Sunday, December 30, 2012


The priest said in today's homily that we should always do 3 things to start the year right - be thankful for the blessings of the previous year, admit the mistakes done in the previous year, and make concrete resolutions for the new year. His words struck a chord on me and I am using them as inspiration to start 2013.

I have so many things to be thankful for in the year 2012. I have already listed them down and I will publish the post on Friday (my birthday).

As for the mistakes, I choose to reflect instead on my 2012 resolutions and evaluate how I fared with them.

2012 resolution number 1: Spend quality time with my daughter

Well, this I was able to do! This was such an important resolution for me and I am so proud to have been true to it. Yay me! I specifically made time to go on mini dates and have one-on-one bonding times with Ally. She and I have also taken to doing worksheets and "assignments" this school year. They are not part of her school's curriculum, but don't worry, I am not pressuring her (too much), she just seriously enjoys them.

2012 resolution number 2: Refrain from buying pretty but cheapo clothes and shoes

Except for maybe 2 or 3 tops, I was kinda successful with this resolution. Yay me!

2012 resolution number 3: Take up and keep a hobby

Fail! I didn't learn any new skill in 2012. I hardly used my DSLR and I don't remember even opening Photoshop or any photo editing software. Yikes! I should really work on this resolution this year.

2012 resolution number 4: Keep in touch with high school and college friends

I was sort of successful with this one too. I attended a high school friend's and a college friend's wedding (and both were held out of town). We had several dinners throughout the year. And I kept in touch beyond FB! I called and sent SMS and emails. So yay me!

2012 resolution number 5: Read at least 2 books a month

I was able to read 2-3 books per month prior to giving birth to Sofia. But after I had her, I don't have much time to read anymore. I am the type who wants to finish a book in one sitting, and that is next to impossible with a toddler and an infant in the house.

2012 resolution number 6: Blog

I have been productive the last three months of the year, huge thanks to my iPhone and the Blogger app. And I am more optimistic that I can keep this up this time. I am enjoying myself and I like that I have an outlet for my stories, no matter how trivial they may be. I also like that I have something that keeps my mind busy. Yay!

My score is 4/6 (half points each for resolutions 5 and 6). Not bad at all! And more importantly, I feel like I've progressed a bit from where I was this time last year. I somewhat achieved and stuck to my goals and I am proud of myself. Going forward, I hope to be able to keep this up and progress more for 2013. But, aside from these recycled resolutions, here are a few more concrete resolutions to challenge myself more:

1. Lessen impulse buys and stick to a monthly shopping budget

2. Declutter and organize the house and computer files

3. Run a 10km marathon

4. Look into becoming a breastfeeding peer counselor

5. Learn to cook at least 1 viand

6. Learn to bake choco chip cookies

Thank you, 2012. It has been awesome. You're next, 2013. I am sure we are going to have fun!

Christmas Day 2012

For the second year in a row, my small family spent Christmas Day with nothing on the agenda except to watch the 6pm Disney on Ice show. I like this sort-of tradition a lot because we just basically spent time with each other with no worries, no pressures, no obligations and no commitments. Nice, right? I found it to be a good way to recharge and collect one's bearing after all the Christmas preparation and festivities. Then the Disney show was a family bonding treat to end the day. Very nice indeed!

I'm glad that we decided to watch the Disney ice show again this year. Ally is at a better age to appreciate the show, and she enjoyed it immensely! This year's show had more stage props that were visually appealing. The skating routines weren't as good as last year's though and the song selection wasn't my favorite. But visually, it was good. There was a huge castle, a fire-breathing dragon and the classic Cinderella's carriage. The characters were quite good also. Aside from the princesses and their heroes, the dwarfs were complete (and sang Heigh-ho), Ursula (my favorite villain) made an appearance, and Lumiere was there too. Of course Mickey and Minnie were there, as well as Tinkerbell and Goofy. But, this year's show wasn't as polished story wise as last year's was. There was no flow and no proper narration. That said, it was still an enjoyable 2 hour show.

Ally got me to take her photo beside her favorite princess Aurora
The fire breathing dragon was impressive
The structure on the left was the castle
Oh, I forgot to tell you that our tickets were upgraded from Upper Box B to Upper Box A. Why? Because we were sold the wrong tickets at the meet and greet. The tickets that were given to us were not for the 6pm show, which was what we wanted, but for the 2pm show. The lady we complained to was so surprised to see our tickets because it turns out that the 2pm show was for charity only and tickets weren't sold for that show. So to compensate us, she gave us slightly better seats. Yay! And I was even happier that the ticket issue got resolved quickly and without any arguments. Double yay!

It was a relaxed and fun Christmas Day for my family this year. Hope yours went just as smooth and fun!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

OOTD Dec 23

This is what I wore when we went to meet Belle. Actually, this (and variations of this look) is my mom uniform - khaki shorts, loose button down top, ballerina flats, stacked bracelets and a sling bag. Oh, and my all-time favorite arm candy - Sofia!

PS. Sorry for the haggard look. This photo was taken towards the end of the day, and I have been carrying Sofia for over 2 hours straight already.

Ally's Adorable Anecdotes

I love telling Ally anecdotes to anyone and everyone who care to listen. They are so adorable that I can't stop gushing about them. My mom, the ever proud grandma, has been encouraging me to compile all of Ally's anecdotes once and for all. So I thought to share a few here while I collate the others from past FB posts.

English 101
Me: Ally, clean up your toys na
Ally: (after a few seconds of tidying up) Look at me Mommy, I am clean upping!

Ally: Look, I'm ligo-ing!

Ally: (pointing to Sofia's cake) That's my cake
Tito Benj: E why does it have an S on top?
Ally: Ah, nagkamali lang

Yaya: Ally, umuulan o. Gusto mo maligo sa ulan?
Ally: Ok. Dala tayo umbrella ha. Baka mabasa tayo.

Ally: Mommy, I want pink hair like Beauty Pie
Me: No Ally, black hair lang tayo
Ally: Bakit si Grandpa white hair, si Grandma brown hair?

Of Moms and Princesses

Have you ever been to a meet and greet? I've never been to one, until today, that is, but I read about them often enough in blogs. My idea of a meet and greet is an organized queue leading to a raised platform where the celebrity stands/sits and has his photo taken with the adoring fan. Then a handshake, maybe a kiss if the fan is avid enough.

From my experience today, the truth is not as pretty as the blogs I've read made it to be. The meet and greet I attended was so chaotic and so disorganized. There were heated arguments, tempers flared and angry and frustrated fans. The mall security were so stressed and so powerless as they had very little information to give the demanding crowd. They had to call in for additional manpower. Big muscled bouncers also came to secure the area. A very flustered mall representative looked so lost and overwhelmed.

So, who were we there to meet? You'd think it would be at least some hot-shot local celebrity right? Wrong! We were there to meet and greet a Disney princess! We didn't even knew which one until she came on stage! The meet and greet was to promote this year's Disney on Ice show, Princess and Heroes which will run from Dec 25 until Jan 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ally wore her Little Mermaid costume
Anyway, the whole event was an experience like no other! It was supposed to start at 4pm but because of the disorganization (not sure if it was the mall's events team or the Araneta people's fault), it didn't start until about 430pm. One would just shrug off a 30+ minute delay, but when those queuing have babies, toddlers and little kids eager to see the princess, even a 5 minute delay is already too long. We were lucky we chose to arrive early so we were 4th in line and we were one of the first to go inside the greeting area. A lot of moms and kids weren't as lucky.

The main purpose of the meet and greet was actually to sell Disney on Ice tickets to gullible parents (like me). You couldn't get into the greeting area without buying show tickets first, and this was something that the ad posters failed to indicate. Originally, Jojo and I decided to skip watching the show this year (because we will be going to Disneyland next month), but Ally was already looking forward to meeting the princess so we couldn't back out anymore. Thankfully, they offered the tickets at 30% off so the unexpected expense wasn't too hard on the pocket. For some however, this having to buy a ticket was not accepted without an argument. Some parents already had their show tickets which they bought from Ticketnet or Araneta, and when they were told that they were not a priority to get into the greeting area, ayayay, there were arguments left and right. The poor security men and ushers were practically bullied and shouted at by angry moms, and they were well-dressed upper class moms too. Sorry but I found it quite amusing that behind every Gucci and LV-clad mom lurks her inner palengkera ready to battle for her child.

So were we able to meet and greet a Disney princess? Yup, and we had our photo taken with her too. Actually, we were able to have 3 photos taken (rule was only 1 photo per family but the assigned photographer botched the first one and the nice rep from Feld Entertainment took our photo twice to make up for it). All the waiting, the stress and drama, all for just 3 photos. Was it worth it? Yes! Ally was beyond happy the whole afternoon and she was excited to show the photos to our househelps once at home. She now has so many stories about meeting Belle, and she is also looking forward to seeing the Disney princesses skating show on Christmas Day.

Oh and we were given a spoiler for the show. Blake, the Feld Entertainment rep, told the crowd there would be a huge fire-breathing dragon in the show. This spoiler is much appreciated because Ally gets scared easily. Now we know what to expect, I have prepped her to just close her eyes and cover her ears once the dragon appears. Last year she asked to go home when the witches and villains showed up, and we had very expensive ticket seats then. Yikes right? Let's hope our preparation this time works and we get to watch the whole show in peace.

Watch out for my follow up post after we watch the show!

Friday, December 21, 2012


I don't think I ever mentioned it here before, but I used to love keeping a diary. I don't write in them everyday though. I usually just put entries when I need an outlet for all that has been cooped up inside me or when something monumental happened that day and I want to preserve the memory.

Anyway, I kept one when I found out I was pregnant with Ally. The diary documented my feelings as I saw her first in the ultrasound, how I felt when she first kicked, how I managed my mood swings, etc. I kept writing in the diary even after I have given birth and during Ally's first few months. Unfortunately, I stopped writing when she was about 10 months old.

I saw the diary last night and I felt guilty that I stopped writing entries. Argh! Why do I keep doing things like this, starting a project and not finishing it? I am so disappointed in myself because I had wanted to preserve all the memories and share them with Ally and Sofia one day. And I feel doubly guilty that I kept a pregnancy diary for Ally and I didn't for Sofia. Geesh.

Please help me keep this feeling in mind so that I can persevere in this blog as my way of somewhat documenting my memories with my daughters. I really want to sit and read with them my thoughts about them when they were younger. I want them to know how they enhanced my life in ways I didn't expect or plan. I want them to be aware of how much they've grown and how much joy and pride they give me.

For my kids, I will do all that I can to be a better version of myself, and that includes overcoming my biggest weakness. So here's to more blog entries in the future. Yay!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I'm so sorry I haven't had time to do a decent post recently. I am just feeling overwhelmed by all the Christmas preparations this year, and I am finding it hard to juggle everything with the demands and needs of my two kids.

I just want to leave this photo of my favorite bracelets, which I wore yesterday when we watched Ally's school Christmas program. I always smile at its gentle reminder and use it as my mantra when faced with a challenge. Nice, isn't?

How about you? How are you coping with all the mad preparations?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

7 Months

My sweet Sofia turns 7 months today! :)

I owe you a letter baby girl. I'm working on it already but can't seem to get it done satisfactorily. I promise to finish it before you turn 8 months!

Mommy loves you so much! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Reunion

My enjoyment with Princess and I opened me to the thought that maybe Filipino shows and movies might have improved over the years. You see, I am not impressed with local shows and movies. I can count in one hand the number of local movies I actually watched in a movie theater. And try as I may, I can't think of another local show that I have followed ever, other than Princess and I. I guess the closest is ASAP, but I only watch select segments and not the entire show.

Anyway, I googled the other projects that Kathryn Bernardo and Enrique Gil have done to see if any might be interesting. Kathryn's projects are more of the drama genre (not my fave), and Enrique has a couple of horror movies ( not my thing either). But he has one movie that caught my interest - The Reunion with Enchong Dee and Xian Lim. I mean, 3 cuties in one movie whose soundtrack is a tribute to the Eraserheads? Very interesting, right?

So I watched it and I actually liked it a lot! The story was simple - four twenty-something boys attended their high school reunion and felt that they were failures compared to their peers. They were made to realize that they needed to correct a mistake done in the past so that they can improve themselves and find success and fulfillment. The movie showed them getting in touch with their exes while going through one (usually hilarious) obstacle after another. Very American Pie-ish with a local flavor.

What I like best was its soundtrack. Ah-may-zing! It was a tribute to Eraserheads and they showcased all my favorite Eheads songs. They even named the girl characters with names associated with Eheads songs (Megan Young was Toyang, Bangs Garcia was Shirley and Julia Montes was Ligaya), and their high school hang out was the Tindahan ni Aling Nena. Aliw sobra! I was in high school during the mid 90's and the songs played in this movie were my life soundtrack then. So the songs plus the high school flashbacks of the four boys really brought back tons of happy and embarrassing memories.

Acting is just okay but because I find 3 of the lead stars really cute, I didn't mind that. There were quite a number of laugh-out-loud non-slapstick moments and several teeny-bopperish kilig scenes which I enjoyed. Hands down my favorite scenes were the Avengers entrance walk and fight scenes. Hilarious!

So if you have time and get an opportunity to watch this film, please do. I am sure it will put a nice smile on your face.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Christmas/birthday Wish List

My birthday and Christmas are only 10 days apart so it makes sense to do just one wish list for both. Here goes:

1. Catalogue 63 gift certificates/shopping spree

I know I'm supposed to be trying to reduce the amount of clothes I have, but I really love the clothes at Catalogue 63. The designs are modern-classic and prices are reasonable but I find it hard to justify buying new clothes when I have practically no more closet space. I have a couple of items I want to get from them, like the Miya long dress in black and dark gray, Miya short dress in peach, Jenna top in white, Mara top in wine, and Olivia dress in pink.

Check out their website and see if you can resist shopping!

2. Call it Spring wedge booties

I like the way they look and they would be perfect for our two upcoming family trips. I haven't tried it on though so I'm not sure it it is comfortable or not. You see, I'm the type who will only try on something if I'm sure I'll buy it already. The price is over what I think is reasonable for a pair of shoes (I'm a cheapo, remember?), but I don't know how I will walk away if the shoes are as comfortable as they seem. Sigh.

3. Black Chucks-like sneakers

I saw these in SM about a month ago and I really like them. The sequins appeal to me but I'm worried that they might seem that I'm trying too hard to be "young". What do you think? Should a mom of two still wear shoes like these?

4. Make up lessons

I am so clueless when it comes to putting on make up. I think it's about time I learn since my face isn't as fresh and young looking as it once was. Any suggestions where I should enroll? Warning though, I don't think I ought to spend so much on this.

So, there you have it. Hope this gives you ideas on what to buy for yourself or your loved ones. And for those of you who talk to my husband, please mention this list to him. I would be ever so grateful.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Posting the photobooth pictures of my little family in my cousins' debuts. These were taken a year and a half apart. So many things have changed, right?

(Obvious) change number 1: Sofia, the cute little addition to our little family

She makes our lives a little bit more hectic and crazier but oh so much better!

Change number 2: Ally has grown up so much!

She looks more confident of herself now, don't you think so? She has matured a lot over the past year and a half. And being an ate really suits her. You should see her little moments with Sofia, always kissing her and hugging her and seeing to her comforts. She is also very strict with Sofia, which Jojo says reflects just how strict I am to her.

(Mababaw) change number 3: my bangs

All my kiddie photos show that bangs and I go way, way back. I was only allowed full control over my hair when I got into high school and I grew them out. Then my bangs weren't seen again until April 2011 when I got into the bandwagon of full bangs. I love the look, so edgy and sweet at the same time. So I'm still undecided whether it is time to have a new look or to stick with the bangs for a few more months. Whatchathink?

(Another mababaw) change number 4: my clothing

Looks like I'm dressing more conservatively now! Maybe it's part of the whole mommy package, I don't know, but I have veered away from trendy and revealing clothes. Now I'm gravitating towards classic cuts and pieces. Am I maturing or what?

Isn't it so much fun and interesting to see how far we've come and changed? This is one of the many reasons why I love looking at old photos.

2 Weddings, 1 Dress

I have attended a record total of 5 (count that, 5) weddings this year. Amazing, right? Maybe it is because it's the year of the dragon and most couples think it auspicious to get married this year. Whatever the reason is, I am thrilled that more and more of my friends are getting married.

Posting photos of me at two different weddings - my cousin Paolo's last March and my college friend Alvin's this December. I wore the exact same dress, shoes and accessories. Don't you just love how the dress accommodated both my then 8-months pregnant body and my now 7-months post pregnancy one? I really love the jersey fabric and the coral shade is so yummy!

What do you think? Did I do the dress justice?

March 2012
December 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Thoughts on Princess and I

Princess and I is a teleserye shown after TV Patrol on ABS-CBN. It has been on air since April but it wasn't until late November that I got interested in it and started watching religiously. I even reactivated my account just so I could watch the earlier episodes. I like the story and the costumes (Gretchen's in particular). Acting is so-so and the editing is terrible, but Kathryn Bernardo and Enrique Gil are such cuties, I don't mind if their acting isn't quite that good (at least in the beginning. It has improved a lot as the series developed).

The beginning of the teleserye has a rom-com Kdrama feel to it. Kathleen Bernardo's character (and acting) reminds me strongly of the female lead in Goong and Boys over Flowers, two of my favorite Kdramas. The scenes in Bhutan are picturesque but the dubbing in Filipino is so off. And while I don't get why the Yangdonese have a weird accent when speaking in English but they speak Filipino quite well, I like it when they sa Yang-don with a twang.

Anyway, I won't get into story lines and details. This is not a review. What I want to point out is that the teleserye is obviously being extended and rewritten, maybe to appease fans or ratings. This is what I really don't like about Filipino teleseryes and what I like about Korean ones, at least those that have achieved international recognition. The Kdramas that I know of (and love) have about 25 episodes only, 1 hour each. And even if well received, they don't extend the story to milk the profits, at least not the ones I know of. Teleseryes should be like that, in my opinion. They shouldn't be changed midway through its run.

It is so easy to get into a teleserye, to get hooked and to want to watch it every day. It is easy to fall in love with the characters and to want to be with them as their story is told. You want to be there for them when their problems and struggles come up. You want to be with them as their issues are being resolved. You want to cheer with them when they finally get their happy ending. But, it just as easy to get tired of it, especially when a new twist keeps on getting added and added. Most people have real lives and problems to get back to, and spending 45 minutes Monday to Friday for practically a year is a tad too much dedication to give.

I am still holding on despite my complaints. Princess and I is actually the first Filipino teleserye I enjoy and look forward to, and I want to see Jao (Gil's character) and Areeyah (Bernardo's character) have their happy ending. Team Jao and proud! I just hope the series ends soon. I don't know if my EQ can handle another extension, twist and plot change.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I'm not one to indulge in girly pampering. I only go to the salon if and when I feel my hair needs to be cut. I don't have it treated or anything. I barely go to nail salons also. I only go when I am in need of a pedicure, usually for beach outings or when I wear open-toed sandals. I don't go for massages or face treatments either. They are just not my thing. But lately I've felt that my "advancing" age has taken its toll on my skin. It felt dry and looked so dull and sallow. I got worried and thought it time to pay a little more attention to my skin needs.

I did a little research on where to go to get a good facial. I don't want to spend so much, but I don't want to waste my money on useless services either. My research led me to VMV Hypoallergenic skin services, which luckily has a store in Trinoma. I must have walked past this store hundreds of times, but I've never been inside it because it looked intimidating (read as out of my wallet's league). But based on various reviews I've read online, I will get my money's worth with them and that was what I wanted.

The store is small and has very little on display. Off to the back is their treatment room, which can only accommodate 2 customers at a time. And since I went on a Monday morning, I had the room to myself. I like the privacy! The music they played was soothing and the temperature of the room was just right, not too cold and not too warm. The ambiance was very relaxing. The attendant was very professional and very courteous. She did not initiate any small talk, which I appreciated and preferred. So I was able to spend the hour in quiet relaxation.

Based on the sales assistant's recommendation for my combination skin, I tried their Surf and Turf superskin facial, a 60 minute procedure that included facial massage, cleansing, steaming and light pore extraction. It also included a facial mask which is made on the spot specifically for my skin's needs. Everything was done efficiently and painlessly. The attendant explained what she was doing and warned me if there would be some stinging sensation. I know I'm practically a newbie in facials, but I found the whole experience very pleasant and quite enjoyable.

As for the results, I felt rejuvenated afterwards and my skin has never felt better nor looked so radiant. Instant rewarding results! Even my husband noticed the difference and commented "parang gumanda ka", which I took as a compliment because I really did feel beautiful! I will definitely go back and will make a habit of indulging myself with this more.

Best part? They are on sale until the end of the year! You get 50% off any service as long as you purchase minimum of 3 (of the same kind). Pretty good deal! My one hour facial just cost me Php600, which is cheaper than their 30minute facial at original rate. And there is no expiry to your paid-for services! Not bad at all! I plan to get a couple more before the promo ends which I will use for next year.

Check it out and try it. It is definitely worth every peso.

For more details, go to www.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

33 Til 33

I turn 33 years old in 33 days.

I find it such an odd age, not quite mid-life but beyond quarter-life already.

Anyway, as I begin this countdown, I am already forming a list of things I am thankful for. I got this idea from a friend's blog. She religiously posts what she is thankful for on her birthday.

So, watch out for it, okay? I promise to publish the post on my birthday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Storytelling Story

When Ally's teacher sent a letter asking for parent volunteers at school, I couldn't volunteer fast enough. In my mind, all SAHMs do that and I'd finally feel legit! Then I realized I have no toddler-marketable talent! I can't play an instrument or teach them a song. I can't do a cooking demo. I couldn't check anything in the list included in the letter except for storytelling, which is essentially just reading a book out loud. Goodness me! Some kind of a SAHM I am!

Anyway, I still volunteered. Kapal ba? I just wanted to do something for Ally. I was surprised that Ally's teacher scheduled me for a date in November and even provided the book I'd be reading. Boy was I nervous! Sure I read often to Ally and she enjoys them. I've read to my nephew Pito a couple of times and he seemed to enjoy them too. But a whole class of 3 year olds is a different thing altogether! I mustered all my kakapalan and accepted the challenge.

The days leading up to storytelling day were nerve-wracking. What if the kids booed at me? What if they don't even bother to sit down to listen? What if I am such a lousy storyteller that i'd just embarrass Ally in front of her friends? Gosh, I was so tempted to chicken out!

Then I remembered what my sister told me, that in order to stop my mind from thinking useless thoughts, I need to keep my hands busy. So I googled simple crafts relating to the theme of the story Mouse Mess, the book assigned to me, and I found a relatively simple one even a newbie like me can make.

I originally planned to do the mouse treats when Ally took her afternoon nap on the day before my scheduled gig (I've wanted to say that for so long!) but she was so eager to help, I couldn't say no. It took an hour longer than estimated but it was twice as fun!
My little helper :)
Little mouse treat 
I almost had to cancel on Teacher LA because Jojo had an asthma attack the morning of my gig (seriously love saying that!) and I had to make a run to Mercury Drug. I even sent a text message already. But traffic wasn't too bad and Ally and I were able to make it to school on time. In retrospect, I think Jojo's asthma attack became a sort of blessing (to me at least) because I didn't have time to be nervous.

My gig (this is the last time, I promise) was at 915, and Ally and I were at school by 830. So I just waited in the next room until Teacher Kim came to fetch me. This was it. It's show time!

I entered Ally's room and encountered 9 tiny little faces sitting quietly and just staring at me. Teacher LA made the introductions and them I started reading the book. The first two pages went smoothly enough. The kids listened intently and they seemed very interested. They even answered my questions. And then I guess they felt comfortable with me already because they started telling me all sorts of little tidbits, like "cheese is yummy!" and "I ate cheese yesterday" after I read the word cheese. Cute kids no? After we finished the book, I gave them their mouse treats which they put inside their bags excitedly.
Photo taken from
I felt an odd sense of accomplishment after. I put myself out there and I got over my initial nervousness. And I actually enjoyed myself. I was thinking of all these and then the kids presented me with a giant thank you card they had made for me. Aww. Heart melted at the sweetness of it all!

So, there you have it, my storytelling story. Thank you Teacher LA and Preschool A for the lovely experience. I would definitely volunteer again if given another opportunity.
Photo taken from
Thank you card

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On Weaning and (Extended) Breastfeeding

Do you remember the Time cover on extended breastfeeding where the mom was nursing her 5 year old son? I remember it well because it sort of touched a nerve. You see, I was still breastfeeding Ally at that time, and she was over 3 years old then.

For some reason, our society applauds breastfeeding until a year old only. When Ally was 2 and people found out that I was still breastfeeding her, I got curious stares. When they found out that I was still breastfeeding her at 3 years old, their looks made me feel so uncomfortable, like I was doing something bad. I stopped telling people that we still breastfed, like it was some dirty thing to be ashamed of. Besides, I told myself it was none of their business anyway.

It's not like we didn't try to wean early on. I had wanted her to wean Ally off when she turned 2 but she wasn't ready yet. I even asked my sister's friend Sylvia, who is a breastfeeding counselor, on tips how to wean a toddler. Her first question was if I was ready.

That stopped me. Was I ready? Yes, there were times I wanted to reclaim my time (and my breasts) back. I wanted to wear nice normal bras and not the boring nursing bras. I wanted to wear shift dresses and tank dresses, which were so not breastfeeding-friendly. But when Ally cries out for milk, I still drop everything to rush to her. I just can't bear hearing her cry out for Mommy milk knowing I am still capable of giving it to her. So no, I was not ready.

Ally was obviously not ready either. To her credit, she only breastfeeds to lull her to sleep. It comforts and calms her. So it was easy for us to limit breastfeeding to nap time in the afternoon and sleeping time in the evening (both done in the confines of our bedroom so it was not as scandalous as the Time magazine cover). I tried to go cold turkey on her a couple of times but her cries were so gut-wrenching, I couldn't let her (and myself) go through all that trauma.

It was a challenge to tandem breastfeed the two girls when Sofia came. It physically drained me of so much energy and left me with very little me-time. But I consciously didn't make an effort to wean Ally off. thought it would affect her psychologically if I deprive her of Mommy milk and then she'd see me breastfeed Sofia on demand. No 3 year old would see that and not feel unwanted and insecure.

What I did do was to limit Ally's breastfeeding time. From drink-until-satisfied, I trimmed it down to 5 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 1 minute, until she was down to 3 seconds. I doubt if got to drink much milk, but at least she knew she was not being deprived. I was confident there would be little to no effect to her psyche.

It worked for us, and Ally self-weaned three days ago, at age 3 years and 7 months. I am so proud that she made the decision for herself, that she did not have any trauma whatsoever. I am glad I took the effort to just encourage her to wean and that I did not force it on her. I was rewarded by such a mature act. She just told me that she "won't drink Mommy milk anymore because I am big na." Those were her exact words. I am teary-eyed as I am writing this because I am just overwhelmed with so much pride at her maturity.

It is bittersweet, knowing that my baby girl is all grown up. While I look forward to seeing her blossom even more, I miss just holding her and watching her breastfeed. I think that is why I was able to breastfeed for such a long time. I really enjoyed those bonding moments between us. I know we can bond in other ways, but breastfeeding was our special thing. I miss it already.

My advise to moms out there is to ignore whatever other people are saying. Breastfeeding is between a mom and the child and no one else. Only you can decide when you are ready to wean. Don't let society's idea of normal/appropriate weaning time dictate on you. Breastfeed until you and your baby are comfortable with it, until you and your baby are ready to give it up. A good ending makes the whole experience worthwhile.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

To My Cutie Pie Sofia

I still can't believe that you turn 6 months today. Was it really 6 months ago that I was getting so impatient with you, since you chose to spend all of 40 weeks inside me? Was it really 6 months ago that when you finally decided to make your grand arrival, you came out so fast, our OB-GYN almost missed out? As cliche as it may sound, time does fly when having fun, and we really had an amazing time getting to know each other these past 6 months!

Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

You were a tiny little girl at birth, weighing just below 6lbs, just like your Ate Ally. So it was a surprise to me that you were already in our room when they wheeled me in. Our pedia did not allow Ally to be roomed in with us before, you see. And apparently, St Luke's has now made it mandatory for all babies to be roomed in. So having you in the room was a pleasant surprise that I was totally not prepared for. And because you were so tiny, the nurses recommended that we carry you as much as possible so as to regulate your body temperature. I spent the better part of those two days in the hospital cradling you in my arms because for some reason, you didn't like being carried by Daddy. You were such a cute little bundle that I didn't mind the extra carrying time all that much.

It took me a while to adjust to being a mom of two because you and Ate Ally practically competed for my attention the first couple of weeks. One of you would demand my attention just as I was beginning to entertain the other. It happened so often that I was sure it was not a coincidence. As thrilled as I was that you both want me by your side, I was thankful when your "territorial war" was over, or at least didn't happen as often as before. I love you both and I will do what I can to make you both feel secure in my love for you.

Aside from your "territorial war" with Ate Ally, we also had a few problems come nighttime. You didn't like sleeping inside our room the first month. I guess you found the room too cold. We tried sleeping with just the fan on, but Ate Ally and Daddy couldn't sleep well. So you and I slept in the living room your first month at home. Then as you were gained weight, it was easier for you to stay in a cool room. Now, with all your insulation (aka taba), it is harder for you to sleep in a warm room. Oh, and you started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. By this I mean you slept for more than 8 hours straight. Well done you! And I thank you so much for this big achievement. No more sleepless nights for Mommy! Yay!

One thing I love most about you is that you always smile when you wake up in the morning. Its the first thing I see each morning and I love, love, love it! Despite this, you do have a more serious disposition compared to your Ate Ally. I think it is because you take after me and that you tend to observe and absorb your surroundings more. But when you smile, it is always a full-on 100% smile. I still believe you are a happy baby, and nothing pleases me more than to see your smile, except your giggle, which always makes me laugh.

There are times though that I call you Deely, which is short for De Leon. Why? Because you, my dear, have inherited most of the infamous De Leon traits - strong-willed, assertive, independent and brave. A true lion! And boy do you roar! You make sure that you get what you want. And during the rare times that you don't, you don't cry. You scream! Your screams get so loud that wherever we are, all (and I do mean all) people within earshot look at you and immediately give me either a pitying look or an is-she-abusing-her-kid worried look. It is hilarious in retrospect but oh so embarrassing at that moment. And as young as you are, you have already mastered the De Leon "death stare", as popularized by your great-grandma Mamang. There are times when I worry that you are already showing too strong of a personality (read as hindi nagpapatalo) but another way of looking at it (and one that I choose to do) is that I know for sure you will not be a pushover when you grow up and that you will not be bullied ever.

Another thing fascinating about you is how you persevere in mastering a skill. Before you learned to roll over, I watched you try and try and try for a couple of days until you finally were able to do it! You didn't give up and you hardly got frustrated. You simply took little breaks in between each try. Well done, little girl! You will achieve so much with this trait of yours!

You fell off the bed the morning after you first learned to roll over. Yikes! Thankfully, we just sleep on a mattress on the floor so the fall wasn't quite scary. But being the amazing girl that you are, you gave Daddy and me a huge smile as soon as you saw us looking all worried and scared. Thank you for that dearest Sofia! To date, you have fallen off the bed a total of 3 times. Sorry! But aside from your love of rolling over and over, you are just too malikot when you sleep! More often than not, you never wake up in the same location you were in when you slept. This has given me quite a number of scares already since you weren't were you were supposed to be when I checked on you in the middle of the night! I sleep in between you and Ate Ally on a queen mattress, and I tell you as early as now, you two are so malikot, I barely have room to move and sleep peacefully! But, just like your Ate Ally, you stop wiggling the moment I hug you, as if you finally found the perfect position. It warms my heart that you regard sleeping in my embrace the perfect sleeping position. So sweet! 

You have already started babbling and talking the past few weeks leading up to your 6-month birthday. Your first word (and I dare anyone to tell me otherwise) was Mommy at 5 months. You are also a very talkative baby and I already enjoy your delightful ramblings. I know the day will soon come when you would talk to me non-stop about your daily adventures. I am sure I will enjoy those just as much.

You don't have teeth yet, but you're in the stage where you put everything in your mouth, from all your fingers to your toes to your toys and Mommy's shirt and necklace (don't worry, I stopped using metal ones and bought a couple of cloth necklaces which you can drool on as much as you can. It can be washed and be ready for more of your seemingly endless drooling). Even the tv remote and our room curtains do not escape your notice and have ended up in your mouth more often than I would have liked. And when I remove these from your mouth, you give me such a naughty little smile, which of course makes me smile too, and then you put them back again. I think you are already trying to ascertain the boundaries to which your cuteness can exempt you from liability. As early as now I already know without a doubt that your cuteness will bring you very, very far! 

Now that you are a bit bigger, you love playing with and alongside Ate Ally, and she absolutely dotes on you! You enjoy each other's company so much that I need to put you in separate rooms just to get either one of you to sleep. I don't mind this slight inconvenience because one of my dreams is for you two to grow up to be the best of friends, and I can already see you forming sisterly bonds. 

In 6 short months you have blossomed from a tiny sleeping/crying baby to a talkative crawling chubby sweet little girl. You grew up so fast, I am now scared to even blink and miss out on so much. I want to be beside you to cheer you on and celebrate your each milestone and each achievement. Mommy loves you so much Sofia, and I am already looking forward to getting to know you more and more!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

National Bookstore Warehouse Sale

I am usually one of those people who buy Christmas gifts throughout the year and just keep them in storage until it's time to wrap them. I get to save a lot of money (last minute desperate shopping is really expensive) and I get to shop for myself during the sales leading up to Christmas (so selfish, I know). Normally I buy gifts when I travel abroad so my gifts still get to be sort of unique. This year however I didn't get to travel at all because of my pregnancy for the first half of the year. Then Sofia arrived and traveling with a toddler and a newborn/infant doesn't sound so much fun. So by the first week of November I was already in panic mode because I haven't bought anything for anyone yet.

Then I read about National Bookstore's warehouse sale in their Quezon Avenue branch. At first I thought that they would just gather all the unsold items in their previous sales, but since I live barely 15 minutes away, I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a look-see. Boy, am I glad I did! The sale was amazing! The discounts were jaw-dropping and the selection was really good. Let's put it this way, the books were even cheaper than Book Sale prices and they were clean and brand new. Some were still even wrapped in plastic cover.

I arrived at the store around 3pm on its first day (Thursday). The check out line was really, really long by then and it was the first thing I saw when the elevator doors opened. A normal person would just have turned around and walked away. But I am not normal. I am a complete sucker for discounts and this was book heaven for me!

It took me less than 30 minutes to get more than 30 books, which I plan to give to about 18 people. That's 18 people checked off my Christmas list, ah-may-zing! So I looked for the end of the check out line and queued up. It took 30 minutes on the line for me to lose my patience. The line barely moved and the books were so heavy my arms were aching by that time. I looked for an alternative (while the nice person behind me saved my spot) and found that the cash lane was much, much shorter. So I looked at my haul, went down to the first floor (the sale was on the 4th floor) to withdraw the amount I needed and moved to the cash lane. There was 15 people before me. I stayed on the cash lane for about 45 minutes and I moved about a foot or so only. By that time I was running very low on patience. I checked to see what the hold up was and saw that the cashier was doing the receipts manually, as in she would copy each item's code on the receipt and add up the total on a desk calculator. Shocking! I realized then that it would take maybe 2-3 hours before my turn. Yikes! I didn't want to wait that long, but I wanted to buy the books so bad! Good thing I overheard a girl talk to a NBS employee about having her books stored and coming back for them on Saturday. So I went about having mine arranged for storage too. It took about 10 minutes to talk to a clerk and have my box of books stored. I told him that I would come back first thing Friday (today) morning.

This was my view of the entire place from the cash check out lane
I went back to NBS as soon as I dropped off Ally at school this morning. There were about 20 or so people already by the entrance by the time I arrived at 845, and based on their conversations (I am so usi, I know), most also came yesterday. The guard finally let us into the building at 915 but told us belatedly that the warehouse sale won't open until 10am.

Are you kidding me?!

All of the people there, me included, were outraged at this inconsiderate display of incompetence. Most of those who arrived first were senior citizens with very short tempers. The guard couldn't give us an explanation and it took forever before the manager faced us. Her explanation was that they closed up pretty late yesterday so they decided to open an hour later than scheduled. I understood that, but it boggled my mind that they didn't even put up any sign to inform anyone of the change. A lot of tempers flared, and I tried my best to keep calm and talk without raising my voice (the Amalayer incident was too fresh on my mind).

They blocked off the escalator going up to the fourth floor using a room divider
When they finally opened the fourth floor, main concern was my box of books which was stored the previous day. Thankfully, the clerk who helped me was on duty and helped me locate my box and bring it to the cashier for payment. I got and paid for my items in under 10 minutes. Yay!

I could have left already, but the neat piles of new books lured me back. I went one last round after I left my paid for items with the cashier, and picked up another 15 books. It was excessive, I know, but the prices were so cheap I felt almost guilty not to buy them. Thankfully, there was still no line at the check out counter and I was able to pay for my new haul stress-free.

With my two trips to the sale, I get to cross out 26 people on my Christmas list at a fraction of the budget. Yeazzzz! I was so happy I was practically skipping to the car!

My loot
The sale runs until Sunday evening. If you love books and have some extra time on your hands, I suggest you drop and check the sale out. It is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


My mom just sent me a message. She was able to buy all my bilins for the girls. Parang ang dami when I say that, but it's only 3 pieces - 2 for Sofia and 1 for Ally. Yay! Thanks for crossing your fingers for us.

Now I just need to buy them regular tees and pants. Off to the mall! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012


I am so psyched! Since my last post, I have booked not one but two vacations for the family! And both will be to cooler climates so we can finally get our jackets and scarves out from the deepest corners of our closets. Yay!

Now, I already have several outfit ideas in mind, and I am so proud to say that I don't need to buy anything for me (as of now but that can change later on). Tipid na, challenging pa because almost all attires will be somewhat of a new style for me. I will take major advantage of this opportunity to try out less boring styles. Excited!

The girls's wardrobe on the other hand are a different matter altogether. Sofia doesn't have any cold weather clothes at all, and Ally has outgrown most of hers. I am itching to go to the mall to shop for them but that will have to wait until later this week. You see, my parents are in the States right now and it just so happened that Old Navy is on sale for outerwear. How lucky right? The sale is only until the 12th so if my mom gets to buy the ones I emailed to her, the girls would be all set. So my fingers are crossed right now and I'd appreciate if you cross yours for us also.

I won't post my choices here but I will put a few of those that are cute but didn't make the cut either because of the price (coz I am a cheapo), color (will not complement the girls's existing clothes) or the fabric (too thick). If luck is on my side, you would see my choices when I post my daughters' outfit shots anyway.

Wool-blend Empire Peacoat
from $34.94 now $30.00

This is so cute and would match Ally's new Zara boots. It is wool blend so it might be a tad too warm and the price is above my budget too!
Ruffle-cuff Wool-blend Coat
from $34.94 now $17.50

Cute for Sofia but also a bit too warm

Bow-tie Hooded Peacoat
from $24.94 to $20.00

I love this coat but it wouldn't complement the girls's current wardrobe
Lightweight Heart Quilted Jacket
from $24.94 to $15.00

I squealed when I saw this because it is so adorably perfect. Ally's size is out of stock already. :(
Bow-tie Cardi
from $19.94 to $9.97

Another squeal-worthy find but it  is also out of stock for Sofia's size. :(

Cord Sherpa-line Jacket
from $29.94 now $25.00
I don't have a baby boy but I want to put this in because it is so cute!

Are these adorable or what?

All images taken from