And Then We Are Three

I'm writing this entry at 11:04 in the evening of October 29th. Last year, on this same time, I was in the delivery room of Cebu Doctors University Hospital and my OB-GYNE just called Jed as I was about to give birth. Two hours and twelve minutes after, there he was - the most perfect baby boy, our Javi.

And life changed drastically after that.

Motherhood becomes me.

Suddenly, our once quiet world is now filled with cries, late nights, spilled milk, soiled diaper, baby poop, baby furniture and gadgets, toys and so on. But then it also comes with the best scent in the world, a newborn baby's scent, and the softest smoothest skin. Now there's my piece of heaven.

The road called motherhood is no easy route. I said goodbye to sleeping in, alone time, gym time, movie watching, regular book reading, regular pampering time, well-styled hair do, regular time with girlfriend, and sadly date nights with Jed.

As a full-time hands-on mother, I have mastered the skill of changing diapers, carrying Javi with arm and eating with the other hand, catching sleep while holding the little boy's bottle or putting him to sleep, taking 5-minute showers, cleaning feeding bottles, handwashing his clothes every single evening and cooking simple meals. Oh, and finding time for the call of nature had never been this difficult.

I assumed that since we didn't get a nanny to help us with taking care of Javi, I would've saved our family money. Well, that did not appear true as we ended up buying as many baby gear/gadget/furniture to help me with Javi. There's the baby pouch, a sturdy crib, the lightest stroller which opens with one hand, a car seat, a Bumbo seat, a Jumperoo, and a high chair to name a few.

In spite of all the sleepless nights, the non-stop crying, and his constant need of my attention, the joy he gave Jed and me are immeasurable. I had no idea I am capable of loving, caring and protecting a person this way. This one person needs more than anyone in the world. And I feel it by the way he looks at me and the way his little arms hug me.

Jed and I only want the best for our little boy. Yes we will protect him and keep him safe but we do not want him living a sheltered life. He traveled with me back and forth to Manila. We go on out of town trips and enjoy the sun, sand and sea. When I have to run errands, I carry him on a baby sling. Javi and I go out of the house on a weekday and just hang out in the mall. He joins when there is a need to satisfy my caffeine craving. We enjoy a cup of frozen yogurt. He's my best buddy and keeps me company while Jed works long hours.

I love our little family. We figure things out and it just works perfectly.

My dream is to travel the world with him. I want him to see the world. And that dream is about to come true very very soon.

Javi has brought the worst and best in me.

Happy Birthday Javier!!

Pet Peeve List

pet peeve
a particular and often continual ANNOYANCE; personal bugbear
I need to get this out of my system. My pet peeve list includes --

  • The lack of RSVPs. One of my frustrations in life is to get people to RSVP. Yes, I've realized it is not the culture here in the Philippines. BUt it's common sense and common courtesy. So please don't be annoyed with me when I completely follow-up until I get a reply.
  • Jejemon language in text messages. Come on, even my own mothreated her own text language. Often than not, it leaves me confused. When I text, I spell each word correctly. I don't care if it takes longer. I do not want to be misunderstood.
  • People getting in an elevator/train and not waiting for its previous occupants to get out.
  • False excuses/alibis. Now, there's no need to lie, right? If you can't make it, simply say you can't. No need to follow it up with an out of this world excuse.
  • People throwing trash anywhere. Hello?? This is wrong whatever angle you look at. Back in college, I once got out of a car to throw away the trash threw on the road.
  • Cutting in line. Unless you have an extremely good reason, I will not let you get in front of me. Why can't just people respect those ahead of them?
  • Bad customer/follow up service. If you sold me something, then you better be around when something goes wrong.
  • Tagging me in photos of stuff people are selling in Facebook. I like to keep my Facebook page clean. I am OC, remember? Please don't be offended when I untag myself in photos where I don't see my face. I am especially careful in tagging people in FB because not all people wants to be tagged in incriminating or unflattering photos.
  • Not returning borrowed items. If you borrowed something, please have the courtesy to take care of the item and return it as soon as you're done with it.
My list used to be longer. Through time, I have learned not to sweat the small stuff and just let it go. I used to be a stickler for punctuality. And then I became a mother who ends up being late most of the time. I am now forgiving and more understanding of people who are late.

But there are still things I could not let go. Not yet. Maybe in time, I will be more patient and more tolerable but not to the point of being abused.

I believe the solution to avoiding being an annoyance to other people is to be respectful and considerate of other people's things, time and feelings. This reminder goes out to me, too.

Manila Traffic, Here We Come!

Less than a week from now, the three of us will be breathing the polluted air of Metro Manila and sitting through traffic. My thoughts, "I'm home!"

After savoring the good quiet life in Cebu for almost five months straight, my family is taking a trip to Manila. We are celebrating the little boy's first birthday there. We thought it'd be economical to fly to Manila and hold the party there than ask family and friends to come to Cebu.

I am planning a "destination" Halloween-themed birthday in Manila for Javi from Cebu. I never realized planning a kiddie party could be this stressful. We are even keeping it simple. Grateful for family and my two wonderful girlfriends for taking care of things in Manila for me.

I cannot wait to spend time with family and friends as we dine in my favorite restaurants. Yes, it's still about food. Hope to see you Apartment 1B, Mrs. Jones, Chelsea, Cibo new restaurants out there and my list goes on. Although, I am dreading seeing people and telling me I've gained weight. Please be kind and not mention it. Let's focus on Javi instead.

Manila malls equate to shopping. I have been holding off buying clothes here for when I can make that trip to Zara where they sell "forgiving" clothes. I have heard a lot of things about Forever 21, so let's troop to Megamall then.

Javi will get to visit his Lolo Bining's grave on November 1. My family in Bulacan places much importance on this day.

Then Jed, Javi and I will take a road trip to the North, and spend a couple days in the City of Pines. I probably will be going on and on to Javi, "This is where your father and I were married... etc etc" I am pretty sure he will give me the look of "What are you talking about, Mommy?"

I'm also glad we will be with my mother to celebrate her birthday. I know that her birthday wishes includes spending her special day with her dearest grandchild.

I am bracing myself for a very hectic time in Manila. Oh how I've missed you!!

There's A Reason Why

God works in the most amazing way. Every thing that we do has a purpose. Often we only get to understand WHY a little late in life. And that's when I realize how awesome God is. He has the perfect timing.

There is a reason why:

... we moved here to Cebu
... I had to be away from the family I grew up with
... I had to quit the job I loved so much
... I did not hire a yaya or househelp
... I couldn't find some of the things I am used to here in Cebu such as Gardenia
bread, 7-11 and Wendy's
... we keep on putting off buying that beautiful shoe rack
... could not buy that LCD TV
... keeps on pulling me out of my comfort zone


God loves me and my family so much.
He is ever-faithful.
He wants me to grow and that's why he gets me out of my comfort zone.
He only wants the best for me.


My Cooking Wish-List

When I have time, I would browse the internet for recipes of dishes I want to cook. I file it all in a folder Recipes. Then there's a sub-folder, Recipes-To-Try, of dishes that I know I CAN cook.

Sharing with you dishes that I had been wanting to try all this time and hopefully which I will include in our Weekly Menu Planner.

I really I have time to cook more elaborate dishes. I like cooking. And I want to be good at it. But not to the point that I want to become a chef. Although I aspire to be the personal chef of Jed and Javi.

I have a number of recipe books that I always refer to. And then there's the internet for almost everything else. What I like doing is putting my own touch in every recipe that I follow making it Irma's version.

Family Values

A recent episode of Modern Family touched on family values. Claire realized how he needs to instill some values in their household especially for her teen-age daughter, Hailey. Now that got me into thinking about family values. And as a parent now, Jed and I would need to identify values we want Javi and maybe our future will need to live by.

I couldn't help but reminisce how my parents had raised me, and my siblings, up. I had an old-fashioned conservative parents. They both were much older when they had me. Although my mother was younger than me when she gave birth to me. My father was in his forties. This only means that generation gap existed.

I grew up in an ideal family. There's the father, mother, me, my brother and a sister. Father was the man of the house and a very good provider. My mother was a full-time housewife and mother. She ended up to be the disciplinarian as my siblings and I spent more time with her as my father earns a living. But my father always had the last say. He was like our king and we would be serving. Don't get me wrong, my father was not that I-would-just-sit-here-and-do-nothing-type of man. He served us, too.

I saw my mother submit and served my father. And the way she taught me and my siblings how our father comes first in everything else.

I remember fondly how I looked forward to weekends because that's when he would cook for us. Even if he only cooked sardines or corned beef. I remember to this day how it tasted.

Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and even special non-working holidays such as Independence day were a reason to dine out. We loved eating out as a family. And we still do that, even up to this day and without our father.

The reason why I get hooked on family-oriented shows such as 7th Heaven, Brothers & Sisters and Modern Family is because I can relate to the stories. My siblings and I are bonded like glue. My happiest moments in Bulacan were when we would be talking about nothing significant and we'd end up laughing our hearts out. We also bonded while watching showbiz talk shows on a Sunday afternoon and we would fire out our opinions and unsolicited advices about the lives of celebrities. We love doing things together.

Now that I'm married and away from them, I try to be updated with their lives through the social networking sites. When I text one of them, I would cc the other two. We constantly update each other about what's going on in our lives. Even at airports before getting on a flight, the second to the last thing I would do is text them that I am boarding. Then upon landing I would let them know I've arrived safely. I got used to that.

Our parents taught us to put our family first. They made sure the family name is taken care of. Now this means we, the children, cannot be foolish enough to do stupid things that would put my parents into shame.

I am blessed pretty well and at how God blessed me with this kind of family. The values that they instilled on us is their legacy which I hope to pass on to my little boy and future kids.

We are the Walkers, Camdens and Pritchetts in our own little way.

I Like It On...

At home, on the rocking chair or on the couch.
In a restaurant, on a chair or the table.

I try to avoid the floor.

Now what the heck am I talking about?

I'm sure you have seen Facebook statuses with "I like it on" followed by an object or a place. I ignored it the first time I saw it. Then I saw more statuses flooding Facebook which made it hard to dismiss. And I knew it meant something or it stands for something. I found out only today what IT stands for.

It means PURSE, and not something else you green minds.

The status is a girl thing. It is meant to raise the curiosity of as many readers and then followed by a reminder for everyone that October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month.

As soon as I learned what the campaign is for, I immediately changed my Facebook status. When you have a mother who had breast cancer twice, fought and survived it, then I'm all support for any breast cancer awareness campaign. I plan to be more involved as soon as Javi is a bit older. I like the idea of being involved in organizing an event like the Pink Kitchen of the I Can Serve Foundation or a Run/Walk for a Cause.

I've heard from my OB-GYNE that Cebu Doctors University Hospital is offering discounts on sonomammogram and mammogram this month. I will take advantage of this and go for one when Jed is off from work. Remember, prevention is better than cure.

Develop Your Prayer Life (Small Change #5)

We all know how powerful prayer is. My husband and I are living testimonies how prayers get answered - one after the other. Even if my prayer life has not been well-defined. Yes, I would pray but I wish I pray the way my other Christian friends do.

I was raised a Catholic and praying for me would be always be holding a rosary and reciting the traditional prayer such as "Our Father" and "Hail Mary." I memorized a number of other prayers and these would automatically come out of my mouth when praying time arrives. And that was what I know about praying.

I was introduced to a different kind of praying when I joined a women's small group. Wow, those women really know what to say, and that's how I want to talk to God.

So how do I pray? I talk to God like I would be talking to a best friend. I would pour out my heart to him. I'd often do that when I am alone. Or when I feel scared.

I have a confession. Praying out loud terrifies me. I am often at a loss for words. My mind just goes blank. Or I would be so touched I'd end up crying and couldn't speak. I guess I had been used to praying on my own. And when I hear how my small group mates and even my own husband pray, it had become a source of insecurity. How did they get that good?

Thankfully, the Small Change book has tips to help me develop my prayer life.

Step 1: Do it! It has to start somewhere, right? Just pray. Now.

Step 2: Do it badly. Reading this is such a relief. Yes, I can stutter, use incorrect grammar, use Taglish. Remember, no prayer is ever done badly when the heart is right. He loves me no matter how badly I pray at first.

Step 3: Do it regularly. You want to make a habit out of praying do it daily. And not when we only need something from God. When I do it regularly, I won't pray so bad at all and the awkwardness and fear would disappear.

Step 4: Do it faithfully. Now how is this different with praying regularly? You would want to pray not because you have gotten used to it but because you see praying as an essential part of your spiritual life.

Step 5: Do it for life. Praying should be synonymous to breathing. You can't live without breathing, therefore pray for as long as you live.

How to pray? Jesus taught us how to in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2).

Prayer is personal -
9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Prayer acknowledges God's authority -
10your kingdom come,
Prayer acknowledges your trust -
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Prayer indicates your dependence -
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Prayer entreats God's guidance -
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one

-- from Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

For today, I will set aside five minutes to pray today. I will put this in my schedule for today as well as with a list of things I want to talk to God about.

For tomorrow, I will revive my prayer journal where I will keep a record of my prayer concerns - what and who I want to pray for the day. I'd need to leave room on my journal and take note when God answers my prayers.

For this week, I will continue to pray for the people and issues on my prayer journal.

For next week, I will increase the amount of time I have set aside for praying.

My Fifteen Movies and TV Shows

I just got done listing my fifteen books I've read that will always stick with me, then came another tag from my friend Ding and this now includes movies and TV shows. Ooh... exciting. For those who know me, I love all three - reading books, watching movies and TV shows.

My Fifteen Movies

Star Wars series (1977)
Annie (1982)
Clueless (1995)
Titanic (1997)
Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001)
Avatar (2009)

My Fifteen TV Shows

Friends (1994)
24 (2001)
Alias (2001)
Lost (2004)
Glee (2009)

I'm done! Now what's your 15 movies and TV shows?
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