Memoirs of a Mummy

Second Day at Asian Hospital

Our second day started early. At 5AM, we brought Aki to another room so that the nurses can reinsert the dextrose needle. He went back to sleep after that quick dramafest.

Although Aki was still his active self, his eyes on that day were not my son’s eyes.

Doc ruled out dengue because Aki’s platelet count was steady at 220. She was then looking at the viral infection angle. Doc also ordered nebulizer every 4 hours. Surprisingly, Aki would let the med tech take blood samples but he would do everything in his power to keep the cute face mask away.

Continue reading “Second Day at Asian Hospital”

Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy

I am just as important as everyone else.. this family.

I have a recent realization. Thanks to Brooke Burkes. In an interview with Ladie’s Home Journal, Brooke said ” I am just as important as everyone else in this family” . She has a point. When I read that line, I told myself that I need to be the next Brooke. Haha.

Life went on. I forgot about that line. Then the craziness came. Then Aki was hospitalized. Then we were discharged. Then I went back to work.

Last Wednesday, I found myself crying the whole day. Actually, as soon as Nurse Jaypee, told Aki  to take care of himself, I suddenly felt like crying. Maybe because I have been faking courage for several days. I can not show Aki that I am dying inside seeing him sick with a dextrose. The only time I had to have an IV was when I gave birth. Prior to that I was never confined in a hospital. I felt soooo guilty. It did no help that I was  not  exactly the best person to care for my boy as I just came from a 3-day flu.

I am normally a panicky person but when we got the postive dengue results up to the family picture we had outside Aki’s room before we left the hospital, I was surprisingly calm. I cry at the slightlest emotion, positive or negative. When Aki was in the hospital, I did not consciously hold back the tear. There were no tears. I tried to keep the mood inside the hospital room light and cheery.

However, as soon as we said good bye to the nurses, I started feeling overwhelmed. I should be happy but I was not. I cried a bit when we reached the parking lot. My oh so sweet husband started mocking me. He is sweet in his own annoying way.  So after that short dramafest, no more tears again. I still was sad but not sad enough to cry.

It was when I returned to work that I got flooded with emotions. I felt guilty, overwhelmed, helpless, unappreciated, sad , pity for myself,  you name it. I know I am stressed when I wake up at 3AM and can not stop thinking. That was the case  since we left the hospital. I felt guilty for leaving Aki. If I were the one who sends him to school everyday, I would be able to tell him which potentially sick classmates to avoid. Or maybe, I could ensure that he always has anti mosquito lotion on him. As expected, I had hundreds of emails, 500 of them not including the announcements. I wanted to go home early but that was impossible, I felt guilty for the work that I passed on to Rosie. I felt terrible for not making sure that everything was taken cared of while I was on leave. Even if I could, I did not check my office emails while we were in the hospital because I did not want any additional stress. If I only did a quick scan, maybe there would be less follow ups. I was a walking emotional wreck. I felt like I were a terrible mother and even a worse employee. I tried to avoid anyone who might ask how I was. But when my kumarseng Ebbie cornered me and asked me to tell her what happened in the almost two weeks that I was out, hala! I cried and cried and cried. I think I cried inconsolably for 1.5 hour. I cried so much that I could not breathe anymore. Maybe that was just what I needed, a no-holds-bar good cry. I felt better, not good but still better, after that emo moment. Continue reading “I am just as important as everyone else..”

Memoirs of a Mummy

Divi Realization

About two weekends ago, I found myself waiting for the train headed to Divisoria at 7AM. This was 6 hours after I came from work. What I like about myself is that when I want to do something, I really do it. Well, at least most of the time. That morning, actually since the night before, I had this nagging desire to go to Divisoria and buy cloths for the pillows of my sofa. Ate Dorina washed the pillow case and they shrunk! Grrrr! What i have aren’t ordinary sized pillows so pillow cases are not available in the mall.

So, even if I was in dire need of sleep, I woke up at 6AM and headed to Divi. I told myself that I need to be back by 12noon. When I arrived at the terminal, the train just left. I had to wait for another 30 minutes. When the train finally came, the terminal was already jampacked with eager passengers. It was so crowded inside the coach that there was no need anymore to hold on to the rails.

But even if that was probably the most crowded train ride ever, the trip made me realize that it really is great to be a Filipino. Most of us, passengers, probably wished that we stayed in bed. I am sure none of us liked having the hair of the passenger in front of us touching our faces. You know what? More than 4 times, I tried to look around, found someone looking back, lifted one shoulder, exchanged smiles (or sometimes one sided smiles) as if to say “oh well.. I think it is funny that despite being sleepy, we are all here like  a can of sardines. Have a great day!” I knew silently we were saying whoooo in our heads whenever  we all swayed as one to left and right. What I am trying to say is that I think it is great the Filipinos can find something amusing and inspiring in the worst conditions.

Aki, this is for you. I hope these pictures move you. I am hoping when you are old enough to read, there won’t be similar images  because we no longer have a flood problem in Manila. I hope you remember that typhoons, monsoon rains and flood come and go but the Filipino spirit is water proof Continue reading “Divi Realization”

Maqui's Me Time

The Warmth of a Cyber Hug

I have been feeling down lately. I don’t think I will ever  recover from the stress of having a sick child with IV dextrose. Every little thing at home and at work seem to bother me. I lose sleep over the things that I have no control over. Sometimes, I wake up at 3AM and can’t stop thinking about work. Last week, I could not stop thinking about this Team Manila shirt that Aki got for his first birthday. It was too big so I put it way for future use. When I remembered that shirt recently, I realized that I have no idea where it is. Even if I got home past 12MN, I opened all the vaccum bags, luggage and duffel bags of clothes that do not fit me, Franco and Aki anymore. Fail. I still have no idea where that shirt is. To top it all off, Aki got sick again last week.

Imagine, my surprise and delight, when I came home from work and saw this.

A package for me from Rachel!

Rachel is one of the many friends I met thru blogging. We  have only met twice. The first was during the Christmas party of our online  community, NewlyWeds@Work. The second was last August when we had a playdate. Thanks to our e-group, email exchanges, FB messages and our blogs, we know each other like old friends.

She knows that I have been depressed lately so she sent me a cheer-up package.  Inside were wonderful things that made me smile from ear to ear.

A handwritten letter, a book on themed birthday cakes, waybills perfect for the books that I promised to send out more than a month ago and colorful assorted beans because we  try to eat healthy. Rachel was so nice to even include a recipe. Continue reading “The Warmth of a Cyber Hug”

Memoirs of a Mummy

The Worst Mistake When You Are Putting a Child on Time-Out

Before you throw cyber tomatoes at me, let me just say that I had already beaten myself mentally over and over for this parental mistake. I could opt not to post this but I am doing it anyway. I am human and I make mistakes every day. This is one of those mistakes that I chose to remember and learn from.

I read a lot about time-outs. Dr. Harvey Karp recommends the playpen for kids below 2 and a childproof room for older kids. A corner would do if a kid won’t resist. A power struggle would defeat the purpose of a time out which is a time away from attention or anything reinforcing. The corner used to work for Aki until Franco saw Aki on time out,and laughed. Since then, Aki won’t stay in place in his TO corner. A time-out in the room will never work in our house because Aki’s playroom is too exciting while our bedroom is not safe for a smart kid. He might stack the laptop bags or  move and stand on the side table and jump off the window.

Let’s go to the juicy part of the story. When we were in Bayog last April, Aki went on time-out because he was playing with his yayay aka saliva. After a quick scan of the guestroom, I decided to let Aki stay there for a minute. I was holding the door knob while runing the countdown in my head. I only let go of the door when I looked at the time in the clock in the living room. When I went back, it was time to go out. But guess what? The damn door was locked! I let out the slowest slow mo and crunchiest and foulest (or is it most foul? wachever) curse word ( just in my head of course).

I got the bunch of keys and nervously tried all of them, all 20 of them. I got another bunch and tried all the keys again. By this time, Aki was already crying inconsolably (he didnt cry during the actual time out). My heart was beating so fast and so hard. It felt like my chest was going to explode. What the mother freak was I thinking locking up my son without checking where the keys were? I called my mom who was in her dental clinic to tell her of the not-so small problem. She said the key was just there. I probably was just too nervous to make the keys work. I gave the keys to Ate Che for her to try to open the door while I checked on Aki via the windows.

Here is how we looked like

The problem with the knob is that it isn’t the normal press-and-twist-to-open knob. You have to turn the small thing in the middle before turning the actual knob. Aki is not used to this kind of knobs and could not understand my instructions. I called my sister, hoping she could help. She told me that there is a bunch of keys inside the guestroom. I told Aki to open the closet and look for the keys. As you can see in the picture, there are a lot of clothes so it was really amazing when Aki came runing with keys.

Continue reading “The Worst Mistake When You Are Putting a Child on Time-Out”

Food · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Buttered Veggies ala Aki, Scatterbrain-ness ala Maqui

Hello world! Thanks for reading my boring blog. There are so many things that I want to blog about. For one, I have not even blogged about our 6 day stay in Asian Hospital and the post traumatic depression that I had after Aki was discharged. Non-stop crying, feeling insecure and inadequate and sleepless nights. It was terrible.

Why haven’t I  been blogging? I have been sleeping well lately. Which is a good thing. I normally blog between 5-6AM. When I wake up at 5:40ish, I don’t go online anymore else I might not catch the first or second trip of the shuttles going to Ortigas. Today, I can’t sleep again (hay just when I thought I am back to my old self) because I think I made a booboo at work yesterday. I was supposed to come in late today because of this meeting in the evening. I will probably leave the house early because the suspense is killing me.

How I wish I know how to live in the the now. When I am at work, I think about Christmas tree that we don’t have yet, the missing paper lanterns, the can of chickpeas that will expire soon, Ate Dorina’s SSS and all the unfinished and yet-to-be started projects for the house and for Aki’s party. When I am home, like this morning, I think about the email that I forgot to send out, what I need to do to get more Vietnamese applicants and other things at work. My  hyperactive brain is at its worse during the commute. The 30 minute to two hour trip to or from the office (depending on the traffic) is supposed to be my quiet time but I just can’t stop myself from thinking. I wish there is a hibernate button so I can just sit and think of nothing.

Anyhoo, how’s that for a segue?

Last month, when we were in the hospital, we missed the Nutrition Week in Aki’s school. It would have been such a fun and interesting week for Aki. His classmates made sandwiches, cooked buttered veggies and tried different healthy foods. Since we have both butter and veggies in the freezer, I thought of replicating the activity at home.

To make butter veggies ( please get a pen and a paper so you won’t forget), you will need butter and veggies. Itlog ng pugo (what are they called in English? edit – THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO ANSWERED! I FEEL SILLY FOR EVEN ASKING) or what Aki calls Baby Eggs, are optional but definitely makes the dish more fun.

Continue reading “Buttered Veggies ala Aki, Scatterbrain-ness ala Maqui”

Gardening · Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

A few months ago, I shared a video that made me cry buckets of tears.

Normally, I am giddy excited every Friday afternoon. I live and breathe for weekends. Long weekends are even extra-special. There is so many projects that I want to work on, so many recipes to try and so many movies to watch.  On stressful days like today and the past 7 days, make that 10 days including the heavy rains, thanks to the monsoon, all I really want is to go home and have a boring, uneventful weekend with my family.

I wish all our weekends are as simple and memorable as that of the last weekend of July.

Saturday, 7:36AM. Aki washed his urine-soaked shorts. Normally, when he forgets to use the potty, we ask him to wipe the mess. He was extra-industrious that morning and even volunteered to help Ate Dorina in the laundry area.
Saturday, 8:50AM. Aki made breakfast bohgoh (burger). Yum!
Saturday, 10:33AM. Mother-son bonding at the garden. Aki helped me spray the homemade pesticide to white bugs which have been attacking our chilli plants.
Saturday, 12:42PM. Aki showing Daddy that he is ready for more martial arts lessons. Here he is, practicing his “guard” on the unwilling sparring partner… Me!
Saturday, 4:21PM. Gaye marries Aaron! So happy to see my good friend so happy! What made the day even more special is the announcement from our other friend, Nyl, that she is getting married too! Happy happy!
Sunday, 6:45AM. Ironman went to potty. Funny little man is very much into superheroes nowadays. When he feels like being Ironman, he asks us to wrap a gold ribbon around his hand.
Sunday, 9:04AM. We are late for church! Because Aki insisted that he wears his favorite The Hulk pajamies over his clothes. Thankfully, he let us take of the pajama when we arrived.
Sunday, 9:26AM. “Penge nine hunded toins (hundred coins), fis (please)!” is what Aki just told me.
Sunday, 9:28AM. And this is why I hate attending mass inside a mall! The guy in white is the pasimuno.
I hate that the kids keep on running and playing.
Interestingly, Aki kept chasing a big kid who was playing with a toy gun. Aki kept saying, “Hey, no bengbeng. Stop it! Bengbeng bad! No bengbeng!” Inasmuch as I was happy to see him standing for what he believes in (or what I made him believe in), I am sure the big kid was pretty annoyed to have a small kid who was very passionate about his beliefs, run after him.
Sunday, 11:02AM. Look what I found in Booksale! The top 1 of the top 100 children’s books!

Check out the complete list here

Sunday 12:45PM. My baby can ride!
Is he ready for his first bike?

Continue reading “The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend”

Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Rainy Day Rants

Hello rainy world! I am still alive. I think. I had not been blogging because 1) I’ve been sleeping, 2) I have been planning Aki’s party 3) I have been decluttering here and there and 4) we are busy potty training.

There are at least 10 things that I want to blog about but all I can think of is how I hate this weather! Hate hate hate heychu! And I also hate the noisy singing frogs. They sound like cows having sex. I hate the heat of the summer but I hate the heavy rains even more.

Before I proceed with my rants, here is Aki’s first ever ligo-sa-ulan experience. This was taken last year. He has yet to enjoy playing in the rain this year.  Now that he is going to school, we are more conscious of what could make him sick and miss classes.

Speaking of classes, all these class suspensions make me think about the tuition. Hay. Every time I get a text message from Teacher Tina about cancelled classes (I really appreciate that she informs us, parents, before 6:30AM), I silently tell myself, ” There goes my XXX!”. I have computed how much is the daily rate of Aki’s tuition.  Last week, Aki went to school only twice.  On the second day, he went home with an envelope from the school service van! I totally understand the need to suspend the classes for the sake of the kids’ safety, but I still hate that I am losing that much money for something that I can not have control over.

Speaking of control, the OC in me is starting to worry about Aki’s school party. If classes get suspended that day, the effort that we will put into preparing the food will all go to waste. I really wanted to serve homemade theme-related cute foods but buying spaghetti and fries from Jollibee on the same day might be a better plan.

Continue reading “Rainy Day Rants”

Gardening · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

My Veggie Garden Is Under Attack

If you are an insect rights activist, read no further. This blog post is not for you.

My vegetable plants have enemies and I oh so hate them. Although, I must say, Aki and I are enjoying our biology lessons.

Slugs. They are not as bad as the others. I read that they eat leaves but this one, the only slug I have seen in my garden so far, seemed very gentle. Still, I picked it and threw it out.

Snails. If you are lucky, they will only leave white trails on the leaves but if they are hungry, they greedily chew on the leaves. Since they prefer the dark, Aki and I went out one night with our flashlights to gather them in a pail. We have had less snails ever since.

Aphids. These little devils suck on the phloems and leave the leaves looking sad and dying. They also leave secretions that ants loves.   Using an old toothbrush, I brush the aphids, their eggs and their secretions off the leaves. Oh those ants. They don’t give up without a fight. I also have homemade pesticide to ward the insects off.

Continue reading “My Veggie Garden Is Under Attack”

Mrs. Monologues

When your yaya tells you that she’s leaving in two days..

Warning: long post ahead. I wrote this yesterday.
What do you do?
I have a lot of happy posts lined up. I am excited to blog about them. I just don’t have the time and energy yet.
The drafts are half finished in my head. I usually mental blog during the commute  to and from work. Let me list them down so I won’t forget. I will be blogging about
– our trip to a secret zoo/park in the heart of Paranaque
– how we finally got Aki to brush his teeth
– our ritual on how to cure boo boos
– the most effective family planning method
– the new games that we like to play
– more “This toddler can”… tidbits
– a yummy and healthy way to practice fine motor skills
– the birthday traditions we started this year
– the super fun morning of Aki’s actual birthday
– the action packed whole day birthday celebration we had last Oct 12
– Aki’s letter A themed intimate birthday party last Sunday
– my reflections on the mother I was and the mother I am now
Whew! When will I have the time?

For now, let’s go back to my first question, shall we?
So what do you do when your yaya tells you that she is leaving in two days.
Apparently, Cheryl’s  pregnant sister in Bacolod has been bugging her to come home and help her. Her sister is due to give birth  on December and has been finiding her second pregnancy difficult. The sister’s first child is months younger that Aki. I understand how difficult the situation is but I am no charity institution.  Manang mentioned  this to me in passing before she left. When I confronted Cheryl months ago if she has plans of leaving soon, she said she would be staying because she wants to save and she is enjoying her stay because she is learning a lot.  I was planning to get a second househelp but she said there is no need because she can handle the job all by herself. FYI, Aki stays with my in laws while she is busy with household chores. By 10AM, she is done already.
Last October 12, oh yes on Aki’s very birthday while I was on a birthday high, she told me that I should look for a replacement already. She said she wants to rest and her sister is asking her to come home. She said she will be leaving on Oct 24. I was stunned. This was when I was dressing up Aki at 10AM. Imagine, I had a great day planned, only to be ruined by bad news that couldn’t wait. I told her that she really needs to render 30 days  like what we agreed upon when I hired her. I told her that I don’t want to ruin my mood so I will talk to her after the party. Continue reading “When your yaya tells you that she’s leaving in two days..”