Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Pamsie comes from a family of farmers and so, hard work is not new to him. He is Atty. Emilio B. Cajote, eldest son of a farmer and a housewife from Balamban, Cebu. He used to be a “boy,” an utusan – a handyman, when he met my mama. He took odd jobs – peddled fire extinguishers, encyclopedia, etc. and at the same time pursued his college education. He became a lawyer at the age of 46.

Because life was tough during his childhood days, he learned how to make toys and cars out of scrap wood and other materials. This became his and his brothers’ toys. When we came into his life, he put his carpentry skills to good use. Money was not so easy when we were growing up so he had to make do with what we have and recycle materials/things that have seen better days. He even made my sister’s first potty seat. That potty seat was passed on to me and my brother during our toilet training days. When we grew older, Pamsie transformed that potty seat into an ordinary chair that is of the perfect level for our little study table that he himself made. It was very comfortable and my siblings would always argue who would be seating on that chair. Due to old age, that chair has retired when we reached college.

He likes going to the hardware. When he was younger, he liked fixing everything in the house- he is the one who designs, rearranges and renovates our home. He buys plastic and dried flowers and arranges them himself for display in our house. He makes dividers out of nothing, produces cabinets out of spare plywood, fixes the gardens, and paints the house if required. He is the one who puts on the Christmas decors all over the house every year. He invites us to join him from time to time, but we have to follow his specific instructions so it would meet his very high standards – standards that are really tasteful and classy. Age had slowed him down a bit, but tinkering with everything in our home is still his passion.

( Pamsie and Mamsie with the annual Christmas Tree)

He is a real Handy Dandy Pamsie. Unfortunately, nobody in the family every got his good taste, organizational and carpentry skills. He may be a strict lawyer to his clients but to us, he is a one-of-a-kind Papa, who is very talented and skillful. I wouldn't dwell on his kind and loving nature because it would be the topic of a future blog. Did I mention that he once drew an image of Jesus Christ on a whole illustration board? After many decades, that portrait is still in our home.

How many people would have a dad who is a carpenter, a plumber, a painter, an interior designer and a lawyer? I have the best papa in the world!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breast feeding is still best for Mommies

One of the things I have looked forward to upon giving birth was breastfeeding. There was never any doubt in my mind that breast milk is nature's perfect food. Nothing could ever replace the benefits that breast milk could give to one's baby. And so, within 24 hours from giving birth, i attempted to breast feed. IT HURT LIKE *($#)&%@)!!!

No book could ever describe how much it hurt the first few days.

But no book also described how good the feeling breastfeeding gave to a mom who breastfeeds.

Whenever I see my baby get heavier each month and looking healthier and more beautiful, I could not help but be in awe that God gave me such a beautiful gift and God created such a perfect food for my little angel.

So when I came back to work, I never hesitated to bring my trusty breast pump ( which was formerly my sister's) with me to work. Every couple of hours or so, I express milk and store them inside little canisters and put them inside the freezer. My guilt for leaving my baby without his mommy beside him the whole day is lessened because I know, when I get home, I have something for him to enjoy - frozen breast milk!

I also have a lot of spare milk that my baby could not finish off. This I donate to a relative's baby, whose mommy does not have breast milk. I usually "donate" about 12 ounces every weekend.

I did this until my baby is about eight months old. Milk production is indeed lessened if the baby does not regularly suckle on the breast (the pump can't empty the breasts of milk unlike a baby's sucking). So my baby is now into mixed feeding - formula plus breastmilk whichever is available.

So for now, good bye pump, but I still breastfeed whenever I am home.

I hope all mommies who just gave birth have lots of breastmilk to share. I also wish all babies have mommies who are willing to sacrifice a lot of things just to breastfeed.