Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
So...the nanny has gone on vacation (huhuhuhu). Yes, after 2 whole years she has decided to take a 1 week break. She lives a good 16 hours away from our city. And I must say, I am having a difficult time adjusting. In a sense I have been spoiled by this privilege of having a very reliable househelp / cook / babysitter. Not that I do not do any of these, I do - I cook and care for the kids. It's just something new to be taking care of and attending to so many things.
And for the first time in a long time, I have no energy to even stay up for at least 30 minutes at night to watch some extra television. My day starts at 5-6 AM (depending on what time Dash decides to light his light bulb eyes) and then I cook breakfast. While cooking, if I am not attending to Josh and Dash (while Jet fixes up), I fix up and Jet watches over the boys. Then breakfast comes. After which, I take a bath and get ready for work. Lucky if I arrive in the office by 8AM. By 11:30, I am on my way home to fix lunch and then back at the office by 1PM. I leave work by 5 - 5:30 and then reach home just in time to prepare dinner. While waiting for the food to be cooked, I wash the bottles and try to relax a bit. Dinner time comes. After dinner, Jet cleans up while I wash the dishes. By 8:30 I am beat. I wait for Dash to finally turn off his switches and off to dreamland he goes.
And then the next day comes...oh too quickly.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
It's not like I am proud of IT but I am proud of the fact that I survived and conquered and IT has molded me into the WHO I am today.
Growing up at home wasn't easy. I had an alcoholic Dad. At first, I could not understand why my Mom would tolerate Dad's drinking. His drinking affected pretty much how our day would revolve. We hardly had any "family outings."
On the other hand, I had great parents.
Minus the drinking, Dad was a very principled man. He was an intellectual. He was a voracious reader - 2 novels a day, 3 if he really did not have anything to do. He did crossword puzzles for the heck of finishing it. He would write his articles minutes before the press would close - most of the time intoxicated. He loved me and my Mom.
Mom was a giver. She spent 28 years teaching her passion - Psychology. Except for those she reprimanded for obnoxious behavior, her students loved her. She had the hugest heart in the whole world. She loved Dad. She loved me.
I was popular during our elementary years. 9 of us girls had a group. We were the meanest yet smartest girls in class. Come to think of it, I was always in the top 5 of our class.
When I got to highschool, I hated having to stay home. I always wanted to be out of the house. I would come up with excuses so that my Dad would allow me to go out - often times, I would use school as an excuse.
When I got to sophomore year, I was smoking and drinking. I cut class everyday. Towards the end of Sophomore year, I met a guy, let me call him 'the guy'. He was a year older and he became my first boyfriend.
Both of us were lost souls looking for a place in this world. Both of us misunderstood by many. We resorted to drinking and cutting class.
Shortly after my 18th birthday, I got pregnant by 'the guy'. I remember clearly, that was early September.I knew I got pregnant after 'it' happened. I refused to take a pregnancy test for the heck of confirming it. I was in denial. I tried talking to 'the guy' and tried asking him what his plans were. I couldn't get quite a straight answer from him. One day he'd tell me we would do this together but his actions would say otherwise. Other days he wouldn't want to see me, hide from me in fact.
I got home at 4AM and was shocked to see my Mom still awake, standing in the kitchen, light dimly lit, cigarette in one hand. And then she asked me "are you pregnant?" I pretended not to hear her and went straight to my room.
The next day, she came in to my room and embraced me. She told me "Lou, we are in this together. I won't leave you. But we have to be prepared to leave if Dad sends us away." I told her I was scared.
Mom eventually told Dad. Mom said, one afternoon, after finding out, Dad just walked under the rain. I was avoiding my Dad this whole time.
Dad called me to sit down. He said we had to talk. I was so freaked out. And then Dad said, "Have you chosen a crib? What about the pram?" And then Dad embraced me soooo tight.
(now i'm crying).
So what happened to 'the guy?' Well, my Mom called up his Mom and told her about the whole thing. Anyway, cut the long dang story short. Our parents talked and agreed that there would be no marriage but 'the guy' would be very welcome to be a part of every step of the way. From the pre-natal check ups to the changing of the diapers.
My Mom accompanied me to my first pre-natal check up. I went for my first ultrasound sometime in November 2000. My mom and I just had this feeling that it was going to be a girl. Baby looked healthy based on the ultrasound results. Expected date of delivery: June 11, 2001. I had a name for her, it was going to be Angelia Karle and her nickname would be Lia.
Mom and I went looking around for a crib. We ended up buying baby bottles and tie-sides. My cousin got me the What to Expect When You Are Expecting and a Girlfriend's Guide. Everyone treated me like a princess at home. My Mom accompanied me during my craving days. I loved steak. I could eat it 3 times a day. My OB gave me no restrictions on my diet as I was under weight by 5 lbs. I started drinking my milk and my vitamins. Mom and I started to look for maternity clothes that wouldn't make me look too shockingly pregnant. I was 18 for crying out loud.
December 12, 2000. Dad, Mom, 'the guy' and I had dinner at home. Shortly after 'the guy' left, I stood up and went to the bathroom. As soon as I sat down, there was blood on my undies. Bloody red. "Mom!!!!! I'm bleeding!" Dad hailed a cab and we all went to the hospital. We left a message at 'the guy's' house to inform him about what happened.
I spent the night in the hospital with my Mom. I was to have an ultrasound first thing in the morning. The bleeding would not stop. They gave me Duvadilan thru an IV drip.
Next morning, my OB came to see me. I asked her if the baby was going to be okay and she said she could not tell at this point. I went in for my ultrasound and demanded to know how the baby was from the radiologist. Radiologist said "we will forward the results to your OB."
OB came in to my room an hour later. She said, "Lou the baby did not grow from the last ultrasound you had 3 weeks ago."
Family and friends came. All of them embracing me and assuring me that everything would be okay. They kept reminding me to "fight for you baby."
Later that night, my Mom went to the caf to buy soda and chips. I was laying down and a close friend of mine was by my side holding my hand. The pain just kept getting more and more painful. When my friend left, I couldn't take the physical pain anymore. And then I looked up and said it, "Lord this is you child. " And then I pressed the buzzer in my room. The nurses came in, I told them I could not stand the pain anymore. My back and tummy were killing me. The doctor did an IE. Then the baby came out just as my Mom was walking thru the door.
I saw my Mom and told her "the baby is gone." I remember this scene so so clearly. Mom dropped everything she was holding, the chips and the soda. She ran to me and just said "anak!" (child). And then she embraced me.
I had a D&C a few hours later. I was so groggy.
The next day, I was discharged.
I did not know where to start over.
But I did. By God's grace I am here today and by faith, He will conitnue to see me through each day.
Today I am married to 'the guy' better known as Jet. We've been together for 10 years, living together for 6 years and married for 3 years.
We have a talkative, inquisitive, gobbling up everything, cartoon loving, superhero fanatic 5 year old pre-schooler and an adorable, food loving, energetic, cruising around the house 11 month baby boy.
Mom and Dad served their purpose in this world. They got me to where I am today. And that is why it was time for them to go.
Miss you Dad. Miss you Mom. Thank You.
While Preparing Dinner. Chopping the veggies.
Josh: Who will I marry when I grow big?
Froze. Fingers almost chopped off.
Me: Why? Why are you asking me that question? (Trying to sound as calm as possible)
Josh: I want to see who I will marry so that I will know.
Me: Well, we don't know yet.
Josh: But who? I want to see how she looks like.
Me: Jet!!!!!! Your son needs to ask you a question!!!!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
What is is with us people that we often are never content with what we have. There always has to be something we must complain about. I often look at other people's lives and envy what they have and wonder why I cannot have the same.
For this I am ashamed.
I am thankful for so many many things
- My All So Awesome God - By his mercy He has saved me and by His grace He will continue to carry me through.
- Love - I am thankful for the love that embraces me and my family, the love we share with each other and the love we share with people we care about and who care about us.
- My husband - though things may not always be great, I am thankful for having him in my life. The Lord has given me a man who will take care of me and who will love me beyond the day I am old and wrinkly.
- Josh and Dash - the 2 energetic boys the Lord has allowed me to take care of, love and enjoy while on this earth. Each day when I see my boys, I am reminded about the miracle of life and how blessed I am to have participated in that miracle.
- My family ( Aunts, In-laws, cousins and Uncles) - My family loves me, especially my Dad's family. Just thinking about how supportive they have been, brings tears to my eyes. They have never failed to support me and my family (financially and morally) and have always made me and my family feel loved even after Dad's passing. Although I have ranted in the past about my in-laws, I am thankful for having them in my life. I have come to love my sisters in law as my own sisters.
- Good Health - My family and I enjoy relatively good health. Aside from the common cold, cough, asthma attack, tummy pains we still are healthy. I am so ashamed about complaining about petty health issues when there are so many people who have more serious health problems but still look at life as beautiful. I am humbled.
- Our Home - No need to pay rent!
- My Job - Pays me more than enough to see us through our needs.
- My Husband's business - I am forever complaining about it not be a 'reliable' source of income as his business is based on sales but he still earns and that is what matters, right?
- Food on the Table - We eat 3 meals a day.
- Our Car - Although we do not have a car of our own which we can call 'our permanent car' (as hubby's business is buying and selling of cars), we always have at least 1 reliable mode of transport at any time of the day.
- Savings - Although not big at all, we have something in the bank.
- Debt-Free - Hubby and I have made it a point to remain debt-free. No loans, no credit cards. Thank You Lord.
- Material things - so many many things can fall into this category (clothing, shoes, cellphone, household appliances). I am just so thankful we can even afford to enjoy such things.
My list will go on and on. I am just so thankful to my Lord for he has protected me and my family, has seen us through the worst of times and yet loves me unconditionally.
What are you thankful for?
Friday, April 20, 2007
Basking in the sun with SIL.
Dried Fish, Sting Ray, Crabs and Fresh Octopus :)
As early as February 2006, my friends (of 17 years) and I began planning a beach getaway to
Boracay .We planned the trip for November and were able to get a great cheap deal on airfare and hotel accommodations. We were all so excited. One of my very punctual friends missed our 6AM flight and had to follow a few hours later - funny story. But none the less, we all made it to the island and had a blast!
THE tan line. I know. The story behind this: First day of beach loving - it rained! We all wanted to cry. So...the next day...at 7AM, we saw the sun. My girlfriends and I rushed outside to bask in the sun. And so as the story goes, we burned.Fun fun fun in the sun. Ahh, how I love the beach!
- I love her blog. Her stories often make me think and ponder on things we often take for granted. Someday I would want to meet her in person and talk with her about everything and nothing. She has 4 boys too! 4 boys people!
- A veteran blogger whose stories never fail to entertain me! I look forward to visiting her blog everyday.
5.Living In Perfect Chaos
- A fellow mommy who has 2 precious little girls.
- Mommy of a cute little boy. Found out we share the same 'favorite' books.
- A fellow Filipina living across the globe. She has 5 kids! Wow. I can relate to some of her posts - same cultural background maybe?
8.Pinks and Blues Girls
- A blog shared by a mother and 2 daughters and all kids and pets in between. Their comments always make me feel so loved.
9.The Story Of Holland and Eden
- A mom of preemie twins. Her strength has carried her whole family through the ups and downs of life.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
They gotta have one each now -- OR ELSE.
There is no way the little one will allow himself to be left out. He HAS to join the play. That's Josh with his bestfriend Miggy (son of my best friend). Josh and Miggy happen to be 1 month and 10 days apart.
Naughty Face!Visited the Family Cemetery Plot over the weekend as we remembered Dad's 3rd Death Anniversary.
I Love This Pic!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I can only speak for myself but from what I experienced, baby boys are voracious milk monsters. And although as Jennboree had mentioned, even if one develops a routine as my boys did, they drink a whole lot of milk. They do not mind being stuck or latched on the whole day- no kidding.
With my first born, Josh, I had no freaking idea what I was getting myself into the day he was born. When the nurses brought him to my hospital room for the first time, they informed me that he was already hungry. I was all groggy as I had just been wheeled back to my room after my c-section operation when they handed me the supposed 'bundle of joy.'And I was like? "And? What am I supposed to do again?" So yeah, feed the baby. I really thought it was going to be a breeze! My Mom never nursed me so her 10 cent worth of advice was unavailable at that time.
OK so I did try - with great difficulty! And as the nurses told me, it would take a little while before the supply would come rushing in. So I nursed and felt quite comfortable in fact. After a day, I think that was when I started to fill up. And oh man, as Josh sucked, it began to hurt more and more!!! Goodness - that's all I could say.
So anyway, it hurt real bad. Things worsened when we got home and I had to do the whole feeding thing alone at night with a sore wound on my tummy. And what was all that sweat all about! The first few weeks after I gave birth, I felt like the temp was always up! People at home would be in their comfy PJ's, all wrapped up and I would be in shorts and a tank top sweating my heart out as the little one fed and snuggled close to me.
And man, why were my breasts as hard as rock! I was enlightened a few days after when my Aunt informed me all about the engorgement process. Ack! The what!?! So only then did I realize that I had to develop some sort of feeding schedule for the little one.
I cried. Oh yes I did. Breastfeeding for me was more painful than my wound. Over and on top of my post partum blues. I tried pumping (with a breast pump and manually) but would only be able to pump out 4oz. And when I would be able to pump out such amount, the little one would refuse the silicon nipple!
I could NOT get the hang of it. I read too many articles about the benefits of breast milk and heard a LOT of stories from experienced mommies about why I should breastfeed but I just could not get it.
At night, I still could not get the perfect position to feed the baby while still laying down so in the middle of the night, I would sit up and feed. And feeding at some unholy time of the night just seemed like forever!
I tried mixed feeding but Josh refused the formula. It just had to be mommy's breast. But when he turned 3 months, I tried to shift to another brand and boy did he like it. I would feed him breast milk at night and would give him the bottle during the day. It worked well until one day, he refused my breast.
I breastfed Josh until he was 4 months.
A good 3 1/2 years had passed when I found out I was pregnant again. I was too excited to even remember what I went through the first time I had a baby.
The 2nd time I gave birth, my OB allowed me to rest a good 8 hours before she advised the nurses to hand the alleged 'bundle of joy' to me. And I remember so clearly when the nurse opened my hospital room and peeked. There it was, the little thing bundled in a blue blanket. Oh dear, here goes I told myself. The nurse said "Mommy Baby Karl is hungry." (His name is Dayshaun Karl and when he was born, everyone was calling him Karl. Dash picked up a few days after).
So yeah, Baby Karl hungry. Baby Karl eat. It took Dash a while to latch on. And sucked he did.
This time, I was very excited about the whole baby thing. Even breastfeeding. But a day or 2 after Dash was born, I was experiencing the pain all over again. This time, I called my OB and asked what was the matter and she told me Dash was not latching on properly. Anyway, she gave me detailed info on how he should latch on. After a few tries, Dash finally got the hang of it and that was the moment I told myself that this was the best thing in the whole wide world.
I read books and looked for articles on proper diet for 'Feeding Mommies' and always had good and happy thoughts while feeding.
I must say this was the highlight of my 2nd pregnancy. I just loved feeding him. In fact, I never developed a fixed schedule for him, I would feed by demand. I hooked myself on Desperate Housewives and would hold the little one close to me while he ate. I discovered how comfy it is to feed in the middle of the night without having to sit up. Like baby squirms, lift your shirt and VOILA! And the snuggling, wow it felt so wonderful!
I wasn't ashamed to feed in public. I would always have a big enough baby blankie in tow so when Dash would feed, I would just cover it all up and suck-suck-suck he went.
I 'ventured' into pumping when I had to go back to work. I did not use and breast pump but instead pumped manually, in fact it became pretty addicting. Too addicting that our freezer was packed with breast milk!
I figured because I was out 8 hours each day with an hour's lunch break only to feed the little guy, the milk production was no longer stimulated as it was the first time I started feeding thus the 'drying up.'
Even if I just fed for 6 months with the little one (sad, i know), I must say that those were the best days I ever experienced with my second boy.
Mommies out there, what is YOUR story?
Friday, April 13, 2007
Dad was a journalist all his life. And I think it need not be mentioned that unless you allow yourself to be bribed, journalists never earn big. But Dad died happy. Towards the last years of his life, he came full circle. He continued writing articles and touched base with his former college art group.
And this empty feeling, I think I have figured out what it is all about. I need that passion too. I need to have the
It is that certain feeling of uncertainty that is holding me back. How will my family survive? How will our needs be met? And it is that one step that I just need to make to help make a difference in this world-- in the life of my children. It is my desire that my 2 boys see their Mom do what she is passionate about. I wish not let them see their Mom being absorbed into the trap of mundaneness. I want my children to see the meaning of life -- that it is not all about the money but rather it is all about being able to, in your own little way, make a difference in this world.
Passion - that burning feeling in one's heart. That burning feeling in one's heart that gives us a reason to live.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Yesterday, while at sitting in front of my monitor, an eerie feeling just crept in. An eerie feeling that it was time to move on -- from my job, that is. So many times in the past, I felt like leaving this company because of office politics, boredom or burnout. But in the past months since I gave birth (and got to enjoy my 78 day maternity leave), I was able to overcome all those. Pretty well in fact. I felt re-energized and ready to push myself again. I was up and about, attending seminars and conferences, participating in office activities, joining committees and all. I even submitted project proposals, goals and objectives charts to my boss even without her asking me to do so! But yesterday was just plain eerie.
Unsuspectingly, it crept over me. And all I wanted to do at that point was cry.
I am now wondering what the heck I am still doing here. I feel that there are more important things for me to do outside than sit here from 8-5 and wonder why I am doing so. I no longer feel that drive. I want to push myself and be pushed, not in a bad way, but to the point where I can see that I am working towards something.
For a long time I have been contemplating on doing volunteer work at the cancer ward or touching base with a support group for cancer patient caregivers. Now that would give much more meaning.
But what about the family's needs?
If I leave, I will be able to concentrate on finishing my Master's degree. Or finally working on our papers for leaving.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Things have been doing fine since you left. Shortly after you left, I graduated. Yes Dad, I finally did! I cried that night because I knew how much you wanted to see me receive my diploma. And I wanted you to see me knowing that, that simple accomplishment would ease a little bit of the pain in your heart that I caused you all those years. Also, Jet found a job. And yes he did buy that first can of milk you always told him to buy as soon as he received his first paycheck. And he did feel so good about it.
Right after you left, I decided to take the time to stay home with Mom. Jet, Josh and I moved in with her by the way. So the first few weeks after you left were spent doing general cleaning around the house. Mom offered us your room (I hope you don't mind) and she moved into my old room.
2 months after you left, I found a job. I have been working for the same company since.
10 months after you left, Mom was diagnosed with cancer. Lung cancer by the way - yes caused by her smoking. I know. I'm sure she told you all about it. But anyway, I want to tell you all about it from my point of view. SO she was diagnosed and Tita Fe and the rest of Mom's siblings decided that treatment in Manila would be the best option. She went for 6 cycles of chemotherapy. It was a difficult time Dad. But I don't know how you would have taken all of it if you were still around. I am thankful things were orchestrated the way they were because in a sense you were protected from the pain. Anyway, as true love dictates, from my understanding, Mom could not bear living without you. So 1 1/2 years after you left, she decided to leave too and follow you.
11 months after you left, Josh started pre-school. Oh it would have been such a blast for you to hear the stories he had to share after coming home from school. And guess what, for the 1st few weeks of school, he would always eat the food of his classmates. I know! So far he has grown into an inquisitive little pre-schooler. He starts PrepI this May 2. Oh Dad if you could see him right now, he has grown so much.
2 years after you left, your other grandson came into this world. Yep, yet another boy. I know! You would have been thrilled. I know. Well this little one seems to have taken after me - I think! We call him Dash by the way.
Oh gawd Dad, I know I am not much with words when it comes to opening up to you. But I miss you so so much. You always protected me and a lot of times I still find myself looking for that protective someone who would do the same but no one will ever compare to you. I remember the embrace you would give me right after every one of our talks. Our talks where you would reprimand me for something I did but in the end you would always always forgive me. No one will ever compare to you.
I'm sorry for hurting you Dad. For not exerting effort to understand you. For taking you for granted. I miss you so much. I still find it hard to move on, I guess I never really will. I am sorry for those times I disobeyed you and disrespected you. When I think of it now, I want to take all of those times back.
It's been three years Dad and I still think of you everyday. I miss you.
I Love You Dad.
Check these out:
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
I can only speak for myself. But I remember, when my Mom told me she had cancer, for the first time in my life 'uncertainty' just felt too real. Too real that I was scared to sleep. What would happen tomorrow? I didn't want tomorrow to arrive because I did not know what tomorrow would bring. I did not know what the 'next steps' were.
When finally Mom began chemotherapy, 'hope' started to paint itself in my heart. So many people encouraged us, showed so much support, gave financial support. Suddenly, I could not Wait for tomorrow. In my mind, the battle was finished. The cancer cells would disappear and Mom would finish the battle. She would see me grow into a young woman. She would enjoy her grandchildren until a good old age.
When Mom had her CT-scan after her 6th chemo cycle, scans yielded very good results. From a tumor the size of a golf ball, only .3 mm was left. Praise God! Good riddance tumor! But she had to go for an additional 45 radiation sessions to make sure whatever was left of tumor completely disappears. And then it hit me, I was reminded that remission takes 5 years before you are declared cancer free. How do you live those 5 years of waiting? In fear? Hopeful? Indifferent? What if the cancer returned? I could no longer imagine re-living the whole cancer thing again.
I guess I went ahead of what was actually happening. More than half way through Mom's radiation treatment, she got sick. They could not quite pin point if it was Tuberculosis or Pneumonia. Since she had to stop her radiation treatment in the meantime, they decided to do another CT-scan. Results were not good. The remaining tumor did not shrink at all and just remained the same.
Instead of fighting it out, Mom became very depressed. She no longer saw the sense in finishing the battle. That's how I saw it.
Her pneumonia worsened. Just sitting up from her hospital bed was too tiring for her. I would cry when she would be asleep. I would silently cry out and ask why He was doing this to Mom. To me.
One day, in the hospital, in between gasps for breath, Mom asked me if I would be okay if she left already. And in between my tears, I assured her not to worry.
I asked myself, why was I pretending to be tough?
Her last week in the ICU was the worst. At this point I don't think I am ready to write about it yet.
She decided to leave without me being by her side. Thanks Mom, I don't think I would ever get over it if I were by your bedside.
How does one truly move on? Where do I start?
Josh is on summer break before he goes back to school on May2. So with the energy of a 5 year old, keeping him at home = not a good idea. We have decided to enroll him in swimming lessons and basketball. I'm pretty excited about this.
The little one has a tooth!!! Lower left side. I saw it over the weekend when he decided to scream his heart out. Couldn't take a picture of it though - baby never keeps still more so if I try to hold him down and open his mouth just to snap at that itty bitty tooth. Maybe in a few days.
GREAT NEWS! The nanny has decided not to study this June!! I am so blessed! But she has asked for a week's vacation. Freaking out. Still do not know how our schedules will look.
Pray for me phuleez? Got my application forms for my Master's degree (MA Management). Nervous about the GMAT. Freaking out actually. But if I take MA Social Dev't, I won't have to take the GMAT. SO....hmmm.
Sister in Law is on summer break and has decided to stay with us for the summer. Great idea. Because she can help out with the baby sitting. She will be going to college in June.
Jet and I continue to weigh the options of finally working on our papers needed to move out (possibly Canada). Need to secure better future of the boys. It is hard though, just thinking about having to leave one's comfort zone. Freaking out again.
It's Holy Week and I can't freaking wait for the 4 day break! aahh. I so love vacations.
I know, I worry too much. Do you?