30 TWO

I turn 32 today! Wala na po sa calendar ang aking age, nasa thermometer na, as the joke goes. (laughs) Anyway, I was preparing to write a heavy post but I realized, ang sobrang drama lang talaga, nakakatanda! Hahaha. Hence this light post for my day.

It's funny that few people greet me on my birthday now ever since I disabled my birthday reminder at Facebook years ago. But I don't mind because these few people are very important to me and their greetings are more than enough. Well, its still late in the morning so people might remember after I post this, hahaha!

I still have not decided on my Word 2014 after 2 months of thinking, sorry. But I am certain that I will strive to be better for these things this year:

Attitude of Gratitude and Abundance. I will thank God everyday for my life - to be able to love, to do good and share my blessings.

Relationships and my Vocation. This is constant work. I may stumble along the way - with God's grace, I will only be better.

Prayer Life. I need to connect more to God, through Creed-Cult-Code. I wish I can blog about the 3C's after hearing it from a talk given to us last Wednesday, "Discernment: The Art of Chossing Well" but I am afraid I might not be able to deliver it well.

Health and Beauty. I am hoping to get back my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm still 4 kilos away from it and I want to go back to it before I get pregnant again. Okay, can I make a compromise? 2 kilos less, I'm good. Hahaha.

Before I end this post, just let me thank my good friend Floyd who gave me this delicious cake 16 days before my birthday, hahaha! But, its the thought that counts. According to him, this is my wedding gift-push gift-birthday gift all in one. Thank you, Floyd.

And thank you Ronald for this beautiful shot. I rarely go on a glam photoshoot now because my body shape makes me shy, hehehe. But I really wanted a portrait every birthday hence this. And thank you for the glam make-up! Till next year! :)
32 is the new 22! To be perfectly honest, I feel younger now. Does that seem silly or weird to you?
I will update this post after my simple celebrations. I really do not have the "moolah" to splurge on a feast for friends so I am sharing whatever I have.

Again, thank you thank you Lord for my beautiful life :)


I am getting lazy to blog. I have so many drafts and just looking and the thought of finishing them gets me tired already. Must be the hormones at this time of the month. Or because I'm turning older days from now? Hahaha.

Okay friends, just hang on while I deal with this apparently loss of will to blog. Haha.

What it was about...

I had a mommy-related hysteria 2 days ago that prompted me to post a rather dramatic Facebook status to which a number of mommy friends expressed their empathy. To show my appreciation, I would like to share what I have learned from that, though I will not share specific details because I do not want to create any more related hysteria. Haha!

To be honest, this is not my original post for today. The night after I posted the FB status, I was able to draft a rather lengthy and very melodramatic essay about what happened. Because of time constraint, I was unable to post it. I posted that FB status at the height of my emotions (angry, frustrated and just guilty). What I have read were not even meant for me. It was an innocent remark that struck a delicate cord in me (a long day perhaps?) and I felt so vulnerable that I simply cried. I found it so silly but I cannot seem to stop my tears because all those other fears and feelings that I thought I had at bay just came rushing. After receiving honest and encouraging texts from my friend, Ianne (you can check her blog too), I managed to go home without crying. Hehe.

It took slowly to accept that I am not a perfect mother. I've had my fair share of hits, misses and bouts with guilt. I have to remind myself over and over again that motherhood is a gift. In the wisdom of Tita Monique, it is Maternal Grace that has carried me (us) through.

From now on, I will believe with conviction that there is only one universal truth in motherhood: a mother will love her children the best way she knows. There is no standard of best when it comes to loving our children. As I shared to the #ISupportYou campaign, "No mother should be made to feel inferior of her choices because a mother's love is never inferior."

Through this experience, I've realized that words have the power build, yet, it has more power to break someone. And I will use this small power I have to encourage any moms. And with this resolve, I will not hold any judgement to any mother who will choose differently from me. As a mom, I should be the first to have the compassion to understand what a mother is going through.

I have realized that motherhood taught me more about kindness, open-mindedness and generosity, something that I would want my children to learn.

And most of all, I have learned that motherhood is a continuous journey of love and faith. There will probably more times like this (the year of teenage boys, I think, hahaha!), but as Tita Monique has said, God has Maternal Grace in abundance, and is ready to give to mothers who ask for it.

Wees and Poops, Our Potty Story.

I do not know why but I was kind of nervous with the thought of potty training S. I was worried that S might get "traumatized" with the training and might get serious psychological disorder if not done right. Insane, I know. So when S turned 1, I read What to Expect Toddler Years for background reading and searched the internet for more information and personal experiences.

And I learned 1 thing from all the reading: It's something a child will be ready on their own. I am all for respecting a child's space and pace of development but I felt that with toilet training, we've got to start somewhere with not actually being pushy and putting pressure on the child.

I thought the first part of this training is teach S about bowel movements. Since S was taught baby signing (very helpful and I never got to blog how helpful it was to us and made communicating a bit easy with S), I felt it was the start that S will be comfortable with. When S turned 1, we started introducing the bowel movements sign. Every time she made a wee-wee and poo-poo, we made sure she understands what is happening. Apart from that, it greatly helped that we do not make S wear diapers during the day to make sure she understands the concept of wet and dry, dirty and clean. No training pants, just undergarments. Although I made it clear to her daytime caregiver that the opposite concept is not the primary lesson but the bodily functions. But my daughter is amazingly smart, she actually picked up the concept of wet easily.

When S turned 18 months, S was somewhat fully aware of her bodily functions. In fact, she had a phase that when she feels the need to pee, she would hurry and stand on a rug. See? No need to worry about mess on the floor. What we did to support that phase in her toilet training is provide a rug in sight. I told myself to worry about moving her from that phase to actually sitting down in a potty when she is ready. I wanted to start the actual sitting down in a potty around December but thankfully, our Yaya T was excellent with S in introducing the transfer from rug to potty earlier and with no fuss.

When S turned 20 months (December 2013), S is very much willing to pee on her potty, but we had to remove the car it came with because she gets distracted by it. Hooray! I thought staying at my mom for almost a week would disrupt her training process but thankfully, it didn't. However at night, we still make her wear diapers (either cloth or disposables, depends on the weather the day before, hahaha!).

We made mistakes on the course of the training, I admit. Her Tita Aiea gifted us with a kid toilet seat on her 1st birthday and when S peed on the potty for the first time, we wanted to try it. S cried and got scared. Sorry baby. I swore to myself S will not shed tears over potty training again.

Currently, S has perfected to do her wee-wee in her potty. She would even wake me up and say, "wee-wee ako". Sure, she has misses but I always told our yaya not to scold her or bring up that she failed to pee in her potty. Though we are strictly not following the no-training-at-all but I guess we are still following the no pressure route.

With the poo-poo thing though, S has this not wanting to be touched and would want us to look away when doing her thing. Just like with the wee-wee stage on a rug, I will respect this phase and wait until she is ready to poop in her potty, which she actually did twice but it was purely all her choice, no pressure from us.

So to fellow moms who are planning to potty train a toddler, here are some of my thoughts...

FOLLOW THE LEAD OF YOUR TODDLER AND TRUST THEM. Since toilet training is a physical milestone, in my opinion, then the lead must start physically. A child must understand his or her bodily functions rather than imposing it on the child all of a sudden. If a child seems dismissive of the lessons on what is wee-wee and poo-poo, it's no big deal. There are times that I felt I was getting nowhere teaching S about wee-wee (hey, it took us 6 months the most), I was just surprised one day when she said wee-wee and ran to the rug.

READ BOOKS ABOUT POTTY TRAINING. It was very fortunate that I chanced upon this book while rummaging shelves during a book sale. For S, I read Once Upon a Potty (Girl). I find it very funny that S loves reading that book lately but I have no complaints because S easily remembers things if we read them to her. I am still looking for other potty books but so far I have not yet found anything from my last weekend's dive into a book shop. One of my go-to blogs wrote about potty training and provided what books to read HERE.
I actually have a photo of our own copy but I forgot to bring my wire. I got the photo from HERE.
AS A PARENT, RELAX AND ENJOY THE MOMENT. I can only pray that S will be out of diapers by the time she enters pre-school. Right now, I can only bask in the fun of this process. I only realized that by the time she is fully toilet trained, it is the first sign that S is a big, independent girl. *sigh* (excuse me for a moment, my tears are getting in the way...)

So there, I hope I have provided a little help. However, I have to remind you that I'm a first time mom to a toddler so basically I am doing this for the first time. I'm sorry if I don't seem sound credible to you :)

What about you mommies? How did potty training go with your kids? Feel free to share some techniques.

Lots of love from the Missus,
 You can follow me at Twitter: @devimbarcena

So it's not a happy ending???

Daddy Y bought S this book. Sure, the book has nice illustrations, in hard cover and its a collection of stories from Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. What I like about the book is that it has a little game in every page: you can find a butterfly or fish hidden in it. However, I am a bit cautious of stories about princesses. To be clear, I do not hate fairy tales nor I have anything about princess stories. I grew up reading some of them and honestly, I am a Disney child. But I do not want S to have a "princess" mindset? I cannot explain much but I hope you get the digs for now.

But I am not here to talk about the book. I am here to rant share that I was deceived misled a little about The Little Mermaid. I have not read The Little Mermaid book when I was a child but I saw the Disney movie and it was my favorite story among all the previous Disney animation that I have seen (although my Disney faves now are: Tangled, Enchanted, Frozen in that order, Hahaha!). I became a voracious reader only in high school so I did not even bother to compare the movie to the book version.

And through this book, BAM! It was not a happy ending for the Prince and the mermaid. From the start, it was pretty much the same: mermaid saved the prince, mermaid wants to be human, she signed off her voice to a witch/sorcerer, prince and human-mermaid met. But there, the prince cannot fall in love with the human-mermaid because she reminds him of the mermaid he loved he met once. Then came the pressure for the prince to marry (well, the when-are-you-going-to-marry pressure has not changed a bit, just so you know, hahaha!), and he decided to visit the princess he was set up with and I do not know why he fell in love with the girl when the very girl that he really is in love with has been with him the whole time. Insane, I tell you. So the prince and another princess got married. However, part of her agreement with the sea-witch was that if the prince did not love and marry her, she would turn into a sea foam. Then came her sisters to the rescue. They sacrificed their long hair to be able to get a knife where she has to kill the prince so that she will not turn into a sea foam. Of course, she could not do it. So she committed suicide and I'll just insert the last paragraph in the book.
To make it short, it was not the same ending with the movie. I felt a little sad. But later on, I realized that I can like the "real" ending of The Little Mermaid, no matter how sad it is. I am reminded of Olaf's line from Frozen, "Love is putting someone else's need before yours." I guess that's what the mermaid did. The prince need not pay for the price of her choices.

I still have not read out the mermaid story to S. Not because it was a sad ending, but because of the part where she was given the knife to kill the prince.

To be fair to this book, I've been reading it to S. There are a lot of non-princess stories in it. Although we cannot help but read princess stories, I decided not to worry about it much later.

But honestly, the real ending saddens me still. Sigh. Silly, isn't it?

So-so Read: Flash and Bones

My own copy!
Title: Flash and Bones
Author: Kathy Reichs
No. of Pages: 271

Sypnosis: She lived for speed - and vanished without a trace...

As 200,000 fans pour into town for Race Week, a body is found in a metal drum near Charlotte Motor Speedway-a discovery that has NASCAR crewman Wayne Gamble urgently seeking out Tempe at the Mecklenburg Country ME's Office: twelve years ago, his sister, Cindi, then a high school senior and aspiring professional race car driver, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette, who was linked to a group of right-wing extremists. The FBI, joined the investigation, but it was soon terminated. Is the body Cindi's? Or Cale's? Tests reveal that a toxic substance was in the drum with the body-just as another disappearance occurs. Who is orchestrating the mayhem behind the scenes at NASCAR-and what government secrets might have been buried more than a decade ago?

This book is my first from this author. Personally, I am an avid watcher of the TV series Bones, from which the series is loosely based, I decided to give this book a try and it being below 100 pesos and looking so new did not hurt this trying.

It seemed silly, I mean from someone who keeps on saying to never expect a movie adaptation to be the replica of a book, that I still asked my sister to google for me the name of Booth's version in the book. There is no "Booth". The Brennan-book has Andrew Ryan but he is not exactly Booth in a sense. There is no Angela. There is no Hodgins. And no sexy interns like Wendell. Hahaha.

Okay, back to the book. I did enjoy the reading, just how I enjoyed my who-done-it? Christie's and booknovela Sheldon's, because the book precisely runs in the same formula of the two author I mentioned. I did not even mind that I have to check a science dictionary for terms like "sternum" and "occipital". I mean in the TV series, you just have to watch, right? But if I have to be honest here, I enjoyed the book because I am already biased to the TV series. You know what I mean? I have to say that I love and secretly prefer the TV series.

But, I will not judge an author because of 1 book. She already has 16 or 17 published works and I'll try to look for the first work she published, Deja Dead. And we'll see.

Missus Rates It: 3 stars
Currently Reading: None.....As I've said, the very cold weather makes me so sleepy always that any plans for reading is abandoned. You just want to crawl under the covers (ehem!) and sleep. But I am looking forward to reading, Ma Jian's The Noodle Maker.

- FriendS -