reminding myself its not about the trimmings

i wish i could tell you what i am exactly sulking about but i won't and i can't. i won't because its too petty. i can't because i am ashamed. i told myself, it could be worse. this is a test of my character and i failed at it miserably.

anyway, our Christmas break is a few days away and i am excited to spend it with S. you know, when S turned 20 months, she became extra clingy and it breaks my heart that every time she beckons me to play with her, i have to rush to work. we'll be spending the first week of my vacation at my parent's house so that means i'll be online for that week. although that greatly depends whether i'll be too tired to actually go online since yaya and helper are going home to their provinces too. but all in all, i am just excited to spend that 2 weeks with S.

and i have let the "trimmings" (or rather lack of it thereof) get my festive spirit.

sorry, i've been just plainly rambling. i hope you all have a stress-less holidays (let's just steer clear of the topic of traffic and the frantic shoppers), haha! as for me, i still have a lot of things to accomplish for the upcoming activity for January - one reason why i am amiss lately from blogging. i'll have to keep my fingers crossed that i can actually post before this week ends. *fingers crossed*

"He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more."
(Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

another dreadful to-do: You are Fired!

either of you wanna be (insert my name)? i borrowed that line from FRIENDS (ross annoys rachel), particularly from Ross. it was very funny in the show, how come its not when i used it in my dilemma?

i am simply dreading tonight for i am going to "fire" one of our helpers. oh dear, i am a nervous wreck just because of this. sometimes i think its far easier when they ran away like the first we had, when they decided they just can't handle the job like the second one we had, and when something urgent came up that i had to be spared of firing them.

however, the one i am firing now is not our yaya, but our all-around househelp. i think i blogged about her arrival and how i am undecided for the first week i met her.

its not that C is terrible. in fact, my husband likes her at first because she seems willing to learn. but apparently, that's just all for the show. once our backs were turned, her true colors comes out - lazy and overbearing. she goes back to sleep and leave the used dishes lying in our sink, our laundry gets dried out late (it explains that why despite the very hot weather during the day, almost all our laundry are still not dry) and when i get home, she is still not done with her tasks. our yaya tries to remind her of her tasks but she talks back and tell her to mind her own business. our yaya is the one actually suffering getting a headache over her. i told you, i really like our yaya, though she has share of faults but i have nothing bad to say about the way she takes care of S. S learns from her, she follows my instructions and my tips on how to handle S's behavior and what i really like about her is she is very eager to play the games that S thinks of. and anything that makes my yaya think about leaving, i will deal with. the hell with favoritism.

i talked to my yaya and according to her, she does not want to bad-mouth her companion (they are actually neighbors from the same province - their families are friends) but she had enough with her companion's attitude. honestly, i had seen the two of them bicker and had a silent war lasting for a week due to reasons that i really do not want to know. i can go on and on about the things i do not like about her but i just had enough of it too. i think the last straw for me was when i heard my 20 month old daughter say, "shet". WTH!!! yaya T does not say it, and neither us. the only person i know who utters that is C. i already warned them not to speak expletives in front of my daughter and well, i told you, she is all for the show.

she has got to go. and it may be unpleasant but i really have to tell her. *sigh*

the bright side of this is that, Manang K, our second yaya and the one we originally wanted to be our help but had to back-out due to commitments, is coming back. and i found out that T, our current yaya is already contemplating of going back to school. *sigh* i'll talk about this in a separate post.

i pray that i will be able to do this "firing" properly. wish me luck.

same weight for the past 3 months

on this corner is a 9 kgs 20-month old child. and she has been for the past 3 months. initially,  i am not worried so i have not posted anything about it. but i read Mommy Topaz's post about her son who has been 10 kgs for the past six months and how her pedia suggested to feed him "weight-gaining" food that i started to become slightly anxious.

our pedia showed concern when S registered the same weight at 18 months. but it was more of an observation or remark, not a concern. she said that S weighs below the standard weight for her age but she looks firm and full. we agreed to give S iron vitamins. still, no change. but to be fair, S is getting taller every month - that is 1 reason why i registered unconcern about her seemingly stagnant weight. and i kept thinking how could they say that S weighs less? carrying S gives me backaches every time i carry her. i could not carry her for long time without getting sore muscles.

S is not a picky eater, thank goodness. S eats our table food, no separate meals for her. our meals are 85% of the time are veggies and fruits. we rarely eat out, so in a month, S eats fastfood or outside meals once or twice.

as for snacks, as much as possible, S eats avocado, apple, kamote (sweet potato) and other fruits in season. if not available in our kitchen, we give her cookies, biscuits and bread. we never feed S food with chocolate after 4PM because she gets really hype up and ends up sleeping late. we try not to give her candies and too much sweet stuff to avoid tooth decay. (now i'm starting to sound like a boring parent, hahaha!) we give her ice cream if we have, but S never demands more after giving her half a bowl. she eats cake, but she is contended with 1 slice. as for milk, she is still on formula. she drinks 4x a day in small amounts (5 ozs. the most) because she never finishes anything more than that. after 2 hours from drinking milk, we give her solids again.

we don't give S large amounts of food because S has the tendency to have vomiting spells if she gets too much full. i learned this lesson twice - the hard way. she sleeps 12-14 hours a day. she rarely gets sick except for colds and cough that is usually bought about by crazy weather.

now tell me, what am i doing wrong? how come S is still at 9kgs?

i told you, i do not want to worry about this. i haven't shared it publicly but i kind-of overlook charts and milestones ever since S was a baby because imagine how stressed i get every time S is not achieving a particular milestone and i want to avoid comparing S to other kids. to be truthful, i felt free once i started respecting my daughter's pace in her development.

my S is healthy and very smart and funny too. i do not want to worry about something trivial as weight. maybe its our genes (Y and i are sort-of skinny..well, i am not that skinny anymore but i am still below the minimum weight for my height) or maybe S's metabolism is like her dad. my husband is a voracious eater but still maintains his weight. (you think he can carry my added weight if i get pregnant? hahahaha!)

S's next trip to her pedia is february next year. i'm targeting 10kgs for her by that time. it still falls below the expected weight for her age but no matter, a gain is a gain. now what on earth i am going to feed her? well i hope the holiday meals will fatten her up.

what about you mommies? please share your struggles about weight gain or loss of your toddler. i will really appreciate it.

our first home-made attempt of dough

i found this great book in our library entitled, "Infants and Toddlers: Curriculum and Teaching" and believe it or not, i am still the proud borrower of this book for the past 6 months. i am not a exactly a teacher (based on the title, it seems its for daycare and pre-school teachers) but i found the books easy to read and understand. what i really like about the book most is that they have a section for recipes and instructions for toys from home-made materials. at every beginning of the chapter, the book identifies toys and materials that will help a baby and toddler in their development of language, motor, physical and social skills. the book is a treasure for me because it helped us determine the kind of toys to buy S. i'm supposed to have a post about how we buy S's toys but i have not yet written a draft about it yet but anyway, this book is a great read for a mom with a toddler.

how i wish i can upload photos from the book about the things i am talking about but i do not want to get into trouble about copyrights (and i have no written permission from the author). the thing is i cannot lend it to you because i also borrowed it but i can share what i've read through email.

its from this book that i got the recipe for a home-made dough. so one sunday, Y and i decided to test it since the ingredients were all available in our pantry. i have no actual photos of the process (i am a really bad at taking photos - and it should have been nice photos because S mixed the ingredients herself) of making but the photos i have are with how we played with it.

the finished product. you have to allow to cool it down because out from the pan, it's really hot!!! and it was advised in the book to continually knead it to keep it soft.
making "body parts" of the dough dog. okay, make it i was making the parts and S was pulling apart.
that's our ear-less, tail-less and face-less dog.
anyway, after attaching the eyes and ears, S decided to squash them. so much for the dog. hahaha. the dough can be re-used within a week and i was quite surprised that it does not smell bad. it must have been the salt. but after doing the activity, you know what my husband said? "let's buy play doh nalang. no hassle to cook and comes in different colors pa." hahaha, panalo! i agree actually but still, i am glad i tried making a dough from scratch.

Read: Upside Down Inside Out

Title: Upside Down Inside Out
Author: Monica McInerney
No. of Pages: 392 (the story itself but there are additional pages that includes an interview with the author and a sneak preview of the sequel, Spin the Bottle.)

Sypnosis (Back Summary as i call it): Eva Kennedy is in a rut. After seven years of working at her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen, her artistic aspirations have slipped by the wayside and her latest relationship has fizzled. Whatever happened to the Eva who was going to be someone? Hoping to shake things up and find inspiration, Eva takes a break and ventures to Melbourne, Australia, to visit her old friend Lainey, who, for fun, gives her an exciting new identity. Eva is now exotic and adventurous and...not herself.

Joseph Wheeler is a successful London designer. Unfortunately his firm is thriving at such a high level that he doesn’t have time to actually design anymore. And his love life is nonexistent.

In Australia on business, Joseph meets Eva, and the sparks fly–even as Eva is stuck pretending to be someone she’s not. Little does she know that Joseph has some secrets of his own....

When what starts as a holiday fling quickly blossoms into something more, Joseph and Eva discover that romance can turn life upside down and inside out at the bottom of the world.

* * * 

honestly, i find it a bit "refreshing" to be reading romantic novels again. haha. and this one is definitely one of them. the book has the formula of a romantic novel but what i like most about the book is not the love story, but somehow it made me reflect a bit about my life in general. in the middle of reading this book, someone made a remark about "missing half of our life.." (i wish i could tell you the whole story about it but i do not think its a wise idea.) and somehow, i connected the story of this book to the remark. like the character eva, i was made to pause and think, do i feel i'm in a rut? right now, my life is home-work-home routine and a few hours of me-time or time with friends (i have another post about friendships).

honestly, i am not bothered. in fact, i feel great and truly happy. yes sure, i am tired and could use a loooong vacation (but i think every working mom wants that..) but i never felt "missing out half of my life". i mean, my life now is my marriage, my daughter, my family and my career (which i also believe is my mission). for me, missing out on my life would mean i have failed to honor my husband or even end the day without kissing him or i failed to play with my daughter when she asked me to.

anyway, check out the book if you are looking for a light read in fiction. but i definitely find the book entertaining.

Missus Rates It: 3.5 stars
Previous Read: The Language of Flowers

very pretty little things for girls from Celestina and Co.

if there is one thing i love collecting for my little daughter, it's hair accessories like clips and ribbons and headbands. i find little girls wearing them so cute and ADORABLE beyond words! and i only buy these things from Celestina and Co. i am not saying that other brands are less cute (in fact, i also love those pretty soft elastic headbands from my guest mom Ella's Baby Essence Online Shop) but S prefers wearing clips now because i think she has outgrown those silk elastic headbands and also she can yank them out of her head if she does not like them. hahaha.

also, Celestina and Co. is also within my reach because they are now available at Baby Spice at Gaisano Mall of Davao! here are some of their new items and believe me, it took a lot of willpower not to buy them all. hehehe. (all photos are from the Celestina and Co. website.)

Butterfly Sculpture Bow
(i love this but i think it comes in limited supply..)

Cattleya Flower Headband
(also available in blue flower in a yellow elastic and red flower in a blue elastic)

Flower Sculpture Bow
(also available in pink)

Spring Boutique Bow
(also in blue and red combination..the size is Large so i found it a bit big for S now but i might get one for myself. hahaha!)

and here's what i like best about their clips: it is fully lined that no metal touches the baby or child's head. S wears her clips all day and she does not feel uncomfortable at all.

 Designer Handmade Blossoms
(i cannot remember the other designs, you have to check out Baby Spice, hehehe..)

Round Korker Bows
(this is my top pick!!!!)

Two-tone Stripes Bow
(also in Large size so might get one later..they have stocks with this item attached to a grosgrain headband..and their grosgrain-wrapped headbands are very nice and soft. it does not cause the pain behind the ears from wearing a headband too much..)

Satin Grosgrain Bow with Rhinestone
(really perfect for newborns..)

i love Celestina and Co. because i can actually use them as accessories. i swear, i can attach them to my polo shirts for accents or even wear them on my hair. they are just so adorable and pretty useful for a mom too.

if you have the time, check them out at Baby Spice, 2nd Level, Gaisano Mall of Davao. these are perfect gifts for your pretty daughter, nieces, god-daughters. a woman can never have too many shoes, well, a little girl can never have too many hair accessories (my husband will probably disagree, hahaha!). Happy Shopping!

watch: catching fire

finally saw the movie that we have been talking about for the past 6 months, hahaha. i got initiated into the hunger games series a bit late but maaan, this trilogy has a sort-of harry potter addicting level. for me that is.

i'm scatterbrained lately so my train of thought about the movie is a bit messy so please bear with me.

readers should not expect "the book" version because it never works that way. but, only readers can understand and appreciate the movie very well. take for example the hanging of seneca crane. most of my colleagues (who watched with me) didn't get it and had to ask me. the Hunger Games trilogy has a lot of characters and non-readers sometimes get lost and confused with who's who.

round of applause for francis lawrence! i like his take on catching fire. this book is my favorite in the trilogy and i like the movie. well done, lawrence, well done.

woo hoo hoo for team peeta. i am team peeta from the start. hutcherson has brought peeta to life. chos ba? haha. but seriously, i like how hutcherson delivered a peeta mellark this time. in hunger games, he was seen as a weakling compared to gale - that's why i'm not surprised most girls prefer gale. but not me. peeta in catching fire is in love but not foolish, wounded and hurting perhaps, but no display of bitterness, loyal and always ready to lend strength. okay, enough gushing for team peeta.

and of course my favorite, FINNICK! i have high expectations from claflin to become odair and i was not disappointed, thank goodness. its one thing i am greatly fearing in mockingjay, the loss of finnick odair. oops, sorry for the spoiler. WHY, COLLINS, WHY????

the movie was great but i hoped that the following scenes were given more depth. one is the scene where peeta explained the reason why she should be the one to survive the games (the one where she showed the locket with the photos of her mom, prim and gale). i have hoped it should have been more intense and emotional because it's the part where katniss felt "the spark of emotion" for peeta. another scene that should have been given more time was where peeta told katniss about his disdain about people in the capitol who eat and drink some liquid to throw up to be able to eat again while people in their district were dying from hunger. i don't know. i always think that scene/part of the book showed a peeta other than being an in-love tribute/victor. but still, i have no complains about how the movie turned out.

you cannot help but love johanna mason. i'm sure she'll be more fun in mockingjay.

the cornucopia was the way i imagined it to be. it was amazing.

can i talk about finnick again? (laughs)
go and watch Catching Fire. it's a great watch, i promise. but read the trilogy first. its better that way.

the kind of fun i want to do right now.

i have a list of aimless to-do's. you know, those things that are so fun to do but would seem really a waste of time now that life reined me in? (laughs) please don't get me wrong. i love the responsibilities i have now but sometimes i can't help but get overwhelmed with all of it that i just want to ditch it all and spend the day aimlessly. ah, the carelessness and guilt-less irresponsibilty of my younger years. hahaha.

ok, i have to be honest here. i am just so tired from work lately that i'm getting, i don't know, hallucinations of white sandy beaches from my window.

anyway, do you want to know my nonsense to-do's?

go for videoke...for hours! since i already shunned night outs since i gave birth (probably until S is in high school, hahaha!), i am greatly missing my favorite activity of singing. the last time i went videoke-ing with my colleagues was july this year and OMG, i wanted to hog the microphone and sing until my voice go hoarse. i went home early (around 6PM, yeah, i'm such a loser. back story: imagine us trooping to a videoke place at 3 in the afternoon, haha! they had to adjust the time since anything beyond that means i cannot join them..) i really felt bitin with the singing i did (to be fair, we semi-hogged the mic, diba Ron? hahahaha!). or if not go videoke-ing, i wish i can still do my imaginary concert at home. i am not a very good singer but who cares? i love singing my choice of songs! i had a good memory when it come to song lyrics (which i think a power that seems lost after pregnancy, hahaha!). i cannot even sing in the shower lately because i have to rush.

spend hours in a bookshop. i told you before, i can live in it if i could. i want to check ALL book titles, one-by-one. and believe me, staff people of bookshops are grateful towards me because i arrange the books if i look through them. i jokingly told my husband and sister that i wish those thrift book shops hire me to arrange their books, more importantly when they unload their new stocks. i will not complain because i will get to check all the titles firsthand. hahaha.

shopping spree in an ukay-ukay. this is the activity that i really miss the most. my chica batet and i used to do this on a regular basis which turned into a bad habit of hoarding (buying clothes that we think we can use in the future) and all of it deemed useless when i got big and pregnant. and even after a year, i am still not in a shopping mode (or probably because i am still frustrated with my body). every time i try to buy something for myself, i always check the little girls corner and i have to tell you, little girls clothes are so irresistable!!!

movie marathons!!!!! i miss my foreign movies. i miss watching my TV series.

back-read all my favorite bloggers. or do a marathon of book readings. i can finish reading 3 books with uninterrupted reading.

while i was backreading Topaz Horizon's blog, she shared that she used to have more time to do a lot of things, like the one she shared in her post - making personalized thank you cards. well, i did too. and i agree with her thoughts because no matter, i will still choose to be busy with my husband, my daughter and my work and everything else. going back to my list, do you think they are waste-timers? well, if i did them over what i am supposed to be doing (like work, for example), then they are. but i think my aimless to do's are nice to do once in a while - to keep this momma sane and happy.

what about you? do you have a similar to-do's with me?

my family life as a daily prayer

(originally written on my prayer reflection during my silent retreat last july 24-26...i wanted to post this after our retreat but it was only handwritten so i had to actually type this down now..)

i've been struggling in my prayer life ever since i became a mom. back when i was single, i set aside time for prayers and reflections. but when i got married and had S, my prayer life is not that intense. shameful to admit, but it's true.

there were endless needs to meet and it requires constant attention: there's the baby (and now toddler) to take care of, relationship with husband, work to finish and the household to run. and it goes on everyday, and not a single day is alike. any excess time is spent on catching up with myself or get that much needed rest. i miss the prayerful life i used to have.

but this retreat made me realize that taking care of my family is a prayer to God too. it gave me the opportunity to care for someone to whom i can share the love that God has generously given me. of course i still need the time to pray - be in silence, talk to Him, listen to Him - there's no need to feel guilty about not doing it exactly the way i used to be. why do i still insist of a God who keeps track of how many times i pray to Him? everything i have now is God's way of telling me that i can serve Him through my family and my work.

He gave me my husband, so that i can honor Him through loving and being faithful to my husband.

He made me a mother/parent, to allow me to share this overwhelming love to S and the other children He will bless me with.

He gave me this mission, the one i prayed for for almost 7 years, because He knows i can serve His people in my workplace.

He made a writer/blogger because He wants me to use my talents, to be able to share with other people (and moms) my thoughts.

i never really understood what prayer was, until i became an adult. before, my prayer was either to thank Him, ask for forgiveness or ask for something that I want.

i've read from a book that prayer does not change God's mind but instead, it changes us. when i pray to God to bless me - and He really does in great ways you cannot imagine but what transform me with the prayer for blessings is my heart of gratitude for all the blessings that we sometimes take for granted: Y who wakes up every morning to cook our breakfast, S who flashes her toothy smile every time i come home, the good health of my parents, our warm many little things that transformed me in my daily prayer of caring and loving my husband and my daughter.

for all of this, i say that, i've been praying all along - w/ every gentleness i share with my husband, every laughter i get from S, ever thank you i give and receive, every food that has nourished me, every comfort that i have given to my husband and my daughter - i found God and that is my daily prayer.

just this one time (or NOT!)

okay, i'm going to go on a fan-girl mode in this one. hahahaha.

one of my favorite group, Backstreet Boys released their music vid for Show 'Em What You're Made Of, one of my top pick in their latest album, In A World Like This. i like it but i have mixed feelings for it though.

one, the vid is not what i expected for the song (although i can understand the vid metaphorically) BUT maaaaaaan, i gotta say B-rok's abs is a scene stealer. and why is Nick not shirtless in this one? if there was a shirtless theme going on, he was the one i was expecting to don it.

two...okay, my train of thought seems to be lost about the shirtless people, chos! oh, i remember now. get rid of the beard, AJ. it adds years. not good.

so there. before i end this post, i posted the video and tell me what you think (for those who only know BSB, okay? aminin ang age...hahahaha!)

Read: The Language of Flowers

Title: The Language of Flowers
Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
No. of Pages: 362

Sypnosis (Back Summary as i call it): The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what's been missing in her life. And when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

before i go through my in-depth spoiler (so be warned for those who have not yet read), i would like to say thanks to Shane for letting me borrow this book. she lent it to me since June this year and i just read it what, 2 months ago? honestly, i was not interested to read this book because the title itself was not me. flowers. i love nature but i am not particularly fond of gardening. so the book just spent itself lying around in my desk. i even had it lent to a friend. then i had no material left to read. i was pretty getting tired reading books about toddlers so i picked this book because it's been with me for so long, nakakahiya na rin........AND I LOVE IT! i feel soooo sorry for myself for not reading it immediately.

victoria is a very difficult character to like because she hates everything except for flowers. i love the contrast between her attitude towards other people and her passion for something so beautiful. and get this, when she got out of the foster-care system when she turned 18, all she ever wanted was to be alone and tend to a garden in a public park. nice plan. but she needs money to survive (unless her flowers are edible, so i thought..), so she needs to work and well, its pretty obvious a flower shop will be her ONLY field. and then she met someone connected to a past that she is trying to bury and it ruined her plans for a solitary and unattached life.

2 for 100!

currently, i have the must-find-these-books fever. i carry with me a list of titles of books that i'm looking for. i am itching to visit bookstores and spend an entire day there. i actually find it amazing i have not yet succumbed to online shopping. if that happens, wasakan ng wallet and relasyon because my husband will really get mad at me! (laughs)

not yet over. (and where to drop donations for Yolanda victims)

i am swamped buried ............. the craziness of my work is not yet over. so sorry readers, but i think this absence will stretch at the end of the month.

but, i have 3 drafts that are ready to be published so i'll do that next week. i will try my best not to make them appear as backlogs. hahaha.

and oh by the way, for those who are interested to donate CASH donations, Ateneo de Davao dedicated an account for relief work at:
ADDU – Tabang Leyte Account
Account Number: 2513-0018-89
Branch: BPI Davao Roxas
Swift Code:  BOPIPHMM

you can also donate old clothes, medicines, bottled water and foodstuff at the Drop Off Center in the Jacinto Annex (across from Holy Child). you can read the whole post of University President, Fr. Joel, HERE.

thank you so much. God Bless you everybody!

it does not get any easier.

how long has it been? 7 years, 8? heck, its almost 9 years.
i thought being in this has somehow toughened me up.
i've seen a lot of struggles and hardwork that deserves kindness.
i've been where being right feels wrong.
i've been where i battle out between being right, being fair and to be kind-hearted.
i have to be the three, at the right time and circumstance.
and being a mom (parent) has given me a different kind of conciousness that affects my juggle act of the 3 particular things.
i just got through a particular bad day, where everything is just a one big mumbo-jumbo.
all i know is i crushed a person's self-confidence.
and worse, their dreams.
i am a very, very terrible person.

no, it will never be easy.

the fish-dog

S is into fish nowadays. she would ask us to point it to her be it alive, frozen, in books, in photos, even the fried ones hindi pinapalampas and obviously she is asking us to draw them. so daddy Y drew this.....

Daddy Y: S baby, what is this?
S looks at us innocently and suddenly blurted, "Aw,aw, aw, aw!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! the fish that barks! (Y told me this is a piranha. whatevs Y, S sees it as a dog! i guess i am not bad in drawing after all!)

and S can draw a fish now too...and she would even point out the eyes proudly! this beautiful artwork is displayed in our wall. 

leave of absence for the meantime

this will be a quick one because i cannot bear not explaining my absence. well, to my readers anyway. hahaha.

to be truthful, i've been really busy with my work and my family. my work is in its busy season and you know, its crazy. remember i said i'll blog if i'm nearing dangerous level of stress? i am grateful that i am not yet nearing that warning sign, although i really miss blogging. even my drafts are in a total state of mess.

the long weekend proved unproductive even if i was online for 2 days because we spent it at my mom's house to celebrate her birthday. i was not short of people to watch over S but laziness overcame me. i was supposed to work on my drafts but as i've said, i chose to be lazy. i played with my daughter, slept when S slept, did some catching up on DVD's and backread some of my favorite blogs. and during that time, my FIL got confined for chest pains and thankfully, he is recovering well. i am seeing him this afternoon. i would be really grateful if you include his speedy recovery in your prayers. too bad we cannot bring S to see him because honestly, hospitals really creep me out in terms of germs.

so there. once the craziness of my work is over (although it never does stop being crazy, hahahaha!), i will blog and blog and blog. i swear i have so many backlogs that sometimes i want to just abandon responsibility and blog. BUT I WON'T DO THAT, okay? hahaha.

can't wait to blog normally. (laughs)

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Ulterior Motive Apparel

i have not been going to the play dates of our play group as often as i originally planned and i am really happy we have this! this is a fund-raiser for the 2nd Hands-On Breastfeeding Counsellors Workshop this coming January 2014. i was blessed to be a participant in the 1st Workshop last year and it was such a good experience! i definitely learned a lot! i would definitely recommend the workshop to moms who just gave birth and pregnant moms.
Spend wisely. Buy something you can use over and over again without anybody noticing it PLUS you get to help in raising funds for something worthy.

This is the Ulterior Motive Apparel. A project of like-minded mothers of the Peas in the Pod weekly playgroup. With this, we are hoping to help raise funds for the 2nd Breastfeeding Peer Counselling Training by Mommy Sense, to be held on January 31 and February 02, 2014.

This is a 2-day hands-on workshop to be conducted by a trainer, lactation masseur, and a wet nurse. This workshop is open to all mothers, doctors, nurses, midwives, and medical students who are interested to learn about breastfeeding.

The Ulterior Motive Apparel is a piece of clothing which can be worn for more than twelve styles. It is available in black, white, gray or brown.

Price: Php800.00
Seller's Share: Php100.00
For the Fund: Php300.00

Buyer may also purchase at The Pod, located at Door 4, Loyola Street, Plaza del Carmen, Obrero, Davao City. Telephone number is 302-2737.

For those who are willing to help in selling this amazing apparel, you may contact Alex or Annaliza at The Pod to get the items. Php100.00 per sold item will be given to you.

Please help us raise funds by sharing it in your social media so interested buyers may see this post. Thank you so much.

just the two of us

since we had a holiday yesterday, Y decided to do some shopping in the grocery and wet market. however, along the conversation, he wanted me to come along to help him carry the groceries. ang sweet, diba? hahahaha!

but, there was that huge pang of guilt and a tiny voice speaking in a tone that will really make you feel bad, "hey, it's a are supposed to spend time with S, remember?"

it really, really felt bad to leave S behind but i assured myself that Y and i deserved our own time together. to be perfectly honest, when we had S, we rarely have our dates anymore. i know it should not be that way, and we are really trying our best to improve in this aspect.

what turned out to be "chores" turned into something of a date and me-time for both of us. when Y asked me what i wanted to do, i told him that i really wanted to go to a thrift bookshop. and he did and just let me browse the store for almost two hours. OMG, it was so fun, just as i expected it would be! going there without a toddler will definitely make me check a loooot of titles! i found 2 really great books for S (will blog about it soon!) and almost bought a book for myself that is in my to-buy list but chucked it out last minute. i dunno, i found the first 3 chapters a bit...dragging. then Y and i had lunch. it felt nice to be out on a date again, eating and chatting in peace. after lunch, Y went to the wet market and i made an excuse not to go with him: i had to get my hair trimmed. hahaha! (half-kidding here..) then we met up after an hour and hurried home as i was really terribly missing S.

Y and i decided on something: after yesterday, we should do something like this often :)

PS: i might go quiet in a few weeks because my work will bury me make me busy. so readers, please be patient. i will try to write drafts (and then there's editing and proof-reading to do) during lunch breaks if i can but i will not make any promises. but i will definitely blog if i am stressed! well, i'll pray that i won't be stressed. hahaha!

latest vanity loots

i have to admit that i get really pleased buying new stuff from Human Nature. its my only vanity pleasure as of the moment. i have still not gotten back my shopping mojo (although my husband is a bit pleased with it, hahaha!) but i will get there - just you (he) wait!

anyway, since it's Human Nature products we are talking about, i have no qualms of trying it out. they have so many new items and i wanted to try them all out but i still have stuff from my last purchase like the Feminine Wash (they have a new scent now, it's called powder cool).

healthy food feature: saluyot and bunga ng malunggay

before i proceed to my actual post, let me just state that i am on a roooooooooll! haha! 6 posts within 10 days. but actually, some of them were backlogs, overdue a month ago and they were just waiting in my drafts to be edited and finalized and i have to resize some of the photos. *sigh* but i am trying my best. hehehe :) and i am trying to post them now because my work is about to enter a very busy season so i might be quiet for a few weeks. so thank you for reading, friends! :) anyway.................

for my daughter's healthy diet, i have to give credit to my husband, Y. we agreed to feed S vegetables and fruits as much as we can so that her palate will get used to them. and since i am not exactly a friend in the kitchen, it's really Y who makes our food. when S went through her picky eater stage, we never stopped giving her vegetables - i followed my mommy friend Ira's advise - not to force a toddler to eat.

S liked lao-oy and monggo soup but hands down to my daughter who eats saluyot (known as jute, read here) with much gusto. the first time we gave her saluyot, i really thought S will have a different reaction with the veggies' texture (it's slimy) but OMG, S gulped it in one go! my mom, who is 100% ilocana was very proud when she heard this, hahaha! so we give her this soup twice or thrice a week. and we give it to S in plain serving - no meat, just salt to taste. sometimes we mix it with sayote or string beans. and oh by the way, we grow our own saluyot in our backyard. nothing beats homegrown veggies.

twist car and other stories

S's adopted Ninong Xy gifted her with a twist car. and the little one is very happy indeed!

Guest Mom on the Block: Dindi (Oct 2013)

for this month, help me welcome my beautiful mommy friend, Dindi. dindi and i met last 2010 at the search for national ambassador for all Human Nature branches. among the delegates, we clicked instantly (including Dawn...Hi Dawn!) as we both speak the same native language. i am really honored that Dindi allowed me to share her motherhood story in my blog.

Dindi resides in Cebu (she was originally born and raised in Cagayan but moved to her current location after getting married), married for 8 years and mom to 3 year old, Magie.
me: hi dinds! it's been 3 years since we last met. how are you doing?
dindi: i'm doing good. balancing motherhood with my career - making sure I get enough time for Magie.
me: this journey took its time, right?
dindi: yes. we waited for magie for 5 years. it came to a point when "wanting for a baby to come" was not a priority anymore. it became more of a "waiting for a baby to come". we did not want to pressure ourselves anymore. the good thing about it was the fact that we bonded for 5 years in our marriage before we became parents and it really helped us in dealing with stressful situations. so when we found out about my pregnancy, we were excited! it was the perfect timing!

the Zen Shorts (and other book purchases)

i once blogged about our good finds during a book sale in one of the malls in the city and i did not include this book in that because i think it deserves a separate post. char. hahaha.
 anyway, i saw this book included among the off-priced items and i find the cover funny. a panda in a puruntong shorts with an umbrella? i checked the price and it was Php203 (original price is Php406). nah, too pricey, even for a half price book. i did not even bother to check the content.

then my husband picked it up and insisted we buy it. i told him i will not pay for it because i would be out of my budget (and i was already holding 4 books and still searching). he said he will pay for it. i was shocked. my husband is really frugal to the core and him volunteering to pay for it was astounding. still, i did not check immediately what kind of book would make my husband splurge just like that.

and boy, he was right. the Zen Shorts is a very, very good find. it is composed of 3 short stories, as told by the panda when he visited the backyard of 3 siblings.

In A World Like This (Album)

WARNING: expect another fangirl post. hahaha.

but seriously, i loooooooooooooooooove the new album of the Backstreet Boys! all their songs are awesome, it's very easy to listen and what can i do? i'm a fan, i love them! and seriously, nick carter is starting to really get me. as i've said before, i did not have a crush on nick before (aside from having already so many girls crushing on him) because he was just too cute/young (and i was into my bad boy stage that time, enter AJ..) but now, he has this sexy, seductive yet boyish charm going and this fan-mom just can't help it. nakakaloka ang statement na eto! hahaha! and howie too! i noticed that during interviews, he does not talk much and if he does, he is soooo soft spoken which makes him really endearing. *sigh*

i made sure i listened to their new album (i'm still trying to finish listening to their past albums, i'll blog about it soon) and here's my ranking of my picks from their albums:

10 Years Today!

a decade of love. yes, it still surprises me. and the decade still brings the same thrill like it was the first (in short, kilig). but more than anything, I AM BLESSED.

(for my new readers: Y and i are still married for 2 years - july 2011 - yet we've been together 10 years - oct 2003)

i want to write a really long one for this but i feel i will crash down this site. chos. but i will, probably snippets of thoughts and "lessons"...i just need the time to write them out (i actually have unedited drafts).

so, happy 10 years ex-BF and here's to more years, baby!

December 2003 
i am laughing because of Y's hair which he always refers to his golden mane years. it is because of this hair that i learned the lesson of nagging. i never nagged him about how "truly" feel about his long hair but he cut it out shortly after we started going steady - by his own free will. see? hahahaha!

PS: if you can, please read: on the first day of october and my love story: exclusive (laughs)

bite your tongue

i am honestly biting my tongue and inner cheeks because i want to rant about something but i do not want to say/write things that i will really really regret later so i am reminding myself of the greater picture.

it all started with the broken glasses and then nag nag nag. wagas talaga to bring someone to loss of patience. and i slightly blew my top (sorry), which i am now greatly regretting. *sigh*

i need to calm down and reflect. i'll listen to my himig heswita songs. bye!

beautiful differences

this will not be a long post but i cannot help but realize how different my husband and i are. i told him to read this new website i discovered about toddlers and he said he's busy reading about investments and finances, which to be truthful, i find a bit tiresome. i prefer easy-read, idiot-proof types of literature for that. so i am willing to read the toddler website and share what i learned to him and he can read what he likes and share to me. that way, we learn from each other.

marriage still perplexes me but in a lot of wonderful ways :)

PS: my long blog about this will come later. just posting a thought bubble.

To Parents of Small Children..(A Repost)

 To parents of small children, let me be the one who says it out loud.
(Steve Wines)

I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone-tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.

I have three boys ages 5 and under. I'm not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter and chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.

But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages 5 and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week, when Isaac told my sister-in-law that, "My daddy has hair all over." Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, "Daddy! I have a beard just like you!" Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, "Daddy and Ben time."

But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I'm going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.

One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants -- exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes, it's the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look -- with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it's exactly right.

I have to confess that sometimes, the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.

There are people who say this to me: "You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!" I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.

it's not always mommy.

since i'm a working mom, S is being cared for a yaya except on weekends and holidays. i never worried about yaya attachment before. S always prefer me over her yayas, even me over my hubbs. yes, mommy rules!

i guess it does not stay that way, huh?

when S wakes up, it greatly depends on her mood whether she likes me or  not. i ask for a morning hug, it depends on her mood whether she'll do it cheerfully or get annoyed at me for trying to hug her and turn her back on me. i try not to let it get me. she's being a toddler.

when she slides down from our bed, she calls out for her yaya. even if yaya is out for her rest day, she calls out for Ate T. it's a morning routine that she walks outside until the morning heat is bearable (until 7AM only, i tell you..) and if it's a work day, its her yaya who takes her out for that morning walk. i feel guilty and greatly sad about this but as a working mom, i've got to accept things that i can and cannot do.

when i attended a conference and stayed the night for it, S threw a tantrum after i called. she is looking for me, that's for sure. its mommy who puts her down to sleep. i told my husband that i will not call again, that he has to comfort her on his own and just do his best. it took me a lot of self-restraint to not go home that moment. and i did not want to call again because i will definitely start crying if i did. i was not able to sleep well that night. y told me that he was unable to comfort her and it was ate T to the rescue. i'm not sure if that made Y feel sad. if it did, he sure is bearing it well. i am not.

new books we got on sale!

i've said it before and i'll say it again - I CAN STAY LIVE IN A BOOKSTORE. and i am not even picky - thrift book, chain outlets, library - any place filled with lots and lots of books - i will camp in there if i can. and i am really happy that S loves books at an early age (she's 1 year and 5 months) so we always make it a point to buy her books as much as we can.

so we took S last month for some book shopping and my daughter was hilarious. when we got to the book place (if you wanna know, i'll message you, hahaha!), S picked up a book, sat on the floor and started taking the books out of the shelf and reading like she owned everything there. it was so cute, i swear.

back on track.

i was a bit of down this week because last tuesday i confirmed that i have a urinary tract infection. *sigh* monday afternoon and evening i was peeing with blood and that terrible, terrible, terrible pain. peeing was traumatizing. i was even traumatized with it than going through my birthing labor. there's a beautiful baby at the end of my pain but with this UTI, nothing but antibiotics.

Y bought me fresh buko juice that night to help me pee more often, which was not really a good idea because i will experience more pain and i was crying every time i had to pee. and i was starting to get chills. i decided to eat pomelo (rich in Vitamin C) to fight the chills and by some unexplained reason, it helped minimized the pain. and i lost some sleep because i had to get up every 2 hours to go to the restroom. it really sucks, big time.

i went to see the doctor the next day because i have a 2 day meeting the day after next and i cannot let this infection make me miss it. whew, the relief from drinking the antiobitic was instant - the burning sensation was gone, thank goodness.

but this experience made me realize that i have been neglecting my health lately. i've been drinking less fluids the way i use to and i've been putting hold my pee more than often. and all those other things that contributed to me getting this infection. but i am not making excuses i should just take care of myself. now i am back on track. i cannot allow this infection to get to me again.

Family Portrait by Ronnie and Farrah Photography

i am addicted to family portraits. this is something really different from the narcissistic me who used to love having my photoshoot. actually, i am not that confident anymore because my body is not really bagay na. (laughs) going back to the topic, i always make it a point to have our family photo taken every time we are in a scenic place (latest was our GenSan trip). but i have not done it professionally. i dislike portraits in studios because i don't like the ambiance. or maybe, i am just really choosy over who will take our photos. i am weird that way. sorry.

and, tadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. our first professional family portrait done by good friends from Ronnie and Farrah Photography (yes, my Guest Mom Farrah). this is not a sponsored post although they did our portraits kasi friends naman kami because Ronnie and Farrah are REALLY nice people. so as part of my gratitude, i told them i'll blog about them in exchange for the nice thing they did for us. and they still went all the way and blogged about us :)

it all started when i just asked Farrah if Ronnie does family portraits. i knew her husband Ronnie does photography. i asked how much is their professional fee because i wanted to save for it since i wanted to go all out on it. ewan ko ba, Farrah offered na okay lang basta may food. ikaw? tatanggi ka ba? (laughs) and i was ecstatic because Y never says no to food! so we had it set on july 31 because coincidentally, we have no work on that day. when the sched date got nearer, bigla akong dinalaw ng hiya. so i told Farrah that i am hoping that our "photoshoot" will not mess up their schedule (because nga diba, the couple are here for their vacation). after much reassuring from both sides, we pushed through with it. the weather that week was a bit insane, so there was still a huge probability that it will not push through. and i am happy that it did!

Guest Mom on the Block: Maan (Sept 2013)

and just like's a -BER month already. and to welcome the first month of -BER, we have another Guest Mom on the Block.

readers, please say hello to my friend, Mommy Maan. of course, you remember her. i featured her cupcake business Pink Apron, a few months ago. and now she is back to share how she is enjoying her new role as a mother.
Mommy Maan/Iah is mommy to an adorable 8 month old, Nathan. she is also a full time wife to Pher and "part-time" baker at Pink Apron.

the book that made S cry

i bought this book yesterday because it was on sale and S (1 year and 5 months) particularly LIKES "real" picture books. when i gave it to her the first time, she was ecstatic. she can actually see real pictures (not cartoons) of animals.

it really started to get weird when we were doing our bedtime routine of reading. i was singing the old mcdonald song while pointing to the picture of the animal. and i was shocked that S looked at me while her eyes were brimming with tears. and S is the type that the area around her eyes reddens every time she cries real. OMG, was i that a bad singer?

the working mom

it took me awhile to finish this story because i thought my way is clear - to go back to work after my maternity leave. for economic reasons, we need the pay. and my work comes with a very GOOD benefit package, a benefit that i would be insane to let go. and more than that, i prayed and waited for this job for 6 long years. but every time i read about SAHMs (stay at home moms) or WAHMs (work at home moms), i envy their set-up of being with their kids most of the time.

i have to share that after being confined for 3 weeks straight at home, i admit i was getting....restless (i never use the word bored because i am never bored). i want to do something else! it felt terrible to want to do something else than revel in the beauty of my baby. i focused on the happy feeling that i have S and she has me 24/7 to tame the restlessness but it began showing in another form: i bugged my husband. endlessly. i bugged him what time he will come home, i bugged him why he came home late - yeah, you get the digs. it was annoying for him.

i think it was part relief on his part that i had to go back to work for a week and so in the middle of my leave due to the sensitive nature of my work (read: reports that i can only make). i was on a high because i'll be doing something else but worried because S will be left in the care of a stranger. and as a mom, how could i ever do that? i have so many fears about leaving S in the care of a yaya and this post will be in 3 parts if i enumerate them. but i got past that fear and it's already been more than a year in our set-up.

but you know what my biggest fear was? that i'll miss milestones. just thinking of it before i leave for work makes me teary-eyed. but i am truly grateful to God that He made sure i never missed any of it. i was there when S giggled for the first time, i was there when S learned to roll over, sit up, stand on her own...i never missed any milestone. EVER.

i had to struggle with 2 fiends with my decision: guilt of my choice to work out of home and time for everything else.

new help on the block

we need a new household help because my mom wants Ate R back. and currently as i type this, the newcomer has arrived at home. *sigh*

i feel like i'm starting all over again. Ate R is GOLD, you know. she's been with my mom for almost 10 years and yes, she can be trusted. that is why my mom loaned her to me to watch over S's yaya and to take care of non-S related chores. the new help is NOT S's yaya but rather our all-around help. why we have 2 help is beyond me. hello, we are NOT mega-rich. it's just that i am not comfortable with the thought that yaya is doing double duty, running after a toddler and doing things around the house. i don't mind the mess and just focus on S but i am paranoid that the yaya might not be doing what i am doing despite our instructions. y is protesting that this should not be the case once S gets a bit older. i know that, but, i cannot really say until when.

anyway, i feel like once Ate R goes back to my mom's house, i'm leaving behind S with strangers. and it's not just me. S will have to get use to the new help too. *sigh* according to my mom, the new help seems nice. horrible experiences with yayas seem to rub off the enthusiasm of having a new one eh? (back read HERE, HERE and HERE.)

at the back of my head, we'll see. but to keep in the spirit of positivity, welcome Ate C.

update: i've met her last night and well, she's totally different. face is glued to her cellphone. gah, i hate pa naman helps who are like that. and she's a bit rowdy for me. but as i've said, we'll see.

BackStreet Boys!

please don't judge me! (laughs)
i cannot believe i am writing about my teenage mania in my mommy blog, but i've been listening to their songs lately (blame the short NSync reunion at VMAs 2013 - take note the only drop of sunshine from that award show) and my love for this "vocal harmony group" was re-ignited, now that i'm in my early 30's. just for a background, i was 13 years old in 1995........whew. that fact made me feel sooo ........ adult. (laughs)

thank you Internet for letting me know that the group NEVER disbanded (although kevin left them for a few years but the remaining 4 still carried on, and they did pursue solo careers between breaks as BSB). really, i never knew that! or maybe i just grew up and not hearing their song in the mainstream made me think that they were not a group anymore.

please don't judge me again if i say, the "boys" still get me kilig. it's so silly, i know!!! i am fangirling at my age. please check out their latest single, In a World Like This.

good vibe na good vibe lang ang song, i like it! they sure still got it after 20 years! yes, they are still around after 20 years, even if their teen fans already grew up and forgot about them (i'm so sorry boys but i'm back now, hahaha!) and oh boy, they sure look good for their age. Kevin is already 41, AJ is around 35, Brian is 38, Nick's 33 and Howie is 40. oh howie, he sure is aging gracefully. he looks soooo good and he can sing pala. you know, BSB in the early years, vocals were mainly Brian, AJ and Nick (whom i really find too pitchy for a boy, but he was cute then so who cares!) .... and i was like, Nick Carter is still 33? he's 2 years older than me! he should have married me when he had the chance, hmph! hahaha!

get a copy of this Sunstar issue!

photo credit HERE. (which reminds me...i should ask my husband to return my camera.)
my mommy fellows in our mommy support group, Peas in the Pod is frontpage of Sunstar's August 25 issue. headline reads: HM4HB ups the ante in breastfeeding (HM4HB stands for Human Milk for Human Babies). the article mainly talked about sharing and donating breastmilk to other babies.

i am proud to know these good-hearted mommies. oh, how i wish i have met them before i gave birth because i would have been one of those moms who asked for breastmilk while i was stressfully waiting for my milk to come.

i am not a breastfeeding mom but i do have a share of my breastfeeding experience (which was the reason why i was a bit "shy" to join them in the playgroup initially but i did anyway... *laughs*) and i am really supportive of any mommy advocacy. i am truly, truly proud of them for this. i was supposed to attend this meet up we had for the International Breastfeeding Week 2013 but the bipolar weather scared me (which is really unreasonable, i know) so i had to cancel last minute. for davao based mommies who want to join the playgroup, you can visit The Pod every Thursday (it's actually happening now while i type this) from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. it's a great way to meet mommies and talk about anything and everything and of course, for the kids to play...which reminds me again to visit it regularly. ugh to myself for being absent most of the time.

so please get a copy, if you still can. hehehe.

facebook page: HM4HB-Davao City (i will provide the link once i can access my FB)

what in the world has happened to her?

i'm not supposed to blog about this but thoughts are running in my head and i have to get them out. i found out about the miley cyrus performance for the VMAS yesterday. honestly, i have not seen the video. i just read the details from articles and saw the photos. so i do not have the link. and i will not even look for it. i cannot bear to link it in my blog - let alone watch it.

i mean, WTH? i really like miley in hannah montana. i used to watch that tv series in dvd with my sister. heck, i saw the HM movie and i sing, "The Climb" heartily (and hey, that song is sometimes played in our retreats) and now this.

she is just too trashy for words, you know.

is she still dating liam hemsworth? POOR GUY. i will definitely mourn if my son is dating her.

what about her mom and dad? i'm not going to judge them but i'm pretty sure no parent will feel comfortable seeing their child that way, whether they have declared themselves to be liberated or modern.

just so you know, i deleted all her pre-trashy era songs in my playlist. yes, even The Climb. i can't seem to listen to them the same way.

yeah yeah, i know. she's an adult. she can do whatever she wants. she's an artist. she is just expressing herself. blah blah blah.

well, i wish her the best in her life and career, wherever that gyrating and lewdness will take her.

i love you.

i think my heart will burst with so much happiness this morning.
S refused to kiss me goodbye before i leave for work as she was concentrating in wiping her toy container bin.
i kissed her and said bye bye by the door.
no reaction, just watching me while wiping.
i waved bye bye again and said, i love you.
i stopped. did she just say i love you, in her own S-language?
i said i love you again.
aaah, right now, i am kilig.
i just had to hear it again when i waved bye bye again by the window.

i think i'm going to cry just thinking of it.
a mom's total bliss for the day.

No Television.

as a teen growing up to MTV, this photo cracked me up! credit here.
confession: we have no television at home. it has been like this for the 2 years including the months Y and i stayed in our tiny apartment room. i know you'll look at me in disbelief utter disbelief at this seemingly nonsense i am spouting but its true.

review: Human Nature Clarifying Shampoo

i am an avid user of this brand because i simply LOVE HUMAN NATURE. correction: I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT HUMAN NATURE. you can read more about Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. here. (and you can also read about my HN story here and  here.)

there's so much rave about this latest addition to the shampoo collection of Human Nature and magpapahuli ba naman ako? *laughs* actually, i only got to use this baby this month because my Strengthening Shampoo was not yet used up. perfect timing that it got used up when this new shampoo came out!! that's another thing i like about HN eh. i am not scared of trying out their latest product because i know it will always be good.

The R.U. Birthday!

remember my guest mom Farrah? well, we attended a joint celebration of her kiddos earlier this month: C's 2nd birthday and baby I's dedication!! and the celebration's theme? Monster University! (RU stands for Ronn and Rea University)

Guest Mom on the Block: Farrah (Aug 2013)

i truly apologize for not having a guest mom last month. my guest mom was really busy with her schedule and so was i. believe me, july was hectic in both good and bad not so good way. and i did not want to press on her time because after all, such guesting is not a paid request. anyway, i'll feature her soon.

my guest mom for this month of festivities (and non-working holidays, haha!) is Mommy Farrah. i met F through my husband as they are friends way back from high school.

farrah is happily married to the love of her life, ronnie (another post about them too!) and she is mom to a very energetic 2 year-old Coco and a very beautiful 6 month old, Isa. she is working as a phlebotomist and is currently residing in singapore (umi-international na ako sa guesting, lol).

S is babywearing!

as you all know, i practice babywearing.
S still loves being worn (she's 16 month old) and guess what? she's following in my steps!
i can't exactly remember how this happened but i think it was one weekend i was BW-ing her because i had to get the sinampay (yeah, i know! hahaha!) and when i put down the ring sling, she took it and put it on her. and i had this idea and made her wear her toy, Mic-mic the Monkey. and she did not object.

oh you adorable little one. you really make our hearts melt.

I SUPPORT YOU. it's the only way i know.

i walked into motherhood thinking that its a big and happy community of moms. i never thought that there are inner circles within that i must get into. i never really got this distinction being this kind of mom, this kind of parenting style etc., because for me, when you're a mom, then you are a mom (or a parent for that matter). regardless of choices. aren't it we are all in this hood together, because of our children?

being a mom - be it a new mom, a mom of three kids, an adoptive mom - it's all about loving our children. being a mom (parent) is hard enough. and to be made feel different and feel inferior because of our feeding choices is not fair. we always say that every child is unique then i guess that also goes to say that every motherhood experience is unique.

i am blessed to be part of a mom support group which initially started as a play group for our kids. but you know what happens when moms get together, they bond unknowingly. it just happens that majority of them are breastfeeding moms and i am really happy for them. in fact, i am glad with their choice. i would have made that choice if it worked for me. and they will be the people i will definitely run to when i will "attempt" breastfeeding again. and what i love about us is that there is no air of this "us and them" mindset. however, it took me some time to fully feel i belong with them. it's not them, but its my personal demons trying to wreck me: that i am different, that i am less of a mom, that i don't bond as much as i can with my daughter, that i am not giving her my best.....all because i don't breastfeed (i did combo/mixed feeding for the 1st 8 months then switched to exclusive formula feeding until now). where those awful feelings and thoughts came from, i don't know. but it was sure a difficult phase for me. (read my story: the day i said goodbye to breastfeeding)

but in the end, i just had to end that misery and accept the fact that we are loving moms all coming together. our choices are different and that's okay. thats how it should be right?

so here is my piece:

i'm here for you because i believe only in one thing about you as a mom (parent): you love your children and you nourish them the best way you know.

i'm here for you because i'm a mom too and i want to teach my children about respect and acceptance.

i support you because it's the only way i know.

fran + menard, june 2013

i should have posted about this fairy tale wedding a month ago but....i had no decent photo about the event itself. kaloka, diba? haha. but please do understand that i was in a formal gown and looking after a toddler. i realized two things during this event: bring a yaya if attending functions and i am not used to wearing stilletos anymore.

anyway, back to the wedding story.

this is the wedding that i shared that i was half-hearted with............being a Principal Sponsor! but i admit, it was fun. i never really realized it was an honor to be one. when i got married, i was tremendously grateful for my ninongs and ninangs. they were really important people whom Y and i look up to and i never really thought i could be one. thank you fran for making me realize that in small ways, i've touched your life and in a way, shared such lesson to menard. fran and i, go way, way back. we worked together for about 4 years. i've seen her grow into the beautiful and sucessful woman she is now. i've seen her struggles and i've witnessed how she remain unperturbed with them. i've known her search for that love and saw her heartaches as well. we were like sisters back then.

the day i said goodbye to breastfeeding

i cannot understand for the life of me why i decided to publish this post in time for the celebration of breastfeeding month. honestly, this has been in my drafts for almost 2 months. it took me a while to finish. probably because after all this time, i am still afraid to be judged. by who? i don't know. or maybe i am waiting for this guilt to go away so that when someone says something about this, i will not even defend myself. i just want to simply share my own motherhood story and maybe in the process, help someone who has been in this road.

breastfeeding is a heartbreaking topic for me. it took awhile to make peace with myself that i failed at it. it's a disappointment that simply won't go away, despite assurances that it's not my fault. it seems foolish to write about saying goodbye to it when we've never been that a success with each other.

my desire to breastfeed S was as intense as my desire to give birth naturally. when i delivered via CS, the desire for the former escalated to unexplained heights. at my hormone laden state at that time, i kept thinking i could not fail at breastfeeding. it was not an option for a new mother to fail at both things that is supposed to come naturally. S had dehydration fever after 3 days of trying to breastfeed her. my newborn, my husband and i had no sleep and dead tired. the three of us were frustrated beyond definition. i had no one to turn to for breastfeeding advice. i am ashamed to tell you that it was part relief on my part when i gave S a bottle of milk and she slept peacefully after that.

- FriendS -