The Beautiful Miracle That Is Pregnancy.

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The beautiful miracle that is pregnancy. This tiny miracle mutant in your body begins to dictate every single aspect of your life from the way you sleep, to the way you eat, how you function at work, why you cry when you watch Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian. Mothers do not own their bodies for nine whole months. For you to willingly accept a tenant in your own body who manipulates and controls every aspect of your being for a long period of time, that, that my dear friends, is True Love.

Did you know that your body can do a multitude of tasks at any given second? Yessss. Men have no idea about the maximum capacity of bodily functions because they never get pregnant. Yessss. You have not truly lived until you become a mother. Say for example, the mundane task of sneezing. Did you know that you can sneeze AND burp at the same time? Ha. Bet you didn’t know that. Bet you also didn’t know that brushing your teeth, regurgitation and peeing could happen at the same exact time too. Ha. You know nothing and your life experiences pale in comparison to the beautiful miracle that is pregnancy.

It’s awesome being pregnant. I also didn’t know you can produce so much saliva you start to think you can hydrate yourself without drinking any liquid. Bet you also didn’t know the super power of your olfactory nerves. You can actually smell what your neighbor three doors down is cooking for dinner, or what exact liquor your husband drank 18 hours ago. Ha. Bet you didn’t know that. Also, pregnancy is a contradiction of sorts, you don’t like the smell of cooking oil but you want stuff yourself senseless with fried spam, fried hotdog, fried pork, fried chicken. You become completely bipolar and you know it but you can’t really do anything about it. The things we find out during the beautiful miracle that is pregnancy.

It’s great being pregnant. Once the morning sickness goes away, the indigestion and the constipation takes over. Have you tried belching and barfing in supremely high decibels it would put the exorcism sound effects of Linda Blair and Emily Rose to shame? I didn’t know my vocal chords could do that. Seriously. The things we discover during the beautiful miracle that is pregnancy.

It’s lovely being pregnant. I go to work and when I come home at night, and ask the sperm donor husband if he bought me fuji apples and Chowking chicharap and he says, “I’ve had a long day. I forgot about it, I’m sorry. I’m tired.” And my head snaps and faster than you can say sperminator, the pregnant lady can start a verbal and physical assault of nuclear proportions, husband will want to go back to his mother’s womb and come out as a girl instead. Tip to Fathers: You are not growing an arm or a foot or building someone’s brain and liver, therefore, never, ever say you are busy, all the more, never ever say you are tired. And never ever forget the fuji apples and Chowking chicharap. Just breathe. And follow instructions. It’s only for nine months. This beautiful miracle that is pregnancy.

I heard somewhere that the second pregnancy is easier than the first. Ha. My first pregnancy was easy breezy compared to this! I ate like a vacuum and drank like a pirate. Zero physical drama.

My husband and I have fervently prayed, and fervently tried, haha, to give my son a brother or a sister for four years. After several unsuccessful attempts, false positives and mini heartbreaks, we prayed that if we were meant to have a bigger family, we will leave it all up to God. And by some divine intervention, here we are, despite and inspite of the high velocity barfing, zero control over bodily functions and mental and emotional instability, we are “enjoying” and above all, just GRATEFUL for the beautiful miracle that is this pregnancy.

 

 

Post Baby Blues.

Five years ago, I sat in the hospital nursery, staring at my beautiful newborn son. It was less than 24 hours since I gave birth. In the past 10 months, I had a new husband, new job, new family, and now I had a brand new baby too. And I remember feeling ecstatic but exhausted; feeling like laughing and crying at the same time; feeling excited about motherhood but also feeling melancholic because I had to let go of many parts of the old, pre-mama me. I felt proud of myself, for pushing out a 7.2lb human out of my very own vagina but at the same time, questioning if I had the actual balls to raise a child. The list goes on.

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I remember asking the nurse to teach me how to hold him. And as she placed my son in my arms, I remember feeling overwhelmed, my heart pumping like crazy as I tried to hold back tears. I had pictured this moment in my head a million times, but here I was, right smack in the middle of it, and the only thought running through my head was – F*ck. I’m not good enough for this.

I asked the nurse to teach me how to help my baby latch on for breastfeeding. And after a few tries, I started feeling like a huge failure. I shifted my chair and faced the wall, afraid that the nurses, that the other parents in the room have judged me. And I sat silently crying and telling my son to please please please just drink my goddamn milk, and as if he understood my whispered pleas, he started feeding and after a couple of minutes, stopped, and gave me this big, beautiful smile. And amidst a flood of tears and noisy sniffling, I snorted out a laugh.

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And I knew then, this baby, this tiny, helpless, noisy, semi-belligerent human being, had unfathomable power over me. And in that highly emotional, confused state, I was certain of one thing: I loved this baby more than anything or anyone else in the world.

On the day, the nurses showed me how to bathe my baby, I cowered behind my husband. The feeling of being incapable to be given such a monumental task of taking care of another human being  was overwhelmingly real. My hands were sweaty, trembling and I was an emotional and mental mess that when they asked me to comb his hair, I cried. I f*ck*ng cried. I knew everyone thought those were tears of joy, but really, tears for fears would have been a far more accurate description.

When we got out of the hospital, I was a happy spectator rather than a doting participant. I was tremendously relieved when my mother or my sister or my husband or anyone else for that matter would take my son.

Before my Mama Hat, I wore my Events and Marketing Hat with far more courage and bravado. Rubbed shoulders with famous personalities and even met the president of the country without breaking a sweat and batting an eyelash. Yet, there I was, a quivering mess of disoriented mama jelly, scared sh*tless of my very own tiny human.

Don’t get me wrong. Again, I knew I loved my son. I just wasn’t so sure about myself. Would I ever be the perfect mother I was in my imaginations? Would I be enough?

Post partum depression is real. Nobody just talks about it because everybody just expects you to wear your Mama hat as if it was as easy as that, wearing a hat. Or putting on a tshirt. Motherhood, or parenthood, is like any other adventure: preparation is the key to success.

Today, I sit in my messy kitchen, watching my beautiful, gregarious, smart-mouth five year old wreak havoc in the living room. And if only I could turn back time, I will give myself a hug and tell my weepy new mama self, “It’s going to be okay”.

Miggy1

To all the new Mama’s out there, stay-at-home or working, millenials or not-so-millenials, you are not alone. And yes, it’s going to be okay. You are going to be okay and your adorable screaming baby will turn out just fine. 😉

 

Supermom Swagger.

I’ve been staring at piles of laundry for quite some time. Channeling my inner telekinetic powers so they will fly off towards my brand new washing machine and speed dryer by themselves. I’m developing a massive headache and they haven’t moved an inch.

I give up and segregate them into three piles: polychromatic, absence of color and unclassifiable. And being the maniacal obsessive compulsive that I am, all of these piles must be tediously arranged so that it could be pretty enough for Instagram. I digress.

You see, my Facebook / Instagram newsfeed are flooded with pictures of friends… Pictures of travels and fancy shoes and nice bags and dogs whose fur look better than my greasy hair and wine nights and sparkly jewelry. And being the bright ray of fucking sunshine that I am, I start to wonder: Why the hell do they all look so shiny?! And at the heel of that question comes this: What the hell am I doing wrong???

Sure, I’ve got this Superwoman swagger down to T. Wife to hunky devoted husband, megastar mom to a charming and terribly cheeky son, hardworking marketing gal, grad school student plus I have a new washing machine and dryer and flat screen TV so my son could watch Despicable Me in high definition 812 times in a day. Sure. I could do it all. And in my mind, I could have it all. On paper, life looks peachy.

So I look at all these photos and start feeling sorry for myself. Out of 365 days in a year, how many days do I go on wine nights (4 for 2013) How many times did I travel (once for work, local not international)
How many times did I buy myself something nice (estimate: four times – 3 blouses, 3 colored jeggings from a bargain shop, a ring on super sale). And for the past two years, I haven’t had a tequila shot. All these numbers and tallying and I get sucked into the abysmal crypt of depression. Did you know that 10 out of 10 working mothers lose their mind an average of 3 times a day? I have become a statistic. As I strive harder for excellence (at work, in school, at home), I end up farther than where I started. This Superwoman swagger is a boatload of artfully constructed bullcrap.

You see, I WANT to become Superwoman. I NEED to become Superwoman.

Truth is, nowadays, I’m more of a damsel in distress than a superhero. On nights when my son wakes up crying and screaming I want to kick my husband awake and let him cradle Miggy to sleep while I curl up in a corner. On paydays, there are times I’d really rather spend my hard-earned money on that lovely Prada bag than buy toilet paper and dishwashing soap and chicken fillet. You should hear my pep talks/ monologue to myself on cold mornings when it feels so nice to just stay in bed and under the blankets and smell my son’s unwashed hair rather than get up and go to work. On Saturday nights, I seriously would rather watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt on HBO than go clubbing. Seriously. And I do prefer drinking chocolate milk on the rocks compared to beer and vodka and mojitos.

In short, the world I currently live in is a far cry from the glittery galaxy these current social butterflies of friends of mine thrive in. And as I continue to debate on which Downy variant to use for this batch of laundry, I console myself by saying that this is me, this is the life I chose to live. And I should be thankful. And grateful. (Superwoman resolution #1.) And appreciate the things we usually take for granted every day, like having a house to clean, a job, food to cook, family to feed and clothe and do laundry for.

So there. I will stop complaining and start being grateful. Excuse me while I go use my new washing machine and dryer.

The Lottery.

(an entry to an essay writing contest)

The Lottery.

Admit it. You’ve fantasized about it. You’ve lustfully longed for that single moment of pure exhilarating glory.  You’ve always wanted to win the lottery.

But God said, “My child, you need to work your **s off and reap the fruits of hard labor through the annual Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay and through SSS, Pag-Ibig and Philhealth upon retirement age.

So off to work you go.

The fantasy ends and reality begins.

The alarm clock rings at five thirty in the morning, and you drag yourself out of bed because you have to get rid of the disturbing pile of laundry and cook a hearty breakfast and sweep the floors until they’re spotless and bathe the dog and feed the kids all before eight thirty in the morning. Married people are superheroes in disguise.

You work all day, slaving in front of a jurassic computer, sorting out layer upon layers of government documents, feeling like a silly demi-god who approves and disapproves and delays and expedites. The workforce is tough. But this is your world.

You go home at five o’clock, lustfully yearning for the comfort of your middle-class bed with bargain bed sheets and buy one take one pillows. You’d like to take a bubble bath but you don’t have a tub so you’d settle for a cold shower in your cramped bathroom with cracked tiles. You think of bumming in front your eight-year-old non-HD 21-inch television with a pack of peanuts and cold glass of soft drink but you can’t because the kids, the grandmas, the house help and the next door neighbors are dying to know the next plot in the telefantastic primetime series.

Because this routine of yours is like clockwork, you relentlessly pursue your lottery dreams. Your future lies in the random numerical combinations that sprout from your heart and head. Your chances of winning big are calculatedly slim. And yet, it gives you a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, life could be better than this. . . That maybe, just maybe, lady luck smiles upon you.

Still, mid-month harsh reminders of reality get delivered to your door.

Electric bills. Insurance. Water bills. Groceries. Phone bills. Appliances. Cable TV bills. Credit Card bills. Bills.

You get sucked into an abysmal vortex of lifestyle redundancy. Romance begins and ends in your imagination. Passion is overtaken by habit. Spontaneity is overshadowed by responsibility.

Department store raffle draws give you that welcome surge of adrenaline amidst monotonous day-to-day living and lottery picks are tiny specks of colorful fantasies in your black and white reality.

This – – – this gives you hope.

So why pick this? Why pick me?

Pick this because this is the story of two ordinary people who have unselfishly devoted their lives to their families. Not one, but two families. Not one, but two households. These people have given up their dreams just so others could fulfill theirs.

Choose this because you might be able to give two individuals a chance to momentarily leave behind their middle-class domestic lifestyle and immerse themselves in a world that truly defines comfort and luxury. So that they may fully enjoy high quality memory foam beds with goose feathers comforters. And watch high definition cable on huge LCD screens. Solo ownership of the TV remote control. Tranquility at its finest.

This story could be about you. You waking up every morning, thinking that this day is seemingly no different from the last.  Ordinary you, hoping and wishing that maybe, just maybe, life could get better than this. You – – – who would like to enjoy bubble baths and hot showers in a squeaky clean ginormous bathroom. Or eat breakfast food that you didn’t cook yourself. Rest and relaxation.

Pick me. Because I believe that ordinary people deserve extraordinary surprises. Even for just one day. Even for just awhile. Even for just a minute. To play fairy godmother or genie or quasi-DTI representative for just one time because you believe that good things happen to great people.

Pick me. Because I have a dream.

To make them feel like royalty.

To make them believe that some dreams do come true.

To show them that their reality could be far more better than their fantasies.

But most of all, to say Thank You in an entirely unconventional public way for all their selfless acts and countless sacrifices for the family.

To the two people who have always dreamed of winning the lottery.

To two individuals who have taught me how to dream. And to hope. And to pray. And to write.

This one is for you.

Love, your daughter.

Paradise. And Beyond.

“Welcome to luxury.” … the resort brochure states.

Yes. You have reached paradise. Let your vacation begin.

You sit on your private seaside terrace with spectacular views of greenery and landscaped blooms, meters away from the rising tide and then you start to think…

Don’t you sometimes wonder how you could possibly miss the opportunities to enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Like how the sun spectacularly sets amidst rippling cool seawaters. Or how the air smells refreshingly  pure with just a hint of ocean mist and cow dung. Or how the chirping of crickets lull you to a peaceful slumber and quasi catatonic stage. Or how the presence of your family and friends give you a warm and comfortable fuzzy feeling. This is the life. And this is how life should be. Peaceful. Content. Serene. Sober. And grateful.

With a seemingly endless selection of cable TV channels, an extraordinarily comfortable bed with 900 thread count bed sheets. The fluffiest sort of pillows that just swallow up your big city-person head. The luxurious feel of a semi-public peek-a-boo bathtub  filled with the tantalizing floral aromas out of a resort-branded bottle of bubble bath soap. Grime-free transparent shower panels manufactured to not leave anything for personal privacy. And of course, those little take-me-home hotel bottles of shampoo and bodywash for your ever growing collection of ultimate vacation memorabilia.

Yep. This is how life should be. Comfortable. Luxurious. Everyday should be a vacation.

Great concierge service means being driven to your room in a sparkly white service golf cart with a butler to carry your Speedo bags, your laptop case and the pretentious sports bag containing your smuggled goods of canned beer and assorted junkfood and the plastic of container of corned-tuna-that-you-must-have-for-breakfast-but-really-you-just-don’t-wanna-pay-for-the-1,200-pesos-per-person-for-breakfast-rate. What a nice butler you have turning a blind eye to your poor smuggling talents.

Amazing welcome services mean when they bring you your complimentary welcome drinks, they ask you if you’d prefer wine because you look like a stress-driven hag. Ah. Sympathy for alcoholic anonymous members.

Prompt delivery means when you want ice, they hand deliver it to your villa and ten minutes later because you think the ice has taken imperfect shapes and is not your desired frozen texture, they deliver another bucket pronto. Maybe if you demand an ice carving of Shaquille O’Neal, they just might give that.

Technical assistance means sending their IT person because you can’t connect to the wifi and the kind sir fixes your computer bugs as extra service. Hello free internet. Hello email. Hello Facebook. Wootwoot.

Outstanding Bar services here. You could lose your non-alcoholic resolutions at this place. An order of double shot bailey’s comes with mixed nuts with an aesthetic value worthy of Masterchef of the Universe positive criticism and if you bat your lashes the kindest bartender will give you seven extra red super plum cherries.

Superb Facilities and amenities include a 4 feet infinity pool, 3.5  feet plunge pools and numerous fountains, which spout perfectly synchronized jets of crystal clear chlorinated waters, boasting hues of royal blue which sparkle against the midday sun and becomes intensely translucent when the sun sets and darkness falls. Swimming is great physical exercise for vertebrates especially if your vertebrae falls under the scoliotic slash osteoporosis-bound category. And if you swim one lap in this pool and fail, you most definitely are on the verge of lung collapse from all the torrid smoking of your adolescence. But… BUT… don’t you worry. Beneath the contemporary and industrial designs of these hydro magnificence runs the glorious fountain of youth. Carry on. Swim forth and reproduce.

Yep. This is how life should be.

Butlers. Golf carts to ride to your room. Perfect ice. Fastest wifi ever. Beer. Baileys. Smuggling isn’t considered a crime punishable by law. Breathtaking views of the ocean when you wake up and when you sleep. Super sanitized bathrooms. Unlimited stationery. Free pens. Your own private pool. All with seven cherries on top.

But life isn’t like this.

When the vacation ends and we go home to our non-airconditioned humble abodes, the fantasy ends.

Buy one take one bedsheets from a popular local department store. Stiff neck pillows. Kabo-and-balde and a dysfunctional shower head which leaves you the impression of having someone spit on you. A refrigerator full of take-out fast food and remainders of yesterday’s lunch. An open bottle of local rhum. Freezers which take forever to produce one tray of miniature ice cubes. Disgustingly disappointing internet service provider. And ho-hum views of your next door neighbours firewall. No cherries. No pool.

But it’s your life. And you chose to live that life. And it’s your house. Moreover, it’s your home.

That tiny little piece of real estate and that old school roofing with flawed architectural home structure is the only place you could call home. With the endearing boisterousness that comes with the presence of your loved ones and the redundant yipping of your beloved canine. Yes. That is home. And you realize that no other place could ever be like this; even the most idyllic spot in the entire galaxy could never be at par with the simple excellence of your warm, lovingly built home.

You don’t actually miss the opportunities to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. You just miss the opportunities to be thankful for all the little things you take for granted everyday. Like watching obstructed views of the sunset from your shabby chic garage. Or listen to the polluted but familiar air rustling the leaves of the mango trees outside your window. Or enjoying the innocent laughter of random genetically unrelated children smashing your figurine collection. Or how the presence of your loved ones make you feel that nothing else in the whole entire world matters but them.

Your vacation has ended and your departure from paradise catapults you back to reality.

Some will say ‘we’ll always have paris’. But you – – – YOU will always have those hotel bottles of citrus scent shampoo and body wash proudly displayed on the bathroom cabinet. To remember the fun times. And to remind you that you could always bring a little piece of paradise, relive a little bit of the fantasy , and share a little bit of luxury to wherever home may be. J

To Mommy on my wedding day.

Dear mommy,

Today,I will get married. I will become someone’s wife even if I don’t know how to cook or do laundry or take care of a plant or sew a button on. I will become someone’s daughter-in-law even though I haven’t really perfected the art of being YOUR daughter. I will become someone else’s sister even if I’m still in the scream-kick-punch-strangle stage with mine. Wife,daughter-in-law,sister-in-law… All these new roles to play but I will always keep coming back to one: Mommy’s Girl. No matter where I go, or what I do, or who I’m with, I will always be thankful for everything you’ve done for me. For being unselfish with your time, your efforts, your money, your support and most of all, your love.

Through the worst times, you never showed us weakness. And through my bad times, I gather strength from you. If I could be half the wife and mother that you were, I’d be set for life. But I know I could never be like you because there’s no one else like you.

Thank you for buying me all those books because they taught me to believe in fairytales, to dream without limits and to explore endless possibilities.

Thank you for all those yummy, mouth watering, fattening, cholesterol-loaded meals that you cook because they taught me meals and mealtimes should be shared with family and friends.

Thank you for buying me new clothes and jeans with bigger waist sizes because it makes me feel like I will always be accepted and loved no matter how much weight I gain or how long skin allergy stays or how many zits I grow.

Thank you for understanding my cigarette-smoking-beer-drinking-party-girl rebel days because I now realize if I didn’t go through that, I would be a very confused, very bitter, very naïve, very boring 50-year-old with a whole lot of what-ifs and regrets. True, experience is the best teacher.

Thank you for accepting my friends,old and new alike, into our home and into our lives. they are the best support group anyone could ever ask for. But most of all, thank you for accepting Mike without questions, for trusting him without doubts, for treating him like he’s been part of the family for a long time, for giving love that is beyond unconditional.

Thank you for everything Mommy. I can never say thank you enough. All that I am, I owe to you. And all I ever will be, will be in honor of you.

Love, Lizette.

Reasons why my mom is the world’s best mom.

Reasons Why My Mom is the World’s Best Mommy

1. Because she gave birth to ME… her smart, intelligent, superior IQ, uber cool daughter. Harhar.

2. Because she lives with the fact that she is the mother to a bratty, messy kid named Jizelle. Ahahahahaha.

3. Because she cooks the best spaghetti, kinilaw, champorado, ginabot…. ok. Well. She cooks the best everything.

4. When i was 7, she taught me to play cards. Good thing i didn’t mutate into a reckless gambler.

5. When i was 13, she came home one day and found my bedroom wall plastered with pictures of strange men from foreign countries and all she said was ‘Nice. Aren’t you going to put Leonardo di Caprio on your cabinet door too?’.

6. When i was 17, i dated a boy with long hair, scruffy beard, multiple ear piercings and drove really fast cars. My dad wanted to roast him alive but my mom said she wanted to comb his hair and tie it into a clean ponytail.

7. When i was in college, my best friend and i usually took crazy spontaneous out of town trips and when i came back after weeks of not coming home, my mom would just say ‘Did you take any pictures?’.

8. Because she lets me and my friends drink ourselves to death and in the morning she’d feed the stupid, noisy ,hung-over kids a big breakfast feast without the usual stop-drinking momma litany.

9. Because she just lets me be. 🙂 because she lets me live my life the way i want to live it.

10. Because she lets us eat junk food. Better yet, she buys bags and bags of chips and chocolates until we actually get tired of eating it. Mommy is a gluttony advocate.

11. Because she’s friends with all my friends and likes recalling all the embarrassing better-forgotten incidents we got ourselves into.

12. Because she goes into instant shopping spree mode and we get to tag along! Yey!

13. Because she is Contemporary Cyber Supermom. She yells ‘it’s dinner time!’ on facebook. Coolness.

14. Because she treats Mike like he’s always been part of the family. Bought him a bed and built a cabinet so all of mike’s clothes would have a place of their own. haha.

15. Because even though i’m 27 and my sister is 24, we still crawl into her bed and she pretends we’re not huge and fat and big and ginormous. She should buy a bigger bed.

16. Because she accurately reads my mind. ESPP- extra sensory parental perception. Tsk tsk. Must control x-rated thoughts.

17. Because she acknowledges the fact that she is genetically mathematically incapacitated and she has passed this on to her daughters, she enrolled us in Kumon, paid for math tutors, bought me the most expensive scientific calculator money could buy and supported me through six failed college math courses.

18. Because she taught me badminton. The only sport i am actually great at.

19. Because there’s this space at the garage and i know she’s secretly preparing it in case i kill somebody in anger and rage and she’d help me chop, burn and bury the body. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

20. Because when i was fourteen, i was a huge Spice Girl fan and she bought me elevator platform shoes so i could sing ‘Colors of the World, Spice up your Life’ in complete costume.

To my supermom, Happy mother’s day!