Instead of Pinterest-worthy monthly baby photos, we have this.

It all started with a wok full of pancit (stir-fried noodles).

My mom was here in Singapore to help us take care of Squishy. He’s my first kid and I had no idea what to expect. (Hubby and I had taken some prenatal classes, but as every new parent knows things are a bit different in theory vs. practice.)

Mom was in charge of kitchen duties. In those early hazy post-pregnancy days I was in no shape to think of dinner, much less the menu for the entire week.

My mom cooked the pancit and baked a whole chicken stuffed with lemongrass.

“It’s been a week. Let’s celebrate,” she said.

To be honest, I hadn’t realized a week had passed since the birth.

I was feeling the baby blues acutely – breastfeeding wasn’t exactly going to plan, I was worried about my milk supply, our paediatrician just told us he wasn’t gaining enough weight, I barely slept it physically hurt. I cried at the drop of a hat. I’m not ready for this, I thought.

I was in no mood to celebrate.

But my mom insisted.

So I found a stack of blue Baby Boy postcards I bought from a craft shop closing-down sale, back when I was pregnant and thinking of making a scrapbook of my son’s precious firsts (seven months down the line and his baby book remains mostly blank — haha).

“Hello! I’m 1 week old!” I wrote.

Mental pause.

Wow, I thought. We’d survived one week. This can work.

The next week, my mom cooked spaghetti and baked a banana cake with a cream cheese centre.

“Time to celebrate,” she declared. “Two weeks today!”

I had to laugh.

Long story short: so far we’ve done 31 weekly celebrations. I’m planning to keep doing it until he turns one year old. We’ve taken photos of Squishy and his “week-sary” food every single time. Some weeks it’s the full spread: pancit canton made from Yummy.PH recipes, Mom’s spaghetti, homemade chocolate cupcakes. Other weeks we had instant noodles and cake in a jar. My Mom went back home months ago, so we send both our families these celebration photos on Facebook Messenger every week. It’s become our own personal way of bridging the distance between Squishy and his lolos and lolas (grandparents).

I am reminded, every week, that it gets better. Much, much better.

I look back at the photo of that first week and smile to myself.

Now to do the same for the next kid.

Weeks 1 to 25 — for long life, noodles and more noodles
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