Failing as an adult- How I feel, and How I hope to feel

it is already midnight and I can’t sleep. I have my driving exam tomorrow and examinations always get me anxious. I have always had a fear of failure. Failing school exams, medical laboratory tests- eye tests (thankfully i still have a 20-20 vision), blood tests, job aptitude tests, or any thing that requires a test of some sort. If I could, I would avoid taking tests entirely. Just so my heart doesn’t break. Or I would not even try to get ready (except when I really love the subject), so that I can tell myself that I failed because I wasn’t ready. I think deep down, I really hated failing. And growing up, I never learned how to cope with the feelings of failure… of not being good enough for anything. Now as an adult, I do what I can do best- avoid. Avoid giving myself a chance at winning, or even being good at something… I will just let myself fail, because if I try, and I fail, it would hurt more. I guess it is a bit unhealthy- mentally… spiritually… emotionally…

I am almost 40 and I still can’t drive. But I have come to that phase in my family life that i would need to chauffer my kids around… I mean there are four of them, and they all have different activities, different friends… and taxis are so expensive now, though UBER has made life more convenient. The chubbhubb needs to work so I need to start driving… I mean I can drive now- after 30 something 45 minute lessons, at 1000 USD I better know how to drive! But I still can’t legally drive because I failed my road test. I know in my head that I can do it, but because it is a test, I feel like I know I am going to fail. But I know I shouldnt… but I did… do you get me? I know I deserve that license and I drive better than other people, but I feel like I will fail just because there is a test. It’s crazy, but it’s true. My anxiety is so bad, that I can’t sleep.

So tomorrow, I have my second chance to get my license. Another episode of sitting in the waiting room with metal chairs that freeze my butt along with other 100 women whose butts I bet are freezing too. Another chance to get anxious and make mistakes. Another chance to fail….

But what if I pass? What if I get my license tomorrow (or in a few hours)? Only God knows. I pray that I don’t make mistakes. that I will hear what the tester dude instructs me to do. That I will do perfectly what I already know to do. Without hesitation, without fear. That God would grant me the happiness of owning a legitimate driver’s license- the desires of my heart as of this moment. That I will be a legitimate adult! An adult that is licensed to drive an automatic vehicle!

I will try to rest now. In a few hours, I will once again take that test. And pass or fail, I pray that I will have the strength to cope… to not want to die… to live… to try again…

the Rachel Calixtro at 38 gift list

As the day begins, i want to say Thank you to everyone who greeted me in advance and who greeted me once the clock struck 12. I dont know if my loved one’s posts started flooding your walls, but thanks for the well wishes! I normally spend my birthdays sleeping (since I think I earned this right just on this day), but today I found myself awake from 2 in the morning thanking everyone who said hello, happy, and birthday. 
I am very blessed to be surrounded with friends who are family this year. Being away from your immediate family is hard,. I miss my mom, and my two sisters, i mean brothers… The internet is both a curse and a blessing. A curse because it is such a distraction and a blessing, because family who are far away can still catch up if they really want to… 

Today I wanted to share my perfect Gift list. Not that I am asking for these things… I used to make this list every year when I had the time, back during the olden days when i use to blog. I have actually been compiling this list for some time now and decided to post it today. of all days. my birthday. Seriously, i am not asking for any of you to get me these, but just in case you were wondering what to get me today or even for Christmas… ahahahahahahaI really am a simple person… hindi po ako sosyal, I just want simple things… char! hahahaha

  1. The right pen/s – 
    1. Pilot G-Tec C4. these babies are awesome to take notes with and they make my handwriting look so official. But with 4 kids around, they break easy… Can’t buy too much of them because they are a bit pricey. But as presents, they are cheap… I would love to have all of them in all the colors but the basic black is what I love keeping around. 
    2. Pilot Frixion pen/s – A wonderful friend who gets me got me one a few months ago. And although I do not like fat nibs (points) unless for drawing, this is one exception. They write smoothly (like most pilot pens) and they are 100% erasable! So there is no fear of being perfect! I use this pen all the time now, especially when I am taking notes during sermons. 
    3. Felt Drawing pens- a new set would be awesome! Sakura Micron, Artline Fineliners, Staedtler Pigment Fineliners… I use to keep a good stock of 0.05 and 0.01 but I have run out. 
  2. Notebooks – Any notebook without lines or dotted grids… Super plus if they are moleskin! Super plus plus if they are watercolor paper!!! 
  3. Different Coffee flavors- doesnt have to be the expensive coffee… I love variety! – the different flavors of hillsbros, davidoff, a box of Nespresso capsules (I have a Nespresso machine but no budget for capsules at the moment :D), Bo’s cafe, CBTL (my fave), and the occassional Alicafe
  4. A nice book- I read a lot on my ipad but it’s always so distracting when there is a pop up that a new property is available in Al Nasr, or that a new recipe is ready in my prep kitchen. Currently obsessing over this book The joy of Watercolor by Emma Block which my big bro bought for me!!! looove… I also have a wishlist on Book depository. 
  5. Reams of Cardstock- i mean who doesn’t need cardstock? I personally like Kraft paper ones or the heavy cardstock from Jarir bookstore in all the different pretty colors!
  6. Water color paper blocks 

Shooting the moon – stuff that I will only get if I win the lottery…

  1. A Yearly subscription to Skillshare- I love learning anything creative and if I had the means or the convenience to join workshops here, I would. But there are butts that need wiping and kids who need their naps, so going out by myself is not really something I enjoy anymore (adulting changes you), so I sit at home, and watch videos that eventually make me want to go and do something… 
  2. A new wallet- I have a 13 year old Gucci Wallet that my father gifted me. I have never wanted to replace it, but i carry around so many cards (IDs of four kids, 2 sets of medical cards, reward cards… a credit card I am not allowed to use… etc). Not looking for anything expensive but sturdy with good stitching and a fabric that can withstand dirt and grime in an overflowing bag. Love the ones from Iam and Parfois. 
  3. A mini cooper- sorry had to put this in my list. 
  4. A new phone – any phone that takes good photos, doesnt have to be the latest version of the most expensive phone. 
  5. A good pair of shades… para naman hindi ako mukhang alipin ng mga anak ko. hahaha

What is on your list? Care to compare?! Comments!!!

6 years of motherhood

Happy 6th birthday

It’s been 6 years since it all began. I didn’t labor. My birth plan involved only one option and that was to give birth through a scheduled CS. No, it was not the easy way out. I had gestational diabetes and endured a high risk pregnancy, so my doctor said that was the best way to go. I had multiple miscarriages before Aria so I listened to a T… okay I wasn’t the best patient, but I did my best to do everything the doctor asked me to do and stayed away from what I wasn’t supposed to eat… 

Now 6 years later, I have a beautiful and smart daughter who has not only made us proud academically but also with her kind soul. We did not go all out on her birthday celebration. We do not do yearly birthday parties (for financial reasons).  I didn’t even get the chance to bake a cake! But a very close friend made her an awesome unicorn cake and we had a small bday ceremony at home when she got home from school.

Unicorn birthday cake for 6th birthday
Unicorn birthday cake courtesy of tita Kat
6th birthday buttercream unicorn cake candle lights

I didn’t have candles because like I said, I am no longer the girl scout I used to be. I only had tea lights for her to blow. But she didn’t mind. It was already a happy birthday for her. 

M, L and O are excited to blow Aria's candle for her 6th birthday
M, L and O are excited to blow Aria’s candle for her. Oli wants to touch the flame and Aria holds her hand
Singing happy birthday to Aria
Lets sing happy birthday Aria!

Being Thankful in the midst of trials

Things has not been peachy for me and my family the past few months… In the midst of trials, it is always hard to stay grateful for the good things and to keep the positive in mind. My feelings have ranged from despair, depression, to exhaustion and helplessness – Mostly negative. There are no ‘buts’ here. I am still down there in the dumps. Acceptance still seems hard to attain. For the life of me, I am praying for a miracle that things will get better. But I am not optimistic that they will.

Yesterday, my little Lucas turned a month old. We didn’t blow candles. We had leftover pizza. We didn’t post any ‘happy birthday’ announcements on facebook. And for the first time in a while, I felt really grateful…

My Lucas was born a few weeks early and was in the NICU for the first few days of his life. We were discharged four days later only to be admitted back to the hospital during his 1 week checkup for losing 16 percent of his birth weight, dehydration and jaundice. I was also worried about my dad at the same time who was also admitted to the hospital a few days before I gave birth. I was crying most of the time and I couldnt sleep. Not because I just gave birth, but because I felt that with all the things that are happening, there was nothing I could really do.

Except for hope.

Except for pray.

Except to have faith.

Two weeks ago, it was my mom’s turn to get sick. She suffered a major stroke and could not control her arms and legs. We weren’t there. None of her children could be there. I wanted to get the first flight out, but I could not leave my new born son who was still trying to get strong. I got more depressed. I felt more helpless.

And all I could do again was hope. pray. have faith.

There is no turning point in this post. I am still in the process of trying to figure out what else I could do. And as I do that I am reminded the great things God has done and is doing in my life… and Lucas’ being a month old is one of them.

My mom is now home from the hospital and has regained strength in her arms. Although she is still not strong enough to walk, she can now move her arms. I am grateful that she is slowly recovering. I still cannot go to take care of her. and that still kills me.

i know all things work out for the good. I am thankful that God has a promise like that. It would have been really depressing if there wasnt.

Baby countdown midnight rambling

I have started my countdown to welcoming baby number 3 a few weeks ago. By counting down, what I really mean is making a mental list, writing down all some of the stuff in my head, forgetting where i placed the said list and getting nothing done. There’s a lot of prepping I know I need to do and I am no where close to being the perfect girl scout.

Baby number 3 is going to be a challenge with two toddlers under the age of 4 and Marcus (my second born) is currently trying to reestablish his position as baby of the family. He wants to sleep with only mommy and wakes up in the middle of the night looking for mommy. I am at that stage in my pregnancy when I cannot sleep when I need to and I seem to pass out when I shouldn’t. I feel sorry for Aria and Marcus. Sometimes I pass out when they really really need me like when somebody needs to get a certain toy which is out of their reach. I would wake up cranky and finally give in turning the TV on so I could get at least 30 minutes of sleep- which I have to be honest sometimes turn into an hour of snoozing.

Aria is now out of school and enjoying her first summer vacation. She doesnt understand the concept of a summer break yet and constantly ask about going to see her teacher. I let her try to find ways to entertain herself and that usually includes making a mess of whatever she could get her hands on. My house has never been clean for more than an hour since time immemorial. And lately i cannot be bothered cleaning up because of this big watermelon attached to my front. I am the size of a truck now. Searching for/Picking up things under the bed or even on the floor has now been assigned to Aria and Marcus. It takes five years to get that done since they have only started understanding the concept of prepositions. I have not given up training them yet and before this baby number 3 comes out, I will make sure that these two will be masters of doing things for me involving fetching things ‘under’ and  ‘out of’ anything.

I guess I am still not prepared to be a mother of 3 kids. I was never prepared even during the first time when Aria was born. But I am getting by and I can only hope I do not ruin my kids with all my failures as a mom. So baby number 3, Bring it On!

sleeping Aria in our first apartment
Aria sleeping when we brought her home for the first time in our first apartment.

Baby Marcus sleeping baby
Sleeping baby boy Marcus

Aria and marcus
More than a year ago, my babies were still babies…

Ate Aria and Kuya Marcus
My babies now… Aria and Marcus are now ate and kuya.

Navigating our way to being fine…

When people ask me how my dad is doing, I am always overwhelmed on how I should answer. Most of the time I say he is physically well but mentally unwell. I don’t really want to elaborate on how ‘unwell’ he is. I don’t want people to feel sorry for him, to feel sorry for my family… to feel sorry for me… But I don’t want them to think that my dad is doing great so that they will forget him in their prayers. Because he is not okay. And he needs all the prayers he can get.

My father has Alzheimer’s. Some think that Alzheimer’s is a disease with a cure. But it does not have a known cure. And it can only get worse as each day comes. My dad is not even 60. But his mind is quickly degenerating. Every time I go to see him, I fear the day when he will stop remembering me. With my mother’s updates on his well being, I can feel that day is coming really soon…

I miss the times when I knew I could ask him anything and he would have a wise answer- when his advise would weigh so much on my decisions even as an adult. My dad has been a rock to me while I was growing up. Not just to me, but to a lot of people. And it’s difficult to imagine that that rock is slowly being weathered away by factors beyond our control. Factors that we can’t manipulate. Factors that we can only hope to be kind.

These days our conversations are limited to me telling him I love him and asking him how his day was. He would just say fine and bite on his towel. He has developed this uncontrollable knack to bite on a towel my mom gives him. Towel debris would be scattered all over the place where he sits. My mom would need to clean that up. Along with all of the other mess he can’t keep himself from making.

But even if I cannot get a normal conversation with my dad anymore, my kids love him. My kids love their lolo. They think he is funny. And when he shouts, they think its playful banter and they shout back. They would laugh together. They are not afraid. I wanted them to have that kind of relationship with their lolo. Something I missed because I was not close to mine. Something I hope they will remember once the moments and opportunities are gone.

My mother has been a champ through it all. Sometimes she tries too hard to be a champ. We don’t have house help and she takes care of my dad by herself. An alzheimer’s patient being taken care of by an almost 60 year old woman. When she shares her day, whether good or bad, and mostly bad, I am always speechless. I am helpless. How can I give comfort to my mom when my heart is breaking into a million pieces too? How can I tell her its going to be okay when I know it will only get worse? My younger brother has been the most diplomatic among us three siblings. He always has something to say. And God bless his heart that he does not fail to be comforting every time.

I cry during my nightly prayers as I pray for my dad and my mom. For a miracle. For his relief. For my mom’s strength and endurance and protection… And that’s the only time I find comfort. I won’t get it anywhere else. No where else.

“my hope is built on nothing less…

on Christ the Solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground is sinking sand…”

 

Locked out for a while…

i lost my password to this blog when I got back from vacation last year. its been almost 6 months! I tried starting a new blog at rachelscribbler.wordpress.com but ofcourse, as usual, I did not get to post much. I have ventured into deep motherhood mode with Aria starting nursery and a new bub on the way. My OB Gyne asked me if I was serious that I wanted four kids after watching Aria and Marcus trashing her office. I just laughed it out. But the chubhub gave me the serious talk about this being the last kid.

I don’t know. I still feel incomplete. I want four. But who knows? My heart might change after another year of sleepless nights and losing more of my sanity.