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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gullain-Barre Syndrome and your role as parents

And the blogging backlog continues! :P

I was all set on writing an entry about all things mushy about our recent ordeal six months ago but I realized that it aint gonna help anybody but myself. Writing about mushy things would help me vent out the emotional pain I experienced while Reese was in a hospital. Meanwhile, writing about our experience on the actual disease could and might help others, so here I am, telling you about it.

I wouldn't go all technical about the disease because you can read that elsewhere from people who are more qualified to tell you about it but here are our personal notes about things that we(hubby and I) think might have played a part or symptoms regarding his disease.

1. Medical staff just refuse to give babies vaccines when they are sick but they fail to highlight that vaccines can actual make them prone to be sick.

GBS usually stems from cough and in Reese's case, we believe he had a cough because he had immunization two days before we went swimming, and the combination of the two contributed to him being sick. Sure, you can say that the fault remains with us in allowing him to swim (which we believe caused his cough) but still, I think the vaccine made his immune system weaker. So the questions linger in my mind: What if we waited in giving him the vaccine? What if we didnt let him swim too long? For now these are all what ifs, but to those of you who are only about to have their children's immunization, it can spell a world of difference.

2. Doctors are brilliant people but they are people nonetheless, so they can make mistakes and their mistakes can be graver given the nature of their work.

Reese's pedia diagnosed him to be dehydrated and we couldn't blame him- his lips were dry and chapped, he didnt have energy, his face was drooping. He recommended for Reese to do oral rehydration without requesting for a test confirming his electrolyte level. We followed his recommendation for three days and when Reese didnt improve, we were advised to go to a different hospital. Nonetheless, always be vigilant about the doctor's course of action and dont hesitate to ask if you feel like something is not right.

3. Do not second guess your instinct as a parent. Do what you feel is best for your child.
From the time that Reese's symptoms started to get worse, Arnold and I couldnt decide on what to do-whether to bring him to the doctor immediately, to wait out a few days, to self medicate and so on. After that, we promised to each other that we would never second guess again and bring him to the hospital once symptoms to any sort of disease become evident. Their symptoms worsen very quickly but in the same they also recover very fast so the best way is to diagnose diseases early so they can be addressed as soon as possible.

Like I have said time and again, Reese having had GBS was the hardest ordeal we had to go through and we wish that in as much as we can(given our limited resources), we can share our experience to ensure that fewer and fewer people will deal with this disease. We are happy to say that Reese has surpassed the doctor's projections that he will be able to walk again within 6 months-1 year after his hospitalization, because he was able to do it in four months. 

He lost a lot of weight then but he is literally back on his feet and bubblier than ever :)

I hope these bits of info help you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have concerns/questions.. God Bless us all!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Modern Day Gift Giving: Deal Grocer Vouchers

Since 2013, I've developed a liking for websites that offer discounts to services, numerous products and dining experiences. Dealgrocer, Metrodeal, Groupon and Ensogo are my favorites to name a few but among them, Dealgrocer is my fave. I noticed that their deals are usually a notch higher and usually exclusive. Hence, since I havent had time to do shopping, I decided to check out their current deals and I was able to tick off two people off my shopping list. yey! Here's a few things that I liked about these vouchers from Dealgrocer which made me decide to buy:

1.Before you purchase, you can actually indicate the name of the person you're giving it to which not only gives it a personal touch but also ensures added security that it cannot be easily used by anyone else.

2. The validity periods are just right. Since I will be giving them on Christmas, validity had to be after christmas so the recipients will have plenty of time to decide when to use them.

3. Savings! 50% off! Some vouchers only give you 30-40 off and the greater the savings, the merrier! Also, there were vouchers that were below 300 which were real steals and I just couldnt pass the opportunity :)
I hope there will be other deals that will come out because I still have other family members I need to go shopping for. How bout you? How's your christmas shopping? Till the next post! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tips and notes to make the most of your Bacolod vacation

Just came back (This is five months blogging backlog from June)
We absolutely enjoyed our three day vacation in Bacolod. Of course, we did make an IT but as you know, schedules can only go as far as give you a background and everything changes when you actually do things. So here's a rundown of things we did and things (I think) can be of great help to you.

1.Tourist Spots

The Ruins

*This place is close to the airport and to Silay City so visit it together with the ancestral houses of Silay or before you head to the airport/straight ahead from your flight. Also, it is more beautiful in the afternoon before sunset. Lastly, note that this place can be booked as a wedding venue and become exclusive so they cannot accommodate guests on those days. We wanted to see the place on a friday afternoon but it was booked for a wedding, so I imagine Saturdays can be fully booked on particular months, especially wedding season. Do bring water, umbrellas and fans because the place is very exposed so it can be very humid.

Team Lagrimas for the win! :D

*I didnt enjoy our stay here as much as I hoped because of three reasons

1: We reserved a room since I wanted a secure place for our belongings since I was hoping to look around the facilities. However, it was only when we got there that I found out that rooms can only be used after checking in at 2pm, similar to most hotels. It was a waste for us since we were just on a daytrip and would leave the resort before 4pm. I also didnt know that cottages can be reserved as well so when we got there, there were no available cottages and we were basically palaboy.

2: I didnt expect the place to be so huge and for the walking paths to be so hot. I thought the facilities would be compressed in one area but we had to walk 3-5 minutes between areas, which was a waste of time and quite tedious with our bags(since we didnt have a cottage) and two kids that had to be carried.

Daytrips to waterfalls where you are only allowed to take pictures after trekking for a few minutes carrying a toddler and a preschooler aint fun Mambukal, It ain't fun :(

3: They were strict with the swimwear in the pool so we had no choice but to "reveal" our bodies sans the cover ups. I'm overweight so no questions asked, it was dead embarrassing, but equally as hard for my bffs who were conscious of their body post-pregnancy.

2. Making the most of the sweets that this city has to offer

You get what you pay for when it comes to pasalubong.
They're all butterscotch, Piaya and biscocho, but some brands are better than others. So far, the best Napoleones I've had are from Pendy's and the best Biscocho is indeed from Biscocho house. I'm torn about who has the best butterscotch and I don't like Piaya(so I'm not the one to ask), but I think Virgie's products are more expensive but more delicious; compared to the cheaper brands Margie's, Bongbongs and Merci.

Always leave room for dessert.
The people of Bacolod do loooooooooooooove their sweets and most of them are the best(I believe) in their range. Hence, it would be a huge loss on your part if you would only be able to try a few. Therefore, I suggest that you make it a part of your plan not to stuff yourself too much with meals(which was something since they were equally delicious) so that you can still indulge on that Calea cake or what have you.

I lost count of all the cakes we ate and ordered, but these were some that I had pictures of :)

If it's that big of a deal, prioritize your pasalubong.
We were familiar with Pendy's napoleones but didnt realize that it would be a big deal so we went there on our last afternoon in Bacolod- only to find out that stocks usually run out before lunch time so we were not able to buy. My heart "ached" (yup, the sweet tooth needs to be pleased and settled for a different brand which was okay but not spectacular.

I never know when we will visit again the city of smiles but I will surely take note of these things when the opportunity comes along. Ciao!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Aligaga- Day In, Day out. Repeat

Reese was sick for more than two weeks- from cough to GBS to physical therapy and without thinking twice, I would tell you that it has been the hardest since our parenting days began. Before I started this entry, I thought I had my thoughts collected but as I went along, I found myself lost for words. 
Remembering how sick he was at this point breaks my heart </3

Because that's the thing with parenting. Some say and you tell yourself as well that it gets easier as they age but it doesnt. I remember my mom quoting an officemate, who complained that her son asked her mommy to buy milk for her apo. Mom's officemate complained that she thought her problems would end after her son got married but my mom just laughed and said "Buti kung hindi mo na anak yun kapag nagasawa na."- Short of saying that parenting concerns change as they age but it's parenting nonetheless.

When Reese was newborn, the hardest thing was waking up every two hours to feed him and I told myself that it'll be better when he gets older. When he got older, he liked playing at around 2 or 3 am and watch music videos so still, the sleep was elusive. When he turned 5 months, he slept soundly through the night but he would roll over a lot, so Arnold and I had to sleep in an L-formation so he wouldn't fall off the bed. When we moved to our new home, he quickly learned how to go down the bed by himself so we had to wake up when he did because he's walk towards plugs and appliances in a jiffy.

See, that's how crazy parenting is. It's a double bladed sword in the sense that it's the thing that brings me the most joy and yet it's the thing that can hurt the most. It's inevitable when you love something so purely, when you love somebody beyond the way you love yourself.

Somehow, most days, it's the hardest to find that sweet spot of loving your child just enough so that they know it without causing him or myself damage. Every morning, I struggle to leave because it's when we bond the most, but at the same time, I don't want be late for work. I have to manage our finances well but every car and musical toy and pajama set and comfy shirt seem for Reese seem to wink at me. These are everyday choices as parents and most days, I have to keep "personal score" to make sure that I'm not leaning too much towards one side.

So yes, I'm usually aligaga, still trying to figure out how to be a good parent and balancing it between cooking meals and being a wife and work and part time jobs and mountaineering and family stuff. I hope that you, my dear reader is doing just fine doing more or less the same thing. Until the next post!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Boon Tong Kee- Good Food, no questions asked

After our Boon Tong Kee experience, I kept scolding myself for not trying Singaporean food much sooner. You see, one of the signature dishes of Singaporean food is chili crab(from what I heard) and I am not a fan of it plus adding the fact that I associate the cuisine with Indian food(not a big fan), it was the worst combo for somebody who hasnt tried the food before. Nonetheless, I saw a voucher on metrodeal and since we would be in the area on that day, I decided to give it a go.

Anyhow, I expected that our 2,000 worth of voucher would be consumed but I was surprised that we only ordered 1,400 worth for our dine-in purchase. It came as a surprise because even though each item was more expensive than what I would normally pay for, it was reeeeeeeally filling.

Let's start with the Bacon Meatball and Foo Chow Soup. It's 195php and good for 3-4. The bacon meatballs were served with these crispy strips that were absolutely delicious. I also loved that the broth was yummy but not overpowering and tasted like it was made from fresh ingredients and not that much artificial flavoring.

Next were the signature boiled chicken, hakaw and crispy deep fried chicken. All three dishes were served at roughly the same time and I enumerated them in decreasing satisfaction. 

I liked the signature boiled chicken the most probably because I set very low expectations. For someone who hasnt tried the dish before, I was expecting it to be very bland. True to that, the chicken was bland but it wasn't malansa and the sauce definitely made all the difference. Hubby was quite disappointed with the serving size but I thought it was okay since we had other dishes to try.

Next was the hakaw. I was almost certain that there were two shrimps when I took a bite but it wasnt as good as I wanted it to be because the wrapper broke. I think good hakaw has to have soft enough wrapper that doesnt break when you get it from the bamboo container.
Not bad for 125 :)
Lastly for this batch was deep fried chicken. I have nothing much to say except that it was average and very similar to the Savory chicken.

The last two served were the sambal rice and the cream cheese prawns and this is where it gets really interesting. The food attendant kept remind me(as if to discourage me) that the sambal rice was spicy so I kept telling her that we wanted it(my husband and yaya are both Bicolano, so there goes). The cream cheese was recommended on websites so I decided to give it a try.

The sambal rice(Not sure but I think it was at 295php) was, indeed, spicy, even for my Bicolano companions and even more so for me so I had to pair it with plain rice. Nonetheless, the flavor was really good, given the mix of peanuts and pork bits that I saw and though it was packed with flavor, it didnt clash with the other dishes.

The crackers were a nice addition, I'm guessing to pass time while waiting for the other dishes? hehehe

The cream cheese prawns(375 or 395php) really surprised me though. I was expecting it to be salty, like the nacho dips, but it was sweet. It was so creamy and the sauce was good, I wish we could take it home because I imagined that it would also pair well with chicken. The prawns were huge and all three of us who were so used to eating it with our bare hands had quite a hard time deconstructing each piece.

served with mantau, which I didnt like so no pic of that :)

At this point hubby was complaining from being too full(Yep, we're weird that way) ahahaha so he refused to partake in the chocolate almond jelly we ordered. It wasn't exceptional, but just right to wash down the rich taste of the dishes.

All in all, I would recommend eating in Boon Tong Kee for those "kinda special" eat outs like birthdays. Bear in mind that servings are good for 3-4 except the rice and the desserts or stated otherwise but I guess you need to order at least three main dishes to enjoy the experience. 

Till the next parenting or travel or food adventure!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The fault in our stars(or at least in mine, hobby wise)

This isn't some profound analysis of the book, nope. I think I am way behind my literature stock and my writing practice to do that. Nope, this is about me(well sorry to be blunt about it- this is, after all, my blog) and my somehow "lost" lust for reading.

I cannot specifically remember when I realized it but before I graduated from high school, I was addicted to reading. I somehow managed to buy most of the Sweet Valley books that were on sale in National bookstore, I've borrowed one too many Love Stories, I've read Noli Me Tangere before school started(yup, that geeky), and I was hooked to Harry Potter. This might be social suicide, but I did enjoy them Tagalog pocketbooks too. Ahahaha!

Teenage years' memories included a loooot of these :)

It continued until College and even until I started working- I remembered promising myself that my first paycheck would include a book purchase and it did- I think I bought a Paulo Coelho book. But somehow, life happened. Shit happened. I started getting into hiking, into trying out new restos- all those phony things that yuppies do- drink expensive coffee, watch movies a lot, travel, buy too many clothes and shoes and gadgets and what nots that they don't actually need. So to cut the story short, reading material became way way low on my budget priority- and the most I did was buy magazines from time to time.

But every so often I would chance upon a book I like and buy it. I did buy my Harry Potter 6, hard bound for some 1,+++ pesos. I did buy Confessions of a Shopaholic and felt that it was worth every penny. I did buy other books and magazines in between and somehow I feel okay with that, even though I bought very little reading material to what I expected before I got a job. Somehow I didnt consider this as a loss but rather freeing myself from what I used to think was reading lust

Because I realize that to truly enjoy something, you must not be captive to that thing. You must be able to jump back to reality anytime you wanted, anytime you needed to.You must be able to define priorities, real ones at that and not just reading lists and read a book when you truly have the time. So I came to terms with the fact that I cannot buy books on a regular basis and at most times have to do with free e-books or lent paper backs. I came to terms with it because it meant that I get to spend time with my family, go hiking, go grocery shopping, plant on a virtual farm on Facebook and stalk a few people's pages(aha!)

Must. have. more. croooooooops :P

So if you, dear reader somehow scold yourself for finding excuses not to do the things you want to, remember, that as John Green said in the book, some infinities are bigger than others. Maybe the other infinity you're attending too means more. Or maybe you just havent hit that perfect spot yet to give focus to this other one. The epiphany, the time, the resources, whatever it is that you need, I hope, will come to you, one way or another :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pepper Lunch Express' disappointing serving

I think my "loser level" will go up one notch after I tell you that it was my first time to eat at Pepper Lunch yesterday. I've always wanted to try it but somehow never ended up doing so before. Luckily, ze sister went shopping in Trinoma yesterday and she treated me to dinner so I was able to try it.

We milled around the food court looking for cheaper options but as sister pointed out, the other stalls did not have a line whilst Pepperlunch had a long line and it might be a good sign. Our order was ready within 10 minutes and truly, the taste did not disappointed but the serving did.

The bits of meat were randomly spread on the bowl and though it looks as if there is more because of that, there was no denying that there were very few pieces. The bowl looked very sad and here's how it looked like after I put the pieces much closer to one another, as shown in their picture.

Notice that less than half of the circumference is filled with beef

There were more chicken bits compared to the beef but there were still very few pieces
I guess it was disappointing because even though the price of 150 is already a bit high for fastfood standards, we would have been willing to pay more so as not to get very little food. Funny thing is, they do have the "upsize" and "jumbo" option, but I believe this initial size should be removed altogether and just peg their starter meal at 199 to avoid unsatisfied and only "partially full" customers like us.

So yes, the meal tasted good, yes the sauce was delicious and yes, the concept is catchy but the serving was way way way(can I add "way" one more time?) behind.

Monday, May 26, 2014

An entry that is 373 days late

I gave birth to Reese on May 18, 2013 at 5:30 in the afternoon and yet I can remember most, if not all the details. This might be the longest kwento in my blog history ever, so brace yourself if you do decide to read it :)

I was at 38 weeks so I had weekly check ups, which was set on that day. It was Saturday and we arrived at the hospital past 10:00 am and we were wondering if the line in the outpatient clinic was long. We would go to Trinoma after, have lunch there, then sleep over at my in-laws, savoring our final weeks of "freedom" before Reese came. The week prior, my bp shot up to 140 from its usual 110 so I was excited to see if the meds worked.

Lo and behold, when I stepped into Dr. Lim's clinic, it was still at 140. My doctor was concerned because the meds didn't work and asked me to buy a different one. Hubby said that when I was away, she expressed concern over my blood pressure, being that I'm already full term and could give birth every moment. I was feeling nervous myself and then she called a nurse and asked her to repeat taking my pressure just to be sure. Boom, it was 180/100.

The doctor said she couldn't let me go home with my bp so high. She said that if my bp goes down within the day, I can go home but if not, they would perform a c-section within the day. I was endorsed to the emergency room. In the ER, the nurse raised eyebrows at my very lavender nails(sorry, I was supposed to attend a wedding the week before if not for my bp!) and cleaned them. In a bit, they inserted a catheter which gave the weirdest feeling eveeeeer- it's like peeing non-stop  and you feel like it would fall off any moment, but not really. They also gave me a series of new meds, which were all supposed to lower my bp but to no avail. One was the weirdest of all as it made me feel as if my whole body was exposed to a gigantic hair blower, which lasted for about 15 minutes but even that didn't help. At about 1:00pm, an elderly guy walked in and was put in the bed next to mine and he kept breathing heavily. The nurses must have seen the horrified look on my face and pulled the curtains on my bed so I couldn't see the elderly man anymore.

Ang landi kasi ni buntis, ayan tuloi 

It has been more than 2 hours since I stepped in at the ER and believe it or not, it was only at this point that I gave up hopes of my KFC lunch in Trinoma. My BP would range between 150-170 so they decided to endorse me to the Labor Room. 

It was so weird going up the ramp- I felt like I would fall off any moment and I kept thinking on how embarrassing it would be to be probably the first person to fall off a hospital cot. (Pardon the mundane concerns I was thinking of, I have never been hospitalized in my life). I didn't fall off(thank goodness) and I passed by one other room where two women were in labor. I was brought to the second room and I was alone. I requested if I could talk to my husband but they said no, and it would have to wait. They continued what was being done downstairs- checking my bp, giving me meds, checking Reese's heart monitor. 

Since the heavily-breathing elder was gone and probably due to the cooler room temperature, my bp was between 140-160. I was elated but they didn't seem so. Reese's heart rate wasn't a concern, it was always between 130-145, which was really good and normal. In moments when the nurses went out, I would rub my belly and talk to him, but my little guy didn't seem to be in the mood for bonding.

The nurses acted as if I wasn't there and went about to talk about "stuff". There were two of them and one was named Jenny. She told the other that she has a salary dispute and went on to explain why and the other advised her on what to do. I was amused at how everything was so normal to them whereas I was undergoing one of the biggest moments of my life. I wasn't really angry, just amused at how nonchalant they were about the whole thing.

Another hospital staff came in and I wasn't sure if she was a doctor or a nurse. She gave me a piece of paper and asked me to write my baby's name on it. She came back in a bit and showed me two tags. One had my name and the other had Reese's. She went on to explain that I would wear my tag and if Reese would be born that day, he would wear the one with his.

After that, there were four people who were constantly checking on me- a very rude male doctor, a female staff and the two nurses. The female staff asked me to sign some forms and stuff. The rude male doctor injected magnesium on my butt cheeks, which he explained to me was supposed to prevent convulsions. He kept making jabs at my weight and bp, saying that I shouldn't eat too much chicharon the next time I get pregnant if I don't want him to inject that magnesium again in my butt. He's lucky that he was freaking ugly already, that mine and Reese's lives depended on his and that the magnesium hurt so bad. If not, I would have punched him right at his stupid unprofessional face till he looked like a goblin. He injected the magnesium one butt cheek at a time and it was the most painful thing ever out of this whole experience. I felt the magnesium seep through my body, passing through my veins and I stopped moaning after a while because it took away all the energy I had. I kept crying and all I wanted was for it to stop.

The rude doctor might have given a signal or something, or it was probably my ob, or Jenny the nurse might have settled her salary dispute but they did let me talk to Arnold after that. He was wearing a mask, lab gown and all, so that he'd be allowed to enter the labor room. He kept stroking my hair, as if I was a baby and he was much calmer than the Arnold who was with me in the ER. He told me not to be nervous, that my sister was waiting with him outside, that they'd be in the room once I got out. I just smiled and didn't let him know about the painful injection since it might cause him to panic again. We parted ways and he went outside again.

The female staff walked in and asked me if I was ready and said "Mommy, ready kana? wow! birthday na ni baby today". It sank in that yes, his birthday would be May 18, 2013. 5-18-13. I pondered if it would have been better if he was born on a different day and I realized that I didn't have a choice anyway, so whatevs. Dr. Lim walked in, all smiles and said that she'd do an IE. She said that my cervix was very much closed, that she talked to Arnold, and confirmed that we'd do the CS that afternoon. She said she doesn't want to take risks and when I nodded, she stepped out and a new set of staff assisted me to the delivery room.

They prepped me for surgery in the delivery room. I realized that there was nothing special about the room- it was like one big bathroom and it was actually the people and the equipment that made it remarkable. One of them was dismayed that my hooha wasn't shaved and said "Ay, hindi nga pala nagpapashave si Dra. Lim".  I wanted to answer back but the lady didn't talk to me at all so I thought, why bother? The anesthesiologist, Dr. Bernardino, did his first attempt to inject the anesthesia. It was easier said than done and before long, he asked the assistance of Jenny the nurse to help me bend so he can inject the meds. In a bit, he became successful and asked me a series of questions to check that the anesthesia was working. It was and though I could feel him poke my thighs, they were numb and he could've dropped a hammer and I wouldn't feel a thing. 

Doc Alice walked in and asked me, "April, ano na nga ulit baby mo?" Sabi ko " Boy po". Sabi nya, "start na tau". At this point, I couldn't see her anymore as the big cloth has been put to obscure my view. They started talking in technical terms as SOP that the operation has begun. Dr. Bernardino kept asking me to sleep but I didn't want to. I've never been hospitalized and damn it, I'd stay awake every freaking minute throughout this operation if I could. I did space out on certain times and when I asked if they've taken out Reese already, he replied, "ayun na sha o, yung umiiyak sa kabila". It was music to my ears. In next to no time, I knew that they were done and soon, one nurse was counting the instruments. Dr. Bernardino kept saying that he wanted Bulalo, and again, the normality was beyond me.
I couldnt believe that he was only 5.9 lbs, given how big my belly was

By this time I was mostly alone in the room except for a female nurse who I assume was designated to look after me. I told her it was hot, so she kindly turned on the air-conditioner back on and we didn't talk much. I asked her what time we would go up and she said at about 9pm. It was one of the longest waits of my life. I couldn't sleep and I kept looking at my belly and I thought that I should have taken a photo once I found out that this would be the last day of my pregnancy. 

The female nurse came back holding Reese and it was the most surreal moment of my life. I cant believe I was meeting the boy who was with me for nine months. I cant believe how small he was. I said "Anak, sinong kamukha mo?" and the nurse said "Baby sumagot ka nga." I guess it was hospital protocol and she showed me Reese's junk and his tag that was shown to me a while back.  It would have been the happiest moment of my life if not for the next thing that she said " Mommy, kakausapin ka po ni Doctora Roque, ung pedia".

Hindi ako sigurado kung sinong kamukha ni Reese- basta cgurado lang akong hindi ako
Dr. Roque talked to me in the alley and she then asked me the scariest questions you can ask a mom who just gave birth:

"Mommy, nagkasakit kaba nung buntis ka? Anong sakit mo? Uminom kaba ng gamot nung nagka-uti ka?"

"Regular kaba nagpapa-check up? Gaano kadalas? Kelan ka nagsimulang magpacheck-up"

"Mataas ang bacteria count ng baby mo, i-antibiotics natin sha. Ayoko mag take ng risk, huwag na natin hintaying maging malala si baby bago natin agapan kung kelan grabe na."

It broke my heart that Reese had to take meds being so young and that I would spend the night in the ob ward without him. I was poker-faced when I saw my hubby and my sister when I entered the room and I dunno how I survived until the next day- because I was delirious with hunger, thirst, the physical pain of the fading effects of anesthesia and the emotional pain of spending the night without my little boy.

Fast forward to today and Arnold and I are the parents to a boy who:

Loooooooooooooves going outside and swimming. 
Weighs about 12 kilograms, or more like a ton of limestone by the way it feels
Couldn't care less about what's on tv but likes dance music,especially mash ups
can say "tata" and "nana" to refer to Arnold and I, and "da-da" to things that he likes
I love more than anybody and anything in this world.

Happy 1st birthday and 8 days my dear. My blog post might be one year and 8 days late but worry not that my love is any less than the first day I met you <3
No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby boy :)


Sunday, March 30, 2014

An expanded local destination travel wish list

Recently, it has been featured in the news that the Immigration will require more documents to be presented for travelling tourist Filipinos and the first and last thing that came to mind was that they are a bunch of douche bags. Yup, nothing more, nothing less. Anyway, with that in mind, I realized that it can actually be a good thing since people like me, who have considered going  to nearby countries for travel, will put those plans on hold at the moment and step up the urge to travel to local destinations.

I am lucky to have been able to visit a few of those destinations, thanks to promo fares and stuff. Nonetheless, I dont want to use the term "bucketlist" because I have accepted that our destinations would highly depend on the available promo fares and the date.  To cut the story short, here's a list that expands that list further, a list of places I wish to visit in the years to come:

1. Cagayan De Oro-Camiguin

CDO is such a bustling city and after our awesome trip to Davao last year, we are definitely excited to visit another city in Mindanao! Of course, I wouldn't say no to an opportunity to hit the beach, in this case, Camiguin. Based on initial google searches, Camiguin can actually be reached through a number of routes but CDO remains as one of the most used routes.

The famous sand bar in White Beach

2. Northern Cebu
I have been to Cebu twice- once in passing as we waited for our flight and the second one with hiking buddies and then bf(now hubby). However, we were only able to explore the southern part- Osmena Peak, Moalboal and Kawasan Falls, and this time, I hope we can visit either Malapascua or Bantayan. Lack of budget also stopped us from doing the edge coaster in Crown Regency but when we do it the third time around, I'm hoping we can do that ^^

3. Carabao Island and Boracay

I have long wanted to go to Carabao Island but recently did I find out that it can actually be visited via Boracay. I have been to Boracay but it wouldn't hurt to revisit the place and Carabao Island as a bonus.

One of 'em cheesy photos before we got married ^^
4. Davao-Bukidnon

We had such a good time in Davao and given that it is such a big city(we were hardly able to explore it), I am definitely eager to go back. Our van driver also told us Bukidnon is not that far by land, so we are hoping to couple the two destinations. Travel buddies and I would probably do a "repeat" of things that we enjoyed in Davao plus some interesting destinations in Bukidnon- like the pitcher plant farm and pineapple plantations

ze giant pineapple in Camp Phillips

5. Dumaguete-Siquijor

There's not much to see in Dumaguete(or maybe I just havent googled properly) but it is the gateway to beautiful Apo Island and  Siquijor. Siquijor had a bad sound to it due to urban legends but a few google searches told me I had to visit this place. 

Salagdoong Beach, Siquijor

Other places in the country I would love to visit are Coron, Batanes and revisit Bohol and Puerto Princesa, but given that I promised hubby that we'd limit our out of town trips to one per year, still got a lot of time before I blog about those, don't I?

Lemme know whacha think and know about these spots.. Ciao!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Going gaga over house makeovers!

I posted a series of entries about Reese's safari birthday but with the not-so-recent turn of events regarding the house we're going to buy, we finalized that our little boy won't have a swimming party on his first birthday. In as much as the thought of a full blow safari themed party excites me, reality bites and we need as much cash as we can before we move in to the house by May. We'd still buy a cake and do the photoshoot (given how gwapo our baby boy is :P) but the house is our financial priority now and not a party.

Our little one is such a water baby. He enjoyed his first beach trip immensely!

With this mind, I had to divert my attention from jungle themed goodies to house makeovers! The house that we will buy was unoccupied for about two years so even though it was in top condition before the owner migrated to the US, it now needs a lot of work and TLC. Nonetheless I am hopeful that we can move in before May 18- Reese's exact birthday, since we also plan to do the housewarming on that day. Below are some pics of how I hope we can transform his house into our home :)

1. For the common areas such as the kitchen, dining room and bathroom, I wanted to stick to neutral colors and I wanted the colors to jive. I think the palette below would do well with our exisiting furniture- a black LCD tv and black and cream sofa ^^

For the kitchen, in as much as I hate cleaning, I think it should always look immaculate and so colors close to white should be our top picks

For the bedrooms, I wanted them to have more "character" so I looked for colors which were bolder and brighter. We'd probably use the brighter colors on one side and use lighter shades on two other sides

I'm really hoping that hubby would agree to the first one as our bedroom since I was thinking that the second color is more apt for Reese's room. See, I have trouble getting up in the morning as is and I imagine it'll be much harder if the color was calming like this:

Of course, I also looked for pegs for other parts of the house like the bathroom and the dining room though I wasnt able to take a shot of the two. 
Not really a fan of orange but somehow I think that this would work well...

I think black or any dark colored furniture looks really good and with that in mind, I picked this since the picture shows black dining set ^_^

Honestly, it feels like wedding preps all over again- it's so hard to fall asleep because I'll be thinking about how all these ideas would come together.. Giddy giddy up!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A mother's struggle: To spoil or not to spoil my child

Reese turned 10 months today and as crazy as it may sound, I(spare hubby since we havent really talked about it) am already having issues of having to spoil him- mostly in ways he does not even understand and cannot remember yet. 

Today I dropped by a bangketa to buy coin banks for myself and an officemate. Lo and behold I bought more than coin banks and found myself holding a toy car for Reese. The toy car was just 10 pesos so the question was not the price but this seemingly building habit of giving things he did not ask for and worse, he does not completely need- even taking out the "practicality" issue of toys because he already has a ton of toys at home.

I am worried that I will continue to be like this in the future, that I will keep buying things he does not need, I cannot afford, things that are less practical or things that should be earned but given to him the easy way. Let's not even get into things that he want because as early as now, he sometimes gets his way even if he isn't supposed to. Somehow, it is easier to let him eat that extra cracker even though he's full than to put up with his whining. 

I am deeply contemplating whether we should push through with his first birthday party. A few weeks ago, an opportunity to buy a house presented itself and everything was perfect except for the fact that we are highly relying on my parents to help us come up with the money initially and then to avail of a housing loan. The practical thing to do is to forego the party and just use our fund to help augment the amount but my stage mother genes are crying in protest. I cannot easily let go of the whole concept- the customized bubble bottle labels hubby and I printed and pasted, the Madagascar stickers I got and the jars I bought for the candy buffet. My head is still swirling with images of Reese wading in a swimming pool and children having a good time in his party. I wish there was an off button to it all, so that it won't have to pain me as much.

In as much as I want to pretend that I can stop it, I know for a fact that I would still have struggles like this in the future. As I have said time and again, parents can either love their children so much that they would give them the world or love them so little that they dont give a damn about their children. I love Reese with all of my heart and I just hope that somehow I would learn to be a responsible parent as well- a parent who disciplines her child the way my parents have done to me and one who knows boundaries and can say no. For the mean time, I would let the growling stage mother take the center spot and bask in the glory of bringing a 10-peso toy car to her 10th month old boy.
I should probably have another one in my work desk since it cheers me up knowing that
my darling boy is playing with this at home as well.

Forgive me for the cheesiness, he just turned 10th month today and coupled with PMS, they are the perfect recipe to a post like this.  :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tired. Just tired.

For about the last six weeks or so, Reese has been waking up at about 4am, sometimes even earlier every morning without fail. He would be demanding in the sense that he doesnt want to play if Arnold and I are sleeping, and wants one of us to bring him downstairs to his crib and play with him. 
Boy Likot, Boy Kulit and Boy daldal who hardly likes to stay put

There were days when it was okay and I would manage after snoozing in the car for a few minutes. But of late, it has been starting to build up, and weeks and days of being sleep deprived are creeping up on me.

I convince myself that it would be better on weekends, but weekends are usually filled with "personal" duties and tasks- buying tv for my grandmother, visiting the in-laws, getting the sister ready for prom, 3 day sale and what have you. Dreams of spending the whole day in bed are elusive, non-existent and close to impossible that an imaginary bitch(or possibly existential) might be laughing her head off somewhere as she watches my misery.
Ze sister on her prom day :)

Most people say they can get by on 5-6 hours of sleep everyday but I can't. I don't want to. I yearn the days when sleep was a privilege and not a luxury, not a treasure that was out of bounds. It sounds coo-coo but I wish people would invent pills or energy drinks that make up for the lack of sleep, not by giving you energy but by multiplying the effects of the sleep a person's get- like telling my body that I actually had 8 hours of sleep instead of 4. or 5. 

Today, my boss in my part time job sent me a message that she is alarmed about me being unable to meet the daily deadline and it gives me the creeps to think that I might get fired. I have been doing this raket for four years and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon, as it provides an outlet to continue practicing my teaching profession in one way or another.

So please, dear God, help me find a way to have more sleep without sacrificing time with Reese. or work. or our finances. Otherwise, please send a magic lamp with a genie that would magically allow my body to accept that days of 8 or more hours of sleep are simply a thing of the past. Calling my fairy godmother, if you have been hiding somewhere and have been planning on revealing yourself, now would be the perfect time to do so.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mr. Donut's Do-ssant

Haven't been able to join the "cronut" craze for a number of reasons but when I passed by the Mr. Donut kiosk in Tektite this afternoon, couldnt resist any longer and had to get one for myself!

Mr Donut had four variants- Dark Chocolate, Glazed, Sugar Raised and Cinnamon. Naturally, I tried dark chocolate and here goes:

1. This baby reminded me a lot of Napoleones, that sweet sweet heaven in a square from Bacolod and other Panay provinces. It was probably because of the layers of pastry tucked with bavarian creme and glazed "thingy" I dunno what to call

those layers were quite heaven ^_^

2. It would be hard to eat this on a regular day when you just want a normal sized dessert. The dossant was about the size of an average cup saucer and after more than five mouthfuls, my stomach was close to bursting and the sweetness became a bit overpowering

I took it at this angle to emphasize the height..it was at least 2 inches

3. Because of that, it was very filling and quite worth the price, especially since they didnt use the standard milk chocolate for the coating.

Each do-ssant costs 65 pesos. I dunno how it would fare compared to the others but given its price, it was okay enough for me..4/5 taking everything into consideration..

Until the next chow session! 

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