Today at Drop Off

As I listen to The Sea by HAEVN not knowing or understanding the lyrics but just being emotional with the music it brings my momma heart, I think about Elon and imagine the exact moment when I dropped him off this morning. And although I am working on writing my research deck about unique visitors for certain websites and apps (I work in media), my thoughts transport me back to a memory this morning that seems like part of a movie.

Edward and I dropped off Elon and because it was almost close to 9, the kids were already on their way to the playground. This is their morning routine (part of it when the weather allows it). I hand over Elon to the teacher as he was dressed already for outside weather. He held on to me and said “Mama, stay”. He clings onto me like I was his comfort and that he needed me to be happy. That no play equates to me being there. I kissed him and said that I will just drop off his bag inside the room and that I will be back. I did and was back after a couple of minutes.

I saw him inside the gated playground as he held onto the gate while I blew him kisses. He only said one word – we both felt sadness of needing to part. “Mama” he said. I had to turn my back and walk towards the car where Edward was waiting because, my god, if I didn’t, I would have called in sick and took him home and sniffed and cuddled him the whole day. 

That was not the heartbreaking part, the saddest part was while Edward and I drove away, I saw my baby running towards us, trying to find a way to get out of that gated box where he would stay for a couple hours more as we succumb to the daily routine of life. 

 

I felt a strong feeling to write this out so I don’t forget. Don’t let me forget.

HOLD STEADY as the song says, hold steady..

 

I need a new baby!

Elon has been the great joy of my existence and I still cannot believe that he came from my actual body. It is so weird just writing that out. Anyway, this boy is starting JK in September and my momma heart cries silently at night thinking how fast those years flew by. He still loves me a whole lot and needs me 80% of the time. Maybe 60%, who am I kidding. But the real deal is, HOW INNOCENT IS HE NOW? And how much will he lose once he starts big kids school. He goes to daycare everyday and you would think I would be more prepared in him moving to another level, but what is up with my too many feelings and emotions in this part of his life. I guess when you become a mother, it just doesn’t stop.

I don’t worry about him all the time (contrary to popular belief). But what I do a lot of times is miss him when I don’t get to spend time with him. I almost want to attach myself into his tiny body so I can be with him 24/7. Who says mom needs a break? I don’t want one. Maybe Elon wants one but me, no. When he’s older, he’ll probably read this post and think how much I love him but really it’s borderline obsessive, child. I am not sure what your mother was thinking writing this down. I’m sorry your mother is crazy.

Boy oh boy do I need another human being to smother. Edward, make me a new baby!

Mortality

I am writing this down to remember this time when I felt like I almost had gone crazy. But really I could have avoided it if I had more or just enough fear of the Lord rather than FOMO. I had a scare recently when I have felt a lump in my chest with some pains. My mind already fast forwarded to the worst story possible. And instead of seeking help immediately, I found myself overwhelmed with fear with the possibility of leaving this Earth too soon (in all the sense of its relativity). I found myself googling, researching everything and anything about what I thought it was but not bringing myself to tell people about what I am feeling.

Honestly (what an irony), I was scared to know the truth. The truth that I would later found out to be nothing to worry about. That’s the thing about fear right – it sucks the life out of you dry. I have had sleepless nights, feeling sorry for myself, worrying about what would happen to the people I cared about when I am gone. What would happen to me when I am gone, where do I go? Do I get reincarnated? Do I remember Elon? Will Elon remember me?

Every night I would just think and think and think and damage my spirit until I had the courage to find out the truth. I started telling people including my mother. My mother is a nurse and she would almost always spot if there was something wrong with me. This is the main reason why I was holding back on sharing when I noticed the pains in my chest with her. Because I knew, just by telling her, she might already have a theory (and perhaps she will be right). I gave her top line details and she encouraged me to go see the doctor. She prodded me lots of times so she can theorize more but I purposely declined on giving more info.

I kept on praying. I kept on altering some of the things that I felt was contributing to the pain. I kept on thinking the day will be my last so I had to spend it wisely. No phones, focus on Elon, no stress, be happy. But my soul was confused – it was tugging between trying to brush off what I thought it was versus living the days as if it were the last. But the latter produced quality days for my life overall. I had more productivity at work. I loved hard and there was genuine kindness that I was sharing with everyone. When you think your life is ending you just want to make peace with everything in your life and accept that this is the life God had designed for you. You appreciate life for what it is and thank the Lord that you get to experience it.

But you also wonder a lot about the next part of life. What is really after it? I am a Catholic and I believe in Heaven. And I have a picture of Heaven in my mind but I also kept on wondering if reincarnation is true or what about people I know who have passed away, how are they? Can they talk to us? How do I know they are okay? How do I stop myself from being scared if mortality is such a natural thing and a part of life. And the answer is FEAR OF THE LORD. This is the only fear that is important because it overcomes anything. If you have enough Fear of the Lord, you do good by Him, you love Him, you respect Him and you follow Him. 

All of us living on Earth, healthy or not, nobody really knows when life will end for us. The experts might say 6 months or 100 more years but only God knows the truth. I realized (although it took time) that what I was fearing most was something each person will be facing – their individual end. There is no one person who would escape it. This changed the prayer in my heart. Instead of praying and hoping that everything will turn out the best that it could, now I pray that for each and every day, the Lord guides me through the Holy Spirit. So that I may live the life Jesus had intended for me. I want a life of genuine kindness, overflowing love to share, and quality moments where the people who truly matters to me would remember.

Happy trivial everydays

Happy birthday, my love.

I have been writing down notes weeks ago for this blog post but nothing ever worked out except for this one I just wrote during the eve of your birthday. I am an ESFJ so below is purely my feelings. Here it goes.

I admit it, I have put you aside ever since Elon came and I apologize for that. If our life were a show, we have now entered the comedy family sitcom phase where there are far less “awwwwws”, tender, cute and kilig moments between the main couple of the show. It is a different kind of genre from when it was just us and we’re trying to cement our bond together with marriage. Now we have no choice (I know you would say we always have a choice but whatevs) cause we have Elon as cement. It is more about getting the lessons out of the wrong and right decisions. It is more about making sense of the world and planning ahead for the future. Most of all, it is about facing trivial issues of everyday:

Is Elon awake yet

What is for breakfast

Have you washed the fruits yet

What to dress him with

What to dress us with

Do you get a salad today or should you pack rice

Was Elon’s sippy cup washed

Where are my keys

Where is my ring

What is for dinner

Who is going to shower Elon

Can Elon watch

What about iPad time

What time are you sleeping

Who is going to wash the dishes

Can we go grocery shopping

Have you thrown the garbage yet

After I’ve finally list these all down it seems all so strange that this is where life has taken us. But then, weirdly, I am okay with it because I get to do it everyday with you. There is nothing grand, it is ever so simple but they are happy trivial everydays (at least to me). I have you as family once a stranger. We are connected in more ways possible.

Now that you are 30 (which you keep on saying is the new 20), find that you will have my support for things you are sure and unsure of. Trust that it will always be you (with a reminder to split half the time with Elon). Expect that you would not hear the end for some things I feel passionate about (do not flush the toilet paper in toilet bowl). Love the times we get to spend time as a unit, freely, healthily, without restrictions, and together. These things do not always come together. Listen to our communicating child (he would only be this little this one time, you blink and he would not even think you were ever cool). Show us that trying will help us grow. Never tire reminding us how much you love us, expressing it ever so consistently.

My heart is yours to keep if you want to.

I guess that’s it. I hope you felt something there. Happy birthday, Edward, you’re my favourite name of all.

#Oversharing: Potty Training with Elon

Hello everybody!

 

Writing just to share with you how awesome Elon is during his potty training. I could not get over it I had to share! Apparently, Elon’s daycare (which I am very thankful for) potty trains their toddlers, given that they are ready. Elon’s time to shine has come and he was to start his training after the Civic Holiday in August.

WEEKS PRIOR TO TRAINING..

Mama Ruth: Hija, bring a lot of underwear for Elon after the long weekend

Ericka: What’s going on?

Mama Ruth: Elon is ready. We are going to potty train him.

 

There were so many things in my head that I wanted to tell Mama Ruth like, “are you  sure he is ready” “he doesn’t even understand pee pee” he confuses pee pee and his thing. I don’t know Mama Ruth if this is a good idea is what I wanted to tell her so bad but good thing I did not! But being the anxious person that I am, I had to ask my questions..

Ericka: Mama Ruth, what if Elon poops?

Mama Ruth: We change him and we send the soiled underwear + clothes in a plastic bag for you to take home.

My mind was silenced and I didn’t think too much of this and thought that  I will cross the bridge when I get there.

MONDAY..

Monday of the long weekend came and we were home. I bought the groceries in the morning, bought Elon under wears (3 pack), washed all extra clothes that he might need for the week of his training, and everything was fine.. until it was not. My genius mind decided why not prime Elon for his upcoming potty training. I decided to put him in briefs. Five minutes into it, he peed himself. He was all wet and grossed out. He was fine. I wasn’t. I said let’s try it again. Two minutes into it, he pooped in the stupid dinosaur briefs from Walmart. I WAS SO STRESSED OUT. I was mad at Elon, mad at myself, mad at Edward, mad at the idea of potty training. You wouldn’t want to be near me. I was yelling at Elon and I became his stressor. I gave up that day and put him in diapers. I decided he was not ready and maybe I should air my issues out at Mama Ruth the next day on his first day of potty training.

TUESDAY..

It was the day of the reckoning for Elon, I thought. Poor boy does not know what was to come. I brought Elon in diapers and found a different person other than Mama Ruth to drop him off with. I told the other teacher that Elon is in his diapers and I was instructed by Mama Ruth that today they would train him. I was slightly annoyed that she doesn’t know what I was talking about and that she even said that parents need to be consistent at home too. I told her I know that and that is my plan moving forward. I left it at that and as I stepped out of Elon’s daycare, I have been praying to the Lord, “Lord, please I don’t care how many times he wet his clothes and underwear, just no poop in a plastic bag please please please”. I was worried at work but really had to move on cause I cannot do anything anyway.

Fast forward to pick up time, I even went to the grocery  store to buy Elon something in case, by some miracle, he did a good job. Not that I am expecting it. All I wanted was no poop in a plastic bag. And I got it!! No poop and they even said it was going well although the amount of wet clothes was not any indication of that. It was a start.

 

WEDNESDAY..

Mama: Elon, tell Mama Ruth when you need to go pee, or Veronica, or Saeeda.. or..

Elon:  NO! NO NOOOOOOOO!!!! NO pee pee OKAYYY???

That was that and I though it would be the poop plastic bag day. He really was not learning..or so I thought. By the end of the day. He still had two accidents but he was going directly to the bathroom. He was not asking them or telling them he would go but he would go and do it by himself. HALLELUJAH!!! Again, I avoided the poop plastic bag day.

THURSDAY..

I didn’t expect much but then they said the accident was only ONCE. And this was when they were out playing. As he does not know yet to say that he needs to go, or maybe too shy because of my prodding, the teachers did not know he wanted to pee when he was holding his thing and and pushing the playground fence.

 

FRIDAY..

NO ACCIDENT! Edward even picked him up and he was brought back to me with clothes from the morning. IT WAS THE BEST!

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY..

I purposely did not plan any trips for this weekend because I wanted Elon to be home to help him with his training although by now he would tell me when he needs to go or would go by himself when the door is open for him (as he cannot open doors yet, also our doors are heavy). The next challenge we have is when going out long periods of time. On Saturday at Church, although I put diapers on him, he still told me when he wanted to go so I took him and eventually took the diaper out.

But today, as of writing, when we went to Ikea, he had an accident just before we were going to leave. I put him on diapers and he was happily peeing into the thing until we got home where he is now again in briefs and we continue the potty dance.

Honestly this is bittersweet for me cause my baby is losing his baby-ness. He is learning how to be more independent of me. Like tomorrow I know he will be moving out and then the next day, he will only visit me every other weekend, but who is thinking that far ahead?? Just me, the crazy too attached mother of Elon who loves him a WHOLE LOT. Okay until next time oversharing time.

 

My Dad.

Today during mass, the homily was about planting the seed of faith. Today is also Father’s Day. Today I would like to honour my father. How these three things connect, you will find out later.

Growing up, my dad was not the one to show or say that he loves us. You would never hear it from him. I hated it. To be fair, my mom never really said it too. Or maybe she only stopped saying it when we got to a certain age. My dad also never attended any of my graduations or any ceremonies related to school. I hated that too. I never understood his introvert nature or just how he is in general. Until I get to a certain age that I did get how he is.

Then I realize that he does not say words, he does them. My dad is a man of action. My dad is the kind of father who would drive your homework to school when you forget it at home. He is the kind of father who would take care of dogs (even when he does not like them) just so my sister and I get to play with them. He is the kind of father who remembers what kind of food you actually eat, notes it down in his brain, cooks it so when you get home you actually get to enjoy it. He is the kind of father that does not seem to be proud of you and seemingly is unsatisfied by what you do but actually boasts all your accomplishments whenever he gets a chance.

Usually, we describe dads as strong, brave and the best but I want to describe my dad simply as the most thoughtful person I know. He is intentional. And if there is one thing I am thankful for him the most, that would be his faith. Without fail, he sets an example for our family to go to church. Whether he had a crazy work week, a late night party he attended, with snowstorm, with us or without us, driving or commuting, he would go and hear mass every Sunday. Each and every Sunday.

Thank you dad for planting the seed of faith in us, your children. I fail and struggle sometimes, but you know as the priest said, if you have planted it, trust that it is there. Not seeing it does not mean it does not exist. I have this faith in the Lord because of you. And I know this is great for Elon too.

I thank the Lord everyday for all that you are and for welcoming Elon and Edward like they are yours. I love you and Happy Father’s Day Daddy!!

I love you Jesus!

I have always been a worrier.

When I was younger, I would worry for days before the school announces the list of achievers. I had to be at least in the top 3 of my class. I would worry about getting A’s instead of B’s. I would push myself to compete with boys in PE because I wanted to be the best and would worry if I am not. I would compare myself with others and would be so disappointed when I am not one of the best at some things. I like being good in whatever I am doing and I like validations.

I have toned these things down when I came to Toronto and realized that I am just a tiny speck in this big planet and that my worries do not really matter. But when I became a mother, naturally, my worries started again with Elon.

Is Elon developing okay? Is he eating the right type of food? Is his poop normal? Is his head supposed to be this big? Is he a late crawler? Oh my god he is not even rolling over yet and he is 6 months already. What is going on? Why does not he know colours? Why does he say so little? I don’t understand his words. Is he colour blind?

I would always compare him with others not thinking about how Elon would feel if he actually understands his mother’s worries. What I failed to see is all his achievements and strong points.

He is a very active boy. His gross motor skills is at par with kids older than his age group. He walked at 9th going to his 10th month. He plays well with other kids. He shares with other kids. He is fearless and not afraid to try again when he fails. He is strong and independent. And he definitely knows what he likes and doesn’t like.

But what I wanted to share with you is the story tonight:

I started teaching Elon how to pray. So we started praying Angel of God together before going to bed. Tonight, as I finished reciting the prayer and was about to wrap it up, Elon just said “I love you Jesus”. The I love you Jesus was said, without being prodded to, by a 2 year old. This made my heart so happy. I mentioned this phrase to him not a lot of times and yet he learned it. He said it without me telling him to. I was proud at that moment so obviously he was smothered by a lot of kisses.

Now why would I worry when obviously God is in charge? Even Elon knows it in his tiny heart. I love you Jesus! And I don’t care if Elon only knows the colour Yellow.

Mother’s Day

I remember becoming a mother for the first time like it was yesterday. 

I was raised with dealing with situations as they come. I was never really prepared for anything. Sure when I started school, my mom would buy me the uniform, school shoes, school supplies, etc. But there was hardly ever a talk about what to expect ie that you can get bullied, come home with a scraped knee, low morale, and broken dreams (you know with knowledge comes limitations). You go along and you discover things by yourself – your crush would not like you back, some people that you want to be friends with do not want you in their circle and suff like that.

Naturally, when I learned that I would become a mother, I have no whatsoever preparation except the essential things like crib, baby clothes, some formula, and lots of diapers. I prepared myself for the worst – lots and lots of pain. What I did not prepare was the lots and lots of joys in return. My life has never had so much joy before Elon. Better than getting in UP. Better than passing my driver’s license. The joy my child brings is insurmountable. He can’t do much and he drives me crazy and sometimes I want to “ship him off to the zoo” but he is my joy in this lifetime.

I look at Elon and my heart is automatically filled with gratefulness. He makes me realize all the things I have without making me want anything else.

We never prayed for this child but God already knew we needed him. He is our Elon, our joy, our boy.

Elon, I am the at my proudest as your mother.

A Quiet Place

I was very eager to watch the movie A Quiet Place since I’ve seen the trailer. I love watching Horror movies although it scares me to death. The entertainment value is worth the energy of stress I get from it. But man if you ask me how the movie was, the first thing I would tell you is that it was so SAD!

SPOILER AHEAD!!

First 10 minutes, my heart cried. I cannot move on when the kid died. I felt like I was robbed of the time to move on when they did not even give me the time to mourn the death. It was so quick. It was sudden. And they were not able to do anything about it. It happened right in front of their faces!!! Naturally, I kept thinking about Elon, how the kid sort of looked like Elon(or maybe it’s just my imagination), how small Elon is, how I miss him while I selfishly watch this movie on a Friday night instead of spending time with him, and all throughout I was like how can the family just move on like that after a year? But eventually, when the mourning time finally came, I cried my eyes out with no shame. Akala ko naman horror yung quiet place, hindi ako nainform drama pala!

Guys, I have not recommended movies in a while but if you have time to spare watch this one- sooooo soooo good!!❤

Expansion

Come, come into my home

Come, come into my life

Stay, stay in my heart

Having a kid not only means the expansion of your home, your pocket, and your waistline, but the most important expansion of all is your heart.

My heart expanded ten times than expected because of Elon. I do get tired taking care of him but I do not get tired thinking about him. What is he doing? Is he having fun? What activities should we do together? Will he like the books I bought for him? What does he want to eat later? What else does he need? Is he warm enough? Is he wearing his gloves?

I pick up Elon from daycare and he gets all excited like I went to space and didn’t see him for like 10 years. He is like a dog wagging his tail as soon as he sees me. The only difference is that this one actually talks to say “mama”. He longs for me like I long for him and my heart expands even more. Children are the best example of reciprocity. They give you what you give them. They show you what you show them. And they tell you what you tell them.

My heart is in continuous expansion because of this boy. My heart is huge and happy.