Sunday, July 25, 2010


I was wearing the crappiest ready-to-retire tank top, my still-a-bit-big tummy coming out of my oversized shorts, my hair clumsily tied back after a bad hair cut, with a face being pulled down by gravity, I came out of the bathroom after washing little Spanish Pinay's shirt full of poop (believe me, I don't know how she did it but she pooped and it reached almost up to the back of her neck).  I saw my husband who was in the living room carrying our little angel and his eyes were fixed on me.  Then he said "You look very beautiful.  Your hair looks good on you".  I could have immediately think he's trying to tease me by being sarcastic but with those dreamy eyes and faint smile he has, I just knew those words were from his soul.  Few tears wanted to escape from my eyes but I played it cool and gave him a "whatever" face.  After a long and tiring day, and feeling abandoned by myself, making me not want to see me in the mirror, God knows my husband's words were such a big self-esteem booster for me.  I couldn't believe after all the above description of myself, he sees me as someone beautiful.

Later at night, after I have put Tala to sleep, I cuddled up with hubby and told him I feel ugly (wanting to hear him again telling me I am beautiful :-D).  He told me "No way, you're more beautiful than ever".  I told him he's just saying that because he's my husband and that he loves me.  Then he told me he's saying that because he has eyes and he has a good taste and kissed me on my temple.  I smiled.  Love is indeed not blind.  Love actually sees more.  I've obviously changed after my pregnancy and I don't exactly like the changes especially that I barely have time to wash my hair, and yet I have this wonderful man here beside me still adores me and sees me as attractive, that's definitely love.  I shed a few tears.  It was a mixed emotions feeling sad about how my body changed and at the same time so happy for the warm feeling of being loved and adored.

Short moments of baby blues aftermath.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Old McMami Had Enough Ee I Ee I Oh!

With a poop-poop here, and a poop-poop there. 
Here a poop, there a poop
Everywhere a poop-poop

Today is Tala's pooping-everywhere day.  She was all quiet in her bouncer and suddenly made funny sounds.  Her face was funny with all the effort she's been doing.  I let her finish her business.   She took a good 5 minutes before her face shows some relief from the serious business she's been doing.  I took her out the bouncer and prepared to change her.  Since she was being breastfed, her poop is watery.  Always.  But never this huge quantity!  As I laid her down on the sofa with a changer mat underneath, her poop was squished up to her back so her shirt was stained with poop.  I held her feet, put them up, cleaned her tush and removed the nappy slowly.   I don't know how long Tala was in that feet-up position but she seemed to be enjoying it.  She was just quiet with her hands together while eyes locked on me.  I feel like she was observing my desperate-diaper-changing abilities! 

And did she test me even more?  Oh yes, she did.  With a wipe on a hand, I leaned closer to her tush making sure everything was cleaned up, I suddenly noticed her tush crunching and before my brain processed what was about to happen, there goes more poop splashed out.  She did such a big effort that I had poop on the sofa, poop on the changer mat,  poop on the floor, poop on my hand, poop on my thigh and most fortunately, poop on my face!  I was tongue-tied for a second and then I let out a loud "Taaaaaalaaaaaa!!!".  Tala was startled with my scream so she kicked hard and her feet escaped my hand... and there goes the feet dipped in the poop!  OH EM GEE! Can it get even worse???

And there was the little Spanish Pinay, smiling and laughing while her mami was cramming to clean all the poop everywhere.   What a brat!  I couldn't help but laugh.  Real joy of motherhood.  Comedy-real.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Skinny Jeans,

I miss you.  I miss you a lot.  How long has it been? Almost a year, probably?  I'm sorry I've abandoned you that long and I'm sorry I just can't get back to you again just now.  I'm actually back to my weight before I got preggy but my hips, my golly, my hips are still wider than it was.  That's not the real problem though, coz for you I can hold my breath and squeeze my everything to fit you in.  You know well I could and I would...but I just shouldn't.  You see, my dear skinny jeans, I was cut for little Spanish Pinay's safety.  The cut was done way down below the abdomen.  They call it bikini cut.  Apparently it is done as such, so later on I can still wear bikini without the scar being seen by the public.  But honestly, I don't know what's more horrible to see; the scar or the bulgy tummy that can go bouncy bouncy out of the bikini.  Eeeeneeeweys,  I'm still healing from my cut.  It gets uncomfortable tightening around the area and I'm scared the cut would break open (of course it's not gonna happen since it's already scarred but I get that sensation... and I tell ya, it's not a very good sensation).  This is my first time to be sliced and diced so I am all squeamish about anything that has to do with it. 

So my dear skinny jeans,  I'm asking you to not lose hope on me.  I don't know when but I know one day, we'll get the chance to become one again.  In the meantime, just chill out where you are now.  It's nice and cozy in there.

Please keep in touch.

Your owner.

P.S.  Do you think I need to do exercise?  I was never the type and I don't think I will be, anytime soon so, be really, really patient.  It might take some decades before we get reunited again...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Breastfeeding is Best for Babies

I am not going to emphasize on the importance of breastfeeding for babies.  I believe we ALL know that.  Just that nowadays, there are too many circumstances that mothers encounter that prohibit them from breastfeeding or allowing them to continue breastfeeding for as long as the baby needs it.  I am a believer of breastfeeding and I would like to be able to continue providing milk to little Spanish Pinay as much as I can.  The battle against circumstances, social pressure, etc is hard but I swear on my most sumptuous chocolates I will try my best!

It makes me feel glad to hear another mom doing her best as well to produce milk for her little one.  A friend of a friend is trying to go back to breastfeeding and so I am putting here an excerpt about re-lactating I've read from a good book about lactation.  The book by Un Regalo Para Toda La Vida by Carlos Gonzalez is really a good book for those who wants good information about lactation.  I've translated the excerpt as best as I can... I hope I won't get sued, no?  I did mention the source so this is not plagiarism! :-D
"I've stopped breastfeeding since a few weeks already.  Can start breastfeeding again?"
Yes.  It is possible to stop providing unnecessary formula and go back to breastfeeding exclusively, even when the baby hasn't been breastfed for weeks or even months or even when the baby hasn't breastfeed from the beginning.
Perhaps, your baby was born premature or was sick and couldn't be breastfed.  Or perhaps you have decided not to breastfeed but has now changed your opinion.  Or probably you were recommended to stop breastfeeding because the baby is not gaining weight and then proved that with the formula, the baby gained weight just the same as when he was being breastfed or even lesser...
The process is usually named as re-lactation.  There are two things to achieve:  to produce milk and for the baby to suck.  The two objectives are interrelated, but they are relatively independent.  The baby would probably suck more if some milk will come out but it is not essential:  No milk ever comes out from pacifiers but babies suck pacifiers well; then why wouldn't they suck an empty breast?  On the other side, more milk will be produced if baby sucks more but just the same, it's not essential:  you can also stimulate milk production by pumping milk, either by hand or using a breast pump.
Of course at the beginning, only few milk will come out or none at all.  You have to to have patience and perseverance.  Do not work on it too much until the breast gets swolen though; it is better to try pumping for 5-10 mins every time, but repeat the process 8-10 times a day or more if yo have time and willingness to do so.
Producing milk is relatively easy; if one tries it constantly, one will end up producing milk.  One thing is for the baby to suck since of course, that doesn't depend on the mom anymore.  If the baby doesn't want to, he won't.  The younger the baby, the easier he will end up latching or breastfeeding; babies younger than 4 months the success rate for baby to start breastfeeding is higher than babies who are more than 4 months old.  There are some mothers who's able to produce milk but couldn't get their babies to latch and suck;  they'd have to provide the milk using a glass or mixing it with liquid cereals.  In any case, there were babies who are more than a year old already and started being breastfed again.  It's always worth it to try.
Sometimes it is enough to just put the baby near the breast, and it will just start to suck naturally, even if it has been weeks already without doing so.  But most of the times, the baby that is already used to formulas rejects breast or doesn't know what to do with it.  Don't ever try to let the baby get too hungry in the hope that the baby will feel obligated to drink from the breast just because he's already too hungry.  First of all, because it means lack of respect and secondly, because that just doesn't work....
I am ending the excerpt here as I can see my little one blinking her eyes already from her nap and that I believe the more important information about re-lactation has been mentioned already.  I do really hope that she'll be able to get back into breastfeeeding.

I aso do hope mothers can get more support from the government and from the society about getting more information on breastfeeding. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting the right information and the right guidance to be able to achieve this.  It is not hard and it is not impossible to do.  Sometimes it seems that being able to breastfeed is such a big ordeal nowadays that if you are able to do it, people are in awe.. when in fact it is the most natural and primitive way.  No big science behind it.  Just motherhood.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bad Parenting 101

Can you really spoil a 2-month old?

We were invited to my husband's family friend's house to celebrate their town's fiesta.  And so we went.  There were many people but all of them are no-strangers to us as we have met them already from previous year's fiesta celebration.  But for Tala, our little Spanish Pinay, all of them are strangers.  They were all happy and excited to see Tala.  Everyone's been commenting how pretty Tala is.  "Oh, look at those eyes".  "Oh look at her color.  She's got skin color like she goes to the beach everyday".  "Oh look at her, she is just so pretty".  People asked me how I am doing as well but I was kind of astonished by the question that they asked me after asking how I am doing after giving birth.  "Is she a good girl?".  Is she a good girl.  I don't exactly know what that means.  Besides, what would a mom tell about her daughter?  "No she's a bad girl".  Would any mom tell that to people about her own child?  With a little confused face, I jokingly told them she is my daughter and she's good to me, so I would say she's a good girl.  And then kidding aside, I told them well, at night she lets me sleep.  Especially lately, she's been sleeping for about 5-6 hours straight.  Then I got approving nods.  I felt I was being judged as a first-time mom.  

After getting passed from one person to another, Tala started crying.  She's tired and sleepy and the last time she ate was like 2.5 hours ago so she must be hungry.  People started looking at her and again, started asking me; "Do you let her get used to being carried?".  I wanted to roll my eyes as I know where this question is going.  But I didn't.  Instead, I put on my warmest smile and said well, I carry her whenever I feel like to and whenever I know she needs me to carry her.  So then the most expected response comes:  "You're spoiling her!".  I just smiled.

I took her from the last person who was carrying her and excused ourselves so I can feed her.  She fell asleep in my arms so husband and I went to put her down on her basinet. 

Lunch was already served so hubby and I went to join the hungry team.  Tala slept until we finished the  main course.  Mother-in-law insisted for me to eat the desserts while she took Tala for a walk.  But Tala started crying so MIL went back and again, insisted that hubby takes Tala while I finish my dessert.  I obeyed.

A woman from the table started talking to my sister-in-law about Tala and about babies.  She's a mom of 2 girls already in their teenage years.  She asked if Tala is used to being carried around.   There we go again to never ending saga.  With a smile, I said she likes being carried that's for sure.  And again, the inevitable answer:  "Well, she shouldn't be carried everytime she cries.  She'll get used to it and you'll be the one to suffer.  Babies are too smart.  They will manipulate you".  Manipulate me.  A 2-month old baby manipulating adults.  Wow.  I just shrugged and then smiled again.   Her conversation with my sister-in-law continued while I focused on my dessert.  She continued on about letting babies cry so they won't get used to being carried, that crying is good for them, that it'll make their lungs stronger, etc.   I swear she's like she has a degree on child psychology and pediatrics.   And she didn't stop.  She asked if Tala is used to pacifiers.  I said she doesn't really like pacifiers.  She would suck on it from time to time but not always.  There she goes: "Well, you have to insist as that is the only way you can calm her.  You have to keep insisting on her".  I was already tired.  So I just said yes.  

After finishing my dessert I went to my husband so I can take Tala from him and then he can have his dessert.  She was not able to have a good nap.  The place was in a festive mood.  Everyone talking, some yelling, people walking back and forth.  Talking to her with their highest-pitched baby talk.  She was passed from one person to another.  She was not really in a good mood.  She started crying again.  I tried to sleep her but then with the noise around, she'd wake up.  Her godfather took her from me and Tala started crying.  People kept on telling me let her cry, let her cry.  It's good for her.  Since I didn't want them to tag me as a spoiler-mom or someone stubborn who doesn't listent to experts I let Tala cry in the arms of her godfather.  With all these people telling me what I should and should not do, I felt like a new mom who has no idea what parenting is.  Everybody's telling me what to do and telling me it's my fault why Tala is cries when held by someone else.  Listening to my baby's cry, I cried even more... inside.

At last, it's time to go home.  Tala was really, really not in a good mood and started crying in the car going home.  We reached home and she started to feel better.  She started smiling and playing with us.  Time for sleep.  I started feeding her.  She was moving a lot and looked like she wasn't comfortable at all.  She normally sleeps easily at night... but this time she was looking so nervous, arching her back, scrunching, moving her arms frantically.  She didn't have her complete nap in the afternoon and she's tired from all the crying and passing I'm pretty sure.  This is making her so uncomfortable.  It took me more than an hour to sleep her.  Like a hawk, I watched her sleep and suddenly moving like she's being startled by something but she'd go back to sleep.  She was like that for 15 minutes until she finally awoke.  I started crying.  I know my baby's not feeling good.  I just knew that crying-it-out didn't do her good.  I blamed myself for listening to the experts.  Hubby came to the rescue and took Tala in his arms.  Tala felt calm and secure... in 4 minutes, she fell asleep.  Sound asleep. I sighed with relief.

I told myself, no more letting Tala cry-it-out.  We just both suffer.  If attending to her every cry and needs means spoiling her, then let her be spoiled.  She only has 2 months, for crying out loud.  At this point in her life she needs love and care more than discipline.  My baby cries, precisely because she's a baby.  Why does a mom with a crying baby seems to have a big sign on her forehead saying "I'm a first time mom who doesn't have any idea how to rear a child properly, advice from everybody please!"  Tremendous.

From now on, I'll try to listen more to my own instinct.  For the sake of our little Spanish Pinay and for my sanity's sake.  A mother knows best, after all.

Bad parenting 101: Listening to every well-meaning unsolicited advisers and letting be pushed over about how you should take care of your own child.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baby on One Hand, Vacuum on The Other

Yes, today, I couldn't just ignore the bunny dusts... I vacuumed the floor while little Spanish Pinay is in my arms.  Tough! But not too tough.  Thankfully she likes the baby carrier and she also gets entertained with the noise of the vacuum.

Things you learn to do as a mom...

image from
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