Everything is all set. We already planned on what to serve as well as how we are going to rearrange our living room to accommodate about 40 people if those who confirmed will show up. We didn’t have to worry about Branden’s baptismal clothes too because he will be using his big brother’s baptismal outfit. We only have to buy him a pair of white socks as well as a pair of white shoes. He will be wearing this below minus the hat because I couldn’t find it anymore.
Frankie on his Baptism
Gloria and I had also went to party city to get decorations, so we are all good. The only problem I have is I do not have any decent outfit to wear so does Ryan. We may have to go to Kohl’s to get the things we needed. Thankfully, mama and I were able to get out for a nice dinner last night and decided to go try on some clothes. We were having the employee appreciation weekend, so I was able to put some stuff on hold. I didn’t want to try on clothes while with Ryan since we have to many places to be. I will pray that the weather will cooperate on Sunday. I just couldn’t wait to get over this. I am just glad that mama is here. I don’t know what would I do without her. It is not as stressful anymore with her with me every time I give away parties.
I can’t believe how amazing it is to have a baby in the house. It is very tiring I might add, but he is definitely worth it. Our daily routine has surely changed. Mama and I have shifts with Branden. Since I have to wake up early to take Frankie to school, I get to stay with Branden from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. while mama watches him overnight. It such a challenge, but I am so glad I got a lot of help from my awesome mama. Mama has been asking me that she can take care of the baby overnight, so I could get a good night sleep for Frankie. I kept refusing her offer because I don’t want to take advantage of her, and I still want to be able to take care of my son.
As days goes by, it was getting harder and harder for me to get up to take Frankie to school. There were times when I just want to fall asleep behind the wheel. After I drop off Frankie, I tried to get some sleep but to me it is not long enough. There are times when I am tired and can’t sleep I just want to stare at my son Branden. He gives me so much joy. When he smiles, it feels like heaven. I just love looking at his beautiful eyes and his long curl eyelashes. What a wonderful blessing it is to have my children in my life. They give the reason to live.
I remember my first snow here in the US. I thought it was the most beautiful experience I ever had. Ryan and I were supposed to go somewhere, and when I went out, I was greeted with snow as you can see in the photo on the left. I asked Ryan to take a photo, so I could scan it and send it to my family. While driving, I couldn’t help but wish that my family was here to witness what I witnessed.
When I came here in 2004, it was so hot in the Philippines. I got here with a foot snow on the ground. I got a light jacket that Papa lend me on my way here which I thought was enough. When Ryan picked me up from the airport, he gave me a coat. I insisted that I should be ok since I was already wearing a jacket. Dad told me that it is extremely cold outside, so I took the coat and put it on. They were right. It was freezing outside. It took me so many months to get used to the weather. My skin was very itchy and dry too.
While teaching back home, I dream of playing with the snow. I only saw snow in magazines and in movies that I used to watch. Now that I have been living here for nine years, I felt like I have enough of it. I dislike snow especially when I have to go to work because it is so hard and dangerous to drive. It is a pain to clean up the car too with it. I have to say that snow is only good for first timers or if you don’t have to go anywhere but stay inside the house, but for someone like me who have experienced it all, I am all good.
The hospital introduced the pacifier to Branden. It calms him down especially when he is ready for bed. Although I find it amusing because at 2 weeks he knows if he was given a different pacifier or not. We were given exactly two of the same pacifier from the hospital. The very first day we got home, we already lost one of the pacifiers, and the next day, we couldn’t find the other one. Branden got lots of pacifiers as gifts, so I thought of giving him a new one. At first he started sucking it like his old one and all of the sudden he stopped. He looked around and spit it out. Mind you, he is only 2 weeks old.
Mama tried to give it to him again. Maybe he will take it this time, but he spit it again and started crying. I grabbed him and console him in my arms. He wouldn’t take the new pacifier at all. “What a smart baby” that is what mama thought. Mama, Frankie, and Ryan looked for the pacifier in his crib, the swing, the car seat and even underneath mama’s bed and our bed. Thankfully, mama found it while she was washing Branden’s clothes. Apparently, the pacifier was caught in Branden’s clothes when she was trying to change him. We were all so happy. Branden happily sucked into his old pacifier again. We have attempted to replace it because we were supposed to as he gets older, but to no success. He exactly knows if it is his old one or new. Frankie didn’t care so much before as long as he has a pacifier.
I was really worried that like Frankie, we might not be able to take Branden home with us. It was truly a nightmare having to go back and forth to the hospital to see Frankie. Thankfully, Branden was able to stabilize his breathing that he was able to come see us in the room. We were also able to hold him and take care of him. On my third day, I was so excited to go home. Unfortunately after breakfast, I started feeling dizzy that I asked the nurse to get my blood pressure. My blood pressure was so high. When they took my sugar after eating breakfast, it was so high too. My doctor decided that I need to stay one more day in the hospital for under observation.
Even if I was so upset that I didn’t get to go home than expected, I was glad that I didn’t go home. The doctor gave me medications for my blood pressure and sugar. It was going down, but as soon as the medication wore off, it was up again. Mama and Frankie stayed at home. They only visited me once because Frankie was all over the place. He was in the hospital for 8 hours and Ryan had about enough of him. I do not blame him though because he was confined to a very little room. He laid down right next to me to take a nap and I hugged him until he fell asleep. I so miss my little boy. It was weird not seeing him for two days. They came in on Sunday after they all went to church.
The next day, I was so delighted that I can go home with instructions that I need to maintain my medications. I was also glad that Branden was all ready to come home with us. The very first night with Branden at home was bad. Mama and I were still adjusting of him being home. We took turns but it was mostly mama who was up with him. Eventually, she told me that I need my rest and that she can take care of Branden. I was also happy because I felt like my body really need rest.
I was looking forward to January 10th which is a Tuesday. Ryan and I already made plans on when to get my blood test. When the nurse called me up, I was hoping that they can just get my blood test before the operation, but she called again to tell me that I need to make an extra trip to go get it ahead of time. Ryan is going to be off starting Monday, so we were thinking of going there in that afternoon. By January 6 early in the morning, my back was starting to hurt. I took Frankie to school and decided to take a nap. I couldn’t even lay in any sides because it was very uncomfortable. It seems to go away when I get up and walk around, but I was so tired that I really want to lay down.
I asked mama to massage me a little bit because it was really painful. I picked up Frankie and decided to take a nap again. I figure that if the pain won’t go away; I will have to call the doctor. I fell asleep and woke up in a lot of pain in my back. Ryan was on his way home, so I decided to call the doctor. He told the nurse that I am already contracting and that I need to get to a hospital right away. I panicked because I didn’t know where Ryan was. He said he was going to his second job and his cell phone was off. I called the place where he is going to be for his second job, but he did not go there. Thankfully, after 20 minutes, he came home. I told him that I need to get going and get to the hospital. He kept telling me to hurry up, but it was me who was taking my time. I ate my last meal and even took a shower.
We got to the hospital at around 6:30 pm and by 9:17 pm our precious Branden was out. The nurse that prepped me for the operation was a Filipina. She very nice and very thorough. Although she made sure that I am not going to be in terrible pain, I still was. The preparation was painful. I needed to take the “yucky stuff” while one nurse was taking my blood on my left and another one on my right arm. Putting in the medication in my spine was a nightmare too. It was very painful that I promise myself I do not want to do it again.
I was shaking and itching as the effect of the medication. It was so bad that I couldn’t control it. After some pulling and tugging, the baby finally came out at 9:17 that same night. I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was. I thought he was smaller than Frankie but I was wrong. He actually weigh 9.10 lbs. I wanted to feel better, so I could hold him right away. When I was wheeled in my room, I was not able to see him right away. He had breathing issues, so the nurses and his doctor had to put him under observation. Here is our little pumpkin below.
I felt like I am about to burst right now. I am so big that getting out of bed is a nightmare. I can’t put my socks anymore, and I have to go get Ryan or mama. I don’t like taking showers anymore because I couldn’t reach places that I want to reach. It is also hard to bend over to wipe off the water on my legs and back after I take a shower. I am counting the days that I can finally see my little pumpkin. I just want to get done with being pregnant. I am so done.
At least the schedule for my c-section is only 7 days away. In January 10, I will see our new baby. I wonder how he looks like. Is he going to have a blond hair like Frankie or is he going to be as light skinned as Frankie. Regardless how he looks, he will be loved forever. I feel so huge this time around than when I was pregnant with Frankie. In fact, I grabbed photos of when I was pregnant with Frankie and now.
Pregnant with Frankie
Every pregnancy I have is always rough, but it is so worth it. It will be another adjustment again, but we will get the hang of it.
I tend to become emotional when Christmas comes around. For 23 years, I spent it with my family. I always enjoyed going to Misa de Gallo with my parents and sisters. I also love watching the fireworks with them and share Noche Buena. My first Christmas here was ok. There wasn’t nothing to look forward to but spending time with Ryan. We were both working retail then and we stayed late to get the store ready for the next day. We were both asleep on Christmas Eve, and we got up to exchange our gifts and went back to bed.
I told Ryan how different it is in the Philippines. I hope I can take him to the Philippines and spend Christmas there, so he knows what I am talking about. Now that mama is here, I don’t feel that homesick anymore every Christmas . I guess I am so used to of all the none exciting Christmases that I spent here. Thankfully with Frankie and with our son joining us soon, our Christmases will be a lot of fun because there is actually something that Ryan and I look forward to. I always love seeing the faces of little children on Christmas.
I was hoping that I will not have a Christmas baby. I was having contractions a couple of days before Christmas and the doctor said that if my contractions will not stop then I may have to go before or during Christmas. I really do not like him having to share his birthday on Christmas for the rest of his life. When I was in the Philippines, I never have to worry about Thanksgiving and sharing my birthday that day. When I got here, I have to celebrate my birthday on Thanksgiving day. At least, it only comes every four years for me because of leap year.
My friend thinks it is awesome that I get to celebrate my birthday with the family because of Thanksgiving. It is nice occasionally but not all the time. I want to be able to own that day just for myself that was why I do not want my son to have to share his birthday with the rest of the world. Hopefully, it won’t have to happen and he will come out as planned and expected.
I am so lucky to be able to have the chance to help my family back home most especially my sisters in college. I feel overwhelmed that my sisters knew the meaning of sacrifice, and they did their share and worked hard, so they both can graduate. I am happy because I know that if I struggled here to come up with the money I sent them, they also struggled over there too to stretch the little amount I sent. After all those years and now that they have their own lives to attend to, I decided to reward myself with a new camera.
It was nothing fancy. I just want something that can take pictures and zoom in from a distance. I always miss Frankie’s presentation in school because every time I zoom in, it completely distorts the entire picture. The end result is always blurry and dark. I didn’t have a good picture of him last year when they did a play about the “First Christmas” because I couldn’t go near the stage (it would be embarrassing). Last May was his graduation, I was not able to get a nice picture of him at all even if I was not that far from where he was at.
Finally, I got one that has 36x zoom, and I tested it last Wednesday for Frankie’s Christmas pageant. Mama and I got to school when they are about to start, so we were seated at the second row. We were very far from them. I didn’t want to stand up just to take pictures because there were people behind us watching the play too. I just sat down where I was sitting and took the pictures and the video. It was a little dark in the background, but I can see Frankie very clearly. I was just happy since Ryan was not able to come with us to watch it because the presentation was in the early morning.
I also had the chance to test it outdoor. I was not able to switch it to landscape, but I think the result still came alright. It is not a Canon LSR digital camera, but it just a regular digital camera. I don’t want to carry a big bulk of camera like my Dad before. Mama thought I deserved it and I thought so too after all these years.
At the Monee Reservoir
I was seated in the back when I took this picture. I am just happy that I could tell where Frankie is.