Monday, May 28, 2012

Teaching Gentleness

Before the days of worrying about interest in cheap cigars and being hung over, I have the pressing problem of teaching my sons gentleness.

On one hand, I can't help but raise my eyebrow at the desire when I am given to fits of temper and I spank. I may not spank everyday nor scold everyday, but I am not always gentle.

But... if you except the times that I am compromised emotionally or the boys really need some physical reminding, I know I am gentle with them. I believe in the LAMBILOS approach (lambing, biro, haplos) and I make sure I take advantage of the times when my eldest isn't complaining about how rough and ragged my hands are.

So... it boggles me how they both think kicking each other, or bouncing a ball on someone's head... is loving. It amazes me how they'd wrestle until one or both of them cry, and how they both never seem to hear me when I remind them to be gentle.

Right now, I am thinking of a song to chant so I can remind them better... they respond to the packing away song, so I might as well use high notes when I'm feeling they're being too rough.


Then again, how will they establish their own pecking order and know the limits and boundaries of their physical space and strength... if I keep harping on them to be careful?

Heaven help me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

N@Wie Mommy Meetup

I shouldn't have hurried home... because hubs and Yamee were already asleep (Yakee slept long in the afternoon so I didn't expect him to sleep easily). But the three hours or so I was at Starbucks with N@Wie mommies, finally meeting some who were just names for me for the longest time, was really a much-needed night off.

Funny thing though is the topics were mostly breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth diapering. Oh and high tuition fees :D  But hey, it was a MOMMY meetup!

It's true that most moms now are going at it alone, without the support and comfort of extended families. But it's also great that technology can bring together like-minded people who otherwise wouldn't have met. It's also great that you get to inspire, be inspired and exchange information without having to meet all the time... but some, you also get to consider as real friends.

I looked like I was from the urban poor but I glowed in the company of women friends tonight. And i'm sure it will help make me a better mom tomorrow.

And can I just say, I really appreciate how loving my hubby is?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012 Reflection

I have been  a mother for 5 years already (counting pregnancy days) and sometimes I cannot help but be amazed at how much I have changed, and stayed the same.

My temper is still short, I am still lazy, I seldom finish tasks and suck at time management.

And yet, I have also learned to count to ten half the time, to work all day and through the night just to get things done and manage my days around my sons' schedule.

I am still selfish.

But I have also been breastfeeding since 2007.

I am still very obstinate... and yet I have reinvented myself and embraced new ways of doing and being.

But the more important thing is that... my kids keep getting me to revisit my past, for patterns and understanding, while I look to the future with my hopes and dreams for them.

In a way, I think I have learned to take it a day a time... last Friday, Yakee put a bead up his nose which got stuck, and I had the grace to get amused at how typical it was (and thankful it wasn't that bad). Normally, I'd have gotten quite anxious and angry.

Having to let go of old notions is par for the course, too. When I was starting out, I had all these plans to make Yakee the brightest student there is... I wanted to teach him to read early and enrol him in all sorts of classes. But I am more relaxed now, just letting the boys unfold at their own pace. And I relish the fact that Yamee, at one and half years old, is still such a baby (in his swimming class, instead of crawling over the mat to me, he'd lay his head instead with the sweetest expression of sleep readiness).

I have had so many bad moments... moments I cannot be proud of and for which there is no excuse. But I believe the boys still know they are loved, know it in their bones, despite all of their mother's imperfections.

Therein lies the great possibilities... for them.

And my reward? Why, it's watching them unfold.

date is ironic since I never went into labor with them :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breastfeeding at a Feminist Church

 I know I look very dishevelled here already (and hubby more intent on finding fishballs didn't help me groom myself before the shot) but I really wanted a breasfeeding picture in front of Molo Church, touted as a feminist church because of the sixteen images of women saints lined up on both sides inside.

Unfortunately, as much as I want an array of photos showing how I breastfed in public in Visayas... I really don't have a lot. Hubs was again, more intent on capturing other things over me nursing his second son. I guess it's too normal to be interesting for him anymore (and I don't mean that with bitterness because he's also the first to say that he doesn't worry about Yamee's nourishment because he is still nursing from me).

Anyway, I wanted a picture here because I believe that breastfeeding is the embodiment of women empowerment. Why? Because you will trust that you are capable, and should there be stumbling blocks, that they are solvable. And for the life of me, I really can't think of anything more empowering than providing food that's coming out of you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yamee's Terrible Tantrums

I sometimes try so hard to remember if Yakee's tantrums were as terrible.


Yesterday, he spent about ten minutes outside our door crying. More like wailing, actually. It's not that I locked him out, he refused to come in but was crying because he was out. It was like that the whole day... to think he woke up just fine. I got super exhausted from listening to him. He simply doesn't know what he wants and would wail and wail and wail for any little thing.

I felt bad that he hasn't cottoned to baby signing like his Kuya, no matter how I try to teach him more words. I felt he was frustrated that I couldn't understand him. And of the times I could understand him, he wants something he cannot play with.


Hopefully the swimming lessons will tire him out enough in the next two weeks while I figure how best to handle him.

And hopefully, Big Brother doesn't aggravate the tantrums by provoking him further.

Swimming Lessons At Last

Today marked Yakee's third swimming lesson and Yamee's first.

Yesterday, it rained for the first twenty minutes of Yakee's class and I was really so stressed already that I was close to vowing off swimming lessons till they're a lot older. I am just really so scared that his asthma will be triggered or that his allergic rhinitis will get worse. See, both boys still have 'colds'.

But... happily enough, Yakee seems to be thriving. I just can't get close to take pictures because he loses his focus.

Yamee, on the other hand, though happy to be finally in the water is still such a baby and won't respond to the teacher's instructions... like crawl towards me. Instead, he'd lay his head on the pool mat. Cute only to me, really :)

For a while, I was feeling a little envious too about friends who live in condos with pools (or whose homes have pools) because they could dictate when the classes start and not expose their children to the germs of a community pool. Though Philippine Columbian feels generally okay to me, I doubt their pool is as clean as I want it to be for my kids. And I really think it's high time they install a high roof over that pool!

I tried searching for the type of roof I want and came upon phoenix pool repair instead which specializes in pool remodelling and construction. Now, I can't help but dream of having my own pool all the more! I'm sure every child will want one with slides... but I want something that looks like a pond of sorts, very tropical. I also want it to be attached to some sort of recycling system for the water.

Anyway, boys are now asleep... exhausted from their morning activities.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou, Trunki?


My mom's package hasn't come yet and I am really getting impatient. Not only is my son's Trunki there (it missed our Visayas trip), but also my puppet-making paraphernalia. And Yakee's ball-stick-bird books!

And because I had originally asked my sister to purchase a Trunki for us instead of makeup for me (I figured, what will I do with a $100 starter makeup kit when I seldom use any, and still actually have 4 lipsticks, 2 eyeliners and several palettes of eye shadow to go through) for the Visayas trip, I also don't really know what I'd do with it when it comes, haha. I'm afraid it might end up something i'd be kicking around too in our home, just to pave a way through all the chaos. I exaggerate because the boys generally know how to pack away, but still, every Mom has to stumble at least twice on some toy. That's a law of nature. And a Trunki could prove to be a big stumbling block!

Not to mention, a source of conflict for the two... but hey, I am not here to shield them from the realities of life.

I also had my sis buy that for Yamee because I wanted him to have something that he alone had or got first (since Kuya has paved the way for owning a lot of cool boy stuff previously). I don't care if he'd grow up owning an aluminum briefcase or preferring raggedy backpacks, I just want him to own something totally unncessary so that I can tell him someday that I made sure he didn't just have hand-me-downs (not that there's anything wrong with them per se, just that I also know how good it makes someone feel to have something that's just his). Plus, I want to sort of strike a balance and have him own something "cool" that Kuya will have to borrow, instead of being at the mercy of Kuya's kindness for everything.

Does that even make sense? Well, it does to me :D