October 31, 2005


We recently went on a two-night, three-day getaway to Malarayat Golf & Country Club in Lipa, Batangas. I was highly excited for the trip because it was to be our first out-of-town vacation with our baby in tow and we planned to take him swimming with us.

The evening before we left, my enthusiasm was a tad curbed when I realized that I would have to face the inescapably daunting task of packing not only for me, but for our tiny tot as well.

Just packing for myself has been enough of a conundrum ever since I could remember. I have never considered myself a smart packer for the plain reason that I cannot absorb the concept of “light packing.” In fact, there is no such thing for me. I perpetually harbor the inexplicable fear that some unforeseen crisis will arise that would require us to stay much longer in a place than expected. Thus, I end up jamming my suitcase (yes, I must have a suitcase with me at all times…even to the beach) with hoards of extra clothes, shoes and toiletries. I find myself bringing a jacket to Boracay and a bathing suit to Baguio…just in case.

These are three words that drive my husband nuts. Whenever he questions my stockpile packing strategy, my reply is always simple: just in case. I then continue to remind him of the one time during our Palawan honeymoon when I was actually vindicated. On our way back to the airport from Club Paradise Beach Resort, it rained so hard that our flight had to be canceled and we had to stop for an extra night at the neighboring Maricaban Resort. I happily pranced around in my jacket and fresh, dry clothing while my husband shivered in his remaining wet pair of shirt and shorts. After that, my stash and cram habit of packing was undeniably reinforced. But I digress.

As we prepared to go tripping with our son, I was astounded at the amount of stuff that had to be transported for such a little creature. After much fussing, stressing and agonizing, we ended up stowing and hauling all these things for baby:
  • 1 bag of disposable diapers
  • 1 box of baby wipes
  • 1 tube of diaper rash ointment
  • 1 bottle sterilizer
  • 1 adaptor for the bottle sterilizer
  • 4 milk bottles
  • 1 breast pump
  • 1 can of formula
  • 1 box of infant cereal
  • 5 burp cloths
  • 3 bibs
  • 10 sets of baby clothes (just in case)
  • 1 pair of swimming trunks
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 baby towels
  • 3 baby blankets
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • baby powder
  • baby sunblock lotion
  • baby soap and shampoo
  • baby thermometer
  • medicine for fever (just in case)
  • multi-vitamins
  • assorted toys
  • 1 inflatable lifesaver
  • 1 pump for the inflatable lifesaver
  • 1 car seat
  • 1 stroller
  • 1 hi-tech digital camera (for Daddy to record baby’s precious moments)
  • 1 handicam (for Daddy to record more baby’s precious moments)
Whew! Take note that the above is only the list pertaining to our child. Add my pile of just-in-case stuffed bags together with my husband’s effects and our yaya’s belongings, and you can imagine the epic proportions reached. The artful loading and arrangement of all items to fit inside our ride was indeed a phenomenal feat to be proud of. Thank heavens we wisely decided to buy an SUV instead of a car. Otherwise, we might have had no choice but to leave the baby himself.

I could not help wondering. What would happen if we had two, three, four children? How in the world could we successfully squeeze everyone and everything in and out our vehicle?? Would we have to rent a Victory Liner bus??? The idea is enough to render me catatonic.

Fortunately, our family outing turned out to be truly enjoyable and relaxing, with our small bundle of joyous energy having the time of his life splashing around the pool, taking in the splendid greenery and crawling around our carpeted spacious suite.

We had such a grand time that my husband is already planning our next out-of-town trip. He wants it to be longer and farther away next time. As early as now, I can already feel the packing jitters.

October 09, 2005


I have never had either of my nipples pierced. Now that I am breastfeeding a teething baby, I suspect I already know how it would feel like -- FREAKIN’ PAINFUL!!!

Before giving birth, I was afraid I would not be able to breastfeed successfully. After giving birth, I was astounded to discover that I had enough milk to nourish a small village in Somalia. At the same time, I learned that my baby actually had the appetite of a small village in Somalia.

I do not dispute that breastfeeding works great wonders for a child. Because of it, my six-month old is a superbly healthy miniature Hercules who does not flinch when injected by his disbelieving pediatrician and can cause a black eye with one wayward swipe of his power-packed arm. And since my little man is in a constant excellent state of physical well-being and feels no bodily discomfort, he has come to possess an enviably happy disposition that charms the pants out of anybody who sees him. So really, breastfeeding is highly beneficial for infants and any mother who can, should.

However, I fervently wish those books and internet articles I nerdily perused to prepare me for nursing had at least warned me about two inevitable consequences; namely, forced nipple elasticity and unwarranted leakages.

First, I did not expect for my nipples to be battered beyond belief. My babe has turned out to be one hell of a determined sucker. Thus, my tits have been unceremoniously and incessantly twisted, pulled, pinched, pumped, tweaked, stretched and bitten. My nipples have in fact willingly suffered so much so often that they should be canonized. The worst occurs when, during a feeding session, someone enters the room and my son suddenly whips his head around to see who it is while his mouth is still latched on to my breast. At such a torturous moment, my nipple is distended like a rubber band from here to eternity and I cannot help but scream bloody murder. The sight is enough to make Mr. Fantastic hang his head down in shame at his inferior prowess.

Second, I did not imagine that I would leak like a cow with a dysfunctional bladder. I do not even drink milk so I honestly cannot fathom how my mammary glands can continuously pump out such amazing quantities. I was in the mall pushing my baby in his stroller when I noticed plenty of people intently staring at me as we passed by. I happily thought, “Wow, I must look stunning today!” and added an extra sexy swing to my stride. Then I felt it: a strange drip trickling down my tummy. I glanced down and was aghast to find the front of my white shirt so wet with milk that it was almost transparent. I wanted to evaporate (milk pun intended) from the face of the earth. I immediately snatched up my kid and hurriedly left the mall with him propped against me like a human shield. After that incident, you can bet I never left the house again without wearing breast pads.

Yet, despite the hardship and craziness, I still go on allowing myself to be used, abused, milked. I choose to bravely persevere simply because I want my child to have the best I can possibly offer.

When it comes down to it, Nazareth was right on the dot. Love does hurt.