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