The Joy of Discovery

I just had the best vacation in a long long time. Granted, I haven’t been out of Manila for almost 2 years, so I may have low standards. After all, it was just an overnight trip, it was just to Punta Fuego (a so-so resort), there was a mix-up in our accommodations, it took us 5-6 hours to complete a 3 hour drive (since we had to stop for meals, walks, and her naps), we had to bring a lot of things to make sure that the bear was comfortable, and it was crazy hot. Hmm, make that really low standards.

You know why I think I had the best vacation ever? I’ll give you a hint:

It’s such a joy watching the bear discover new things. From the flowers she saw in Tagaytay, to the school of fish in Nuvali, to the new food that we had her taste, to swimming in the pool in her mushroom salbabida, to reading her Mickey Mouse clubhouse book, to holding and scribbling crayons for the first time, to coloring our pillows and comforter with said crayons (definitely not for the last time — I really hope Crayola is being truthful when they said they’re washable), there is not a moment of the last few days that I would trade for anything in the world. (Ok, it would’ve been nice if she could nap in the car.)

The look on her face when she learns something new, when she says a new word (‘No’ and ‘boobs’ are her latest) is priceless. There are so many things I want her to experience, and I am looking forward to our next adventure. 🙂


Posted by on 04/26/2012 in Parenthood, Uncategorized


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Holy Week 2012

While I have some thoughts that I want to share, I’d have to put them on hold — I still have 3 days of the long weekend to enjoy with the bear. But I wanted to show you what we’ve been doing for the past 2 days. It’s been awesome thus far.

We started the 5 day holiday by putting up our height chart which we bought from Amazon. I see that they’re selling it now for $3.49. Damn it, I bought mine for $6!

We also visited the bear’s ninang – who has been my good friend since we were 5 years old. I won’t tell you how long that’s been because that’ll give away our age :p The bear ran around the garden, scared my friend’s pet poodle (not in the picture because he was hiding in the bushes), and enjoyed the koi pond.

We also discovered that the bear loves sharing her food. There she is in the bottom left shoving putting into my mouth a piece of mamon. She also shares her pancakes with her yaya. She won’t eat unless we also eat with her. I’m not sure whether it’s a Filipino or a Chinese trait since I know people from both cultures who really insist on sharing what they have regardless of whether you wanted to accept it. It’s actually kinda sweet.

I’m looking forward to the next 3 days of the weekend. So many things to do and to experience with the bear.

Happy Easter! I hope your vacation is going as well as ours. 🙂

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Posted by on 04/07/2012 in Parenthood


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OMFG, a Cupcake ATM!

I saw this on Reality Pod today. While I love cupcakes, I’m really glad the technology is not yet available here in the Philippines. A beautiful cupcake available 24/7 would be too difficult for me and my tummy (who is currently on a diet) to resist.

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Posted by on 04/02/2012 in Others, Uncategorized


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Signs of Drowning

I initially planned on having all original content for this blog, but then every now and then I come across some sites which I want to share with you guys. Since I’m also very forgetful, it works out.

This morning, Pao shared with me this post by Mario Vittone on drowning:

It’s really alarming and something that every person needs to know. According to this post:

“It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).”


In the post, Vittone lists the signs of instinctive drowning response, which is what we do to avoid drowning. From experience, I can attest that it’s impossible to shout out when you’re drowning. My dad was in the same swimming pool when it happened to me, and if it wasn’t for a stranger who saw me struggling, I wouldn’t be here today.

So please do read the article and share it with your friends and family.

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Posted by on 03/30/2012 in Good to Know, Others, Uncategorized


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Getting Carried Away

So the bear is finally a year old. Time flew by so fast. In a couple of months, we’ll be converting her crib into a toddler bed. A toddler bed – can you imagine? That’s crazy!

Meia is so noisy nowadays. Still unable to regulate her voice, she says everything really loud. She also has a couple of words down pat – Mamama for me, Papapapapa for her Daddy, Ma! for her Oma, turtle (her first word!) for the variety of turtle stuff toys and figurines that she coopted inherited from me, and cake (uh oh). She can also do some signs – milk, eat, and more. She can clap, high five, do beautiful eyes (which is more like a blink rather than a bat of her lashes), give a flying kiss, and do align (a forefinger’s version of a high-five). She knows where her head is, her nose, tummy, and belly button. Incidentally she also knows where my tummy is — she’d point to it and start laughing. Laughing. Uncontrollably. Hmph. Look kid, I know it’s fat and flabby, but to laugh at my belly that got big to accommodate your presence in the first place is so. not. cool. *scowl*

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I was getting all sentimental before I remembered why I needed to diet…

Every now and then I look at Meia and imagine what she’ll be when she grows up. I like looking at everything she does as a sign, a hint, of her future career.

Meia loves to destroy read books. Will she grow up to be a writer like her father? a lawyer? a journalist (do they still exist?)? a TV anchor? If a writer, what kind of writer? Will she write books? Or maybe work on a screenplay?

Unlike her mother, Meia loves to dress up. Will she be a model? A designer? Will she sew her own clothes like the designers in project runway? How about a fashionista? God, I hope not a fashionista. Paolo and I don’t make enough to fund the wardrobe of a fashionista.

Meia is also a very active bear. She loves the water, to play with her ball, to chase bubbles, and to drive us insane. Will she be a marine biologist? An athlete? If an athlete, will she be really good and possibly join the olympics? Or better yet, be a WWE Diva (Kharma not Kelly Kelly)? Please be a WWE Diva. Then maybe you can date someone like George Clooney and live a beautiful Hollywood lifestyle and give us free tickets to Wrestlemania.


Posted by on 03/23/2012 in Parenthood, Uncategorized


Happy Birthday, Bouncing Bear!

My little bear just turned one! My infant has now transformed into a toddler – and I couldn’t be any happier.

We had a wonderful event-filled birthday weekend. I’ll tell you all about it next time as I’m having difficulty finding time to blog. Work is getting a little crazy plus there’s that dreaded exam next week that I haven’t even studied for. At the home front, I’m trying to finish as much as I can of What to Expect – The Second Year (turns out that this edition of the book is arranged by topic and not by age, so I couldn’t get away with reading a chapter a month!). I’m also doing as much research as I can on the bear’s new diet. Then there’s weaning. Seems like only yesterday that I was learning how to breastfeed, and now it’s time for me to stop. 😦

In the meantime, let me share with you some of our pictures from Meia’s birthday weekend as well as a beautiful post by the hubby over at his Facebook page.


Meia’s First Birthday

by Paolo Chikiamco on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 2:43pm ·

I’m a writer, so it’s strange for me to be so averse to distilling an experience down to a thousand words or so. Still, that’s exactly how I feel about fatherhood. Meia’s just celebrated her first birthday, and still I feel that it’s somehow to early to start writing about it, as if these past few months could dissipate like a bubble when forced to bear the weight of my words. Maybe someday. But I’m still a writer, and I still feel the need to express in language what the experience has been like for me. For now, the words of others will have to suffice.

“If anything Fatherhood has made me more of a person.

I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and sadder.

I’m more aware of the moment, and more anxious for the future. I’m angrier and more content.

I’m more patient and more frustrated, much more mentally stimulated and a lot more bored.

It’s a very long shopping list of contradictory emotions often experienced simultaneously.

I’m a prince and stepmother, king and stepsister, horsey and fairy god-mother.

I’m a slob and chauffeur, teacher and pupil, nurse and sergeant major.

Dispenser of hugs, sympathy, ultimatums, and, moral guidance. The manners police and the hygienist.

I’m a chemist and cash dispenser.

Dancer and tickler. Monster.

Bum wiper and bather. Grump and storyteller.

Tyrant, pushover, builder, and cleaning lady.

Husband and son.


~ From “Little Star” by Andi Watson, a book I bought years ago, and kept unread until Meia was born, somehow knowing–yes, even then–that it would capture the experience almost perfectly.

Happy birthday Little Star. Your mom and I love you very much.


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Posted by on 03/08/2012 in Parenthood, Uncategorized


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Mixed Emotions

Meia turns a year this coming Saturday. Wow. Whoever said that the days are long and the years are fast was correct. There were times when I just wanted the day to end so I can start fresh – a day without leaking diapers, witching hours, and bottle wars. And yet, here we are. One year gone and I honestly don’t know where it went.

When Meia was born, I promised myself that I’d stop breastfeeding when she turned a year old. I needed to get my life back, I thought. So for one year, I turned down most (if not all) invitations to hang out with friends unless (i) I could be home in 2-3 hours’ time (I really wasn’t comfortable pumping in a bathroom, and as far as I know, only Eastwood Mall has a decent breastfeeding room), or (ii) they were held in my house. I haven’t had a sip of coffee or caffeinated tea (or milk tea for that matter) or eaten anything coffee flavored since I learned I was pregnant. Exercise went out the window as it adversely affected my milk supply. Malunggay became my go to vegetable/vitamin. My pumping kit was my constant companion.

My sacrifice paid off. I am proud to say that Meia is still exclusively breastfed – almost 12 months in and yet she has never tasted formula (not that there’s anything wrong with formula). Four months in my breastfeeding journey, I had to buy a chest freezer since we needed more space to store my frozen milk. Less than two months later, I had to start donating since 4 cubic feet wasn’t enough to keep my milk stash.

At first, I pumped every 2 hours. When I went back to work, I moved it to every 3 hours. Sometime December or January, I decided to space my pumping time further apart to every 4 hours, then 5, and now 6. My milk supply has of course decreased as a result — I just found out that the yaya had to defrost milk for the first time in months today. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I know that I had given my little bear the recommended one year’s supply of breastmilk (I have enough stash to last until her birthday) and that I can now transition her to cow’s milk. At the same time, I find myself reaching for another lactation cookie (my third today) that my friend, the Marshmallow Mama, generously provided me last Sunday, hoping that it will do its magic and that the yaya won’t have to defrost milk tomorrow.


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