Limitless 

Inspired by Daily Post. 

Zootopia is one of my favorite animated films this year. I cry every time I watch the part where Judy Hopps trains to become a police officer and she gets over her weaknesses. I may have watched it at least 10 times. And as you know, the ending just proves her line “In Zootopia, anyone can be anything”. 

You are limitless. 

Growing up, I have been told to manage my expectations. This is a good thing. I am deemed to be realistic. Fairy tales are not true. The probability of me going to space is zero. Winning the lottery is next to impossible. Managing expectations too much can also lead to negativity. What you initially thought as unrealistic expectations  become your cannot’s. I cannot live in Canada, it’s too cold. I cannot save up, my salary’s too little. I cannot go back to school, I have to work so I can pay the bills. I cannot own a business, it’s too risky. I cannot have a child yet, I am not ready. 

Maybe the reason I cry for Judy Hopps’ success is because she was able to turn her cannot’s to can’s. Although a tiny spec in a world full of giants, she was limitless. She became who she wanted to be. And this is what I want Elon to know. He may not be Steve Jobs or Elon Musk in his lifetime but he can try. He might be even more, who knows. The important thing is he does not limit himself. No matter how small he think he is, if he can think it, it means it can be done. 

He will be limitless. 

Who transforms you? 

Today, the daily prompt word is TRANSFORMATION.

 

First thought: Is it because it’s Tuesday? HAHA. Anyway, the actual first thing that comes to my mind when prompted about this word is MAKE UP. But I would have to tell you that I am not going to talk about it, for the simple reason that I know very little of it. I am going to talk about what I know a little bit more: MOTHERHOOD. MOTHERHOOD: so clichè, so simple, so easy. These are the things that I thought it was. Take note: WAS. Until I had Elon, I would always think that there are far more important things in life than to stay home and fend for another tiny human being’s life who does not really do much except to sleep, eat, and poop. I even told my boss that although I am entitled to a year of maternity leave, I would only take 6 months because again, as I thought, I would not get attached. I do not need to be with the baby after 6 months. That time would be enough. And then I ate all what I said. I had to change the original plan. And now that Elon is almost one, I do not even plan to go back. Being a mother, it transforms not only you but your priorities. I have heard time and again how women have to hold back pursuing their careers because they got pregnant and ultimately have to stay home. This is the exact reason why I only said I would only take a 6-month leave. I was selfish. I said I can go and work and become who I felt I needed to be and take care of Elon later.

 

But now that he is here, I feel like I do not want to miss seeing him grow. It is the most fascinating thing of all. When he rolled over for the first time, smiled for the first time, pulled himself up for the first time, sat up for the first time, walked for the first time, kissed me for the first time, hugged me for the first time. These are things I can never witness again if I had gone back to work after 6 months of giving birth. I would have lots of regret so I am glad I stayed. He still have his list of first of things to do. And I am here to witness them all. I am transformed. My heart is full.

Tiny Bed No Problem

Prompted by DAILY POST.

I started the morning awoken by my husband who quietly asked me if he could squeeze into our bed. And by “our” I meant myself and my son’s. This was not the case 11 months back when Elon was born. When he was born as tiny as a 6-lb anything, he was okay to sleep in his crib (most of the time). After some months, he grew accustomed to sleeping in it even requesting to be in there (I know this through his cries of protest). But after a series of travelling, he never wanted to be in it, not even near the crib. Thus, our co- sleeping arrangement. Honestly, it was the best.

TOP REASONS WHY:

  • I don’t have to stand up if he cries at night wanting to be fed, to be rocked, etc.
  • I can hug this still tiny human being while sleeping.
  • I am warm while sleeping (cause those baby bods are the warmest even in winter).
  • I get to wake up looking at that cutie’s tiny face.
  • No more broken sleep: cause I am a breastfeeding momma, I have all my baby’s needs aka BOOBIES.

 

What about disadvantage? Let us begin with the daily prompt word today which happens to be TINY.

It does not matter how big your bed is, if you co-sleep, the bed is tiny. I repeat, the bed is tiny for three people – that is for you, your husband, and your baby. I have noticed that co-sleeping is normal for Filipinos. It’s the easiest thing, they said. I have tried not to do it for fear of SIDS, as per my doctor. But now that my baby is big enough not to be squished by either Edward or I, I am more comfortable to sleep beside him. The result is a bed filled with a tiny human with a tiny space available for his Mama. Only for Mama. Edward and I sleep in separate beds for now. For how long you ask? I am not sure. So far, this arrangement works for us. Our family doctor advised that this might not be the best arrangement for husband and wife. But if wife is getting the sleep she needs, husband will get the same too – given he sleeps early too. In the beginning of this co-sleeping arrangement, Edward would tell me that we should re-train Elon back to sleeping in his crib. We even moved his crib beside our bed, only to no avail. Sometimes I would feel the same way as Edward’s but my thoughts would lead me to this question:

When is he every this tiny again and would want to sleep beside me?

Well, not when he is twelve, for sure. Time lost can never be returned so I am living the moment. I know some would say re-train him now before it’s too late. Let us be. Let me complain about it later. And I would let you tell me “I told you so”.

– Happy Co-Sleeping Momma

Elon is 5 months!

  Happy 5 months, Elon!

Although taking care of you is sometimes challenging (not hard!), my love always outweighs it all. 

When I sleep at night, I always remember to pray because I have to ask God to keep you away from SID. I also re-watch your videos from my phone and Snapchat. And I also look at all your pictures from my phone. You are an addiction. 

You have only seen this world for 5 months but I can’t imagine living the rest of it not knowing and meeting you. 

I wish I can say more but sometimes, like today, you just cried and it seems that there was no way of soothing you. What are you feeling exactly? Are you hungry? Tired? Is your diaper wet? Are you hot? Cold? I almost wanted a time out of parenting. I wanted to let you cry so you can sleep from exhaustion. I wanted to get out of the house and come back tomorrow. 

Now you stopped. I have to thank my sister for that. I had a break. And now I am writing this post. Now I am feeling slightly okay because I know that this is only one of your phases. It will pass. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow might be better or worse but we will be together for a looooong time (until of course you started walking, then pre-school, then elementary, then dating, then moving out.. Oh gosh, getting ahead of myself here). Neither of us can do anything about it because I am your mother. And you are my son. 

Baby, you know I will love you until the end of my time through your dramas, tantrums, and the hardest of all, your refusal to nurse. Love you, Elon. 

Written yesterday, 20th of April 2016, at 5ish in the evening. Elon is better today, 21st of April. Haha

One Sweet Morning 

Elon,

 
When you were still inside my tummy, I did not think much of you. If I were to assess myself, I would say I was still 10/10 selfish during those days. I would eat well for you but I would walk for myself (because I wanted an easy delivery). I would talk to you but only for a little bit. I would pray for your overall well-being but nothing further detailed than that. As you got bigger and more prominent inside of me, it started to hit me that maybe I would lose that 10/10 selfishness. I thought, hey maybe my selfishness would be lowered to 8/10. As you kicked and moved around, it became 7/10 of selfishness. I started to think about you more and less of myself. I looked for baby socks, bibs, and some small stuff that would probably be useful for you.

But my selfishness had dropped more when we got a scare that you might have a blood abnormality – I have been a carrier of this blood anomaly. There was a recessive blood trait that had not affected me but could affect you in a bad way.

I had sleepless nights praying that you be spared of whatever this abnormality is. Your dad had to be tested to be sure you won’t have it. Waiting for the result was the worst. I almost can’t function properly googling everything about the “disease” and the what-could-have’s. This was when my selfishness dropped to a low 3/10. You know how in movies Mommy will be like, “let me be sick instead of my child?” I was like that. I would take that disease if I could.

Fortunately, results turned out fine. You were to be okay. I did not have to take anything for you. I returned to my normal selfish ways being 4/10. I would buy clothes for myself. I would plan trips for your dad and myself without really acknowledging that you were there. I was happy being “free”. But when you got so big and showed yourself, I moved, as if I knew I had to get ready for you. I bought you your crib, stroller, blankets, hats, and everything I read that you needed. I was closing in to 2/10.

It was 2/10 because I had this selfish thought that I just wanted you out of my body so I can work on fitting into my skinny jeans again. I was slowly hating my bloated face, my can’t breathe state when I walk my usual pace to catch the train, and every rounder part of my body. I want you gone inside of me. I was still selfish.

And in all honesty, this selfishness was not exactly gone when you were born. I still had the selfishness of thinking how to get my old body back, to wear my hair down when going out (need it up to feed you), and to wear nicer clothes (and not the nursing friendly tops).
You know son when all these feelings were finally gone and the selfishness score dropped to 0/10?   The first morning when you woke up without crying and you smiled at me as if to say good morning. I thought you actually knew who I was. The smile was not some random smile related to gas anymore like the first few months. The smile meant something and was an assigned emotion. I remember picking you up from your crib to our bed. Your dad was still sleeping but I was already awake. You opened your eyes. You recognized that I was not just your source of food. You knew I was family. I have never seen someone’s eyes lit up with so much joy and admiration as if I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Despite my morning face, my morning breath, my disheveled hair, you looked at me and you smiled and you made me feel I am prettier than Kate Middleton and Princess Diana combined. Your dad never made me feel that way, but you did – with one big smile eyes wide open in that one winter morning at 6AM.  

 
From then, I accepted that my life would never be normal again, the way I knew what normal was. And I was okay with life not being normal if it means with you in it, Elon.

And if this life was a movie I would tell you, “I would always take a bullet for you” and risk my character being cut off from a happy ending. At least I was lucky enough to get casted in your movie and have my name on the closing credits.

I love you, Elon.




Always proud to be your mom,

Ericka 

Elon is 4 months! 

 

  • Elon has been baptized as a Roman Catholic 
  • Elon is 20 lbs and 70 cm
  • Elon can self soothe by sucking on his whole fist or thumb 
  • Elon can put  himself to sleep
  • Elon is able to entertain himself
  • Elon wears size 4 diapers
  • Elon wears 9-12 months baby’s clothes; 12-24 months in some
  • Elon loves to sit with support 
  • Elon sleeps through the night 
  • Elon eats/drinks less milk and looks intently at solid food when mom and dad eats – he had a taste of some 
  • Elon can grasp at toys, hair and other body parts (watch out!)
  • Elon gets excited during story time in the morning when he wakes up and before bed at night 
  • Elon is interested in other people’s faces
  • Elon is interested in everything around him
  • Elon is easily distracted by the world
  • Elon experiments with different noises and sounds other than crying and laughing 
  • Elon giggles when you toss him lighltly and when you tickle him
  • Elon smiles when you try to put your face close to his
  • Elon can hold his head for a long period of time 
  • Elon can shift to his side but not all the way to his tummy yet
  • Elon loves being talked to
  • Elon loves mommy and daddy playtime
  • I love you too baby! 

Elon is 3 months!

 

  • Elon is 3 months 
  • Elon has a longer playtime
  • Elon sleeps longer at night and more frequent shorter span of time during the day
  • Elon is 19lbs and 65 cm long 
  • Elon smiles and coos a lot
  • Elon loves bath time 
  • Elon had reverse roll over
  • Elon loves to sleep now in his crib
  • Elon is easier to be put down to sleep
  • Elon is wearing size 3 diapers 
  • Elon can hold his head for a longer period of time
  • Elon can prop himself upright while sitting with the support of some pillows on his back and side
  • Elon wears size 9-12 baby clothes
  • Elon loves to be carried and rocked to sleep
  • Elon can see colors and shapes farther
  • Elon does a funny face when he smells strong scented perfume
  • Elon loves to put his hand to his mouth and suck it 
  • Elon loves the sound of the vacuum
  • Elon imitates faces of people talking to him
  • Elon shrills his frustrations when he does not get enough sleep 
  • Elon is growing well
  • Elon is adorable and my baby boy

Latching on to you

Since I will be on house arrest this week — Elon and I had the fever — I would like to write about some things that I have been meaning to write about for so long now. For a while, I have been thinking how to share my breastfeeding journey. I have a draft of a timeline. I have another with all the terms that I learned about it. But last night, as I breastfeed Elon for the nth time, I have decided that I am going to share how breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing a mother can give and a child can take and the pain that came along with it.

As a disclaimer, I would like to point out that I am not shaming or judging mothers who don’t breastfeed because we have different circumstances in life. Some really can’t, even when they wanted to. 

I am Elon’s source of food. I am his one and only. From his first day, he was latching on to me. When he first did, I was playing the song “Now I’ve got you in my space, I won’t let go of you.. Got you shackled in my embrace. I’m latching on to you” in my head. It was a beautiful thing. 

I thought that Disclosure song was so on point in describing how breastfeeding was.. Until it hurt like a female dog. At first it was really beautiful, so beautiful I would want to wake sleeping Elon up from his sleep but it changed to I didn’t want Elon to cry out for food. The song in my head suddenly became the intro to Beethoven’s 5th symphony “dun dun dun dunnnnn..”

Oh boy was breastfeeding a taxing thing to do. Elon and I try to be in sync with his latch on and me trying to insert my boob into his teeny tiny mouth. It was exhausting and frustrating. But the thing that makes the background music go dun dun dun dun was the pain. The pain it caused the first few weeks made me question why did I have a baby. Yes it does not sound good to hear but I had these questions when I felt the pain. I guess I was not strong of a woman enough. I questioned what have I gotten myself into when I could have been out and enjoying other things except from breastfeeding. It was evil. And I feel guilty every time I remember those moments of weakness. 

Breastfeeding became emotionally and physically draining for me. Even straightening my back hurt my boob. Imagine that tiny stretch of my back hurt my boob. I felt wounded — literally and metaphorically. There were even times that even showering hurt. I had to turn my back on so the water would not hurt me. Every time I nurse, I asked God for forgiveness for the bad thoughts I was thinking. I also asked him for strength cause I know the pain would soon be over once Elon and I established the correct latch. I knew like in the Bible that “this [pain of nursing] too shall pass”. And it did. It took a month before I felt pain free. But I still had issues after. 

There was the issue of leaking cause I had too much milk. I was out one time and I felt cold although I was wearing my winter jacket. And when I checked, my winter jacket was wet from the inside because of my milk.

There was the issue of oversupply. Sometimes Elon would scream at my boobs because there was too much milk. He does not know how to handle it that he sometimes drown in it and chokes. 

There was the issue of unequal amount of milk production of my boobs because Elon had favored the right than the left. 

Then there was the issue of engorgement when the milk finally started coming in but it was not being emptied out quick enough. 

Then there was the issue of going out and not nursing Elon but using the bottle instead. Elon hates the bottle and my boobs gets too full when Elon does not empty it out. 

Some of these issues, I still battle out until now that Elon is almost three months. But I have come to terms that breastfeeding is the best and most enjoyable moment of motherhood.  This morning while I was breastfeeding Elon, he was looking straight to my eye and occasionally stopping to coo at me and smile while he eats. He started doing it when he was a month and a half. I have been looking forward for when I would nurse Elon now. Sometimes, when he plays for too long or sleeps for too long, I just want to grab him and feed him instead so I can hold him and look at him while he eats. 

Breastfeeding has become that beautiful thing where Elon and I bond and where I can freely hug and hold him to my heart’s content (Without him being fussy and all). I am so glad I did not give up on breastfeeding when it became painful. 

To all the moms struggling right now, YOU CAN DO IT! It will get better! 

And now the song in my head has been back to “I wont let go of you.. I’m latching on to you..”

Motherhood x2

Let me start not with “the woman I find most beautiful…” Too cliche. Beauty is relative. But cuteness is absolute. My mom is the cutest. Period. No questions. She is the standard when it comes to cuteness. Many people have already told me that Elon looks like my mother. And I totally agree most of the time. I was so fond of my mother that while I was pregnant with Elon, I just seem to miss her all the time. And the result was tada, Elon looks like her. They are both the cutest in their own category (baby, adult).  I am happy that at 26, I have an Elon. It is sort of a gift for my mother. She told me that she never got to enjoy me or my sister while we were babies. Now she gets to appreciate everything about Elon. She appreciates the baby smell. She appreciates Elon’s soundless laugh. She appreciates even the poop which sometimes reaches Elon’s back. Cleaning the poop is the funniest. We are sometimes clueless how to reach his back that we die of laughter while Elon sobs and begs for us to clean him. 

I am thankful that God had this perfect timing of my mom being able to see Elon. This is not because I need a babysitter but because I never expected that any of my child’s existence would get to cross my mom’s. You see, when I was younger, I had believed that my mom would have a short life span. She had been on maintenance since I can remember. Probably since I was seven. She had this random tablets I did not understand what for. And she would always have this dialogue that she would die soon. In a way, I believed her although she did not mean it. At the back of my mind, I thought that my mom can die anytime because of what she always says. But now she even have a grandson! Now her dialogue has chnaged for Elon saying that she won’t be alive for when he becomes a doctor. This one she’s probably right.

We always kid that she would only live until 75 because that’s her mother’s age when she died. Now she is turning 62. She will probably live to the age when Elon gets to be a teenager. I hope she sees his girlfriend. My mom would seem to be difficult for some people. This is because she stands up for her beliefs – which is a lot. Her beliefs actually make sense. Once I made the mistake of not following her, I would soon understand that she was right. She would not rub it in but she would remind me. 

My mom shows her love differently too. I remember in College, we had the Havaianas phase. These were the times people were obsessed with thousand peso flip flops. My mom would let me buy them although they are not the most practical. She just love me like that.  Mom, if I can be even 1/4 of the mother that you are, Elon would be lucky (but maybe less of the paranoia). I love you and I am glad to have shared this motherhood phase with you. I can’t wait for many more trips and moments we would share with Elon. And probably another Elon/Elleana 4-5 years from now. I just hope that when that time comes, you won’t be having a hard time fastening your seatbelt cursing like a sailor and stressing about not being able to see where the, as per your words, goddamn thing, connects. Happy Birthday, Lola Dods!

Elon is 2 months

  • Elon responds to his name
  • Elon smiles with his eyes and lips when you call him by his name
  • Elon is 15 lbs and 62 cm long
  • Elon is clingy
  • Elon loves bath time
  • Elon has longer playtime
  • Elon can recognize his mom and dad’s face
  • Elon communicates by smiling and sometimes with a sound short of a laugh
  • Elon loves to cuddle even when sleeping
  • Elon hates being put down on the bed, couch or his crib
  • Elon shrills when he is upset while crying
  • Elon smiles with his eyes
  • Elon knows how to make paawa with his low key cry
  • Elon loves being talked to
  • Elon loves to be held upright
  • Elon loves to kick his legs and wave his hands
  • Elon loves the kissy sound
  • Elon wears size 2 diapers
  • Elon sleeps longer at night
  • Elon can tolerate a wet diaper but not hunger

I LOVE YOU ELON!