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Happy Birthday, Ralph!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I was initially scheduled for cesarean section on September 8, 2001 by my obstetrician, the reason why I had myself admitted on September 7. But so many mothers wanted to deliver on that day so that their kid's birthday would coincide with Mama Mary's. My doctor had to move me a day later so she can accommodate them. I didn't mind. What mattered most to me was to have a safe delivery. And Ralph turned out to be a very healthy baby.

It was an unexpected pregnancy. I did not know until he was already two months in my tummy. I was so glad yet a little apprehensive at the same time. I was not ready for another difficult pregnancy like my previous one. But I just continued with my normal routine until it was time for me to deliver. It turned out that it was not a difficult pregnancy after all.

From infancy to toddler stage, it was not difficult either to take care of Ralph. He would sleep for long hours especially when I put him in prone position on my chest, while I lay on the bed. I watched him sleep during his early days and softly caressed his soft body.

As he began to eat solid foods, I noticed that his taste is so bland. He prefers to eat spaghetti sans the sauce, bread without any kind of spread on it, just plain mayonnaise on his toast, and plain rice. He hates it if I prepare fried rice, especially the one with lots of ingredients in it. He would painstakingly get rid of all the solid ingredients from his rice if he had no choice. He is a very picky eater and he hates new recipes. He would prefer the same thing over and over again. But he loves anything sweet - from candies, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, etc. The exact opposite of his elder brother.

He started playing Game Boy at age two. The toy was actually a gift for his elder brother, Raymund. But the moment he set eyes on it, he fell in love with it. And it became his right that very moment. He tried so hard not to depart with it, putting it on the bedside table while he sleeps, and brings it with him wherever he go. He started to bring it to school when he started schooling at age three. What amazes me is his ability to finish an entire game within an hour or two. And he would be asking for a new cartridge again.

He has this penchant for playing and manipulating computers even at a very young age, even at an age when I was not sure yet if he can really decipher the words. I had this feeling that he understood computers very well, as if he and the computer are one.

Ralph is now in grade 1. His interest to his subjects seem to diminish as compared to his performance during his preschool years. I'd like to think that he is just having a hard time adjusting in grade school. Maybe because of staying long hours in school, so many subjects to study, left and right assignments, long hours of studying.

His attitude changed a lot, too. He would cry at the slightest provocation, even at just the sight of a list of things to memorize. I'm taking it easy on him though. I just hope that he'll be more confident and develop a more positive attitude. I know he will get by.

Today, Ralph turns 7. How time flies so fast! We celebrated his birthday this weekend in Baguio City, where he shopped for the things he loved most - toys! He bought several Spiderman toys including 2 Spiderman cartridges for his Game Boy.

Ralph, we love you so much. I want to thank you for being a good child and for just being there.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 12:00 AM   2 comments
He turned 41 yesterday!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Who else but the love of my life. My best friend. My adviser. My husband.

He was a heavy alcoholic drinker when I met him. Before we got married he asked me if I will still allow him to drink after we marry. I answered, " Yes, but only occasionally". I was expecting for him to complain but he kept silent. After we married, he became a totally changed man. He only drinks when my uncles ask him to, which is very seldom. I am even the one to tell him that he can drink when we are on parties, but he always decline. When I'm in the grocery, there are times that I buy 2 to 3 cans of beer, his favorite brands, but they are just allowed to expire in the fridge. He only drinks red wine nowadays, once a week, and that's because it is good for the heart.

My best friend turned out to be a very responsible father to our kids. He teaches them to be courteous to everyone, by correcting their manners as he sees them. He is very supportive to all their undertakings.

He was the laundryman and the house cleaner when we were starting out as a couple. He sometimes cook during those days, only when he was really sure of the recipe. Because of time constraints, he does not cook anymore, but he remained to be the driver, plumber, carpenter, and a very good provider.

Life with him is full of happiness. There are no regrets whatsoever. I'm just so lucky having him as my husband.

Happy Birthday, my love!

Don't tell me that I have forgotten it. No, it's beyond that. I was just too preoccupied with work these past days that I failed to find time to post. Anyways, I was the first one to greet you on you birthday.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 10:44 AM   1 comments
My Growing Up Years
Friday, June 06, 2008
Today is my 4_th birthday (happy birthday to me!) and so I thought of telling something about myself - the then, the weird, and the funny!

At birth. My parents were longing for a baby boy. Without the benefits of ultrasound they presumed that I was a boy while still inside my Mom's tummy. And because I was so dark when I came out (normal labor assisted by a hilot at my Dad's ancestral home) my Dad jump with joy thinking I was a boy. He stopped jumping when the hilot announced "a baby girl!".

Kindergarten. My Mom forgot to fetch me from school. After two hours of waiting I became hysterical my teacher just couldn't pacify me. She tried all sorts of alibis to stop me from wailing. I finally stopped when I saw my Mom.

Grade school. Oh how I love to cook. I will stay in the kitchen all the time during my free time whenever somebody is preparing food. I will watch and try to do everything on my own - peeling, chopping, sauteeing, etc. - as if I'm an expert. One time my Dad was cleaning the crabs for cooking when somebody was calling from the gate. He had to leave the kitchen telling me not to touch anything. Curiosity high, I sticked my finger in its open claw. It suddenly closed catching my forefinger. I shouted and cried in pain to call my Dad's attention. Instead of getting mad, he was laughing while he was immersing the crab in boiling water.

Another in grade school. I was squeamish to vegetables of any kind. Whenever I don't feel eating what's on the table, I go with catsup on my rice. One time our maid accidentally poured the catsup on my eyes when she opened the bottle while she was standing at my back.

High school. I love wearing heels. I was in one old pair to a party when I tipped over something causing the right heel to fall off. I decided to remove the left heel to make it even. I ended up going home wearing flats.

College. I was a newbie in Manila. Being unfamiliar with the place, my sister brought me to school on the first day. Making sure that I'll be able to reach home after my class, she asked me to point the direction I should heed. I pointed the P. Noval direction instead of Gov. Forbes. She then had to fetch me for one week or so until she was convinced that I will not get lost.

Still in college. We were staying in one dormitory along Dapitan street. One lazy afternoon a dorm mate asked me to buy green peas in the sari-sari store downstairs. I hurriedly went and got a can only to find out later that she wants the crunchy one.

That's me - Amelyn (short for AMElia LYNda). I am celebrating my special day with my entire family. Thank GOD we have our electricity back today.


posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:30 AM   4 comments
Baguio City and Raymund's Birthday
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This post is a little overdue, but it's better late than never. Anyway, son Raymund celebrated his 10th birthday on November 10. As per his request, we went to Baguio City. It used to be when my husband and I just go to Baguio on a whim. And when its Baguio, it meant going through the parks, communing with nature and bringing home Baguio products together with lots of vegetables. Just staying in Burnham Park for several minutes, munching pop corn or whatever is being sold by ambulant vendors nearby, while enjoying the cool breeze and watching kids play is relaxation enough for hubby and me. But those were the days. Now, when we say Baguio, SM mall always come to mind, especially with the kids. SM to them means a fun filled day which includes playing computer games, a little shopping, and eating in fast food restaurants, which we actually did.

Our original plan is to choose one restaurant for our lunch, one we haven't visited yet. And then go to Sbarro for our snacks before we drive home in the afternoon. We failed to find a good restaurant for lunch because we cannot make up our minds on what we really wanted to eat. And so we settled for an all Filipino food, which was being served by Dencio's. We ordered crispy kangkong, crispy crablets, pinakbet, calamares, sisig, and pancit guisado. In general, the food at Dencio's was okay but not good enough to meet our standard. So that means never to go back there again.

It's also bad to find out that Sbarro at SM Baguio had closed. We were quite disappointed because it was my and hubby's favorite way back our student days, when celebrations were at Sbarro, SM North Edsa.

Did the birthday celebrant enjoy his day? Yes, very much, though not in terms of a birthday party. He spent the money alloted for his birthday playing, buying toys and new clothes. He badly needed new clothes as he is really growing fast and getting bigger and bigger. Oh, my young boy is slowly turning into a young handsome man. Soon enough he will have a life of his own.

I still vividly remember those days when I carried him in my womb. I was having abnormal bleedings (threatened abortion) so I had to stay in bed until I gave birth. I earnestly prayed for his safety and my safe delivery so that even just with one child, it would be okay for hubby and me. And we had Raymund, so cute as a baby, bringing extreme happiness to the family.

Raymund was a precious child. I had to forget being a doctor just to be able to attend to his every need. I was with him every minute of the day, taking my own personal needs on the side, unmindful of the outside world. For two years, he was my life. I taught him everything that a child his age should know. Our interactions consisted of reading alphabets and numbers, listening to and reciting-singing nursery rhymes and songs. And that was how he interpreted the word "play".

I went back to work when he entered school at La Marea Academy. He turned out to be a very intelligent and loving child. He never fails to show his love to us and how grateful he is for having us as his parents. Now in grade four, his class standing has not changed. He still is able to maintain good grades, though a bit more playful now than before. He cannot leave the school grounds until he played basketball with his classmates. He already sustained multiple scratches on his legs because of play, and he even went home one day with a deep lacerated wound on his right knee that needed suturing, all because of playing basketball. And this basketball thing has ripped most of his long pants, prompting me to buy him a new set again. Well, I guess basketball is really the thing for young boys like him.

Belated happy birthday, anak.
Here's wishing you good health and more blessings for the days to come. TSUP!

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 1:13 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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