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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Wayback machine : Pensieve in the internet

I was so upset to find out that Shelfari does not exist anymore and that I missed the email that will let me import my account. So yeah, I lost all the books, review, comments, etc that I have in that account.
So upset.

Good thing I was able to get my old list (before the Shelfari era) thru wayback.com. It's an internet archive.

Here's one from May 2006.

It's not complete though because as you have already noticed that doesn't account for the books I have perused between June 2006 and now. It's better than nothing though. I'm really thankful for this internet archive.

Speaking of archive. It's amusing to see how my personal website has evolved. Below is from Dec or 2003 and can be found here.



 


And below is sometime between 2000 and 20002




I remember when I got too carried away with javascript, lol.

Anyway, below was the last known appearance of my personal website. I went from "dramatic" stuff to travel and photography.





the main page..and below you'll find 2 main sites
about photography

about travelling

I kinda got tired of this personal website thing but I still am very into blogging and have started getting interested with vlog and my efforts are now focused on this kiddie blog/vlog called "wafflebunnies".


Monday, December 30, 2019

Project: rewind

sometimes i would hear a song.
or smell something.
or taste something.
or the breeze felt familiar.

sometimes the angle of sunlight entering our kitchen window suddenly feels relevant.

the sound of rain suddenly takes me back in time.
a memory.

sometimes it will make me smile.
sometimes sad.
sometimes mad.

but sometimes.

sometimes.

i just don’t know how or what to feel.
it’s like watching a very old movie starring you but is not stirring anything. just random fragments of memory.

i’d like to put them in writing as i feel them, hear them. taste them. remember them.

and maybe i’ll give it to my kids.
it will be like looking into the magic pensieve. 
but instead of getting my memory via a wand into a pensieve, it will be “that” notebook.

notebook.
in the era of internet.
notebook?!

why not.
it’s more personal that way.
atleast that’s how i feel.

Project: Rewind

i like the sound of it.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_IJwkVxese7YwHeIt38B8Teakw8LNUVc

random ewan-ness

so, it's 1:12 AM.

oh! make that 1:13AM.

and i'm feeling miserable because it feels like i have something, that is resembling a cold, by the minute. no thanks to my daughter, but my kids are always sick, so i'm immune to it. well, psychologically but not physically. i feel like a preschooler still trying to build up immune system. argh. anyway, so i’m all of a sudden feeling the urge to blog. everybody in my household is asleep and i'm here infront of my desktop, that i've been wanting to throw out the window for the nth time already (it's just so effin slow! and buying a new PC is not in my priority list) and sipping my cough/colds concoction. nothing fancy. just turmeric, lemon, ginger and honey. i always read/heard turmeric is good anti-inflammatory. that honey is good for coughs. that ginger is what you drink if you want to have a good singing voice, ergo i'm hoping it will help with my sore throat. deym, if ginger can miraculously give me an adele-like voice, soothing my sore throat would just be chicken feed to mr. ginger, right? lemon for vitamin C & because it makes everything taste good, lol.

i remember an older co-worker who once told me that if i got sick in the middle of a camping trip, boil water, put some lemon, honey and a shot of alcohol. any (edible) alcohol. right now i'm thinking of rhum. mix them all together. drink it.and cover yourself head to toe in blanket. the next day you'll feel as good as new. never tried that. but i want to document that here so i will remember.

i'm proud of my concoction though. it makes me feel better after drinking it. i don't know if it's just placebo effect but it's better than nothing.

enough of that side kwentos.

so what's been happening to me lately? nothing much. i'm still a full time working mom. my oldest just turned 4 and my youngest is getting more and more independent and i DON'T like it at all. being independent means she's no longer a baby and i want her to stay a baby...forever. i have long ago quit trying to stop my son from growing so fast so i'm just concentrating on slowing down my baby girl’s age right now. because, man, if i call my son a baby he will throw a tantrum. you need to call him a big boy. sometimes i will try ti sneak in the word "baby" in a very soft voice at the end of "big boy" and boy, was he upset (on a brighter side, he has very good functioning ears 🤣). he said he wants to get big like tatay. tummy and all. his words not mine.

speaking of my son. he's sweet & kind. i’m his mother, ofcourse i’ll say that. he is soft-spoken around people he just met but talks non-stop when he’s around people he’s comfortable with. he doesn't like to be in a small crowded room with lots of unfamiliar faces  (like me...i'm border line anti-social). he doesn't like noisy restaurants but he’s fine listening to the loud music from the sesame street characters’ parade. he reminds me of my sister-in-law. who also hates restaurants that are noisy. she prefers those restaurants where people talk in whispers (like fine dine ins). he's starting to come out of his shell at school. a few months back, his teachers would tell me that he's so mellow and they're working on him talking more. well, it's either they're regretting that now or they are proud of their achievement. i would think the latter. i'm sure they're used to talkative kids. but yes, he talks non-stop when he turned 3 years old and he’s not showing signs of stopping now that he’s 4. he's still mellow though and likes books being read to him or drawing on his rolls of drawing paper. and loves his sister so much. 

one time i was reprimanding her sister and threatening to leave her at the parking lot (empty threat ofcourse), my son was the first one to scream "no! don't leave priya".

yeah. my baby girl's name is priya. not because of priyanka, excuse me. i have nothing against priyanka but i'd like to point out that priya was born before priyanka and nick jonas became an item. no, my husband is not indian. he's a european caucasian (is that redundant?). we actually discovered the name priya from the tv show big bang theory. we like how it sounded like and we liked it even more when we found out that priya means "beloved" in sanskrit. she has a second name, an english name, so atleast she has an option just in case she doesn't like the name priya.

since we are already talking about priya. she's sweeter than keith if she's in a good mood. she will rub her face on your cheeks or arms or legs like a cat. and would meow too like a cat sometimes. i would meow back to her too when she does that. she likes to wrap her tiny arms around your arms and starts babbling what for her is endearment (2 toddlers and i still cant comprehend toddler-speak...hey google, how about a translator?) BUT when she's cranky, she IS cranky! she's worst than an old almost menopausal lady who's having her "buwanang sapi". very stubborn and would do the opposite of what you ask her to do. well i guess all kids are like that. but this little girl at 2 years old is something. she gets a time out more than all her brother's time outs combined. she is also very emotional. well, no surprise there.  that's a girl for you.

but i love her to bits. when she smiles, ah, you'll forget she tried to wipe her face on the chinese restaurant’s buffet floor while throwing a tantrum because she wants ice cream right now. fyi. we didn't give her icecream. she went straight to the toilet to wash her face and hands and didn't get icecream til she calmed down.

ofcourse i love my eldest too. when i come home from work and he says "mommy, i miss you" all those stress i brought home from work melts away. i love them both to bits. and no. i don't think i want a 3rd child. or atleast consciously plan for a 3rd child.

i have complications with both pregnancy and both had to be born before their actual due date. plus i don't like the feeling of being pregnant. the aches. the nausea. the trips to the doctor. the non-stress-test because i'm of "advanced maternity age". sus. di na lang sabihing matanda. pinaganda pa. i don't like worrying about whether or not the baby in my tummy will be healthy. studies says, down syndrome and other chromosomal defects is linked to old age. like the mother's old eggs. kasi di ba, we are born with a specific number of eggs already which means as we age, so are the eggs. i'm not saying i won't love the child if he/she's not healthy. ofcourse i will. but i will worry about that child when i'm no longer in this world. i'm a late bloomer. i will be 60 when they turned 20. if i croak, who will take care of my special needs child. ofcourse i trust my kids designated guardians. but i'm a mom. i worry about everything.

see. this post is all over the place. which makes the title of this blog appropriate.

so far. my kids are healthy. and i really hope and pray that God will continue to bless them and guide them. so many bad people on this planet that i sometimes feel it's so selfish of me to put them here just because i want to have kids. but i can only hope that we, their parents, will live long enough to guide them and that during our life on earth, that we have given them enough pro tips on how to navigate this adventure called life.

goodness!

it's 2:07 AM.

and I AM STILL WIDE AWAKE.

i will be miserable tomorrow at 7am.

that's it for now. my  mug is empty.  i need to try force myself to sleep.


p.s.
i came back to post a pic,
it's now 2:22 AM



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

1..2..3..4...5-2-9!

I got my degree of Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science in St. Paul College Manila (it's currently renamed to St. Paul University). It's a 4 1/2 years course. The 1/2 is because of the additional courses/OJT we need to take during summer and some Saturdays (Paulthenics anyone?). 

My husband got his Bachelor's degree (major in Physics and minor in Economics) in New York University.



With this background information, it's sort of a given that we want our kids to go to college as well (if they want to, hopefully they do) and that's when this story about 529 comes in.

We started saving money, every payday (which is 2x a month) for Keith's college fund when he was still in my tummy. The husband and I agreed on a certain amount that we set aside every payday and put it in a Savings Account. When I was pregnant with Priya, we did the same thing. We also started saving for her college fund while she's still in my tummy. That means the money we need to set aside for college fund doubled because we now have 2 kids to save for (we set aside the same amount, every payday, for both kids).

image from google


Then, last year, 2018, we decided we have saved enough to open a 529 (thru Vanguard).

So what is 529?  It's a college savings fund. It’s a tax-advantaged investment account that works like a Roth IRA, offering tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals (also see: 5 Reasons to Start a 529 Plan). Want an example? Here's an excerpt from how-much-to-save-for-your-childs-college/ :|
"If you have a 4-year-old child targeting a private university, your monthly savings goal might be $700/month using a savings account versus $400/month with a 529 college savings plan. That’s a big difference!"

image from montco.today



Saturday, December 1, 2018

3 years of citizenship

American citizenship, that is.

3 years ago..

november 30, 2015.

i just recovered from giving birth to our first..

and hubby had to take care of our newborn.

and because he’s a premie and he doesnt have his shots yet, and it’s flu season, we decided not to take him anywhere outside the house...


so here i was doing the oath taking alone.... 3 years ago...

#pathToCitizenship


============

Timeline 

(as of Nov 2018)

20 years ago i got my 1st US working visa and was supposedly bound to NYC (did not materialize)


13 years ago (after 7 years after the first H1b-US working visa), i set foot in the US soil for the first time (my company in the Philippines sent me in north carolina in 2005 & 2006 for an off shore project)


11 years & 9 months ago (after 1 year & 3 months of travelling to US for work), i moved to the US permanently (found an employer-a consulting firm, who sponsored my new US working visa)


11 years ago (9 months after moving to US permanently) , i switched employers (i found a better employer, a software company..

*bonus: this is where i met my husband)


8 years ago (3 years after changing employer), i got my green card (permanent residency, sponsored by that better employer)


3 years ago (as in nov 30, 2015, 5 years after getting the greencard), i did my oath taking as a US citizen (had to apply to be Filipino again-dual citizenship, after that)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Everything is Half Chance

everything is half chance.

sometimes all it takes is just one decision and it could alter the course of your life.


it's a new year, and what perfect time to look back and be thankful for everything that have led you to this day. what a perfect time to reflect on the things you said yes or no to that led you to where you are right now.

this is a story of  a series of yeses and nos that led me here, right now, in this chair, typing on this computer.  this is a story of owning up to your decisions, good or bad. this is a story of my journey on getting what i have always dreamed of. hopefully, it would inspire some who are in the crossroads of their life and afraid to take that next step.

--------------------------------------------------------------

while i was still in college my first goal was to apply as an immigrant in New Zealand but i didn't have the money to pay for the processing fee that time. fortunately, an opportunity to work in the U.S. came and the New Zealand goal was put on the back burner.


first, second & third U.S. job opportunity

once upon a time there were these 5 friends who just recently graduated from college. they found out about this scholarship in  Ateneo but they have to pay the exam fee and they also need to pass the entrance exam. If they pass they will also have an opportunity to get hired by a U.S. based company if they find them to be a good candidate. they thought it's worth trying, except for one. one of the 5 friends thinks the fee is too high, and that she'd rather buy a nice blouse with that money. the other 4, however, proceed with their plan. only 3 of them passed.

i was one of the 3.

my first opportunity to work in the U.S. was year 1998, during the Y2K scare. i was fortunate to be offered a job while doing the scholarship training in Ateneo. it's a COBOL programming job based in Manhattan, New York. for someone who is fresh off from college, that was something to be proud of. unfortunately, that didn't materialize but i did get my first U.S. working visa, called H1B.

first US working visa issued on sept 1998....

it was stamped "cancelled without prejudice" the

day i got my 2nd US working visa in 2006


second opportunity came 3 years later but

that didn't materialized either because of the September 11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York.

i have jumped from one employer to another in the philippines after the failed US job opportunities but in 2005 i was fortunate to be sent  to an offshore project in raleigh, north carolina. yes, U.S.A.!! i stayed there for a few months and was sent back again in 2006, where i, again, stayed for a few months.

with my pinoy co-workers who were, like me, sent to raleigh-north carolina

 for a temporary US work assignment
my raleigh cubicle.

4th US job opportunity - permanent (1st U.S. employer)

i started looking for a job in the U.S. online (dice.com) hoping someone would hire me and process a U.S. working visa for me (H1B), again. my first U.S. working visa  have long expired and even if it didn't, i cannot just switch employers. the succeeding employer should be willing to invest the time and money to transfer the H1B to them first before i could work for them, that is the process. H1B is for 1 employer only. also, H1B is only good for 3 years but can be extended for another 3 years. so it only has 6 years maximum validity in total.

2005 was when i started my US job hunt and eventually my persistence paid off and got, not just one,  but 2 US job offers from 2 different US consulting firms. both companies applied for H1Bs for me and both got approved but i only went for the U.S. embassy interview for just one of them. this was in 2006. then on feb 14, 2007, i left the philippines and moved to the U.S.

2nd US working visa

and the one i used when i moved to US for good


reality sets in

i'm a software engineer by profession. java is my forte. i started out as a COBOL programmer but when my first company (the one who gave me my 1st H1B) offered a formal training in java, i jumped on that opportunity, i didn't have to think twice. i'm glad i did because that paved way to other job opportunities including  the temporary U.S. work assignments i just mentioned and eventually landing a permanent job here in the U.S.


i have always wanted to work and live outside the country. for me that means adventure. independence. a breath of fresh air, being in the U.S. is just icing on the cake. i'm actually OK even if it's close by, like, Singapore (well, sort of). living outside your comfort zone is not always fine and dandy though. i'll be lying if i say i enjoyed every bit of  my independent life as a professional in the U.S. i didn't have friends when i moved to the U.S. and the only Filipinos i know that time are 3 of my male co-workers (whom i only see during lunch time) and a few classmates from Ateneo   (whom i very very seldom see).

i go home to an empty house everyday. literally empty. i didn't have furnitures. i didn't even have a proper bed (i had an air mattress). i'm not a tv person so even though someone donated a tv to me, i really didn't use it.

first solo apartment : this is what my room looks like

that's an air mattress that messed up my back
here's what my living room looks like.empty.

tv is courtesy of a coworker


homesickness is real. 

you learn to survive on your own. you learn to make dishes or make your own filipino bread that you never thought you'll learn to make just because you were craving for it so bad and a filipino resto/store/bakery is a 2-hour drive away.

living outside the country is not for the weak of heart. it can be a very lonely and challenging experience specially if you're just starting and not used to living on your own. i was getting depressed that i almost threw in the towel. i was ready to go back to the Philippines.

but decided not to.

that's because i found out that the one main reason i want to go back to the Philippines is beyond my reach anymore. i admit, i did attempt to get that main reason back but after much thought and deliberation i decided it's best for all parties if i just let go. it was a difficult decision but i can't be selfish.

it still has a happy ending though. things just started falling into place after that. not right away, but eventually it did. it's like the stars have finally aligned for me. indeed, good things come to those who patiently wait.


story of the 2nd U.S. employer

i had to change employer because i didn't feel my US employer was treating me well. i was lucky that the second employer was very willing to transfer my H1B from my 1st employer to them, which means, paper work, legal stuff and money. i guess they like me enough that they are willing to go thru that painful process just to have me on board.

this 2nd employer is also the one responsible for taking care of processing my greencard (aka permanent residency), that i got shortly after 2+ years of working for them. i made sure that they will process my greencard and was one of the bargaining deals i had with them before i signed their job offer.


the thing about greencard

greencard processing usually takes 10+ years but i insisted that i want to go the EB-2 route, which is a shorter wait but a more risky and tedious process. but i was confident that i fall in that category so i insisted on it. my other option, which is less risky, and easier process, was the usual route (EB-1). but  that would throw me back for 10+ years because it has a huge backlog (not sure if that changed now).

because i took the EB-2 route, i got my green card May of 2010 (after 2+ years only). i remember my boss, going to my cubicle and telling me: "marlin, don't you dare quit.. you put us in too much pain processing your greencard, that you are forbidden to quit"..in a joking manner of course, but i'm pretty sure  that joke was half meant :P.

new zealand in my mind

i have another plan brewing in my mind, though. after all that greencard hoopla, and whether or not i get my greencard, i still plan to pursue my New Zealand application. i still visit my New Zealand online application from time to time and every time i thought i was ready to hit the "submit" button (and pay the fee), there's always something that's stopping me. i just can't make myself click that button.

me at work in 2010..yes, CRT monitors lol

(you can skip this part and scroll down to "where am i going with this...")

wishes do come true

i met my husband from my 2nd U.S. employer. he's also a software engineer like me. he does C++, i use java. he does PC-based programming while i do web applications (i do back-end stuff so don't ask me about javascript and html, that's front-end).

we didn't click right away but he was very persistent and eventually i realized he's starting to grow on me. we then started going out in 2010 and he proposed one new year's eve (1.1.2011).

was i scared? yes. i wasn't sure if i'll make a good wife, or if i'm ready to be someone's wife. but i was also excited. it's like embarking on a whole new adventure. plus i know R will make a very good husband (and i wasn't wrong, he is a blessing).

we got married a year and a half later after the proposal. it could have been sooner but i just renewed my apartment lease a month before he proposed (i moved and changed apartment when i change jobs so it'll be an easier commute)  and if i cancel my apartment renewal, i still have to pay the whole year of rent. we have to save for our wedding anyway, so waiting another year isn't as bad.

second solo apartment that i have lived for 4  years

prior to getting married

we got married civilly in spring time of 2012.  initial plan was to get married in the philippines but we need to get married civilly first to make the requirements less complicated. it was supposed to be just a simple wedding but one thing led to another and we ended up having an intimate beach wedding. we managed to keep our guest list small & we just invited my husband's relatives (because they can't all go to the philippines) and a handful of my friends.

civil wedding in Cape May

then on jan 2013 was when we got married in the philippines...i was ready to give that up because it was too stressful and expensive but it was the hubby who convinced me to push through with it as a tribute to my parents. specially since they were not able to attend our first (and what we consider official) wedding - the civil wedding.


let's recap:

Nov 2007 - i changed employer (who transferred my H1b and took care of my greencard)
May 2010 - i got my greencard
Jan 2011 - i got engaged and started the church wedding plans right away
May 2012 - i got married (civilly)
Jan 2013 - i got married in church (in the Philipines)

path to U.S. citizenship 

next step for me is citizenship and i have 2 options.

option 1: apply for citizenship via marriage to a U.S. citizen.

        the rule is we have to be married for 3 years before i can use that option. which means i will qualify to use option 1 on May 2015.

option 2:  apply for citizenship via my employer.

        the rule for this is, i have to be a greencard holder for atleast 5 years to use this option. which means i will qualify to use option 2, guess what, also on May 2015. remember, i got my greencard May 2010, plus 5 years is May 2015.

yes, either option will work for me but i chose option 2. why? it's good for my ego (no one can tell me i just married my husband for citizenship :P) also because option 2 has less requirements. here's the list of citizenship requirements  if you're curious (see Step 3 -> document check list). depending on how much backlog your state has, and if you have all your paperwork in order and you didn't miss your citizenship interview, you should be able to get your U.S. citizenship in less than a year.


that's it.

that has been my journey, so far,  and some of you may already know that i am still happily married and that i am now a mom of 2 charming babies - a boy and a girl.


so, where am i going with this, you say...


the what-ifs

what do you think will happen if i didn't apply for that scholarship program in Ateneo?



what do you think will happen if i didn't take that opportunity to learn java?



what do you think will happen if i gave up after 2 failed attempts to work in the U.S.?



what do you think will happen if i  chose to stay in the philippines and not pursue my life long dream of working and living outside the country?



what do you think will happen if i continued my application to migrate in New Zealand?



what do you think will happen if i said no to the wedding proposal?

honestly, i don't know the answers either, but i can guess.

what i do know is, so far, i like the outcomes of my decisions and if i can go back in time, i won't change any of it (except maybe buy a lot of amazon stocks, lol).

so yeah. everything is half chance. be careful what you say yes or no to. if  it turned out to be a bad decision, own up to it, dust the dirt off your butt and try again. i agree, it's scary but don't let the fear of what could happen make NOTHING happen. just like what my favorite quote from Mark Twain said:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.Sail away from the safe harbor.Catch the trade winds in your sails.Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain



this new year we are presented with a new clean slate. let's fill those pages with wonderful stories again. here's to more yeses and nos! happy 2018!


note: highlighted texts are clickable.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2 under 2 : When practice doesn't make perfect

Baby number 2 came into this world in Spring time of 2017. My eldest was 20 months old at that time. So yeah, we have 2 under 2.

I can no longer count how many articles I have read about introducing the new baby to the older sibling. Or how to prepare the older sibling. What I forget to read on is how to prepare "me". Just when I thought I'm a pro because this is my second, I realize I'm not.

"Very" not.

What I have here is a brand new person, brand new  personality, different gender (didn't know I still can get peed at by a baby girl during diaper time, I thought only baby boys do that!). A whole new phenomenon. It's like being a whole new parent all over again.  I might be a second time parent, but I'm a first time parent of 2. Practice doesn't make perfect in this situation.


the challenges.

1 + 1 = 3.
I have read articles on how to manage an infant and a toddler when they cry at the same time. I know what to do (see tip below). But when it happened for the first time (hubby was on an errand and I was left alone with both kids), I panicked.  It's different when you were just imagining and rehearsing in your head how you're going to deal with the situation versus when it's happening in real life. So what happened? The two crying humans became 3.

Tip: According to what I have read, when both the newborn and toddler cries at the same time you need to attend to the toddler first. Why? Because a toddler can process his surroundings already. A toddler can already process patterns. If my son realizes that mommy runs to the baby first every time both of them cries, he might start resenting his baby sister. The infant, on the other hand, doesn't know what's going on. If anything, the newborn will learn patience early in life :P.
Disclaimer: But ofcourse this is a case to case basis. Like, if it's a life threatening situation, attend to the baby first.

Guilt-ridden.
When I was still pregnant with my second, it could be hormones, but I was always feeling  a little extra weepy about my first. I felt sad that it won't just be the two of us anymore. That I won't get to spend time with him like I used to. That my time will be divided.

During the first couple of months when my daughter was born, there's always a feeling of guilt whenever I see my son playing on his own while I feed his baby sister. Or whenever my son would bring me a book he wants me to read but I can't because both my hands are occupied. My son is pretty independent and he is not a stranger to playing alone (he does that every morning while waiting for us to come to his room) but yet it still bothers me so much.







Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter. I love them both. It's just that the guilt is unbearable sometimes. So I try to spend some alone time with my son as much as I could (go to malls, go grocery shopping, go to playground, we even went to Sesame Place on his birthday and left the baby girl with the nanny at home).

24 hours in a day is not enough
While your love multiplies with having another child, unfortunately,  your time divides. 24 hours in a day seems not enough. My time disappears so fast.

When it was just my son, I can still count on some downtime during the day while he was napping, or quietly playing. Those stolen moments become harder to snag with two kids specially if their nap times aren't in sync yet.  For those first few months, it feels close to impossible to complete any chore or carve out personal time because it seems that someone always needs something.

In the morning I have to scramble to prepare myself to work, attend to my infant & prepare my toddler for school/daycare. During weekends there are just too many chores to do around the house and it feels like there's endless load of laundry (I do laundry every other day because seeing an overflowing hamper of dirty clothes would drive me bonkers, lol) or endless trash to take out (my toddler still wears diapers). Mind you, my husband helps, but I still feel overwhelmed.

Less and less "me" time
When I was pregnant with my first, I have the time to take care of myself and do other stuff, because- yep-he's still in my belly!  With my second, I have a toddler to run after. I remember being sooooo exhausted during my first trimester with my second pregnancy. I realized how my 1st pregnancy was a bliss compared to my second because I don't have a toddler who gets into all sorts of mischief.

Hubby and I used to take turns doing "me time". Now, we can't do that anymore (or atleast not easily). Both of us have to be at home to hold the fort. Because you know,  my toddler's timing is impeccable. He thinks the best time to be on a suicide mission to jump over that couch, head first, is while mommy's busy feeding baby sister. And my youngest? She would scream bloody murder just when I am in the middle of changing her kuya's poopy diaper.

the good side.

There's a light at the end of the tunnel
Good news is, it gets better. You learn to cope with it. Once you fall in a rhythm you won't feel as overwhelmed anymore. It’s a practice  in patience for everyone. And patience is a worthwhile lesson for me, tatay, baby #1, and baby #2, too.


You learn to chill 
I learned to be much more laid back with my second child. I don't google each and every rashes or each and every weird noise coming from my second baby.

I appreciate my second child's babyhood more. With my first, I chased after the next milestones so feverishly. I get anxious easily when the book says my son should be doing x-y-z at months 1-2-3 and he hasn't. I can't wait for him to roll over. As soon as he rolled over, I can't wait for him to crawl. As soon as he starts crawling I want him to start walking. I can't wait until he hits major milestones. I can't wait for him to do something new.

With my second, I’m far more interested in enjoying the present, because I know how quickly
time flies and how quickly "today" will turn into "the past". Now I know how quickly time passes and I now savor the stage my youngest baby is in rather than anticipate the next big thing.

Over all, we're still all learning. Slowly, but we're getting there.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Life's mysterious ways

 I have been rocking mommyhood (well, atleast according to me, pagbigyan nyo na ako, haha)  for 20 months now.  Hard to believe for someone who can't even grow a plant, lol.

Flashback...........


Year 1999.
"I'm sorry, P stopped sending people to the U.S. at the moment but just be patient they might again soon. Atleast, you already have your H1B and as soon as a position opened up you can leave right away. We'll keep you posted."
2000, I resigned.


Year 2001.
I was watching the New York World Trade Center collapsed on t.v.
I was horrified. How is this going to affect my US job offer in California?

Year 2006.
"If you ask me to stay, I will stay".
"No, I don't want to get in between your life long dream".
"Will you follow?"


Year 2007.
"Where are you?"
"I'm on my way to work".

"I hope you're sitting down."
"Why what happened?"
"I got her pregnant. I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry. I don't want to run away from that responsibility".
Shocked. I hang up.


Year 2009.
New Years Eve. At home alone. Tipsy.
"I am a strong independent woman. I won't feel sorry for myself. Happy New Year to me!"
*sobs*


Year 2011.
New Year's eve. Paris.
"Will you marry me?"
Someone pinch me, please. Is this a dream?




2011.
Ahh. The most unforgettable year.
Just when you thought you are doomed for spinsterhood the unimaginable happens.
2011 marks my life's turning point. Was I scared? Of course.
But I was also excited.
It will be a whole new adventure.

Amazing what life can throw at you. It's not always what you plan it to be or hope it to be but if we know how to take it as it is, ride with the flow and adjust accordingly, you'll be alright.

I made a few wrong decisions along the way. Or so I think. Because when I think about it now, those wrong decisions lead me to where I am right now. And if I have the chance to "correct" those wrong decisions, I won't.

I remember my personalized wedding vow:

"I'm always amazed at how our paths crossed. I've never been so thankful for all those broken promises and for all those who broke my heart because they are like northern stars who pointed my way to you.
.....
I love it that out of all the thousand ways it could turn out, my life turned to you."

Every time I stare at my husband's face while he's sleeping. Every time that mischievous eyes of my son looks at me ready for his next antics. Every time I look at myself in the mirror. I get reminded of how lucky I am. Blessed, if you're the religious type.

I still have my fears and worries but I just keep reminding myself  "let go of what is not yet and enjoy the present".




Year 2017.
I'm alone in my room. I felt someone kicked me. I was in a pensive mood and the kick startled me.
Then I smiled.
"Just a few more weeks, little one. Just a few more weeks.
Everything has its own time
.
Like there's time for flowers to bloom or snow to sparkle.
There's a time for the moon to set and the sun to rise.
Like when mommy met your tatay.
Just a few more weeks, little one. Just a few more weeks.
"








Sunday, December 25, 2016

Gender reveal for Baby #2


I had CVS again for baby #2 and one of the advantage of that is you get to know the gender right away. Usually you have to wait until your 20-week anatomy scan.

I had my CVS Dec 7 and got the results back on Dec 19. I didn't want to know the gender so I told the Genetic Counselor to call the hubby instead of me for the CVS result and the gender. Then I told the hubby that I want a surprise gender reveal on Christmas day as one of my Christmas gifts and surprise he did.

He had this big box wrapped in Christmas wrapper. I had my eyes closed because I was scared to look. Yeah, I'm weird like that, lol. So I peeled off the wrapper, opened the box, still with my eyes closed and when I felt a balloon brushed my skin that's when I opened my eyes.

I saw two balloons. One pink. One blue.

At first I was confused.

Am I having twins?
I don't think so. I had several ultrasounds already and there's just one baby inside.


That's when I realized my husband is on to something. I looked at the box and the inside is lined with blue and pink gift tissues too. At that point I got a little annoyed. Blame it on my hormones, lol. I looked at the balloons again and saw something taped on the ribbon. So I annoyingly pulled the balloon down towards me while giving the hubby "the look", lol. Hubby's too entertainment by my reaction and colorful words, lol (no, i didn't cursed). I looked at what looks like a business card taped on the balloon and when I went to inspect closer it was a scratch card. I never seen anything like that. So hubby gave me a coin and I scratched it. I was still very annoyed, lol. I was expecting to see just one balloon and wasn't expecting to be tricked like that. I should have known, hubby likes to do practical jokes, lol.




So I scratched the card and saw a pink image of something. My eyes grew big. I scratched more, vigorously this time, and saw more pink. I started smiling from ear to ear and my eyes and mouth started to open wide.

"really?". i asked.
"why, what does it say?". hubby just replied.

I didn't reply. I was still busy scratching. Then I saw "It's a Girl!". I was so happy and then I cried. I was worried the hubby is still pulling my leg.

"Are you messing with me?". He said "no".
"You are not messing with me?" *sniffs*
"No, why, what does it say?".
"I don't know". I'm not sure why I said that but I was happy and upset at the same time because I still can't believe it.
"What do you mean, you don't know? What does it say?", he asked again.
"It's a girl!" .

At that point i started crying. Tears, snot (sorry TMI) and all just came running down my face. It was tears of joy, ofcourse!

I grabbed my 1 year old and hugged him
"You're going to have a baby sister", I told my son. Who is not paying attention and just watching the balloons that came flying to the ceiling.



I really thought the hubby would suddenly say "just kidding! it's another boy!". I know he won't do that, specially since he knows I want a girl so bad (I want one of each!) and that would be a bad joke but I don't know, for some reason I just didn't believe him right away, lol.

So yeah, we're having a girl and we have a name already.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our Favorite Baby Items

Just a list of items that we (hubby, lil one and I) love.

Bottle
My LO (lil one) had been very gassy and spits a lot until he turned 3 months.  I have tried all the anti-colic bottles (he's not colicky just really gassy) and the one that worked better for us is Dr. Brown. It never leaks and of all the other bottles we tried, that's the only bottle that gives our baby less spit-ups. If yours does leak, see this link.
Update: We also have the green ones (called Options). With the green ones you can remove the tube thing in the middle if you don't need it anymore. It's a good concept but we found out that if we did remove the tube thing the nipple keeps collapsing so we ended up still using the tube in the middle. So for us the blue or green doesn't make a difference.




Baby Monitor (non-wifi):
We love the Infant Optics  We love it so much that we even bought an add on camera. So now we have one for the nursery and one for the living room (nanny set-up). We also bought the wide-angled lens (and we highly recommend you do). What we do wish is that they display the time on the monitor.





Swaddlers:

We used the Swaddle Me Pod from 0-4 weeks