On Baby #2

Just to be clear, I'm not pregnant. And we are not trying to conceive either. Well, not at this moment. I just want to put my thoughts about having another baby kasi gusto ko mag-analysis, hahaha. Of course, I (We) want a sibling for S. In my opinion, children learn more if they have a sibling. I'm not saying being an only child is bad ha? It's just me. Ang lungkot lang talaga kung walang kapatid. If I gave birth early in my age, I would want to have 4, with a pair of twins yan. Kung saan ko kukunin ang genes ng twins, ewan ko. Hahaha. But I'm almost 32, so Y and I have decided to settle for 2 kids. But if God will gift me with 3, then I am blessed.

Please don't judge me but I'm feeling greatly apprehensive about having another baby - to the point that I am content of the mere thought of S being an only child. However, that does not mean that I change my mind about having siblings. I am both confused, scared and I don't know, feel a little bad of thinking of not wanting another baby.

Going back, I am NOT afraid emotionally (okay, a bit). I am not worried about loving less one of them. I know my heart will expand to love them both. What i am worried about is how am I going to manage my time for both of them. We are hoping that we will have a baby by the time S is 3 or 4. I want to be at my best state to start teaching her for pre-school. A new baby will surely take time away for me to focus on it. And I am sad about this thought.

I am also afraid for health reasons. I shared that I got urinary tract infection and I am seriously afraid what if i get it while I'm pregnant. I DO NOT WANT THAT.

I am also hesitant to get pregnant again for financial reasons. Hey, admit it, having a baby needs money, no matter how much pagtitipid one makes. Pre-natal consultations, delivery expenses, the baby's things (although I already have some stuff but since this time we are planning for a boy, he cannot use all of S's stuff) and don't make me start talking about the immunizations. We are not exactly hard-up. But this year, Y and I decided to seriously secure our finances. Y and I are setting aside a huge chunk of our money for investments, savings, insurances, emergeny funds, trust funds and maybe next year, we will start on S's college fund (yes, we are serious about this because even if S can study for free until high school, S might want to become a doctor, a pilot or study abroad for college and we have to be prepared for that!) and then there's the household expenses that comes next. Believe me, it's not easy!

And since I want a boy this time, I am gripped with this sudden anxiety - do I actually know how to raise a baby boy????

And there's those motherhood anxieties again. What if I fail to breastfeed exclusively again? I think it will be a different story this time because I should know better and expected to try harder. It seems that I have no excuse to fail. What if I cannot handle two children? Until now, I am still grappling with balancing important things: my husband, S, my work and my other relationships. I am slowly getting back my groove in things and selfish as it may sounds, a new baby will turn things around in a wonderful and totally different way. Will I be able to handle it?

What if...what if...what if....

But while thinking over these things, I was filled with guilt and shame. I am not the main author(s) of my child's life. How could I forget that? It is through God's grace I became a mother, we became parents. How could I let this fear overthrow the joy that motherhood has brought me? Y and I struggled financially when S was born, but God has provided more than we expected. I should not be afraid to accept another blessing, another gift. I struggled emotionally with my so-called motherhood failures but S loved me unconditionally. S has taught me that despite my imperfections, S is growing up very well behaved and she is very smart - which surprises me greatly because oftentimes I feel so inadequate when it comes to teaching and disciplining her.

I asked God for forgiveness, for allowing this weakness to consume me. He knows better than I.

To my future son (or daughter), I am not afraid anymore. You know I loved you even before I have you.

After this peace from reflecting about having another baby, I cannot seem wait to get pregnant again. (laughs) But to be clear, I am not pregnant. YET. But soon. Just you wait. (smiles)

Guest Mom on the Block: Tita Monique

I sincerely apologize I did not have the chance to post a guest mom story for the past few months because I was really extra busy with work. But I'm here now and I'm back with a lot of guestings! Chos, hahaha! :) Anyway..............

I actually want to squeal with happiness because my guest mom at the start of the year is a V.I.P. - in short for - Very Inspiring Person. I took my chance of asking her to share her motherhood thoughts and you can just guess how happy I was that she agreed.

I met Tita Monique through Human Nature. I have worked with her for a few times and I must say that she is very graceful and dedicated and really smart. My husband and I actually look up to her and her husband, because of their dedication to our country. It is no wonder that I also asked her to be one of our Principal Sponsor in our wedding and I am really grateful that she have graced us with her presence. Tita Monique runs a business and at the same time, she is one of the very lovely owners of Human Nature - Davao. She is also active in Gawad Kalinga, together with her husband of 24 vibrant years, Tito Ricky. Tita Monique is mom to 3 brilliant teenagers: Kimie (18), Reesa (17) and Indy (15).

Read and just simply be awed with this amazing Mom.

Me: How would you describe yourself as a Mom?
Tita Monique: After 18 years, I realized that who I am as a mother evolves with my children and adapts to their needs at a particular age and stage in their life.

In their infant to toddler years, I was a caregiver with unconditional love. I felt that I could not compromise my physical presence with my children. Motherhood in these early years turned out to be a crash course-cum-OJT on the art and science of care-giving. To the un-trained eye, this stage of motherhood seems very one-sided, where all we do is give, give and give all that we've got.  But to us mothers, the mere sight of our children's first step, first smile, first word, first hug blows our mind and pumps our heart with gratitude beyond words for having been given the privilege of motherhood.

I became a disciplinarian with benefits when they started going to school. The expansion of their intellectual and social circle also opened them up to not always positive influences, rules and standards became an integral part of our relationship as mother and child. This was my way of making sure that their concept of right and wrong remained intact and that they pushed themselves to the personal limits of what they can achieve as individuals.

Now, two of my children are off to college in Manila. They are very independent and their discipline is now self-imposed. At this stage, I am their close friend and confidante. But, and this is a big BUT, they are fully aware that their growing freedom should always be tempered with a sense of responsibility and that every decision they make has a corresponding consequence. The choice to study and live away from home makes them both independent yet still accountable for the every day choices they make on their own. At this stage, I am their friend with expectations.

Me: What did each child teach you about motherhood?
Tita Monique: There are countless things that my children have taught me...too numerous for this blog. But, the greatest lesson that I learned from them is this:  Their mother is not perfect. She is not expected to be, but they love her anyway. Their love has shown me that its okay to make mistakes. It's ok for their mom to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong.." to her children and not worry that her imperfections make her any less of a mother.

Me: What value do you want your children to learn from you?
Tita Monique: Just 3 things: God is number 1 - in EVERYTHING. No exception - God always comes first. Second, be the best that you can be.  The parable of the talents has a very special place in my heart. God gave you those talents and He expects you to use them in the most excellent way you know how.  Laziness and mediocrity disrespect these God-given talents. And third, success is defined by only one thing - the number of people whose lives are better because they knew you. Money, career - these are just tools for you to touch the lives of others.  If you choose to use these resources to enrich oneself, then life is meaningless.  But if you use what little you have so that someone else can be better off, that is success.

Me: Before we end Tita, what piece of wisdom do you want to share to moms?
Tita Monique: I don't think anyone is every really prepared to be a mother. You may read all the "What to Expect" books, take all the classes on child birth, attend all mother-baby conferences - yes, all these will help you anticipate some of the daily occurrences in your child's life. But when the big day arrives, every mother is a neophyte. Books and classes will only take you so far. In the end, it is Maternal Grace that will carry you from the delivery room and beyond.  Some call it maternal instinct, I call it Grace. I truly believe that God has a special kind of grace that He gives only to mothers.  How else can you explain how we can love a crying piece of crumpled flesh that the nurse places on our bosom?  What power on earth can make us forget sleep and rest to love and take care of another, with no certainty that you will be loved and taken cared of in return?  How else can we know what our children need even before they ask? There is only one explanation for the unexplainable: Maternal Grace. God has it in abundance, and is ready to give to mothers who ask.

I may have said it a lot of times, but again, thank you Tita Monique for taking time to share your insights in my blog. Your simplicity as a Mom has greatly touched me and I am positive so are my mommy readers out there.

Just to insert a little plug, visit Human Nature-Davao at Plaza del Carmen, Obrero Davao City and experience world class organic products that is 100% Filipino, Pro-Poor and Pro-environment. Who knows, you might catch Tita Monique and have a little chat with her.

You can read about Dindi, my previous guest mom, HERE. Till my next guest mom feature!

Follow me at Twitter, @devimbarcena

How we spent December 2013 until early weeks of January 2014

I always wonder why the Christmas holiday tagged as the most wonderful time of the year is also the most stressful. Thankfully, I decided not get stressed over it this year, except for the insane traffic that never fails to bring out tempers. The last week of November, S got a nasty cold and cough but it was gone by the end of the 1st week of December. We did not go out much during first 3 weeks of Christmas month, except for Y's birthday celebration and a christening and Nathan's 1st birthday (click on links to read story, thanks!).

Anyway, I'll just share how our little family spent the stress-free holidays...

We spent the last week of December at my parent's house. Last year, Y and I felt it was a bit quiet with the 3 of us just spending Christmas. So we decided to spend it with our families. So we brought our house things over to my Mom and Dad's house. It was like a vacation for S. She always slept past her bedtime (oops, sorry) and wake up late the next day. Haha. Actually, we did not go out much because as I've said, the traffic is really terrible. So we pretty much spent the whole day playing and being lazy, hehe.

We spent Christmas Eve at my Mom and Dad's house. I am still waiting for the photos from my sister. S slept at 11:30 that night and I think she was already sleepy when we got home from the evening mass but she was really keen on entertaining all of us by singing like carolers.

Christmas Day was spent at my in-law's house. Y had to go back to our home in the south since he had to go out of town until Saturday. I decided to stay with my parents until he comes back because our helpers are also going home for their vacation and I do not want to be alone at home. Mabuti pa ang mga helpers, may vacation na vacation talaga.

The day after Christmas, we brought S to SM Lanang for the first time. It was funny because she refused to walk during the first few hours we were there and it was very unfortunate that I forgot to bring our babywearing gear that day. S threw a tantrum during her shoe fitting. She would cry every time we try to fit a different shoe on her feet. We had to wait for her to take a nap. Hehehe. Her G-Ma (my mom) bought her cooking toys and I got to say wow, toys nowadays are almost the real thing.

The next day, I met up with my friends at Abreeza. S had fun at their playground, although you have to to really watch after a toddler because older kids can be rough while playing. Slowly, friends arrived. We chatted until 6 in the evening. S slept most of the time. Gosh, I miss my friends. Most of the time, I am absent from my friend's get together or we end up not having it because of schedule conflict.
I was just putting S to sleep here and I my sister did not have to run after her. Hahaha. I do not mind taking care of S but I realized I really need a little dose of dates with my friends sometimes.
This is S reaction every time we take her photo.
On that Sunday, we met up with Y at SM City. Oh, it was so fun! S rode the merry go round for the first time. I have a video of it but honestly, I am still figuring out how to insert it here, hehehe. And we found out that S loves pizza so much. We were still going to stay one night more at my mom's house since Y had to attend an overnight reunion with his college classmates.
I love,love this photo so much...
We went home by December 30. And on New Year's Eve, S had a runny nose and really bad cough. We spent a quiet New Year Eve's, literally quiet because S and Y had a sleeping contest, Hahaha. I hate waking up S in the middle of her sleep. I did not want to greet the new year with a tantrum, plus S was not really feeling well. The runny nose and coughs were really being a menace to her.

New Year's Day, our little family trooped to my Uncle's home, one of our New Year tradition. S was not at her best condition. She was cranky and moody, due to the colds and coughs. S was not weak, probably the runny nose was just getting in her way. But she did well during our gathering. We visited North Crest subdivision just for a quick drive and wow. That place is quite nice and I'm sure it's pricey too. We have photos but I still have to get them from my Uncle.

Enjoying the piano. S would gamely repeat the Do Re Mi for me.
However, after 10 days, S cough was not going away. We had to unfortunately take S to her pedia and even before we went there, I was dreading the fact that S will be prescribed antibiotics. Sigh.
So that's all folks for our holidays. It was truly a happy holidays for us. As I've said before, if S is happy, then we are happier. Looking forward to December 2014.

Nathan's Sesame Street 1st Birthday

Believe me when I say that I am rushing my December stories because obviously, Chinese New Year na sa Friday. Hahaha.

We were very honored to be invited by Maan of Pink Apron to her darling Nathan's 1st birthday party.

Wow, I think we were just transported to Sesame Street. Ang bongga lang talaga ng decors!
There goes our little girl, enjoying the decors, while munching on Potato Fries which was one of the food carts during the party...
....and said to herself, "I'm going to get a balloon. Libre ata!" Hahahaha!
Upon arrival, S was enjoying everything, despite the fact that she had less than an hour nap for that day. We were actually a bit apprehensive about going, it was already a jampacked day of activities for S. Earlier in the day, we attended a christening for Y was godfather to his friend's daughter. Then after lunch, we proceeded to SM City to buy some gifts. But in the middle of a game, she was starting to get cranky and would only cling to me. So I let her sleep. I ate dinner while babywearing her. However, she woke up around dinner time but was very moody. She cried during the AVP (probably because it suddenly got dark and loud) and refused to eat her dinner. We had to get out of the party venue just to feed her. However, after 20 minutes of trying, S mood did not improve. We had to leave the party. All in all, I missed half of the fun, especially the magic show. I really apologize Maan. But I know that it was very fun and full of love and laughter. I should have forced S to take a nap. Lesson learned that day: Never go to a late afternoon party without having a toddler get enough nap and limit activities for a toddler. Just some of the few photos I got....
See me baby wearing a sleeping S? (Photo from Maan's FB page)
Still S was in a good mood...She is trying to make the boy sit. Hahaha. I had to cover some faces of school age kids because I have not asked permission from their parents for them to appear in my blog. I will post photos of Nathan because he is with his parents.
Making sure that the boy will stay put. Hahaha.
It was during this game that S lost her happy mood. Too bad, S could have won the special talent part. Hahahaha!
I am really glad we have this photo. Happy birthday Nathan!
(Photo from Maan's FB page)

1983 and 2013

Credits to my sister for the collage. Thanks Tita Abin, hehehe!
1983. I'm 1 year old here and in a birthday party. I'm not sure if it's my birthday party (because I have a portrait wearing this dress) but anyway, when it was time to take the kid's photos...."I'm a girl! This is an all boys photo!", said me. Hahaha.

2013. My little 1 year old, doing what I just did, 30 years ago. Hahaha.

Happy, Happy Birthday Daddy Y!

My husband's birthday falls on a December. Earlier, we planned on a simple lunch at home, inviting our immediate families, since the date falls on a Sunday. Then he'll give a separate mini celebrations for friends and other acquiantances, parang celebrity lang, haha. But since its the month of parties and reunions, well, it cannot be helped but mix another celebration to it - double with, ika nga sa sine. So it was decided that Y's birthday will also be his high school barkada's Christmas party. I think Y was very glad about the double celebration since they rarely see each other, now that they have their own families and most of them are overseas. It was a pool party and held at Forest Hill Resort. It was my first time to go there and I got to say, S loved the place. I think our kids enjoyed the party more than us. Hahaha. I'll just let the photos do the talking. Mith and Beth, I took the liberty of getting some photos from you. I hope you don't mind. Lesson to self: I must be more diligent in taking photos. I have to admit, I am really a bit lazy.
S here had to be forced to get out of the pool to eat a little snack.
Yes, the pool is really child friendly. Deepest part of the kid's pool is until S's neckline, which I guess its only below 2 feet. BUT KIDS, ESPECIALLY TODDLERS MUST BE WATCHED AT ALL TIMES, just like what Daddy Y is doing in the photo below, hahaha. And the pool is very wide so no need to worry about crowding. And the best part, this pool area is a bit shaded. I think it only got too hot around 1 in the afternoon but there's still part of the pool that's shaded and well, that's where we stayed.
And its my turn to watch over her. I told the yayas to go and take a dip in the adult pool. Now that I'm a mom, I realized I'm not so keen in swimming anymore. I feel so responsible in making sure that S is changed or dried with a towel once she is out of the water and I cannot do that if I'm soaking wet myself. Or maybe, I am just too lazy to swim and go over the routine of showering again and changing clothes, HAHAHAHA! That's why every time we go swimming, it's Y who swims with S and I watch them. Although I am willing to get wet but not really dip but so far, I've gotten away with it and Y seems willing most of the time. Hahaha.
 I have to say though that S is very confident when she got into the pool. She would "dive" and squeal with delight like she's dived like a pro. Haha. It was so amusing, I swear. I think I have a video of it but its in my sister's phone. I must get a copy of that. She would confidently walk around the pool and she would venture bravely until the water is until her tummy and would hold hands once the water gets up to her chest. That's why after seeing all of it, we decided to hold her 2nd birthday here, which is actually 3 months from now. I do not have to worry about entertainment. Hehe. 

So there, that was it for my love's birthday. I am sure that he had lots of fun :) This is a bit of a late post but still, Happy Birthday Y. S and I love you very much! :)

The Yaya and the Maid, Newest Edition

As I've said, we welcomed the new year with a new set of household help: the yaya and the maid. I already shared that I had to "fire" our last househelp, C because if she comes back after the holidays, our super Yaya T will not come back anymore. Since yaya T is more precious and difficult to replace, I had to let C go.

And on New Year's Eve, Yaya T called and told us that she decided not to come back anymore. At first, I was shocked. I ran through the last one on one conversation we had and I did remember that she did mentioned she was returning to Manila this year, but not early on. I remembered I told her that I am fine with her plans on leaving, but i specifically requested her if she can resign around March, not January. And she agreed. That is why I was totally surprised with it. I felt so betrayed because I let go of C because of her and I even gave her transportation money just to assure her return. But after New Year's Day, I finally learned to let go Yaya T. I remember I said, I'd cry if she leave, but I didn't. But I was truly heartbroken because I lost a very good yaya and I am more sad for S because S loves her Yaya T very much. I kept thinking I could have tempted her with more money but I'm not sure if she would accept since she was really keen on going back to Manila so I didn't. My heart aches everytime S brings up her name and I had to tell S that her Ate T is not coming back anymore. Whether she understood or not, she would just look at me quizzically and I would just shower her with kisses. And then, Manang K had to back out, the househelp we were expecting to replace C. So before 2013 ended, we were faced with the dilemma of having no yaya and no help. It was a good thing that Ate R (my mom's help for more than a decade) was with them when they went home to their province so she was able to look for replacement.

And so we got this pair. The Yaya is okay - not Yaya T standard, but she can be trained. It's the Maid that I am really wary of. According to them, they are cousins (but my mom said they are not actually blood-related since she met them first since Ate R brought them at my Mom's house before us.), but they seem really close or they ran in the same social circles. BIG MISTAKE! The pair of them just can't stop gossiping like there's no tomorrow!

Originally, its the Maid who was supposed to be S's yaya. However, after observing them for 2 days (thank God for our long holiday break), the Maid is not following my simple yaya requirement: talk to S in English as much as she can - if she cannot handle the language, in Filipino, play with S, however silly the game is or initiate activities and focus on her. One, she seems to feel uncomfortable to talk in English (or in Bisaya, hilasan sa iyang self mag-English English), add to the fact that her help companion teases her and she is inattentive most of time (add to the fact that she is also attached to her phone) and a bit "dim-witted" for my standard. So I decided to switch them, 2 days before I left for work. So far, I was satisfied with the switch, although the new yaya needs to be oriented and must be monitored every now and then. She has previous experience with child care. Intellectually, the yaya is qualified. She graduated top of her class, according to her. She actually has plans for herself and her family. We can see that despite her flaws, she is responsible if mentored well. Y and I can see her potential. As for the maid, never mind.

Ate R volunteered to watch over them for a week, and also to monitor their work performance. And even if I was not there the whole day, I know that the helpers behaved badly, particularly the maid. According to Ate R, the maid is soooo lazy and has a very huge influence on the yaya. Every time the maid's work is criticized or not done well, the yaya steps in to save her. I witnessed this myself. Believe me, Ate R is the standard of cleanliness and hard work - I completely trust that she is not making things up. She has stayed with my mom for more than 10 years and we never had any problems with her work. I am saying this because people who read this might think that Ate R is acting bossy. Just to be clear, she is not. She is actually my CCTV while I am at work.

From Ate R's "spying", the maid has been secretly making plans to request for a day-off on a Wednesday (this took place last week). She made me no paalam for the previous days so I thought she realized that I will not approve of it. Ate R arrived for her usual stay on that Wednesday that week and when i called up home and asked how S was doing, the maid suddenly wanted to talk to me. And yun na nga, she made paalam. I told her that I dislike asking permission over the phone and told her that she should have asked in person, and the day before. She told me, no, she lied a little, that her mom texted her just now. I told her that I will not allow her since it is not her off day. She reasoned that Ate R just arrived and could cover for her that day. That really made me furious. I told her that Ate R is not there to cover her (I specifically told Ate R to not lift a finger to work - she can correct but not do the work for them.). She still insisted that she will just be somewhere near. But at the back of my mind, I really wanted to get rid of her because for the 15 days she stayed with us, she has been completely unsatisfactory. I found it an opportunity to get rid of her without going through the unpleasantries of firing her officially. I told her she can go and to bring all of her stuff and not come back. I thought she was going to take the bait but silently said, She will not go out anymore. Ugh. Now I have to endure her. That night, Ate R shared to me that the disgruntled maid asked the yaya that if she left, will the yaya go with her. And the daft yaya said, walang iwanan! What the heck! And there I was, thinking she was actually smart.

Its been three weeks and I still cannot fully trust them. Although S has been left with the two of them without Ate R, I am unsatisfied with the state of things every time I come home. S has been fed, played with and watched over but she has changed clothes twice only? This yaya is untidy. And if I asked if the daily cleaning tasks has been done, like cleaning the windows or mop the floor, they both say yes. One thing is for sure, they cover up for each other. Two,  I cannot bring myself to be a "godzilla" because they might take it on S. But I am actually being strict beyond the normal strictness I show over my household helpers. I actually feel terrible leaving behind S to them. Lesson learned from this is to never hire helps who know each other so well. To be perfectly honest, I am on the verge of mental stress because of the pair of them. I cannot stop thinking of S. Well, S is watched after - not really being taken cared of the way I expected the yaya to. The only time I can assure that S is safe (or shall we say, well cared for) is when Ate R is there. She still volunteers to be there at least three days in a week because she cannot also bear to leave S behind to the pair of them. I am really grateful that Ate R loves S so much.

I feel so sinister planning on how to break their "loyalties". But I will try because as I've said, the yaya has potential. She is just being badly influenced by the maid. But if she prefers to throw away opportunities, fine with me. *sigh* I miss Ate T, I swear. I never had this problems with her. It may be selfish on my part, but I am praying that she come back to us (as of the moment, the prospect seems bleak but I will persevere). And even with C, the maid that I fired her last month, I prefer her over the maid that I have now.

Update: It is a bit funny that I finished editing this draft yesterday afternoon and a lot of things had happened over the night. Last night, I simply broke down and cried to my husband. I told him I do not want to stress over the maid anymore. I tried to be pro-active about this situation but I just cannot trust the two of them. Because of their loyalty to each other, I cannot seem to believe what they say is true. And it is giving me great mental stress. Even if we go helper-less for a week or two, I don't care. As advised by my mom, I am just going to gamble it with the yaya - ask her to stay for two months and we let go the maid. If she decides to go with the maid, then we did our best with her.

Sometimes, I wonder are we being too brash when it comes to getting rid of our helpers. I tried to recall the number of yaya and helpers we had:

Ate L (1), our 1st helper stayed for a month - S was still not born then.
Ate J (2), stayed for 8 months and ran away.
Manang K (3), stayed for 2 months and a half - she was just staying to "reserve" the slot for her daughter. I like Manang K. She was one of my favorites.
Yaya M (4), stayed for 5 days. Read HERE.
Yaya J (5), stayed for 2 days. Read HERE.
Yaya T (6), stayed with us for 9 months and had to leave and Ate C (7), whom we fired. Hands down, Yaya T is my favorite. She is the best yaya S had.
And the current ones we have now, the yaya (8) and the maid (9), whom I strongly feel will not be staying for long.

In the span of 2 years, we had 9. My mom assured me she had worse. Ugh. The headaches of these strangers living under your roof are so stressful, I swear. I am starting to doubt why i am a working mom. I feel so sad for S :( This blog has been long enough than I intended. I'm sorry, I just wanted to rant.

What about you? Feel free to share yaya/helper troubles and how you solved them. I might pick up something.

Read: One Day

I got the photo from HERE.
Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
No. of Pages: 435

Synosis: You can live your whole life not realising that what you're looking for is right in front of you.

15th July 1988.

Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year?

And the year after that?

And every year that follows?

Warning: There's a spoiler in this post so if you are planning to still read this book, I suggest to stop reading now.

The first time I opened this book, I decided not to read it. Hello, extremely tiny font in 435 pages. S was still a baby then - maybe fatigue made me think reading this book tiring. A year and more passed, I am less tired and more willing to go over the tiny font size.

I like the slow paced and detailed rich story of two friends who met at a graduation party. After spending a night together of kissing (nothing more than that) and talking, they decided they are better off as friends. They remained friends for a very long time, yet, they kept a special "spark of affection" for each other. This book made me ponder on the question that I once came across from another blogger, "Do friends of the opposite sex really remain as friends?".  Allow me to digress a little here, I believe they do but what I believe is one cannot help but develop special feelings for the other. Well, what do you think?

I got to say that only 2 books made me feel really sad. There's The Notebook. Second, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows specifically the part when Dobby died. The predictable in me hated the fact that the main character had to die when it was just getting good. It was so frustrating! There I was, rooting for Em and Dex to be finally a couple and when they finally did, BAM! Emma just had to be killed off. It was sooooo cruel! I actually finished this book last October but I waited for a friend to finish reading it so that I have someone to share my rant. (laughs) I like the book, I just found it a bit sad for a read. This book actually has a movie adaptation which stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. I still have not watched it because I cannot seem to bear seeing such sadness.

Missus Rates It: 5 stars
Currently Reading: I just finished Agatha Christie's "Destination Unknown" but it's not going to make the cut here - so ordinary. I am currently re-reading another Christie, "Parker Pyne Investigates" which will also not make the cut here but I am looking forward to reading 3 books I have with me now. You have to excuse me but the cold weather just makes me lazy to get some reading done at night. (laughs)

playing dress up has now began...

S is now fascinated with my clothes. She calls my and hers clothes for going out, "pretty". Not only my clothes but she also loves to wear my shoes. I must get a photo of it.

It is blurred because she won't stop walking. S is wearing my favorite pang-buffet top because it hides my still present post-pregnancy flab and big tummy once you are extra full. Hahahaha!
And of course, Daddy Y cannot help but pose with our cutie-pie.
I cannot wait for us to go shopping together so you better be ready, Y. You now have two girls to prettify. HAHAHAHA!

first post for 2014

dear blog readers,

happy new year! i hope you all had a blast. ours was a bit quiet but it was grace-filled.
i am terribly sorry that i have been neglecting you for the past few weeks.
i am actually surprised shocked that i am stil insanely busy since October. sure, my work has its share of busy season but for the past 4 months, i have not been short of to-do's. but to be truthful, i love it. i am doing something i truly enjoy. and despite my busyness, i still have quality time with my family although there are things that i simply have not time to do. like blogging.
i have so many stories to share to you but i simply cannot find the time to write. i truly find it frustrating but i have to accept that i cannot blog full time - but i really miss it like crazy. and nights and weekends, i have chosen to keep disconnected to spend it entirely with my family.
so for now, i will write as much as i can. i do hope you still won't go away.
its just for now, my hands are full.

sincerely missing posting in this blog,

- FriendS -