Thursday, April 30, 2009

It'll All Get Better

I'm finding it hard to believe that one day, I will look back at all this --shaking my head and laughing.

With my 1st grader back in school, mornings at home have become a bit more hectic. At 6 in the morning it seems like there is so much to do. When we finally drop off the grade schooler in school my list of things to do suddenly becomes longer. There's laundry to do and folding of last weeks laundry has not yet been done. I open our ref and find that its almost empty. How do squeeze in a quick trip to the grocery? The baby hasn't taken a bath. Lunch has to be cooked. My 3 year old is asking for milk and he doesn't want the nanny to make it for him, it has to be me. The baby is crying--he's hungry. I finally sit down to feed and think of lunch. In 2 hours my 7 year old gets home from school. Hubby is out. Who will pick him up? When he finally comes home, homework greets me. We sit down to do it. My 3 year old is demanding for attention. I'm feeding the baby. I get a message on my cell phone, it's the office asking so many questions and doing follow ups-- I'm thinking, how will my boss ever survive without me and yet give me so little credit?. My head is spinning. It's almost dinner time and I haven't thought of anything to cook yet. There's cleaning up to do after eating and kids to wash up before sleeping. I try to watch TV but thoughts of the next day haunts me. I sort of wish I could get a head start so that tomorrow wont be as hectic. So I sort out the laundry. It's late and the baby is sleeping. The kids are winding down. Just when I'm about ready to sleep, the baby wakes up. So I feed while watching the late night news.

It's morning. I slept. Did I?

It's crazy.

I look forward to looking back at all this -- smiling...grateful that all this happened.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Aside From The Baby This Is what Keeps Me Busy

This was taken a month ago, a week after I gave birth. And since I am so obsessed about saving up enough breast milk, I now have 12 bags in the freezer. I can store more if I had more space. On an average, my baby consumes 1 bag of 6 ounces in 4-5 hours. If and when I leave the house, I am only gone for that span of time.

I have to start storing more. As much as I can.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Of Importance To Me

In 4 weeks, I will be going back to work (gosh I hates saying that). At this point, hard as it is to imagine, I don't plan to stop breastfeeding my baby and me, being the ideal me that I am, plan to continue purely breastfeeding him. Deep down inside, I am clueless about how to do that given that I will be gone for 4 hours in the morning and 5 hours in the afternoon and will only be home for my 1 hour lunch break. Now that I am home and still on maternity leave, I spend most of my time nursing the baby and pumping while I have time so that I can store enough milk bags in the freezer for his feedings when I have to leave him at home.

But how should I / can I ensure that he will always have enough milk when I am gone when the time comes when I am back at work. I have decided that I will spend my morning and afternoon breaks pumping so that I get to bring home at least 1 bottle a day. But pumping isn't all that easy. Sometimes there is a lot and sometimes well, its just simply dry. I know it will be a lot different when I am back at work as when I am here at home free to do all the pumping I want / can.

I pump manually and it does take a lot of my time and it is tiring. I never owned a breast pump. But right now I am thinking of getting one. If I get one, I want to get an electric breast pump. Should I? Given that an electric breast pump is a bit pricey and I may not be able to use it in the future anymore. Are all electric breast pump effective? Is there a particular brand that seems better than the rest? Any suggestions? Opinions?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Boo Hoo

Yes I am an over aged cry baby today. All 3 kids are sick. Did I say that clear enough? ALL THREE KIDS ARE SICK. My 7 year old has asthma. My almost 3 year old has a cough. My 7week old baby has the colds. Sick kids are no fun AT ALL no matter what you say especially a sick baby.
We're bringing them to the doctor today even if the weather is terrible and hopefully they get the necessary meds the soonest.

Boo Hoo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My 1st Grader

It was Josh's 1st day of school yesterday. We all (me, hubby, Dash and Arrow) brought him to school-- I brought him all the way to his classroom. Of course I was reminding him about every possible reminder I could think of all the way to his classroom. Nagger me.

Now as you can see, I had to discuss certain guidelines with him, particularly:And this is what's fgiving me the cold feet at the moment:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Last Day Before His First Day

Today was my 7 year olds last day of vacation. Tomorrow, he enters 1st grade. Let me just tell you how sad this makes me-- he'll be gone from the home for a whole 6 hours. His little brother keeps telling him "No Josh, no go school please."

So I thought of picking up his cousins and bringing them over so that they could spend the day playing and expelling their energy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Absolutely Fabulous!

Last year, I "met" Heather and I am so glad I did. She gave me this award:

Thanks Heather!!

Now, it's my turn to award this fab award to fabulous people I have met through blogging.
Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award.

1. Karen of A Day In The Life...One Glass At A Time

2.Rachel of Heart of Rachel

3.Sophia of Life Is What You Make It

4.Chrissy of Random Thoughts and Musings From The Island

5.Shoshana of Unseal My Lips

6.Cathy of Me and My World

7.Allison of The Story of 5

8.Sassy Mom of Sassy Mom's Corner

9.Audrey of Mom Generations

10.Adrian of Adrian's Crazy Life

Thank you for the friendship Ladies!!

A Good Nights Sleep

The one thing I realized since having kids is that I have never slept straight through the night since 2002. I am amazed. There's always a reason I have to get up a couple of times through the night. To prepare a bottle of milk, to check on a sick kid's temperature, to change the linens of a wet bed, to burp a baby, to change a wet nappy. The list can go on. And sometimes I wonder how it would feel like to sleep through the night without any disturbance. Will I be able to adjust back to that? I've pretty much gotten used to it but I can just imagine how wonderful it will be to not have to wake up at odd hours of the night.

Having 3 children has made me realize how different my life is now from 10 years ago to even just yesterday. Slowly I have learned so many things I never understood with my parents before. It has driven me to want to be a better person though I falter and fall at times, my children have given me reason to stand up and try again.

Many times I wonder if I'm doing it right. Maybe not. Probably not. Even after 3 kids, there is still so much for me to learn. Each day I pray for added wisdom and discernment. This world we live in freaks the heck out of me especially when I think of the future of my boys. I remind myself I need to relax more. There are certain things I cannot control -- should not control.

There are big and small questions to be answered and most of the time the small ones are the hardest to find the answers to.

Many things change. From sleeping straight through the night and everything else in between.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Me Jane Queen of the Jungle

I love mothering my 3 boys. But you know what? It can get lonely in the jungle too. In the midst of all the jumping and wrestling and loud laughter, it can get lonely. Getting the boys to sit down -- and just sit down -- even for just 5 minutes, never happens. They have to be constantly moving or squirming. I have learned to have fun with Spiderman action figures, I have learned to play with toy soldiers more so be a soldier myself while crawling on the floor and "looking for the enemy" and I have learned to enjoy bug hunting in the garden. Seriously, I never did any of those when I was a kid -- except for the bug hunting. I can get them to sit down and color and read but I have to make sure that after that we play a physical activity or else they would say that "Mommy is boring."

Yes, I have learned to live with boys. But I miss tea time with the dolls, combing Barbie's hair. I find myself looking for someone to talk to about girly stuff -- like what new hairdo would fit me, how the pair of shoes displayed at the store looked so fab, what pair of jeans to wear with my new top. I find myself looking for someone who I could talk to regardless of how little she is-- who would understand in some little way what I was saying.

Too much testosterone around me can be exhausting. Maybe I just need to recharge.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lessons Learned .... More To Be Learned

Regardless of how many parenting books one gets to read, the best lessons on parenting are learned when you become a parent yourself. Here are a few things I have learned over the years

1. It's OK for baby to cry - When I was a new parent, I felt guilty and scared whenever my baby would cry. Guilty that I may be doing something wrong and scared that something might be the matter. Check on the diaper, feed baby, make sure baby is burped -- check all possibilities that may be causing baby's restlessness. If all is ruled out, then maybe it's just a really bad day for baby. We have our bad days and so does baby! Try calming baby down by singing to him or cuddling him.

2. Our temperament affects baby's temperament -- Giving birth is not easy. Recovering after giving birth while caring for a newborn is harder. Hormones can still be all over the place thus affecting our moods. But remember, baby can feel the tension and can become uptight too. Try your best (though it may seem impossible, but still try) to relax and have more positive thoughts. Baby will be calmer and will have a more pleasant disposition.

3. Establishing a routine earlier on goes a long way - This works especially well for working moms. Since I was always "on the go" with all my 3 kids, I had to have a fixed bath time for them (before leaving for school and then later on work), fixed feeding schedule, fixed nap time and fixed going to bed time. This allowed me to finish more things because baby;s schedule was more or less predictable. Although a lot of adjusting had to be done in the beginning, eventually both baby and I learned to stick to the schedule!

4. Chicken broth for the sick IS NOT an old wives tale - I have to say, this is by far the best remedy when children -- even mommies-- are down with the colds or flu.

5. Apple cider vinegar for sore throat -- mix 1 teaspoon in a glass of lukewarm water. Drink. The next day, you'll forget you even had a sore throat.

6. Each child is different = different parenting styles - I found out that what you used to do with your first baby does not necessarily mean it'll work with your second or third. Each has a different temperament so you will just have to "experiment" and see what works best for them.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

On His Future

Josh: Mom?

Me: Yes?

Josh: Know what? When I grow up I don't want to have a husband.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's What's Within Me

There is something I am feeling rig
ht now which I can't quite seem to explain. I cannot find the right words to describe exactly how I am feeling. Whiny is the last thing I want to be but keeping it all bottled up inside may resort to disaster. What then is this?

Maybe I was made to believe that when I was growing up, all eyes were on me. Realistically speaking now, when I think about it, not everything is about me. I often feel its paranoia, maybe. And maybe, long ago, expectations were made too high leaving me with the feeling that I was just never good enough. That I may end up disappointing the majority. Maybe. I am speculating.

This brings me to a hodge podge of feelings. Frustration. Loneliness. Feelings of inadequacy. Anger.

I'm searching for a sense of security. I am striving to find my balance.

Why am I so concerned with what others have to think? Instead of concerning myself with whether I am happy or not?

Am I being selfish? Or inconsiderate?

Can't they just give me a break?!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Dad's Daughter

* I am reposting this as part of my way of remembering my Dad on his 5th year death anniversary.

I did want to let you know Lou that when I read your blog entries I am reminded so much of your dad. You write in a similar style and with lots of emotion. And he would especially like your blogging.

Apparently, my dear cousin made me cry just by what she said. She sent me an email and I found myself crying at 8 this morning. In the office. Good thing I was alone. Seriously. She said so many many other things that completely broke me - in a good way, that is. And yes, it does feel good to be broken. I think I really needed that.

And I pondered on that line, that I remind her of my Dad through my writing. It brought me to realize that indeed, I am my Dad's daughter. And I feel like writing about him, the relationship we shared, my growing up years with him. Bear with me. Do not read on if you wish.

He was a very passionate man. He loved what he did best - writing. Later on in his life, as he came full circle (shortly before he died) he went back to painting and rejoined his old college buddies and revived their art group Tahong Bundok . (Do check the link, I was pleasantly surprised when I googled it and saw this page. My Dad is the man on the far left with his hand on his hip). Anyway, yes he loved writing. Thinking deeper, aside from his love and passion for writing itself - he knew he was a good writer, but I'm feeling that deep down inside, he loved it also because he looked up to his dad (my Grandpa )very much and strived to be much like him. He worked very closely with my Grandpa when the Midland Courier was still theirs. Later on, my Dad set up the Cordillera Post which eventually closed in 1991. Growing up, I was used to the smell of the press - the ink, the paper. With the introduction of technology, my Dad chose to stay away from it and stuck to writing his articles using his reliable typewriter and would proof read and lay out the paper the old traditional way.

Dad always reminded me of what I could be - because I guess that's what he also did to remind himself of what he could do - and how good I could be with what I could do. He cared greatly for the people he loved and even for the people he did not know. I remember once he came home with no money left and he told me and my Mom that he gave it to this young boy who dropped by their art gallery but who was very poor but had great potential in painting. He loved his family. He was a good man.

I still hurt and wonder why he had to leave a bit too early. He was only 55. But again, as I think deeper, I am thankful for what he has left me. A big part of who I am is who he was - I think. We're both uptight people. Yes, especially in a crowd of strangers. Often times, I find it hard to relax and find some things funny at once. We both like things planned. Although lately I have been trying to be this spontaneous "let's go on a vacation in an hour" type, it is difficult. We find it difficult to adjust to abrupt / sudden changes. Obviously, we both love writing but I am not such a voracious reader as he was. We struggle with wanting to be the best, with pleasing other's yet still not losing ourselves in the quest to be so. And we both are very emotional people. We hurt and when we do we wallow in it. That's it, I got it from him. When there is something inside of us, there is a need to bring it out. But in this aspect, I guess I am able to do it a bit more easily.

With the things going in my life today or decisions made, I often find myself thinking and asking such like "Dad would have thought... Dad would have said... Dad would not have wanted..." I know it shouldn't always be that way, but probably for now that I am still in the very early stages of my life where I am completely trying to be an independent person, thoughts like that do help me.

This afternoon, I heard 2 excited boys and the sound of the typewriter keys. They found my Dad's typewriter in the storage room. It was a pleasant sight. A warm one in fact. And I was again reminded that my Dad will live through my boys as well.

I am still at a point where I am trying and wanting to define who I am, but nothing will change the fact that I am my Dad's daughter.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Past Month

Exactly a month ago, I gave birth to my 3rd baby boy. 28 years ago, my parents got married. 5 years ago, my Dad had just 1 more day to live before succumbing to liver cirrhosis.

Quite an eventful day for me. a mix of emotions. Feelings of happiness and loneliness.

Imagine, in just 11 months, my youngest son will be turning 1. There are times when I wish he would grow up fast -- with more waking hours during the day, less diaper changes, "playtime," etc. But then I remind myself to savor and enjoy every minute of his babyhood because this will never happen again.

I'm glad I don't seem to have any symptoms of post partum blues. My emotions seem to be in place with just a few sobs and tears when bumps can't seem to be avoided along the way.

My 2 older boys seem to be loving their littlest brother more and more each day. Each with their own concerns about the baby -- my 7 year old always concerned about whether the baby is hungry while my 3 year old constantly checking on whether the baby needs a diaper change or not.

Sometimes though, feelings of inadequacy kick in. I find myself concerned about what other people might say or what other people might think about how I am as a mother. And these thoughts affect me.