When playtime becomes my mirror

One day, I found our daughter playing with her dolls – Cherry (the panda dressed in cherry blossoms robe), Kiko (the monkey), Bunny (obviously a rabbit lol!), and Sweetpea (the other panda holding a heart, which was my gift to her papa when we were still in a long distance relationship).

She arranged her friends in one line, seated next to one another on the sofa. Then she took one of her cups and let them drink water. I could hear her sternly say “sit!” and “dink!” (translation: drink).

And just like that, Isla’s playtime became an opportunity for some self-reflection. I know I’m just trying to discipline Isla, especially during mealtimes, but I don’t want to sound that strict, the way Isla was to her friends at playtime.

Finding that balance is really difficult. There are SO MANY parenting books available for me (I’ve read a couple of the gentle parenting books of L.R. Knost). In the end, it all comes down to how I want to parent my child, what fits our dynamics and my child’s personality. I know there’s no one-size-fits-all concept for parenting. Along the way, I’m hoping to find the balance to being a parent and my daughter’s friend.

Here’s to hoping!

And here’s to more playtimes that become a mirror to my parenting ways.

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Pre-preschool ongoing!

Our little girl started daycare on March 6. She’s been going to ‘school’ 3x a week. We used to bring her from Monday to Wednesday, but switched to Wednesday to Friday to accommodate a day tour of NYC when my brother and his wife were here for vacation during the last week of March. It turned out to be a better schedule for her. She has a more consistent daycare schedule this way, since most of the holidays before the last quarter of the year fell on a Monday.

Adjusting to daycare was difficult during the first 2-3 weeks. She’d start screaming and running away from me when she’d see me taking out clothes or when I try changing her diaper in the morning, even if we were only going to church on Sunday. Drop-off started becoming a nightmare on Day 2. And, at pick-up time, she’d start crying and would run to me when she realized it was me at the door (the teachers told me the ringing bell in the afternoon would make her cry when she realized it wasn’t me or her papa at the door to pick her up).

Slowly, she became attached to one of the assistant teachers. Before the first 4 weeks were over, the director told me that Isla was participating more on her own. I noticed she didn’t fret anymore when I changed her diaper and clothes before breakfast. She still preferred to be carried on our walk to daycare, but she didn’t cry anymore when we entered its doors. And the time came when  she’d walk into their classroom without a glance back to me.

daycare

Our little girl is slowly gaining some form of independence. She’s trying to experience things on her own (i.e., without me or her papa), and she seems to be having a lot fun!

Can’t wait to find out what will happen next!

The worst is over!

I’m not pregnant anymore, and I feel relieved. I’m no longer carrying a blighted ovum (aka an empty pregnancy sac). I thought expelling a blighted ovum would be like getting my period, only more cramping and more bleeding. I didn’t expect to:

1) Cry and writhe in pain from cramps that come and go every 6-10minutes, as if I’m in labor.

2) Feel sore, as if I intentionally pushed something out (I didn’t. My body just expelled the thing by itself with every “contraction”).

3) Feel light-headed from dehydration after (maybe) 2hrs of intense bleeding. (I ate a banana and finished 1L water after the 2-hr ordeal).

4) See the actual semi-solid 3-month contents of my uterus which, by the way, won’t fit in a huge coffee cup/cereal bowl because it will overflow! (Yes, gross – the reality of miscarriages!)

5) To feel weak the next day. And, with the best of luck, still feel cramps! (But thank God it’s no longer as intense as the night before)

I want to say that the worst is over. I believe the entire contents were expelled. As of this writing, I’m no longer bleeding as intensely as Tuesday night. But I do know I have to see my doctor to make sure I don’t need surgery. Hopefully I won’t need it.

I’m pregnant! (Technically)

By all accounts, I’m pregnant. But I’m carrying a blighted ovum.

What does it mean?

It means the sac inside my womb has no embryo. No fetus. No baby.

Strange, huh? But according to my doctor, it’s not an unusual occurrence.

I’ve been carrying an empty sac for 3 months now. So, technically, I’m 3 months pregnant. But Ed and I know that (literally) nothing alive will come out of my pregnancy. My body will get rid of it naturally. And, based on the frequency of abdominal cramps I’m having, it will happen soon. It’s just going to be like getting my period, only heavier and may be more uncomfortable because of the cramps.

It’s easier to talk about it now that last month. And, for some reason, when I found out that what I’m carrying has a name, it was easier to fully accept. I don’t know why.

I’ve been trying to get back to my usual physical activities. There’s no treadmill at home, but there’s a Gazelle. I ride it for about an hour while watching a Korean drama (Descendants of the Sun). Being active helps me feel like myself, and the Kdrama is a welcome distraction from the cramping and the knowledge that I’m carrying a blighted ovum.

I’m really hoping it comes out soon. The sooner it’s gone, the better for my psyche.

Falling in love with stars

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Source: IMDb

Have you heard of and watched the Korean drama “Goblin”?

If you haven’t, look it up and watch it. You wont regret it, trust me! (I watched it with English subs)

But I’m not here to write a commentary about the drama.

I’m here to write about how I’ve fallen in love with the actors Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun.

Yes, I’ve fallen in love with movie stars after a long long time.

Gong Yoo. Where do I even begin. Let me just say that I didn’t find him attractive enough, not until I watched the second or third episode of Goblin. The same goes for Kim Go-eun. It took me a while to see how beautiful she is. Her beauty has a simplicity to it that draws you in slowly, especially when she smiles and wrinkles her nose at the same time. And when you’re in, you can never turn the other way.

See, I don’t know Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun (I don’t follow news about Korean stars), so it’s easy enough for me to associate the actors with the characters they portrayed. And I think that’s when trouble begins.

For example – I haven’t seen “Train To Busan” or “A Muse”. Someone who has, but hasn’t seen Goblin, may have a different perception of Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun in their minds.

Another example – When news comes out that the actors did something “out of character” in real life. Some would react violently, scream their disappointments (cry?) Who says it was “out of character”? What was that judgement based on? Is it based on how they personally know these people? Or maybe on how they perceived them based on the characters they portrayed?

Like that one time when Kim Go-eun posted a selfie in Instagram, where she wasn’t wearing any make-up (I think she was lying on a hammock then, while on vacation).  She received a lot of flak for it, from comments about how very unlike an actor she looked to how ugly she was.

Come on, people! These actors are normal human beings who happen to work in front of the camera for a living! (For the record, Kim Go-eun is beautiful, with or without makeup.)

But that’s not the crazy part. The crazy part is how we (yes, including myself) let our minds keep thinking that Gong Yoo = Kim Shin and Kim Go-eun = Ji Eun Tak. (Or whatever character). It IS difficult to separate the actor from the character he/she portrays, but at some point we draw the line.

I try my best to do just that when I realized I fell in love with stars again. I know that by drawing that line, I will be able to love their work more, rather than just how they look. I’ve already started making a list of Gong Yoo’s and Kim Go-eun’s shows/movies. Yes, I plan to watch them all.

But after my rescreening of Goblin. I’m not ready to let go of Kim Shin and Ji Eun Tak just yet.

HAHA! ♡

One out of four

I still can’t put my thoughts into words properly today, but I’m less emotional now than 3 days ago.

We thought we had turned our little girl into a big sister. After the third checkup, doctor truly confirmed that there’s no growing fetus in the sac.

The doctor confirmed I’m pregnant. But the pregnancy is not viable.

It happens in one out of four women. It’s not unusual.

It happened to my mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. I know of friends who miscarried halfway through the pregnancy. And there are those who had a stillborn.

But knowing these things still doesn’t make me feel better.

 

The pregnancy test yielded positive results. When the nurse at the OB-GYNE clinic checked, she confirmed I’m pregnant. I am still going through “morning” sickness (I feel it almost the entire day).

It is such a cruel joke.

Some might say “Hey, at least you already have one child.”

Or: “You can always try again. You’re still young!”

Or: “At least it happened early on, when you’re not that far along yet.”

Even if I’ve had 10 kids before this, even if I know we can still try to conceive again, and no matter how far along in the pregnancy it happened, a loss is still a loss.

It still crushes my heart and my spirit. It is…was going to be our second baby.

I do hope and pray that God will help us accept the reality of the situation and help us deal with the pain we are feeling.

One day, we will be okay.

 

Pre-pre-school

My little girl and I visited a nearby daycare center who accepts kids as young as 2 years old. With her second birthday approaching in a little more than a month, it was just right for us to start looking for a good daycare center.

The facility looked good. Kids in Isla’s age group are in a separate classroom with little chairs and tables. Her group normally consists of 10 children, with one teacher and one teacher’s assistant. As a child grows older, he/she is transferred to another group.

The daycare center follows an academic philosophy, but they do have a time for naps and play after lunch. The “academic” part of the day is from 9AM to 12NN. I’m mostly worried that Isla will be too headstrong and won’t do anything she doesn’t want to, but the 3-hour “academic” activities doesn’t sound too bad! And, according to the director, it will be like playtime for her.

The best part about our visit was seeing Isla’s curiosity. When we took a peek in the classroom for her age group, she stared at all the kids and wanted to go in. She couldn’t, of course (not yet, anyway), but I hope her curiosity stays with her for when the time comes that we are able to enroll her.

While I’m worried about leaving her in the daycare center, without me or her Papa, I’m excited for her to begin making friends and learning new and interesting things! We have more than a month to prepare her (and myself! LOL!) to introduce her to a new routine. I’m optimistic that this will be a very fruitful year for our little girl.