Monday, March 18, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

The one with the end of an era

picture taken at 32 weeks
Today marks my 37th week of pregnancy according to my OB, which means that I can safely give birth anytime now. My doctor and I actually have different due dates, hers is ahead of mine by 4 days. She's basing the due date on our baby's first biometry measurements, while I've always counted from my last menstrual period (LMP). Because this is a planned pregnancy, I'm very sure about my dates. Anyway, in either case, I can give birth any day in the next 5 weeks. I've been paranoid these last two weeks that I might give birth prematurely, so I'm now relieved that my baby has hit full term.

I have no words to describe just how excited I am for our Audrey to arrive. The baby that I dreamed of, imagined, and felt inside me is just days or weeks away from finally being in my arms, and just the thought of it is enough to make me tear up. There is so much love from me, from her daddy, and from her extended family waiting for her.

Happy and excited as I am, I'm a also a little bit emotional over the fact that my precious girl's arrival will mean the end of an era (era talaga???): that of Abet and me, just the two of us. And I'm more than ready to say good-bye to it. Abet and I got to maximize our time together and we have no regrets. We had the time of our lives being young and carefree. We've had our fun travelling as far as our money would take us, we had a beautiful wedding. We got married exactly after 5 years of courtship, and we got to enjoy 8 precious months of being newlyweds playing house followed by 9 months of being eager soon-to-be parents. In those 6 and a half years, I was Abet's princess and the love of his life, and his world revolved around me. Pretty soon, we will have our princess who will be the love of our lives, and our world will revolve around her.

Another thing I'll miss is having Audrey girl all to myself. In the last 9 months, Audrey has been mine, all mine. I'm the only one who can nourish her, feel her move and play and hiccup. Once she's out, I'll be sharing her with her daddy, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone. So yes, I'll missing having both my husband and my daughter all to myself. I'm a selfish girl.

But this selfish girl is excited to be a mother more than anything. Everything will be all worth it once she's here. I'll be sharing my husband with my baby, but I know deep in my heart that Audrey will make our marriage stronger than ever. I'll be sharing my girl with everyone else, but I know that nothing will make me happier than seeing my daughter so loved.

Audrey's arrival may mean the end of an era, but a new, more beautiful one is about to begin.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The one with the cancelled baby showers

During my 35th week checkup last week, I complained to my OB that I feel sharp pains when I walk, andTMI alert!that my vajayjay aches like it's been hit by a bowling ball. I've been feeling those discomforts since my 33rd week. After doing an internal exam, my doctor confirmed that Audrey has lightened (dropped into the pelvic cavity) and her head is already engaged (in position near the cervix). While this doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be giving birth sooner, the doctor told me to rest until I reach full term/37 weeks (1st week of March) so my cervix won't open early. I'm still experiencing sharp, shooting pains when I get up and walk around, so I'm now on partial bed rest. My activities are now limited to the bed, the desk (yep, still working), the dining table, and the bathroom.

Because of this, I have to cancel everything on my social calendar for the next few weeks. My high school barkada planned a shower for this Saturday that I bailed on because I can't get up to go around, and I'm kinda bummed about it because they never got to see me pregnant. I also have another one scheduled for March 10 that I'm also cancelling because I might be at the hospital or my baby might already be here by then. My college barkada has yet to set a date for my 3rd shower, but I told them not to bother anymore.

While I'm a teeny bit disappointed, I'm also excited because instead of baby showers, we can have "meet-the-baby" parties instead! And now that I think of it, it seems like an even better idea. My friends will get to meet Audrey right away instead of at her christening which isn't until she's a few months old. I'm not expecting any visitors at the hospital since I'm giving birth in the faraway kingdom of Las Piñas, so having my friends come over once baby girl is out sounds perfect.

Even while planning the showers, I told my friends that I just want a get-together and they don't have to worry about getting us gifts. Abet and I already have the essentials covered, plus we received a bunch of stuff over the holidays. I just want to spend quality time with my nearest and dearest friends—people who will love my baby—more than anything. And now, since we're having "meet Audrey" gatherings instead, I'll get to hang out with my friends and my baby! I can't wait!

*image from here

Monday, February 18, 2013

The one with the spoiled Ate

I'm now staying at my parents' home full-time, and I'm absolutely loving it here! Abet and I used to shuttle back and forth between Las Piñas (my parents') and Sampaloc (which is so much nearer UST where Abet works), but lately my preggy belly and I are staying put in Las Piñas. Abet still stays in Sampaloc most days of the week because they're preparing for a concert this weekend and rehearsals don't end until late in the evening, but by next week he'll be here with me as we wait for Audrey to arrive. We'll be staying here until after I give birth because God knows I'll need my mother around to help me care for a newborn.

I never realized just how much I missed my parents' home. Don't get me wrong, I will forever treasure the pre-baby time Abet and I spent together, just the two of us, in our tiny rented home in Sampaloc. But coming from a home with 4 siblings and more pets than I could count with my fingers, I missed the chaos. I missed the constant bantering and joking and singing. I missed the very noisy family meals. It feels good to be back! Good luck to you, Audrey. You're up for a whole lotta craziness when you arrive.

What I'm loving most right now is how utterly spoiled I am. My parents dote on me, but that's kinda expected—their baby girl is having a baby girl after all. My mom cooks/buys every single thing I ask for. But to have my younger siblings spoil me? I'm enjoying every minute of it. I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I love how I can boss them all around, haha! I also love how they get me whatever I want. I just text them my 'request' while they're in school, and I get my bola-bola siopao/Mineshine/pineapple juice/sampaloc candy/buko shake or whatever it is I ask for when they get home. My sister May, future OB-GYN, isn't very easy to ask food from, though; she's very strict with my sugar intake. She does buy me milk tea when I ask her, and she goes with me to doctor's appointments if Abet can't. And I know she'll spoil my baby the most. May and my brother Mako, who are both RNs/med students, also take care of monitoring my blood pressure.

All this attention from my family is definitely one of the best things about being pregnant. Add to that the attention I get from my dearest husband and it's more than enough to make little papansin ol' me happy. I only have a few weeks of being pregnant left—Audrey's coming in 2-5 weeks!—don't blame me for enjoying it as much as I can while it lasts.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The one with the non-dragon baby

With the Chinese New Year coming up, I am reminded of a comment someone said to me shortly after I announced my pregnancy. She asked when my baby was due, and when I said that I'm to give birth March of this year, she said, "Sayang, di umabot na dragon baby ang anak mo."


Okay, first of all, Abet and I are both not Chinese. We have no interest in horoscopes and Chinese astrology. I don't even know what animal sign Abet falls under. I know I was born in the Year of the Dog, but I have no idea what my personality is supposed to be like, who I'll be compatible with, or what profession is best for me. I don't care.

Most importantly, of course Abet and I are not going to have a dragon baby. Neither of us is a Targaryen. I'm a Lannister while he's a Stark, so say the quizzes we've taken. Not that we need a quiz to figure that out.

If that last paragraph didn't make any sense to you, there's still time to watch the first two seasons of Game of Thrones before the third season starts next month. It's seriously one of the best TV shows ever ever ever (maybe second best ever -- next to FRIENDS).

I do have a very good reason why I'm glad that Audrey will be a snake baby out of all the signs, but I'll save that for another blog post.

*image from here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The one with the nursery ideas

Early in my pregnancy, I spent countless hours browsing Pinterest and Houzz to get ideas on how to turn the spare room in our home into a nursery. I fantasized about what paint colors, baby furniture, and decor to get. I was so fascinated with nurseries that you'd think we'd have Audrey's room all set by now. We don't, and we only have less than two months to go.

We will be sharing our room with our baby, so it's not really going to be a nursery. Now that I'm about to give birth, I can't imagine having a nursery like the ones I see online where the parents' bed is not in the same room. So, what we'll do is to turn our room into the baby's room with our bed squeezed in.

We have decided to get a crib after all. We'll do without a bed frame for now and just have our mattress on the floor, I feel that it's much safer that way. That leaves us with just enough space for storage for Audrey's stuff, either a cabinet or a chest/changing table. Abet's and my cabinet is getting kicked out.

We were supposed to have the room painted over the holidays while my husband and brothers were on school break, but we never got around to it. It was mainly because I could not decide on the colors. I have now finalized my choices: light gray, white, and baby pink.

Above is the look I want to go for, except that it's going to be pink instead of blue. I wish the crib we're getting is white, but the one we want is only available in natural wood. I'm also going to do those white letters.

Here are other pink nursery looks I'm loving:

I'll try to incorporate the elements I like in the images above in our room.

We start painting the room this weekend, and I have already started on my craft projects. Can't wait to blog about what we come up with!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The one with the roundhouse kicks

Audrey's kicks are getting more and more intense now. I sometimes get movements that make me go "Whoooaaa!" (For some reason, her kicks are extra strong whenever my brother, her Uncle Mako, is the one touching my tummy.)

The What to Expect app says that the movements will be getting less frequent and less pronounced in the weeks to come because she'll have less space to move around as she gets bigger. Therefore, I'll now savor every kick, every movement that comes along. Yes, even those that keep me awake in the wee small hours of the morning.

Once the baby comes out, I think it will be the fetal movements that I'll miss the most about my pregnancy -- those precious little jabs that tell me she's doing okay in there. So go ahead, Audrey. Go ahead and move around. I can't wait for the day when you'll finally be moving in my arms.

The one with the movie date

Abet and I haven't gone to the movies in a long time, so when UST declared that yesterday was a holiday because of the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, we decided to go on a movie date. We finally got to watch Les Miserables, something we've both been looking forward to watching since we found out that it was going to be made for film. I was able to hold my pee (I didn't drink anything!) and my singing in. I can't say the same for my tears.

It was nice to have been able to go out on a date with my husband, even if I waddled like a penguin and went in every time we passed by a restroom. This is the first time we've gone out just for the sake of going out since... oh, I can't even remember when. It's usually to buy groceries, get something for the house, pay some bill, or other errands. It reminded me of our carefree boyfriend-girlfriend days.

Thank you, UST, for giving me my husband all to myself for an extra day. I think the next time we go out like this, it will be to take a break from taking care of a baby, something the grandmothers are very excited about!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The one with my cat Wolfie's birthday

My cat Wolfgang Amadeus Mesa turns 1 year old today! Happy birthday, little boy!

We first took him to the vet on May 25 last year, a few days after we got him, and the vet assessed that he was around 4 months old. Therefore, we decided that his birthday is January 25.

So, what makes him so special when we have 10 other cats? Wolfgang is the one cat that is truly mine. My first two don't really belong to me: Uma belongs to my brother Momon, and Phoebe is Abet's. Wolfie is mine, all mine.

He belonged to the karinderya across our house, but one summer Sunday last year, while I was buying dinner, the karinderya owner asked me if I wanted him. He was badly covered in mange which the customers weren't too happy about, and they were going to throw him away. After rushing back to our house to get permission from my husband (he said yes without a moment's hesitation), Wolfie was in our home.

At that time, my family already had two orange-and-white cats: Ludwig† (Beethoven) and Johann (Bach). Naturally, the new one is Wolfgang (Mozart).

His infection was so bad when we got him that my mother honestly did not think he'd make it. Thankfully, he pulled through after being treated with shots, oral antibiotics, and medicated soap.

6 weeks after we got him, he's completely healed here

Wolfie now lives at my parents' house, and he is hands-down the craziest, noisiest, most entertaining cat of all. He is also the biggest troublemaker. This is what we get for naming a cat after Mozart! But we love him all to bits!

Happy Birthday, our little Wolfgang! Thanks for all the joy you bring! Since you like to rub my tummy a lot, I think this will be you soon:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The one with one of my favorite marriage quotes

"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."
- Martin Luther 

I'm always sorry to see you leave, love. I hope you're always glad to come home to me! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The one with the little gymnast

My baby has this uncanny ability: she knows the precise moment that I am about to fall asleep after struggling to doze off (no thanks to third-trimester insomnia), and chooses that exact time to practice her somersaults in utero. Ending of the story: mommy is not getting much sleep.

My dear Audrey, I know you just want to get a headstart for the 2028 Olympics, but there'll be a lot of time for that once you come out. I'll support you 101% if that's what you want to do, I promise. For now, let's make mommy sleep, okay? 

You can move all you want when mommy's awake. May I suggest swimming towards a head-down position? 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The one with the 3D ultrasound

We got a peek at our baby's face via 3D ultrasound today!

Like our first fetal biometry and Congenital Anomaly Scan, we had it done at The Baby Ultrasound Company in Robinson's Manila. Good thing Mommy Ginger blogged about their 3D/4D ultrasound experience a couple of days ago. I found out through her blog that the best time to have this procedure done is at 28-31 weeks, and I'm already at 30 weeks and 6 days today. My OB and I haven't discussed getting a 3D/4D ultrasound since this isn't really a necessity, so I didn't really know when to get it. I thought the later, the better, and Abet and I had planned on getting it sometime in February.

It was also through Ginger's blog that I found out that you're supposed to eat and drink before getting the ultrasound. Abet and I just had lunch at my parents' house, so all I had was my favorite Happy Lemon Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese drink beforehand (the server gave me the thickest layer of cheese topping ever--happiness!).

Anyway, even at less than 31 weeks, things are already pretty crowded in there. The placenta and umbilical cord and whatnot were hovering around my baby's face. Just a tip: if you're considering getting a 3D/4D ultrasound, please check this calendar to see what the best dates are. I learned about this too late.

Because we didn't know if Audrey would move a lot during the ultrasound, we opted to get the basic 3D package which included 4 photos at P1,500. We would just upgrade to the package with all the bells and whistles (CD of photos, DVD of video, etc.) if our girl was cooperative. Well, the little one did move a bit, but not enough for us to want a video recording (a decision that saved us several thousand pesos, haha!). We were already happy with what we saw:

Our Audrey's face. Abet and I teared up, him more than me. We're in love.

She looks exactly like me! Sorry, my dear husband! Even the sonologist remarked that our baby is "kamukhang-kamukha ni Mommy."

And then our girl gave us a little treat: she smiled...

. . . and smiled, and kept smiling! It was like she knew we were looking at her! Yep, this is my daughter, alright! Bungisngis baby!

Abet and I are crazy happy and grateful right now. There's a healthy, beautiful baby growing inside of me. We're more excited than ever to meet her in a couple of months.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The one with Tina Fey's prayer

A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey
(from BossyPants)

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes."
As a soon-to-be mother to a daughter, I only have one word for this:


I really love Tina Fey. I really do.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The one with the baking resolutions

My most-requested cookies: white chip chocolate

It's already January 7 in my neck of the woods, which means that Christmas is officially over with the Feast of the Three Kings having come and gone. How are y'all coming along with your New Year's resolutions one week into 2013?

I know I'll be overwhelmed once the baby comes that I didn't even bother to make any major general resolutions this year. I'll be too caught up with the little girl that I don't think I'll have the time to read x many books or lose x pounds or save x pesos, and I probably won't have a lot of money to buy this and travel to there and enroll in this. I'll do my New Year's resolutions (which I'll break before January ends, anyway) again next year.

One thing I do resolve to keep doing and keep improving on even when the wee one is already here is my baking. It keeps me happy; it's my stress-reliever. And I do have some resolutions this year when it comes to this little hobby of mine:

  1. Make French macarons - I've been in love with macarons since I was in college, waaaay before the current macaron craze, back when I could get them only at Bizu. They cost around P30 apiece then, and since I was just a poor student, I could only afford to get one or two at a time. The heyday of macarons may be over soon (or not), but my love for them is here to stay.
  2. Recreate my favorite pastries and baked goods - Becky's Kitchen's brownies and lemon squares, Chocolat's Death by Tablea, Chocolate Kiss's Devil's Food Cake, Estrel's/Costa Brava's caramel cake, Polly's chocolate cake, Cinnabon's cinnamon roll and PecanBon, Starbucks' Oreo Cheesecake... I'll attempt to food-hack them all.
  3. Learn how to decorate cakes and cupcakes - I can't decorate my baked goods. How sad is that? My frosted cupcakes look terrible, which is such a shame because they are really yummy, if I may say so myself. I'll work on my decorating skills this year.
  4. Try as many new recipes as possible - My baking repertoire is still very limited. I should add more. One cupcake/cookie/cake recipe at least monthly sounds realistic enough, and I can do this in line with #2.
  5. Bake a cake every month on my baby's 'month birthday' - I used to find this silly, celebrating a kid's birthday every month until he or she turns one. Our parents didn't do this when we were kids. But now that I'm pregnant, I know I am so doing that! It would be more special (and cheaper) to have a homemade cake instead of a store-bought one every month.  
  6. Make my own lactation goodies once I give birth - There are baked goods made with galactagogues such as fenugreek and brewer's yeast available, but these are quite expensive to order on a regular basis. I can save a lot of money by making them myself. (I could probably just shove 'em galactagogues straight into my maw to save time and money, but where's the fun in that?)
  7. Follow more baking blogs on my blog reader - Baking blogs are awesome resources.
So, there you go. My baking resolutions for this year. Maybe I'll get to do them, maybe I won't. Who sticks to resolutions anyway?

I hope you're still going strong with yours!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The one with the New Year's Eve musings

2012 is quite a memorable year for me in so many ways. I am grateful for the many blessings that have been showered upon me, and for the trials that that taught me life lessons and helped shape me into what I am at this very moment. 

As good as 2012 was, I have everything to look forward to in 2013. I am claiming all blessings!

Wishing you all good health, more wealth, love, happiness, and prosperity in the year to come!

*image from here