Saturday, December 8, 2012

welcome home and good night

As a new mom, the most difficult part of the day is saying goodbye to Alon each morning.  How I wish I can be a stay-at-home mom so I can watch our child grow every day.  But there are bills to pay, so at the moment, it's not the best option for us.

I do feel blessed that work is just a fifteen minute walk away.  I can even opt to go home for lunch.  During my first month at work, I did do that.  But with the intense noon heat, I got sick easily.  That won't do for either Alon or myself.  With work just nearby, I still get to spend enough time with Alon.  We have our quality time in the morning and we get to have some more in the evening. Yey!

I walk as fast as I can whenever I am going home.  The anticipation of seeing Alon fuels each of my step.  By the time I reach the gates of Avida, I get very excited already.  When I turn the corridor of our floor, I grin from ear to ear.  While opening, I would already be saying, "Hello, Alon!"  And boy, what a wonderful smile that greets me!  That beautiful smile tells me I am finally home.  He shrieks with joy andd kicks about waiting for me to pick him up.  The tired feeling from the day's work goes away and I am awash with love. :)


We proceed with our evening ritual.  If he's hungry, I'd nurse him.  If he's not, we repeat our morning ritual. Read, tummy time, sing, point things out.  Once he starts to get sleepy, I'd give him his bath.  (Bathing Alon is another blog entry in itself.) 


When he is all dressed up, I'd put him on the sling and we would walk around the grounds to lull him to sleep.  I'd sing "soft kitty" or a made up lullabye.  Then we'd say his evening prayer.  By the time I walk through the ground floor corridor, he's ready to sleep.  He'd close his eyes and suck his fingers.  When we reach our corridor, I'd walk back and forth a few times just to make sure he is fully asleep.  Once we are in the room, I'd spend five to ten minutes just hugging him in his sleep.  Then I'd put him to bed and kiss him good night.  

"Good night, Little Alon."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

beautiful mornings

My mind is fuzz from having to wake up in the middle of the night to feed Alon.  Usually when he is up by 5AM, I just let him be unless he gives an urgent cry.  Oh, he would cry.  But thanks to those beautiful little fingers that go straight to his mouth when he is distressed, he usually is able to calm down after a while.  Which means I get an extra ten, fifteen, even thirty minutes of sleep.

When I do finally have to face the world, my day usually starts wonderfully with my little boy right beside me already awake.  He would be looking around. I would call his name and he would look in my direction.  And when he does, I am greeted by a toothless baby grin with a face that lets me know that he is very happy to see me.  His little hands would reach out to my face and touch my cheeks.  He still has that smile and he would coo as if to greet me good morning.  My heart flutters with joy every time.

After our good morning greeting, we'd say his morning prayer.  I love that he smiles and coos along as we pray.  Then I will grab his "Touch and Feel Baby Animals" book to read to him.  I've actually memorized the words from reading it day and night.  He would sometimes coo along though most of the time, he would look at the drawings.  He is particularly fascinated with the book shelf when I get to read about the kitten.  He also lingers longer when we get to the baby hedgehog.  Lately, he likes running his nails against the velcro because of the sound it makes.

I would read him another book, from one of the Dr. Seuss books he received from Tita Pia.  I have a bias for "The Shape of Me" since it was the book I read to him while he was still in my tummy.  I think it is also the most visually appealing for Alon since the illustrations are mostly in black and white with lots of contrasts and interesting shapes.

After we read, I'd give him a massage if he would let me. When I get to squeezing his little toesies, I'd recite "This Little Piggy."  He usually gives another of his big smiles when I do that.  After our massage, I'd either put him in front of the mirror or by the window.

When he seems to get tired of staring out into the world or looking at the little boy in the mirror, I'd pass him on to his yaya so I can get ready for work.  By the time I disappear from view, he'd whine which tells us he wants to go out to the grounds already.  Too bad for the little one, I prefer that he go down with me so he'd have to wait it out.  When I am ready, I'd take him from his nanny and we'd go down together.

By the time I say goodbye, I feel that I have enough quality time with Alon to power me up for the rest of the day. I'd walk to the jeepney stop remembering his smile for dear Nanay.  That is definitely a good start for a beautiful day. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

i miss blogging

I haven't really visited my multiply site for quite a while now until I suddenly had to migrate my old entries before it's totally disappears into internet limbo.  I finally visited tumblr today, where I opted to transfer my entries.  It was interesting to see how I wrote and what I wrote about then.

I miss blogging.

There was a time when every thing in my head was committed to memory so I can write about it.  There were times I'd write multiple entries in a day.  I wrote reviews about books and movies and shows.  I wrote my reflections.  I wrote about silly stuff.  I wrote gibberish.  I wrote a lot then.

As life went on, I fell in love, lived more and wrote less.  It's not a bad reason not to blog.  Somehow though, right now, I feel like some part of my history is missing.  My memory is not as good as it used to be. And with the exciting experience of being a wife and mother, there is so much to write about yet all of those thoughts just remain in my head and not committed to words.

It's not too late though.  I'm hoping I will take less time from Facebook and games and give more time to writing down thoughts. I wish myself luck!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wish List for Alon's Christening

Alon's Christening is happening soon!

We look forward to formally welcoming our son to the Christian world soon.  Every morning, Alon and I would say a short prayer asking his guardian angel to watch over him the whole day  I love how he coos along after we make the sign of the cross.  I look at my child and hope he would have a faithful but discerning heart when he grows older.  I pray that he learns when to doubt and when to follow.

We came up with a list of suggested items that he needs or wants to grow happier and smarter and cuter every day. :)

Wall stickers perfect for our gray wall
UP onesie (M) and/or Ateneo onesie (M)
Keep Calm and Carry Me and I love the night life onesie (M)
Kick and Play Piano
Swim diapers
Bucket hat
Soft ball
Simple toy vehicles
VTB Saya Carrier (Size 0) or SSK Saya Carrier (Size S)
Bath toys
cloth diapers
Versavest nursing cover
Board books
Cloth books
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein or any Silverstein poetry book
Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (na-Ondoy kasi. huhu!)
Guess How Much I Love You
Goodnight Moon
Instructions by Neil Gaiman
Book of nursery rhymes
Filipino story books
Colorful teethers
musical toys
drum or tambourine toys
bumbo floor seat with tray
soft toy blocks or stacking cups
sando and shorts for four to six months old
Comfy jammies

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the story of a name

Back in high school, when I was harboring this big crush on a former Smokey Mountain member, I had names for our three children. It went along the lines of Kyle, Kylie, Joshua and permutations thereof. I was 15, so I should be forgiven.

I grew older, fell-in-love with the Philippines and realized how beautiful Filipino names are. I found myself liking the name Ulan and even thought of using that name if I had kids.

* * * * *
Holy Week of 2007, Jan and I went on a road trip with some friends to Surigao del Sur (SDS). There was no definite plan what we were going to do or where we will go. We ended up beach-hopping. Our last stop before going home was in Lanuza, SDS.

As Lanuza is famous for its surfing, we had to give it a try. We had loads of fun trying to surf. There was not much success with that especially since we were using short boards. I did succeed for a couple of seconds with a long board. I also tried the hardest since the rest of the gang were already lounging by the beach while I kept trying. I also had the least swimming skill (near zero).


While trying to surf, I had myself hit on the head, the tummy, the chin. I felt like I was put in a washing machine every time I fell. I was bruised and sore all over but I still enjoyed every moment.


After a tiring afternoon and a small-town carinderia dinner, we hung out by the Prospero Pichay Sr. Boulevard (epaaaaal!).  We sat on the benches and just soaked in the sound of the rushing waves.  The sky was clear and was peppered with stars.  I still had a bit of drama in me then, so at that time I was putting words together for a supposed poem.  The imagery I had was about the waves and the stars.  I asked Jan how he liked the names Alon (wave) and Tala (star). He said he did.  The rest of our conversation was about finding second names for Alon and for Tala. Suddenly Ulan was not as appealing as it used to be.

It was a beautiful, peaceful night.  Our bodies were tired but our souls were tranquil.  And there was my future husband and I dreaming of our future.

* * * * *
Fast forward five years, we finally have our little Alon. :)



* * * * *

And I did write that poem down.  I think it was the last poetry I ever wrote.


LANUZA

halakhak ng mga tala,
awitin ng mga alon.
kadaupang palad.
kapatiran.
kaibigan.

pagkapa sa gabi,
mala-alpombra.

nakabinbin sa hangin
ang alat ng dagat.
sinalo ng dilang uhaw,
sabik,
tigang,
sa misteryo ng buhay.

tikim.
subo.
lagok.

kay sarap.
busog na.
gusto pa.

manahimik.
ayan pa rin.

talang humahagikgik.
patuloy pa rin.

humaharana ang alon.

042507 2145

LANUZA
(loosely translated english version)
the laughter of the stars
the song of the waves

hands to hold.
brotherhood.
friendship.

feel the night.
it is velvet.

the taste of the sea
hangs in the air
caught by a thirsty tongue.
wanting,
parched
with the mystery of life

taste.
swallow.
swallow hard.

delectable.
i am full.
i want more.

hush.
it is still there.

the stars
still giggle.

the waves serenade.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wish List (partial)

I've been blessed to have mommy friends and excited ninangs who have stuff to share our little boy, so we've acquired a few things already.  There are, however, still a few (well, a lot) of items we still have to get.  I haven't really had much time to prepare a full list but based on the layettes I've seen, I was able to list down a few things we are still needing.

LITTLE WRIGGLER:
  • relaxation music mp3s (classical, instrumental, beatles for babies, etc... no singing children please... they scare me after a while. haha!)
  • Bibs (4)
  • Tie-side shirts (4 - 6)
  • Receiving blankets (4)
  • swaddle blanket (2)
  • Hooded towels (3)
  • wash cloth (4)
  • disposable diapers (endless supply!)
  • cloth diapers gauze (12)
  • cloth diapers eyelet (6)
  • mosquito net
  • diaper clips (4 sets)
  • health kit (1 set)
  • diaper rash ointment
  • cooler for breast milk (when I go back to work mid-September)
  • breast milk storage bags
  • baby bottles for infants (4)
  • soft infant shoes 
  • bath tub (preferably collapsible)
  • baby book
MOMMY WRIGGLER:
  • shirts and blouses that can allow for breast feeding
I'm not really sure how much I need nursing pads and other breast feeding related items but I'm certain I need clothes that can facilitate feeding. Hehehe!

Wow... one and a half months to go.  I'm praying harder and harder that this beautiful journey continues with much joy and excitement.  Hoping for your prayers and positive vibes as well. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An early lesson in motherhood

It has been more than five months since I had my last scoop of ice cream.  I bit a piece of cheesecake smaller than my pinky finger nail three months back but my last decent slice of cake was six months back.  I would really, really, really like to have an ice cold strawberry kiwi smoothie from Big Chill or a very thick strawberry milkshake in this intense heat.  I would like to try the mochi ice cream near our condo which I sometimes hear people fuss about.  Heck, even if I have a feeling that Magnum is just another ice cream bar, just more hyped up, I'd like to try it.

But I can't.  I'm on a strict no-sugar, low-fat, low-sodium, low-oil diet because of my gestational diabetes.  Even if I started my daily dose of insulin a month back, it's not enough to allow me the eat with the usual indulgence of a pregnant woman. Even my fruit intake has to be limited because my sugar will spike up if I eat an extra grape.

Since Christmas, I've watched people eat to their heart's and stomach's content.  I spent Noche Buena drinking a glass of milk and a piece of toasted bread.  I've been to parties with rich, decadent cakes that I would have gotten more than one slice on a regular day.  I have to deal with opening our refrigerator every day only to see it brimming with Jan's chocolate bars and soft drinks and cookies.

I reached my tipping point when the hubby wanted to buy a half gallon of ice cream.  I was in tears when I saw it on our grocery cart.  I put my foot down and told him to take it back.  He can have ice cream when I am not around or away on field work. 

Other than that, I grin and bear it.  I grin and bear it because I realize that this is an early lesson in motherhood.

If it were just me, I'd get that extra bite of fruit or take a small slice of cake.  But I know that my indulgence will affect my little wriggler one way or the other.  And I don't want that.  If making sure he comes out healthy and happy will mean I have to give up on so many things I like eating, I will. I did.

I surprised myself that I could have this kind of discipline for the sake of some one other than myself.  I guess this is what motherhood is about... self-sacrifice for the good of your child.  And most of the time, there is no bitterness.  Just determination.  Determination that the best comes out of what you have given up.  There are times, of course, that I falter.  Like that ice cream incident.

That rule still stands in our household.  No ice cream in the ref until I can start having it as well.  I also need my sanity.  Why be unnecessarily jealous every night, right?  Also, fingers crossed, I'm flying to HK when I'm 32 weeks pregnant.  It was a chance to be with my family and I have some sponsors, so I'm taking advantage of that.  That's another reason why I'm taking good care of myself too.  I want to go to this trip.  I want this last hurrah before I give birth.  So that's another lesson I learned.  Mothers need to leave something behind for themselves too.   Because if you leave nothing, you become a mere shell with nothing else to give.  Mothers will be able to give more to their children if they have more in them.  There is no need to be guilty when you would like some time out with friends or some time alone and be away from your child for a short bit because you know after that, you would come running home to your child and your husband, ready for another surge of insane mothering and wifeyness.

So yes, there are days I just want to break the sugar fast and grab a scoop of ice cream.  But then there's this wriggling little thing inside me that would kick and hiccup and remind me, the no sweets is s all worth it.

Not to mention, that I actually feel sexier now that I did pre-pregnancy. ;P


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Genes

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what boys are made of.

I'd post proof of his "boy-ness" but my child might hate me once he learns I exposed his privates to the public.   So just take my word for it.  Or see him in a three months. :)

There's another story to the ultrasound too.

I used to tell Jan that I have a feeling our child would look like him.  But I'd also tell him, I hope he gets his lola's or Tito Roy's nose.  You see, Jan's nose is a clan distinction as much as my lips are.  His family makes jokes about it.  It's actually cute but my brother's nose is pogi, so I definitely don't mind our child having a pogi nose.

Jan was not able to go with me to the ultrasound since he had a sudden meeting.  When the doctor was scanning, I was getting excited.  It was great seeing the baby doing okay.  That beautiful heart just beating quick and strong.  The idea of a little human growing inside of me is a constant reminder of how amazing and miraculous life is.  This little wriggler is part of me!

After the doctor informed me of the gender, he zoomed in on the face of the baby.

I, of course, fell more in love with our child...  Though I had an invisible sheepish grin and had to contain my laughter with the close up.  There he was, our son, parading his cute Barandino nose and full Resurreccion lips.  At 21 weeks in the belly, he is showing what he's made of.  Sure, he still has some growing to do, but I'm glad to see that as early as now, he is indeed our son. :)

Can't beat heredity! :P

Friday, February 17, 2012

Guessing game

I'm almost 19 weeks and the baby bump is getting more obvious.  It can still be hidden with certain clothes, but in general there is a hint of a little presence in my middle.

And of course, people who notice can't help but play the guessing game of what gender it will be.  Most people think the baby will be a girl.  They say because I'm blooming.  Why thank you for that folks!  I've only had one who thought it would be a boy.  This was on a day when I was too lazy to comb my hair properly.

For the blooming part, I'd say that is partly true if I be objective about myself.  I've been dressing up a little more feminine than usual.  I do have an explanation for that.  In general, I dress casual on regular days.  But I made a promise to myself a long time ago that when I get pregnant, I will not be losyang.  (But really, the blooming part is an illusion.  My face is splotched with rashes at the moment.  My tummy seem to be following suit.  I sneeze worse than I used to.  When I get home, I feel butt ugly.  I just try to get over it fast. Hehehe!)

Still, I thought pregnancy was the perfect time to reinvent myself and explore a different side of me.  Changes are happening after all.  At the same time, no one would really dare to make fun of how I would look.  If they do, I'd pretend to burst out crying and blame the hormones.  And baby bumps are just absolutely beautiful, so pregnancy is definitely the best time to show off a woman's sparkle!  My hair has also grown longer and less rowdy, so I have less bad hair days now.   The lip balm that I bought turned out to have some color so it appears that I am wearing light lipstick.  Friends who were pregnant before gave me beautiful maternity clothes and my mom just bought me a pair of tops from Bangkok.

So you see, I can't help but feel lovely and dress nicely.  There is my stubborn pledge to myself back when I was younger that I have to fulfill plus the support of family and friends who's journeying with me with my pregnancy.

If I be honest with myself, I've always wanted to have a boy.  I prefer rough and tumble play and climbing trees and street games to indoor games with dolls and toys.  It would be a chance to relive my youth without seeming to be silly.  Of course, at the end of the day, it does not really matter.  What I pray for the most is to have a healthy child with a happy heart.  I hope for a wise mind, a gentle spirit and kind hands.

In a few weeks, there is no need to play a guessing game anybecause more we can know for sure.  But maybe, just maybe, I will be a little naughty and keep it a secret and just keep people guessing.  What do you think? :P

Sunday, February 12, 2012

That special one in a billion

I was waiting for my second ultrasound.  There were other women in the waiting room, most of them pregnant.  It was quiet except for the television set at a low volume and the chatter of the nurses and attendants with incoming patients.

It was another day at the office for most people, but there were several of us feeling quite special that moment.  Some of us will be seeing our little babies for the first time.  Some for a second or a third or a fourth.  Each time is as thrilling as the first.  Probably some with a bit of nervousness.  But mostly excited.

The world is already more than seven billion people. Yet many women or couples around the world are excited to have one more.  That one more that means so much.  Some unexpected, some hoped for, all special.  Each child a miracle... a gift... a blessing to someone.

It was a beautiful thought.  I glanced through most of the women and wished them all safe pregnancies and healthy babies.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"House-band"

No, Jan has not left his work to be a work-at-home husband or dad-to-be.  He's just a bit obsessed with sprucing up the condo.  Since November, he's been carrying out a measuring tape wherever he goes.  It seems to me that he is measuring every corner of our little home.  He even made a mock-up of our unit in Sketch-Up.  Most of the websites he visits are home related, except for NBA and football.

It drives me crazy sometimes.  And I will admit that it even makes me annoyed because I feel the condo takes over everything else including myself.  The operative word being "feel."  We've had an argument or two about it, mostly because of me.  But after I have expunged all the negative air about it, I do realize that I am quite lucky with this man who cares so much that we have a comfortable and happy home.

Imagine, I really don't have to do anything except give my opinion.  I've vetoed a few ideas and have let him decide on others.  Our place is still a bit of a mess with our kitchen area being constructed but I can already imagine how cozy everything will be once everything is in place.  And when things settle down, I will have my wonderful husband to thank for.  His enthusiasm, and yes, even obsession spared me a lot of work.  That part I am extremely happy about.

Here's hoping that in a couple of weeks, everything will be settled with the house and Jan will stop measuring the house and keep track of my belly. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"House Manager"

I always knew that managing the house is not an easy task but it was only these past few weeks that I discovered it can be very tiring.

Since I found out that I have gestational diabetes, preparing my own food was the best way to make sure I am able to manage my blood sugar.  We don't have an electric stove yet but we do have an electric grill and a microwave oven.  At least I am able to avoid using oil in our food in the meantime.  

My routine would involve marinating my planned meal for the next day the night before.  I would put it in the chiller so it won't freeze.  When I wake up, I would measure my blood sugar afterwards put the meat in the grill. While waiting for it to cook, I have to prepare my salad and rice exchange (rice, corn, potatoes).  This would take around 15 to 20 minutes.  I would then eat my breakfast of milk, rice exchange and fruit.  If my meat is already cooked, I would pack my lunch.  If there is enough time, I would wash the dishes but if not, they wait until I get home.  Or if Jan is not in a hurry, he'd take care of it.  I would take out the meat  that I would have to marinate for the next day from the freezer and leave it in the ref so when I come home it's already thawed.  Then comes bath time and dressing up.  If that would be an hour since I ate, I'd measure my blood sugar again.  Then I leave for work.

When I get back from work, I would wash any dishes left.  Then I would marinate my food for dinner and lunch.  I'd prepare my salad and rice exchange again.  While waiting for the rest of the stuff to cook, I'd see if there is any thing that needs arranging in the condo.  Though to be honest, I am not as diligent with this as I should be.  But really, cooking alone takes so much energy already.

I try to cook for Jan as well but his schedule has been erratic of late.  He also says I should take care of my food first since he can eat anything without issue so he can get food anywhere. Sweet of him, though I wish I could prepare food for him more.

By 9PM, I am already exhausted.  Sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of watching a recorded show or in the middle of reading a chapter.  But I try to stay up because I have to drink my milk around 10.30PM.  

Caring for a small studio unit is already challenging.  Imagine if we had a one or two bedroom unit?  And when the baby comes.  How crazy would that be?  

I am really amazed with all those working women who manage to do all these things by themselves.  These are the women who deserve a great treat on Mother's Day!

To all working women out there, I salute you.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

7 years

It was under a tree somewhere near the Ateneo car park that THE conversation happened.

"Ano ito?"

Usually this question comes from the girl, but strangely enough it was the boy who asked.  The girl was not really expecting this question to come up any time soon.  It has just been three weeks of going together on dinners and movies and gigs. 

Never imagined myself getting in a whirlwind romance, but there I was.  But the question was asked.  Long story short, then friendster relationship status would have shifted from "it's complicated" to "in a relationship."  Not that I really bothered with that part of the profile. Hehehe!

It has been seven years since.

To celebrate, the hubby and I will be watching SPIT at Quantum Cafe.  Thanks to Groupon, we were able to get 50% off regular rates.  And I can't wait.  Not only because Jan and I have not yet had a decent date in ages, owing to moving houses and preparing for a baby but because I have not seen a SPIT gig in years.

It's a perfect celebration.  Watching silly people to commemorate our wonderfully silly seven years as a couple.

And the food is healthy enough for me too! Wheeee!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Books read for 2011

I read 47 books for 2011.  Too bad I didn't make it to 52 so it would have been a book a week average.  But I'd say not bad at all. Though I have friends who've read more than 70 and more than 100.  Bow to that! I did also watch a lot of movies and TV, so that took time away from the books.


My favorites for the year were The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games trilogy, Battle Royale, The Tiffany Aching series and Norwegian Wood.


I doubt if I can reach the same number as 2011 for 2012, but I'll try to read as much as I can anyway.  Looking forward to more books this year.


So here's my books read for 2011. 



January
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Goblet of Fire to Half-Blood Prince read December 2010)
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
5. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
6. A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
8. The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness
9.  Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
10. Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan ni Bob Ong

February
1. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
2. Slumdog Millionaire (Q & A) by Vikas Swarup
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky

March
1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
2. Norwegian Wood by Murukami

April
1. Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories by Truman Capote
2. Across the Universe by Beth Ravis
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

May
1. Charmed Life by Dianna Wynn Jones
2. The Lives of Christopher Chant by Dianna Wynn Jones
3. The Magicians of Caprona by Dianna Wynn Jones

June
1. The Witch Week by Dianna Wynn Jones
2. Conrad's Date by Dianna Wynn Jones

July
1. Pinhoe's Egg by Dianna Wynn Jones
2. Promethea Book 1 by Alan Moore
3. Promethea Book 2 by Alan Moore
4. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (re-read)

August
1. Fables Homelands by Bill Willingham
2. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonnell
3. Paradise by Larry McMurtry
4. What I Talk About when I Talk About Running by Haruki Murukami
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
6.  Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

September
1. Riddlestrop by Andy Mulligan 
2.The Magicians by Lev Grossman

October
1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Andy Mulligan
2. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
3. Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo
4. Elmber by Gerry Alanguilan
5. The Kite Runner by Khaleid Hosseini

November
1.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2. The Magician's Apprentice by Judith Heneghan

December
1. Marley and Me by John Groghan
2. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
3.  I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pretchett
4. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Last Planner You'll Ever Have

Last year, I had the "Relax Lang, Puso Lang Yan, Malayo sa Bituka" Planner.  It was quite a fun planner to have, with reminders about heart breaks, courting and what have you scattered all over it's pages.  There were also reminders on when certain movies showed or which couple married or broke up on certain dates.  I usually don't finish a planner, but this one I was able to fill up well enough.

I was waiting for their 2012 version but unfortunately Witty Will Save the World, Co. was not able to produce anything this year.  I thought I would have to settle for a Starbucks planner. Not.  I did try for it though.  I was able to get four stickers. I gave it away for someone else to use instead.  I won't be able to drink coffee anyway.

I thought of getting an Avante Garde planner, which looked really chic and classy.  Something I am not but it was a pretty planner, and sometimes I like pretty.  We actually had one reserved already.  But then, my brother gave me this cool planner instead.


The Last Planner You'll Ever Have 2012 Planner.  I think most of us heard the "news"  that 2012 is the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar.  So in case the advanced civilization of the Mayans were correct, then this planner wants to help its user be prepared for the eventual end of the world.

In the list of dates and holidays to remember, December 21 is included.


Thus Christmas and Rizal Day happening has yet to be confirmed.

The planner includes pages for your bucket list, a last will testament, "to-do" and "not to-do" list (R-18 version).  There is also a end of the world survival kit as well as tips for a time capsule.  In case people survive armageddon.

My 2011 planner was funnier, but this planner has its moments.  It's an ingenious concept for a planner.  The paper and spacing for the dates aren't that bad either.  It feels more sturdy than the "Relax Lang..." datebook which fell apart middle of the year.

Never again, Starbucks or whatever coffee shop out there makes planners.  I like my planners funny!

Monday, January 9, 2012

No pets allowed

I'm really enjoying our condo right now.  Small as it is, it is quite cozy.  Where we are located, I can walk to work or the hospital.  It's a bus ride to Ayala, Megamall, Shangri-la, Cubao or Trinoma.  The airport is around 20 minutes with regular traffic.  The pool may be four feet at its deepest, but it's good enough for the exercise I need.  It's a comfortable place and it is ours. :)

The only thing that is missing somewhat are pets.  Pets are not allowed in the condo. Not even goldfish! Not that I want a goldfish, but it's a funny thing not to allow.  I don't know how that little thing could bother neighbors.  

Anyway, I miss our dogs in Pasig.  Shogun (the Pug) and Bruce (the Chihuahua) always makes going home fun.  They run to you quite excited to see you back.  Never mind Shogun's slobbering and Bruce's jealousy.  They always make me laugh especially when they play together.  Like this tug-of-war game where Shogun was not even trying. 

video

There is also mother and child, Loren and Sushi.  Loren gave birth to five pups, one of which died.  The other three pups were given away.  My favorite, Ninja, was dognapped by Jan's cousin, so we ended up with Sushi.  She's also cute and lovable.  She also takes over my favorite spot on couch all the time.  :S



So there are no fuzzy warm bodies to greet us in the condo when we get home.  I do make it up with the wonderful shirt my brother-in-law gave me for Christmas.  It's a Zara shirt with a pug and chihuahua on it!  Not only is the shirt comfortable, it makes me laugh when I see it.

I hang it near the bed so when I wake up, it's one of the first things I see.  I laugh inside when I remember our Mutt and Jeff pets. It's almost as good as having the real thing, without having to worry about their food or poop or hygiene.  :P

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Meet the doctors

After my ultrasound, I went straight to my OB-Gyne.  There were three other patients before me, so I got my Kindle and began reading "A Game of Thrones" while waiting.  When it was finally my time to meet with Dr. Henson, she was more than happy to announce that I can go already go back to work.  Though with or without her signal, I would have gone anyway. Hehehe.

The best part was I can already start doing some exercises, including walking and swimming.  I'm not big on exercising, but I really welcome movement right now.  I've been wanting to dance to "Move Like Jagger" for weeks already.

When she asked about my sugar levels though, she was a bit concerned that my sugar was still high.  This is just partly true though.  My glucose was normal for two-thirds the time but that does not seem to be a good sign for her. Uh.  Plus the fact that I lost five pounds, she was also concerned because I needed to gain weight already.  She said that if the endocrinologist recommends I take insulin, she is all for it.  Other than that, our next appointment will be the next month already. Woohoo!!!

The day after, I met with Dr. Capellan.  The woman is quite busy! I had more than patients before me.  I ended up waiting for three hours.  However, I like her a lot.  She really talks to you and discusses your concerns.  Her time with patients often take long.  For those waiting, it may be annoying, but if you are the patient, you feel really cared for.  So yeah, never mind the wait.

Dr. Capellan did also have concerns with my sugar.  But I told her that my glucose has been stabilizing the last three days.  Because of that, she was willing to give me another week to monitor my sugar before she decides to have me take insulin.  The five pounds loss was also something that may have her put me on insulin.  With insulin, I can have more calorie intake.  With the second trimester coming, weight gain is important for both the baby and I.

She did give me a bit of good news, increasing my intake of beef or pork within a week. I was limited to it once a week.  She did not say how often more I can have it, but I will keep it at three times a week max.

I have a feeling the insulin will be inevitable but I want to avoid it as long as possible. I can do this!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Third time's the charm!

I had my ultrasound again last Thursday (January 5).  Before the ultrasound (UTZ), I was a bit nervous.  Because of the diet the nutritionist gave me, I actually lost five pounds.  I was also having some occasional cramps days leading to the ultrasound.  It was nothing really painful but could get uncomfortable and disconcerting.

Jan went with me before going to the office since the UTZ was supposed to be at 9AM.  They called me at 9:30 AM though.  Jan had to wait outside first before he could come in.

When the UTZ commenced, I wasn't sure what to make of it.  Unlike the previous ultrasounds, the form of the baby could easily be identified.  This time, the images looked like blobs to me.  I was trying to read the sonologist's expression to see whether there was something to concerned about.  She was just talking jargon to the other doctor and taking measurements at first.  Finally, she talked to me and asked if I had someone with me.  They finally called Jan.

The baby was doing well.  It was moving so much that was why they had difficulty getting a good image.  "Kapag malikot, matuwa ka! Matakot ka, kung di masyado gumagalaw!" That was great to hear.  The limbs were longer and the rump looked cute.  The eye sockets were clear but made our baby look like an alien in the UTZ.  Heartbeat was still at 162.

It was so wonderful to see, and all the better to have Jan holding my hand when we heard this great news.  Plus the subchorionic hemorrhage is finally gone. :)

I haven't scanned the images yet to post here, but really, there was no clear image to the untrained eye to see a baby form.  Believe me, I tried and failed.  I was this close to looking at it with 3D glasses. :P

I'm so excited already, I wonder how much more excitement is possible for a mother/parent-to-be!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Noche Buena and Media Noche

were 250 grams of low-fat milk and one slice of bread.

The rest of the family had fiesta ham, queso de bola, chicken and fruit salad.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)