Kyle’s First Christmas

To have a child celebrate his first Christmas is a wonder to a new mom like me. It’s like a breath of fresh air. You just want to give your child everything that you can, make him believe that everything is possible & reassure him that everything will be alright.

Merry Christmas Cake
Simbang Gabi
Happy Birthday Jesus Cake
My Family
Santa's Helper Is Sleeping
A Christmas Lullabye
My First Christmas
Me & Mickey Mouse
I Love Gifts!
Mommy & Ninang Teenie
Daddy & Me
I'm A Milkaholic
Family & Friends

Designing the Nursery, The Concept

Redesigning the office/guest bedroom into a nursery/guest bedroom has been an on & off 5 month project. My concept is to have a contemporary Peter Pan theme. I’m also thinking of balancing the fact that it’s also a guest bedroom. I’ve no intention of making it a literal Peter Pan motif but pick up some  inspiration from the Walt Disney’s Peter Pan pictures below:

Peter Pan Inspiration 1
Peter Pan Inspiration 1
Peter Pan Inspiration 2
Peter Pan Inspiration 2
Peter Pan Inspiration 3
Peter Pan Inspiration 3
Peter Pan Inspiration 4
Peter Pan Inspiration 4

From the above pictures, I came up w/ my color palette of Salem Blue, Butter, Pistachio Green & Snowy Mount:

Color Palette
Color Palette

My hubby painted the walls & we hired a wallpaper installer to hang the wallpaper we bought from Lowe’s. It’s a Damask print from York Wallcoverings.

Damask Print From York
Damask Print From York
Wall Paper Installation
Wall Paper Installation

I have 4 more weeks to finish this room before the baby comes. It’s really different when you’re designing for yourself & designing for a client.

Baby Steps Towards Parenthood

23 weeks into my pregnancy, I started enrolling myself & my hubby into “Babywise Education” in our preferred hospital. Since we’re first time parents, we practically enrolled in every seminar possible. There’s the Maternity Tour, Breastfeeding, Infant Safey & CPR, Babycare & Parenting, & Childbirth Preparation (Lamaze). I really don’t know what to expect but I learned that the classes filled up really early. Well, considering we’re having an increase in live births per year in the US according to the New York Times article, “2007 U.S. Births Break Baby Boom Record,” by Erik Eckholm. He said that there were about 4,317,000 births in 2007 which surpassed the 1957 figure at the height of the baby boom. I wonder if this trend will continue since US is currently having a recession.

My 23rd Week Bump
My 23rd Week Bump

We’d also started window shopping for necessities to our incoming little squirt. We registered at Target, BabiesRUs & Amazon. We went to the stores and I just realized there were a gazillion of parents shopping for their kids. I consider myself a veteran shopper but going to the Baby’s Department was like being Alice in Wonderland. So many choices! — it was fun & yet confusing.

At The Baby's Department
At The Baby's Department

Then I started researching about the “first year” of having a baby. What are the choices for child care? I’m conflicted. I do love to personally take care of my baby & at the same time provide for him. I guess, it really depends on a family’s situation. But in our case, having just one provider in the family is not really an option in these economic times. In addition to that, I do feel empowered & complete as a person working on my art & design. So, I started looking for a daycare center. And guess what? This one that we really like, affordable & reputable in our city have a waiting list that have parents queuing up since 2007! I put my name on the list anyways, praying that we won’t have to wait that long. Tip: you can actually put your unborn child on the list for some daycare centers. Just ask nicely, though.

Going through these things made me appreciate my parents more. Learning to become a parent is enlightening. Yes, it helps that there are seminars these days but there’s no actual child-proof rearing manual but I’m learning that you just have to take it one day at a time. Things that your parents told you aeons ago, comes back to haunt you. It is amusing how parenthood comes to a full circle from parent to a child who is becoming a parent.

My Top 10 Surprises During Pregnancy

What I know about going through pregnancy was based from what I’d observed from my family & friends. I never knew how much limited I know until I get pregnant — imagine my surprise. You get pregnant, you get morning sickness then your tummy grows big. All women talk about how painful it is going through labor. That’s it. That’s all I know. Ok. Of course, I learned something from my biology class — about the x & the y chromosomes stuff. But they never tell you about what a pregnant woman experience until you are pregnant.

Chromosome

1. gas

Because of how your insides are being squished I can’t help passing gas like a frat boy. It’s one of the most embarrassing things you have to deal with. I just make sure no one’s around. Sometimes the problem is, it doesn’t choose when & where.

Spicy Tuna Salad

2. no eating of sushi

When I learned that I can’t have this until you’d finished nursing because of possible bacteria contamination to the fetus, I started dreaming about sushi…specifically, spicy tuna…! This is one craving I can’t have.

3. not drinking coffee/ green tea

I drink a half cup of coffee & 3x of green tea everyday. I’m a green-tea-holic. I mean, how can green tea suppose to be bad for you? That was my thinking. Then I learned that green tea would increase the chance of miscarriage, especially herbs that’s not cleared by your OB Gyn.

4. the cost of having a baby

It’s still an abstract idea until it’s happening to you. It helps that I have health insurance but man, how bills piles up & I haven’t given birth yet.

5. constipation

It’s the most uncomfortable feeling in the world but when it happens to you everyday, you’ll get crazy. Then, I found my solution: prune juice – it’s not that bad.

hulk

6. growing pains

And so I thought, your skin just adapts to the growing tummy and from the outside, it looks like it’s happening gracefully. Not in my insides. I’m sure you’d watched at some point in time Dr. Bruce Banner transforming into “Incredible Hulk”  & he looks really pained. That’s how I feel.

7. pimples

I thought after puberty, that’s the last time I’ll ever see an infestation of pimples. This is not just, “I slept late last night” one pimple. These are PIMPLES!!! Aren’t pregnant women skin suppose to be glowing? I suppose my hormones chose something else.

8. porn boobs

My hubby loves this. And I thought I was having breast cancer! LOL! Ooops! Knock on wood! Barbie girls, get pregnant so you don’t have to get breast implants.

9. not knowing your pregnant until…12 weeks after

I think this will only apply to women who have irregular periods, pregnant women who have no morning sickness (lucky me!) & couples who had stopped trying to get pregnant. Surprise is an understatement. Even though we want to have kids, we were in a daze for a week.

10. fetal movement

Because of my frequent gas experience, I can’t pinpoint exactly the first time I felt my baby wriggling inside me. It’s only a week ago that I became sure. The amusing thing is that whenever I finished eating, I do feel the movement. It kinda reminds me of my brother’s puppy who gets excited whenever he feeds on his treats.

Another Role: A Mom

4 weeks ago, I was planning to have a mammogram which led me to finding out that I was pregnant. I’d mistaken the symptoms for something else. A week after that, I learned I was already 3 months on the way. How strange. I felt normal…it seems that nothing has changed. There’s no morning sickness (thank God!). And yet, that first week I was in shock. My hubby & I were trying before & then stopped — but we do want to have a baby someday. I really don’t know what it means: becoming a mother.

Baby Ivens
Baby Ivens

I started researching the internet on what to do & what not to do as an expectant mom. I realized I did everything wrong on that first three clueless months: I drank coffee & green tea everyday, I occasionally went to bars where people smoke, I eat lots of spicy tuna roll, I work out vigorously. And yet he/she survived. The baby wants to live. I think the baby’s saying it’s about time.

Now, what does it mean to me being an artist or just simply for me. The impending dread of a lifestyle change is coming. My selfishness ways will be cut short. My body is freakingly changing! But as I look at the screen of the sonogram and before me a blob of figure is manifesting into this fragile being with the heart beating so strongly, I felt tears well up for joy. I was thinking about the baby and not “me” for the first time. A strange mixture of feelings came over me: a sense of calmness, protectiveness, and faith that everything will be alright.

As my new doctor gave me the print out of the sonogram, I just stood in awe and wonder at God’s creation. He is still the greatest artist of all times.