Wednesday, August 31, 2011

False Labor. What Joy.

Hi. I'm still here. Full term at 38 and a half weeks. Got carried away nesting two days ago and experienced false labor (at that time, I hadn't packed yet; our shopping wasn't done yet... and it was 2 weeks early -- my mom couldn't wrap her mind around the idea that I wasn't ready. I should have been ready. She was ready 3 months into her pregnancies...), but so far the baby's still not ready to come out. That's okay, we do want him to be a September baby. I'm mostly working, homeschooling, crafting and prepping for childbirth... There isn't really a lot of time for blogging, but hopefully, I'll get back to active posting and visiting soon (the moms are probably going, "Durr, not likely"). Not a lot of news here... crafting-wise, well, I made diapers (fitted and pre-fold) and nursing pads using this flannel I bought and an old towel... homeschooling-wise, Marguerite can write and read now (she was just ready; I didn't formally teach her those skills)... baby-wise, we have a name now, but I won't reveal it here yet. Mark and Marguerite chose it, and I approved. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lovely Presents for My Children

We received a parcel from Michigan on Monday and just as I suspected, it was the wonderful baby blanket that Joan (aka Sharkbytes) of My Quality Day had made for our baby boy. During the early months of my pregnancy, she ran a contest on her blog in which I got to pick the winning crochet or knit pattern for a baby item. Ann of Snap Edit Scrap suggested the winning entry - the pattern for an adorable afghan with a bear face on it. A little over a month ago, Joan announced that the blanket was finished and that it would soon be on its way to the Philippines.

Anyway, here it is, and it's just perfect! I can't wait to have the baby use it. It will certainly make a precious picture, which you can bet I'll definitely be posting here. :)

And there was even a bonus for big sister Marguerite, who got this very pretty hat. Naturally, she loves it and has been wearing it every chance she got.

*Thank you, Joan! We feel very grateful and special to have received these awesome presents from you. You've been a friend and an inspiration ever since I discovered your blog. I certainly hope to meet you someday. It is my prayer that God bless you abundantly and that His favor be upon you always. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Lot of Marguerite

Still busy, so here are more pics... Let's call it "A Study of Marguerite".

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shower Cakes and Big Sister Presents

Had my baby shower last Saturday. Thanks to my mom and my sister who hosted the event. Thanks to our churchmates and friends who made it. It was really fun. Still extremely busy, so I'll just post a couple of pictures...

cakes I baked in honor both of the baby and his big sister ("Ate" is big sister in Tagalog)

Marguerite's loot from the party (all from Mark and myself - two books, one about being a big sister and the other one about what to expect when the baby gets here; two hand-painted "big sister" shirts; and a baby doll to practice on, sling - also homemade - to follow)

Not to be outdone, Marguerite hand-painted one of her old baby singlets(?) that are to be handed down to her brother... maybe I'll let the baby wear it once and then it's going in his scrapbook...

You can probably tell from the pics that Marguerite needs bumpers for her bed. As usual, I'm feeling all DIY about it... but I'm also in the process of making cloth diapers for the baby... I'm not the fastest or most efficient sewing person out there... If in a fortnight's time, those bumpers aren't ready yet, I guess we're buying (when did "buy" become such a dirty word for me?), lol

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Prenatal Shoot

Busy, busy, busy... will fall back on posting pics. Here are some pregnancy portrait-ish ones taken by my husband.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paintings and Handedness

Marguerite and I played street artists last week. That is, she played street artist and I played sidewalk dawdler/pedestrian/tourist/customer... you get the picture. "I take requests", she said, but when I requested a flower, she replied, "No. A ladybug." So, I suppose she took requests provided they were in sync with what she wanted to paint anyway.

I wish I had taken a picture (it would have been in character anyway, as a tourist). I got one of her berets (pink -- they're all pink and getting too small... I guess I have to knit a black one soon). She had her easel out. It would have made a really cute picture, but I wasn't in blogging mode last week, so I just enjoyed the play and didn't think to take pictures. I remembered the other day that, hey, I blog about stuff like this... so I got the paintings out of her portfolio and took a picture. I guess I'll also let them hang on the clothesline on her wall (remember HER wall?) until we can replace them with a new batch.

Btw, Marguerite is still ambidextrous. Not that I'm complaining because I think that's cool, but I'm wondering if she'll go on using both hands until she grows up or there are really just cases of delayed preference. Most kids her age have shown a long time ago whether they're righties or lefties. Is she really just inherently ambidextrous or is it possibly something I did or didn't do, being such a believer of not tampering with a child's natural development? I've read articles about studies showing ambidextrous children having learning problems. On the other hand, I've also read articles about ambidexterity among gifted children. Generally, both sets of articles have pointed out that ambidexterity can also occur in absolutely "normal" children. So why am I fretting? No reason except that I'm a compulsive fretter (not a word). I have the habit of airing out my frettings (also not a word) and then forgetting about them...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marguerite's Letters

We made and put up Marguerite's letters on the wall beside her bed. I actually set out to buy plain foam boards in baby colors, but I had Marguerite with me at the store and having spotted the glittered boards, she told me that she wanted those instead. She said she liked things sparkly. They were supposed to be her letters, her wall... My knee-jerk reaction usually is to balk, but after a few seconds to regroup, I do feel glad that she has a mind of her own and that she's very strong-willed. Of course, the strong-willed part sometimes frustrates me (because I don't get my own way, lol).
So, there's Marguerite putting polka dots on her wall. I actually didn't get a pattern for the letters. I thought about doing pretty curlicues, but since Marguerite is learning to read and write (the reading part, very casually -- the writing part is more structured, but there's no pressure; everything's at her pace) I decided to make the letters plain. Anyway, they were sparkly. The bigger circles weren't all supposed to have little circles on top of them, but Marguerite thought it was a good idea when she saw the first one I'd made and started sticking the rest of the big circles with smaller circles. I caught myself from going "No, no, no!". Again, it was her wall. She can have it any way she wants it within reason. Small circles on ALL of the big circles? Definitely within reason.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our First Night Not Co-sleeping

Last night was Marguerite's first time to sleep on her own bed. She was looking forward to sleeping by herself, but she did ask for a cuddle before conditioning herself to sleep. She adjusted really well even though she's used to having me to snuggle against. I guess I was just too full of my own import; a pillow apparently does just as well, lol. So kudos to the kid who transitioned easily from the family bed to her own bed. It's her mom who's having some trouble adapting. Just tell her she'll get used to it when you see her. It's not actually the end of co-sleeping for us. We do have to start over with another baby, but I don't know, maybe Mark and I will feel that it's great to have all this sleeping space again. Maybe my back will threaten to give out on me if I dare to subject it again to that kind of treatment (getting bed space of about a foot in width - we do have a big enough bed, but if you have a kid who insists on lodging herself to your side, you're left with no room to wiggle). The baby does have a crib, you know. On the other hand, I do love co-sleeping even if my back doesn't. Anyway, Mark and I have a little over a month left to enjoy the wide bed, and Marguerite seems to really love having her own bed. Good times, lol.

Digging up the Past

You’ll want to shut me up because I’m about to mention again how much of a history buff I am. I thought about majoring or minoring in History, but Languages won out. Also, we already have a history professor in our clan - a PhD who was a Rockefeller scholar. He’d actually already retired by the time I got to college, but he was once the chairperson of that department in the university I attended, so in the end, it would have been too much pressure and too much (possibly negative - the history department had a long-running, well, history of discord) association… But I do love history. Maybe I’ll even go back to school and study it should there ever be a time when I could actually afford and manage to do that. In the meantime, I check out sites like the Ancient Digger for cool news on history, anthropology and archaeology. The Ancient Digger has the latest archeological news and publishes them daily. It has so many resources available featuring the latest discoveries, grad school guides, journal articles, etc. if you’re truly interested in the pertinent subjects. There are posts about fieldwork and scholarships, so it’s really a trove for actual students and amateur historians.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit from a Sunbird

Hi! I had a thrill yesterday morning that I wanted to share properly, but I can't because the camera wasn't ready... and well, it flew away. I was in the kitchen when I saw this strange bird in the garden. It wasn't really strange-looking since it was similar in size and coloring to our garden regulars. However, this thing hovered! And its beak was longer, thinner, curved and pointier. Its breast was also a pretty light green. My mom and our helper Giselle were also in the kitchen so I excitedly pointed the bird out to them. It was schmoozing with a less exciting sparrow. My mom got excited too and exclaimed, "Is that a hummingbird?" It certainly moved like one. I went to the bedroom to get the camera, but it didn't have a memory card and well, it didn't take much to make me give up. It did make me shoot my sleeping husband a dirty look, before I rushed back to the kitchen to tell Mom to use her phone instead (my own phone's batt was dead. I would have shot myself the same dirty look if I could -- you know, just to be democratic about it - but that's hard). Anyway, the bird had flown away by the time Mom got to the garden. We think it'll be back. So, I just went back to the bedroom to google Philippine hummingbirds. The closest I found was this (picture taken from Wikipedia):

If I'm right, then we saw a female purple sunbird. What a treat! I should really be on the lookout for the non-sparrow birds that show up around here. The last time I was able to take a good pic (it involved a Fischer's lovebird), I was able to post it here. Marguerite and I would spend more time in the garden, but it's crawling with caterpillars right now - some pretty things, but many of them itchy worms - so forget it. We're not about to go through this again!

More Preggy Talk

Mark and I are preparing for the joyride that is childbirth, lol. I insist, of course, that he be in the room the entire time, so he’s going to be my childbirth partner. I don’t think he’s very enthusiastic about it, but it’s really hard to tell with Mark. Sometimes I think an African grey parrot is more verbal than him, lol. He won’t say how he feels about something (as opposed to myself, who’s forever starting sentences with “This is how I feel about it…” - I like making myself clear.) and even if he has the right sentiments, he’s not going to wax poetic about ANYTHING. When things come out of his mouth, they’re usually quips and corny jokes. Btw, he’s just suggested “E minor 7” or something like that for the baby’s name and even practiced scolding the baby (“E!” - sounds like the entertainment channel). It’s supposedly his favorite chord. He feels okay baiting me like that because he knows I’m not preeclamptic, but I’ve learned a long time ago to just roll my eyes anyway. Anyway, back to childbirth prep. We’re going through relaxation techniques and massage. Now, I never used to appreciate massage. It either hurt or tickled. Then again, I’m the wimp with a marshmallow muscle tone. However, maybe it will really help with labor pains; in that case, Mark can get ideas from Massage Brighton. I should start packing my bag. I’m only 8.5 months along, but at least that could be another thing out of the way. Of course, most of the prep would be for naught if I end up having a C-section. I have to be more consistent about my low-carb diet. Please yell at me to mind my diet if ever you see me.


Sometimes I really wonder why I bother. I sorted Marguerite’s toys into categories and ten minutes later, one toy chest (I had the foresight to put the other ones right away and just let her poke through one) was in shambles again - legos, schleich animal toys, magnetic fishies, miniature furniture, etc. all mixed up in the box or scattered on the floor. I guess that’s playtime; let chaos reign! The thing about me is that I like sorting. When I was younger and our helpers had their annual fortnight vacation (usually in the summer or when their hometown had their fiesta), Chip and I would pitch in and help out with the chores (not being used to chores, we really dreaded this time of the year - years later, I had to flounder through independent living because I didn’t know how to do ANYTHING… This is why Marguerite has chores). Anyway, one chore I did like was sorting the clothes that have just been ironed (we had a gay man, one of my grandmother’s bffs, come in to do the ironing… Tita Piti passed away some years ago, but he’s a legend in this town. He ran the gossip mill and organized the yearly Santacruzan). One friend of mine said she hated it because it was so boring; she’d rather do anything else. I really didn’t get that. It was easy and clean; how could she prefer it to ickier or heavier chores? Anyway, I only sort Marguerite’s toys about twice a year, so I shouldn’t complain that it’s a futile attempt.