This is not a love letter.

Who writes love letter to their husbands these days?

Certainly not me.
When will I find the time to write one in the first place? Too many young children are keeping me super occupied.

My husband asked me how my day was when we had a brief moment to ourselves after dinner. How can I tell him that my moods were as erratic as Melbourne weather that day? Sunny one moment, cloudy the next. That went on for about a few iterations, I lost count.

Crazy.

That was exactly how I felt. Blissful one minute, wearisome the next.

I don’t think he’ll ever feel what I’m going through. Let’s face it, men’s hormones are pretty flat.

Whenever I see the children laughing or simply having a good time together or when I notice my father happy, my moment turns into joy. The children are cheeky and amazing. But when I focus on the strange things I’m experiencing associated with my pregnancy, I become despondent.

Two cows playing with Anton

Two cows playing with Anton

Throughout the day, all I’m thinking of is when he’ll be home. He puts me together. He gives me the support and stability I need specially with this pregnancy. I know when he’s around everything will be fine.

Spring sky

Spring sky

At the end of the day when it’s just the two of us, I can shed a tear or two. He will listen to me like he’s listening to my woes for the first time. That tireless affection, that warm embrace, that listening ear give me the strength to go through another day with optimism and less of selfish thoughts.

I love him dearly.

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I thank God for marriage. It is so beautiful. It is making me whole.

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12 Weeks and Counting

Elmer and Sasha joined me for our baby’s 12th week scan last week. We’ve never heard the baby’s heartbeat prior to that. I was a bit nervous because of a previous miscarriage.

Here’s a snapshot of what happened:

Radiographer: You can just sit down and watch the big screen up there while I perform the scan.

Andrea: Oh wow! The baby is so big now. Is there a heartbeat?

Radiographer: Yes. Baby’s actually 14 weeks and 2 days according to my measurement not 12 weeks as per your LMP.

Sasha: (in her loud and excited voice) The baby is sooooo cute. Is she a girl? Oh look Mommy baby is turning around. (Then giggles. She kept on commenting the whole time).

Radiographer: Can you tell her to keep quiet because I can’t concentrate?

Andrea: Sweetie please zip your mouth and give me the key.

Sasha: (Started to pout and kept quiet for a while).

Suddenly, we heard someone snoring. Guess who?

Now you know that if it’s your 6th baby, your husband comfortable dozes off to sleep.

Well and good.

But I’m happy. Baby is alive and kicking… Due in April.

Can I Call You?

Anton is crazy about calling his Tita Ann, my younger sister. Every time he sees my phone he screams for me to call my sister. Lately, he learned a new trick to call his girlfriend since he can’t always have my phone.

Here it goes…

Anton: Hello Ann? Eat Bulaga!

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Anton: Ann! Ann! Ba-bye!

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He dropped the phone too soon. He was probably thinking ” I have waited so long for a lap time with Daddy. Sa wakas, napansin din ako.”

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Think Again

If you think your house is in a mess, well think again.

This was the state of our living room while I was busy preparing lunch. I overheard Sasha was the servant and the rest were her masters (sounds like my life). They had their own little houses. In short, they were having the time of their lives.

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Used to drive me to the wall whenever I see a (crime) scene like this. I think I’m getting better at managing my OC-ness. Grace is in the works. I actually let the mess linger on until late afternoon then decided to clear it up before the Captain goes home.

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 It didn’t stay this neat for a long time. You can see, one of them was creeping in and ready to attack again.

Wasted

Anton and I got wasted last Friday night.
Terrible.
He stayed half asleep, half crying from 9pm until brekky due to clogged nose and frustration from not being able to sleep.

Neither Anton, Elmer nor I got a decent sleep. Anton adamantly refused to stay in his crib and that was not a good sign.

Our bed in a state of calamity

Our bed in a state of calamity

But the good news is, Anton and I spent most of Saturday sleeping. Sweet reward for such a long night. He was his usual jolly self after our 3-hour nap. He was happy, I am happy, everyone’s happy.

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But the happiest of all is Lolo. Di puedeng magkasakit ang paboritong apo.

Ten Things I Hate About Mr Yu

Post taken and revised from the Best of Chronicles of Rea.

Shots were from our last European escapade in 2011. (Sana maulit muli).


Elmer and I don’t feel like we’ve been married for eight years. We feel we’ve been married longer than that. True.

While most marriages are breaking apart after five years. I think ours is just getting more exciting. I’ve often wondered why we are so happy together even after countless children in a row. Most people would think that we have barely time for each other. The truth of the matter is that the more children we have, the more we try to find that time for each other.

Being together became our solace and our strength. I think God made it that way.

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Statue of St Josemaria Escriva, Pamplona Spain

But before you think we are such a perfect couple, allow me to let you into some secrets…drum rolls please…

1. Elmer is such a wonderful saver. And I’m such a happy spender. What a clash isn’t it? What do you expect if you married a typical, practical Chinese. And I’m a typical Filipino who does not worry about the future. “Bahala na si God”. He taught me how to value money. He told me that it is not how much you earn but how much you save. True enough. His savvy saving skills have helped us through the worst financial crisis of all times! We still manage to run our household with just one income, 5 children and 1 more baby on the way.

2. Elmer is such an intense person. I thought I was already determined and focused until I met and lived with this man. Isn’t it obvious? Look at the number of children we have and the spacing between them. He loves a good challenge. He is the kind of person who grows bigger when faced with obstacles.

3. Elmer is tireless. Period. He works like a dog like the Beatles. I want as much sleep, rest and quiet time as I can have. Remember the temperaments? He sleeps the last and wakes up the first. I don’t know how he does that. But he lets me be. All these children bickering in the house have been draining my batteries.

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Lunch at Barcelona Spain

4. Elmer loves a good hug. While I enjoy a lovely conversation. Matchless. Sometimes he has to remind me to hug him back. How insensitive of me right? But I do not mean that. Maybe its in my genes. I can always blame it on my poor father.

5. Elmer loves to compare prices. He gets a high for getting the best price for a buy. He is not a procurement expert for nothing. He does the grocery, shopping and accounting for the house. Anything related to finances is handled by my hubby. Isn’t that ironic that I was the bloody banker? As for me, I don’t enjoy shopping or hopping around. I just want to go to one shop or store where I always go. Hopeless isn’t it?

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Laduree, Paris France

6. Elmer will accomplish a task the moment you give it to him. So if you want something done, go to Elmer. I still have problems remembering the things I have to do for the next hour. Once my father asked me to rebook his flight back home. I think he has been telling me that over and over again for a month. Until my father got tired then just mentioned the change of booking to Elmer. Immediately, he was off to Manila. I find all sorts of excuses to not doing the things which I have to do. But I really find it difficult to remember things that well after the anesthesia which I got during the deliveries. See. I’m making an excuse again.

7. Elmer loves to call or text his mother (widowed) and siblings whenever he can. I still struggle to call mine. I love that about Elmer. He makes sure you feel important and loved. He is very good in remembering dates and special occasions. I still miss my friends’ birthdays by a day or two. Forgive me.

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Dinner at Paris

8. Elmer takes a long time to decide while I’m very decisive. This is the reason why it took him 7 years to court me. Kidding aside. He’s very careful and mindful in making decisions that it will probably take him 3 more children to make up his mind. While I’m the Mrs Decisive type. I like to decide quickly and move on to the next step. If I like something, I will really go for it.

9. There are a thousand little things about us too which are quite contrasting. He loves Chinese food, while I prefer Western. He likes to watch while I like to read.  He likes to finish whatever he has on his to do list while I like to play it by the ear. He is a type A personality while I’m more lets do it when I have time or if I remember it. He’s flexible while I need a schedule. He’s an introvert while I’m more of the people person.

10. But the most important thing of all is… Elmer loves me heaps. I cannot measure up to it. But I am always infinitely grateful to and for him, for the way he makes me feel. I feel loved, I feel needed and I feel special like I’m the most special woman in the world. Hats off!

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Summit Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Be What You Are

Sasha made this poster and she pasted it on our classroom wall. I don’t know where she got it but it made me look again. And again and again.

(L-R) Tatay, Elmer, Me, Sasha, Pio, Luis, Nina, Angelo (baby in heaven), Anton, Baby in my tummy (Sasha's hoping its a girl)

(L-R) Tatay, Elmer, Me, Sasha, Pio, Luis, Nina, Angelo (baby in heaven), Anton, Baby in my tummy (Sasha’s hoping its a girl)

Family, be what you are. -St John Paul II

I always tell my children that each and every child is a gift from God. It is the best gift along with a happy marriage that we, as parents, can give them.

Each child who comes into the world has a divine purpose.

Each child that God grants is a wonderful blessing from him. Do not fear having children. – St Josemaria

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Parents will remind themselves that it is certainly less serious to deny their children certain comforts or material advantages than to deprive them of the presence of brothers and sisters who could help them grow in their humanity and to realize the beauty of every stage of life in all its variety. -St JPII

I couldn’t agree more.

I love this Pope.

An Invincible Summer

I don’t want to depress you with my (all-day) morning sickness woes. Suffice to say that it’s the worst of all my pregnancies. I feel for all pregnant mothers.

I felt unusually fine last Sunday afternoon. Too fine, I baked Pineapple, Cinnamon and Allspice Cake from Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries recipe book. It’s a welcome change from our indulgent chocolate cakes.

I have these...

I have these…

So I made this.

So I made this.

Anton loved it. But then again, this toddler eats almost everything.

I felt well enough that I requested Elmer to drive us out of the house. I have been a different person since my morning sickness kicked in. I hated coffee and sweets, I don’t have the energy to bake, I don’t like to go out, I lost my inspiration to write, I can’t take Elmer’s scent.

I’m just praying that I continue to feel fine. But I promised myself that I will take out my focus on the physical pain which I am enduring and turn the spotlight to the many happy joys surrounding me.

That’s more worth it.

I found this quote which I had kept for years and unknowingly filed in Elmer’s folder. This is for all beautiful mothers:

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggles, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

In the midst of winter I found an invincible summer. 

-Albert Camus

Big News: Now We Are 6!

Baby # 6 is on the way.
Due early May, 2015.

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Elmer and I were just waiting for it to happen.
The children were so happy when we told them about the new baby. They are coming up with different kinds of names now.

Tatay is in the process of accepting it. But I know he’ll get around it. He always does.

My morning sickness is at its peak. Good bye coffee for now.

End of School 2014

We are officially ending our school year today.

It feels so good. We made it.

Pio: I can't take this anymore.

Pio: I can’t take this anymore.

I’m planning of having a 6-week break.

Good bye blackboard for now...

Good bye blackboard for now…

Our study table.

Our study table.

Tita Ann will be here in November just in time for the school holiday. Yipeee!

Family: Be what you are.

Family: Be what you are.

Swimming, running, basketball, biking, reading, baking, knitting are on my holiday list.

Pio: This is my idea of fun.

Pio: This is my idea of fun.

 I’m overjoyed.