the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

More Yarns May 29, 2012

Dreams… I read about this shop from a couple of blogs and I because of the “wide selection” they were talking about, I just had to troop over there to Makati, all the way from Quezon City.

Indeed, it was a dream come true. They had all kinds and brands of yarns.

So many yarns!

some more yarn

Red Heart supersaver acrylic yarn

wool yarn

They have crochet hooks and knitting needles of all sizes and make.

all kinds of knitting needles

The set of crochet hooks retails for about Php 695 while one is for Php 195. The set would have been a good buy but I don’t really need the different sizes. The one I bought was H-8 which is workable with a DK yarn or light-weighted – the kind that is common in the Philippines (Monaco acrylic or Red Heart).

crochet hooks by set or individual

I bought 3 balls.

I’ve used the Cotton Ease for a baby poncho. It’s a nice cotton yarn. Wish they had more colors available here.

imported yarn

The Silk yarn I haven’t used. I don’t know what I could do with just one ball. I’ve come to realize that you have to buy 2 to 3 balls of yarn if you want  to make anything out of it.


What is a Yaya?

Filed under: Parenting — reeseyenko @ 5:36 pm
Tags: , ,

Defn. A human being whose job is to take care of another mother’s baby or child. Care includes feeding, putting to sleep, playing, teaching, ensuring proper hygiene, doing laundry and whatever else needs to be done to satisfy the baby or child. The amount of care given depending on mother’s absence. The child may be an infant from newborn to 1 year, toddler or a child.

I’ve been a mother for almost 6 years. And with that comes my experience with different yayas. So far, I think I’m lucky to have had only a handful of yayas along the way and that almost all of them I still keep in touch with one way or another. Yet, I just need to write about this topic because my perception and dealings with them is somewhat…. atypical.

Let me further expound on the definition.

They are human beings as well. Need I explain? We are of the same make and model in the eyes of God. We need the same things – food, shelter and clothing. We yearn for the same things – love, pleasure, rest. We miss the same things – family and friends.  We make the same mistakes – fall in love with the wrong person, lie about our leaves and punctuality, slack off at work. Yes, we are the same.

They have a job. They work. Just like us. But unlike most of us, they leave their families for months or years just so they can work. They work for a meager P3000 a month and if they are lucky, P4000 or P5000 is a great monthly salary. 3K for what kind of work? Oh, I admire the patience and stamina of yayas. I’m telling you this, I cannot for the life of me do what they do day in and day out. They wake up at 5am (in our house) to stay with the sleeping kids while we prepare to leave for the office and they feed, give vitamins, bathe, dress, change them, clean poops and vomit. Not to mention, play with them and run after them. These things you don’t learn with a college degree .

Who are they taking care of? Our babies – blood of our blood, born out of our womb, our precious gift.

That is why I take care of our yayas. Some people don’t understand  how we treat our helpers. How do we treat them? They eat the same food as we do – I remember we eat with them at the dining table when I was a kid –  my mom cooks or we buy a little “handa” (dish) for their birthday with ice cream or cake, I give them gifts for no special reason, include them or their children in my shopping for my children’s clothes,  provide them with toilettries regularly and most of my babies’ newborn clothes goes to their own children, nephews/nieces or grandchildren. I treat them as equals – if we buy a frappuccino, milk tea or gelato, we offer them the same. If we don’t have enough cash for everyone to have their own serving, we forego the treat for next time.

I read a post not long ago – just when I was still adjusting (healing is what I would call it) to the absence of one of my favorite yayas. I love how the author puts it “And yes, you can look for other employees because you can afford it. But it is not easy to find the right one. It is a relationship. Not just a transaction.” This is especially true for the yayas who take care of my babies when I come out of maternity leave and go back to work. Luckily, my 2 older kids have had only 1 yaya each since they were 3 months old to about 2-3 years old. This is a good enough track record considering that I have friends whose yayas only stay for 6 months or 8-12 months at best.

Reading the article above, I am no longer ashamed to say that I cried when my eldest son’s yaya left when he was 3 years old. Imagine that, she was my partner in taking care of my son as a first time mom and my husband was away for work for 6 months! She had her shortcomings – mood swings and petty lies – but all those I overlooked because she fit our family well. A few days before my second son’s yaya was set to leave, I was a nervous wreck – crying and panicking! She took care of SKY when I was busy pumping breastmilk and she gave him comfort and assurance when I got pregnant for the 3rd time and couldn’t take care of him. How dependent I became on her just because the situation forced me to.

Sure, we’ve had frustrating ones…the ones that blatantly lie – telling me that they have done this before but really haven’t …the ones that are just plain lazy – only lifting a finger when we are around …or the ones that don’t do as they are told – tell them to use warm water for the child but seeing that there is none, just uses the cold water.  Ah yes, these are the frustrating, irritating, maddening ones!

But also, we’ve had those that are honest, productive and genuinely compassionate. Don’t ask me how or where we got them because they just come from the oddest relations. I don’t have criteria or interview questions – I’ve long given up screening candidates. As long as they’re not sick and have criminal records, I’m going to give them a go.

I always say “kung kaya lang walang yaya, hindi na lang” (if we can handle it without a babysitter, we won’t get one). And now, I say this not only because of the difficulty in getting good help but also because of the emotional attachment that comes with hiring someone to help take care of your loved ones. Take care of your yayas because they take care of your children.

My 2nd son and his yaya


Ube and cheese baby socks May 20, 2012

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 8:58 am
Tags: , ,

I saw this sock pattern and adapted it to my size of thread. Since my thread is not elastic, I switched to sc-ch1/skip 1-sc to give it a little stretch.

Violet and yellow baby socks

Magic circle sc 10
2 sc in each sc (20)
1 sc in next 1, 2sc (30)
1 sc in next 2, 2sc (40)
sc around 9 times (optionally you can switch to sc-ch-sc; keeping the same # of st)

change color

work 16 rounds until the ankle, do not break yarn

for the ankle, work 11 rounds

pick up violet color and continue rounds until desired length

shell st: sc in ch1 sp, 6 DC in next ch 1 sp, skip 1 ch1 sp, sc in next ch1 sp


Little fishies May 5, 2012

This my first attempt at amigurumi and it turned out pretty well. This fish pattern is easy to follow and modify. Since I use a fine crochet thread (Monaco – has a lot of color choices), my fish came out small – the dark violet, sea green (3rd from R) and light blue (Right most).

made with Monaco thread

Small Fishies

I’ve since modified the pattern to medium, large and huge

Here’s my attempt at writing the modified pattern.


R1 & R2 (of original pattern) : Start with a magic circle, sc 10 (10)

R3: 2 sc in every sc from previous round (20)

R4: 2 sc in every other sc from previous round (30)

R5-7: 1 sc in each (30)

R8: decrease sc 14 decrease sc 14 (28)

R9: sc 7 decrease sc 13 decrease sc 6 (26)

R10: decrease sc 12 decrease sc 12 (24)

R11:  sc 6 decrease sc 11 decrease sc 5 (22)

R12: decrease sc 10 decrease sc 10 (20)

Stuff  fish

R13: decrease all around (12)


R14: 2 sc in every sc  until desired flare is reached

R15: sc in every sc until desired length is reached

Put together the two tail ends and slip stitch the ends together. Fasten off.

Medium Fish.


R1 & R2 (of original pattern) : Start with a magic circle, sc 10 (10)

R3: 2 sc in every sc from previous round (20)

R4: 2 sc in every other sc from previous round (30)

R5: *1 sc, 1 sc, 2sc* repeat all around (40)

R8-11: 1 sc in each (40)

R12: decrease sc 19 decrease sc 19 (38)

R13: sc 9 decrease sc 18 decrease sc 9 (36)

R14: decrease sc 17 decrease sc 17 (34)

R15:  sc 8 decrease sc 16 decrease sc 8 (32)

R16: decrease sc 15 decrease sc 15 (30)

R17: sc 7 decrease sc 14 decrease sc 7 (28)

R18: decrease sc 13 decrease sc 13 (26)

Stuff  fish

R19: decrease all around (14)

R20: decrease some more (5)


R21: 2 sc in every sc  until desired flare is reached

R22: sc in every sc until desired length is reached

Put together the two tail ends and slip stitch the ends together. Fasten off.

Large fish

Medium fish on the left and Large fish on the Right


Nursing love

I’ve been seeing cute breastfeeding necklaces out there but they all seem so expensive! On etsy, there are crocheted ones and to tell you honestly, that’s what sparked my interest to learn crochet all over again. Now, I am just hooked on it!

Here’s my first crochet breastfeeding necklace. It’s simple enough to make in 30 mins. Soft and safe for baby. Easy for little fingers to grab.

Made of 2 flowers – one violet, one green.

Ch5 join

DC12 join with sl st

2 DC in every DC around, join

3 DC in every DC around, join

2 DC in every DC around, join