Family and Relationships · Motherhood

My first Mother’s Day

Mas masaya pala magcelebrate ng Mother’s Day pag ikaw mismo ang mommy. Kumbaga ikaw ang bida. Hahah! My first Mother’s day was filled with food, flowers, sweet messages, and of course, a whole lot more of hugs and kisses. Parang birthday ko lang ulit! Hahah ^_^

I started the day by serving in the 6am mass at SPP. Then we already got ready to go to SM Megamall. Aljhon had to go to Kalayaan early because it was also their Fiesta Mass, so I had to do all the preparation by myself. Feel na feel ko lang nun ang hirap ng pagiging Nanay. Hahaha :p

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Twinning with baby Ella at St. Peter Parish. Thank you Lord for making me a Mom ๐Ÿ˜€

We planned on having lunch at Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant. We arrived at 11am but still we are 4th in line. That had been my 2nd time with Mesa, and I observed that smaller groups are faster to be seated than bigger groups (you are ordered in line but the order by which you’ll be seated is according to how many you are in a table). Also, the SM North branch is better in terms of interior design and lighting, though I could say that the servers are friendlier (they smile more!) in Megamall.

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Kami naman ngayon ๐Ÿ˜€ This lunch is brought to you by the magigiting na empleyado ng pamilya. Heheh. Love you Mama and Papa! โค
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For a family of 71/2 (Ella included haha), this feast was very affordable for a less than 4k budget. Very recommended: Crispy Pata and 2-way Laing ๐Ÿ˜€

After dining, we strolled around the mall and bought shoes for Mama and Papa, as well as shirts from Spoofs (wala sa budget kaya lagot). Before heading home, Mama treated us sundaes and blizzards. ^_^

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Ice cream!!!!
Thank you ate Joan for the gift ๐Ÿ‘•๐Ÿ’‹

This is my first Mother’s day and my only regret that day was Aljhon was not around to celebrate with me. I was actually preparing myself not to expect anything from him, because I know he doesn’t recognize special occasions. But honestly, it did make me sad. Kasi nga first mother’s day ko diba ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But anyway, he’s him, and urging him to do something he doesn’t want will just put us both in a difficult situation. Wag na lang pilitin. Hahah.

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After all the pagod of his busy day, Daddy Aljhon gave me this self-arranged flowers. Kahit galing ito sa fiesta, thanks Daddy :*

I realize that Mother’s Day is also about the little one (it’s all about the children nowadays, isn’t it?). I thank God for giving me Ella because she is the one who makes me a mother. Because of her, I learned that I’m capable of a love so deep that even I was not aware of before. I changed- physically, mentally, emotional, socially. My priorities shifted- from being self-centered to having Ella as the center of my and Aljhon’s universe. For her, I was able to know how it felt to have genuine fear for the first time (when she had dehydration fever at 4 days old, or when I once woke up without her by my side), but as well as how strong I can be especially in the face of sleeplessness, power pumping sessions, and/or immunization (seeing Ella cry because of the injection would always break my heart). I would never know the real strength I have in me since I have to go back to work, all the while patiently and painstakingly building my breastmilk stash, and then take care, spend time, and play with Ella after getting home. I would never know how tough and resilient I am until the fatigue of being a working Mom and wife, weariness of life in general, and a little bit of PPD on the side, kick in but here I am- still alive, feeling grateful even, right now. I would never how great love can truly move and change me, until I have a little baby in my arms, and I swore to God I would live the rest of my days protecting her and making her happy. God have given me the best gifts of life, family, service, work- but what I would always be proud of would be being a Mother.

Motherhood

Ella’s Baptism

Welcome to the Christian family, Rafaella Jesusa! โค

Last August 20, baby Ella was baptized into Catholicism. We feel extremely proud as parents for we believe that baptizing Ella into our faith is the start of her journey of becoming an even greater servant than we are. As I reflect back on the joyous occasion, I finally understood what my mother often told us: whether we become successful doctor or teacher or lawyer or what other profession in the future, her success as a parent is measured not by these titles but by how well we are as a person. Material possessions don’t matter, for what’s really important is that she is able to bring back to God the sons and daughters He has generously lent to her. As I look at my own Ella, I realize that what I really wanted for her is the same thing- I believe in her capabilities and I know that God has indeed great plans for my daughter, but wherever life may bring her, what’s truly important for me is she will be able to always live up to the words we have uttered in her Christening day. What truly matters is she become a Godfearing and kindhearted person who makes this world a better place in her own little but unique ways.

The reception was held at Jollibee Tandang Sora. We opted for the Big order only (no program/games/souvenirs) since the store was kind enough to let us use their party area from 11:30-1:30pm free of charge. It was also a good idea for we know beforehand that we’ll be coming in late (the baptism ceremony was from 11-12nn) and there were no children to play the games. We just rented a photobooth so that guests can do something after having their lunch as well as bring home a souvenir from Ella’s baptism. Reservation with Jollibee was very simple and fast (we reserved 3 weeks before our event) but I think the process still depends on the store.

Motherhood · Work

When you need to work but you’re now a Mom (and vice versa)

I am finally back to work today.

That means no more mornings to face these:

And I will now be able to actually enjoy a hot cup of coffee

But then, no more lazy mornings cuddling with this little one

It breaks my heart to realize that just when I’m starting to get around our daily routine in taking care of Ella, as well as be more attuned to what her cries mean, my maternity leave has now ended. The past two months has indeed taught me how difficult it is to be a homemaker. Keeping the house clean, tending to the laundry, clearing the dishes, and doing other household chores (mine do not include cooking, thank God! We eat with the parents, heheh) while attending to the needs of a very dependent newborn are all too dauntful and tiring, at times. Multi-tasking is the key in keeping the baby happy and satisfied while maintaining the tidiness in our home as well as the sanity in my head. But while all this housewife thing absolutely deserves more respect and acclamation, I still choose to get back to my work as a Guidance Counselor.

My students prepared a little surprise for me๐Ÿ’•

Please no Mom-shaming here, but my heart just feels more at peace when I know I also bring something to our family table. I believe that in order to become the best mother for baby Ella, I must also become the best person that I can possibly be- and that means juggling all my potential to take care of Ella in my own pace and timing as well as to do things that make me grow as an individual. I love my family, I love my Ella, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. But aside from the fact that we need our work for financial stability, I also need my work for my own growth and development.

I feel no defensiveness whatsoever in making this blog post. I also don’t need people telling me how to be a mother to my child, as I don’t promote the way that I do. Every mother is honorable and what she does is irreplaceable. Let her be the Parent that she wants and I know she is already the greatest in every possible way.

Married life · Motherhood

Of life and reminiscing last weekend

#GorioPH decided to finally let the sun shine last Saturday so Aljhon and I took the chance to take Ella to her first out-of-bahay experience.

Aside kasi from attending Sunday mass in the neighborhood chapel and her first checkup in UST, this is our first pasyal as a family. I am somewhat hesitant to take baby Ella out for fear of her getting infection, and I am also not really looking forward to nurse in public. But I am also getting itchy to go out myself and eat out again. So we went to the mall, bought a carrier for Ella and had an early dinner. Happy mommy na ako!ย 

Though parang hindi masyadong happy ang aming Baby๐Ÿ˜› Hahahah!ย 

I was very thankful for Ella was behaved while we ate inside the restaurant. She had been irritable and colicky the past few days (huhuh) so I was afraid that she might throw a crying fit while in the mall, but she just quietly observed her new surroundings when she woke up then breastfeed calmly back to sleep. Again, I am still no expert on this, but I just would like to share my learnings on how we had a no-fuss outing with a two-month baby:

  • I planned ahead. Being an OC that I am, I made sure I knew where we’re headed, what are the activities we’re going to do, where we’ll eat exactly, and approximately what time we can get home. While this is no-brainer, I just think that being this “organized” to schedule can make a big difference on what things to bring and more importantly, what you can expect from your gala. By planning ahead, I also have a heads up on when will my baby need to feed. And that leads to my second learning-
  • I fed the baby right before heading out of the house. I think this vital measure made our plan of having a peaceful pasyal possible and saved us from a hungry, crying little one. Because she feeds every 1-2 hours, I only nursed her once when we went out. And this helped me to achieve learning #3-
  • I relaxed and just paid attention to the three of us. Well, I am an introvert and I have this bad habit of overthinking what others may say or think about what I am doing (the Spotlight effect) – thus, what concerned and freaked me out the most is breastfeeding in public. But actually, I learned that when your baby is right there wide-eyed looking at you, expecting to be nursed, there’s no more introversion, spotlight effect, or any shame at all. Everything just takes a back seat. And though I honestly felt awkward at first, my baby and her needs are always the topmost priority. And that makes me brave and proud to breastfeed my child even in public.

In addition, I was able to return to some activities I had forgone when I entered the last trimester of my pregnancy with Ella. ย Aljhon and I attended the Sunday mass at POLP (we didn’t bring Ella because it was raining) and I rode the motorcycle on the way home. I missed riding, going to POLP, and most especially having some solo time with the hubby. I am not complaining, but taking care of Ella requires a lot- if not all- of time, and though we may not admit it, our life nowadays totally just revolve around her.

Doing all those things again (and writing this blog post) makes me think of how I also miss my life before Ella. But of course I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world. I already had a fair share of the single life, and what I have now with Aljhon and Ella is everything I wanted and all I ask for.

Reviews

Dahil Hindi ko Nakita

Kita kita movie poster. ยฉGoogle Images

Isa. Isa ang pelikulang ito sa mga bagay na nagpamukha saking change has come, indeed. Ang pagiging nanay, babaguhin at babaguhin talaga ang mga routines at perspective mo sa buhay, sa ayaw mo man o hindi. Pero isa akong masaya at mabuting Ina. Isang beses ko lang pinag-isipan kung sasama ba kong manuod ng pelikulang ito o iwanan at ipaalaga sa iba ang beybi ko.

Dalawa. Sige na, oo na. Hindi pala isa, kundi dalawang beses kong pinag-isipan. Did it make me a horrible mother now?

Tatlo. Tatlong beses ko pa naman pinilit si Jona na manlibre ng sine, tapos ako pa palang di makakasama. Pero dibale. May higit tatlong paraan pa naman para mailibre nya ako. #tatlongliboparasabinyagniBabyElla

Apat. Apat na oras wala ang mga kapatid at Mama ko sa bahay kahit pa napakalapit lang ng SM samin. Apat na oras ang ginugol nila para sa pelikulang ito, pero sabi ni Mama, hanggang bago daw sya matulog ay iniisip nya pa rin yung mga nangyari kay Lea at Tonyo. Ganun nya ka- #feels yung movie.

Lima. Limang minuto tuloy kaming late sa Misa kinabukasan, dahil panay pa ang kwentuhan namin tungkol sa mga plot twists kesa ang umalis na agad.

Anim. Anim na beses ko din kasing kinulit ang kapatid ko para magshare sya sakin ng mga spoilers at ano ba talaga yung twist sa dulo. Sorry Lord (6x).

Pito. Pitong araw na ang lumipas mula nang unang nilabas sa mga sinehan yung pelikula. Ilang araw pa kaya ang hihintayin ko bago magkaroon ng HD nito sa internet?

Walo. Walong beses na ata akong nakabasa ng ganitong listahan sa mga blog posts at status sa facebook. Pero alam kong higit pa sa walo ang mga taong nakitawa at nakiiyak sa dalawang bida. Higit pa sa walo ang natuwa at nainlove kay Empoy. Higit pa sa walo ang nagsabing simple pero maganda ang pelikula, na may pag-asa pa din ang Philippine cinema na magkaroon ng mga palabas na hindi lang puro commercial, pero may laman at kurot sa puso. Yung tipong meron kang mababaon paglabas mo ng sinehan, dahil napag-isipan talaga yung storya.

Siyam. Sana sa pangSiyam na blog post o status na mababasa ko tungkol sa movie na ito, meron nang nakapansin na isang stalker si Tonyo. Batuhin nyo na ko ng tinapay dahil wala kong karapatang ijudge ang inyong leading Man nang di ko pa napapanuod yung movie, pero stalking ang ginawa nya kay Lea. Isa syang stalker na may ready-ng Banana costume sa bahay.

Sampu. Magkakaroon din ako ng mas matinong listahan ng Sampung realizations pag nakita ko na ang Kita kita. Sa ngayon, eto muna habang inuubos ko ang aking pang-Sampung kape habang nag-aalaga sa aking Sampunging beybi. (Joke langโœŒ Pangalawang kape pa lang ako, at hindi sumpungin ang baby ko๐Ÿ˜›)

ยฉGoogle Images

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August 3 UPDATE: Nagkita-kita na din kami sa wakas nila Tonyo at Lea. Kahit di na ko nabigla sa mga napanood ko, #feels ko pa din yung pelikula. Thank you KZ.๐Ÿ’”

Motherhood

A Month to Remember

Ella turned 1 month old yesterday.

Being a newbie Mom that I am, the past first month was crucial, terrifying, and memorable, not just for me but for the whole family. While Aljhon and I were both in tip toes to keep this tiny human being breathing and satisfied, I know both our families (especially the Lolos and Lolas) were also in the lookout to keep us sane and surviving, without putting too much pressure and intrusion. I know I couldn’t have survived it without their help and reminders.

And praise God for our sweetie pie has always been a healthy and happy baby. I am a proud Mama to share her milestones (and some unsolicited tips for any new Moms who might be reading this) for this first month:

  • Feeding. Ella is breastfed since day 1. But my “hakab” story doesn’t have a sweet beginning. On my little one’s first 2 days, she was not a big eater. She preferred sleep than latching onto me, so I think that contributed to my very limited breastmilk supply. When we brought her home on her third day, she had a fever due to infant dehydration. That was my very first cry as a mother. I felt terrible and had even asked Aljhon to buy her formula milk. Thank God the Hubby had more sense than I, and together with my parents, they just fed me with leafy veggies the whole day and urged me to continously express any little amount of milk I had. The succeeding days, ย I was already a leaking faucet, and baby Ella has also become magana to breastfeed. Up to this writing, I am nursing her on demand, every 1-2 hours. Tip: I seriously don’t have any except don’t give up, eat any green vegetables you have, and just #freethebreast because your milk is the one and only thing your little one needs for her complete nourishment.
  • Sleeping. Ella does get her parents’ eternal love for sleeping, so I didn’t have difficulty putting her to sleep. BUT, just like any other babies, she had irregular sleeping patterns. Add to the fact that she must feed every 2 hours, so I was sleep-deprived back then. Thanks to my parents’ helpful tips and my own internet “research”, I was able to build effective sleeping routine for Ella. We could now sleep through the night with just minimal disruption and less hele and sayaw. She wakes up happy and I regain my strength. Tip: Be your baby’s expert first. Get to know her so you could implement routines that work for her. In our case, I noticed that if my baby didn’t have enough naps during daytime, she had difficulty staying asleep at night. We avoid overstimulating her, and by 6-7pm, I am already changing her clothes. By 8-9pm, we would dim the lights, sometimes do some massage, and turn some white noise or music on. Ella is not particularly fond of white noises, but there’s this 4-hr audio in youtube that is effective in putting her to sleep. Lastly, if everything else fails, turn off all the lights. We would co-sleep with her (because she prefers hugs over swaddling) ย and yes, she could just fall asleep on her own when it’s in complete darkness.
  • Cleaning up. Cloth diapering her is one of the wisest decisions we ever did as parents, says my kuripot husband. Hahah! But yes, the truth is cloth diapers are way more economical and environment-friendly than disposable diapers. Yes, upfront each diaper costs 150-300pesos and you will also have to spend for the laundry, but in the long run, having washable diapers is very thrifty. Bonus perk is your little one will have adorable bum with cute designs and prints. Tip: Get your husband to be responsible for the cleaning up task. Guys don’t really have any clue as how to help you with the baby, but he should also have some daily QT with her. Mine’s enjoying his role in taking care of the wet diapers and washing them.
  • Playtime. Even in the womb, our little princess is no stranger to music, thus it’s not unexpected for her to easily be captivated with songs and different rhythms. She can be kept quiet and occupied just by listening to songs we sing or play for her. In stimulating her other senses, we always keep it a point to talk to her as we do our daily activities like changing diapers and bathing. We still don’t have mobile toys for her, but I’m planning to DIY a simple one.

Ella turning a month old also means I’ve been a Mama for a month now. When I gave birth to her she has also blessed my life for making me a mother. Donning on the Mom cape made me see a different kind of love I never knew I am capable of. When I was pregnant with Ella, I experienced a lot of pain and discomfort especially during the last trimester. In childbirth, the pain was both terrifying and sacred for me. But all the sacrifices (not just the physical pain) didn’t end there. For a month now, I am sleep-deprived, have sore nipples, and is continously losing weight (hmmm, sige na nga, hindi ito discomfort, hahah). But all these do not contend with the love I always feel whenever I see Ella. Every day I am falling in love with all the things I discover about her. Yes, there are bad days and (mostly) nights; when she is cranky and always-hungry and hard to understand, but just a smile from her instantly wipes all my frustrations and distress. There were a lot of times that I question my capabilities to be a good mother to this sweet little baby, but I just pray and trust God that He is in control of what I am doing. And knowing this, plus having Aljhon and my family (especially my Mama) help me and make any pain more bearable, lets me stay hopeful and happy with this new role I am to fulfill. For I don’t intend to just experience motherhood for a month. This journey with my Baby Ella has only just begun.

Motherhood

I know that I am not the first mom to say that motherhood is not just sweet, spice, and everything nice. Itโ€™s more than the tiredness and lack of sleep, either. I have come to understand that being a mother requires an unexplainable force to love and care for another human so deep and sacrificial, that everything else automatically takes a back seat. It lets me smile despite breastfeeding pain, long sleepless nights, cold forgotten coffees, and soul-wrenching fear to be and do everything correctly. Being a mother is becoming a hero in every way, and though I still have a loooooooooooong way to go till I can already be as Wonder Woman-y as my Mama, I know that at least Iโ€™m on my way.

P. S. This is also a shout out to the fine gentleman who is my very own hero by rescuing me from wet diapers and sleeplessness boredom. Thank you for bringing Ella into my life. I love You ๐Ÿ˜˜