Category: Family


On seizures and fears

It was exactly a year ago. I cannot forget that day. It is embedded in my memory. It is a memory you would like to discard but it sticks with you like that gum in your shoe.

This is not a discourse on seizure. I am no expert on that. I am a lawyer, though a non-practicing one, and I do not know the specifics of seizures. I only looked it up on google, and studied most topics about it after my dear Ira had seizure episodes last year.

Yes. Seizures with an S. Two of them in one day. Darn it. I saw my toddler twitch and pass out twice in a day. Imagine the trauma of that. I even dream of it sometimes. I remember eac and every second I was doing when it all happened. And I still wish she did not have to go through that day.

Even the things that we had to go through just to make sure everything is okay with her is not a joke. Hospital confinement, several EEG tests, MRI, dates with the Neuro-Pedia…all that and the fear of the possibility of a repeat.

Its like for the past year, I have been living with this fear. Its like a part of me. Whenever Ira catches a fever or colds, I panic. I twist and turn with the fear inside of me. Inasmuch as I appear as strong to others, this fear has taken a grip on me. And for one whole year, I have lived with this fear inside me.

Today, Ira has colds. Something she rarely catches. So yeah. All of the days to catch colds, it happened to be today. Great, huh?

So I’m grappling with the fear and wrestling against it with fervent prayers. In my heart of hearts, I know that day will not happen again. So even if this fear is so strong, and even if seizure is such a scary thought for me, I know it will never touch my daughter again. For my faith is stronger than any fear or seizure episode there is.

God is with us in this journey. Another year of medication and Ira will be medically cleared.

Cheers to 2012 and to better things!

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Mommies’ Day 2011

Been a mom for two years now and I say that all of this hype, all of this celebration, all of these greetings are not too much to celebrate the travails and happiness of being a mother. After all, it just happens once a year yet the job of a mother is 24/7. So to focus on this day in just one person is not really too much. Or am I just being biased? ūüėČ

Let me shout out some respect to all the mothers in the world who endure the everyday plight of being a mother. To carry a baby inside your womb is already a huge thing…and to pull off the job of raising that baby into the best possible person she/he can be is a lifetime obligation. It persists even after your baby grows old into someone who you no longer recognize. It lasts until that person builds his/her own family. It lasts until the day you surrender your soul to God. Motherhood is simply like that. No time-outs. No resignation.

So I half expected it when I found out that I was becoming a mommy myself that I cried. I asked myself if I was ready, if I can do it. Not that I did not want the pregnancy. Oh no. It was the best thing that God allowed my body to have. During my entire pregnancy, I was amazed by the everyday developments of the little thing inside me. I thanked God everyday that He gave me that gift. I was just anxious if I truly deserved it and if I can do good to this little thing.

Although I know I sometimes fail, hubby commends me for doing a good job. I guess the fact that I am breastfeeding up to now is plus factor for me. But aside from this, I know I am not a perfect mother. I try my best everyday to be a good mom to Ira. I try to be there when she needs me, although sometimes they get in the way of my own needs. I try to take care of her in the best way I can. I try to pick up the good nurturing ways of other mothers I know or heard of, and try to discard the bad ways I have seen or heard of. It is an everyday struggle, but I still try, nonetheless.

Today, I requested hubby if we can just stay at home. I wouldn’t want to eat out and squeeze into full-packed malls. Much to his digress, he doesn’t have a choice but to give in to my request. He said I have until midnight to be spoiled. I looove this day. ūüôā

I also just want to thank my own mother — my Ima. Whatever I am today is because you are my mom. I know the struggles that comes with being a mom to Ira. So I can imagine your own struggles to raise the four of us — with our own individuality. Being your only daughter was both difficult and easy at the same time. Difficult because I had to live up to your expectations yet easy because I had no other girl to contend with in the family. I know I am a strong person know because I have seen various kinds of strength in you. I am the mother that I am now because of these strengths. I have seen your ups and downs as our mother. And I will forever be sorry for the times that I answered back and for the times that I frowned or made face to whatever you wanted me to do or say. I pray that God will bless you with more years to be happy — the way you want to be. This is the first mothers’ day that we are miles apart. And I miss you.

There are days that we both detest each others’ guts, being the strong women that we are. But you know this fact…I am and will always be your only daughter. In the same vein that you are the only mother in my life. And I will choose you to be my mom even if I would have to live through my life again.

I may be living a different life now from yours. I may seem so far away from you now because of the distance but I hope you know this — there are days that I want to run only to you. That your mere presence pacifies me. That your cooking is cure to my soul. That I miss our bickering. That I will always look to the days when I would sleep beside you like a baby while you read pocket books till you fall asleep. Like most heroes — I look up to your good side and forget about your indiscretions. Because as no mother is perfect, you are the mother God has perfectly chosen for me to have. And I love you, warts and all.

And to all mothers out there — Filipinos and otherwise…Happy Mothers’ Day to you. May God bless us with the strength we need to fulfill this lifetime obligation.

And to the person I owe this day to — My Ira…thank you my dear for allowing me to be the mom I am to you. Sorry for sometimes failing on being your mom. Sorry that sometimes I feel like running out of the door though you know I would never do that. You are the reason that mommy wakes up to every morning with delight…because I know you are right beside me. And to my hubby — thanks for being my partner in crime. I will not be half the mother that I am if you are not the kind of father that you are. Love you and Ira so much.

Thank you God for making me a mom. And please be with me always so that I can be the mother I ought to be. ūüôā

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Disney On Ice

I cannot consider myself a fan of animation or cartoons. But as I was growing up, I became fond of fantasy stories, like that of Anastasia (I especially liked the soundtrack).

About three years ago, Disney on Ice came to Manila and I really wanted to go. For some reason, I was not able to catch it. I think my friends were quizzically asking why I wanted to watch. For one, I had no child yet back then and I am not known for liking things such as that. So I brushed it aside and have missed the opportunity.

When we arrived in Singapore, I saw some ads about Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy. Something inside me wanted to check tickets but because we just arrived and unnecessary expenses are completely not advisable yet, I dismissed the idea again.

After a month or so, my dear daughter saw the ads with her dear Mickey Mouse. She instantly yelled “Ickey” and “Ouse”, referring to Mickey and Minnie, respectively. The mom in me could not resist the look in my daughter’s eyes. So I checked tickets the next day. Luckily, Starhub subscribers are entitled to discounts and Ira is still free so that helped a lot.

So come 19 March 2011, we all geared up to watch Disney on Ice. Unexpectedly, Ira wanted to leave the instant we went inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium. We then remembered how she doesn’t like loud sounds of speakers. She was on daddy’s shoulders the whole time. Even when we tried to convince her that Mickey was there, she wouldn’t bulge. She even fell asleep at the end of the show. Funny little girl.

The show was alright. For me, it was not really spectacular that I was left in awe. But it was fun and it was something that helped ease away the stress, even just for a day. For a kid, I am sure it is something really great. I liked the Little Mermaid part because they had beautiful songs. I liked the Lion King because of its funny characters and I was really amazed how they were able to skate for more than ten minutes with those animal costumes on. We missed the part of Cars because traffic was really terrible near the place. The stint of Tinkerbell did not really amaze me, although I always liked Tinkerbell because of the Peter Pan story.

The hosts for the show were Daffy Duck and Donald Duck and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was a bit disappointing that they barely spent time in the show, but that was expected because the show is Worlds of Fantasy, after all. I wasn’t even expecting them to be there, but was glad that they graced the show as hosts, nevertheless.

It was fun to see kids who came in princess and mermaids costumes. The show was attended by different nationalities, much very different if we caught it in Manila.

Ira enjoyed the pictures when we came home. For two days, she would remember the show by saying “Ickey, dance”. I am hoping that next time Ira will be able to enjoy it without being scared of the speakers. After all, her free-infant-on-lap privilege is soon to expire as she enters the terrible twos. ūüôā

Our Singapore Decision

It all came as a surprise to most people who know us. My profession is not generally a good job for someone who wants to work or migrate abroad but I thought I’d give it a try.

It was not an easy decision to make. In fact, it was by far one of the hardest I had to do in my life. I was a patriot in my own little way and leaving the Philippines never brushed through my thoughts. I have always categorically said that I will never leave the Philippines other than for a vacation. I sort of reconsidered after watching the Lord of the Rings that I will only leave the Philippines to live in the beautiful New Zealand, period.

But when you start a family, your priorities and decisions change. Your ideals remain in the past and they¬†are simply¬†left with your youth…something you can just happily look back on.

My very good friend Greys (spelling was intentionally altered by her when we were in college) works in Dubai and I have marvelled at the things she could buy and how she has changed in all aspects. We remained close despite distance and maintain an online friendship through (almost) everyday email. She mentioned in passing that her beau has a co-worker who has a lawyer wife in the Philippines who is now working in Singapore. I quizzically raised my eyebrows asking Greys how could that be. She said the lawyer went directly to Singapore to look for a job. The idea sparked a lot of lightbulbs in my brain but it did not go any further than that.

There came an officemate who suddenly disappeared from our office and after some rumors being confirmed, we found out that she was working in Singapore and her salary is probably more than  four times the amount she was receiving before.

I then started making researches and have abandoned my Farmville life and chose to spend nights focusing on my research. Just when I was so engrossed in my research, Greys again informed me that we have a classmate back in college who now lives in Australia where he is likewise a lawyer. I liked the idea better because my brother is due to leave for Australia last year (which he did by end of November 2010). If I would migrate, I wanted it to be in a place where I know some people and I happen to have some friends in Australia.

So my research went from Singapore to Australia. After some mulling over, we realized that we did not have the funds yet to immigrate to Australia. Singapore is nearer, fare is cheaper, and we did not need a visa before leaving. I then went back to my Singapore research and I found out that it is very much possible for me to bring Ira along with me if I get any pass higher than S-Pass. That fact made me more eager to pursue our decision. 

Hubby and I discussed it and we agreed to give it a try after settling some things in the Philippines. We agreed to wait for the right time and to properly tie some loose ends in the Philippines first before jumping into such decision. We knew it was not an easy one.

Then came my father’s stroke.

Lots of things changed and we had to deal with these changes swiftly. We had to decide for my father to come home from the States because no one would take care of him. Expectedly, we had to shoulder additional expenses at home for his medications and therapy. Personally, I knew this was something I owe to my father after years of sacrifice for us. 

To cut the very long story short,¬†hubby and I tried our luck¬†¬†in Singapore and after literally shedding sweat, blood and tears, we are here now…together. That is the bottomline of our decision. Even if it¬†is in the richest country in the world, but we would have to live apart, we would not go for that. I was raised with one parent working away and I did not like it. I¬†do not want to subject Ira to that kind of life.

In my research, I found out that there are many Filipinos working here in Singapore. Some of the best IT people here are Filipinos and they are earning a lot for it. Though it is a foreign country, not a day goes by that I do not bump into another Filipino. It makes me feel at home.

It was indeed a difficult decision. But when we were heading out for this life, I asked God to lead me to where He wants me to be. I knew that if I was not meant to live this life, God with all His might can stop me. But without me knowing it, God helped me in my decision and He is still carrying me through it all.

I am still adjusting to everything around here. It is not too difficult to adjust to some things because they actually make life ergonomically easier around here.¬†From the¬†transportation system to the way we wash clothes.¬†But of course, I will always love my country…even from afar.¬†I will continue to be sad about the bad things that are happening there and I will¬†still¬†marvel about the¬†people and things that make the country proud, like that little girl Maria Aragon.

I am still¬†unsure as to¬†how long we are going to stay here.¬†We are living¬†each day as it comes. We have made enough planning last year that I want to take a rest in making further plans this year.¬†But one thing is definite, Philippines is just a three-hour plane ride away…and we will surely visit as often¬†as budget and time will allow us.¬†¬†ūüėČ

How am I?

I am often asked this question now because of the recent big leap that I and my family took. I usually answer with a simple “we’re okay” template because that’s how we really are now. Okay.

Not doing extravagantly good yet. But not also dying with famish or almost crawling on the ground. We are simply okay, I shall say.

So, how am I really? Personally, that is.

I can say that everything is considerably fine in my new life. You see, I recently found a new work in an economically successful country and I was able to bring my family along. For that alone, I have been immensely thankful. That single fact makes me feel good and blessed and I could not further complain when I see moms here who work with their children left in the Philippines and they can only Skype or YM during weekends or so.

Even if I am having personal crisis with the thoughts of working far from home and leaving my entire support system all of a sudden, I could not complain. I am incredibly blessed.

I die everyday with the thought of leaving Ira at home just to work. I pity my hubby everyday because he has to attend to the needs of Ira everyday for more than 9 hours when Ira is at the age of being difficult and unreasonable at times. My hands are all toiled with grease for cooking every night after going home from work, cleaning up the kitchen and whatever else my hands could reach.

I have lived with a helper for as long as I cannot remember. As soon as I moved out from my parents, I have lived independently but have always had a helper along. It was a luxury I chose to live with, albeit the fact that I have no problems doing chores at home. I always felt that for working everyday, I deserved the luxury of laying around whenever I chose to and go to places during weekends, instead of doing laundry and cleaning up the house.

So right now, the biggest part of the equation that makes it difficult for me now is I live everyday without a helper at home. It is not unusual here to have a helper at home but since we just moved here, we are still taking time processing things, papers and all that.

I cannot now simply dismiss Ira to her Ate whenever I am tired. I have to wash our clothes regularly and cannot simply choose to wear a shirt for two hours and then change again after I feel sweaty. I no longer can SMS the instructions on what to prepare for dinner just so I can directly cook upon going home. I now have to take the pains of slicing every bit of ingredient I need, except when dear hubby can do so without Ira whining around.

We have to buy everything we need because we have no helper to do the buying for us whenever we forgot something from the market.

It is just the three of us now.

For the first time in almost two years, it is just us. It absolutely¬†thrills me…but at the same time¬†it¬†scares the hell out of me.

Even as I try to think that we have gone this far, that we have made it here, there are times that I get scared that we are thousands of miles away from home. Although Ira has been doing great with her medications, there are fears in me that only moms can understand. Seeing my daughter have seizures twice in a day left in me a big hole filled with fear. And I do not wish for anything to happen to her in this new place when we have not even warmed up yet.

So far, my work has¬†proven to be fine.¬†I have not been stressed for the last two weeks (just yet) and people have been nice to me. They may not be as warm as¬†my previous co-workers, but they are nice¬†to me. That is enough, for now. After all, I am a newbie with a different language and nationality. The company is good to its employees and to me, that is important. They were generous enough to sponsor the visa processing of hubby and Ira, so I think I can love them forever. ūüôā

So…how am I?

Frantic, I guess. Of the things that are yet to happen and the things we are yet to see.

But absolutely happy and grateful, for the enormous blessings from God and for His trust that we can handle this new life. ūüôā

Massage at Home

I first tried body massage some six years ago and after the first try, I instantly fell in love with it.

I used to have home service by Jojo. He’s gay and he does all things for us. My mom used to pay for it so I would text Jojo weekly for our beauty regimens. Jojo would give us foot spa, nail treatments, hair treatments and a massage. But after moving from one house to another, we lost touch of him.

I loved his services because they were given to me right at the comfort of my own home and I can have them anytime I want to. No lining up, no need to dress up, no need for travelling to and from.

Then I discovered a Spa in Banawe, Quezon City. I forgot the name of the Spa but it was very affordable. My dear friend Chubby and I would go there almost every week, if budget allowed us to. Evlyn Spa, as Chubby reminded me the name, is right in front of Bench Fix Salon so our Banawe trip would usually be for hair and body treats. I even had the chance to let my hubby try it and he loved it as well.

But when I became pregnant, I had to take a rest from my weekly massage. I promised the therapists that I will be back as soon as the OB says that I’m okay to go.

But since we now live in Mandaluyong, a Banawe trip has become tiring for me and hubby. We have tried nearby spas but we didn’t get to like them as much as we loved the Banawe Spa.

Months after giving birth, on our way home, I saw a sign in Makati that says “Massage at Home“. I got the number and told hubby about it. Hubby, as always, was ecstatic about it and asked me to try calling the number. At first I was hesitant because it might be a phony massage service or it might be run by a syndicate of thefts. We tried it nonetheless and it turned out none of our fears were true.

In fact, it was the other way around! We had a great time such that we would have it as often as we could (weekly, if possible). We have tried different therapists and recently got hooked on Ella. She has been with Massage at Home for many years now and I can personally vouch for her. Not only is she good at massaging our stress away, she is trustworthy and you can sleep all throughout and not worry about your any of your things getting lost. I especially like her Foot Reflex and Full Body Massage. All my body pains and stress are relieved when I get my massage from Ella.

She is the very first person Ira said “Hi” to. On that night alone, Ira said “Hi” to her approximately ten times. Up until now, Ira likes waving at her and now that she can walk around the house, she imitates what Ella does to us by joining in the massage. At the end of the session, Ira would end up with oil in her tiny hands!

I personally recommend Massage at Home. Therapists are always on time and they have many therapists who are of service anytime you want. The only time that their therapist failed to show up was a day after Ondoy (which was understandable). I prefer getting it at home because I save a lot of time and money. Hubby and I need not dress up just to get oiled after. Right after having a massage, hubby and I snooze off to la-la land because we don’t have to travel home anymore.

Massage at Home is located in Makati and they specifically cater to home service. They offer Full Body Massage, Foot Reflex and all other types of massage, and even Facial, as Ella said. They are open daily, from 1PM onwards, and you can call them at 742-1829.

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*This is not a paid advertisement but rather a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer. ūüôā

Loving Long Weekends

Since we had the new president, long weekends have become scarce. For working peeps, that’s disheartening. I have nothing for and against the previous and new presidents, but if there is one thing I loved about GMA’s administration, it must be her economic policy on long weekends. But for reasons only he knows, PNoy chose to deviate from that policy. Luckily, we had two consecutive long weekends which made me think that working four days a week isn’t so bad after all. Hubby said if he becomes president of the Philippines, that’s the first order he will draw up. I couldn’t stop laughing with that silly dream. Not a bad idea, huh?

Because this weekend is a long one, hubby and I met up with good friends Ino and Sheba. We had fun at dinner just talking about anything we missed about each other for the past couple of months. It always feels good to be in their company. We met up at Greenbelt and spent almost an hour just looking for a place to eat. Can you believe that? Restaurants and bars were packed because of this long weekend fever. Good thing we found good seats at Fish & Co. We ate to our hearts content, although missed out on desserts.

The waiter nicely offered hubby a privilege card which entitles us to 20% discounts in any of Bistro restaurants, including our favorite Friday’s. The card seemed pricey at first but getting it gave us a consumable coupon which we can use on our next visit. Hearing that, I chose not to oppose hubby’s decision to get the card. Its like we will just have no choice but to eat out again next week. ūüôā

I suddenly remembered all the coupons that my boss gave me months back, giving discounts and freebies. I am such a rat pack that I tend to forget where I placed all these little papers. Some of them probably expired without having been used. What a waste, huh? If these Coupons she gave me can be found online, I would have found them easily. ūüėČ I would have bookmarked them right away.

So now, even if tomorrow feels like Sunday already, hubby and I will probably watch a movie, eat out and play around with Ira. And on the real Sunday, we will slack off the whole day and have DVD marathons. Oh I really wish we could have more of these long weekends more often. Less stress and less headaches for everyone. Philippines would probably be a better place. Hahaha. ūüôā

The Thursday a week before last, a good friend asked me if I still wanted a reservation at Fontana Leisure Park. I said yes, but due to budget constraints, we plan to go there August or September. She surprisingly said the Villa is free and that I would only have to pay for a meager sum as maintenance fee. So with just short notice, the whole family except for my eldest brother stayed at Fontana last weekend. Even if hubby and Ira just had fever that week, we simply could not resist the offer. But that’s not what my entry is all about. So fast forward to my real topic.

After a fun weekend, we arrived home Monday afternoon, just a little past 5PM. Before we left, we had to close the water meter because hubby involuntarily messed with the shower handle, thus the leak. Our doggie Buster was reeking with his pee and poo combined (ulk!) so we had to wash him instantly. I asked (our newest) Ate to open the water meter. She came back and simply said “nakapadlock po”. I thought she was referring to the railings around the water meter, so hubby said he will be the one to do the honors.

So there came hubby to open, and voila! The water meter was indeed padlocked! By whom? Our good ole’ service provider, Manila Water. I have always taken pride with the fact that our area has good water service. ¬†Even in the latest issue of water shortage in the metropolis, we were not a bit affected. But on that particular afternoon, I wanted to strangle to death whoever caused the padlocking of our water meter.

I immediately went to check our bill and we all realized that we missed the due date of our bill. This month’s water bill was a disaster because we had a flush leak, so there was somewhat a thousand percent increase in our regular bill. Yes, almost a thousand percent! But that’s another story, of course.

I called up 1627, the customer service of Manila Water. A friendly Abigail answered the line. After some verification questions, I went ahead with my complaint. I lamented that they (whoever did it!) shouldn’t have padlocked our meter considering there was no one to give consent because not a single soul was home. Much to my dismay, she retorted that it was SOP that when there is a disconnection notice for a certain customer and their people go to check if it has been paid, and there was no one at home, they will disconnect it. That answer fueled my fire inasmuch as I said they are public utility service, with full emphasis on the last word. So I said, where is the service? For all you know, the customer died. Or someone from his family died. Or he had an accident. Or whatever. It would have been more prudent for them to come back the next day to check if that customer still hasn’t paid.

I told her I have a one-year-old baby and a sick father who cannot stand, even just for a night, without water. I told her further that we have work the next day, and how do they suppose we go to work? Without a bath?

She kindly suggested that I can pay through any 7-11 branch and call them again to request for the reconnection of our service. Dear Abigail assured that it can be reconnected even at night. Okay, I thought.

I asked hubby and my brother to rush to the nearest 7-11 and pay our bill plus the reconnection fee. I told Abigail that I am paying that stupid reconnection fee under protest, just so I can have my service back.

After 10 minutes or so, our bill was settled. So there I was dialing the same number with a different agent answering my call, this time it was Catherine. When I gave her the details of my receipt, she went on to say that it is “possible” that our service can be reconnected that day, with a maximum of five days. Its like the devil got into me after hearing the words “possible” and “five days” that I shouted, “Five days! Do you know what you are talking about!” She went on to show empathy on the line by apologizing for the inconvenience. I said no. Do not give me the empathy spiel coz you do not have an idea as to how I feel. I said I used to work in a call center, I don’t need the damn spiel.

I asked Catherine if she has a baby. She said no. So I said, then you don’t know how I feel. We do not have a single drop of water. I need my service back. I told her that Abigail assured me that it can be done so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I further told her that if they do not remove the padlock in an hour, I will have to remove it myself. She said I shouldn’t do that lest I pay a penalty for doing such. I laughed at the idea of the penalty and told her that when they disconnected my service, it was because I reneged on my obligation to pay on time. But now that my obligation has been fulfilled, I have every right to access to my water service, so in an hour, whether they are there or not, I will have my service back, and I then I hang up.

After about thirty minutes, we heard the faucet in the bathroom running. They didn’t bother to buzz and tell us that they are reconnecting the service. Anyways, I didn’t care anymore just as long as my service is back.

I have usual bouts with these customer service people. This usually happens with my phone service, especially when DSL connection is a problem.

I commiserate with them because I, too, have been a call center agent once. I know how it feels to deal with an irate caller. And yes, I try to talk to the agents as pacified as possible. I just hate it when they tend to give me BS and spiels, which I know they have memorized over time. I especially hate it when one agent promises you one thing and another agent says its not possible. I have had these a hundred of times already and I am sick of it.

Nevertheless, we had a happy ending. We got our service back and we were all happy. I plan to write our provider about this nonchalant treatment of their customers. ¬†My neighbor told me that they saw these people who padlocked the meter and she informed them to come back the next day as no one was home. I understand these people are merely sub-contractors, being measly paid for every water meter disconnected. I perfectly understand too that as customers, it is our own lookout to pay on time. But when no one is home, shouldn’t you think again and come back the next day? Who knows what happened to these people. Even MERALCO doesn’t cut services that way.

I don’t know. Sometimes the word “service” has no meaning anymore. Sometimes business is more important than true service and these utility service providers tend to forget why they exist in the first place.

Ira @ 14 months

My dear princess has grown big. Uh well, not actually big coz she takes after her parents, small, that is. But in my eyes, from the time that she sleeps incessantly up to now that she knows how to refuse napping, she is now a big baby.

Her used-to-be dresses have now become blouses and her rompers are just so tight fit that she looks fat. She walks a lot like crazy and she cries if she’s not allowed to walk outside. Crazy I say because she walks around the yard more than ten times, or until she gets tired or thirsty. When she reaches that point, she will just leave whoever she’s with and walk towards the house. My Tatay would laugh with this daily routine of hers because she has unbelievable energy daw.

However, she refuses to wean from breastfeeding and would just cry endlessly if I insist on putting her to sleep with the use of bottle-feeding. The mommy in me would easily give in, knowing that the days of her complete devotion to me are about to end. I know too that by breastfeeding her, I am trying to give her my best.

Yesterday, she just turned 14 months old. Hubby and I have a long way to go when it comes to parenting but we are taking things in stride, learning each little thing as it comes. Because of lack of sleep (thanks to typhoon¬†Basyang!), we almost forgot that she turned 14 months yesterday. Hubby became so sad that we had to buy a cake for Ira just to make up. But because of unexpected series of events, it took us 3 hours to come home and the cake is unrecognizable by the time we opened it for Ira. Sigh. Well, as they say, its the thought that counts. ūüôā

This morning, we came to work quite late because Ira refused to drink milk from her bottle. Whenever I’d get up from the bed to take a bath, she would cry hysterically and shout “dede”. I tried to leave the bed once and she cried laying her face flat on the bed. She raised her face up and showed her pursed lips with matching “tulala look“. She wasn’t crying anymore but she had tears in her eyes. Hubby and I both wondered what her act was all about.

Hubby would usually be frantic about me not taking a bath on time but this morning, no one dared to question Ira. We had to switch on the TV to divert her attention by watching Dibo the Gift Dragon in Playhouse Disney Channel. She finally took her bottle and laid back to watch. Haay, kids nowadays talaga.

Today I found out that I won the Kids Central Watch Time Management Contest. Yahoo. ¬†Thanks a lot imom! Isn’t that a perfect gift for Ira? When I receive the prize, I will take a picture of it and write a post about how I came to join the contest.

I really want to make frequent updates about my little one but time just prevent me from doing so. I will update this post by posting her more recent photo.

Anyways, happy 14th month my little one! Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces. Mwah! ūüôā

It has been nineteen years. Yes. Nineteen Long Years. My father hasn’t been home that long and finally, he is coming home.

My Tatay, as all of us siblings call him, has lived and worked for the last nineteen years in New Jersey. We survived such time and distance apart with the help of phone calls, letters, text messages, and just recently, Yahoo Messenger and Skype. He enjoyed the latter immensely as he was able to see us everyday, as if we were just an hour apart. He was able to see Ira grow from the day she was born until the day she learned how to walk.

Prior to his decision to work in the U.S., Tatay has worked in Saudi since I can’t remember when. All I know is I grew up with my Ima only around, waiting for remittances of Tatay and waiting for his yearly vacations. My Ima often recalls that time when I went hiding upon seeing my Tatay because I got scared of his mustache. To put it plainly, I grew up with an absentee father.

But I don’t think my father and I lost the line¬†as far as love and respect are concerned. I admit that in the start, I was just elated by the fact that my Tatay would send U.S. goodies to us and that we were able to have everything we wanted. After studying in a public school, Ima finally allowed us to study in private schools. Back in high school, my classmates would notice my signature backpacks and other things. Even at a young age, I always knew that he was there so we can get all the things we wanted and needed.

When I went into college, that’s when I realized all the sacrifices he was doing. He gave us all we wanted and more. But he never complained. He gave me a bashful 18th birthday celebration because he said I was his only girl. He used to call me his Beautiful Ampang (the latter being my nickname at home). When I graduated from college, he was so delighted, he almost gave me the world. Of course that is exaggeration, but that is how my dad loves me.

Imagine his delight when I entered into law school. He felt very proud for every unit I earned in law school. When I wanted to be a working student, he strongly opposed because he wanted me to concentrate with my studies. My Tatay was right all along.

He was overly supportive when I took the Bar Exams. He made sure I have everything I needed. I was able to choose a hotel nearer La Salle although it was more pricey than the hotel my other classmates stayed in. He gladly paid for the food¬†all the four Sundays of Bar for all my org-mates in Law School with my Mom’s cooking.

I know he must have been saddened when I broke the news to him that I was getting married. After all, I was his baby and it was hard for him to accept that someone else is taking me away. But being the understanding father that he is, he gave me his blessing.

When I had Ira, I felt that he loved her more than he loves me. Friends say its because Ira is mine thats why he loves her that much. After years of giving up on sending us packages, he sent boxes for Ira’s goodies. The packages contained unbelievably too many things for Ira. The clothes he bought her could even last until she reaches five years old. He would refuse to miss a night of Skype with Ira and I to the point of Ira knowing him through the webcam.

On the eve of my hubby’s birthday weeks ago, he called me up on the phone. That seldom happens because we do Skype every night. I felt his voice was different and asked if he was sick. He said he probably ate too much pork and feels numbness in his feet that he has to go to the doctor. I prodded him to make sure that he goes and asked him to update me about it.

It turned out it was a mild stroke for my Tatay. My uncle and other relatives would update me but I never really knew his status until I saw him. Since he can’t stay on his own yet, he had to stay with my ever-kind Uncle Medel. When he first saw me, my Tatay cried like there was no tomorrow. It was like when a child got lost in the park and he saw his mother. We were both crying and my heart melted away with his pain.

I didn’t sleep that night. My mind was racing with thoughts on how to get him there and how to take care of him. I just cried myself and wallowed myself in the helplessness of not being able to help the one man who was always there for me.

Before he had a stroke, hubby and I were already making plans for the future. Because Tatay wanted to spend time with us before such plans happen, he abruptly decided to go home. Just this Saturday, he called and informed us that he will be arriving on June 2.

My heart raced with glee with such news, coupled with the fact that we have to fix a lot of things around the house so we can accommodate his physical restraints.

We had to buy a sofa bed because he will temporary stay downstairs. We are also on the hunt for a good bed in his room once he is able to walk up the stairs. We are also looking for ways on how to install an AC unit in the living room, especially with the heat!

All in all, I am just glad that he is coming home. I hope I will be able to repay all his love for us by being able to take care of him now that he needs us.

I pray that he gets better soon also so that we can roam around the city to show him other places.

This is definitely going to be one of the best birthdays for the both of us and we will surely celebrate it with love and happiness! Thank you God! ūüôā