24 August 2007

Birthday Fun in Samok Land

Hey everyone! I am excited about my first opportunity to post at Filipina Moms. Being a daddy and also as the caucasian part of the equation in our family, I hope to lend a little perspective, some fun, and a little samok to the mix here. My wonderful wife, J, aka the "Freezing Islander" calls me samok on a pretty regular basis. Since the word roughly means "pain in the butt" in Bisaya, I think it's fitting for me.
We have two wonderful kids, Goobs and the Bun. Goobs is turning four in October and the Bun has her second birthday on Monday. They are wonderful kids, each truly special, but they both have a little of their dad's samok embedded in their personalities. Goobs is the sensetive one who notices changes in mommy's home decorations immediately. He's really verbal and does a great job expressing himself. The Bun is our little alpha dog. If she sees something she wants, she'll get it by hook or crook. The girl is all about expressing herself and taking charge. She took a plastic drumstick and whacked her brother on top of his head the other day...he cried and she grinned. Note to readers... this girl is only 19 lbs.
I do want to spend a little time mentioning birthdays because our kids have ones coming up really quickly. I think that J and I have different ideas about birthdays. I come from that midwestern school where you have a birthday, you have some kids out in the back yard, you blow up a few baloons, you grill a few hot dogs, you play a few games-pin the tail on the donkey, give gifts and you call it a party. Or at least I thought that way...
All of this changed when Goobs had his first birthday party. I should let you know that we went back to Davao on vacation during this time. We had a two week vacation and his birthday fell directly in the middle of that time. J and her mom went into full planning mode. They rented a restaurant, invited around 50 people, had lechon brought in-along with piles of pancit and adobo, had her auntie Ging Ging make a special elmo cake, and prepared other things that I can't even venture to recall. My first thought was...Oh my gosh...this is a big production for a first birthday party (again...midwestern guy coming through). Honestly, it turned out to be a fantastic time and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was truly a great social affair. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
J and I talked afterward and we both came to the conclusion that this party, even though it was for Goobs, was actually more for her mom. It was a chance for Mama have family and friends over to see her prized "apo." Mama glowed that night.
We went back to Davao this past March and Mama got her first opportunity to see the Bun. It wasn't her birthday and we didn't have a party like we did the last time we were there, but it was a blast nonetheless. The hardest part was saying goodbye at the airport. I know that we will be back again and again. The kids love Lola and Lola loves the kids. It's that simple.
Now, here's the kicker. Half of J's family lives in suburban Detroit. We went to visit them once when we first moved back to the states. We are planning another trip during the third week of October. That happens to fall during the birthday of the Goober man. J started talking about the party we will be having in Michigan and who we will invite. I found one of her notebooks on the computer desk and it has an entire birthday menu scrawled on it. I think she wants to see if she can find a place to get lechon for the party. I got a little nervous about it, but then I just decided to relax and enjoy the party. Hey, if there's gonna be a party with lechon, let's just crack open the Mang Tomas and let the good times roll!


mamazilla said...

i didn't find out about the whole BIG first birthday party shindig until WAAAAY after the paloma's first birthday...

friends of mine were about ready to take back my filipino card. i made up for it at her second birthday... and i came yea close to killing someone...

then, the introvert/loner in me kicked my *ss and i'm back to planning teeny tiny parties again.

we're mo' better at teeny tiny birthday party planning and attending.

pass the mang tomas!!! ;)

mom2amara said...

Samok Daddy, you sound like Dad2Amara! When I have planned Amara's parties, he's always amazed by the sheer number of guests (and food)! But when I think back to my birthday parties growing up, Lola2Amara did not believe in just inviting one or two children, she'd invited the entire class, teachers, neighbors, family and friends!

You know us Filipinos - we love to party :)

xiaolin momma said...

dang I LOVE Mang Tomas sauce. It just makes everything so much better. THe big parties are the way to go - I remember my bday parties with the all the kids and aunties running around frying things. It is not the same to have a party at chuck e cheese when you can have your own pig with an apple in its mouth.

Sounds like it is going to be a great time! Big productions are in the genes!

samokdaddy said...

Side note on things...It's the Bun's birthday today. J is doing something completely different for her. Since the Bun is turning two, mommy is taking the day off. They are going to get their hair done together ( wonder how that'll turn out), having lunch together, and going to a mall with a play area...of course they will go shoe shopping to. I think this will go down as the first every girls day out birthday thing. I'm sure in a few years, it's going to be a trip to the spa together for them.

J got her a huge, stuffed Dora doll. The Bun loves Dora and J told me that she wants her to have strong, brown female role models. Dora fits the bill for a young girl. It's my job to go out and get her favorite video...We had rented Chicken Little from blockbuster and watched until the disk wore out. Now she's going to have her own copy of Chicken Little to wear out. Plus, she gets new chalk. Mommy had this great idea to make one of our walls a chalk board. She went out to home depot and got the paint and I made a chalk board wall. THe kids now have a place to draw as much as they want now. I think she's going to have a good birthday today.

Anonymous said...

We're trying to do big parties every other year. So this year, turning 3 is going to be a big one. But even "just family" can get big, you know? And I am guilty of being a planner too- I have her 4th and 5th all planned already ;)