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Celestine’s first Halloween 🍓

I don’t know when it happened, but apparently Halloween is a big deal. 

That I didn’t know because I can’t recall ever getting spruced up for Halloween as a kid. My best memory was when I dressed up as a “white lady,” smudged lipstick all over my face and went trick or treating around the village with friends sometime in the early 2000s. 

Determined to let Elle experience everything I didn’t growing up, I thought dressing her up for Halloween would be nice start. And talk about perfect timing—I had been wanting to take her to the office quite awhile now (and pretty much everyone I see in the building has asked me to) and what better time to introduce the superstar of my social accounts to everyone than the first-ever Trick or Treat event at INQUIRER.net. 

Juicy! Can I bite you boo? 🙂

Elle looked absolutely freakin’ adorable in red (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter) as a juicy strawberry 🍓🍓🍓! I was lucky to find this costume in her size at Toy Kingdom for a price that didn’t make me cry.  I just had to get her some green tights from the department store to finish off the look.

Everyone at the office swooned (or so I think) over her. Too bad, Elle tends to keep quiet when she gets curious and when she’s in that zone, it’s hard to snap her out of it. So she didn’t get charm everyone’s socks off with the killer smile she’s known for, a usual attraction in all her photos.

She did show off her big baby girl skills by walking around in the office hand in hand with mommy and by being the bravest baby girl when most of the kids got spooked by the decorations in the third floor.  

Holding hands with my mom as we go around getting treats.

Waiting for the trick-or-treating to start!

We got so much treats! It’s funny because her pumpkin pail overflowed with chocolates, candies, jellies, gummies and other snacks (we had to get another container just to be able to bring the goodies home), but all she is really allowed to eat is a pack of boring Bread Sticks. Sorry, babe! Maybe next year when you’re not too young for sweets! (I’m gonna have to say sorry to my thighs too, because when I’m done with all these sweets, that’s where everything will go.)  

Baby long legs chomping on her loot.

Elle’s older cousin Rion, who went trick or treating with us at the office, also rocked that Lion costume! Everyone was gushing over him and people were stopping to take photos. Can you blame them? He’s got the full mane and all! 🦁

Cousins. ❤️

It was exhausting lugging all 11+ kilos of Elle around and having to walk flights of stairs to get to the offices amid all the chaos, but seeing her all so happy and excited for something she absolutely doesn’t understand, I’d be willing to do that again any day in a heartbeat. (That’s saying a lot considering that I hate walking up the stairs and my arms nearly fell off because Elle is heavy as heck.) I know what a happy Elle looks like, and the entire afternoon she really was. 

Now, Halloween is my new favorite holiday. I’m already thinking about what Elle is going wear next year! 

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I can’t wait to tell Jan all about Elle’s first Halloween. I refused to let his immediate departure Thursday night put a damper on such a joyous afternoon, but after Elle had left for home and my adrenaline had crashed, that was when it hit me that this was just the first of the countless meaningful events Jan’s going to miss while he’s away for basic military training. Three months may seem such a short time, but not when you have a one year old. Any distance feels like eternity. 

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Not so perfect world 

In a perfect world, every day would look like this; My husband and I would have breakfast together, kiss Elle goodbye, go to work together and  get home by 6pm in time to tuck our daughter to bed. We’d have the weekends off and we’d spend all those time with Elle. Maybe we’d eat out on Sundays after mass or stay in while I get busy in the kitchen. We would’t have any arguments in front of Elle. We’d have a car to go around and we’d be able to buy anything we want.

The reality, though, is this; I have a demanding job that keeps me out until past midnight and my husband Jan has one that needs him to wake up at 4am everyday. We only get one same free day each week—Sunday—and sometimes we’d spend half of that bickering.  He is not home a lot. He is an Army guy in the morning, a highschool coach at night and a basketball player somewhere in the middle—just some of the many hats he wears just so we could get by. Jan doesn’t get morning playtimes that I get with Elle, neither does he get to sing her to sleep at night. He used to be the first person Elle sees in the morning when he still had the luxury to spend most of his day at home. Now, we’re lucky to wake up to him still beside us at least once a week.

It doesn’t paint a perfect picture of a family, but doesn’t mean we are less of one. We’d probably get a scolding from others who’d tell us that none of our work mattered if we didn’t have time. Sure, I’d kill for more time for us together, but given what we have now, we don’t have a lot of room in our life right now to complain. We just make do of our Sundays together and we spend it with Elle, either we turn the entire day into one long playtime in our room or we go get something to eat at the mall. It isn’t much, but it’s something. But here’s the thing, I know for a fact that if we could squeeze in another job in the middle of what we already do, Jan and I both will—if it meant giving our daughter Elle the perfect world, eventually.

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Songs I sing to Celestine 

One of the most favorite chores I do as a mom is singing Celestine to sleep. Naturally, lullabies have become big part of my daughter’s bed time. I do it without fail—I can’t recall not ever humming or singing to her while trying to get her to sleep. (Believe me, it’s not an easy task. But that’s for another day.)  Eventually, she too had become reliant on my songs—sometimes all it needed was a line or two for her to doze off . Even now that she’s sleeping all on her own—meaning all we have to do is give her the bottle and wait until she’s knocked out—it cuts down the entire process (made up mostly of tossing, turning and crying) when I sing to her.

Of course, I have to have some sort of playlist! It’s not that easy to pull random songs out of a hat and sing them. So I’m sharing to you my baby friendly, go-to lullabies set! I’m hoping she gets to read this blog post in the future and actually remember that I sang these songs to her.


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Earrings, necessary evil

So tadah! Elle finally got her ears pierced last October 10—a few weeks before she turns one! Made a mistake of waiting until she was a bit bigger before doing it. I had been putting it off for months, precisely because I never want to see her in pain. True enough, she cried really, really, REALLY hard according to my mom who took her to the doctor. Coming from someone who doesn’t cry during vaccinations anymore, that’s saying something. It was a good thing I wasn’t there because I probably would have cried even harder than Elle (See previous post about pain).

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But seeing her all so pretty…No regrets! Well, maybe a little bit of guilt because she struggled through the night, probably because of the pain. But hey, if this puts an end to all the “Is this your son?” comments, then a little pain is okay. A necessarily evil, if you will. Pretty sure Elle’s gonna thank me for it two decades down the line. 🙂

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Look, ma! No tears!

Here’s the thing, I’m scared as hell of needles.

I have to look away and try my best not to faint everytime I get my blood drawn, so you can just imagine what a mess I am during Elle’s month visits to the doctor for her scheduled immunizations.

During Elle’s very first injection, I had my mother stay with her inside the clinic while I waited outside because I honestly for the life of me could not stand to see that syringe plunge into my daughter’s thigh. (You know what, I could feel my throat close up just by typing that.) Her cry was so loud that no doubt everyone at  OPD section at that time heard it. See, that’s another thing I hate about injections. IT HURTS LIKE A B.

  

Anyway, Elle’s response to the monthly injections got better as she got bigger while I got a little braver myself–and by braver I meant I can finally stay in the room, but I’m still not able to look.

So we came in for some anti-something shots 2 months ago and to my surprise, Elle didn’t bawl! She didn’t even flinch. But I chalked it up as luck because HOW CAN ONE NOT CRY DURING INJECTION? HOW? (Capslock for emphasis of my feelings.)

But a month after that, Elle also had another tear-free doctor’s visit. She just flashed this look of wonder on her face that was quickly replaced by her charming smile. Even the doctor was impressed. I, though, didn’t expect her to keep this up. I’m sure she’d cry the next time, I thought.

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Last week, Elle ran a fever for three straight nights and I needed to have her platelet count tested to rule out dengue. So we took her to the lab and had her blood drawn. Guess what, she didn’t cry too. We didn’t even have to do anything to distract her. She even stared at the needle (not that she knew what that was for). I would’ve taken a video but I couldn’t think of anything else and I was sweating profusely! Sorry!

Third time’s a charm. Now it’s safe to say it’s no fluke; Elle is nothing like her mom (aleast not when it comes to the irrational fear of needles).