It has been nine years since I last saw you. The last day I saw you was probably my happiest, and yours, too. Little did I know that you’d be gone two days after our last meeting, and on your birthday! You really made sure we won’t forget you.
I would have loved to introduce you to your beautiful granddaughter, Ariadne. She’s very smart and very amiable. You would have loved each other. You will surely shower her with much love like you did to us. You should have met my husband, Ton, too. You’d probably have a lot of things to talk about.
Your life may be short, but sweet it was, indeed. You made sure you’ve created enough memories for Mommy, me and Myk to cherish.
I miss you. I know I’ll see you again someday. We love you very much. Please continue guiding us, as you always did.
The past eleven months had been truly life-changing for me and my family. My husband and I took baby steps, literally, in taking care of a newborn. My mother, on the other hand, had to review how it is to take care of a newborn after a 25-year hiatus (back when my younger sister was the baby then).
But what made these months extra special is that I’ve lasted this long exclusively breastfeeding my firstborn. Yes, exclusive, not a single grain of formula milk. And I am really proud!
Why? Because I wasn’t even breastfed for so long! Read my post here.
And this month, I wish to give credit to whom it’s due.
Family. Especially my husband. Choosing what to give your child must be the decision of both parents. Breastfeeding was both our choice. Luckily, I have a supportive husband hence I was able to give up my work and focus on taking care of our newborn, especially in the first months of life. My mom (who didn’t breastfed my sister at all) was very much supportive. Doubtful, sometimes, but supporting and encouraging me, still. And she gives my daughter my expressed milk when I am working!
Friends. Most especially to those who were also formula-feeding and yet encouraged me to breastfeed. I’d write super long messages to these friends and they’d give me endless tips and encouraging words. Nobody told me to stop and supplement.
Internet. I love technology, especially when it’s put to good and sensible use. The resources online are now limitless. Blogs about breastfeeding helped me a lot, especially this. I was able to share my experiences as well through this blog, which, by the way, celebrated its first year last July 20! Hooray for Touringkitty!
Online friends. Especially La Leche League Manila, Newlywedsatwork Yahoogroup, and Twitter friends. They really are inspirations to me. Some of them I haven’t met in person but they are really accommodating when I have questions.
For fellow mommies who told me I was lucky I was able to successfully breastfeed, well, maybe I really am. But be assured that if you were able to breastfeed even for a day, your children are lucky, too, they have loving parents like you. I just wished you asked me first before you gave up. Or maybe you asked the wrong person that’s why you weren’t successful when you should have been. *wink wink*
Whoever will read this blog and is nursing/planning to nurse/know someone who nurse, I would like to offer whatever knowledge I can share regarding breastfeeding if you need. And I can help hook you up to the real experts – the breastfeeding counselors – to be able to successfully breastfeed.
Five summers ago, we formed the choir to serve in the Third Sunday Mass of the Shrine of Jesus. From ten kids, they tripled in number in the following year. Members came and left, but we maintained an average of 25 members. Now we have about 35.
I will never forget their first service – because I wasn’t there to witness it! I was in the middle of a European Tour and so my then boyfriend and now my dear husband took over rehearsals and Mass services. It was a Fathers’ Day as well so indeed, my husband is the “father” of these kids. The rest is history, as they say.
This choir is our pet project and we’re proud of what we have achieved. Participation in concerts, choral festivals, even wedding engagements and TV guesting have made these kids (and their parents) busy. Sundays are spent at church for rehearsals (and the mall afterwards).
We’re super blessed with all the people who helped, supported, and cheered for us all these years. To the parents, families, Shrine family and our dear Shrine Rector, the Shrine Office and Sacristans and the ever faithful Mang Barry, thank you so much. We’re also blessed with all the members we had. You’ve been part of our journey and we wish to be singing with you again soon.
And we’re blessed to have performed in big concert stages and TV. It is a privilege to have sung with great performers on the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater and Philamlife Theater. We were starstruck with Sam Milby and Angel Locsin in “Only You.” We also thank the two couples who trusted us to serenade them in their special day.
I am happy how we’ve instilled the value of church service this early to these kids. Most of all, I am proud that they get to appreciate music making and strive to better musicians every rehearsal. The stories they share to their own homes and to their friends are enough consolation to us, their conductors.
Today, I prayed for four fathers who mean the world to me. And here’s my quick thank you notes for them.
To my Papa. Thank you for giving us life. Yours was short but sweet, and we treasure each moment spent with you. We remember you as a good provider, good cook, ever supportive of our school programs, homeworks, piano recitals. We miss you everyday and we love you forever. You have a very beautiful and smart granddaughter and I know you’d be proud of her, too. I know you’re proud of me and my sister.
To my Lolo. Thank you for being my number one fan and for sharing my passion in classical music. I took it from you. Thank you most especially for walking me down the aisle with Mama. I remembered how I prayed hard when you were hospitalized a couple of weeks before my wedding day, because I so wanted you to witness and be with me in that most special day in my life. I’m happy that you and Lola are living happy and healthy, and I pray that God will give you the best of years to come.
To my Mama. Thank you for being mother and father to us. You are amazing because you never fail to acknowledge that God is helping you and Papa is guiding you. Thank you for supporting everything we are doing, even now that we’re both grown up. I know how much you love me and my sister, and how much more you love my daughter. I realized I can never be like you only because you’re one of a kind, but be assured that I’m doing my best to be the best mom for our little princess.
To my husband, my better half. I’d look back at our earlier years as friends more than ten years ago, and I can’t still believe you’d be the father of my child. Thank you for being a super dad to me and the little one. You’re doing a good job so keep it up. I pray that we would live long to see our children’s children.
And to all fathers, fathers-in-law (mine included), those bridging the gap, mother and father in one, and our Spiritual Fathers, Happy Fathers’ Day.
Today ends my one week sabbatical from my second most favorite vice (next to my family, of course) – Facebook. One word to describe the feeling of not browsing my account: LIBERATING!
It’s such a tiny little world out there on Facebook that I have forgotten it’s not the only website that ever existed. The past week made me browse blogs, updated my own blog theme (still on the process of making a customized masthead), and baking oatmeal cookies using our oven toaster! Will post about it later.
Internet time has been cut in half, or more than half, and I have learned to turn off the wireless connection of my laptop when I don’t need it. Saves up battery life, I must say. I was able to finish church work and choral arrangements, and got more ideas on how to work with baby in tow.
The No Facebook Week gave me time to take a closer look at my daughter. She’s teething so she needed all the soothing and calming because she is just too fussy. Tooth number five came out the other day. She’s learned walking around her crib and crawling so fast on the bed so I’ve been taking pictures and videos here and there. We take naps together and wake up together. I don’t rush anymore to turn on the computer when she’s asleep.
I now conclude that I can live without Facebook. But hey, I activated it for three reasons:
One, I’d still post pictures and videos of my daughter for my family overseas. I know they want to see my daughter grow even if they’re miles away.
Two, I’d keep in touch with people who really matter. You know who you are.
Three, I’d still help encourage breastfeeding. This has been an advocacy for me. Some might be offended and I do apologize. But I hope that when you take a look at how my baby is after nine months, I hope I can change your mind.
Anyway, I also found this perfect opportunity to assess my internet life. I have deactivated my account and will return after a week. If I can stretch it longer, the better.
Yes, I admit that I live with this technology. I spend almost the whole day updating my status, posting pictures of my daughter who had learned a new trick, commenting on my friend’s photos and all that. Sum it all up and I spend a total of at least five hours a day, with half of it on Facebook. If I can’t sleep at night, I’d spend an extra hour lurking on the news feed. I can’t believe I enjoyed talking to a wall expecting to talk back to you through the comments of your friends. Honestly, 1/4 of them I don’t really know personally, but because of a group I once belonged to I’m “expected” to accept them. Not good, eh?
But on a positive note, I have gained a lot from Facebook and from the internet in general. I found and reconnected with old friends, I get inquiries for voice and piano lessons and singing engagements, researched about breastfeeding and other baby care stuff, and I am able to write for pleasure (this blog) and for income (through several writing assignments). I also research music which I use for my choral arrangements and was able to download a free music writing software where I can freely work on my scores (visit www.musescore.org to download). I ask my friends (and strangers through yahoogroups and various mommy-related fanpages and the blog carnival) for tips on taking care of the baby and give advice as well.
Facebook is a lifestyle for me, another way of channeling my stress, frustration, and joys over this little girl who was once so fragile to hold, and now is spinning like a tornado. The whole world (or at least those in my friends list) saw my baby grow, and I’ve allowed these people to be with us in this wonderful moment.
But it has gone overboard. It became a business and destructive at the same time. If not spam messages, people will tag you to sell their products or do marketing. Ugh, I just hate spammers!
So I do hope you’ll help me in this experiment. One whole week of no Facebook. But I still have to use the internet, though, as my friends abroad need to contact me and vice versa. For that, I’ll overhaul my blog theme and official website (www.marylouise.webs.com) and maybe create a new logo or masthead (yes, I love blogging already!). I shall also finish pending arrangements and create new ones.
Update you about this no Facebook thing next week, Thursday. Good luck to me!
“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (May). This carnival is dedicated to all moms, celebrating Mother’s Day today. Participants will share various topics covering A Breastfeeding Mother’s Top Ten List. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
With all the stresses I’ve been experiencing the past weeks — daily Aria rituals (cooking and preparing her food, bathing her, playing with her, putting her to those precious and hard-to-achieve naps and bedtime), pumping milk thrice a week, part-time work in and out of home, et cetera, I deserve a good laugh trip.
Unfortunately, it had to be Aria, who else.
During the course of my eight-month breastfeeding experience (and we are not stopping anytime soon!), I have curiously taken note of how my daughter nursed. She’s nursed in different positions, occasions, schedules, and places.
I listed Aria’s ten habits while breastfeeding (in no particular order). Let some of the pictures tell the story.
Oh, and before I forget, Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers. Yey, mommies truly rock!
1. She nurses while she’s crying, as if she hasn’t nursed for a really looooong time (even if it was really just five minutes ago!) She talks (or mumbles) while she breastfeeds. This baby is amazingly talkative. And she has been squealing a lot lately. Add to that, she’s teething (she’s got two teeth on her lower gumline already) so imagine how she talks while she feeds. Ouch!
2. She listens to whoever is talking while she nurses. Or to whatever new sound she might hear — a new voice, utensils falling, door banging, car horns, sirens, helicopters. Did I tell you she’s very “chismosa?”
3. She nurses on her tummy, especially when she has a hard time to sleep.
4. She jumps out of my breast to watch TV, especially when she hears the closing credits music (yes, CLOSING CREDITS MUSIC) of her favorite cartoons – Little Einsteins, Angelina Ballerina, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves and laughs while watching the scrolling text that goes with the music.
5. She loves to scratches whatever is at hand, like my breasts, her other arm, or my underarm.
6. She raises her hand like Hitler. I can’t understand why.
7. She would nurse for a few minutes and jump off me onto the bed because she’s about to sleep.
8. Or she would nurse for up to one and a half hour while we’re both napping, and when she senses that I opened my eyes, she would, too.
9. She holds her feet way up high.
10. She looks at me as if she’s saying, “Thank you, Mommy, for the sweet yummy milk.”
And smile after she’s content with the milk she just drank.
Oh, how I love my little Energizer Bunny. Hope you also have a yummy milky breastfeeding experience.
My hubby joined the carnival, too! I’m super proud. He’s the only daddy who joined 🙂
It was a Sunny Saturday and we’re off to Starbucks Bonifacio Global City for a Babywearing Meet.
I encouraged my hubby to bring me there because we have a ring sling and we don’t know how to use it. So, even if it’s super out of our way and we don’t have a car, we took a cab and took that road less traveled.
Babywearing is using cloth or a similar material that you wrap around your body so mommies won’t have that hard a time carrying their babies. It’s a lifesaver indeed.
The meeting was organized by some members of the yahoogroup I belong to: Newlyweds At Work. It’s a group wherein “graduates” of wedding planning from the Weddings At Work group exchange newlywed stories, mommy stuff, and other chika.
I have the ring sling from Next 9. Bought this at SM Mall of Asia and this was the only print available:
But because of our lack of knowledge in using (and fear of using it), it ended up like this:
During the Babywear Meet, we were introduced to a bajillion types of slings and carriers and were taught how to use it. The most important with the ring sling is the threading:
Finally, after that hour and a half of demo and talk, I was babywearing Aria as we strolled Bonifacio High Street! She even slept while we’re browsing books at Fully Booked.
The sling is a good alternative to strollers. Had I mastered using this, I would not have De Quervain’s anymore.
It was an enjoyable talk with the mommies and their babies. I really hope it would have a part two!
This was my first Groupon purchase – a P450 voucher for a haircut, hot oil, back and scalp massage, and eyebrow threading at David’s Salon. Imagine that!
So after my final therapy session we went straight to the salon – at the SM Hypermarket Adriatico branch. Aria was with me and so my mom and our helper took her around the mini-mall. She tried on this trike:
After a few minutes of “me time”, I looked like this:
Groupon works by offering discount vouchers which should be purchased by a certain number of buyers. For example: the deal of the day is this:
You wait at the end of the day if the deal is on, then they will send you a confirmation email with the voucher that you can just print and use. That simple. I did not want to recommend unless I used it myself. And it’s worth it. I also got another deal for a photo session which is perfect for my daughter’s pictorial.
But warning: this may cause Groupon anxiety. This is the case presented by The Economist. Follow this link: