Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY 2008!!!

To my friends --- old and new

Thank you from my bottomless heart for a wonderful 2007!!!

My sincere wish for all of you as we all welcome the new year:

May many opportunities come your way
May all of your dreams turn into reality
And all of your efforts into great achievements
May you be surrounded with LOVE and JOY
And gifted with a HUMBLE HEART
that understands
GOD'S mysterious but AMAZING ways



Superman throws in the towel

Yesterday I blogged about taking my DF to the hospital due to high blood pressure. He was thankfully discharged after more than 2 hours and sent home with additional medicines to take. But the whole day today, DM and I monitored him and his blood pressure didn't improve much. In fact, at around dinner time it escalated again to I think 170/100. As soon as I got home, DM texted me saying they were on their way to St. Luke's this time (he had his angiogram there a few yrs ago and DM was thinking this might be able to help the doctors). I told her to convince him not to go home anymore and to have himself confined so we can really find out what's wrong. I promised her I would help make him kulit about it. Our strategy (a.k.a. NAGGING) worked because he finally admitted defeat and allowed himself to be confined.

But that's not even the bad part

Earlier today, after waking up from my afternoon nap with Sabine, I found my helper crying in her room downstairs and I was alarmed at the sight of her. Turns out she just got a text message from her sister saying their mother had passed on. I couldn't believe it. Don't get me wrong...I'm not one of those employers from hell. In fact, I felt so sorry seeing her that way. But I think I felt a just little bit more sorry for myself that very minute. Yaya is still on vacation and for a while I didn't even think I could get a 2nd helper to replace the delinquent one I sent home weeks ago. Now that I've found one, this unfortunate thing happens and my hands are tied because how can I not allow her to go??? She's not leaving me permanently though. Just needs time to see her mother, be with family and take care of the arrangements for the burial. It's just that the timing is so OFF.

I don't even know how I can manage to take care of my Dad in the hospital (I am hoping and praying though that it's nothing major and that he can go home in no time) because I definitely have to be home with the kids.

Dilemmas...dilemmas. Funny though because I'm quite thankful that these problems are coming just as the year is about to close. I'd feel worse if I have to start 2008 this way.

Inhale, exhale!

Skinny girls in skinny jeans

Even if it's difficult sometimes due to their age gap, I love dressing my girls up in matching outfits (sometimes I even manage to find something for myself to match the both of them). I got them these tops from Gingersnaps and their skinny jeans are from H&M.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Dad is Superman...

...or so he thinks! He's the most stubborn person I know. The thing he hates most is going to the doctor. He's been self-medicating for as long as I can remember. Even before he retired, he never took advantage of the yearly executive check-ups provided for top executives like himself. So when he says "I want to go to the hospital", I'm supposed to get really, really scared because that can only mean he isn't feeling well at all.

DH, Sabine and I were all set to go to Megamall earlier tonight to buy a TV rack for the master's bedroom when I got a call from my Dad's friend, EP. I was asked if I had spoken to my Dad earlier and I said I hadn't. Turns out his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 just a few minutes back and his friends were sending their driver over to pick him up and take him to Medical City.

I arrived at the ER less than half an hour after that phonecall and found my DF lying on a bed in one of their cubicles. His bp was still the same and I began to panic a bit. It was hard to conceal my fear because I knew he was nervous too and I didn't want him to worry about me.

I had flashbacks of being in the Cardinal Santos ER just before Christmas when we rushed Sabine there and I truly hated the fact that I was in another ER so soon after that traumatic experience! I had goosebumps the entire time and I kept praying they wouldn't have to keep DF in the hospital.

I am now finally home after spending a good 3 1/2 hrs in Medical City and I'm glad DF was sent home, too. He was just told to continue taking his maintenance meds and given extra medicine to take care of his nasty cold. Apparently, what could have caused the episode was his intake of Neozep, which he shouldn't have taken in the first place. Hayyyy!!!

As I type I'm still texting him, reminding him not to disregard doctors' orders and to post the written instructions on his nightstand so he wouldn't forget to take his medications. He's joking around and calling me "makulit" OA just like my Mom. Argh...sino kaya ang makulit na ayaw makinig???

Hirap magpalaki ng magulang!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My hectic Christmas

Went back to work today. I had a short meeting with one of the girls here and the first thing she said was, Ma'am you look like you're "puyat". She's right. I haven't had much sleep at all. I guess this is the case for most people during the holidays, because of all the festivities and not to mention the last minute shopping trips which could prove to be so stressful. But this year is extra hectic for me. Other than the above-mentioned reasons, Yaya is also on a 2-week vacation.

Christmas Eve started out with a dinner with my side of the family, then a 10pm mass. After that, it was off to meet up with DH's sisters, nephews, nieces so the kids could open their gifts at the strike of midnight, a tradition for years now. Sabine was already asleep in the car on the way there but woke up just as I was about to get off and stayed awake the whole time. I thought she'd go back to sleep as soon as we got back in the car and left but NO. She was up the whole time going home and stayed that way til about 2:30am. I was begging her to go to sleep but she didn't want to and busied herself with her new Dora the Explorer drum set from Santa.
Christmas Day was going to be busy as well. I woke up at 9am, still feeling dizzy and tired and found out through a text message that my all-around helper, whom I allowed to spend Christmas Eve with her family, wasn't going to make it back home on time. ARGH!!! I thought I was gonna get some help with Sabine that morning but oh well...such is life and it was too special a day for me to be feeling upset. By 1pm we were out of the house and on our way (albeit late) to our Christmas Day lunch with DH's Dad's side of the family. The food was delicious and overflowing as always and when Sabine decided to take a nap, so did I hahaha! I was so fast asleep that they didn't even bother to wake me up for the usual family group photo hehehe. By around 5pm we were on our way to pick up DM for our dinner with DF. By this time, my head was throbbing fulltime. That's what happens to me when I take power naps. I always end up with a really nasty headache. Even after I took some Advil, the pain didn't go away. It was a miracle I was able to enjoy dinner while taking care of my super hyper little one. It helped that Anissa is so patient with her little sister. So while I was hurriedly eating my dinner, I asked her to take over being yaya for a few minutes.

We got home at 10pm and I swear by this time everything was just a blur. I took a quick shower, made sure the kids changed into their pajamas and brushed their teeth, said good night to DM and DH and was off to dreamland in (I'm sure) less than 5 minutes after crashing into bed.

Today thank God I feel a bit recharged after sleeping for 8 1/2 hours straight, something which I haven't done in a while.

How was your Christmas? =)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mommy blues : she's no longer a little girl =(

Okay, I know I've been in denial for the longest time but it's slowly starting to hit me. Anissa will be turning 12 in March, just one more year and she'll officially be a teenager. But as early as now, I see very visible (and painful) signs of her wanting to let go. First, she's been sleeping in her own room now. She uses the excuse that the airconditioning in the master's bedroom is way too cold and she hates it when she has to wake up in the middle of the night, find her blanket and finds it difficult to go back to sleep because of the temperature. I believed this at first. Until I noticed that even during the day she'd ask me if she could turn the aircon in her room on. Everytime she gets a phonecall (from girls naman all the time), she would immediately retreat into the TV room or the bedroom which she shares with Sabine and stays there until the conversation is over. It's the little things like those that I've been ignoring lately. Sure I know they are sure signs that she is growing up. Privacy has become an issue to hear and isn't that one of the first things parents and teenagers argue about???

This morning though, I felt like I received a major BOP on the head when my DM and I were talking over morning coffee and I was telling her I wanted to get the girls a new bed, maybe a double-decker. Turns out, Anissa told DM recently how badly she wants to have her own room. And I quote ...Momsie, you know how much I love my sister right? But I really, really want to have my own room na.

Oh me this is a major thing. She hasn't told me this yet to my face but I'm sure one of these days when she finds me in a good mood and not my usual masungit self, she will. I know it sounds a tad too shallow to be dwelling on (heck, she wants to move out of my room, not the house!) but regardless of the circumstance, I was already warned by mommy friends who have older children : it's the letting go part that really kills you. Whether it's allowing them to move to their own room, go out with friends unchaperoned, go to parties, go out of town, get married! It just gets worse and worse waaahhh!

I'm not gonna say anything to her just yet (in denial pa rin). Maybe I'll wait for her to come and talk to me and ask me straight. I hope that won't be too soon.

I keep trying to imagine how I'd react once she starts getting suitors but I end up getting goosebumps at the mere thought! But DH (who, take note, is Anissa's stepdad)? I know exactly how he would deal with this situation. A boy in our compound started to show a liking for Anissa last year and what did DH do? When the boy was about to ring our doorbell, DH stood there in front of the kid and stared at him for like 10 secs without saying a word. The little boy ran home and never came back

How safe are we in our own homes?

I kept calling one of my bestfriends tonight but her phone was out of reach. I made several attempts, maybe 4, but the calls didn't go through. It was rather unusual because she's one person who always has her phone with her. She replies to my texts immediately and always picks up when I call. When I arrived at our dinner, I asked her why she was out of reach and why she looked like she hadn't had any sleep at all. Turns out that her cellphone (as well as her DH's) was stolen last night. HOW? Someone broke into their home and took the phones plus some cash without them even knowing it.

The really alarming thing is this...she and her DH both sleep with their cellphones next to them, just in case someone calls with an emergency. She couldn't imagine how this person was able to enter their room and grab their phones without waking any of them up (they have 4 kids and all of them sleep in the same room). Nevermind the cellphone, she can easily replace it, I know. What really kills her is that feeling of violation. She was in bed, in her nightgown, in God-knows-what position, when the thief (a male, as they would later find out) so courageously walked into their bedroom. And she keeps thinking...this guy knows how she looks. He could be walking around their village stalking her and she wouldn't even know it was him.

They live in an upscale village in the south. I've been there a million times and security is really strict. She always has to call the guardhouse and give them my license plate everytime I visit. The few times she forgot to do this, the guards would ask me to park my car on the side and wait for them to confirm with my bestfriend if she was indeed expecting me. So the only thing she and her DH could think of was this was done by somebody who already lives in the village. A druggie maybe? A construction worker? Driver? Houseboy? They don't know.

It's a good thing they have guards who roam the village on a scooter round the clock. It was one of them that noticed that there was a man standing outside their house at around 1am, looking around as if to check if there was anybody watching him. That's when the guard called the clubhouse and the clubhouse called my bestfriend's house. That was the only time they woke up and realized that things were missing. Oh and she also left 3,000 bucks on the fridge with a magnet and that was gone, too. Obviously this guy had been in the house long enough.

I don't live in an upscale village but I do live within a guarded community. I'm thinking, if this can happen to them, it can happen to anyone right? I told her to just be grateful that nobody got hurt or that none of them woke up while the thief was there. Can you just imagine how he would have reacted if one of them caught him? I shudder at the thought!

Lesson learned : one can never be too careful. Even if you think your neighborhood is safe, lock your doors and your windows before you retire at night. Better safe than sorry.

I hope my bestfriend recovers from her traumatic experience soon and the village authorities manage to catch whoever is responsible before he victimizes other homeowners in the area.

Excuses, excuses! =p

Trust most men to always be clueless when it comes to gift giving. The only man I know who doesn't need anyone else's help or opinion when it comes to buying gifts for women is my DF. Not once has he bought the wrong thing for either me or my Mom. We always end up with something we like and better yet, something that fits! My DF belongs to a rare breed

DH, on the other hand? Haayy, no element of surprise at all. He chooses to "disguise" his ignorance with the argument : why guess when it's much safer to ask you what you want or need? So what does he do? He asks me what I want, we go to the mall and I point it out to him. Okay ba yan???

This year though for my birthday, he told me utang muna my gift so that got me thinking. Either he didn't have money yet (hahaha!) or he was actually preparing to surprise me with something. I kinda forgot all about it na 'til he got back from HK. I mentioned in another blog that he had problems with the Customs people at the airport and while he was stuck there, I was on the phone with his younger sister who said, "What is he bringing ba??? Puro shoes naman daw yung pinag-iinitan. Diba yung TV he had it sent door to door?" And I was like --- TV? What TV? And I heard a few seconds of silence on the other end of the line hahaha!

When he got home from the airport, I immediately confronted him about this TV thing. And he was quick to say...oh no, the surprise is ruined! I knew he was careful not to upset me because I'm usually against his gadget and electronics purchases. I always give him the 3rd degree and he probably knew I would again subject him to an interrogation. it is.

My supposed belated birthday gift (na papakinabangan din naman nya). But it doesn't end here. He's now looking for a new, more high-tech player to complement this set kasi hindi na daw pwede our current Philips DVD player. Sige na nga lusot na!

My Holiday Gratitude List

It's sad that I've stopped making my daily thank you list. I used to do this religiously until I somehow just forgot to do it. I know I should be blogging about a wish list instead, just like everyone else has. But I'd rather write about the things I'm grateful for. Anyhoo...there is no better time than now to get back into that old habit.

Just some of the things I am TRULY thankful for and proud to share with everyone here:

FAMILY - it's a given, of course. DF, who in his own way never fails to make me feel that I'm still Daddy's little girl. Even if he has successfully managed to spoil my girls to bits, he remains to be the number one authority on anything and everything that concerns all of us. True, he is dictatorial and sometimes even extremely controlling but that's how he is and I wouldn't even dream of having him any other way than what I've grown accustomed to in my 39 yrs. He is overprotective yet extremely loving in his own way. DM, for being 101% ready to catch me anytime AND she knows exactly when I need to be caught! She's like this huge safety net, forever outstretched and prepared to soften all of my otherwise lethal falls. DB, for forever being the family's baby. I sometimes complain about having to still take care of him in all of his 37 yrs but I guess I'll also be the first to say that as an older sister, it's a job I probably won't ever want to give up. He's the girls' favorite Ninong. Although he's just like DF, not too showy or vocal, my girls are so endeared to him and I love him to death for treating them like his own. DH...what can I say? He made my dream of being a SAHM come true for almost 2 years. And although I've discovered that it is not entirely for me and I chose to work part-time again to regain my identity (and financial independence), he remains supportive and told me he'll always be that way no matter what I decide to do with my life hehehe. His super powers are still in full force. I love that he is such a problem-solver. I never have to worry so much about what to do when a crisis comes up. He's always on his toes, armed with a solution everytime. He's a big baby sometimes but aren't they all? My DDs who are my constant and permanent source of happiness and fulfillment. I'm always at a loss for words whenever I think of them and how much they've changed my life. DH's family, my in-laws, for always being first to run to his rescue anytime and everytime. Their closeness is unparalleled, one for the books.

FRIENDS - My Christmas list is definitely longer than it used to be but I'm not complaining. I thank both those who have stayed with me all these years, and the ones whom I discovered I should've crossed off my list ages ago hahaha! Seriously speaking, my friends are one of my biggest treasures. I couldn't possibly have gone through all of life's trials without them and I am what I am today largely due to my relationships with them.

THE HAVIES and other online friends - These girls have proven beyond doubt that you CAN find true and lasting friendships online. I don't have to say much because they know how grateful I am for having them around. Just like my other friends whom I've known for so long, they've been there for me and I know in my heart they always will be. I'm also proud to have met and touched base with a few new ones. Cheers to all of you and here's to many more crazy conversations and fun EBs!

WORK FRIENDS AND BOSSES - Some of you might think that having 3 bosses is a killer. In a way, it is. But in my case, it's more a blessing than a disadvantage. I work as a Consultant for 3 big companies and report on a regular basis to 3 bosses...3 wonderful and understanding people! Only 2 weeks into my new job, Sabine was hospitalized and I had to be on emergency leave. I was scared of having to do this so early in my work but was shocked at how supportive and understanding they were about the situation. In less than 10 minutes after I told one of them about my predicament, the texts started to come in from everyone else in the team. All of them with the same concerned just be with my baby first and not to worry about work because we're a team and they're ready to cover for me for as long as needed and that family should always come first. Awwww! I cried when I read their messages and thanked them silently for making things so much easier for me. Yesterday over lunch, one of my 3 bosses pulled me aside and told me in confidence how much she loves my work so far and that if she were asked to give me an evaluation, she'd put this down : I LOVE PATTY. Period. Absolutely one of the best Christmas gifts I've received so far.

MY EVER LOYAL "YAYAY" - Yaya Mila has been with me since Anissa was born almost 12 yrs ago. Took care of Anissa and is now taking care of Sabine. She's more than just a nanny. She's also a friend and to me, a family member. Even if i try, I'll never be able to thank her enough for her dedication and the love she's given both my girls. She laughs with us when the girls are happy, is just as proud as I am about their achievements and cries with me when they're sad or sick. I know I'll always be able to rest easy and not worry about anything when she's around and I really hate to think that one day when the girls are all grown up, she'll choose to go home and be with her kids for a change. We just love her so much.

The list can go on and on because really...there is just TOO MUCH to be thankful for this year. It's always good to remember our blessings, big or small, to keep us grounded and in touch with reality. When things get too toxic or when we seem to be badgered with problems, it's best not to forget that God doesn't sleep, HE never just gives us trials. There is always a certain amount of "good in every bad". All we need to do is OPEN our eyes to see.

Pre-Christmas woes (with a happy ending hehe!)

Months ago, I had to let go of my all-around helper whom we had all grown to like so much because of her pleasing disposition and eagerness to learn. She lost her eldest son to Tuberculosis and although she wanted badly to come and work for us again in order to repay her debts, we couldn't take the risk. I was heartbroken to say the least. I wanted to continue helping her. They're dirt poor and she really needs to work to feed her family. Since then, I haven't been able to find a decent replacement for her. But it wasn't much of a huge problem because I only went back to work part-time recently. Last month, I thought we had finally solved our problem when we found another helper. I spoke too soon! Talk about a nightmare! I never had major helper problems before. My yaya's been with me for almost 12 yrs and I had another helper before who stayed 6 yrs with us. This new one was something else though. I thought I had heard enough horror stories about helpers but this one was just too much for me to handle. To cut the long story short, I got rid of her a day after we came home from the hospital with Sabine. Bad timing, I know. I had to report back to work the day after and yaya was so tired from all the stress in the hospital. But she was this huge headache that wouldn't go away no matter how nicely we treated her (I know I may come off as mataray and snobbish at first glance but I'm really good to my helpers and treat them like family---maybe to a fault sometimes). So there, she was gone in an instant and I again found myself wondering when I could replace her. I called and texted everyone I knew to be on the lookout for me. I've never gone to an agency and unless I'm truly desperate, I never will. A lot of people say that helpers who come from agencies are even bigger problems most of the time so I don't even want to consider talking to one.

Luckily, SIL's "manang" found us another one almost right away. She came to the house last Wednesday and as soon as I met her, I knew instantly that things were going to be okay. You know that feeling you get in your gut? I've always relied on it, especially when it comes to hiring people (even at work). Sometimes all it takes is one conversation, even for just a few minutes, and something will tell you whether this person is right for the job or not. I felt a lasting sense of relief when I met and talked to her for the first time. I can't really explain it, it's just there and it tells me "okay yan, go ahead". 3 days later today, I still know I was right. I've talked to her a few times about her family, her goals, why she decided to work. Inspite of the sadness she feels about leaving her 2 small kids behind at home, she has this generally happy disposition and that's what I like most about her. Not to mention the fact that she's really masipag and has initiative. I don't need to tell her what to do because even before I open my mouth, I usually find out she's done it already.

Haaayyy salamat, I can rest easy for now. Yaya is leaving for her annual vacation on the 24th and will be gone for 2 weeks. I didn't have the heart to stop her because she usually goes in August and wasn't able to leave this year. She's a mother too so I understand why she's dying to go home.

Oh and as if the helper dilemma wasn't enough, a day before we checked out of the hospital, DH discovered that a water pipe burst and we had a leak in the living room! WHAAAT??? Stop stop stop ayoko naaaaaa! So needless to say, we came home to a chaotic environment. My furniture was stacked, the ceilings were bare, everything was in disarray! My poor girls had to be locked up in their room, airconditining 24/7 and were bored out of their wits. Thank heavens for DH's super powers...he was able to find someone to do the work right away and they worked really fast to fix the problem. Now the house is back to normal and the kids can run about again like they're used to. All is quiet on the homefront and I'm so happy that even if we had one problem after another, it all still happened before Christmas. Last-minute nga lang but atleast!

And so goes my pre-Christmas rant. Not really a rant because we're all thankful that things have settled down just as the festivities are about to begin. I'm so looking forward to the party we're attending tonight. Our first time to have fun again after everything that's happened, plus we'll be with good friends whom we haven't seen in a while. I don't care that we have to drive all the way to Sta. Rosa, Laguna to do this. It's something we truly deserve and will surely have fun doing (I'm trying my best not to imagine the traffic along the SS Highway later).

Tomorrow, DH and I will be out the whole day because the girls still don't have their Christmas clothes and shoes and we haven't bought them their gifts too HAHAHA. Our middle names might as well be "last minute".

Breathe deeply, Patty! Only 2 more sleeps and it'll be Santa time!!!

P.S. I almost forgot to mention just how thankful I am for having my DM around. She's always there when I need her (and even when I don't, she insists that I need her anyway). She took care of the house while Sabine was confined, monitored Anissa because I didn't want her to sleep in the hospital with us, took control of just about everything while DH and I were running around like headless chickens! Thank heavens talaga for mothers!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Yaaaayyy I found her!

Remember the little girl I wrote about previously?

The one who totally stole my heart at the PGH Pediatric Cancer Ward Christmas Party?

I found her!!!

Actually, it was my friend Tet S. who did but not after I badgered her to get me an address or a telephone number or anything I can use
to get in touch.

Thanks for coming through for me, Tetski!!! I really, really owe you one!

I really can't wait to see Shobe again and I keep thinking of what I can do to surprise her

Lunch or merienda in Jollibee?
Carnival rides?
Pasyal in the bay area? (she lives somewhere
in the City of Manila)
A movie perhaps?

So much I want to do with and for her. Anissa is super excited to meet her and is helping me plan our next move.

Thank goodness it's not Barney!

At 18 months old, Sabine has an official favorite character --- Dora the Explorer (whom she calls Wowa)! I purposedly didn't introduce her to Barney and Friends because I got so sick of them when Anissa was growing up. In fact, for about 2 or 3 consecutive years her birthday party theme was Barney waaahhhh!

Recently, one of her Ninangs gave her a Baby Bop toy and she stared at it for about 10 secs. My friend wondered why and I said hehehe that's cause she has no clue who Baby Bop is. I felt victorious!!!

I'm sure I'll get tired of Dora and Boots at some point but let's face it, she's much cuter and more endearing.


Just want to share...

The first thing I wanted to do after Sabine was discharged from the hospital was to blog about what happened in the 5 days that we were holed up (did that) and share my "take aways" from that terrible experience. I was even more inspired to do it after my friend, Janis posted in my other entry about wanting to learn about how to deal with Febrile seizures. To Janis and the other Moms out there, I hope this helps.

What is a Febrile Seizure?

It is a convulsion in young children caused by a sudden spike in body temperature, often from an infection. Watching your child experience a Febrile Seizure can be alarming (to say the least). The seizure may last only a few minutes, though it may seem like an eternity!

Fortunately, Febrile Seizures aren't as dangerous as they look. A seizure triggered by a sudden fever is usually harmless and typically doesn't indicate a long-term or ongoing problem. Often, a Febrile Seizure occurs before parents even realize that their child is ill.

More facts:
  • Febrile Seizures affect 2-4% of children ages 6 months to 5 years.
  • Although fairly common, it is still best to seek medical attention after one occurs to make sure you know what caused the fever in the first place.
  • If your child is prone to Febrile Seizures, you might be able to prevent them by treating the fever EARLY.
Signs and symptoms:
  • The child may lose consciousness
  • Shaking and jerking of the arms and legs on both sides of the body
  • Rolls his/her eyes back in the head
  • Have trouble breating
  • Lose urine
  • Vomit
  • Cry or moan
How can you help prevent it from happening?

The key is to NOT WAIT for your child's temperature to rise. Once the temperature reaches 38, give the child a dose of paracetamol (not aspirin). Wipe the child's body with a cool cloth from time to time. It would help to have supppositories in stock in your refrigerator as these can also control the fever quite effectively. Make sure your child drinks lots of fluids and don't bundle him/her up too tightly at night. If fever persists inspite of these, do not think twice about seeking medical attention.

What to do when it happens at home or anywhere away from the hospital:

  • Place your child on his or her side, somewhere where he/she will not fall
  • Stay close to watch and comfort your child
  • Remove any hard or sharp objects nearby
  • Loosen any tight or restrictive clothing
  • Don't restrain your child or interfere with his/her movements
  • Don't slap, pinch or bite the child during a seizure. Contrary to popular Filipino belief, this will not stop the seizure.
It's best to be informed, Mommies. I felt so helpless when Sabine had a seizure last Friday. We were so lucky that it happened a few minutes after we got to the emergency room. Otherwise, I would have been TOTALLY CLUELESS about what to do. I've learned my lesson and this entry will serve as a constant reminder for me, too. heartfelt thanks to Sabine's doctors for enlightening me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas @ our home

I was supposed to post these last week but forgot all about the photos. This year's decorations came up later than usual. I still can't find the Disney stockings (Mickey and Minnie) that are usually hung on the stair railing and I'm still wondering where I could've stashed them. Oh well...didn't change anything this year except for the lights on the tree. I used to have steady white lights but changed them to multi-colored, moving ones for Sabine's sake. The tree trimmers were bought just last year and the lighted houses that make up my mini-Christmas village have been with us for a while.

Our tree

I'm sticking to traditional colors this year, with a few touches of gold

The wooden tree trimmers (on left) are made of narra and stamped Hallmark. They're for export but a friend sold them to me last year. I got 3 sets! They're really nice in person!

Our new tree skirt which we got from Ace Hardware. It was so hard to choose from all the designs they had available.

This baby by the tree is NOT for sale hehe!

You can't see it in the pic but there's a blower inside the Santa thing on the left that makes the "snow" fly around.

And mini Christmas village in lights

The only thing we haven't put up are the pinlights on the plants outside the house.
Once I find my strength, I'll get to it right away.


She's a real fighter!

This is why I haven't been blogging lately...

It has been a crazy, crazy week.

Thursday night last week, Sabine broke out into a fever. Temp was manageable, around 38.6 so I gave her a dose of Tempra and put her to sleep. I assumed it was because her lower incisors were coming out at the same time. She didn't have any difficulty sleeping so I rested well that night. Woke up the next morning at 5:30 as always, to prepare Anissa for school and this time Sabine's temp was at 39.4. I gave her Tempra again and asked yaya to give her a spongebath right away. Soon after, she became okay. In fact, the reason I felt comfortable about going to work was because the fever had gone down considerably and she was dancing to Dora the Explorer on Nickelodeon. The whole time I was in the office, I kept checking on her condition and yaya assured me everything was alright. She was eating as always and still dancing, a clear indication that she didn't feel sick at all. I decided to end my day earlier than usual because I was out on the field anyway and ended up in the Mandaluyong area so by around 4pm I was driving home. I texted DH and he said he, too, was on his way home from nearby Greenhills.

When I walked through the front door, I could hear Sabine crying and screaming from inside her bedroom. Yaya was giving her a sponge bath because her temperature had shot up to 40 right before I arrived. I checked again using the digital thermometer and it registered at 40.8! Neal arrived less than a minute after that and I immediately pushed everyone into the car, texted our pedia that we were on our way to Cardinal Santos because Sabine was burning up.

Got caught in a bit of traffic along Wilson St. but made it to the ER soon after. DH dropped us off at the entrance and he said he would park the car. When I walked in, a pedia resident approached me to ask if Sabine was Dra. Tan-Ting's patient and I said yes. I was pleasantly surprised that they were waiting for us to arrive. The resident left us for a while to look for a vacant bed when all of a sudden, Sabine stiffened and began to shake violently in yaya's arms. Yaya and I looked at each other and I screamed for the doctor to come back! We got her a bed, they lay her down on her side, started to suction her mouth then immediately put a mask over her face to give her oxygen. The next few minutes were a blur to me. I remember crying non-stop and talking to Sabine to hang on and not go to sleep (I didn't know what I was thinking, of course) and yaya did the same. At one point, I remember shouting at one of the doctors not to talk to me because she kept on telling me to calm down.WAS SHE KIDDING??? My kid's eyes were white and her lips were blue and I was expected to calm down? Buti nalang hindi ako marunong manuntok! I swear I could have given her a fist at that precise moment. I was angry, terrified, feeling like I wanted to faint. I was so torn! A part of me wanted to run out because I couldn't stand seeing my daughter that way, but the other part of me wanted to stay and make sure she would come out of it okay. I'm sure you mothers know what I'm talking about. It's hard to explain but that's just how I felt. Can you believe how good GOD is? What if DH and I hadn't come home early? What if the traffic along Wilson was worse? She would have had that seizure at home or in the car and nobody would have known what to do! GOD made sure Sabine was in the hospital when it happened, where she would be surrounded by people who could take care of her. AMAZING!!!

DH was lucky because he only caught the last 20 seconds of the seizure and not the worst part. When he walked into the ER, I felt my knees buckle and he almost had to catch me. I remember that I just kept on crying and crying and crying even after it was all over. When they were about to insert the IV needle into her hand, I began to cry again. Sabine's pedia who had arrived earlier and was supervising everything, grabbed me and made me turn around so I wouldn't have to watch what they were doing anymore. She held me while I continued to sob unabashedly. But you know the funny thing that happened? When Sabine regained consciousness and was taken off the oxygen, she was so mad that she talked so loudly nonstop for the next 5 minutes (in her own language, of course). She sounded like she was reprimanding everyone around her, demanding an explanation of what just happened to her.

Fortunately for us, we didn't have to stay very long in the ER waiting for a room. Neal got one right away and we were wheeled out of there soon after that. They did all sorts of tests on Sabine : a urinalysis, complete blood count, blood sugar count --- the works! I still can't bear to look at her arms and hands today because all the marks are still there.

We're now back at home after spending 5 days in the hospital. Turns out she had Urinary Tract Infection and that caused the fever, which in turn, caused the seizure/convulsion. The scary thing is, everytime she gets a fever from now on, I just know I'll be so scared that this same episode might happen. Atleast I know what to do now (and so do yaya and DH), thanks to the Pediatric Neurologist who examined Sabine.

I am just so glad it's all over and she is well on her way to recovery. I'm still trying to recover from all the trauma myself. Tonight, before DH and I had dinner we both prayed not just for our meal but for Sabine's full recovery. We're both so relieved that we don't have to spend Christmas in the hospital and thankful that our little girl is her usual happy self again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anti-aging drama

One of the things I am blessed to have is problem-free skin. I've never been to the derma nor had a facial because as they say, don't fix it if it ain't broken! Besides, I can't imagine being asked to follow a tedious skincare regimen. It's always been just soap (Cetaphil) and water for me. Whenever I wear make-up, I take it off with Pond's Cold Cream, a sort of tradition that's been handed down in my family from one generation to the next. My Mom still uses it to this day.

Recently though, I noticed while looking at some close-up photos, that I have crow's feet! I've never been conscious about my skin but when I saw them, I felt a lump in my throat and came to a rather painful realization --- my face has begun to show signs of aging and I can no longer deny it. I had to convince myself to do something about it but had to think for a while because I've always been too lazy about skincare. Unfortunately for me, I'm at a stage in my life (I'm turning 40 next year) where proper skincare is a must.

So when I recently got together with some friends and we had our yearly Kris Kringle, this is what I asked for:

I've been using it for 2 days now (see...I got it last week pa but it sat on my dresser for days before I even opened the package hehe!) and hopefully, this'll be the answer --- the ONLY answer. I hate to think of having to put anything else on my face. A lot of people swear by this product (and I don't mean the girls who endorse it in the tv commercials) and it looks like it's going to work for me as well. So far, no breakouts or rashes. Then again, problem-free skin nga. =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's raining shoes!

Before Neal left for HK and China last week, he asked me to help him figure out what to buy for us for pasalubongs. Tinatanong pa ba yon??? After addressing his work-related agenda, it was shopping time! I was shocked to see how much he had brought home because he told me he didn't want to buy too much. Guess he got carried away, but I don't have the heart to reprimand him because he really got us a lot of great stuff from Ikea (lamps for almost all the rooms in the house), H&M and a lot more. But let me stay focused here. The topic is SHOES, as always. A week later, he's back (but had to deal first with those greedy Customs people at the airport --- you know, it's almost Christmas and they want their share of the pie argh!) and boy am I so happy with these:

The whole caboodle

Crocs Alice and Nike rubber shoes for Sabine

Crocs Alice and Nike rubber shoes for Anissa

Puma sneakers for Neal

Crocs Alice black and brown for me

(only the Mommy is bwahaha!)

Thanks, Hon! You really made my night!

I met a real life angel

Her name is Isabel but everyone calls her Shobe. She's 6 and has a brain tumor. But other than her eyes, there are no other evident signs of sickness. She's bubbly, cheerful and always has a ready smile on her face for everyone! The minute I saw her at the PGH Pediatric Ward Christmas Party last Sunday, I knew I was touched. There was just something so intense about her that pulled on my heartstrings. She doesn't look nakakaawa at all. I guess it was her personality that really attracted me to her. At such a tender age, she suffers from something so threatening but apart from her appearance, there's nothing about her that will tell you just how sick she is. She was running around and grabbing everything she could get her hands on ... ice cream, cookies, spaghetti. I could tell she had a big appetite! Every now and then she would run to me to say hi or just give me her winning smile. That endeared me to her even more. Right before I left the party, as I was going around to say goodbye to my friends, I suddenly felt a small hand tugging on my shirt. It was her! Her Mom told me...Ma'am, nakita kasi nya paalis ka na kaya hinila ako, magpapaalam daw po sa inyo. And with that, Shobe gave me a super tight hug and a wet peck on the cheek then waved her chubby hand bye bye. That winning smile was there, of course, and I found it so hard to fight back my tears. I felt so victorious for being able to contain my emotions the entire day (I knew some people were waiting for me to cry bleh!) and then this! But I couldn't give in, not in front of Shobe and her Mom. So while I was choking on my tears, I hugged and kissed her back, said goodbye to her Mom and hurriedly walked to my car where I let it all out. She's been on my mind since then. This afternoon, I texted Tet, my friend who organized the party and told her that I couldn't shake off the thought of Shobe. I asked for Tet's help and told her I want to spend time with Shobe on a regular basis. I want my kids to meet her and I want to get to know her more. Fortunately, Tet knows whom to get in touch with and how to get the information I need because she's been working with the PGH people for years now, throwing parties for the kids every year. I'm hoping she'll get back to me soon because I keep looking at Shobe's picture and wonder how she's doing. Yup, I was touched. By someone I don't even know and met for the first time in my life. I can't explain why. I just know that life won't be the same after meeting her. SEE YOU SOON, cutie pie!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday night bullets

Yes, I am home on a Friday night as usual. DH is currently in China on business (but texted me earlier to say he wanted to go around and shop) and won't be back 'til Monday. The kids are quiet and although I want to crash in bed, I still have a ton of gifts to wrap for the Christmas party we're attending tomorrow.

  • I called my very first meeting today I have one week to go before my "baptism of fire" (my first mall event next weekend) and we are so far on track and aligned yippeeee!
  • Lunch today at the Philamlife Tower food court. Wanted to eat in Green Tomato but the line was sooooo long so I settled for some good old Katsudon from the Jap place there.
  • I CAN'T DRESS DOWN ON FRIDAYS! I still had to wear dress pants to work today because I'm based in the head office and there is no such thing as casual Fridays there. BLAH!
  • On my way home, passed by Power Plant to grab some scrapbooking stuff from National Bookstore, for my friend's daughter who requested them for Christmas. I, of course, had to go around the mall after that "just to look" (my sorry excuse forever and ever) and went home with a pair of grey skinny jeans from one of my favorite stores, Bayo. Wehehe! Ang tigas ng ulo...sinabi na ngang work clothes lang muna dapat!
  • When I got home, my little girl was standing by the front door eagerly waiting for me to get out of the car...awwwwww! She's been missing me a lot I can tell! While I was having dinner, she insisted on sitting on my lap the entire time and played around with my food as well. I guess it's her way of wanting to be close to me after a whole day of not seeing and having me around the house.
  • Was so disappointed to find out that my next mall event is in Dec 28 and 29, which means I would have to cancel all our plans of spending a few days in Subic with my family. I told DF about it and he simply said : Eh di maiwan ka! ABA!!!
  • I am so looking forward to tomorrow night's party because it's the one my barkada has annually. I haven't seen the girls in ages and I really, really was starting to miss them terribly na. Too bad Neal isn't around to bond with the boys.
  • Looking forward even more to the PGH Pediatric Cancer Ward Christmas Party on Sunday I'm still feeling overwhelmed by all the donations that came in.