Thursday, June 20, 2013

Waiting For Freedom

Since we just celebrated Father's Day last weekend, I want to turn the spotlight on to the Mister. I want to share to you something very special. This was written by my loving husband while I was inside the delivery room, pushing, screaming, grimacing, losing-all-composure, having-the-time-of-my-life, giving-my-all moment.

You see, the Mister is better than I am when it comes to writing. I've been nagging him about all the Post-it notes I keep on collecting that are scattered all over our room ever since the world began. I could have compiled them all and made a book out of it! Hmmm...That gave me an idea!

The hospital in Bacolod where I gave birth doesn't allow husbands inside the delivery room. It was a hard experience but we made it through. I gave birth to my lovely boy via normal delivery at 9:17pm on Feb. 8, 2012 after 5 hours of grueling labor pains.

Read on.

Waiting For Freedom

This is , by far, the longest afternoon I've ever experienced. 

Time drips away like a whale oil candle burning brightly through this stormy and restless skies, yet consuming every bit of each passing moment. These eggshell white and powder blue halls are teeming with movements that dissipate as quickly as they were made, anticipating one of these full motion figures would stop to provide me the well-deserved courtesy of a blow-by-blow coverage. What's going on behind these curtain covered rooms?  Is my wife and child doing alright? Is there anything I could buy or do to remind my loved ones that I am steadfast and expecting? 

A millions thoughts racing in my head, while a fear I have never felt before crawls underneath my skin. Helpless as I sit here, pounding my stress into this fragile machine. I wish this was just like them fistfights in school or the riots in a friend's university but nay, this will probably be one of the most decent moments of my life.

So here I am. Waiting for Freedom...

Finally! Our little bundle of joy - 2 hours old.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My 15th Letter to Freedom


Dearest Son,

It's been a long time since I last wrote to you. I definitely made use of that long time to hover and coo over your cuteness self and savor every minute I have with you since you came back from Bacolod. Everything is different now. When I had to cry and cry last March because you could no longer recognize my face the moment I carried you at the airport upon your arrival, now is a different story. I had to bring you along with me even when I had to pee! Hehe!

Your Tatay teases me all the time about this. "Gusto mo close kayo diba? Ayan, ikaw ang super favorite nya." It's not that I don't like it, of course. It's just over the top, my son. Hehe! But I'm not complaining. I still love how strong our bond is.

The moment this little monkey dropped my cheeseburger!

And now that I work on night shift, I get to spend the whole day with you and we are so much closer than ever! Your neurotic mom even sneaks out of the office during lunch break, goes home and checks on you while you were sleeping! Mind you, this is at 3 in the morning! See, neurotic to the highest level! Your Tatay would say I'm not doing the wisest thing in case I'll wake you up 'cause I wouldn't be able to go back to the office before my 1-hour lunch break is up. Tatay has a valid point there, but your crazy mom would still insist doing it. I did it again today, by the way. Hehe!

So long my love, till the next letter. Tatay and Mommy love you to bits.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Kindermusik Kiddo

The Mister came from a family of musicians. His father was the King of Philippine Novelty Songs. His sister is also a singer and a performer. He is a rock star in his own right. He has managed to play in two bands until now. Music is his passion and he's happiest when he plays. He's great at song writing too, and I can still remember the days when he used to visit me at my dorm and serenade me. Yes, we are a modern couple but we went through the cheesy phase of hinarana ni Dodong si Inday.

It's crazy falling in love with a rock star. They're absolutely hot on stage. They think creatively different too. The Mister is a vocalist/guitarist/bassist. On the side, the Mrs can sing a few lullabies and that's it! So I'm just head over heels (bulag sa pag-ibig) when the Mister performs. What more would I feel when Free performs for the first time? The Mister promised me to teach Freedom how to play the guitar at age 3. I can't wait to see Free plays the guitar, singing "Butsekik"' and "Magellan".

We all know that music has a never-ending list of benefits in our lives. The Chinese philosopher Confucius said that “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

When it comes to music on babies, the benefits are endless! This is the very reason why at only 5 months, Freedom was already attending iVillage classes at Kindermusik with Teacher Jeannie & Company at BGC, The Fort.

Here are some of the developmental benefits of musical learning according to Kindermusik:

Muscular Development:   It improves a child’s small motor skills, hand-eye coordination and over-all physical coordination.

Increased Listening Ability:  This helps to increase the attention span, concentration, and long and short term memory.

Increased Primary Mental Abilities: (verbal, perceptual, number, and spatial) This sharpens a child’s communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills. He or she learns to understand, interpret and use symbols in new contexts.

Creative Potential: This promotes awareness of student’s capabilities using imagination and self expression.

Development of Personal and Social Skills:  It can help to build confidence, self-discipline and responsibility.  Children learn to work for and cooperate with others.

Here are precious glimpses of our fun time at Kindermusik.

Our little Dracula

One semester will cost you 10K though but, boy, that was one opportunity we never regret giving our son. Freedom enjoyed it so much that until now he can still recognize Kindermusik songs every time I play it to him. He even dances to all the rhythms. I also read to him Kindermusik's books up to now.

The last time I checked, Kindermusik's enrollment fee increased but they are now offering more flexible terms. You can check for more enrollment information and schedule of classes. We plan to enroll him again in classes for toddlers this time.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Baby No. 2

Time out! I am N-O-T pregnant. I'm writing this because I wanted to talk the Mister and myself out of having baby no. 2. Yes. I am choosing want to stop at one child. Every time I'd share this to anyone I know, I get the typical response of, oh, you'll want another one the moment Freedom turns 3. And there's always that hush-hush assumption that onlies are spoiled little monkeys. Well, my bestfriend is an only child and she is no spoiled brat. She’s in fact one of the most responsible daughters a parent can have.

The Mister wants two kids. And I understand his reasoning behind this choice. He wants Freedom to have someone to lean on other than us. I respect that. I see his point. But this is an avenue where we are currently not agreeing. I only want one child. I have listed down the pros and cons in my mind. Still, I only want one child.

I may not take this path one more time so I want to appreciate this beautiful form.

I am not a perfect mother. I had my fair share of mishaps and blunders as a mom. I mature each day as a mom. I guess I'm getting good at it. It's just that when I became a mother, I lost myself somehow. It was all about Freedom. Yes, I am a hovering mommy. I became more of a mother than my own person. If I will not change me crazy self now, I’m sure Freedom will despise me for being an OA mom that I am today. It became worse when I started to neglect my duties as the good wife. I have to remind myself that I am a wife first, then a mom second. Good thing the Mister understood. He does try. Thanks, Meluvs!

I do not resent Freedom for what I feel. I love my boy to bits. It's just me who got stuck. But I'm happy to report that I'm slowly bouncing back. It's exhausting staying vigilant all the time. Every day is still a struggle as my baby is just so cute to me. He does things so funny to me and I can't help it. I get carried away from time to time. In short, I am losing myself one time too many. Maybe because I don't want to miss a single thing as he grows up, which by the way happens steadily fast!

All moms want the best for their kids. We all struggle to raise a happy, independent child to face this wonderful but complex world. So I figure if I want a happy kid, I need to be a happy mom. And to be a happy mom, I need to be a happy person. Needless to say a happy wife means a happy husband and vice versa.

Happy people make one happy world!

Don't get me wrong. I am happy with my life. Well, I can be happy today. I can be sad tomorrow. I may feel delighted next week. There are of course the typical bumps and jumps along the way but all is very well. My choice of having one child rooted from my pursuit of constant happiness. Yeah, I heard you. Happiness is relative but it also needs hard work. Let's not get hypocrite. Sometimes, it's hard to maintain being happy. I'm sort of a melancholic character. Sometimes, borderline depressive.

My description of happiness is not complex. It's not ambitious; it's never pretentious. I am happy with simple pleasures. Happiness means freedom. I believe having one child will be liberating. I don't want to live a life full of obligations. I want to save my authentic self while working hard to be the best mom to my kid .And I'd be happiest if I can have the freedom to
- go to movies and concerts
- go to my hubby’s gigs (this I miss!)
- go on romantic vacations and foodventures with the Mister
- deluge myself in solitude
- spend quality time with my son
- take care of my Mama and Papa as they grow old
- spend special occasions with my parents and siblings
- travel to places with closest girlfriends
- invest for my son's future
- save enough for a meaningful retirement

I know I sound selfish to some. I could care less. They can kill me with their judgment. I have to love myself. I will not be bound by close-mindedness. I need to make wise choices within the boundaries of my reality. And my reality is that I wouldn't be able to do most, if not all of the above, with a second child.

The truth is, no matter how privileged we are, we all have a burden to carry. All of us do what we do to better our lives. And these are the things I want to do. I want a meaningful life. I want to live my life to the fullest and spend it with my loved ones. Oh, don't worry. I will make sure Freedom has the happiest childhood. I'll make sure he'll have wonderful cousins and best friends for siblings. I'll make sure he'll be the happiest kid on the block even though he's an only child. The Mister and I have the rest of our lifetimes do exactly that.

I am not here to convince any parent to also decide on having one child. I am not here to judge any parent who's had one child too many. I am not here to make any parent feel bad or regret having more than one child. This is my own choice, at least if you ask me now. Please don't kill me though if I ever eat my words. It would have been a different scenario had I won the lottery. Even so, I might still settle on having just two. As I said, I wanted to talk myself out of this. I want to be a mom of an only child.

There you go. I hope the Mister reads this (wink wink).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our Rollercoaster Ride to Home Ownership: From Renter to Homeowner!

The last time I visited our wedding site, I was amazed to see that on the gallery section, there was a Dream House folder that included pictures of our dream home. Actually, MY dream home. Hep, hep, hep! It may sound like it is "I" who always have the last say when it comes to decisions between me and the Mister. But, it's not actually like that. Hehe

You see, the Mister is a passionate musician. He spends his downtime writing songs, going to jams and gigs. Me the crazy wife spends downtime coming up with crazy ideas to bug or harass the Mister with. When the Mister comes home tired and bed bound, the crazy Mrs giddily presents a crazy idea and you can now assume what the ending is. The Mister nods and says yes and agrees and asks, "What's for dinner?" It's that easy. Good job, Mrs! After all, a happy wife makes a happy life, right?

In the gallery, it states "Goal of Purchase - 2012." And you know what? We hit that goal! Big time! Me crazy ideas were not that crazy after all! Me craziness bore fruit!

 But it is with no ease that we were able to achieve this dream. It took us a lot of courage to be able to finally commit to this taxing financial responsibility. We just had Freedom that time. You know how the savings book suffers when you have a newborn baby.  Don’t get me talking about vaccines now! I loathe the topic.

The decision was hard. We could have decided on a condo instead. We could have bought a car -- this I'm sure can wait! We could have spent the money we had on other stuff. But we thought long term. We thought of Freedom's future. Having our own home would mean security for our family. As Manny Villar said, "Di bale nang magdildil ng asin basta may sariling bahay."

Yun lang, di kami kay Manny bumili. Sorry, Manny.

Model House

When we decided to buy this property, the Mister asks me questions ALL the time. Can we do this? We are already doing it! Can we still put food on the table? Magtatanim ako ng kangkong at kamote! Let's go vegan! Can we still send Free to school? Matalino si Freedom. I'm sure pasok yan sa science high school at UP! Boy, I was fidgety all the time but I had to put a brave face. I may be crazy but I'm always positive!

Sure, there were a lot of uncertainties tagged along with our decision. It came with a lot of budgeting schemes, sacrifice and discipline.  We have to forego some luxuries here and there. That's not even to include the financial strain we had when Freedom was diagnosed with asthma.

But the Mister and I did it, still are doing it! I am positive as the plus sign (+) that we can still provide food for us. I am positive to the nth level that we can still send Free to a good school. I am positive that we can still celebrate parties festively. Spell D-I-Y! Hooray! More DIYs mean more blog posts of course! Hehe!

Our journey as homeowners has already begun. We still have a long way to go. But it’s keeping our marriage intact because we are into the same goal as a couple and as a family. We are uber happy with our future house albeit the long wait! The property was at the pre-selling stage when we paid a full DP so we're still waiting for it to be turned over. We are still paying for other charges hence we don’t have the latest gadget there is in the market. House construction is 100% complete. We can start moving in granted Meralco post is already installed. Knock knock Amaia! You promised February. You promised!

Okay. Out with the craziness, in with the serious talk. I am aware that majority of starting families in the metro are renters. But it's never too late to reconsider now the opportunities you have of having your own home. Take advantage of the real estate condition now. The economic climate favors homebuyers with low interest and very flexible terms. Some developers do not even require upfront deposit. And please, settle only for what you can afford.  There's always gonna be that "dream house" syndrome that will take you a step further away from owning a house. Most of the time we think we don't have the money for it. And usually, the excess money we have from the budget ends up on dining out, a new pair of shoes, a new shirt, a new toy, travel, etc. Try to recheck your finances and take a leap of faith.  Plan it with the Mister and go for it! GOD always provides.

Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY: Interior Designing Your Own Place

I know how to use a high-speed sewing machine. I learned it by myself. If you know me, you'll say it is weird. I am many things. It all started when I told my mom that I spent one entire weekend sewing my court wedding dress by hand. Yes, you heard it right. I made my court wedding dress by hand. Mom sent me a second-hand electronic sewing machine two weeks after. Isn't she the sweetest?

The Mister and I were preparing our December wedding in 2009 when my crazy self realized it'll be our 8th anniversary on a once-in-a-lifetime date of 09/09/09. My crazy self convinced the Mister to have a court wedding on that date! The Mister had no choice. But my crazy self couldn't just go on a court wedding without making it extra special. I dreamed of wearing a nice, simple gown with a bouquet of simple flowers at least. The court wedding was not part of the budget. But I had to have that gown. So I went on crazy lengths just to have that gown. If I can't buy me crazy self a gown, I'll make me crazy self a gown. I'll share that dress with you in a different post.

Before I got pregnant, I spend my weekends cleaning our place. I am a bit of a control freak. I don't like a messy bedroom or a messy kitchen or any messy room of the house. I even pin my bed cover to the mattress just so it is neatly tucked day in and day out. Yes, I do that bedsheet pinning until now. You'll know what I mean when you'll have a glimpse of our bedroom. It looks like this ALL the time.

And please...Nothing under the bed.

See what I mean? And my husband is just so annoyed living with me. Well, we always annoy each other. I am a crazy wife. My head's never empty with something crazy to do. After all, I don't have any hobby to spend a great deal of my time with before I got pregnant. Of course, everything of that changed when I became a mom.

Please take notice of the interior design. Please take notice of the curtains and the bed covers. Please, please, please. Hehe. Forgive my crazy self. I am just proud of my DIYs. You can't discount the presence of that fab bag! It belonged to this room, you see. Yes, I made those curtains and bed covers and pillows from scratch using my high-speed sewing machine. It's not rocket science, mommies. Divisoria offers a wide array of nice, but cheap fabrics. You can do it yourself. You just need to have a lot of patience, time and passion to do it. Oh, you'll need a high-speed sewing machine too!

Here's another fabulous set. The Mister said he feels like waking up inside a Louis Vuitton bag with these curtains. I said, "That's the whole point!" The design spells L-U-X-U-R-Y! And I can't afford luxury so I just have to make it.

I am no professional when it comes to interior design. I just read a lot of stuff. I learned that when decorating a home, you've got to have a theme first. I wanted a contemporary design. It offers simple, uncluttered look. I learned that you have to play with only two or three colors. Make one of them your main color and the other two your accent colors. Do you love my red-white-black theme? Achieve na achieve ko diba? And mommies, that sunburst mirror on top is also a DIY. Play with cheap frames and furnish a sad wall with them.

I was 5 months pregnant when I made my burgundy curtain and bed cover set.

These fab mirrors are refurbished. They're the ones you'll buy anywhere at 100php. Revamp them with a new frame. Wood is one cheap material you can use for a new look. Paint 'em and voila!!! Oh, that's the Mister living with me crazy self. You can gather that he just woke up inside a Louis Vuitton bag and had to separate himself from that nightmare by watching cartoons online.

P.S. I wonder how our own home will turn out by the time we've transferred. I'm uber excited. I can't wait to interior design Free's bedroom. But first, I need our house turned over ASAP!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Gift of His Sacrifice

It's Father's Day next Sunday! And in the spirit of this occasion, I'd like to share with you an essay I wrote last year for my own father. This was an entry to Father's Day photo-essay writing contest within our company which won FIRST PRIZE! Please note that our company has 10,000 plus employees. This is a personal piece and I'm really proud of it. I got a Makati Shang-ri La Circles Event Cafe gift certificate of Lunch/Dinner for two for this contest. I was so delighted.

Pa, I hope you'll always remember how much we love you.

Here's the entry. Read on.

When talking about fathers, I always have this sudden feeling of peace and gratitude thinking about my own father. He has been my wonderwall in my 29 years of existence. He has since served as a calming force in my everyday life. I don't even know where to start describing how much respect and appreciation I have for my dad. He is the pillar of my wisdom and the source of my inspiration.

I am proud to share that my father turned out to be a wonderful dad despite having a very difficult man to have for a father himself. My grandfather was not, I should say, the best of fathers you'll ever meet. But I'm glad my father chose to be unlike him. Maybe it was because he stood as a father himself for his siblings; working hard -- selling ice popsicles on torn sandals -- in order to put some food on their table at a young age. He would tell me that on some days, my grandfather would even take his day's hard earnings to gamble. With all these unfortunate experiences, my father is surprisingly a very goofy, funny father.

I remember the times when he used to tell us stories of him working while in college to support his own education. He said it was not unusual for him to have bought a cup of rice for lunch, coupled with just a bowl of free soup given to him by the canteen lady so fond of him and his determination -- “Or maybe, it was out of pity”, he said. I guess this was the reason behind why we always have more than one viand on the table each meal. He went on to share that he even cleaned up toilets just to make ends meet.

Though for so long he chaired a huge department in a private company, he called me up one day to say he soon will retire. I gladly told him, "I'm sure you'll enjoy this well-deserved time off, Pa". Finally, he can enjoy the fruit of his own labor, spending this long-overdue downtime on his small farm. At 55, he may be a little bit young to retire but I told him that I support him all the way. He has worked as hard as he did since childhood anyway.

This might seem to be a typical tale to most but the story of my father's struggle and success has taught me to strive to be the best; if not, a perfect mother to my son. Through his hardworking years, he has given me a happy mom and a beautiful home. He and my beautiful mom sent us four to college. He chose to give us a better life. If not for my father's sacrifices, what would have become of my life now?

P.S. I have yet to write something for the Mister. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blooming Motherhood = Deteriorating Friendship

I am a passionate mother to my son and I can't imagine my life without him. I want every minute spent with him, which makes it very difficult for me since I have a full-time job. When my work hours shifted to 11pm-8am, I was delighted! This meant I got to be with Freedom and look after his needs every day of the week! We spend the entire day eating meals, taking naps, strolling outside, reading books, cuddling, and playing. I am just in heaven every day!
There's just one thing though that's been irking me these past few weeks. I noticed that I haven't had gone out with friends for some time now. I guess for four months already! It's been a long time really. I don't know if they just assume I'm busy by default or vice versa. The Hubby has been telling me to go out and have some ME time. "I'll take care of Freedom. Go out and have some fun," he said. But I'm always hearing myself respond, "It seems like I don't have friends anymore."
It dawned to me that not one of my closest friends had invited me to go out or have a chitchat for some time now. It made me very sad. Maybe I am stuck in mommyhood bliss for a while. Maybe it was me who had stopped trying to keep in touch. I am such a bad friend. I wish that everything is fine with them though. I wish this is just a phase.
A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely. - Pam Brown

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Php 1,700 Wedding Dress

It's the wedding month again and I'm super excited for all the bride-to-be's out there. I remember the feeling when I was still preparing my own wedding four years ago. It was so much fun! So much so that I got depressed after my wedding! Hehe! Baliw much? I was just overwhelmed by the idleness that came after six months of preparation. Yes, you heard it right! The hubby and I planned our dream wedding for six months! Early planning has so many advantages, I tell you.
One of them was my P1,700 wedding dress! Mind you, this was my own design and my dream wedding dress. The DIY madness in me actually started to kick off when I was preparing my wedding. Everything in my wedding was almost DIY. And I want to share with you how my 1,700-peso dress came to be.

I have a close friend who is from Bulacan who was starting up his events planning business that time. When I told him about my wedding plans, he immediately agreed to help me out with my wedding dress. I told him I already have a design in mind, I just needed a good dressmaker/seamstress to do it. Since I'm on a very tight budget, Edel drew the design I had in mind and estimated the amount of fabric needed for my wedding gown. He knows a dressmaker in Bulacan who can make dresses well.

My gown would be made of tulle for that airy and dreamy effect. So off I went to Divisoria and spent P1,000 on tulle and chiffon for the lining. The dressmaker's fee for making the dress was only P700! And here's the dress, girls!

Sulit na sulit, diba? This is how it looked on me :) Be kind with your comments. Hehe

My wedding theme was white and gold. So gold pearls were detailed at the bust and hip lines.

I bought two chains of gold pearl necklace from Divisoria for only P40! Since the dressmaker will charge another P500 for beading work, I did it myself with the help of my friend, Dayanara (my make-up artist and hairstylist).

After the ceremony. Stress free na kasi kaya bungisngis na kami :)

For brides out there who are on a tight budget, you can do the same. Have a design on your mind, look for a good dressmaker and do exactly what I did. There are many dressmakers in Bulacan particularly along the streets where Barasoain Church is located. That's where I had my gown made.
Good luck to you, girls, and best wishes!

you can visit our wedding site for more pictures!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My SuperMom Story Entry

I recently joined Amanda Loving Life's makeover contest for mommies. I'm not really expecting to actually win the contest. I also sort of wanting to share my story as a mom of an asthmatic child. As you can see, this blog is a vehicle for me to share my journey as a first-time mom of my precious son, Free. Read on.

I am a first-time mom of a 16-month-old baby boy with asthma. After a series of hospital admissions for pneumonia and non-stop bouts of colds, Freedom was diagnosed with this problematic condition when he was just eight months old. Any mother out there knows how it feels like when your child is sick. I know how bad it feels when my son was often admitted in hospitals. I’ll never go into the details of  how my husband and I coped with sleepless nights while he's having an attack; our dealings with round-the-clock medications, nebulizations and inhaler shots. Whilst you cannot overlook the financial strain this ordeal caused, it has also definitely taken a toll on me -- on my work, on my relationships, on my overall self-care.

But with the help of my loving husband, family and friends; I am starting to get back on track with almost every aspect of my mommy life. We are trying our best to keep my son's asthma under control, and it's getting better and better every day. I know I still have a long way to go as a mom of an asthmatic child. I always tell myself, as long as my baby is having no more attacks, I am the happiest mom! The daily joys he brings to our lives are endless.

With all these asthma management-related stuff I am dealing with, I definitely deserve a little break and want to feel beautiful. Asthma management is for the long haul. It would really cheer me up if I'll have a mommy makeover for free! After all, I can't remember the last time I was able to buy anything for myself. And the last time I had anything done with my hair was when my baby started to grab my long hair with his cute tiny fingers that I had to cut it short.
I thank God every day that I am blessed with a very active, happy kid who has taught Mommy how to be the strongest. He is the one who taught me how to be the best mommy for him. My son, Freedom, made me feel like I am a mythical heroine called "supermom." 

You can definitely join too, Mommies! Just check out Amanda Loving Life page on Facebook for more details.

Freedom's First DIY Birthday

I describe myself DIY crazy. I love doing crafty things during my downtime. Preparing my son's first birthday was extra special of course! This party was all things DIY. From paper pompoms to cupcake toppers, even to his birthday shirt. I wanted the party to look rustic and homey. Check out my son's Little Man Mustache Bash.

Total Cost: P4,500 (all in)

I cut out an old carton board and made this bash sign hanged outside our gate.

Table setting. I made these 20 colorful paper pompoms. These are very easy to make. I was so happy of how festive they look.

Minimum effort, maximum effect!

DIY mustache cake topper. Cake from Becky's Kitchen.

I have to commend the Hubby for making this DIY frosting from scratch! Yeah, yeah, it doesn't look like the frosting you see in normal cupcakes but I love how homey and rustic these cupcakes look. I also enjoyed making these cute little cupcake toppers.

Bear cake from Tous les Jours

My DIY dessert buffet. Thank you, Tita Olive, for providing majority of the canisters and party needs.

Uber inspired while doing these crafts. I love my son so much!!!

DIY backdrop.

Even his mustache shirt is DIY! I just bought a plain T-shirt, cut out a mustache out of a black cloth and sewn it in! Viola!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Letters to Freedom

I started this daily letter to my son a few months back when we were at the peak of stress caused by his diagnosis of asthma. After establishing his asthma management with his pedia-pulmonologist, the Hubby and I decided to send Freedom to Bacolod to my parents to have a full recovery. We figure that fresh air in the province would help him develop strong lungs and his pedia recommended this too. His tiny lung just couldn't bear Manila pollution. I had a very hard time being away from my son. And I poured my heart's content by writing him a daily letter.

And it helped me get through this difficult period. Read on.

February 16, 2013

The days and nights without seeing your smile seem to be taking forever.

Dearest Son,
I feel like loving you forever since the day I laid eyes on you. You are God's most precious gift. I've never felt so much alive the first time I knew I'm having you. Having you in our lives has been a living dream. I have nothing to wish for you but to become a good son of God, healthy and free in mind, body and soul.

I'll be starting to write to you every day from this day on forward. My words will be your guide. My words will let you know how much Mommy loves you. My words will be your strength.


February 17, 2013

Dearest Son,
Tonight Mommy can't sleep. I was wondering whether you already had your inhaler shots done. I can't wait for morning to see you on Skype. I've been fixing all the mess from your first birthday celebration. I came upon your toys and gifts. I tucked them away in the closet neatly. I can't wait to show them to you again when you come home.

Tatay misses you so much. But he always assures me we are doing this for your own good. Don't worry my sweetie, we'll be together soon. And mommy is going to shower you with kisses, with hugs, tickles and lots of peekaboos.

Goodnight, Free. I'll be dreaming of you tonight.



February 17, 2013

Dearest Son,
I promised I'll be writing to you every day. This is my second today. Sorry, one letter can't tell all I have to say to you. I'm still looking for a good notepad to write these by hand. I guess writing by hand would be better...sweeter...lovelier.

Mommy is done with laundry. I was having so much pride brushing your little cute white shirts with all the stains on it. I was imagining how cute they are on you. I know you'll be staining these shirts on most days. What do I expect? You're a kid. I want you to enjoy everything, learning and exploring everything even it means wreaking havoc our house every day.

I called you up early this morning. Your grandma said you're outside with Grandpa eating pandesal. I know how you love your morning walk so I didn't push it. I can call you later today anyway.

Till later my sweetheart. Mommy thinks of your every second of the day. Enjoy your day.


February 18, 2013


Dearest Son,

Mommy woke up at 2am and can't go back to sleep. It's 4:30 on the clock and I know you'll be awake in less than an hour. I wish I could be there for you when you open your eyes, seeing the first smile of the day.

Mommy has been preparing for an interview for today. I'll try my best to nail this.. for you. I lift everything to the Almighty and I know he has a great plan for us.

My child, I hope everything goes well with you today. Is your upper teeth still hurting? I'll send kisses to make them go away. Just know that this is all part of growing up. You'll get through every milestone and it will make you a very strong kid.

Let your worries go away by knowing that you are loved by so many special people around you. We'll take one day at a time, okay? Have a great day, Free.


February 19, 2013
Dearest Son,
Mommy just had dinner lovingly prepared by Tatay. I tell you Anak, Tatay makes the most awesome french toast and soup. That's what you should be looking forward to while growing up. Of course you can't ignore mommy's good cooking too! Haha!

Tatay and I want you to always enjoy time with us in the kitchen tossing pancakes and mixing pasta sauces. I look forward to doing many more fun stuff with you, Anak. We saw a video of you today. It was all funny with you and Dadoods playing giddy up horsey on Tito RR's shoulders. Haha!

I know you're enjoying your stay there with Mamita and Dadoods. Before you know it, you'll be here with us again. Goodnight my beautiful child. We'll be dreaming of you tonight.


February 20, 2013

Dearest Son,
Mommy's day went uneventful as usual because of your absence. The only highlight I had was seeing your smile on Skype early this morning. You've grown so much, Anak.

I can't wait to hold you and kiss you again, Anak. I can't wait to cook you healthy meals again. I can't wait to bring you to the park again. I can't wait to watch you while you sleep. I must admit, it is true what they say. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Two more weeks and it's going to be heaven by your side again, Anak. Let all your worries fade away while we wait. Sweet dreams, Free. Tatay and I miss you more today than yesterday.


February 21, 2013

Dearest Son,

All I want to say to you today is that I miss you TERRIBLY. I don't know how else I can describe the sense of emptiness that I actually feel today. Good thing your Tatay prepared another awesome meal for mommy. It lifted my mood a little bit.

I'm not sure if you could still remember this time being away from mommy when you get older. I hope you won't. I'll say it again. I miss you my sweetheart. Dream of mommy tonight.


Dearest Son,

The weather just doesn't help. I miss you more and more and this is getting worse. I wonder how creative Mamita and Dadoods today in containing you inside the house. You love the outside rain or shine!

I guess I'll just have to bury myself in chores again this weekend. Two more weekends and I'm gonna see your smile again, smell your unique baby scent again and shower you with all the love I can get you.

See you in my dreams, darling.


February 23, 2013
Dearest Son,
Mommy and Tatay have been spending time together and all we do is talk about you. Tatay says he misses playing with you. You just wouldn't stop playing w/ Tatay, you enjoy it so much.

If only Mommy can push the fast forward button to the day we'll be together again. The days and nights only get slower by the hour. But all we can do is wait, Anak. I promise you this will all be worth it. Promise.

I'll see you soon, sweetie.


February 25, 2013

Dearest Son,

It was quite harder for me to start this letter today as all I want now is to be with you. The first time that you were away was hard but I never thought that it is going to get THIS hard. Though Mommy and Tatay can't complain. Mamita said your face is like an apple now; plump and red and chubby :)

We can't wait to squeeze those chubby apple cheeks with lots of kisses. I am just so happy that ever since, you eat almost anything given to you. You like fish, veg soup, monggo, potatoes, pumpkin, apples, oranges the most.

Tatay and I were in the mall yesterday to buy some produce. We can't just stay there for too long as kids around remind us how it is going to be when you're with us at that moment. So we skipped the mall and went home, let another night pass with the happy thought that in less than a fortnight, we'll be complete again.

I'll be seeing you, Anak :) Miss you like crazy.


February 28, 2013

Dearest Son,

Mommy is going to see you again in a week's time! I can't believe we hold on to seeing each other this long. We made it, Anak. We are stronger than ever. It was hard work indeed but the experience brought good things as well.

I hope that when you grow up reading this, you can get insights from the letters I wrote to you, from the experience we had day by day. This experience taught Mommy and Tatay that sometimes, there are just things that are out of our control. I can now hear the song of Beatles "Let It Be" playing in the background.

That's what life is, Anak. There are times that you just need to act like water and let life flow freely. Let go and let it be. Like your name, Freedom. Your name was meant to reflect how your mind thinks. We'd like you to be free of any burden -- the burden of unnecessary norms of the society that insignificantly measure the person you really are. We want you to be free and be who you are. It doesn't matter what you're going to be when you grow up. If you're happy, you'll feel free.

Remember, Mommy loves you whoever you're going to be. See you soon, Anak.


February 28, 2013

Dearest Son,

I saw a latest photo of you today, Anak. You looked so busy and happy as well as funny. You were attentively looking at your food with no care to anything around you at all. Haha..I wish you stay that way when it comes to food. I didn't want to go through the path of bribing you just so you'll eat your food.

I spent this whole day mostly on reflections. Maybe that's the reason why this is my second letter for you today. Though I can promise you a happy home filled with fun and laughter and love, please understand that there will come a time that Mommy or Tatay will make a mistake in our parenting journey. As you grow day by day, Mommy and Tatay also grow with you day by day -- we mature day by day in our parenting skills.

I hope when the time comes that we make that mistake(s), you already have the understanding that we are imperfect just like everyone else. Just know that in all that we do, we do it out of our unconditional love for you.

Goodnight, Anak. I'll dream of you tonight.


March 3, 2013

Dearest Son,

In less than a week, Tatay and Mommy are gonna see you! Yay! Mommy has been preparing our place for you.

We've been so happy to start our day today after we saw you on Skype. You were all so giggly and happy and showing off new skills taught to you. Tatay and I couldn't be more proud of you. You are a happy child with a sense of humor. You have your way to us, we just couldn't say no to you every time.

We are looking forward to spending more fun time with you, Anak. You just don't know how big your personality is. You are full of life and you fill our lives with so much joy and purpose. See you soon, Babe. Sweet dreams.


March 5, 2013

Dearest Son,

I have been counting the hours until the moment I'll be with you again. I hope that you would recognize Mommy the moment you see her. I can't wait to give you the tightest hug there is.

Mamita and I have been talking nonstop about you. She shared every fun moment she had with you and keeps on describing how funny you are, how quick you are learning things and how big your appetite is when it comes to food -- to any food at that.

I'm so proud of you, Anak. You are the most precious thing God has ever given me. Tatay and Mommy love you loads. We'll dream of you tonight. See you soon.