Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work hard, Play hard

It's been a while since i last posted here and yes i'm still alive! I just got preoccupied with a lot of things re kids, home management, work, etc.

Now, I'm currently testing my new toy which i can practically use for both work, play and time management. Right now, i'm writing this post thru a handheld phone. And frankly, it's so liberating! Whenever writingdiarrhea strikes, i can post anytime! Amazing!

What's more, i'm so excited to try its superb cam and other features.

When i asked my hubby if i should go for this gadget, he simply said, "you don't need to justify your purchase, you have to know that you deserve it." double amaZing!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Progress Report for 2011 New Year Resolutions

Before I begin with my 2012 resolutions, I’d like to make an update on last year’s list and how each item affected my new and improved promises for 2012. In no particular order:
Too much sunshine ei? 
This was me during the Tree Planting Activity in Bulacan, Philippines
      Plant trees.
I’m not a hardcore environmentalist but I’m doing my best to reduce my carbon footprint. In 2011, I planted a total of 30 trees! Wee! One tree planting activity I went into even invited persons with disability so I also got to meet them and help in their efforts to save Mother Earth.

2.   Encourage at least 5 moms to breastfeed.
Funny thing is, out of five, I encouraged one DAD to convince her wife to exclusively breastfeed their newborn daughter. Myra is the wife of my officemate, Jeff. Jeff was actually the one who’s so interested in listening to my hilarious and heartwarming (?) stories of nursing my baby. He’s way too curious for a guy because he’s always asking me the do’s and don’ts of breastfeeding, what to expect and what to use as if I’m a lactation expert of some sort. Little did I know, he’s already sharing it to her pregnant wife.  

Updated on April 13, 2012
I’m happy to inform that another officemate of mine is currently breastfeeding after giving birth last March 2! That’s 2 out of 5. Happy me!

3.    Do at least one random act of kindness each day.
Again, I’m no Mother Theresa but I try each day of my life to do the ARK or Acts of Random Kindness. I’m so blessed to be part of Medical Missions, Outreach Programs for the underprivileged and gift-giving to orphans. Likewise, it’s the little acts like making a friend laugh after a heartache or hugging mom to soothe her longing for dad among others are what makes my day extra special.

So for 2012! Here’s a longer list:
  • ·         Eat healthier
  • ·         Exercise
  • ·         Pray more often
  • ·         Take time to read, dance and travel
  • ·         Meditate
  • ·         Watch a theatrical play with hubby and the kids
  • ·         Stay away from toxic relationships, drop it. They don’t deserve my time anyway.
  • ·         Take good care of my skin
  • ·         Enroll in an online writing course
  • ·         Make a shout-curse-all-you-want stress journal where I can simply write and let go anything and everything stressing me. This one should be locked in my dresser. And double lock it.
  • ·         Blog more, write more, photograph more
  • ·         Cook more, discover more recipes
  • ·         More, more time with the kids and hubby
  • ·         Revive my dinner and movie dates with hubby
Cheers to a new year and a better life! Dio ci benedica!

My Vow to Breastfeeding

For one year and nine months since August of 2010, my pledge to breastfeed Carly carries on. My reasons for keeping my promise to breastfeed are quite simple: so I can boost my child’s immunity, provide her the best nutrition and to keep our mom and baby bond. 

Apart from being a wife and mother of two, I also have a career in public relations. I didn’t live a glamorous life just like what the tagged photos in my facebook account shows. The cocktail parties, campaign launches and other events I take part in are all for business purposes. Images of late night partying, drinking, etc, are far from what really happens in the parties I attend to. I’m usually there to meet people who can be possible business partners, catch up with media friends and often times assist in other publicity tasks for post photo releases.  

After I gave birth to Carly and resumed to work, a typical day for me would entail waking up at 7 in the morning (hubby’s an ‘earlier’ riser, he wakes up at 5a.m.), pump breast milk, prepare breakfast, shower and leave for work. Before 7, I get home, eat dinner and nurse the baby. I am so so glad hubby is a hands-on dad with my pre-schooler Eve especially or else I’ll go mad! 

For a parent with a corporate career like mine, I CAN excuse myself from breastfeeding my baby. But I DIDN’T. I refused the idea of setting aside my first priority (family) for a handful of tasks that awaited me in the corporate world. I also CAN give up my day job to be a full-time breastfeeding mom yet I didn’t. I knew in my heart, I also need this career not only to help sustain the family finances but for my personal growth, too.  

I may sound complicated but I believe life is some sort of a big puzzle, you just have to find the right pieces to solve the picture. 

So here’s what I did. 

As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I researched for the tools/equipment/things that will aid me in breastfeeding ‘from a distance’. By ‘from a distance’, I mean if I’m out for work, events, seminars, meetings, etc. I’ll be forever thankful to my breastfriends including my trusty Avent Isis BPA-Free Manual Breast Pump, Pigeon breast pads, my dark Pashmina (which I cover myself with when pumping) Avent and Tommee Tippee milk containers and bottles (all BPA-Free) and my reliable Fridge-To-Go for keeping my precious milk cold. They were with me for almost a year and yes, I can still use it if we plan to have another baby. 

Second thing I considered is asking for permission at work. At the office, I requested for my immediate head (our asst. mall manager) and HR to allow me for some quick 10-minute breaks so I can pump milk. I am fortunate enough that I work for a company with a strong advocacy for breastfeeding. 

Everyday, I pump every 3 hours and store it in our office fridge. I usually yield 4-8 ounces each pumping session and bring home a total of 16 to 24 ounces of breastmilk for Carly’s consumption the next day. When I get home, I pump for extra milk to be stored in the freezer for back-up. My baby had more than enough milk so I also donated at once to our local orphanage to benefit the babies there. 

One dilemma that I faced was the out-of-office work I take part in like Tree Planting activities, court hearings, event launches and meetings. I thought that if I have the right and complete breastfeeding aids, I would be able to do outdoor milk extraction. I was wrong! By wrong, I mean I should boost my confidence first and whisk all hesitations away. I used to think pumping in public is too embarrassing but while I was on a bus on my way home, my breasts were so engorged and is aching already, I badly needed to express milk! “What the heck. These people won’t even care if my child gets hungry so I better pump now,” I thought to myself. With my pashmina on for coverage, I got my breastpump out of the Fridge-To-Go, unbuttoned my blouse and drained one breast after another. My colleague, Kuya Marc was beside me and even cheered “Go pumping Momma!” I can say it was one of my most unforgettable moments in my vow to exclusive breastfeeding

As soon as Carly turned 1, I decided to mix feed her with formula milk during daytime and breastmilk at night. I thank God for the wonderful experience of breastfeeding and the opportunity to be an instrument in nurturing a baby, the natural way. Being able to nurse your child is not a lifetime and permanent undertaking. Rather, it is a temporary mission given to mothers to experience the most unconditional and miraculous way of loving their precious young ones.

A Year of Miracle

August 20, 2011

It’s my youngest daughter’s 1st birthday today and I am here early in the office to attend to all my backlogs and projects. Is there something wrong with me? 

In our current state, I don’t have the luxury to excuse myself from work since I badly need this job. But then, I’m hoping and praying that God would change our situation so we may fulfill our roles. I’m trying to understand why He placed us to where we are right now. Maybe he wants us to learn. Maybe it’s what’s best for now. Whatever it is, I am confident that He has better and bigger plans for us.

It was a very pleasant evening of August 20 of last year when I delivered to a bouncing and lovely baby girl. The operation was smooth. I didn’t get to fall asleep despite the anesthesia injected in my spine. I felt numb from chest down to my feet. I can feel the movement but there’s no sensation, though. My eyes were half-closed when I saw a naked little thing pass by my right side. I was looking at her eyes and surprisingly, she was looking at me, too. She has a healthy wail when she was taken away from the operating room. It was the moment when I silently offered a prayer of thanks to my Father up there. Indeed, babies are living proofs that God never lost faith in mankind. 

I cannot put to words what I felt when I had Carly. It was a different feeling when I gave birth to Eve, my first-born. With Eve, it was a life-changing experience for me since it was my first time and I was very young then. I was 21 when I had her. With Carly, she’s like a breath of fresh air. Maybe because I was prepared and confident that I can take care of the miracle that is Carly. I call her my miracle baby. 

We didn’t expect another baby since I had a thyroid condition for about 3 years but I was taken cared of by my endocrinologist. She said that it’s a gift from above because I cannot conceive if my hormones are not in a normal level. I was nervous when I learned about Carly because I worried about her health. My OB-gyne briefed me that we may want to take extra care so as not to lose the baby. Every month, I get to check my thyroid levels and have my endocrinologist take a look at me and my baby. It was a tough pregnancy but with God’s help, we got through it. I feel so blessed indeed.

Updated on January 1, 2012

I may want to add that 2011 was tough on me but with God’s help, I together with the whole family got through it. Eve is so happy with her new school and new friends. Carly is constantly excited with her new food explorations (she has an appetite like an elephant ;)) Hubby is very much hopeful with the career waiting for him in 2012. 

2011 took me to another rollercoaster ride with matching tsunami waves on the side. But then, it was a year of miracle that I’ll always be thankful for.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Time is a precious gift

Time just fly by so fast, ain't it? It's one of life's resource that seems to be too precious for me right now. Three months have passed since I last posted here in my blog. And yes, it's time to get my fingers workin' again.

First up, I'd like to thank God for taking me on a rollercoaster ride this 2010. The year gave me a generous serving of heartaches but nevertheless been kind and fruitful. For 2011, I'm ready to learn and grow more. Research, exploration and experimentation were sort of my addiction since childhood.

After I fully committed myself to breastfeeding, I'm glad to say I'm living up to my vows. More than a month since I got back to work, I still EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEED my 4 month old baby girl. I feel much fulfilled whenever I lay down at night knowing I maximized my role as a mother, wife and a carrer-woman. It's tough sometimes especially when I do field work like outdoor photoshoots and media rounds. But then, stubborn as I am, I usually find a way to make things work for me. Good thing, I researched and bought all the things I'll be needing when I go back to work. Among my trusty "breastfriends" are my breastpump, milk storage bottles and my super reliable FRIDGE-TO-GO. For a more realistic approach, my target period for exclusive breastfeeding is until my baby's 6 months old. I know in God's grace, I can still continue beyond that even if I do mixed feeding (combination of breastmilk and infant formula).

It's also true that kids grow up so fast. Though Eve (my first-born child) still dances like a baby, she is undeniably ready for school. After she went to summer school, waking up every morning with Eve would mean endless dialogue on why she won't be able to go to school yet. I was pregnant then that's why her dad and I decided Eve will start studying come June of 2011 (here in the Philippines, our school year starts in June).

At the age of 4, the idea of studying excites Eve. Going to school would mean meeting a lot of friends, more playtime, more ABC's and 1, 2, 3's and according to her, "more drawing". As she is fond of working on objects, figures, shapes and people in her drawings, I figured her strength is in visual arts. Guilty-mom is what I call myself that's why I sometimes shower her with artsy toys/tools to stimulate her creativity.

2010 also taught me to value relationships. We lost 4 of our relatives this year. 1 from an accident and 3 from illness. My heart aches for the death of my cousin, aunts and grandmother. Then again, our loss is heaven's gain. I know they're now happy up there though their presence is greatly missed down here.

Deaths in our family made me seek for a better relationship with my parents. It's now my turn to take good care of them since I won't be this person if not for their love. Their one of my top priorities this coming year. I'm also praying that God shower them with good health so they can appreciate old age with their lovely grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Carly Isabelle Cruz

Born on August 20, 2010, 6.6 lbs, Carly Isabelle Cruz, my second daughter and another proof of God's love for me and my family.

Despite the many challenges that came my way in the course of my pregnancy, Carly fought, and I fought for her. She is indeed a born fighter.

Oh well, the effects of anaesthesia still runs in my blood. I'm still forgetful and all.... till my next post! tata!

Friday, July 30, 2010

35 weeks

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Mother's Fear

I'm super worried. Worried like I can't sleep and I can't focus. The thought of Eve being infected with her ex-nanny's leprosy disease makes me scared to death.

I actually felt betrayed when Eve's nanny didn't tell us about her disease after being diagnosed. It was only when I got to see her medication that she told us about her illness. She cried as she apologized for not telling us sooner.

I was crying last night while my daughter was asleep. I found myself staring at Eve for almost an hour...praying hard. Asking God to spare my daughter from the disease. "What ifs" clouded my mind. "What if her nanny really infected my daughter?"...What if the symptoms will show later in her life, like when she's already 10 or 11?" A lot of questions... I even thought of consulting a specialist just to answer my queries about the illness and to appease my anxiety.

For now, I lay everything to God. I'm praying for strength and wisdom to face whatever challenge there is for us. I'm hoping and praying that God would keep my daughter away from harm and sickness.

iLove Surveys!

I'm so fond of surveys, whatever the topic may be. I took a random survey from dneero and I actually learned a lot from it. I guess being curious with things makes me hone my skills in research.