Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Secret

Dear readers, I’m about to reveal something I’ve been shy to admit to just anyone. I’m deathly afraid of getting a pedicure. The sight of a nipper going in for my cuticles are enough to send me trembling. Seriously, it’s not funny. I love having clean, beautiful nails (Who doesn’t?!) and it’s really a big deal for me when I do go in for a nail treatment. Instead of getting relaxed with my pampering session, stressful siya for me! Kaloka. Nevertheless, I try to get regular nail treatments anyway (“tiis-ganda!”). Especially now that my precious back muscles are exhausted from all the baby-carrying, di ko na keri mag-bend down to do my own nails. So, being a mom now in her thirties, I thought it was high time to face my fear and appreciate this precious me-time activity somehow. I’m grateful too that I can actually find time nowadays to get a treatment, and a hubby who doesn’t mind when I do, and who would sometimes even join me (he loves spa treatments actually). What I did though is try several ones so I can at least find good, careful nail technicians who will understand and heed my constant call to, “be careful please!”

Here are two of my current favorites:
1.  Bamboo Nail Spa (G/F Strata Views Condominium, 306 P. Guevara St., San Juan. Tel no. 706-6280) – It’s a small nail spa that I serendipitously discovered as I brought in my baby for playtime with a friend’s baby nearby. The interiors are not very impressive but the service is. This is the least uncomfortable nail treatment I’ve had, with zero pain and really good, attentive service. Plus, they’re pretty affordable, too! (Classic Spa—foot soak, trim, massage, paint—is just P200!)
2.  Celebrity Nail Spa (Hotline: 0917-8120479) – Lately, it’s been pretty hectic what with balancing work and household and baby duties. There was barely time during the day to take a break let alone drive somewhere to get some treatment done. But my feet were too thick-skinned already, and it was crying out for a foot spa. So one night at 930pm, I tried my luck with this nail spa and asked if they were still open for services that night. And what do you know, they said yes! They were at my house 11pm. They were prompt, hygienic, the technician was friendly, accommodating yet not talkative, and gave an above-average treatment overall. I like that they offer an extensive lineup of services and they accommodate late-night requests (last call is 11pm), perfect for busy moms who can only take a break when the baby is asleep! (Mani, Pedi, Foot spa is P600)

Finally! Treatment's done. Phew!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Verses of Motherhood

It’s been a write-less past couple of months with the onslaught of the holidays and a birthday trip (we just got back from Cebu) but that’s not to say it’s been Word-less. In fact, as I ponder on the past year and its gifts and lessons, I could easily point to motherhood as God’s avenue of choice that year to share with me and teach me several things. Here are some very important truths that have gotten me through the intense demands of motherhood and has enabled me to fully enjoy it and my son, so much so that I have forgotten the hardships now and am looking forward to getting pregnant again! (“Not yet please”, I could almost hear my husband say haha!)

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. – Luke 17:33

There were moments when I was awake alone with my baby for the nth time during the night that I slumped in exhaustion and go into do-something-about-it mode. This is when I would count the number of times I have woken up, the total number of hours I haven’t slept. This would continue on to me reading up on other parenting styles and obsessing about sleep training and how and when my baby should be sleeping. I also carried my baby a lot simply because I really loved having him so close to me. But people always told me that I was setting him up for an ugly habit (“di na siya magpapababa”). God revealed to me then to not count what I had given, and what He would require from me. He would equip me with what’s needed of me so there's no need for me to force or control things. He would provide me with His abounding grace, and the sleep that my body needs. My only job is to give freely, in faith, to my child and family, just as freely I had received.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

I was able to meet the demands of being a mom to a preemie, and have tried my best to be the wife that my husband needed more gracefully than I could ever have done on my own. My strength on a day-to-day basis was Christ. His grace had sustained me, his grace had enabled me.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

During the first few months, we had struggled with pumping and delivering milk to the hospital NICU for preemie Gabbie, then managing our new family without any helper whilst balancing work demands. It was challenging and there were really, really tough days where I couldn’t see beyond that day. And as I ended the day, I often wondered how I was able to get through that day, and how I’ll make it again tomorrow. This verse was my answer each and every time.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Looking back now, it seems so hard to believe that I used to pump milk every two hours round the clock, deliver to the NICU twice a day, then bring home and care for a three-pound tiny baby fearlessly, and without any household help. Then continue on to care for this little child until now, try to be the best wife I can be for my hubby, keep house (though we’ve now been blessed with a great household helper), and help out with our video production business. How? All through God who has blessed me so that I may have all I need to do good work each time, all the time!

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it. - Proverbs 10:22

Oh, this is so true! My little baby boy has brought so much joy and love and happiness to our lives that my heart expands each day in gratefulness. Oh, Lord, You have been so good to our family. Thank You for your blessings!

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. - Psalm 127:3

Reward for what, I don’t exactly know but I am accepting this gift wholeheartedly and I will never stop thanking You Lord for the wonderful gift of Gabbie :) Now, as we tackle on the unique challenge of discipline with our now-15-month-old Gabbie, I keep this verse close to my heart, knowing that it is our God-given duty as well to guide our precious gift towards the right path.