Tuesday, 15 December 2015


When I was a little girl, my mom decided to start a little Christmas tradition for me. Each Christmas, a new angel was hung up on the Christmas tree, a marker of how many Christmases I've seen in my lifetime.

When I had our eldest son, I decided to continue the tradition but I had no idea how. I wanted to do a play on his Chinese zodiac--the Dragon--but where in the world would I find dragon ornaments, let alone ones for Christmas?

By his third Christmas, I solved it. I'd been browsing various tutorials and tips on fun and educational activities to do with kids. Mostly for homeshooling moms but while I have no desire to homeschool my kids, I found great value in what these mothers shared. And there I found it: do-it-yourself white clay.

His blank, white clay ornaments have been waiting in a small box since last year. This year, I finally got around to painting them. I'm quite proud of my creations, to be honest, especially since it has been a very long time since I have done anything of this sort.

Kian is a little luckier than his big brother since I already figured out what to do for their ornaments by the time he was born. So here are the completed ornaments so far plus one work in progress. Kian, being born in the Year of the Sheep will have sheep-themed ornaments while Llew has his dragon-themed ornaments.

Since this is not my typical type of artwork, I give massive thanks to artists from DeviantArt for ideas on what to do for the ornaments. I'm still in the process of properly tracing the artist for each of these pieces. I kind of feel like those old time art students who would make multiple copies of their master's work in the attempt to learn their techniques.


From left to right:

This ram is based on the myth of the sheep with the golden-fleece. We thought it would be an appropriate introduction for Kian's first Christmas ornament.

Llew's first ornament is my take on the Apocalypse Dragon from the iOS game, Dragonvale. When Llew was born in 2012, talk of the coming apocalypse was all the rage and we thought it would make a great insider joke to include this dragon in his line up of dragon ornaments.

The second dragon is Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon". He isn't so addicted to it yet but he enjoys the movie well enough.

Last is an artist's rendition of the literary version of Falkor from "The Neverending Story". Contrary to the movie version that looked more like a dog, Falkor is supposed to look somewhat like an Asian dragon with a long, snake-like body and an equally almost serpentine head. I have to put on the final washes and varnish before I can consider this one completed.

For the white clay, I can't remember anymore where I got the recipe from but here it is below. I'll edit when I find the source. ^_^

1 c baking soda
1/2 c corn starch
3/4 c warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together and stir in the water. Mix over medium heat until it starts to bubble and come away from the pan. When it has started to dry and resemble soft play dough, take it off the heat and let it cool. Knead to soften and make more pliable. Store in an air tight container.

It's supposed to be safe to bake but I just let my work air dry on a baking sheet.

Just to end my own story of Christmas tradition, I decided to hang up my last angel the year of Llew's first Christmas. And next I need to talk to my husband about something we can put up as our own marker for how many Christmases we've spent as husband and wife. ^_~

Monday, 14 December 2015

Being Mama


Last week, I failed my kids in the most horrible way possible.

It was one of those bold yet bad moves, really. My older son was sitting by himself in the back row of our car and I was in the middle row with our younger son. At night. That time when at least one of them (read: the younger one) should be sleeping.

You can already see where this is going. I didn't. This story has the benefit of hindsight.

The Internet connection failed us. YouTube (see the next mistake right there?) wouldn't load properly. I was nursing our younger son. The older one started screaming for me to fix the iPad. I asked him calmly to wait. At first. Then he started screaming louder and louder until he began to cry.

I kept asking him to wait. I had hoped to put the younger one to sleep so I could give him my full attention.

See that right there? It was one mistake after another. Again, hindsight.

He began crying for Mama. I asked him to wait just a little longer but my patience was wearing thin because the child in my arms still hadn't fallen asleep. I began to tell him off for screaming. In my dangerously calm tone--the one he knew means trouble.

Finally I was able to put the younger one down. (Allow me to diverge from the conversation a moment to yes, confirm that the child was out of his seat. In fact, neither child was strapped in at this point. If our laws were more stringent about this they and I probably would have been better trained with the whole car seat matter. But that is for another time.) I turn and fix the YouTube connection, finally.

But he kept crying. And forcing coughs to get more attention. But mostly crying. For me to hold him. He'd gotten upset and he needed me to hold him.

And I told him to wait. Again. Over and over. Wait, wait, wait.

Toddlers aren't good at that, usually, especially not mine. Not this little boy who would freak out if his toy train derails or falls apart when his bike gets stuck on something. (We are working on this.)

So yes, he fell apart. And when he did, his younger brother did, too. Oh how they cried, screamed, and wailed for most of the ride home! It was excruciating and broke my heart. The older one begging me to put down the younger one so he could cuddle with me for comfort. The younger one wailing because he couldn't fall asleep in his car seat and needed me to hold and nurse him to sleep.

Surely the Lord must have been with me at that moment, holding me together that I would not fall apart along with my two sons. Surely he must have been there when I remembered: I am your mother. I can do this. I can keep you both calm and comforted.

So I did. I hugged both of them tightly and whispered, "Shhh...Mama's here...shhh..."

Over and over and over.


And just like that, the struggling, the tears, the screams...they died down. Both boys closed their eyes and leaned against me. Calmed and comforted.


I failed them in the most horrible way. I forgot my power as a mother. I forgot that if I panicked with them, they will be lost.

I keep feeling guilt over that and thinking I traumatised them for life. But both boys, they continue to cling to me, letting me know that even when I am at my weakest, they love me and find strength in me.

Mother, Mommy, Mama.

This is to remind myself that I am theirs and I will always have the power to soothe my sons. I just have to remember and believe.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

December Daily Photo

Late post but I guess it's better than not managing to fulfill this particular goal I set.

I asked to get a new camera early this year because I wanted to re-train my photography skills. I've gotten rusty, I admit, and my eye isn't as sharp or quick as it used to be. So I have set out to take daily photos again.

For this challenge, I'll be editing them into squares, Instagram style. There will be no filters, just editing for size. I'm doing it this way mostly to get some kind of uniformity to the format. At some point I'll be able to figure out how to properly do it. For now, this is how it will be.

These are the photos for December 1 and December 2. Tomorrow, the regular daily (hopefully) posting of the photos I've taken will begin. ^_^

The story behind both photos:

We began putting up the Christmas decorations late November but with a toddler, an infant, and life in general going on, it's taking a bit of time to put things together.

My son decided things weren't being put up fast enough so he decided to help. And we all know what that is like, right? ^_~

I only just realised that my hand shook when I took this photo. I'll get there eventually, balancing quick focusing with speed in capturing the moment.

This could be my favourite shot among all the ones I took today mainly because I can see how well he was trying to focus on getting the ornament to hang properly on the branch.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Little Victories

Yes, we celebrate those. The little things that we do or that happen that just happens to turn things around when everything has gone pear-shaped.

Last week Thursday (yes, I meant to post about this last week but...kids) we went grocery shopping with our two kids. By "we" I mean myself and my husband, plus the two kids. It was our mid-month run* and with my mom making her own rounds elsewhere and in need of assistance, our kids' nanny was off with her.

The little victory? We survived it. Yes, I missed a few items but those weren't on my list that day so I'll let myself off for that one. But everything on the list, except for out of stock items, were

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Almost there

Let me get this off my chest: yes, I started singing the Disney song immediately after I typed that.

Locally we've now got an allotted 100 days paid maternity leave but I voluntarily gave myself eight weeks off before setting myself up to work again just so I don't go crazy here at home. In a funny way it still works out as 100 days of maternity leave for me since my leave started in October (I was active with our business work until the final week prior to giving birth), ends at the end of November, but then December = Christmas stuff so I'll actually be working officially by January.

It works out well, hahaha!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Girl Crushes

I realised just now that some of my girl crushes are moms. Maybe as a high school student, I was right about what I said to one of my friends: that we get girl crushes on women we aspire to be like. The term itself is rather funny especially at this point where there are all sorts of gender preference variations. Believe me when I say I don't mean to be insulting/demeaning/whatever you wish to say about it, but by this point, it all confuses me so since it's not the central for this post, I shall stick to what I already have down and leave the gender discussions off for another time.

Girl crushes. I suppose this can be taken to mean a heterosexual girl's way of expressing a certain level of admiration for another female but in a completely non-sexual way. At least, that's what I've always seen it used as and that's how I'm using it now.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Human Again

Please tell me I'm not the only mother who's felt this way!

WARNING: Early cut because what follows could be considered too much information (TMI) for some readers. I'm giving you this chance to leave this entry now.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Day by Day

This has been my favourite thing to say lately. "We take it day by day."

There is no way to fairly compare our experience as first time parents with our experience now. If anything, the exhaustion is probably double that of our experience the first time around since we need to balance our time and attention between two children. To be honest, my recovery feels so much longer this time around since I've had very little time to relax and just rest. Oh, and have I mentioned that we do have a third baby of sorts, being still in the first year of a fledgling business?

I've complained about running on empty with only prayer to back me up. I've mentioned last time that a single week has seen me go through highs and lows faster than I've gone through in previous years.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Almost a month since I gave birth. I told myself that I would take two months off for my "maternity leave" but I'm not sure I can handle it. The good news for me is that my newborn's temperament seems to take well to me working while he naps in the stroller. Kind of makes me wish we had a crib, actually, so he can rest on a cooler surface. I suppose I can put him beside me in the co-sleeper though. There's a thought.

That said, I do admit I've been slowly preparing myself to start working again. I've gotten myself back on LinkedIn and I already submitted an initial feature piece to a magazine I aim to regularly freelance for--freelance because I'm not sure I can fully commit to a 9 to 5 since I do still have other involvements and businesses I need to deal with but we shall see how it goes.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Taking time to breathe

Time has been quite paradoxical these past weeks. I can't believe that my newborn will be a month old in just one more week, and yet it feels like it has been an entire lifetime since I was wheeled into the delivery room.

The difference between the brothers is remarkable.

At this same age, we could barely leave Llew down in the stroller but here I am now, blogging, while Kian sleeps soundly in the stroller. Our feeding schedule is the farthest thing from clockwork precision: thankfully I am all for feeding on demand so it doesn't bother me so much. Of course, it's another matter entirely when my body demands that the baby remove some of the milk that has

Monday, 12 October 2015

Child-rearing Round Two

There are, apparently, many things about newborns that I'd forgotten about.

Like how often they spit up, and that if you have a little boy, you need to be prepared for mid-diaper change "showers".

It's been a week and a half since we finally held our newborn in our eager arms. It was as magical as the first time but more relaxed in a way. We had fewer photos in our hospital room but I've no regrets with that: because of the rooming in policy hospitals now adhere to, my son and I were reunited within hours after delivery (I had to work off the effects of the epidural first and eat my first meal in more than twelve hours) and we were too busy getting to know each other and more importantly, learning to latch again.

Monday, 28 September 2015

D-I-Y: Cornstarch Paint

Credit to Trish Kuffner for this lovely Cornstarch Paint that I made two weeks ago! The link to this particular recipe (and five other paints to try with your kiddo) is here.

I've made cornstarch paint before in the form of, well, basically coloured oobleck a.k.a. liquid sidewalk chalk. My problem with it is that it separates when left overnight and is a little difficult to shake and mix the following day because of the settling.

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Postpartum Recovery List

Well, we're almost there.

I swore to myself that I would be a more fabulous mom this time around. My first task was actually to choose pretty clothes to wear for the duration of my hospital stay. I hadn't known before that I could actually already change out of my hospital gown as soon as I'd returned to my room after giving birth. I'm prepared this time.

I must say Victoria's Secret is officially my new favourite place to shop for pretty sleepwear. I picked out slips that are actually on the bigger side just to be sure that they'll fit but I know my proper size now and I fully intend to get my hands on more of their slips after I've given birth.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

This is it!

I had my check up last Tuesday and apparently we are almost there!

It's something of a double-edged sword, to be honest. It's exciting and frightening at the same time, not knowing what adjustments we will be making and how.

So if there's an extended silence, we all know why. Let's hope it's only silence this time and not dropping off the face of the blogosphere like I'd done before.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

In the matter of discipline

So far, I believe it's working, this attempt of mine to try and spread out my writing, whether for blog purposes, work, or fun, throughout eight hours in a week. It doesn't feel like it's something I need to do; spreading it out and being flexible with how long I do it keeps it fun. And I'm one of those people who needs to keep seeing work as something fun.

I first got the idea of writing a little something every day from a college professor. It's not an exercise for everyone but if it works, then by all means, right? And it works well for me.

Aside from writing though, I've also been organising and editing some old pieces. I shan't be reproducing them here. They're frankly too much of an embarrassment although I know that once upon a time, I thought they were great. (That was just a little over ten years ago.)

My co-writers and I have had our laughs and moved on. ^_~

Monday, 21 September 2015

D-I-Y: Adventures in Play Dough

I'm a typically crafty person. I love poking around the house doing little crafty projects for various purposes (storage, home spa, art), the most recent one being to make non-toxic, occasionally edible, play materials for my kid.

I don't have the photos of the original set of playdough I made for him on me--I may have them locked up in my old hard drive which I still need to unlock somehow--but this one for Homemade Rubbery Goop, which I got off Learning4Kids is, so far, my favourite out of three different versions I've tried.

The link I shared shows the whole step by step process but behind the cut are my own pictures plus a few comments from when I made it a few days ago. I still need to make more--I only have two colours so far but I realised I need more containers to store them in before I present them to my little one!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Product Review: Olay Deep Moisture Body Wash with Honey

Last week I received this lovely little surprise care package from Belle de Jour and Olay Philippines. I said I would begin using it over the weekend which, truth be told, the use for which began Sunday night. I've been a late afternoon to evening bather lately so commentaries and observations will stretch from the afternoon or evening of the previous day to the morning of the next. Mornings I tend to just do a quick shower to wash my hair so effects of products I use the night before tend to linger.

Here we go.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Pen and Ink Adventures Review: Elias Pad

First time I'll be talking about my return to art!

Allow me to dive right into what I've been obsessed with of late: watercolours, mixed media, and the aforementioned Elias Pad.

Now, normally I would pick up either a Corona or Canson sketchpad for my art. I'd been using the former since I was eight and the latter beginning college. But I needed something that would serve two purposes: doodling and actual writing since I do carry around at least six fountain pens on an average day.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Getting the feeling back

Last Sunday, I submitted the first feature article I've written in a very long time...two years if memory serves. Complete with photos, too, which is part of what I aim to train for as a writer.

I've been doing freelance work for various clients for a few years now. It's not been my steadiest work--my involvement in our businesses and investments has still been the greater focus along with the care of our firstborn. This time around though, I'd like to give a little bit more attention to the "Career" part of my tag, "The Career Housewife".

Monday, 14 September 2015

Another one for "What's not in the books"

I am an only child with limited chances to observe real-life siblings. For most of my life anyway. But I did always think that having siblings would be a wonderful thing, despite all my friends' complaints about theirs.

I understood that there were a lot of things different between myself and my friends who grew up with siblings. I don't believe I missed out on anything but even as a child, I liked the idea of having more than one kid when it came time for me to become a mother. (Yes, I was already thinking along those lines even as a kid.)

The one thing I didn't count on is all the wondering if I would be able to give my second child the same amount of attention that I gave my first.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Product Review: Olay Products via Belle de Jour Power Planner

I received these in the mail today.

IMG_2757FULL DISCLOSURE: These products were received as free items, I believe upon answering a Belle de Jour survey. (I know, I know--I'm terrible for forgetting, mea culpa.)

I have had a thing for sticking to cruelty-free products as much as I can but I've never freebies just to say that I gave them a chance.

I intend to begin using these this weekend and compile my comments on a weekly basis for a month before posting about them again. At the very least, I'm hoping that I'll be able to complete that task successfully whilst waiting for and eventually dealing with my newborn.

Here's hoping we get favourable results from the testing. I used to be an Olay user before I made the decision to stick with only cruelty-free cosmetics and personal care products and both Olay and Ponds worked very well for me.

Friday, 4 September 2015


It's been a very long time since I was last here regularly. I'm trying to find mine again.

I restarted as I always have: rather shallowly, speaking of whatever is "of the moment", whether the thoughts were complete or not. It something that I learned from being in Creative Writing: JUST WRITE.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Yet another new beginning

Each time I start blogging I realise I almost always start with focusing on what I know best: myself.

I look at older posts and I feel like most are so self-centered, sometimes, repetitive. It speaks quite loudly of where my mind goes whenever I am overwhelmed by everything going on around me. I close into myself and just keep moving forward, talking almost randomly about whatever comes to mind.

Isn't it always like that though, that one needs to reflect upon the self before speaking of what's going on outside?

At some point we'll begin moving on to other subjects.

For now, please allow me the vanity of just getting my thoughts down. There will be better points to discuss at a later date and we will strive to keep moving from here to there.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The one thing I take back

Reorganising and re-classifying some old posts has made me realise there actually is one thing that I take back when it comes to things I said I refuse to deal with as a parent: strollers.

It's not that I gave up on baby carriers in fact, I have a whole collection of baby carriers. We did find out something very important about our first child that I did not count on: he didn't like most of his baby carriers.

Was I surprised? Yes. I was very much surprised by the fact.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

When you can't stand not working

I had a prenatal check up last week and one of the most interesting things that came up in conversation with my regular obstetrician's reliever was the recovery time it takes post Caesarian section.

This is not to say that I will definitely be getting the operation done. But I am preparing myself for the possibility anyway.

Monday, 31 August 2015


These have not been the most comfortable of nights.

In addition to going through a little bit of a rough patch with some people over the weekend, this last month of pregnancy has not been the most comfortable either. It is strange; I do not recall my last months with my eldest being this difficult or uncomfortable. Then again, each pregnancy is as individual as the resulting child.

As of my last check-up, we are still in breech position. This terrifies me because if Sid does not turn in time, I will be going under the knife. Though I'd declared that if our second child is a girl I'm okay with being done with childbearing, my husband definitely still wants a third whether our second is a girl or a boy. Going under the knife for a Caesarean section this time around will mean an increased chance of going through that again since going for a vaginal birth after having a C-section can be tricky.

But let's get that out of the way for now and move on to other things.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Amended Animal Welfare Act

For the past few months now, I have been in touch on and off with old schoolmates and have seen posts going viral over one particular topic that is quite close to my heart: animal welfare.

This is not the only cause I champion but I do choose my battles and while there are things that I would still disagree with regarding the matter, there are things that have struck me the most:

  1. People seem to feel the need to rely on animal welfare groups to enforce the provisions of the law. For the record, this is a copy of the Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485) as posted on the website of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society. Portions of this act were amended in 2013 and the link to the amendments is here. Anyone can quote this act and demand justice for any animal they would like to seek justice for. Which brings me to the next phenomenon, which has been brought on by the popularity of social media shaming.
  2. Getting an act of cruelty to go viral is not the solution. That is called armchair activism. Do I also repost or share those bits of news? Sometimes, yes, and lately, to point out why it's not exactly helping. Viral is viral. It creates awareness which is good. However, awareness shouldn't stop there. And that goes back to point #1.
Many times, in seeking justice for an animal, people have been known to say "Bring the matter up with PAWS!" Unfortunately, what they do not realise is that the organisation's hands are tied unless an actual witness to the act is willing to testify against the accused. And unless you are truly willing to stand as witness, the guilty party will always certainly go free and offenders/criminals will keep doing what they do.

People have criticised supporters of animal welfare as people who "only care about animals". This is not true. However, we often speak very loudly about these matters because the ones who need the defence cannot do much for their own cause. And really, I find the accusations of "you don't care about people at all" rather offensive because no one says that of defenders of children's rights, or women's rights, and I don't see how those causes are any different.

So if you honestly want to help, arm yourself with education. The tool is right there in the above links. It's the same thing any defender of the rights of other sectors of society would do.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Vanity or hygiene?

I never found hair inconvenient until my second pregnancy.

Maybe it's because I wasn't this size when I had my first baby. My drive to be fit (and as a result, trimmer) has always been fairly low and frankly, having a child did not do much to improve the said drive since I felt so drained all the time. Add to that the fact that I didn't even think to give myself any "me time" at all because of various concerns around the house and the investments we were beginning to build.

Of course, this is not to fat shame myself. But changes do happen when you stop thinking about your own size and fitness and focus solely on the things that you deem the most important at the moment.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

On being a working mom

I typically count myself as a stay-at-home mom. I do have a career of sorts: we have established small businesses and investments that require more than your usual work load when you are a dedicated housewife (hence, owning the title of "Career Housewife") and even that I consider a career because I do study to prepare myself to assist in my child's education and all that.

These days I've been working outside the home a lot. And even when I am not working outside, I've had a few times when I had to turn down my son's invitation to watch a movie with him. Perhaps I can freely credit how we raised him so far that he's so easy to talk to about these things. He doesn't complain when I ask him to just sit and play quietly beside me when I am unable to turn my full attention to him, and he seems to understand when something I'm doing is urgent enough that I have to put its completion ahead of play time with him.

I honestly have no idea how moms who do have to work outside the home do it, I really don't. I'm sure it's tough to have to leave your kid(s) at home on a daily basis, maybe seeing them only a few hours in the morning and then again at night. Each time I get impatient with my son's refusal to go to sleep I think about those moments and remember how he always used to attend meetings with us because he was still directly breastfeeding. He had me and his dad for the whole day, every single day of the week for two years. (I'm hoping we can give the same amount of time to his coming sibling.)

The more time we spend away from our son, the more I appreciate how much it takes to work away from the home. The strength, the presence of mind (like dealing with kiddo crises over the phone), and really, how to balance everything that needs to be taken care of both at work and at home.

We have different problems, moms who work from home, moms who work outside the home, and moms whose work is the home. I've had a taste of all three and, really, the amount of adjustment it takes! Amazing, amazing. I'm glad I don't have to choose only one of the three, and I am grateful for that privilege. But you moms who are just one of the three? Hats off to you. Hats off.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Why I breastfed (and will breastfeed again) boldly Part III

Note: This post was inspired by this article on GoBreastfeed.com.

This is not the best article covering the subject but this is exactly the picture that inspired me to go ahead and breastfeed boldly: Selma Blair--Very Public Breastfeeding.

It was a light bulb, cue angels singing "Hallelujah", and a bright white spot light shining overhead.

Why not?

Because if that is what breastfeeding without a cover looks like, then geez, no one's going to see anything unless they stare long enough. And that would be rude.

And that became my mantra when I shunned (to my son's delight and comfort) covering up: If you see anything offensive about me breastfeeding my child, you've been staring too long and should move on.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Breastfeeding in Style

I spent my first year breastfeeding my son dressed like I just rolled out of bed.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. But the truth is, I just barely cared about how I looked and did not realise that I was slowly killing my self-esteem despite feeling good that I was able to provide the best nutrition I could for my child.

My normal dressing up ritual would be to grab whatever maternity attire I had in the closet that had easy access to my breasts, go bathe, get dressed and head out the door. Or if we were just going to stay home all day, I would grab one of my spaghetti-strapped house dresses* and settle down in the rocking chair with my infant son and spend most of the day there.

As fun as that possibly sounded, it was not the best of times for me. Even though I started out wearing the pretty dresses I got for myself late in my pregnancy, I eventually gave most of them up because they were hard to nurse in. I would pull out the dresses with gartered necklines, T-shirts, shorts, anything really that allowed me to easily and quickly produce my breast when my son demanded feeding. It didn't help either that I spent nearly half the year determinedly covering up each time we were about to feed, believing it was the norm.

Eventually, I encountered a group of mothers who dressed well and wore makeup. And they breastfed. And were their kids' primary caregivers. And none of them were celebrities in the regular local sense of the full regalia of fame and fortune.

They were different sorts, each of these women but the one thing I found the most amazing was that they all looked very put together regardless of how tired they were and how tiring their work was. And personalities aside, it was like this shining beacon for me: they all look fabulous and confident. I want that. I want to be one of those moms.

And so the changes began.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Why I breastfed (and will breastfeed again) boldly Part II

Note: This post was inspired by this article on GoBreastfeed.com.

I look back now and I realise that the challenges I thought I was facing then weren't really challenges at all. Hence ending last week's entry with quotation marks.

Remember I said that I didn't attend any classes to prepare myself for motherhood. Yes, that is the hubris brought on by my way of thinking: there were no parenting classes in the old days. I can do this!

Yes, I am a big fan of winging it.

I remained confident in my ability to feed my child when diaper after diaper was filled and changed. The Drs. Sears were an excellent reference and my husband's cousin pointed me to a local Facebook group for breastfeeding mothers called Breastfeeding Pinays, reducing points for stressing further. We were winging it and we were flying--at least for the first six weeks.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Why I breastfed (and will breastfeed again) boldly Part I

Note: This post was inspired by this article on GoBreastfeed.com.

I am a breastfeeding mom and proud of it.

Or at least, I was a breastfeeding mom until I had to wean my son early this year.

I never knew there was such a big to-do over breastfeeding until I made the choice to breastfeed my eldest. True, I was not a breastfed child; there were multiple complications that prevented my mother from doing so. But when I found out I was about to become a mother myself, there was no hesitation: I was determined to breastfeed my baby.

Friday, 31 July 2015

My Mom Bod

I honestly don't know at the moment what to call this post. I know what I want to talk about though, and it's basically a lead up to and somewhat part of the three-part Mommy Monday blog series I will be posting for August.

I loved looking at myself in the mirror, even as a kid. When I was around four or five years old, my mother and I would ride a jeepney* to wherever we needed to go and I enjoyed sitting behind the driver just so I could watch myself make faces in the side mirror.

By the time I was a teenager, it was a means to preen. I wasn't into makeup, at least not that much yet, but I would spend about half an hour fixing my hair before leaving the bathroom to have a spot of breakfast before school. I thought I looked great but then at some point I realised that I wasn't as visually pleasing as I thought I was.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Work Modes

These have been the busiest two months I've ever had. We went from nursing our fledgling manufacturing business from birth to toddlerhood, to negotiating new businesses that we eventually decided not to support (oh it wasn't bad news for them that we withdrew though: both businesses are currently in the process of getting off the ground and we're very happy for them), and other involvements that we've had on the back burner for some years now.

It's been an amazing and incredible ride to be out and about but now I'm gearing up to take a back seat and work from home as media support for everything we have going on. I know it will likely drive me crazy to not be able to do much or go around as often but hey, what's a mom to a newborn to do, right? I guess I'll call it my maternity leave, hahaha.

Meantime I revert back to the home base duties of creating marketing materials and posting on social media. I did get quite good at that back then. I've almost completed my new work station, having installed all my necessary programs and pass times into my new laptop. All that's left is for me to retrieve the hard drive from my old computer so I can sort out the things I need to pull out from there.

I can't say how successful this transition will be but, we will manage.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Second Child Syndrome

I often hear about parents saying that they've more pictures of their eldest child than their succeeding ones.

Last night I realised, I have been the same way. I don't have as many pregnancy photos this time around. Not that it's any less magical for me but that for some reason, photos have been the last thing on my mind.

I've been trying to capture Sid's movement since Month 6.

(Note: "Sid" is the fetal nickname we gave our second baby. This is not a reference to the gender, though I am still quite old school with this when it comes to grammar and will tend to refer to Sid as male.)

This made me realise that Sid is incredibly elusive. Most times, I feel his movement in the early morning hours when it would be too dark to capture anything on my phone. And while most parents are less paranoid as they progress to the next child, I have been more paranoid with Sid because Llew is so playful that he would sometimes pounce me and accidentally hit or graze my belly with his feet. A minor upside to this is that it's been a way for me to introduce to Llew that he will be an older brother soon. He doesn't care much for feeling his coming sibling move inside my belly but he's taken to randomly kissing, rubbing, and hugging my belly.

Has he accepted that he will be an older brother soon? I'm not entirely sure. But he has been acting strange even by his standards, especially with asking his stuffed animals to be outfitted with diapers. So maybe we have that ray of light there.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

As posted on Tumblr

Note: This is an old entry reposted from my old blog called Boudoir Angel on Tumblr. I'm reposting all of these old entries because I plan to delete my old blog and consolidate everything to this one. Some posts may have its text updated and/or reformatted slightly according to the platform change.

I’m one stomach flu away from my goal weight.
— “The Devil Wears Prada” (Emily)

Originally posted as Boudoir Angel on Tumblr, 10 May 2012

Monday, 13 July 2015

Coping with the Crazy

In the period between now and my last real activity on this blog, so much has happened and changed that to try and recapture them one by one just for documentation would be just plain silly.

So let's just go ahead and focus on today. Today and everything that is basically the result of those "lost" days.

In brief: The truth is that staying focused on my eldest gave me little to no time for myself beyond sitting somewhere and staring into nothingness. I found that I didn't really like blogging via my mobile phone or my tablet. The speed with which I needed to type so I can quickly capture my thoughts just didn't match the speed with which I could work on either unit.

So eventually, I gave up. Just quietly gave up.

Friday, 10 July 2015

The best part about vanity is when it gives back: Sharing my latest obsession

Note: This is an old entry reposted from my old blog called Boudoir Angel on Tumblr. I'm reposting all of these old entries because I plan to delete my old blog and consolidate everything to this one. Some posts may have its text updated and/or reformatted slightly according to the platform change.

Granted that it’s pretty easy to find them, sometimes some people just need an arrow pointing in the right direction.

Also, a little trivia: M.A.C. (Which actually stands for “Make-up Art Cosmetics) Cosmetics is actually an independent brand founded in Canada that is now under Estee Lauder. Originally it was designed purely for use by make-up artists but thankfully they’ve decided to widen their scope and offer these gorgeous cosmetics to us regular folk!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Taking a leaf out of an expert's book...

Note: This is an old entry reposted from my old blog called Boudoir Angel on Tumblr. I'm reposting all of these old entries because I plan to delete my old blog and consolidate everything to this one. Some posts may have its text updated and/or reformatted slightly according to the platform change.

...I would like to thank Jessica Schroeder of What I Wore (http://whatiwore.tumblr.com/) for her Ultimate Guide to Blogging tips (http://whatiwore.tumblr.com/tagged/blogging) that inspired me to really make my Tumblr blog something just a touch more than mere venting.

I'm doing a little bit of remodelling (just a few blog posts in so this, I think, is really the best time for such a thing) particularly with the photos and improve on the text for future posts.

I'd taken creative writing back in uni but I never really mastered the art of writing as myself, so I would seriously like to take this "vanity outlet blog" of mine...well, seriously, and make it into something of a practice space for me to not just express my new-found love for and enjoyment of all things pretty (fashion or cosmetics) but to also to continue honing my skill as a nonfiction writer.

Originally posted as Boudoir Angel on Tumblr, 8 May 2010

Monday, 29 June 2015

Why is being a parent suddenly a war of methods?

NOTE: I have not blogged much since the birth of my son. At some point, perhaps, I shall retrospectively post a little more on the journey, both the joyful and harrowing parts of it, but for now, I think I want to finish this post that I began long ago.

I've never read Macchiavelli but I am aware of the tenet most famously attributed to him.

There can be multiple means to a single end and in the case of parenting, one never really knows what good or bad was done until the child in question has reached adulthood. On the average anyway. 

I am siding with those people who say "Parenting is hard enough."

Sunday, 28 June 2015

I finally found enough energy to speak again

This is not to say that my days have passed quietly. It only means I have chosen to conserve as much energy as I can that I may continue as I need to.

Let me begin by saying new moms like me? We get the short end every time. Really. More experienced moms will tell you "it will pass". It. Never. Does.

Lots of things happen in a year.

And I recently realised I'd not been properly caring for myself and my sanity.

So next on my blog agenda (blogenda? Not quite so catchy.) is to revive Fab Friday. I've discovered a new format/layout for my product shots that I really like--possible issues with colours but I really like it so...that's that.

Motherhood deals with a lot of sacrifices, some times ones parents use to induce guilt in offspring--don't worry, Llew, I won't do that to you--but almost always ones that can either be lightened by sharing with your partner or simply by making time for myself.

I just happen to be one of those people. The kind who needs a little time off alone to keep from going insane. That my son has wanted to be by my side more than ever is difficult for me because it allows me little time to just sit back quietly and reflect on things. So I've set a schedule with my husband: three hours in a day for me to work and relax by myself. DND (Do Not Disturb) unless it's an emergency that only I can handle.

Today's soft Fab Friday revival is another revival: my obsession with nail colours.

This is my new collection of nail polish sets. All from Etude House which carries no certification but according to this article (http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/a/Cruelty-Free-International-welcomes-developments-in-Korea) has been cruelty-free since May.

NOTE: It seems Etude House itself is cruelty-free but AmorePacific, it's mother company, was not. They began working with Cruelty-Free International in March 2013 and pushed through with the elimination of animal testing in May 2013.

Clockwise from top left (corresponding nail colour names running from left to right):

1. Juicy Cocktails Gradation Nails #7 Peach Crush (Calm Peach, Exuberant Peach, Bright Peach)
2. Juicy Cocktails Gradation Nails #8 Lime Squash (Refreshing Lemon, Thrilling Lime, Tangy Lime)
3. Pumpkin Moonshine Party Nails #2 Witch Violet (Witch Yellow, Witch Violet, Witch Deep Sparkle; comes with a Halloween themed sticker sheet)
4. Help My Finger Matte Top Coat
5. Shining Dream Twinkle Nails #1 Delight Holiday (Delight Gold, Red & Gree Pearl, Deep Red; comes with a silver party-themed sticker sheet)
6. Pumpkin Moonshine Party Nails #1 Pumpkin Yellow (Pumpkin Lemon, Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Gold Sparkle; comes with a Halloween themed sticker sheet)

Now, let me say that I am no nail polish expert. In fact, I call myself a nail polish disaster waiting to happen, mainly from my strange habit of putting on nail polish just when I'm about to do major housework like the laundry or some form of massive cleaning. On the bright side, it protects my nails from damage. ;)

So now I'm conducting experiments on what to do with my nail polish. I'll try and remember to take step by step photos. I'm quite enjoying playing around with the colours.

PS The best part about these sets? They're tiny bottles. It's a collection of colours in small amounts--perfect for fickle polish users like me!


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