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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The one with the new niece

Welcome to the world, Baby Evey! Happy Birthday!

My little brother is now a dad, my parents are now grandparents, and I'm now an auntie! Our family will be ringing in the new year with big smiles plastered on our faces. 

Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful blessing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The one with the Christmas 2012 celebrations

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm sure all of your tummies are happy today!

The holiday season caught me off-guard this year. I used to be really big on Christmas, getting excited for weeks for the holidays to come, but I've been too caught up in my pregnancy to notice the dates go by. The only countdown I've been doing is how far along I am, and how many more weeks to go until I'm due. Even my 30th birthday, which is supposed to be a milestone birthday, crept up on me.

I've been avoiding malls lately, what with the large crowds and long queues (and my frequent need to go to the restroom), so I haven't been able to buy my brothers their gifts. Sorry, brothers. Habol na lang. My sister's was ordered online (the Belle du Jour planner), I got my mom something she really wanted from Etude House, and my dad just asked for whatever aftershave Abet uses. Boys are so hard to shop for, no? Abet and I bought the gifts for his family at the very last minute, on December 24.

I have always wanted to give out edible homemade gifts for Christmas, and I finally achieved that this year. I baked countless cupcakes and cookies to give away to friends, which made a good excuse for me to meet up with people to give them their gifts. I'll be baking well until after New Year's Day because I still have friends to meet then. Good thing I was able to do that this year, I don't know if I'll still be able to bake as much as I did this month once my baby arrives.

Like last year, Abet and I spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws while Christmas Day was at my parents' house. My mother-in-law went all out: we had puto, dinuguan, macaroni salad, fried chicken, mechado, and arroz Valenciana on the table. Abet baked his very first cake, a two-layer carrot cake he kept calling his Opus. no. 1. There was also ham from my dad that he ordered from Earle's Deli. At my parents', we had their really-yummy-but-oh-so-labor-intensive paella, my mom's bam-i, and there was also Earle's ham. Abet and I are continuing the tradition we started last year of having our own celebration for our little family on December 26. Last year, that was when we opened the presents under our tree and we prepared a nice special dinner and got drunk on white wine. This year, we skipped the tree altogether (hello, multiple cats) so we opened our gifts as we got them, and I'm not in the mood to cook (nor can I have wine). Abet & Dea's Christmas Celebration will be pretty simple, we'll just have dinner at our favorite Thai place later.

Abet and I skipped getting each other something this year and bought stuff for the little girl instead. Buying things for her is so much more fulfilling than getting something for ourselves. Our family and friends also probably thought the same thing because Audrey got more presents than I did! Not that I'm complaining, I love it. Keep them coming, titos and titas! 

This is probably the simplest Christmas I've had in years, but my heart is filled with nothing but contentment and gratitude. It is in simplicity that you get to appreciate the things that matter most--family, good health, friends. 

Of course, a big chunk of my happiness comes from the beautiful little girl growing healthily inside of me. She is my testament of how much The Birthday Boy loves me and my husband. Thank you, Papa Jesus, for all the blessings. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

*image from here

Friday, December 21, 2012

The one with the new basics

We're starting to buy items for Audrey just now. We wanted to wait for our Congenital Anomaly Scan so that we can be 101% sure that we were having a girl, I still had these scenarios playing out in my head that we were having a boy pala because we found our baby's sex out a bit early. Anyway, now that it's confeeeeermed! that we're really, truly having a princess, we now want to go ahead and get all the things she'll need. I want lotsa lotsa pink stuff!

I saw this infographic from The Other Baby Book on Facebook recently:

Funny how the 'new basics' are actually what our parents and grandparents had during their time, just the barest of essentials.

Anyway, this graphic is throwing me off-track, because all this time I thought that one of the major items we'll get for the baby is the crib. Abet and I always check out cribs during the rare times we're in malls ever since I got pregnant. We have already decided to get one of those convertible cribs that can be turned into a bed when the child gets older. And now this graphic is suggesting that it's better to not have one and just co-sleep with our baby.

We're now torn. I've been reading about co-sleeping and it does seem like the perfect set-up--there are health benefits both for me and for my baby, and I love the thought of not having to get up in the middle of the night to nurse. But where will I put my baby when we're not sleeping? A baby carrier? A playpen? Isn't that too small? Will a queen-sized bed be big enough? Won't a bed be dangerous for the baby because of the risk of falling?

I'm leaning towards co-sleeping with the baby, but we'll probably do away with the bed frame and just sleep on a mattress on the floor. Abet still wants the crib. I have no issues with the other items on the infographic because I hope to be a baby-wearing, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mommy.

Mommies, did you co-sleep with your child? Did you have a crib? What would you suggest? I hope you can help us with this!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The one with the breakouts

Two Saturdays ago, I attended a breastfeeding seminar at the Medela House in New Manila. They raffled off vouchers for all-natural facials that are safe for pregnant women, and I, who never wins anything at raffles, got one. That's how bad my skin is right now that the universe conspired to get me one of those facials.

I have good skin most of the time. I rarely break out that when I do get a pimple, I used to find it hard to deal. A single zit could ruin my mood for days. I had an arsenal of creams, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and serums to help me keep my face smooth, clear, and blemish- and wrinkle-free.

As early as my first month of pregnancy, I started breaking out. This is the second worst breakout I've had in my life, and the first one I had (back in 2005 when I had a crappy call center job) made me depressed for weeks. You'd think that I'd feel sad again with my face looking like this, but you know what? I'm not! Well, not as sad as I thought, anyway. I'm pregnant! I'm breaking out because there's a baby growing in me! Who could feel sad about that?

Of course I do what damage control I can. I avoid the mirror like the plague; as long as I don't see and touch my face, I forget that I'm pimply. I also keep my face moisturized (with the same sunflower oil I put on my belly to avoid stretch marks) so that even if my skin isn't clear, it's still healthy.

Pimples aren't so bad naman pala. Also, that first major pimple breakout I had 7 years ago? That was the time I met Abet. Yes, my dear friends, I met my future husband when I was at my absolute ugliest. I kid you not. We met 2 days before my very first ever derma appointment to cure my pimples. He says I was already his dream girl right then and there. #habanghairko I find it hard to believe considering the state of my face then, but he still insists to this day that it's true. What a sweetheart.

So maybe I shouldn't be so scared of bad skin. Maybe it's a sign that something big and wonderful and life-changing is about to come my way.

That won't stop me from availing my free facial and hoping that my skin will clear up after I give birth, though.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The one with the 30th birthday musings

I turned 30 yesterday! Happy birthday to me! I've never felt more loved, more spoiled, more grateful, and more blessed than I do today. My life isn't perfect and I've made a bunch of wrong turns along the way, but at this very moment, I feel that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Thank you, Papa God, for everything You've given me. I just might be the happiest 30 year old on the face of a planet.

Here are what make me smile at this point in my life:

My husband. I am married to a kind, generous, loving, supportive, hardworking, responsible, talented, handsome, and great-smelling man. He is a good provider. He takes care of me and spoils me silly and puts my needs and happiness before his, and I have no doubt that he'll do the same for our child. I am still so kilig after all these years. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we work on it every single day.

My baby Audrey. I am so in love. I am crazy over someone I haven't met yet. She has consumed me in the last 5 months. She is already the love of our lives and our world now revolves around her, and she isn't even born yet! Just the thought of her makes me smile. She inspires Abet and me to do our best. I can't wait to hold her in my arms.

My family. I have the BEST family, and this is something I am truly grateful for every single day. Abet and Audrey are fortunate to have them as well. My parents are my heroes and my siblings are my best friends. They'll make wonderful grandparents and uncles and aunt (my sister is my baby's favorite auntie by default). My parents' home is full of laughter and stories and music and good food and pets. Like all families, we have our bad times, but home is where these people are, and home will always be a happy place for me.

My in-laws. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have kind and loving in-laws, so I feel like I have hit the jackpot with mine. I can feel that they genuinely love me. Finding a good husband is already an answered prayer, but to have him come with a good family is much more than what I asked for.

My friends. I don't have a lot of friends, I'm no Miss Congeniality. But while my friends are few, they are loyal and true, and that's how I like it.

My pets. 1 rabbit, 4 dogs, 11 cats. They bring me so much joy.

My job. I work at home, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have no schedule, I work whenever I want and as much as I want, and this set-up will allow me to be the mother and wife I want to be. Sure, it's not the most glamorous thing in the world, spending all day in my pambahay clothes with no makeup and no one to socialize with, but I'll choose my daily pambahay outfits over dressing up so I can be present for my family. Plus, I have the time to do other income-generating projects. I also love my company, this is the first employer I've worked for where I have nothing to complain about. I enjoy the work I do, and I have nothing but respect for my bosses and colleagues. Oh, and the pay isn't too shabby. :)

My future projects. I had to cancel my makeup bookings when I got pregnant because they fall this month and early 2013, and I have to decline inquiries for now, but I have faith that I'll be able to pick up where I left off in my makeup career once I am ready to go back to it. Also, my brother Joe and I have started a homebaking business for the holidays, and we already earned a bit and we're booked for the month. We'll work on this full-force next year, and I'll be taking several baking lessons after I give birth. I'm also working on a big, exciting web-based project and I can't wait for it to be launched. I'm so excited!

My skills and my talents. I can do makeup well enough, I have my fun with different musical instruments, and I bake mean cupcakes and cakes. These fulfill me, and I'm still eager to learn more and acquire more skills.

My future. It looks bright. Abet and I are buying our car and our house soon, with our very own money. We'll travel again once the baby is old enough. We plan to have more children. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for me. I am claiming all blessings.

I can only look back at my past with fondness, and look forward to my future with anticipation. I have learned enough lessons and gained enough wisdom over the years for me to carry on more confidently and with more purpose than ever. I am one happy, blessed girl. It feels good to be 30.

*photo c/o Google Image Search

Friday, November 23, 2012

The one with the superstitions

My parents aren't superstitious at all. My entire family isn't, my siblings and I just didn't grow up believing in old wives' tales and folklore. My mom does say "pwera buyag" which is the Bisaya version of "pwera usog" every now and then, but I think it's more of a habit than actually shooing away "usog" (I don't even really know what "usog" is). And there was that time when they didn't let me go out with my friends two nights before my wedding. That's about it.

Pregnancy, however, can bring out the paranoia in you. Something unusual happened one night a few weeks ago when I was over at my parents' house, and let's just say that my mom scared me so much that I seriously considered sleeping with a pair of scissors on my bedside table. Crazy, right? I told Abet all about it, and even he has become paranoid, he now double-checks all our windows before we go to sleep to make sure they're shut tight.

Now, I would have been okay with sleeping with scissors (I don't) and I don't mind the tightly-shut windows. What I do mind is the fact that my mother now refuses to cook her squid in black ink dish, which is one of my favorite dishes in the whole wide world, because my baby might turn dark. No use trying to explain that food intake has nothing to do with melanin production. (I did eat the singkamas that my brother Joe's classmate gave me 'para pumuti ang anak mo, 'te', but that's just because I love singkamas.)When I'm at my parents' house, I get everything--and I mean EVERYTHING--I ask for when it comes to food, EXCEPT the black squid dish. And not being able to eat it makes me crave for it even more. It's so frustrating.

I guess it's the probinsyana in her that's making my mom believe all these things, as probinsyanas are wont to do. You can take the girl out of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, but you can't take Bacuag, Surigao del Norte out of the girl.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The one with the missing boobies

 I posted this picture on Instagram last night:

there are 3 girls in this picture
I was looking at my feed this morning, and my reaction to this picture was "WHERE ARE MY BOOBS??? Why is my chest flat as a board???"

I'm so OA, I swear. Abet says we're probably going to have an OA kid. I think so, too. My boobies are fine.

If you've seen me in person, you've probably noticed that I'm well endowed. An increase in cup size is supposed to be noticeable in the first trimester of pregnancy, but it took a while before I noticed any changes that I honestly thought at first that my chest would no longer grow because 'quota na talaga.'

At 22 weeks, my breasts are crazy big, the biggest they've ever been--and they'll probably just get even larger in the months to come. I'm trying to fight gravity as best as I can so I've resorted to wearing sports bras that work like binders every day for the least jiggling possible. They're a bit uncomfortable, but ganun talaga, tiis-ganda muna. So there. My boobs look flatter and practically don't show up in photos when I'm lying down.

I love my bosom (and so does my husband, he's a total boob man), but what I really want is for my breasts to do what they're supposed to do: nourish my baby. I'm really praying that all goes well breastfeeding-wise once the baby arrives.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The one with the pregnancy advice from my dad

"Don't scratch your tummy if it itches, you'll get stretchmarks."

So says my father.

He's seen my mother go through five pregnancies (six if you include the fetus floating around in formalin in my parents' cabinet), I guess this makes my dad more than qualified to give me pregnancy advice.

My mom has ZERO stretchmarks, so my dad probably knows what he's talking about.

I hear ya, Papi. I hear ya. No scratching my tummy, it is.

*image from here

Monday, November 5, 2012

The one with the 20th week check-up

I am 20 weeks into my pregnancy today, which means I'm already halfway there! On one hand, I'm feeling a bit sad that I only have another 20 weeks of being pregnant left to go, but on the other, I just wish that the next 20 weeks will fly by so I can finally hold my baby.

I went for one of my monthly check-ups today, and all's good. Audrey's measurements and heart rate are all fine, and at my halfway point, I have gained back all the weight I lost since the beginning of my pregnancy. I am now at my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm aiming for a weight gain of just around 20-25 lbs. (maybe even just 15 lbs. if I can help it), so I just need to be really careful and try to stick to the 1-pound-a-week guideline.

I have a bunch of lab tests to do before my next doctor's appointment in a month, including the Oral Glucose Challenge Test to determine if I have gestational diabetes. I've been dreading this one. I'm overweight, which means that I'm already at risk. Also, I live for sweets, I'm surprised that all my blood tests so far showed a normal blood sugar level. I'm afraid that I might not be so lucky this time. I'm worried because while I've been doing a good job of limiting my soda and chocolate intake (a big feat for me), I can't stop eating fruits. Fruit is the one thing I want to eat during my pregnancy so far. I still have a month to go before I take the test, I just need to make sure that I watch what I put in my mouth until then (and all throughout the rest of my pregnancy for the rest of my life). I'll also keep taking my chia seeds and hope that it helps.

So, there you go. So far, so good. We're fervently praying that everything keeps going well.

*image from here

Friday, November 2, 2012

The one with the father-in-law

Abet, together with my in-laws, visited his dad today. I stayed behind for health reasons.

I've been thinking about my father-in-law a lot in the last few days, with the holidays and all. He died when Abet was 1 year and 3 months old, Abet's brother Obet was still in their mother's tummy. He died at 28 years old--both his sons have outlived him.

I often wonder how different Abet's and his family's lives would have been if his father didn't die so young. Things probably wouldn't have been as difficult for them; his mother would not have struggled to raise two boys all by herself. But then again, they probably won't be as strong as they are right now. Abet, my mother-in-law, and my brother-in-law are some of the most resilient people I know. One thing's for sure: if Abet's dad had lived, Abet probably won't be a musician now, which means that we probably wouldn't have met. Ah, the twists and turns of life.

With our pogi nephew Ycko, who will be the best kuya in the world

Hi Daddy,

You're going to have a granddaughter soon. Please watch over her from heaven, okay?


Your daughter-in-law

*pictures grabbed from my brother-in-law

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The one with the Joker

My brother Joe joined a Halloween costume fun run earlier, and he went as the Joker from Batman. Naturally, he asked me to do his makeup. He didn't give me enough notice so I didn't have the time to get the necessary supplies, I had to make do with what I already have:

I didn't have any white face paint, so I just used my lightest foundation with white eyeshadow to whiten his face. The lips were MAC Russian Red (but of course!), the cheek scars were made of tissue paper and spirit gum, and the eyes were painted with black Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner.

I used the shade Polyester Bride from the Urban Decay Ammo palette (one of the best eyeshadow palettes in the world!). It was a bit shimmery and wasn't as opaque as I would have liked, but it was the best I could do.

Here's the end result:

Why so serious???
We're both pretty satisfied with the outcome. Joker's makeup is very crude, it doesn't really take major makeup skills to pull it off.

I'm now considering learning prosthetic makeup, there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube on this matter. The skills should come in handy during Halloween.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The one with the Petunia Pickle Bottom bags

Before I got pregnant, I told myself that I'll get a Kate Spade Stevie diaper bag once I have a baby. I once said that I'll get Kate Spade shoes for my wedding, and hey, it happened. Kate Spade is my favorite brand, but I don't own any of her bags, so I told myself that I could reward myself with this once I become a mother.
It's gorgeous, isn't it? It even comes with a cute changing pad! The price? $400. Kate Spade isn't a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton or Prada, but it's still too much for my middle-class income. It's not something I can buy before months of saving up and without much thought, and all this thinking makes me realize that P16,000+ (if I had it) is not something I'm willing to spend on a bag at this point. That amount can already pay for so many baby stuff, so... no. No Kate Spade diaper bag for me.

I was window-shopping virtually for less expensive stylish baby bags earlier when I came across the brand Petunia Pickle Bottom on the Nordstrom and Zappos website. Petunia Pickle Bottom! I want to buy a bag just because it sounds like someone from Hogwarts. It doesn't hurt that I find their designs so cute:

Their bags cost $130-$180, so they're still a no-go. Abet is probably relieved that we can't afford these because the floral designs are too girly, and he'll probably be carrying most of the baby stuff when we go out.

That means I'm still on the hunt for a stylish, non-girly, non-pa-cute, and affordable diaper bag. We've been to the Baby Couture shop in Glorietta, and we like their items the most so far, but suggestions are most welcome.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The one with the first sonogram

Our anniversary celebration was pretty much low-key. Abet said that we can have dinner wherever I want, but I only wanted to eat two things: lettuce and a Twix bar. For my lettuce fix, we had dinner at Cyma so I can have the Roka Salata (which I didn't enjoy as much because the sight of my husband devouring a very bloody filet mignon made me want to throw up), and he bought the Twix from a 7-11.

Despite the uneventful dinner, it was still a day I will never forget. As a gift to ourselves, we scheduled our first ultrasound that day so we can meet our baby for the very first time. Oh, it was wonderful to see our baby! The best gift of all was knowing that all the measurements are good. I've been worrying the last few weeks because I lost weight during the first trimester and I still haven't gained the pounds back, plus I got sick during the last week of September. It was such a relief to know that the baby's size is good. And that the baby is so malikot!

Abet and I even got a nice bonus. We found out right then what the sex of our baby is:


A little princess! Abet and I are beyond thrilled! (I covered her 'flower' with a flower because it's so clearly a vajayjay.)

We weren't expecting to know this early, I'm just 17 weeks along, but it seemed that our baby already wanted us to find out. The OB-sonologist was very thorough, and it's a girl, alright. I guess my child didn't want us to call her Peanut anymore. We can now call her by name: Audrey. Our dear Audrey.

Unlike some of my mommy friends, I had no hunch, not even a little bit, on what the sex of my baby is, but Abet knew all along that it was a girl. He keeps saying 'she' and 'her' when referring to our baby. As first-time parents, we have no preference, we would have been happy either way, but Abet just knew that our baby is a girl.

My mother-in-law is the happiest of all to know that Abet and I are having a daughter. She has been fervently praying for a female grandchild because she has two sons and she already has a grandson from Abet's brother. Even the help, Aling Baby, has been praying novenas to the Nazareno for us to have a girl.

We already bought Audrey her first pair of shoes (that was how we announced to my mother-in-law that she's having a granddaughter). Looking at baby stuff is more fun now that we know what gender we're shopping for. The future seems even clearer, as well. I barely slept last night, I was imagining what our life would be like with our little girl. I thought of what her baptismal party and first birthday will be like, how to decorate her nursery, what activities we'll be doing, etc.

Knowing our baby's sex just makes me more excited than ever for her to come out. I'm already counting the days (155, according to the tracker on my sidebar). In the meantime, I'll keep praying that Audrey keeps growing healthy inside me, and that I have a safe delivery. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The one with the wedding memories

Yesterday, on our anniversary, I couldn't help but reminisce about our wedding day. I can't believe it's already been a year since the most magical day of my life. My wedding was everything I hoped for and so much more. The only criteria I have for a beautiful wedding are a memorable ceremony, live music, lots of great food, lots of love, and lots of tears (yep, I like waterworks at weddings). I don't really care about the outfits, the flowers, the car, the decor, etc. My wedding met all of my criteria--enough for me to consider it a success--but I got so much more than what I asked for. I have enough wonderful memories of that special day to make me smile whenever I reminisce about it in the years to come.

Waking up that morning knowing that the love of my life will finally be my husband by day's end. Having the most fun with my siblings before my suppliers arrived. Lots of laughing and singing and goofing around. Seeing my dream wedding photographers arrive to cover my wedding. Lots of cats at the prep site. Kate Spade shoes. Personalized Bible from my best friend. Lacquer box with coins from the countries we visited as arrhae. Perfect makeup. Efficient coordinators. Ceramic ring holder from Paloma's Nest with our "motto." Gorgeous bouquets. Beautiful beaded wedding cord lovingly made by my mother-in-law. My mama zipping me up. My sister putting on my shoes. Friendly suppliers making me feel at ease. Family pictorials at the gazebo.

Arriving at my dream church. Realizing that our prayers for perfect weather on our wedding day was granted. The coordinator telling me that "It's time." Standing in front of closed chapel doors. Doors opening in front of me. A. Barrios-Mangore's Julia Florida, the very first song Abet serenaded me with, on solo guitar as my bridal march. Everyone looking at me. Walking down the aisle. Seeing my groom waiting for me at the altar. My parents giving me away to my love. Fr. Allen, the best priest ever (who used an iPad). Metallic purple misallettes. The most beautiful and personalized ceremony ever (complete with pictures Fr. Allen grabbed from our FB accounts flashed on the iPad). Fr. Allen playing up the UP vs. UST rivalry. Lots of tears. Lots of laughter. Vows. Forgetting the vows I had memorized the week before. Lovely live church music thanks to Abet's friends. Rings. Being pronounced man and wife. Contract signing. Pictorials. Seeing my dearest friends. Seeing guests from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, Davao, US, and even faraway Germany. Picture taking all over the Caleruega grounds with my brand-new husband. Kissing. Lots and lots and lots of kissing.

Arriving at the reception venue and finding out that the caterer made the very simple hall we rented more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Elegant table settings. Kit-Kat escort cards. Purple M&Ms as favors. A wishing tree instead of a guestbook. Live jazz music. A double bass, something I've always wanted for my wedding. Being served food by the waiters before we went out to meet our guests. A purple signature alcoholic drink named "Purple Sonata." The best food I ever ate at a wedding. Guests coming up to our table for pictorials. Photo booth fun. A very simple cake from Becky's Kitchen. My brother Momon's speech. My sister's maid-of-honor speech. My brother-in-law's best man toast. Playing a cello+guitar duet instead of having a first dance. My sister playing Beatles on the guitar. My brother playing Bach on cello. My dad singing "Time After Time," a song he taught me when I was a child. My mother-in-law's speech. My dad's speech, the BEST father-of-the-bride speech of all time. Seeing Abet cry for the very first time, thanks to my dad's speech. Thanking our guests. More tears. More kissing. Lots of hugs and well-wishes.


Yes, it's already been a year, but I can still remember everything like it was just yesterday. I'll probably forget the details as the years go by, but I'll never, ever forget how happy and loved I felt that day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The one with the first wedding anniversary

"If I get married, I want to be very married."
 - Audrey Hepburn

It's been a wonderful year of being very married to the love of my life. I'm looking forward to many, many more years of very married-ness to come.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The one with the non-Bridal Book feature

With our first wedding anniversary (and 6th overall) coming up in a few days, I was suddenly reminded of this email I received many months ago:

Ah, BridalBook with the beautiful featured weddings. How many brides would have loved to get an email like this? I was so giddy that they considered our wedding to be worthy of a feature on their site along with the big-budget weddings with top-notch suppliers. They only feature special and unique weddings, and getting that email made me feel that all our efforts to make our wedding special and unique despite our limited budget paid off.

So, where's the link the to the feature? Sad to say, there's none. I received that email back in April, which was a very bad time for Abet and me. He was being stretched to the brink of snapping with grad school requirements, he was exhausted, we fought a lot, we didn't have enough money to pay for his school expenses, blah blah blah. We were so stressed at that time, and we were struggling to keep our heads above the water. The website feature was the furthest thing from my mind. I never got to submit the required pictures at all. Sorry, Kristy from

It's okay. Featured or not, I know that our wedding was beautiful. Abet and I worked hard for it to make sure that it reflected our style and personalities, and we got the best suppliers our budget would allow. I like to think that it was Abet's and my ideas and efforts that got recognized--not our photographers', not our coordinators--not anyone else's, but ours (which our photographers, Mimi+Karl, beautifully captured). We had elements that were so uniquely Abet and Dea. We might not have gotten that feature, but I'm still very much honored. Thank you, BridalBook.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The one with the buko juice overload

I got a bit of bad news this week: I have a urinary tract infection.

It was a bit disturbing to know that I have a bacterial infection when I’m supposed to be at my healthiest. I felt guilty upon finding out the results of my urinalysis, and I kept wondering if I did not take care of myself well enough. Was it not enough water? Too much sex? I constantly suffer from UTI so I’m extra cautious now that I’m pregnant, knowing that the chances of getting one increases during pregnancy. It was disappointing that I still got infected despite my best efforts.

Fortunately, American Pregnancy had this to say:
You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection.
Ah, thank you. That makes me feel so much better. This one, as well:
If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, the UTI will not cause harm to your baby.
You'll be okay, Peanut. I promise.

I'm scheduled to see my OB tomorrow to get prescribed antibiotics. Until then, I'm drinking an awful lot of fresh buko juice. Cranberry juice is supposed to be better, but it's very acidic and I have bad acid reflux.

To make my buko-chugging experience more enjoyable, I make myself this beverage:

Chocolate buko shake made with fresh buko juice and chocolate-flavored Anmum. Calcium, folate, and other good stuff for my growing baby plus the natural bacteria-fighting goodness of buko. Perfect, eh?

Friday, October 5, 2012

The one with my favorite teachers

Dr. Papa and Dr. Mama, college professors, my heroes, my inspiration. I cannot even begin to say just how proud I am of these two. They inspire not only me and my siblings, but also the students who have had the good fortune of being in their classes. Up until last year, they both taught college at Bilibid Prison for P35 an hour.

Sir Abet, guitar teacher, my beloved husband. He had dreamed of  teaching in his conservatory since he was in college, and it makes me so happy to see him living that dream. I'm so proud to see him work on being a good teacher to his students.

To the three teachers in my life, keep inspiring. I love you.
To all the teachers I've had, thank you.
To all the teachers out there, I salute you.
Happy Teachers' Day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The one with the anniversary wishlist

October will always be one of my favorite months of the year simply because it's Abet's and my anniversary month. It's extra special because we have only one anniversary--we got married exactly five years after we got together as boyfriend and girlfriend. It's even more special than ever this year because not only is it our very first as a married couple, but also because we're now soon-to-be parents.

I already know what Abet wants as a present: a MacBook Pro. Alas, I cannot afford it in time for our anniversary. It will take me a few more months of saving (and overtime work) before I can get it for him. Good thing he's--to borrow a bit of fast food terminology--"willing to wait." As for me, I want nothing but gadgets, and I don't mean the latest iPhone or iPad. I want kitchen gadgets. While other women will probably ask for something fancy, I want kitchen stuff. Yes, I have turned into a domestic diva.

Here are some of the things I want:
plum KitchenAid mixer (I've wanted one for the looongest time)
Oster blender (it has to be Oster)
ice cream/gelato maker
panini press (that opens all the way so it's also a grill)

Ah, to dream. Libre lang naman mangarap. I don't think I'll be getting any of the items above this month because we're seriously saving up for Peanut's arrival, but that's okay. The baby is our priority right now. We'll probably get these as Peanut grows older, I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of bakin' and (fruit and milk) shakin' and ice cream and sandwich makin' once we have a kid.

For now, we have the best anniversary present we could ever give each other: the precious baby in my tummy. And more than any kitchen appliance (or any material thing, for that matter), what I really, really want is a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery and a healthy baby.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The one with the hair issues

I am so frustrated with my hair right now!

Pregnancy hormones are causing all these changes in my body, it's honestly driving me crazy. My usually-smooth forehead is now a pimple farmland, and my hair is so oily I feel like I could fry an egg with the oil in it. The pimples don't bother me as much; I just refrain from looking in the mirror and touching my face and I forget that they're there. The hair, on the other hand, is really causing me grief. My head is just one big ball of grease, even right after I take a shower. I don't even bother with conditioner anymore.

Most of the time, I just tie my hair into a tiny bun. Good thing it's already long enough for that. I'm seriously considering cutting it short, but I read that my hair is supposed to grow thicker, more beautiful, and faster as I go further into the second trimester. I guess I'll just suck the greasy feeling up for now.

Hopefully, by the time I give birth, my hair will be long enough for me to be able to do those pretty fishtail braids and high buns that are so hot right now. I hope they'll still be hot then. That would make the oil spill on my head right now all worth it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The one with the sleeping arrangement

My parents sleep intertwined that you won't know which limb belongs to whom, and they take up only 1/4 of their bed. Before I got married, I hoped to have that someday. Now that I'm married (and pregnant), I want him to take 1/4 of the bed so I can have the rest of the space.

*image from here

Monday, September 24, 2012

The one with the onesies

This was how we announced to our families that we are expecting a wee one:

I ordered two personalized onesies with "Baby Mesa" in pa-cute lettering.

We told our parents the weekend after we found out. We had dinner at Abet's mother's house on a Saturday, and we gave her the onesie just before we ate. It took her quite a while to realize what it meant, but she squealed with joy and hugged us both when she found out. Abet's 9-year old nephew, Ycko, was the happiest of them all, it made me cry to see him jumping around. He's been bugging us for a cousin for some time now. He'll make the best kuya, I'm sure of it. Just one of the reasons Peanut is so lucky.

Telling my parents the next day was a bit more eventful, because we told them during their anniversary lunch celebration. We gift-wrapped the onesie and gave it to them as an anniversary present. My dad opened the gift, and he figured it out right away. Oh, he was so happy! He was proudly showing the onesie off to everyone with a big silly grin on his face. My brother Joe can do a very accurate reenactment, it's so funny. My mother's face was also so precious. You really can't describe your parents' faces upon finding out that their daughter is pregnant. My siblings were also all very excited. We couldn't stop talking about my pregnancy all throughout our meal.

When Peanut gets older, I'll make sure to remind him/her of how happy he/she made everyone with the news of his/her existence, that he/she was so wanted and so loved even in the womb, and that there was nothing but joy and gratitude and excitement from the people who matter to us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The one with the two pink lines

The day I found out that we're having a baby will forever be one of the happiest and most memorable moments of my entire life.

Even during the two-week wait (the time from ovulation up to the time you can take a test), Abet and I already had a feeling that I was pregnant. I guess we're just such positive (pardon the pun) people. At this time, I quit smoking. We were so assuming that Abet would even kiss my tummy good-bye before he left for work in the morning. We became even more suspicious when I started to feel my breasts whenever I went down the stairs, since breast tenderness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.

I took the test the morning I was supposed to get my period. I couldn't even wait to see if my period would arrive or not. I took the test while my husband was at work so that in case it turned out negative, I can pretend to act cool when I break any bad news to him. With the first test, one bright pink line immediately appeared. Negative. My heart sank, but I told myself, "It's OK, it was just our first try. We'll try again next month." I was sadly staring at the test when after a few moments, a second line in the faintest pink shade oh-so-slowly appeared. Even if the line was barely visible, I knew that was it. I started crying as the second line slowly became clearer and clearer. I am pregnant after all! Praise God! With trembling hands, I took a second test to be sure, and just like with the first test, the second line showed up much later than the first. It didn't matter, my head was already high up in the clouds. I looked at my tummy and said "I love you" to my baby for the first time.

Waiting for Abet to come home was the hard part of the day. To keep myself busy, I made his favorite food, baked mac (which wasn't really baked because we don't own an oven yet) to celebrate. As soon as he arrived, I sat him down on the sofa and handed him the pregnancy tests. His face when he figured it out was just priceless. Absolutely priceless. I'll never forget my husband's reaction when he found out that he was going to be a father. We hugged and cried, and it was Abet's turn to say "I love you" to our baby for the first time.

It's been two months since that beautiful day, and Abet and I are still smiling. I know Peanut will give us a gazillion more reasons to smile in the months and years to come.

*image from here

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The one with the baby announcement

We're thrilled to announce that our little family of two is now going to have a new addition! We're going to have a baby! Abet and I are completely over the moon.

I am 13 weeks and 1 day pregnant as of today. We have known since mid-July, but we decided to wait until after the first trimester to make any announcements, when the risk of a miscarriage has significantly gone down. We even waited until we heard the heartbeat to tell most of our closest friends.

Abet and I are extremely grateful that we were granted this prayer sooner than later. I got pregnant after just one attempt! (May I take this moment to ask you to give my husband, the sharpshooter, a round of applause?) Of course, it wasn't without lots of fervent prayers and the help of an online ovulation tracker. I stopped taking birth control in April (I'm pro-RH Bill, can you tell?), but Abet was away for summer camp when I was supposed to be good to go in May. We tried on our June schedule, and BAM! Baby Mesa on the way! 

Our family and close friends were surprised when we told them the news since Abet and I were pretty vocal that we didn't want to have kids for at least until a year or two after we got married, but we just felt the desire to start a family sooner than we planned. We were telling ourselves more and more often, "Gawa na tayo baby." (No, that's not a code for "let's have sex.") We talked about it many times until we decided to go for it. I'll write about our reasons one of these days. 

We have been calling the baby 'Peanut' since we found out I was pregnant at 2 weeks (which, obstetrically speaking, is 4 weeks--confusing, I know) because that day, I couldn't stop eating peanut butter and Nagaraya. We'll stick to Peanut until we find out what the sex of the baby is.

This is probably the most exciting time in my life so far. I am enjoying every minute of it, which isn't very hard to do because my husband, my family, and my in-laws are all making sure that I am happy and well-taken care of.

I'm going to be a mommy. Abet is going to be a daddy. It's still so surreal, I'll fully believe it when I already have a bouncing baby in my arms. For now, I'll savor every moment of my pregnancy and keep praying that everything goes well.

Oh, Peanut! You're still in my tummy and only as big as a lemon right now, but you've already brought us so much joy. We can't wait to meet you, love!

*image from here

Monday, September 17, 2012

The one with the new home

I've been blogging since 2003, and since then I've had my blog hosted on a bunch of sites: Blurty, LiveJournal, Xanga, Friendster (eeep!), Multiply, and Blogger/Blogspot. In 2010, I started paying for a self-hosted blog with a WordPress platform and my own domain so I could monetize it.

I haven't been doing my paid blog assignments for some time now. It was fun for a while--I made around $80-$100 a month--but it got tiring. Blogging became more of a task than a hobby, and I missed blogging for enjoyment. Plus, I realized that I can make more money by just concentrating on my work. It doesn't make sense to keep paying for hosting for my blog since I'm no longer interested in making money from it.

I'm setting my old blog to expire soon and will be blogging at this address moving forward. I still have a copy of the old blog exported somewhere else, though. As my husband and I transition into a new phase in our lives, there's going to be a shift in the content I'll be posting. It's only right to move to a new home and start anew, and I'm so excited about it.

So, here it is. My new home. This Happy Little Home.

Welcome, welcome! Enjoy your stay!

*image from here