We've Been Living our Happily Ever After for

Friday, July 26, 2013

My baby's first smile and a world of other parenting firsts

This morning is special not only because it marks the start of Reese's 11th week but also because he smiled at me for the first time. It wasn't the "fake" smile that we've captured so many times and uploaded on facebook- nope, this was a genuine smile, a social smile if you want to be technical, a reciprocation of the action after receiving one.

It was my first week back to work and so even though I was drowning from exhaustion, I savored every second when I woke up to change his diapers. I talked to him in my usual, typical, way-too-sweet-I-hope-I-dont-sound-like-this-when-I-talk-to-my-boss voice and smiled continuously and there it was, he smiled back at me. I couldn't stop myself and I cried. He looked at me in a puzzled sort of way, wondering if he was also supposed to copy the bizarre act of smiling and crying.
Back in the day when putting his bib wasnt much of a chore- kitang kita pa ung leeg nya ^_^

I am not even sure if this is really first social smile, but somehow I didnt care. His smile opened a whole of new emotions for me. I realized that for the next "firsts", it doesnt matter if it was the actual first, because what matters is that, it was the first time for the two of us. We would have a world of firsts, in the same way that I realized that Reese would have a world of firsts and not all of them would be with me. We would go to Jollibee and Mcdonalds for his first tastes of burger, fries and spaghetti(wow, talk about healthy food choices) in the same way that his father would teach him to ride a bike for the first time. I'd let him pick a toy for the first time, in the same way that he would run to his grandparents for the first time to look for allies because he didnt get his way with us. Hopefully, I'd be there on the first time that he crawls, stands up and walks, in the same way that other people in his life would be there for him on other instances. What matters is that I am there when he needs me, and that I'll be there to share that first moment that was meant to be for the two of us.
My darling on his first month :)

And yet somehow, it  made sense as well for me to miss some of these moments. For every school program that I miss, it means that he would get to share it with his father or grandparents who would take my place and spend it with him. For every toy that we, as parents refuse to buy, means that a loving lolo or lola would get to spoil their grandson. For every morning when I oversleep means that his titos and titas get to take care of him and spend time with him. For every afternoon nap that I fail to impose means that Reese would discover what really happens at two o'clock in the afternoon when he's asked to sleep inside.

That might have gotten you confused, but I guess parenting indeed, if not the most, is one of the most confusing things that ever occurred. It makes you work harder, only to spend a great deal of your income on a person other than yourself. It makes you wish that you can experience pain instead of the other, so as to spare your child from whatever is causing that pain. It makes you nurture your child with all that you can give, all that you have and all that you know, only to wish that later in life, that same person will be ready to live on his or her own.

quite happy after feeding...note however, that the neck is nowhere to be found at 7weeks :)
I'm not sure if I'd still feel the same tomorrow. How I feel now might change after a few hours of sleep or once little baby boy becomes cranky again. One thing's for sure though, this will only be one of many posts as I go through this exhilarating, exciting, fun, challenging and sometimes confusing thing called parenthood.

Sorry, crazy emotional mama hormones kicked in so I wasnt able to capture the infamous smile but I'll surely do and upload a pic in the weeks to come :D

Friday, July 12, 2013

At long last

There was a time when I didn't write for a very long time because I was sad that I didn't know the identity that I wanted to build for this blog.

*Do I want it to be about food reviews about new things we've tried? I thought I wasnt much of an expert.
*Do I want it to be about the hiking trips we've had? But we only climb "mainstream" mountains, and really, it's more about the overall experience and not the technical aspects of it.
*Do I want it to be about parenthood? Not so sure because at 8 weeks, I hardly consider myself an expert..

But why choose when I can do all three! After all, I am a foodie, I am a mountaineer and I am a mother..so blogging about any of these three would still make me true to who I am. I might get lost at some point but it doesnt matter. Get lost with me.
My Plate in Ristorante Bigoli, a place I've been dying to review but havent had time to do so

My first and last hiking trip as a preggy woman at 21 weeks

My darling boy at 4 weeks, aka Mr. Pogi :)

Maiba naman sa usual flash back friday crap. Haha. Till Next time!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Motherhood 101

It's 3am and I'm still awake because I just put Reese to sleep. He had his milk, I changed his diapers and checked his temperature because he had a fever earlier tonight because of his vaccines. For all that these statements represent, I decided there's no better timing than now to publish this blog.

Going back to the title..Motherhood 101. Of course, there's no such thing because motherhood, just like any relationship, will be different for every person..Nonetheless, I'd like to share in a nutshell what I've learned in the past eight weeks.

1. Havin a baby is expensive
I know it sounds stupid because as we all know, having a baby really is expensive but I didn't know that it would be this expensive. Sure, I accepted that we'd have to adjust our budget but not this much. Lemme give you a rundown of our fixed and varied monthly expenses after having Reese:

1. Yaya's salary- 2,000( we have an all-around housekeeper and that's my share for her salary)
2. Milk- 4,000( Reese's milk is Nan Pro One and we buy approximately 4 1, 000 peso packs per month)
3. Diapers- 700( He uses Mamy Poko's Power Slim diapers alternately with reusable cloth diapers. We buy 28-piece-packs every week, which costs 155-170 per pack depending on where we buy it)
*Most people think Mamy Poko is expensive but this variant is actually cheaper than Pampers comfort. It's the blue variant that is actually expensive, close to the price of Huggies
4. Distilled Water- 300(we buy 10-liter water bottles for his milk

that's already 7,000 and it still doesnt include expenses that vary such as monthly birthday cakes, sickness check ups, vitamins, vaccines and clothes. Truth be told, we've already switched to the barangay health center for his vaccines because they cost 800-4,000 per shot if we avail it from his pedia.

2. Motherhood aint just about googly eyes and candy sprinkles and angelic baby faces you upload on Facebook and Instagram. Motherhood is hard
Being an ECCD (early childhood care and development) degree holder, former preschool teacher, an Ate who took take of her two younger siblings + the power of the Internet, I was disillusioned that I'd revolutionize motherhood and somehow do most things right. To say that I was wrong does not even begin to cover it. It's been eight weeks and somehow I've eaten my words in countless ways, to name a couple:

*I've read about Dr. Ferber and the theory or method that babies are supposed to and have the ability to go to sleep on their own without rocking them to sleep, lullabies and habits that may be hard to break. When I was still pregnant, I promised myself I'd do it and after 8weeks, here's what I'd say. Ferberize my ass. If you have a crying baby at 10pm who cant go to sleep, and a household of people who have to get up at 6am the next morning to go to work or school, the only sensible thing to do is to put that baby to sleep by all means possible. Nuff said.

*For all its benefits, I said I'd breastfeed exclusively until I get back to work. I'm about to go back to work in two weeks time and I havent exclusively breastfed my son for one single day..because it's harder than I thought. I delivered via C section because of my highblood pressure and it took a while for my blood pressure to go down. While I was drinking meds, my son's pedia didnt want me to breastfeed so I just pumped it diligently and threw away the milk. By the time I've stopped drinking meds, my son was already used to his feeding bottle and so he got frustrated in sucking my nipple which yielded very little milk. I tried to make him suck once a day but after a few days, the routine of making him suck and making him frustrated, pumping the milk and adding it to his formula milk became too tedious for a mom who was still bearing the pains after the operation, continuing her home based job and tended to a growing baby who wanted milk every two hours, woke up from time to time and needed changing. So to conclude, I gave up breastfeeding because of these complex concerns.

There are many others and sometimes, I stare into nothingness thinking of how I want to be a better mother, doubting myself if I am really cut out for this, on how I could make better choices for Reese. There are times when he'd cry longer than necessary either because a)my stupid brain is darn slow in sending signals that my son is crying (bakit na nga ako nagising? you moron, your son is hungry!) or b)I am finding strength in the depths of my sleep deprived body to get up and feed him. There are also days when I'd reach into that pack of disposable diapers even though it can cause skin irritation if used too frequently because it is much more convenient than to use his reusable cloth diapers that get soaked much more quickly and needs to be washed. I am not proud, and sometimes I am not sure if the courage and character that I have are enough to be a mother.

3. Motherhood causes a whirwind of emotions
I thought post partum depression was a laughingstock because I thought..how can the joy of an angel overpower anything else? but then again, when it was my turn, I understood how it happens to some of us moms because of the change in dynamics of my relationship with people around me.

*There are days when I'd look at my husband and thank him silently for without him, I wouldnt have Reese; there are days when I'd resent him for sleeping so soundly while I try all means possible to put Reese to sleep. There are days when I love him more for all that he has done for us but there are days when I doubt how long his fidelity will last after I look at my stretch marks and smell myself after a days worth of sweat, dirty nappies and puke.

*There are days when I love my Mom more after taking care of me and taking care of Reese but there are days when I wish she wouldnt give as much advice about child rearing. There are days when I thank her silently for letting me take care of my sisters because it taught me a lot and there are days when I feel like a bad mother because I cannot be more like her.

* I love Reese more than life itself but there are days when I say crazy things to him..(cge ka, itatapon na kita sa ilog...gusto mo ba mabigay sa Intsik????) and he continues crying nonetheless.There are days when I rush home after a trip to the supermarket, because being away from him for more than two hours makes me anxious but there are days when I'd feel bad because of all the hiking trips I've missed during and after pregnancy.

 4. Motherhood is all that mushy crap and more.
You might have heard a lot of mushy crap from people and whatever it was, it's true. Loving Reese is like puppy love on a whole new level. I cant seem to talk about anything else except him. Every little thing he does fascinates me in ways I do not understand. I lose my appetite when he's ill in the same way that I feel so good when he's okay. I've seen other boys but to me, he'll always be more handsome.

It's been 9months since I first saw him as a tiny speck in my uterus. He's been out for eight weeks and I've had more than eight weeks of sleep-deprived, poop-laiden, hiking-free days but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
a chubby boy named Reese Franco is gonna be 2mos old next  week!
Thanks.. till next time!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Food Review: Moshi Moshi Katipunan

I got a voucher for this place from deal grocer way way back ( March, I think) and pleaded for husband for us to use it before it expires next week. Luckily, he was planning to buy something and after we came from Ortigas yesterday, we headed to Katipunan.

Moshi Moshi is in Regis, Center in Katipunan and if you're like me whose not very good with names and remembers landmarks instead, it's the glass building across Ateneo, the one with Fully Booked and CBTL in the ground floor and BonChon and Mom and Tina's on the second floor.

I called to reserve and said that we'll be there 4 or 5ish but since we finished early, hubby and I were already there by 3. The place was pretty much deserted at that time and so we were able to get couch seats to ourselves.

Look, they have Green Tea Kitkat!
The cashier is up front and the menu is behind her, just like in a regular fast food. I ordered Mayodon and hubby had Katsudon for our main entries, plus California Maki and Crepe.

Moi while the cashier explains their menu

I sure hope this is a "thing" in Japan that they copied..because I found it weird. Reminds you of stuff sold in school supply stores that lure kids in. :)

The Maki, Mayodon and Katsudon came in less than 15 minutes and since hubby and I hadnt had lunch, we munched away immediately.

Maki(79 4 pieces)
It arrived quicker than expected, which I was thankful for since I was already hungry. Nothing much to say, it was good- not too bad for me to regret ordering it, not too exceptional as well for me to remember every detail :)

uma-art sa shot just because our new lens makes it easy :)

MAYODON(165 level up size)

My Mayodon was "level up" or upsized but truth be told, I wasnt sure if it was. My bowl was the same size as hubby's and since we got different kinds, I had nothing to compare to if mine was really upsized. It got its name from the mayo drizzled on top of the chicken .The chicken in the Mayodon were crunchy, crispy and juicy bite size pieces and under it were shreds of white cabbage ala coleslaw


Theirs is rare (or medium rare?) compared to other versions I've had but I'm not complaining...It made the meat juicier and less oily. The seasoning was also less salty than the Mayodon, which was good.

They have three kinds of crepe- "crepe" which was the crepe with mango slices, "crepe ala mode" which was crepe+ice cream and "Moshi-Moshi Special Crepe" which was crepe with cheesecake, more like a dessert sampler. I wanted to try the last one but at 145, it was a bit expensive for something I'm skeptical about so we just ordered ala mode, which was fine though the mango slices were a bit sour, I guess because they were off season.
decent enough

Final verdict:

If you've read my entry about Crazy Katsu, I said their food was a tad too sweet. For this one, since 2/3 dishes we ordered were salty, I'd say their food is a tad too salty but since I seem to have blander taste than these two Jap restos' cooks, what do I know, I might be weird all along. Hehehe...

As for the value for money, I'd say it's so-so - Our total bill was 495 and since we had a voucher, it wasnt so expensive ( A food joint falls under the expensive category if the breakdown is more than 300/person for  a meal consisting a main dish + 1-2 other stuff)

As for my desire to go back, I'd love to try their other dishes but I wont have a hankering to drive all the way to Katipunan from Novaliches to go back, I'll probably do it once I'm in the area again or it's on the way

I'll give it a 4/5 with 5 as the highest.

I bought this bottled water for 28 pesos so you'd know right away I didnt get it to quench my thirst but as a souvenir.hehehe.
too lazy to take a full shot- its appearance is a cross between a  perfume bottle and a toy rocketship

Whoa..I'm really an impulsive blogger.Didnt blog for weeks and now I've finished two posts in a row.

Til next time!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Baptism/Binyag Supplier's Rating: Airam's kleyworkz- Polymer Clay Souvenir keychains

Rating: 4.5/5
Peso Power: 65 per keychain(based on number of orders) + 75 shipping fee + 100 remittance charge

Side Kwento: I was thinking of something personalized for the sponsors souvenirs and I originally intended on making personalized hankerchiefs. Kaya lang, when I realized I'd be doing it for 16 people, natakot ako kasi baka pumalpak ung iba, nakakahiya naman sa Ninongs and Ninangs, so I just looked for something else. Hours of searching on sulit + facebook led me to polymer clay thingies...hence, this supplier

1. Freebies!
-I didnt know that there will be freebies so when I ordered, sinama ko sa bilang si Reese. However, Regina asked me our baby's name for the freebie so I said that he's already included kaya nagbigay nalang ako ng ibang name that will serve as the freebie. Kaya lang parang home tv shopping.."but wait, there's more!" moment when I opened the package, may freebie pa ulit na ref magnet! I was just happy..Nobody can say no to a freebie this cutie:
cutie patootie!
2.The items are much cuter in person

I already liked them when Sis Regina showed me the proofing prior to shipping but they look much much better in person. I would have shouted "it's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" ala Agnes in Despicable Me since I imagined them to be hard- like acrylic plastic but the material is actually soft like rubber or if you still cant imagine it, like hardened gum ala bazooka. 

3. It's so nice to deal with the maker, Sis Regina

She promptly responds to questions within the day, minsan nga within minutes lang kapag online din sya. She can also make the items in a jiffy, based on her schedule. I finalized the details only last week and I got the items yesterday, about a week lang. She said she needs two weeks, tops, if she's busy. I also love how much effort and detail she puts to her craft.

*When I sent her the layout I wanted for the boys and girls, she sent me a sample using my name(which I wouldnt upload just yet kasi baka makita ng Ninongs and Ninangs namin, spoiler alert! hehe). She used a font which was different from the one I sent and said it was a new font mold she acquired, baka daw magustuhan ko and I did. :)

*The packaging was nice, ready for gift giving na. I expected to get the keychains as is pero they were packed together with a logo/promotion card and sealed in a plastic meant for packaging these kinds of things talaga.

*She said that I can send her individual pegs/pictures for the hairstyle of each person in the keychain but lazy me didnt want to do her part of the work so I just asked her to use the same hairstyle for all girls and all boys. We ordered 25 keychains and honestly, I was too lazy to choose 25 hairstyles..Haha..So for Reese, she took it upon herself to make his chain stand out..pang baby talaga and it's to die for :)

 May pacifier pa!


The items are so good and the seller is easy to deal with, and if it was just a matter of customer satisfaction, I am over the moon about the items but there's just one small concern- additional costs. At the moment, she only accepts payments via lbc and western union payments. Although I appreciate the fact that I didnt have to line up for a bank transaction( BDO or BPI= nightmare if you just squeezed doing it during your office lunch break), it would have been nice to do the remittance for free.

Final Verdict:

All in all I am very happy with the items and I am now excited to pack and arrange the set of items for the Ninongs and Ninangs. Other than ref magnets, she also has personalized pen holders, and accessories. She also has numerous designs for her keychains so do check them out. I'm already thinking about getting these chains for our mountaineering group's xmas climb. Spell excited=ATATCHIBA. hahaha


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