Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Other Mommy Moments

Don't you just love those cutesy pictures of babies? I swear, I'm a sucker for those Anne Geddes images in different poses and costumes. Made me want to have a baby desperately, even when I was still single.

Then you see glamorous images of Hollywood mommies looking fabulous with their equally fabulous babies in tow. All those cute baby stuff and gear that they sell in stores. Really, it seemed easy. Even the parenting magazines which I devoured while pregnant with my first child were chockful of advice about how to deal with almost anything that you are "supposed" to encounter when you have a child. Easy, right?

All I can say is, it ain't all true. Babies/kids are the most unpredictable creatures in the face of the earth. What makes them laugh one day will set off a tantrum the next. What they happily eat today could end up on your dress tomorrow.

So what's the real score??? Here's what I experienced:

Sleep? I used to do that...
I thought the sleepless nights would end when they reach six months. When it didn't, I thought maybe when he reaches two. Then I had another baby and it started all over again. Note to children today who hate taking naps -- when your mother tells you that you will CRAVE naps in the future, BELIEVE HER. My mother must have been psychic. Being a mom has made me such a light sleeper that I wake up at the drop of a hat - or make that at the drop of a foot or fist on your face.

The Ewwww Factor
I've been barfed on, peed on and pooped on so many times it doesn't even faze me anymore. I've touched boogers and snot, have held my hand out for whatever they chewed that they didn't like and have even caught wayward poop that surprised the heck out of me when it suddenly came out while I was changing Joshua's diaper. He was standing. It was very, very warm. *shudder*

I can't remember how many times I have held a sick, crying child while said child was vomiting and refusing to let go of your neck. I can't decide whether I prefer the poop catching or the vomit bath. But I can tell you that all my maidenly sensibilities are GONE. Forever.

This Body used to be mine
I'm not a particularly modest person. Growing up and sharing a room and bathroom with two sisters made me comfortable with my body, you know, like in an all girls locker room or gym. Then I got pregnant and was twice subjected to the indignities that women go through when being examined. I thought it ended there. But nope, the kids have ownership of certain parts of my anatomy and more. They've got first dibs on my hands at bedtime, one each (what will happen if I have a third child? he/she's gonna end up with my foot). I have to lie on my back cause they fight when I face either one of them (please go back to Sleep...I used to do that).

There's also the unending fascination with breasts. Not sure if my kids are the only ones like this but they grab and pinch and pull out my shirt and say with glee, "I saw your bo*bies, mommy!". One time Faith surprised me while she was sitting on my lap. In church. Her Daddy was not amused.

So there. That's my reality. I'm not even going into how much you go through hell if your child is even seriously sick. My tip - get a really, really good pediatrician who picks up at 3 in the morning to answer questions about your nine month old's fever. Mine does.

But lest you think I am complaining, I'm not. In fact, I've never been more happy.

They at least got that part right.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I Thought So.....

You Are a Realist

You don't see the glass as half empty or half full. You see what's exactly in the glass.
You never try to make a bad situation seem better than it is...
But you also never sabotage any good things you have going on.
You are brutally honest in your assessments of situations - and this always seems to help you cope.
Are You An Optimist or Pessimist?

I'm not surprised at all.

I'm good at analyzing situations and coping with problems. Which is not to say I don't get emotional about certain things. But most of the time I see it like it is.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What we're reading

Caroline has a lovely pile of books to be read. And because KJ is begging me to post something new so she won't have to look at the disgusting picture in my previous post, I thought of letting you see what our bedtime reading is like....

Above are Faith's choices. I've been reading Five Ugly Monsters straight for two weeks already. I don't really mind. To tell you the truth, I have fun reading it. It's a very simple book that goes:

"Five ugly monsters jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped its head
Called for the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monsters jumping on the bed!!!"

You get the gist. Both kids love it so much they've memorized it.

Joshua's choices are no big surprise. It's Transformers all the way. Imagine the hubby's chagrin when Joshua got the movie storybook before we saw the movie.

This is mine. I love, love, love Paullina Simons. I'm done with Harry (was so sad when I finished the book). This is the third and last book in the series that started with The Bronze Horseman. I'm savoring it.

So what's your bedtime reading like???

Monday, July 23, 2007

You Want Some?

Every morning, my husband prepares this for me:

My daily dose of antioxidants. That's my five pieces of pitted dried prunes, in case you're wondering. Um, after it's been mashed by the various contents of my humongous bag. But hey, it's still clean. And tastes the same even if they've been smushed beyond recognition into one big piece instead of 5 little ones.

Nobody but me wants to eat it. Unless they're really, really hungry. But only when there's no other alternative.

My friend says it looks gross. I kinda agree.

It looks like a lump of (fill in the blank).

I'm feeling (and looking) like that little lump. Caught Joshua's bad cold and have a splitting headache. I knew I shouldn't have gotten up this morning.

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Weekend Mode already

Yaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! It's Friday!!!!!!

I went to the bookstore again last night to pick up some books that have arrived for me. Lazily browsed for a couple of minutes before leaving to pick up the hubby from his office. I was waiting for the traffic light to turn green, totally immersed in the CD I was playing when I heard it -- beep! beep! beep! beep!. The car on my right was impatient to move, I thought. Beep! Beep! BEEP! BEEP! Freaking irritated, I turned to look and saw three men staring right at me. I thought I left a car door or the trunk open. But I didn't. I checked to see if the doors were locked and sped away the minute the light turned green. Creepy!

It'll be a late night for me -- first parents meeting in school from 5 till 8pm then we will hopefully be able to catch the HP movie late at 9. Kids are sleeping with their grandparents tonight. Joshua was a bit feverish this morning but I hope he'll feel better later otherwise I will feel too guilty to go out for a movie.

But I will definitely be up bright and early tomorrow morning for Harry Potter 7. Bookstore opens at 7:01 am.

Me and Harry this weekend. Everyone else will just have to talk to the hand.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Happy Place

I was at my version of Disneyland last night. The grand opening of Fully Booked's flagship store. This one really rocks -- five whole floors filled with yummy book goodness. With a Starbucks on the third floor. The whole building surrounded by glass. Heaven. To think I almost didn't go (I obviously wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time). This is our version of Barnes & Noble.

So...last night. Free flowing red and white wine, starbucks coffee (frappuccinos in little espresso cups - cute!), hors d'oeuvres and goodies in every floor. I loved this huge tote bag (left) they gave away to guests with a quote from Seinfeld. Other goodies included a small booklet (A Short Introduction to Everything), pens and assorted CDs. I also consider an eyeful of the very good looking owner one of the goodies (tee hee!).

All in all, a very good night despite the heavy rain. My haul apart from the freebies? Jane Green's new novel Second Chances, two Kaskade CDs and because of my purchases, a free copy of this Lonely Planet book: A Journey through the best cities in the World.

My kudos to the owner for realizing book sluts like me need a place to haunt. I've been praying and praying for a place like B&N and now they've been answered.

I'm already planning my next time out -- more than just the usual hour of in and out browsing. Just myself, with no worries about having to leave right away or little ones getting bored or hungry or rowdy.

Me and books, coffee and my ipod.

Maybe on my birthday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Just a couple of things that made my weekend special:

A copy of Paullina Simon's The Summer Garden found at the bookstore last Friday night. The third book after The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander. Again, I am almost reluctant to start reading, because it'll be over when I finish. I am forever grateful to the Book Bitches for introducing me to this author.

Black patent leather peep toe flats after weeks of searching for the perfect black flats. Not high at all, but not too flat. Believe me, it means something.

Listening to the fabulous choir singing at the wedding we attended last Saturday. Holding the hubby's hand throughout the ceremony and after.

Waking up late Saturday morning. Darn kids almost choked me to death with hugs cause they didn't want to get up yet. I liked it.

Piping hot pepperoni and cheese bread sticks from the Tea Square. Heaven. Must.get.more.

Car ride with just my siblings yesterday. Nothing special but it was to me.

Long emails from friends. Google reader set up by my darling, darling hubby.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The other night I found myself wide awake, unable to go back to sleep. It was too dark to see the clock on the wall, the dim light of the small lamp too far from it, but it felt like the quiet of 2 or 3 am. I sat up and studied the three sleeping figures on our makeshift bed on the floor. It was cold in the room. I smiled slightly at the sight of my husband hunched in his small space at the corner next to Joshua, completely covered by his Marvin the Martian wool blanket. He insists on sleeping with us on the floor in spite of the big empty bed in the middle of the room.

Our family bed on the floor is like a nest, made of two long foldable mattresses laid side by side, flanked by the foot of the bed and the couch and completely surrounded by pillows.

Joshua moves a bit to where I usually lie, feet searching for me. I am often awakened at the sensation of his cold toes burrowing under my tummy, which means he has kicked off his blanket yet again. They hate having their feet covered -- no footsie pajamas for them.

He moves again, and hugs my legs. I marvel at his size now, tall for a 5 year old and remember when I could hold him in the crook of one arm and hardly feel the weight. His cheeks are like porcelain, cool and smooth as I nuzzle them. He doesn't wake up despite my attentions.

I look at Faith sprawled in complete abandon, arms and legs every which way, hair tangled on the pillow, mouth slightly open. Her toes are tiny and pink. Her breath still smells like a baby's, milk combined with her unique scent.

I could stay up watching them for hours, then briefly thought of getting up and finishing my book. Then a creaking noise spooks me. So I squeezed myself between the kids, burrowed under my blanket, turned my face into Faith's sleeping one and closed my eyes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When I got pregnant for the first time, I was naturally very excited and immediately bought the requisite What to expect... series. Pored over it, surfed countless websites, subscribed to Baby Center, you name it.

And since we lived near my mom and grandmother and my great aunt who raised me and my three siblings from babies, I had a wealth of advice that was immediately accessible (whether I wanted it or not), twenty four by seven. Not all of the advice is based on scientific fact by the way. Examples of which are:

Superstitious belief #1: Never bring the baby out of the house until it's been baptized. Not sure if it makes the baby susceptible to possession of evil spirits or something. No one ever comes out with a reasonable explanation. Just a vehement "Basta!" (tagalog word for "just take my word for it, you ignorant fool"). Ok, take out the ignorant fool part, I was just kidding about that.

Superstitious belief #2: People visiting the house and seeing the baby must dab the baby with a little bit of their saliva (I know, altogether now, "EWWWWWWWW!!!"). This is to prevent "usog" which makes the baby cry non-stop in the wee hours of the morning. The dabbing must be done on either the foot, the stomach, or the forehead.

Superstitious belief #3: Filipinos have a healthy respect and belief in elemental spirits. Which is why, whenever my sisters and I came in from playing outdoors with unexplained bruises on our legs, my grandmother or aunt would say, "kinurot ka ng ingkong" (you've been pinched by an old elemental spirit cause you're cute). Ha ha, just added that last part. This has been so ingrained in me that when my kids play outside, I have to bite my tongue before I blurt out "tabi po, ingkong" (please stand aside).

Imagine what my very un-superstitious hubby has to put up with in our household. After he had to grapple with superstitious beliefs for newlyweds which makes me chuckle everytime I remember those days (and which can take a whole new post altogether).

They mean well, they really do. And I love them for it. It's something I can laugh about with my sisters and hubby. But I guess the point is, there are a lot of instructions and advice out there and for a new mom, it can be quite overwhelming.

I would say just go with what feels right for you and your baby. Because I find that what works with one baby doesn't necessarily work for the second one. And most of the time, what's practical works best.