Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

Santi en La Playa

We took Santi to La Luz, Batangas to get some sun. It's refreshing to be away from the city and to commune with nature. We hope our little boy grows up loving the beach just like his mummy and daddy! Here are some beachy photos of the family. More of them here.

Check out Santi with his blue shades and surfer outfit!

Chillin' with his Dad

Testing the waters

"If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves...."-Anonymous

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Must Travel More

How very saaaaaaaad.

I'm 100% Filipina and yet I almost flunked this Lakbayan thingamajigy. I am so NOT proud of my C minus!

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out atLakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Who's in the mood for a road trip?

My Little Luxuries

I have never ever cherished bath time... until now. This is because my daily baths allow me to be alone, if only for 15 minutes. Being in refuge, my bathroom turns into a small sanctuary where I can just relax...away from mummy concerns muna. Thus, adding elements to make the perfect ambiance is necessary.

When I was still pregnant, I bought a few Alice Blue soy candles because I was so intrigued by this video I found on ClickTheCity. The makers claim that the aroma from a lit candle will fill the whole room. True enough, it does. To set the mood, I burn one candle a few minutes before bath time. My personal favorite is their lavender scent.

Another essential is soap. Not just any soap though!
About a week ago, while bloghopping,
I chanced upon this site. BY Nature handmade
soaps sounded so deluxe from the sites description, I just had to get my hands on them. So far, I've tried the icy choco scent and it is divine. I absolutely love the tingling sensation I get each time I rub the bar on my skin. And it lingers too hours after a bath. Perfect for hot weather like ours. I can't wait to try the other scents I got: Cocoa Butter Melt, Gentle Lavender and Mint Fantasia. I'm sure they are as fragrant and delicious to the skin!

There you have it. Two of my lifes little luxuries. I don't mind spending a tad bit more for quality products like these because they truly make me feel like a million bucks. Hey, mummies deserve it!

*Photos taken from Alice Blue Candle and BY Nature Handmade Soap websites.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Away From Baby

After almost 3 months of being with Santi 24/7, I finally accepted two freelance projects which required me to be away from home 4 hours at a time. I finally had the confidence, guts and heart to leave him with my mum for event #1 and with 'M' during event #2.

Project #1 was a corporate event by Oracle, one of the clients of 'M' held at the Shangri-la Makati. I also invited co-mummy Dee to help with the ushering of the guests. The night before the event, 'M' kept bugging me to bring breastpads (and to remind Dee as well) because he didn't want his client to see two lactating ladies at his event! Haha!

During the event Dee and I kept talking about our babies. In between opening doors and greeting guests - we were exchanging stories about how heavy Santi and; Benny is na, how much we missed them, and took turns in the banyo in pursuit of manually pumping our engorged breasts. Now isn't that hilarious?!

Monica: We are reduced to this. How brainless.

Dee: Haha I Know!

Monica: It's ok. We are mastering mothering skills (which is more profound).

Project #2 was the Collezione C2 Media Fashion Show held at the Crowne Plaza Galleria. I had promised Robbie (a very gay friend of mine and 'M') I would help him out. He does PR for OneUp, a company he recently put up with a partner.

Again, I did the menial task of handling the registration booth for the media. Although, I was happy to see old faces and friends.

Of course, I couldn't stop thinking of Santi. I flooded 'M' with text messages:

"How is he?"
"Has he eaten?"
"Is he crying?"
"Has he stopped crying?"

(Later on I found out how annoyed 'M' was. I guess he could not handle 'parent multitasking'- carrying and pacifying Santi while replying to all my textes)

After having registered all media attendees, I did some important reading. Dee lent me The Happiest Baby on The Block, which I think is more helpful & far more interesting than any of the baby books I've read.

Realizations after being away from Santi for a total of 8 hours:
  • I love him so much more!!!
  • It is liberating to be by myself, driving my car once again. 'Alone time' is good too!
  • Bringing a pump with me is a must since I really do get so engorged (ugh that rock-hard and itchy feeling).
A realization of 'M' after being with Santi for 4 hours without me:
  • Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke.
'M': I can't believe you do this all day long! I have a new-found respect for you and appreciate you more!

You see, switching roles is healthy for couples even if it's just for 4 hours! ;)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Santi's 1st Collage

'M' was in a good mood when he got home from work today. He decided to make this! Awesome! I just had to post because I thought it looked so darn cute! I wish he had more gana in editing all our pictures in Photoshop.

Here is Santi's 1st collage ever at 2 months. We have captured him responding to mummy and daddy with his coos and smiles :)

Love it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In a Heartbeat

My recent saving grace for Santi's sleeping routine is this CD, Marga, my sister-in-law-to-be passed to me when I gave birth.

At first, I didn't bother playing it and stashed it somewhere in the room. Recently, however, I finally gave it my time of day since I was lured by the album cover that says "STOPS CRYING GUARANTEED!"

It is really remarkable! Santi seems to be napping more frequently and for longer periods. How fab is that?!

The obvious explanation- babies listen to the rhythm of the heartbeat for nine months. Thus, they become accustomed and soothed by it.

Now, if only the CD had a track of the heartbeat alone, sans the lullaby. It can get irritating (to mums & dads) if it's been playing all day long! But then again, for Santi to sleep peacefully, I'd do anything... in a heartbeat ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I accidentally erased my Boom, Baby, Boom entry! Now it's gone... oh well! Nothing I can do about it now.

Moving along....

There was this expert that guested on Oprah weeks ago. He was talking about clutter in our homes (which we all have) and I found it so interesting. I also found his job, 'organizational expert' peculiar. So, I went on to do some research on him and found these tips below on memory clutter:

How to free yourself from memory clutter
  1. Realize that if you let go of an item, you do not let go of that person. People do not live on through material items.
  2. Hold on to items that only bring back positive memories, not painful ones.
  3. If there are items that encourage you to keep up a ritual based on grief, consider letting it go and focus on the positive instead.
  4. Make sure your space has a great representation of the past but also leaves room for you to celebrate the present and plan for the future.
  5. Keep the items that truly represent your loved one
I am guilty of having lots of memory clutter as I am that scrapbooking-picture-album-collecting-type but I've realized that these also need some spring cleaning. If we hold onto these things--- they take up space, and not only physical space mind you! I am aware that everyone has skeletons in their closets (figuratively & literally) and if you decide to keep them there, you are sending out a message to the universe that there is no space for new things or new people in our lives. Makes sense, right?

"Having loosened our grip of the past, we are free to reach for the future"
-Ann D. Clark

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cousin Zac

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Meet Zachary Luca.

He is the son of my brother, Gino. That makes him Santi's first cousin. Zac is 1 year and 7 months old and is probably the most hyper kid I know. He loves cars and big trucks. Each time we pass by the Mandaluyong bridge, he shrieks in delight, "Big Bird!", pointing at the Sesame Street billboard.

What's funny is, he can't pronounce Santiago correctly. Whenever he sees Santi, he screams, "Gago!"

It's good we're home most of the time and he never does that in public.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blissful Baby Books

Here are some note-worthy books I will add to my must-reads:

100 Promises to My Baby

100 Questions from My Child

Both books are by the daughter of Deepak Chopra, Mallika. In an interview here Mallika says:
I have loved mothering Tara more than anything else I have ever done in my life. I have also realized that some of it comes naturally and that other parts of it are hard-very hard. You need patience, determination, and understanding.
I couldn't agree more! I am amazed at what I have become - a parent. I now know the true meaning of unconditional love, genuine compassion and PATIENCE (these i couldn't comprehend prior to mummyhood). I also feel a whole new range of emotions I never knew existed. I am bursting with feelings. Haaaay. Everyday is filled with new discoveries for both me and Santi.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tuning On

Today was a not-so-tiring day with Santi. He napped long enough for me to have some 'alone time'. Yey!

The result? I was able to upload some songs into my really dilapidated ipod (hint!). It badly needed some updating since Montri once stole it from me, erased all my fab tunes & injected cheesy ones :P

And since I was feeling the music vibe, I searched for a music video a friend made for his thesis. It was a favorite of mine back in college when I was taking Media Production. Too bad that person didn't upload his poignant video on Youtube (I didn't find it :P). Instead, I found the original which I thought was great!

Love the song.
Love the hair!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who Am I?

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pee Blocker


Someone thought of making it first -----> here.

I wanted to make one like this for nappy change sessions. I've been peed & pooped on so many times! They say when the thingee is up, you should wait awhile because he will pee. Despite following that tip from my mum, Santi still surprises me with fountains! I don't see it coming! :P

First Pimple

Eek! Yesterday morning, my son's first pimple emerged on his left cheek. I assume this is because he likes to sleep on that side. My poor baby! Doesn't he look concerned in this photo?

He is saying, "Mommy, what now? Chicks don't dig baby acne!"

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Why I Choose Home.

A topic that always comes up in chats with mummy friends of mine is...to work or stay home to take care of the baby?

Nowadays, it is usual for mum & dad to 'bring home the bacon'. Financially, this is a practical option - two heads is indeed better than one. Increased income equals a better lifestyle & added savings lead to a secure future. Therefore, more & more couples consider this the norm.

Lucky me, I have a supportive partner. So, I gave up my corpy job and chose to stay home.

Here are my reasons:
  • To be a full-time hands-on mummy: I decided to go yaya-less because I wanted to experience motherhood at extreme levels. From changing nappies, to burping, to breastfeeding, to pacifying the fussy baby at 3am with hardly any sleep... That is how I manage my days.
  • To breastfeed exclusively: I am aware that pumping is an option (if I had to work) but there is a HUGE difference when you do direct breastfeeding. The bonding is so intense, I could cry each time. When my son looks me in the eyes, my heart just melts!
  • To watch Santi grow: I know babies grow up so darn fast. I remember my son just newly born, now he's filling up fast & cooing, next, he'll be crawling away! I don't dare miss any of his firsts that a yaya wouldn't care less about :P
I may not earn as much as I did (which translates to less shopping) but I truly believe that each moment with my son is priceless. Who can ever leave behind a face like this?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dream Job.

Just going to post an inspiring article I received & saved in my mail almost 3 years ago. (Yep, I'm a sucker for these things. When something really good comes in, I just save it in my inbox... Oh bless you gmail for all that storage space!)

Top 10 Reasons Why You Must Have Your Dream Job
By Joel Garfinkle

1. Allows You To Be Your True Self All of The Time
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to step into a false persona for work and not be your true self. Your dream job will enable you to not be "Jekyll and Hyde" but will allow you to be your true self at all times and not waste energy.

2. Fits Into Your Life
Your dream job will integrate perfectly into your lifestyle and will fit you wonderfully. It will feel like a natural part of you and will not hinder your life and other aspects of your life (family, hobbies, interests, etc.). This does not mean that there will not be times when your job will interfere with your life - that is something that will happen. But a dream job will interfere with the rest of your life significantly less than other jobs. For example, your dream job may offer you flex-time so that you can work at home at times to spend time with your family. You will still have to work but it will offer you more flexibility and more of what you want.

3. Incorporates Your Values
A dream job will have the same values as you and will not ask you to embrace values that do not resonate with you or to go against your beliefs. If you have a concern for the environment, for example, your dream job will not ask you to be involved with toxic waste dumping.

4. Allows Your To Tap Into Your Unique Gifts
Everyone has different gifts and qualities - your dream job will allow you to tap into your unique gift and express it fully. You'll notice that work will feel more effortless due to the use of your gifts and you'll begin to notice the impact you're having on all that you touch.

5. Gives You Energy Instead of Draining You
You feel energized by your job instead of drained and exhausted by it. You look forward to it and embrace every part of it. You start to notice that you have energy for other things both in and outside of work. Having more energy has the benefit of helping you to become more creative and enthusiastic. Imagine the possibilities when you harness all the energy that will fill you.

6. Enables You To Align With Your Passion and Do What You Love
There is an ease that comes with cultivating your passion. You'll feel as if you're coming to your true home and doing what you're meant to do in this lifetime. As you do what you love, you realize your purpose is being fulfilled and you feel satisfied and comfortable.

7. Helps You To Make a Difference to Something You Believe In
It enables you to feel good about giving to your job knowing that you are making a difference in some way and your unique talents and gifts are being used to bring about change to something that is important to you.

8. Is Enjoyable & Doesn't Seem Like Work
You wake up every day excited about going to work instead of dreading it. You can have fun at work and feel happy about doing your job. You might find yourself asking "Do I really get paid to do this work? It feels more like a hobby than a job."

9. Follows Your Wants Instead of Your Shoulds
You listen to your intuition and your heart instead of your rational mind and/or what society and others think you "should" do. As you listen to what you want, you begin to know yourself more clearly. The rest of your life starts to rearrange itself around who you truly are and not who you were supposed to be.

10. Fulfills You
You feel a sense of completion. The work you do, how you do it, and the responsibilities and roles all come together in a way that makes you feel satisfied. You know the work you are doing is having impact and you are truly serving your purpose.

Posted this years ago & I am still on that winding road to finding my own. Why is it so difficult to go after our dreams in life? We know what we want and yet we always put our 'special' plans on hold, having a million and one excuses for it. (sigh)

I've made a list of things I've always wanted to do:
  1. Yoga instructor - This tops my list because I've always wanted to pursue this, not only as a career choice, but as a lifestyle choice. This is Monica wanting to transcend her being & afflict others while at it. Good karma I say! You can't imagine the research I've put into finding yoga schools all over the world. In fact, I've filled up one or two applications but never got the chance to go. I don't know why.
  2. Flight Attendant - Travel has always and will always be in my heart. The flower child in me yearns for this freedom. Again, I do not know why I didn't go for this. Was it for love? Oh, the choices we make. Different paths lead to different priorities, or vice-versa? Hmm....
  3. Photographer - My passion for photography started in college class which lead me to a part-time job in Picture Company at the Powerplant mall. I should have continued on but instead, resigned because I had to concentrate on my thesis. Then never pursued again. Bummer.
  4. Make-up artist - I love fashion & beauty in general. At the tender age of three, I remember watching my mom put make-up & clothes on. I'd secretly draw on my eyes with her black eyeliner & walk around in her red pumps when she'd leave. Up to this day, whenever I go out, it's the 'getting ready for the event' which I love the most & not the event itself. Uh-huh, I also inquired in a Manila-based make-up school while I was still working at my first job. Yup, you guessed right! No follow through with this either.
  5. Travel Writer - For the same reasons as dream job no.2 :P
There are more, believe me! But these five dream jobs I always go back to time & again.

So, here I am taking that leap of faith. I'm going after one of them listed above. In October, I will be taking a Basic Hair & Make-up course in Center for Aesthetic Studies in Frank Provost, Jupiter. Woohoo!

What about my baby? I will be pumping milk like a cow in a farm, leave my precious pumped milk with my mom
who will babysit for me 4 hours a day, 3 times a week for 2 months.

Grandparents are simply grand! :)

 -Made font small because this never happened. -written Jan 23, 2009

Monday, July 02, 2007

High on Breastmilk

Since I started breastfeeding Santi, I notice how content & dazed he looked after every feed. I would always joke around saying "ang lakas ng tama mo baby, gimme some of that?!"

This is a 7-day old photo of him. Yes, definitely looking 'high' after a feed.

Interestingly enough, I come across this article on The New York Times that says:

Every time we nurse our babies, the love hormone oxytocin courses out of our pituitaries like a warm bath. Human milk is like ice cream, Valium and Ecstasy all wrapped up in two pretty packages.

Heh! How fitting, right! Doncha wish we were all babies again?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"I'm Getting Married!"

Yep, it's official. I am to wed late next year to the father of my child. Hurray!

So, how is Monica as ze wedding planner? Must I say, I love it! The Virgo in me has awaken; I have already made a tentative guest list & entourage picks, scouted for church & reception venue duo's, contacted the dress designer & hair stylist. Of course there's more that I should do but give me a break, I just started! Thank god for the wonderful world wide web for fab wedding sites such as theknot.com - so chic, so aspirational!

As they say, every woman dreams of her wedding day since she is a little girl and always refers to it as her 'big day', the most important day of her life even (perhaps, more appropriate to say, the most exhilarating). I am feeling very excited about this. Yes, I am sounding Cinderella-ish and surprisingly, I don't mind at all. ;)

Despite all those righteous years of me not believing in marriage as an institution to keep (how negative, noh?), I finally have come to terms with myself. That topic alone deserves its own article which I will save for a rainy (shall I say, gloomy?) day.

As I ask in facebook (the somewhat new friendster), "Do you believe in unconditional surrender?"

I answer YES!

Yes to: love! romance! togetherness! surprises! happy joyful moments!
But also to: quarrels. compromise. space. mundane days. pain. forgiveness.

Yes to it ALL. I surrender myself, all my vulnerabilities.

On a lighter note, here are some images to inspire me as I hum the wedding march..tantantanan!


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