As I Stumbled Upon this FB Note

I am no expert writer. Nor I've ever undergone any trainings related to writing. Long story short, I could only concertize my emotions into notes when I feel either elated or gloomy . Otherwise I would consider my pieces lifeless and senseless, and has no difference than any scribbles of grade-one students (I am just jesting!)..

Yesterday, I stumbled upon some notes of mine in Facebook. I am no FB heavy user but then I found myself aimlessly browsing my profile. As I scrolled down, I discovered some notes found somewhere at the left bottom and written sometime four years ago. It is titled "AMAZING". Upon reading it, I was amazed literally.

Bemused, I was debating in my mind whether I was the author of this piece.  I paused awhile and scanned through the note. I could vouch that it is truly my piece based on the scenarios. One is, I used to attend masses in San Pedro Church way back single life.

Let me share with you this story: original, without minor nor major edits, however with grammar flaws (hehe).  Well, since I started blogging, I've never claimed that I am an outstanding writer.  I know, if you desire to be so, it takes an enormous amount of energy and time studying the grammar rules and polishing your writing style. Yes, I may have been miles away from other excellent writers, but I never cease learning to be one of them someday.  All I can say for now is that my progress bar is gradually increasing.
AMAZING!

At 1:35pm, Sunday afternoon, I attended mass at San Pedro Church. Most often, I had been attending mass on this schedule for the reason that the mass is in Visaya dialect. I usually came in the church very early so I could find a seat, otherwise I will be standing the whole period of the mass. I was sitting at the 5th row from the front. 
While waiting, I observed things around me and a gospel written in a big rectangular cloth captivated my attention. The gospel goes this way“ Ang Mahigugmaong Sakripisyo ni Hesus” I tried to translate this in English and it is “ The sacrificial love of Jesus Christ”.  
As I turned back, I saw the priest who was scheduled to preside the mass along with the other children who were tasked to read the gospels. But I was surprised, because the priest was not a Filipino, instead he is a Black American. At first glance, he could really catch everybody’s attention because of his skin complexion. He was so dark. And then, a question came to my mind, how could he conduct a mass in Visaya?  
Abruptly, I answered my own question, perhaps he will just speak in English. As the mass started, and when it was the priest’s time to speak, he amazingly spoke visaya articulately. And he uttered not just a simple visaya but a very deep visaya that even I, could hardly speak. 
Though the only silly thing there was, he spoke visaya better but his pronunciation was still associated by Americans pronunciation “something like slang” as we called here in the Philippines. The priest spoke straight Visaya all the way and I never heard him spoke English. Everybody was so astonished not only the way he spoke our dialect incredibly but the way he delivered the message to us. At the end of the mass, I came into two realizations; 
First, when God’s spirit works to each of us, nothing is impossible. Such as the priest who successfully learned our Visaya language because of his passion to preach the good news of God to people. 
Second; when you are tasked to work, do it for the Glory of God. Learning language is not an easy thing to do, it really takes a long time to learn it but if we put God first in everything to please and glorify Him, even the impossible thing can happen.


Can you spot the difference between my writings from the past and the present? Or you see no difference at all? I would love to hear what you think.

via: http://www.joeseeber.com/never-stop-learning-2/

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Because Yelling is Not Healthy At All

A couple of days ago, I burst into anger due to a very small reason.  My 3-year-old girl was busy playing her tablet while I was extremely busy catching up the household chores before the clock hit at 9:30 am.  My online job starts at 9:30, by the way. You see how my life goes almost everyday? Doing household chores, taking care my little one, and working at 9:30. I was like a wonder woman!

Anyway..

All of a sudden, I heard a big scream from my little girl (actually an annoying scream), murmuring that her tablet got lowbat. I said "I will get the tablet charged", and you could play again in 3-4 hours later until it will be fully charged. To keep her busy and not also to distract me with what I was currently doing, I temporarily handed her my phone.

Minutes later, she again screamed.  I approached to see what made her complain and then I found out the "YouTube" she was supposed to watch was buffering all the time. I explained in a gentle tone that the internet was very slow (though I knew she didn't understand what internet meant).  But again, she persistently complained and accidentally dropped my phone on the floor.

Out of  anger, I yelled at the top of my lungs.  I yelled not only because of the undesirable behavior she demonstrated, it's also because my phone dropped on the floor.  I have been fuming with exasperation, wanting to spank her.  My nerves were shaking all over. My tongue got sharp and so unkind, even I , couldn't believe I uttered those hurtful words which I won't mention anymore. She cried out loud and I got annoyed even more, so I pulled her hand going to her father who was currently working that time.

A few minutes later, my husband brought back my child to me but I said "please stay her away from me until I calm down". I went to our room to get some sleep trying to forget everything but it didn't help at all. I instead went to take a bath to cool me down, at least.  After that, I was a bit mesmerized. A remorse was suddenly felt deep inside me. I realized "OH MY,  WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY LITTLE CHILD?" SHAME ON ME.

An evening later of the same day, I prayed and asked forgiveness from God. I confessed that I have sinned. I got angry easily. I lose my temper quickly. I asked for guidance, enlightenment, and most of all a longer patience. That's what I lack for now - PATIENCE, PATIENCE. I came to realize that yelling out of anger is not healthy especially yelling in front at the very young eyes of our child.  It's my fault, it's I who commits the sin, not my child. After all, she's just a toddler who needs quality time and extra understanding which I failed to give on that day.

via: http://jessconnell.com/stress-yelling-and-sin/

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Dateless this Coming Valentine?

Is anyone among you still dateless this Valentine?
Feeling no one cares and minds?
Fret Not
Because there's someone up there
Whom you can talk anytime, anywhere
Not only during Valentine's day
But in every single day
I assure you He won't break your heart
And will never make His promises apart
Just invite Him into your life
and He will make your heart full of delight.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! - by JCL


via: http://www.crosscards.com/cards/holidays/valentines-day-2-4/gods-favorite.html

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Turning 33 and My Only Wish

via: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/i-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-m-turning-33-today/
When I first heard from our neighbor's yaya who is older than me (intuition), calling me "Ate", both of my ears rang. I began to question myself in silence, "Do I look old that made her say that? I am not used to be called "Ate",  unless if someone calling me is obviously younger.  So I asked the yaya about her age and I found out then that she's only a few months younger than me. At least, I was clarified (hehe). One day, another yaya called me "Ate", but this time, I can tell that she's younger than me. Ok acceptable.

Those two ladies remind me that I am not getting any younger anymore. I accept the fact wholeheartedly,  though there were several occasions that I still feel like I am in 20's (hehe).  If I could only turn back time, I would have done the things I failed to do way back then. No, I don't have any regrets, I was just astonished at how time flies away.

Anyway...

Last week, Feb. 9, I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  I promise myself not to prepare anything because it would really take a lot of time and energy cooking and I just plan to bring my family somewhere in a decent restaurant for a dinner. Just for us. However, the plan was totally changed when we learned there were some neighbors pala, forgotten to be invited by us during Chesska's 3rd birthday last month. So I cancel the plan and finally decided to cook for them, asking the help of my mother.

Along with our neighbors, we merrily celebrated my 33rd birthday with the simple foods served on the table including my best-seller daw maja and buko pandan. Of course, there's nothing more joyful than sharing to one another our daily life-stories and "chikahan" that are sometimes off the topic.

As for my personal wishes, I know they were all granted by our loving God, except for one thing.

via: http://president.gov.ph/special/give-peace-in-mindanao-a-chance/

We all know what the families of fallen 44  had gone through up to this time. If I were in their shoes, I couldn't imagine what would I do. I earnestly pray that justice will be served in the soonest possible time without hampering the peace process in Mindanao.  I am from Mindanao too, and I feel the dread if the war arises.

Some people calling for an all-out-war did not realize how many innocent lives will be lost. After the war, what will happen then? Do you think, we'll attain everlasting peace?

Remember, only a small fraction of the Mindanao's population is the perpetrator of the crime. The authorities should only focus capturing them but by not using war as the solution.  I hope our leaders and other citizens as well will not be overpowered by their emotions that will only aggravate the situation in Mindanao.

Once again,  my wish is to push through the peace process and don't make war as a last resort to resolve the current problem.

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Weaned at the Age of Three and the Stories Behind It

In my attempt to wean my toddler off from the breast prior that age, the heart of being a mother has always won me over.  So I kept postponing weaning which rooted from several reasons.

First, the concept of weaning is the thought that I didn't pay much attention mainly.  Because my job as a work-at-home mom has given me an opportunity to look after my daughter 24/7 so I see no reason to refuse breastfeeding. Second, I couldn't afford seeing my child from crying and begging for my breast. (Again, I am just a mother.)  Lastly, we cannot deny the fact how beneficial is breastfeeding for mother and child.

Since I used to view breastfeeding as such, it didn't occur to me ever by setting deadlines for breastfeeding. For as long as the child still wants to, then I  just always go for it.

However, a couple of months ago before her 3rd birthday, a number of realizations struck into my mind that led me into the possibility of weaning. 

1. The supply of breast milk is no longer sufficient to satisfy my child.

Gone are the days where the supply of  my milk is like a dripping faucet. Yes, I had an abundant supply of milk at the first semester of breastfeeding, but as my child grows, her demand grows, too. As a result, my supply of milk can no longer sustain her needs up to the satisfaction level.

2. She sometimes treats my nipples as pacifier.

It would often take her 45 minutes and longer nursing until she dozed off.  But the worse is, even if she's already in a sound sleep I still noticed that she didn't stop sucking as if treating my nipple as a pacifier. It was wearisome and painful (physically) on my part.


3. She often bites my nipples.

My initial reaction after she accidentally or intentionally bit my nipples is pinch her or tightly hold her mouth until she releases the bite. (Baka ma 163 ako..) It was due to out of self-control because it really did hurt.


4.  Asking for my milk anytime at night that interrupts my sleep.

During the first year of babyhood, where a baby relies independently from the nutrition present in the breast milk , and where a growing baby breastfeeds from time to time, you will be really deprived from sleep which is still acceptable.

But by the time my child started taking solid foods already, she would still wake up at night looking for my breast like a blind and saying "tutu" (breast). If not attended to immediately, chances are, she'd  roll over, kick like a ninja, and whine like a cat. But since I am a voracious sleeper, I can't avoid but get irritated easily when I am distracted amid sleep hours.

via: http://dojimonster.hubpages.com/hub/Things-to-Consider-When-Your-Baby-Starts-weaning

The illustration above made me laugh. Yes it really did. Of course, I don't want that to happen where my child's snack at school will be a glass of breast milk. haha.

Ok. After contemplating, I finally decided to put an end to breastfeeding. Three years has been already a long journey for us. That's enough.

So the weaning strategy I used has worked pretty well in less than a week. Yes, I slightly force it, and it was not child-led. But I assure you it was less dramatic.

Since my child has aversion of sour, I thought of rubbing a lemon (sliced), around my nipple. There was, at first,  a sort of crying and fussiness for days, but she didn't pursue or attempt nursing anymore. Though there was, at times, pulling of shirt just to see or hold my breast , but up to that point only. The only negative side of it is she's staying up late at night, wanting to play and wrestle with us. Another is she jumps in the bed, imitating the actions seen in "Five Monkeys Jumping in the Bed". Unlike before, breastfeeding is used to be like her sleeping pill. But over-all, I found weaning successful. At long last!

Any thoughts about weaning? Feel free to drop your comments below.

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A Frozen-Themed 3rd Birthday Celebration

We are supposed to throw a themeless 3rd birthday for Chesska as I mentioned in my previous post. But apologies, we lied. Well, that happens sometimes (hehe).  The decision was quickly changed after Chesska has become fanatic of Frozen stuff.

So the story goes this way.

Last Christmas, she was gifted a frozen doll and a dress by her ninong ang ninang. She absolutely loved them!  And a week later, I thought of letting her watch a frozen movie so she could appreciate the gifts even more.

You're right! Her love of Frozen stuff has become more intense after knowing the characters, especially Elsa, Ana, and the cute snowman Olaf. As a matter of fact, she had watched the movie a multiple times. OMG...

Because of that, we finally decided to have a Frozen-themed party but ensured to retain the simpleness based on our limited budget.  So we went to buy birthday cards, balloons, buntings, loot bags,  all designed in Frozen at Balloon World located at Uyanguren. Mind you, it's the only store I know that sells all birthday supplies at a very affordable price. Everything is cheap especially if you buy in bulk.

So here's the outcome of our one-week preparation just for tots.

Believe it or not, the cake is only worth 360 pesos , bought at bread factory NCCC. 
The Family
Chesska
Auntie Arlyn serving foods to the kids.
The Kids

The 150-watt smile. hehe

One of the parlor games: Paper Dance
One of the parlor games: Trip to The Jerusalem
One of the parlor games: Pass the Balloon
Giving away of candies.
Giving away of loot bags.
Dinner with the neighbors.




So this is how we celebrate Chesska's 3rd birthday. It's all worth it despite the tiredness and preparation that we've been through. That's all folks. I hope you enjoy reading. Till then....


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What Have I Learned From Pope Francis's Homily?

via: http://nafconusa.org/2015/01/nafcon-hopeful-to-work-with-pope-francis/
Warning: Long Read.

If I were living in Manila, I might have been part of the crowd, cheering and welcoming Pope Francis's during his 5-day pastoral visit here in the Philippines. But unfortunately, that was not the case. However, I was able to observe several events on TV which involved the Pope. The social media and other news had also kept me updated.

Though I noticed some hurtful criticisms and comments thrown against him (which are expected naman). One of them is calling him anti-Christ and false prophet. Some of the comments are against the concept of apostolic succession, and the like.

Nevertheless, I didn't bother reacting on the negative comments. I rather chose to see the positive sides instead of judging and striking the haters back. After all, only God has the power to judge us at the end of the day regardless of our beliefs.

What matters most is how the Pope has gathered all the Filipino people as one family in Christ. As a matter of fact, he urged all Christians not to pray to him (Pope) but to Jesus Christ Himself.  The Pope truly radiates humility, simplicity, and godliness that each of us must emulate.

Anyways... Long Story Short..

Since I didn't watch everything on TV of what was happening then, I ensured not to miss out the most important part of the liturgy, the homily. He said a mouthful and the messages he delivered have impacted many lives including myself.

I was completely touched and enlightened of what he relayed to us, Filipinos, though I could barely grasp some of his messages. Glad to know there were Filipino priests and newscasters who expounded what the Pope meant in a separate panel discussion on TV.

So here are some of the calls and challenges by Pope Francis which are addressed to every Christian. And I just wanted to point out the important messages that hit me as a person.  I would like to share with you my feelings, thoughts, reflections, and the things I need to do as a Christian.


1. Always take time out to pray every day. 

To be upfront with you, it hits me like a ton of bricks. As a home-based and hands-on mom, I was so caught up with responsibilities that I tend to forget praying to God. I can rarely slow down to reflect and re-examine of what has been transpired throughout the day. After what Pope said, I came to realize that with God in silence, we can pour out our problems and frustrations. It is also the great opportunity that we can be grateful of  all the blessings he has bestowed upon us.

2. Just focus on what really matters. 

I recently listed down my goals for this year to focus on. Goals that are attainable and doable which can contribute to our over-all health: mental, social, spiritual, financial, and physical. Unlike last year, my mind was diverted into many attentions (actually less important stuff) , which drained me physically and mentally. Now I learned to entrust all my plans and dreams to God, and allow His grace to work.


3. If we don't learn how to cry, we cannot be good Christians. "Our response should be silence or a word that is borne out of our tears. 

Seeing the girl cry while sharing her tragic experiences with Pope during the "Youth Encounter" at UST, caused my tears to drip. Though, I tried to hide my emotion secretly because I was ashamed to do so in the presence of my mother and husband who were also watching closely on TV (hehe).

True enough. When we acknowledge our weaknesses to God by shedding tears, we immediately feel His comfort.  We are relieved instantly. We feel that we are not alone. That means we always need Him during the lowest moment of our life.

4. Protect the Family. 

I am fortunate for having a complete family. Husband and I are working home-based where we can keep our eyes to our daughter. What I can do more is to strengthen our relationship by giving quality time to each other. That's why I seldom see myself in social media (**ex. facebook, online games**) as we know how these culprits can steal much of our time, thus can be a source of dispute.

With all our might, let us care and protect our family for it is the foundation of our society.

5. Love the poor. 

As a product of a poor family myself before, I couldn't help but pity those people whom I happened to pass by in the street warmless and foodless. This is a big challenge to all of us of what we can do to help these people. However, we don't need to go far. We may have neighbors, too, who suffer the same where we can lend our helping hand.

6. You know how to give but you have not yet learned how to receive. Become a beggar. 

What the Pope means here left me hanging to be honest. But in my opinion, it tells us to be beggars of knowledge, wisdom, humility, etc. We must be always 3/4 cup full, allowing ourselves an extra space for improvement. We must also learn to accept our mistakes, lend our ears when someone talks,  and most of  all learn to receive humility.


Let me know your thoughts about Pope's visit and homily.  Always feel free to ask questions or you may leave your comments below. I am always up for chit chat.


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