This is the Universe Telling Me: Put Down My Phone

I came across two mom blog sites today that essentially have the same message: BE MORE ATTENTIVE.

In being a Mom. In being a Wife/Sister/Daughter/Friend.

In being ALIVE.

Not too long ago, my two-year-old son called me out at bedtime…these being his exact words:

“Mommey, turn the phone OFF.” (Emphasis his.)

Amused, because I just HAD TO update my Facebook status about this right at that moment (which I did), my son adds…

“Mommey, GIVE ME the phone.” (Emphasis his again.)

I found it funny and laughed it off at that time. Even my family and friends on Facebook found it amusing.

But at the same time, I could not help but feel a tinge of guilt as well.

Those are the words that came out of a boy’s mouth–a boy, who, from the moment he was born, shared his parents’ attention with the iPhone, the computer logged on to Facebook–playing Farmville or some other game–or viewing countless YouTube videos, the video game console that is played until the wee hours of the morning, and other smart hand-held devices that exist in the home…all of these taking away from quality time we could have spent pouring over him, and him alone, creating many, many more moments he’ll remember once he’s grown.

Don’t get me wrong…we do create those moments of undivided attention. It’s just not as easy or effortless. It’s a constantly connected world we live in. And our children are slowly but surely being immersed in all these technology. There’s nothing wrong with using them…it’s finding those moments to TUNE OUT so you can TUNE IN to your child that are hard.

I think the only way to do it, is really, to TURN. IT. OFF.

Not just for a few minutes. Not even just for an hour.

Try to disconnect yourself from your TV/phone/other mobile device for a really long and dedicated amount of time (at least two hours) and connect–really connect–yourself. To your child. Your husband. Your family.

Bond. Snuggle. Cuddle. Talk.

Make paintings. Play a game. Sing a song. Take a walk.

The things you can do to really put yourself out there and be totally Hands Free and Awesomely Awake, especially for your kid, are really moments to be cherished (both by you and those you love).

Put the phone down.

Give it a try.

You’ll see.

"Mommey, turn the phone OFF."

On Nights When He Likes to Brush His Teeth

When you never know if your day will end in a toothbrush struggle and/or a bathroom fight, it’s really nice to see when your son chooses to brush his teeth on his own–AND flash a BIG smile while he’s at it…

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Here’s Miguel at two years (and five months)…just about ready to tackle the comings and goings of the bathroom on his own.

Or…one could hope!

A Step-up from my Previous Doctor’s Office

The Lobby of Drs. Goodman & Partridge, Mesa Location

It’s been a year-and-a-half since we moved and only now have I finally brought myself up to looking for a doctor’s office for my (future) OB and (routine) GYN needs. So far, my first visit experience at Drs. Goodman & Partridge in Mesa has been pleasant…a far cry from my OB-GYN visits with my former New Jersey doctor (crowded offices, an-hour-and-a-half-PLUS waits…just dreadful now that I look back on all those pre-natal check-ups). This first experience has been nice…coming into a well-decorated and well-appointed office (with a world-travel theme), I couldn’t help but feel nice, comfortable, welcomed. I have high expectations and hope future visits are as nice.

Searching for an ideal doctor for your needs is not an easy feat–for myself and Miguel. I was very sad to have left Miguel’s super awesome pediatrician–Dr. John Gabriel–in New Jersey. He and his wife were just the most caring practitioner and office administrator we’ve ever come across with, and I am glad we had him as PCP for Miguel’s first year when doctor visits were frequent and necessary. Miguel’s doctor now is pretty cool too, but we’ve had such a great first pedia experience that it’s sort of hard to find someone who can compare or “live up” to the care we’ve expected. I guess we’ll see if we come across a better one in the future, should our needs change. For now, Miguel’s doctor is meeting our needs.

So HOW do you go about searching for a new doctor? Of course, recommendations are a given. But what else do you consider high on the list of doctor (and doctor office) traits? For me, friendliness and attitude rank high up there…and trust me, not all doctors (and doctor office staff) are friendly. The overall “vibe” of their office is also pretty important to me.

The Tedious Task of Archiving Photos and Videos from Your Child’s First Year

Yup. We’re reached that point. The point of having to archive/offload photos and videos from our hard drive simply because we’ve run out of space. I routinely do this every time the free space on our three four-year-old MacBook Pro reaches less than five gigabytes.

I know that’s probably cutting it close for some, but in my case, I guess it’s better done late than not at all. I learned my lesson when, once while I was pregnant (or it may have been shortly after giving birth), our MBP just completely conked out on us. Thank goodness for routine back-ups, we were able to recover everything. But the whole conk out reason was that there had been less than one gig (ONE gig!!!) left in there. We had been busy uploading a lot of photos and videos of the little one (I guess this happened AFTER I gave birth…)

So something else conked out this time on us, which prompted the whole archiving process to begin with. My time machine disk has run out of space. I guess that is not bad considering there’s two years worth of back-ups in there (plus back-ups of the OLD system, so it’s really 2+ years). While it’s not completely broken per se, it’s pretty much useless right now (I have not backed up since after uploading the holiday photos of 2011…eeek!)

I will inevitably deal with freeing up space on the TM, but for now, I’ve decided to free up space in our actual hard drive. Up until this point, I’ve left all of 2009’s pics (and a few of my favorite vids) in there…mostly pregnancy pics, pre-baby moments, and of course, pretty much our son’s first four months of life captured digitally for our continuous ogling.

That is, until now.

As I looked back on those pics and vids, I could not help but feel almost melancholic at those moments, refusing to archive but for the sole reason that is necessity. I like looking back at those pics. I WOULD leave them all in there if I could…

But sadly, I can’t.

Instead, I’ve resorted to transferring ALL but a dozen of my favorite photo albums from 2009, leaving around 20 or less photos in each…STRICTLY just my favorites! That’s a HUGE task of narrowing down 100+ photo albums just for that year, not to mention the hundreds more photos in each album.

Have I mentioned that this task was TEDIOUS???!?!

Here is one of my favorite videos of the little one from 2009. He was only four months old here…always been a lively child and a late sleeper. I used to fight it…constantly getting frustrated at how late he naps/sleeps. But I’ve learned to love and deal, for despite what many would consider an “unconventional” sleep schedule for a child, he sleeps straight and soundly for 8-12 hours at night, wakes up refreshed and in good spirits, and still squeezes in straight 2-3 hour naps in the day, no matter how late. It works for our family situation right now, so no more complaints.

Enjoy the video…

From the Video Archives: Miguel at Four Months

Travel Log: Bohol / It’s more FUN in the Philippines!

It’s hard to believe that exactly this time last year, my family and I were enjoying the last few moments of our Boracay-Cebu-Bohol adventure. I know because my iPhoto dates for those pictures, specifically Bohol, were January 8-11, 2011.

It feels like we had that vacation ages ago. I cringe at the thought of how long it will take for us to revisit those places again.

The website It’s More Fun in the Philippines.com–and its respective other avenues on Facebook and Twitter (#morefuninthephilippines)–is going viral and is brimming with photos from Filipinos all over (and albeit non-Filipinos as well) contributing their own snapshots and tweets with the tagline of how “__________. is ‘More fun in the Philippines.’ ” You’re sure to love a lot of the contributions people have posted.

Which brings me to my own contribution…

Motherhood. More fun in the Philippines.

My husband snapped this photo while Miguel and I were playing on the beach after a busy day of exploring Bohol. We visited a Tarsier sanctuary, went to see the Chocolate Hills, had lunch on a river cruise along Loboc River, visited Baclayon Church, stopped to see the Blood Compact monument between Legazpi and Sikatuna in Tagbilaran, went to Assumption Parish to see a miraculous well in Dauis, and lastly, stopped by a sanctuary where they housed the largest python in the Philippines (I cringe again at this…I do not like snakes, but Terrence insisted we include this in the tour itinerary). It was indeed a busy day! We were lucky to have had a really nice man (Mang Maeng) as our driver.

There were not too many people on the beach (as you can see). The water was calm and this, coupled with the sunset, provided the perfect winding down activity for us and our then little one, and the perfect backdrop for this shot (and many other photos in our library).

So, what do you think? Is Motherhood more FUN in the Philippines?

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