Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Labor Day - Alab

My labor with Alon lasted about six hours in the hospital. Probably additional four while doing my business in the office that morning. I thought that was fast hearing stories from friends. Apparently not compared to Alab!

My OB did warn me that labor the second time around would be faster. I did not realize how fast was faster!

Alon came out when I was 36weeks 6 days with him. So when I reached the 37th week, I was getting a bit impatient though full term is really 39 weeks. During the wait, I'd have very uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks contractions which could be mistaken for labor so when the actual labor came, I was again assuming it to be a bad case of BH!

I have been suspecting early labor since Saturday but did not pay it much heed knowing I will just be sent home if I was less than 3cm dilated. Or they may make me stay which would up the cost of the hospital unnecessarily (cheapskate, remember). Sunday morning, the contractions were getting more frequent. But according to my contraction timer, it was still early labor. 

I wanted to go to Mass early and Jan said we can walk around Ayala Triangle to induce the labor. We weren't able to do as planned because the brunch Jan was preparing was ready by 2pm. Hehe!

By 3pm, I suspect that I was in active labor already but I still did not want to go to the hospital. I had to concede though that Mass and Ayala Triangle were no longer a good idea. I told Jan there was a Mass at MMC at 7PM so we could go there instead.

By 4.30PM, I called my brother so he can stay with Alon while we were at the hospital. I took a bath and Jan got my hospital bag ready. I wanted to wait until he got to our place but by 6PM, I decided to finally go because the pain was getting really, really uncomfortable. 

We got to the hospital around 6:30PM. 

Since my pregnancy was unremarkable (always a good term in doctorese. Hehe!), we were able to avail of the maternity package. This included the anaesthesiologist and related meds. So again, there was the surprised nurses and resident when I opted not to have an epidural. In a sense, it was crazy indeed when it's paid for. I just wanted to be drug-free the entire experience.

I have to admit that I was *this* close to asking for it because the pain was none like I experienced with Alon. While it was six hours, it was a gradual increase in pain that was tolerable. This time, it was a sharp increase that I was not ready for. I was gripping the bed rails like mad, the nurse was telling me, "mommy, baka masira po!" 

As usual, these crazy hospital staff kept asking me the same questions I was asked prior to admission. I wanted to shout at them and tell them to go ask each other because can't they damn well see how much pain I am in. I just answered anyway. And all those effin' forms I had to sign, papers they kept shoving to my face while in the middle of a contraction. Argh.

I wanted Jan to be with me since we were doing lamaze but they said they can only let him in in the delivery room. We were still in the labor room. I asked of we can have the birthing room instead which we would just pay on top of the package. Crazy hospital said that was not allowed since I was having the package. In the middle of my pain, I was arguing with them about their insane logic. After all, I was willing to pay extra. This time, I was glad they did not heed the customer because it was unnecessary. I was also asking if I can go to the toilet because I felt like I was going to poop. They told me I can just use the bed pan instead. (No, it was not poop but Alab getting ready).

I was yelling so hard with the pain, I pity the other moms hearing me. Jan could hear me from outside. My OB was not yet there, so the resident was handling me. And of all the things to tell me, "mommy, don't push yet." WTF! No way am I not going to push! I wanted the pain over and done with! And besides, it's not like I can help it.

So we were still at the labor room when I heard "crowning!" They had to rush me to the delivery room. I was asking for Jan already. He still wasn't there. Still no sign of my OB. It was probably between five to ten minutes since they transferred me to delivery that Alab came out. He arrived before my OB and before Jan.

My doctor arrived in time for clean up and episiotomy. And she gets full fees pa din as agreed. Swerte niya. Hehe! We were transferred to the recovery room. I was so hungry I asked Jan for a Burger King meal.

At 7:25PM, we welcomed Alab who was 47cm and 6lbs 13 ozs upon arrival. He came out after 38weeks and 4 days. While he took his sweet time in my tummy, he wasted no time getting out when he was finally ready. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014


My first time away from Alab was spent watching Mockingjay, which I really enjoyed. Though I was half wondering if that was a good idea since it was quite a heavy movie. Which was to be expected since I read the book anyway. 

What was the experience like, this day off...
1. Kung mamalasin ka nga naman! I ended up seated beside THAT moviegoer who gives a running commentary of something you are actually seeing yourself. "Uy, daming flowers." Who barely has an idea what's going on, "madami pala flowers dun..." Who has to give an opinion which shows he barely understands the complexity of things, "parang baliw!" Referring to Pollux. Wanted to smack him but had to restrain myself.

2. Finnick Odair is so damn hot, it's ridiculous. What kind of jaw is that?! 

3. Effie Trinket can rock that jumpsuit in so many ways!

4. PSH. :(

5. Revolution scenes always make me cry. The courage of the nameless people who choose to fight in the name of freedom. I think of Syria, Iraq, Rwanda... I feel blessed that I can speak up without fear of being shot. 

7. "Hanging Tree" scene... Wow. So powerful.

8. My poor Peeta.

9. Margery Tyrell is even hottermas Cressida. Wish I canwear my hair like that!

10. Can't wait for Part 2.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Labor Day-Alon

It's funny how my labor story for Alab is somewhat close to Alon's mainly because I was still not sure if it was Braxton-Hicks or real labor already. Giving birth one time did not really make me any wiser about it. 

With Alon, it was a Wednesday. I had contractions in the morning but not much feeling any different from false labor so I paid it no heed. I got ready for work and rode the jeep. For the first time in ine months, somebody was actually kind enough to make space for me rather than having me go all the way inside th vehicle.

Walking to the office, I was feeling more pains but I was still not sure. When I got to the reception, I had to stop a bit to breathe and keep still as the pains came. I was told I look like I was giving birth already. I said I wasn't sure but would probably need to take a leave the next day if such pains persist. Hah! When I got to my room, my colleagues was telling me I was looking pale already.

I had my contraction timer with me and it did seem the contractions were becoming more frequent and constant. I thought maybe I should give the doctor a visit. But before I did, I told my colleagues to let me wrap up a few things with HR and do some emails before I go. There was no need to worry because it will take time to deliver.

I did all the stuff I wanted to do. HR was kind enough to lend a vehicle to bring to the hospital but I asked to be brought home instead since I had my hospital bag there and Jan was still home. By the time I left the office, it seems I was in active labor already. I still did not leave for the hospital. I had a small meal of crackers and sardines, in case labor would take a while. Then I took a bath, just in case it will take some time before I get to do it again.

Finally, we took a cab to the hospital. We went straight to the delivery room declaring myself in labor. Since I was not eligible for the package, we got a lamaze room. Because we did plan for lamaze. The doctor took an internal exam declaring me 4-5cm dliated. Good. Halfway there! 

Imagine the shock and awe when I told the nurses and residents that I don't intend to have epidural. The "supportive" resident told me, "are you sure? No Filipina has succeeded so far." I wanted to smack her if I weren't in so much pain. I joked instead, "an anaesthesiologist costs. I didn't budget for it." Which is half my reason indeed. Why pay so much for a guy who'd stab me with a long needle? Besides queens and princesses gave birth au naturelle back in the days and lived to rule countries. Hehe!

Good call for me. I gave birth after five hiurs. Breathing exercises helped. The resident was finally on my side when after a ciuple of hours her internal exam revealed 8cm. She said I can do it since I was dilating fast. My wonderful husband took a photo of me while pained. I yelled at him, "what the hell?" To which the nurse chirped in, "Sir, she's okay. she still knows what you are doing."

So the Moment was coming without me knowing. I thought I was going to poop so I wasn't pushing properly. The doctor said that that was exactly the baby ready to go forth into the world, that I had to make do like I would if I needed to go. So "go" I did. And hurrah, Alon was born at 6:07PM at 2977kg, 47cm.

I thought I did it quick but wait til you hear Alab's labor story!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ohana means family

Family is love. :)
These are the days I am amazed at how much love a person is capable of. Love is not divided, it is multiplied. #overwhelmed

Blowing bubbles

You can do it by yourself na!
So proud. :)

Kuya Alon

It has been a blessing that Alon is receiving his brother well. I have been nervous the entire time I wasconceiving  Alab about how well his Kuya would take to him.

I could not have been any happier seeing his reaction when he first saw Alab. He had this very big smile on his face, pointed to Alab and said, "baby brother" in a giggly voice. He wanted to touch him so I guided his hand to be gentle.

There have been moments when I can sense jealousy. Mainly when it was about breastfeeding. He does know that Alab takes priority but he threw a terrible tantrum when we had to stop his own feeding for Alab. After that episode, I learned to prompt him about new nursing rules. It's still a challenge but Alon has been quite receptive of the conditions.

We also had reading together moments, the three of us. He'd also always talk about Alab, about what his little brother is doing. I am so grateful for this. It's only been five days but I do appreciate this good start. My prayers now include that they be friends. I keep imagining the "kalokihan" they might brew up as they grow... Half of me hopes for Gred and Feorge level, half of me hopes they'd be all-behaved. Haha! Basta. Sana resbak nila ang isa't-isa. Hehe!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Labs, Happy Birthday!

Uy. 13 X 3 ka na! Di naman halatang Tandercats ka na. Pasalamat ka na bebeh-face ka kahit na mas dumadami na puti kesa itim mong buhok. Keribels lang yan. Richard Gere or George Clooney lang ang peg (parehong di ko type).

Sabi nila, pag tumatagal ang pagsasama, nagigising daw sa katotohanan. Halos nine years na tayo. Pero baligtad ata. Nabubulag na ako. Pogi ka pala? Alam mo naman, kahit nuong bago pa lang tayo, di na kita type. Oo, mahal kita, pero di kita type. Maputi ka, type ko maitim. Muscular ka, type ko patpatin. Balbon ka, type ko balat pwet ng baby. 

Buti na lang, mabait ka. Tsaka nagsalita ka na nung tumugtog si Bong Gabriel sa computer ko nung nasa Davao tayo. Kasi sa totoo lang, di ko napapansin na nasa kwarto ka. So quiet naman you, kasi.

Tapos buti na lang binanggit mo ang magic words na "Neil Gaiman"... Hala! Di man kita type, feel ko naman ang trip mo. Biro mo ba naman umagahin tayo ng kwentuhan sa Korokkan videoke dahil kay Neil at pati na rin sa X-Men. Nahuli mo uli ang aking pansin nung kilala mo ang "Reavers" story line. Ayus!

So dun na nagsimula ang lahat. Kala ko naman, trip trip lang. Malay ko bang dadaanin mo ako sa santong paspasan? Never saw that in you. Haha! Aggressive ka din pala pag gusto mo na makuha ang sagot. Kung sabagay, di pwede ang lalamya-lamya sa basketball player.

By the way, huwag mo na uulitin yung hairstyle sa taas ha? Lalo pa't ang tipid mo gumamit ng pang-ahit.

So yun, three years tayong mag-uyab at hello, hello! Six years na pala tayong kasal. Bongga! Minsan parang kailan lang, minsan parang yun na lang ang alam ko na life experience. Tama nga si Einstein na time is relative. Depende kung san ka nakatingin, iba din takbo ng oras. Ayus.

Di ko alam kung kasingkulit pa rin tayo ng dati. Buti na lang di talaga tayo sweet-sweet-an. At least di ko masasabing, "nagbago ka na!" Kasi ganun ka pa din. Haha!  Pero actually, naso-sorpresa mo na rin ako sa iyong mga Mother's Day flowers and birthday flowers. Mabuti na lang mura lang yung flower shop malapit sa office. :P

Masasabi ko lang, kelangan natin magdagdag ng couple pics. Mahihirapan mga anak natin maghanda ng special video sa ating 20th/25th anniversary. Bilang ina, ayaw ko silang mahirapan. Lezdodis!

Pero kahit di mo halata minsan. O halata mo, pero di mo lang pinahahalata na halata mo kasi alam mong ayaw ko pahalata... Alam ko na swerte ako bilang partner-in-life mo. Kahit obsessed ka masyado sa tables at furnitures, swerte pa din ako. Kahit na masungit ako (hirap ng middle-class in Manila e) pa-minsan-minsan (minsan lang ba?)...

Swerte ako dahil inaalagaan mo ako. Aba e, ilang lalaki ba dyan ang magtitiyaga mamalengke/grocery, maglaba ng ahem at kung anu-ano pa? Dahil ginagawa mo yun, mas naalagaan ko ng mabuti ang ating Alon (at Alab).

Swerte din mga anak mo. Sa picture pa lang sa taas, handa ka na ma-Hop on Pop para lang mapahagikgik sila. Minsan naloloka ako kasi nasa computer at TV ka habang nasa hapag-kainin (ang gadget-free meal times ko!!!), napagsasabihan ka naman. Panganay ka, kelangan mowdel. Hehe! Pero yun, swerte sila dahil hands-on ka, from nappy change to bath time to read time.  Kita mo naman ang tuwa ni Alon pag umuuwi ka.

At happy din ako, dahil alam ko na magiging active ang ating mga anak. Isama na sa basketball sa kanto, football sa park, gym sa YMCA. Bahala ka na. Alam mo naman may tamaditis ako pagdating sa exercise.

At alam kong lalaking matino sa partners ang mga boys natin kasi makikita nila kung gano mo ako ka-lab. Hehe! Mataas kaya standards ko kasi Tatay ko ay lab na lab ang Nanay ko. So I really couldn't settle for any thing less. Naks.
Maligayang bati, Labs! Tingnan mo naman ang peetyur na yan sa taas. Kagigising pa lang ni Alon. Hehe! Nasa tiyan pa si Alab. Pero yan... sana patuloy nating trabahuin na maging masaya at payapa ating munting pamilya. Yun naman din ang tunay na nagtali sa atin, di ba? Ang pagpapahalaga sa pamilya... na ito ang importante sa lahat. :)

Malayo pa ang ating lalakbayin, pero naniniwala ako na magkasama tayo all the way. Holding hands pa. You, me, Alon and Alab. Mwaaaaaaah! Happy batatay, kung kay Alon pa. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Dear Alon,

It has been a month since you last nursed!

I have a letter in the making but I've not fully put it together yet. I just want to commemorate this day. :)

I'm actually not sure if, once baby brother is born, you will want to nurse again. I'm hoping you decided you are big enough and have no need for it. But my weak mother's heart would probably be not able to turn you down should you want to. Given certain conditions we have discussed.

Whatever happens then, just know that I am very proud of you. I know it was not easy for you and probably still not easy on you. But you took it well and handled a "denial of want" more maturely than most adults. ;)

I love you, Kuya Alon.


Christmas in October

I don't usually think of Christmas much unless it's December already, but with my toddler, "Jingle Bells" "Pasko na Naman" and "Santa Claus is coming to town" have become standard lullabyes since last week. And I'm not feeling Grinchy about it. Haha!


Dear little wiggler, if you want to get out, you don't kick till Nanay's tummy tears (as a chick would peck an egg until it breaks)... ‪#‎ouch


Alon found his way through my indie comics stash. I couldn't count how many times I had to read "The Hunters" (written by a four-year old, illustrated by my favorite Kajo) last night. This morning, he was carrying "Bakemono High" (illustrated by my other favorite, Elbert Or) to the playground.

Do I fear for the pages of these comics (already crumpled and crinkled) or feel proud that we might just have a shared passion someday? Hehehe! I think the answer is clear.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Going down 12 floors but it still feels like a big move!

I like keeping with tradition though. I don't necessarily believe them but it's one of those things where you have nothing to lose.

Before we entered the new unit to move some of our stuff, we put in a new broom, a loaf of wheat bread, a canister of brown rice, a jar of brown rice, a small container of salt, our current stock of canola oil, a comb, the Holy Family and Mother and Child statues.

Here's hoping for abundance of love and comfort. And a complete move by end of the week. :)

Good night, sleep tight


Fun in a box

We actually bought th storage box for your toys. It seems you found greater purpose for it than what we intended. It was literally hours of endless fun for you. :)

Weaning update

It has been two weeks since you last nursed. I've been so very proud of you because even after two weeks you still look for it. You have been patient enough to wait and wait and wait despite wanting it. I'm not sure whether I should tell you "no" by the time your brother is born. Let's see once that happens. But do know that Nanay is very proud of you.

I love you, Kuya Alon!

Blood moon

October 8 was blood moon, Alon and Alab! That means there was a lunar eclipse. Kuya Alon, we tried to show you but you preferred to run around the puddles and stomp-stomp and eventually crawl on it. Ah well, that should be more fun for a two year old that staring at a sky with abarely visible moon. Nanay did witness it wax into a half moon before I decided to skip the rest of the phenomenon. Next time, we shall all try and witness it together. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coming soon

Little Wiggler, I'm getting breathless carrying you around, do you know that? My tummy has grown much larger than when I was carrying your Kuya. i had gestational diabetes then so I had to. Thankfully, I do not have it now. I can eat more that I did before. That was probably why my tummy got so big. And now, I have stretch marks. 

Vanity is making me feel sad a out it. But then I know that what matters most is that you grow healthy inside of me. We have at least two weeks to go, but I'm gunning for at least three. Just thinking about moving like this for three weeks exhausts me though. Doesn't matter thoug, I'll survive each day. :)

As long as you keep swimming those laps inaide of me to let me know that you are a healthy, strong boy, I will be able to let go of vanities. :)


I love how much you love our laundry basket. You called it a boat (singing Row, Row your boat)' the elevator (complete with pushing buttons to the ground floor), a car, your room (with pillows and a toy). It's almost or equal a box. #simplethings

Bahay Kubo

There is such a thing as unconditional love from a child to a parent too. Alon likes having me sing "bahay Kubo" to him at random moments but particularly when going to sleep. My voice is awful. I'm tone deaf and can not carry a tune. Yet, he still wants me to sing it to him all the time. Haha!

This evening, I had a wonderful surprise when I arrived home. He was reciting the song! There were times I had to prompt him with syllables but he knows most of the song and the order of the veggies. It was such a proud moment!

Now I know why parents always boast of their kids. It can not be helped sometimes. You feel the sense of achievement of your child's progress. Yesterday they couldn't do it and then suddenly they just can. Amazing!

We still can't make him recite the alphabet or numbers but hey, who's rushing? :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weaning nth time

Tonight I succeeded in putting Alon to sleep without nursing. It was more of a forced circumstance than a choice. Last night, while he was nursing, I had some fake contractions. They don't really hurt but are pretty inconvenient. The not-good thing about it is it could escalate to full force contractions which I do not want at 34 weeks. I need to grow the little one some more.

I talked to Alon telling him we can not "dede" for a while because it gives Nanaynthe "ouchy". Wasn't really sure if he understood but I kept repeating it to him for most of the night. I also allowed him a longer play time with the iPod. This goes against my usual parenting rules but I coukd hardly keep up with him now, so some compromise had to be made.

He did ask to nurse but I was firm that it was not possible. I told him he can nurse again once baby brother is out and if he still wants to but not before then. He, of course, put up a struggle butwe eventually managed to sleep without nursing. His tantrum was actually shorter compared to allowing him to nurse then asking him to stop in the middle of the process.

There is at least thee weeks to go (I pray), so I'll have to see if he will be totally weaned or not. I'm open to tandem nursing but it would be much reprieve to just feed one as the other has had his due. Nonetheless, in his own time. 

34 weeks

You've been very active my Little Wiggler! And it makes Nanay happy every time. It also makes me uncomfortable too, especially when there is a fake contraction that hardens my stomach for quite a while. But it's a good sign that you are thriving and hopefully, happy inside Nanay.

I talk to you inside my head. I forget to speak out loud to you but I hope the love I feel you hear with every heart beat. That's at least 50-60 beats a minute. It should reach you. :)

Hold on for at least three more weeks, Little Wiggler! It's best for you so you can gather all strength when the time comes you are finally out. It's not as warm and as comfy as inside me but it is an interesting place to be. Most of the time you are awake, your little head will be figuring things out. I hope you will be excited and not feel too scared. nanay and Tatay and Kuya Alon are here to take care of you. :)

I love you, my Little Wiggler. I can wait to hold you but I have been excited for weeks and weeks and weeks. So when you do come, it will be awesome! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Misheard lyrics

Alon: Riding Dodong tayo.
Nanay: Riding Dodong?
Alon: Riding Dodong. Pony.
Nanay: Aaaah! Yankee Doodle!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Nanay was singing "Kung Ikaw ay Masaya" in Tagalog and English.
Alon: again!
Nanay: ano gusto mo, English o Tagalog?
Alon: Talagog!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Silly boy

Alon accidentaly hit my eye with his hand.
I told him, "natamaan ng kamay ni Alon mata ni Nanay. Kiss mo."
He kisses his hand and laughs.
I had to laugh too despite the paun in my eye.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You're two!

Nanay has been anticipating your birthday for months.  We weren't going to have a party but Nanay was just both excited and nostalgic. For a week, Nanay has been telling you about your coming birthday.  You would smile and say, "Abby?" or "Vince?"  Theirs was the last birthday party you attended so that is why you probably thought it was theirs we were going to celebrate.

I told you that that it was YOUR birthday and you were to turn two.  It was probably a day or two before your birthday that when I broached the topic and said "Birthday na ni Alon sa Friday!"  This time you answered, "Jollibee?"  You answered the same thing the next day.  I'm not a big fan of fast food for you (though we often eat McDonald's pancakes on weekends, to be honest) but since it was your birthday, I decided that we should indulge you with your request.

But that is getting ahead of how we spent your day.  So let me start properly.

When you woke up, Nanay told you it was your birthday.  You had a big smile on your face and said, "Jollibee?" I agreed that we will eat at Jollibee for lunch. But there were things to do first!

I ordered a beautiful cake from Tita Vannie who makes Adele and Vita cakes. She was on her way to deliver it so we had to meet her downstairs. I gave you a glimpse of your cake when we got it.  You just had a peek of a dinosaur's head and you already had this big smile. That already made it worth it, for both Nanay and Tita Vannie. Then I showed you the cupcakes with dinosaur toppings and your smile got bigger.  Nanay and Tatay are already happy on your birthday seeing how you liked your cake!

We went back up to our room. We got a cupcake and put a candle on it. This time, Nanay was ready and already set aside a box of matches to light your candle.  You were excited to see the candle. I taught you how to blow it and you were able to. Yehey! After that, you ate the dino toppers which you liked. We split the cupcake in three but you only took a small bite. I ate the rest of your share. It was soooo good! Nanay wanted to eat more but had to stop herself because we had to share it with others who were going to visit you.

After we had our cupcake, we changed into our swimsuits and spent the morning at the pool. We also spent the morning swimming during your birthday last year. This time, Nanay asked Tatay to take a leave from work and just spend the day with us. So swimming was more fun with Tatay around.

I'm trying to remember if you took a nap or not after the swim but my nagging feeling is you didn't. We went to Jollibee for lunch to meet Ninong Roy who would not be able to join us with your dinner celebration. We ordered a bucket of chicken for the adults plus spaghetti and fries for you. You had a good helping of spaghetti, eating almost half of it. It was the fries that you liked more, though, shoving piece after piece inside your mouth.

After we were all done with our meal, Nanay took out three pieces of cupcake she brought from home. I put one candle each on two cupcakes but you insisted that the third one should have its own candle too. As you are the celebrant, your wish was our command. We lighted all three candles and you blew all of them one by one. You really liked blowing candles! Again, it was the toppers you wanted to eat though you did have a bit of the cupcake.

When we went back home, you finally took a nap. This was also a chance for Nanay and Tatay to rest a bit. By 5:30PM, Lolo and Lola picked us up so we can have dinner. We decided to eat at TGIFriday's because Lola had a discount card.  Ate Nonay came all the way from school to celebrate your day with you.

I don't think you enjoyed the food as much as Jollibee. You did have some fries. I guess, this was more for the adults than for you. The best part of the night was the cake reveal though. Once Nanay opened the box, your face just lit up seeing the three dinosaurs on top of your cake. We finished the rest of the cupcakes with everybody getting their share, including Tito Arvin and Tita Eva who couldn't make it. Everybody enjoyed the cupcakes. Yey! This made Nanay happy. We're getting cupcakes from Tita Vannie again. Hehehe!

The staff of TGIF surprised you with a song and an ice cream/coffee dessert. You were indeed surprised. You were just looking at them while they were singing. It took you a while to recover. You only started appreciating the singing when they sang for someone else already.

It was a happy day for Nanay, celebrating your second birthday. Happy because you were also happy. We did not have a grand birthday celebration like your first, but we had our family together and that is what made it meaningful.

Oh, my two year old toddler! I can't wait to see the tricks that you learn as you grow older. It's been two months since then and boy have you picked up a lot already. Let's see what three will be like. For now, we enjoy you being two. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Anxiety of a second time Mom

I've got seven to eight weeks to go before I pop. It is quite interesting to note that I am more anxious now than I was with the first.  Maybe because we were already four years married when Alon came.  It felt the right time to have our first child.  Our coming soon was a surprise... unplanned and unexpected but definitely not unwelcome.

It has only been a little over two years ago but I'm acting like I was not pregnant before. I wonder if the hardening of my stomach is normal (yes, it is) or why I am always breathless (again, normal, but something I did not experience much with the first).  I'm trying to remember if I should bathe the newborn twice a day or once is enough. There are a lot of things about taking care of a newborn that I feel clueless about again.  We still have not started getting things the little one may need and I intend to cram every thing on my eighth month.  Small things that I paid extra attention to before, I have not been able to do now.

The main reason is I do have a toddler who is quite demanding of my attention now. As a working mother, I utilize my time at home playing and caring for my panganay. I could hardly do anything else until he is fast asleep. This may be part of my anxiety, I think. I sometimes worry if I prepared Alon enough for the arrival of a new person who will be as demanding as he is. I've bought books about new babies. I showed him his baby photos. I talk to him every night. I ask him to talk to my tummy.  Still, I know that when the baby is there, things will take its own shape.

I am also concerned if I have enough in me to care for two human beings? Three, counting the hubby. Hehe! I'm already exhausted just taking care of one toddler.  How will I fare once you throw in a newborn in the mix? I don't want either child feeling neglected by Nanay.  Right now, I'm trying to relegate more to Jan and the yaya but Alon seems to want me more than ever.  It might be he is sensing something big is coming and making the most of it.

I pray constantly that these two brothers would be friends, that they will care for each other.  I pray for guidance that we can foster that love between them. 

There is also my concern about finances.  Kids cost.  I've been lucky that I could sustain breastfeeding and that we use cloth nappies more than disposables.  These alone has helped manage extra expenses that come with having a child.  Right now, I'm uncertain how much further we can stretch our limited budget. We will need to move a bigger place, save up for hospital expenses (this is not where my taxes go, for sure), hire an additional yaya, and other small things he will need that eventually accumulates.

I do remind myself that finances should be the least of my worries because it will be the easiest to deal with. Jan and I are blessed with jobs.  So yes, while we have to stretch our financial capacities, we will not starve.  There will be a roof over our head, food on our plates and love in our hearts.  In other words, we will survive. We will even be happy. :)

I just have to remind myself to keep faith. In God, with Jan, with our kids, with people who love us.  All shall be well. :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

TV and gadgets

I have tried my best to not expose Alon to television and gadgets too young.  I was hoping to keep him screen-free until two years old but by the time he was one and a half, he was watching some television with us.  Mostly Masterchef Australia.  It was never interesting enough to keep him attentive for more than five minutes though.  So I'm still generally satisfied with his amount of exposure.

I'm not against gadgets and screens per se but I hope to raise him more interested in activities and people than screens.  Neither Jan or I are techies anyway.  It has been working so far.  He prefers playing with his friends over watching television.  He likes playing with his toys and still can be cajoled into reading books.

Lately, I have allowed him to watch some movies and play with the iPod/iPhone.  The main reason why this happened is because I've gotten so huge that I can no longer keep up in running after him.  He's also gotten a bit demanding, asking me to carry or play with him more.  I really wish I could but I'm a glutinous blob now and most of my movement is through waddling and rolling.  I need more breaks now and somehow gadgets and TV helps me have it.

He never watches or plays unsupervised though.  I make it a point that I explain what we see or ask him about what he's seen.  There are times he would be so engaged that he would not respond but I try as much as possible to make sure he doesn't get into such a deep stupor. 

He's seen quite a few movies already and it's interesting the things he's picked up from the shows.

Frozen. Olaf the Snowman is his favorite.  Because of Olaf, he started eating carrots (because of the carrot nose), so hurray for that!

Cars. He absolutely loves it.  He's known about Mater since Christmas since we gave him some small toy cars which included Mater and Lightning McQueen.  He learned about traffic lights from the movie.  Now, he likes waiting for traffic lights when we are on the road.

Despicable Me 2. Minions. Nuff said.
It was also only recently that I allowed him to watch or play educational games on the iPod/iPhone.  He likes watching songs and playing. He seemed to have lost interest in it lately though.  He hasn't asked to play "Puzzingo" in the past couple of days.

I got a new iPad mini.  I was looking through some videos and he wanted to watch with me.  I ended up showing him a video of a catterpillar transforming into a butterfly.  It was not a kiddie video, but I was doing a commentary during the transformation.  Much to my delight, when the video finished, he wanted to see it again.

Right now, I'm quite happy with our progress with the gadgets.  He still prefers physical play and that's what matters to me.  I put a time limit when he can watch and play with gadgets.  He'd put a bit of a tantrum when we end but he can be easily distracted to pay attention to something else.  At the same time, I get a chance to breathe for a while.

Let's see how it goes when I have a second baby to manage.  I wonder if I can keep the new one screen free for long.  Hah.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nanay and two boys

29 weeks with the little bro. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams

I heard about Robin William's passing on the radio while on the way to Laguna.  At first I could not believe my ears when the anchor was saying that it was an apparent suicide.  I was literally shaking my head in disbelief.

How is it a possible that a man who has brought so much laughter to millions of people would want to kill himself?

Comedians are often the saddest people.  I've heard this many times from comedians themselves.

The world mourns this man who has become a ubiquitous figure in many childhoods, youth.  He was Popeye, John Keating, Peter Pan, Jack, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentinnial Man, Genie... In one way or the other, he contributed to the romp and fun of our childhood. 

Russell Brand writes a beautiful piece on him.

I did not know this man personally.  But he was very much part of my growing up.

It's a sad way to go for a man who brought so much joy.  I pray for his peace.  That's the least I can do for the fun he's allowed me to have.

Apparently not

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

End of my first breastfeeding journey?

It's breastfeeding week/month and it is somewhat ironic that this might also the end of breastfeeding Alon.  See, I'm away for five nights.  As he is already two years old and we have another one coming soon, I decided not to bring a pump so this might mean no more milk production when I return.

The feeling is bittersweet.  I enjoyed nursing my son all throughout and if we weren't having another soon, I'm really not that much in a hurry to stop if he decides he still wants to nurse (some kids decide to wean themselves).  I could see the benefits of breastfeeding as he is less prone to getting sick compared to his playmates, his skin is baby smooth, he is lean but full of energy.  On the practical side of things, we saved from not needing to buy formula for two years.  Now that he is drinking fresh milk, our expenditures for his milk consumption is only a quarter of what it would cost if he drank formula.

As a working mom who occasionally travels for long periods (nine days was the longest), it did not come cheap either.  I bought lactation cookies to ensure my milk supply, breastmilk bags to store my milk, ice gel packs and fridge-to-go bags to keep the milk cool while in transit.  I lugged around a two kilo pump in addition to other stuff I had to bring with me.  That was a strain on my back.  Airport security always made me nervous due to the carrying of liquid policies.  There was a time I carried SEVEN KILOS of breastmilk from Geneva, Switzerland!

Alon was more than 18 months when he finally decided to drink fresh milk.  It was such a relief! I stopped pumping at work after that.  I only pumped when I was traveling to keep the milk supply going.  He only nursed at night time or during the day time if we are together.  After we got back from Ireland, I gradually weaned him by limiting his nursing before going to sleep and waking up.  No more in the middle of the night nursing.  Before I left, we were down to sleep time nursing.

It was a challenge though (and might still be when I return).  Sometimes I'd ask him to stop in the middle of nursing if I feel something in my belly (possibly contractions).  He'd cry and say, "last na. konti na lang. please." with sleepy pleading eyes. I'd have to explain that it's hurting Nanay and would have to hug and comfort him until he sleeps.  I'm certain that it's more of a ritual than a need but sometimes it is hard for a parent to deny a totally reasonable request from your child.

I'm not sure how things will play out when I get back home.  I'm hoping he will just be cavalier about it or has totally forgotten that he usually nurses to sleep.  If it is truly the end, I would feel a bit of relief but I'd also feel a bit of nostalgia.  It would be an end of an era... but one that is bound to begin again in three months.

Breastfeeding is not easy.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of commitment.  It can be painful (I don't remember it being so for me...) and it can be stressful (catching up with the amount of milk your child consumes during the day while you are away) and time-consuming.  I would therefore say that it is one of my greatest achievements as a woman and as a mother.

It has been a wonderful, personal journey with Alon.  I will to do the same with our Little Wiggler.

Friday, August 1, 2014

36 things to be grateful for

The day is about to end and so here is my quick reflection in the last few hours of my birthday.  Wow, three zodiac cycles. I list down the things I am grateful for during the lifetime that I had.

1.    Alon.  We have been truly blessed to have a son with so much spirit and energy.  He is as any two-year old can be which is always good.  He is healthy, which is what a parent always wants for his/her child.  I sense a good heart and a wise mind and pray that we can nourish that as we raise him.

2.    Jan.  For many things. For enjoying household chores. For being a good father. For being the husband that I did not expect which makes for a challenging and exciting partnership and therefor helps keep our marriage stronger. I love you.
3.    Our coming soon.  For being a surprise and for bringing hope and for adding more excitement to our growing family.  I look forward to finally holding his hands and seeing his smile.  I pray that he is as healthy and happy and smart as his Kuya Alon but I also pray that he be the person that he chooses to be.

4.    My family.  Dad, Mom, Kuya, Ate.  I grew up believing the world is good because I grew up with them. They all raised me well.  I learned discipline and I learned love because of them.

5.    The Dela Calzada kids.  My surrogate children.  They tested my maternal instincts before Alon did.  It was fun raising them especially since I did not have to deal much with their poop or pee.

6.    My extended family. Mama, Papa, Caryl, Arvin.  Thanks to them for the receiving me.  They have been so generous since I became part of the family.

7.    LHC. It’s been a while since we saw each other but our time in college paved the way for the wonder I continue to keep.  For the nights we lay on Bel field or the days sat on the Lib steps.  For drunken nights that I realized were not as wild as it could have been (maybe because I never drank).  For youthful idealism and recklessness.  My adulthood started exciting because of them guys.

8.    JVP, especially my Framily and JVP partners and Batch 19-20. For the most reflective, most passionate, most spiritual years of my life.  I continue to hope because of what I have learned in those two years.  I continue to believe because of the love that I received and the love I was able to give during those volunteer years.

9.    For past loves. I have only one official ex but my I fell in love several times. Unrequited love taught me to let myself love without return.  Reciprocated love showed me the world with rose-colored lenses.  Complicated love taught me patience to wait for the right person.  Severed love taught me to love myself and rediscover the love that comes from friendship.  None of the love I have given was ever wasted because I learned much from it.  

10.    Ateneo, the school.  I’ve always wanted to go to UP but that one talk I heard during university shopping sessions in high school and that awfully hard ACET made me change my mind and want to go to Ateneo.  I have never regretted it.  I feel that I lived the most of my college life there, with good friends, good education and good environment.

11.    Ateneo, Batch ’98. I love my batch.  Thanks to FB, I get a chance to see how far we have come from the crazy college kids that we were.  And this is not just about the success defined by work, but the lives we live.

12.    SSC 4A ’94.  Special mention to Francis T. who made the initial effort to bring the class together again.  Those small reunions mean a lot to me. 

13.    Mindoro. My first JVP area.  The best, most wonderful time of my life.  It was just a natural high.  I do not have the words to explain what you mean to me.

14. My seminarian students. None of which became a priest. What have I done? Haha! Those guys really stretched my patience but also taught me how much I loved teaching. 

15.    Pangantucan. My second JVP area.  Life started knocking he hard during this year, and yet I still nourished every moment of it.

16. My Pangantucan students.  I learned that I did love teaching but I was not ready for the responsibility at 21.

17.    That one year in advertising.  It made me realize that it is not my passion.  I think I could have been good at it, but I would not have been happy.  I continue to remain in awe of friends who stayed in the business but remain thankful before it could change my spirit.

18.    Those two years as JVP staff.  It was a pleasure seeing volunteers journey and discover themselves. It also made me realize that I'd rather let people discover their own paths than guide them through it. Hahaha!

19.  Assisi. The job and organization I was the most happy with.  I loved going to the field, climbing up the mountains via walking, horse, carabao, raft, habal-habal or jeep just to see the IP children benefitting our program.  I could have stayed longer if not for a new opportunity that came.  This is also where I found my life partner at the least expected time. 

20. ISS. My experience of the world! I met people from different countries and learned to be more open and expanded my world perspective. And those weekly parties, can’t beat those!

21.  NFP Scholarship.  Which allowed me to go to ISS.  Plus I got to travel like crazy because of my allowance.

22. My dear Pinoy mafia.  Being away from home was never lonely because they became my home in Netherlands.

23. My Dutch foster parents, Peter and Anky.  For welcoming me to their home and giving me the experience of a 36 mile bike ride without breaking a sweat.

24. Netherlands. Such a beautiful country. I wish you would adopt me as I have adopted you. The museums, the biking, H&M, Queen’s Day, legal pot… such a wonderful, exciting place you are.

25. Davao. My birth city. Food and nature and family.

26. Avida. Our little humble home the size of a room.  So little space, so much love.:)  Thank you for a roof on my head.

27. ICRC. A good organization that continues to challenge me.  Thank you for a steady income.

28. Food to eat anytime I want to. Thank you for constant nourishment.

29. Good health. So far, so good.  I used to not mind the idea of dying by 40 but now that I have two children I keep on praying for longer life so I can make sure they are taken cared of until they can manage 

30. Travel.  I am not able to do it as much as I used to or as much as I want to but I get to do it enough to know that I stay blessed. 

31. Social media. It killed my writing itch but It did give me a window to the people I care for.  I get to stay in touch with friends that I have known throughout my lifetime.

32. Internet. All that information!

33. Books. All that imagination!

34. Movies and television. Always my refuge for times I just want to be passive or escape.

35. Manila. I never loved you, but you remain welcoming.

36. God. As He remains constant even when I can’t.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tatay :)

You are a champion:
  • nappy changer (very important for Nanay. Nanay for input, Tatay for output.)
  • potty trainor (see previous)
  • storyteller
  • playmate
  • and many many other things
  • primarily, Champion Tatay it is.
Happy Father's Day.