Mommy Mode…

It’s been a pretty hectic time for me the last week and a half. I brought Little Z to the big metro last July 5th for a 3-week stay with me due to several doctors’ appointments. His yaya (yes, my son now has a yaya) and my sister came along. My sister stayed the first week just to assist the yaya to transition. However, last July 15th, after his cardio check up in St. Lukes’ BGC, I had to send his yaya back home due to medical reasons. I am not going to divulge more on that (since it is private) but suffice it to say that it was an undisclosed condition which really irked me. Since then, it was just Z and I.

After sending the yaya off, I had some sort of panic attack, if you may. I didn’t know if I can manage taking care of my son on my own. Will I be able to feed him on time? How will I manage getting him ready for his appointments and making sure we have all the necessary stuff needed to making sure that I am properly dressed as well before we leave the house? Will I have enough energy to ensure that I get everything in order and the house clean for Z? I was stressing myself out that night.

The last week and a half was the longest time that Z and I have been together on our own. Just the two of us. I got to play full-time Mommy to my unico hijo. And I loved every single moment of it. :)

We started our time together with an early appointment with the pedia-cardio for Z’s 2d echo then we had to visit another doctor at a different hospital. This time, it was the development pedia. It rained hard that afternoon as well so Z and I napped for an hour while stuck in traffic. LOL! We also dropped by my office that afternoon to pick up something that I forgot to bring home.

Stuck in traffic on the way home

Stuck in traffic on the way home

The next day was a holiday and I have already committed to report to work to cover for my team. Given that I cannot leave my son alone (duh!), I had to ask permission from the bosses to bring him to work while I get a few things done. Thank God I was allowed to bring him with me. I didn’t take photos that day but I was really surprised that Z was well-behaved the whole time we were at the office that I was able to get a few things done. He only became restless about an hour before we were due to leave. :D

For those few days, I was giving myself a pat on the back for somehow doing a good job. :D

Last week was a little bit of a different story though. I had to establish a routine to ensure that I get everything done. I had to have a mental checklist as well (I actually almost wrote it down to make sure I didn’t miss anything).

My son wakes up very early, between 6-7AM. That is my midnight, to be honest. But I had to wake up as well. He would wrestle me once he wakes up then he would get my tablet (meaning he wants to watch his nursery rhymes). I would play his app and as soon as he settled down watching, I would get up and cook his breakfast. I rarely eat breakfast so I didn’t have to think of that.

Between 7-8AM, Z will have his breakfast. By 830AM, he will have his bath. He enjoys his bath so much that I let him play for a few minutes before rinsing him off. :)

Bath time!

Bath time!

Since the sun was out last week, every morning, we would go down to the pool side and walk around. More often than not, Z wanted to be carried and if he wanted to walk, he would walk towards the edge of the pool. He actually wanted to get in the water but since it had been raining the week before, I didn’t risk getting him into the pool just yet.

His lunch time is now a bit earlier than before. I started feeding him lunch by 1130AM so he can take his nap by 1230PM. Since a few weeks ago, he naps twice a day – in the morning and late in the afternoon. But since his development pedia recommended that no nap times after 3PM, I had to start adjusting.

While eating lunch...

While eating lunch…

I take a nap in the afternoon, too. :D I needed to re-energize for the afternoon activities of the little boy. :D

Once he wakes up from his nap, either we would go to the mall and look for ride-ons or play outside with the other kids. 11143160_10204945975626060_1239269516589517123_n

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In the evening, I prepare Z’s dinner, feed him and then he takes his evening bath. Yes, my son takes a bath twice a day whenever he’s here in the big metro. It has been our practice since he was 2 months old. :) Just like in the mornings, I let him play a bit before rinsing him off. Then we Skype his my Mom and let Z play in the living room. We practice walking and I am proud to say that I was able to teach him how to kick a ball. That kid has a great kick, too. :)

By 8-830PM, he would look for milk and will pull me up and we would walk to the room. He would get on the bed while I make his milk and then we would read his book. Between 830-9PM, I would put him to sleep. The earliest I got him to sleep was by 8PM. But that was because he was tired after therapy and walking around and not enough afternoon nap.

Once he’s asleep, it was no relax mode for this Mommy just yet. I had to pick up all his toys (which he would throw all over the living room while playing), sweep and mop the floor, wash the dishes, wash Z’s bottles and feeding bowls, wash his clothes and throw the garbage. In between all those chores, I would check my mail and answer a few, eat my dinner and join conference calls whenever I could. By the time I get into bed, it would be around 1AM.

For one whole week, day in and day out, that was our routine. It was exhausting to say the least. But at the end of the day, no matter how exhausted I felt, no matter how sleepy I was, I would spend a few minutes just watching my son sleep beside me and I wonder how I got to be so lucky to have this little boy that I call my son.

For a week and a half, I was a full-time, hands-on Mommy to my son. It was tiring, it was exhausting. I lacked sleep, my back hurts so bad (up to this day), my arm felt so numb I was scared that it would fall off, I had to deal with toddler tantrums, too. But I didn’t complain. I couldn’t complain. Because experiencing what I went through was very fulfilling. I loved every minute of it. I felt needed and I felt loved. And spending that much time with my son is priceless. I would like to think that we were able to establish a stronger bond than ever before, too.

Who would complain when you get unlimited kisses and hugs from the sweetest little boy ever? <3

My heart, my soul. The love of my life <3

My heart, my soul. The love of my life <3

 

 

 

Letters to My Baby #48: Just the Two of Us…

Dear Baby Love,

For the past week and a half, it was just the two of us here in the big metro, literally. Your nanny had to go home unexpectedly due to medical reasons. So instead of me working for the past few days, I have spent all day and all night with you.

This is the first time that I have been alone with you for this long. I asked myself several times if I can do it – if I can be a full-time, hands-on Mom to you for several days.  I knew I had to take it one day at a time.

I have enjoyed spending the last several days with you, sweetheart. I was able to know you a whole lot more and you have also made me feel that somehow, I have what it takes to be a Mom to a very special little boy.

Nevermind the backpains and the numbing arms from carrying you whenever you don’t feel like walking. And that is apart from carrying our bag. Nevermind that no matter how exhausted I feel at the end of the day after taking care of your needs plus doing all the chores. Nevermind all those because every night these past few days, whenever I get into bed beside you(after trying to fix your position so you won’t be spread-eagled on the bed LOL), I watch you sleep peacefully and I am reminded of all the fun things we’ve done throughout the day and that makes me smile.

Tomorrow, I will be bringing you home again to the mountain city. While everyone at home are excited to see you, I am starting to feel sad because this place will once again be lonely and empty. I will definitely miss having you here. I will miss coming home to find you already asleep and waking up to your toothy smile while pulling all my hair, I will miss jumping on the bed with you while singing “Five Little Monkeys”, I will miss chasing after you while to crawl your way to the kitchen. I will definitely miss hearing your laughter.

Thank you, my son, for making me feel like a real Mom for these past few days. Those days will be forever cherished and I will make sure that we get to spend that much time or more with each other again.

I love you so much, sweetheart. There is still so much more that I would like to tell you but I guess I will have to tell you all those some other time.

Love,

Mum

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PS: you are already asleep beside me but I am already starting to miss you…

 

 

Pagdakkelan…

I am not sure if I spelled that correctly but that is an Ilocano term meaning to grow or for growth. Something to that effect.

This word got stuck in my head the whole day. You see,  last Tuesday, I celebrated my birthday. Wednesday night, after Z’s pedia-cardio appointment, I had to send his nanny home for medical reasons. Nothing contagious or anything. His nanny had to immediately see her OB for a scheduled D&C, I believe. So today is the beginning of my being yaya-less, so to speak.

It has been a busy day. I had to wake up early to cook Z’s food, feed him, bathe him, take a bath myself, fix our stuff (making sure that I bring everything we need) before leaving for a 10 AM appointment at Philippine Children’s Medical Center for Z’s 2d-echo. That is about 10km away from the house. We arrived at PCMC at almost half past 10AM due to heavy traffic. The doctor arrived at 11:30AM so we had an hour to wait.

Backtracking for a moment. When Z was about three months’ old, we found out that he has a small hole in his heart – ASD or atrial septal defect. It was not something to be really concerned about since the hole closes on its own. Earlier’s finding is that Z still has a 4.5mm hole. No medication was provided and it is still not much of a big concern for now. However, a repeat 2d-echo needs to be done after one year to check if the hole will completely close.

Right after, we then had to rush to St Lukes for another scheduled appointment. This time, it is with a development pedia. Do you know that it is so hard to schedule an appointment with a dev-pedia? It takes months before you can get an appointment. We got lucky that we were able to get a schedule within this month.

While I already have an inkling of what the delays my son has to catch up on, hearing it from a doctor is quite crushing. The assessment? My son’s development is for 7-8 months old. Z is already 22.5 months. Apart from that, he is within the autism spectrum. He may or may not have it. It is still early to tell.

Given the assessment, we have to work doubly hard for Z to catch up on his development before his birthday. How am I supposed to teach him to say 50 words in a month’s time? #overwhelmed

It is my fault that he has not been hitting his milestones that well. 😥 I have to start prioritizing my son’s welfare more so he can catch up.

It rained this afternoon as well. Good thing we were able to get a ride from the hospital. I decided to drop by the office to pick up something first before going home. The usual half an hour to 45 minute-ride took us about an hour and a half due to very heavy traffic. Cars were barely moving. Z and I took a nap while the driver ate finished off his snack. 😁 It took us another 30 minutes of waiting for a ride home and about 30 minutes transit time (for a 10-minute or less drive on normal days).

So we got home, I fed Z, bathed him (yes, he takes a bath twice whenever he’s here in the big metro), had a Skype session with my Mom before putting Z to bed. Then I had to fix food for myself, too, since I had barely eaten the whole day. I had to fix Z’s stuff, clean the house a bit, wash Z’s bottles and food containers, wash the dishes before taking a quick shower myself.

Doing all those things on my own without any help is very, very exhausting. Good thing that Z never threw a tantrum the whole day, too. Still, it is hard. I don’t know how others do this, to be honest.

So, going back to the word, pagdakkelan. This word got stuck in my head because since I turned a year older, I feel like I have been dealing with real grown up problems – deciding to send off the nanny on the basis oh her health, bringing Z to doctor’s appointments all alone, taking care the whole day. It kind of makes me feel like I am growing up. Maybe this is a turning point of mt life. Or maybe, life is just pushing me to be more matured. Or something.

Oh well.

A Chapter Closes, A New One Begins…

Today is my birthday. Well, technically, in my side of the world, it was yesterday. I just gained another year in life. Do I feel any different? No, I don’t think so. :D

I am just so happy that I get to spend my special day with my little Z. I woke up to see him smiling, I got a hug and several kisses (and bites) from him as well. LOL! To me, that was the best gift that I could receive. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else. I also spent the morning playing with him before we took a morning nap (that went on until past lunch time :D ). And while I was not able to take a leave from work today (yes, I spent most of my day at work), I couldn’t really complain because I know that tomorrow, I will have the whole day to spend with my baby love. Tomorrow, I am on leave due to Z’s scheduled doctor’s appointment in the afternoon so that means that I get to play with him in the morning until probably before the appointment and spend the evening playing until sleeping time. Doesn’t matter how we spend the day actually, as long as I get to spend it with this little boy who’s currently sleeping beside me. (Yes, we co-sleep).

So… I didn’t really celebrate my birthday today. Well, not like I used to (definitely not how I used to a lifetime ago, it seems). I was not able to plan out what I really wanted to do due to several reasons (let me not count those reasons) but I guess it doesn’t really matter that much. Not for now, anyway. Though, I think I need to do something a little bit different for next year.

Looking back to the year that passed, I sometimes wonder how I was able to get through all those challenges. Managing my time between long hours at work (we had an on going project that time), household chores in my apartment, and long commutes going home to spend what little time is left of the week with my son while trying to make sure that I still get a much needed rest. It was not easy, truth to be told. Somehow, I kind of managed it. There was also the challenge with the budget since Z had his first birthday then a hospital confinement a week after, several medication prescribed for his on/off cough (thank God he got over that), bills, bus fares, loan payments, and all that while trying to build an emergency fund and setting up Z’s savings account. Heck, it is not easy. Budgeting, I mean. There’s also the ever challenging work environment (though I am not going to go into further details about this). More often than not, my job is stressful, but it is the kind of stress that I enjoy (except for a few occasions every now and then).

In a nutshell, I would say that the past year was a learning experience of what is yet to come. It was a trial and error kind of thing for a single, working mom like me. Balancing time and resources while making sure that I am still doing good in terms of career and personal growth is very, very challenging. And while I had struggled most of the time, knowing that my son is in the care of my family while I work and knowing that I have my friends that I could confide in when the going gets tough, was enough for me to push forward to attain certain goals.

Well, in life, there is no end to the trial-and-error series, so to speak. But as year passes by, we start to close chapters and open new ones which would open new opportunities for us to grow as well. And while I cannot predict what the next year will bring to my life, I could only hope that I have learned my lessons well from the previous year so I could apply it in the next series of challenges in this new year that I face.

As they used to say –  you grow older, you become wiser. I don’t know if I have become wiser in the last few years. All I can say is that there are still a lot of things that I need to learn and a lot of things that I need to improve on. I am still on the road to self-discovery, to be honest. I am still learning who I really am (I think this is the time that you really, really ask yourself, in the most serious manner, “who am I?” :P ).

Okay, I am blabbering again. Let me try to summarize what I really wanted to say (my brain’s kinda muddled now – I am currently torn between being sleepy and wanting to eat cake):

Thank you to the previous year for letting me experience the challenges I faced. With all that, I was able to get to know myself a little bit more. And while I cannot really say that I like what I learned, I cannot also say that I didn’t like what I learned. All I know is I am being prepared for something more wonderful in the next year ahead. Whatever that will be, I have no idea. To the new year that I face, I am ready and excited to go though the time (not only passing the time) to experience a whole lot more that life has to offer.

So, cheers to the previous year. Hello, my 32nd year of life. May you bring love, peace, happiness, prosperity and good health so I can enjoy whatever you have for me.

Cheers! :)

 

PS: I forgot to buy lotto tickets…. darn… Maybe I can still do so tomorrow… Who knows, right? LOL!

 

#RandomThoughts: Midnight Thoughts

It’s been a little over a couple of weeks since I blogged. The intention to blog was always there but every time I get home from work, I always drew a blank and I can’t remember the things that I have wanted to talk about. I know, I know. I should keep a handy-dandy notebook with me (which I always have in my bag) so I can jot down the idea once I get that eureka moment. But that notebook resides only in the bag and I only remember that it’s there when I see it (which, most often, I don’t). I still have a couple of posts that I need to work on and I hope I will be able to post them soon (and I mean, really soon).

Anyway, little Z is here with me in the big metro! Weeeee! I am so happy. He’ll be here for a few weeks due to scheduled doctors’ appointments. I only have 2 firm appointments for now and I am still working on the other two. I tell ya, it is really hard to schedule appointments with pediatric specialists given that there are only a few of them in their fields (well, not a many as general pediatrics as comparison). I still need a pedia-dentist, though. I haven’t scheduled one yet and given that Z now has more than 4 teeth (I haven’t counted the molars yet but he’s got two upper front and two lower front teeth), I need a pedia-dental consult for his dental care. Anyone who knows a pedia-dentist within the big metro who has experience with kids with Down syndrome?

I’ve been watching Z sleep since I came home a couple of hours ago. He still swims on the bed. LOL! I’ve got a makeshift pull out bed and a couple of pillows positioned at the foot of my bed so in case he falls (and I really hope he doesn’t, but with the way this kid sleeps, I am really crossing my fingers), there’s still cushion all around. Clever, huh? LOL. I’ve been thinking of getting the bed rail thing but when I think about it, I won’t be able to maximize its usage anyway. It’ll just be another expense that won’t be fully utilized so I am opting out of that idea.

Somehow I am grateful that I brought Z here in the big metro on a stormy day. He had a hard time sleeping last night because it was still too warm for him even if the city had cooled down a bit due to the downpour (I mean, compare it to the mountain city’s temperature, it was still warm). I shudder to think how he would have slept had I brought him here a couple of months ago during the hottest months. Sometimes I think that my sudden change of residence has been a bit of a blessing in terms of that.

And speaking of change of residence, after two months, I can say that my new crib is livable. LOL! Well, it’s been livable for the past two months, only it was not up to my expectation. For the past couple of months all I ever did after work was to clean and clean and clean some more. I no longer counted the number of bottles of bleach I have consumed, number of rags (you know, those round ones that street vendors sell to drivers that you can buy at the supermarket..) I never bothered to wash but instead throw away since I can no longer determine the real color, and a whole lot more of cleaning stuff that I bought just to get this place to how it is right now. I am still not satisfied – I mean, really satisfied – because there are still a lot more work to be done to really bring this place up to par with an old but well-maintained unit. But, if I will do a lot more than the small remedies that I had been doing, I might just as well charge it all to the owner, right? But then again, I am not planning on staying here for a long time (not even as long as my last residence). I am trying to work on a plan on getting my own place sometime in the next year or two. I am so in need of additional source of income. (And no, I will not join any pyramiding scam promoting gold whatsoever, thankyouverymuch). Something legit and not too time consuming. I have several ideas but I have scrapped out about half of it already since there is no assurance that I will get back my investment and start earning.

Okay. I actually forgot one thing that I was supposed to write down here. It was at the tip of my brain just a few minutes ago but after yawning a couple of times, the idea fled. Oh well, I guess here ends my blabber for the day. I just realized that I’ve only had about 5 hours (or less) sleep yesterday because Z woke up so early. I was up since half past five this morning, took an hour nap with Z before lunch and the rest of the day has been a very active waking moments.

The little boy stopped swimming on the bed. That means I can now try to find a space to sleep in. :D

Good night, world!

Fatherless on Fathers’ Day

Today is fathers’ day. Before anything else, let me greet all fathers out there a Happy Fathers’ Day. I know your children are honored to have you as their father in their lives and wouldn’t trade you for anyone else. May you continue to be the best father that you ought to be to your children.

Like I said, today is fathers’ day. It used to be a fun occasion for me, except for two years now, it has become a bittersweet day for two reasons. 1) My Dad already passed away and 2) my son doesn’t have one. So, today, my son and I will both be fatherless.

I miss my Dad so much, you know. His jokes sometimes can be corny but hey, my old man can make us all laugh. I would love to have one full day spent with him talking and listening to his advice. I would really want to hear his thoughts about some of the things that I would need his advice on and be reassured that somehow, I am doing the right thing in all aspects in my life. Sometimes I think back and regret all those missed opportunities to have a real talk with him when he was still alive. I should have spent a lot more time with him than trying to prioritize mundane things that would not be able to contribute anything in my life. But then I guess I have to move on from the guilt and regret and just remember all those things that he taught me.

I know a few single moms out there as well who has this same dilemma. Their kids are being asked to write a letter/make a card for their fathers this fathers’ day and those kids become clueless on what to do because they don’t have Dads to speak of. And while I have already accepted the fact that my son will grow up with only one parent, I haven’t really given fathers’ day much thought. Will my son go through the same dilemma when he grows older? Thinking about it is quite heartbreaking. How do you explain to young children that they do not have a father? How do you explain it in such a way that they wouldn’t feel that they are rejected by one parent? It is a very hard situation to be in and, to be honest, I am not yet ready for that time to come when my son starts asking.

Future conversation running in my head right now:

Z: Mum, do I have a Dad?

Me: No, sweetheart, you don’t have one. 

Z: Why? (typical question of a preschooler, the first of all the whys)

Me: He’s not your father, he was the sperm donor

*Toinks*

That doesn’t sound like a good explanation, does it? LOL.

Going back to being serious. Fathers really do play a big part in the upbringing of kids, especially these times. I was lucky and blessed to have grown up with both parents. However, I do feel guilty for not being able to provide my son the same thing that I was able to experience. I hope that one day, my son will get to know someone whom he can look up to just as he would have had to a father.

Anyway, I was scanning my Facebook newsfeed and came across this animated video. Fathers of children with special needs would be able to relate to this. This really made me tear up.

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Father’s Days

And with that, I leave you with a couple of quotes I shared in my Facebook wall:

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Go hug your old man, greet him and treat him either for lunch or dinner or even just have coffee. Talk to your old man and tell him your thoughts. Listen to what he has to say. And cherish your time together. Because you don’t know when those moments will be gone.

Manila Workshops and Sun Life’s Wealth and Health Expo

In today’s fast paced world of living, we tend to spend too much and live to little. Everyone’s too stressed and are buried in debt. It’s about time to change that mindset. We need to start finding the balance between living healthy and wealthy at the same time.  Be #Fit2LiveFree

Sun Life, in partnership with Manila Workshops, brings Wealth and Health Expo to be held on June 20, SMX Convention Center Manila Function Room 4. Celebrity speakers, entrepreneurs and bloggers will be there to share their insights and inspire attendees.

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Two sessions are available:

AM session is for young couples with the following guest speakers for Family and Money segment:

– Jaymie Pizarro – The Bull Runner
– Rose Fausto – FQ Mom, Author and Columnist
– Edric Mendoza – ANC on the Money, Lead Host

PM session are for the millennials (and the young at hearts, if I may add). Guest speakers include:

– Randell Tiongson
– Anton Diaz – Founder, ourawesomeplanet.com
– Matteo Guidicelli – Triathlete

Apart from these speakers, Rikka Redrico, a bloggger and Workshop Director for http://manilaworkshops.com will be part of the program and will be briefing hundred of attendees on how to create a vision board.  People will be creating a vision boards when they go home and for those who share it, Sun Life will choose winner of a huge and special prize.

Admission is Free. Register at Brighterlife.com.ph