Sungka

When I had children, it wasn’t just my body that changed, my whole life did. Most of the time I am exhausted, I am tired, sometimes I cry (parang ngayon, parang tanga, umiiyak habang nagtatype) there are times when I feel like I can’t do it anymore… I look in the mirror and I see messy hair, walang ligo, my tummy covered in stretchmarks so deep you can play ‘sungka’, skin so loose, you can probably make a bag out of it, my breasts- well you my fellow moms know what these two looks like now- and then I look at my sons and they look back, one smiles back and the older one tells me ‘your tummy is so squishy mom, i love it… and even though I feel insecure about my body, I am not going to complain.

Kung ang kapalit naman ng lahat ng sakripisyong ito eh ang mga ngiti ng mga anak ko, okay na okay na ako. I will be grateful to God everyday for the gifts He has entrusted to me.

To mommies, nanays, mamas reading this- it may be hard right now, but it’s all worth it and know that soon, our babies will grow up and we will miss their littleness, their hypernessness and the noises and messes they make and our bodies will remind us that we once carried them and nurtured them.

You are Strong, You are Amazing, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You may feel unappreciated but God sees you, knows you and what you’re going through and He loves you. Smile na, He’s got us…Tara Sungka tayo!

One day at a time.

I consider exclusively breastfeeding my 2nd baby for almost 6 weeks now one of my greatest achievement in life! (I mixed fed before) 5 weeks ago, my breasts were super engorged, my nipples sore and cracked and I almost gave up!

When we were still in the hospital, I felt proud nursing Tobias round the clock and I thought all was well in the breastfeeding world- I thought I was a pro! But about 5 days into it, I dreaded every feeding session, my toes would curl from the pain and I would cry while Tobias nursed. My nipples started to crack and it was so painful – (even more than going through child birth in my opinion)

I almost gave up. During one of those nights, I almost asked my husband, Marco to buy formula but I thank God I didn’t instead I manually pumped the really affected breast while I unwantingly nursed Tobias in the other.

On the 11th day, I couldnt take it anymore and went to see a lactation expert, I cried as soon as she asked me what was wrong. So she checked my breasts and I learned that they were engorged and had a lot of clogged milk ducts. She taught me how to massage it and taught me the correct way to latch.. and since then, breastfeeding became a breeze. Not right away but it definitely became easier as the days went by.

It really is very important to be truly informed and educated about breastfeeding even before you give birth. I actually attended a short breastfeeding talk with Ms Abbie before I gave birth and learned a lot but it was still very different learning from the actual experience. But being informed really does help!

So for those who are about to give birth and are planning to breastfeed and for those who are in the beggining of their breastfeeding journey and want to give up or learn more, here are some of the things I have learned that may help you:

• Mamas, the first 2 weeks are the hardest, after that it just gets easier (so hang on)

• Learn about breastfeeding as much as you can! Attend lactation talks and seminars if able.

• Prepare your nipples- make them tough, I started using lanolin cream only after my nipples cracked, so for you pregnant mamas, start applying lanolin cream daily even before you give birth.

• Breastfeeding wont start to hurt (atleast in my case) while still in the hospital, even when the latch is wrong, so make sure your baby is latching on correctly to avoid cracked nipples altogether.

• Apply cold compress when breasts are engorged and warm compress before each nursing session to help with the milk flow.

• Drink lots of water, eat healthy and take lactation supplements.

• I was also prescribed Lecithin (to thin out the milk and avoid clogged ducts) and Advil for the pain

• Seek help! Dont suffer in silence, breastfeeding should not be painful. Consult a lactation doctor/ expert.

My breastfeeding buddies: Medela Lanolin Cream, Lactaflow, Lecithin, Reusable Breast Pads form Avent, Hot or Cold Compress from Avent, Haakaa, Manual pump from Hegen and electric pump from Avent.

It’s also very important to have a support group that will encourage you and help you through the first few weeks of breastfeeding, in my case I would like to thank my sister for encouraging me, my mom too, my beetfriend Ivy. My husband- who went out in the middle of the night to look for a lanolin cream for me and who bought me a nursing pillow, Ms Abbie Yabot for encouraging me and giving me advise even though she’s away, my friend Princess and her husband Doc Bistek, our kumpare who is also Noah and Tobias’ pedia for encouraging me and for introducing me to Dr Jamie Isip- Cumpas and ofcourse thank You Jesus for Your undending supply of grace and strength and joy through it all.

5 weeks ago, I wondered if I would last another day or even another session of breastfeeding- but look at me now! So mamas, don’t cry na, if you feel ready to give up, just look at your Little One and know that you are doing so well and it will soon become easy… again you are not alone. You can do this! One day at a time…

The tips I have written here are from own experience, it may or may not work for you, it is still best to consult your doctor or lactation expert to make sure.

Write your questions, tips or comments below and let’s help each other out!

1 Month Post Partum or 4 months pregnant?

Just a few days after giving birth, some relatives and friends visited me and asked “Bakit ang laki pa rin ng tyan mo?!” (Why is your tummy still so big?!). I know they don’t mean anything bad but people can be so insentive, and all those magazines and photos of ‘celebrities and models’ that seems to look so perfect right after giving birth doesn’t help either. I mean, hello I just gave birth, i was cut open and a human being came out of me!

It was really difficult to post this photo, to show what the world sees as ‘flaws’, but well this is the real deal. My body housed 2 beautiful baby boys and it took 9 months each time to grow them in my belly and I have accepted the fact that it will take some time for my body to go back to the way it was (if it does go back) And if it doesn’t, that’s okay too.

Don’t get me wrong I’m happy for those moms who have flat tummies just a few days after giving birth, but we’re all different, our bodies are all different and that’s okay and I want other mamas out there who are like me, who look at themselves in the mirror and feel sad because of what they see. I want you to know that you are not alone…

So to all the mama’s out there who’s exhausted, who’s not had a proper shower, whose breasts are super sore, those who can’t recognize their own bodies because of the stretchmarks and the chloasma or the dark patches all over their bodies, to those who still look pregnant after a month or even months after giving birth- cheers to us! We are are all beautiful and unbelievably strong and God has given us such a wonderful gift that’s worth all these hardships and body changes… So cheer up Mama You really are amazing!

To my Tobias- happy 1 month baby ko, you and kuya Noah are worth every stretchmarks, body changes, every pain, every sleepless night and wouldn’t trade you for anything…

Thank You Jesus for the strength You provide, physically and emotionally, thank You for Your love that gives confidence to this mama and every mama reading this. Thank You Jesus!

‘Tobias’- God is good!

I woke up from a dream that we were having another baby boy… It was 330am on January 31, 2018. I went to the bathroom, grabbed a home pregnancy test, peed on it and then took a shower. As I was drying off, I glanced at the stick and saw two red lines.

I cried.

I cried not because I didn’t want it but because I wasn’t expecting it. If you have been regularly reading my blog and instagram posts, you might remember that we have always wanted another baby since Noah turned 3 years old and have always expected each month for a positive home pregnancy test result, but it never came. (Read previous post about pregnancy Jesus Forgot Us? )

And so we trusted God that He knows what He is doing and that His timing is always perfect. -but it did not feel like very good timing when we got the positive home pregnancy test and then two weeks later at the doctor’s, when she confirmed that there was a sac but no little embryo yet, up to the point when we found out another two weeks later that yes, a baby is growing inside of me!

While the good news was very much welcomed, it was unplanned and we felt came at the wrong time as I was doing 2 regular shows that just started… but who are we to question God’s plan?

What a wonderful opportunity to learn to trust God that He is always right, that His timing is always perfect and that He will provide and strengthen us through this wonderful miracle. What a wonderful gift God is allowing us to have and experience. And we know whatever happens, God is in control and this God who is in control is a good good God, a good Father, who knows what we need and what is best for us.

Our new baby boy, Lord willing is due to arrive this September and we are naming him Tobias Nolan. Nolan means ‘Champion‘ and Tobias means ‘God is good‘ because He is!

It is our prayer that God will keep Tobias in His presence all the days of his life and that he will be a Champion, victoriously conquering all things that will come his way with God who will surely strengthen him. That his life will always declare the goodness of God and bring Him glory in everything he will do and say.

Are you going through something now that feels as if God has forgotten you and has not taken your situation into consideration? Instead of questioning, seek Him through His Word, trust that He loves you and knows what is best for you, take encouragement in these promises:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a bright future…” Jeremiah 29:11

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you.” Deutronomy 31:6

“Cast all your concerns on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

When you feel forgotten or forsaken, lift your eyes, hands and heart to God and our good God promised that those who truly seek Him, will find Him.

Overcoming Hormones

If you notice, the last post I posted on this blog except for the one yesterday about the Breastpump Giveaway was last December! December!

And as I write this, all I want to do is go back to bed, lie down in front of the TV and do nothing! I feel so lazy, so exhausted even though I just woke up. And I’ve been feeling like this since I was 5 weeks pregnant. So I should just go back to bed right? I have an excuse, afterall I’m pregnant! My body is making a baby inside and that should be enough reason for me to be lazy and give in to that laziness, right?…

But you see ever since I found out I was pregnant again, I have also been more irritable, easily annoyed at Marco, at Noah and anybody I feel like being annoyed at. And most times for no reason at all! There were also moments when I simply feel sad.

Galatians 5: 22-23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, Peace, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, faithfulnes, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL.

So does being pregnant mean I lose the fruit the Holy Spirit gives? Can I really keep on using ‘it’s the hormones‘ excuse for my laziness, moodiness and kaartehan?

I decided it stops now. (O Lord help me!)

When you’re pregnant, hormones go crazy, it seems impossible to overcome it, but I know my God is greater and more powerful than any hormonal changes my body is going through and as Philippians 4:13 says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Being lazy included me neglecting to spend time with my creator. My prayer time became rushed and there were days when I don’t even read the Bible at all- and I guess this answers why I’m so easily annoyed and why I feel sad- it’s because I have been disconnected to my God. He is my joy afterall and my soul longs for Him. So when I don’t spend time with Him, I lose that joy and that causes me to do and feel all sorts of crazy.

If you have been feeling the same way I have, it’s time to get on our knees and PRAY! Pray that God keeps us and not cast us away from His presence. Pray that God will strengthen us and give us the desire to know Him more by reading His Word.

The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us- even us busy mamas and pregnant mamas. We don’t stop being warriors of God just because we are mothers. The battle goes on and God’s grace will always be sufficient for us to do what God has called us to do.

“We can overcome hormones and anything else that tries to get us away from God through Him who is our strength”

More than ever, we as mothers need to be rooted in God’s Word and make God our priority. Not our children- but God. Because only by doing that can we hope to be the best moms we can be for our kids.

If you have beem feeling the same way, let me know and let us encourage one another by praying for each other. Leave your thoughts and name on the comments section and I would love to pray for you.

Trick or Treat? Yes or No?

Should Christians participate in or celebrate Halloween?
(I first posted this 2 years ago, but the message is still true for me)


Noah’s school informed us that this week is Halloween Celebration week and their lessons will include teaching the children all about Halloween and there will be a party on Friday where the kids will have to dress up and do trick or treats. I even bought chocolates earlier to bring to school and asked Noah what he wanted to dress up in, but he started to cry and said he didn’t want to (I feel that this is one way of God telling me something) Before God took the veil off my eyes, no alarm bells rang off and I did not see anything wrong with Halloween. But now I’m not so sure, after all Halloween celebrates ghosts, witches, etc.

Now you might say ‘But what harm could it do’ and that I’m being a killjoy and taking this too seriously.. But I have to take this seriously! After all Jesus took me seriously when He died and suffered for me, for us! So in everything I do, I want to please Him and give Him glory.

For now, I will continue to study God’s Word and find out God’s say in all this. The plan for now- if I will allow Noah to wear a costume, I won’t dress him up in anything that would glorify the devil. I’ll dress up him up in something good. If Noah doesn’t want to- I simply won’t force him. I will also talk to Noah’s teacher and find out what lessons they will be teaching the kids and tell her about Noah’s fears. When I give out treats, i’ll stick little Bible verses on them and use the occasion to share the Love of God to the kids and their parents.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2 NIV

To all my Christian brothers and sisters, especially Christian parents, what is your stand on this? If you could provide scriptures that would be great!

Here are some of the comments I got from friends when I first posted it. Let me know what you think.

No days off.

What’s your daily schedule like?

As mommies, our list of things to do are endless… we are always the first one to wake up- to prepare breakfast, baons, uniforms, etc and we are usually always the last one to settle down in bed. There’s kids to take care of, feed, bathe, put to bed, cuddle, there’s the pile of laundry, the dogs to feed and groom, a house to clean, meals to cook, groceries to do, a husband to take care of and so on and if you’re also working mom like me, I’m sure that you are most likely exhausted at the end of the day. And by weekend, you feel like screaming and just want to run away… But you don’t because you’re a mother and we don’t give up on our kids, on our families and we go on no matter how we feel. But even mommies need time off, at least for a few hours or a even just a few minutes.

But is that really possible? When we don’t even seem to have time to comb our hair? Let me share with you how I relax and find a few precious mommy time to myself.

There’s really no secret to finding time, it’s all about making time and learning to organize and prioritize what is important.

  • Make a to do list. Be organize. Get your phones out and write down all the things that you need to do for the day. Order what needs to be done first. When you have a list, you can be more focused and you can be sure not to forget anything.
  • Seek God first. This is the top of the list. To seek God first in everything… and I assure you, you’ll be ready for whatever the day may bring. (Matthew 6:33) No matter what’s in your ‘To Do List’ or how many there are, always always spend time with God first, a few minutes to talk to Him or meditate in His Word will go a long way.
  • Teach your kids the importance of respecting time and space. We sometimes underestimate our children, but it may surprise you that they understand what you need and what you want them to do when you talk to them seriously and clearly. Tell them that you need a few minutes to yourself and give them something to do while you have your ‘mommy time’. If you are taking care of an infant, wait while they’re asleep to have your precious time to yourself. If you have toddlers, secure them in a safe playpen or room while you find time to relax.
  • Family Support. If your husband is with you, ask them to take care of the household for a few minutes. If you have a yaya or a relative with you, ask them to spare a few minutes of their time for you

There’s always a way, there’s always time, you just need to make room for it.

When I finally ‘make’ the time, this is what I do, I go to a quiet room in my house, it’s usually the guest bedroom, but sometimes to hide from Noah, ‘my secret place’ can be the closet, the bathroom, the balcony, even the car… I would ask God to take my mind off things that are not important, to take my worries and fears away and allow me to just spend time with Him. This is how I relax, I light up a lamp (my Lampe Berger) to help me feel more relaxed, I read God’s word or just listen to Worship Music and just worship Him through songs or listen to sermons and preachings in podcasts.

I listen to Worship Songs and Just ask GOd to be glorified in all that I do. TO worship Him every minute of every day.

Lampe Berger cleans and purifies the air around my home while providing long lasting and relaxing fragrance. Today I used Summer Rain which is quickly becoming a favorite, because my room just smells so fresh and clean.

To know more about Lampe Berger, please read my previous post about it. Click Here.

And just 20 minutes in my ‘mommy time’, as I covered my lamp… I hear a knock…

Oh My Noah! Well cuddle time is also one way to relax!

Whatever it is you decide to do with your mommy time, make sure you do it because you have to, remember a happy, relax mom makes a happy home. Mommies may not have any days off but we can definitely have some mommy time every day.

How do you make time for yourself? And what do you do to relax? Please share them with me and my readers in the comments section! Thank you!