Nutrition Month

Due to the recent back to back typhoons (Glenda and Henry), classes in the pre-school level in our area were suspended for several days. That’s already five school days that students missed and it is only July. Although the suspension was more of a precaution (some of days showed no rain at all), pardon this momma for feeling shortchanged every day they miss lessons.

Anyway, I am glad their supposed to be Nutrition Month celebration this year was held on a Saturday. One, they can catch up on lessons on regular days, and two, I can be present and see Mischa participate in the activities. Yay! Her assignment this year was to bring a homemade veggie pizza for the food booth, which unfortunately I didn’t have the time to make. Instead, we just took out something from Project Pie.

Mischa was a little off color that day but she readily and excitedly joined the different activities. Parents were treated to a very short program where each class presented a song and dance number. The Kinder 2 class jingled their way to Marian Rivera’s Sabi Nila, but the lyrics were changed to something about eating fruits and vegetables.

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Then they all had to troop to different booths where games and exercises were set up, each wired for the kids to learn about healthy eating. The hubby even volunteered to help in one.

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The rest of the parents were not able to go inside the rooms where the booths were so we just watched from the windows.

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The parents were finally allowed to enter the last station, which was the food booth. My poor darling daughter could only pick at the fried rice, and did not touch the veggie sticks and fruit kebabs. My bad, I know, because she is not used to eating raw food.

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While she got sick in the middle of the last activity, where I was there luckily to tend to her, I know she enjoyed the day. I’m really lucky because she likes school.

CFO-style relief operations

This is how we do it in our office. This particular operation was done for the benefit of the victims of the recent typhoon Glenda.

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This is one of the first tasks I was ever assigned when I was new at work. It is exhausting but for me, really fulfilling and even fun. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do all the time because it means there has been a calamity or natural disaster that happened. But realistically speaking, the Philippines being in a typhoon-prone area, this does happen with regularity.

Upon receiving donations, we purchase the relief goods to be packed. Then we ship or transport to the designated area, then distribute. Simple as that. Coordination, though takes some time, depending on the vicinity and the gravity of the disaster, which may affect communication lines, roads and transportation systems.

I especially like it when we are doing the actual giving of the items to the beneficiaries. Seeing the hope and gratitude in people’s eyes is sometimes enough to remind me that I am in the right job. When I was younger, I have always done these with gusto. I was glad to have reached the north to southern regions of the country. Aside from serving people, I have always loved the journey itself. But as I moved up in the office, there has been less opportunities for me to do the actual implementation but I would always want to do them in a heartbeat.

Some pre-school difficulties

Mischa has been brought up speaking two languages – English and Filipino. She definitely hears us converse in Filipino (Tagalog) at home but we make it a point to speak to her in English. Most of the shows she watches on TV are English, and I have banned the showing of certain Tagalog shows (read: noontime variety shows where she could pick up a a whole slew of unpleasant language). I have also not read to her any book in Filipino. English is the medium of instruction in her school, which was one of the factors that made me choose the institution. Its high priority in making students feel comfortable speaking in conversational English did the trick for me.

All these are haunting me a little right now. After two whole years of primary education, she is now embarking on a totally foreign (which ironically should not be, right?) subject – Filipino. I must admit that we are struggling at the moment because many of the words (mind you, not the everyday common Tagalog words) are completely alien to Mischa. We are not the sosyal or pasosyal type of family. I just deemed it important that she is fluent in English as the times do call for it. Being able to communicate well, I know, will serve her well in the future.

I can’t believe she had difficulties with these, which we all take a little for granted:

Anong pangalan mo?

Ilang taong gulang ka na?

Saan ka nakatira?

Sino ang nanay at tatay mo?

Seems simple enough, right?

Oh no. I hope this subject will not prove to be her undoing. We need to practice more.

Glenda-fied

The last week was a bit horrible due to the onslaught of typhoon Glenda, but I was still thankful that her effects were more uncomfortable rather than destructive. At least in our part of Cavite. Ever since Ondoy in 2009, I get a little more tensed than usual. Long gone were the days when rains meant extra hours in huddled in bed. The threat of typhoons now meant being on guard all the time.

The good thing is that relevant Philippine agencies now have the right minds to suspend work and school as early as the day before the expected hit of typhoons. We woke up Wednesday morning (around 4:00 a.m.) when power was cut off, and the wind starting to pick up a little. Between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., the wind was howling and whistling. Debris, G.I. sheets and other what-nots were flying haphazardly and with no definite direction. For a couple of hours or so, we just stared out the window and watch as mother nature wreaked havoc. There was not much to do anyhow as the electricity was still out. My heart went to my throat as several tegula tiles from our own roof began raining down on our front porch.

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I would have thought that these bricks, being made up of cement, are sturdier and safer than regular roofs made up of iron sheets. They were certainly heavy, but then, that’s just how strong the gale was. One hit the trunk of our car causing a dent and a back light, but at least it was just the car. I was certainly glad when the winds let up around midday. This was how our roof looked like afterwards:

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And thankfully, there was not much rain this time compared with other typhoons. When you live in the Philippines, there is always a threat of flooding every time a typhoon hits. Whew to that at least.

However, for several days after that, electricity has been intermittent. Until the weekend, we had to endure long stretches of brownouts. This also meant that water supply continuously runs out. We had to do everything by candle light, especially at night, had to store water in containers and manually flush the toilet, wash the dishes, etc., and had to fan ourselves like crazy. Makes one appreciate the invention of plumbing and not take things for granted. But as I said, I still thank the Lord that this disaster made us uncomfortable rather than in peril.

Project Pie

Design. Build. Eat.

So goes the slogan of Project Pie, a restaurant specializing in artisan pizza. I wouldn’t go to the specifics on how this U.S.-based establishment has come to the Philippines, but supposedly it is the first franchise outside of America.

Five of us went here for a morning meeting, and it was still practically deserted, which suited us just fine. I like the sparse interior with one side completely filled with notable quotes from infamous personalities. The furniture were simple and clean.

We were given the choice of ordering one of their seven pre-determined flavors of an 8-inch pizza or we can choose to build our own given all the toppings.

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Being the carnivore that I am, I ordered No. 2:

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Two had No. 5 (with additional prosciutto) and No. 7:

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I forgot to take photos of the other two.

Each pizza costs Php285, and I began to wonder afterwards if building from scratch would have been more worth it since I can get to have more toppings. Oh well, maybe next time. I would like to bring hubby here since there are healthier choices than the average pizza parlor.

I loved it that they have a refillable drinks station. They just give you a cup, and you can drink to your heart’s desire from among the sodas and China mist teas available. All for Php65. Reminded me of how we used to gobble up the drink-all-you-can at Burger King in the 1990s. I had about three glasses of Sweet Peach tea, and made the same number of trips to the ladies’ room, which by the way, reeked so early in the day.

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All in all, it was an okay experience, nothing really to rave about. Or maybe I wasn’t that hungry yet.

Beyond normal preparations

Yes, I kinda consider what I need to do beyond normal. At 24 weeks, I would think that I only need to prepare for the arrival of the new baby by:

a. Sorting out Ate Mischa’s things that the new baby can still use (crib, stroller, once or twice used clothes, etc.)
b. Preparing Ate Mischa for the big arrival (expectation setting)
c. Choosing names
d. Buying other stuff like newborn clothes, bottles, etc.
e. Preparing and baby-proofing the house again

I didn’t think that seeing another OB-Gyne who will also do my cesarian delivery counts as normal, would you? Or looking for blood donors and stocking up 10-12 bags of blood that I might use while on the delivery table?

Because folks, that’s what I am doing now. Yesterday, I saw a colleague of my attending physician and gave him a rundown of my history. I am happy that two senior obstetricians from the country’s premier medical school and hospital will be looking after me. But that’s how serious and delicate my condition is. My worries were somehow abated. While the risk of severe bleeding (and dying) is still there, it seems to me that the operation is manageable. I am in capable hands so I am probably not dying anytime soon. Yay!

Now, I am just hunting for blood.

It’s a Girl!

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The dad is still outnumbered in our household. Though I wanted a boy this time, maybe I was meant to be a mom of girls. Still very happy though. All I am praying for right now is my safe delivery and the good health of the upcoming baby.

According to my check up and doppler ultrasound yesterday, the placenta and myoma still seem to be attached by 1.6 centimeters. My OB and I already discussed the possibility that I will have to undergo hysterectomy. Trying to detach and deliver the placenta if deeply or abnormally attached to the uterus might result to very heavy bleeding. I am submitting my fate to the Lord at this point, although if at all possible to salvage my uterus, then I hope my doctor can indeed save it. He told me he might be requesting the assistance of another specialist. Well, I said whatever needs to be done, and as I long as I get to live.