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.

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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!

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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.

Isla’s first trip to the Motherland

Our little girl was asked to be a flower girl in my cousin’s wedding. In the Philippines. And Ed didn’t have enough vacation hours to make the trip.

So, on Dec 7, 2016, Isla and I took the more-than-half-a-day trip in a glorified tin can by ourselves FOR THE FIRST TIME.

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Our LÍLLÉbaby Complete carrier with its lumbar support was a life-saver! (not sponsored)

I had to make sure I packed only one suitcase for both of us. With her stroller on top of the suitcase, I wheeled the whole thing through airport check-in while she was strapped in front of me and her diaper bag on my back. It would have been nice if a stranger offered help, but I was able to manage (the people in Davao City, Philippines are different, though. They don’t ask you if you need help. They just immediately help you with your stuff! Bless them.)

I had these visions (or nightmares, if you will) of Isla’s first intercontinental trip – tantrums thrown while on the plane; food getting thrown and landing on people’s heads; diaper blowouts; missing our connecting flight. Those kinds of stuff. I was pleasantly surprised that none of those visions came true! Isla was such a darling during the flight. She didn’t scream (except for that one time before takeoff from JFK when she needed to nurse and I had to stow our stuff in the overhead bin), and she didn’t throw any tantrum. She just watched her favorite nursery rhyme videos on my iPad or watched an in-flight movie. If you didn’t pass by our seat, you wouldn’t even know I had a toddler with me. Hihi! I was lucky! And I’m so proud of how behaved she was during our flights.

While we were in the Philippines, she mostly clung to me for security and comfort. The new environment and the many relatives who wanted to hug and kiss her were too overwhelming for her. She did play with some of our relatives, if you count holding hands with them while dancing to karaoke songs (while I carried her). We took her to two different zoos – The Philippine Eagle Foundation and Crocodile Park. We took her to the beach, which she absolutely loved! The best part of the trip is spending time with my parents and my two aunts whom I haven’t seen since 2012.

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I’m so glad I was able to bring Isla to our Motherland. Sure, she’s too young to remember anything, but we have many pictures to show her. And this definitely won’t be her last trip.

 

M&BATC: Mama & Baby and the City

Friends from Manila were in NYC for vacation, and we agreed to meet in Grand Central Terminal for dessert and gossip after Labor Day. I anticipated the long commute alone with our nearly-19-lb baby, so I put all the things she needed and my essentials in a backpack diaper bag (which was actually a gift for my sister who’ll give birth in January, and now I have to buy a new one for her LOL!), got her lightweight stroller, and strapped her in a hip-carry position in our baby carrier.

I FELT LIKE SUPERWOMAN. A puffing and panting Superwoman. HAHA!

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I wore her the moment we went out of the house until we got off the subway. That meant a lot of walking, climbing that one step into the bus headed to the subway station, going down flights of stairs to ride the subway train, and going up flights of stairs to exit the subway on Bryant Park. Oh, did I mention I wore the backpack diaper bag and carried the stroller, too? Well, I didn’t really carry it; it was more like dragging the stroller by letting the back tires roll along the pavement/ground as I walked.

Contrary to how most of the world perceive New Yorkers, there were people who offered to help me carry something (I declined politely). And one guy gave me directions even before I could ask. He probably heard me talking to Isla about why I needed to strap her in the stroller (“I can’t wear you while walking three avenues, darling.”) We took a detour in one of my favorite buildings, The New York Public Library, before heading to Grand Central Terminal. Even though I was panting from carrying everything for about an hour, I enjoyed taking her to Manhattan. She enjoyed the trip, too, seeing so many people and hearing so many different sounds. My husband met us after he got off work, and I’ve never felt so relieved that he was there. We took my friends to Times Square and window-shopped a bit (they did actual shopping), before parting ways with one of my friends in front of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon marquee. Before heading home, we took one friend to the LOVE sculpture and took lots of photos. Isla was awake the whole time, and only fell asleep when it was just me and her Papa with her in the bus that took us from the subway station to the stop near our home.

Going around Manhattan with a baby sounds easy but it isn’t. Just thinking about it makes me tired (LOL!), but that won’t stop me from taking her to the City every now and then. After all, this is her life.

Out little Filipina New Yorker.

Achy aches

Your tummy suddenly starts hurting after breakfast. You focus on putting your baby to sleep without any..uhm..accidents, and the moment she has drifted off to sleep you run to the bathroom to release the achy aches.

So what do you do for lunch? You make a simple miso soup!

Miso soup is in my list of simple comfort food. It’s especially helpful when I have a tummy ache. It doesn’t have meat, but it has tofu. I still get protein while recovering. Plus, Isla loves tofu. So I get to prepare something that will agree with my tummy and with the little girl.

I found the recipe from Minimalist Baker. Instead of firm tofu, I used the silken kind. I tried firm tofu before, and it tasted different. I didn’t have nori, so it was just tofu, chopped scallions, miso paste, and a little soy sauce. It took less than 15 minutes to prepare and cook everything – perfect for a work-at-home mom like me!

I feel a bit better now, but I’m still not sure if I can go out and complete a 5k run. Should I risk it? LOL! That will be very messy if I take the risk and lose!

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LA LA LAnd

Our family went to LA to celebrate the wedding of my husband’s cousin, and we made a vacation out of it. It was an epic celebration, because all of my mother-in-law’s siblings came to LA from the Philippines! Some of the kids were there, too.

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This was our first long trip as a family, Isla’s first plane ride, my and Isla’s first time in LA and at Disneyland (or any Disney park for that matter) and Universal Studios Hollywood. The trip felt like a blur, but there were moments that stuck with me:

  1. “It’s a small world” ride at Disneyland. Oh the amusement and awe on her face (and probably mine, too!)
  2. The lights show at Disneyland. She slept through it, but this mama ENJOYED IT A LOT!
  3. The Mummy Returns, Transformers, Jurassic Park and Forbidden Journey rides at Universal Studios.
  4. The Chinese Theatre and the footprints/handprints/signatures of some of our favorite stars.

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Travelling with a baby is both fun and tiring, especially when there’s a timezone difference. Dinnertime in LA is bedtime for her in NYC, so it was a challenge for us. And she’s at that age when she’s very wary of strangers, so she’s almost always in my arms or her papa’s. Our relatives were probably expecting the smiling and lively Isla that appeared in photos and videos in Facebook, but they didn’t quite see that side of her in person. It’s understandable, with all 40+ new people wanting to hold her and cuddle her. Hehe. I just made sure she’s comfortable (not too warm in LA’s weather) and not too overwhelmed with so many new people and things around her (breastfeeding helped A LOT).

The airport run at JFK was a bit difficult for us. We brought her carseat and stroller, which we decided to gate-check. So my husband was lugging them around. Wearing Isla in our Lillebaby helped me become useful going through security checks, but we still felt a bit rushed. The airport run at LAX was easier, since we had a better idea how to handle everything (experience is always a great teacher).

The JFK-LAX plane ride was very relaxing. She slept for about 3 hours, which left only 2hours to keep her entertained. She didn’t cry or scream in frustration during those 2 hours she was awake. And a few minutes before landing, she fell asleep again. Maybe the departure time of 7:30AM EST helped. The LAX-JFK plane ride was a different story. Our flight was at 3:45 PM PST. That’s pretty much nearly dinnertime in NYC. She slept only an hour on the plane. All tricks were out of the bag. They helped for a while, and then we had to be creative. I have to thank the flight attendants on that jetBlue flight. They made sure everyone was taken care of, including my daughter. They kept coming back to us to ask if there was something I needed for our daughter.

All in all, we enjoyed the trip to LA. Isla enjoyed going around, too, except when it’s bedtime. My husband and I have been talking about moving to LA since that trip. Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll see.