Archive for the ‘On Being Moms’ Category


May 5, 2010

My son Railey asked me while looking at his sleeping baby brother – “Mom, why are babies soo cute? And why is Vitor cuter than a pig?” *oink!*

My two wonder boys...

Happy Mother’s Month to all the mommas out there! =)

Babinski Mama Aimee

Beyond the “Name Game”

April 30, 2010

In a week or two, we will welcome another Babinski Baby! We are all excited coz Babinski Mama Charlene is about to give birth to her 3rd child … another baby girl! =) Aside from her last minute preparations, she is in panic mode …. the baby still doesn’t have a name! Mae and I have been asking her since we found out the gender of the new baby and she would always say “I don’t know yet”. I guess for most of us, naming your baby is just one of the toughest things to decide on even if it were your nth time! When I was in my teens, I already thought of a name for my future baby. But things change (and you don’t end up with the same guy) so when it was finally time for me to decide on what name to give my first born, so many names were entangled in my head!

Thanks to the internet, now we can Google baby names… unique baby names… names with meaning – to give us ideas. But seeing all those cool names can make your list too long, that we get confused even more. For one, Charlene wants a name that starts with the letter C.  So friends from everywhere gave their suggestions. From the goofy ones like Charing, Chiquitita, Chaparral (haha! Ang daming suggestions kapag kalokohan!) to the beautiful ones like Charlize (mix of Charlene and her mom’s name), Chloe, Chelsea, Callista… and the list goes on and on. It’s really not that easy ‘ya know! There are just so many things to consider, don’t you think? — are you the type who would like to “theme” their kids names (I know of a real family with kids named after holidays). Of course you also have to consider if the name would go well with your family name (remember Andy Lim? Kenneth Sy?).  Will it be prone to mispronunciation or to mockery? My former boss was going to interview an applicant with a “kawawa-naman-sha-bakit-ganoon-pinangalan-sa-kanya” kind of name and couldn’t stop laughing right in front of his face (the poor guy said he is used to it). Will the name be nice even when your child turns 50? Does your husband like it? You also have to think of a cool nickname! HAH…the mind-boggling name game!

So anyway, Charlene would actually say “I don’t know yet” whenever we ask. But what she REALLY wants is a name that has significance, a name with a special meaning that even her daughter would be happy to embrace for life. When you really think about it, the name you give your child will stay with her forever. Our name even outlives us. So we must choose well. And so I say, be CAREFUL how you name your baby! Ok, it sounds cute and sosyal, but make sure it also has a good positive meaning. That name will be her label, her identity. I wasn’t so conscious about this for my first born, but thank God I was for my 2nd child!

We know that in the Bible, one’s name encapsulates its essence or character – be it a person or an animal. The other day, Mae, Charlene and I were discussing the meaning of our names and other friends’ names and parang swak nga. So I’m just reminding each of us to be more conscious of this when naming our children. I don’t really know for sure if it will have an impact on their personality or destiny. But at least your child has a good name to begin her life with. Now who wouldn’t want that?

Babinski Mama Aimee

P.S. And so the name game is still on! Charlene’s mom is giving cash $$$ prize for the winning entry — but the cash prize is for relatives only! wink=)

Living Words

April 22, 2010

Jabez lost a front tooth again, a total of two front teeth.

“I look so ugly!”

“No you’re not. You’re the most handsome boy in the whole world!”

“I am ugly I hate myself!”

Gahd! I couldn’t believe a seven year-old boy would be this conscious about his looks.

Summer break is really a big relief. Having this humungous babybump is weighing me down and stealing the fun out of me. I’ll be giving birth in a few days! Yahoo!

This has been a tiring school year for me. Jabez had lost heart with Reading and Filipino, except for Math, which is a good sign, something that he got from his Dad and definitely not from my side of the family. I sat with him everyday with his books, very patiently (and most of the time, *cough, cough* impatiently. I blame the dude who invented Facebook). It was just so difficult to teach someone who doesn’t show even a .00000892% of interest with the subject! It just discouraged me more when I get called by his teacher for a little heart-to-heart talk on Jabez’ status. Talk about rubbing salt in my wounds. It drove me nuts.

“Okay Kuya, read this…”

“Mommy I can’t do it! I really can’t.”

“Yes you can, you’re a smart boy…”

“NO I’M NOT! I’m stupid! *pause* Mommy, can I play with my PSP?”

(I blame the dude who invented PSP.)

I realized that aside from the thousand tasks assigned to moms, being a lifecoach is one of the toughest. There are days when good words come to me like rain in the desert.

“You look so handsome with the two new permanent teeth coming out!”  “I love you Jabez. For me you are the smartest boy and I believe you can do it…” It calms him down.

“I love you, Jabez…” It works more often times than not.

– Babinski Mama Charlene

Love Times 2

November 25, 2009
(WARNING: The links contain very graphic video)
Maia’s first glimpse of the World…

My first glimpse of Maia
And I fell in love…
Happy 2nd Birthday Maia.
I love you 100,000,000,000 googolplex times.
– Babinski Mama Mae

The New Kid

October 26, 2009
I transferred Max to a new and big school just last month, I was scared how it would be for her as the new kid. On her first day, I settled in a small sofa outside the directress’ office sorta like a waiting area near her classroom, “Ma’am, it would be best if you won’t be here tomorrow so Maxine can adjust right away.” Right. Short of saying, “So YOU can adjust right away, Mommy.” So the next day I just drove around school, stopping every five minutes in front of the playground until the security guard approached me, “Ma’am, andun po yung parking area.” Oo alam ko okey, pinapanood ko lang yung anak ko, new student kasi sya e alamo ba yun. Baka kasi awayin sya ng mga kaklase nya or baka kurutin ng teacher. Teka teka teka, bakit ka nga ba nangingialam? E kung ikaw kaya ang ihagis ko sa parking area?! Di mo ba naiintindihan, nanay ako okey! WOKEY.
“Ah okay, salamat ho manong.”
I watch Max watch the world. Watch her make friends. Watch her face trying to understand me, listening in such a real way it is almost heartbreaking. I watch and wait for her to answer back about a world she is obviously so interested in, sensitive to. Like a miniature sage.
“Mom, how come there’s no moon tonight?” “How come it rains?”
“I don’t know baby…”
Because I really don’t know. I know nothing of moons and why sometimes they appear white in the daytime, lingering in the mornings while it should only appear at night. And that rain is precipitation but it is just too boring to say that. In fact, one day she will find that I know very little. That I know nothing, really. And yet, now, I feel compelled to give her answers…
“Moon is just playing hide-and-seek with the stars and I think Vega is it!” “You know, it rains when the bluefairy cries…”
I’m still learning, Max. Or someday you will tell me. I don’t know if this is the right approach. But I’m learning and trying and figuring it out as I go. Just as you are with your speech and your songs and your life.
I still can’t believe you exist. It has been four years and I guess I figured I would be used to you by now. But sometimes when I pick you up from school there is a moment where I open the door and think, did I really have a child? Is this a dream? And then you appear with hair all over your face your hairclip missing, with dirty white uniform and a half-eaten sandwich in your lunchbox and a toque made of paper, glued on both ends, you told me you cooked in school and you’re a chef now and yes, there you are. I remember now.
Moments have passed. Life shape-shifts. You grow up. I remember our past and cannot believe I have so easily forgotten much of where you’ve been.. I have photos to remind me. And memories. And old things. Did you really fit into those crocheted booties? And I never knew you had such shiny eyes until it lit up when you first laid eyes on a real elephant. Big Mama loved you. Shucks man, I couldn’t believe I could see thru your soul. If only I could take her home just for you, a pachyderm in the backyard would be really cool! Yeah, I think so, too.

Big Mama

You have become independent now. You climb monkeybars by yourself and ride the swing with no hands. You and Juliana have secrets and always giggle like teenage girls. You say you hate boys but why do you love kissing Railey? I almost had a breakdown when you said you wanted to be a rockstar, when all I wanted was for you to invent something like Google. You demand for band-aids and new pairs of high-heels and even for nail polish. You disagree, fight with me and break my heart now. But then to neutralize, you give me four-year old giant hugs and kisses. Come here baby. “I am not a baby! Maia is the baby” But you still are. Yes you’re a new kid now but you’ll always be my first baby forever, even if someday I would have to stand on my tippy-toes to kiss you.

Max & Juliana

"We hate boys!"

Thank you for reminding me that anything is possible and to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation that I’ve ignored when I became adult… the moon, the rain, the elephants…
Happy fourth birthday Maxxiebear, loving you always like an insane person.
Here are some photos of some of your firsts. I cried and cried when you made that major decision to grow up.

First bath.

My first night-out as a mom. And I thought I would never have one. (With Lilian on her Manila vacation.)

First feel of sand. ...And she fell in love instantly.

First subway ride.

Max the future surfer.

– Babinski Mama Mae

No Children in Bed

May 22, 2009

The kids have been sleeping with us in bed since they were born and I assume it is no biggie for Merl. But on times when they would fall off the bed at 2am screaming bloody murder, he’d get mad and say, “Gahd! What’s the point of buying a crib!” By one year old we will should get Maxine her own bed, I’d say softly, half-meant. It never happened. She’s three and a half now.

Before I started to have kids one of the rules I laid down was, No Children in Bed. I wanted the Western way, babies in their own nursery, with only those walkie-talkie thingies to monitor even if that sounded taboo in this country. But since we started in a bachelor pad, there’s just not enough space for an extra room. So the crib was stationed beside the master’s bed.

It’s 5am, no 5:30. It could even be 7am… Max has summer school at 8! I’m bad with mornings, I don’t test well in blue light. It’s quiet, probably it’s 6am. Moms have this thing with getting the right time based on situations. I can feel the rise and fall of Maia’s chest. I would listen intently to make sure all of the living things in the bed are breathing. Just to be alive is the best gift ever. I hide, creating a cocoon of pillows and duvet waiting for my wings to appear, waiting for the kids to wake up that is. My body aches, my arms numb in this cramped bed and yet my nights are dreamless, perfect, waking to answer a child’s demand, “Hug me, Mama,” and a few moments later, the baby who is sleep-drunk as I nurse right away even at a slightest whimper. It is drowsy but blissful, cozy and life-affirming. I just couldn’t do it any other way.

The husband tells me he needed more room. It’s a california king size bed. Sorry we kinda knocked the King out of it. How can I tell him that the kids will sleep with me ‘til they are 16? He’d freak out. I can’t even imagine sleeping without them. Of inhaling emptiness where their breaths used to be. Yup, there are entire nights without us touching each other and you say we need to have our little hideaway where we can remember that we’re a married couple in love and not just mom and a dad. You do have to make extra efforts to nurture your couple life and intimacy, though. But who says you need to do it in the bed?

Before I had kids I was so sure I didn’t want them sleeping with us. But becoming a mother taught me so much about the unpredictability of parenting. Let me just tweak this rule a little bit… you know. I know that these moments with the kids will one day be incredibly rare and incredibly precious, appraised beyond the value, and after a few years, extinct. So at this point I enjoy the jabs to my side like KungFu Panda kicks, when I lose hair from accidental tugging, bodies intertwining like ribbons, the spooning, the ‘mom sandwhich’. These won’t last forever and one day I’d surely miss it like decadent cake to a diabetic.

Waking up beside the kids is like waking up with the sweetest sunshine. When the little whispers, giggles, eskimo kisses and nonsensical secrets start. I don’t really know when I’d get the beds, or maybe not at all. Maybe when we transfer to the new house, Max insists for a fairy princess pink and purple room. For the meantime wild horses couldn’t drag me away. We’ll play it by ear.

Babinski Mama Mae