CHEERS TO LIFE. CHEERS TO EVERYDAY.

11:50 PM

It's the eve of our 4th wedding anniversary and here I am trying to recall moments before I got married, my life after the wedding, the relentless days and nights of trying to have a baby, that moment when the pregnancy test kit showed us two lines, the birth of our daughter, family time  and so much more. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and I could not have chosen any other path than the road I am walking now hand-in-hand with my life's best blessing - my little happy family!

I feel extremely blessed and for that, I want to continue giving thanks every single day. I'm actually pretty close to going out of the house right now and high-five and hug every person I come in contact with. I want to spread love like confetti. I want to spread cheer. I want to shower the world with positive vibes. Oh yes, I think this level of happiness that I feel may have rubbed off to me from my husband who hails from the happiest country in the world. I guess it's true what they say - surround yourself with happy people and you'll be happy yourself. That I agree with full conviction!


I would like to share a little bit of my family life story with you and pardon me if I get too sappy for your liking. But I do encourage you to read until the end just so we can clink our glasses together and say "cheers". Would you let me? Okay, let's start with the birth of our lovely daughter, Viktoria Summer.

"ARE HER FINGERS AND TOES COMPLETE?"

I had a difficult pregnancy. I'm one of the pregnant women who had to go through all-day sickness because we had hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line and that's exactly what I went through. I had to be confined in the hospital twice - once every trimester. It wasn't an easy ordeal and I thought I died a little every time I purge. Feeling ko maghihiwalay na ang aking kaluluwa sa aking katawang lupa sa sama ng pakiramdam. I know it's a bit exaggerated but it's exactly what I felt. You can ask Kate Middleton and she will concur because she had it too. The catch was that I puked even the medicines I took aimed to nourish the growing and developing baby inside me. Aside from HG, I also had gestational diabetes which required me to inject insulin before meals as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Kaloka! Napunta na sa akin lahat!

I had bouts of pity parties by myself because my husband was also working overseas and I was almost just alone at home after filing for medical leave from work. To cut the long story short, I survived the nine-month ordeal and I was able to give birth to my daughter. After I heard her first cry, my first question to my husband was, "Are her fingers and toes complete?" and I shed tears of joy when my husband responded with a resounding "Yes!". Every single pain I felt during and immediately after childbirth were all trumped by the blessing of a brand new life and a promise of a wonderful tomorrow. Daig ko pa nanalo ng lotto! 



Cheers to life indeed! Cheers to all the mothers in the world especially to our very own mothers!

MOTHERHOOD CHANGES YOU

I started being a mother the moment I confirmed that I was with a child. I started thinking more about the baby growing inside me and less about me. I made pacts with myself even before my baby was born. I devoured pregnancy books, I equipped myself with the knowledge that a first-time mother ought to know. Becoming someone's mother instilled in me that my role in the world had changed - I no longer do things because I want to but I do things because it is best for that little one who depends on me. I am always trying to be an improved version of myself every single day because I am motivated to be the best kind of mother that would be reflected in my daughter's life. I have noticed that I have become more charitable, more empathic, more compassionate. I used to be a ruthless go-getter and I used to think that everything is a competition. To be really honest, I feel like my brain was rewired as soon as I became a mother.

On the flip side, I am ready to confess that motherhood made me a thousand folds more forgetful. I can still remember that one day when I made dinner for my family. I put the chicken inside the oven, cranked up the electric stove heat to 6 and started folding clothes. After an hour, I went back to check on the chicken and et voila the chicken is as cold as an early December morning - I forgot to plug the oven. But thankfully, I have not forgotten my daughter in her bath. I have not missed any feeding session. I have not neglected any of her needs and I guess that's what matters most.


Being a mother made me realize that highs and lows are bound to happen and it's always up to us on how we react or deal with the situation that we're dealt with. Knowing that is enough reason to celebrate that you are truly alive and living.

"When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children." - Jessica Lange

MOST MEMORABLE CHEERS MOMENTS

There are countless moments that I consider memorable and if I list them all, it would probably take a few more blog articles aside from this post. There are just so many snippets of our family life that make me happy in the truest sense of the word. When you are thankful even because of the little things, it is easy to be thankful for just about anything every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Here are my top 6 most memorable moments in my mommy life:
  • THAT MOMENT WHEN I FIRST HELD MY BABY IN MY ARMS - Our lives, I feel, instantly changed when our little daughter came to our lives and when I first held her in my arms, I was overcome with emotion. I cried tears of joy. I instantly fell in love. That was the only time that I believed that love at first sight really do exists. Cheers to life and the joy it brings!


  • THAT MOMENT WHEN I CRIED BECAUSE OF NEW MAMA GUILT - When I became a mom, I realized that I knew nothing. Whatever information I've read seemed to have disappeared just as fast as the anesthesia disappeared from my system. It honestly felt like I was learning even the basics and my teacher is younger, so much younger than me. Because of second-guessing myself, I felt guilty for all the little things that I felt were not good enough for my baby daughter. Cheers to learning one step at a time.
  • THAT MOMENT WHEN I TRIED EVERYTHING TO PRODUCE MILK - My breastfeeding journey is nothing to be proud of. In fact, I envy other mothers who were able to breastfeed their babies. I had milk but on the 3rd day, Summer started to cry and it felt like she wasn't getting enough milk as she should. My friend volunteered to feed her with her own milk and that we were able to satiate her for a day. After that, the same thing happened. She would cry and we would feel really helpless especially me. I requested a lactation consultant to visit me at home but we were back to the same thing the very next day. Believe me, it was really difficult to not be able to feed my daughter with my own milk. I was consumed with fear that she will grow up to be often sick because we fed her with cow's milk. She's now 20 months and we've only been to her pediatrician for her scheduled check-ups and vaccination and she only had the occasional sniffles because of the weather. She's generally healthy and that is enough to be thankful for. Cheers to health and hooray to all breastfeeding moms! 
  • THAT MOMENT WHEN SHE CRAWLED FOR THE FIRST TIME - I was over the moon the first time that I saw Summer crawl. That moment is really unforgettable.  It will be forever ingrained in my memory. Cheers to milestones!
  • THAT MOMENT WHEN SHE TURNED A YEAR OLD - We celebrated Summer's first birthday in the province with my family and most of the members of our church. It was a simple yet meaningful celebration. All the kids who attended really enjoyed the activities. Cheers to celebrations!

  • THAT MOMENT WHEN SHE WENT TO SCHOOL - I enrolled Summer in a playschool under their Sing and Play curriculum and I am happy to report that her social skills really developed and probably advanced quite a bit. She is more sociable now and she really enjoys the singing and all the other activities being taught in school. She now attempts to communicate as much as she can. She joyfully says "hi" or "hello" to her classmates before class. She has learned the value of sharing. She can even follow simple instructions. We are extremely excited to start the new semester next month. Cheers to learning while having fun!


CHEERS AND OUR LIFE'S CHEERFUL MOMENTS

Doing the grocery is probably one of my most favorite things to do. I don't consider it as a chore.  I always find teachable moments in each of the activity that I do with my daughter. At barely 2 years old, she can now identify fruits and vegetables as well as other consumer goods inside the grocery. She also knows that items need to go inside the grocery cart.


Cheers paper products, as well as trash bags, are displayed conspicuously in my friendly neighborhood supermarket. You wouldn't miss it in a rack full of paper products. The packaging is really attractive and "cheers-ful". Yes, I coined "cheers-ful" myself. Haha! Anyway, I've always picked Cheers because aside from the packaging which I really love, I also like the paper design and overall value for money.

My husband likes using the Cheers kitchen towels when he cleans the house. Oh yes, we always have a messy house - toys everywhere and yes, my husband cleans the house! I love the kitchen towel as well, especially when using it to pat dry meat before I cook them and to remove excess oils from fried food.


We also use it to clean food spilled by our little tot. For the past couple of months, I always bring the pre-cut folded napkin that comes in a box. I use it to wipe Summer's hands, mouth, or even public tables and chairs before we use them. We also use the small trash bag for soiled diapers. When I prepare Summer's bento meals, I also make sure that Cheers kitchen towel is always by my side so I can maintain cleanliness of my work area and the food I prepare. Come to think of it, Cheers have been a steady staple in our family life.


Meals shared with family plus meaningful conversations are always memorable!

Can you tell she loves Cheers?

REALITY CHECK

Motherhood is not glamorous. Motherhood is not a walk in the park. But I tell you, it is the most rewarding job you can ever have in your lifetime. I love the tender moments that I share with my daughter. I especially like it when she hears the word "hug" and she would run to me and give me a tight hug. I adore how she wakes up and greets me with her tiny voice. I love how she cuddles next to me. Heck, I even love her wet, sloppy kisses. I love her gibberish baby talk. I love when she whimpers in the middle of the night as if she wants mommy to give her a big hug and keep her safe. All these little things affirm my decision to be a stay-at-home full-time mom as the best decision I have ever made in my motherhood journey. I gave up my corporate career but there was never a day that I felt a tinge of regret. My performance review as a mother is every day and just the same I get my performance bonus on a daily basis as well. It's an entirely different ballgame but there's so much reason to say "CHEERS" loud and proud. 

Indeed, ordinary things become extraordinary when you are a mother! I probably listed trivial moments but I know that those moments will live with me until I die. I know that I will never forget those moments. Motherhood will always be a teacher to me as I advance more in this wonderful journey and there would be long days where my selflessness, compassion, and maybe even temper will be tested. However, instead of feeling the pressure, I aim to do it right for my daughter, for our little family. I know that motherhood is not easy but through the power of prayers and my faith and the support of family and friends, I know that I can hurdle my biggest challenge.


Deuteronomy 4:9-10 (English Standard Version)
9 "Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so."




Say yes to #Cheers and #CheersToLife #CheersToEveryday. I wish you all a happy life filled with gratitude and wonderful moments to be cheery about. 



Cheers is made from 100% virgin pulp that is made available for every consumer tissue/table napkin need! It contains no artificial whiteners and elemental chlorine which makes it truly hygienic and helps avoid paper wastage given the range of napkin configuration. Cheers can be bought from leading supermarkets and grocery stores. - Sanitary Care Products Asia, Inc. 

ABOUT SCPA, Inc.

Established in October of 1996, Sanitary Care Products Asia, Inc. is a Filipino-owned Christian family-run company dedicated to raising the level of hygiene products available to the Filipino market. With quality and innovation as key values in developing its products, SCPA was one of the first advocates of the use of more hygienic raw materials in its paper products that are void of harmful chemicals and bleaches.

Partnered with the push for innovation is the belief that every Filipino should have access to quality products. As such, SCPA aligned their brands to meet the different needs of the Filipino market while remaining uncompromising in their promise of providing excellent products. 

DISCLOSURE: This is my entry to the NuffnangPH and Cheers #CheersToLife #CheersToEveryday blog contest. All thoughts, opinions, as well as suggestions mentioned in this post are entirely my own and were not influenced by the brand mentioned. I could win a birthday party for my little one if I win this contest. Ain't life grand? Cheers!



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