5: Leave your cat alone when he wants to have a moment to himself. Do not expect the same courtesy from the cat.

Lesson 6: Laser pointer = endless hours of fun.

Lesson 7: Long, intelligent, one-sided conversations with your cat are generally acceptable. As long as he doesn’t answer back. If he does, please see a psychiatrist.

Flu-Ridden Rhyming (Or: Why I’m Home on a Monday)

This dreaded influenza, it has not flown,
We now have a sickbay of our own—

A home with two humans, both under the weather,
Yet through sickness, health, and flu, still together,
And a rambunctious cat, determined to play,
with the capacity to careen through the house all day.

Yet despite the sneezing, the nose-blowing, and such,
We three are not miserable, at least not much.
We humans may sneeze, and our cat may careen,
And our noses may shine with a mucous-y sheen—

For as long as there’s Paracetamol, and vitamins to chew,
And old, rolled-up socks for our feline to pursue,
And mentholated inhalers to shove up our noses,
We’ll be up and about by Tuesday, we supposes.

(c) Lynette Carpio-Serrano 2013

Rule of Thirds

(Or: what happens when two photographers marry)

We are not divisible by two,
You and I are a whole,
But never equal halves.

Better our life of
continual push and pull,
Than one with perfect symmetry—

For there is more beauty here,
in this constant
shifting of centers.

(c) Lynette Carpio-Serrano, 2012

How we can help the victims of Typhoon Sendong

For those of you out there who are moved to reach out to the thousands of Filipinos who lost their loved ones and their homes from the recent typhoon, here are several ways to help:

1. You can send a donation through the Philippine Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow)

2. Or you can get in touch with Gawad Kalinga (http://gk1world.com/typhoon-sendong-operation-walang-iwanan)

3. You can also send a donation via SMS and GCASH:

SMS
Text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)

G-Cash
Text DONATEAMOUNT4-digit M-PINREDCROSS to 2882

You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000