Motherhood, My Kids

It’s a good thing!

I am a stay-at-home mom. Even though my older girls go to school everyday, I am with them at breakfast and after school. It’s not often that I go out, though I do drive them to their after-school and weekend activities, because the littlest one is with me. I have to plan my moves. I’m blessed that my mom stays with us and I can now leave Gianna with her sometimes. We have a Manang and the two older girls can pretty much fend for themselves. Many times, I bring a kid or the kids along when I have a meeting in church on a weekday and King can be bothered. There is strength in numbers, so I feel safer when all 3 or 2 are together at home as opposed to leaving only 1 at home alone with Manang (on the times that my mom is not around). As much as I can help it, I don’t stay out long either. In other words, we’re together a whole lot.

But, on the rare occasion that I leave without them, they’re always chatty when I come back! So chatty, that they fight for my attention. “Mom! Mom! Look at this.” “You know what, mom?” “Mom, look what I made.” “Mom, look what I can do.” “Mom, can I show you something?” “Heeeey, I was talking to mom first.” The littlest one now knows to say “Mom! Talk to me.” Hahaha. Sometimes they overwhelm me. King jokes that they miss me. We’re always together!

But I realize that my children love to talk to me. They want to spend time with me. They enjoy my company. They’re not tired of me (yet). Even when I embarrass them (deliberately or accidentally), I know they secretly like it. They laugh at and with me. They want my attention, my affection, and my opinion. The older ones complain when they notice that I leave home like 3 days in a row. It’s tiring at times, and the pressure is incredible. But you know what, it’s a good thing! My kids not only love me. THEY LIKE ME! They really really like me! Hahahaha.

When Gianna knows I’ve parked, she already goes to the window and screams for me. “Mommy? Weeeeee mommy’s here!” Sometimes she’ll say “You’re back, mommy? Yay!” She makes my heart smile each time. I think (I hope) she is past her recent phase of wanting me by her side at all times, like she would call me IN A PANIC, once she realizes that I’m not near her. She would cry for me not to go to the bathroom! Anyway, the older girls don’t get as excited, but they’re always happy to see me too.

Thank you Lord for this massive blessing. To be loved AND liked by my kids is indeed a good thing. ❤

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

 

Motherhood, Parenting

Oh Motherhood!

Oh motherhood!

“Mooooooommmm?” 

“Heeeeeeelllpppp!”

“Can I have rice please?” When the bowl of rice is an arm’s reach away.

“I can’t find it.” And IT (whatever IT is) is right there in front of her.

“Mommy, look!” “Mom mom, look!” “Mommy, look at me!” All at once.

“Mommy o!” “Mom, she (insert verb) me!”

“Carry!” 

“Only mommy.”

“Stay here, mommy.”

“Don’t go, mommy.”

“Stay with me.” When we’ve been together ALL day, EVERY day.

“I’m scared. Can you come with me?” To the kitchen, in our house.

“Can you feed me?”

“I’m hungry.” After just having a meal.

“I’m thirsty. Can you get me water?” “I want milk.” When you’re already lying in bed.

“Mom? Mom? Mom? (tapping or shaking your arm) Can I (insert verb)? Can I have (insert noun)?” While you’re fast asleep.

“No! Please? 5 more minutes (which always translates to more)?” When you’ve already told them 5 minutes before that we’re leaving in 5 minutes.

“Aww, please mom? Can I just…..? It’s just so and so pesos. But you said….. But we haven’t…. But my friends…..” Negotiation after you’ve already answered their question.

 “I don’t like the rod.” 

“Mom, I don’t get it. Can you help me?” And then she’ll fight with you because she thinks you’re making it harder.

“Can you hold this?” “Can you put it in your bag?” Like the baby isn’t heavy enough.

“Awwwgh….” When you ask them to do you a tiny favor.

“Why me? I didn’t make that mess.”

“I want to buy this.” “I want to get that.” 

“How come he/she (friend or cousin) is allowed?” 

“Can you read with me?” When you’re already so so sleepy.

“Can you make chicken ala king and phoebe for lunch?” When it’s 30 minutes to lunch time.

“Ow, ow, oooooowwwww….” With so much tears and loud crying.

“I don’t want to sleep!”

“I don’t want to take a bath!”

“Waaaiiiit.” After the nth reminder.

“It’s so hard.” “I never get to have any fun!” “It’s always NO.” Sweeping statements of ungratefulness, even after a fun vacation.

“What if someone asks me on a date?”

“I think he has a crush on me.”

“I think he has a crush on ate.”

“He’s cute…..” If only I could put into words the sound of King, loading a shotgun. 😛

 

So many words, so many needs, so many wants, so many delays, so many excuses, so many arguments, so many questions. Mommy this, mommy that. These are the things that make me tired, exasperated, feel pressured, feel frustrated, and feel panicked. And at the same time, these are what make me GRATEFUL for being their mommy.

Motherhood is a joy. Quality and quantity time. Family. Fun. Games. Tickles. Piggy back rides. Laughter. Silliness. Dancing. Food. Trips. Dates. Memories. Service. Car rides. Times of house arrest. Sickness. Errands. Budget concerns. Conflicts of schedule. Conflicts of interest. Clash of personalities. Arguments. Stress. Bonding. Growing together. It’s not always great, but by the grace, love, and redemptive work of God, good always comes out of anything bad. We rest in the promise of God that as we walk in obedience to Him, we will EAT THE FRUIT OF OUR LABOR. The sacrifices we make are worth it. 

Motherhood is a privilege. Secrets. Open and intimate conversations. Inside jokes. Family meetings or one-on-one talks. Sensitive topics. Senseless topics. Friends. Feelings. Hurts. Heart issues. Dreams. Likes and dislikes. Crushes. Movies. Shows. Music. Social Media. Quirks. Habits. We have the opportunity to knit a close relationship with our children. We have the privilege to be part of their lives, to KNOW them, to WATCH them, to LOVE and ENJOY them. 

Motherhood is a stewardship. Teaching. Training. Listening. Learning. Discipline. Teamwork. Character building. Strengths building. Life skills. Discovering and developing talents. Discipleship. Volunteering. Church. Worship. Prayers. Faith. Bible. Wisdom. The Gospel. Loving and honoring God. God gave us captive audiences since our children were conceived in our womb. We have the opportunity to teach, inspire, impart, lead, empower, equip. We need to BE DELIBERATE in using, and not wasting, this opportunity. 

Motherhood is a gift. Smiles. Hugs. Regular kisses. Eskimo kisses. Nguso kisses. Thank yous. I love yous. I miss yous. Sorries. I forgive yous. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Yes, we have the opportunity to give it to our kids, but we also have the opportunity to receive it from our kids. They not only need us. They love us, despite our failure to love them. They love us, just because we are MOMMY. ❤ ❤ ❤ 

 

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I have very few pictures of me with the girls. It’s because I like taking pictures more than being in them. I hate and am not good at taking selfies (self-wes). My phone lacks the space for new pictures. But yeah, I need to be deliberate in having my picture taken with them. ❤ 

Thank you Lord, for making us mothers.

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE MOMMIES OUT THERE! ❤

 

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,

who walk in obedience to him.

You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

Yes, this will be the blessing

for the man who fears the Lord. PSALM 128:1-4

 

Motherhood, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Happy birthday Gianna (and me too?)

Facebook reminded me this week of something I said two years ago.

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Actually, King was the first one to remind me. He wished me a happy birthday on Gianna’s birthday, and said he remembers everything. I just smiled. I honestly did not think of it. But as I was watching a show the other day, I suddenly cried seeing the daughter hug her mom so tightly, thankful that her mom is alive. You see, not to sound overdramatic, well okay maybe a little, I almost died.

FEAR OF PAIN

I was scheduled for a c-section on August 12th, so I had to be admitted the day before. I don’t know why, but through the difficult pregnancy, I had so much fear. I feared pain. I don’t know if God was already warning me about things to come, but I struggled with it. I would cry because I was afraid of the pain I MIGHT experience. I’d given birth to Danae normally — that was painful even with epidural. I’d given birth to Noelle via emergency c-section — also had epidural and recovery was painful. You would think after two births, I’d be more confident. But no, I was seriously afraid.

August 11th, my spirits were high. King, the kids, and I were excited to be at the hospital. I wanted the girls to be with us overnight so they could meet Gianna right after she came out. To keep with tradition since Danae was also there in the hospital when Noelle was born. 🙂  I tested positive for GBS (Group B Strep) and so I needed to be given antibiotics intravenously 24hrs before my c-section. I was told to shower with an antiseptic and wear the hospital gown, so they could test my skin for a reaction (or non) to the antibiotic and also insert the IV. I was ready. Bracing myself, but ready. The nurse inserted the needle….

and I WAILED IN PAIN. I cried so loudly that my girls cried with me. I had never experienced that before in my 3 previous hospitalizations. That was just the beginning. To make the story shorter, almost everything I went through was painful. Plus I guess I was super emotional. King was not allowed to stay with me in the labor room and I had no phone, so through my tears I occupied myself with singing my first favorite worship song, Great is the Lord and Most Worthy of Praise.

I sang it even while they were getting Gianna out, and King was by my head. There was no pain at that point but I had difficulty breathing. That was normal, I was told, because of the spinal anaesthesia they gave me. It was quite different from the epidural I’ve had in the past. I kept thinking, I wanna hear the baby. I’ll be okay when I hear and see her. When she was out — her skin so fair like Noelle, chubby and chinky like Noelle, and she cried softly (like neither sister hahaha) — I was relieved and happy. I even made sure my doctor fixed my fallopian tubes. She assured me that she was ligating me, haha. They put Gianna on me so she could latch, and we could have some skin-to-skin contact. ❤

AFTER CHILD BIRTH

They brought me to the recovery room, and they would not bring me and Gianna to my room because my blood pressure was high. I kept looking at the monitor and I would see it at 160 over something. I thought that was odd because with my first two, my blood pressure normalized as soon as I gave birth. I was in there by 2:30. When Gianna cried, we would try to breastfeed. I tried to sleep and relax. By 8 or 9pm, I asked the nurse if she could bring Gianna out to meet her sisters. She obliged and I thank God that happened because the girls did not see her again till she got out of the NICU. More on her birth here.

I was brought to my room around 11pm. They gave me meds for my BP and monitored my urine for 24 hrs. When they removed the catheter, I was able to stand up and move. I would get dizzy and have a hard time breathing, but surprisingly my wound and stomach muscles did not hurt much. On the 15th, I was given the go to be discharged. My heplock was removed. I had no dextrose anymore by the 14th actually, but the thing was still in my vein till they removed it the next day. So you know, I thought I was fine and healthy. I did keep asking about my swollen ankles and legs. My edema would usually disappear as soon as the baby came out. I thought something was not right, but they kept telling me it was normal. We opted to keep the room and wait till Gianna was finished with her antibiotics in the NICU.

Not long after that, a doctor came into my room and told me that I had pre-eclampsia. I was so annoyed that I asked her why she’s saying pre-eclampsia when I’ve already given birth. Isn’t it supposed to be post eclampsia? Haha. It’s called pre-eclampsia because it is a condition before eclampsia. Eclampsia is high blood pressure and seizures in pregnant women. The usual cure for that is to give birth. Mine was post partum pre-eclampsia, meaning after I’ve given birth. She told me I would need magnesium sulfate for 24 hours, I got more upset. I told the attending doctor that I did not want to be IVed again. I said I was done. In my head, I was thinking that they were mistaken. Not after Gianna, needing to be in the NICU. No way. It was just too much. They said they would just relay it to my OB-GYN.

My lovely doctor, Dra Guinto, came into my room early that evening, and pleaded with me, not just as my doctor but as my friend (her words), to get the treatment. I actually had pre-eclampsia severe — severe because I had more than 3 symptoms of pre-eclampsia. It was good that we found out while I was still in hospital, because it would have been more dangerous undetected at home. There are too many complications if we don’t treat it — seizures and nerve damage. I cried because I did not want to do it. I did not want another IV insertion. I did not want additional pain — I was told it was going to feel hot in my body. I did not want a catheter. Hearing it straight from my doctor (and because she allowed me to not wear a catheter) and with King encouraging me to just obey, I eventually agreed. Thank God my children weren’t there. They were still with my in-laws.

My God takes the broken and makes it whole again. My God takes the broken and makes me whole again. ‪#‎thankYouLord‬ — this was my post from a song I heard that day, Aug 15, 2014. (I wasn’t able to capture the memory, sorry.)

NOT AGAIN 

That night, they brought me to the High Risk Pregnancy Unit. I was already in the groove of going down to the NICU to feed Gianna each time she needed feeding, but I couldn’t go to her again for 24 hours. I was emotional, eyes swollen from all the crying. Praise God the IV didn’t hurt and I did not feel the heat in my body. But in my heart, I kept asking the Lord to keep me alive. I did not want to let my girls feel abandoned. I did not want them to be at a loss, devastated by news of me dead. We had not seen each other at that point for 4 days. Imagine thinking everything’s fine and then your mom is suddenly gone. I did not want them to have to go through that. I was afraid that they’d get angry with God. I did not want Gianna to grow up without a mom. She’s too little. Writing about it still gets me emotional. Kawawa naman ang mga anak ko, I told God. I did not want to die yet. King did not show me, but he was also concerned. I guess he prayed like he never prayed before.

I was at the same time, concerned for Gianna because she was in the NICU. I kept hearing in my head, or was it in a song or I saw it in one of the movies, “the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” I told God that I don’t think I was ready to say that if He took Gianna away. Oh the tears!

After 24 hours, even my doctor was stumped. My blood pressure was still high. I asked her what might happen and she said my heart could fail from all the pumping it’s doing. I think that’s when she talked to King outside and they both decided to get me out of that unit. The place was causing me stress. I could not wait to get out and hold Gianna. We moved to a small room and by the grace of God, they released Gianna around the same time too. I got to see her and be with her again. My blood pressure went down, though still elevated. And by next morning, I was deemed healthy enough to be discharged — for real. Whew!

STILL ALIVE!

Later that month, I realized how much worse it could have all turned out. I was still having high blood pressure, dizzy spells, and an overall sick feeling. My friend whose son was in the NICU for 2 months, told me about a baby also in the NICU whose mom was in a coma. When I asked why, I learned that she was in A COMA BECAUSE OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA. Days or maybe weeks later, she was gone. It just became so real. My fears were not baseless at all! I cried then, feeling bad for that baby and her dad and THANKING GOD THAT I WAS ALIVE. I seriously could have died too soon. Thank God my doctor insisted on treatment and King urged me to do it. Otherwise, I would be in heaven and that would be great for me, but not so great for my family.

I thank God for my life! Despite that health scare and though I am still taking medication for high blood pressure, I am still here. God chose to not leave my children motherless. He chose to give King and I, the girls and I, our whole family more years together.

Exactly two years ago, we brought Gianna home from the hospital.

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Now she’s 2, and we are both alive and well. God is sovereign and God is good. And King is right. It is also my birthday. We are deeply grateful. ❤ 

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Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10

The Lord does whatever pleases him
    throughout all heaven and earth,
    and on the seas and in their depths. Psalm 135:6

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9

 

 

 

Motherhood

Motherhood

Motherhood. It’s probably one (out of 3, I think) of the craziest things I got myself mixed up in. Fulfilling and life-altering, but crazy nonetheless. 🙂

From painful labor and difficult, scary, and potentially life-threatening deliveries, from bringing the breastfeeding baby wherever I had/have to go, breastfeeding while driving, playing, eating or homeschooling, drinking hot soup while carrying a sleeping baby, carrying a baby with one hand and pushing the stroller with the other, taking a bath with an audience (baby in stroller or crib right by the door), to traveling with an infant, traveling with a toddler, traveling with a pre-schooler and a baby without King, traveling sick with two kids, and then soon (hopefully never ever again sick) traveling with three!

From juggling schedules especially during summer, driving them to and staying with them at parties, play dates and classes, to homeschooling one child and then two, homeschooling two while pregnant, and then homeschooling two with an infant.

From fun, laughter, joy, interesting conversations, quality and quantity time together, playing and reading, making memories everywhere we go, to heartaches, disappointments, tears, fights, heartfelt confessions and heartfelt cries, deep conversations, and hard lessons on love and forgiveness.

I tell you, it’s a crazy ride, but one that I am willing to be in. Through the incredible ups, frightening downs, exciting loops, surprise turns, and even the steady (or messy) transitions, I’m all in. No matter how painful it has gotten or it might get, no matter how close I have been to giving up (a bit overdramatic maybe? hehe), no matter how many times I have actually said I give up (because trust me, the nappy changing and sleepless nights are the “easy” part), no matter if I could turn back time and other less crazy rides were offered to me. I would still get on this one. I love my children. They are each a blessing to me and King. And by the grace of God, I will get better and better at loving them the way He wants me to.

I am a perfectly imperfect mother and I pray that through my imperfection, my children will see and learn how much they need God. That God is the only One who is constant, the only One who is always there, the only One who is truly reliable, the only One who knows and gives what is best, the only One who loves perfectly and makes us whole. As a mother, even with the help of my most awesome husband, I experience this truth every single day. I need Jesus. I can’t do it without Him. And though consistently inconsistent me has had days or moments of doing motherhood without Him, I pray that He will enable me to always go back at His feet, humble myself before Him and give up the reins, receive His mercy, and entrust to Him the hearts and lives of my children. 😊

Thank you Lord for this gift of motherhood! Thank you for blessing me with three beautiful warrior princesses. Thank you for the honor and privilege to co-parent with King, to raise and take care of our girls. Thank you that even though it becomes overwhelming, your grace is sufficient. I am comforted by the truth that I don’t have to be everything to my children because YOU are everything. 😊

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HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY, BEAUTIFUL MOMMIES! 🙂

Motherhood, Parenting

Mom-venger!

The Avengers was awesome! I loved each of the avengers, but Hulk was my favorite! Yesterday, I realized that I act like one avenger at different parts or moments of the day. I realized that I am a MOM-VENGER haha.

What happened yesterday was the usual — arguments, bickering, whining. As I started letting out a big sigh of frustration (not uncommon in our household either), I couldn’t stop myself as the sigh morphed into a loud roar. I actually thought right then that I sounded like Hulk. I’m pretty sure to my kids, I looked like him too. That’s one avenger I am not proud of becoming. Though I do not want to be “always angry,” I should be more like Dr. Banner, who knew how to control his anger.

Then I realized that I am many times cocky and proud just like Iron Man, thinking I know better or I know all. But I do think under all that ego, Tony Stark was able to think beyond himself and care about what was good for others. That’s what I hope I am to my children — doing what is best for them, not just for me. I do wish I had his brilliance and his money though haha.

Black widow is my girls’ favorite, though they didn’t watch the movie. Aside from her butt-kicking abilities, which I’m pretty sure I could do if called for such as when I need to defend my children (yeah right), she had this uncanny ability to read into a person’s thoughts. I am able to do that with my daughters too. I am able to draw out what is in their heart and mind by our conversations and the questions I ask them.

When it comes to my kids, I think I have a pretty keen eye like Hawkeye too. Sometimes I joke that I have eyes at the back of my head. They wonder how I know stuff that they thought I didn’t see, hear or notice.

The other day at the mall, I saw that I am like Thor and Noelle is like Thor’s hammer. Even though I let go of her hand and walk ahead of or behind her, I can be sure that her hand will find mine. Like a magnet. But more than that, Thor had an incredible love for his brother Loki, yet he chose to side with the good than with him. He helped save Earth, battling against his brother, but made sure that his brother didn’t die in the hands of humans or whoever those “things” were from another world. Moms are capable of this as well — unconditional love and tough love. I cannot be an enabler. I have to discipline my children because I love them.

Being a mom requires a lot of courage, which Captain America obviously had. He was somewhat old school, but sometimes old school is best — basics, foundations, values. He was a leader and he thought like a leader. He saw the big picture, devised a plan, and delegated so he could execute the plan. I am called to do the same many times, whether it’s fixing the kids’ schedules, teaching them, planning their party, or whatever. Sometimes I also experience resistance, wherein my kids probably want to ask me “why should we take orders from you?.” But I believe they see that we are capable of parenting them, not just because we’re stronger and more experienced, but because they know that we love them.

Nick Fury believed in these men and woman. He believed in them and what they can do more than they believed in themselves. He never gave up on them. I want to be like Nick Fury to my children — the one who always believes in them, the one who always fights for them, the one who gives them the “right push.”

Mom-venger — all the avengers in one mom. Schizophrenic or cool? Haha, you decide. 🙂