Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, October 29, 2018

New Things Since October 2012

So, my blogging has been on hiatus since January 2012. Lots of things have happened since then. I think it's important for me to give a rundown of a few pertinent facts that have transpired in that time period:
1.) Jamie is now 7 years old. She was 2 when I went on a blogging break. She's in second grade at SJS (a Catholic school).
2.) I'm now working for an engineering company (not as an engineer - although I could have gotten an engineering degree in the time since my last post in 2012). I did not. I work "behind the scenes".
3.) Jojo now works for a multi-national company in LA. He's still in IT. But he's now a big shot IT executive.
4.) We still live in the same house but have had several renovations since then. It's the same house but not the same house.
5.) My sister Joy got married on April 2012. My brother Jules got married in 2017. My brother Jim got engaged just this month. I have a wonderful brother in law and two wonderful sisters in law.
6.) Since 2012, I have two more nephews and 2 more nieces on Jojo's side and 1 more niece and 1 more on the way on my side. Our family is growing!
7.) In 2013 we found out Jamie has food allergies. Bad food allergies. We've lived in fear for her life. But in 2015 we heard of a fantastic doctor who treated such allergies. We signed up to see him and a year later we started the program. It's been 2+ years since and true blue miracles have happened / are happening. I know I'll blog more about that in a separate entry at some point.
8.) I now drive a Honda Pilot. I used to think I would never drive anything so massive. But now, I can't imagine downsizing.
9.) I still like to read and have probably what can be considered a book addiction. I seriously have fears of running out of books to read. I worry about finishing the current book I am reading and not having another one to take its place. So I order books and then commiserate about not having time to read the all. Although I secretly love having a stack of books to read whenever I want. Sounds crazy to others but completely rational to me.
10.) I'm still talking myself into exercising more and trying to lose weight. It's been a long time since I started doing this and I've had my share of ups and downs - it's been a struggle. But the good news is I have not given up on myself and I know it will happen ... eventually. =)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Allie's Arrival

Yesterday (October 27th, Manila time), my niece, Allie was born. She is the daughter of my brother, Jules, and his wife, Juliene. We have been waiting for her arrival for quite some time now and seeing their first family picture brought me an emotional realization. Although I've been shopping for baby clothes for Allie, I've sent Juliene lotions for stretch marks, and I've been giving them parenting advice, it was seeing the photo of their three happy faces that made everything so real. I think it was seeing my brother's face right next to his new daughter that made me realize - he's a dad! And now I'm all sentimental.

Jules is three years younger than me. That makes him 40 years old! He is hardly a kid anymore. But, for me, he will forever be my kid brother. The one I laugh and joke with, the one I call silly names (Julsie Pogs, Pyugi), the one who I am protective towards, and the one I always feel I need to look out for. It's just a little bit surreal to see him married and now become a father as well. It's surreal but in a good kind of way.

I wish him the very best. Parenthood is an amazing journey and he is in for quite a ride. I know he'll do great. He and Juliene will be fantastic parents. Allie is lucky to have them. But I know too, that along the way, if he needs me, I'm still going to be there for Jules. And that now goes for his family as well. I'll still be there for my kid brother, after all, a big sister's job is never done =)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

I'm Back

Testing this out. It’s been over 6 years since my last post. So much has changed, around the world in general, and also within my life. I don’t really know where to start. But I do miss blogging and just getting my thoughts onto paper. So I'm back! It’s been a while but I think it’ll be just like riding a bike. But first things first, let’s check and see if this thing still actually works and I’m still able to post! Let’s start with this for now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Birthday wish list

Recently I posted on Facebook that this year I tried to create my annual wish list but realized that this year it was harder for me to come up with one. I am at a point in my life where I am blessed with so much that I actually already have all that I need. And the things that I just "want", I know I probably don’t really need. Of course, even with those realizations, I still wouldn’t mind getting presents … so here is this year’s list. (It’s just really fun to do them even if I don’t really get everything on them!).

Crate and Barrel – Thermal Mirror Carafe (I’d like two please).
I’m obsessed with silver carafes – I think they are so elegant and they make even plain old drinking water seem more special when served from one of these.
http://www.crateandbarrel.com/dining-and-entertaining/pitchers-and-decanters/thermal-mirror-carafe/s666645

SodaStream Genesis Soda Maker – In Black, please.
Saw the commercial and I thought to myself “My own soda maker, cool!”. It promises to be quick and easy to use. Plus good for the environment (no more soda bottles and cans to dispose of) and better for us too (no more high fructose corn syrup or aspartame). Need I say more?
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=128034

JJ Cole System 180 diaper bag – Black Damask
Yes, it’s my birthday and should be my present but a good diaper bag for my daughter would make MY life so much easier!
http://jjcolecollections.com/system-180-bag

Twilight Saga (boxed set).
I must confess I am a Twilight fan. It is a guilty pleasure. Read the books while in Manila (my sister’s friend lent us her paperbacks) now I want my own. Why? I don’t really know, just thought it would be nice to have them as part of my book collection.
http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Saga-Boxed-Collectable-prints/dp/B001LYBYQS

Komachi Knife Set with Block
First of all, a budding chef (like myself) always needs good knives. Just look at how pretty these are (bright colors, cool block). But more than pretty, these knives are serious tools for any kitchen!
http://www.amazon.com/Pure-Komachi-9-Piece-Knife-Block/dp/B0029XAAQ0%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJFDWI7DARHXWAJGA%26tag%3Dgiftscom07-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB0029XAAQ0

Beverage dispenser
Picture this – a balmy Spring evening, family and friends around the patio, steaks and sweet corn on the grill, and free-flowing freshly-made lemonade right from our very own tree served in one of these dispensers. Life would be good.
http://www.horchow.com/store/catalog/templates/HP4.jhtml?itemId=cat2840732&parentId=cat000032&masterId=cat14540735&cmCat=&view=&page=1&filter1Type=&filter1Value=&filter2Type=&filter2Value=&filterOverride=&sort=&altFilter=

Also, one could never go wrong with giftcards. Some people think they are impersonal and mean that the giver didn’t want to exert any thought or effort in picking something out. I happen to think they are an easy solution that makes everyone happy. The giver is safe in gift-giving etiquette by getting something that will be used and appreciated. The receiver is happy that he/she gets a present (the thought is there) and that he/she can really get what he/she likes. I think it does matter though to get giftcards to a store that the receiver actually likes to shop in! In my case, giftcards to Barnes & Noble, Homegoods, Kohls and Target would be much appreciated!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Being a Parent

I never had any misconceptions that being a parent was easy. I knew the moment that I was pregnant that I would be in for a tough ride. Of course, one can never really prepare for how tough things can get until one is already in the midst of things! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom and Jamie is a wonderful baby (she has her moments but for the most part she is pretty no-fuss). I guess it's just an adjustment for me - being a completely hands-on mom and all.

Growing up, I always knew I would be a mom (I've always wanted kids of my own!). But I guess I grew up thinking I would always be surrounded by people who would help me take care of my kids. There would be my own mom, my aunts, sisters, friends - and most especially maids and yayas! I saw my family and friends have kids and while they were all good mothers - they still went about life without too much change.

Who knew I would end up living in the States and having my child here? And while I do have help (my sister, Joy, lives with us and my hubby, Jojo is also very involved) - and of course we have daycare now. But for the most part, I am the main person who looks after my baby girl. It's a weird feeling that is hard for me to describe. On the one hand, I am thrilled to have so much time with my daughter - feeding her, changing her, bathing her, playing with her, reading to her, sleeping with her, etc. On the other hand, I also worry about her and about how well I am raising her.

My sister, Joy, once said she admires me for being so hands-on and for giving up so many things so I can take care of Jamie. For starters, I don't get to go out as much (hard to find capable babysitters!). I have to do housework in between Jamie's naps. I no longer have time for myself (reading, shopping, watching movies are now unheard of!). I have not had a full night's sleep since this little girl was born! I have learned to eat dinner in 5 minutes while standing up in the kitchen (sometimes while carrying Jamie). I have learned how to change diapers in public restrooms, from the backseat of our car, in restaurants, etc. I have learned to pacify Jamie when she gets antsy in the middle of crowded places and church. I have stopped shopping for myself and now just get things for her.

I guess you could say I did sacrifice a lot for my daughter. But I don't have any regrets and I would not mind doing it all over again for my daughter. And while I still wouldn't mind getting a yaya to help me out - I do think that being a hands-on mom is pretty priceless!