My December 2013 in Photos

Now where did the time go? It's time to say good bye to 2013. It was one amazing year. God is indeed good and faithful.

And here's what happened to me this December -- 

Day 1 - Red (A very rich red fruit I found in the supermarket. I think this could be red pear.)
2 - Where I stood (This is how I run errands with my baby Caleb. He is strapped in his baby carrier while I go around and do things.)
3 - Silver (The book signing table for the King's birthday.)
4 - Tiny (What a pretty ornament from Starbucks!)
5 - In the cupboard (Originally, just Starbucks city mugs. Then as I meet fellow collectors I ended up with postcards, key chain, magnets and Momiji dolls.)
6 - Shadow (Found a reindeer in Bangkok.)
7 - 6 o'clock (When the husband is working on a Saturday night, I order a pizza for me and my toddler. Too lazy to cook.)
8 - I shop here (My favorite stores' loyalty cards
9 - This is the weather today (21 degrees C on a Monday morning. Yahoo Weather got it right, it is foggy today.)
10 - R is for... ROCKER. (My son's rocker aka my savior now.)
11 - Green (A box full of memories. My journals over the years.)
12 - Joy is... raising these two boys. (It is a blessing that I can be a stay-at-home mom and raise our two boys.)
13 - Composition (I love the details on these mugs. They are Starbucks' Relief series Christmas version. From left to right - Paris, Berlin and Hong Kong. )
14 - Drink (This day calls for a glass of sauvignon blanc.)
15 - Lights  (Leaves on the floor)
16 - Makes me feel merry (The sight of Christmas decorations)
17 - Tree (Saw this industrial looking Christmas tree while I was out running errands.)
18 - Big (My very own Santa Baby in an oversized onesie.)
19 - 'Tis the season to BE CURIOUS (My pre-schooler is learning about Christmas and he is very very curious.)
20 - I'm listening to (We saw the movie Frozen and we fell in love with the songs. So I'm taking a break from Christmas songs and putting this on repeat the entire day.)
21 - On the door (Our building management prohibits us from putting anything on the door or outside the door. What a scrooge! Hmph!)
22 - Sparkly (One of the beautiful Christmas cards we received.)
23 - Tradition (Christmas is the season to receive and give gifts.)
24 - Wrapped (Wrapped in brotherly love)
25 - Best bit of my day (Javi was singing to his little brother. And Caleb liked it. He was smiling. It warms my heart seeing them together.)
26 - Where I slept (There's a tiny hand on my side of the bed.)
27 - What I'm doing (The life of a multitasking momma)
28 - Something awesome (Picked this up to celebrate Caleb's third month)
29 - Reflect: Best bit(s) of 2013 (Video from Flipagram. A blog post followed.)
30 - Me ("I")
31 - Celebrate (One of the goodies I prepared for New Year's eve. Yes, it's a day to bake cupcakes.)

And that's a wrap, everyone. Let me enjoy the rest of my 2013 and welcome 2014 with open arms. 

Here's wishing everyone the best this new year!

The Year (2013) That Was

What an amazing year 2013 has been. I do love new year. It's a time to reflect about what happened the entire year, be grateful and then look forward to next year. It's a fresh start.

There were heartaches. The major one would be the passing away of my father-in-law. Life moves on.

Then there are God's biggest blessings to my family.

Here's what I am grateful for this 2013. My year in 4 seconds, thanks to Flipagram.

  • Early this year, we took a trip to Hanoi and we enjoyed our family time there.

  • Watching sunset at the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake.

  • Javi started school. 

  • Our two week trip to the Philippines.

  • Javi and his teacher Joanne on the last day of the summer term.

  • We have new loyalties. Jed started working for The Peninsula Bangkok mid this year.

  • A relatively easy second pregnancy.

  • My new favorite Rockets Benedict from our go-to brunch place Rocket Coffee Bar.

  • Our second child, Caleb, was born.

  • Found my super favorite coffee mug. It's white on the outside and pink inside

  • Discovered the best bagel in Bangkok and they are walking distance from where I live.

  • Another favorite restaurant and dish. Xiao Long Bao from Din Tai Fung

  • My Santa Baby, Caleb. He is one happy baby. 

  • The brothers. I love watching them show their love to each other.

  • Same time last year, I wouldn't even think I'd accomplish what I listed down. I didn't even think our family would grow.

    God is amazing. 

    I am looking forward to 2014. I know He has the best plans for me and my family.

    Wishing you all the best in 2014!

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    A Quiet Christmas

    It is my sixth Christmas without my big family and the usual festivities. It is my fourth Christmas away from the Philippines. 

    While most of the Pinoys in Bangkok go home for the holidays, Jed and I chose to stay here in Bangkok. It may seem sad because we are away from our big family & friends, and then Thailand do not really celebrate Christmas. 

    Come to think of it, our small family is complete here. I only need my husband and kids. I can spend Christmas anywhere as long as I am with them. 

    Because our family has grown and Javi is more aware now of what Christmas is, we start to make our own tradition. 

    So how did last Christmas go for us?

    We did wait for Christmas eve and held our own noche buena. Javi opened his remaining gifts. We did not introduce Santa Claus as I wanted him to associate Christmas more with Christ and not Santa. 

    For Christmas morning, I cooked pancakes for my boys. That was fun! 

    We invited a Filipino family here in Bangkok for lunch. They are going back to the Philippines soon so it served as a despedida for them. 

    With the Espinosas and Raya
    As Christmas is a Wednesday, it is not  holiday in Thailand. We figured it would be a good idea to watch a movie. We headed over to Central World and watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It was a long movie but our dear kiddos slept through the entire movie so Jed and I watched uninterrupted. Yay!

    The giant Christmas tree at Central World
    On the same floor as the movie house is the restaurant, Din Tai Fung. We all love their xiao long bao so why not have it for dinner. 

    Our favorite xiao long bao

    Jed and I shopped a little after dinner. We bought gym clothes. Yes, it would be a good idea to end 2013 working out so the good habit carries over 2014.

    My favorite moment of the day was when Javi would sing for Caleb and the latter was too happy playing with his Kuya. This happened during shopping time. 

    The brothers

    Our Christmas was so different and quiet compared to what we would have if we spent it in the Philippines.  I actually prefer our celebration here. I got to do the things I wanted to do and it was not stressful at all.

    So how did you celebrate your Christmas?

    Love for Christmas Cards

    We have been living in Bangkok for three years now. Since we live abroad, I saw the relevance of keeping in touchwith family and friends. 

    I sent out my first batch of Christmas cards in 2010. We didn't even have a return address then. It was a learning experience. I mailed them too late and some received it as late as February. 

    The following year we had our family photo as our Christmas card. Last year it was a newsletter type as we didn't have an updated family picture. 

    This year, I put together a year in review with our latest family picture. We are blessed to find the Mia Y. Marchadesch-Jaranilla to photograph us. I kept the card simple. And every card was mailed by end of November. 

    I used the Red Stamp iPhone app to make our Christmas cards. It has so many beautiful templates and we had a couple of pictures I want to use. 

    The result: I have six Christmas cards.

    Like I said in Instagram and Facebook, I love receiving Christmas cards, too. And I keep what we receive every year. 

    Here's wishing you the merriest Christmas!

    My November 2013 in Photos

    November is over. TOO FAST. 

    Did you know that November is my favorite month? It has something to do with getting wiser (and older) and that December follows after. 

    It was a wonderful and challenging month. Husband went on a business trip. I managed with taking care of our two boys for a week. 

    Well, here's what happened to me in November --

    Day 1 - Fruit (I love eating oranges. I find the ones here juicy and sweet.)
    2 - I did this today (Braved going out with a baby and a toddler. Waited in line to be seated. All because I wanted to eat at Din Tai Fung.)
    3 - P is for pink lipstick (Love the color of this lipstick - Pink in the Afternoon.)
    4 - Table (The kiosk I go to every Monday to get my bagel stock for the entire week.)
    5 - I collect...THESE (Originally, just Starbucks city mugs. Then as I meet fellow collectors I ended up with postcards, key chain, magnets and Momiji dolls.)
    6 - Music (Yup, listening to Christmas carols. I'm a Filipino. We start Christmas as early as September.)
    7 - Yes! (Ah, just what I need tonight. I find my favorite movie on cable TV.)
    8 - Someone I miss (Hidden in my drawer is this broken frame where I keep a photo of my father. It's been 13 years but I still miss him tremendously.)
    9 - Mine (A parcel for me from the Netherlands. I have slowed down from trading and collecting Starbucks mug. So it is thrilling to receive a package again.)
    10 - Book (This is THE book. And mine is pink.)
    11 - A memory (A box full of memories. My journals over the years.)
    12 - Clouds (Sathorn Road in Bangkok)
    13 - Part of me  ("Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone)
    14 - Eating (Snacking on what we call Thailand's version of the Philippine "puto seko.")
    15 - In ny purse  (This is the only thing I bring when I run errands. I love that it is a wristlet and fits my phone inside.)
    16 - Play (Found this on the floor and I smiled. This is what happens when one lives with a toddler.)
    17 - 5 o'clock (A clear afternoon in Bangkok. It is ready for the Loy Krathong festival in the evening.)
    18 - Mirror (From where I sit, I can see my baby silently playing.)
    19 - Where I ate breakfast (This mama needs to multitask so it's quiet time and breakfast in one.)
    20 - Communication (Through this worn out notebook, I exchange messages with Javi's teacher. She updates me how Javi is at school and I would write down any concern I have.)
    21 - I wish I had this (My son's long and curly lashes.)
    22 - Behind (Time to take out the Christmas decoration.)
    23 - Simplicity (I've missed you, Violet Crumble. It had been years. All the while I thought you originated from Canada. My colleagues the Canadian Embassy and AUSTRADE will probably smack me in the head.)
    24 - Word (Slowly starting to decorate our home for Christmas)
    25 - Quirky (They said, one can order butterbeer from Starbucks. It's a regular creme frappuccino with 3 pumps of caramel syrup, 3 pumps of toffee nut latte and caramel drizzle on top. I tried that today.)
    26 - Message (Momiji are message dolls. One writes a message in that tiny strip of paper which you keep in the slot at the bottom of the doll.)
    27 - No! (Horrified when I saw my toddler holding this broken glass. Thankfully, he was not hurt.)
    28 - I am grateful for (My family.)
    29 - Black (My beautiful and useful fan given by my dearest friend)
    30 - All done (The prints are here. Time to update our photo wall.)

    Trust your November was as meaningful as mine.

    Family Photos (2013 Edition)

    I aim to have our family photo taken every year. It would be nice to see how our family is evolving. Last year, we didn't have one for the lack of a good photographer. 

    But this year is different, we have Mia. She was awesome with Caleb's newborn shots. This made me extremely excited with our family photo shoot.

    I need a photographer who would capture moments and less posing. Because for the life of me, I cannot pose.  

    Presenting some of our 2013 family photos --

    There are no group shots because I am keeping them for a project later.

    Oh, and we are featured in Mia's blog. She has the nicest words to say about my family. Read about it here.

    I'm looking forward to more sessions with Mia. 

    It's the hump day today. Wishing you a pleasant rest of the Thanksgiving week.

    My Birthday Weekend

    It's that time of the year...

    When I turn a year wiser and older. Ha!

    It has always been my favorite day of the year because the day is for me and me alone. It is a day of doing things I want. And this year I get a weekend as my birthday fell on a Sunday.

    My husband asked me what I wanted and my answer was, "I want to eat, shop and get pampered." And that's exactly what I did.

    The birthday celebration started off with some "me" time at Starbucks. I so needed a time alone. I have two sons that I take care of and it's a whole different level of busyness. 

    I ordered my favorite drink, Toffee Nut Latte.
    I visited my favorite nail salon for a mani/pedi. It's my first one after giving birth. It felt so good to have manicured nails.

    Tried out something new, a variation of a French manicure.
    I squeezed in some time to picked up groceries and then I headed to shop for clothes. Yay! I need a wardrobe update. Just because I do not have a office job does not mean I do not need clothes. 

    I came home to my boys and the husband prepared my favorite Lucky Me Lomi. Yes, I am allowed to eat anything I want on my birthday weekend.

    I woke up the next morning and it was my real birthday.

    We had brunch at Dean & Deluca. We haven't been there for a while so we went back.

    I loved my very light breakfast and I love these boys.
    Since it was a Sunday, we headed to church. It's nice to be surrounded by our spiritual family. I miss my family in the Philippines, though.

    I was so blessed to be out for lunch with our good friends from church. And instead of me treating them, the wonderful couple, P & V blessed us with lunch at my favorite restaurant, Somboon Seafood. Oh dear, I had their fried curry crab with white rice, of course.  

    And I even got to blow a cake from Goldilocks!
    My wonderful husband looked after our boys again and I tried the spa next to our building. I had the aromatherapy massage for 90 minutes.Yes, we live in Thailand, but I am not a fan of Thai body massages. The massage was really good. I am already thinking when to go back. I want to try their other massages.

    For dinner, we went to this Italian restaurant, Il Bolognese. It's our new favorite restaurant. And it is a 5 - 10 minute walk from our place. 

    I had wine that evening and that tasted so good. 

    Every dish was delicious from the appetizer to my seafood entree and the best tiramisu for me.

    Our chaperons who eventually all fell asleep so Jed and I had some time to ourselves.
    I tried out something new this year. I unlisted my birthday on FB and restricted posting on my Wall. While I appreciate all the birthday greetings from friends all over, it can be tiring to keep up with all the greetings and replying to each of them. I had less birthday greetings this year, but those I received are from friends and family who truly care and not just greeted me because FB alerted them.

    I am so grateful my husband let me spend time on my own. By now he knows I get recharged when I get some "me" time. So blessed that he can look after our boys. My heart is full.

    I am excited for another year. Who knows what God has planned for me? At this time last year, I didn't even think our second child would be born.

    How do you celebrate your birthday? Or do you even celebrate?

    My October 2013 in Photos

    I am a week and a half delayed in posting this. Real life with two kids happened. Talk about chaos. It's a crazy life but all worth it. 

    Big things happened this month. Husband went away for a week. Yikes. My brother and his family came to visit. Nice. My mother went home. Boo hoo. Caleb turned one month. Yay! And my dearest Javi turned four. Wow. 

    Here is my October in photos -- 

    Day 1 - Something colorful (Kiddie chairs at the waiting lounge of the pedia department for Caleb's check-up.)
    2 - Light (Bangkok skyline at night)
    3 - Me today (And I am now a mom of two boys.)
    4 - In motion (My reliable electric fan which goes with me everywhere I go - from Bulacan to Manila to Cebu and now Bangkok.)
    5 - Afternoon (It's the weekend and I should be out. But times have changed. For now, I'm staying in and spending time with this cutie pie.)
    6 - 8 o'clock (Our curtains were still closed. All four of us were still in bed at 8 o'clock in the morning. It's a miracle.)
    7 - What I saw (BK Magazine's feature on 50 best desserts in Bangkok. Oh my dear sweet tooth.)
    8 - Corner (The wine and coffee corner at Dean & Deluca)
    9 - Pink (My favorite coffee mug)
    10 - Hands (Your hand in mine...)
    11 - M is for... Medela (The only brand that matters for breast pumps. For me, at least.)
    12 - Below (Now look at that my flip flops are very timely. Animo La Salle!)
    13 - Watching (Look at those two train passengers, they are completely engrossed with the ads and trailers shown in the monitor.)
    14 - Favorite space (Part of our building lobby that has the most comfortable chair. This is where I wait for Javi to come home from school. I love the few minutes of quiet time I spend here.)
    15 - Secret (The box which I hide from my toddler where I keep my treats for him.)
    16 - Leafy (It is a rainy Wednesday in Bangkok. Plants I found from our building's driveway.)
    17 - First word problem (More cars = horrendous traffic)
    18 - Still (My world is all calm when this little one is sleeping.)
    19 - A good day (Caught the moon rising. It is such a clear evening. I certainly welcome this after a week of rain.)
    20 - Open (The husband is home. And with pasalubong, among other things.)
    21 - Then + now (My Caleb when he was born and now at three weeks later.)
    22 - Change (And I am back to changing diapers. Not complaining though.)
    23 - My mood today (Bright and sunny despite the lack of sleep. We've got visitors today.)
    24 - Dark (My mom with her grandsons Javi and Julian)
    25 - Welcome (In Thailand, Ronald McDonald welcomes you into his store in a traditional Thai "wai" gesture.)
    26 - Depth of field (It's Halloween in the bigger establishments in Bangkok. I'm eyeing the lollipop and cake pops in Dean & Deluca.)
    27 - Peaceful (Coffee and bagel together with my quiet time. I woke up extra early on a Sunday to have this time alone.)
    28 - Just for me (While Filipinos go crazy over cookie butter, I have my heart set on a Philippine brand of peanut butter. Rushed to the Filipino store to get these bottles.)
    29 - Hair (Purple hair of an evil minion)
    30 - Wet (Bought this facial brush cleaner from Olay Regenerist and I am very happy with it. It is supposed to help with advanced anti-aging. Gasp! Have to face reality.)
    31 - Treat (Brunch with the husband, with the baby in tow)

    So how was your October? 

    Caleb's Newborn Photos

    We asked a fellow Filipino living in Bangkok to do Caleb's newborn photos. Her name is Mia and she is a photographer. 

    We discovered each other through Instagram. I have already been following her for quite some time. I was drawn to her account because (1) she is a fellow Pinay mommy in Bangkok, and (2) she takes excellent photos. 

    The timing couldn't have been more perfect as she can take Caleb's newborn shots. 

    Caleb was eleven (11) days in these photos. And it's as real as it can get, with peeling skin and everything. 

    And I fell in love all over again...

    Kuya Javi

    Me and my two boys

    All photos are from Mia's site.  

    Interested? Check out the photographer.

    Mia Y. Marchadesch-Jaranilla
    Like her on Facebook - miaymarch  

    Trust you enjoyed viewing these as much as I did.

    Happy weekend!

    Fighting Baby Blues

    Mr. Google defines baby blues - or the more correct terminology would be postpartum depression - as:

    Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.

    Now this hit me real hard when I gave birth to Javi. I was stressed and depressed at the same time. Stressed because I had no idea how to raise a newborn. I gave myself a hard time with breastfeeding. Our environment and situation in Cebu did not help then. I was forced to remain at home. Sleep deprivation was also a factor. I really thought I was going crazy. And there was the self-pity part. I was questioning my decision of not getting a nanny. 

    As I went through my second pregnancy, I knew I had to fight postpartum depression. I need to be better. I have my older son to look after to. It's not all about the baby now. 

    During the first couple of days after giving birth, I was extremely emotional. I had Jed to lean on. And he understood me better this time. It's important he knew what postpartum depression is all about and he didn't just think i was having a meltdown. 

    I seriously did not know what to do. I still don't know what I am doing until now. But I am getting by. One day at a time. 

    My mother is with me now. And she has been a big help. I also have a helper who comes in every day to make sure the house is clean, we have clean clothes, etc. 

    Next week, my mom will be going home. And I think I am prone to postpartum depression again. I need to fight it. Like I am fighting  it now. 

    So what helps me?

    God. Reading the Word every day. Praying all the time. I am seriously surprised I have the strength and grace to get me through each day. My husband is now in the US on a business trip and I am getting by. 

    Little treats such as a cup of coffee from Starbucks, a short meet-up with a visiting friend, a trip to the grocery store, running errands, cooking a dish, shopping. I am grateful I have my mom here who watches over Caleb when I go out. It'll be a different story when she is gone but Caleb will be big enough and I can put him in his baby carrier and I can bring him with me. 

    My "happy thoughts"

    A suitable environment. Being in a city like Bangkok makes me happy. I can go outside our building, walk for 5 minutes and I've already accomplished so much. Yesterday, I picked up my son's birth certificate from the hospital and I chose to walk home. Found a baby store and a bagel kiosk on the way so I ended up shopping. A dear friend said I am a city girl. She is absolutely right. 

    My shopping finds

    Time management and routines work for me. I am the type who needs to have a schedule. I schedule almost everything. It used to annoy Jed but I think it has become very useful now. I have a set of tasks I need to do every day. I also have a list of chores for my helper to do when she is here. I'm trying to put Caleb on a schedule (babywise parenting). The only problem is my firstborn Javi. He is the unpredictable one. 

    Letting it go. I may run on a schedule but it is a flexible one. The one thing I notice which changed in me is I am not as strict as before in following a schedule. I know there will always be interruptions. Instead of stressing myself over them, I learned to let it go. No one is going to die if a task has not been done. 

    I am still not successful in breastfeeding. My milk supply is not enough. But I am not beating myself over it. It's not the end of the world if I can't exclusively breastfed my baby. Not being too hard on myself makes my disposition a lot happier. 

    The big difference right now is I asked God to take control. On the day we went home from the hospital, I did not know what to do or how to work this out, my only prayer was to leave it all up to God. And that is how I am fighting postpartum depression.

    As my friend reminded me, we are not super mommies, we do have a super God. Best reminder ever.

    My September 2013 in Photos

    The BER months are here!

    In the Philippines, it signals the start of counting down to Christmas. A few eager beavers have already put up their Christmas decorations at home.  

    For me here, September is a big month. It is still preparation to giving birth. Nesting is in full swing. 

    It turned out to be a memorable month as I gave birth to Caleb towards the end. 

    Day 1 - Together (You can have all these yummy goodness for 180 baht or US$6. Comes with fruits and a drink. Gotta love Bangkok!)
    2 - My name begins with...I (The letter "I" and "i" is for island)
    3 - Lines (I LOVE stripes. PERIOD.)
    4 - Alone (My son is back in school. Finally getting some alone time - a proper quiet time together with breakfast.)
    5 - Here forever (Yes, love grows right here at home.)
    6 - Getting ready (Time to clean what needs to be cleaned)
    7 - White (After hours of fasting or more like starvation, four blood tests and both arms like this, the doctor ruled out gestational diabetes. Yay!)
    8 - Made by me (Nesting and OCD at work. Created this chart so our cleaning lady and any one in my family may do the laundry when I give birth without breaking the washer and ruining the clothes.)
    9 - On the wall (My cork board at home. It has calendars, the FMS photo a day list for the current month, vouchers, post-it notes, flyers and food delivery menus.)
    10 - Sweet (The only syrup I want for my pancakes. Even if its sugar is 48 grams. Gasp!)
    11 - What I did today (I enjoyed coffee time alone. At 37 weeks, this is the calm before the storm.)
    12 - Shadow (My shadow (Javi) and his shadow)
    13 - Unexpected (These came in the mail today. A dear friend from Germany surprised me with these goodies.)
    14 - Liquid (Fresh coconut juice!!)
    15 - Season (Officially 38 weeks)
    16 - Frame (My favorite frame(s) in our home)
    17 - In front of me (My doctor advised me to get some more rest so I have an excuse to put my feet up while watching The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.)
    18 - Vintage (My 1st generation iPad which I have no intention of replacing. It still works fine and I have my phone anyway.)
    19 - What is this? (Oh dear, found expired packs of instant coffee in my Kopiko stash. Yup, that's how long I haven't seen or had them.)
    20 - In the morning (My challenge every morning is to wake this sleepyhead and get him ready for school.)
    21 - Rule of thirds (A lemon curd muffin I had for breakfast)
    22 - Made me smile (Went for a mani/pedi today)
    23 - From my childhood (Earrings from my paternal grandmother's tambourine necklace)
    24 - Space (I obviously have a space problems. These are my mug collection which I cannot put on display for lack of shelves.)
    25 - H is for... Helly the Helicopter (My little boy's current obsession is this Korean animated television series, Robocar Poli. Helly is one of the major characters.)
    26 - Curve (My very colorful nursing pillow)
    27 - WTF? (Just when our cleaning lady left for the day and the floor is sparkly clean, my little boy spilled his yogurt. Yes, that's how life is with small kids.)
    28 - 10 o'clock (Breakfast at Rocket Coffeebar)
    29 - Gold (I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27 NIV))
    30 - Found (Flowers from well-wishers)

    So how was your September?

    Welcome Caleb!

    Our very own Caleb came into the world evening of September 28th. I was 39 weeks pregnant. This is his birth story. 

    What's in a name?

    My husband and I fell in love with the name Caleb while watching the movie Fireproof. Kirk Cameron played the lead character whose name was Caleb. We already picked out a name for a firstborn so I told the if we ever have another son, we would name him Caleb. Then God granted us another son. 

    God orchestrated every single thing leading to Caleb's birth. I was tired of being pregnant and hoped to give birth earlier this time. But I wasn't feeling any contractions until the night before I gave birth. 

    My little family is in a foreign land meaning it is just the three of us. We do not have someone to leave our firstborn with. We honestly did not have a plan. I thought that in case I give birth before my mom gets here I can manage on my own in the labor & delivery room while Jed looks after Javi. I was dead wrong. And God knows this. 

    September 28th 

    My mother and sister arrived a day before I gave birth to Caleb. The timing was just perfect. I did feel contractions while waiting for them to get to our place then it disappeared and I felt okay. The following morning, we managed to have breakfast in our favorite brunch place then even went to the mall to shop/window shop. We headed to the hospital for my weekly check-up around lunch time. 

    We then found out my cervix was already 2cm dilated. Of course, I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital anymore. I had a proper lunch as I remembered feeling so hungry and thirsty when I gave birth to Javi. I was in the Labor Room by 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The preparations and contractions began. 

    The rest of my family went home. Jed came back with our stuff. Javi was at home with my mother and sister. God really wanted them here so they can look after Javi. And I needed Jed to be beside me through labor and delivery. 

    I dreaded going through labor again. Labor pains is not something a woman wants to go through again. And it was as painful and horrible as the first time I experienced. My only consolation this time is the hospital here in Bangkok has excellent facilities. I had the labor room all to myself. It was where I delivered Caleb. And Jed was with me the entire time. 

    The labor suite at BNH Hospital

    We were even watching Taken 2 an hour before I delivered. Jed turned the TV off as the story line of the movie is not calming me down. 

    At 9 o'clock in the evening Caleb was ready to come out. And I gotta hand it to my OB-GYN, the intern/resident, nurses and the rest of the staff, I had a normal delivery. This time without epidural. They only gave me pain killers. I had a lot of help pushing. My OB-GYN had to use a vacuum extractor on Caleb as my efforts weren't enough. I just cannot push the pain away. I may know what to do but at that time I just can't do it. All I could think of was the pain. 

    When I saw Caleb, all my worries were gone. He is a healthy baby boy. 

    With Caleb
    I stayed in the hospital for two nights. Recovery is easier because of the normal delivery. Friends and colleagues even had the chance to visit us and show us some love. I got flowers and Caleb got gifts. 

    I was very happy with our hospital, BNH Hospital. The facilities and service were excellent. Their delivery package turned out to be cheaper than St. Luke's Global in Manila. No wonder medical tourism is booming in Thailand.

    God has been so good to us the entire time and he planned every single thing for us. He is the only one who knows what is best for us -- not me. He knows I needed my mom and sister to look after Javi. He knows I would need Jed to be with me the entire labor and delivery. He spared me from experiencing labor signs at home and there was no need to panic.

    Sharing with you photos during the birth of Javi and Caleb. It's amazing how similar the two photos are. 

    My cup overflows...

    Giddy About iOS7

    I feel like a little girl on the morning of her birthday or Christmas day. Well, the truth is I couldn't wait 'til morning. I was up until midnight. The baby inside me was keeping me awake with all the moving. What else to do? I checked my phone at exactly midnight and the iOS7 update was available for download and installation. After a couple of error, I managed to download and install in 30 minutes. I got lucky. 

    The following morning I was busy reading about the new features and exploring what the new iOS can do. It is like getting a new phone without buying one. I absolutely love it! 

    Apple diehards, or rather Steve Jobs fanatics, were not too happy about iOS7. Yes, the old interface is gone. The one Steve Jobs approved. But hey, change is the only thing constant in this world. Change is good. 

    Some say the new iOS looks like Samsung Galaxy's. I wouldn't know as I don't own one. Plus should it be an issue?

    I like what I see. I love switching to iOS7. And here are more reasons why. 

    Separate folders under Photos.
    The Videos album is very handy for my little boy who loves watching his own videos.

    This is how my phone looks like. As you can tell I love colors. 
    And I group my apps according to categories.

    A square camera especially for my photo-a-day pictures.

    The new Control Center. 
    Easy access to the WiFi, Brightness Control, Calculator, Flashlight, etc.

    The new keypad is very clean. 
    The only complain I have for iOS7 is the battery drains very fast. Boo hoo! Hope Apple fixes this right away. 

    So what do you love about iOS7?

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