Monday, November 29, 2010

Flowers for this Mommy

About a week ago, hubs went out with my firstborn to buy something and get him out of my hair. When they returned, Yakee was beaming with enthusiasm as he said "hello Mommy, we're back! Here are flowers for you!"

Pappie prompted him about what else he should say and Yakee dutifully recited, "You're the best Mommy in the world for me and Yamnyoy!" :)

I was too exhausted then to be aptly delighted but I am thankful for my husband's thoughtfulness and my firstborn's exuberance. Somehow, I felt validated about doing some things right.

Your Kids May Be the Future Maestros -- Thanks to the Web

Like many of the moms having children approaching their teenage years, do you also wish that your children do something in the field of fine arts? Do you also wish that they learn to play musical instruments or have their own authority in the field of music? If your answer to these questions is, yes, then you should read on and understand how it can be done the easy way.

Having an ordinary computer with a reasonably good Internet connection might be all your children need to learn music, if they are beginning. This is because the Internet can provide you numerous resources that can be used easily for learning music at virtually no cost. Many websites are specialized and resourceful with a wealth of tutorials in written, composed, sung, or played forms of music.

You can educate and motivate your children to learn to sing, play instruments, or to read music scripts using the fun-filled ways these websites are equipped with. Also, with the help of their musical instruments and a computer, your children can even compose their own music and share it with their friends and others. This way your children will get a feeling of achievement when they get remarks and good ratings from others.

Learning music from the Internet can also be a good way of earning some cash as well. You can choose to sell music related products, such as music CDs, DVDs, new and used musical instruments, etc. For this, you can simply read an affiliate review of a suitable affiliate program. Sign up once you are aware of the products you are going to sell and the terms and conditions of the actual seller. In reality, you would be redirecting your visitors to the actual sellers of these musical products and earning a good commission for the purchase made.

A Mother's Saving Grace: Quick Cash

Being a mom isn't easy. Whether a mom is a stay at home type or a nine to fiver, days are filled from beginning to end with responsibilities. Many of those responsibilities are related to money. In many two parent households, mothers are responsible for managing the household budget, making sure the bills get paid, and doing the majority of the shopping. For single mothers, the “majority” part disappears, and they have to take care of everything. It's a lot of hard work, but somebody's got to do it.

At some point in a mom's life, especially a single working mom, something is going to go wrong. Maybe she needs to take time off work to take care of a sick child or another family member. Maybe there's a problem with a car, or there could be a problem with the house. In any case, money emergencies will almost certainly pop up from time to time. With as little time as most moms have, and with the financial obligations that single moms are under, unexpected expenses can be disastrous. Most live from check to check and have to carefully budget the available money down to the penny in order to live comfortably.

Payday loans may not be the ideal solution for these women, but they do provide an option to escape from disaster. They represent a way out of a sudden, unexpected emergency money situation. Instead of having to be hopeless, they instead have access to a way to get money quickly so they can resolve short term problems. All they need in order to do this is a steady job. They don't have to go through a long, drawn out application process. Often it can be completed in an hour or less. And when you're on a mom's schedule, every minute you can save is precious.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Breast Crawl That Wasn't

Have I officially said that I have given birth already?

Anyway, people are always commenting on how far Asian Hospital is from where we live so we always had to repeat that hubs' family is from the South and that's where we left Yakee, and that our pedia instituted the ENP in Asian.

Anyway, again, because I indicated in a note that I had a strong drug allergy history, intend to exclusively breastfeed and want to experience ENP, the attending anesthesiologist did not sedate me anymore to ensure that my baby won't be groggy and will do the breast crawl. Needless to say, it was traumatic for me hearing all the tinkle of the instruments and conversation going on.

Unfortunately, my darling Yamee didn't receive the memo that I wanted him to do the breast crawl and only had plans of sleeping till the next day.

So yeah, he was heartily crying, making the doctors comment that he might be a cryer but when he was put on my chest (because I was a CS delivery), he immediately stopped and slept.

But we did get precious skin to skin contact and I loved the instant connection I felt. I immediately felt that I was his Mom and he is my child, which took days before I felt it with Yakee. There was none of the estrangement and none of the insecurities. Our heartbeats just synchronized and I immediately KNEW that he KNEW who I was, that he was safe again when he was on top of me.

Of course, I guess it also makes a difference that Yamee is my second child already. I am just a lot more confident now. But really, somehow, I know him more or know more of him when he was born.

So yes, IF we're having a 3rd baby, it will be at Asian Hospital again and I will insist on ENP again.


Sometimes being a mom means giving up the more elegant things in life. For most of us, being a mom means messes and diaper bags and putting our pennies in a college fund, instead of taking that night out on the town. But it is worth it. What could possibly be more important than our next generation, after all? Sometimes, though, I think that we don't believe this as much as we give lip service to it. I mean, even beyond the sad state of our schools. I read this book recently that really freaks me out. It's called The Price of Motherhood, and it talks about the burden society places on mothers. Women, in general, are getting closer and closer to closing the pay gap, but mothers aren't at all. In fact, it says that motherhood is the most accurate predictor of poverty in old age. What a sad and terrible thing: how we care for our elders and how we care for our children. Fatherhood is correlated with higher wealth. It sounds like a lot of ugly, messy divorces, you know? It's really been a lot of food for thought.

I know I'm especially lucky, because (and don't tell him I peeked!) my husband is getting me some beautiful Roberto Coin bracelets for Christmas. They're gorgeous, really, exquisite even. And as much as I know that he's in this for the long haul, as much as I know that life is a lot safer now than it was back then, it feels a little bit like the old tradition of giving one's spouse fine jewelry because you know they can sell it, and be taken care of financially if something happens to you. Call me old fashioned, but it feels really romantic being given some elegant things in life.

LATCHers at the MDG-F Photo Exhibit

Aside, we could be models for Indigo Manila, Blissfulbabes and Eden Maternity with our fab nursing wear, no?
(photo courtesy of Stan from The Stork Studio)

I basically missed the entire thing since we got there late, save for the exhibit which was great. Anyway, briefly, the Millenium Development Goals Achievement Fund/Philippines has partnered with DLS-College of St. Benilde, Breastfeeding Patrol of Mandaluyong City, L.A.T.C.H. Inc., National Nutrition Council, Department of Health, SM, UNICEF and the Stork Studio to come up with a photo exhibit with their theme: "support, promote and protect exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding for a healthy child, family and community."

They got breastfeeding moms to pose while breastfeeding in public around MOA and put those on exhibit. Kudos really to Stan of Stork Studio for the wonderful pictures.

I am really glad that the government seems to be more proactive about breastfeeding promotion and support, and I really hope more families will be made aware of breastfeeding benefits... the long-term ones especially since saving money on formula for now is the least of it.

The Things We Give Up Being a Mom

There is nothing in the whole world that I desired more than to be a mother. I wanted to have that little child in my arms, hold them and love them. When I was little I always used to play house and had tons of baby dolls, so it is not surprising to anyone that knew me that this was a huge desire of mine to fulfill.

So now that I am a mother and have been for a while, I got to thinking of all the things that I have given up being a mom. Some of them I miss, some I don't. Here is my list of things I've given up recently to be a mother.

Fun Sites
I used to surf the Internet for hours and play on social media sites, sports betting sites and even shop on eBay and Craigslist. Gone are those days when I had hours to surf and look around online.

Me Time
My children are like "mini mes." Wherever I go they go with me. This is a wonderful feeling but one of the things I miss is the me time. The time I got to shop on my own, take a bath or relax. This doesn't happen often enough and it is one of the things I sacrificed.

An Adult Conversation
My whole day is filled with what so and so did, what they ate or their activities. I no longer have "adult" style conversations with my friends, family or husband anymore. I love my children but sometimes I crave a conversation about the latest TV shows, movies or sales event at the mall.

Looking back there are things I miss but I would never, ever ask for them back. I love being a mother and nothing can ever replace the feeling that I have holding my little one's hand. The sacrifices were well worth it.

Don't Gamble Your Children's Future!

As most everyone knows, having a child is an expensive proposition. Strike that – raising the child is an expensive proposition. Of course, there are things like keeping the child fed and clothed and so on, and then there's allowance when they grow up (if you do allowance) and buying them a car (if they're good that is) and so on and so forth. Still, the big expenditure that everyone thinks about when contemplating raising a child is the cost of education, specifically sending the child or children to college.

College is not cheap. It is a big investment, and investment is the right word, because most students come out of college with a large debt burden, which it is the hope they can repay with the fruits of the college degree they've just earned. But how do you as the parent pay for the cost of tuition in the meantime? There are several routes for doing this. Student loans are the method most people use. Financial aid through grants and gifts and the like is a welcome option to those who can get it. The lottery now is an interesting source for college tuition - interesting because it's a new spin on the big revenue-maker going philanthropic.

Perhaps if your children are able to afford school through the use of a lottery scholarship and go on to become mathematical whizkids, they'll get a job in the home of games of chance, in which case you should invest some of the big money they'll be making in Las Vegas property management, because face it, that's where the money is. And then other children can go to college, too! In any case, the important thing to know is that there are tools available. Do not let intimidating costs deter you. Seek the dream.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Last Preggy Pic with my Infinitude

I sorta actually wore this one the wrong way because I was supposed to tie the panels behind me. But anyway, I am sure going to miss wearing my Infinitude as a preggy woman.

I feel the same way about my bento box stuff, especially since wearing the miso skirt as top last Tuesday just found me having to hitch it up lots of times. Yes, I just sorta implied that I've lost a lot of weight already. I am now only 168 lbs. I was exceeding 190 lbs when I was about to pop. Let's do some Math here... that's what, at least 20 lbs. lost in two weeks!

I just hope Yamee will continue being a good nurser. I also hope that pumping more regularly will help me lose weight. I really don't want to put pressure on myself about donating milk but it's really something I want to be able to do, especially since I never did it with Yakee (and I nursed him for over 2 years!). I am not for tandem breastfeeding and may never be a wet nurse, but this much I can do. It's just the logical next step in my breastfeeding advocacy.

And if I don't win the pump I am haunting FB for, I just hope my trusty Pigeon will continue working wonders for me. 3 ounces from just one breast this morning! I am on a roll!

Telling Your Children About the Holidays

It can seem relatively easy to tell your children about whatever holidays are a part of your religious beliefs. However, in a culture that must be handled with increasing tolerance and understanding, teaching about one belief may not be enough. It seems like the earlier your children understand the diversity, the better it is. That doesn't change the fact that it's tricky territory to navigate.

Good Ways to Start
Children, especially the younger ones, won't question too much of what you say. That doesn't mean that they will remember or pay much attention to it either, though. One good way to get their attention is to make a game out of it as you start.

Luckily, the holidays are perfect for this. Different cultures have created songs, activities, traditions, and games that talk about the details of the holiday. If you're talking to your child about Christmas, have them listen to some Christmas songs. If you're teaching them about Hanukkah, help them make their own dreidel for spinning.

Make It Into a Story
Rather than just presenting ideas and saying "in some places, people celebrate like this," make it into a fun story. Children love hearing exciting stories, especially if they're told in an expressive manner. Tell the stories that surround the holidays, obviously editing them slightly to fit into your belief set and the child's maturity level.

Introduce Them to Other Cultures
Rather than simply telling them about one culture or another, try to have them meet people of other faiths, thus recognizing that they are people just like us. If you're comfortable with it, you can even take them to other religious celebrations.

Teaching your child about different beliefs may seem as daunting as beating an online casino, but it's very doable. If done right, it can serve as the perfect foundation for acceptance and kindness in your child's future.

Preparing for Baby During Pregnancy

Being pregnant is both an exciting and scary time in life, especially if you are expecting your first child. There is so much preparation that needs to be done and so many things that need to be purchased that the whole situation can be quite overwhelming. It is also a lot of fun.

You start your preparation for baby physically. You go to all of your checkups and take your prenatal vitamins religiously. You do everything you physically can to ensure that your baby is growing and is healthy and that you are taking care of yourself, too. You exercise everyday and eat three meals and snacks.

There are a ton of other preparations that need to be made before the baby arrives. You have to buy a crib and all the other essential baby items that you will need. A baby shower can help with some of this, but there are still going to be things that you will need to pick up on your own. Don’t forget to buy a car seat, too. You can’t bring baby home without one. You should have everything prepared for the baby by your eighth month so you can focus on relaxing and resting up the last month before your baby arrives. Besides, you’ll always find little projects to work on to keep you busy preparing for your baby.

For all of these baby purchases, you should check out to see if there are any discounts you can use to save money. After the baby comes you are going to have less money to spend in general because of the baby’s needs, so be sure to be prepared as much as possible. It never hurts to look for deals, so even if you can’t find what you are looking for in one place, you should keep trying other places.

Planning for Teenage Budgeting

If you're part of the (unfortunately small) group that learned great budgeting skills growing up, consider yourself lucky. It seems like almost no one hears the right lessons these days. In the meantime, kids are watching hours upon hours of television — and what budgeting lesson does that teach them? "Spend, spend, spend!" And worse yet... "borrow, borrow, borrow."

For some paranoid parents, the solution has been to prevent children from spending at all during their teenage years. What a waste! This is the best opportunity for children to learn how to spend wisely, and finally get a wise voice to contradict what they hear in the world of constant advertising. As such, I'm planning ahead to make sure that my children receive the best possible budgeting guidance during their teenage years.

One of the ways to start is by getting a savings account into gear early. While it's great to start a college fund, it's unlikely that your children understand the value of an education at this stage in the game. But they do understand the value of a bicycle, video game, or iPod. By teaching kids about how to invest gradually for something that they want, you can teach them the value of saving over borrowing.

Another good technique is getting a prepaid credit card for your child. This way, you can load their allowance or earned money onto the card, giving them a lot of independence to spend as they see fit. However, they also won't be able to cause overdraft charges or go beyond their budget.

If your child doesn't have an outside income source, such as a paper route or part-time job, see what you can do to help them find work of this nature. While an allowance can be a good starting point, income earned from someone else will give a much better sense of responsibility.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stressed Over Christening

We originally planned my son's christening to be sometime end of January or February. I wanted to have adjusted to two kids already and to have lost some weight. Plus, we needed time to come up with money for it.

But hubs' sister was arriving from Dubai and my parents are arriving from the US. And my Mom is going back there in January so it doesn't seem wise to delay it since we do believe christenings are a family thing.

So we've booked Aristocrat already for the reception and now, I am trying to get a decent photographer who's not going on holiday then. Hubs and I hemmed and hawed over the menu but decided on the packaged one. We'll just leave it to our guests to do their post-Christmas colon cleansing elsewhere... fish is just really more expensive than meat. Hehe.

Now, I have about a week to finalize the invitations (which we'd send via Facebook only) and maybe do the layout for the tarp. Then after that, I can print the meaning of Yamee's name to leave with Aristocrat so they can attach it to the souvenirs we're getting from them. It's an uninpsired glittery something but I just don't have the strength to scour Divi anymore.

Becoming a Better Mother and Role Model

While there is no greater joy in my life than being a mother, I have also found that I need to focus on my own well-being at times to maintain my sanity. As my son has reached the preschool years, being a parent has become more trying, and I must continually adapt my parenting skills to his rapidly developing curiosity. I want to be a strong role model for him as he grows so that he will have the skills needed to succeed in the world. If these are feelings to which you can relate, then I want to share a few ways I have found to improve my own well-being and thus, become a stronger role model for my child.

Eliminate Debt
A major cause of stress for me before having a child and even during most of my son’s infancy was debt. Having debt is emotionally draining because the worry about how to pay monthly bills takes attention and energy away from other more important areas of life, such as raising children.

As such, if you have multiple forms of debt, then I strongly encourage you to utilize a debt consolidation service as a way to eliminate this source of stress from your life. You will likely find that once you seriously tackle your debt, you will feel much more positive about the future.

Maintain Social Ties
While you may want to spend every moment possible with your child, it is also important to maintain social ties with other mothers or friends you had before you were a mother. Maintaining these social outlets is important because these friends can act as a support system when you need to vent about grown-up matters. They can also be an outlet to discuss things that are going on within your community.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Missing the Deaf Festival

It's Deaf Festival at CSB this week... and I am missing the final show. Actually, technically I can go and just bring my infant with me, I guess, but even though we've been to the mall already, I think it's still too early to sit through a show with him.

I am missing my FSL friends though. I am missing CSB too and it's Deaf community and handicapped signs and really cold rooms. I miss being a student again there, swiping my ID at the entrance and actually using anotebook again. I can't help but wonder what the kids will be doing this year and if they'd have as wonderful a guest as last year.

But hey, the reason am missing the festival is someone who's made life happier and more meaningful for me so I am not really complaining.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Struggling with Nursing Wear

With Yakee, I bought three non-padded nursing bras but didn't really use them. Instead, I just unclasped my regular brassieres and hitched my shirt or top up. I just didn't care if my flabby belly was getting exposed, it was the comfiest way for me to nurse.

With Yamee now, I have invested greatly in nursing bras and tops. Well, I only just bought a Mamamway bra and a Blissfulbabes bandeau. But I have really invested in nursing tops. Unfortunately, I am struggling with all of them! A part of me is convinced that I'm just not used manipulating them but a part of me also silently feels that the old way is better for me.


Bra pads on my sake tank tops (because a breast pad will get deformed and no pads will draw attention to my chest) feel like they're annoying my baby.

And the Mamaway bra's padded cups feel more like a barrier during breastfeeding.

I am liking my breastfeeding bandeau the most, since it offers hitch up or pull down options for me which wouldn't conflict much with my tops' openings. And well, my new Corsierre seems to be a lot more thicker and need not require pads.

I have to believe that there is hope for me yet and that I can breastfeed in style. I just need more practice!

Out and About

I arranged for today (well, technically, yesterday) to be a day for errands.

I finally collected cheque payments from Vibal and ABS-CBN, one of which ended up being stale so good luck asking for a replacement cheque.

Then I also applied for a replacement card for my EON debit card.

Then we went to MOA for the MDG-F Photo Exhibit that was co-sponsored by LATCH and also did some grocery shopping. Hubs, my cousin and I all took turns holding Yamee through the day that hubs asked why we didn't bring my sling. Truth is, even if I complain that Yamee is such a lazy nurser, he is thriving beautifully and can get quite burdensome in the arms already. At one point, I even wondered myself if we shouldn't get an ergo baby carrier there and then.

I just hope my antibodies are protecting my newborn because he sure was exposed to germs today.

Oh and it tickled me pink that people said I didn't look like I've just given birth. Hehe. And yes, I just bought another nursing top!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anticipating Loot from Abroad

Two of my parents' balikbayan boxes are already here, albeit we haven't officially received them because they were delivered while we weren't here and they wouldn't release the packages to my cousin.

Another one is on its way.

And while chatting with my sister earlier, she told me about how it's Black Friday sale this coming Friday and that's when she and my aunt are going to load up on things for me. My parents are also doing a last-minute shopping spree then and will just ship the parcels before they leave since they are already over the baggage limit.

So yeah, it was with a light heart indeed that I went through my son's toys and threw away about a fourth of what he has because I just know we need the space. Plus, there'd be two of them already. The diaper and wipes boxes alone will require a huge space in the house. I can't help but wonder what else my parents bought for us.

Forgetful Breastfeeder

I remembered not eating anything garlicky, but mostly because I didn't want to invite gas myself.

I remembered to forego squid, as it might cause my infant allergies.

But I forgot about eating spicy tamarind. Well, I forgot when I was buying the spicy tamarind that I can't really binge on it, and just remembered in time last night that it might upset my infant. Sure enough, Yamee was fussiest last night, and I wasn't able to really sleep since past 1 AM.


I have forgotten that breastfeeding is a lot like still being pregnant. I still have to watch what I eat lest it upsets my baby.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preschooler Acting Up

I don't have much time to spare these days. And instead of looking up diet pill reviews, I have to Google discipline tips and strategies instead because my firstborn son is acting up.

To his credit, he is still a happy and sweet boy. And much as it pains me when he cries quietly sometimes when he's done something he really knows hurt someone or is wrong, I also like that he's developing a conscience already and that he's growing up.

But he's always had a penchant for hitting, out of glee and frustration. Now, it's becoming more unmanageable. Just today, he punched me in the stomach and hit my cut (again!!!) when I was just asking him what he wanted for breakfast. In retrospect, I think he felt threatened that I wasn't going to let him play that's why he thought to act up.


Makeover Madness

My Plurk friends and I are on a makeover madness. We're all moms who felt we forgot all about taking care of ourselves so now, we're making up for lost beauty and wellness.

We're always busy comparing makeup tips and products, asking questions like "do diet pills work?" or "how much carbs do we really need per day?" and going to specialists to care for our hair, skin and teeth.

My main focus right now is weight loss, makeup and clothes. Looking fab, basically, while also going for a healthy weight. I have to start eating healthier though and that's easier said than done. After all, I am finishing off a huge slige of cake while typing this.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artscow Hearkens with Christmas Ornaments

Artscow is offering photo Christmas ornaments at $2/ornament and I am super tempted to order at least ten of them. Or twenty.

It's actually still really expensive since that would amount to P80 per ornament but we're talking about stars with my kids' photos here. I'm thinking I'd use what I will be ordering on our first Christmas tree in our own home next year, complete with other christmas plants and flowers to perk up the place. I really intend to decorate next year. Right now, all we have are Christmas balls hanging from the eaves of our living room ceiling.

Or, if I am really sweet, I could gift them to MIL, who always has the best Christmas tree ever.

I have several more dayd to think about it. To spend (and splurge) or not to spend.

EON Expiring

I was notified by Paypal that my VISA card enrolled in my Paypal account was expriring. That was my Unionbank EON account. I called their Customer Service Hotline and it seems I have to pay them a visit and request for a card replacement. Maybe I can ask them about banking careers while am there, hehe.

Then, since I am having issues accessing my cyber account with them, I have to create another account once I get the new card.

Good thing hubs is on extended leave so we can do this next week. I just hope the card replacement doesn't take long since my EON card expires this December.

Of Pendings and Deadlines

I was such a sloth while I was pregnant that though I did manage to cram the most important things I had to finish, there were still many things I had to leave unattended or pending.

First, I have yet to discuss the insurance quotes from Prulife UK sent to me by my agent friend with the husband.

I also forgot to leave authorization letters at home to receive packages in my behalf. I also forgot to pay the insurance for my parents' houses.

Then there's the AVP photoslide sideline that I have yet to plot on Moviemaker for my friend.

And the tons of things we have to throw away, from clothes to toys to old magazines, so we can make room for new stuff at home.

And I have also only checked e-mails and accounts properly. It seems I could have missed important writing deadlines too.

So now, I cram.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Got The Blues

With Yakee, tears came when he was born... and several days after.

With Yamee, however, tears have been my friend and solace everyday.

Of course, I shed tears when I heard Yamee cry... and those were tears of joy. But then, all the tears after that were unhappy, sometimes really resentful ones.

Like over the gas pain as I writhed in bed.

And having to ask that Yakee not be brought to the hospital because I couldn't deal with him and my pain and Yamee too.

And having a non-demanding Yamee and engorged breasts.

And every time Yakee goes shouting "Go away" or "Leave me alone," expressions he's picked up or were reinforced while we were away.

And every time Yakee would clamor for attention but Yamee will also start crying.

And the times Yamee's crying will wake up Yakee.

And all the times I wanted to sleep but can't.

All the times I need to get up and it hurts, physically, to do so.

Or Yakee having to sleep scrunched in the back seat.

And needing help, feeling undermined, being unheard.

I keep telling myself that I just gave birth. I don't need to make sense, I need to recover.

But even crying hurts me physically, so I cry more. And then I feel I don't really have anything to cry about, so I cry more again.

And I feel trapped in my anger and misery despite all the love and support I have in my life.

I got the blues.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Now a Mom of Two

It's been a challenging and rewarding and humbling week for us. And now, I am a Mom of two boys.

The challenge with Yakee is that we had to leave him behind for a while. And then, after the delivery, we had to literally ask that he not be brought to the hospital as I was in pain and hubs had a migraine and we just couldn't deal with a newborn and him. And then, the reunion isn't exactly that smooth as his cousins were around and he's still feeling conflicted about the changes. And he managed to hit my cut the day I was supposed to be discharged.

But slowly, he's coming round to letting me love him again, albeit a little differently now.

The challenge with Yamee is that he's not as demanding as Yakee was, and not nursing as well as I think he should. He prefers to sleep. On one hand, he's a lot like a Baby Alive doll whose biggest challenge is changing him after he poops, because he's an easier baby than Yakee was. But still, I am getting frustrated with the lack of appetite. I was all set for a baby suckling with gusto and literally sucking me thin. Hehe.

But my boys are coming together slowly... and I am learning to balance my time and energy between the two. Of course, we're still not yet home so a lot will still change and take getting used to.

I am now a mom of two. I can't imagine being this in love but I am. Love truly multiplies and I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Loved Him Well

I was trying to squeeze in some last minute bonding and conditioning with Yakee last night. To sort of prepare him for how demanding his baby brother will be, I spoke of how Yamee will be sleeping all the time, breastfeeding all the time and crying all the time. He said, “No Mommy, I will say, Don’t cry Yamee, don’t cry. Kuya’s here.”

I swear, I teared up in the dark. It brought home to me how the cycle of love continues... my first words to Yakee at the OR were, “It’s ok baby, it’s ok. Mommy’s here.”

Now, he’s echoing those reassuring words for his brother.

I woke up cramping up my right leg and had to wake up bith my son and husband for help. Hubby grabbed my leg and started pushing on it and Yakee, believing his father was harming me, kept trying to get in the middle while saying, “Pappie stop. Stop hurting Mommy.”

Pappie later on had to have a talk with our son to explain to him and reassure him that he will never hurt Mommy.

I did love him well, didn’t I?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ready to Pop

I am ready to pop now but I still insisted in being out for the weekend.

I attended a reunion of sorts with my former Grade 5 classmates and then Sunday, we went to the Global Pinoy Bazaar. This pic was taken after the reunion. I insist in wearing my Infinitude a different way each time. I couldn't wear it bacwards though because I cannot tie it around me anyymore due to my big belly. It sucks, really, since I can't wear it that way and still breastfeed once the baby is out. And yes, I look tired already here (twas past midnight when this was taken, I had to Photoshop some lipstick on me, haha) especially since all the cramming is making me lose sleep.

I bought a multi-wrap in cream from Laura's Shawl Couture and a mini-bento set in wine red from Eden at the bazaar. I am really crushing on the peach blush Infini (plus, it would bring some happy color to my wardrobe!) but I have to save up for it first. After all, I need nursing tanks more than I need shawls. The Multi-wrap was only P350 and I think I'd use it more than I ever will my boncho. Hehe.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Humbled and Grateful

I braved the aftermath of heavy rains today and kept my appointment with my OB, who turned up later than I did because she was caught in traffic herself.

I had to pay to cross two makeshift bridges along Taft going to CNR building and then faced a quandary of sorts at the corner of Taft and Apacible: do I finally wade in flood water or do I ride the rickety makeshift sidecars?

I opted to ride the sidecar and actually almost tipped over into flood water. I remember thinking of that woman who gave birth in the LRT and wondered if I will make the new myself if I give birth there and then. But God was with me and I managed to cross and reach my OB's clinic.

Two of the other patients who were ahead of me just had surgeries to remove cysts in their reproductive systems. One was given a 50-50 chance of conceiving and was advised to start saving up for IVF, which our OB deemed as her best bet in conceiving. That's around P500k without guarantees.

Another one was there for endometriosis and she was vocal about hoping to avoid surgery, not just because of the cost but also because she'd really rather she get operated on because she'll be having a baby.

All are childless still.

And there I was, stressing about delivery costs when God blessed me with not just the means to give birth at the hospital of my choice, but that He blessed me with child without having to go through what those women will be going through.

Of course, I know I am still entitled to stress and rant. I am entitled to my feelings after all. But with my contracting belly and throbbing yah-know, I was reminded of God's love for me and how it's such a privilege being who I am.

And so, I celebrate again the gift of motherhood... and silently offer others a prayer that those as deserving as I am be blessed as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Volunteer Opportunity/Casting Call for UNICEF

Got this in my FB:

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY/CASTING CALL!!! Looking for breastfeeding moms and babies willing to take part of a Unicef exhibit/campaign. Location will be at SM MOA and the theme is breastfeeding anytime, anywhere. Shoot dates will be anytime between Nov 10-17. Please email your photo (you and baby), not necessarily nursing to along with you and your baby's details (name and age.) THANK YOU!..

I'd have given birth already by then and heck, I'd sure love to volunteer to such a cause. But I think my hubby will bop me on the head for even wanting to go to MOA after just giving birth.

But maybe I can run this by him and see how supportive he'll be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Parenting Out of Fear

There are no guarantees.

From the viewpoint of fear,
None are strong enough.
From the viewpoint of love,
None are necessary. (Emmanuel Teney)

I have strived to not parent out of fear, though fear is such a strong motivation. So I have decided to choose which things I will fear instead that will motivate the kind of parenting I do and the kind of mother I become.

So, I allow my son some germs because he won't live and grow in a vacuum.

And I don't give him everything he wants or asks for, because it will not provide him with a realistic view of life.

And I don't feel guilty about not providing anything and everything money can buy, like enrolling him in everything there is, because I trust that what I don't help develop in him, he can grow up to find and develop himself.

I am more scared that he will grow up feeling entitled, not to my love, but to an easy life.

I am more scared that he will grow up not appreciating the consequences of his actions.

Or looking outside the family for company and guidance and good times. Or looking outside of himself for happiness and entertainment and fulfillment.

There are no guarantees. I just really hope that our brand of love will be enough.

PGH's Operation Foster Milk

The Lactation Unit and Human Milk Bank, Section of Newborn Medicine of the Department of Pediatrics of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is aiming to decrease newborn mortality and morbidity by protecting the mother and infant breastfeeding dyad and providing human milk to sick infants.

I like their slogan "Human Milk has no Substitute" and love that my son's pedia (Dr. Mantaring) is the Section Chief. And doesn't it just validate when a Human Milk Bank is placed under Newborn Medicine. Medicine. Human Milk cures and protects. It doesn't just nourish a baby.

Now, I still have a month before I can probably start donating milk to their bank since I'd be giving birth eight days from now and would let my milk get established first. I can just imagine pumping, something I really didn't like doing before, while watching fave blu ray movies or reading and thinking, at the back of my mind, that I am saving a baby's life other than my own.

What a privilege!

So please, if you are a lactating Mom or know anyone and want to help, call the Lactation Unit and Human Milk Bank at PGH: 554-8400 local 3418 and 3409. You can also e-mail operationfostermilk-pgh at yahoo dot com.


Also read "Maternal Health in the Philippines" and "Breastfeeding Saves Lives"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

9 More Days

Nine more days before I become a mother of two.
Nine more days before I bid adieu
to just being all yours
to just having only you
to having an only child
to knowing only you.

Nine more days, my darling
and it's real bittersweet
A part of me longs for a pause
A part of me wants to retreat
And yet, I can't help but be excited
For yet another gift

It will take me awhile
I will need to mourn
And you will have to learn
to adjust and be strong
In your faith
in my love for you
For nothing in this world
Could ever be more true.

I sometimes wonder how
I could love another child
But I just know, it's a fact
Love only multiplies
So, just keep holding my hand, son
Know your place is still with me
And together, let's welcome your brother
and all his possibilities.

I will always love you best
because I loved you first
And then I will love your brother more
because I know how to better love.
And I will cherish you both
Equally and differently
As I raise you both as individuals
Despite both coming from me.

- a poem for both my Yakee and Yamee... as I realize yet again how true it is, that no one can possibly know, nor limit, how much a human heart can hold

Monday, November 1, 2010

Staying With In Laws

Because my cousin went home to the province for the Halloween season, and my son got sick for a while, we decided to stay at my MIL's where at least I'd have some company should emergencies arise. My MIL's home doesn't exactly have fancy Moen kitchen faucets or a home entertainment system but it's a really big house with lots of space that allows my son to play tag with anybody willing to run after him.

Weirdly enough though, my son has been asking to go home to Paco for the past three days already.

And my stomach has been giving me trouble for the past three days, which seems to mean we may have to stay here for several more days just until my cousin comes back. It's just great though that my son is behaving pretty well and cooperating with me when it's nap or sleep time. Plus, he leaves me alone pretty much most of the time, content to just play or watch.

It's really different to have a support system when you're pregnant and ready to pop!