Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hoping and bringing hope

"I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.” 

It is Christmas time once again. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, with all the shopping, parties and heavy traffic. It's easy to be distracted with all this hustle and bustle and forget the true meaning of the season. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the God who became man to give us hope and salvation.

Hope and salvation. I must confess that there were times that I almost felt hopeless, especially in these recent tragedies. There was the shooting of innocent children in a school in the United States. In my country, our people suffered because of the loss of lives, property and livelihood in the southern Philippines in the wrath of Typhoon Pablo. But hope is what Christ brings, and in times of difficulty, we should learn to hope in Jesus Christ. In the letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians it is said that Jesus is all we need, He is our all in all.

But I also believe that we should not only hope, but also bring hope to others.  How do we bring Christ's hope? I think it is about what PraySing Ministry says about "sharing in order that others may receive what they need." After all, Christ "offered what He had so that we might receive what we need."There are many who are in need, and we are all capable of sharing, no matter how big or small. 

These things, to me, are what we can do to keep Christ in Christmas.  

Here are my fellow blogger's posts on how they are keeping Christ in Christmas: 

Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity Story
Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique's Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying...
Lique's Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
Cymplified: Christ -Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Celebrating the Golden Days
Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings
Green Eggs and Moms: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Green Eggs & Moms Style!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas gifts on a budget

"I’m participating in the Spend-Less Holidays: Saving While Savoring the Season Blog Carnival, hosted by The Frugal Fil-Am and Dainty Mom. We’ll be sharing our tips on how to spend less this holiday season, so that we can have a more meaningful Christmas. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

It's Christmas time once again, and it's the season of giving. Though sometimes it feels like gift giving is burning holes on our pockets, this should not be. There are ways by which we can give gifts that are nice without the need to spend too much. It's just a matter of finding the best deals and being creative.

Here are some ways by which we can give budget-friendly Christmas gifts:

1.  Buy your gifts early. Avoid the Christmas rush. The best time to buy Christmas gifts is before the "ber" months. Many stores offer mid-year sales of their items, so you can buy these items at discounted prices. If you're looking at going to Divisoria, the Philippines' shopping mecca, to buy goods at cheaper prices, the mid-year is a good time to visit since it is not too crowded. By September, the crowds at Divisoria increases since people flock the shopping centers to buy their Christmas gifts.

2. Check out group buying sites. Group buying sites allow people to group together to negotiate for lower prices or better deals for products or services. However, before you make the purchase, read carefully and understand the fine print as it will give you the details regarding your purchase such as the voucher's validity and where to claim the items. You also need to do due diligence in looking for and in purchasing items only from legitimate group buying sites as we don't want to just lose our hard-earned money. To check if the site is legitimate, try to contact them through phone and email. If they don't respond immediately, you may have a hard time in redeeming your purchase.

3. Consider online shopping. I like buying stuff online because of its convenience. With just a few clicks I am able to choose and pay for the items that I want to buy. There are also online stores that sell items at discounted prices, sometimes cheaper than those sold in malls. Some online stores even deliver the items at your doorstep for free! Purchasing through online stores saves me time and money, and these savings also help me cut down on my costs, or allows me to do other things. But just like in #2, please check if the online store where you'd like to buy your items is a legitimate one.

4. Create your own gifts. If you think that you have some creative talent and access to tools, you should consider creating and designing your own gifts! There are so many gift ideas that you can create or design by yourself. If you know graphic design, you can put it to good use by creating customized clothing and accessories. If you know how to cook or bake, you can consider giving food as gifts. There are many things that you can make with little effort and using inexpensive and readily available supplies. Online, you can find many ideas for creating your own gifts. And these kinds of gifts are extra special because they have your personal touch in them.

I hope these tips can make your Christmas gift-giving budget-friendly! :)

Also, please check out this list of interesting posts about making our Christmas celebration more meaningful :)

Domesticated Goddess
The Learning Basket
Apple's World
A WAHM's Life
Changing Nappies in High Heels
Savvy Saving Couple
Kids Party Hub
My Life in Letters
Super Mommy Wannabee
The Frugal Fil-Am
Mrs C's Sugarcoated Life
Henry's Mom
Roller Coaster Mom
Saved by the Miracle of Baked Mac
Mommy Journey
City Girl, Country Home
The World is Our Classroom
Lique's Antics
Mommy Bares All
Consumer Queen
Truly Rich Mom
Dainty Mom
Saving Well, Spending Less

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's been hard for this first time mom

I am quick to admit that it has been hard and quite a challenge for me as a first time mom. I have never really had experience of taking care of children. I may have had younger siblings and cousins but I never took care of them. Growing up in an extended family, there were uncles and an aunt that took care of me, my siblings and cousins aside from our parents. So when I had Toyang, I had to learn on my own how to take care of a baby. And I never thought that taking care of a baby is an overwhelming task. From the time Toyang was born up until she was 2 weeks old I had no sleep! People said that I should sleep while my baby is sleeping. But I couldn't because that's the time when I clean baby stuff, cook or do house chores. It was hard for me during the first month because it was only my husband and I who were taking care of Toyang. And when my husband goes to work, I am left alone to take care of our baby. I remember sending SMS to my mom everyday during that first month asking her when they will come to visit us. I just felt that I needed more help and needed more time for myself. At some point I thought that I had postpartum depression because of the difficulties I experienced as a first time mom.

While I said that being a first time mom was hard, it became easier for me now thanks to the support of my husband, family, friends and also to Toyang. I thank my family especially my mom for taking care of me and Toyang. She helped us find a yaya to take care of Toyang while I am at work (though I am not entirely happy with this yaya but more on that later). I also thank my mommy friends to whom I share my concerns as a first time parent. No one could understand me better than fellow mothers. I also thank my husband for being a doting and responsible father. I am grateful to him for really taking the time to be with us as much as he can during that first month despite his busy schedule at work. I also thank him most especially for all the sacrifices he has made to be able to support his young family (more on this later as well). Of course I am also grateful to Toyang because she is growing to be a happy and healthy baby. As she grows it is becoming easier to take care of her. And her smile and laughter just makes our day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ang iyong ngiti

Ang iyong ngiti ang pumapawi ng pagod at lungkot, ang nagbibigay ng pag-asa at saya
Ang iyong ngiti ang aking inspirasyon at lakas sa pang-araw-araw
Mahal na mahal kita

Thursday, October 18, 2012

No breastfeeding

It is unfortunate that I was not able to breastfeed Toyang. I really felt bad about it that I cried about it for weeks. At one point I thought that I had experienced postpartum depression and that these were one of the reasons for them. I worried about not being able to breastfeed because we are already struggling financially, and this is an additional financial burden for us.

I felt it was a combination of several factors that is why I was unable to breastfeed. But the main reason why we were not successful at breastfeeding is that Toyang was not able to latch on me. I got hurt when I heard a comment that "wala akong tiyaga" (I had no perseverance). And whenever I remember that I always felt guilty and sad. God knows we (my husband and I) did all we can so that I could breastfeed. While I originally intended to breastfeed, I admit that breastfeeding was something that I really did not prepare for. I thought it was a natural thing I did not think it will be difficult. Maybe there was something that we did wrong or we did not do. Maybe because I did not get enough support. Maybe because I did not have time because I had other concerns to attend to. I had to go back to work one month after giving birth because I had to earn money.

It took a while before I was able to accept that this is the reality for us. A mommy friend had told me not to beat myself up on it, that I should find joy in taking care of my baby regardless of whatever milk she gets. These words have comforted me in those times that I cried over not being able to breastfeed. With regards to finances, thankfully my husband and I are still able to make ends meet. God provides! Ultimately, what I really wanted is for Toyang to be a happy and healthy baby, and so far she has been so :)

Maligayang pagdating!

Hunyo 30, 2012 ang isa sa mga pinakamaligayang araw ng inyong Ate. Ang inyong ate ay naging isang ganap na ina! Isinilang niya ang isang maganda at malusog na sanggol na babae. Ang kanyang palayaw ay Toyang, mula sa isa sa kanyang mga pangalan na Vittoria.

Maligayang pagdating, munting anghel! Mahal na mahal ka namin ng iyong ama :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ilang mga naisip nitong mga nagdaang araw

Sa mga pangyayari nitong mga nagdaang araw, ito ang aking mga katanungan: Ano na bang pinahahalagahan ng mga kabataang Pinoy ngayon? Bakit mukhang di nila alam kung ano ang tama at mali? Ano kaya ang magiging kinabukasan ng bayang Pilipinas?

Monday, April 16, 2012

PLDT MyDSL's Anna Banana

PLDT myDSL recently showed its 'Anna Banana' commercial on television. It has also been posted on YouTube

The commercial shows a mother viewing her child's YouTube video multiple times. She viewed it wherever she is (kitchen, bathroom, living room) at various times of the day (early morning, daytime, evening), and from various devices (laptop, tablet). When the video got 100 hits, the child was so happy, not knowing the hits were from Mommy. 

What I like about this commercial is how the internet is trying to build a strong connection between the mother and her child. The strong connection between a mother and a child starts in the mother's womb. But when a child is born to the world, sometimes this connection becomes weak, especially when a child gets older and lives his/her own life. This commercial shows that the strong connection can somehow be reestablished. The mother made the effort to reconnect with her child by showing her support and appreciation to what the child has done.

I hope that more people take advantage of the internet to stay more connected to people that matter.

Here are other videos related to the commercial:

Anna Banana the original song

And here is Derek's (child's name) thank you video :)

Thank you, PLDT myDSL for reminding us about establishing connections.

PLDT myDSL would like to remind us about the following:
  1. PLDT myDSL Plan 1299 is now upgraded to 1Mb from the previous 768Kb.  
  2. For subscribers of Plan 990, upgrade your subscription to Plan 1299 by simply adding P300 to your monthly bill. 
  3. For more information, go to

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrating pregnancy

The past few weeks of my pregnancy has been quite stressful. I was bleeding. I had urinary tract infection. I got hospitalized. I became well. Then I'm bleeding again. Add to that the diagnosis that I have gestational diabetes. It's hard not to be anxious when all these things are happening.

My doctor said that my bleeding seems like I'm experiencing threatened pre-term labor. Meaning I am not yet on pre-term labor, it's just that all these signs of pre-term labor have been apparent. And we'd want to prevent that, because we want the baby to be born full term. To do that I'd be taking medication for the next six weeks.

But more than these things that I worry about, I would like to celebrate the many good things about this pregnancy, as inspired by a friend's blog about her pregnancies. I remember having tears of joy hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time and seeing her face on ultrasound. My husband's reaction on feeling the baby's movement for the first time is priceless. And feeling the baby's movements throughout the day and night even if it makes sleeping difficult is an assurance that my baby is doing well.

I'm truly excited to see you, my baby! But you have to spend a few more weeks in Mommy's tummy. Be well! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pre-term Labor

Last week, I was confined at a hospital because I was diagnosed of having preterm labor. Based on what I've read, preterm labor happens when a pregnant woman experiences labor-like symptoms before 37 weeks of pregnancy. I've experienced spotting in the last two weeks, on my 24th and 25th week of pregnancy, and this spotting is one of the signs of preterm labor. I have been seeing my doctor more than once a week when I had spotting. When my doctor recommended that I have ultrasound, the results showed that I have experienced funneling, or opening of the cervix from the inside. So she recommended that I be given medications to help lessen or stop contractions, but have to be confined at a hospital so the doctors can monitor my body's reaction to the medication. It was scary that it happened. Thankfully, the medication helped stop bleeding, and that my baby is fine, still moving a lot inside my tummy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To my unborn child

from Mommy to Be 2012

To my unborn child,
what I wish to give you in times to come,
happiness, and wisdom,
a life filled with fun,
to explore all adventures of your curious mind,
to become knowledgeable of what you'll find,
as I await your arrival and the presence of newborn cries,
I picture how you'll look when I open up my eyes.
I feel your movements every time I wake each day,
letting mommy know that you’re okay,
obstacles I hope you'll overcome,
education I know you'll get done,
I stay up late reading to you,
talking to my stomach,
a feeling I never knew,
hungry all the time
'No doubt you're a baby of mine',
You make me feel happy even when I'm sad,
because the formation of another life makes me glad.
Proud of you I am,
I already know how you'll be,
a smart 'lil' one for mommy to see,
no worries from me a mom to be,
to a special baby I can't wait to see.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tita Dads I will miss you

Since yesterday I was reeling from the demise of my aunt, my Ninang, Tita Dads. She has gone to be with the Lord ahead of us. I must say it has been hard for me since I learned she got sick. I had difficulty even in my prayers I don't even know why. She has been a second parent not only to me but to many of my cousins, nephews, nieces, and even family friends. I guess one of the things that will console me at this point in time is to remember her fondly for being a beautiful person that she is, for being so generous of her love and care, and as my Tita/Ninang Chit has said "Dada touched so many lives with her loving care and attention without expecting anything in return. She lived to love and serve others." To me, she did not only give without anything in return, she also gave until it hurts, even if she would have none, even in her sickness she continued to give. Tita Dads has truly been a blessing not only to me and my family, but to many, many others. I will miss her terribly, but I know she is now in a better place, another angel watching over us. 

To Tita Dads, wherever you are, I will truly miss you, and I love you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Second Trimester

I am fortunate to have had a relatively smooth first trimester of pregnancy. No morning sickness, rarely threw up, and went about my usual activities.

So I was alarmed to have experienced some symptoms that are quite normal in the first trimester during the second trimester: spotting. In the first instance, my OB-GYN diagnosed that I had some infection, and I was asked to take antibiotics. But after two weeks, I've had some spotting again and pelvic pain. This might be because of too much walking. So I am again taking medications and on bed rest.

While I have not seen my OB-GYN yet, I just hope my "baba munchkin" is doing fine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Little Angel

I was surprised one day in November finding out that I was pregnant! I will cherish this little angel forever.