Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stage Mom

Yakee was coin bearer at my cousin's wedding. I was so looking forward to him donning Converse shoes with a suit (really dropped the vest as it was an 11 AM wedding).

And yes, I dare say, he was the handsomest (little) man at the wedding.

Now, there was a point where we were running super late and I had to ask hubs to drive the rest of the entourage ahead... while I wait for some people and take a cab. I was soooo harassed then and really upset. I knew I was very transparent. But the thought that my firstborn would walk that aisle without me watching him was just painful for me... haha. As if I was missing a milestone.

And then it brought home the reminder that someday, my sons would leave hubs and I as he cleaves to his wife. It's always been said that you lose your sons when they get married, but those with girls gain a son when their girls get married.

I'd like to gnash teeth and react violently BUT... would I really some girl of the same fidelity, allegiance and devotion that hubby is showering me?

Of course, not. So yes... someday, hopefully I will watch my sons wait by the altar for the woman of their dreams. And I will let them be.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mom of 3 for the Holidays

My sister is now surrounded by her nephews at the foot of our bed. Yamee insisted on sleeping with them in the end and curled up in the nook he found by his brother's feet.

And yes, the title of this blog is both for me (for I alone can really stop all the boys in their tracks, and the only other one that my nephew will not deign to defy) and my sister (who insists she will 'bond' with the boys the whole time she's here).

But darn it, it's soooo stressful to mother three rambunctious boys... esply since my youngest is also down with allergic rhinitis. Sigh.

I am just praying Buteyko will see my firstborn through (because I still suck at it and is still sick) and that I can make the right decisions. Like, not tiring them out just because I feel pressed for time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Teenage Men and Music

From reading FB statuses, I gather stuff like how a godchild of mine (15 years of age?) is into beatboxing, and hubs' brother is now really into electric guitars. Can the use of a kaossilator pro be far behind?

My son has already told us he wants to rap when he grows older. And both sons would pull their drum set to and fro thr two houses just to 'perform'. I guess I should really brace myself for the possibility of chaos and madness disguised as a teener into music some ten years down the line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Mommy is Sick

Because I was exposed to copious amounts of ciggy smoke last Saturday, I have been nursing rhinitis since. And as much as I am hoping Buteyko will magically cure me, I am struggling!!! Struggling so very much with the exercises that I am doing poorly.

And the weather is sure not helping. After several days of intense heat, here we are with a very sad, cloudy day.

I can't help but wish that rhinitis is just like any old computer virus where you only need to apply some MAC antivirus here and there, and voila, everything's magically okay again.


And I have been anxious about the boys being affected by the weather too... but Yakee, I feel, has protection because he's doing well with Buteyko. Yamee, on the other hand, doesn't.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No to HK

Some discounted fares for Clark - Hong Kong - Clark just came up for the months of January to March 2013. It's around P6k per person and that's really a sweet deal already (though if you ask me, I really don't fancy having to go to and fro Clark before/after a trip).

It gave me pause! Haha.

I have always dreamed of going there in February, when it's coldest and you get to wear leather coats and Gaerne boots and you breathe steam and get red in the cheeks. Haha.

Then again, when I think of the luggage (and expense for those kind of clothes), that dream loses it's charm.

And well, there is that planned trip to Marinduque for the Moriones festival in March... so we really don't have travel budget for HK now. Plus, hubs and I have also agreed that we'd just throw the kids a Jollibee party when Yakee turns 7... and use the rest of the money for the HK return as opposed to doing the catered thing that's more expensive.

So, yes, no to HK for now :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rice From Milk

Posted this on my FB wall and sent to some of my friends:

Just read of a Visayan legend where a goddess of mercy (Sappia) took pity on the ppl of Bohol during a drought.. Came down to earth and squeezed breast milk on hardy weeds.. The weeds became rice plants. Cute!!!

What I love about this is the idea that breast mik can save people in times of less food (which now translates to emergencies and calamities). I know that for people who can access the internet, having enough food isn't an issue. But having the proper food is... and that translates to what we feed our babies and young.

And of course, I believe breast milk is best. And if I will be fanatic about it, there is now a famine where good food and proper nutrition is concerned. Everyone is getting sick from processed food and bad eating habits. We need to go back to basics... not drink breast milk, of course (unless we're infants) but only partake of the natural and the healthy.

I kidded my husband that he's essentially eating breast milk with every drop of rice he eats... he didn't like the image, haha.

It would turn out that for some weeds, the goddess Sapia squeezed some of her blood... that's why there's red rice.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

No TV Means More Music

Well... saying it is music might be a bit of a stretch, and I'm sure other people would automatically label it as noise. Anyway, one of the perks of not having the TV on all the time (the boys are only allowed to watch on Fridays and Saturdays) is that the boys can explore their creativity and musicality.

Yakee makes up songs, or sings songs he has heard (which, I feel, trains his memory and to listen better). They use all kinds of materials to create beats around the house (the latest of which are the parts of the marble run drummed on the TV screen). And maybe once a day, they will sit in front of the drum set and play it... while the other gets the mangled guitar and pretend to play along (I'm sure, in their minds, what they're holding is a godin multioud, not a broken ukelele lacking some strings).

And yes, I try not to play them songs all the time too. I like what they do with the quiet (disrupt it, obviously) and how they deal with it.

I like that they create instead of getting passively fed something.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mikah's Birthday Story

There was a little conflict on the candle-blowing part because Kuya wanted it to be him... he had a hard time grappling with the gifts and attention bestowed upon his younger brother the whole weekend (last, last weekend) but was loving enough to not really throw full-blown tantrums. Sometimes, there'd be a tear shed here or there but he patiently waited for his turn and allowed his brother what's due him.


Up in the heavens where big angels sang and little angels played, a small angel boy was jumping from cloud to cloud with his other angel friends. And then, he senses someone calling for him and he turns, but there was no one there.

Another day, this little angel was hopping and tumbling about when he felt like he was being called again. Sometimes, when he sleeps, he dreams his name being repeated by beings he didn’t know... so he decided to tell a Big Angel about it.

“Your family is ready for you, little one,” said Big Angel.

The little angel didn’t understand what Big Angel meant, but, that night, when he went to sleep... he fell into dreamland and stayed there. Ten moons waxed and waned as he rocked in a little boat. At the end of that time a beautiful rainbow bridge stretched from heaven to earth. Over it, the little angel travelled and slid as a tiny baby into his mother and father’s waiting arms.... and they named him Yannis Mikah,  because his parents believed another healthy child was a great gift from God.

From the first moment, his parents loved him, but as he wailed in his mother’s arms, it was a little boy’s voice that he heard. It said to him, “It’s okay Yamnyoy, Mommy’s here.” To his surprise, there was a bigger boy waiting with his parents to love and care for him. And Mikah was glad.

Mikah was born just before his grandmother’s birthday, so there was a party with family immediately after his birth. He looked so much like his maternal grandfather though that he was declared as his FAVORITE.

Apart from the initial late night crying, wherein his chin would quiver in a very cute way, Mikah was a rather easy baby and fell asleep for long periods at night. He used to be a very noisy sleeper though.  Mikah grew bigger and stronger as the days went by, and Kuya Iakob couldn’t wait to be able to play with him. When he was big enough, Kuya would help him roll on is tummy so he could watch Mikah wriggle like a caterpillar.

Mikah was ever excited about food and had a great appetite. He also liked toy cars a lot. But at his first birthday party, it was decided that he’ll come as a bee instead to symbolize all the things he will accomplish because he will never know he shouldn’t be doing them.

Mikah grew up more and more, his limbs getting surer until he was also climbing stairs and jumping off steps. He liked babbling “a-ti-ti-ti-ti” at the start but would end his second year of life imitating Mommy and Kuya as they sound their letters. He liked drawing and painting and doodling and would go berserk for Oreos. He loves books and being read to from someone’s lap. He always forgot to put on slippers and preferred sitting on the ground and which is why, when they brought him to the beach just before his second birthday, he had great fun in the sand.

And now, Mikah turns two and we are happy that he has grown big and strong, happy and healthy, loving and smart and the sweetest boy there is. We wish Mikah many days of fun and play, good friends and learning... and the gift of right speech and great health.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From Robot Chameleons to Robot Bats

Yakee has this quirk... he keeps telling us that I'm the Mommy (insert animal here), Pappie is the same, he is the Kuya and Yamee is the baby.

We have been a family of cats for a long time. Then, penguins. Whales.

After our trip to the Robot Zoo, we were a family of robot chameleons. Now, we're a family of robot bats. Maybe, around seven to ten times a day, my eldest will stop everyone in their tracks to spell that out... that we are a family of robot bats.

I sometimes tell him I'd want him to be a room-cleaning robot someday. And well, if we ever get rich enough to have a pool, why not have robotic pool cleaners for sons too?

I can't help but wish sometimes though that we become cats again. Or, even rats. Saying Mommy robot bat, Pappie robot bat, Kuya robot bat and baby robot bat takes him forever! :D

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crybaby Yamee

Yamee is now at a phase where he cries over any slight thing he perceives hurts him... like me trying to get water. And he's super contrary and unable to decide what he wants. Sometimes, the tantrums will be on and off all morning... and he really seldom wakes up without crying soon after.

How I wish he'll just be happy... for a whole week! Especially since I feed him and generally stay with him till he wakes up (making Kuya wait for him in the process) just so he'd wake up in the right side of the bed.


I am beyond frustrated.

And it doesn't help that he isn't verbal yet so communicating to us his desires is mostly off the table.

I know this is just a phase but again... I am beyond frustrated with all the crying. And plopping down just anywhere.


When I deduced him to be melancholic, I didn't really want to be right. Haha. Oh but he can be the sweetest thing there is, and he can be very helpful and independent too.

Just please, God, give me more patience and understanding!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dream of a Better Car

There's already some wiring problems affecting our car's locks, and it doesn't really have a child lock feature. And sometimes, the windows leak.

But all in all, our Isuzu is still providing us great service.

But a new car is really in the offing, provided we get the means for it. And lately, cars that look cool and sturdy to me are Ford ones (ohmygosh, the only thing we might be able to afford are the seat covers for ford f150!). Hubs dreams of a sedan, Yakee wants a pickup truck and I still want an SUV.

We don't pack light and we're not small people.

Yakee also wants TV/screen in the car and I don't. Watching something would be a road hazard and waste of time to bond during the drive to somewhere.

But oh, I just want a more fuel-efficient (but our car is, actually, and that is such a blessing) and newer/safer model. And maybe something with more holders/trays for cups and what-nots. And a big trunk.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keep Holding My Hand, Darlings

I posted the following on my FB wall:
Bailey: Tucker let go of my hand.
Webber: You know what happens when people let go of your hand?
Bailey: What?
Webber: You get your hand back.

I was crying over this scene in Grey's Anatomy... the mother in me rejoices each time a son lets go of my hand because it validates our parenting (that they are secured enough to feel they CAN explore and let go of my hand)... but it's true what JKR wrote ...
in her latest novel, that moments like this feel like a death somehow.

Smugly though, I think Pappie Jojo has a harder time letting go... and I think that's largely because I am still pretty secure about my hold over the boys.

Someday though, someone might find me wailing on some street corner... and I hope they'd commiserate :D

Yakee and Yamee... Mommy doesn't want her hand back just yet.
As a SAHM... I literally have to pull a hand away sometimes because Yakee can really be demanding, he will hold a hand hostage while I am doing something else (but usually, when I'm on the computer). And there have been hundreds of times when Yakee ran away from us, eager to explore and just play and defy us.
But I don't think I have felt that feeling that I was left. Not yet. Hubs felt that when Yakee came running inside his school without a kiss and a look back. So far, my boys are still mine.
But everyday I do feel that slow process of needing less of me and becoming more of a child of this world, of this life.  And there are a dozen moments at least, everyday, when it strikes me again how fast they are growing. They need not be tender moments as well... the other day, Yakee got me curled up in pain because he hit me with his knee on the crotch as he jumped on my lap. He was sorry and I was very sad when I explained to him that he is really growing bigger and cannot jump on laps unannounced anymore because he will hurt someone.
And then yesterday, I saw Yamee bounce off the bed and fall flat on his bum... and he didn't cry. he just proceeded on playing rough with his brother (who ends up smothering him with the convertible sofa bed half the time, sigh).
Every day, signs of them growing and fluorishing.
And yes, sometimes, I wonder how parents can take it... then I realize, I am a parent and taking it.
Miracle, is it not?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This SAHM Is Still Fulfilled

Five years after quitting work to devote most of my waking moments to my kids, I realize that I have embraced the SAHM life. There was a time (or I guess, there will always be occasions like that) when I was just so depressed and feeling like I copped out by staying home... but I really feel fulfilled about where I am now.

I am admittedly terrified of the 'official homeschooling' bit that I will be embarking on with Yakee... and looking forward to the parent-child program with Yamee. I am concerned about finances always, and feeling guilty of not being able to contribute there financially. But really, I love the privilege and I love my husband more for letting me mother our kiddos my way... this way.

So, I may not be preparing a personalized portfolio to entice employers or clients with, or power dressing, or talking shop. I may not be discovering the cure for anything nor am I making waves in commerce... but I am involved in two little boys' lives in ways most mothers aren't... or couldn't.

And that's really more than enough.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Matter of Crush

I will admit to a bad parenting bit... I am allowing our girl neighbor (7 years old)  to babysit my kids for me. Well, generally, they're just playing and I am happy because the kids do not bother me, haha. Sometimes, they'd even hole up in our bedroom and spend an hour there just playing. Sometimes, I get 3 hours straight when the boys are preoccupied with their playmate.

The otehr day though, the girl started talking incessantly about a boy classmate. Sometimes, it even felt like she was making Yakee jealous because she kept telling her what she and the other boy did... how she missed that boy... how she wrote notes for the boy. Yakee barely listens but would sometimes tell stories about his friends too... as if it's a pissing contest of who did what with their other friends.

Cute, right?

But... after an hour of playing in our bedroom (mostly they hide under the bed or chair... and jump on the bed... or make a nest with our pillows) that day, Yakee came down telling me that his friend has a crush on the boy... and that he has a crush on his schoolmate too. I asked which girl he thought he fancied and didn't really react much. Yakee would say later on that he thinks Yamee has a crush on him because his baby brother kissed him.

Ngerks, right?

On one hand... the Waldorf Mom in me doesn't like the introduction of this crush concept... after all, Yakee is only 5. It's great he likes all his friends and does not make special distinctions for the girls. It's great that he can like the girls without it being a big deal.

But that's just it... it isn't a big deal so I shouldn't worry about what the neighbor girl brings to our home (though I suspect she's also bringing with her their school germs, haha). I shouldn't think this is the start of him acting weird and secretive and assigning malice on simple sweet gestures.


But suffice it to say, I was unnerved even if I didn't show it. Haha. Further proof that childhood is so fleeting.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Commercial Post: More on Floors

My friends and I are still talking about ancestral homes and I am still amazed at how floors and walls could stand for centuries just because of the design of a house.

After all, in Balay Negrense, there is a sign saying that it's the great ventilation that allowed the house to breathe and protected it from decay.

And I wonder, are there people building homes with that in mind? Or are they all just going for concrete floors to void issues like rotting wood and termites?


Anyway, I have been on the site of the The Flooring Pros Flooring America for a while now, just drooling over the hardwood floors (love the hickory and maple floors!). The wood laminate flooring options they offer is also not bad, and yes, a lot cheaper!

This reminds me... we still have to troop over to Laong Laan and see if we can salvage some antique wood there for the boys' study table. Hopefully, we can get a door or floor and get that converted into a sturdy table at a price we can afford.

And I really hope there will be a greater intiative of salvaging wood from run-down properties... and more builders will make use of recycled/reused materials. Not only is it cheaper, it's also green.

And yes, I will try not to think of the massive slabs of hardwood they burned in the Ruins...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Twelve Senses Gifts

Hubby, prompted by our son's interest in the stars and the planets and everything about space, bought our son binoculars (a better one than the plastic ones we use for concerts) and this telescope. Then it occurred to him that he'll make a thing of gifting Yakee with something that appeals to his senses.

So, I told him that in Waldorf... there's twelve senses... and he's now good for until Yakee turns 17 :)

But what do you give for some of those senses? Haha. It's easy for the other four obvious senses (for hearing, we shop online at qsc for guitars and amps and maybe a basic drum set; for smell, we get him cologne). Sense of balance is still okay, because that would be what the skateboard will be for. For sense of thought, probably a journal? Sense of warmth... hmmm, probably camping in the mountains?

But well... it certainly makes for interesting future gifts, right? :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Gift of My Hands

Lolz... well, I didn't really give my hands to anyone. But making handmade things IS an effort when the eczema is back. I swear. And that's not to give more weight to the gift :)

Like what I posted on my FB, there isn't a perfect hacky sack here. I'd sometimes mess up the crochet or the filling and there are around 5 rejects. But Yakee was in my mind the whole time I was making them. So, in the end... it was like a prayer told in these balls of all my mistakes with him, my struggles, the conversations I have with his angel in my mind... and all the thank-you's for being the sweet little wonderful boy that he is.

And because I have promised him a water bottle holder but never got around to finishing the first one I attempted (used the wrong yarn and it wasn't nice-looking)... I crammed making this in 2 days:

The funny thing though is, his Titas noticed that he was the only one without a water bottle holder so Tita Maricar made him one... using hemp (?) string (that must have hurt, so it's really all for the love) so, now, Yakee has two water bottle holders :)

I really like that I am now making handmade stuff again... though I feel they won't be appreciated as much as store-bought items (by those who don't value the effort), they offer me an opportunity for stillness :)

In Pursuit of Redecorating

Two of us in one of my mommy groups are planning to reorganize and redecorate to create homeschooling nooks for our 5-year olds. We both want sturdy wooden tables for study/crafts tables, more book shelves and other cabinets/shelves to house books, things, etc.

Yes, we should also start throwing away junk to make room for the new furniture we envision having.

This prompted one of us to share their space-saving tricks and techniques (haha, it pays to have an architect for a husband!). I loved the retractable desks in her daughter's rooms, and how they hung their clothes facing them for more closet space. She gave us tips on where and how to customize all those things... which prompted us Moms daydreaming of our ideal work stations and homes.

I said, had we the money, I'd probably go for the airy design that characterized ancestral homes from Spanish times: with hardwood floors that will carry not just the people but also that family's history, and sparse furniture that allow air to flow, and huge windows, and connecting doors everywhere.

I don't think I'd ever like anything ornate and fancy... just really space and air everywhere I turn. Verandas for playing in, gardens for growing food in, and space for all my books. Our books, I mean.

Well, owning furniture made from hard wood can start with a kiddie table and some marine plywood for painting activities right? :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Iakob's Birthday Story

This was what I was working on the eve of Yakee's birthday... heart wrenching from all the memories. But in the end, I decided to keep it simple and a little bland. But since his birthday, Yakee has insisted on this story for bedtime :)

Tonight was the last time I said I'd tell it, because tomorrow, he will have a different birthday story at St. Michael... and the next one should be on his 6th birthday


Once upon a time there was a little angel who was still with the big angels in heaven and he was very happy there. He looked at the beautiful colors and listened to the lovely music, and that was where he belonged. But one day the clouds parted in heaven and saw a couple with love and longing in their hearts for a child and he felt a longing to be with them too. That night, the little angel dreamed that he met a man and a woman and they stretched out their arms to him and asked him to come be their child. The angel told his big angel the dream. The angel said, “It is now time for you to go.”

So the little angel asked, “So may I go now?”

“You shall see.” Said the angel.

That night the little angel went to sleep into dreamland and while ten moons waxed and waned he rocked in a little boat. And at the end of that time a beautiful rainbow bridge stretched from heaven to earth and on it came the angel as a tiny baby and slid into his mother and father’s waiting arms.

From the first moment his parents loved him, and they called him Rubeus Iakob, Rubeus because it sounds like the name of his father put together and because they want him to grow as big and strong as Rubeus Hagrid… and Iakob because he was one of those most beloved and blessed by God.

Iakob was his name. When he was born it was a warm October morning. Everybody said he looked like his uncle and he was immediately showered by his family with love.

Little Iakob would thrive and grow strong. His teeth first came out when he was only four months old, and how his parents cried from happiness over it. He loved the water and lived for his tub time and showed an early appreciation for books. He slept to Hush Little Baby and Do-Re-Mi (and often on his father’s chest) and before you know it, he was one year old and throwing a Harry Potter-themed party.

Iakob grew up a little more and was always in motion, that Lolo Ruben often said he’s making up for his father’s inactivity as a boy. Chairs, tables, stairs... he climbed them all and jumped from them all. He also loved dinosaurs and trucks and books... and the first book he pretended to read was Amelia Bedelia. He signed a lot of words while learning to talk. He still loved the water and has his first swimming lessons summer of that year, which is why on his second birthday, they celebrated with a pool party. Iakob also loved musical instruments so he got a guitar from Momsy.

Soon, he learned to talk in sentences and would often describe how he feels. He also started adopting his Pappie and Lolo’s habit of asking “Did you have fun?” after a trip somewhere. Iakob started being more interested in planes and ships, and started playing soccer with his father. And, when his 3rd birthday came around, they celebrated by going to see fishes and seals... but his real birthday gift came a month after, when another angel came down from heaven and became his brother. Iakob insisted on calling him Yamnyoy.

While patiently waiting for his baby brother to grow up more so they can play, Iakob started attending a play school and met so many new friends at St. Michael. He was also very happy when he went to Disneyland with his cousins because he got to meet Buzz and Woody there. He also started wearing a makeshift cape everyday because he was into superheroes now, which is why he came as Superman in his joint birthday celebration with his brother when he turned 4. 

So, Iakob and his baby brother kept on growing (because they eat their vegetables) and learning to care and share. Iakob likes pretending to be a pirate or knight more these days but he plays Big Brother at school. When their family went to Iloilo and Bacolod, he got to see big fishes, climb a lighthouse and watch bats.  He has also started reading, writing and typing some words on his own while also telling stories from memory. And now, Rubeus Iakob turns 5 years old and we are happy that he has grown big and strong, happy and healthy, loving and smart and the sweetest boy there is.

We wish Iakob many days of fun and play, good friends and learning... and good health most of all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sprucing Myself Up

Last Monday, I went to Divisoria and bought two new tops. I am recently having issues with most of my tops because they either don't fit me well or flatter me at all. Not that it's easy to flatter a rectangular shape, haha. Maybe I should get some brave belts to create the illusion of a waist.

I also just got a massage... and still owe myself a proper foot spa and pedicure. And a professional body scrub :)

I also recently bought new shorts and hair ties just because I realized my sons shouldn't grow up with a slob of a Mom as mother image.

Heaven bless them though, they love me to bits. Yakee would keep popping up when I'm sleeping (which is annoying, yes) just to tell me he loves me :D

I just hope I'd stop being sick now... sigh, so I can rock my new clothes in high heels this weekend.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It Takes Two Sides to Milk-Share Tango

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.

Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."


Milk sharing, whether through wet nursing or breast milk donation, takes the expression, "it takes a village to raise a child" to a whole new level.

I had originally intended to interview a wet nurse or two from Arugaan for this... just so I can share from their perspective, but I didn't manage my time well and wasn't in a productive mood. Good thing, I can tap on recent discussions in my mommy groups for something to say.

First, on the issue of wet nursing. I was among those who thought that a wet nurse should get screened and tested first to make sure she's 'clean' and 'healthy'. Sounds but practical and safe right? But there is something wrong in that thought because it is incomplete... and I thank God for Arugaan for setting me right.

Families who may be in the receiving end of the services/generosity of a wet nurse do have the right to make sure the wet nurse is healthy... after all, she is going to be holding your baby and giving that baby her milk. But they cannot demand it without also ensuring that THEY are clean too... after all, they also might be passing germs or viruses on their infant, who may pass it on to the wet nurse.

Trust plays a huge role here... because even after the tests (if the receiving family choose to have it done), both families would need to really safeguard their health too and be upfront about health issues for as long as the wet nursing is going on. The receiving family has an obligation to their wet nurse too, it is not a passive relationship wherein they would just take and take from the wet nurse.

How many of you have thought of this?

Now, breast milk donation will not require that same level of courtesy... but it does require courtesy too. In a mommy forum, some breast milk donors have felt offended and maybe even hurt that others seeking breast milk donation have been a little demanding about it. Some come off as if they're ordering pizza or something, requesting for a certain number of ounces already... and now. Since I never really pumped to store, I can just imagine how offensive that is to a mom who struggled to get her supply up... who would take time away from other meaningful work just to pump and store... and then have the heart to give her precious milk away... and that milk to be treated like some beverage being bought on a discount.

If you're the one seeking donor milk, or helping loved ones to get donor milk... please, be considerate a hundred times over. Offer to replace the milk bags, pick up the milk, don't pester for the milk at odd hours, say thank you for what is given (even if it is only a few ounces) and BUILD UP YOUR SUPPLY SO YOU CAN BREASTFEED YOURSELF. Donor milk is love usually freely given away, so do not take it for granted. Do not waste it. Do not think there's an endless supply for you to just tap at will.

And know that some of those who donate have been in the receiving end of help too because they struggled early on... and now, they're giving back. And it would be a poor way to repay their potential kindness by leaving them messages demanding for a freezerful of stash (even if you're paying for it).

Be nice. Otherwise, you might not get milk for your precious babe.

Milk sharing is a dance where both parties have to be considerate of each other's needs and feelings. And only when both are can the dance really be very rewarding.


Raed the other entries to this carnival:

Mafeth wrote about being a milk donee
Rachel discussed how she felt about receiving donated milk and nursing an adoptee's baby
Nats has a Milk Sharing Story too

Storytelling Workshop Under Kuya Bodjie

Yes... I know... I may never gush enough over the storytelling workshop I attended with Kuya Bodjie. It was really just a fun, fun day coming along the heels of a great depression, haha.

And his workshop was very different from the one I attended under Adarna House (which tackled the elements of storytelling and some techniques) because he focused more on getting people to be organic in the storytelling, and getting rid of fears and inhibitions.

Which reminds me, I really should practice projecting my voice... and maybe bringing puppets or books along all the time. Just so I can tell stories anytime, anywhere.

But let me tell you about my classmates too... maybe a third of them were teachers sent to the workshop by their school's Principal, but the rest went because it was by Kuya Bodjie. A lot were connected to NGOs or Sundays schools attempting to bring literacy to indigent children. A mother and daughter flew all the way from Palawan to attend the workshop... and they are working with friends to build a library for a public school in their area.

They were great fun :)  And they're proof that the world is still ok because there are still so many committed to helping little children.

Anyway... I related the story Kuya Bodjie told us to Yakee (because Yamee refused to listen and kept on glaring at me to read to him) that night... and man, it sure made up for the whole day I was away. My firstborn just LOVED it... and I really gave it my all (though all the growling I did hurt my throat, hehe).

So... yes, I am more excited about storytelling.

I am even considering theater workshops for me... or improv workshops :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Computer Worries and Reality Checks

I just shared this picture and posted this status update on my FB wall:

I dressed the boys in matching pyjamas (gift from Ninang Karla last Christmas). Yakee said, "Mommy, I think we should make Ninang XiAh see us on webcam."

I said... "Oh sorry baby, Mommy's laptop is broken, that's why I couldn't work all day."

Yakee said, "Ahhh... so you can play with us!"

Laya can I plead 'birthday blues' to my children to justify the extended PC use? No? Awwww.... :D


I do have the birthday blues. Weirdly enough, I have it bad again. And it doesn't help that both hubby and my sis have offered to buy me a new phone... which is sooo wonderfully loving of them... but I had to be practical and insist they spend on other things instead.

And so, we're going to Bohol in December!

Then,  I started moping yesterday because I have officially told my breast friend that I won't be joining them at the World Breastfeeding Conference this December (in India)... mainly because it coincides with my Mom's arrival, and I would lose 5-6 days with her. And I have never really felt comfy about spending that much on me when I don't earn that much (well, I do, if you count blog earnings for the whole year, haha).

Good thing hubs spent on Indian food to comfort me.

And so, I just manic planned our Bohol itinerary instead.

But I'm still feeling down... and then my laptop refused to let me log in (thus, the conversation above). Hubs asked me if I have an external hard disk big enough to transfer my files to (yeah,  I started thinking of cloud backup solutions there and then) because he thought he'd have to reformat and reinstall things.

Sniff... sniff.

Good thing Google came to his rescue and he managed to fix my laptop. But yeah, I really should start saving more files in Google docs and what-not.


I would just like to say that most of my computer time is still done at night, when the kids are asleep. BUT... I have been losing a lot of sleep and I know that is afecting my parenting. And I have been preoccupied with a lot of things lately. And then, there are all these chores that I have to get done.

But I guess, these reasons aren't really reasons enough to a child who just wanted to play with his parent.

Sorry darlings... Mommy has been selfish and blind lately.


Oh something that I am looking forward to... Eden's going to have a sale :D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Milk Mama Diaries Tackles Milk Sharing

Next week, September 24-30 is World Milksharing Week 2012, with the theme: Sharing Milk, Nurturing Community.

Jenny (of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom) and I decided another blog carnival is in order (and long due!) so we are now inviting mom/dad bloggers to share their thoughts/experiences on and hopes for sharing milk.

Check out my previous carnival posts to get an idea of how the blog carnival works and how posts look like. To join, please fill up the form here:

The following blurb must be included in your carnival entry as well as the Milk Mama Diaries logo:
"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.

 Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."

If you don't have a blog but would like to join, please email us so we can arrange to have you hosted as a guest blogger in our blogs:
Jenny (jenny[at]chroniclesofanursingmom[dot]com)
Mec (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com)

Deadline for registration for the carnival is on September 24, 2012. Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on September 25 and the carnival will go live on September 30, 2012. PLEASE POST ON September 30, 2012, beginning 12MN.

Please write about the theme provided. We currently do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your entry from the list of carnival participants should your post be offensive, irrelevant to the carnival theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles, articles that are anti-breastfeeding or are articles that are aimed to market products or services.

Kindly note the deadlines and please POST your entries on September 30, 2012. The deadline of  24 September 2012 is also strictly observed for REGISTRATION.

*You can begin sending blog URLs on 25 September 2012 for inclusion in the carnival list by e-mailing Jenny and Me. We will only include the links of those who e-mail us so please do not forget to e-mail us those precious URLs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yakee on Drums

Lately, whenever Yakee finds an unused set of chopsticks (usually from takeouts), he would gather all the stools and plastic toy chests in the house and set up his drum set. We have taken videos (just haven't uploaded any) and he's really so adorable 'playing' for us. Hubs has always wanted to purchase a drum set for him so this developing interest is super fine with him.

Party pooper that I am though, I say that any purchase of  pearl drums will have to wait till we have a better home... with a den or garage just for musical instruments (noise over practice). Hehe.

Yakee's widow (his capacity to commit sounds to memory) is good so if he grows up musical, that would be really awesome!

And yes, him banging on things helps in releasing some of his nervous energy... which is great for facilitating sleep. Haha.


He wrote his first word that I asked him to write/spell: BAT

Monday, September 17, 2012

Milestones and Moments

Earlier, because I was multi-tasking (teaching Yakee how to play luksong-tinik while tracing Yamee's feet on paper for him)... and Yakee wanted to do something that required my whole body (play hide and seek), my firstborn was driven to express that he wished I had more hands.

I really couldn't help but laugh... because my son just gave me a moment of cliche, a mom whose hands were full and it not being enough.

It's really very challenging dividing oneself between the two, whose interests and skills are different... and well, when they do decide to do the same thing and play the same game, it usually spells PAIN and EXHAUSTION for me... you lose some, you win some, you lose some :D


Yamee is so jealous and territorial... he's always snapping at his Kuya. Yakee, on the other hand, has never missed an opportunity to defend his brother from our 'mean' parenting.


Yakee wrote a very decipherable IOIBP on his magic slate and asked me to read it. Then he asked me to write words we can read. And just like that... he was reading CVC words for the first time by learning to sound them off properly and deducing which word it sounds like.

I was at a loss and very unprepared... but we managed the mat, pat, cat, sat, bat, fat words... then went to ted, bed, red... then gun, sun, bun (I didn't know which words to start him with)... at and it... and mama and papa. He asked me how to write alien. Then he's had enough lessons.

Hubs kept teasing me that our son really wants to learn now... and I kept reminding him that our son learned on his own, and we should celebrate that he's ready and curious and is learning :)  I have no doubt he'd learn fast when we really go into it, but I also want him to just enjoy his new discoveries.


Yamee is lining up  play dough balls. Haha. I love these little signs that their brains ARE developing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Boys Are Exhausting Me

I know I am not girly enough to also win with a little daughter of my own who would insist on hair stylist supplies and playing dress up... but really, my boys are exhausting me!

They keep competing for my attention... Yakee wants me to watch him, Yamee wants me to show him things or name things for him.

Yakee would want us to play, but Yamee will want to nurse.

Yakee would be telling me stories (and since we have this thing about 'listening with the eyes') but I have to police and follow Yamee as he tries, tastes or destroys odd things.

And their play is ALWAYS rough... always involving running, climbing over me, etc.

I will even admit to looking forward to Fridays and Saturdays, because that's TV-watching day for Yakee and I can shake him off during those times... an hour of not having him competing for attention with Yamee is heaven!!! Always heaven!

And no... this isn't exactly a rant. It's a statement of fact.

My boys are exhausting me! :D

Saturday, September 8, 2012

To Whom I Spanked Today

This goes out to my two boys, who I spanked with our spanking stick for the same crime, for the first time.

Know what? I was annoyed and getting tired already... but I really wasn't that mad yet. But something told me it was a good opportunity to spank the two of you for making things hard for Mommy, who was preparing things for our afternoon nap.

I think, most people would have found me so mean... you were just having fun after all. You were just laughing and playing. The thing is, you were both not heeding my requests and you were both making the work twice as hard for me. That's not funny. And I did not see any of you paying attention to me. That's unacceptable. And I saw you fueling each other's inattentiveness.

So, I got the spanking stick and hit you both with it.

I know you were both hurt (it wouldn't be spanking if it didn't hurt) but I also gathered from your expressions that you were more shocked... and maybe even offended. Because this was a new experience, that both of you got in trouble for what you were doing.

But that's just it, darling boys. There will be many more occasions wherein you'd both be so high and in the moment of whatever it is you're up to... which may also result in trouble, danger or pain.

I want you to start ppolicing each other somehow.

It's just really unacceptable that both of you won't be listening and obeying.

Yakee... it may be unfair that I have to be more exacting of you, but you are your younger brother's hero... his role model.

Yamee... just because Kuya is doing something, or is engaged in something, doesn't mean you can forget who the authorities are in your life.

I love you both, my precious boys, and it is really only because I love you that I discipline you.

I may have been wrong for what I did today... but I hope the fact that you are loved and prayed for will help you grow up good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Deferred Farm Day

Remember, about a week ago when I was gushing about the GK Enchanted Farm Country Fair and wondering aloud about selling produce off trailer hitches for cars? Well, it looks like we're missing the GK this weekend because hubs' father is in the hospital. It doesn't quite feel right to still go, I don't know.

The good news though is that there is the Balik Bukid Country Fair in November to look for ward to, and on hubs' birthday no less. I just hope though, that if we miss the GK one, we won't miss that one.


I was looking forward to spending a happy farm day with the boys...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maria Lactans

I sincerely hope that the site won't mind that I copied their pictures to post here. I was just really amazed at the many wonderful paintings/sculpture on Mary as Nursing Mother. I really checked each one out.

This post is coming along the heels of the picture ABS-CBN posted in their FB wall that is garnering a lot of really WTH comments from prissy hypocrites. Yes, I am labelling them :D

Anyway, here are my faves of the Maria Lactans:

artist: Pisano

Anonymous French Sculptor

Cleve (he has many breastfeeding paintings, and I like that he depicted baby Jesus/babies falling asleep at the breast... and Mother Mary/moms going about other nurturing activities, like reading)
Fouquet (I think others in this day and age would find this sensational... amazing that it was created in AD 1450)
Michelangelo (most Our Lady of La Leche paintings show Mother Mary'sbreasts really full, and usually, nipples are prominet)
Morales (don't you just love how romantic this one is? and how it depicts the baby trying to soothe himself by nippling the mom?)
Robert Campin
Orley (look, baby Jesus is already standing and still nursing!)
Painting at Bethlehem's Milk Grotto

Alonso Cano's depiction of the spiritual nourishing of St. Bernard by the milk of Our Lady, based on this legendary mystical experience: Bernard prayed before a statue of the Madonna, asking her, "Show yourself a mother" ("Monstra te esse Matrem"). The statue came to life and and squirted milk from the breast onto the Saint's lips.
But like what a fellow breastfeeding Mom said... at least people are talking now and more people are becoming aware that there is such a thing as Our Lady of La Leche... that this devotion to the nursing mother is real and has been in practice for a long time... and sanctioned and supported by the Vatican. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Going on a Country Fair!

I got my hubby to be willing to drive to Bulacan next week for the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Countryside Fair :)  I am beyond excited for my sons because they'd be roaming the outdoors... and I will be shopping.

I have often wanted to go to country fairs like they do abroad... with merchants utilizing trailer hitches for cars so they can just sell from their car whatever produce they have harvested or goods they have made. I have always wanted the kids to 'ooohh' and 'aaahhh' over different plants and animals for sale, and compare which stall has the biggest squash or the freshest melons, to sample toys and things and dips and whatever else... and maybe find something to truly spice up a wardrobe or home.

I cannot wait!!! :)

Yes... I don't know where to get money for it... hahaha... but I cannot wait to go!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Aim for Progress, Not Perfection

The title of this post came from something a Mom said in her book, "Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison" when she was discussing mealtimes. This was shared to us by our main moderator at our Parents Circle Meeting to cap our Family Meals topic last Monday.

It resonated so much in me, because it is something most parents forget. Something I always forget. In all discipline issues, we expect learning and transformation to happen overnight.

How could he be so impolite? Why can't he handle his emotions? Why won't he eat fast? Why can't he be more like this and that? Why can't he button his shirt when he already knows how? Why can't he read yet? How could he not know this and that?

I have probably thought and said worse than that list above... and how unfair and unfaithful of me. My child is learning. That is a process, not an answer. My child is young and still developing. He does not have my capacity for memory, understanding, empathy. My child is a child, not a little adult I can reason with at my level. My child needs me to see the effort he exerts, not nitpick on what is not yet done perfectly.

For shame... Mommy.

So, now... I try to check myself, in all the little things, if I am aiming for perfection and if I cannot see progress. And however subtly, I believe Yakee knows there is an extra effort being exerted... and he responds.

It hasn't been all roses since Monday... but I at least look at them with polished eyes.

(More on the things we talked about that Monday in future posts...)

Friday, August 24, 2012

On Checkups and Checkups

My friend Judy shared to me that she brings her kids to Jake Tan and Dr. Cricket Chen. Jake Tan is an anthroposophist healer (whose brother is premier herbalist in the country) and Dr. Cricket Chen is a homeopathic doctor.

I have discussed going to the same people for Yakee's asthma management. Though our allergist has been great and pretty conservative with medicine prescriptions, I am really antsy that we're all taking drugs for months and cannot accept that this will be the case from hereon. There has to be a better way for our livers!

Meanwhile, hubs has just attended a free medical checkup with Sonylife (where we purchased insurance from). He suspects they conduct such so they can better estimate term insurance rates and their cashflow for their members.

Sigh. All these health issues are making me down... especially since I now have to nurse migraines for every period.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Son, the Empath

When someone you know dies, you get confronted by your own mortality.

As I was listening to my SIL relate to me the last days of her mother at the wake, I would sometimes get misty-eyed thinking about how things would be like if I die when my sons are still so young. Would they be as hyper as my nephew was then? Would they cry? Will they also miss naps during the wake? Who will comfort them? How will my husband be like as a parent without me?

When I got home, I came home to a crying Yakee who has been upset for a while, moaning for me. That started his most recent "I don't want you to leave me" phase.

Yesterday, hubby and I attended the burial and chose to leave the kiddos behind so they won't be exposed to the elements and viruses anymore. During the drive, I couldn't help bringing up the subject of death... and wondering aloud if people would even go to my wake, and where I would have my wake, and where I will be buried. Hubs got sad with all the talk... and I guess, the thought of death weighed heavy on me.

When Yakee was upset last night, he cried and cried to me about not wanting me to leave him alone. I took it at face value and explained that we never leave him alone and that we take care of ourselves so we could come back. That was before dinner. I repeated the same to hubs within Yakee's hearing just so it's reinforced that his parents love him and will do their best to come back.

You see, it's hard making promises when we're very much at the mercy of fate.

Oh, we also told him that, chances are, when he's growon older and bigger, he's the one who is going to leave us behind... as he travels and tries new things, and mabe start a family of his own. And that's okay.

But... last night, Yakee couldn't sleep. Then he cried and cried again and it came out that he doesn't want me to die. I had to hold him close and tell him that everybody dies, and that I hope God hears our evening prayers to let hubs and I parent him for a long time. I told him that we all go to heaven after... and backtracked and said, we all start in heaven then God sends us on a mission here on earth, which is why we were born. Then, after our mission is done, God recalls us back to heaven. I explained that it's always sad losing loved ones, but since the loved ones go to heaven... they're happy there and will just wait for those they left behind. I also reminded him that he is in my heart and I am in his, so that dead or not, even if I wasn't by his side, a part of me remains with him.

Later on, he asked if he could play in heaven and I said yes... and he said he'd like that.

And finally, he was pacified. But it took half an hour (and much of me silently talking to his angel) before he fell asleep.

And when he fell asleep, I 'invoked' things for him :D (yes baby, Mommy is Waldorf this way)

I really should not be dwelling on morbid possibilities...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Natural Toys and Things

Like what I told a friend recently, I am embracing Waldorf education and parenting, but my sons still have mostly plastic toys. After all, I have invested in Duplo blocks and play dough molds... and they still have all those unopened ones.

But I am slowly making the transition to more natural toys. I have this wooden blocks and marbles set in my Amazon cart... and a list of toys I want for the boys that cost a total of over P20k. Just a list, yes, because I don't want to just keep buying and buying. Oh, I have ordered wooden castanets for the boys already (someday, who knows, their own wooden recorders and maybe a calf skin tambourine or drum) and a wooden top and some other wooden toys (like this one where you try to get a wooden ball in a hole). I am also thinking of getting this Anatex Magnet Express, in preparation for writing and better grip/fine motor skills.

Meanwhile, the boys paint more using flour and food color, instead of the usual watercolor made by artificial dyes. Little by little, we'd get to the more natural stuff. The important thing is that each activity is experienced and enjoyed, so they will learn :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stories While Feeding

I'm sure I'm not the only breastfeeding mom who has wondered or thought about it. It's also more evident when I was away for several hours and my precious wasn't able to snack/touch base/recharge for a long time... but I feel, when he nurses at night, he also somehow tells me about his day.

There are times he'd just really suckle and sleep, exhausted from what he was up to the whole time I was away.

There are times when he wouldn't be doing a lot of suckling, but he'd be doing a lot of touching and sighing, as if to re-create me in his senses.

There are times when he'd be suckling like crazy, demanding from me, or berating me for being away for a long time.

There are times when he'd actually whimper a little while feeding, as if telling me how lost he felt without me.

There are times when he's just really playful, naughty and refuse to settle down... telling me he's had too much excitement when I was out.

No matter what he tells me, the magical thing really is the fact that breastfeeding provides me with these opportunities to reconnect. And again, what a privilege to be the one who can truly end his day perfectly... every day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Discipline Strategies That May Work For You

My friend Liv shared with us a link to a list of Quirky Discipline Rules that Work and loved the article.

We are implementing most of it already in various ways and forms. I generally adjusted my computer/work time to the time when they're sleeping (so, at night) or I forewarn them that I am busy with something. I am slowly letting them do chores with me, even if it takes a longer time getting accomplished. I am clear with most house rules and maybe about 90% consistent. When Yakee says 'he is bored', I ask him to clean our wall. He doesn't really know what bored is, he just liked saying it for effect, something he got from our niece.

But what I liked most about the article is Rule Number Two. See, it never occurred to me that I could stop working. I have always wondered how long till I can rest but never thought of setting a time when the Mom office will close (except for the breastaurant, but even that, I am slowly preparing Yamee to just sleep through the night and not nurse anymore after brushing his teeth) and the Mom duties will stop.

So, now I feel super empowered! Hopefully, hubby WILL be supportive in getting me to finish all by 9 PM.

One thing I realized too when I had my HALLELUJAH moment over that rule is that... the world won't end if the kids go to bed unbrushed, uncleaned or whatever else for a night. Because I know they would be more cooperative the next day (since the highlight of bedtime is story time).

Isn't that liberating? :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life In A Box

Hubby was in the mood to spring clean... and so he really went all out and even borrowed their office shredder. Sometimes, he would pause though, showing me old ticket stubs of concerts and shows we went to. He couldn't bear to shred my old letters, but just took a pic of his ex's letters then disposed of them :)

This reminded me of what a fried said they do for their kids. They don't keep ALL the doodles and pictures and old things, but they do keep some in one box. The hospital bracelet when they were born. The first foot or hand print. The first movie ticket. Maybe a baptismal certificate. A drawing or two, per year of life.

I told hubs that maybe we should start on those for our kiddos. It's a good thing we can really just take pictures now of all their artwork and 'letters' and projects and compile those in minute-size hard disks. Life in a box. When they grow up, they'd have some mementos but won't get asthma attacks going through piles and piles of sentimentality.

It's a good thing too that motherhood sort of cured me of my anal retentive tendencies.

Now... to let go of more things and make space for new... memories and activities.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Where Is The Yarn?


My mom packed all the yarn I bought in the door-to-door box that they're planning to ship to us. Unfortunately, that arrives in maybe mid-November, if I am lucky. And she made sure to pick and pack the loveliest ones... the ones I need to make her and my sister scarves.

(Incidentally, my nieces are also asking for crocheted scarves! Asking me for book bags for high school girls would be far easier to deliver since I am not a master crocheter!)

So... now I would have less than a month to crochet their scarves in time for their arrival. After that, it would be hard to hide what I am crafting since they will be all over the place. And what good would it do to have them checking how their Christmas gift is going?


 Wonder now if I should just buy more, so maybe my cousins or my Dad could bring them when they go back here.


Tomorrow Is Donation Time

In a way, I am excited to give things away... not really because it may mean I can shop for new ones again (but that's a perk, of course... and the kids ARE growing and need wardrobe adjustments from time to time) but that I may be able to breathe better in our home.

Of course, hopefully the search for donatable items won't aggravate the sinus allergy that has kept me down all day today (because I 'rescued' some stuff from possible flooding).

I realized  I have so many slippers of Yakee's that I was keeping... since Yamee prefers bigger-sized slippers anyway, now I can give away what he's using without guilt.

I also just hope I can go to UP-PGh to drop off the things... because though LBC accepts donations now, few trust them because their parcels aren't delivered on time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reorganizing Ideas During the Typhoon

As I was trying to figure out which of our stuff downstairs to save, and how to save them, I couldn't help but also get ideas about reorganizing our stuff. I definitely need to put the books higher up, so my kids will not just yank at them at will (but wait, isn't that a good thing? haha... maybe I'll have an accessible bookcase and rotate things there).

I definitely need more covered shelves because I really cannot tolerate dust anymore.

And yes, we need to throw a lot of things away... and have sturdier stuff too. I'm dreaming of actual desks (and a desk name plate for each of us) just so we know our spaces and will be limited to those speific areas for most of our endeavors. Because, right now, I have some things and Yakee has some toys on hubs' work space.

Having their play area under the stairs isn't a good idea anymore because our roof leak is right above the stairs, and water tends to drip down to the first floor too. And defnitely, we need to throw more stuff away... not to make room for new ones, but to have everything simpler and more used.

I just hope I'll work at it after the flood watch... without getting sick too!

Breastfeeding is Feminism In Its Purest Form

I have often said to new moms that they should trust that the God who blessed them with a child and allowed them to grow that child within them will also allow them to grow that child outside them.

And usually, I have found that the lack of information and support is what was lacking in every story wherein breastfeeding wasn't succesful. It's very crucial for new mothers to know that it's not really just breastfeeding or formula feeding, because breastfeeding can happen and be achieved in many ways. Most problems aren't deal breakers and shouldn't be... and formula feeding, though it has its merits, isn't THE solution for all feeding problems. It's handy, convenient and yes, calorie-rich... but it is also processed and dead. A lot of children now are reistering so many illnesses and handicaps, like allergies, and it would be stupid to deny that our diet had an effect on that. So, who's to say what their problems will be because of formula feeding?

And now that there is a crisis again, for sure, there will be a deluge of formula or powdered milk donations. How useful would these be if the people they are given to won't have the sterile water and equipment to prepare it? Sure, it will fill tummies and shush babies, but what happens when these same babies get diarrhea, or catch colds and other infections?

If it doesn't matter how you feed your child, then why are you making sure to eat vegetables or avoid carinderia food or even wash your hands while preparing food? Why do you take care of what you put in your mouth, and then defend a choice you made when you probably didn't have the right information and support?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nails' Future Best Friend

Eczema on my hands meant brittle and uneven nails, even in the best of times. Sometimes, they wreak havoc to my clothes and other linen as they snag threads. They have also gotten quite thin in places that it's like clipping baby nails sometimes.

One thing that helps is filing them but the usual file that comes along with a nail cutter does not do the job well. For one thing, it is like too hard or something and I end up getting hurt, or with more uneven nails. Plus, yeah, I think nail filing is a skill that has to be mastered.

Now that we have been trapped inside the house and going online is harder to resist, I chanced upon a site called and couldn't help but want some of the nail files they offer. The files are made from Czech glass, which is supposedly made to last (and service for) a lifetime.

Particularly amazing are the glass nail files and crystal nail files that are supposed to be really gentler on nails. I can't help but think right now of investing in one of their fab manicure sets... for my sister. She's the one girly enough to dig something that comes in pink leather. And, she has the nails that require regular filing.

If the rains do not stop soon, my fingers just might start ordering!

Afraid to Fall Asleep

The rains have been incessant... and I am sooo tired already but I am scared to sleep.

I am unsure whether I should pack a Go Bag now, because I'm thinking... where would we go if it's totally flooded in our street anyway? This is our home. And I also hope I can save my parents' home since they're not here. Hubby, on the other hand, is resigned to whatever fate will bring to our door. After all, if our homes get flooded like back in Ondoy, what can we really do but just pick up the pieces after?


I am worried about our possessions... and where to get the money to repair and replace them.

I am worried about my boys, and how to keep them safe (I think they couldn't sleep earlier because my stress was palpable).

Yakee prayed for sun... I hope to God He grants his prayer. I know many others have stormed the heavens with their pleas for the rains to stop.

Oh God, just please let us all be alright. In the end, that's the only thing that matters.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Because He Has Asthma

In Waldorf Education, it is believed that 7 years old is the start of the feeling stage for developing children... and they want to help this along by fortifying the respiratory system through recorder playing. Huffing and puffing through a recorder is supposed to help practice the lungs and airways, so a child will also be less tight about his emotions.

Now, Yakee has asthma. When it was first made official at the doctor's clinic, I was ready to go and get us some getzen trumpet for him. Haha. Good thing I was able to remind myself that either I have to learn to play the instrument first, or get him to attend classes for it already. And no, I don't think Yakee is at a stage where he can attend formal lessons.

Plus, I'd really rather, if he takes music lessons, he will learn to play instruments the Suzuki way (if not through attendance at a Waldorf school).

But I guess, I have a year or two to really master the recorder, just so I can start my son on easy songs. It's not just about embracing Waldorf now, it's conquering his asthma.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The St. Michael Dream

A friend directed me to this video which aimed to give people (those not from the Waldorf community) an idea of what a Waldorf/Steiner school is. I can't help but utter a silent prayer, really, for St. Michael's plans to expand.

On one hand, St. Michael is in an area where the market is rich with potential enrolees. The Rockwell/The Fort area is teeming with expats who have heard of Waldorf education. They're also the ones more likely to afford it, and will be enticed to do it here because it's so much cheaper here.

On the other hand, expats come and go. And real estate in Makati costs high. The foremost concern of us parents have always been, "how much would it cost when we start?"

I admit, I have to accept that for the same price, I could do more for my two boys than if we push to send Yakee in a Waldorf Kindergarten. That's the compromise we have to make, pending greater resources or other changes.

But a true-blue Steiner school is the dream. I don't care if parents and teachers alike will be forever fighting over how best to implement Steiner's vision... so long as we're all striving together to carve a safe space where our kids can grow and learn and self-realize.

For my part, I leave it up to God on how He thinks our journey down this path should go.

Cleaning Gentlemen

Say, a crumb of muffin falls on the floor or some milk gets spilled. Yamee would automatically (and very enthusiastically) get the broom (complete with the dust pan) or the mop and clean up the mess.

Yakee, while in the middle of a tantrum earlier, was asked by his father to sweep the floor and he eadily stopped all the whining. As he gave his all in sweeping  the floor, and even sang while he did it, I couldn't help but wonder where all the tantrum went.

Amazing, right?

So, just maybe, if we ever get to migrate and join my family in Michigan, the boys could work for my uncle's cleaning services. It would be cool part-time work and all of my father's siblings (my Mom and him included) have actually done it. After all, it pays good money and most of them are neat freaks!

Incidentally, I once chanced upon this website for  office cleaning services in Wisconsin and was really impressed at the extent to which they disinfect and scrub and air and do everything else to clean spaces. I liked that they highlighted changing their cleaning tools regularly and that they target high-traffic areas. It's also great that such services are reachable by e-mail because some people (like me) are just really too lazy to pick up the phone even.

Now... I just hope this cleanliness streak will never wane for my boys. I might just end up with a spic and span kitchen just yet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breastfeeding Reinvented Me

Because it is breasfeeding month, and I may be breastfeeding my LAST child (who has lately been going without feeding from me most of the day), I felt compelled to write a poem about breastfeeding... and here it is :)

I really hope other Moms out there would see beyond the sleepless nights and feelings of abuse and exploitation that comes during the first few weeks when you're just learning the ropes of breastfeeding well, and meeting a newborn's needs.

Baby, I'm Amazed

While walking to Power Plant Mall from school, I happened to notice the sky and had this resultant conversation.

Me: Oh my, Iakob look at the clouds. I think it might rain again.
Yakee: Hmmm... I think Jesus said, "No rain until my son Iakob is home."

Sure enough, it was still only drizzling when we got home after our date. And that was over an hour away because we still had ice cream, browsed through books at National Bookstore and shopped for groceries before we hailed a cab for home.

What amazed me so much that time was that it was the first time Yakee showed faith in a Higher Power. Sure, we pray every night and I prompt him to thank God for our blessings, but it was the first time he showed me an appreciation for the divine. I know the conversation meant nothing to him but for me, it was such a profound leap into being a person of faith.

I had other wonderful conversations with Yakee today and a part of me couldn't keep up with how his mind is evolving. But really, baby, I'm amazed.


On a related note, I hope Yakee won't feel he has to share the fact that his father is collecting urine (haha, people might mistake him to be conducting home paternity tests) with his friends at school tomorrow. But, really, I'm also just glad that he's not messing with his father's stuff in the toilet (we're waiting for hubs to pass kidney stones).

And it's Yamee that's driving me crazy, actually, from climbing onto shelves (one that contains a myriad of little things... like medicine... and flour!) and unravelling my yarn balls.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sorry, Darlings

I became a scolding, shouting mess again yesterday... well, I wasn't shouting the whole day but it was a long time since I last felt I needed to shout. I was really not in control of myself and my situation with the kids in some occasions --- something I have had progress with.


Nothing really bad happened... though I really felt I lost ground with the 'better attitude' I got going for a while. I was just really exhausted after days of stress and having to go back and forth places. I was also being eaten by guilt from leaving Yamee behind for long periods of time. A part of me believes that I still shouldn't be letting him go without me for that long, haha, and for no good reason (the Waldorf crash course was a different case because that was to help improve how I parent).

But it cannot be helped. Having me back was stressor enough and the boys started pretty early (upon waking up, fighting over who's going to get my phone for me). Having Pappie back from the hospital was just too much. And yeah, sugar high from grapes.

It also wouldn't have been an issue if I was leaving them with my cousin, whom I trust. But I left them with our helper, a stranger still, someone who I do not see able to provide the mothering I feel my sons deserve. Thankfully, God has been really kind this time because our helper seems to really like my kids. She has been hard at work building Lego towers and drawing for my kids. The other day, I also came home to Yamee shrieking with laughter because our angel of a helper was playing with him.

I am just happy to be back with my sons again. Having to be away from them made me realize yet again how it would kill me if I have to go back to work. I cannot stand the separation!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Want to Join a World Culture Swap

I think a lot of homeschoolers will be tickled pink joining a Worldwide Culture Swap. I am really interested to join but do not quite have the budget for sending packages to four/five families just yet. Even if I will just be sending packages in tyvek envelopes, that will still cost us... because I really want to spend on the contents as well.

Nothing fancy, really. But I am sure to send Adarna storybooks, like "Luis and the Enchanted Creatures" and "Tight Times" :)  What else is truly Filipino? A sungka set would be too heavy, haha... and for the life of me, I can't make a street-type sipa nor haven't seen a tirador (slingshot) for a long time now. Maybe a balisong? And peanut kisses? And a shirt with a tarsier on it? :)

I can also send pictures of our travels, sort of like post cards.

And definitely, recipes!

It's just endless, the possibilities!

Well, it's a good thing you have the option to just join a one-on-one swap... so we're definitely trying that.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Growing Pains

Yakee would always be excited to go to play school... until recently. For the past 3 weeks, he'd start out raring for Wednesday, and then appealing/throwing a tantrum against going to school on Thursday... then he'd be quite happy again on Friday (because it's TV watching day and date day for us).

At first, I thought it was something about the home... like jealousy over my alone time with Yamee. But this week, the appeals not to go to school became more pronounced... he was even invoking sickness. Upon further inquiry, he told the tale of how two classmates are hurting him.

The ironic thing is that these other boys are only 2 years and 8 months old.

We brought the matter to the nurturers' attention, however, just so they can help police. After talking to the head nurturer, I found out that the hitting happens during rough play. It seems the three new boys haven't been gentled enough yet, and my son can't help himself from joining them in their rough play. Unfortunately, the younger two don't know their strength yet and do not stop when they're asked by Yakee to stop. The Jap kids even have to intervene and defend my son (who is the oldest).

Yes, I can't help but smile as I type this. Because really, some boys are rowdier than most. It's just unfortunate for my son that he, as it turns out, is someone the boys feel safest with. Otherwise, they won't be hitting him if they're scared of him. (it's like last year with another boy who wasn't blending in, but would respond to Yakee... but would also bite him in play)

Then I remembered another conversation with Yakee which I shared with the nurturer... about how my son used to be all excitement to report seeing his former buddy during joint park time with the full day care, but now would only tell me about how his former buddy doesn't like his new buddy.

The nurturer related to me that just that morning, the former buddy told her that he feels Yakee doesn't know him anymore. Sigh. Clearly a classic case of feelings of rejection, confusion over loyalties and inability to handle all the tension.

Oh, I sooo feel for these boys. And sure enough, when Yakee feels psychologically upset, he exhibits a nervous bladder (he keeps going to the toilet to pee, even if he's just peed).

I really wish there's a way I can make things right for them all... and spare them all this tension. But I know I can't.