Monday, 18 May 2015

My Bags are Ready, but My Heart is Not

My clothes are already prepared in my maleta. My travel documents are also in my Jansport hand-carry already. Everything is set for 3 day trip to Bali, Indonesia tomorrow. Everything - except my heart.

This is the first time that I would be far from my 5 month old, Baby Charley. I can't bear the thought that I would be sleeping four nights without her. I must admit that I'm guilty (while Mommy is frolicking at the beach, Baby Charley is sweaty and all in Makati) and terrified. What if she wakes up in the middle of the night? What if she gets sick? What if she looks for me? What if i would miss an important milestone in that 4 nights? 

To keep myself sane (so far so good), I have prepared her milk and milk bottles, folded her clothes and separated her day and night clothes, reminded my roommate (my husband, btw) not to overfeed baby Charley and to let her take her daily vitamins, and fixed her pillow countrymen (just her pillows, :D) 

Before I drive myself crazy thinking of these what-if's, my roommate keeps reassuring me that it's okay. It's okay to have time for myself. It's okay to have time with my colleagues. He added that being sent abroad for an educational tour is an amazing opportunity I should take. It's good that we could do some benchmarking in an international school there, but it's also awesome that I enjoy and bond with my friends in Assumption - hello, Bali Beach!!!

God bless my husband's selfless soul. He is such love and always knows how to make me feel better.

I can say that it's still with a heavy heart to leave Baby Charley for three days, but I'm sure that everything will be okay afterwards. As the quote goes, we are under the same sky anyways, and she will always be in my heart and in my prayers.

So, Baby Charley, I shall miss you in three days, and I will see you soon! :D

Monday, 11 May 2015

Three Questions to Answer with your Spouse Now

Just recently, my roommate and I have come across this beautiful article from familyshare. It challenges couples to ask their spouses three questions and see what happens next in their marriage. It's like reflecting together as a couple since many couples don't have the time to pause from each other's busy lives to connect with each other.

However, answering these three questions has really made a difference, and I challenge other couples to also take the time and answer these as well...honestly...without anyone getting "pikon".

What in our marriage do we need to stop?
The answers here could be numerous - my excessive OCness in our home and his drinking with friends, but we realised, seriously we can live with those. But what really got to stop, and we completely agreed on this one, is bringing up the past. Sometimes kasi when it happens (I'm sort of guilty of this one), we tend to argue instead of just trying to resolve what's happening in the present, it becomes another topic of argument. And we agreed, this has to stop since its not healthy anymore - its slowly killing our relationship.

More so because my roommate has the tendency to forget those things he doesn't want me to remember while I, on the other hand, remember everything.

It's a challenge, but yes, we should stop bringing up the past.

What in our marriage do we need to start? 
Since my issues before (ooops! not bringing up the past!) was discovering some things I was not suppose to discover, we now agree that we have to start telling the truth all the matter how small, even if it hurts, even if the other would go WTF because of the other's irrational, thoughtless, spur of the moment decisions, we should always CHOOSE to tell the truth.

I told my roommate before that if he doesn't want me to find out something, make sure that the universe conspires with him - no matter what happens, he better make sure that I will never, ever, find out because if I do, even if it happens 50++ years ago, I would still get mad.

Which brings us to not bringing up the past and simply, just tell the truth. And we know, life will be much simpler.

What in our marriage do we need to continue? 
Here, the list goes endless. He likes that we continue to pray the rosary every night, that we find time to be together despite our busy schedules, and other teamhernandez traditions that we love. We also wish to continue loving each other despite our own limitations and weaknesses and putting God in the centre of our relationship and our family. I feel that we should also continue (and improve on) consulting each other before making decisions that will affect all of us. We're still perfecting this one, but I truly love how we understand when to laugh at a situation and when to truly sit down and be serious with it.

I can say that the good 15 minutes we took the time to answer these questions was very fruitful and fun, too, since we got to be talking about the things we didn't know how, or probably afraid, to talk about. We're happy that we have taken the challenge, and again, I wish to encourage other couples to do the same thing, too. Perhaps you would also discover more in your marriage and in your relationship with your spouse.ü

Sunday, 10 May 2015

My First Ever Real Mother's Day

Today, we celebrate Mother's Day, and this one is particularly special to me because it's my first ever real mother's day -  today, our household celebrates a ME day!

My roommate (my husband, btw) and I have always prayed for a baby, and it's rather fortunate that we have the same understanding of wanting to conceive right after we got married. And we did! a honeymoon baby whom we wanted to name, "Hector" as in Hector, Prince of Troy.

Princess Watermelon, bed space invader 
Sadly, 5-6 weeks in my pregnancy, I started bleeding profusely, was rushed to the hospital, and found out that we had lost the baby. The pain of losing what could have been our first bundle of joy was so surreal that it had taken us several weeks before we could talk about it. Of course, we could not bring ourselves to celebrate Mother's Day that year because the feeling was, "I was...but not anymore."

With God's grace, almost exactly a year after, we conceived again. Imagine the joy and our anticipation when we saw those two clear lines (we repeated the test several times just to make sure), the baby's first heartbeat, and watch that little gummy bear grow and grow and grow each month. It was heaven!

That year, though, I told my roommate that no Mother's Day celeb was gonna happen because we simply didn't want to jinx anything. Yes, somehow, pregnancy had made me a bit superstitious.

And this year, on Baby Charley's 5th month, teamhernandez household celebrates our first ever real mother's day. I was jovial, no ecstatic with the thought that finally (!) I'm a mommy.

Exactly my thought! 
Unlike most mothers who probably celebrate this day "extra extra special", I simply shared meals with my roommate and screaming offspring whom we suspect has been starting to teethe already as she is extra grumpy recently, pray our nightly rosary, and watch movies in our Pro before going to bed.

And you know what, for me, it's perfect. We may not have dined in those fancy restos or have those lovely bouquets of tulips (although i really wanted those Pandora charms badly), but celebrating the day with my two most favourite persons in the world - my roommate (my loving husband, the pillar of my strength, and the one who will pay for my bail if I go to jail) and Baby Charley (our princess watermelon, bed space invader, and the answer to our prayers and all those novenas to St Gerard and St Marie Eugenie) - is how I pray the day would go.

Surely, I'll be celebrating more and more Mother's Day with these two crazy people, but nothing can ever be more special than our first year first ever real mother's day!


Friday, 1 May 2015

Fullybooked this April

April 2015 has been jam-packed with endless gatherings and activities for Baby Charley. As much as we wanted to say, “Yes” to every invitation, we could not, so we just prioritized where to go.

For example, Baby Joaqui’s (Baby Charley’s cousin) first birthday party fell on the same date as my boss’ wedding. Since, it is virtually impossible to attend both, Team Hernandez just decided that Baby Charley and her Dad would attend the Carnival party while I attend the formal wedding party. This way, we could accommodate both invitations. Unfortunately, we had to decline two birthday parties that fell on the same weekend.

Two days after, we’re invited to a small dinner for a simple celebration of the end of the school year. We went to Hossein’s Persian Kebab in Makati Ave for an awesome, awesome dinner. It was our first time to eat there, and we enjoyed all the food. Too bad we kinda miscalculated Baby Charley’s slight changes in her sleep pattern. We stayed a little late, so Baby Charley became a bratty teenager with all her mood swings. Yes, she would laugh and giggle then turn the place upside down with her wails. Next time, we have decided that a lunch would be friendlier to Baby Charley. So, we’re looking forward to a lunch out and swimming at Rockwell Club.

Then, that weekend, we went to Batangas for Baby Hailey’s (Baby Charley’s cousin) first birthday party. This time, we were able to attend together as a family, so you could say my roommate (my husband, btw) was pretty excited since he could hang out with the boys. Since the Princess party was from 11 am till mid afternoon, we prepared a lot of change of clothes and milk supplements for Baby Charley. Unfortunately, we needed to miss a Superhero party of my close friend’s daughter. We just agreed on a lunch out some time in May.

Two days after the birthday party, we dropped by my Mom’s house in De Joya for a simple 60th birthday celebration. It was a family-only affair so we just had dinner, cake, and ice cream. On the same day, my brother had to go to my cousin’s house for an adult birthday party (read as: drinking party). My roommate politely declined the invitation since it’s just the three of us, and any help is necessary.

The following day, my mom, my brother, and his family then went to Bataan for a Baptismal party. Here, we gotta decline, too, since it was tooooooo far for Baby Charley. She’s just gonna drive everyone crazy during the travel time. Besides, do you honestly believe we can prepare the baby to leave at one in the morning? So, no, thank you.

This Saturday, my roommate and I have to weigh our options really really well since there are two important events that are gonna happen: 1)my Mom’s 60th birthday celebration with the Sibulo Clan, and 2)a mini reunion plus pool party of roommate’s Lumanglas clan. We understand that we have to be present in both, and it could have been so much easier if it were just the two of us, but we need to include Baby Charley now in the plan. So far, no decisions yet.

Hopefully, my roommate and I could still squeeze a Team Hernandez bonding time with just the three of us before May starts. Should that happen, that’s gonna be the best among all of these!ü

Best Day Ever

*Update: We have weighed our options and decided to attend my Mom’s 60th birthday celebration first. The plan was we would just go to the Lumanglas party early the next morning – it was an overnight event anyway. However, we were misinformed that it was, and instead, it was only until 12midnight of Saturday. Too bad we learnt it late; my roommate (my husband, btw) was too “tipsy” to drive and Baby Charley was too tired to be civilised. In fact, we had to leave my Mom’s party early (around 10:30pm) because Baby Charley could not sleep with all the noise in the house. 

Seriously, why do they have to be on the same weekend – the last weekend of April before I go back to work? Rawr.

Mini Vacations from Baby Charley

New mommies, you’ve got to admit, there were times you wish you were anywhere else but with your child. For someone whose independence and time for myself are a top priority, I need mini vacations from Baby Charley everyday. These are just 5 – 30 minute breaks from her so that I could recharge my energy or reset my mood.

Dates with my roommate
In fact, every time I come home from work, I would pause for 2 – 3 minutes by the doorstep. I would simply breathe and remind myself, “Hey, you’re at home now. Leave the tiredness here, the pressure from work, and the traffic stress coming here.” After this short meditation/mini vacation, I would be somewhat physically but very emotionally ready to face my loving roommate (my husband, btw) and Baby Charley.

Restroom breaks are such joy especially when Baby Charley is on exorcist-level. I would hand her to my roommate and use the “I gotta pee/poop/take a bath/check if I have period” excuse. It was a glorious 5-minute mini vacation.

Besides free food and Wi Fi, another thing I love about visiting relatives in Batangas is free yayas in persona of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They’re so excited to see Baby Charley (since we live in Makati) and couldn’t wait to hug, snuggle, and just terrorise her with love, which we very much appreciate of course. When that happens, my roommate and I can enjoy a cup of coffee and some (finally!) TV in peace.

escaping baby charley
Visiting Assumption College is also another joy for me because teachers and friends love to carry Baby Charley, too. Yes, when we’re surrounded with 10+ teachers who can’t wait to experience some Baby Charley cuteness, we could enjoy just sitting down and watching them adore her.

Of course, Baby Charley’s naptimes and afternoon power naps are excellent opportunities for mini vacations. Since her morning/noon nap usually lasts for 2 – 3 hours, my roommate and I use the opportunity to have some decent adult conversations, work on my blogs, and basically do whatever we’re supposed to do. Sometimes, I take the opportunity to catch some zzz’s, too. During her powernaps, however, we use the time to prepare for her 6pm habit and our dinner, too.

Finally, when Baby Charley is asleep by 7pm, I check some papers and prepare my lesson plans, read a book, sleep, while my roommate works on his reports, surfs the net, and just does whatever he needs to do.

New mommies, seriously, if you can find time to have your own mini vacations from your babies, please do so. It doesn’t make you less of a mother if you also find time for yourself.ü