Friday, December 10, 2010

God talked to me three times...

The first time was on November 18. I noticed some brownish spots on my underpants. We rushed to our OB, who prescribed some medications and bedrest. The brownish spots disappeared after two days. And upon reading up on it on the internet, I found out that brownish spots are nothing to worry about. So after two days, despite my doctor's orders, I went about my usual daily activities.

God probably said, "Huh? Was I not clear enough that I want her to slow down a bit? Let Me be a bit clearer this time."

So on the morning of November 27, as I got up from bed, I felt something. When I checked, there were reddish brown stains on my underpants. Not spots ha, stains. It stained the liner I was wearing completely. Again, we immediately rushed to our OB's clinic, who prescribed the same medications but with stricter orders for bedrest this time. No going out, no heavy activities. Just strict bedrest.

After a few days, the stains disappeared. So I became more lenient with myself. I refrained from going up and down the stairs, but I still walked around a lot inside our bedroom. No more heavy activities, but it wasn't what you'd call strict bedrest either.

So again, God probably said, "This woman just doesn't get it! For my next sign, I will make sure she stays put!"

On the morning of December 6, I got up from bed and again, felt the alarming wetness down there. This time, they were not reddish brown. The stains were bright red - like I was in the middle of my period. Referring back to the things I read on the net, I knew this wasn't good. So forcing myself to calm down, I laid down in bed for 30 minutes, hoping that the blood will stop. Mike called our OB, who immediately advised us to check into the nearby hospital.

While lying down, I prayed to God, to please, please let me learn this lesson of slowing down in another way. Please not this way.. please not this way. In hysterics, I called my brother, and asked him to pray too. (NOTE: When we were younger, I often turned to my brother to make my wishes come true. It sounds so silly, I know. But what the heck - I almost always got what I wished for!)

After 30 minutes, Mike and I were calm enough to pack up and go to the hospital. Before we left, I felt I had to pee. And the moment I did, I felt the blood gushing out from me. In less than five minutes, I had soaked up two liners.


When we got to the hospital, after the initial check ups, they confined me to the labor room, where I was hooked up to a doppler, with doctors checking up on me every 30 minutes to check for contractions. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped that evening.

BUT! God had other plans. Just to add some more drama, the next morning, after I peed, I felt some fluid leak out from me. Uncontrollably. And my first thought was, my water bag broke! That was the doctors' thought too, as they checked me. So I was sent to the ultrasound department to check that my amniotic fluid level was okay.

Fortunately, it was.


The past few days had been really hellish, but there were several valuable lessons learned.

First is, to listen to my body. The first brownish spots were signs for me to slow down. But I refused to listen, and thought everybody around me (including my hubby and OB) were just being too overcautious. I now realize that when you're pregnant, overcautiousness IS a good thing.

Second, if I hadn't been so stubborn, MAYBE these heart stopping incidents could have been prevented. When I think back to all those activities I did, I couldn't think of anything that I could say would be worth the experience we had over the past few days.

Third, there are certain things that one cannot do anything about, regardless of all the precautions you took. That day when I thought my amniotic fluid was leaking, I had been lying in bed for 24 hours already, with strict monitoring from dozens of hospital staff. At that point, I just left everything up to Him.

I will be on strict bedrest from now until end of January, when I reach my 30th week and baby will have a fighting chance IF she comes out prematurely. I will miss Christmas, I will miss New Year. Heck, I"ll even miss Chinese New Year. But I don't mind. As long as she's okay.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I've been spotting for almost two weeks now. On and off. Light spotting most of the time, but one heavy spotting was enough to make us run to the doctor, who, as expected, advised strict bedrest for me.

Then a week after the spotting incident, I got sick. Coughs, colds, sore throat... the works.

And because I love my family, I have isolated myself from them. Mike CANNOT get sick, especially during the holidays when their family businesss needs him the most. Chloe cannot get sick too, she has a Christmas program to perform! :) A performance, which, judging by the way things are going, I won't be able to see. :(

So I am on STRICT bedrest now. I get up only when I need to. I have asked the yaya not to bring Chloe in, so she won't get my germs. Also because I know that when she's here, I won't be able to resist playing with her.

I'm getting teary eyed just typing this entry. Well, because I had grand dreams this Christmas. Of going to kiddie Christmas activities. Of baking cookies with Chloe. Of going out for a romantic Christmas dinner with Mike. Of watching Chloe sit on Santa's lap while we take her picture. Of decorating our brand new Christmas tree together. The list can go on and on, and I can cry till my tears run out. But I cannot do anything about it.

But it's not all sad. Friends and family are always nearby. My parents bring over stuff they think I need. :) One call to Wenya and I have a brand new Christmas tree complete with the trimmings. And a brief chat with my uber busy brother, and he's on his way over with some illegally downloaded movies. :D Friends have come over to visit, because I cannot go out.

And Mike. Mike deserves a paragraph of his own. :) I know how busy he is at their store, but he manages to bring me the littlest, most trivial things I ask him for. Regardless of whether it's a need or a want, I just have to say it, and it's there. He wakes up early to bring Chloe to school, comes home late from work and immediately takes over looking after her.

Just so you know, the original title of this post was "Christmas :(." But after typing what I just wrote, I decided to remove the sad emoticon. Nothing to be sad for pala.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Maid from Hell

Okay, so I am not the best person to be writing this entry. I've had so many bad experiences with so many maids. But I'm not exaggerating when I say this - our current maid now has to be the WORST maid IN THE WORLD.

This current maid, who I'll call MFH (maid from hell) started working for us last June 28. 2010. At first, she was doing well. She'd wake up early and clean the house thoroughly. But that was just for the first week. After that, she'd start work around lunch time na, sometimes, even later. I didn't say anything na lang. As long as the work gets done, then I'm okay.

In the (almost) five months that she's been with us, she had done these things:

1. Told my brother's maid that I only gave her soy sauce and brown sugar for her ulam. OMG. Can someone please visit our house, look at our chubby maid and tell me if she looks malnourished?!?

2. Ran away one Friday night then had the gall to come back Saturday morning. Why? Because she had a fever, and I only gave her two Biogesic pills daw. I should've given more. I am so selfish daw. Again, OMG.

3. Bleached the Daphne linens Mike gave me for my birthday. Bleached!!! Php 5t++ worth of blue green linens, now with streaks of white!! Oh happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

4. Used our comforter and pillowcases!! Coz you know, she feels she's part of this family that feeds her nothing but soy sauce and sugar.

5. Eats our stuff. This is actually okay lang with me. I had no problem with previous maids doing this. But hey, diba we give her only sugar and soy sauce? So panindigan nya. Magpapayat naman sya para maging believable diba.

6. SMOKES!! Enough said!!

7. Took my stuff. I discovered this when I got suspicious because things in our room started disappearing.

And now, her latest gift -- a moth infestation. She had the bright idea of taking our sala's area rug and storing it downstairs. I didn't mind. Until last week, when I wanted to have the rug back in its place. I told her to wash the rug first before putting it back in the sala. BUT, since she feels she's smarter and better than me, she put it back without washing it.

So now, we have moths flying all over the place. I plan to catch them one by one and put them on her clothes. So she knows how it feels like. So she knows the consequences.

Why is she still here, you might ask. Because I am having a delicate pregnancy, and I cannot do the housework. I have a yaya for Chloe, and I think she'd be willing to do some housework, but I do not want to overload her. It's been two months since we requested for a replacement, and still, nada. I have considered other agencies, but haven't found a suitable replacement yet.

Last week, because I was soooooooooooooo pissed with MFH, I spotted. I promised myself I won't ever let MFH's shenanigans bother me again. Days later, I see moths flying all over the house. I don't go looking for issues. The issues come running to me. It's like God reminding me to let her go. NOW. With or without a replacement.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birthday thoughts for the little one

One of the traits that Mike and I have in common is that we are both practical spenders (aka barat). There are things that we highly prioritize that we are both willing to spend on, like education and health. For things not on our priority list, we try to live without them. Or if necessary, we opt for the most practical option available na lang.

Children's parties fall under the things-we-do-not-prioritize category. It was an unspoken agreement between us that we will only celebrate the first birthday party of our children. After that, celebrations will be done at home with our families and a few close friends na lang.

But that was 3 B.C. (before Chloe). Three years after, we find ourselves giving her not one....

...but two celebrations!

All it took was for Chloe to ask, "Can I puh-wees have party? Puh-weeeees?"

And all our practical, spending policies went flying out of the window. :)


Some birthday thoughts for our little one, which I hope, she gets to read someday. :)


During your Jollibee party, the host asked us if we had any wishes for you that we wanted to share with your guests. I declined. I'm not very good at impromptu speeches you see. :) That night, while recalling the events at the party, I did ask myself what my birthday wish for you was.

I wish for you to grow up with a strong sense of self, but you seem to be doing that all on your own, with little help from me. I wish for you to be humble YET confident,as I believe these two traits should always go together.

But my greatest wish for you actually has someting to do with me -- I wish that I can be the type of mom who can help you be these things I want you to be.

We love you baby! You never fail to make us proud of you everyday. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Boy or girl?

This week, my hubby and I decided to switch to another OB. Reason being, our (now ex) OB seemed to have a penchant for caesarian sections. After searching the net for good feedback, I came across Dra. Pilar Lagman-Dy, then I remembered she was referred to me months ago by Sab. That time, with the morning sickness and all, I scratched her off my list because her clinic was too far away for me to make my monthly visits. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm able to make the trip with no stopovers and no vomitting incidents along the way.

So there we were, sitting in front of Dra. Lagman-Dy. After she computed our baby's gestational age (17 weeks, 5 days), she said, "Ah, makikita na natin if girl or boy."

I was flabbergasted. It completely slipped my mind that I read in one of the internet articles that Dra. Lagman-Dy, former chair of St. Luke's Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, can see the gender of the baby in as early as three months!

Early on during my pregnancy, people have asked if I preferred a girl or boy, and I would always answer that it doesn't matter to me, as long as the baby is healthy. Of course, we wanted a boy just to balance it out, but if the baby is a girl, okay pa din.

But at the back of my mind, I wasn't sure how I would really react. I mean, hoping to have a boy versus hearing the OB announce with finality the baby's gender are two different things. And I would only know how I really feel about it when the announcement is made.

So the good doctor did her usual routine, and after a few minutes, announced, "I see a girl."

I waited and waited for my reaction. I waited for that gut-wrenching, punched-in-the-stomach feeling - there was none. I was really okay with another girl! Wait, so I'm okay. But what about Mike?

Mike looked a bit sad for a few seconds. A bit lang naman. Then he was okay na din. We kinda had a feeling we were having another girl naman. Just that, some stupid fortune teller (highly recommended daw) predicted we were having a boy a few days ago. So that confused us a bit.

Then the OB started showing us her face. "She's looking at us," the doctor said. I couldn't really see her properly. Ultrasound pics confuse me. :) The doctor gave us a print out of the scan, which I stared at on our way home. And when I finally figured out the scan, and saw the black and white face staring at me, I cried. It was at that moment when I realized that boy or not, our second baby, who at this time really looks like a skull, is a blessing, no matter what other people say.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Entering the 18th week

I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy!!!

I keep telling Mike that this is the last pregnancy, that I don't care if it's a boy or girl.

Then the other day, I felt the baby move for the first time. And I seem to have forgotten all the projectile vomitting I did weeks ago. I love that feeling - of knowing that only the baby and I are aware of each other's movements. And I suddenly am okay with being pregnant again. HARHARHAR. I told Liza to slap me sensible when this time comes. So I'm giving her permission now.

So how am I doing so far?

I still have the bitter taste in my mouth, and I think it will be there until hours after I give birth. It was that way with Chloe, although that time, the taste wasn't as horrible as it is now.

I'm still throwing up. It comes and goes. So today I'm okay, but tonight I might be stuck in our CR having one of my sessions. :( I wonder when it will pass?

My boobs have gone up a size, much to my hubby's delight. :D Sometimes, I feel like I have pebbles inside - ang sakit sakit!!

Everyone who has seen me says my tummy is small for the baby's gestational age. I'm not worried. I think I will balloon up in a few weeks or so.

I love tomatoes!!! I love pizza!! I love Alfredo's steak! (I just don't like smelling the scent of meat searing on the sizzling plate while gravy is poured on it.) I love super super sour sinigang. I love paella negra.

I am super grateful for the people who sent food over to our house - just because I was craving for it.

Vivian - for buying carrot cake
Wenya - for baking carrot cake
Liza - for the sweet custard cake
MIL - for cooking sour soup! And for sending sinigang!!
MY MOM - for buying sinigang - the sourest ever
Ahya Peter & Minda - sending sinigang over (and the best ever sinampalukang manok!)
Audrey - for remembering me whenever they eat out at Bagoong Club. BC has the sourest and saltiest sinigang!! SARAP!
Val - for her input on the best pizzas!!

Yegads. I'm drooling just typing this post.

Oh, Chloe!

Chloe: "I'm sorry mama...."

Me: "For?"

Chloe: "FOR ever!"


Saturday, August 14, 2010

The yucky 8th

"Please let me sleep some more. Please don't let me wake up.. not yet." This is the prayer I say every morning.

Not really a happy way to start the day, no?

I think I'm the saddest and most miserable pregnant woman. :(

What a far cry from my previous post, where I couldn't stop peppering the screen with 'haahaha' and 'hehehhe.' :(

I'm throwing up all the time now. I don't have the desire to eat, even though I'm hungry all the time. My mouth seems to hate all food, and my taste buds retaliate by leaving me with a strong, yucky, bitter taste, which makes me want to throw up more. :(

I've stopped going to work, as I cannot handle the long drives anymore. Chloe is now spending the whole day with her yaya, as I have no energy to play with her too. :(

I can't count anymore the number of times I've told Mike to just have me confined in the hospital, so I can ask them to give me something to make me sleep all the time, with all nutrients and vitamins just injected through a dextrose.

I wish the first trimester will be over soon. I wish when I wake up tomorrow, it'll be March 2011 already. :(

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Entering the 7th week

During my first pregnancy, I wanted to keep a pregnancy journal to jot down everything I felt during my pregnancy. Sadly, I wasn't able to do so. I felt so horrible for the whole nine months, I had no energy to write anything down. I do remember sleeping for 20 hours a day during my first trimester - the remaining 4 hours, I spent wanting to go back to sleep again or watching tv to lull myself to sleep. YES, it was that bad.

I can't help but compare this pregnancy with our first though. :) I really thought that since each pregnancy is different, I would be spared from the horrible morning sickness this time. Well, turns out, I was spared for a few days (two). Then Monday morning, when I woke up, the nausea was there. Huuhuhuhuhu. It's so weird. I'm hungry all the time (so my stomach is acidic which makes me want to throw up), but when I eat, there is that weird metallic taste (which makes me want to throw up too). Huhuhuhuhuhu. :( BUT, I have to say that it's milder this time. At least I don't spend the day wanting to sleep just so I won't feel anything.

Last time, I would crave for siopao with asado filling. The asado filling had to be red. It CANNOT be brown. Hahahahha. Good thing Gloriamaris makes good red asado siopao. :) I also couldn't stand to look or eat pesto. Before I got pregnant with Chloe, I loved pesto. Once the morning sickness hit however, pesto became blech! I couldn't even look at it!!! Doing so made me want to throw up.

With this pregnancy though, what I crave most for is steak - thick, pink and juicy steak. :) No gravy. Just steak cooked in its own juice. I'm drooling just thinking of it. Hahahaha. But since a thick steak is so expensive, I guess a thick Brother's Burger will do.

When I was pregnant with Chloe, my guilty pleasure would be watching Ugly Betty. My sisters in law told me to stop watching, lest Chloe came out looking like her. Hahahaha. But I still sneaked in some episodes. Until eventually, I stopped watching because, believe it or not, whenever I saw the show, I would feel like... you guessed right, throwing up. Hahahaah.

This time, my guilty pleasure is watching.... uh... Spongebob Square Pants. Hahahahahahah! What are the chances that our second born will come out looking like him? Hahahahahah. In the past, Chloe would be eagerly looking forward to TV time with Spongebob, and Mike and I would be eagerly waiting for her to be sleepy so we can watch our favorites on tv. This time, Mike has no choice but to let us watch Spongebob in peace. Hurrah for creatures who live in a pineapple under the sea!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Miss Positivity

Wheeee! It's going to be one exciting nine month trip! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mean hives, a murdered tooth, and other common toddler issues

Chloe has been taking anti-histamines for two months now. Her hive outbreak, which started in May for reasons unknown to us, refuses to let up. Once she gets off her medicine even for just a day, the hives come back with a vengeance. Just look at this picture:

Doesn't it give you the itch just looking at them? I hate them. Whenever they appear on her body, I want to gouge them out with a knife. I imagine those histamines as furry creatures, positioning themselves under her skin and jumping up and down to irritate her skin.

What are these anti-histamines supposed to do exactly?

Well according to her pedia, the anti-histamines will just suppress the symptoms. They will not cure or treat, just suppress. In the hopes that after at least two weeks of taking anti-histamines, whatever it is that is causing the hives will be gone.

It's been TWO MONTHS, and the offending agent is still there!! Makes me wonder if it's anything in our surroundings that is causing it, like dust, dirt, our detergent... :(

We're visiting a pediatric allergologist tomorrow. I'm really crossing my fingers that she will be able to help. I can't imagine Chloe under anti-histamines forever.


Two weeks ago, Chloe's one front tooth suddenly turned a light shade of gray. At first, we thought it was just a stain of some sort. But when it turned noticeably darker, we panicked and brought her to the dentist. Her first visit. Yeeeesh.. Mike and I are procrastinators. This dentist appointment has been under discussion for months now. It took a gray tooth to hurry up the decision process for us. :(

Now, before we brought her to the dentist, I already consulted with other parents about what the dentist is expected to do with a tooth decay. Just so I can be ready and not be all emotional. They (the other parents) said that Chloe is too young to undergo surgery, so most probably, the dentist will just wait for the decaying tooth to fall out on its own. Okay.... that I can handle.

So when the dentist saw her tooth, she said, "It's not tooth decay."

WHEW!! What a relief!

"It's a dead tooth."

Uh... what again?

"Did she hit her mouth on anything hard?"

Mentally counting the days, my eyes went wide as I realized that this tooth in question started to gray AFTER she fell on her face in Zara Rockwell, while I was happily browsing through the array of discounted clothes.

After the realization, I wanted to bonk myself on the head. :( I have this firm, firm stance kasi that Saturday is our family day. So I (note, not we) try as much as possible to not bring the yaya with us when we go out. IF we had brought the yaya along, maybe Chloe wouldn't have tripped. IF we had not gone to the stupid sale, maybe Chloe wouldn't have tripped. IF I had been holding her hand instead of mindlessly ogling the clothes, maybe Chloe wouldn't have tripped. IF we had applied ice pack on her mouth right then and there, maybe the tooth wouldn've have grayed. If, if, if... all these ifs lead to nowhere and yet, I cannot stop thinking them.

"E pano mo naman mape-prevent yun?!?" Liza asked.

I know... but still. :(

I'm relieved though, that it's just a dead tooth, nothing serious. The worst that can happen is that the tooth will turn darker and darker until it turns black. It's irreversible, but not painful. But the good news is, we can paint over it! :D But we will consider it only when Chloe understands and agrees to it, or it becomes too horrible to look at, whichever comes first.


On a lighter note, Chloe is finally on her way to being potty trained! Uh wait, to clarify... she only pees and poops in the toilet when she's with me. But when she's with her yaya or with other people, she still continues to pee on the floor. Does anyone have any idea why this is so?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Whenever something in our bedroom goes missing, the first person we always turn to for answers is our dear, mischievous daughter Chloe. She loves hiding our things, especially those that matter most, like keys, car keys, expensive pens, and cellphones. :D Good that over the years, we've discovered her hiding places. So we take extra precautions to put these things in places where she won't be able to reach them. But sometimes we slip and she goes on her little game again.

So last Sunday, while I was frantically looking for my house keys, I asked her, "Chloe, where did you put mommy's keys?" And she said, "In (sic) the bed!" I finished turning our bed upside down and still no keys! But it's what she always says when I ask her. So I figured, she must be pretending to hide my keys even if she had nothing to do with the loss. But I still continued asking her, just in case she slips. :)

By late afternoon, I was exasperated. "Chloe! Come on, where did you put mommy's keys?!?!"

And she said, " You cry mommy..."

Thinking she was asking me, I said, "No, mommy's not crying. I just want to find my keys!"

"You cry mommy, and you'll find it!" she said, in a manner like it's a magic thing. You cry, voila, it's there again!

Oooooooops...... this can't be good.

But how can I blame her for thinking it?

I know most adults** mean well when playing with her. But usually, the game goes like this: Chloe quietly sits and plays with something, ignoring the adults** who are desperately trying to get her attention. So what they do is, grab whatever is catching her fancy at that moment, and hide it behind their backs. Of course, Chloe starts whining. But it is only when she starts crying that the adults** give in.

**adults = my dad and my youngest brother (bwahahahaha)

See? So how can you really blame Chloe for thinking that way?

I don't know if she understood me when I explained that that's not how things work. I've started discouraging her from crying to get what she wants since her mischievous revelation. And so far it works. When she starts crying for something, I tell her in a firm voice to stop crying. And when she does, I give her whatever it is she wants, if it's reasonable. If not, I just explain. She usually understands and gets it. Or sometimes, she forgets. It's that easy.

It's the adults** who will be a bit difficult to handle. :D

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The escalator did it

I recently purchased a pair of Havaianas blue metallic slippers. I've only worn it 3x this week.

Then while on an escalator going down, my dear darling daughter suddenly decided to sit on the steps, while we were only two or three steps away from the landing. Thoughts of Crocs being eaten by the escalator filled my mind, and I stood on the landing of the moving escalator to grab my daughter, who did everything her little body could do to remain seated on the steps.

And this is what happened to my brand new slippers:

Waaaaaaah! :(

Bye bye slippers. It was a fun week. 'Twas good while it lasted. :(

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I almost lost her...

Today started out as any ordinary Sunday would. Brunch before 11am, then my parents arrived to pick us up for our weekly grocery trip. I usually check out some shops before I join my parents in the grocery, but this time, we all went in together. My dad went his way, my mom went the opposite direction, and Chloe and I walked around with no shopping cart. We only had a few items to buy anyway.

An hour after, we all met up at the cashier. Chloe was being her usual malikot self. Running around, trying to see how far she can walk away from me until I call her back. I kept an eye on her the whole time. So while I was helping my dad load some of their purchases on the conveyor, I made sure that I can still see Chloe from the corner of my eye. When my mom went back to get something she forgot to get, I didn't pay much attention to her. Because that's normally how it goes.

A few seconds after my mom left, Chloe was nowhere to be seen.

I immediately went around to search for her. I started with the nearby aisles, hoping that she's just waiting for me to find her. I started checking each aisle one by one, shouting her name, hoping she'll hear me and come running back. NONE.

Panicked, I signalled to my dad that I couldn't find her. With brows furrowed, he whipped out his cellphone to call my mom. I tried fumbling for mine in my bag's pockets, but with all the worry and panic that was going on in my head, I couldn't find my celphone.

A man in a blue and white striped shirt approached me and asked who I was looking for. 'Anak ko,' I cried. He asked for the gender. I said girl. He got out his walkie talkie and, I presume, radioed his other colleagues, probably in civilian wear too, to look out for a little girl wandering alone.

I could feel the other shoppers' eyes on me, as they saw me, a panicked woman with a crazy look in her eyes, running around the aisles and calling out Chloe's name loudly. But I didn't care about the scene I was making. I just wanted to see my little girl in her white dress running back to me.

It had been only a few minutes since the whole thing started, but at that moment, it really, really felt like an eternity. With no signs of Chloe, I ran back to my dad. And I saw him calmly loading groceries on the belt. I asked him if he knew where Chloe was. He said Chloe was with my mother.


After the initial relief, I unabashedly wept. :D The man in the striped shirt saw me crying, and asked if I had found her. "Oo, kasama mama ko." He smiled. I smiled. And wept some more.

A few seconds later, Chloe and my mom came back, happily prancing about, oblivious to the near breakdown they almost caused me. My mom said that after she turned around to go back and get whatever item she forgot to get, she saw Chloe running after her. Good thing she did! Because obviously, I didn't.

The thing is, a few weeks back, I had this thought about all the parents out there who reported their kids missing. How did they cope? Were the kids ever found? My mom told me this story of one mom who lost her son and later found out that he was in Hong Kong, arms and legs chopped off, begging on the streets for money. Urban legend? I don't know. But when I heard the story, I had hoped nothing like that would ever happen to us. The idea of not knowing where your baby is, of having to go home after an innocent trip to the mall with no baby in tow, is scary. I wouldnt' wish it on my worst enemy.

As I am typing this, I watch my little daughter deep into her nap, lying down beside me on our white comforter. And I am deeply, humbly thankful to the powerful being up there, that this day ended peacefully and happily, and that I am able to type this blog post calmly.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Maid # 14

Should I or shouldn't I?

Do I include her in the count?

We fetched maid # 14 from agency last night. We got home around 10pm, and I showed her her living quarters, where to bathe etc. Then I showed her her breakfast fare, with bread and spreads. I asked if she drank coffee, she said yes. So I gave her a new pack of coffee, and even helped her boil her water to put in their thermos. After things had been put away, I asked her to rest and be ready by 7.30 am the next day.

The next morning, we awoke to the sound of our phone ringing. It was the guard. Our maid was at the guard house, asking to go out. I said no, she didn't ask for our permission.

So I went downstairs and asked the maid why she wanted to go out. She needed to buy bread. The bread I gave her, has molds daw. Flabbergasted, I went to her table to check. Nope, no molds there. Nada. Not even a hint of green on the loaf. So I told her to show me - where are the molds? Oh, no molds. But when she woke up this morning daw, the bread pack was in the trash can already.

Oh really?

I decided to let the senseless reply go. So I asked her again, kumain ka na? She said yes. I asked her to go upstairs to help me with chores.

She didn't know how to chop garlic and onion. And I have to pat myself on the back for this - I showed her how to do it very, very patiently. While I was cooking Mike and Chloe's baon for the day, she engaged me in a very awkward conversation.

Maid: Magkano ba ang sweldo ko dito?
Me: P________
Maid: Pagtapos ng 2 buwan, magkano na makuha ko?
Me: P________
Maid: Tapos, may utang ako sa agency ng Php 2t+?
Me: Ah, ang alam ko, utang mo sa agency is Php 4t+
Maid: Php 4t+?!?!?! Pano umabot ng Php 4t+ yun?

Then she proceeded to enumerate to me her boat fare, her lodgings etc. It couldn't have reached PHp 4t+.

Note that this conversation was taking place with maid speaking in Cebuano, and me speaking in Tagalog. She understands Tagalog, but can't speak it. I usually just try to translate her words into Tagalog and she nods when I get it right.

So back to story.

While enumerating, her voice kept rising. I told her that she signed for her dues in front of me. If she had any issues with how it was computed, better if she talk with the agency.

So to make a long story short, while we were waiting for the agency to call me back, I showed her how to clean our rooms. While she was cleaning, I took a shower and got ready for the office. I looked for her in the room where I left her - she wasn't there. So I asked Mike to ask her to come up and finish cleaning the room.

Mike came up and said, the maid is having her coffee break.


I went downstairs where this conversation took place:

Me: Maid no. 14, anong ginagawa mo?
Maid: Mag kape muna ako. Kasi di pa ako kumain buong araw eh.
Me: Haaaa? E diba kanina tinanong kita sabi mo kumain ka na?
Maid: Hindi, nagpainit lang ako ng tubig.(San sya magpapainit eh wala namang stove sa room nya?)
Me: Alam mo, maid no. 14, araw araw pumapasok kami sa trabaho. Kelangan, habang andito pa kami, malinis na ang buong bahay. Pag alis namin, ikaw na bahala ano gusto mo gawin. Pero sa umaga, dapat matapos na ang trabaho bago kami umalis. Umakyat ka na.

So up she went.

Then she asked if I'm leaving for work already, because she wants to go with me. She wants me to bring her back to the agency.

My goodness.

I called agency and I don't know what they talked about, but she was crying when she handed me back my phone, saying she'll stay na lang daw.

NO. As Chloe would say, I don't yike.

I don't like having someone who lies, nor do I like having someone bearing a grudge (against agency or me) work for us. It's too risky. We're not home most of the time.

So we showed her the door.

So tell me - do I include her in my maid count?

She stayed for only 14 hours. :D

Part of me wants to, if only so I can win this game I'm playing by myself.

Another part of me doesn't want to, because the higher the numbers go, the more I think something is wrong with me. Mike suggested having a priest bless the maid's quarters. And I agreed. Can you believe it? I agreed.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

NOT a SATC 2 Review

When I watch movies, I almost always find a scene that is relevant to what is currently going on in my life. And in SATC 2, that scene was at the bar where Charlotte cried her heart out to Miranda.

Every word, every emotion in that scene, I had uttered out (well, YMd) in one way or another to my two best gal pals in the world. And to my hubby too. All of them understood. But I wanted to know if what I'm feeling is normal. If I am normal.

After hearing Charlotte say her lines, and seeing Miranda nodding her head, I breathed a sigh of relief. Somewhere in the world, I know there are women nodding their heads in agreement too. YAY!

I had a life before I became a mom. I had my own time, and my own list of things I wanted to do during my spare time. I had a very, very fixed idea of what a balanced life should be. I like having a plan, you see. Spontaneity was never my thing. I was never good at accepting changes.

And before Chloe came to our lives, I thought I can handle motherhood the way I handle other things - on a schedule. Once, I even sat down and wrote how and when our day should start, and what we should be doing by 1PM on weekdays, or 1PM on weekends. And I became frustrated. So many things that I had scheduled to do, I couldn't do. Because we weren't finished with feeding Chloe. Because we weren't finished bathing her. Because she didn't want to take her nap.

And these changes in schedule - I couldn't handle. Everyday, I was able to feed, bathe and play with Chloe, and give her a nap. Everyday, I was able to do things for her. But what about MY list? What about the things I wanted to do? Around this time, I started whining to my hubby and closest friends. I love my family, but sometimes, I want to do things for myself - am I crazy? Am I a failure? Am I a bad mom? I wanted someone to say yes, so that I can change whatever it is I'm doing wrong. But everyone said I'm normal. Everyone said I'm not a failure. Everyone said I'm a good mom. But I was so frustrated and feeling guilty for being frustrated! What in the world am I not doing right?!? Why can I not make motherhood work for me?!

And then Mike suggested I go out by myself once in a while. To which I vehemently said no. I didn't want to go anywhere without them. Besides, going out by myself would only make me a worse mom, right? After all, moms are supposed to love their children all the time. I have never heard of a mom take a break from her kids.

But every night, after everyone was asleep, I would think of all those things I wanted to do but couldn't because I was too busy doing mom things. I thought, if I can only have a day to myself, I would be able to get things done!

Hmmm... why does that idea sound so familiar? :)

So a plan came up. Twice a month, I will have a day to myself. To do anything I want. Shop. Bake. Surf. Dinner with friends. Spa. Sleep. And Chloe? She gets some alone time with Mike.

It's been two weeks since the plan was drafted, and I've been out twice already! Mike allows me to cheat too. On days when he feels like I'm itching to do something, he takes over my mom duties, so that I can get more extra hours to myself. Ain't that sweet? Thanks honey! :)

And I have stopped feeling guilty for wanting some time alone. Instead of feeling guilty, I give Chloe (and Mike) quality time when I'm with them.

So now, I have the best of both worlds. :) and I couldn't be happier.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Baby's First Movie Date

Too bad I wasn't able to take a picture. :(

We wanted to take advantage of the four free movie passes from Citibank, which Mike got from enrolling our Meralco bill. The passes were only good until June 3, which was why we trekked to the nearby movie house to watch Shrek in 3D at 10 PM.

The 3D tickets left me flabbergasted at a total of Php 900 for the three of us! It's obviously been a long time since we last caught a movie on the big screen. (I save those big screen dates for movies like Avatar, SATC, Twilight...) So Php 900 minus passes worth Php 400 = Php 500!! But since we were there already, we went ahead and bought the tickets.

Chloe loved running around the theater. And when she sat down, the folding chair kept closing up, because she was so light! :) "I want to watch Shrrrak! I want to watch Shrrrak!" Yes, the whole theater probably knew how excited our daughter was to watch the green ogre on the big screen.

Halfway through the movie, Mike and I decided to move to a less populated part of the theater, as Chloe was giving a very loud running commentary of the movie. "There are three babies!" she said when she saw Shrek's three babies. "The witches are flying!" when she saw the witches flying.

Towards the end of the movie, Chloe had gotten tired of explaining to her parents what was happening in the movie, and decided instead to climb on all the unoccupied chairs beside us. Hahahahaha.

We did have a good time though. But maybe our next movie date with Chloe would be after she turns three. :D

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Trust Issues

In the three years since we started hiring, we've had thirteen (13) maids work for us. Some, who stayed for less than a week, I didn't include in the count anymore.

When well meaning friends and relatives (and parents) noticed how often our maids would come and go, I would always receive the same advise - lower your standards. If the work they do is below my expectations, just turn a blind eye. If they pretend to not hear me when I talk to them, don't say anything, lest the maids get mad and decide to up and go. If they get food from our refrigerator without my permission, make a mental note of it but pretend not to notice. Just so the maids will stay.

By the time we were with our 7th hire, I decided to listen to the advise. Never mind that the pots and pans aren't clean, or that they go out of the house in the middle of the night for some lusty rendezvouz with their boyfriends. I was playing blind and dumb - something I do not like doing.

For several months after my decision, the length of time they spent here working SHORTENED, from months, to weeks, to days. Harharhar.

Our 11th maid refused to work because she said it was not part of the agreement with the agency. Because, you know, as a maid, she's not obliged to clean, wash the dishes and do the laundry. I never asked what she thought she was supposed to do as a maid. She left.

Our 12th maid, after 4 days of working for us, wanted to go on a day off and wanted to borrow money from me, even with her unpaid dues from the agency. But thanks to a good friend who told me to be firm with money issues, I didn't give her the amount she wanted. She left. (Thanks Joe!!)

Our 13th maid, currently working for us, did this:

My hubby and I operate an online store, and for pick ups, we ask buyers to pick up the items from our house and leave the payment in a sealed envelope.

As I was opening this envelope last night, I noticed how there were holes near the parts where the staple wires are (check out the three encircled parts in red). The size of the previous holes and current staple wires don't even match. Who would make it a point to carefully staple on the part where it was previously stapled? And why do dut?!?!

So my hunch is - our current maid did it. The money is untouched, but I'm pissed that she feels it's her right to open things that aren't hers.

I decided last night, to stop playing this dumb and blind game. It's not working anyway - they just seem to get worse and worse. I pay the agreed amount for their salary, so I should get what I expect from them.

So this Sunday, I am asking her to leave. Even with no replacement. And I have to say, I'm so looking forward to this Sunday. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy 4th!

It was our 4th anniversary last Friday. Four years. F O U R years. Has it really been four years since we officially made public our decision to spend the rest of our lives together? :)

We celebrated by going out to dinner at Sofitel's Spiral. Other people would balk at the thought of spending a romantic evening stuffing themselves full (yes, I mean you Liza :)). But since we looooove to eat, and we looooove buffets, and it would only be the two of us (no Chloe), it was an evening we both looked forward to.

During dinner, I cannot remember how many times I told Mike how differently I felt, not having to look after Chloe, or run around the place going after her. For the first time in weeks, I felt like a dignified adult. :) Well, it is hard to look dignified when you're running around in heels catching a toddler, or when you're feeding your baby with a spoon, and she pushes your hand away, causing the food to fall on your brand new shirt. It was a relief to be spending our anniversary with just the two of us. Don't get us wrong. We love our daughter very much. Just that sometimes, we need time for ourselves too.

So for that one evening, we talked about ourselves, reminisced about the past, talked about our plans, what we wanted, how we felt. In short, it was really a night spent just talking... something we haven't done for quite a long time now. And something I'd like to do again sometime soon. (HINT HONEY... HINT!!!)

No pictures taken of the food. We were too busy ooohing and aaahing the food selections. Sadly, the food was disappointing. Quality wasn't good. But, since it was our anniversary dinner, we will overlook those things and remember what it is that stood out -- the chocolate gelato. Ummmm... YUMMY!!! We did try to ask the brand of gelato they carried, but we were politely rebuffed. :)

Happy 4th honey!

In our excitement, we forgot to bring a camera. So it was a camphone shot for our anniv date :(

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's MY day!

When I picked up Chloe from school, she proudly gave me this heart card she made herself. Of course, with a little help from her teachers. :) She said, "Mommy, this is for you!"

I could almost hear the other moms around me awwwwwwing in silence. It took all of my willpower to not cry right then and there.

I never knew how much love I could feel and give.. until I became a mother.

Happy mother's day to all the moms out there!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Alive..and kicking

It's been almost one and a half months since our maid left, barely a month since our yaya left. We haven't had any suitable replacement since.

It has been an exhausting ninety days of non stop housework.

Clean the toilet, clean the room, prepare breakfast, cook Chloe's baon, wash dishes, dry dishes, sweep floor, mop floor, take out trash, clean toilet, clean shower.....

By the time I finish with housework, I'm dead tired. Which is why this blog post (and some previous posts) are posted at an ungodly hour.

But, I have never been happier than I am now.

Happy, but tired, but happy nonetheless. Happy in knowing that my dishes and pans are washed the way I like them, and that my floors are completely free of grime and dirt. Happy with not having to deal with the maid's personal issues, which, most of the time, end up with them wanting to borrow money from us. (And me giving in, because I don't want them to pack up and leave. Stupid, I know.)

And most of all, happy to be getting to spend all this time with Chloe. :)

In fact, I'm seriously considering not getting a maid and yaya na. But Mike, the realistic person that he is, thinks that we should. I know he's right. But I just wish there was some way we could work around this maidless and yayaless situation and not be tired all the time.

A Sunday surprise

Woke up one Sunday morning with this sweet surprise from Val....

After a looooooooooong week of cleaning the house, washing dishes and bottles non stop, and cleaning the shower and toilet, it felt good to be able to indulge with my favorite drink.

Thanks Val!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

One busy Monday morning....

".... he is a malambing uncle to Chloe. He always finds time to play with her, despite his very busy schedule. You know Rich, you once told me that you are worried that when you become a father, you might not know what to do. I see you with Chloe, and I see how good you are to her, and I tell you, you have nothing to worry about."

~taken from my speech for their wedding

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scrambled Eggs

One hot Saturday morning, Chloe gamely agreed to cook breakfast with mommy.

(1) Check out the I-just-got-out-of-bed get up. Animal print headband - check. Gold chains - check.

(2) While the eggs were cooking, she wanted to eat them already. :) I had to remind her so many times to let the eggs set. How many babies know what it means to wait for the eggs to set? :)

(3) The proud chef :) Pardon the hair. As I said, it was really hot. And my daughter is not one to let the weather dictate her outfit for the day.

(4) And because she cooked it, of course she ate it, with no begging from mama.

And one day, when she becomes a great chef, she can say during interviews that she cooked her first meal at the age of two. :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

One day at a time....

Brunch with Val at Bannapple, Il Terrazzo

Some backpack lovin with Giant Dora at Megamall's toy section

The cracks on our brand new and FREE toilet tank cover made me cry.

But this one cracked me up!!