October 25, 2009

Scrapbooking, I Like!

I have loved photos ever since I had my own camera- I enjoy taking pictures and I collect them. I started to scrapbook and archived photos when I was in sixth grade. I would create my own journal, put pictures in the pages and write stories about the photos. Sad to say that there was a time when I was in college that I got rid of them for some personal reason.

When I had a baby shower, my sister-in-law gave me a baby scrapbook so then I started getting into it again since I now have the time and also because I want to do something that I can give Madi when she grows-up. All the pictures and events in the scrapbook has its own story or insights from me that I’d like to share with her. I am also sharing some of the pages I created to you in this website (on my Projects page) and some in Facebook.

Scrapbooking takes a lot of time especially if you are a mother like me. It’s hard to find time with all the chores that needs to be done so I really don’t get to do as much scrapbooking as I want to. However, another reason I like to do it is because it makes me feel good- it brings out the creativity in me and it gives me the chance to recollect and reflect on some events. And after you are done, it’s satisfying to know that I have recorded a memory for my daughter, for me, or whomever is or are in the pictures.

October 14, 2009

Been Gone

I have not blogged for quite sometime. I got too preoccupied with all my duties as a mother and wife but everything is great- just been busy and busy for me is always a good thing.

Many things happened over the past month. Jon is still working in New Jersey so we try to do a lot of family activities every weekend, some family members got sick (my brother-in-law had a heart-attack for one), Madi and Jon both had cough and colds due to change of weather, my brother Aldous bought a house, my brother Aaron arrived in the U.S., my sister got a new job, a very bad flood in Manila affected many I know, a nephew from a first cousin caught swine flu (just heard today), Madi has been hard to handle (running around all day, touching everything, making mess)... a lot of stuff going on that I cannot afford to sit in front of the computer for more than five minutes without interruption (mainly from my baby).

I have no idea when I will start to be consistent on my blogging. Somethings always come up whenever I am about to get a hang on a routine that I need to adjust again and figure out a new one. But then again, no complaints- just trying to explain that I am still here and alive. I hope you all are being productive too and well.

August 31, 2009

Family Visit

Madi, Josh, and Alec
We drove to Virginia on Friday to see my siblings. We have not seen each other since Madi’s birthday in April. Another reason for the visit is to celebrate with Aldous and his family their new house. I am just proud of Aldous and Anne- they have been blessed with two wonderful kids and as parents, they have done well for the kids. 

Alec, my youngest nephew, is growing. Like Madi, he too is a very happy baby. What I enjoyed most in this reunion is that the three kids had a good time playing with each other. Josh is of course grown-up but in spite of the age difference, he loved interacting with Madi and Alec. I truly adored watching the “three monkeys” together. It reminded me of my own childhood and it is always nice to remember the good old days- being a kid is simply the best.

My sister, Elke, a kid at heart, naturally enjoyed being with all her nephews and niece. It was a fun family visit and I hope to see them again soon... and I hope next time, my parents and Aaron will be here too.

August 25, 2009

We Are Sick

Madi started to have a bit of a runny nose on Sunday then it got worse today. I think it is when children get sick that parents worry the most. Especially for kids who are still too young to talk- it is hard for us to figure out what exactly they are feeling. Like I can see that my baby’s been having a hard time sleeping but don’t really know how difficult it is for her, you know. Aside from that, at this age I can’t really give her any medicines. I just hope she gets better soon... I don’t care about anything else as long as my baby is healthy.

August 18, 2009

An Engagement To Remember

Today is the third anniversary of our engagement. It happened in Goat Island, RI. We used to go there every year to celebrate but we cancelled this year because of Jon’s unexpected job assignment in Princeton, NJ.

So Instead, Madi and I spent our weekend in New Jersey. We strolled around the university campus and we also drove south to do whale/ dolphin watching.

Our Saturday was relaxing. We stayed at my sister-in-law’s house (since they are out of the country, we thought of visiting their house and water their plants) and just drove around nearby towns. The main thing was Princeton. I love Princeton and everytime I go there, I always have this feeling of wishing I was able to go there for college. So now, that is my dream for Madi. Jon and I have got to do a lot of saving...

The following day, we went dolphin (supposedly whales and dolphins but did not see any whales) watching in Cape May. Madi couldn’t stay in one place inside the boat and the ride was more than three hours so I felt a little nauseous at one point from carrying and running after her. She did not appreciate dolphin watch in particular but enjoyed mingling with people. I loved it though. At first, I thought it wasn’t as great as watching a show from aquariums and sorts because here, you have to be on the look-out to see the mammals but after seeing tons of them popping out from the water, I felt amazed. It was sort of a stress reliever for me just to watch them swim like crazy, looking so free and happy.

So that was how we celebrated “the special day.” No Rhode Island for this year but it was still indeed a good celebration and an enjoyable weekend.

August 14, 2009

Madi In Starbucks

Madi and I are here in Starbucks (one of my favorite routines). I like to read or write when I am here. Normally, my girl would be asleep in her stroller but today she is awake, smiling and saying “hi” to everyone, and she is sitting on a regular chair which makes it hard for me to concentrate reading (I will start on Breaking Dawn today, by the way). However, I am having fun after all. This baby of mine is such a social butterfly and I cannot believe how fast she has grown. She is staring at every table to catch attention by showing her funny face and tongue. In this aspect, I would say that she is a total opposite of me. I remember being a shy girl (and maybe until now).

I think we have to get out of here in a bit because Madi’s disturbing people with their readings and such.

August 11, 2009

Second Week

This is the second week of Jon’s assignment in Princeton. Madi and I miss him dearly but we get by by trying to keep ourselves busy. Last week he made an effort to come home in the middle of the week just to be able to see Madi. Then this week, Madi and I will come to him Thursday and stay there until the weekend. I have to make some agenda for the weekend and I am excited. I am considering beach, BBQ, and whale watching... Ok, I’ve got to check and make reservations now!

August 10, 2009

First Chair

And so we got our first chair yesterday. On our way to Pottery Barn Kids, Madi fell asleep in the car and when we got to the store, Jon just came down to get it himself while she and I stayed in the car.

Madi woke up just in time when we parked. She saw Daddy unloading her chair from the car and putting it on her stroller while I carried her. Her eyes got big and said “nice chair!” with a smile. When we got in the apartment, she got even more hyper. She kept on sitting, standing up, laughing, and running over and over again.

She is obviously happy and so I am happy too. It’s all I want.

August 8, 2009

Picking Her First Chair

Today, we went to Pottery Barn Kids and Buy Buy Baby to look for a good chair for Madi. She tested each one we saw and seeing her different reactions was interesting. You could tell which ones she liked and did not. My little girl knows what she wants now and she’s got good taste, so far...

We went home empty handed because we first went to PBK then BBB but the one she liked was in PBK and it was too late for us to go back so Daddy said we’ll just go back and buy it tomorrow.

August 4, 2009

Missing Daddy

Jon was assigned for an out-of-state project. This set-up is really expected with his job but fortunately, eversince I gave birth, he has always been around until now. Madi and I won’t be seeing Daddy now as he will only be able to come home on weekends. It is going to be sad and tough but it’s something we need to sacrifice. 

Yesterday was the first morning that Madi didn’t get to see her Dad. Jon usually prepares our baby’s first bottle in the morning so when she wakes up, she automatically calls her “Dad! Dad!” for milk. So yesterday when she woke up, she didn’t see Jon but she probably thought he was just in the kitchen and she called him loud, “Dad! Dad!.” I woke up with her scream and told her that her father is not home. It made me sad because Madi is always excited with her Dad and now she won’t have that kind of excitement everyday.

We will try to do webcam everynight to help missing each other a bit although it won’t be really enough because they cannot play together and she gets tired of webcam easily. After a couple of minutes she’ll say, “ayaw na.”

We miss you Daddy! We can’t wait for this weekend and we hope we won’t have to do this very long. However, thank you for working hard for our family. We love you!

June 29, 2009

First Step

Today is Madi 14th month and she made her first step. My husband was preparing to leave for work and I was having my breakfast then we saw Madi was attempting to walk. She stood up, made one step forward with her left foot, stumbled down, and then did the same cycle four times that moment. When she stopped trying, I asked her, “are you tired?” then she smiled at me and I asked her again, “we’ll practice more later, ok?” and she said, “opo.” 

It was exciting to watch her and I hope that she will carry throughout her life the perseverance and courage that I see in her now.

June 8, 2009

Remembering My Special Brother

My brother, Conrad, is a special child, the eldest among five children, born normal but had a convulsion when he was still an infant which affected his brain, he died three years ago of a freak accident. If he were alive today, he’d be thirty seven.

“Kuya Conry” (what we call him- “kuya” is a name in Filipino for a bog brother and “Conry” was his nickname) had  to go into therapy to be able to walk and did not have an appetite for food when he was a baby. My parents said he was not able to walk until he was six years old. My brother used to have braces on his legs (which I saw in pictures), and my parents would bring him to the park every weekend as part of the therapy. Everything he ate had to be colored yellow (like mango, banana, and papaya) because it was attractive to him; it even went to the extent that his skin turned yellow because of all the yellow fruits and vegetables he ate.

When he was about four years old, he started to eat just ANYTHING. The last years of his life, he weighed about one hundred and thirty pounds eventhough he was short (5’3”). If you look at him, he would appear heavy for his height. Kuya had a big tummy and skinny legs. (because he did not walk that much, which is also why he didn’t grow taller). His metabolism was very slow, and he didn’t have chest, leg, or armpit hair; had a round baby face, deep set dark brown eyes, freckles, and dimples; even had the best set of teeth among us children. If he were normal, he would be a gorgeous guy.

Kuya Conry had to have his own nanny; we usually hired a guy because he sometimes had tantrums and it was easier for a man to control him. He couldn’t eat by himself and if you leave him alone at the table he will make a mess. You can also leave him in the tub but he will only play with the water (just like a toddler).

He attended school for special children between the ages of seven and eleven. My parents also hired a private tutor a one point. However, he did not have the patience to sit and listen to a teacher. He was also not good with other special students.

Though he was a lot to handle, he was very sweet. He loved it when there were a lot of people around, so his best times were probably parties and gatherings. He hugged all the people he likes but the hugs were not normal hugs. When Kuya hugs, he uses only one arm and grabs by your neck. You really have to be prepared. Otherwise, you will feel hurt because he grabs really hard.

He never learned how to talk but he made sounds. When he was sad or wanted something he couldn’t get, he would make the “moo” sound like of a cow in a very low tone; when he was happy, he would make a high-pitched sound of joy. He also cried and laughed.

Kuya’s normal day would be to sit the whole day in front of the TV or listening to the radio. He loved to be entertained and he can dance. But you cannot just turn the TV or radio on to make him happy- you have to turn them to his favorite channels/ stations. On television, he liked to watch religious, musicals, and cartoon like Shrek and other funny features. On the radio he preferred broadway musicals like Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera.

Among everyone in the house, he loved our Dad, his nanny, and me the most. Everytime we got home, he would get excited, yelled for joy, and ran to meet us at the porch no matter what he was up to.

I have a lot of special memoroes growing up with Kuya and I love him dearly. I tried to spend time and took care of him on my days off. I watched movies and listened to music with him, I drove him around the city (he loved to sit in the car), and I gave him baths (he enjoyed it when you give him time to play with the flowing water in the tub). He was a part of my system.

In spite of him being a special child, he still somehow served me as a normal big brother. I sometimes wished his condition never happened so that I would have a big brother who could protect me from bullies and jerks like in the movies. But I think he still saved me from a lot of things. I have become what I am partly because of him. Because of who my big brother was, I grew up responsibly. I thought I had to be responsible since I had to act as the eldest. He inspired me in everything I did.