Mommy’s Letter to 4-year old Angela

Dear Gelapie,

By the time we read this, you’ll be the same age as your Ate was during the time that I wrote this letter. Sounds confusing noh? Hehe. Basta as I wrote this, I imagined telling you stories about you when you were just 1. By the age of 4 I think you can already understand and relate to these stories.

I wanna tell you how kulit you are. You have a mischievous smile when you take something from your Ate or cousins and try to run away with it. That same smile you give to Daddy when you tease to kiss him then suddenly looks away. You even attempt to walk backwards when you tease us, as if you want to see our reactions to confirm that your pang-aasar was a success yet you move away to escape our grasp and make us more asar.

You’re also very demanding. When I get home from work, you will demand to nurse even if I haven’t even put down my bag yet, or changed clothes or eaten dinner. You will pull down my clothes and latch anywhere even while standing. You have a way of getting what you want.

You don’t seem sweet because you never make lambing. Everything you ask is always in a stern voice. But then we’ll hear you call Nanay in a very sweet tone, aahh kagigil! Coz I know you can but you don’t do the same for me or Daddy! You also don’t want hugs or kisses, but I still shower you with both! Ang sarap mo kasi gigilin!

I know that when you turn 2 or 3 or 4, some of these will change. Maybe you will be less naughty or less demanding or be the one to shower me with hugs and kisses. Or not! Hehe.

No matter how you grow up, I want you to know that I’ll love you just as much as when you were 1 with all your kakulitan and even more. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by how much love I have for you and Ate and Daddy. I love you my kulit! Mwah! ❤️

  
Love,
Mommy

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Different Fruits from the Same Tree

Every child is different and their personality may show at a pretty young age, sometimes earlier than we could expect.

I can relate to this as my sister and I are somewhat on opposite ends of the spectrum. She’s shy, I’m loud. She’s obedient, I’m hard-headed. She has a temper, I’m easy going. She has a really pretty smile in our childhood photos while I exert too much effort to give the camera a decent shot (and I’m not even successful at it).

 

Having daughters of my own now, I can also observe several differences in my kids’ personalities and even skills and talents. Sofie is laid back in terms of physical activities and took a long while before having the confidence to take unsupported steps when she was a toddler while Angela, our brave and adventurous baby, is already climbing chairs and going down a 1-level step at the age of 1. She now plays hide-and-seek and chasing games with her Ate. She also loves to dance while Sofie loves to sing. Angela shows more independence and would even get her water bottle by herself when she’s thirsty. She’s also easier to calm down after crying when wounded or hurt.

Dad and I actually see that our daughters complement each other with these differences. I’m excited to see how they will support each other as they grow and help each other develop in aspects where one is more skilled. May they be each other’s source of strength and inspiration. 😊

  

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Remembering Lola

Those who grew up with their lolas, raise your hands. Me! Me!

I actually lived with my Lola since birth up to before I moved to a dormitory in college. My sister and I shared a room with her and were raised by her. I can say we were spoiled in some ways but also experienced the strictness of elderly guardians most of the time. I may not have the happiest childhood memories but there are many lessons I learned from Lola and a lot of memories that influence how I live my everyday life. Let me share the top 10 things I remember about Lola.

10. I remember me being a stubborn child who likes to watch TV until late at night even if Lola (and Lolo) tells me to go to the bedroom and sleep. If I don’t follow they will scold me and tell me to sleep outside the room, which I obey and later on they will scold me again for staying outside. I remember answering that they told me to stay outside that’s why I did, and they’ll scold me again for answering back! I think I’m one of the most stubborn grandchildren in the family but Lola still loved me just the same.

9. I remember Lola not allowing us to play outside the house with other kids so I’ll just sit by the window envying them.

8. I remember Lola always asking me to drink milk even if I don’t like it. She would even allow me to drink coffee mixed with milk just so I’ll have my milk.

7. I remember Lola arguing whenever I only want to eat the egg whites and leave the yolk because she says the nutrients are in the yolk. Same goes for the sisiw in the balut which I really can’t tolerate but she insists that it’s what people pay for.

6. I remember Lola being a hardcore Brgy. Ginebra fan! She loves Jaworski and Caguioa. When I had a chance to see Jaworski, I did my best to secure an autograph with a dedication for Lola.

5. I remember brushing Lola’s dentures and scrubbing Lola’s back when she takes a bath. I also remember her using Perla as bath soap.

4. I remember Lola teaching us to eat what’s on the table and always finish our food that’s why I’m not a picky eater and almost always have a clean plate after meals.

3. I remember Lola being a peacemaker when her children have arguments. If my mom is involved, she would always say that her other children should love their Ate because if she died giving birth to her then they all won’t be in this world.

2. I remember Lola always telling me that I’m getting thinner whenever I go home to the province. If this is true then I’ll be the size of a matchstick by now! She believes this is because I don’t eat breakfast but maybe she’ll be proud of me now because I try to always eat my morning meal.

1. There are many other things I remember about Lola but the most memorable thing she taught me is to not deprive myself of food! In her words: Tipirin mo na ang lahat huwag lang ang pagkain. She even gives me extra baon so that I can buy whatever I want to eat. She really loves it when I eat a lot which is probably why I’m matakaw! 😬

I will really miss my Lola but I’m comforted by the thought that she’ll be with Lolo now. I love you, Lola.❤️ Rest in peace.

  

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Our Sweetest Pie

Our sweetest pie is Gelapie! Oh how time flies, our tabachuychuy just turned 1 last September 1!

 
Her sweetness is not too obvious because she’s also a brave little girl who would rather take those steps by herself than hold on to Mommy’s hand. She doesn’t want to be held much but when she sees Ate Sofie crying, she would immediately go and kiss her Ate. I’m not sure how she developed this but it’s so heart-warming to see. She’s also beginning to be fond of Daddy which melts his heart. ❤️

Of course, as Angela’s mom, I can feel her sweetness the most. The excitement on her face when I come home from work is undeniable. She would scream and ask to be carried immediately; I know that’s a sign that she misses me. I love to see her looking at me when I breastfeed her and eventually fall asleep cuddled in my arms. These are some of the simple pleasures of being a mom.

 
I hope that Angela grows up to be as sweet as her Ate Sofie. Thank God for giving us two wonderful daughters to nurture and love! ☺️

 

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Little Miss Sofie

I’ve been working on too much Excel lately that I think I already forgot how to write in paragraphs! Oh my!

Anyway, I won’t let the next days pass without writing about my Sofie, the primary reason I started blogging in the first place. Would you believe she’s 4 already? She has grown into a kid in so many aspects yet remain a baby in others.
  
Our little girl is now going to school and has been making friends with other kids. She actually has 2 best friends in school, James and Georgina. It’s funny how she told us that James is her best friend the day that he shared his donut with her. I guess the best way to a girl’s heart is also through her tummy! And Georgina, or George as Sofie calls her, is probably Sofie’s little BFF in school. The teacher told us that they had to transfer Sofie to table # 1 in class because of the malilikot boys where she was originally seated. This made Sofie cry.. but when they moved George with her, she felt better and no more tears! Good thing she has these friends who help to lessen her crying moments at school.
  
Sofie is also more independent now and sometimes prefer to go to the toilet, bathe, brush, and dress up on her own. She chooses what she wants to wear and suggests what she wants to buy or eat. She’s more adventurous to try new food yet still has her all-time favorite go-to meals.

But I guess her maturity shows the most in being a big sister to Angela and being our first-born daughter. She is patient with her sister and even tells us she’s not hurt when Angela playfully pulls her hair or taps on her face. I love how she gives comfort to Angela, and even to me and dad, when one of us gets hurt. The concern and love really shows on her face. She’s really taking the Ate role for #teamcandaza. 😊
  
Despite all of these growing up stuff, Sofie will still be our forever baby. Daddy will never get tired of carrying her and reading bedtime stories with her. And Mommy will always love to comb her hair and hug her to sleep. ❤️
  

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Special Delivery!

I never thought I’d undergo C-section, ever. Not until that baby’s-heartbeat-gone-missing moment.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant, we already got the St. Luke’s Global package for normal spontaneous delivery. I was pretty much convinced that I can deliver baby normally after having done so with Sofie. My last trimester progressed quite well with very little symptoms (just a few leg cramps and no swelling) and even the cervix dilated gradually each week with the help of evening primrose oil (prescribed by OB) and a lot of walking. My only concern then was that the baby was sunny side up. But our OB and sonologist said it’s still possible for baby to turn face down until labor. Everything seems well and good for normal delivery.

During our Sept 1 checkup, IE indicated that I’m 4-5 cm dilated. With that we already headed down to the hospital and got admitted at 2 pm when I was having contractions with 5-minute intervals. At 3 pm I was in the labor room enduring the contractions alone as relatives were not allowed inside. I thought it will be painless this time around but the OB told me that epidural will only be given when active labor begins. And so I waited.

Around 5:25 pm, my water broke and cervix was 7 cm dilated. One resident OB stayed with me to practice pushing. She said I was doing well since baby’s head was going down with each practice push. At 10 minutes before 6 pm, I was given the epidural. Things progressed quite fast and several more minutes cervix is already 9 cm dilated. Then I was brought to the delivery room, this is it!

As expected, I had chills as side effect of the epidural. The nurse made me wear leg warmers as we wait for the contractions to start pushing. They came, I pushed, 1-2-3-….-8-9-10. Baby’s head was going down but as soon as I stop pushing it went back up. This went on for a while and everytime the baby’s head is down, the heart rate also goes down. When baby’s head goes back up and somehow relaxed, the heart rate shoots up way above normal. The doctors and nurses were unsure why that was happening. Two more tries and suddenly my OB was like “Where’s the baby’s heartbeat? Doppler, doppler. Faster.” I can feel panic in the room. Doc decided to push the baby’s head back up and waited to hear the heartbeat again. What a relief to hear it.

Elmer was not yet in the room at that time. When they told me we have to do emergency C-section I was unsure how to answer. Initially I thought I can still do a big push or maybe we can do assisted delivery with forceps or vacuum. When Elmer walked in and doc briefed him on the situation, he agreed to proceed with the C-section. Though still hesitant, I said ok. At 7:30 pm, we heard Angela cry. We were both in tears! Thank God she was safe.

It turned out my fibroid/myoma was somehow blocking the other half of baby’s body that’s why it can’t completely go down when I push. Good thing doc didn’t go for assisted delivery which may have resulted to us losing our baby. She showed Elmer how big the fibroid has grown and he thought it was the liver or another organ. I hope it could have been removed but was told that with that size there would be a lot of blood loss. So I’ll just have to take medications to help shrink it. (side note: I was advised that I’d have to stop breastfeeding before starting the injectibles so it may be 2 years before we begin shrinking the fibroid.)

I never imagined being cut open but I’m just so glad we went for it. It was a priceless moment when they handed Angela to us. I fought the urge to fall asleep to be able to hold her, our precious little angel.

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BER months signify the start of the Christmas season for us Filipinos and we already got our early present specially delivered on the first of September. 🙂

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Small Talk, Big Thoughts

It’s surprising how kids seem to comprehend stuff we don’t really expect them to fully understand at their age. Eversince Sofie started to string words together and express her thoughts, we’ve been surprised several times at what she says. She’s kinda expressive about how she feels and lets us know most of the time what she thinks.

I mentioned in my previous post that we’ve been going through some rough times lately. Well, we can still manage with our savings but we try to limit our expenses due to unforeseen turn of events with our employment in Singapore. And we let Sofie know about these things to set her expectations. She’s not yet at an age when kids just ask and ask for toys to be bought and also doesn’t throw tantrums if we can’t buy what she wants, but we still tell her that for the mean time we won’t be buying stuff until mom and dad are able to find work. I never expected her to take this seriously.

One time when we were at an outlet mall, I asked her if she wants me to buy a pink shirt for her —

Mommy: Sofie, gusto mo tong pink shirt?
Sofie: May money na ba tayo?
(We were so surprised that Elmer and I laughed at her response!)
Mommy: Uhm, pwede pa naman kita ibili nito.
Sofie: Pwede ba dalawa?

Hahaha! So I bought her two! She really does understand our situation. And we’re so glad that no matter how tough life may seem at the moment, we still have Sofie to make us laugh and appreciate what we have! ☺️

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