27 February 2014

as my eldest daughter turns 5

Dear Caila,

You’re already 5 years old!

I can’t believe that 5 years have passed since I set my eyes on you for the first time. The years have been going by so fast; it’s as if the days are passing like a blur.

Still, I’m thankful that I’m always there to witness your milestones and accomplishments. From the time you were able to roll over from your stomach to your back and vice versa, your first babbles and words, your first steps alone, saying goodbye to diapers, becoming a school girl, performing confidently on-stage, taking on simple responsibilities of being a big sister, helping us with some household chores, learning to read and write, helping me bake, and so many more!

At this stage, you can strongly express what you like and what you don’t. A few months ago when we were talking about your birthday, we sat down and you described to me (with the help of pictures from the internet) how you wanted your cake to look. You incorporated all sorts of designs from several different cakes, making me illustrate on my Note so that the person who would be making your cake would have a clear picture on the outcome you wanted. Fingers crossed that it’ll be perfect when we get it on Saturday.

I know you wanted to celebrate your birthday at school today; but because of the KHDA inspection, it had to be moved to Sunday instead. Don’t worry. This means that you’ll be able to celebrate your birthday longer!

At home we have a calendar that has a box that we can move to mark whatever the date is. And since Sunday, you been looking at it constantly, pointing out to whoever is at home that “There’s 4 days left” until your birthday, and “Only 3 days to go,” then “2 days na lang,” followed by “1 more day,” and finally “It’s my birthday tomorrow! Yay! Yay! Yay!” This morning, you didn’t remind us. You didn’t need to because from the time I woke you up, we were all either singing or greeting you “Happy Birthday.”

Aside from counting down using the calendar, you are learning to follow time. When we tell you it’s time to go to bed when the long hand is at 6 and the short hand is between 8 and 9, you obediently turn off the TV, put away any toys or pillows that are scattered around, and go to our room to sleep. In the mornings when you have school, you know it’s time to go down and wait for your bus when the long hand is at 9. And when Yaya delays in accompanying you out the door and down to the lobby, you become impatient because you feel that you’re late and the bus might leave you.

On top of these accomplishments, you are a very caring and protective Ate to Sophie. On several occasions, I have seen you approach her out of the blue and give her a hug or kiss…for no reason at all. When Sophie approaches you while you’re eating, you automatically feed her with your spoon. When you receive something from someone, if there’s more than 1 of the same item (like biscuits or stickers), you give one to your sister right away.

If you remember, late last month we took Sophie to the doctor and it just so happened you were having your afternoon nap when we left. When you woke up, you looked for Sophie in all the rooms and asked Yaya where she was. Yaya pretended that she didn’t know. After some time, you sent us a voice message telling us in a sad, desperate, and “naiiyak” voice that your sister was missing because you didn’t know where she was even though you looked for her everywhere.

And early this month, Sophie and I had to stay in the hospital for a few days because she was sick. Daddy brought you once to visit, and when it was time to go, you cried because you said you didn’t want to leave your sister and you felt sorry for her. You were crying all the way back home, and it took a long while before you finally stopped.

These instances are enough to show how much you love Sophie, and we couldn’t have asked for a better daughter to be a big sister than you. Your being caring doesn’t stop there. Whenever Daddy and I have to go out and leave the rest of you at home, you don’t cry anymore or beg to come with us. Instead, you tell us “Take care,” or “Ingat,” or “Be careful, ok?” At times when we call, you tell us “Come back home soon, because I miss you.” And when we arrive home, you ask us “Are you so very, very tired?” which is sometimes followed with a “You want me to massage you?” Such words are so sweet to hear, and we’re very thankful that we hear them from you often.

Anak, you are growing up to be such a sweet, intelligent girl who is learning so fast in having her own identity. And for this, I am just so in awe at the person you are becoming.

Daddy and I have so many plans and dreams for you, but of course we want you to make your own plans and dreams. Just know that whatever they may be, we will always support you every step of the way. Because we love you, and we always will...to the moon and back.

Happy birthday, Caila.

I love you sobra, too much, super, to the max!

20 February 2014

thankful thursday: skyping with hubby

Thanks to Skype, we can see and talk and be goofy with each other even though we’re miles apart.

15 February 2014

what made my heart smile on valentine’s day

Belated Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 

So, how did you celebrate the day of hearts? Dinner by candlelight? Movie-date? Or did you just opt to stay at home and enjoy the freedom from the traffic and crowds?

When Hubby went away last Thursday for a business trip, I thought that my Valentine’s Day would just be like an ordinary day. However, this was not the case. Although we didn’t get gifts for each other (we actually don’t celebrate this occasion that much), there were some nice things that I received which made my heart smile yesterday.

Last year, Caila had given me a card which she had made from school.  But this year, she was sick and absent for most of the week.  So what she did was write this small note first thing in the morning after I greeted her Happy Valentine's Day and gave it to me as soon as she finished
The day before, I had informed our ET barkada that I was going to have a lonely Valentine because Hubby was away.  But, yesterday afternoon, as the T’s dropped me and my daughters off at home after a party we all attended, they surprised me with this
Then in the evening, Hubby finally got the chance to call and spoke to all of his girls (me, Caila and Sophie), and later sent me this image on WhatsApp
Now who wouldn’t feel loved after getting all that?

11 February 2014

looking into the positive side of things

Hubby recently shared this image on our FB account:
Since it also applies to negative experiences, I’d like to share how I’m looking in a positive way the recent things that have been happening to me and my family.

First case: Sophie’s hospitalization for 2 days.
The positive: I was able to take a leave off work to spend more than 48 hours to take care of her, play with her, and attend to her needs. Bonding time galore within the confines of a hospital room…just my baby and me!

Second case: Getting a bad case of food poisoning.
The positive: Losing approximately 7 lbs off my weight! My face became smaller, my tummy became slightly flatter, and I fit into a pair of slacks that used to fit me perfectly 9 years ago!

Third case: Caila fell ill and started vomiting so we had to take her to the doctor; at the same time, Sophie became feverish again.
The positive: Both girls became very clingy to me and Hubby, so we were able to enjoy countless cuddles, kisses and hugs from them all night while we carried them in our arms. I was also able to joke around with their pedia when we left her office that night by saying “Good night, Doctor. I don’t want to see you again for a long time.” She laughed real hard upon hearing that, and replied “Yes! Kalas! Go away!”

Fourth case: I sprained my ankle.
The positive: Upon seeing me limping around the office, my managers and colleagues are very understanding and aren’t pressuring me too much…at least, not as much as they usually do.

The frequent trips to the hospital would have made anyone cry out in despair. I admit that several times I would beg God “Tama na, Lord, please! Last na sana ‘to!” But then after a few minutes, I would realize that at least, these are the only things that happened. No lives were taken and we were all still together.

And those reasons are enough to make me see the silver lining and still be thankful in the end.

Stay positive, everyone! Good vibes all around!

food poisoned

If you're following me on Twitter (if not, please do @gutzytower) you must have read that I had a bout of food poisoning last Thursday.

It was terrible, I tell you. From about 1am until 6am, I was shivering as I was trying to sleep. I was already covered in a sweater and nightrobe on top of my pj's and socks, but I still felt really cold. And in between, I would get out of bed several times to rush to the bathroom and either throw up or do a number 2 which was pure liquid. I didn't check my temperature but I'm sure I had a fever because my forehead and neck felt pretty hot.

Although I felt weak, I knew I couldn't not go to work that day. I had been on Emergency Leave from Sunday to Tuesday because Sophie was in the hospital and there were still a couple of important and overdue reports I had to do.

As soon as I arrived at the office, I prepared a hot cup of tea and nibbled on some crackers before sitting down to work. At 9:10am, I threw up. One of the managers must have heard me because he told me that I should go home as I sounded and looked terrible (thanks a lot!). Even my manager noticed that I didn't look too good and told me to go home and get some rest. Still I insisted on working. But by 9:45am, after facing the toilet bowl 2 more times, I finally admitted defeat and told my manager I was going to the hospital. It was a good thing one of the drivers was available to drop me off.

By the time I had informed the lady at the hospital reception that I was there for my 11am appointment, I felt so weak I could barely stand. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long because I soon heard a nurse call my name, she took my vitals, and a few minutes later, she called me in to see the doctor. Upon telling him what I had been experiencing, he said it was most probably food poisoning. As he questioned me on what kind of foods I had eaten the day before and whether they were fresh or expired, or bought, I remembered the one thing that I had eaten that no one else I knew had eaten: a cold cuts sandwich that I had prepared from home.

After leaving the doctor's office room, I had to have my blood sample taken at the Laboratory. There were 2 bottles mixed with I-don't-know-what and 2 test tubes...all 4 of which had to be filled with my blood. By the last one, I began to feel really weak and woozy, so as soon as he was done, the nurse squirted some alcohol-based sanitizing gel in my hand to sniff. Then he told me to rest on one of the chairs before I went for my stool sample. I then headed down to the Pharmacy to get the medicines I needed, after which I proceeded to the Treatment Room where I would be taking the drugs by IV.

All this time as I shuffled in between departments and floors, I felt soooo weak like I could barely stand and want to throw up as well. I seriously wanted to just give in to my body and lie down wherever I was during those times. My arrival at the Treatment Room was the perfect time because I thought I couldn’t take it anymore.

 From 12 noon until 3:45pm, I was lying down having the 4 bags and bottles of medicines dripped into my vein. There was nothing else to do but take a nap.
Earlier, I had informed Hubby of what happened, so he took the afternoon off, and by 2:30pm, he arrived at my side. While waiting for the last bag to finish, he went to get a Sick Leave certificate from the doctor. And finally at 4pm, we were out of the hospital.

I still felt weak by the time we left, but at least I wasn’t throwing up anymore. My condition improved during the weekend through the help of fresh fruits, rice porridge, and a drink that I made which I found on the internet (a mix of water, sugar, salt and lemon juice) which I drank a lot of. Now, I’m completely ok.

Err, except for the sprained ankle I have which I got yesterday morning which resulted to severe swelling, forcing me to wear an ankle brace and to stay off my right foot for at least a week.
I so need a foot spa and pedicure!
Oh well.

09 February 2014

sophie in the hospital

I’m back again! I’m sorry for the silent treatment on this blog lately. But again I have a valid reason: my youngest was confined in the hospital for 2 days last week and I was indisposed from Thursday until Saturday.

Yeah, I know. Too much sickness in less than a week!

I’ll tell you all about what happened to me in a separate post, but first let me share what happened to Sophie.

So I took Thursday afternoon off just as I planned, then took her to see her paediatrician for her 3pm appointment. The doctor said that it was most probably a viral infection in addition to her teething, but instructed me to have her blood sample taken to be sure. She also told me to continue some of the meds that she had prescribed previously.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon, Hubby went to collect the results while I was at work. However, when he met with the doctor, she told him that the reports showed a bacterial infection and Sophie needed to be admitted in the hospital for 2 to 3 days so that they could give her the antibiotics (through IV) and monitor her condition properly. I suddenly felt weak when Hubby called me to tell me this. I couldn’t concentrate on work anymore, and I was almost in tears as I explained the situation to my manager, telling him that I needed to go on leave for 3 days. Again, he understood, and let me leave work early so that Hubby could fetch me.

That evening, the three of us (Hubby, me and Sophie) headed to the hospital. As Hubby parked the car, Sophie and I went to the nurse’s desk, told them that Sophie was going to be admitted, and after a while, the nurse led us to a Semi-Private Room, which fortunately was going to be occupied only by us.

Soon after, a couple of nurses came to attach the cannula into Sophie’s hand. I honestly thought she would cry out, but she just made a small “Ow!” when she felt the needle prick, and after that, she just stared at her hand as the nurses got to work to cover it.

The time came when she had to be given the antibiotic (through the tube). She was sitting on Hubby’s lap and he was holding her hand to make sure she wouldn’t move too much, when he noticed that it seemed to be dripping. We immediately alerted the nurses who had to remove the entire cover and fix everything again, which most probably forced the needle to move around Sophie’s vein. As Sophie was sitting there, I kept stroking her hair and softly whispered “It’s ok, anak. You’re very brave. Don’t worry, Mommy and Daddy are here,” over and over. Amazingly, she didn’t cry at all! Her eyes would just shift between the nurses and her hand without any sign of pain! The nurses were so amazed at how high Sophie’s tolerance for pain was, because even they told me that what they had done was painful. Wow! 
my brave baby
After that, the next couple of nights and days were a mix of medicines, crying, nappy-changing, nebulizers, eating, preparing milk, drinking, washing, etc, etc. Well, you get the picture.

On the first night, Sophie woke up at 1am and couldn’t sleep until 4am. In between, we would walk in the corridors, watch her video clips on Tisay, feed on some biscuits, and listen to her favourite music on my mobile phone. On the second night, she woke up at 12 midnight and stayed awake until 3am! Again we did the same things. And on both nights err…early mornings, as soon as I had dozed off, a nurse would come in, poke me in the arm and hand me the nozzle of the nebulizer to hold near Sophie’s nose. Augh! It was a good thing Sophie slept longer and would wake up at around 9 or 9:30am, so I would just go along and sleep as well.

The good thing is, her blood and urine results on the second day had improved and her paediatrician gave us the green signal to go home that night. Whew!

The bad thing is, she has fever again today. I noticed it last night when I leaned over to kiss her goodnight as she was sleeping. Haaaay! I hope it’s just because she’s teething and not a relapse of the bacterial infection. 

Please, God, don’t let it be anything more than teething!

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