My May 2014

It's another end of the month. All I remember about May is Mother's Day, three non-working holidays in Thailand, declaration of Martial Law and the coup d'├ętat. As you can tell, we had a busy month here in Thailand.


My month of May went something like this --

1. Begins with J (J for juice. Today's juice combination is apple + pineapple + guava + lime. I don't know what it does to the body but it sure taste good.)
2. Snack (Wanted to spend a quiet morning in Starbucks with a cookie and coffee. What actually happened was I hurriedly ate everything as Caleb was too cranky disturbing the other customers.)
3. Collection (My accidental collection. Since I receive too many cards when I trade mugs, I decided to put them in a card holder. It's full now so I need to buy a bigger one. I'm not exactly a serious card collector.)
4. Us (The newest frame on our photo wall at home. Photo from our recent trip to Siem Reap.)
5. 4PM (My little boy at a birthday party getting a Batman tattoo.)
6. From down low (Caleb and I were out running errands this morning. We had to go through this walkway.)
7. Taken from above (Thai PM was forced to resign over abuse of power. And the protesters are again back on the streets for possibly their "victory march.") 
8. Blue (Only babies can get away with socks like these.) 
9. Favorite (My coffee time. Today, it was the little one's naptime so I wrote down thoughts for a blog post and read a chapter of a book.)
10. In the garden (We live in a high rise. We don't have our own garden. Would be nice if we have. Snapped this photo while I was out earlier.)
11. Mother (The realities of motherhood. I survived grocery shopping with these two cuties. It's crazy but I wouldn't trade it for anything else.) 
12. Ready (Water is boiling. I can now start cooking the broccoli. Trying to eat healthier by adding more vegetables to our dishes.) 
13. I spy (The little brother wants to watch what the older brother is watching. These two are so cute together.) 
14. Lines (Ray of lights)
15. From where I walk (I walk where there's a shade. It was scorching hot today.)
16. Create (A barista's lair. So what's your poison?)
17. Bag{s} (My most used bags now are eco bags for grocery shopping and running errands. I seldom use my handbags as I keep my cash and cards in a handy phone wallet.)
18. Something I {Javi} drew (We have pieces of paper everywhere in our home with scribbles and doodles from my firstborn.)
19. Alone (I love my early morning gym time. I'm the only one working out. I appreciate the solitude. It's my only alone time throughout the day.)
20. Waiting (Dinner tonight is Veggie Ham and Egg Bake. Fresh out of the oven and waiting for it to cool.)
21. Card{s} (These are the cards I use the most - Starbucks card, supermarket card, building keycard, train pass and of course credit card.)
22. Free (Free promo beverage from Starbucks. Benefit of the reward system.)
23. Black + white (My EQ is pretty low at the moment so I visited a happy place.) 
24. Sunrise (A new morning in Bangkok. It's Day 4 since the coup was announced. We got our international channels back on cable last night. Yay for that!)
25. Neighborhood (And the curfew is on. Very few vehicles on the road.) 
26. Pet (Pets are not allowed where we live. I don't see it a problem as I am terrified of dogs, cats and any animal for that matter.)
27. Meal (Dinner time for the little one.) 
28. Unique (Bank notes have serial numbers. Each one is unique and important.) 
29. Negative space (Nowadays, it is advisable to carry a proof of identification when we go out. I don't have any other valid IDs here except the passport.) 
30. Side view (Postcard from Singapore. The Merlion is best photographed from this angle - side view.)
31. Sunset (Too bad the clouds covered what could have been a beautiful sunset.)

And we're almost halfway through 2014. June please be kinder to us. 

How did your May go?

Kuya Kim's Testimony


I personally do not know these people. They are celebrities from my home country, the Philippines. 

I was really touched by this Instagram post how Kim Atienza, or Kuya Kim as he is popularly called, encountered God. 

God will soften the hardest of hearts.



Being "born again" or having a relationship with Christ has a stigma especially with Catholics. I grew up knowing that "born agains" would try to convert every Catholic so better stay away from them. 

God seeks us. And for me, He has a funny way of leading me to Him. He made me fall in love with a born again or Evangelical Christian. And that's how my walk with Christ started. 

All of sudden, I began noticing the lives of my Evangelical friends. Take note, none of them forced me to convert. No one shoved Bible verses down my throat or trick me into attending church service. They were cool like that.

The way one Christian live his life is the only testimony some people need to want to get to know Christ. That did the trick for me. During those times, I saw how joyful and contented my friends were. I became curious, I wanted to have their relationship with Christ. 

God will call us in very different ways. When this happens to you - my family, relatives and friends (even acquaintances and readers of this blog) - and you have no idea what to do next, I will help you. I am far from being an expert but I have a slight idea of what to do. We will sort it out. Together, we can grow in our walk with Christ.   

Have a wonderful weekend!

A Mom of Two

Since Mother's Day was last Sunday, I'd give a little update as to how my life has transitioned to being a mom of two. When I first blogged about having a second child, I was still uncertain and adjusting to my new normal. 

Our firstborn is now 4 1/2 years old and goes to school. The second one is 7 months old. It's a crazy household. I am the hands-on type and my sons never had a nanny - it's all mommy (and daddy). There are times I still can't believe I am raising two boys.


How do I do it? The answer: routines and a little bit of help

Routines make sure everything get done. I believe in schedules, lists and plans. I use several productivity apps. I rely on routines to get me through each day. 

A little bit of help comes in the form of a person who comes in during weekdays to help me with tasks and chores I can delegate. And because of this, I get to focus on my two children. 

Caleb is a pretty easy baby to take care of. He was already sleeping through the night by two months old. Hallelujah! The Babywise Principle works for him. He is a smiling baby. Now he starts to crawl and wants to explore more. He is getting more active. I think, though, I have enough training with his Kuya (older brother) that I can handle him. 

The Kuya, Javi, is pretty much independent and can do most things by himself. Yes, those are the words he would always tell me, "I can do it by myself." Music to a mommy's ears. My first baby is now a little boy. He would still  throw tantrums but he can express himself better now so situations are resolved. He adores school. To think, I was sad when I sent him off on his first day last year. If you ask me now, it is the best thing that ever happened to the two of us. Mommy gets some alone time. He enjoys school. 

My husband and I pretty much worked out a system. We found the time to work out.  Even if my schedule is before sunrise. I enjoy my occasional coffee time. I get time for my grooming rituals (eyebrow grooming, mani/pedi, etc.) every month. We can even bring the whole family to go see a movie when there is a good one we want to see on the big screen. We like dining out with the two kids. We bring them everywhere. We even had a holiday with them. It is not easy. But with careful planning and timing, it is workable. 

I love being a mom. I am not always a joyful mommy. I am still a work in progress. Honestly, I cannot see myself doing any other thing right now except raising my two sons. The years are definitely short. I am grateful for this blessing of being a stay-at-home mom every single day. 



Belated Happy Mother's Day! It's not solely for mothers who gave birth to a child. I think the circle of motherhood is much bigger than what society normally perceive. 


Deactivating Facebook


I finally did it. I deactivated my Facebook account. 


On Easter Sunday, I decided to deactivate my account. An incident triggered the deactivation. I felt like I walked out of Facebook. And my life is so much better - and quieter - without it. 

It's been almost three weeks of no Facebook and I couldn't be happier. I am on my third book. I finished two books from last year's reading list. And here I was complaining I do not have time to read when I actually do. Instead of poring over friends' posts, I was reading a real book where I can learn something. I can blog again!

The thing with Facebook is I have too many friends. I wish it was similar to Twitter or Instagram where people can just follow you and there is no need to follow them back. I did unfollow posts from a number of contacts, but I still have a large number of updates on my News Feed. What's annoying with posts in Facebook now is it brings up posts (even of years ago) with recent likes and comments. Then most of the posts going viral on Facebook are not verified. People are too gullible to believe and share them. It's a time waster. Don't get me started on public posts. It floods my News Feed.. 

I was overwhelmed with every single detail - where they went, what they ate, what movies they saw, what their kids did, how they felt. And there are the  "humblebrags." 

I've had enough and I needed a break. 

Bliss

My problem now is I am not sure I want to go back to Facebook. I do not miss it. And I learned I can live without it. 

What about the people who wants to keep in touch with me? There are other channels. I am very active on Instagram and Twitter. We can go back to communicating via e-mail again.  Then those who I am close to know my mobile number. 

The only reason why I stayed on Facebook is because of my mom. It's the only one she knows how to use. But now that she's learning iMessage, I can deactivate for a longer period.

Facebook is addicting. My phone was attached to my hand. All I ever did was like and comment on posts. I felt I was obliged to. I am missing out on the real world. 

Watch this video to understand what I meant. 



I am more convinced to spend less time on social media and give time to those that matter.

Deactivating my Facebook is one of the best decisions I've ever done.

Do you guys get overwhelmed by social media, too? Do you agree with the message of the Look Up video?

 
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