So This Is What 32 Feels Like

i turned 32 some 20 days ago. july 2 came and went without much fanfare. apart from it being a school day, you kinda stop trying to put together something for yourself at 25. i lit several candles at the redemptorist church in the morning for thanksgiving, then had a wonderful lunch with close friends K, N, and andi-san at cafe sarree. their salpicao and lasagna are the best i have tried so far.

thirty two. wow. as they say, lampas na sa kalendaryo. it doesn’t bother me though. i am more distracted by my ballooning tummy than my age. haha. when you’re busy chasing after your children after your dreams, and hoping that it’s not yet too late to achieve something…notable…in this lifetime, every birthday, it seems, becomes a deadline. a deadline you celebrate. at least for me. and my husband.

i don’t make annual goals. i have these huge goals swimming in my head, surfacing sometimes at inopportune times, like when i am watching a relatable movie, or reading a passage in a book. now i think i have to set yearly goals, and achieve them before my birthday every year. sounds like a tall order? it should be.

now that i am a work-at-home mom (and i am not even home most of the time sheesh) and i am given this huge bloke of time that i feel like i have to fill with work, activities for the kids and the whole family, there’s this pressure to make every hour count.

yes, i spend time with my children whenever i can. i bring them to and from school, we make assignments and eat together, talk a bit before bedtime, go out and have fun on some weekends. i think the moments i have solely dedicated to them would be the ones they would remember me by. however, being a mother, despite being the most important title and my highest priority, doesn’t totally define me.

i am also a wife, a daughter, a friend, an employee, and most importantly, i am myself. so these goals i would like to set for myself every year, are basically for my growth as a person. it’s for my own satisfaction, for my own fulfillment. it’s easy to get lost in the daily flurry of things — get the kids ready for school, meet deadlines, pay bills. these things, they never end.  i don’t want to get lost.

a few days after my birthday, i bought a notebook and started writing down my daily tasks along with the things i want to do that doesn’t overlap with all my other responsibilities. do i go to law school when ico turns 4? should i pursue higher studies? should i whine to my sister about the business i want to start with her until she gives in? i tell you. the list goes on forever.

one thing stood out though. but i can’t tell you about it right now. no, i am not going back to school. at least, not yet. it’s something that i have been inspired to explore since i joined i am blessed that i found a mentor who immediately said yes, as well as a husband who pushes me out of my comfort zone. this project still has a loooooong way to go but the most important thing is that i have taken the first step.

i have never looked at my life this way until late last year when the struggles were all too real. i told myself there should be more to it than taking care of the children, being a dutiful wife, delivering work assignments on time, and making money to pay dues and bills and tuition fees. life anyway isn’t only meant to be lived going through all the motions. it should be embraced fully and passionately, while giving back in the perfect ways we know how.

so yes, this is what 32 feels like — exhausting yet promising.






Happy 1st, Ico Mambo



my dearest rico alexander,

mommy still has a hard time believing that it has been a year since you came into our lives — our little bouncing bundle of energy and laughter. in case it’s not that apparent yet, everyone adores you. oh, don’t give me that nose-wrinkling smile of yours, you know i can’t resist you when you turn on that charm.

as most youngest children go, you are the apple of our eyes. you came at the least expected time, it’s actually ironic.  mommy thought it’s just not possible to have another baby, yet at the same time, couldn’t be more ready for another one. both ate and kuya were thrilled, of course. hah! a baby! when they’re both old enough to torture appreciate a little one.

you were a wee 6.2 lbs when you came barreling like an angry bowling ball a day before mommy was supposed to give birth. gah, she has to remove her makeup and wash her face in the labor room because she wasn’t allowed to take a bath anymore. can you imagine meeting mommy for the first time with all that goo on her face? them doctors just don’t understand it.

i asked you to wait for a few hours but you wouldn’t have it. you want to be out now, now, now. so i guess it’s not all that surprising when you kick your legs and harumph whenever it’s milk time and everyone’s taking so long to feed you. patience is a virtue, ico, you will soon learn.

you were the tiniest among you three when i delivered you, but look at you now. those thighs! don’t worry. mommy won’t show your tambor tambor pictures to the girls you’d be introducing to her.  as long as you pinky swear that you won’t charm em ladies until you’re 30. what, that’s too old? okay, 28 then.

looking at how you possessively hold on to mommy’s arms now, i wish the time wouldn’t come when you’d pry mommy’s hands away because “boys just don’t hold hands with their moms in the mall, mommy!”

sigh. where did the time go?

mommy is happy though that she has been with you right from the very beginning. life is hard for work-at-home moms you know, especially when there’s a big looming deadline and all you want to do is tap at mommy’s keyboard and play and have her all to yourself. i will take what i can have though. mommy will always stop doing whatever it is she’s doing if and when you need her. remember that.

i wish you rainbows and sunshine and M&Ms, but maybe not until you’re a bit older. the M&Ms part, you silly boy. you can choke on those. mommy will let you have all the chocolates you want, don’t worry. nanay did and we turned out all okay.

i can’t promise you the world, but i would, if i could.  i may have to leave you at times but know that mommy would always come home.

you are our rainbow and sunshine and all things lovely. you, along with kuya raf and ate andi, make this life worth every second, every sacrifice, every challenge, all worth it.

happy birthday, ico mambo. daddy and mommy and kuya and ate and lotlot and friends love you. 

Dark Purple and Teal is Love!

how do you like our new look? I hope you all love it because i am super in love with the dark purple and teal hues of What’s Up, Kaith!

the awesome Patricia of Fancy Girl Designs created this theme for me. i swear she makes the prettiest themes in the whole wide world!  please visit her site after you’re done checking out the shelves here to see all the other beautiful sites she has designed. she also did my previous girly theme. she always captures what I want, even if i do a really horrible job of describing the nitty-gritty details. i guess it also helps that we’re good friends so she knows what i am like in real life. LOL.

this time, i told her that i want something fab, classy and elegant. something Stepford Wife-ish because! hahaha. and she came up with this! after re-watching the movie of course! just how lovely everything looks around here?

so yes, the blog hiatus is over! welcome to the new and shiny What’s Up,! *hands out the champagne*

Raf’s 4th of 30

i have missed two years of writing my birthday notes to raf. i started this in 2008 when i thought that it would be nice to write letters to raf and have him read them when he’s old enough to understand what i am trying to tell him again and again. 

Happy 9th Birthday, Kuya!


ah, was it only the other day when you were asking me how long it would be until you’re 9 or 10 or 11? you were, i think, four years old then. well, you’re 9 years old now! sigh. a few more years and we would have a teenager. i am happy though that you still take the time to cuddle to mommy and kiss me, and you are never embarrassed to hold hands with me when we are out.

mommy is very proud that you’re growing up to be a fine young man. i was actually surprised to know that you’re popular at school, knowing how you didn’t like it there at first. i am happy that you have found new friends and have fit in well. i would be honest and say that i was a little bit anxious that you’d bully classmates simply because…well, you know how you can be =P so mommy’s heart swelled with pride when one mother told me that her daughter said that your classmates would miss you because you always make them laugh.

i can see how you are smitten with ico, how taken you are with him, that you don’t mind him drooling all over your hands. LOL. thank you for being such a good older brother and watching over him while his yaya has to attend to something.  i can just imagine how much fun you would have when he can walk and run and jump. it’s going to be a riot. i know you love andi, as well, do not deny it. i can hear your frustration whenever she would do her daredevil stunts and you want her to climb down from whatever high place she has clambered upon. yes, she’s a handful, but you’re her kuya and i will never tire of telling you that it’s your duty to protect her.

well, we’re going back to cebu again. i guess you’re excited as you’ll see old friends and you’d be attending your favourite school. maybe you’ll rekindle old friendships and form new ones as you advance to the third grade. sigh. just the thought of you being a third grader is making mommy all mushy and sentimental.


Say Hello to Ico!

blog hiatus is officially over!  yay!

for those who have been religiously visiting my blog (you know who you are!), thank you so much.  here’s the update that you’ve all been waiting for.  although if you’re following me on twitter and instagram, most of the stuff i’ll share here are not so new to you anymore.

yes, i finally gave birth last june 5, which is a day earlier than my scheduled delivery date.  i initially chose june 6 as my third baby’s birthday so we checked into the hospital a day before.  however, my little boy showed his decision-making skills early and decided to say hello to mommy right there and then. so, at 9:36PM of june 5, my rico alexander was literally dragged out of my tummy.



ico fresh out of mommy’s tummy 

rico only weighed 6.2 lbs when i gave birth to him but two months after, you wouldn’t believe he was this teeny weeny baby.  he was delivered to my room a few hours after my surgery so he really had my colostrum.  i exclusively breastfed him for two weeks, post-operation pains and all, and i have zero regrets.  he now drinks formula every morning, while i sleep, otherwise, he latches on to me.

our first picture together

you would think three cesarian sections later i would be a pro at managing pain but i still cried during the first few days when my nipples were too sore and my ligation spasms were a bit too much to handle.  i only sleep an average of three hours a day and this is actually better than the one to two hour shuteye i got when rico was still a few weeks old and wailed for milk every hour.

now i feed him every two hours during daytime and if i am lucky, every three hours, during evenings.  i am actually back to work since july but ico made finishing some of my assigned tasks on time challenging because he doesn’t want to be put down at night.  he wants to sleep on my chest most of the time and i cannot work on my laptop while balancing a baby, despite best efforts.  LOL.  now that he’s a bit bigger, i place him on my lap during times when i need to rush something.  i guess he doesn’t mind, as long as he can feel mommy beside him.

now at two months, he coos and tries very hard to make conversation.  i guess his sight is a bit clearer now, although hazy, but he certainly knows when it’s mommy who’s holding him because his nose says so! what can i do, eau de milk!  LOL.



two-month old ico who weighs around 9 lbs now

i am hoping that i can set a more stable work schedule now, although my boss allows me to work anytime i want to.  that’s the beauty of working from home, and having a really awesome boss.  but i really want to have a definite time when i will be glued to my laptop, preferably in the afternoons when the nanny looks after him.  i’ve also accepted some makeup gigs so i can add more to my portfolio.  some makeup products are due for review soon.  first up would be the the balm nude tude palette which i was supposed to post before i gave birth! so sorry for those who have been waiting for it.

glad to start the week with a new blog post. crossing my fingers i can post regularly again, as usual.  LOL. here’s to a fun and productive, albeit rainy, week :)


My Intimate Baby Shower

when one of my closest friends, K, learned that i am pregnant, she immediately told me she’d host a baby shower for me. yes, i have the sweetest and most thoughtful friends. we decided it would be a small one, just a couple of our closest friends, and i gave her the names of my other ilonggo friends so she can contact and invite them herself.

a week before the baby shower, we opted out of the usual dinner-at-a-restaurant event since we wanted it to be more personal. then we thought of A, who has a really nice and quaint cupcake shop, the cupcake theory, and asked if she’d be willing to have us on that day. btw, you all should visit the cupcake theory if you haven’t yet. i loooove their red velvet cupcake and A’s new warm brownie cup is worth a try. thankfully, A said “yes” so we all trooped to the sweet-smelling venue one sunday to celebrate my baby bump.

we had pizza, K’s special spaghetti and R’s bulgogi chicken and ordered cupcakes to our hearts’ desires. nothing beats home-made dishes, especially when they’re specially cooked for you. we have very little pictures of the get-together as we had too much fun eating and talking. thank you again, K and R, for all the love.

the whole gang. thank you, everyone for coming and celebrating with us!

a pair of cutesy nikes from Tito C, Tita K and Tita R

feeding bottles from Tita J, so mommy and daddy doesn’t have to buy a lot

i feel so blessed to know that my family and i have sincere people who truly look out and support us