The Legend of the Three Musketeers

First Member: Carlo James, aka CJ
birth date: january 25, 1995
birth place: milan, italy
hospital: ospedale sacco di milano
time of birth: 3:05pm
weight: 1.970 kilograms
height: 43 cm.
breech position, by CS operation, premature at birth, due date of birth should be march 11. he stays at the incubator for two months. got urinary infection, cured for a week. :). he looks like a giant rat, skin so red and too many hairs.
while inside the incubator at the nursery, he can’t sleep without the radio on. guess he’s really into music since birth. the nurses called him “Ya-Mes” instead of James. in italian language the “J” is pronounced as Y. sometimes the doctor called him Yam.
he walks at the age of 15 months and talks at the age of 2.
CARLO JAMES comes from the thought of his father, that if the baby is a boy, he would like it to be nicknamed JC. but, too many JC’s around, so he inverted it to CJ. her mother thought of names that will correspond to a CJ. he was born in Italy, so Carlo would be nice (it’s italian) James rhymed perfectly, hence the carlo james.
zodiac sign: aquarius
passion: music

2nd Member:
birth date: december 27, 2001
birth place: milan, italy
hospital: ospedale sacco di milano
time of birth: 9:40am
weight: 2.870 kilograms
height: 46.2 cm
breech position, by CS operation, born 2 weeks in advanced. due date of birth should be January 16. he looks so red, literally small eyes & lots of hair.
everyone in the nursery thinks he’s chinese, ’cause of his eyes. lot of people can’t pronounced his name here, especially the italian. they were asking “is that german name or what?
Jaki was a real “hercules” in his crib. he practically threw away his blanket on the floor by kicking and pushing it.
he walks at the age of 9.5 months and talks at the age of 3 when he started day care school.
everybody is curious why he’s named CEVRICH JAN. he was supposed to be born on january, hence the “Jan”. “Rich” came from his father’s name “richard”, and the CEV was invented by his mother. hence, CEVRICH JAN. another C and J like his big brother CJ.
in italian language, CE is always pronounced as TSE. and CH is pronounced as K. hence his name is pronounced as “TSEVRIK”. in english it’s simply “sevritz”. JAN is pronounced sa “Yan” in italian.
his nickname jaki comes from the actor jackie chan.
zodiac sign: capricorn
passion: arts & video games

third member:
ZENDRA KIARA, aka Zen, Kiang
birth date: january 9, 2009
birth place: milan, italy
hospital: ospedale sacco di milano
time of birth: 1:40pm
weight: 3.640 kilograms
height: 48.5 cm
breech position, by CS operation, born 1 week in advanced. due date of birth should be January 16. she looks so red, small eyes like her brother jaki, & lots of hair.
among the three siblings, she is heaviest and longest at birth. when the doctors pulled her out at her mother’s womb, the first word her mother said “ciao cicciona” (hello chubby one). she open her eyes but never cried.
she walks on her very first birthday (1 year old) and can utter words “papa”, mamma”, “baba”…
ZENDRA KIARA comes from the thought that her mother wants her to be named alexandra.
first she was supposed to be named as Cendra Jade (for the C and J similarity with her 2 brothers). but since she was the only girl her mother thought it would be nice to be unique.
hence, improvising and shortening alexandra, became Zendra and the Kiara is an improvised name of italian name Chiara. the K from her mother’s name Kristina.
zodiac sign: capricorn
passion: teletubbies films, eating and tearing off everything she touches 😀

ShoeLace Band

my eldest son has turned 15 last january 25, 2010. how time flies so fast. i can still recall when i gave birth to him here in milan. it was a snowy day. i still can’t understand nor speak well italian language, so i don’t exactly know what’s going on around the hospital. anyway, even he was born pre-mature, he grew up healthy. thank God.
he was a smart boy. i’m always proud when i know he’ll receive awards and honors in school.
he was tagged before as “best dancer”. but at the age of 10 he discovered his guitar instincts. he started strumming and until now, no one can stop him. i read him describing:
“playing a guitar is just natural for me, as a baby holding his feeding bottle”.

at 13 he joined the rondalla (music group in his school) playing an acoustic guitar. he composed a song and played it with his peers. they won third prize for the piece. not bad for a starter.
when he reached sophomore he begins to be serious about his passion for music. formed a band and named it SHOELACE. he asked me for another acoustic guitar. he plays with my brother Tato’s electric guitar when he’s playing with the band. first battle of bands contest out of school, they won third prize again. cool! i’m just so proud when i saw him playing lead guitar. (see first video)

“SeptembeROCK Battle of the Bands” event on September 28, 2008 at the Silungang Bayan, Tayabas, Quezon

Battle of the Bands 2009 (held in Sampaloc, Quezon), they won second prize. my son CJ has truly been rocking on stage. (see video below)
on December 24, 2009, they joined again Battle of the Bands in our hometown (Lucban, Quezon) and they won second again. i told him, “ok lang anak, join lang nang join” (it’s ok son, just keep on joining). this time he bagged another prize, “the best guitarist” award. wow! he’s real good!
they were supposed to compete for another band competition, so my son composed a song entitled “tugtugan” (playing music). i heard the song and it’s a rock one. unfortunately, the competition didn’t pursue because of the production staff’s misunderstanding.
well, i am still looking forward for my son’s band competitions in the future. whenever or whereever it would be, from a distance i am there supporting and cheering up for him and his Shoelace band. i’m his number one fan of course.

Milan’s Carnival Festival 2010

Carnevale (or Carnivale, or Carnavale, alternate spellings you may find), is a festival which can trace its roots back to the Roman Saturnalia, a festival held in mid-December to honor the god Saturn with feasting, gift giving and role reversal. As often happened with such festivals, Catholics found a way to work the festival into their own liturgical year.

One commonly accepted derivation of the word “carnival” is the Latin “carne vale” or “farewell to meat.” Carnival was the final hurrah as winter headed towards spring, and the long Lenten season of fasting and abstinence. It was, perhaps, not only a last chance to indulge the passions of the flesh, but an opportunity to consume any meat which had been put up for winter that might not stay fresh enough for consumption until spring brought the end of Lent and Easter.

Because of its ties to the liturgical calendar, Carnivale varies in length. It can be considered to begin with the feast of Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas) on January 6, and always ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The Lenten season is the 40 days before Easter, which falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

If you’ve never heard of Shrove Tuesday, perhaps you’ve heard of “Fat Tuesday” — also known in French as Mardi Gras, or in Italian as Martedi Grasso.

Carnivale is celebrated with enthusiasm around the world; in the US the celebration in New Orleans is best known. In Brazil, Carnivale in Rio is famous for its wild abandon. Many cities in Italy have maintained or revived their traditions of Carnivale; especially well-known among them are Venice and Florence.

While Carnivale has a rich history and ancient roots in Italy, the festival remains a vital and contemporary celebration. A simple web search will reveal many images of celebrants in both historical and contemporary costumes. One of the common elements found throughout the tradition has remained the Carnivale mask.

Carnevale (Carnival)

it’s Carnevale Festival once again here in Milan. last year it’s so rainy, so we didn’t have the chance to watch the parade or enjoy the feast. it’s almost 3pm and my son’s counting the hours since morning. he’s not much excited for the parade, but more on the thought that we will go to luna park after we strolled around piazza Duomo, where the parade ends and a carnevale program was set near the Duomo church.
from piazza Cairoli where we landed, we just need to walk to reach piazza Duomo. i had fun glancing at the many kids in different costumes. even the babies (who would never know what the hell is going on around them) are in their cute costumes. my son didn’t wear his. “non vuole mamma” (don’t want mamma). so he’s just dressed as he is. my daughter though is “into” her flower fairy thing all day.

coming across piazza Cordusio…a long passage full of air from under, kids are enjoying throwing away “coriandoli” (confettis). mom bought one bag of coriandoli for Jaki. 1 euro for a small plastic, 2euro for bigger one. so it means you’re actually flying away your 1 euro on the air for each small bag. anyway, kids didn’t mind how much that costs, but how much joy they will get when they see the confettis flying over the blast of air.

heading up in piazza Duomo, it was so crowded. i mean, it’s like sardines, only in giant can. i even don’t have chance to shoot that big temperature machine exhibited on our way. too many people around.

pics and pics…my hub is then craving. we just meet him at piazza cairoli when he finished his wok, so it almost 4:30pm and time for snack at least. i want to eat “frittelli” (practically, tastes like doughnut, but it’s flat and so crunchy). but looking at the line for fritelli, i guess when it’s my turn, it will be dinner already. so we scouted at McDonald’s..oh ow, so full. Spizzico..for pizza, full too. last resort, “ciambella” (doughnut)! that will do. i love doughs.
we headed back to Castello Sforzesco (castle) ‘coz the luna park is just inside. but, we ate first and sit near the fountain outside the castle.

walking to the castle, i saw that giant statute of madame butterfly. still, people crowded so i just have a quick (uncentered) shot of Jaki before i loose my balance just to click the cam. i don’t know who’s pushing who.

there it was, the luna park. Jaki never miss this thing. don’t know what it’s called. every ride is called “giostra”. mom treat him with 4 tickets. the 4th one Jaki got another free ride when he reached the pompom thing. he never complained of his dizziness anyway.

it’s almost 6:30pm, my brother Jun and my husband enjoyed the horse race. they didn’t win. me and my son tried one game. he’s the last one, i’m the second to the last. poor us. it’s hard to shoot the ball to keep the horses running.
anyway, Jaki consolate himself by jumping and hopping on the big trampaulin.

i never dare myself ride that “tappetto volante”(flying carpet) thing…

we also tried the rouletee. my brother won a dog figurine. of course my daughter Zendra robbed that. she likes dogs. my son won an Inter FC (italian soccer team) scarf and he’s so happy about it. an Inter fan (like my hub and the rest of the household). I’m for Juventus though.

we waited for 20 minutes (what the…?) for the bus. when the bus arrived it was so loaded.
even an ant would deny a passage, hahaha. so we decided to wait for another one. after 3 minutes, an empty bus arrrived. lucky us! we were sitted like kings and queens.
we arrived at about 8pm. after dinner, i scouted over the decathlon bag that my hub bought for me, zendra and jaki: sporty stuffs.
well, that one’s another story.

Milan Carnevale (preview)

It’s time for Carnevale! This morning, we all three had fun fitting costumes and dyaraaaaaaan!
presenting Jaki… batboy!

Zendra’s costume, courtesy of my cousin Madel. i just added up the wings, to look like she’s the fairiest flower fairy. =)
who’s that wearing a mask? hahaha. it’s their mamma…improvising a “star queen” effect. the mask is hand-made by my son Jaki from school. then, i rolled over my kid’s sheets full of smiley stars, makin’ it some sort of a gown. put a belt and necklace and dyaraaaaaan! 🙂

Zendra escaping out of the house…
she’s not scared of the mask..hence, curiousity wants her to squeeze my nose

later we’ll be watching the Carnevale parade. hope it will not rain.
the adventure continues…

Zendra’s Bravery

it’s my daughter Zendra’s vaccination for morbillo-rosolia (german measles) and we got the 2pm appointment. as usual, we always arrive early prior to the said time. we got out of the house at about 1:40 pm. the consultorio pediatrico (kids’ clinic) is just two blocks away from our home, so it would only take 5 minutes for us to walk.
my son Jaki is on vacation so he’s with us too. Zendra has no idea she’ll encounter a needle again. she was excited to go out. once she’s dressed up, she will be standing near the door and tries to open it. only she’s still so small to reach the door handle.

when we arrived the doctors are still eating their lunch on the other room and asked me “che l’ora il tuo appuntamento”? (what’s your appointment time). i said, we’re early for the 2pm, so we’ll just stay at the waiting room.

Zendra saw lots of toys and get so excited. maybe if she knew she’ll have her vaccine, she wouldn’t even bother to play around. 🙂

Jaki joined her little sister and i just had fun capturing them at my cp. little blurry though. never mind.

almost 1:55pm. Zendra is nearing to her challenge of bravery…

the doctor’s calling us. ready Zendra?

heading to the doctor’s room, my daughter saw many pictures of babies and right away she keeps on shouting “Ba-Ba…Ba-ba” means baby. so the two women doctors giggled at her. called her “monellina” (little girl). the doctor asked me to put Zendra on the examination bed and checked her up: heartbeat, ears, eyes, and mouth. all is well. weighing and measuring is not their assignment. they have another schedule for it. Mondays and Fridays @ 10-11am.

i was about to get rid of my daughter’s stockings, when the doctor said, “no, lascia cosi” (no, leave it that way). the vaccine will be on her left arm, not in her legs anymore. oh, i see. she just asked me to hold Zendra’s feet, while the other doctor hold her other arms, so the other one could administer the vaccine. Zendra cried, not because of the needle she saw, but the way we imprisoned her. poor baby…she might be thinking, “why the hell are you squeezing me?”
in a split of seconds, the injection is done. put a band-aid and voila! Zendra stop crying. if i have a stop watch, i could measure her soft cry at about 30 seconds. real brave…

we were asked to stay for about 20 minutes…at least to make sure everything’s fine after the vaccine. so my daughter played again in the waiting room, as if she was never been injected at all.

She’s braver than her “Kuya” (big brother) Jaki. everytime i bring Jaki for vaccine…starting from the very second we sat down at the waiting area, he was already in agony. too scared.

The sun started to shine when we got out of the clinic, so i decided to bring the kids to the nearby park.

Oh ow…the park was closed, with a sign: “Chiusa per manutenzione” (closed for maintenance). Jaki sighed and just drink at the tap fountain nearby for consolation. we just go home, minding each of our businesses: Jaki with his pokemon cards, Zendra with her teletubbies and me on the pc.

Paddle Challenge

Friday again. my son’s still on vacation so i’m with my two kids here. the rain is pouring outside…

Jaki requested for chicken nuggets as a snack while having fun watching “Bee Movie” over and over again. i guess he watched that film 20 times already. he almost memorized the songs in it. “here comes the sun…little darling…”

It has no italian version, ‘coz i bought it back in the Philippines, where italian menus and features aren’t available.

on the other side, i’m busily preparing for my daughter’s soup (and mine too). Jaki’s not fond of it, so nuggets for him will do. i’m not a good cook but of course, i can cook. it’s just so challenging to cook now with my daughter Zendra, roaming around and pushing buttons of our washing machine, or swtching on and off our oven. kind of hard if there’s no one around for help. Jaki can’t just look after her little sister. She can now escape in her play pen and cries when i put her on her stroller. really a mother’s challenge to multitask.

oh ow…the meat! zendra’s collecting the onions at my back! shuuuu shuuu little one 🙂

boiling, boiling….i’m dressing up Zendra…run run teena to the kitchen.

served finally! a pipe rigate soup!

zendra ate two servings. lucky me! i have a fan! hahaha…=)

we’re all settled and i’m ready to go for work. i got a part time job during fridays, so i need to leave my kids to my mom.

til next challenge!

perfect 10

my son Jaki got a perfect 10 in reciting this poem.for two days, we’ve been reading thisover and over again.
Noi siamo quegli ometti silenziosi
che vivono apparti in fondo al bosco.
Siamo sapienti, timidi, operosi.

La sera, piano piano, di nascosto
ci allontaniamo dalle nostre tane
per andare a curare grilli o rane, un capriolo,
un ramarro, un vecchio rospo.

Altri come scoiattoli aiutiamo anche gli uomini.
Ma loro non lo sanno, questo e il bello!
Forse potra sembrarvi un poco strano,
ma mi piace insegnar cio che sappiamo
ai bambini che han voglia di imparare in modo naturale e divertente

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveller, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

this is one of my fave poems ever. i remember i have this poem poster during my freshman days in high school