Showing posts with label Zohan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zohan. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Good Wife

I was entitled to a maternity leave of 75 days, and today I'm in the home stretch. I was looking back at those days and I realized that I spent them entirely by taking care of the kids and doing the endless chores at home. Perhaps, the only time I could consider "personal" was whenever I was lucky that both kids happened to nap at the same time and I could watch an episode or two of my downloaded TV series, The Good Wife (TGW), usually while expressing milk.

One of those days spent watching TGW.
I was enjoying my Seattle's Best Javanilla, which was a peace offering from the husband.

TGW is a legal and political drama, which centered on the life of Alicia Florrick; (played by Julianna Margulies) a lawyer, mother of two kids, and wife to Governor Peter Florrick. The latter is former Cook County's State Attorney, who has been jailed after a public sex and corruption scandal. Alicia was an opt-out mom - she left her career and stayed at home with her kids during their formative years. After 13 years, she went back to the grind to practice law. 

There was one episode in TGW that struck me most. Alicia was in the midst of her routine as a lawyer; constantly in the middle of something, and at the beck and call of her clients. She wanted to breath and take a break for a minute, and she told her friend Kalinda, that when she was still a stay-at-home mom, there was a time in her daily routine that she looked forward to. Everyday, at 3PM, she would pour herself a glass of wine and enjoy the silence while waiting for the kids to come home from school. She said she was missing the silence at 3PM.

I know that in a few days, I will find myself saying the same thing - "I miss the silence at 3PM, when my kids are both asleep and I'm sneaking, almost in a juvenile way, to breath and take a break."

Don't worry, for photo purposes only. I separate them when they sleep.

Being with my kids and taking care of them was a very happy time - but one that could get really exhausting. I wouldn't mind much how they wear me out physically; but being emotionally spent, that was a different matter. Since emotions could get a bit high, (and I tend to be a bad mother when I'm emotional), I found that a breather was almost always a necessity. 

Just a small window in 24 hours - a time to recharge, to take a quick bath, turn on the TV, elevate my tired feet, drink a juice from the fridge, open a bag of chips, and pray that the kids stay asleep for the duration of at least one episode of TGW. 

After my break, my emotions would be on a clean slate again. When the kids wake up, I'd have more patience to tolerate tantrums and fake cries. I'd have more energy to carry a baby sucked to my breast.

I will miss that "window", the silence at 3PM. But I will miss the kids more. 

Last night, at bed, I was telling Zohan that I would resume office on Friday. He said, his voice breaking and his face pitiful, "Eh wag ka na pasok office. 'Se wala ako Nanay. Hanap kita, di ba?"

I wish I could tell my son how sorry I was that his Nanay was no Alicia Florrick. Bouncing back to the practice of law from a 13-year hiatus could happen only in TV series. (Well, at least to me.) 

I wish I could tell him how sorry I was that I could not be an opt-out mom. But it was a personal choice. I felt that I would be a better mother if I would continue working than if I stay at home.

So I hugged him instead. A tight hug that I hope could dispel the sadness in his sweet and innocent heart. And I resolved to myself that I would devote all of my time and all of myself to Zohan and Khaleid the second I step out of the office -- even if it meant I will never have a window again to recharge every 3PM. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

What's Inside my Hospital Bag

I am officially 38 weeks pregnant, which also marks the start of my maternity leave. I'm less than two weeks away from my expected date of delivery but if it were up to me, I prefer to pop my little boy out already! But my last check up showed that my baby is still in a high position; so I have no choice but to keep myself busy in the meantime. 

As a result, my husband and I have been nesting like crazy, buying this and that for the house. We finally had the time to attend to the making of my requested birthday gift - a simple custom-made cabinet in our bedroom! We commissioned a carpenter from Bulacan, who copied the designs I got from different websites. We're so happy with the results, and we've been nesting ever since!

Of course, the preparation of my hospital bag is on top of the things that keeps me occupied. This is my second pregnancy so packing my hospital bag is an easier task now. I have eliminated so many items from my old list (the one I used with Zohan) since now I know which items are essential and which are not.

Here's what's inside my hospital bag (maleta, to be exact!)

For Baby:

3 sleeveless tops
2 overalls
6 pajamas
3 short-sleeve tops
3 long-sleeve tops
2 receiving blankets
3 pairs of Mittens
3 pairs of Booties
3 Bonnets
Curity/burp cloths
Alcohol, wipes and cotton
Lactacyd (Blue)for taking a bath

I also prepared a bag which will be given to the nurse in the delivery room/operating room. It contains stuff which they will use to dress up my baby once he comes out:

1 small-sized overalls (if he turns out to be tiny)
1 large-sized overalls (if he turns out like his Kuya Zohan, who's a 9-pounder)
Receiving blanket
Swaddle blanket

(Make sure to label the bag with your name and your baby's name so that the nurses/hospital staff will know where to return the bag with the rest of the unused items.)

For the Mommy:

6 maternity pads (I anticipate that we will only stay in the hospital for a short time.)
One pack of disposable underwears (since I do not expect myself nor my husband to wash my underwear for the duration of our hospital stay. I got mine from Watson's. It's pretty cheap but I have yet to try it if it's comfortable enough.)
6 cotton underwears, in case the disposable ones won't work
Nursing cover (I hope to nurse the baby as soon as possible; so to keep my visitors from being distracted, I packed my old nursing cover.)
3 comfortable dresses with buttons down for easier access when nursing. 
3 pajamas when I get cold
3 pairs of socks
Headband - my bangs is the last thing I want to mind when I'm in the pain and agony of labor (fingers crossed!)
One transparent envelope which contains the following:
Government documents and other forms (forms for SSS, Maxicare and Philhealth, original copies and photocopies of the ff: marriage certificate, Kristan's birth certificate and my birth certificate)
Hospital documents (admitting order, mommy check-up book, lab results from day 1 of my pregnancy onwards, and the entire record of my pregnancy with Zohan - in case they need to check my history for VBAC purposes)
ID and cards (Philhealth ID, Maxicare ID, Mercury suki card, SSS-UMid)

For the Daddy:
Clothes and underwear for a 3-day stay
Pillow and blanket
Gadgets - tablet, kindle, headset, chargers

That's it. These are all packed in one maleta, so that we'll only be lugging around one bag. The maleta has been sitting in the trunk of our car for almost two weeks now. We put it there the day I reached my full term.

I also have my usual hand bag which contains my phone, wallet, cards, make-up kit, wet wipes, keys, etc.. It's just waiting to be picked up from the corner of our bedroom when the time comes.

Aside from these, we also have gifts for Zohan. I got the idea from Anna's blog - to buy a gift for the older brother, supposedly coming from the baby. We will give the gifts to Kuya Zohan when we come home from the hospital. We got him play doh and coloring books and a small car - his interests of late.

We are more than ready for the D-day, at least insofar as the bags are concerned. As to when and how - we are eagerly and also anxiously anticipating! But at almost 39 weeks, there are no signs yet - no loss of mucuous plug, no bloody show, no regular contractions. So please help me plead with my baby - come out, come out wherever you are!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The terrible but wonderful "Two"

A few months ago, I started a draft post about the inevitable - Zohan reaching the "terrible two" stage. I introduced the post by saying it was as if he magically sprouted thorns overnight to replace his otherwise sparkling halo. For some reason, I wasn't able to finish the draft. A few months later, I revisited the draft and I realized so many changes occured that the entire post needed an overhaul.

At the beginning of Zohan's "terrible two" stage, it was indeed what the literature said it would be. He wouldn't share his toys and food; he'd always get his playmates' toy; he'd hit on his playmates; he'd always resort to crying when he couldn't get his way - it was always an episode of a long and annoying meltdown. Zohan did it by the book, it was definitely TERRIBLE! And I was left clueless, doubtful of my ability to be a mother, and in a constant sour mood, to the point of having a meltdown myself.

So I read whatever I could get my hands on regarding any write up on dealing with the "terrible two" and I researched a lot on the internet. There were a lot of tips, sure. But I reckoned it was difficult to apply most of them. At the end of the day, I found myself handling the situation based solely on instinct and necessity.

Until something happened last December which took a turn in our otherwise chaotic household. I scheduled a long leave from work and my husband and I became stay-at-home parents. Our companions left for Christmas break, so it was just the three of us at home.

It was an opportunity for us to really know Zohan - his attitude at play, his preferences, his mood swings. I had to admit, on weekdays, Zohan spends more time with the yaya than with us. And a two-day weekend wasn't enough to really understand his daily quirks. I accepted the raw and painful truth - that no matter how hands-on of a mother I tried to be, it was quite impossible to really know my kid when I have an 8:00 to 5:00 job.

So our two-week vacation had been all about bonding and understanding our son better. I noticed that he was at the "exploratory" stage. He'd always prefer to join me in whatever I was doing, so I let him be. He'd help me handwash our clothes, prepare our meals, wash the dishes; then he'd turn to his Tatay and help him shine the furnitures, mop the floor, and fix whatever broken stuff they could find at home.

Of course, Zohan wasn't really helping. It took more time and effort to get things done when there were tiny little hands messing around. But it kept the little boy entertained. And this was what I learned - keeping him entertained keeps the tantrums at bay! 

When I say entertained, I wasn't referring to toys or tablet or the TV. He easily grew tired of them. What I did was to let him play outdoors and allow him to do everything he wanted to do at the playground. And once we were inside the house, I made sure to keep him "involved" in what we do. That meant more work for me and my husband- but I'd take late-night picking up of legos and mopping the floor (after I tucked the boy to bed) than a house that's spic and span but with a cranky baby in it.

Now, at almost 2 and a half years old, I noticed lot of changes in Zohan. He stopped hitting his playmates (he still retaliates, but that's another tricky issue). He'd ask permission from us before proceeding to do some actions and accept it when we say no. (There were times that he'd cry and take it badly, though.) He started sharing his toys and food again, but only after a very long and tedious explanation.

The bottomline is - there had been a huge improvement in his attitude compared to when he just turned two! And what was more interesting was how he suddenly turned into this very sweet little man who'd always make us smile with his quips. He would give us random hugs and kisses, he became very thoughtful in his words, and he would surprise us with his affection that wasn't taught or forced.

Not only that - we could already talk to him because he could respond intelligently to questions. At bedtime, he'd always ask us to tell him stories of random stuff. Not a very easy task because really, what interesting story could you make out of curtains or lights or walls? But it was amazing how he could remember our stories from several nights ago. So most nights, we'd rack our brains out to come up with truthful but interesting stories about the most mundane things that caught Zohan's attention.

And this is why my old post needed an overhaul - to include that while being at age two is indeed terrible, it is also a wonderful, incredible and heart-melting stage. 

I used to find myself contemplating on whether I should throw my son out the window whenever he would give me a meltdown. But now, that doesn't happen anymore (okay, maybe sometimes!) because I learned how to deviate away from an escalated level of tantrums. Now, I find myself often wanting to squeeze my son tight out of fondness and love and gratitude.

And if I may just share, here are what I learned so far with Zohan's terrible two stage:

1. Keeping him entertained helps keep the tantrums at a bare minimum.

2. In relation to item 1, I practice tolerant parenting. (Okay, I made that up!) "You want to mess with the clothes that I painstakingly folded for hours? Go ahead. You want to peel the garlic, sure!" As long as my son's life or other people's lives will not be put to risk, I tolerate pretty much everything at home.

3. The stages in the life of kids change very rapidly. The tantrums, the fake cries, the bad mood - they won't last for very long.  The next thing I know, the terrible part is over. They all come to pass. So I just bear with it, try to be more patient, and wait until the next interesting stage comes up. 

4. And as with most things about parenting, the ones that really matter is not up to my hands. I may decide whether it's okay to give him chocolates first thing in the morning. But if my kid will grow up to be a good person despite the daily, sometimes inconsequential rules of parenting - that's really up to him. So when everything else fails, I just lift it up to a Higher being.

I'm only halfway the age two, so what do I really know? These things seem to work for me; just take it with a grain of salt. These, and a piece of chocolate on a very bad day doesn't hurt.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My kind of Monday

You know how Mondays were always associated with a heavy heart to go to work? Well, yesterday was Monday but it was a fun Monday for me. That's because I didn't go to work!

My husband left for the States last Sunday to attend an international convention. He'll be staying there for long (but he'll be back in time for my 30th birthday) so it was a really sad Monday for me. It was a good thing I didn't have a scheduled hearing so I didn't have to wake up earlier than usual. I was taking my time, goofing around with Zohan before I hit the shower, when he blurted,

"Nanay, di popis, ha? Nanay baba lang? (playground)
Pis. Poh mi?" (Please, for me.)

How could you say no to that? And that was the first time he requested that I skip work. So I instantly decided - it's going to be a fun Monday for both of us!

We went to the nearby McDonald's for breakfast. Zohan insisted that I carry him (I still do that despite me being all heavy with a 7-month old baby inside) and I obliged. 

Meet my little bugoy:

Those make-faces were all his ideas! 

After breakfast, we hit the playground and played until almost lunch time. Then, I met with some friends for lunch, and decided to report to work in the afternoon. My Monday was perfect - I got to spend time with my son, I was able to catch up with some friends, and was still able to work in the afternoon. It made me think that if only I have a business, perhaps this arrangement would be possible on a daily basis. 

How was your Monday? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zohan is two!

Last Sunday, August 18, 2013, we celebrated Zohan's second birthday. And I was so excited because finally, I only had to think of what would really make him happy on his special day. (Admit it mommies, first birthdays left babies cranky with the crowd, while the adults were the ones having fun!) And to be honest, his second birthday was really my kind of celebration - I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

The night before his birthday, I waited for the boy to fell asleep before I sneaked out of the room to decorate our little sala. I initially wanted to cut out his birthday banner, care of the free printables from this site. But it would require four pages of photo paper print-out, and a lot of effort to cut out every letter and artistically hang it from a thread. It was a good thing I came across a complete banner from National Bookstore, which only cost me P40. I settled on the ready-made since to do-it-myself wasn't exactly the practical option. 

We also got him balloons (he loves them!) from National Bookstore. And, the pompoms were made by yours truly. Ninang Joyce gave me this site which served as my guide. Here are the finished products:

When the boy woke up on his birthday, Tatay and Nanay showered him with hugs and kisses and birthday greetings. We stepped out of our bedroom and he saw what I did with our sala. He kept saying "Wow! Bauns!" (He couldn't say balloons just yet.) I only needed to see that joy to make up for forcing my gut out trying to be crafty.

We lead him to the other room where our gift was waiting. 

We gave him a bike because he was so obsessed with it! He'd always borrow his playmate's bike, and oftentimes, he'd sit on his Tatay's thigh and pretend he's pedalling away. When he saw our gift, he didn't say anything but, he almost jumped in to drive it.

We took the bike for a spin at the playground while our companions were busy preparing breakfast for our guests. We invited his playmates for breakfast but unfortunately, his two closest friends, Migs and Charles, couldn't make it that day. We had champorado, hot pandesal with eggs and hotdogs, cake, pichi pichi and his ultimate favorite, spaghetti.

Books as gifts! He loved them!

After entertaining his guests, our celebrant grew tired and slept for a while. Then we prepared to leave for Ark Avilon Zoo. 

While waiting for everyone to get dressed.
He was so fascinated with animals whenever we would read books to him or let him watch Barney or Baby Einstein. He could identify his animals more than his numbers or alphabets, so we unanimously voted on bringing him to the zoo for his birthday.

We had lunch first at the restaurant in front of Fun Ranch - which name now escaped me.

Couldn't make him look at the camera, he was excited to look at the birds

Yes, that's a real snake.

I'm fourteen weeks pregnant and I just couldn't decline his pleas to carry him :(

I think he was saying "fish" in this photo

He wanted to touch the fishes!

When we arrived home, he told everyone what animals he saw that day. He was trying to mimic the "tuger" by widely opening his mouth and letting out a supposedly scary cry. He was so cute! (My son, not the tiger.)

Add caption
I'd like to think he really enjoyed his birthday because that was really what my husband and I wanted.

Actually, I couldn't sleep the night before his birthday, perhaps due to anxiety and excitement. But I remembered ending the night with a silent prayer. 

I prayed only for two things for him - that he would always be safe from all harm and that he'd grow up to be a good man. And I also prayed for something for me as a parent - that I would always manage to let him go. Because frankly, I love him too much now that I would oftentimes be blinded to think that I own him. I prayed to God to always remind me that Zohan was only given to us so that we could learn how to love, but never to treat him as ours and demand him to love us back. 

Happy birthday anak. Mahal ka ni Nanay at Tatay.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Another reason to love my son

One perfectly beautiful Sunday, I convinced myself I could become "the mom who bakes". Armed with a recipe in my phone, I enlisted our companions to become my baking assistants and I courageously attempted to make banana chocolate chip cupcakes.

Well, what do you know, I learned early that cupcakes and Khaye - they don't really get along. The recipe said I should stick a toothpick in one of the cupcakes to try if it would come out clean, which meant the baking was done. This should take about 60 to 80 minutes, so after putting the baking pan in the oven, I set the timer on my phone to an hour, and leisurely took a bath.

Then, my husband relentlessly knocked on the bathroom door, saying that the cupcakes were almost burnt.

Thirty minutes had passed when I made the toothpick test and it already came out clean. The cupcakes smelled and looked burnt, so I took them out.

Not only were they overbaked, they were extremely dried, with chances of bitter-tasting-portion kind of burnt. :(

Our companions were nice enough to tell me the insides were okay, it was only the edges which got burnt.

My husband, (oh the sweet person that he is), thought I might have discovered the hybrid that will give "cronuts" a run for its money. He called my creation the "cooffins" - because it looked like muffins but was every bit a cookie in its hardness. He went on the whole day annoying me with his suggested jingles for my cooffins, complete with melody and Zohan's mini guitar as accompaniment. And the name was with pun intended, of course. 

But Zohan, my darling little boy, has an entirely different story.

Look at how he devoured my cooffins like they were baked by Sonja's. It made me love him even more.

And when you asked him about it, this was how he responded:

Nanay: Anak, anong kinain mo kanina?
Zohan: Papay.. (Tinapay)
Nanay: Sinong nagbake?
Zohan: Nanay
Nanay: Anong lasa? Masarap ba?
Zohan: Popo. (Opo)

Standing ovation - slow clap.

I must cherish the moment while he's not yet aware what a real cupcake tastes like.

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