Gone But Not Forgotten

I apologize in advance for the sad post 😦 I was cleaning out my personal multiply account and preparing to delete it since I received an email memo from multiply that personal accounts will be deleted by the end of the month, I think. Was going through old pictures, blog posts, videos… made me so sentimental. Too bad my photo journal has to be closed down already, was looking forward to sharing that with my kids someday. I guess we still really have to rely on good old fashioned photo albums to keep and share our memories.

I wanted to share this blog post I wrote 4 years ago about a very dear friend of mine who passed away. I remember her every so often. She would’ve been godmother to my Baby Bear and she would’ve been a good godmother at that. I miss you, dear friend. I know you are happy where you are now and I am just thankful that we had a chance to be friends!

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – April 8, 2008

I recently celebrated my birthday… as all celebrations are, I celebrated it with a bang! Since my fiancée and I have the same birthday, it’s actually a week-long celebration for us. Good times… filled with all the love and happiness as we celebrate it with our love ones.

Not to be too morbid, but the celebration always end with a sudden sadness… because 3 years ago, a good friend of mine passed away the day after my birthday. It’s been 3 years since my good friends‘ death, yet the grief is still truly being felt. Realizing that we can’t change what happened, our evolutionary process demands that we begin to perceive ourselves, life and death in ways more aligned with the truth of our immortal nature. I respect the depth and strength which floods our being… but as all theories about life and death go, the only way to live life and conquer death is to make memories that we can leave behind. This blog post is a tribute to my very good friend… in memory of the love and happiness that you have shared with us that will always be cherished and remembered.

How I knew her… we were never classmates in our alma mater and we went to different colleges. We had a lot of common friends but we never saw each other during gimmicks. I remember the first time we became friends. It was our discovery that we were “neighbors”. I say “neighbors”, not because we lived in the same street, neither did we live in the same village, but she was just over there at banawe, which was sooo near my place. We shared the love of good food. We were always pigging out at Yellow Cab and Ice Monster. We shared the love of good movies and tv series’. Sleepovers at her place were quite common especially during the Gilmore Girls hype. One of my most poignant memory of her was during our first sleepover. I was surprised to see all my favorite snacks on a tray during our sleepover. Apparently, she had called my then boyfriend, who told her that I didn’t have one favorite snack because it was dependent on my mood. She was so sweet to have gotten me all my snacks just in case I would be in whatever mood that time. It was literally 20 snacks in a tray with 6 packs of regular coca-cola (not light). That was how sweet she was… and how much of a junkie I am 🙂

She had lived an amazing life even though it was rather short. She was a great daughter and a sister – she would always try to fetch her shobe from school and help her with her homework. She would organize family dinners and help her dad with the running of their business. She was the quintessential definition of a good daughter and achie.

She was a great friend – the kind that stands by you when you need somebody to be there. She’s the ultimate “surprise-birthday-party-mooncake-dice-game-organizer”. She had a great sense of humor. She was the kind of person who would make everyone laugh so hard that they’d end up crying. This is her trademark. She always wanted to make everyone happy. Good times! 🙂

With her, what you see, is what you get. She lived life without pretense and gave of her pure heart completely. She had more “best friends” than I can count, because she made each one of us feel like her best friend. Although what we’ve lost is tremendous, what she gave us was immeasurable. To those who knew her, no explanation is necessary… to those who didn’t, no explanation is possible.

Gone but not forgotten: In loving memory.

A loved one can die, but live on in the hearts and minds of family and friends who had the privilege of knowing them during their lifetime. To feel life is to remember good friends, long gone to another realm. Knowing when our time comes, we will all meet again. For now, you are all in our hearts, always missed and so much loved. — Anonymous

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Know Your Child Workshop

In line with my goals of becoming a better mom, I attended a half-day Know Your Child Workshop last month. The goal of the workshop is to help parents deal with issues that they have with their kids by understanding the root cause. The objective is to open up the eyes of the parents to the vantage point of the kids to give them an insight about who they are and why they act as such.

It started out with the parents listing all their problems and complaints. The list of issues ranged from the kid watching too much TV, being shy around strangers, being hyper all the time, too dependent on parents or nannies, too much TV and the like.

We first parked that list on the white board and tackled the nature of a kid to better understand their psyche. By nature, they are:

1.) Naturally comfortable – They were born with a clean slate with no concept of right and wrong, what is proper etiquette and without a manual of what to do and not to do.

2.) Always HAPPY 🙂 – The seminarian cited a study that indicates a child smiles about 100x/day, teens at 19x. They are happy unconditionally and sad conditionally.

3.) Always “live in the present” moment

Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #1-3:

Problem: They are shouting outside when they are excited, running around. You view this as the kids being hyper. In reality, they are just overwhelmed with life and are just expressing their amazement. You tell them NO, don’t do this, don’t do that. They feel restricted. In a social setting, you tell them to stop running around and just sit down.

Outcome(s):

– They become restrained when outside thus becoming “too shy”.

– They become dependent on you to tell them what to do or not to do because they are not sure anymore what is the right thing to do.

– They cannot enjoy just sitting down so they turn to electronics or TV. Then you get mad when they become too attached to the TV/iPad 😦

4.) Intelligent logically

5.) Daring little people – Unfortunately, we transfer our fears to them subconsciously.

Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #4-5

Problem: Fear of Dogs, Swimming, Darkness, etc.

Outcome: Kids are intelligent logically. They are very observant and can sense a lot of things especially with the parents or caregivers. They are very attuned to what is happening around them.

Example 1: You are holding your child’s hand and you come across a dog. You inadvertently squeeze her hand extra tight. This very subconscious action signals to the child that the dog may not necessarily be a safe animal. The next time, the child will also tense up when he/she sees a dog.

Example 2: If the parent doesn’t know how to swim and he/she is holding the baby in a pool or beach. They will also pass on their fear to the child.

6.) Independent thinkers

Problem: They see a giant trampoline or a bouncy house and quickly scamper for it. You stop them, tell them they can’t because it’s too crowded, too many big kids, the place isn’t clean, etc. Admit it, the last reason has crossed your mind. 😉

Outcome(s): They are naturally curious, don’t care about the dirt and hey, it’s a trampoline, I want to jump and jump even if I have to be stuck in a crowded place with a bunch of sweaty kids. Not allowing them to makes them feel repressed. They are hampered by your NO. They become more stubborn due to loss of freedom or go into a shell (shyness).

Solution: (PEACE)

1.) Positive – Always take on a positive attitude when it comes to your kids and their experiences. Try to see the world in the eyes of a child and am sure all your NOs may turn into a lot of YESses!

2.) Exercise – More oxygen into the brain creates more happy moods. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts – ‘Nuf said! 🙂

3.) Ask questions – Constantly challenge and stimulate the minds of your kids. They are naturally intelligent and quite the thinkers. Don’t let their minds be stuck in a rut with just mindless TV. Engage with their minds. They’ll have all the time in the world to become couch potatoes later on when they’re older.

4.) Creative – As parents, we should always find creative ways to stimulate their minds and handle our personal issues with our kids. To each his own. No 2 kids are alike. What works for one may not necessarily work with the other. i.e. If getting a kid to drink her medicine entails a puppet show, then so be it.

5.) Ear – Always take the time to listen to the stories of your children. Ask them what they did in school and what they did after. How their day was… highs and lows. Asking about them also lets them fall into the routine or habit of telling you about their lives. Believe me, this will come in mighty handy next time when you have a secretive, moping, sulking teen in the house. Take an interest in their lives constantly so that you get to know them more. Let them help you understand why they do what they do and why they are who they are.

That’s it, pansit. I hope you can use some of these tips on your own kids. Have a PEACEful weekend y’all! 🙂

Personalities and Quirks

Do you believe that the personality of babies are made and not born with or born and not made? I think at the start, they were born with their own set of personalities but it is up to us, as parents, to try NOT to shape but to HONE these personalities. My husband and I both have more or less the same personality type. Suffice it to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Baby Bear has our personalities. This is a double-edged sword for us. This can be good because at least we know how we like and don’t like things so it is easier to adapt to her. This is also bad because, hey it’s hard enough to change ourselves as it is, let alone get someone else to change too.

Baby Bear is a bit of an introvert like us. I scoured around the internet looking for the best description of what an introvert is. It’s hard to do so because there is a lot of misconception surrounding this specific stereotype. Here’s the best definition I was able to get that was a bit close to home of what an introvert for me is.

So what makes Baby Bear an introvert?

1.) She tends to think things through before doing – If I ask her to look for things in the room, she really looks first before pointing. Just recently, I asked her where the wall clock is in the office of her pedia. She looked around first then pointed to where it was hung. When I ask her to grab me toys from her room, she doesn’t just go and randomly throw around things looking for the object that I asked for. She will survey the room first, and when she finds it with her eyes, then she goes for the object.

2.) She observes first before diving head on – She is enrolled in Gymboree Play & Learn 3 and Music  1 class. She doesn’t participate at once because she studies the teacher intently.. and by intently, I mean if looks-can-kill type of stare. After she gets the hang of it, she practices at home, preferably when she is alone. We see her doing the stuff she learned in school via our baby monitor.

3.) She is very shy and reserved. – She shies away from people who shower her with lots of attention. She doesn’t like to “do tricks” in front of other people and literally, burrows herself when people applaud her.

No, I don’t think she is anti-social. Neither is she “gifted” in the negative way. That’s just how she is. Different strokes for different folks. This is how she moves, this is how she learns and plays. I can enroll her in all the classes I can think of or even schedule her all the playdates that she wants but I think this is how she really is. She is super happy to see her room when she comes home from the mall, classes or a trip. She plays with all her toys as if she hasn’t seen them for a week. This is her way of recharging and being herself.

Do I wish that she was more of an extrovert? Yes, I do sometimes wish that but only because I know my Baby Bear has so much talent to share. She knows so many things already and I am just a bursting proud Momma Bear who just wants to show her off. I think though, we just need to take a step back and remember that though our babies are ours, they are still their own person. They are living their own lives and we should let them live it by supporting them and not changing them. We should foster an environment wherein they will feel safe and secure enough to grow and blossom.

Here’s a list of rules for caring for an introvert that a friend of mine emailed me.

how to care for introverts

An introvert or an extrovert will have their own ways of learning and living. At the end of the day, trust that they will arrive at the same answer… just a different road. To the moms out there, who also have introvert babies, let your tiger mom instinct take a step back. You may not be able to show them off the way you would an extrovert child who loves the crowd and knows how to work them, but your baby will know if you are proud of them… and at the end of the day, that is all that will matter! Your child is uniquely yours and only a mother can love and understand their own kids the best way they know how – quirks and all! 🙂

How about you? Is your child an introvert or extrovert? Do share us your stories about your own kids 🙂 Happy weekend!

Sneak Peek!

One of my baby businesses is about to launch and I would like share with you some of the excitement I am feeling. Here are some teaser pictures. I hope they tickle your fancy!

Cabinet Dresser PENELOPE Collection - customized to meet the exacting needs of an OC momma 🙂

Bedside Shelf KAYLA Collection - for those important items you need easy access to... but don't know where to place 🙂

Safety Gate MATTEO Collection - customized design for another OC client 🙂

Let me know what you guys think. Your honest feedback is most welcome!

Do let me know what other furnitures you’d also love to have in your own nursery. 🙂

All You Need Is Love… and Respect!

Happy Hearts’ Day Everyone! 🙂 This time of love brings me back to my honeymoon days. The first few years of newly wedded bliss makes your head feel light and takes your heart up above in cloud nine.  They went by with a blur with so many magical first moments with your husband. The first time he introduced you as his wife… the first time someone called you Mr. and Mrs…. (yes, I have even have the first wedding invite I got that said so too!) … the first time that you sat in the middle of your new place… curling up with your husband and de-stressing the hectic work day by watching movies together… playing hooky… sleeping in together… breakfast in bed…  these are just be a few of the many magical moments that will happen during the first years of marriage.

But sometimes, the first few years also seemed sooooo long… living together is so exciting but there are also a lot of challenges, adjustments and “giving in”.

Some of the adventures and challenges we faced:

1.)     The Kitchen is the most challenging room in the apartment.  Culinary skills – zero!  It’s so hard to distinguish frozen beef from frozen pork, allocating space for all kitchen appliances and trying to find out just how many cooking utensils you actually need.

2.)     the Bedroom (?) – NOT! 🙂

3.)    When the in-laws come to visit and when your parents come to visit — there is always that need for the house to look well-kept and to impress.

4.)    Household Help! Need I say more… this deserves a whole new other blog post.  =P

5.)    Juggling work with your married life and your social life.  Gone are the days when you can say YES to any social event.  Now you need to check in with your husband to make sure that he’ll be okay being home alone while you’re out on the social scene with your gal pals.

6.)    Still staying as beautiful and fun as you were when you were single.  Ask any newly wed man what he fears the most about getting married and top box answer would always be “my wife will let herself go…”!  A good friend of mine once told me… don’t forget to fix yourself up even around your husband.  It’s not just because we have to please our better halves… but we feel better, look better and are happier when we take care of ourselves.

How to deal with the challenges that would come your marriage way is not about who gives in or what adjustments need to be made.  It’s just a simple paradigm shift of how you make things work and how to go about everyday life with another person. Below are some thoughts from other couples that might be a good guide to ease through the birthing pains.

1.)    Whatever habits existed before the marriage will still be there afterwards.  Don’t expect too much change.  If he was a slob the night before marriage, he will be that same slob the next morning.

2.)    Thou shalt not project yourself onto your partner and get mad if he doesn’t do it your way… be it cleaning up, cooking, washing the dishes, paying bills, etc.  Work it out and just try to settle on who likes or doesn’t mind doing what.

3.)    You will be exposed to habits that will annoy the hell out of you. You can nag about everything, but that will just be a total drag – for you and for him!  If your husband, no matter how many times you ask him, never seems able to put a new toilet paper roll in the bathroom, then it might better for your sanity to just know that you’ll be the designated toilet paper replacer in the family.

4.)    It’s not really about compatibility but rather, being respectful to your partner.

5.)    Yes, you are a couple now, but you still need to nurture your individuality.  It’s OK and encouraged to have separate interests of your own.  Discover a passion that is hidden in the depths of your soul.  And if that’s too deep for you, grab a purse, your girlfriend and go shopping.  Hello, Retail Therapy!!! See a movie, get a massage, read a book and catch up on some sleep.  Do something (except bitch at him), that will make you happy too!

These are but just some of the adventures and misadventures. So often it’s the drama that stands out in our minds, when it should be those special irreplaceable times… those magical moments  that make a marriage. It’s the journey of making yours and mine into ours.  Live, love and laugh… laugh together!!! 😀 It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane things, just enjoy each other.  Today, take the time to go back to that happy place and do something now that you enjoy with your husband and have a good laugh. Happy Valentines’ Day y’all! 🙂 XoXo!

My First Alterego: StartUp Wife

What comes after “I do”??? After that amazing walk to remember, it’s a walk down the clouds to usher in a life that’s fab but also full of challenges.

I got engaged years ago… and started life as a newly wed wife. As a former glowing bride, I found my wedding day to be the happiest day of my life. I was happy to have found the man I wanted to start a new life with… and the man I wanted to grow old and gray with. Like all brides-to-be, I must’ve read every bridal magazine I could get my hands on to help me execute my dream wedding.  (And I’ve got expensive photos to prove it… ;)) The problem was how little information there was on what to do after your husband carries you over the threshold of the door to your new place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting to be married and I was looking forward to what comes next, but it’s also a bit terrifying to take on a new role and take your relationship to the next level.

There will be some stories shared about wifely duties, mommy responsibilities, anecdotes about transitioning into the different roles and other what-nots. After all, there will come a time that the honeymoon stage will be over and the real “work” is needed. Yup, you read me right, work! Ask any old married couple and they will tell you that they got to where they are through hard work.  Having a household that runs like clockwork entails the utmost attention to detail and effort.

The “newlywed year” (married less than 5 years) is an important foundation to a happy relationship. It’s a year to settle down, adjust to life as a couple, get used to each other’s weird OC habits and try to figure out where things go in which cabinet. Basically it’s just simply how to go about your daily habits without killing each other. It’s a constant struggle to juggle your duties as a wife, as a homemaker, and now, as a mom to a 9 month old baby. Add to that the adjustments to be made as a dutiful daughter-in-law while yet remaining to be a good daughter to your own mom. As if learning to share a bathroom isn’t enough! 😉

The posts in this blog are all first-hand experiences in being a newly wed wife AND a new mom. Hope you guys will enjoy the stories.  Feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts and heck, free advice is always welcome.  🙂

Welcome to the married life and here’s to a marriage filled with live, love and happily-ever-after.  🙂