Archive for the ‘Kariz’s Blog’ Category

Man plans, God laughs

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

 

I don’t mean to wax poetic about motherhood for the umpteenth time but in about 2 to 3 months, life as I know it, will change yet again. As a 35-year old mom to almost-three kids (and two dogs—as pet lovers know, these furry creatures are almost as cared-for as our human offspring), I am always surprised at the joys and challenges that each child brings. I thought for sure last Christmas that I will only be a parent to two lovely girls, but as the saying goes, “Man plans, God laughs.” Truer words were never said.

 

In preparation for the birth of my first son, here are some things I have decided to keep in mind and make an effort to retain learning.

 

  • No two children are alike. Each one has his/her own sensitivity level and ways to feel happy.
  • Take more photos. My husband and I tried to think back to our elementary years and were both surprised at how little we remember from it. We deduced that photos and videos spark up memories, so in essence, every opportunity truly is a Kodak moment. Or a Canon/mobile phone camera one for us, anyway.
  • In every event, there is a lesson learned. For example, do not forget the small diaper bag containing the wipes and toilet paper just because you’re going out for 10 minutes—you never know when the kids might need to poop.
  • Life is fleeting—spend it with one another. Our togetherness with our family is uncertain, however somber that thought is. One of the co-parents at our school recently lost his two teenage boys in one car accident, and I cannot imagine the horror and pain.
  • Co-sleeping is one of the biggest, love-affirming things we could have ever done for our daughters. Hardly any nightmares, no bedwetting incidents. Of course, I realize this is not possible for other home set-ups, but it’s what works for us (P.S. If you need to do your “business,” there are other places in the house—you can’t be that busy nor lazy)
  • Accept that even if you have extra hands helping you fix up, the children’s toys and stuff will be ruling your place. Smile when you see this, as it is a sign of a home lived in, and you will surely miss it when they’re grown and gone.
  • Always verbalize your sweet somethings. Whenever I ask my girls, “Do you know how much I love you?” They answer me this without batting an eyelash or looking up, “With all your heart and soul.” I’m certain they know.
  • Love, respect, and support your husband or partner. Father’s Day is a just a one-day reminder. You are a team, and once you feel that you’re not on the same side, there is something wrong with your marriage.
  • Don’t feel pressured to live up to the Joneses. With a roof over your heads and food on the table, you can and will survive.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your children about money. The sooner they realize that you actually work to buy them things, they will be more appreciative of your efforts, the things they own, and places they go to.
  • Vitamin D is often taken for granted, but it is a necessity.
  • “Teach them how to fish.”
  • Look for a pediatrician you trust, and take their advice with a grain of salt after reading up on your own and trusting your parental intuition. Some of their information might already be outdated or inappropriate.
  • The power of prayer. In any language or culture, there must be a God you can turn to.

 

Anyway, it’s almost 4 AM, and these are just some “plans,” and things I remembered. What’s on your list?

 

P.S. I’m on Twitter @karizfavis, and facebook.com/karizfavisofficial, should you be so inclined to get in touch…

 

How I Met…P. Diddy

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Today marks the launch of my “How I Met…” series. So let’s start with one of my favorite African-American men (I can say this without offending anyone because I’m Asian, right? Right?)–Sean P. Diddy Combs. The details are quite hazy now because this was about 4 years ago, so I’m taking a trip down memory lane as I type this. Some parts ain’t pretty (like how much I weighed at the time), but all in all, this was one of the best shoots BC evah had in terms of the experience and the outcome:

When I received an email from an acquaintance (Shalena) that she had a friend named Kim Porter that would be perfect for Baby Couture, who turns out to be the mother of 3 of Diddy’s kids, I was excited and jumped at the chance. So Shalena and I made arrangements to shoot at one of the Combs’ homes (in Calabasas, CA), and the day before the shoot, I asked if Diddy would be joining us as well. I was told that he would be there since they were filming the shoot for a TV reality show pilot for their family.

 

 

Shoot day: Diddy helping me change the twins, while Kim does her hair and make-up. Everytime the girls would come out in a new outfit, the crowd would literally go wild! Jesse and D’Lila are too adorable.

Planning our shots. I was wearing a Marc Jacobs dress that did nothing for my figure, looking back at it now. My black, slimming Vince pants that our nanny lost somehow–I don’t wanna go there. Also wore a necklace bought all the way from Manila from my friend, Liana Navarro.

 

 

As if part of the family! The twins are staring at me like, “Who the F’s that?”

 

And finally, it was a pilot for a TV show, so I asked if they needed to add some yellow fever. Needless to say I don’t have a career in TV…yet. Ha!

 

Photos by Meeno Peluce. Styling by Kariz Favis.

 

You Know You’re A Germaphobe When…

Friday, May 18th, 2012
  • This is how I would look like in public bathrooms, except that she's way more toned and her hair is a lighter blonde

Growing up with a single parent mother, in a middle class neighborhood, and surrounded by several out-of-work relatives that lived off your stepfather’s income (thereby cutting back on a lot of budget that should have gone to you and your sister instead), I was never really obsessed with germs–and more so, getting sick. There was just no point in it, so I had to stay healthy, keep myself clean, and be strong physically. Back then, it was more of an itch to be done with school, find a job, and be self-sufficient. But that’s another story altogether.

Flash forward to now, with almost three children and two dogs, perspectives change. In my eyes, the world is dirtier today, so vigilance is key to staying out of the hospital. I’ve also turned into more of a worrywart (yes, it is possible) especially after my daughter got hospitalized for dengue fever in 2010. So in the spirit of OCD and germaphobia, may I present to you some quirks that make up who I am today. And if you feel like it, you and I can exchange ideas…

  • You have different sets of home/indoor slippers for upstairs and downstairs use.
  • You wipe your dogs’ paws with baby wipes when they’re done with their business outdoors.
  • You find that in your purse, there are different types of hand sanitizers/gels–3 to be exact. And 2 different kinds of Pigeon baby wipes.
  • You spray (generously is a kind term) newly-bought toys (that didn’t come in boxes) with alcohol.
  • You don’t really like going to public swimming pools nor beaches for fear that your kids might drink other people’s pee.
  • You’re scared of public doorknobs, because you don’t know whose hands, touched what, touched those.
  • You put handwritten signs all over your kitchen to, “Please wash your hands.”
  • You even think the pump of the hand sanitizer needs to be washed. And you do, with soap and water.
  • You have your doorknobs and stair rails sprayed and wiped with alcohol.
  • You cannot bear seeing other people touching the soles of shoes/slippers ever so casually. And you hope they don’t touch you or whatever you’re holding afterwards.
  • You constantly monitor if the hand soap in the kitchen is being used up. And are excited to buy refills.
  • You think that washing hands constitutes soap and water at a minimum. Alcohol is sort of like masking the dirt, and still needs to be followed up with something that washes away into the drain.
  • You cannot lather on lotion or body butter without thinking twice if your hands are clean. So you wash them again.
  • Your kids rub their feet together before going on the bed, to get rid of pet hair and unwanted debris.
  • You dread going to bathrooms in other places because it is a long-winded ritual: spray bowl with alcohol or potty spray, lay on disposable potty seat cover or a ton of toilet paper on the seat, complain about the disgusting pee spray on the seat and floor left by previous users, make a mental note to give kids a bath as soon as you get home.
  • You have the sink and bath tub cleaned on a separate day from the toilet, so as not to confuse the cleaner as to what scrubs or sponges to use.

Did I leave out anything? Or just that I’ve probably lost my mind? No, don’t answer that. Ok, since the can of worms has been opened, I will make a separate post on how we clean our home for all you other kindred spirits out there.

Into the Home Trenches

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

 

Yesterday, my husband got discharged from 4 days of being confined at the hospital–the result of bronchial asthma exacerbated. I always get antsy when someone in my family gets sick. I worry endlessly, and as a result, my pregnant belly hardens, my back feels like it’s gonna break in half, and my temper flares up. Even more than usual. Probably has to do with all the testosterone I’m conjuring up for the little tyke in my body.

 

Now that the hubs is home, I’m scared that we won’t be able to provide that optimal nursing that he has gotten used to at the hospital–what with never-ending dogs barking (they just want to be in the same room as us, but right now, these two are potential allergens, so the baby Safety 1st gate has to be utilized to keep them out. Poor darlings); kids crying from a fight; helpers doing little annoying stuff–like lying out of their teeth and conveniently interrupting in the middle of writing a story (and cannot take the hint that you prefer to be asked later); bills piling up; a mountain of incessant work stuff; and so on.

 

Ahh, family life. I always wanted a family of my own and to live on my own means, so I shouldn’t complain. It’s just that life gets in the way sometimes–and in the middle of it all, you just want to say, “F* it. I’m retiring form this whole thing.” But then you see awesome little people running around your house, asking if they can have a, “snack that they can tear open from a wrapper” –which is their nice way of asking for something “unhealthy.” Then you keep going with the whole daily cycle, just so full of love and strength again…and again.

 

P.S. Has anyone else noticed that when men get sick they turn into absolute babies? Everything is so overblown. Not undermining his illness, because I’m sure he feels horrific. I am so not going to show this post to my husband. Although to his credit, he did get me and the girls flowers and Maltesers for Mother’s Day from the hospital gift shop. I guess that allows him a few more, “How will I get better if’s?… (cough, cough)” Just a few more, though, because I’m giving birth in a few months. Epidural needles, possible episiotomy, poop pouring out in front of strangers’ eyes. Just saying.

Seven Pounds: An Uncalled For Review

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

 

First of all, let me start by saying that I love the title which alludes to the 7 people that Will Smith’s character, Ben/Tim Thomas, helps out through his suicide. The “7 pounds of flesh” for the 7 people he accidentally took. One gets his eyes, another, his bone marrow, gorgeous oceanside home, his lungs, heart…You get the whole idea. Thanks to my pregnancy insomnia, which keeps me up most mornings from 12 to 2 AM, or from 2 to 5 AM (clockwork, it is), I had the chance to view this poignant film once again. No thanks to a quick power outage, I completely missed the last 5 minutes of the film, but anyway, all those who’ve seen the film knows that Will Smith kills himself through one very poisonous jellyfish that he’s kept alive for that point of no return. Question: is it even possible to be an organ donor if you were poisoned to death?

 

The reason for the life-taking is, about a few years back while driving and just gotten engaged on that same night, Will answers a text message on his BlackBerry and in turn, goes to the opposite side of the road, in the process killing his fiancee and 6 other people in the vehicle he crashed with. Lesson 1: Shit happens. This, my friends, is one of the good points of the movie: never take your eyes off the road while on the wheel, especially for something as abortive as a text message.

 

The premise is not exactly relaxing for a pregnant woman, but it did get me thinking. How would I live my life knowing that I had ended others’? Including that of people that I love? It’s such an unbearable thought, especially for a mother of 5. Three humans, and 2 dogs, to be exact. I’m not even counting my husband in the equation, because in my mind, he would be driving, so I could just pass the blame onto him if only he and I should come out alive. I’m kidding.

 

I love the acting, lighting, script, actors, but I did not agree with the whole message that to atone for your mistakes, something as drastic as hara-kiri needs to be done. I’m scared of my kids seeing this movie, because they might think there’s no way out in some horrendous incidents, and I couldn’t bear it if they decided to take their own lives. Consider me cremated if this happened to any of my children–which is completely counter to what I just said. Anyway…

 

In fact, drugs, sex–not rock ‘n roll, because in my dreams they’re the next Taylor Swift–and disgusting life partners is enough to make me turn in my grave. What would you do if you reached this point in your life? Where everything seems bleak? I just hope that I instill enough self-love, fear of God, and confidence in my children that no matter what they are going through, they’ll know that nothing is ever as hopeless and finite as death. Between that point and wherever, you’re still good to go.

 

P.S. Will Smith disguising himself as a tax guy? Genius. Death and taxes, dear friends, death and taxes…

John Travolta: I’m Finding Out the Hard Way

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

 

One of my favorite songs ever is in the movie “Staying Alive,” sung by the ever long-limbed Cynthia Rhodes. It always breaks my heart when she sings to Tony Manero in the bar. “It’s gonna take some tears, a little bit of heartache…” It’s on my iPad, and is one of my favorite karaoke numbers.

 

The reason I remembered this is that I came across John Travolta’s name quite a few times in the past 2 days–him being involved with another thing that I love: massages. Sometimes I don’t know where people get their news from, but Johnny is not looking too good out there, with 3 masseurs who have come forward already. First masseur says he was being offered $12,000 for sex; second guy claims that (from RadarOnline), “While he was massaging near Travolta’s buttocks area, Travolta would open his legs and spread his butt cheeks open and had a full erection and would maneuver in a way to try to force Doe Plaintiff No. 2 to touch his anus and around his anus. As the massage came to an end “Travolta suddenly turned on his stomach with his legs wide open with a full erection. He then tried to force Doe Plaintiff No. 2′s hand on Travolta’s scrotum. Then, Travolta started to grab, rub and caress Doe Plaintiff no. 2′s upper thighs and buttocks….Travolta still had an erection and wanted his abdominals done, but Travolta’s erection was in the way and he refused to have his penis covered by a sheet of a pillow case cover…Travolta started masturbating about 15 minutes left in the session, and Doe Plaintiff No.2, said he had to go,” the docs state.”  These stories are blurry to me, so I just wanna close my eyes and remember how cute Edna Turnblad is (oh but playing a woman’s role, not really gonna help his case here), and try not think of the ‘happy endings’ he didn’t quite get from three different men. In Travolta movies though, he almost always turns out victorious. I just hope his wife and daughter really know who he is regardless of all the crap that’s been said–and have already accepted him for his gender preference, no matter what it may be. This is all just so sad, especially since they lost their son…

 

Having worked for sometime now in Holly-weird press, I’m quite jaded, because colleagues in the industry swear that everyone from Tom Cruise, Zac Efron, Will Smith, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney (yikes, Kelly Preston’s ex), are supposedly homosexual. If you see my face everytime someone tells me of these stories with supporting ‘facts,’ my mouth always tends to be half open, brows furrowed, and my nostrils flared. I always say something that starts with, “But isn’t he….” I am completely clueless because I normally just deal with celebrity families. I guess working as an actor is kind of having a double life so they’re subject to all this scrutiny. On the up side, if it were true, it’s easier for leading ladies to work on steamy scenes opposite a gay guy.

 

I’m just bothered by this news because what if your spouse was leading a secret persona all these years that you will only find out about on your deathbed? Or if some random stranger (or househelp ala Schwarzenegger) comes up to you and sells you a baby he fathered, or some man claims they’ve been shacking it up with your hubs in some beach house for many years (while you’ve been struggling to pay the rent). I shudder at the thought, and will be more vigilant of home service spas from this day forward.

Reminders for my Coming Baby

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

 

Being the youngest, and baby, to two of the kindest, well-mannered, most empathic, sweetest, darling-est people I know–you kinda have big shoes to fill, my love. However, based on my almost 9 years of being a mom to them, here are some tips to even out the score. Not that there’s any contest, but if you ever want to elicit the same adoration from unbiased grown-ups/strangers, here are a few tips. In my eyes, you’ll always be equal, but it never hurts to know when to pull out the cuteness in order to ask for that train set from your grandparents, or Santa Claus.

  • I heard that boys have trouble expressing their emotions verbally, so when in doubt, do not turn to hitting, stepping on toes, nor mind-boggling tantrums. Raise both arms as if asking for a hug, and you shall receive.
  • If (and when) wrecking stuff, limit to non-living things. Toys do not include pets of any kind, nor slimy creatures (even though I find reptiles and amphibians repulsive, they are also God’s creatures).
  • If you must defecate or urinate, confine to private areas. This is for your safety and hygiene (and my sanity).
  • Do not post photos online that your future girlfriend/wife, boss, or mother-in-law may see.
  • Do not show your patootsie to anyone, and I mean anyone, even as a joke. Perpetrators take many forms.
  • Try to read a real book (or download one) even at least once a year. I’m already being kind as to the ratio based on your father’s batting average.
  • Please do not ask me about your private parts. I only know what I’ve researched, and cannot ever claim to know more than your dad.
  • Offer your seat to a woman (of whatever age or state–especially pregnant), elderly, disabled.
  • If you are a bully, remember that the world is round and karma’s the biggest bitch you’ll ever encounter (not the first girl who broke your heart). And vice versa.
  • Remember your manners, especially in other peoples’ homes.
  • Give flowers to your lady, even (and especially) if she says she doesn’t want it.
  • Eat right. Too much sugar never did anybody any good. I should know.
  • Help save the Earth. Little ways count.
  • Remember your genetic predisposition to ailments and work away from those.
  • Exercise. It will prolong your life.
  • Try different sports and activities. Quit if you hate it, but at least try.
  • When in doubt, talk to me. I make for a better listener than your dad and will empathize and complain with you far longer than he can. He’ll agree, I’m sure.
  • Form, or be, in a cool band. I wish I did this. Is it too uncool to volunteer in yours? Like, we can be The Corrs, or something?
  • Many have enjoyed lucrative careers based on ab muscles and toned arms. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be for you to start working out and enjoy a showbiz career.
  • That being said, a lot of guys at the gym are gay–so if that’s not your thing, work out at home, or let down the offers gently. You may encounter them for work or something.
  • Do not be afraid to talk to beautiful women, but have something to say. Funny is always a good start.
  • Let me know when to cut your hair. I love little boys with long-ish hair, so I may need a little reminder.
  • Parents are not perfect, so forgive me when I try to run your life and give the wrong advice.
  • I may be very picky with the women you date, but I promise to make an effort not to verbalize. Forgive me though, for thinking things.
  • When a girls says no, she means no.
  • NEVER drug another person. Get your drinks only from a bartender or the waiter. You never know what party pills there are these days.
  • If smoking, drinking is not your thing, good for you. Don’t try and do what the rest of the kids are doing.
  • Tattoos and body piercings hurt, and are very hard to remove.
  • There’s still something to be said about handwritten and handmade gifts.
  • If you’re planning on being the next star at anything, note that fashion sense and a good hairstyle will get you noticed even faster. I can help you out on this department.
  • Do not look at a woman’s cleavage if she sees you. Look when she’s almost looking away. She’ll appreciate you checking her out.
  • Even worse, do not look at another woman’s cleavage when out on a date with another.
  • Smile at your date from across the room. It reminds her that you came together.
  • Please don’t do the whole “friends with benefits” arrangement. Women will always think more of it eventually, and you don’t want to break a friend’s heart.
  • Always call and check in with me when out late at a party or whatever. Your safety and well-being is my only concern, even though you can “handle yourself.” Goes for all three of you siblings, by the way.
  • If all else fails, drop to your knees and pray. Or if you just want some quiet time.

Right now, those are the main things on the top of my head. I won’t be around forever, so I hope you try and imbibe. I love you with my whole heart and soul. One last and most important thing for all of you kids, you must outlive me. I couldn’t bear the thought of being in this world without any of you.

Can I have a salad to go with my self-pity?

Saturday, May 12th, 2012


 

 

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, and I have finally succumbed to the realization that it looks like another day at home. It’s been almost 3 weeks of bed rest for my husband due to asthma and other ailments, while it’s been almost 6 months for myself–mine due to the pregnancy, naturally. I am on a self-imposed house arrest, feeling my age with this expectancy. I want to vomit after eating almost everything, and had a bad case of the runs this week. I think it was due to the 2 huge turnips that I consumed too fast for my own good. I won’t even delve into my annoying pregnancy-induced asthma, and the pressure of not gaining too much weight as I tipped the scales at over 200 lbs for my previous pregnancy (not good for a 5’4″ small-boned person).

 

Anyway, while we’re on the topic of food, here are some things that I find I can stomach: ginger tea (salabat), yellow and green mangoes, lacatan-type bananas, white rice, chicken tinola–a soupy broth comprised of moringa leaves (malunggay) and other veggies, suha (which is like a local pink grapefruit), The Farm Organics steaks, homemade paella, cheeses, Starbucks salads, Cafe Breton and Bizu crepes, Magnum ice cream (which is a cheaper version of the Haagen Dazs bars I indulged in when Maxine was in utero), Mary Grace ensaymada. Before anyone berates me about some of the junk food listed here, let’s just say I couldn’t care less what you say. I have broken down into tears far too many times in my first trimester, that I am just trying to hang in here for the next 3 months and work on the magazines. I try and I did not take well to my prenatal vitamins, so that’s been out the door. They made me woozy, and sometimes, you just have to listen to your body. Although I have stuck to my Vitamin D supplements and coconuts everyday, apart from eating organic foods.

 

Since we’re on the topic of self-pity, I also feel bad that I didn’t get to enroll my girls in any summer classes. I had this whole ballet, gymnastics, musical instrument-learning vacation planned out, but it didn’t pan out. Oh, although they have been swimming at home. I’ve even taught them how to do the back and breast strokes, so chalk one up for mom!

 

Another sad thing is that our 11-year old Lab is also showing his age. I suspect lymphoma problems, but just trying to keep a positive vibe so as not to fill the house with extra negative energy.

 

Of course, I don’t even want to bore you with professional annoyances that did not help my physical well-being. I tried to be chirpy and diplomatic about it, and it hit me right back in the face. I should’ve just started our phone conference call with a F* You, and unleashed my Tourettes. My husband jokes that I have an early onset (not that there’s anything funny about the real deal). This whole hullabaloo makes for another post, although I’m quite over it now–so unless someone tries to be nasty again, then I promise that the Cee-Lo in me is coming out.

 

However, I did get two early Mother’s Day gifts this year. One homemade card from my darling Maxine, and the other, a bouquet of flowers from P&G Beauty. With the former alone, it’s enough to erase the entire first part of this post. But I guess this entry is just something I can look back on as part of my 2012. I am still alive and well, nor have I actually thrown up, not even a single time; the little boy in my tummy is showing excessive energy, which I gather makes for a strong baby; my daughters are perfectly content with their summer playing with each other; my husband’s blood work came out clean; Sera (our Golden) is a darling and stays up with me in the wee hours of the morning; and my Bruce (Lab) already started sniffing our other dog’s butt this morning. The Big Guy is watching.

 

If only the weather weren’t hotter than the under part of my pre-lactating boobies, Mother’s Day 2012 is already pretty fuckin’ fantastic after all.

Hoping for Swaddle Success

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

 

For the new baby, I am excited to try swaddling. With my first two children I wasn’t very successful. And to think I was equipped with every known swaddler known to man for product testing. It’s too bad I didn’t keep any, as we mostly gifted them to celebrities and other expectant moms in BC events.

 

Many families swear by swaddling as it gets their baby to sleep longer since it mimics the feeling of being in a womb. Since I will be giving birth in a warmer climate, I am hopeful that these muslin wraps will do the trick. I met the founders of Aden + Anais when they were just starting out, and have been a fan ever since–due largely to the softness, generous size, function, and cute prints of the blankets. Theirs is a product you wish you had invented. I know I do. (adenandanais.com)

It’s A Stretch

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

After two pregnancies (with an at least 60 lb weight gain for both), I have quite the battle scars. Cellulites, sagging pouch and breasts, muffin top, stretch marks–you name it. This time around, I decided not to add to more stretch marks, so I’ve been diligently applying Palmer’s organic body butter and massage cream (www.palmers.com). Keeping my fingers crossed.