Back to school

Today, it finally occurred to me that tomorrow Elon is really going back to school. He would be gone most of the day only to be picked up in the afternoon. I do not know how to feel? Should I be happy? Happy that there is one less kid I have to tend to at home? Happy that finally Elon will have some time with friends his age and he can socialize again? Or should I be sad because summer time is really over and we are all entering a new season with more uncertainties (hello 4th wave)? Should I be sad because my baby boy is quickly growing up and soon he won’t need me? Can he need me forever? Can I be a safe place for him forever? Will he tell me his secrets or will he keep some of them to himself leaving me in the dark?

During bedtime, we were talking about steps should there be a bully in school. We even wrote a script together and role played in case it happens. I want to protect him from all the bad things of this world. But can I? I remember reading somewhere (for sure social media), it says that we should not be scared for our kids because the Lord has placed them exactly where they needed to be. Sure the world is a scary place but we have to trust that our kids were called today, in this exact moment, even when the world seems to be the most messed up it had ever been.

I trust the Lord and I pray that he can equip me to be the parent that Elon needs me to be. I am not a perfect parent and I have so many faults but I pray that I can teach my child to be kind, and to love others like how Jesus would love them. Lord, bless and protect Elon has he enters first grade. It does not seem so much of a big deal but this is exactly one of the first steps when a child steps further away from a parent. But I know the Lord is always with him and He will always hold Elon’s hand when I can’t.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Feeling my feelings

Today it just occurred to me that people will never be able to experience Eden the way babies not born during the pandemic were experienced. Her first year of life seems to be in captivity. She’s like one of the hostages of the pandemic.

That made me sad. I felt sad because it seems that Eden would not be loved by people because she has not seen a lot of the world (and she has not been seen by the world). She knows our house, the park, our hiking spots, but not a lot of people. She literally has seen more trees than people. I feel as if I have to fill that gap, all that love from other people she might be missing. Is my love enough?

And then I also realized that my mat leave would be ending in 5 months. Crazy to think that I have used more than half of it already. I have enjoyed every little trivial thing at home. But there are times like today when I felt like we could have done more. I could have done more with Eden and with Elon. Did I do enough?

I felt like a lot of times were spent rushing – it was always a rush to go somewhere. To be someone. Rush for bedtime. Rush for nap. Rush to clean things. Rush to wash things. Rush bedtime. Rush watching a show. Rush to finish tasks. Rushing steals the enjoyment, the full enjoyment of things. But why do I feel like time is always not enough?

I know I should not feel this way but today these are my feelings. I have whole 5 months of maternity leave left. Tomorrow I would try to do more with Eden and Elon. To just be. To just enjoy the time spent with them. Because time passed is gone forever. I am enough.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

New teeth

Had to share this for a laugh

Me: Elon look at your cousin. He lost his teeth

Elon: What? How old is he?

Me : 7, I think

Elon : I never want to be 7 because I don’t want to lose teeth

Me: But Elon when you lose teeth, you can put it under your pillow for the tooth fairy

Elon : And then?

Me : You exchange it for money

Elon : Money??? TO BUY NEW TEETH?


Letting Go..

…is just another way to say
I’ll always love you so

Yes that’s the Barry Manilow song.

But I am using this line for Elon. Because yesterday he did a beginner trial for basketball kids. It was 6-7 in the evening and that was also Eden’s bedtime. I had to miss it (let go) although I super wanted to be there. When you have children, you always want to be there and experience things with them as they try things for the first time. For the longest time, because Elon has been our only child for 5 years, I have been there for most of his firsts.

I was there during the heartbreaking daycare drop off

I was there during the giddy kindergarten line up

I was there during his first steps, first time to roll over, first words he said

I was there during his first time ice skating

I was there during his first plane ride

I was there during his first smile, first laugh, first joke

I was there during the first time he started to read

I was there when he started to swim unassisted

Man I can go on and on and on and on..

We spent each night of his life together only parting one night when I gave birth to Eden. And that was really the start of my letting go of Elon, of who he once was, my only child. No longer my baby but an someone’s big brother who can be depended on. When Eden was born, with a snap, he suddenly matured.

Started sleeping in his own bed in his own room

No cries during school drop offs

Wiping away mama’s kisses

Playing with friends in the playground instead of mama

Leading our way during walks and hikes

Helping me out at home with all the things I need to get for Eden

Patiently going about his day and waiting for me as I finish all things Eden

I would sometimes be surprised of the way he would communicate and of the boundless things he learn everyday. I feel like I have been missing him more and our time together since Eden came along. But as the song says, I have to let go because it’s another way to say I will always love him so.

This is my letting go of my baby as he becomes more and more independent of me. Teaching kids independence (but it hurts not being needed!) is a parent’s way to showcase love. It is an acknowledgement that although they cannot always be around their kids, with the built independence, children can always take on things with their own understanding of the world.

Do you ever ask whose kid is this person?

No? Because I do. Lately, whenever I am driving and my son is in his seemingly small carseat, I look from the mirror and wonder whose kid is this person seated in the back seat of my car?

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of him while sleeping all long limbs like his dad’s and I feel a disconnect. Somehow it feels foreign to have a big kid like him when I am used to cuddling someone who still has baby fats with a smaller frame.

When did he become so big, is my forever question. It is here. The independence we have always wanted for him just came and has smacked us right in the face.

I miss my baby.

My Love

Elon, you are five today. I will always say this but I could not believe it. I wouldn’t say the time flew past me because I have been with you every day of those 5 years. I have cherished every single day even those ones that were not the best. We were never away from each other. I have watched you grow. I have watched you from being a tiny little thing to becoming this sensitive boy with a mix of your dad and I’s personalities. I have watched you from zero. And probably that’s why parents love their kids so much, right? Because they literally are witnessing a miracle everyday by experiencing their kids. God, you are my miracle.

I am so lucky and proud to be your parent, Elon. I cannot count the number of times you would do your own thing and entertain yourself while your dad and I rest and/or sleep. You try so hard to do things on your own and be independent so you can help us. But I am happy whenever you need me. I am happy to be there and help you. I like you needing me. Your independence, although good, sometimes makes me sad because it means you are slipping away from me.

You try to help me cook and watch Korean shows just so you can bond with me. You will come with me to shop even when it’s not really enjoyable for you while I peruse the dress section, only giving you some five minutes to look at toys. You would always be understanding and will always pre-empt the situation by saying that you will just look and not buy because our money is reserved for something else. You are my lovely boy always trying to be good while having this endless energy that somehow we always try to tame. Don’t listen to us. Don’t lose that energy, Elon. Always build, always learn. Always be kind and understanding. Those are gifts from the Lord to you.

Tonight as I write the second part of this post, you are sleeping soundly in your own bedroom. Wow, I did not expect that I would say “your own bedroom”. And I know a lot of parents sleep train their kids so they can eventually move to their own bedroom, but I had dreaded this day. This is probably why I am up, when usually we would be sleeping together in “mama’s bed”. I am up because I think about how you begged me to stay and sleep beside you. But I convinced myself that I need to do this to “train” you because by the time your sister arrives, you need to sleep on your bed while I take care of her. So that your sleep would not be interrupted when she cries at night. I told myself this is just a preparation for you. When I told you this, you said that would not be a problem because her cries would not wake you up.

But why is it so sad when I’ve been successful putting you into your own bed tonight? My heart is telling me to go back and just insert myself beside your twin bed, hope for the best, and expect to wake up with some body soreness. But then my brain which is the more logical part of me is just saying “just kiss him good night, tell him you love him and then go”. I thought that this would be enjoyable, Elon – having my me time. But what do I do with it without you? We could have been playing letters, or your silly games, or “talking about things” as you would say. You are always so full of life, so sweet, so loving, my sweet boy. I pray you would never change these parts of you.

This would be your last birthday as our “only child”. I always tell your dad to soak up the moments and listen to you when you ask. I tell him he should fulfill your requests because somehow things will change once your sister is born. I also try to revel in these moments that you are still my only child. I purposely “baby” you as your dad would put it. I purposely feed you even when I know you can do it by yourself. I wake you earlier so I can cuddle with you longer before your class. I keep you all to myself so I can remember these times that it was mostly just you and me. I thank God for these moments. I thank God for letting me work from home (even when I complain about it) because then I get to see you everyday. I pray you would not feel any differently once your little sister comes because I want you to understand nothing between us changes. I know I would have more love to give to both of you. And I know you have a lot more love to share and spare for your little sister because you are exactly like that – full of love, full of sensitivity. My sweetheart, my baby boy, I am always yours. Please remember that you will always be the best boy in mama’s heart.

I love you so much, Elon. Happy 5th birthday.


Happy birthday, Edward!

I have written so many drafts but the words are not coming out right but let me try one more time.

This year has been good (or maybe you have been good) that I can’t complain much about you (very unlikely). I would say you are perfect but only God is perfect so I would say the closest thing to it. You have surpassed my expectations as a partner in life. As a father, maybe you are on your way there like 77%? (HAHAHA you are not getting everything here). We have literally come a long way together from the Philippines (which is around 7000 miles away) to Canada. 

I have said this many times but I cannot simply imagine going through everything if it were not with you. I knew you were a good investment the moment you sent that one liner of a text to say “hi”. I would ask how you got my number but let me be honest with myself here that my friend already asked me if she can give it to you. I was actually waiting for the text. What flirt and mystery that text was clouded by? But here we are 14 years later with no more flirtations and zero mystery in a different country we didn’t really expect we would be living in with a 4-year-old son and another one the way. If I have told you then that you would not be practicing Architecture 14 years later, I wonder what your younger self would say. Probably along the lines of, “we will die anyway what does it matter”. To figure you out then was such a challenge, and to figure you out now sometimes still frustrates me BUT I, at least know some of the more overt things about you – like your go-to Tim Hortons order or your ice cream flavour (it’s a trick question, he tries not to eat some).

When I randomly asked you what are the things you like about me, you were puzzled and didn’t know what to say. Can’t blame you for that, it’s hard even for me, I got to dig deep. But when you asked that same question back to me, it was easy cause there were many things about you that people do not necessarily see and know that I like and appreciate even when I don’t say it. 

I like that when you decide on things, it’s 100% commitment from you. No half assing, you give it your all. It’s like you throwing away our compost despite the bin being outside of our building no matter the weather. Or you washing the dishes because you claim I half-ass washing them (maybe I do this on purpose so you would do it). 

I like that you support me and you are not afraid to provide constructive criticism even when you know that some hell in me will break loose because I take every criticism to heart and I cry with it and sleep at night. You push for greater things even when the process is painful. I half like that you do it with Elon but may I remind you that he is just 4 years old (but I get your point about developing grit). You have to let him win sometimes. 

I like that you can adapt so quickly and you always surprise me of the things you are able to do and accomplish. Can I say that there are times when I doubt you but when you proved me wrong the first time, I let you be. It honestly made my life better because I don’t have to stress about things and I let you lead it with all your superb organizational skills (with matching excel file and tables). I want to say here, and don’t make me repeat this again, that I am so proud of you. You have come a longer way than I did (I mean I get half the credit right). 

I like that you want me to have my own thing, and you have learned to let me be (you now even tolerate Kdramas which you previously asked me what was the point of watching it). Just don’t ask me anything about the story when I watch it please? I want to savour each and every moment of the drama. That’s why it’s called a drama.

Caution for you, enjoy this while you can because even when you reference this later on when we have arguments, I would not admit to it.

Happy birthday, my love! I know there’s so much more in store for us together. I love you like a kdrama love story with a happy ending. HEHE

PS I am aligned with our goals for the next 5 years.

It’s October

It’s October

Leaves are falling

It’s orange, red and yellow I see

The wind has turned bitter

But the smell is crisp

It’s when I think of you most

Your whole you that I feel

Your hands busy

Your mind busier

Your love sometimes too much for me

Without you

I would neither want

This kind of October

Nor this cold winter I am about to see

My favourite

Growing up I always had a thing about favourites. I wanted to be the favourite daughter, the favourite student, the favourite friend, every favourite you can name of, I want to know that I am a favourite to a person. I want to make sure that there is a teacher who likes me the best. I’ve asked my parents whom between them loves me more (never got an answer from it so I just assumed). I made sure that my chosen best friend in grade school’s favourite friend is also me. And I get really upset if I am not.

And the thing is, I try really hard and put effort so I can be someone’s favourite. But I learned that favouring someone over others is sometimes unexplainable. I can compare it almost to a gut feel. There is just a connection that is deeper than the relationship, and goes beyond what is obvious. There is no logic to it. It’s like falling in love.

I’ve never really had a favourite person. I loved my parents. I semi liked my sister. I had a best friend by label. I have people I look up to but never a favourite until I realized it was my younger cousin Janina. We started off as family but we chose to remain as one. We share so much more than blood. There is an unbreakable bond. Our lives are so connected that the stories we share although some are already blurry or fading away, will always have a special place in my heart. And when I moved continents I thought the relationship will naturally fade but it never did. We kept it as if we were still together. If anything it only became stronger.

She’s my person when I need to vent out because she will understand and she would never judge. She’s my person when I need to tell a weird story or a memory or something that I just need a connection with. She gives me comfort even just through words. She never lets me down when I need her. She’ll always offer a laugh and a positive note that whenever we finish our chat, I always feel lighter and happier.

Janina, I wish I could have been there for you now to comfort you, to hug you, to talk whatever, to laugh at all the silly nonsensical things we laugh at. I wish there was not a pandemic sweeping through the nation so we could have celebrated you, and your next stage of your life. But alas here we are both and the whole world in isolation. There is a reason. And we will realize it in the future but for now, God said to wait.

Janina, our middle names are the same which accounts for something. My mom said Tito Cery asked her if he can use the same one for you. And I’m so happy he did choose that same name. Because from then to now, we have more than blood that connects us. We even share a name that God has blessed us both with. And guess what “Ana” means? FAVOR! And this is one of the reasons why you will always be my favourite. As Korean dramas go, “we are fated”.

Happy birthday, Janina Ana!

Always here for you,

Ericka Ana

Three things I am grateful for

The past two weeks that we’ve all been staying home due to the pandemic has been quite… interesting. We have a full house with myself, Elon and Edward.

I can’t tell you that I’m loving every second of it. There are times that by the end of the day, I would feel defeated, guilty and tired of the whole situation. But I know that this is our reality for the next more days, or weeks even. 

So instead of sulking, we are shifting our focus on the positive side of things. Each night before we sleep, Elon and I list 3 things we are grateful for before pray time. Here I am sharing with you some of the things Elon lists down:

I am happy because we played shark together.

I am happy because I hug Mama.

I am grateful because I play I spy.

I am happy because I ate by myself with no help. 

I am grateful for mama’s soup. That is the best soup ever! It’s my favourite rice and soup ever!

I am grateful for the chicken Mama cooked for me. 

I am happy because I love Mama. 

I am happy because I watched so much animals today.

I am grateful I made puzzle with Dada. 

Everyday he would list more than 3 things. And even he would call himself out on it and say that he has so much, more than 3 that he is grateful for!

That only reminds me that although times are tough once we focus on the positive and simple things about our current situation, there are so much to be grateful for.

I am grateful that I get to spend time with Elon in every second of his life for the past two weeks. I never miss a waking moment and I get to put him to sleep each night with no rush or anything. I am grateful that I get to have him by my side literally 24/7! I am grateful that we have resources and we are able to stay at home during this pandemic. I am grateful we get to spend family time in the evenings and we get to sit down more  for meals as a family. I am grateful that I get to do a job that I love while at home. I am grateful for Elon. I am grateful for the gift of time. I am grateful for the gift of family. And most of all I am grateful for Jesus for sustaining us through this time.

What are you grateful for today?