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.

 

Macro photography with my iphone

Currently enjoying some much awaited family time here in the Philippines. My brothers and I all live in different countries now and it is very rare that we get to be together, but with my dad’s health regressing we all knew we had to spend as much time with him as we could. So here we are with our families minus the chubby hubby who needed to stay behind in Doha because of work, spending time with our dad.

This post really isnt about my family. I just had some photos in my iphone that i wanted to share. The other day we stayed in Sinagtala farm resort in Orani, Bataan. It was a beautiful place overlooking Mt ararat. We rented a villa with four bedrooms. 

I love being surrounded with nature. It is very relaxing and soothing to be around so much greenery. But i am currently suffering from a lot of insect bites.

Decided to use my clip-on lens that i bought more than a year ago that i seldom get to use. Got some nice photos though.

   
    
  

bee in flower
taking this photo scared the bazinga out of me
  
    
    
 
   

   

Mooving!! Mooving!! Mooving!!

I am actually singing a song about moving while typing this post. Yes, we are moving again! The life of an expat in the Middle East is all about moving. Growing up in the UAE for 25 years, we have moved 8 times. Nothing is permanent. You can own property if you have the money, but people who have money here are only a small percentage. Everyone else is a paycheck to paycheck kind of employee.

Anyway, like I said, we are moving again. I didn’t even get a chance to blog about our current apartment and we are moving again. I hate moving. Packing and sorting and figuring out if you should throw away stuff because your next apartment is smaller.

Apartment choices in Doha is very limited for small time expats like us. With a small paycheck, we always opt to renting just a room, or even just a bedspace. We would rather save a chunk of our salary than spend half of it on rent. With the kind of budget that we have, most of the choices we have are old buildings, old villas or really small space- always ending up in cramped living quarters.

Oh well, we are moving again and I have no choice. Although it does present a whole range of new possibilities, packing and getting things ready with two kids under three is another challenge.

Oh well…

Garrets Popcorn: One of the things I miss about Dubai

I have been living in Doha for over a year now and we have pretty much settled in. The kids are regulars at the play area at the McDonalds near our place and also at the Pediatric Emergency Unit of Hamad Hospital which is also near our place. I have to add though that being a regular at McD’s and the emergency unit is no way related. My kids are usually sick because of the bad weather and some virus that’s going around. So don’t troll me Please!

Anyway, as much as I love Doha, there are certain things you can’t find here that are accessible in my previous home which is Dubai. And the number one item on that long list is Garrets popcorn.

Oh how I missed my bag of Garrets! So when Chubb Hubb went to Dubai for the Eid, I made sure he got me a bag. And it was such a pleasant surprise when he came back with TWO BUCKETS!!! My brother sent me one and two of my really good friends sent me one. WOOHOO! This mommy just did imaginary cartwheels.

Pecan Caramel Crisp from Garrets
Pecan Caramel Crisp from Garrets

So the bucket of Chicago mix was the first to go and now the Caramel Crisp is also almost over… I think it’s about time I find out who will be traveling to Dubai so that I can secure some space in their luggage for my bucket of Garrets…

Chicago Mix from Garrets
Garret Mix

Surviving motherhood in Doha Qatar through STUFF

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